Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sir Elton

It was a really good concert last night at the Coliseo. A trip through four decades of music. And he told a stunned crowd that he won't make another album and that he will retire form performing this year. So everyone felt lucky to see one of rock's all time greats live singing all his amazing songs from the 1970's and 1980's (well, he sang "Candle in the Wind" too, but it's ok). It was also good to see a packed Coliseo with people paying to see something other than regueton stars.

All in all it was quite a night with Sir Elton. Now how about bringing Sir Paul?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Carla Bruni- No Promises

I found this CD while browsing Amazon one day. It's an album of songs by Italian supermodel-heiress Carla Bruni. With that kind of pedigree one would expect a shallow,, electronic music CD of pure dance music. But instead this is a jazzy, cool album featuring simple guitar playing and songs based on lyrics by famous poets like Yeats and Rossetti. And it damn works. Bruni has a pretty cool, soothing style of singing. Play this CD and you are transported to a jazzy club. It's 3am and there's this gorgeous Italian woman singing....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lost "Beatle" movie on Flix

Last night cable channel Flix showed a true rarity. Its "Wonderwall", a movie whose soundtrack was composed by George Harrison when he was still a Beatle. And as a work of that era(1968) it is as weird and strange a movie as you can imagine. In a way, it reminds me of "Magical Mystery Tour" in its absolute trippiness and quirky sense of humor. It tells the story of a middle age scientist who finds a hole in his apartment wall that allows him to see the "swinging London life" of his next door neighbor (1960's icon Jane Birkin). But this is no typical sad voyeur movie, but is instead a surreal one in which you never know which acid induced imagery he will see next. Are the images real? Is he imagining the whole thing?

As for the music, it is George at his most Indian influenced moment. This is not Beatle George.

Anyway, this is a movie worth seeing for the adventurous and for Beatle fans.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sophie's Choice

The other night while changing channels I came across this 1980's classic stariing Meryl Streep. And I spent the next two and a half hours just mesmerized by it. It tells the story of a Nazi concentration camp survivor living in Brooklyn.Little by little we learn of her past, until we get the point when we realize a dark secret she carries. A choice she had to make long ago.

Even though the movie can be melodramatic at times, it features what many consider the best acting ever done in a movie. And they may be right. Seeing Streep acting here is one of the most amazing things you'll see in a movie all your life.

Do try to catch it. It's playing on Showtime.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton: headline grabbing assholes

I absolutely despise these two idiots. They're all about showing how much power they have. So they turn Don Imu's regrettable words into a way to self aggrandize themselves. Don Imus said 3 stupid words (out of the millions of words he must say every year). He said he was sorry. Do the Reverends follow Jesus advice of forgiving? No. They want him fired.Nothing short of firing will do. So there. He was fired. Hope they are happy showing how powerful they are.

Then I don't see them applogizing to the Duke white lacrosse players. Both Sharpton and Jackson basically accused them of having a KKK mentality and being racist pigs, following the alleged rape of an Afro American stripper. Both once again used their power to grab headlines and turn a rape case into a race infested controversy. In the end, the players were innocent. Even the rogue D.A. had to admit his mistakes. But did these two ass holes apologize?
No. Of course , they didn't. They must be busy trying to get somebody new fired.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

We will miss you Kurt.....

One of the great ones died yesterday. One of the giants. The great Kurt Vonnegut. I remember when I first read "Slaughterhouse Five". I was amazed at how simple words could be humorous and heartbreaking at the same time. How he saw the humor in tragedy, the tragedy in humor. And how everything in life, good or bad can be summed up with three simple words: "so it goes".

He will be missed.

Monday, April 09, 2007


I saw this movie recently. It's a pretty good Spanish movie about a budding friendship between two prostitutes in Madrid,one a Spaniard, the other Dominican. There is some great acting here especially by Candela Pena as the Spanish hooker. Puerto Rican actress Micaela Nevarez is also good, avoiding the "telenovela" acting that plagues so many local actors.

