Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory...
commentaries and essays expand the thought process on RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@] yahoo.com
1)The Beatles SGT PEPPER
Opens June 2, 2017 at a theater near you!
Review by Joe Viglione
With a mere $149,000,000 budget - chump change these days - Warner Brothers has finally released a MARVELous motion picture from the DC comic books stable of stars.
Pre-release tacking for Wonder Woman has been all over the place
, with the latest estimates pointing to a domestic opening weekend of between $65 million and $75 million
. However, Forbes
predicts the film could
open much stronger in North America, paving the way for it to end its worldwide run in the $700 million range. http://www.cbr.com/wonder-woman-best-reviewed-dc-film/
Review by Joe Viglione
With a mere $149,000,000 budget – loose change these days - Warner Brothers has
finally released a MARVELous motion picture from the DC comic books stable of
stars. And they did it by making this film
modeled after a Disney Captain America / Iron Man / Ant Man release. We’ll get
to the film after we go over some particulars… that Ant Man was budgeted out at
130 million and brought in 519 million plus. That 2011’s Captain America: The
First Avenger was budgeted out at 140 mill and brought in 370 plus; 2014’s
Captain America Winter Soldier at 170 (bringing in 714 m plus,) and Captain
America: Civil War at a huge 250m bringing in 1 billion, 153 m plus. Yikes!
Wonder Woman is superb filmmaking starting off with beautiful cinematography
descending down to a package from Bruce Wayne who – thankfully – doesn’t make a
personal appearance. No Ben Affleck is a sure sign of good things to come. Inside the gift-wrapped secure suitcase is the
aged Wonder Woman and gang-in-Belgium photo from Superman vs Batman – the first
appearance by this new Wonder Woman the best thing about that noisy and awful monstrosity
passed off as a motion picture.
Diana Prince – played brilliantly by the face of Gucci’s Bamboo perfume –
and a frequent resident of The Fast and the Furious, Gal Gadot (#4 from 2009,
#5 from 2011, #6 2013 and kinda sorta in 7, 2015) is not your mama’s Wonder
Woman of Cathy Lee Crosby and Lynda Carter, though Carter is thanked in the
credits. This Gal Gadot Wonder Woman is
the real deal and will do much to obliterate the cheesy TV character that was
more camp a la Adam West’s Batman show …and hardly a goddess. The big difference is that as sideways as the
television Batman and Wonder Woman were, Adam West rose above it all with
dignity and obtaining a sort of bat signature, a credibility that he shared
with Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt
and so many others who brought the TV comedy to a certain level of charm. Because the acting was superb.
The acting in Wonder Woman 2017 is equally superb, as is the direction by a
woman mostly known for her work in television, Patty Jenkins. Zach Snyder has a hand in the storyline, he
being the executive, if you will, in charge of the DC Extended Universe.
The audience gets to figure out which era this is, but for the sake of the
timelines, let us have a little history.
All Star Comics #8 appeared in December of 1941 with Wonder Woman, her
first appearance. Jack Kirby, co-creator
of The Fantastic Four, co-created Captain America with Joe Simon in March of
According to Wikipedia, this film
is set in World War 1, November 1918.
This is all very important as Captain Kirk 2, Chris Pine (born in 1981,)
is Steve Trevor here, looking like actor Chris Evans (born in 1980.) None of this is a coincidence. When you see
Pine as Steve Trevor jump on a motorbike in Wonder Woman he might as well be
Chris Evans jumping on a motorbike in Captain America. The roots of Wonder Woman, on the coat-tails
of Captain America eight months later in 1941, definitely reaching for the huge
Captain America audience, only adding as many female filmgoers into that mix as
they possibly can.
This critic writes his own reviews, staying away from the other press for
the most part until my essays are on paper.
However the CBR headline caught my eye as for the past forty-eight hours
prior to writing this I’ve been describing Wonder Woman as the best DC film
since The Dark Knight, and – voila – I am not the only critic / filmgoer with
that idea. http://www.cbr.com/wonder-woman-best-reviewed-dc-film/
The film is breathtaking on many levels. Tremendous sets, plenty of bang-up,
shoot-em-up action, and the horrors of war presented in as tasteful a way as
possible, but still quite ugly.
Gadot – and Pine – have a cleansing effect on the mustard gas and the
appearances of Dr. Poison (Elena Anaya,) and General Ludendorff (Danny Huston,
one of the Colonel William Stryker characters in the X-Men Wolverine series) –
Dr. Poison turning Ludendorff into a kinda sorta Red Skull straight out of
Captain America. With competing comic
book companies the parallels are obvious and, for the world of film, almost
essential for entertaining this rabid audience.
