Rob Harmon’s recommendations 10/29/13

ROB HARMON’S RECOMMENDATIONS 10/29/13

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksThe Horror! The Horror!

Personally, I enjoy watching horror movies any time of the year—occasionally binging on them like a kid on candy corn—but I understand that, around Halloween, they do go with the season. After all, what better way to celebrate the autumn and longer, chillier nights than to pop in a really scary movie and watch it with friends, family, or, gulp, do you dare it alone? Of course, there are many different kinds of horror films—serious, silly, scary, satirical, campy, slasher, haunted house, giallo, vampire, zombie, werewolf, witchcraft, American, British, Japanese, Italian, etc.—but, undaunted, I have attempted to gather together my 100 Favorite Horror Films into one list for your perusal and viewing enjoyment. Happy Halloween!

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
2. Psycho (1960)
3. Halloween (1978)
4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (the 1978 remake is surprisingly good, as well)
7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
8. The Birds (1963)
9. Videodrome (1983)
10. The Seventh Victim (1943)
11. The Thing from Another World (1951) (+ the 1982 remake!!!)
12. Sisters (1973)
13. Alien (1979)
14. Black Christmas (1974)
15. Dressed to Kill (1980)
16. Suspiria (1977)
17. The Evil Dead (1981)
18. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
19. The Exorcist (1973)
20. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
21. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
22. The Shining (1980)
23. Island of Lost Souls (1932)
24. Martin (1976)
25. Zombie (1979)
26. Evil Dead II (1987)
27. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
28. Deathdream (1972)
29. Don’t Look Now (1973)
30. God Told Me To (1976)
31. Dead of Night (1945)
32. The Wicker Man (1973)
33. Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971)
34. Blood Feast (1963)
35. The Black Cat (1934)
36. Friday the 13th (1980)
37. Carnival of Souls (1962)
38. The Uninvited (1944)
39. Black Sabbath (1963)
40. Onibaba (1964)
41. The Haunting (1963)
42. Curse of the Demon (1957)
43. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
44. The Omen (1976)
45. The Innocents (1961)
46. They Live (1988)
47. Frankenstein (1931)
48. The Brood (1979)
49. The Last House on the Left (1972)
50. Re-Animator (1985)
51. It’s Alive (1974)
52. Invaders from Mars (1953)
53. Near Dark (1987)
54. Nosferatu (1922)
55. House (1977)
56. The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)
57. Dead Alive (1992)
58. The Mummy (1932)
59. Ringu (1998)
60. The Wolf Man (1941)
61. Carrie (1976)
62. Audition (1999)
63. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
64. Black Sunday (1960)
65. Jigoku (1960)
66. Poltergeist (1982)
67. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
68. Dracula (1931)
69. Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
70. Basket Case (1982)
71. Phantasm (1979)
72. The Crazies (1973)
73. Scream of Fear (1961)
74. Pulse (2001)
75. Deep Red (1975)
76. Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
77. The Stuff (1985)
78. Gremlins (1984)
79. Cat People (1942)
80. Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)
81. Possession (1981)
82. Planet of the Vampires (1965)
83. The Invisible Man (1933)
84. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
85. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
86. Strait-Jacket (1964)
87. The Eye (2002)
88. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
89. The Blob (1958)
90. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
91. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964)
92. Ju-on (2002)
93. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
94. Shock (1977)
95. Raw Meat (1973)
96. The Howling (1981)
97. Night of the Creeps (1986)
98. The Fog (1980)
99. Homicidal (1961)
100. Them! (1954)

Music: New Haven music legends The Furors play Wed., Oct. 30, at 8 PM

Furors_BEST_VIDEO_110812_72dpiNew Haven rock ‘n’ roll legends The Furors will perform on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

Comprised of guitarist Derek Holcomb and drummer Tom Dans—Holcomb sings lead and Dans harmonizes—The Furors have been playing together for over three decades. They have self-released numerous vinyl 45s, a vinyl LP and several compact discs. Their catalog is so beloved among local musicians that a tribute album, “Let’s Get Furious,” was released in 2003 featuring 38 Furors songs covered by 38 local musicians and groups.

The Furors’ music is joyful, quirky three-minute pop, like a cross between They Might Be Giants and early British Invasion rock ‘n’ roll.

