Look & Listen
Jamie Foxx proves himself worthy of all the Oscar hype for
his portrayal of blind R&B legend Ray Charles. The film
does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles's strengths
as a musical innovator and his weaknesses as a philandering
heroin addict, while Foxx seems to be channeling the beloved
artist's musical inspiration.
Using the pieces of a shattered phone, a kidnapped woman contacts
a stranger and begs him for help, even though she doesn't
know where she is or why she's been abducted. Director David
R. Ellis takes a clever (albeit farfetched) B-movie idea
and gives it just enough complications to be surprising without
stretching our credulity too far, and the action is giddy
with suspense and excitement.
While, "quirky" or "alternative" movies
are now so common that they have become a genre unto themselves,
that didn't stop this goofy, melancholy, seriocomic slice of
life from creating an auspicious buzz at this year's Sundance
Film Festival. Part romance, part character study, part coming-of-age
diary, Zach Braff's impressive directorial debut invites the
audience to embrace the joy and pain of being human.
||Angels in America
Tony Kushner's prize-winning play summed up the Reagan era
for an entire generation of theatre-goers. Now director Mike
Nichols' star-studded 2003 HBO adaptation provides a time
capsule of the '80s - an astonishing mix of philosophy, politics,
and vibrant gay soap opera.
||Ry Cooder - Chavez Ravine
After generating such popular and critical interest in Cuban
music of decades past with the Buena Vista Social Club, Cooder
and a cast of seminal Chicano artists present a song cycle
that conjures an era rich in UFOs, the Red Scare, and political
machinations that leveled the Chavez Ravine barrio to lure
the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles. An ambitious, theatrical,
time-machine of a CD.
||Arcade Fire - Funeral
In their full-length debut, Montreal's Arcade Fire embodies
the meaning of the term "original", spinning elaborate
art-rock full of passion and atmosphere. A blend of post-punk,
rock, pop, folk, classical, and more are all set to epic,
crashing art-rock and disco rhythms and backed by angsty
vocals. It will make your head spin - in a good way.
||Jodeci - Back to the Future
A decade ago, these talented brothers perfected the please-baby-please-begging-on-my-knees
love ballad on two platinum-selling albums. On this new "best
of" collection, Jodeci's melodic yearnings, gospel inflections,
and soaring cadences are captured and brilliantly mixed.
A must-have for fans of old-school soul and early hip-hop.
Teenage Fanclub - Man-made
The Scottish four-piece has swerved slightly from its classic-era
indie pop a la Badfinger and Big Star on its first US-recorded
album, with Tortoise's John McEntire producing. Their vibe
continues to be timeless, accessible, and as satisfyingly
cool as ever, and repeated listens bring out all the subtle,
nuances in the hook-laden material.
CDs and DVDs available at www.bontonland.cz