Shonen Knife Super Group
Releasing: 25 August 2009 (US)
Japanese girl-pop/punk stalwarts Shonen Knife return to US shores with a new platter of tunes on August 25th. We’ve got the premiere of “Super Group” here for your listening pleasure. The women offer up catchy ditties born in the garage, but run through a bit of ‘60s pop gloss and riot grrl attitude. The band will also be playing a lengthy North American tour during October and November, appearing alongside Ty Segall, The Strange Boys, and JEFF The Brotherhood.
This time around, the very funny Gregory Brothers give us Congress debating climate change, reaction to Michael Jackson’s death, and of course, more of the amazing Autotuned vocal stylings of Katie Couric. As always, it’s the catchy, catchy music that makes the comedy really work.
Can you remember the last time you went out to a nice dinner? I’ll bet you went to one of your favorite restaurants. When money is tight, people generally opt for the familiar, rather than experiment with the unknown. Well, movies are a lot like restaurants, except that the large popcorn costs more than the lobster. Moviegoers are not in the mood for experimentation when they finally make the decision to splurge on entertainment.
That is evident by the current box office chart. Last week, the top two movies at the box office were Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Both films are sequels, and both have made an obscene amount of money, proving that the public is looking for the familiar. Johnny Depp’s critically acclaimed gangster flick, Public Enemies, came in a respectable third in its opening weekend, but the take was considerably lower than the sequels.
Now topping the box-office list is another sequel, Bruno. Oh, please, don’t try to convince me it’s not a sequel. Trust me, I’ve seen it, and it may be a different character from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, but it’s a sequel to his very original 2006 hit Borat, only not as funny. People will believe they’re living dangerously by seeing an original film, but they’re just seeing another sequel.
On July 15, the three sequels will cower under the sequel power of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It easily could wind up being the biggest movie of the summer, although the Transformers sequel is giving it a run for its money ($600 million worldwide, and counting).
With sequel fever infecting the multiplex, it was inevitable that I would catch the fever. It also was inevitable that I would write a column about it. That’s what I do. I’ve been pondering the subject of sequels, and I’ve come up with a couple of lists for you to peruse. Feel free to disagree with me.
—Barry Koltnow / The Orange County Register (MCT)
BEST SEQUELS EVER MADE (They did it for the art, and the money)
1. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola and I have argued over this movie (he insists that it’s better than the 1972 original; I say it’s a close second), but there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best movies ever made, so it certainly deserves this recognition.
Forro in the Dark Light a Candle
(Nat Geo Music)
Releasing: 29 September 2009
The Brazilian New Yorkers return with a new record this fall, the songs having been honed during their intense weekly gig at Nublu in NYC. Light a Candle will feature guest appearances from singer-songwriter Jesse Harris, as well as Sabina Sciubba, the frontwoman of Brazilian Girls, another NYC-based band with roots in Brazilian music.
02 Saudades de Manezinho Araujo
04 Better Than You
05 Baiao Embolado
06 Perro Loco
08 Silence Is Golden
09 Anao de Jardim
10 Lampiao Chegou
12 Forro de Dois Amigos
13 Just Like Every Other Night
An excellent little hybrid of noir, thriller, and war-time espionage, Flame & Citron follows two hit men’s journey through Nazi-occupied Denmark. Viva le resistance! Drawing many a comparison to Melville’s Army of Shadows, the film opens July 31st in New York at the Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, and will gradually roll out nationally August 14th. Flame & Citron will also be available On Demand July 29th.