New releases 9/30/14

 Top Hits

Chef (drama/comedy, Jon Favreau. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 68. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Food, glorious food! Whatever else it does or doesn’t do, ‘Chef,’ Jon Favreau’s good-natured culinary comedy, works as an appetite stimulant. And where there’s delicious food — plenty is shown being prepared, served and devoured — there’s life.” Read more…)

Transformers: Age of Extinction (sci-fi action, Mark Wahlberg. Rotten Tomatoes: 18%. Metacritic: 32. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ the fourth film in an apparently inexhaustible, profoundly exhausting series based on Hasbro toys, raises, not for the first time, a basic question: Who are these movies for? This one, like its predecessors, is likely to make a lot of money all over the world, but that only makes the matter more puzzling. The ‘Transformers’ franchise seems like the most baldly and cynically commercial calculation imaginable — it is merchandising-based entertainment at its purest — and yet somehow it does not pander. Certainly not to women, who are on screen mainly to be ogled, shamed and rescued.” Read more…)

Third Person (drama, Liam Neeson. Rotten Tomatoes: 24%. Metacritic: 37. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The movie, which runs an interminable 137 minutes, is nothing if not ambitious. Mr. Haggis has cited Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Blow-Up’ as an inspiration. ‘Thirs Person’ is so meticulously acted by the ensemble that you are almost seduced into believing that its parts add up to a grand overview of the human condition, especially as it relates to love. But they don’t, because the main characters are shallow, selfish nincompoops, and there is no love in sight — just its absence — as these mutually suspicious go-getters jockey for advantage.” Read more…)

Decoding Annie Parker (drama, Samantha Morton. Rotten Tomatoes: 52%. Metacritic: 56. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘Decoding Annie Parker’ is considerably better than the kind of disease-of-the-week fare that used to be a television cliché. In today’s colder emotional climate, the mystique of medical technology is supplanting weepy spirituality as the default mode of movies about serious illness. Tears are shed in ‘Decoding Annie Parker,’ but they aren’t accompanied by the kind of sad, misty soundtrack music that can leave you feeling used and abused. Instead of jerking tears, the movie edifies.” Read more…)

Maybe Tomorrow (drama, Dominik Tiefenthaler. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 68.)
Aeromedical (medicine, military, by local documentarian Rebecca Abbott, in Top Hits)

New Blu-Ray
Chef
Transformers: Age of Extinction

New Foreign
Sundays and Cybele (France, 1962, drama, Hardy Kruger. From Bosley Crowther’s 1962 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Heaven only knows for what rare virtue New York has been rewarded with the first public exhibition of a French motion-picture masterpiece. But so it has. And, what’s more, this work of beauty, known here as ‘Sundays and Cybèle,’ which was opened yesterday at the Fine Arts even before its opening in France, is almost by way of being a cinematic miracle. It is the first full-length production of a young writer-director, Serge Bourguignon. How can one give a fair impression of the exquisite, delicate charm of this wondrous story of a magical attachment between a crash-injured young man who is suffering from amnesia and a lonely little 12-year-old girl? By saying that it is what “Lolita” might conceivably have been had it been made by a poet and angled to be a rhapsodic song of innocence and not a smirking joke.” Read more…)

New Television
24: Live Another Day

New Documentaries
Ivory Tower (economics, student debt. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “‘Ivory Tower,’ a documentary about soaring costs and other problems confronting higher education, can’t seem to decide what points it wants to make and ends up making none. Parts of it seem like free advertising for the institutions it visits, which include Harvard, Arizona State University and experimental institutions like Deep Springs College. Other parts sound the already familiar lament that students come out of college with crushing debts and no prospects for the kinds of jobs that would enable them to pay off those debts.” Read more…)

Aeromedical (medicine, military, by local documentarian Rebecca Abbott, in Top Hits)

Music: The Anne Marie Menta Band plays Thurs., Oct. 9, at 8 PM

Anne_Marie_Menta_BV_061214_WebThe Anne Marie Menta Band plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 9. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

Anne Marie’s first two CDs of original music, “Untried & True” and “When the Love Ran Deep” were released in 1999 and 2004 to enthusiastic reviews and gained airplay throughout New England acoustic music programs. Her third CD, “Seven Secrets,” was released in late November 2009 and continues her lyrical and melodic style of songwriting, as well as collaborations with her producer and fellow songwriter and instrumentalist, Dick Neal. She has been a featured performer at the Eli Whitney Folk Festival in New Haven, CT. and opened for artists such as Richard Shindell, The Kennedys, and Eddie from Ohio. She was a finalist in the 2004 South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter competition, and a showcase artist at NERFA (New England Regional Folk Alliance.)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Sept. 26. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, THE SHRINNIRS

