Once We Were Brothers: RR & The Band

Not sure how reviewers can give this film anything lower than a 95. What on God’s Earth do they want?

So dog gone it, I’ll be the sales woman:
In Once We Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, written and directed by Daniel Roher, you’ll be rewarded with:

*a gorgeous history invoked by Robbie Robertson who appears to be a cross between Captain Kangaroo (meaning innocent passion) and Ron Howard (straight laced, but still super hip).
*extraordinary stock photos of the entire band and also precious family photos

(Here’s where I digress to a deja vu I had of my 3/16/2009 concert venture with my sweet son Liam Enright, in the 9th row of Fleetwood Mac, where I repeated at least three times, “Lindsey Buckingham is a very sexy man”, to which Liam eventually said, “Mom, please!”
I had the same heat generating at Burns Court over Levon Helms, who was drop dead gorgeous in his prime.)

*a cautionary tale of the havoc and chaos alcohol and especially heroin can do to one’s creativity and obvious health: Helms (age 71 throat cancer), Richard Manuel (age 42 suicide), and Rick Danko (age 55 heart failure)
*tremendous film footage of Dylan back in the day. And man, do I admire his fashion sense!
*great film footage of The Last Waltz, probably one of, if not THE most important concert of our lifetime (ok, tied with Live Aid)
*Scorsese’s genius re-establishment (in my mind after the abysmal The Irishman), capturing The Last Waltz for film and music history

The only trouble I can see is the odd absence of present day commentary from Garth Hudson (83), who, along with Robbie Robertson, is the last living member. Does this put a question mark on Robbie’s point of view? Did Robbie really take more credit than his due, as Levon emphasized?

In truth, the last man standing gets the final say, but I’d love to know Hudson’s take.

Yet even with that lingering question, you’ll walk out of this doc in a buzz of musical euphoria.

Deconstructing the Beatles: Wow, ‘Something’ Else!

I can’t say enough positive about Deconstructing the Beatles Abbey Road Side One. This more than any other doc at the Cine-World Film Fest is an impressive grab. On Scott Freiman’s website, the creator and presenter of the documentaries, one can see these showings are few and far between.

I walked in after a hard day’s night at the book store and initially at the film’s start, thought, “Ugh! Not a lecture, I need an easy ride.” But wait! This film was soooo engaging, I was re-energized to try to remember all the gorgeous facts and foot notes about the stereo speakers, the Moog synthesizer, Timothy O’Leary, etc, etc.

I was dying to reach for a pen in my bag, but that would have meant sounding like a squirrel rummaging through a crinkly plastic bag for a food scrap to the anger of those around me. They definitely would have wanted to Maxwell Silver Hammer my keister.

Scott Freiman is a riveting story teller who uses precise, but uncomplicated visuals to show, for instance, how the Beatles created certain sounds on a new mixer for Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden. In the same song analysis, he showed a beautiful moment where George helps Ringo with the song as George Martin chimes in with harmonies. Magic!!

I signed up for alerts on Scott Freiman’s Live Lectures and most definitely will be buying my musician and singer son (Liam Enright, check him out on YouTube) a ticket when Scott does another in New York City.

Baby Driver: Gentlemen, You Started My Engine!

And so it (finally) begins, an excellent summer movies season. First, Dinner with Beatrix and now BABY DRIVER. While not perfect, Baby Driver is excellent right up to the last ten minutes.

But wait, this podcast is brought to you by Pete Ryckaert, a Rochester visitor who not only treated me to the movie, but to a high end movie experience. If you live in a city lucky enough to have CineBistro, run, don’t walk to this venue. Recliners and gourmet food? Fuggedaboutit.

Back to the review: anytime you pair great music with action and/or emotion, you’ve got a winner. Most of the time anyway (sorry, no dice Lala ‘B’Land). I was in love with Baby Driver even before seeing it, after reading the LA Times article about how the star, Ansel Elgort, landed the role after telling director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, etc) that he knew the words to Easy by the Commodores (SOLD! Love that song!)

Ansel was made for this role, though I couldn’t help but be a little sad for my son, Liam Enright, who is just as in to music and trying his darnedest to make it in Brooklyn (go see him at the Bitter End in Brooklyn on July 7th). https://soundcloud.com/socialanimals/subway-dream-girl

But I digress…again, fully confident that you can handle it, in this a.d.d what’s-my-phone-saying-oh-yes, I’m-listening-to-you-world we live in.

If you loved Drive (Ryan Gosling), you’ll love Baby Driver. With a monosyllabic but ultra hip protagonist (Elgort), a submissive and sensitive romantic interest played by Lily James (Downton Abbey), bad guys galore; Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm (can’t get any better for supporting roles) and of course, drum roll, the man that’s so bad he’s so good (in every damn role he’s ever played) Kevin Spacey.

The film’s action scenes are incredible. I haven’t seen car chases scenes this fun since Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw (The Getaway, “Punch it Baby!”) or the kooky ones in Streisand and O’Neal’s “What’s Up, Doc?”.

My problem with the film is the ending, but I get it. Endings are downright impossible. I’d tell you what I would have liked to have seen, but that would be giving spoilers away. And as you know, I am faithfully yours….no spoilers.