New releases 10/28/14

Top Hits
Begin Again (romance, Mark Ruffalo. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 62. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Compared with ‘Once,’ ‘Begin Again’ is a bit like the disappointing, overly produced follow-up to a new band’s breakthrough album. A large part of the problem is that the music, which is supposed to provide heart, soul and artistic bona fides, ranges from passable to terrible. When Dan first hears Gretta with her acoustic guitar, he imagines a full arrangement for her song, transforming it in his head from a mediocre fake-folk ditty into a mediocre middle-of-the-road radio hit.” Read more…)

Wish I Was Here (comedy/drama, Zach Braff. Rotten Tomatoes: 46%. Metacritic: 43. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Until you partly surrender to its underlying good will and sincerity, watching ‘Wish I Was Here’ is like observing an experiment in a cinematic test kitchen. The perky chefs are seeking an ideal blend of familiar flavors and textures as they devise what they hope will turn out to be a new, improved recipe for that old standby, Thoughtful Comic Entertainment.” Read more…)

Child of God (thriller/drama, James Franco. Rotten Tomatoes: 37%. Metacritic: 50. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Make no mistake: There is nothing pleasant about ‘Child of God,’ James Franco’s very fine adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s short, pitiless novel. But then, Mr. McCarthy is a bard of the apocalyptic who, in his unsparing period novel ‘Blood Meridian’ writes that ‘war is the truest form of divination.’ His is no country for old men, to borrow the title of one of his few books that have been turned into a successful film; neither is it a place for bromides about the triumph of the human spirit, one reason most of the screen adaptations have failed. There isn’t a war per se in ‘Child of God,’ just good and [mostly] evil in a Christ story in reverse about a mystery who becomes a man.” Read more…)

The Purge: Anarchy (horror, Zach Gilford. Rotten Tomatoes: 57%. Metacritic: 50. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Kill or be killed isn’t the official tag line of ‘The Purge: Anarchy,’ but it fits. It would also make a more suitable title for this satisfyingly creepy, blunt, down-and-dirty thriller, one of those follow-ups that improves on the original. Once again, it’s a new morning in future America, and crime is still down, as is unemployment. The only thing that appears to be keeping the peace and assuring prosperity is the government-sanctioned annual bloodletting, that one night a year in which the citizenry can run amok without punishment. The word anarchy is purely superfluous.” Read more…)

Good People (thriller, James Franco. Rotten Tomatoes: 12%. Metacritic: 42.)
Grace: The Possession (horror, Alexia Fast)
Disaster L.A. (horror, Justin Ray)

New Blu-Ray
Wish I Was Here

New Foreign
Dormant Beauty (Italy, drama, Toni Servillo. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 72. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Thought and feeling are never far apart in the films of Marco Bellocchio. From his precocious beginnings in the 1960s with ‘Fists in the Pocket’ and ‘China Is Near,’ Mr. Bellocchio, now 74, has explored weighty ideas — about Italian society and politics, about the struggle between faith and secularism in the modern world, about authority, idealism and sexual desire — with passionate, at times melodramatic, ardor…. But if ‘Dormant Beauty’ does not rank among Mr. Bellocchio’s best movies, it nonetheless still occasionally shows him at his best. His eye for the latent beauty and evident absurdity of Italian life remains acute, as does his appreciation for vivid performance.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948, Max Ophuls-directed costume drama, Joan Fontaine. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1948 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “For this handsomely put-together picture about the unrequited love of a girl for a dashing young concert pianist, based on a story by Stefan Zweig, is as obvious an onslaught on the heart-strings as that old-fashioned tear-jerker tableau, glimpsed between velvet pull-curtains and scented with scattered rose leaves. Indeed, it has all the accessories of that brand of moist-handkerchief romance, including sad music played on violins and the death of an illegitimate child.” Read more…
From Charles Taylor’s New York Times DVD release review: “This romantic melodrama points forward to the opulent and ironic period style Ophuls would perfect after his return to France in ‘The Earrings of Madame de ….’ and his film maudit ‘Lola Mont?’ ‘Letter From an Unknown Woman’ feels less worldly than those pictures, and while the tragic twist of its source, a short story by the great Viennese writer Stefan Zweig, is still present, the obsessional quality has become somewhat masochistic. But ‘Letter’ is the most sophisticated of all weepers; there is no other Hollywood romance that looks or feels like it.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Fedora (1978, Billy Wilder-directed noir drama, William Holden. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. From Janet Maslin’s effusive 1979 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Billy Wilder’s ‘Fedora’ is a fabulous relic, a grand old villa fallen slightly into disrepair. And if it seems outmoded, well, that is very much Mr. Wilder’s intention. ‘Fedora’ is old-fashioned with a vengeance, a proud, passionate remembrance of the way movies used to be, and a bitter smile at what they have become.” Read more…)