View The Furors at the Best Video Performance Space in November, 2012, courtesy of Dave Kelsey from Golden Microphone Productions:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Thursday, Nov. 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION

• Thursday, Dec. 5. PSYCHEDELIC POP: HAPPY ENDING featuring RICHARD BROWN & HANK HOFFMAN from BEST VIDEO

• Thursday, Dec. 19. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

 

Music: Indie folk rock from Dave Brooks and The Streams on Thurs., Oct. 24

Streams_Cafe_Nine_WebThe Streams play the Best Video Performance Space on Thurs., Oct. 24. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The Streams are a four piece rock group formed in 1991. They recorded an album of driving rock called, “Today, I Died,” which sat on the shelf for a decade and a half before finally seeing release two years ago. It is available now at thestreams.net, itunes.com and most other online music sites.

The group is headed by Dave Brooks with his band of grizzled New Haven music scene veterans including: Dean Falcone (Shellye Valauskas Experience), Jeff Wiederschall (Miracle Legion) and New Haven guitar dazzler, Bill Beckett.

The songs on “Today, I Died” derive inspiration from the pages of Shelby Foote’s history of the Civil War, which gave a detailed and personalized view of the times devoid of political fence hopping, and the Ken Burns visual history of the Civil War, which also brought a unique and human perspective. Recorded simply and with not a lot of studio affectation to eight- and sixteen-track tape in the l1990’s, the record still sounds vibrant and contemporary in the 21st century notwithstanding its 19th century subject matter. The songs are chiming, heartfelt, rocking. One hears the sweat, the fear, the courage.

The instrumentation is grounded by a solid rhythm section with some folky flourishes of mandolin, banjo and organ generally accompanied by raging electric guitars. The songs are tightly crafted pop rockers and lyrically run the gamut from blisteringly pompous war cries to quiet acoustic meditations on loss and heartbreaking destruction.

While songs from “Today, I Died” are centered lyrically around the American Civil War, Brooks’ current tunes are more personally oriented. But they share with his older songs a strong individual musical vision.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Thursday, Nov. 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION

• Thursday, Dec. 5. PSYCHEDELIC POP: HAPPY ENDING featuring RICHARD BROWN & HANK HOFFMAN from BEST VIDEO

• Thursday, Dec. 19. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

 

Music: Ravenna Michalsen and Alexander Smith to play classical compositions Wed., Oct. 23

Ravenna_Michalsen_Alexander_Smith_at_BV_72dpiCellist Ravenna Michalsen and double bass player Alexander Smith will present a program of classical music in the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge for the event is $5.

Ravenna Michalsen is a private cello teacher who has been playing and performing for fifteen years. She has released three albums of original music and toured across the United States and Malaysia as a singer of Buddhist music. Ravenna holds two degrees from Yale University and also performs with an electronic musician.

A graduate of SUNY Fredonia and the Yale School of Music, Alexander also served as Performer in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University. He has led an active performing career as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician across the North Eastern United States. Notable collaborations include the Orchard Park Symphony and American Baroque Orchestra as principal bassist, the Canton Symphony (OH) as substitute principal bassist, the Southern Tier Symphony as bassist and jazz soloist, Connecticut Chamber Virtuossi Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, the Erie Philharmonic (PA), Southern Tier Symphony, Fifth House Ensemble (Chicago, IL), Jasper String Quartet, the Linden String Quartet with pianist Peter Frankl, Pearl City Jazz Quintet, Straight No Chaser Jazz Quintet, and the Alexander Smith Jazz Trio. Alexander also served as the music director of the Yale Tango Orchestra, giving workshops in southern CT public Schools and holds a degree in Music Education. He currently resides and performs in New Haven, CT.

Among the possible compositions in the evening’s program are Frank Bridge’s “Meditation” and “Spring Song;” a solo bass piece by Gyorgy Kurtag called “Signs, Games and Messages;” “Treizieme Concert A Deux Instruments” by Couperin and Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell.”