All in all, it's a low key movie that is more interested in characters than in plot. Not a great movie but a good, rainy afternoon one.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Borders at Plaza

Has anyone been at the expanded Borders store in Plaza? It is heaven. Words fail me. They really do.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Grindhouse"- fucking go see it

I love exploitation movies of the 1970's . This was an era of rough, fucked up movies full of outrageous violence, unhibited sex and political incorrectness. This was before focus groups and the cookie cutter movies of the 1980's came around to ruin everything.

"Grindhouse" the new double feature in one movie by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino perfectly captures the raw energy, outrageousness and inventiveness of those movies. It is so much fun to watch. Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror is the superior film, a mishmash of zombies, political comment, lesbianism and handicaped people with machine guns. To recreate the grindhouse experience there are missing reels and the movie print looks worn out. And of course, the print gets burned. This is so much fun.

There are fake trailers, especially great is one for a movie called "She Wolf of the SS" complete with a cameo from a well known "A list" actor.

Quentin Tarantino's feature is kind of slow moving. But then it becomes a homage to 1970's car chase movies, complete with a "Vanishing Point" Dodge Charger. And the car chase is an old fashioned one, no CGI here.

It was interesting to note that at the end of the movie, people applauded. And I can understand why. This is a movie that shows how raw and energetic and FUN movies can be. I cannot recommend this movie enough.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

at the grindhouse

This Thursday the new Quentin Trantino-Robert Rodriguez movie "Grindhouse" starts playing here. It's a homage to the exploitation movie double features of the 1970's. The Grindhouse where the movie theaters that espcialized in that genre. Something that takes me back to the Ambassador theater in Santurce, the place where those movies played locally. All the great women in prison films played there, the cheapest horror movies from around the world, the softcore sex and violence movies of the era. For a kid in his pre-teens and early teens this was a chance to see all the violence and of course, see all the naked women. Especially the naked women, sex was still something unknown to us and these movies for better or for worse showed us a glimpse of that attractive world.

So I guess I will be one of the lucky ones who will understand what Tarantino and Rodrigez are doing in "Grindhouse". They were probably kids who felt exactly the way I did while wayching these movies. I wonder whether young people "will get" this movie.Anyway, I don't care. I just want to see it and let the movie take me back to when I was 13 at the Amabassador.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Planet Earth

I was watching this documentary on Discovery last night. It was about deserts in our planet. And I can't begin to describe the amazing experience of watching this excellent television show. There are scenes so mindblowing you wonder how on earth they were able to capture them. These people must have spent years just to capture one small event such as a rare flash flood in the middle of the Sahara. This documentary leaves you in awe of our planet and of man's commitment to create a true
television work of art.

This is amazing television. Don't miss it. Playing on Discovery.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The local legislature is studying a project that will force every business offering WIFI access in Puerto Rico to install programs that will block "objectionable" material (whatever the hell that means).

Public hearings are being held on this subject and as one can imagine all the "let's suck up to the relgious right" politicians seem to favor it.

Luckily there's a federal ruling that prohibits this type of legislation. A state tried to do this on public school and the US Supreme COurt found it unconstitutional.

Still, this is another example of how our local goverment works. And how easily they are willing to play with out rights

when epics had no CGI

There are decisions one makes in life that change you forever. And it can be a decision made on a split second. This is the main theme of "Lord Jim". This is the story of a man who made one regrettable decision such as jumping ship in the middle of a storm and letting the passengers die (ironically they didn't). Ruined as a naval officer he leads a life looking for redemption, but in a way wanting to destroy himsrlf in the process.

This is no typical Hollywood epic movie. It is based on Joseph Conrad's novel, the same writer of "Heart of Darkness", the book that served as a the basis for "Apocalypse Now". So there is this element of psychological darkness throught the movie. Watching this I was reminded how different movies are now. Now adventure epics are not based on literature, but on comic books and video games. And character psychology as been replaced by fast editing and loud Dolby Surroundsound.

Peter O'Toole is excellent as Jim. He is surrounded by a wonderful cast headed by James Mason and Jack Hawkins. There is also love interest Dalilah Levi, one of those
amazing beauties that seemed to populate 1960's cinema.

This movie is playing on Showtime. Highly recommended.