New British
Accused: Series 1 & 2

Mike Wheatley’s Picks 10/28/14: Halloween movies for the younger set

Hocus_PocusLooking for some seasonally-appropriate entertainment but don’t want to traumatize your younger children for the rest of their lives? Best Video staffer Michael Wheatley has put together a list of 30 films that would make for fine family-friendly Halloween entertainment.

Boo! (Sorry—hope we didn’t scare you!)

01. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
02. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
03. Twitches (2005)
04. Ghostbusters (1984)
05. The Witches (1990)
06. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
07. The Addams Family (1991)
08. The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
09. Hocus Pocus (1993)

10. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
11. Casper (1995)
12. Tower of Terror (1997)
13. The Monster Squad (1987)
14. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
15. Gremlins (1984)
16. Return to Oz (1985)
17. Monster House (2006)
18. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
19. ParaNorman (2012)
20. Frankenweenie (2012)
21. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
22. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
23. Coraline (2009)
24. Corpse Bride (2005)
25. Beetlejuice (1988)
26. Halloweentown (1998)
27. Young Frankenstein (1974)
28. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
29. Labyrinth (1986)
30. The Black Cauldron (1985)

Music: The Six-Pack Dutchmen play instrumental rock Fri., Nov. 7, at 8 PM

The Six-Pack Dutchmen play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Nov. 7. Music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

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The Six-Pack Dutchmen play concise instrumental themes with surf overtones and nods to early rock n roll.

Critic Fran Fried writes:

Well, we’re not sure which of the three guys in the group are Dutch—with names like Andrukevich, Hogan and Coppola—and we’re not quite sure who went out and bought the beer. (Hey, these guys aren’t youngsters—they just play with the enthusiasm of young ‘uns—so when we say sixpack, we ain’t talking about abs, okay?) But we are sure you’ll have a good time with these fine rock ‘n’ roll instrumentalists, brew or no brew, windmills or not.

Tom Andrukevich, the bass player, has a long history behind and ahead of him—starting with one of Connecticut’s first punk bands, The Survivors, in the ‘70s and ‘80s; then spending much of the ‘90s with one of the most clever surf/instrumental bands on the planet, The Mill Valley Taters; and these days donning the helmet and sweater (skates optional) to play with the world-renowned hockey rockers, The Zambonis.

Dave Hogan, on guitar, is a successful singer/songwriter in his own right who plays many gigs in Connecticut and is now expanding his touring road map beyond the state. A veteran of five Nutmeg State bands (Red One, Genghis Khan, The Great Upsetters, The Rafter Bats and, most recently, Graylight Campfire), he’s as immersed in The Fleshtones as he is Son Volt and Duane Allman.

Drummer Jim Coppola played with singer/guitarist/renowned cartoonist Bob Therrien in Bad Bob & the New World Crusade and also recorded with Delvis.

Sixpack? With credentials like that, make it a case.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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 JEWISH CARDINAL”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. NEO-URBAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 7. INSTRUMENTAL ROCK: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN

• Monday, Nov. 10. FILM SCREENING: “A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES”

• Tuesday, Nov. 11. TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA: FRANZ DOUSKEY & RICH MORAN, JR.