To go on might reveal plot that you want to experience for yourself.
in all, this is a brilliant film, it touches all the right chords, and is the
first step – finally – in DC turning around its inability to make superhero /
science fiction films of the quality that is – most clearly – in its mission
statement. Wonder Woman has finally
arrived and she is more powerful than TV viewers were ever given a chance to
see and experience.
Mr. Curt Geoff Pango
Satellite by Giant Caterpillar
Bev Grant It's Personal
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]
With Rick Willis on bass, Dennis Elliot playing drums, Mick Jones on guitar/keyboards, and the debut of Johnny Edwards from King Kobra and Buster Brown on vocals, the 1991 version of Foreigner actually was better than one would expect. Ten of the 11 songs on the Unusual Heat CD were written by co-producer Terry Thomas, new singer Johnny Edwards, and band mainstay Mick Jones, and they still had that bombast and brash appeal of the group which once featured so many textures brought to life by the voice of Lou Gramm. The unusual thing about Unusual Heat is that it is actually a good product and quite listenable. "Only Heaven Knows" kicks things off, and it could be the second cousin (or sequel) to Lou Gramm's solo smash from four years earlier, 1987's "Midnight Blue." Edwards is a stylish vocalist, and he, like the multiple replacements for Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, the Guess Who's Burton Cummings, and the Jefferson Starship's Grace Slick, has that tonal quality that can keep the public happy by keeping the sound consistent with what came before. "Lowdown and Dirty" actually got onto the band's Rhino double-CD retrospective Juke Box Heroes, and is another solid rocker. Everything here sounds very much like the product Foreigner was known for, but as slick album-oriented rock was fighting other genres vying for the public's attention, it may have been more advisable for the group to go into a slightly different direction -- some acoustic music here might have been a nice break from the generic onslaught. The lone Mick Jones solo composition, "Safe in My Heart," is mellow, but not a dramatic departure needed to establish a new identity. But it's all hooky hard pop, from "I'll Fight for You" to the "Juke Box Hero" clone that is "No Hiding Place" and the title track, "Unusual Heat," a strong chorus surrounded by the thumping hard rock sound. It's a record Johnny Edwards, Mick Jones, and crew can be proud of. Guest appearances by Stories' Ian Lloyd (Mick Jones had, after all, worked on Lloyd's Third World Civilization solo outing), and additional keyboardists Tommy Mandel and Richard Cottle make things somewhat interesting, though the keys take a back seat on this album (you have to strain your ears at some point to hear them, à la when Flo & Eddie called Mountain's Steve Knight "the most useless man in rock & roll"). It may have been funny, but as Corky Laing came to Knight's defense, saying he kept the rhythms going, the rhythm and spirit is prevalent on this interesting addition to the Foreigner catalog. In an ironic turn of events, bassist Rick Willis departed after this for Atlantic labelmate Bad Company.
Rating: 6/10 - Review by Joe Viglione
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [+] ... from King Kobra and Buster Brown on vocals, the 1991 version ofForeigner actually was better than one would expect.
Unusual Heat is the seventh studio album by British-American rock band Foreigner, released ... Foreigner - Unusual Heat.jpg .... Jump up ^ Viglione, Joe.
allMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]
's Alive & Rockin' DVD is a slick presentation from Eagle Vision that features eight of the group's 16 hits, a classic track -- "Starrider" -- from the first album, and a "Juke Box Hero" medley that includes "Whole Lotta Love," a nice treat since son-of-Led Zeppelin Jason Bonham
is on drums. Sequencing those two titles after the drum solo that follows "Urgent" is also a nice touch. Here's the up and the down of it, beautifully recorded at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany, for the band's 30th anniversary in 2006 -- and with all the players doing their corporate rock best, the purist may be chagrined to find hard rock refugee Kelly Hansen
filling in for original member Lou Gramm
on a package that the average radio listener might think is the original group. Only Mick Jones
remains from the 30 years that have passed and, though his playing is as solid and impressive as ever, those who appreciate and care about music integrity might want some kind of a warning beyond the six photos on the cover. Foreigner
never had the massive cult charm of Jim Morrison
and the Doors
, and that means the mainstream leanings of this group make the tribute band approach less offensive, but Hal Horowitz
's same criticisms of the L.A. Woman Live DVD by the Doors of the 21st Century
still come into play here. If grading for packaging and technical proficiency, this DVD is a well-crafted document of a collection of hard rockers working with sole original Foreigner
. Kelly Hansen
was lead vocalist in the Bob Ezrin
in 1989, the year after Foreigner
had their last of 16 chart hits. As Brian Howe
never became a household name fronting Bad Company
, neither will Kelly Hansen
get universal recognition taking the reigns of Foreigner
, replacing Lou Gramm
who replaced King Kobra
vocalist Johnny Edwards
who replaced...Lou Gramm
And therein lies the problem for this glossy document of the 2006 version of Foreigner
as recorded at Bang Your Head!!! The musicians here -- longtime Aerosmith
sideman Thom Gimbel
's Jeff Pilson
, the younger Bonham
on drums, and Jeff Jacobs
("who played with Billy Joel
and who's been in this band a very long time" singer Hansen
relates during his 15-and-a-half-minute interview) -- are all very talented. It's just not as magical as Foreigner
in their heyday, with a choir joining them on-stage for performance versions of "I Want to Know What Love Is," which isn't on this collection. Jones
are also interviewed, and had this been called Foreigner
III and included some history of the players, it would have been a bit more appealing for the aforementioned purists. Better still, why Stories
lead singer Ian Lloyd
isn't fronting the band, a fellow who is friends with the group and backing vocalist on most of their hits, is the real question for fans who want the band to evolve in a more logical fashion. Still, it's a professional set of half of Foreigner
's major hits with one original member and an eight-page booklet that is most comprehensive. Of course, a sticker with "Featuring Kelly Hansen
on vocals" would be helpful -- and would certainly limit sales, but isn't that the reason there is a band called the Doors of the 21st Century
ROCK N ROLL LOVE LETTER
And the Band Plays On...my review on Microsoft site: Return to previous page
While Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke left Free for Swan Song/Atlantic's Bad Company, their ex-bandmate, the late Paul Kossoff, put together another group on Atlantic which sounded like...you guessed it...Bad Company. Terry Wilson-Slesser could easily be mistaken for Rodgers on so much of this album, be it the song "Jason Blue" or "It's a Long Way to the Top." This material is terrific sleeper stuff for the '70s hard rock genre, before Foreigner made that whole world much slicker. Where Lou Gramm could sometimes annoy, Back Street Crawler creates real hard rock art, taking this oh so seriously. The song "Jason Blue" is a powerful potion, one that would fit perfectly on a classic hits station, arguably one of the best tracks here. It is one of six compositions by Mike Montgomery, the major force on this album. Montgomery co-writes two additional tunes and sings lead on "All the Girls Are Crazy" and "Survivor," dueting with Terry Wilson-Slesser on "New York, New York" (a Mike Montgomery original, not the tune made famous by Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra). And by the way, how many groups would have two guys named Terry Wilson in their band at the same time anyway? The more you play The Band Plays On, the more it grows on you. It is one of those albums that has enormous depth that can't be heard on the first spin or two. Sounding so much like Bad Company on the same label was no doubt a drawback -- the records showing up in the same section alphabetically at retail bins, their names so closely aligned, the unfortunate big difference for Back Street Crawler was no hit single emerging from this set. Mike Montgomery's vocal style on the excellent song "Survivor" isn't as gritty as Terry Slesser, nor as commercial. Slesser would leave after this project to be replaced by John "Rabbit" Bundrick on vocal, who similarly joined Free when they needed his talents to replace members moving on. "It's a Long Way Down to the Top" could be Bad Company performing "Ready for Love," down to the riff and the mood, but so many references to that band don't take away from the fact that this is a solid '70s blues-rock disc with hooks, top-notch production, and lots to offer. Wouldn't be surprised if somewhere down the road people started picking up on The Band Plays On, songs like "New York, New York," "It's a Long Way Down to the Top," and "Jason Blue" are ripe for being covered. ~ Joe Viglione https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/store/music/album/back-street-crawler/the-band-plays-on/8d6kgx52dk9g/rovi-review
Eric Lee at Live on Tape
Pt 2 Eric Lee on MATV
Malden with Ron Cox May 22, 2017
Syndicate The Noise Magazine
Eric Lee The Noise Magazine
Reviews in THE NOISE as of June 1, 2017
Here are the videos from June 4, 2017's OUT OF THE BLUE event
Old Rochelle 230 views as of 10:03 pm
Dragon Room 224 views as of 10:03 pm