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Monday, Oct. 14. FILM SCREENING: “PARADISE NOW”

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Thursday, Nov. 14. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION

• Thursday, Dec. 5. PSYCHEDELIC POP: HAPPY ENDING featuring RICHARD BROWN & HANK HOFFMAN from BEST VIDEO

• Thursday, Dec. 19. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

(The other) Hank’s recommendations 10/15/13

Hank_Hoffman_Picks_Image_sketch_Web(THE OTHER) HANK’S PICKS 10/15/13

Journalist Jeremy Scahill is not the kind of reporter who sits back in the hotel and phones in his stories based on anonymous quotes from official sources. Scahill—a war reporter who has covered conflicts in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the Middle East—is not averse to challenging the powers-that-be. Author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Scahill has more recently been at the forefront of reporting on the so-called War on Terror and how government secrecy and new technology are combining to outrun Constitutional constraints on the President’s power to make war.

In the documentary DIRTY WARS, Scahill eschews the shelter of embedded journalism. Risking his personal safety, he reports on how night raids in Afghanistan, drone strikes and targeted killings in countries with which the United States is not legally at war reveal a dark truth: The United States government is unconstrained by the strictures of international law and the Constitution.

Dirty Wars, directed by Richard Rowley, plays as a noirish thriller as it follows Scahill into dangerous, lawless districts of Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Unwilling to accept the official story at face value, Scahill interviews the relatives of drone strike and night raid victims. In the course of his reporting he exposes the operations of the Joint Special Operations Command, in essence a secret army operating globally, and challenges the legitimacy of the President’s expanding “kill list.”

New Releases 10/15/13

Top Hits
The Heat (comedy, Melissa McCarthy. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 60. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The high-concept description of The Heat is that it’s a cop-buddy movie with women, which can be seen as something of an anomaly, or even a breakthrough, in this age of testosterone-stupefied cinema. Directed by Paul Feig, whose Bridesmaids was a milestone in the emergence of uninhibited, woman-driven nonromantic comedy, “The Heat” wears its feminism lightly and proudly, though not always comfortably.” Read more…)

Pacific Rim (sci-fi action, Charlie Hunnam. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 64. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The director, Guillermo del Toro [who wrote the script with Travis Beacham], is an unabashed genre enthusiast and a feverish inventor of fantastical worlds, enchanted by the visual and symbolic power of monsters and intoxicated by his own imagination. It is true that he has employed that imagination to more memorable effect in other movies, notably the wonderful Hellboy pictures and the shattering Spanish Civil War horror-allegories Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. Admirers of those films may find this one crude and overscale by comparison. Still, Pacific Rim, with its carefree blend of silliness and solemnity, is clearly the product of an ingenious and playful pop sensibility.” Read more…)

Somebody Up There Likes Me (indie comedy, Nick Offerman. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 58. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The film, the latest from Bob Byington [Harmony and Me], features the same mumbly, schlumpy young man who inhabits a lot of projects like this that end up with the ‘indie’ label. This one is Max [Keith Poulson], who exhibits little ambition, doesn’t react when women do him wrong, treats people indifferently and in general seems to be purposely navigating the world in such a way as to have no impact.” Read more…)

A Hijacking (Denmark, action, Pilou Asbaek. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 82. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In A Hijacking, his assured, intense second feature, the Danish director Tobias Lindholm turns tedium and frustration into agonizing suspense. Unfolding over a span of weary, stressful months, its action mainly confined to the below-deck parts of a cargo ship and a suite of sterile corporate offices in Denmark, the film is at once a probing psychological case study and a ripped-from-the-headlines exploration of modern sea piracy.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
The Heat
Pacific Rim

New Foreign
A Hijacking (Denmark, action, Pilou Asbaek, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 82.From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In A Hijacking, his assured, intense second feature, the Danish director Tobias Lindholm turns tedium and frustration into agonizing suspense. Unfolding over a span of weary, stressful months, its action mainly confined to the below-deck parts of a cargo ship and a suite of sterile corporate offices in Denmark, the film is at once a probing psychological case study and a ripped-from-the-headlines exploration of modern sea piracy.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Big Parade (1925, King Vidor-directed silent war drama, John Gilbert. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1925 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “An eloquent pictorial epic of the World War was presented last night at the Astor Theatre before a sophisticated gathering that was intermittently stirred to laughter and tears. This powerful photodrama is entitled The Big Parade, having been converted to the screen from a story by Laurence Stallings, co-author of What Price Glory, and directed by King Vidor. It is a subject so compelling and realistic that one feels impelled to approach a review of it with all the respect it deserves, for as a motion picture it is something beyond the fondest dreams of most people.” Read more…
This past weekend, Dave Kehr reviewed the new release in the New York Times. Noting the beauty of the transfer from the original negative, Kehr writes: “At this moment, there’s probably no better way of dispelling the tiresome myth that silent films were technically and dramatically crude than by directing skeptics to the radiant new Blu-ray of The Big Parade from Warner Home Video. Directed by King Vidor, and originally released by MGM in November 1925, this tale of three buddies caught up in what then was called the Great War was one of the most financially successful films of the silent era. It played for almost two years at the Astor Theater in New York and enjoyed similar success worldwide. Today, the film remains a heartfelt but shrewdly judged blend of comedy, romance, action and tragedy — a movie that perfectly embodies the classical Hollywood ideal of providing something to appeal to every member of what, in the 1920s, was a wide public still unsevered by demographic categories.” Read more…)

