Intentionally outrageous adventure-comedy (with songs) by the South Park bad boys, featuring surprisingly lifelike marionettes, about a US rapid-response team out to thwart global terrorists in Paris, the Middle East and Korea. Warning: expect over-the-top sophomoric humor and scenes of graphic puppet sex.
Absorbing and entertaining biopic detailing the dramatic glory days of legendary tycoon Howard Hughes, in his myriad roles as aviation innovator and visionary, daredevil pilot, and Hollywood mogul. A career highpoint for both director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio, who gives a highly charismatic performance.
|A Very Long Engagement
World War I is the setting for this magnetic story in which a French woman (Audrey Tautou) refuses to believe that her fiancé-soldier was executed for attempting to escape combat at the front line. Always imaginative, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet melds elements of war, romance, and mystery into a film that transcends genres.
|Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events
This delightfully macabre tale chronicles the misadventures of the three Baudelaire orphans as they navigate their perilous way through dubious guardians, giant snakes, carnivorous leeches, hurricanes, enslavement, and murder. Add malevolently zany multiple roles by Jim Carrey, and you have an evening of Edward Gorey-like family viewing.
|Ralph Myerz – Your New Best Friends
From his studio control room in Bergen, Norway, Erlend Sellevold (aka Ralph) aided and abetted by the dynamic percussion duo of Tarjei Strom and Thomas Lonnheim, has once creating a full length set of stylistic influences – from disco electronica to chilled reflection. Check out this ensemble that Richard Dorfmeister has called “one of the best-kept secrets in the industry.”
|The Paperboys – Molinos
This 1997 release is an advisable introduction to this Vancouver-based band’s vigorous fusion of rootsy pop with distinct Celtic, bluegrass, and Latin influences. At times their driving full-frontal sound recalls the Waterboys, while at others there are hints of Los Lobos or the Specials, South African township jive, klezmer – you name it.
|Leela James – A Change Is Gonna Come
Hearing Leela’s first notes flow out of your speakers, you’d swear you were being transported to a 1930s nightclub. Not only does this LA native have funk, soul, and a whole lotta church in those mighty pipes, but her old-school sensitivity is given top-notch production from the likes of Commissioner Gordon, Wyclef Jean, and others.
|Madrugada – Industrial Silence
A fabulously infectious album that is at times more Nashville than Norway, although Sivert Hoyem’s chillingly beautiful voice seems to come right from the deep Norwegian fjords, echoing over the dark-as-night chord sequences. If Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave wrote songs for Mazzy Star, it might sound something like this.