• Sunday, Sept. 28. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE”

• Monday, Sept. 29. FILM SCREENING: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT”

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Sunday, Oct. 5. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “FLY AWAY HOME”

• Monday, Oct. 6. FILM SCREENING: “CAST AWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 8. AMERICANA: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON

• Thursday, Oct. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Oct. 12. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BABE”

• Monday, Oct. 13. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original)

• Wednesday, Oct. 15. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN of MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Friday, Oct. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATH BLOOM with TOM HANFORD; BOP TWEEDIE

• Sunday, Oct. 19. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ANNIE”

• Monday, Oct. 20. FILM SCREENING: “DELIVERANCE”

• Thursday, Oct. 23. CABARET/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, Oct. 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI; JAY PRINCE

• Sunday, Oct. 26. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “SHORT CIRCUIT”

• Monday, Oct. 27. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Wednesday, Oct. 29. ECLECTIC POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Oct. 30. “SONGS OF MISERY, DESPAIR & THE SUPERNATURAL”: DAVID, SHELDON AND GAIL

• Sunday, Nov. 2. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN”

• Monday, Nov. 3. FILM SCREENING: “The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. BLUEGRASS: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 14. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Thursday, Nov. 20. FILM SCREENING: “SEVEN DAYS IN MAY”

Music: Goodnight Blue Moon to play Wed., Oct. 8, at 8 PM

GNBM_Field_WebThe renowned Americana band Goodnight Blue Moon plays the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Goodnight Blue Moon, from New Haven, Connecticut, writes pop songs on folk instruments. By combining 60’s vocal harmonies, traditional roots influences, and catchy orchestrated melodies, GNBM is what New England Americana sounds like. Having already shared the stage with folk heavy weights (Spirit Family Reunion, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Frank Fairfield), they play high energy and dynamic sets that get an entirely packed room dancing and singing along.

Goodnight Blue Moon released How Long, their critically-acclaimed debut full length record, in March, 2012. Recorded in Lyric Hall Antiques and Restoration and mixed at Tarquin Studios by Greg Giorgio, How Long was a testament to the original vision of Elligers, Matlack and Crowley, featuring a riveting blend of 60’s orchestral pop and folk, indie folk, and bluegrass.  CT.com gushed:

They have successfully merged styles and sounds that, at first glance on paper, probably shouldn’t work.  But by sheer will and muscle they’re proving that with enough talented players in your troupe that you can take great songs, structure them any damn way you please and create a unique and enjoyable listening experience.

CT.com also included How Long on their annual year-end list of the best Connecticut albums of 2012.

2013 brought more accolades for Goodnight Blue Moon as they were voted by Connecticut music fans as the “Best Folk/Traditional Band” at the 2nd Annual Connecticut Music Awards.  They were one of a very small handful of bands to be nominated in multiple categories, including the “Best Overall Band” category.  They were also invited to perform at the ceremony on the prestigious Bushnell Theater stage, along with knockout performances at the annual CT Folk Festival, The Block Island Music Festival, The Meriden Daffodil Festival, and venues all across New England.

2014 brings with it the promise of more music from Goodnight Blue Moon as the band readies for a January release of their newest EP, A Girl I Never Met, a six-song venture further into the hearts and minds of listeners.  This release is followed by a heavy schedule of live performances and festival appearances including spots already secured on Hartford’s Emerge Festival and the Podunk Bluegrass Festival.

Watch the official video for Goodnight Blue Moon’s song “Captain’s Church”:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Sept. 25. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Friday, Sept. 26. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, THE SHRINNIRS

• Sunday, Sept. 28. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE”

• Monday, Sept. 29. FILM SCREENING: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT”

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Sunday, Oct. 5. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “FLY AWAY HOME”

• Monday, Oct. 6. FILM SCREENING: “CAST AWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 8. AMERICANA: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON

• Thursday, Oct. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Oct. 12. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BABE”

• Monday, Oct. 13. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original)

• Wednesday, Oct. 15. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN of MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Friday, Oct. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATH BLOOM with TOM HANFORD; BOP TWEEDIE

• Sunday, Oct. 19. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ANNIE”

• Monday, Oct. 20. FILM SCREENING: “DELIVERANCE”

• Thursday, Oct. 23. CABARET/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, Oct. 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI; JAY PRINCE

• Sunday, Oct. 26. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “SHORT CIRCUIT”

• Monday, Oct. 27. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Wednesday, Oct. 29. ECLECTIC POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Oct. 30. “SONGS OF MISERY, DESPAIR & THE SUPERNATURAL”: DAVID, SHELDON AND GAIL