New Docs
Dirty Wars (foreign policy, war, Jeremy Scahill. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “The thesis of Richard Rowley’s pessimistic, grimly outraged and utterly riveting documentary Dirty Wars is that America’s largely clandestine war on terror is now globally entrenched. Far from ending, the film argues, the fight has spread and begun breeding an increasing hatred of the United States that would have delighted Osama bin Laden. Because it is a hidden war, there are few Congressional restraints on how it is conducted. The bearer of these bad tidings, Jeremy Scahill, who wrote the movie with David Riker, is a national security correspondent for The Nation and the author of the recently published Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Mr. Scahill, 38, narrates the film like a hard-boiled gumshoe following leads in a film noir.” Read more…)

Audiobooks
“Atlantic” by Simon Winchester
“The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking

Music: James Velvet and the Lonesome Sparrows Wed., Oct. 16

the_lonesome_sparrows_WebJames Velvet brings his acoustic ensemble the Lonesome Sparrows to Best Video Performance Space on Wed., Oct. 16. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

The Lonesome Sparrows are happy to announce the introduction/release of their new three-song EP, “nobody here but us sparrows” at the gig.

A new James Velvet number, “Bright Street Lights,” a country two-beat, kicks off the collection, followed by a Sparrows downtempo re-imagining of a Reducers’ classic, “Count On Me,” and closing with a re-done version of their own tribute to good times, “Holiday Weekend,” featuring the drums of Tom “Troutcat” Smith.

Tom plays drums on all three cuts, which is quit a change for the band, who usually rely on toe-taping for the beat.

James Velvet is the writer/singer of the band. Like all The Sparrows he is a veteran of many roots/Americana rock’n’roll bands, as well as being the long-time co-host of “Local Bands!” on WPLR.

Dick Neal plays banjo, mandolin, and dobro, and handles the recordings for the group. He is well-known in Fairfield County for his bluegrass prowess with his band Hoe. With Velvet and Johnny Java, he was a long-time member of The Mocking Birds.

Johnny played bass with The Mocking Birds during their ten year residency at New Haven’s legendary cafe nine, but he’s a drummer as well, and has played both instruments with many a band.

Johnny Memphis plays lead acoustic guitar and fiddle, and sings back-up in The Sparrows. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who has traveled the country for forty years melding his background in swing music with all types of rock ‘n’roll.

“nobody here but us sparrows” is the bands first release since 2010’s “Black Velvet Royalty.”

Gary Vollono of IndepenDisc and Cygnus Radio sums it up: “These guys can play!”

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 2. ACOUSTIC BLUES: CORNBREAD

• Thursday, Oct. 3. PARKER’S TANGENT: ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 7. FILM SCREENING: “THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES”

• Wednesday, Oct. 9. ACOUSTIC ROCK: HENRY SIDLE

• Thursday, Oct. 10. GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 14. FILM SCREENING: “PARADISE NOW”

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION

 

New Releases 10/08/13

Top Hits
The Hangover Part III (comedy, Bradley Cooper. Rotten Tomatoes: 19%. Metacritic: 30. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The Wolfpack rides again. Or rather, it limps exhaustedly over the tundra in what is billed as the final edition of the Hangover trilogy. Defanged, with glazed eyes and creaking joints, these superannuated party animals try vainly to stir up some enthusiasm during a return visit to Las Vegas, the site of the first Hangover movie. But their heart isn’t in it.” Read more…)

