|Stuck On You
The Farrelly brothers have softened their sharp edge to a one-joke comedy that features Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as Siamese-twin brothers who run a burger joint in Martha’s Vineyard. Laughs of a less offensive nature ensue when one brother wants to move to Hollywood to become an actor and find true love.
Dying old Edward Bloom spins tall tales about his adventurous past, while his exasperated son tries to pin down the truth while there’s time to get it straight. John August’s whimsical script is photographed in maraschino colors by Philippe Rousselot, and spiced by director Tim Burton’s signature sardonic flourishes.
|The Day After Tomorrow
Doomsday science fiction – emphasis on fiction – about how global warming brings on a new Ice Age (mostly in America). Bad in a way only 150-million dollar movies can be bad, this CGI-riddled flick provides a more glib than cautionary look at large-scale environmental disaster – but as long as you’re prepared to laugh, go ahead and break out the popcorn and have a good time.
This well-crafted adaptation of Charles Frazier’s prize-winning novel has been given a kind of chilled beauty by director Anthony Minghella. Excellent scenery, a haunting score, and fine performances by the leads, but as a Civil War romance that aspires to the epic status of Homer’s “Odyssey”, the film doesn’t entirely escape battle fatigue.
|Amy Winehouse – Frank
In an era when most teenage female singers fall into the “pouting sex bomb” category, 19-year-old Winehouse is as far removed from the stereotypes as you could imagine. Raised on a diet of Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, Winehouse has the gritty, soulful voice and feisty lyrics of an undiscovered veteran.
|Anouar Brahem – Pas de Chat Noir
As a trio, Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem, pianist Franćois Couturier, and Jean-Louis Matinier on accordion explore the power of implication, relating to each other in parallels rather than in a heated dialogue. The result is a spacious, romantic pastiche of Astor Piazzolla, Keith Jarrett, Farid El-Atrache, and Eric Satie, plus shades of every enervated, after-hours nightclub jam that ever was.
|Simple Kid – 1
Irish musician Ciaran McFeeley (a.k.a. Simple Kid) employs a strong work ethic with a DIY attitude, relying on an eight track and a laptop to mix acoustic guitar blues with electronic sounds, and displaying a love of glam rock that would make Marc Bolan smile. Refreshing stuff.
|De La Soul – Grind Date
It was 1989 when Pos, Dave, and Maseo first struck rap platinum. Fifteen years hence, the trio is still spinning rhymes, without resorting to self-parody or pandering to gangsta fantasies. From soul-searching and spiritual lyrics to flippant non-sequiturs, De La Soul are the intellectual whoopee-cushion under the self-aggrandizing phat ass of hip-hop.