• Sunday, Nov. 2. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN”

• Monday, Nov. 3. FILM SCREENING: “The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. BLUEGRASS: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 14. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Thursday, Nov. 20. FILM SCREENING: “SEVEN DAYS IN MAY”

Music: Daphne Lee Martin and Hannah Fair Fri., Oct. 3, at 8 PM

The singer-songwriters Hannah Fair and Daphne Lee Martin perform Friday, Oct. 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Forever blending genres in the legacy of the great Tin Pan Alley songwriters, Daphne Lee Martin takes beloved traditional southern roots sounds and runs them through megaphones, mellotron, a very old tube amp, a swamp and a dark alley or two. As always, the lyrics are fermented and distilled in a bathtub full of misfit Interbellum prose.

The albums are lush, and the live show fills bellies with whiskey, hearts with desire, and floors with dancers. Daphne tours acoustic up to full band with horns.

Watch Martin performing “Whiskey and Sin” live on WNPR’s program “Where We Live”:

Young Americana Singer/Songwriter, Hannah Fair, has a down- home, simple, and wholesome feel to her music. Hannah’s eclectic music stylings and heartfelt lyrics bring her songs and stories to life. Like a misty vapor that mysteriously forms and hangs over clear, still water in the morning, the lyrics of Hannah Fair’s music linger hauntingly in the mind while the sounds hover as gently in the air as a warm sea breeze long after the song is finished. Her music takes you to a new level of the experiences of youth—first love and first kiss, aching passion, heartache, and the need to leave the recognition of the familiar and experience new places and people. The music of this acoustic singer/songwriter is unpolished yet fresh, raw, and organic, shifting and changing as nature itself, prompting one blogger to write that “The songs are delivered with a confident, relaxed style that often gives them an immediacy that feels like she’s writing the lyrics as she is singing them.”

Hannah will bring you into the New England world she lives in, from the rolling hills and railroad tracks along the Blue Trail in Connecticut in “Fit Me”, to the deep woods, lakes, and cold winters of Maine in her, “Lonesome for You.” Two years ago Eric Lichter, the Dirt Floor Studios producer, upon first hearing Hannah said, “At the age of 16 this girl’s songs and musicianship astonish me…”. Since the recording of her first EP, Hannah has recorded a full length album consisting of 13 tracks that will release in December of 2012.

Watch Hannah Fair perform “The Other Side”:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Sept. 25. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Friday, Sept. 26. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, THE SHRINNIRS

• Sunday, Sept. 28. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE”

• Monday, Sept. 29. FILM SCREENING: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT”

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Sunday, Oct. 5. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “FLY AWAY HOME”

• Monday, Oct. 6. FILM SCREENING: “CAST AWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 8. AMERICANA: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON

• Thursday, Oct. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Oct. 12. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BABE”

• Monday, Oct. 13. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original)

• Wednesday, Oct. 15. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN of MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Friday, Oct. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATH BLOOM with TOM HANFORD; BOP TWEEDIE

• Sunday, Oct. 19. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ANNIE”

• Monday, Oct. 20. FILM SCREENING: “DELIVERANCE”

• Thursday, Oct. 23. CABARET/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, Oct. 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI; JAY PRINCE

• Sunday, Oct. 26. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “SHORT CIRCUIT”

• Monday, Oct. 27. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Wednesday, Oct. 29. ECLECTIC POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Oct. 30. “SONGS OF MISERY, DESPAIR & THE SUPERNATURAL”: DAVID, SHELDON AND GAIL

• Sunday, Nov. 2. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN”

• Monday, Nov. 3. FILM SCREENING: “The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. BLUEGRASS: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 14. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Thursday, Nov. 20. FILM SCREENING: “SEVEN DAYS IN MAY”

Sunday children’s matinee series begins this Sun., Sept. 28, at 1 PM with screening of “Because of Winn-Dixie,” sponsored by Cafe Amici, Richard’s Corner Gourmet and Evan’s Toy Shoppe

because_of_winn_dixie_ver2_xlg_WebKicking off the Best Video Fall Family Movie Series on Sunday, Sept. 28, is “Because of Winn-Dixie.” This 2005 film, based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Kate DiCamillo, was directed by Wayne Wang (“Joy Luck Club,” “Anywhere From Here,” “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”). Opal (AnnaSophia Robb from “Way Way Back”) is a 10-year-old who adopts a stray dog whom she names after the local supermarket where he was found. It also stars Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Eva Marie Saint and Elle Fanning.

The movies will be shown on Sunday afternoons at 1 PM. Admission is $5. The series is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Richard’s Corner Gourmet, Evan’s Toy Shoppe and Cafe Amici.

