buy Flomax no prescription Synthroid without prescription buy buspar buy Singulair online buy Prednisone online Amitriptyline lasix without prescription buy buspar online buy super Levitra online Prednisone without prescription buy trazodone without prescription Zithromax No Prescription Propecia Amoxicillin

Weekly Mishmash: March 29-April 4

ABC — Up and Abracadabra. Two cheap-o old CDs that I bought out of curiosity. I somewhat liked ABC in the ’80s, especially their wonderful Lexicon of Love LP. These later efforts illustrate what happens when formerly popular musicians adapt to changing tastes. 1989’s Up was their stab at a “House” album, complete with cringingly dated synths and brain-dead, repetitive drum machine beats. The only halfway decent song (“The Real Thing”) is a “Look of Love” ripoff. The group fared a lot better with the overlooked Abracadabra, but by 1991 apparently nobody really cared enough to notice. This album also has its share of filler, but at least the duo carve out a pleasing neo-soul groove throughout. The production has a consistently jazzy, kinetic sound similar to what Lisa Stansfield and Soul II Soul were doing at the time. No Lexicon, but an enjoyable set nonetheless.
Double Indemnity (1944). Best film noir of all time? I think this is the third time I’ve seen this one, and it really stands out as a well made and suspenseful film on all levels. Were I to introduce someone to the magic of classic movies, I’d likely start here. Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, and director Billy Wilder have never been better. One thing that stood out for me is go-round is the crackin’ dialogue (“I wonder if you wonder.”). As further proof of its greatness, this movie has been rated by five of my Netflix friends — all of whom gave it the highest rating of five stars.
Paradise Now (2005). From IMdB’s plot description: “The story places two close friends, Palestinians Said and Khaled, recruited by an extremist group to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Tel-Aviv, blowing up themselves. However, things go wrong and both friends must separate in the border. One of them, maintaining in his purpose of carry the attack to the end, and the other will have his doubts about it.” Interesting premise with a somewhat flawed execution. The direction seems too feather-light and leisurely for the subject matter at hand, and we as viewers don’t get enough time to know the two men before they are thrust into the situation. The subject matter kept me intrigued, however, and the acting is uniformly good. I recognized the lady who played the mother from The Visitor, where she also played a mother in an equally affecting performance.
Supergirl (1984). This botched attempt at another franchise boot had potential as a campy thrill ride of a movie, but sloppy direction made this a footnote among ’80s superhero pics. On the plus side, Helen Slater was the perfect choice to play Supergirl. She approaches the role in a straightforward, utterly earnest way that is delightful to behold. It’s a tact that worked for Christopher Reeve, and it works for Slater as well (wonder why she didn’t become a bigger star?). On the minus side, um … everything else? It’s obviously apparent that the Superman movies were running on fumes by this time. The entire project feels like a halfhearted rehash, right down to Faye Dunaway’s lame-o villainess. An aspiring witch who bizarrely lives in a repurposed carnival attraction? C’mon.
What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). Yet another Whatever Happened to Baby Jane ripoff, but this particular film is a lot more fascinating and smartly made than its kitschy title might suggest. Debbie Reynolds and Shelly Winters star in this 1930s period piece as the mothers of two convicted thrill killers. Ashamed, the duo decide to take on new identities and move out to Hollywood, where Reynolds gets a Jean Harlow-style makeover and opens her own dance studio. The plain Winters, meanwhile, is a religious neurotic who can’t leave the traumas of the past behind. The film is padded out with lots of unnecessary red herrings and silly, nostalgic musical numbers with the tap dancing Reynolds (who looks fabulous here, by the way). What is does have is a nifty amount of cynicism about the shallowness of fame, all in a nicely handled if backlot-reliant L.A. setting. Reynolds and Winters are both excellent; too bad the ending is a letdown.

2 Thoughts on “Weekly Mishmash: March 29-April 4

  1. LOVE Helen Slater. If you haven’t seen her in “The Legend of Billie Jean” (with Christian Slater, who is not as I and my college roommates erroneously believed her ACTUAL brother), you really should. :)

  2. I never saw that one, Kris. I’d check it out because Pat Benatar’s “Invinicible” is on the soundtrack!

Post Navigation