Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tony DeSare

A friend of mine recommended that I check out Tony DeSare. Awesome piano. Great voice. Here are a couple YouTube clips:

If you like what you hear, check Tony out tomorrow night on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz series on your local radio station. Or steam it live at tomorrow night at 6:30pm Eastern.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pulp Fiction Murdered Long Sentences

The helpful posters over on Elmore Leonard's message board pointed me to this cool interview with Otto Penzler about the pulps. It's worth your 8 minutes to listen to it. I still have to make a run to Borders to pick up The Big Book of Pulps.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Munich (2005)

This is another move I wanted to see in the theater, but ended up watching at home. As with a lot of Spielberg movies, it is visually arresting and has a feeling of depth, but I couldn't help but be disappointed in it. As I knew going in, instead of being a movie about the murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, the film deals with the supposed Mossad mission to track down and execute the terrorists one by one. The story has only been unofficially acknowledged, and the screenplay was based on two widely doubted books.

One of the themes of Munich is that vengeance begets vengeance in an endless cycle. The movie doesn't take into account the various motivations of such violence. Then as now, terrorists target innocent civilians. Their aim is to cause fear and arrest the attention of the world. Israelis (and Americans) go out of their way to prevent harm to innocents. The screenwriters put both sides on the same moral plane and plant the insidious message that to be righteous is to be passive and weak.

Despite my qualms over the message of the film, you should watch the movie and make your own judgment.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why So Serious?

Not that I want to look at this picture any more than I have to, but doesn't Hillary look a bit like The Joker?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Lookout (2007)

I just finished watching The Lookout, written and directed by Scott Frank. I remember seeing a trailer or two for this movie, and thought it looked interesting. It was also Frank's directorial debut, and I've been a fan of his writing for a while (Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Karen Sisco, Minority Report, etc).

The story follows Chris Pratt, a talented high school hockey player, who survives a tragic accident that left him with a mental disability (and lots of guilt) that he must deal with. We meet him as he lives a simple life with his blind friend Lewis, but Chris soon gets involved in the planning of a bank robbery. As with most crime films, there are twists and turns.

It's a bit slower that most "thrillers" or "crime dramas" out there, but it's an interesting character study.