The Sunday Children’s Matinee Schedule:

Sun., Sept. 28: “Because of Winn-Dixie”

This 2005 film, based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Kate DiCamillo, was directed by Wayne Wang (“Joy Luck Club,” “Anywhere From Here,” “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”). Opal (AnnaSophia Robb from “Way Way Back”) is a 10-year-old who adopts a stray dog whom she names after the local supermarket where he was found. It also stars Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Eva Marie Saint and Elle Fanning.

Sun., Oct. 5: “Fly Away Home”

Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels star as inventor father and surrogate mother to a flock of wild geese that need to learn to fly to survive. Great award winning photography of geese in flight.

Sun., Oct. 12: “Babe”

From the Australian Producer/director/writer of “Happy Feet,” “Happy Feet 2,” and the Mad Max movies,  George Miller, comes “Babe,” an award winning adaption of Dick King-Smith’s book “The Sheep Pig” about Farmer Hoggett and the pig who herds sheep.

Sun., Oct. 19: “Annie”

The sun will come out tomorrow. John Huston directed this 1982 musical starring Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett as the conniving Miss Hannigan. Come sing along.

Sun., Oct. 26: “Short Circuit”

“Johnny 5 is alive!” Animal rescuer Stefanie (Alley Sheedy) takes in a self aware robot that’s more Wall-e than the military weapon he’s supposed to be and saves him from his creators. Steve Guttenberg stars as Newton Crosby, one of those creators who finds that Johnny is more than the sum of his parts.

Sun., Nov. 2: “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein”

Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein: one of the comedy duo’s best featuring Dracula,  the Werewolf, and of course Frank. Hilarious Halloween family fun. Costumes encouraged.

Rob Harmon’s Picks 9/23/14

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksCLASSIC FILMS FOR FAMILY VIEWING

When most think about family movies nowadays one tends to think of anthropomorphic animals or cars, slick animation, a zany and hyperactive, sugar-addled sense of humor, and usually an overarching syrupy and saccharine tone. But what about older movies?

There are at least three reasons to consider classic films for family movie night. First, before the days of the movie ratings system and our present-day segmented film culture (in which each new major release is slotted for a specific age group and demographic long before filming begins) films were meant to be seen by – more-or-less – people of all ages together (horror films would naturally soften their roughest edges for kids while a chirpy musical might contain a risqué joke or two for the adults in the audience). Hollywood’s worldview may have been heavily whitewashed back in the day (some would point out that it still is…), but classic films do represent a lost art form: that of creating entertainment for a broad cross section of the American public and a wide range of age groups.

Second, until one has exposed a child to non-mainstream films one cannot be certain that they will not enjoy them. In fact, just like putting young and developing minds into contact with the work of Mozart or Dickens, there are many positive effects to introducing youngsters to classic films, for example learning about the history of American culture and society (or other countries, for that matter), and generally opening up their horizons.

Third, some (but not all) classic films will contain neat moral lessons which can be especially powerful for kids, such as the message of non-violence in Destry Rides Again, the dangers of nuclear war in The Day the Earth Stood Still, or the populist democracy lessons contained in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Presenting the classics to kids may seem like a hard-sell to many parents but it should be considered as an option. It is true that most kids will probably roll their eyes at the thought of watching a black-and-white or a silent film: I was one of them, too, once. But, coming from a movie-mad family, I had caught the bug myself by the time I was in 8th grade. Family movie night was a tradition on the weekends and we watched both contemporary and classic films together.

I remember one such night particularly well when I was in 8th or 9th grade: my mother had noticed earlier in the week that Gone with the Wind would be playing – commercial-free – on TV that Friday or Saturday and promptly declared it a “movie night.”

That evening – mirroring the grandiosity of the film itself – took on a life of its own and became an “event”: we arranged the chairs and sofa so that everyone would be comfortable for the four-hour running time and adjusted the lights accordingly as the opening credits began. I remember most clearly the chaos that ensued as soon as the intermission hit: blankets and cushions flung aside, cats running for cover, Dad drowsily waking up. No sooner had Scarlett O’Hara uttered the words “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” than was I fussing with the air popper and dumping in the popcorn kernels. Meanwhile, the kitchen around me crackled with activity, my parents and siblings scrounging for ice cream, chips, crackers, anything that was at hand. As the intermission came to a close we rushed to get back to our seats in time and – as in a game of musical chairs – we collided like ten-pins, scattering popcorn and other stuff on the floor, which was sniffed and perhaps nibbled at by the now-skittish cats as they slowly returned to the family room. My mom interjected commentary throughout, usually having to do with actors, costume, music, etc., but also to social issues, for example drawing our attention to the damaging stereotypes of African-American slaves in the film.