• Wednesday, Nov. 12. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD

• Thursday, Nov. 13. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, JASON PRINCE

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

• Monday, Nov. 17. FILM SCREENING: “I CONFESS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 19. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, LAURA JOY

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

• Friday, Nov. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: BECKY KESSLER (Violent Mae), SAM PERDUTA (Elison Jackson)

• Monday, Nov. 24. FILM SCREENING: “BABETTE’S FEAST”

• Friday, Nov. 28. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Monday, Dec. 1. FILM SCREENING: “DOUBT”

• Thursday, Dec. 4. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT

• Friday, Dec. 5. BLUEGRASS: PHANTOMS OF THE OPRY

• Monday, Dec. 8. FILM SCREENING: “THE END OF THE AFFAIR”

• Thursday, Dec. 11. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Monday, Dec. 15. FILM SCREENING: “VISION”

• Thursday, Dec. 18. POST-PUNK: ZOO FRONT, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

 

UPDATED AGAIN! Tonight’s tribute show to Frank Sinatra with Franz Douskey and Rich Moran, Jr. postponed; rescheduled to Tues., Nov. 11

NEW UPDATE OCT. 28: Realizing that Nov. 4 is Election Day, we have definitively rescheduled “Sinatra: The Very Good Years—A Tribute in Stories and Song” to a week later, Tuesday, Nov. 11. The event will start at 8 PM and the cover will be $5.

UPDATE: “Sinatra: The Very Good Years—A Tribute in Stories and Song” has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Nov. 4. The event will start at 8 PM and the cover will be $5.

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Unfortunately, tonight’s planned tribute to the life and times of singing legend Frank Sinatra is being postponed. Singer Rich Moran, Jr. has a throat cold that would hinder his ability to do justice to the planned program.

We hope to reschedule this show for a date in the near future. Once we have that information, we will post it here as well as on the Best Video Facebook page and the Facebook page for Best Video Performance Space.

“Religion & Society” movie series starts Mon., Nov. 3, at 7 PM

All_6_movies_WebA rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into Best Video Performance Space…

Wait, it’s no joke! The next film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom begins Monday, Nov. 3, at 7 PM. “A Rabbi, A Priest and A Minister Walk Into Best Video Performance Space” will feature powerful films with the theme of religion and society. As has been our practice, each screening will begin with a short, context-setting introduction and by followed by an optional discussion.

Each screening begins at 7 PM. The cost for each movie is $5 and reservations are encouraged.

This is the schedule:

Mon., Nov. 3: “The Jewish Cardinal”

The Jewish Cardinal tells the true and provocative story of Jean Marie Lustiger who, while retaining his Jewish identity, converts to Catholicism at age 14 and becomes a priest. Quickly rising through the ranks of Bishop, Archbishop, and Cardinal to become personal advisor to Pope John Paul II, he withstands pressure from Jews and Catholics alike as well as his own family while viewing himself as a symbol of religious reconciliation. This human and even-handed portrait of a man both fused and torn raises questions about faith, heritage and identity that is guaranteed to provoke some lively discussions.

Mon., Nov. 10: “A Price Above Rubies”

This passionate, acclaimed film, starring Renee Zellweger and Julianna Margulies, portrays the intense drama of a young wife and mother in a Brooklyn Hasidic community who—struggling against a patriarchal world she finds isolating, lonely and oppressive—seeks to establish for herself a life of independence and artistic fulfillment beyond her community’s religious and personal strictures while attempting to overcome a terrible secret that could shatter both her and it.

Mon., Nov. 17: “I Confess”

In this unique drama stunningly filmed in Quebec, a murderer confesses his heinous crime to Father Michael Logan, a local priest who, because of the sanctity of the confessional, cannot reveal the confession, not even when he himself becomes the leading suspect! This model piece of film-making directed by Alfred Hitchcock features haunting location shots, mounting suspense and, as Father Logan, a charismatic Montgomery Clift whose face you will not be able to take your eyes from. In a film that will have you hooked all the way, you will discover that, while confession may be good for the soul, it also may be deadly to your life.

Mon., Nov. 24: “Babette’s Feast”

In this simple yet sumptuous Oscar winning film, adapted from an Isak Dinesen short story, two beautiful daughters of a devout, self-denying clergyman carry on his austere teachings by sacrificing their youth and passion to faith and duty. Like their entire hamlet, their lives are lived in self-denial. That is, until the arrival of Babette, a mysterious refugee from France’s civil war. As a servant to the daughters for fourteen years, Babette suddenly reveals her own passion and artistry that moves toward a tumultuous transformation of the town’s inhabitants. This film will raise issues of art and duty, self-indulgence and self-denial, asking the question: can or should there be a balance?

