Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Hunger Games - Movie Review

This is probably the most excited about a movie opening as I’ve been in awhile. I almost considered going to the midnight showing, but tons of screaming pre-teens is a little bit of a turn off. So I waited patiently for a more convenient time and a bargain showing.

Recently, my daughter read the last page of The Hunger Games and then walked out of her bedroom, handed it over to me and said, “Read this now!” I’m currently half way through the second book. I would like to read all three straight through, but I keep getting interrupted with other books.

As usual, I saw this movie opening weekend, but failed to write my review. I’m really trying to be better at this. I get so excited I run out to see new stuff and then have a hard time putting my butt in the chair to write about it.

The Hunger Games was a fantastic book. If you wonder why this book and film has received so much attention, then you simply haven’t read the book or seen the film. I guarantee you it won’t be long before this book is required school reading. It has appeal for both girls and boys (and adults), has foreshadowing, metaphors and topics for debate. It such a good book that it’s easy to be concerned about its film adaptation.

If by chance that has held you back from seeing the film, rest assured, the printed text gets a rare excellent translation to film. Of course changes had to be made. One of the most publicized discussions was how they would deal with the violence. Actually, in the first book, the violence is never described in gory detail so it’s not surprising to not go for the gore on the screen. The violence clearly conveyed and I felt the filmmakers only blew it in the final scene of “The Games.” This was the only time I felt they needed to push the envelope a bit more. If you read the book, you know the scene I’m talking about. Cato’s scene is a bit brief in the film and somewhat dilutes the action of the main characters. This opinion was not shared by daughter so maybe I’m alone on this, but it was my one real criticism of the film.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Waning on Glee - Is It Just me?

I have been a big Glee fan since the very first episode. As this season is quickly coming to close, I find myself waning a bit. My dream is for them to pack it in at the end of this season. Seriously, all the major characters will be graduating and didn’t this show already surpass everyone’s expectations? Let it quietly ride off into the sunset. I’m so afraid this will end up becoming a show that makes me cringe when I watch it. You know what I mean, shows that stay around way too long, or add a cute kid to “liven” things up. Some of my favorite shows have fallen victim to this. This week I saw a commercial on Oxygen for The Glee Project Season Two, so it seems pretty certain that winners of that show would need to have Glee still on. If our current characters are successful, then glee club will become a stepping stone and not a place for rejects as when the show began. Maybe a new crop of kids will be good for the show. Some of the contestants from the first season of The Glee Project have brought some fresh pipes. “Boogie Shoes” was awesome! I’m still enjoying all the performances. Everyone on the show is so friggin’ talented. The storylines, on the other hand, have been very hit or miss with me. I feel the writers really blew it with Quinn. Come on, we saw that truck booking down the highway, yet it seemed like she was back at school in about a week. She would have had a much longer recovery just to get to the point of being able to be in a wheel chair. I don’t think they sent a very good message about not texting while driving. Of course, it does seem like we’re being set up for Quinn never being able to walk, but they really should have shown her in the hospital and deferring college while she goes through extensive physical therapy. Maybe they’ll right that one before season’s end. Well, I gave up on American Idol last season and I haven’t looked back. Glee, I’m sticking with you for now, but you better bring it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Song of the Week - Brokenhearted/Karmin

It's almost impossible to get this song out of your head, but it's okay because it's great. They also did a great job performing on SNL last month. They're one to watch!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Melody Gardot - Preview "Mira" video

If you’re not already familiar with the wonderful jazz of Melody Gardot, you’re in for a treat. Melody is an amazing singer with an amazing story. I’ve been a fan of hers since 2008. I’m so excited that her new album Absence comes out May 29th. Ms. Gardot came into music in an interesting way. After suffering serious injuries from a bicycle accident, Melody used music as therapy. She has spinal damage and sensitivity to light and sounds, but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her two previous albums were wonderful, but her new one promises to stretch her as an artist. Traveling to South America and recording songs with a Brazilian influence, we’ll be treated to a fresh soond that’s still the Melody we’ve come to love. Check out the first single Mira. I gorgeously textured song with Spanish and English lyrics combining to create a hot song that will make you feel like summer has arrived.

Enjoy the clip, check out her sites and look for a full album review soon.
Pre-order from Amazon now at:
Official Sites:!/mgardot

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RIP - Dick Clark

Dick Clark lived a full long life, but his passing is still a sad day for us. He's done so much for television. He produced so many great game shows and let's not even get started on what he's done for music.

American Bandstand showcased so many musicians over the years. I can't believe the singers that Dick Clark brought into my living room over the years. I can't say I learned to dance watching the show (honestly, I've got zero moves), but I sure did grow a wide appreciation for music of all genres.

Dick Clark was always such a likeable guy. Recently, when he suffered a stroke he missed hosting the iconic New Year's Rockin' Eve. He just missed that one year. The next year, there he was. Even though his speech had dramatically changed from the stroke, Clark was there with his wife to bring in a new year for us. Watching him that year I thought, "Man, he kicks ass!" Nothing was going to bring this guy down.

Cheers to you Mr. Clark. Thank you for everything you gave us. Here's a great clip of Clark talking to Prince. This performance was before Purple Rain and even before 1999. Pretty cutting edge for Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Song of the Week - Mayer Hawthorne/The Walk

Warning! Explicit Lyrics!

I've recently become a big fan of Mayer Hawthorne. I say recent because I only found out about this guy ago a few months back. Now I'm trying to play catch up. I totally dig what this guy is putting out there. It's nice to hear a traditional R&B, old school song that keeps grounded in it's genre. Sure, he mixes it up a bit with the potty mouth lyrics, but for the most part it's a throwback to music I love and I'm happy to hear Mayer's fresh spin on it. I hope you like too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Esperanza Spalding - Radio Music Society (Album Review)

Last year, Esperanza Spalding won the Best New Artist Grammy and many viewers went, “Who?” I was already enjoying this talented artist and her amazing album Chamber Music Society, so I was not shocked and extremely pleased.

Now comes her follow up Radio Music Society. Once again these are richly textured songs that refuse to be your background music. She’s a one-woman tiny dynamo, but she’s backed by a huge, talented band.

Cinnamon Tree has a breezy, laid-back tune, whereas Hold on Me and Vague Suspicions have more of a traditional jazz feel. The two stand out songs here are Black Gold and Smile Like That, but truly this is an album to enjoy as a whole.

Spalding exudes cool. That voice, that hair. She seems confident, yet accessible. Check out this clip of her recent performance on The Daily Show. I look forward to more great music from her for years to come.