The following categories and suggestions are far from exhaustive (feel free to ask for advice at the store) and are composed with children and teenagers from the ages of 8 to 16 in mind. (For movies which have more than one version I have attached a year in order to avoid confusion.)

Action/Adventure: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad; Jason and the Argonauts; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Mutiny on the Bounty (1935); The Prince and the Pauper (1937); 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954); tom thumb; The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T; The Swiss Family Robinson; Treasure Island (1950); Gunga Din; Captain Blood

Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window; North by Northwest; The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956); Dial M for Murder

Comedy: The Court Jester; The Inspector General; Way Out West; A Night at the Opera; Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; The Nutty Professor (1963); The Road to Morocco; Christmas in July; Bringing Up Baby; His Girl Friday; The Philadelphia Story; Going My Way; Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; A Hard Day’s Night

Epics: Gone with the Wind; Ben-Hur; The Ten Commandments; Lawrence of Arabia

Family: Old Yeller; The Yearling; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; National Velvet; Captains Courageous; The Secret Garden (1949)

Horror/Monster: King Kong (1933); Godzilla (1954); Frankenstein (1931); Dracula (1931); The Mummy (1932); The Wolf Man (1941); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939); The Creature from the Black Lagoon; The Haunting (1963); The Thing from Another World

Musicals: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; The Wizard of Oz; Mary Poppins; The Sound of Music; Singin’ in the Rain; An American in Paris; My Fair Lady; Meet Me in St. Louis; Easter Parade; The Music Man

Romance/Drama: Roman Holiday; Random Harvest; Now, Voyager; The Quiet Man; Jezebel; Casablanca; The Red Shoes; The Pride of the Yankees; Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939); Young Mr. Lincoln

Science Fiction: Forbidden Planet; The Incredible Shrinking Man; The War of the Worlds (1953); The Time Machine (1960); Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956); Invaders from Mars (1953); The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); Them!; Metropolis

Shirley Temple: Captain January; Heidi; The Blue Bird; The Little Princess

Silent Comedy: Modern Times; City Lights; The Gold Rush; The Freshman; Safety Last!; The General; The Navigator; Seven Chances

War: All Quiet on the Western Front; Sands of Iwo Jima; Air Force; They Were Expendable; The Bridge on the River Kwai

Westerns: Shane; Red River; The Searchers; Stagecoach; She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; Rio Bravo; Destry Rides Again; High Noon; The Ox-Bow Incident

New releases 9/23/14

Top Hits
Neighbors (comedy, Seth Rogen. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 68. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Neighbors’ is not a great film and does not really aspire to be. It is more a status report on mainstream American movie comedy, operating in a sweet spot between the friendly and the nasty, and not straining to be daring, obnoxious or even especially original. It knows how to have fun. How very grown-up.” Read more…)

Words and Pictures (romance, Clive Owen. Rotten Tomatoes: 42%. Metacritic: 49. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “‘Words and Pictures’ has a host of flaws, but the performances by Mr. Owen and Ms. Binoche have a crackling vitality, and the screenplay’s strongest moments set off the kind of trains of thought that dedicated teachers hope to spur in their students. Cantankerous though these two teachers can be, you would be lucky to have them in your classroom.” Read more…)

The Signal (sci-fi, Laurence Fishburne. Rotten Tomatoes: 55%. Metacritic: 53. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “William Eubank’s ‘The Signal’ demonstrates the fine line between paranoid science-fiction fantasy and demo reel. Both involve impressive visions of reality reimagined, and both defy logic extravagantly and yet somehow casually, too. Mr. Eubank’s diverting but disconnected film might fairly be described as a little bit of each.” Read more…)

Ida (Poland, drama, Agata Trzebuchowska. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 89. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “[Director Pawel] Pawlikowski, a Polish-born writer and director who has spent most of his career in England, has reached into his country’s past and grabbed hold of a handful of nettles. “Ida” is a breathtakingly concise film — just 80 minutes long — with a clear, simple narrative line. But within its relatively brief duration and its narrow black-and-white frames, the movie somehow contains a cosmos of guilt, violence and pain. Its intimate drama unfolds at the crossroads where the Catholic, Jewish and Communist strains of Poland’s endlessly and bitterly contested national identity intersect.” Read more…)

The Rover (dystopia drama, Guy Pearce. Rotten Tomatoes: 66%. Metacritic: 64. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: :[Director David] Michôd’s first feature, ‘Animal Kingdom,’ was a brutal and pungent tour of the Melbourne underworld, brought alive by spring-loaded performances [Jacki Weaver’s, supremely and a gamy, violent sense of humor. This time, he demonstrates once again that he has a knack for violence and suspense. [The sound design in particular is brilliantly sinister.] But he can’t find much of interest beyond the puffed-up, stripped-down glumness that is this genre’s default mood.” Read more…)

