Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tag: Music

American Satan (2017)*

Title: American Satan
Rating: R
Directed by: Ash Avildsen
Written by: Ash Avildsen, and Matty Beckerman
Starring: Denise Richards, Booboo Stewart, and Tori Black
Release Date: 10/13/2017
Running Time: Unknown

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What did you think of this film?
A young rock band, half from England and half from the US, drop out of college and move to the Sunset Strip to chase their dreams. Living in a van, their passion and talent exceed their means to survive. An enigmatic stranger sees their true potential and emotionally manipulates them during a time of weakness. Caught in the middle of a Faustian deal, their music and controversial altercations end up influencing society beyond anything this century has seen, but can they take back control of their destiny before it’s too late?


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

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Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

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Dedication: Dedicated in loving memory of my father John Avildsen.

Special thanks to Frank for this submission


Sidemen: Long Road to Glory (2016)?

Title: Sidemen: Long Road to Glory
Rating: NR
Directed by: Scott D. Rosenbaum
Written by: Jasin Cadic, and Scott D. Rosenbaum
Starring: Marc Maron, Pinetop Perkins, and Hubert Sumlin
Release Date: 8/18/2017
Running Time: 77 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
In the summer of 2008, a group of legendary bluesmen, some of the last surviving members of the Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters bands, were brought together by director Scott Rosenbaum for a cameo appearance in his feature film, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Hubert Sumlin were cast for their authenticity and ability to underscore the film’s critical subplot, the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll through the blues. During breaks in production, these bluesmen thrilled Rosenbaum with their tales of a lifetime spent on the road. First hand accounts of experiences with the mythical Robert Johnson, the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, the seminal Muddy Waters and disciples such as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones got the director’s creative wheels spinning. Between takes, Sumlin called Rosenbaum over to the bandstand and prophetically told him of his feeling that they would be working together again. In an instant, an idea that had been germinating with the director for years took root.

When the bluesmen’s booking agent, Hugh Southard approached Rosenbaum, asking him to lend the film’s name to help galvanize a world tour featuring these legendary musicians, a concept had fully blossomed. Having grown up on Martin Scorsese’s valediction to The Band, The Last Waltz, Rosenbaum wanted to make a film that similarly honored the life and musical legacy of these aging bluesmen. When Pinetop, Hubert and Willie “Big Eyes,” along with Sugar Blue, Robert Stroger and Bob Margolin hit the road as The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues Band, Rosenbaum, along with producers Jasin Cadic, Tony Grazia, Joe White and Emmett James were determined to capture this important moment and fleeting history. Over the next three years they would follow these blues legends, shooting live performances, an historic Grammy win, dozens of intimate interviews, countless behind-the-scenes moments, and documenting their lives on the road. Sadly, the 2011 deaths of Willie, Pine and Hubert altered the film’s initial Last Waltz style vision; to capture these legends performing live versions of classic blues songs with the musicians they had so heavily influenced. Luckily, several of these performance pairings were filmed before their deaths. Those treasured moments are complimented by over two dozen subsequent interviews with some of blues and rock’s biggest names, demonstrating the true impact and tremendous respect that these men engendered over the course of their long careers.

Members of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Aerosmith, The Dave Matthews Band, as well as artists like Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland share their personal and professional recollections of these men and the impact that they’ve had on their own careers. When asked how they hoped to be remembered, Willie, Pine and Hubert consistently expressed their wish to be known for both having kept the blues alive and to serve as an inspiration for the younger generations of musicians. Interviews with blues acolytes Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Warren Haynes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Derek Trucks affirm that their legacies are alive and well. Several of these musicians have even contributed searing on-camera solo performances in tribute to these late blues legends. Haunting imagery of the Mississippi Delta region, the birthplace of the blues and these legendary bluesmen, punctuates this powerful piece of history. This film succeeds in capturing the personal triumphs, tragedies and tremendous perseverance of three of the last original Delta and Chicago bluesmen while preserving a critical legacy that is nothing short of our last links to the origins of all popular music.


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Baby Driver (2017)

Title: Baby Driver
Rating: R
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx
Release Date: 6/28/2017
Running Time: 113 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Special thanks to Kate for this submission


All Eyez on Me (2017)*

Title: All Eyez on Me
Rating: R
Directed by: Benny Boom
Written by: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, and Steven Bagatourian
Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Annie Ilonzeh, Lauren Cohan, Keith Robinson, Jamal Woolard, and Dominic L. Santana
Release Date: 6/16/2017
Running Time: 140 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
Raised in the Bronx by his outspoken mother Afeni (Danai Gurira), a member of the Black Panther Party, Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) confronts police brutality at an early age when FBI agents raid his home on Christmas Eve in search of his activist stepfather. Moving to Maryland in his teens, Tupac attends Baltimore School for the Performing Arts, where he befriends a young Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham). But just as Shakur begins thriving in this creative environment, his now drug-addicted mother ships him off to live with relatives in Oakland, California.

Discovered at a Bay Area poetry workshop, Tupac joins Digital Underground and tours with outlandish leader Shock G (Chris Clarke) during the group’s “Humpty Dance” heyday. Tupac soon lands a solo deal with Interscope Records and his first movie role, in Juice. Despite the breakout success of his second album “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.,” Tupac’s personal life becomes entangled in a string of arrests, financial problems, and gunfights. The problems culminate in November 1994, when Tupac is shot five times in the lobby of New York City’s Quad Recording Studios. The next day he checks himself out of the hospital and goes to court in a wheelchair. Imprisoned in February 1995, Tupac becomes the first inmate to score a No. 1 album when “Me Against the World” soars to the top of the charts.

Released after eight months, Tupac teams with volatile Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight (Dominic Santana) and artist-producer Dr. Dre (Harold House Moore) in Los Angeles, where he records the world’s first hip-hop double album, “All Eyez on Me.” But he is also embroiled in a bitter feud with East Coast rival Biggie Smalls (Jamal Woolard). Amid the escalating war, Tupac falls in love with Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada Jones (Annie Ilonzeh). A few weeks after a now legendary House of Blues concert in West Hollywood, Tupac travels with Kidada to Las Vegas for a Mike Tyson fight. Stopped at a red light after the match, with Knight at the wheel, Tupac is shot on September 7, 1996, by unknown assailants and dies six days later. Simultaneously triumphant and tragic, All Eyez on Me tells the untold story of incendiary talent Tupac Shakur, dead at 25, who has sold more than 75 million records worldwide.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

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Special thanks to Steven for this submission


Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017)?

Title: Meri Pyaari Bindu
Rating: NR
Directed by: Akshay Roy
Written by: Suprotim Sengupta
Starring: Parineeti Chopra, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Abish Mathew
Release Date: 5/12/2017
Running Time: 119 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
Fed up with the lack of critical appreciation despite being a successful writer, Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurrana) returns to his roots in Kolkata to write more meaningful literature and decides on an old-fashioned love story – which was now, 3 years in the making.

This writers block is called Bindu (Parineeti Chopra). How do you contain this unpredictable, crazy, restless, larger than life, live wire in the pages of a book?

As Abhi says ‘‘You know when a song comes on and you just have to dance? Bindu was that song. That silly infectious joyful tune you couldn’t get out of your head… even if you wanted to.”

So where should he begin? Where should he end?

But when Abhi stumbles across an old audio cassette of their favourite playlist, it sends Abhi down memory lane… and as he waltzes in and out of his past and present through the songs in the mixed tape, he finally faces reality and reconnects with his roots, with his family and his novel starts writing itself.

Of course, life in its usual scheming manner surprises him yet again and changes the ending of his book and his life, as he once again finds himself being pulled back into the center of that crazy little thing called love.

He realizes, that love, is neither time- nor place-dependent….

All we need is the right person next to us and of course the right soundtrack.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Unknown

 

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Alive and Kicking (2016)?

Title: Alive and Kicking
Rating: NR
Directed by: Susan Glatzer
Written by: Susan Glatzer, and Heidi Zimmerman
Starring: Hilary Alexander, Evita Arce, and Kimberly Clever
Release Date: 4/7/2017
Running Time: 88 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
Alive and Kicking is a feature-length documentary that takes an inside look into the culture of swing dancing and the characters who make it special. We explore the culture surrounding Swing dance from the emergence of the Lindy Hop to the modern day international phenomenon. The film follows the growth of Swing dance from its purely American roots as an art form, to countries all over the world. Alive and Kicking looks at the lives of the Swing dancers themselves to find their personal stories and why this dance fills them with joy.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Unknown

 

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Unknown

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SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (2016)?

Title: SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock
Rating: NR
Directed by: Barney Clay
Starring: Mick Rock
Release Date: 4/7/2017
Running Time: 95 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
An odyssey into the colorful and bohemian tales of rock ‘n’ roll’s history. A cinematic adventure that delves deep into the mind of one of rock’s greatest living photographers: Mick Rock. Through the poignant lens of rock ‘n’ roll mythology; icon-maker, psychedelic explorer, poet, and custodian of dreams Mick Rock navigates his story from the glam rock shimmer of London to the snarl of NYC punk, and deep into the new millennium. Mick turns inward to face himself and the experiences as the visual record-keeper of myths and legends that propelled him into a living icon in this rock n’ roll comeback story. Mick’s now infamous images of the likes of David Bowie, Queen, Syd Barrett (Founding member of Pink Floyd), Blondie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop are now imprinted on our collective psyche forever and generations to come.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Unknown

 

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Unknown

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Song to Song (2017)*

Title: Song to Song
Rating: R
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Written by: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender
Release Date: 3/17/2017
Running Time: 129 minutes

Official Site
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What did you think of this film?
Set against and inspired by the Austin, Texas rock and roll scene, the film follows four interconnected lovers as they tumble and clash in both their roller coaster musical careers and rule-breaking intimate lives. Amid a world driven by youth, passion, lust, drugs and creativity, the story hones in on one couple who find in each other a way to bust through all the wild distractions of our modern lives and seek satisfaction in a new way.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

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Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

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Junction 48 (2016)?

Title: Junction 48
Rating: NR
Directed by: Udi Aloni
Written by: Oren Moverman and Tamer Nafar
Starring: Tamer Nafar, Samar Qupty and Salwa Nakkara
Release Date: 5/5/2016
Running Time: 95 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
Kareem leads an aimless life between odd jobs and hanging out with his buddies in a crime-ridden Arab ghetto of the mixed city of Lyd. A family tragedy brings him closer to his singer girlfriend, Manar, and motivates him to do something more with his life. When Kareem and his group finally get a chance to perform in a Tel Aviv hip-hop club, the star potential of the ‘first Arab rapper’ is quickly noticed. Although he raps “I’m not political,” Kareem and the group use music to express their tough life as Palestinian youth. But the road to success is never easy… Kareem and his group must face violent nationalistic Jewish rappers, government-imposed gentrification and troubled drug-dealing friends. When Manar’s family threatens to harm them if she performs publicly with him, the time comes for Kareem to either surrender to conservative tradition or stand up for the woman he loves, the artist he respects…


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Unknown

 

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Unknown

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Sing (2016)

Title: Sing
Rating: PG
Directed by: Christophe Lourdelet and Garth Jennings
Written by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Beck Bennett, Nick Offerman, Jennifer Saunders, Garth Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Leslie Jones and Jay Pharoah
Release Date: 12/21/2016
Running Time: 108 minutes

Official Site
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What did you think of this film?
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Note: The closing credits are framed by moving formations of colorful squid.

Memoriam: In memory of our dear friend Igor

Was seeing Sing in 3D worth the cost?

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