After Earth (sci-fi, Will Smith. Rotten Tomatoes: 11%. Metacritic: 33. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “A father-son encounter session tricked out with science-fiction clichés and steeped in motivational uplift, After Earth opens with a teenager, Kitai Raige [Jaden Smith], washing out from some kind of ranger academy. It’s a bummer because all he wants to do is please his father [Will Smith, Jaden’s father], a heroic if unfortunately named general, Cypher. Daddy Dearest has risen having honed tremendous self-control and a useful protective technique, ‘ghosting,’ which renders him invisible to the monsters plaguing human civilization: the nonbearlike Ursa.” Read more…)

The Purge (horror, Ethan Hawke. Rotten Tomatoes: 38%. Metacritic: 41. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Human sacrifice is a reliable crowd pleaser, from the myth of the Minotaur to Shirley Jackson’s short-story shocker ‘The Lottery,’ the Japanese film Battle Royale, the book [and now movie series] The Hunger Games and the television reality show ‘The Voice.’ This week’s big-screen oblation, The Purge, revisits that old sacral feeling, updates it with agitated camerawork and seasons it with the vaguest suggestion of politics — and then lets it rip with machine guns, machetes and Manson Family-style gigglers in fright masks. Ain’t we got fun?” Read more…)

The Kings of Summer (coming-of-age comedy, Nick Robinson. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 61. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The best way to enjoy The Kings of Summer is to view it as a likable comic fantasy dreamed up by filmmakers [Chris Galletta wrote the screenplay] who are close enough to adolescence to infuse their ramshackle story with a youthful, carefree whimsy. So what if much of it doesn’t add up? It’s still kind of fun and is embellished with clever cinematic flourishes.” Read more…)

Much Ado About Nothing (contemporary Shakespeare adaptation, Amy Acker. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing — perhaps the liveliest and most purely delightful movie I have seen so far this year — draws out the essential screwball nature of Shakespeare’s comedy. It may be the martini-toned black-and-white cinematography, the soigné Southern California setting, or the combative courtship of Amy Acker’s angular, sharp-tongued Beatrice and Alexis Denisof’s grouchy, hangdog Benedick, but from its very first scenes, Mr. Whedon’s film crackles with a busy, slightly wayward energy that recalls the classic romantic sparring of the studio era.” Read more…)

American Horror Story: Asylum (horror, Season 2)

New Blu-Ray
The Purge
The Hangover Part III
After Earth
Much Ado About Nothing

New Foreign
Aliyah (France, drama, Cedric Kahn. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 72. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The anxiety that infuses the elliptical family drama Aliyah is underscored by Schoenberg’s feverish, brooding ‘Verklärte Nacht.’ That piece accompanies the ramblings around Paris of the film’s 27-year-old protagonist, Alex [Pio Marmaï], a low-level drug dealer who lives in a working-class neighborhood and longs to give up his perilous occupation. But he is drawn back to easy money by his freeloading older brother, Isaac [the French director Cédric Kahn], whose debts to loan sharks Alex feels obliged to pay. The feature directorial debut of Elie Wajeman from a screenplay he wrote with Gaëlle Macé, Aliyah only hints at the troubled history of the brothers’ relationship.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
I Married A Witch (1942, screwball comedy, Veronica Lake. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1942 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The strange and beautiful illusion that Veronica Lake is completely unreal is being quite charmingly nourished in Rene Clair’s new film, I Married A Witch. You recall that Miss Lake was first manifest on the screen as an ambulating hank of hair, from behind which emerged dulcet noises and a calorific glow. Well, in this one, which breezed into the Capitol on a figurative broomstick yesterday, the little lady first appears as a smoke cloud and then as a sly sorceress who tosses around an astral body and necromances with Fredric March. The illusion is thoroughly disarming, and so is this whimsical film.” Read more…)

The Big Parade (1925, King Vidor-directed silent war drama, John Gilbert. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1925 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “An eloquent pictorial epic of the World War was presented last night at the Astor Theatre before a sophisticated gathering that was intermittently stirred to laughter and tears. This powerful photodrama is entitled The Big Parade, having been converted to the screen from a story by Laurence Stallings, co-author of What Price Glory, and directed by King Vidor. It is a subject so compelling and realistic that one feels impelled to approach a review of it with all the respect it deserves, for as a motion picture it is something beyond the fondest dreams of most people.” read more…)

New TV
American Horror Story: Asylum (horror, Season 2, in Top Hits)

