Currently browsing the "Music" tag.

Review: Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry

Billie Eilish (aka Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell) first came to the music world’s attention in 2015 when the teenager uploaded her song “Ocean Eyes” to Soundcloud. But she didn’t capture my attention – or the cultural zeitgeist in general until she – of the green hair, baggy clothes and producer brother Finneas – swept the Grammys in 2020. Those two seminal moments bookend the new documentary about the quirky and talented singer-songwriter, now all of 19.

Review: The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

This HBO documentary wasn’t even on my radar until friends of my particular generation started raving about it on Facebook. So I felt inclined to check it out. And I’m glad I did. The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart explores the surprisingly interesting history of the group that basically invented a new form of Disco with their hit soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever – before the genre nearly killed them. Remember Disco Duck? Not their fault.

Review: Sound of Metal

At first, Sound of Metal reminded me of Whiplash. Then, A Quiet Place. And then, Children of a Lesser God. That’s quite a unique blend; and Sound of Metal is quite a unique film. It’s about a punk-metal drummer named Ruben (Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler) who loses his hearing, and with it, his sense of self. As a recovering heroin addict, four years clean, the experience threatens to send Ruben back down that dark path, so his girlfriend/bandmate Lou (Olivia Cooke, Me and Early and the Dying Girl) encourages him to check into a secluded rehab facility for deaf addicts. There, he meets Joe (Paul Racie), the program director and rules czar who assigns a scared and skeptical Ruben one job: to learn how to be deaf.

Review: Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You

Letter to You is a must-see documentary for fans of the Boss, and a should-see documentary for everyone else! The man – and the music- are simply mesmerizing. Perhaps I’m a tad biased, having spent a small fortune pre-pandemic to see Springsteen on Broadway (twice). But I can honestly say I enjoyed this documentary more than the filmed version of the stage show and more than last year’s cinematic filmed version of his melancholy album Western Stars

Review: Bill & Ted Face the Music

Talk about raising the stakes! In 1989, Bill & Ted – informed by a visitor from the future that they were destined for musical greatness – went on a most Excellent Adventure through time, to save themselves from a failing grade in high school history. In 1991, those same metalhead slackers went on a Bogus Journey involving The Grim Reaper, robotic duplicates, and a Battle of the Bands. Now – 25 years later – Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan (Keanu Reeves), aka “Wyld Stallyns,” must write the song that will save the entire universe – in the next 75 minutes! Fortunately, they still have access to their time-travel phone booth, and they have kids old enough to help: Bill’s daughter Thea (Samara Weaving) and Ted’s daughter Billie (Brigitte Lundy-Paine). And let’s just say – the apples don’t fall far from the tree.

Review: All Together Now

We must be in the final throes of summer, with yet another teen drama based on a popular Young Adult (YA) book. Netflix brings us All Together Now, a sometimes heartbreaking but also uplifting tale about a friendly, selfless, cheery High School teen struggling to stay optimistic in the face of mounting adversity. The film is based on the book “Sorta Like a Rock Star” by Matthew Quick, and the vibe is about what you’d expect from the producers of engaging teen movies Love, Simon and The Fault in Our Stars.

Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

It had me at Pierce Brosnan and ABBA. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is – a campy slice of goofy escapism that pays tribute to a worldwide phenomenon that the U.S. has been remarkably slow to embrace. Long before “American Idol” or “[whatever country’s] Got Talent” or “The Voice,” there was the Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s biggest song competition. It’s been around since 1956, spans more than 40 countries (not just European), and launched the careers of ABBA in 1974 and Celine Dion in 1988. How did I not know this? Anyway, I do now, thanks to Will Ferrell, who got hooked watching Eurovision during summer trips to his wife’s home country of Sweden. Who better than Ferrell (Elf, Talladega Nights, Anchorman) to craft a starring role for himself in a film that celebrates and mocks a global event that features an eclectic mix of talent?

Review: My Darling Vivian

My Darling Vivian is a love letter to Johnny Cash’s first wife Vivian Liberto with whom he had four daughters and initially a great romance. Narrated mainly by those four daughters, it is an eye opening corrective to the Johnny and June story we’ve all heard that entirely erased Vivian from his life. The documentary is also an intimate chronology of Cash’s rise, his addictions, his failures, and his family.

Review: JUDY

Renée Zellweger is the total package to play legendary performer Judy Garland. Zellweger is an actress who can sing (Chicago), do drama (Cold Mountain) and deliver a punchline (Bridget Jones). She leverages all of the above to bring life and star power to what might otherwise be a rather dry biopic about the singer and actress who rose to fame as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and died some 30 years later of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 47.

Review: Blinded by the Light

I’m a devoted Springsteen fan. I’ve seen him in concert several times, recently spent a boatload of cash to see him on Broadway – twice – and easily recall popping a ‘Born in the USA’ cassette tape in and out of my Sony Walkman throughout the mid-1980s. So when it comes to the film Blinded by the Light, I totally get it. The Boss – and this cinematic tribute to his music, message and influence – both rock.