Romeo + Juliet (Shakespeare play in modern dress, Hailee Steinfeld. Rotten Tomatoes: 22%. Metacritic: 41. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Passions and nostrils flare in the latest screen version of ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ a sufficiently entertaining, adamantly old-fashioned adaptation that follows the play’s general outline without ever rising to the passionate intensity of its star-cross’d crazy kids. Adapted by Julian Fellowes, who’s taken liberties with the original text, and dutifully directed by Carlo Carlei, it deploys the familiar emotional beats — if not all the lines — along with the usual mixture of comedy, romance and tragedy. Shot in the actual Verona and at other Italian attractions, it looks pretty, feels light and moves fast, with a 118-minute running time that’s in keeping with the original’s “two hours’ traffic of our stage.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Neighbors
The Signal

New Foreign
Ida (Poland, drama, Agata Trzebuchowska, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 89. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “[Director Pawel] Pawlikowski, a Polish-born writer and director who has spent most of his career in England, has reached into his country’s past and grabbed hold of a handful of nettles. “Ida” is a breathtakingly concise film — just 80 minutes long — with a clear, simple narrative line. But within its relatively brief duration and its narrow black-and-white frames, the movie somehow contains a cosmos of guilt, violence and pain. Its intimate drama unfolds at the crossroads where the Catholic, Jewish and Communist strains of Poland’s endlessly and bitterly contested national identity intersect.” Read more…)

Like Father Like Son (Japan, drama, Fukiyama Masaharu. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 73. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The Japanese melodrama ‘Like Father, Like Son’ turns on the kind of cruel twist — children switched at birth — that’s the stuff of tear-wringing headlines and fiction. It begins with the revelation that two 6-year-old boys were given at birth to the wrong families, which now need to decide on the best thing to do. For one set of parents, Ryota [Masaharu Fukuyama] and Midorino [Machiko Ono], a comfortably middle-class couple nestled high in a glass tower, the revelation that their only son, Keita [Keita Ninomiya], isn’t a blood relation is a blow to their tiny family. It’s also a wedge that — day by day, hurt by hurt — transforms these loving parents into sparring partners.” Read more…)

The Last of the Unjust (France, Holocaust documentary, Claude Lanzmann. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “This challenge weighs heavily on his latest offering, ‘The Last of the Unjust,’ which seems to focus, for nearly four hours, on the actions and reminiscences of a single man, Benjamin Murmelstein, a prominent rabbi in Vienna who became the last Jewish ‘elder’ of the Theresienstadt ghetto. I say ‘seems’ because while Murmelstein’s animated, high-pitched speech and cherubic, bespectacled face dominate the screen, ‘The Last of the Unjust’ is also, unmistakably, about Mr. Lanzmann himself, and about his status as a leading interpreter of the Holocaust. It feels more personal than ‘Shoah,’ ‘Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 P.M.’ or ‘The Karski Report’ in ways that are both fascinating and troubling.” Read more…)

New Television
Modern Family: Season 4
Modern Family: Season 5
Scandal: Season 3

New Documentaries
The Last of the Unjust (Holocaust documentary, Claude Lanzmann, in New Foreign. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “This challenge weighs heavily on his latest offering, ‘The Last of the Unjust,’ which seems to focus, for nearly four hours, on the actions and reminiscences of a single man, Benjamin Murmelstein, a prominent rabbi in Vienna who became the last Jewish ‘elder’ of the Theresienstadt ghetto. I say ‘seems’ because while Murmelstein’s animated, high-pitched speech and cherubic, bespectacled face dominate the screen, ‘The Last of the Unjust’ is also, unmistakably, about Mr. Lanzmann himself, and about his status as a leading interpreter of the Holocaust. It feels more personal than ‘Shoah,’ ‘Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 P.M.’ or ‘The Karski Report’ in ways that are both fascinating and troubling.” Read more…)

Next film series—”Great Beach and Water Films”—starts this coming Mon., Sept. 29, at 7 PM with “A River Runs Through It”

A little fun in the water can raise serious waves of issues. This poetry of cinema—chosen from among Best Video owner Hank Paper’s all-time favorite films—will provide a raft of excitement, suspense and introspection, leading to optional discussions afterward. Have fun and learn! Coffee and Wine Bar available to facilitate your attention and participation.

Seating is limited; reservations recommended: $35 for the series of six screenings; $7 for each screening. Sign up for the entire series or for particular films. The screenings start at 7 PM.

