Look & Listen
Director Sam Raimi puts Marvel’s flagship superhero at the center of a colorful, computer-enhanced popcorn entertainment. Tobey Mcguire’s performance contains an exuberance too rarely seen in superhero movies, revealing the burdens of superpowers while living out every kid’s dream.
|Year of the Devil
Like a Czech folk-rock version of Spinal Tap, Rok ďábla combines a documentary with zany comedy. All of the eccentric central characters play themselves, and the free-flowing narrative even includes a running joke about spontaneous combustion. An unhinged and very funny film that showcases Čechomor’s music (a kind of Euro-bluegrass) brilliantly.
The cinematic equivalent of Gentleman’s Quarterly? Perhaps, but director Stephen Soderbergh has a blast with his dream cast, and the film-ending caper manages to surprise. It’s nice to see a talented group like this coming together and just basically having a good time, much in the spirit of Frank, Sammy and Dino.
|Rebel Without a Cause
Nearly 50 years after its release, this film still offers a strikingly sympathetic look at a nervous, volatile, soulful youth lost in a world that does not understand him. Following his death on September 30, 1955 (a month before Rebel opened) James Dean became an icon, and Nicholas Ray’s poignant film remains a lasting monument.
|Yann Tiersen – L’Absente
French composer Tiersen shares with Michael Nyman an inclination to use any available instrument in a percussion mode, often producing a gentle staccato, repetitive effect on which the melody can be built. Several of the slightly askew minimalist tracks from this album found a perfect home on the popular Amélie soundtrack.
|Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Following in the footsteps of 1999’s masterstroke, The Soft Bulletin, The Lips meet a daunting task with their latest offering of comforting, blissful, “out there” tunes. Acoustic strums, soaring strings, layered backing vocals, and a galaxy of funky space-rock touches create another impressionistic sonic wonder.
|Rae & Christian – Another Late Night
Manchester’s dynamic duo consistently outshines their beatboxing country-mates when it comes to break flavors and bottom-heavy hip-hop. This mix of remixes – whether rocking new cuts from Only Child, adding shine to Parliament’s “Flashlight”, or spicing up Jose Feliciano’s cover of “California Dreaming”- is 60 minutes of further evidence.
|Beth Orton – Daybreaker
Unofficially anointed the queen of strum ‘n’ bass, Orton has the foresight to thread beats through her acoustic compositions. Her mix of melancholy and devastatingly beautiful folk-with-gadgetry has rendered an album you’ll reach for on dark days as well as those sunny Sunday mornings when you just want to dance in your living room.
CDs and DVDs available at www.albumcity.cz (www.i90.com).