Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 Film in Review

2009 "YEAR IN FILM"         I found 2009 to be a dissapointing year for films.  I was lucky enough to get out to a theatre to see ( The Proposal, Away We Go, Inglorious Basterds, Amelia, Up in the Air, The Road, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Blindside and The Informant.)   10 films for me in a single year is a down year.  This from a guy who ran a Art Deco Art Theatre for 4 years. The only bonus was I saw most of those films at my beloved theatres (The Moolah & The Tivoli ) in St. Louis.  It wasnt that I didnt get a chance to go...on the contrary. There just wasnt much worth going to see. Unlike, 2008,  which had several wonderful films like instant classics, "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN" & "THERE WILL BE BLOOD". The best films of 09, showed few bombshells. I did absolutely love "The Hurt Locker"  & "Sin Nombre" and "A Serious Man", and  I thought Ingorious Basterds, Up in The Air, The Road  were pretty good. The Proposal, Blindside and The Informant were alot of fun.  I did forget Guy Ritchie's ROCK & ROLLA which I enjoyed very much.  Otherwise, it was a pretty slow year unless some of the late releases yet to hit most of the Midwest like ( Precious, Lovely Bones, Nine, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus, Crazy Heart, and The Messenger)  save the day.  I know, I know...What about AVATAR?   Well its already grossed a billion in ticket sales like Camerons previous hit TITANIC, but it just doesnt, I dont know...intrest me. I'm sure when all's said and done I'll check it out.   The one film I mentioned above I really cant wait to see is, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASUS,  if for No other reason than to watch Tom Waits in it. Ive heard he's terrific.  I would expect nothing else. For those who might stumble onto this site, give me a break since this is my virgin entrance into the Blog World. I will get better (I PROMISE) & I want to thank "Hardboiled Wonderlands"  author Jed Ayers for getting me going. If you havent seen HBW, its one of the best blog's going!
Jan 3, 2010
  As I look back on 2009 I realize what a great year it really was!  It became a summer of folk, as my wife & I caught some wonderful concerts including:  Bob Dylan, Tom Russell, Slaid Cleaves, Joan Baez, Levon Helm, and Leonard Cohen. Tom Russell was a real revilation for me. Introduced to Tom's work by dear friends Craig McDonald & Ken Bruen,  my first listen was to Tom's CD "Hotwalker" and I was hooked from then on. "Hotwalker" is Russell's tribute to a vanishing America. Included are bits with Charles Bukowski, Lenny Bruce, Edward Abbey, Jack Kerouac, Little Jack Horton and Dave Van Ronk. It also includes a wonderful jazz riff entitled "Honky Jazz". After that it was a race to get my hands on all things Russell, & soon I discovered what a tremendous song writer he is. Songs  such as "Who's Gonna Build the Walls", "Stealing Electricity", "Criminology", and "The Sky Above, The Mud Below"  are unforgetable. It wasnt long after my initial introduction to his music that I was lucky enough to catch him live at Fitzgerald's in Chicago. Tom played most of his songs off his soon to be released CD "Blood & Candle Smoke" and put on a show to be remembered.  Tom his wife Nadine were everybit as gracious after the show as you could hope to expect expect. Tom took pictures & signed CD's & took time to chat. A class act!    Note:  If your a folk fan like myself be on the lookout for appearances by Ramblin Jack Elliott in Louisville, Ky. in Feb. & Arlo Guthrie in St. Louis at The Sheldon in March.