Sept. 29: “A River Runs Through It”

(1992, USA) Two brothers rebel against their stern minister father (Tom Skerritt) in different ways: one (Craig Schaefer) as a writer, the other (Brad Pitt) as an irresistible daredevil challenging the world. Oscar-winning  director  Robert  Redford  captures  the  majesty  of  the  Montana  Wilderness  and  the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean’s uniquely affecting memoir.

Oct. 6: “Cast Away”

(2000, USA) In this unusual and deep film, a FedEx systems engineer’s ruled-by-the-clock existence abruptly  ends  in  a  harrowing  plane  crash  that  leaves  him  isolated  on  a  remote  island.  Tom  Hanks offers one of his most absorbing performances in this life-changing adventure of body and spirit.

Oct. 13: “Cape Fear” (original)

(1962, USA) In one of his two most menacing roles (his role in The Night of the Hunter is the other, shown later in the series), Robert Mitchum plays a sociopathic ex-con determined to exact a terrible – and terribly legal – revenge on both the attorney (Gregory Peck) who put him away and the attorney’s family. A masterpiece of tension-building, shock and suspense that eclipses the later De Niro remake.

Oct. 20: “Deliverance”

1972, USA) In director John Boorman’s stunning man vs. nature adventure, four “weekend warriors” (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox), set off on a fun-filled white water rafting escapade down a mystery-laden Georgia river that turns into a white knuckle wilderness of terror, putting them all on the knife edge of survival. Adapted by James Dickey from his novel and nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, this film draws us in with the force of a raging current – an unforgettable piece of film-making that made Burt Reynolds the world’s leading box office star overnight.

Oct. 27: “The Swimmer”

(1968, USA) In this unique movie filmed in New Canaan, CT, a charismatic and mysterious man, after a summer away, decides to swim in a succession of his neighbors’ pools that lead to his home, a succession that winds up telling his life story. Engaging poolside encounters with an interesting cast of characters lead to a shattering revelation in this film that, once seen, is never forgotten.

Nov. 3: “Night of the Hunter”

(1955, USA) A Depression-era itinerant preacher and widow-slayer (Robert Mitchum) stalks two young children who alone know his true identity, as well as where some bank robbery loot, which the preacher seeks, is hidden. The only film directed by Charles Laughton, this stand-alone masterwork of eerie expressionistic beauty is part Grimm faery tale, part coming-of-age salvation story – a poetic battle of good vs. evil featuring a sublimely sinister Mitchum and a stunningly radiant Lillian Gish in a screenplay written by the legendary James Agee.

Music: Original instrumental music, jazz by George Lesiw on Thurs., Oct. 2, at 8 PM

George_Lesiw_WebGeorge Lesiw brings his band to the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 2. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

With the release of his latest CD, “Clarity,” and the first single “Erykah,” George Lesiw (“Less-sue”) marks a new beginning in his musical journey. Lesiw combines the true improvisational essence of jazz, the daring electricity of rock-fusion and the gritty fire of blues.

“I came into the studio and recording sessions with a certain vision,” says Lesiw about the CD, ‘to simply be myself, to express where my evolution has brought me at this moment in time. I brought in the best musicians I have been working with and ‘Clarity’ is the result. This is by far, my best work.”

Lesiw himself is a Berklee graduate who has been a staple on the New Haven music scene for over twenty years. In 2007, George Lesiw’s band was named Jazz Search Winners of the 20th Annual Long Beach (CA) Jazz Festival. Lesiw and his band also played the Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, Spaghettini Grill & Jazz Club, The Baked Potato, and the Jackie Slater & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament. Stints on the East Coast have been just as impressive including the venerable Café Nine and the Owl Shop, Toads Place, The Knitting Factory, Greenwich Village Bistro, The C Note, Acme Underground, Puppet House Theater, Underground Parade at Lorenzo Studios, Gathering of the Elements, the Collinsville Arts and Music Festival, and many more.

Those who helped George Lesiw achieve “Clarity” are keyboardist Matt Oestreicher who has performed with Stevie Wonder, Cee-Lo Green, Jon Bon Jovi, Ben E. King, Jamie Foxx, and Alicia Keys. Thierry Arpino on drums, who has been impressive behind Jean-Luc Ponty, Larry Coryell, Philippe Saisse, and Gil Parris, keeps time. Bassist Dave Livolsi who held down the bottom for John Scofield and Jeff Pevar, and renowned drummer and percussionist Adrian Tramontano who is best known for his stints with the powerhouse jam bands The Breakfast and Kung Fu.

Inspirations include Jimi Hendrix, John Scofield, Wes Montgomery, B.B. King, Pat Martino, John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and many others.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Sept. 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Sept. 25. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Friday, Sept. 26. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, THE SHRINNIRS

• Sunday, Sept. 28. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE”

• Monday, Sept. 29. FILM SCREENING: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT”

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Sunday, Oct. 5. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “FLY AWAY HOME”

• Monday, Oct. 6. FILM SCREENING: “CAST AWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 8. AMERICANA: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON

• Thursday, Oct. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Oct. 12. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BABE”

• Monday, Oct. 13. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original)

• Wednesday, Oct. 15. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN of MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Sunday, Oct. 19. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ANNIE”

• Monday, Oct. 20. FILM SCREENING: “DELIVERANCE”

• Thursday, Oct. 23. CABARET/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Sunday, Oct. 26. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “SHORT CIRCUIT”

• Monday, Oct. 27. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Wednesday, Oct. 29. ECLECTIC POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Oct. 30. “SONGS OF MISERY, DESPAIR & THE SUPERNATURAL”: DAVID, SHELDON AND GAIL

• Sunday, Nov. 2. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN”

• Monday, Nov. 3. FILM SCREENING: “The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER”

• Friday, Nov. 14. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Thursday, Nov. 20. FILM SCREENING: “SEVEN DAYS IN MAY”

 

Music: Namoli Brennet on Wed., Oct. 1, at 8 PM

Namoli_Brennet_WebSinger-songwriter Namoli Brennet plays the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 1. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Dubbed “Among the best folk-rock artists in the country” by the Tucson Weekly, Namoli Brennet has been touring with her own brand of moody and inspiring folk since 2002. A recent Iowa transplant, Brennet was based out of Tucson, AZ for a decade and her music still carries some of the stark, persistent beauty of the desert. She’s a breathtaking and moving performer, and her sweet, road-weary voice is as quick to deliver her wit and humor as it is a turn of phrase. Among her influences she names Patty Griffin and Eliza Gilkyson, but she manages to carve out a vocal niche of her own using her sweet, edgy alto. Zocalo magazine calls her music “Gorgeous and introspective”, and we’re tempted to agree.

She’s a top-notch songwriter who’s known for her insightful lyrics and poetic language, but it’s her live performances that set her apart from the conventional label of singer/songwriter. On stage she reveals deft acoustic guitar chops, often incorporating foot percussion, loops, vocoder and Kaki-King style tapping to create a broad, layered soundscape. Namoli’s latest CD, “Live” was recorded over the course of 6 months and 10,000 miles. It shines an intimate spotlight on a performer who is at once arresting and vulnerable, someone who, in the words of Keith Jarret, is willing to “Go deep into the cave to come up with the light.”

A 4-time Outmusic award nominee who was recently named in the inaugural Trans 100 list, Namoli was also the recipient of the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Award and a finalist in the ISC songwriting competition. Her 2010 release ‘Black Crow’ garnered critical acclaim and was named one of KXCI FM’s top albums of the year. Her music has been featured on NPR, PBS and in films including the Emmy-award winning documentary “Out in the Silence”, which details the struggle of a gay teen growing up in rural Pennsylvania. She spends 5 to 6 months a year on the road and will be touring Europe in June 2014.

Brennet is currently working on her 11th CD with a release date of fall 2014.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Sept. 17. NEO-FOLK/RAGTIME: AMY KUCHARIK

• Thursday, Sept. 18. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Sept. 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Sept. 25. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Friday, Sept. 26. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, THE SHRINNIRS

• Sunday, Sept. 28. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE”

• Monday, Sept. 29. FILM SCREENING: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT”

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Sunday, Oct. 5. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “FLY AWAY HOME”

• Monday, Oct. 6. FILM SCREENING: “CAST AWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 8. AMERICANA: GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON

• Thursday, Oct. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Oct. 12. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “BABE”

• Monday, Oct. 13. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original)

• Wednesday, Oct. 15. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN of MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Sunday, Oct. 19. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ANNIE”

• Monday, Oct. 20. FILM SCREENING: “DELIVERANCE”

• Thursday, Oct. 23. CABARET/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Sunday, Oct. 26. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “SHORT CIRCUIT”

• Monday, Oct. 27. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Wednesday, Oct. 29. ECLECTIC POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Oct. 30. “SONGS OF MISERY, DESPAIR & THE SUPERNATURAL”: DAVID, SHELDON AND GAIL

• Sunday, Nov. 2. CHILDREN’S FILM SCREENING: “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN”

• Monday, Nov. 3. FILM SCREENING: “The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER”

• Friday, Nov. 14. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Thursday, Nov. 20. FILM SCREENING: “SEVEN DAYS IN MAY”