Mon., Dec. 1: “Doubt”

Sister Aloysius Beauvier, played by Meryl Streep, is the rigid and fearsome principal of a Bronx Catholic high school who has an extreme dislike for the progressive and popular parish priest, Father Flynn, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Looking for wrongdoing in every corner, she believes she has uncovered the ultimate sin when she hears Father Flynn has taken a special interest in a troubled boy. But there is no clear proof; the only thing certain is doubt. Based on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play and nominated for 5 Academy Awards, there is little doubt this is one of the most honored films of recent times. Also starring Amy Adams and Viola Davis, the superbly acted, spellbindingly suspenseful film raises questions about whether doubt should interfere with action when safety is at issue, even when that issue might be personal.

Mon., Dec. 8: “The End of the Affair”

During the London blitz, a married Londoner, played by Julianne Moore, suddenly breaks off a passionate five-year affair with writer, Maurice Bendrix, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, who suspects another love. When, years later, Fiennes accidentally meets with her dull, civil servant husband, played by Stephen Rea, and then hires a detective to follow Moore, what he discovers becomes a blitz of the soul. This intense adult drama, adapted from a Graham Greene novel and directed by Oscar winner Neal Jordan, poses questions about love, faith and betrayal that will have you searching your own soul long after the movie is done.

Music: Stacy Phillips-Paul Howard Duet to play Thurs., Nov. 6, at 8 PM

Stacy Phillips, left, and Paul Howard, right

Stacy Phillips, left, and Paul Howard, right

The Stacy Phillips-Paul Howard Duet play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Nov. 6. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $7.

Stacy Phillips and Paul Howard have been elite members of the American acoustic music community for many years. They continue to combine their talents to create an exciting style they call Neo-Urban Traditional Music, a combination of the sensibility of traditional music through the lens of an urban upbringing.

The duo performs a wide range of material—jazz, Caribbean dances, Hawaiian hulas, bluegrass, calypso and East European gypsy music as well as their unique, original compositions. Stacy Phillips and Paul Howard have done several tours of Europe and the West Coast and have two CDs, one self-titled and the other, “Neo Urban Traditions”.

Stacy Phillips is an internationally acclaimed dobro player and violinist.  He has performed with  Bela Fleck  David Bromberg, Mark O’Connor, Leon Redbone, Peter Rowan, and others    Stacy has three solo albums and is a Grammy award winner for his playing on the album “The Great Dobro Sessions.”

Stacy’s playing is celebrated for his singular techniques, eclecticism and humor. He is a regular contributor to several music magazines including Strings and Guitar Player and is the editor of the online magazine Fiddle Sessions. He is also the author of over thirty music books dealing with various aspects of violin and dobro playing which are acknowledged as the standards in their field.

Paul Howard is a veteran of the New England music scene. He has three guitar instruction books and two videos published by Alfred Publishing .  Paul brings an energized vocal and guitar style drawing from swing, country, jazz and pop to the duo.  He is one of the finest rhythm guitarists in the world.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Wednesday, Oct. 22. INDIE POP: PLAYFIGHT

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

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

• 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 JEWISH CARDINAL”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. NEO-URBAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 7. INSTRUMENTAL ROCK: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN

• Monday, Nov. 10. FILM SCREENING: “A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES”

• Tuesday, Nov. 11. TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA: FRANZ DOUSKEY & RICH MORAN, JR.

• Wednesday, Nov. 12. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD

• Thursday, Nov. 13. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, JASON PRINCE

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

• Monday, Nov. 17. FILM SCREENING: “I CONFESS”

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

• Friday, Nov. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: BECKY KESSLER (Violent Mae), SAM PERDUTA (Elison Jackson)

• Monday, Nov. 24. FILM SCREENING: “BABETTE’S FEAST”

• Friday, Nov. 28. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Monday, Dec. 1. FILM SCREENING: “DOUBT”

• Thursday, Dec. 4. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT

• Friday, Dec. 5. BLUEGRASS: PHANTOMS OF THE OPRY

• Monday, Dec. 8. FILM SCREENING: “THE END OF THE AFFAIR”

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

 

