May 22, 2004

Shrek 2

shrek2Funny in spots, but dull bumps kill any comedy momentum they could have had. It picks up steam in the second half, but the first half is dull and slow. There's nothing for Donkey to do, and other characters (the Queen, Prince Charming) are flat. (I may have been influenced by a slightly blurry picture and no surround sound.) (Showcase Cinemas Woburn)

May 16, 2004

97: The California Mix

The Title: I made this mix for my wife, who was travelling to California for a wedding. I loaded the mix with California bands, or bands associated with California, anyways.
The Cover: I wanted to splice together very similar photos of Jakob Dylan and Dave Matthews from the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. But where to stitch them together? All of my surgical options ended up looking like Mr Potato Head crossed with Robert De Niro as Frankenstein. I eventually had a brainwave and simply slashed a diagonal line across them both.
1. “Mrs. Potter's Lullaby” COUNTING CROWS
2. “Superstar” SHERYL CROW
3. “It's My Life” NO DOUBT (I thought I was the only one who loved this New Wave classic!)
4. “Shimmer” SHAWN MULLINS
5. “Rock Me On The Water” JACKSON BROWNE
6. “One Down” BEN FOLDS (recorded live 6-12-02, on the tour where my wife and I saw Ben on the same night, a few weeks before we met for the first time.)
7. “Go Where You Wanna Go” The MAMAS & PAPAS (I think this song was in a commercial for Claritin.)
8. “Gypsy” (alternate mix) FLEETWOOD MAC
9. “The Difference” The WALLFLOWERS
10. “Metal Firecracker” LUCINDA WILLIAMS
11. “Firecracker” RYAN ADAMS
12. “Drown” (acoustic) SON VOLT (from Napster, circa 1999)
13. “Bigger Than My Body” JOHN MAYER (a solo acoustic performance, downloaded from the KISS-108 FM Web site.)
14. “Crash” DAVE MATTHEWS (see #13)
15. “Seven Bridges Road” The EAGLES (live 1980)
16. “Please Don't Tell Her” BIG HEAD TODD & THE MONSTERS (from Napster, circa 1999)
17. “Cars Can't Escape” WILCO (downloaded from the Wilco Web site)
18. “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” COLIN HAY

May 15, 2004

Troy

troyThe performances were good (Eric Bana stands out), but the screenplay, direction, and cinematography all were subpar, especially compared to Braveheart, Gladiator, and The Lord of The Rings. Those five movies really set the bar very high, and Troy is not at that standard. Brad Pitt never really pins down his character. Bryan Cox chews scenery. The story has the potential to be written as a tragic Shakespearean opera, but the screenplay doesn't come close. (Showcase Cinemas Woburn)

May 5, 2004

The Philadelphia Story

philadelphiastoryA bit draggy in parts, but funny and stocked with wonderful talent. Hepburn's part is tailored for her, Grant has some fine moments, and Stewart is delightful, especially in his drunken scenes. Roland Young is suitably boring, and precocious Virginia Weidler steals her scenes. (Brattle Theater, Cambridge)

May 1, 2004

96: Highway To Heck

The Cover: I had recently bought the AC/DC album with its legendary cover photo, so I did some half-assed photoshopping to put the heads of my wife and a friend of ours on the cover. It was much more fun designing the CD/96 logo!

1. TEARS FOR FEARS Everybody Wants to Rule The World (My wife mentioned she used to sing this song in her college a capella group.)
2. ERIC CLAPTON Hello Old Friend
3. PEARL JAM Alone (A favorite b-side of mine, Pearl Jam played this song when I saw them at the Orpheum in Boston on the Versus tour.)
4. PETE YORN Come Back Home
5. WILCO & BILLY BRAGG California Stars
6. STEELY DAN Black Friday
7. PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
8. THE CARS Don't Cha Stop
9. UTOPIA Love In Action (I had recently listened to both The Cars debut album and The Best Of Todd Rundgren, and I noticed a similarity in the choruses of these two songs.)
10. SUZANNE VEGA Caramel
11. SMITHEREENS w/SUZANNE VEGA In A Lonely Place
12. R.E.M. w/KATE PIERSON Me In Honey (a pair of women duet-ing on other records.)
13. THE ENGLISH BEAT Save It For Later
14. NICK LOWE (I Love The Sound Of) Breaking Glass
15. JEFF LYNNE Don't Let Go (We heard the original version of this song on the PA at Krispy Kreme in Everett, after the party where Mandy's photo was taken for the cover.)
16. JET Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Yes, another iTunes commercial song!)
17. THE CURE Close To Me (I think this is on here because the bass line reminds me of the Jet song.)
18. OUTKAST Hey Ya!
19. THE ROLLING STONES Undercover Of The Night (I always had a soft spot for this excessively Eighties sounding track from the Stones. I included it here because David Chase used this song as a closing credits track on the Sopranos.)
20. AC/DC Highway To Hell