Music: Bronson Rock to perform Thurs., Oct. 10, at 8 PM

Bronson_Rock_Buzz_Gordo_Web

Buzz Gordo of Bronson Rock at Best Video

Bronson Rock will play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 10. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Bronson Rock is a four piece rock and soul band featuring Buzz Gordo on guitar and lead vocals, Eric Bloomquist on bass, Lou St. John on organ, and Tom Smith on drums.  Individually, the seasoned musicians in Bronson Rock have performed with a “who’s-who” of Connecticut artists, and continue to maintain busy schedules as players. The band featured the songwriting talents of Gordo, who was the main songwriter for New Haven’s illustrious Big Bad Johns. Two of his songs from those days have been featured in a recent season of HBO’s True Blood.

The band plays a tight, danceable mix of original garage soul sounds, with some choice obscure covers thrown in, owing a debt to groups like the Rascals and Booker T. and the MG’s.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 2. ACOUSTIC BLUES: CORNBREAD

• Thursday, Oct. 3. PARKER’S TANGENT: ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 7. FILM SCREENING: “THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES”

• Wednesday, Oct. 9. ACOUSTIC ROCK: HENRY SIDLE

• Thursday, Oct. 10. GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 14. FILM SCREENING: “PARADISE NOW”

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION

 

Music: Henry Sidle in the Performance Space Wed., Oct. 9, at 8 PM

Henry_Sidle_BV_042413_WebHenry Sidle performs in the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

Henry Sidle, born in Chicago, is a teenage guitar player and singer/songwriter who plays gigs most days of the year. When Henry was 11, he began to play the guitar. Several years later, Henry has made his way to major festivals, venues, studios, cities and private parties. Henry’s music has been played Sirius XM’s Grateful Dead station. Henry has a unique acoustic rock sound, spiced up with his BOSS RC-30 loop station and large repertoire of originals and covers.

Henry’s main influences are The Beatles, Phish, Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Sublime, The Avett Brothers, Toots and the Maytals, and Keller Williams. Henry’s originals go from topics such as human awareness to life stories to relationships. Henry has played his guitar at benefit concerts for schools and has played educational songs for pre-schoolers. Back in middle school, Henry performed for large audiences with the jazz band that featured Henry on guitar and the concert band with Henry on piano and guitar. Henry has played small farmers markets, city streets, and book stores. Henry has also played large events such as the Gathering of the Vibes which has featured Crosby Stills and Nash, every living member of the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Cliff, The Avett Brothers, and Zappa Plays Zappa. Henry got to play at this festival in 2011 and 2012. By now, Henry has played almost every venue in the New Haven area and has racked up hundreds of shows. Yale Daily News calls Henry “New Haven’s Youngest Troubador.”

Henry plays bass in his band Funk You Up. He also plays guitar in the Klezmer band, the Nu Haven Kapelye. He also is a classical pianist and has played recitals in churches. In the summer of 2011, Henry began to work for the Rex Foundation. Henry wrote a song for their World as it Could Be project called “The World as it Could Be” and “There’s a Way.” Both are human awareness songs that have gotten kind words. Green FL Broker said “Henry’s music video is not only beautiful, it is thought-provoking and inspirational to experience a 12 year old’s concerns about the future.  I sure wish I could be at the concert to experience Henry’s début into the musical world! I have no doubt Henry will follow his heart and will end up involved in Mother Earth’s well-being as part of his life’s journey.” Henry has played gigs from Jacksonville, FL to New York, NY to Washington D.C. to Montreal, QU. Henry mostly plays locally in his home area of New Haven.

Henry plays guitar hours and hours each day. He plays a great deal of open mics when he is not booked for the night. In 2012, Henry won a Neighborhood Music School merit award for his guitar playing. Henry has now played in CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, ME, NH, NY, and RI. Henry’s music has gotten popular on YouTube. His homemade videos have gotten many likes and views. He also broadcasts some sets on USTREAM. Henry continues to play new songs, write new music, work with new people, and find any way he can to perform.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 2. ACOUSTIC BLUES: CORNBREAD

• Thursday, Oct. 3. PARKER’S TANGENT: ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 7. FILM SCREENING: “THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES”

• Wednesday, Oct. 9. ACOUSTIC ROCK: HENRY SIDLE

• Thursday, Oct. 10. GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 14. FILM SCREENING: “PARADISE NOW”

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION