Posts filed under ‘Review’

Lolly’s Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs

5. “Black or White” (1991)

“Eat this,” Macaulay Culkin says, in an “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” sort of music video. Call it ironic, call it corny, but it’s the best pro-miscegenation song to date.

4. “The Way You Make Me Feel” (1987)

Work out, groove, or make love to this song: It will provide the appropriate soundtrack.

3. “Will You Be There” (1991/1993)

Michael Jackson released “Will You Be There” in 1991 on Dangerous and in 1993 on the Free Willy soundtrack. The lyrics read like a prayer: “Hold me like the River Jordan”; “Mary, tell me: Will you hold me?” Jackson expresses vulnerability, sorrow, and hopefulness as a gospel choir sings in the background, crescendoing and decrescendoing like ocean waves.

2. The Jackson Five’s “I’ll Be There” (1970)

This love song manages to croon and groove simultaneously.  Michael and Jermaine harmonize perfectly as the lead vocalists, each of their lines flowing forward smoothly and sincerely. I imagine many brides and grooms use these lyrics as an inspiration for vows. I can also vividly envision teens and preteens in the early 70s swaying back and forth to the ballad at school dances. Mariah Carey’s cover of “I’ll Be There” was nominated for a Grammy in 1993.

1. The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” (1969)

Love and/or  lust isn’t as strong as you thought…until it’s gone…and someone else has a chance to do better. Young Michael sang this so sincerely that it almost seemed like he had experienced a broken heart. “I Want You Back” is naïve, honest, and groundbreaking. Like the love interest in this hit, we took Michael’s genius for granted.

I want it back.

June 30, 2010 at 4:10 am 2 comments

Current and Classic Rentals & Ratings

Year of the Dog
Genre: Comedic Drama
Starring: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Regina King, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard
■■■■□
Molly Shannon shines in this quirky drama about the multi-layered relationships between co-workers, friends, loved ones, and, of course, animals.  Mike White, the writer of The Good Girl and School of Rock, makes his directorial debut in what hopefully will be the first of many cinematic triumphs.

New York, New York
Genre: Musical Drama
Starring: Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro

■■■■□
Minnelli and De Niro sizzle with musical and sexual chemistry in this Scorsese film set in the post-WWII 40s.

He’s Just Not That Into You
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Scarlett Johansson

■■

I expected more from this all-star cast. It has its funny and sweet moments, but, overall, this film portrays women as weak and inept players in the game of love and war.

Summer of Sam
Genre: Crime Drama
Starring: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito

■■

Set in New York City in the summer of 1977, this Spike Lee Joint follows a close-knit group in an Italian-American neighborhood as it responds to the surrounding violence, heat, humidity, and hatred. Son of Sam’s carnage serves as the backdrop for a reflection on the complex nature of relationships between members of a seemingly cohesive community. Make sure to check out Adrien Brody’s compelling performance during the “Teenage Wasteland” montage.

June 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Current Redbox Rentals and Ratings

Frost/Nixon
Genre: Drama
Starring: Frank Langella and Michael Sheen
■■■■□

Langella deservingly received an Oscar nomination for his role as Richard Nixon in Ron Howard’s provocative retelling of the post-Watergate interviews between British television personality David Frost and the former president.

The Poker Club
Genre: Drama, Suspense
Starring: Johnathon Schaech
■■□□□

Although it has a few interesting plot twists and startling moments, The Poker Club comes across as a decently-made student film. But if you’re looking for visual stimulation, actors Johnny Messner and Michael Risley and actresses Jana Kramer and Lori Heuring make good eye candy.

The Wrestler
Genre: Drama
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood
■■■■□

Rourke delivers an artistic tour de force as a has-been competitor trying to make a comeback in his professional and personal lives.

The Spirit
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Starring: Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Gabriel Macht, and Scarlett Johannson
■■□□□

Even with an all-star cast and the talent of Frank Miller as screenwriter, The Spirit managed to lower my spirits when I saw it in theaters this holiday season.

Doubt
Genre: Drama
Starring: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis
■■■■■

Some critics bemoaned Streep’s “over the top” performance as a hyper-judgmental nun, but I think Sister Beauvier’s ferocity and relentless inner struggle could have only been depicted by such a seasoned and dedicated actress as Streep. Hoffman, Adams, and Davis also triumph in expressing what playwright and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley likely had in mind when he helped transform his story from stage to screen.

Yes Man
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel
■■■□□

With a handful of laugh-out-loud scenes, this lightly romantic comedy achieves its goal of providing 90 minutes of entertainment. While Carrey and Deschanel have some chemistry, their age difference is a bit distracting and doesn’t manage to completely pass off as believable.

April 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm 5 comments


Follow The Lollygabber on WordPress.com

Join 1,636 other followers


%d bloggers like this: