Friday 11 Jul
 
 

 

OKG Newsletter


Topic: Rod Lott

You can call him Al

Pacino brings his brand of ‘Heat’ to our sweltering state.

“Say hello to my little friend!”

“Attica! Attica! Attica!”

“I am the law!”

“Hoo-ah!”

“You ever take a dump made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?”

No doubt about it: Al Pacino is a living Hollywood legend, with an Academy Award on the mantle and his legacy in cinematic history secured.

So why, then, is he appearing next Friday night, Oct. 14 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville? Does he owe Beverly D’Angelo several months’ child support or something?

Either way, he is, and you can be one of the 1,600 lucky people to have an audience with him. At 9 p.m. Oct. 14, Pacino will give a one-man show about his career, rife with backstage scuttlebutt and film clips. A Q-and-A will follow. If I could be there, I’d ask him about that time Ben Stiller portrayed Pacino auditioning for the kiddie film “Beethoven.” (Didn’t see it? Skip to the 7:53 mark ...)



Tickets are $85 to $150. Call 800-622-6317 or visit winstarworldcasino.com. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 10.06.2011 2 years ago
at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Rod loves (at least tangentially related to movies) CDs

You may wanna ‘Drive’ these into your ears.

As a serious pop-culture playa, I do more than consume movies. I’ve also been known to eat up music as well. It’s simply by coincidence that the latest batch of discs to hit my desk are related to film in one way or another, directly or indirectly. Like what, you ask? Like ...

Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 

The year’s best movie gives us the year’s best soundtrack, anchored by a damn fine score from Cliff Martinez, whose work I’ve admired since his sparse guitar on “sex, lies, and videotape” in 1989. Here, Martinez proves himself a master of mood, with 14 down-tempo cuts that exist in the shadows but pulse with tension and excitement. His beats are very much a character in the film, but they work well on their own, especially as a soundtrack to your own zooming about town. Where else will such menacing titles (“Skull Crushing,” “They Broke His Pelvis,” “Kick Your Teeth”) belie their come-down content?

I also cannot discount the disc’s first five tracks, mostly synth-driven, ’80s-influenced numbers by under-the-radar acts Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, Desire, College and Chromatics. The show may be stolen, by Italian composer Riz Ortolani’s “Oh My Love,” a 1971 ballad showcasing the beautiful, seductive voice of Katyna Ranieri, which ironically provides the sonic background to cinema’s grisliest elevator encounter.

Batman: Arkham City - The Album

Soundtracks to video games are no longer a novelty, and “Batman: Arkham City — The Album” is among the most heavily promoted I’ve ever seen. No matter how the game turns out — quite awesome, if its predecessor is any indication — the disc offers 11 tracks of songs (some original) that’s surprisingly cohesive for a “various artists” effort. I’ve no idea if these actually appear in the game, but all would fit (Daughtry excepted), being various shades of dark and grimy. Immediate standouts for me were †††’s “The Years” and Panic! At the Disco’s “Mercenary,” which is the closest thing to joy the compilation dares reach.

A better-than-usual Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recalls Stone Roses on “Shadow on the Run,” while The Raveonettes dish out their brand of gloom-pop with “Oh, Stranger.” While I’m no fan of the over-the-top style of Coheed and Cambria (here with “Deranged”), I admit to digging the over-the-top of vocals of System of the Down’s Serj Tankian, who’s solo here with “Total Paranoia.” Also among the rogue’s gallery of groups: The Duke Spirit, The Damned Things and The Boxer Rebellion. Perhaps its spirit of all things Gotham will tie you over until “The Dark Knight Rises” lands in theaters.

Doug Benson - Potty Mouth

The title holds double meaning, because not only is comedian Doug Benson’s act decidedly R-rated, but the man loves his marijuana. I know this because he won’t stop talking about it in this live act, not to mention in his podcast, “Doug Loves Movies,” which currently is something to live for (and justifies me including his disc here). Culled from two consecutive shows, “Potty Mouth” finds Benson doing his usual stand-up, which isn’t usual in the stand-up world. Rather than follow the standard set-up/punch-line formula, he just seems to talk from the top of his head (he’s well-noted for his lack of being able to remember anything without writing it down).

Thus, we get seemingly random observations on Twitter (including him calling out audience members tweeting about the show during the show, marijuana, dirty words, more marijuana, the Black Eyed Peas, and even more marijuana. A highlight has him telling him the world’s cleanest joke and the world’s dirtiest joke simultaneously, alternating between the two line by line. It makes sense when you hear it, and I hope you do. Bonus: The non-digital, physical-CD version includes a DVD of his now-canceled Comedy Central series, “The Benson Interruption.”

Robert Davi - Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance

Yes, folks, that Robert Davi: the character actor with the poor complexion who’s memorable in such ’80s blockbusters as “The Goonies,” “Die Hard” and “License to Kill.” Often the bad guy on the screen, the guy’s got good pipes on stage, as demonstrated throughout this 12-song covers album of Frank Sinatra hits. You’d assume this album to be some half-assed vanity project, but nope! It’s produced by the legendary, 14-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone, who’s worked his studio magic with the likes of Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Madonna and Elton John, not to mention the Chairman of the Board himself.

Plus, Davi doesn’t go for all of Sinatra standards. No “Theme from New York, New York,” no “My Way,” no “Fly Me to the Moon,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Strangers in the Night,” “It Had to Be You” and all that. He sings “Witchcraft” and “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and that’s about it for the greatest hits. Admirably, he opts for the lesser-known tunes (“Mam’selle,” anyone?), which forces listeners to hone in on his voice, rather than let their brains recite lyrics they’ve committed to memory. Quite simply, Davi does good; Frank would approve.

That said, it’s not really my thing. But rest assured, my mom is gonna love it. —Rod Lott

by Rod Lott 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Vlog

Tag this one #guiltypleasure.


Horror

Rod Lott
My latest guilty pleasure is the super-short “Vlog.” At first, I was uncertain whether the 71-minute horror film was supposed to be funny on purpose, but I was certain that it’s supposed to gory, coming from several “Saw” producers. Even if you hate that franchise, give this stripped-down effort a shot. It may surprise you.
 
Friday, October 7, 2011

Poe ’nuff!

Quoth the raven, ‘Here’s the trailer.’

With today marking the 162nd anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, the trailer debuted for next March’s “The Raven,” a mystery-thriller that stars John Cusack as Poe.

My take: Perhaps the third time will the charm for director James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta,” “Ninja Assassin”). Being a longtime reader of Poe, this one looks packed with elements straight from his stories, including “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Premature Burial,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and, duh, the poem from which the flick takes its title.



Plus, I’m also a fan of Alice Eve’s curves.

But March 9, 2012, is a long way away. Until then, Relativity Media offers these 20 “unusual facts about Poe, the ‘Enigmatic Master of Darkness’”:

• Poe wrote a fabricated news story of a balloon trip across the ocean to garner attention and publicity in New York City.

• Poe was a champion for higher wages for writers and international copyright law, as his writings were continuously published without him getting credit or compensation.

• Prior to becoming Poe’s wife at the age of 13, his female cousin Virginia acted as a courier, delivering letters to Poe’s lady loves.
 
• From 1949 to 2009, a mysterious figure has left a half-empty bottle of cognac and 3 roses on Poe’s grave every day on his birthday.

• Poe formulated rules for the short story, including that it should relate a complete action and take place within one day in one place.

• Poe was deeply interested by cryptography, the creation and translation of secret codes, and was very proud of his ability to translate them. He would challenge readers of various publications where he worked to send him codes to decipher and, by all accounts, he seemed able to unlock the secrets to any he received.

• Poe’s lifelong dream of owning and operating his own publication never came to fruition.

• Poe met with Charles Dickens while Dickens was in the U.S. on a lecture tour, and solicited his help with getting published in England — nothing ever came of it.

• Poe’s grandfather was an important figure in the American Revolution, contributing a large sum of his own money to outfit local branches of the Continental Army.

• Poe’s grandmother, personally sewed over 500 soldiers’ uniforms for Lafayette’s troops as they passed through Baltimore.

• Poe joined the Army in 1827, lying to recruiters about his age and name. He also published his first collection of poetry during this time. He achieved the rank of Sergeant Major.

• Poe experienced periods of extreme destitution, often having to burn his furniture to keep warm during the winter.

• Poe successfully sought expulsion from West Point. That being said, he was one of the top students in his class.

• Wrote poetic tributes to all the pivotal women in his life.

• Poe had two biological siblings, but all were raised in separate foster homes.

• Poe’s childhood hero was Lord Byron.

• The Poe House and Museum in Baltimore is in jeopardy of being closed in mid-2012 due to Baltimore City budget cuts. The city eliminated the Museum’s funding in 2010.

• Edgar Allan Poe was buried in Westminster Burying Ground and had no headstone for years after his death. In 1860, Poe’s relatives commissioned a small headstone that erroneously listed Poe’s birth date as January 20 instead of January 19 and was destroyed in a train accident before it made it to the gravesite.

• In 1875 Poe’s remains were dug up and moved to a memorial site to be near his family and a gravestone was placed in the wrong spot and was moved around several times.

• This lead people to wonder not only where Poe’s original burial spot was but also if the man who was moved to the spot by the memorial is even Edgar Allan Poe. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Good Neighbors

For rent: 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 serial killer. Pets OK.


Thriller

Rod Lott
While the box reads "Good Neighbors," the credits read "Good Neighbours." Regardless of spelling, the Canadian thriller from writer/director Jacob Tierney is intelligent, suspenseful and almost unpredictable.
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

Page One: Inside The New York Times

All the news that’s fit to shoot about all the news that’s fit to print.


Documentary

Rod Lott
Startling admission: As a career-long journalist in one form or another, it is difficult for me to be truly objective about the documentary “Page One: Inside The New York Times.”
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

The Last Circus

Send in the clowns.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Álex de la Iglesia, Spain's clown prince of cinema, making a movie about warring clowns? It's such a natural, I'm surprised he hadn't done it before now.
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

Mr. Nice

One wishes it were meaner and leaner.


Drama

Rod Lott
"Mr. Nice" is a little too true to its title. Had the film had more balls, it might have made a stronger impression. Based upon the real-life exploits of Howard Marks, writer/director Bernard Rose tracks the smart Welsh lad's sharp-angled trajectory from bullied sissy boy to major worldwide player in the drug-smuggling trade.
 
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

‘Avengers’ assemble!

I like when Iron Man says funny things.

Assuming the Internet doesn’t collapse today with the debut of the first trailer for next summer’s sure-to-be-a-record-breaker, “The Avengers,” feast your eyes on it:



Pro: ScarJo.

Con: Real 3D.

May 4, tick-tock. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 10.11.2011 2 years ago
at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

At a clip

More yoga, Butterfingers, hairy bikers, Mick Jagger and walruses than your peepers can handle.

Lotsa local film and TV happenings are on the immediate horizon, so let’s run through them on the record so I can say, “I told you so!”

• Yo’ go see “Yogawoman,” a documentary on — wait for it — yoga and its influence on the modern woman. Narrated by three-time Oscar loser Annette Bening, the film screens Oct. 20 at Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.; drinks, appetizers and live music will be provided before the 8 p.m. showing. A recommended donation of $10 at the door will benefit the YWCA, and the screening is hosted by Yoga Room OKC. For more info, call Laura Lester at 823-7838. Check out the trailer or skip to the next item, about candy bars and serial killers.



• Fathom Events Presents “Fathom Thriller Thursdays” on Oct. 13 and Oct. 27. This is a fancy-sounding name for a double feature, one of which is a commercial directed by Rob Lowe, and the other like something my dad would watch on History Channel. At 7:30 p.m. both nights, see the horror-comedy featurette “Butterfinger the 13th,” followed by the documentary “Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story.” You can see them at Cinemark Tinseltown USA, 6001 N. Martin Luther King, and Hollywood Spotlight 14, 1100 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. It’s not quite “The Exorcist,” but hey, it’s more Halloween-y than Fathom’s opera lineup.



• Speaking of History Channel, it debuts the reality show “Hairy Bikers” on Oct. 14, in which two guys on motorcycles (spoiler alert: the “Hairy Bikers” of the title) trek around the U.S., fueled by their passion for good food. On Friday’s very first episode, they visit Okahoma — specifically, Meers Restaurant, the Choc Beer Company and the Stroh Family Wheat Farm — all while you’re on your couch, eating a Hungry-Man Dinner. Again. (I should note that the bikers are British, but they do like hot chocolate.



• Speaking of Fathom Events, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 brings “The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live in Texas” to the aforementioned Hollywood Spotlight 14. The concert film was shot in Fort Worth on July 18, 1978, but has been digitally remastered in HD and features a new, 20-minute interview with Mick Jagger.



• For those who like their music less with less swagger, check out Lang Lang with the Philadelphia Orchestra for “Lang Lang Live on Franz Liszt’s 200th Birthday,” showing live at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 (with a replay Oct. 24), at Cinemark Tinseltown USA, 6001 N. Martin Luther King, and AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial. At 200 years old, don’t you think Liszt is starting to look a lot like Jagger? We shall see.  ‘



• Finally, local filmmaker par excellence Mickey Reece debuts his latest way-out effort, “Walrus,” Oct. 22 at City Arts Center, with a live music performance by Samantha Crain. It’s about underground arm wrestling, and Reece promises his “most alienating movie” yet, so take that as a gotta-attend! Your trailer awaits below, and look for my review in the Oct. 19 issue of Oklahoma Gazette.  —Rod Lott

by Rod Lott 10.11.2011 2 years ago
at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
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