New releases 10/21/14

Top Hits
Snowpiercer (sci-fi/action, Chris Evans. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 84. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In the mood for allegory? Have a look at Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer,’ which proceeds from a fantastical premise rich with real-world relevance. After a human-engineered planetary catastrophe (trying to arrest the planet’s warming, we accidentally froze it solid), the remaining people are stuck on a train that never stops moving. A few thousand survivors live in railway cars, sorted into a rigid and ruthlessly enforced social order… But perhaps, since a summer holiday weekend is approaching, you’d prefer an action movie. ‘Snowpiercer,’ based on the graphic novel ‘Le Transperceneige’ by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, is unusually satisfying in that regard as well. Mr. Bong, whose previous films include the brilliant psychological thriller ‘Mother’ and ‘The Host,’ a sublimely moving monster flick, is a playful and rigorous visual thinker.” Read more…)

Sex Tape (comedy, Cameron Diaz. Rotten Tomatoes: 18%. Metacritic: 34. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The Internet, it has been said, is a series of tubes. So is the human body. The intersection of these two systems — each one sticky, nasty and fascinating in its own special way — is a fact of daily life and also the subject of ‘Sex Tape,’ a new R-rated comedy starring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz. Don’t get your hopes up. Or maybe I should say don’t worry. Because in spite of a title that evokes everything tawdry and salacious in contemporary on-line culture [at least circa 2007], in spite of a steady cascade of obscene language, and in spite of a naked buttock here and there, ‘Sex Tape,’ directed by Jake Kasdan, is as wholesome as a spoonful of nonfat Greek yogurt.” Read more…)

Mad Men: Final Season Part 1 (TV series, Jon Hamm. From Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times TV review: “And fittingly, ‘Mad Men’ is living out its own Peter Principle: A series that was so original, fresh and authoritative when it began in 2007 has stayed on television beyond its creative peak. The season premiere seems as exhausted as the decade it has chronicled so intensely. The cinematography is striking, as always; the sets and costumes remain as telling as the dialogue — this is when Peter Max was on the cover of Life magazine. But many of the characters are repeating themselves or pedaling in place, and the historic underlay that was once so piquant is now dreary: This season it’s the inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon. That sagging of energy happens to any long-lasting series, but it’s oddly apt in the case of ‘Mad Men,’ because the show’s trajectory so closely follows the era it portrays.” Read more…)

Earth to Echo (sci-fi/family, Teo Halm. Rotten Tomatoes: 48%. Metacritic: 53. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “A chipper, shallow knockoff of classic suburban adventure movies, ‘Earth to Echo’ rolls out a YouTube-and-smartphone update to the little lost alien tales of the 1980s. Technology remains no substitute for well-written characters and genuine intrigue and atmosphere, so despite the cute special effects and camera jostling, this film feels like an extended episode of an after-school show by Disney [which reportedly developed the project initially].” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Snowpiercer

New Foreign
Generation War (Germany, World War II mini-series, Volker Bruch. Rotten Tomatoes: 61%. Metacritic: 57. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Generation War,’ which was broadcast as a mini-series on German television last year, is perhaps more interesting as an artifact of the present than as a representation of the past. As the Second World War slips from living memory, as Germany asserts its dominant role in Europe with increasing confidence, and as long-suppressed information emerges from the archives of former Eastern bloc countries, the war’s cultural significance for Germans has shifted. Coming after the silence of the ’50s and early ’60s and the angry reckonings of the ’70s and ’80s, ‘Generation War,’ emotionally charged but not exactly anguished, represents an attempt to normalize German history.” Read more…)

A Coffee in Berlin (Germany, comedy, Tom Schilling. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 63. From Rachel Saltz’s New York Times review: “This first feature directed by Jan Ole Gerster has plenty of style. Maybe too much. Mr. Gerster has a tendency to aestheticize Niko’s aimless angst and his city, full of the young and the hanging out. The mood-setting music — jazz and melancholy piano — and the beautiful black-and-white images [by Philipp Kirsamer] of light-soaked rooms, street scenes and rooftops serve to dull the story’s barbed comic edges.” Read more…)

Violette (France, biopic drama, Emmanuelle Devos. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “In Violette,’ Emmanuelle Devos plays one of those impossible women who can’t give anyone, most of all herself, a break. For Violette Leduc, a black marketeer turned celebrated writer, life is a series of crushing disappointments, from the mother who never took her hand to the friends who never stay. Early in the film when a friend leaves the home they share, he sneaks out like a thief. He knows her too well. She doesn’t let him go; rather, she chases him down a road, frantically pulling at him and howling. This is a woman who doesn’t feed on misery: She gorges on it.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Cry Danger (1951, film noir, Dick Powell. From Bosley Crowther’s 1951New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Looking for excitement and suspense? And perhaps a few laughs, too? Then accept this recommendation to a very tidy package of fictional extravagance called ‘Cry Danger.’ The place is the Paramount Theatre. Usually you don’t find much occasion for laughter in a picture that is concerned with revenge and murder. But in ‘Cry Danger’ scenarist William Bowers has found room for some sardonic lines that are tossed off most effectively by a young actor named Richard Erdman, who has been around Hollywood since 1943—just waiting for the right chance, no doubt, ‘Cry Danger’ gives it to Mr. Erdman and he makes the most of it in the role of an unscrupulous ex-marine with a wooden leg who is interested in turning an easy dollar. Obviously he has no moral principles, but the boy sure has personality.” Read more…)

The Big Combo (1955, film noir, remastered version, Cornel Wilde. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. From H.H.T.’s 1955 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘The Big Combo,’ an Allied Artists release that opened yesterday with the Palace’s new stage bill, isn’t very big or good. Even with the “combo” of a capable cast, headed by Cornel Wilde and Richard Conte, and the kernel of a provocative plot, the result is a shrill, clumsy and rather old-fashioned crime melodrama with all hands pulling in opposite directions.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Ghost Story (1981, horror, Fred Astaire. Rotten Tomatoes: 36%. From Vincent Canby’s 1981 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “John Irvin, the director of ‘Ghost Story,’ and Lawrence D. Cohen, who adapted and considerably reduced Peter Straub’s best-selling novel for the screen, begin very well, right in the opening credits. It is night, which seems tranquil enough, with a bright, full moon. Clouds pass in front of the moon. Nothing odd about that, but then suddenly the clouds don’t seem to be clouds. They’ve become liquid and are dripping down over the moon like thick water. By the time the movie starts, the once-ordinary moon seems to be drowning in a foreign substance.” Read more…)

Cujo (1983, horror based on Stephen King novel, remastered version, Dee Wallace. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. From Janet Maslin’s 1983 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “As directed by Lewis Teague, ‘Cujo’ is by no means a horror classic, but it’s suspenseful and scary. The performances are simple and effective, particularly Miss Wallace’s. And Danny Pintauro does a good job as the frightened child. All three of the principals have done either commercials or soap-opera work in the past, which perhaps accounts for the all- American blandness that, in a film like this, is almost an advantage.” Read more…)

New Television
Mad Men: Final Season Part 1 (TV series, Jon Hamm, in Top Hits. From Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times TV review: “And fittingly, ‘Mad Men’ is living out its own Peter Principle: A series that was so original, fresh and authoritative when it began in 2007 has stayed on television beyond its creative peak. The season premiere seems as exhausted as the decade it has chronicled so intensely. The cinematography is striking, as always; the sets and costumes remain as telling as the dialogue — this is when Peter Max was on the cover of Life magazine. But many of the characters are repeating themselves or pedaling in place, and the historic underlay that was once so piquant is now dreary: This season it’s the inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon. That sagging of energy happens to any long-lasting series, but it’s oddly apt in the case of ‘Mad Men,’ because the show’s trajectory so closely follows the era it portrays.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (animated feature, Ty Burrell [voice]. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “If you think of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ as the latest attempt to turn small-screen baby boomer nostalgia into big-screen fun, you have plenty of reason to be afraid. Hollywood’s obsession with cashing in on old television shows has yielded a grim harvest — remember Nicole Kidman in ‘Bewitched’? Sorry to have reminded you — and the work of Jay Ward has been singled out for particular abuse. Ward, who died in 1989 and whose brainy cartoons were staples of the early space age, has been dishonored by lame live-action movie versions of Rocky and Bullwinkle. George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right. Luckily, ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman,’ about a supersmart dog and his adopted human son, breaks the curse and respects the nutty, nerdy humor of the original. This DreamWorks Animation production, directed by Rob Minkoff [‘Stuart Little,’ ‘The Lion King’] from a screenplay by Craig Wright, is not perfect, but it is fast-moving, intermittently witty and pretty good fun.” Read more…)

Music: David, Sheldon and Gail to perform “Songs of Misery, Despair and The Supernatural” Thurs., Oct. 30, at 8 PM

David_Sheldon_Gail_WebDavid, Sheldon and Gail perform a program of “Songs of Misery, Despair and the Supernatural” on Thursday, Oct. 30. The seasonally shivery songcraft begins at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

David and Sheldon and Gail and have been singing together for about a decade now. They combine infectious enthusiasm, humor, and sweet three-part harmony singing of traditional and modern folk music.

In honor of Halloween we’ve brought out some of our most depressing, awful, and frightening material, and funny songs about hell and misery.  Come on out for a depressing and scary evening, and miserable attempts at entertainment. Winter’s coming, so you might as well get a start on feeling bad, while joining choruses in harmony.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 22. INDIE POP: PLAYFIGHT

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

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

• 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 JEWISH CARDINAL”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. NEO-URBAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 7. INSTRUMENTAL ROCK: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN

• Monday, Nov. 10. FILM SCREENING: “A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES”

• Tuesday, Nov. 11. TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA: FRANZ DOUSKEY & RICH MORAN, JR.

• Wednesday, Nov. 12. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD

• Thursday, Nov. 13. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, JASON PRINCE

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

• Monday, Nov. 17. FILM SCREENING: “I CONFESS”

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

• Friday, Nov. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: BECKY KESSLER (Violent Mae), SAM PERDUTA (Elison Jackson)

• Monday, Nov. 24. FILM SCREENING: “BABETTE’S FEAST”

• Friday, Nov. 28. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Monday, Dec. 1. FILM SCREENING: “DOUBT”

• Thursday, Dec. 4. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT

• Friday, Dec. 5. BLUEGRASS: PHANTOMS OF THE OPRY

• Monday, Dec. 8. FILM SCREENING: “THE END OF THE AFFAIR”

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

 

Music: Mission Zero to play Wed., Oct. 29, at 8 PM

Mission Zero performing at Best Video this past May.

Mission Zero performing at Best Video this past May.

Mission Zero plays the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Growing up playing a range of musical instruments together, siblings Chenot and David crafted and honed their ability to communicate telepathically as performers. After touring the world separately and together in various bands, they decided to join forces as Mission Zero.

Intentionally forgoing traditional pop instrumentation, the duo focuses on their strong suits—powerful, sultry vocals and blistering, dynamic percussion—supported live by a unique body of synthesized sounds (lovingly referred to by the band as The Robots). The result is smart, sexy synth-pop with bite.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

• Wednesday, Oct. 22. INDIE POP: PLAYFIGHT

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

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

• 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 JEWISH CARDINAL”

• Thursday, Nov. 6. NEO-URBAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC: THE STACY PHILLIPS-PAUL HOWARD DUET

• Friday, Nov. 7. INSTRUMENTAL ROCK: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN

• Monday, Nov. 10. FILM SCREENING: “A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES”

• Tuesday, Nov. 11. TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA: FRANZ DOUSKEY & RICH MORAN, JR.

• Wednesday, Nov. 12. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD

• Thursday, Nov. 13. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, JASON PRINCE

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

• Monday, Nov. 17. FILM SCREENING: “I CONFESS”

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

• Friday, Nov. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: BECKY KESSLER (Violent Mae), SAM PERDUTA (Elison Jackson)

• Monday, Nov. 24. FILM SCREENING: “BABETTE’S FEAST”

• Friday, Nov. 28. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Monday, Dec. 1. FILM SCREENING: “DOUBT”

• Thursday, Dec. 4. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT

• Friday, Dec. 5. BLUEGRASS: PHANTOMS OF THE OPRY

• Monday, Dec. 8. FILM SCREENING: “THE END OF THE AFFAIR”

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

 

Fall kids’ matinee series—sponsored by Cafe Amici, Evan’s Toy Shoppe and Richard’s Corner Gourmet—continues with “Annie,” Sun., Oct. 19, at 1 PM

Found @ Central Archive for Movie Posters - http://cafmp.comThe Best Video Fall Family Movie Series continues on Sunday, Oct. 5, with “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.

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., 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.