19 posts categorized "Rock 'n' Roll"

March 13, 2022

THE GO-GO'S

ColeSmithey.comThe world needs more all-girl bands!

"We Got The Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," and "Vacation" are power pop standards that still get crowds dancing.

Documentarian Alison Ellwood gives The Go-Go's a soup-to-nuts treatment with full access to the band members (and former band members), and a treasure trove of photos and live performance clips.

Cool stuff.

ColeSmithey.com

Key band members Charlotte Caffey, Jane Wiedlin, Belinda Carlisle, Kathy Valentine, and Gina Shock, dish the dirt about band infighting over drugs, money, betrayal, and making music together.

Oh, the mistakes.

ColeSmithey.com

The Go-Go's are the most successful all-girl group of all time.

ColeSmithey.com

See, and hear, how they did it.

Not Rated. 98 mins. 

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

June 12, 2019

ROCKETMAN

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

RocketmanHindered by faulty construction and lax editing that tires out the audience long before its two-hour run time passes, “Rocketman” is nonetheless an energetic fantasy version of Elton John’s incredible career in music.

Inspired musical vignettes set to magnificent Elton John songs such as “The Bitch Is Back” or “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” arrive with dance sequences that put “La La Land” to shame. There are times when it feels like the scattershot story gets in the way of the music.

This film’s overall success derives directly from Taron Egerton’s infectious performance as Elton John. His facial expressions deserve their own chapter in the latest book on the craft of film acting. There is magic here.

Rocketman-Taron-Egerton

This picture should serve as Egerton’s break-out feature film role given the vast gifts of physicality, emotional register, and dynamics on display here. You may not be familiar with Taron Egerton from his part in the forgettable “Kingsman” movie franchise, but Egerton’s Elton John blows Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury off the stage. Judging from Egerton’s work here, it seems as if there is nothing this fine British actor cannot, or will not, do.

Rocketman

Jamie Bell elevates his supporting role as Bernie Taupin, Elton’s songwriting partner, to something sublime. Bell matches Egerton note for note, beat for beat, in every scene they share. The effect is mesmerizing. Bryce Dallas Howard fulfills her role as Elton John’s cruel mother Sheila with laser-like precision. It makes you want to see Bryce Dallas Howard in more movies.

Rated R. 121 mins.

Four Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

June 28, 2013

BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

 

Big_Star_Nothing_Can_Hurt_Me_PosterThe greatest band you’ve never heard of, Big Star was every rock critic’s darling during the early ‘70s. The Memphis rock outfit recorded three records that all made it into Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the top 500 albums of all time.

Led by the now-legendary Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, Big Star could have been bigger than the Beatles or the Stones, had fortune favored them in correlation with their musical gifts.

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The group’s catchy but complicated pop songs became a touchstone for generations of diverse musicians from Nick Lowe to John Doe of X to Michael Stipe of REM to Paul Westerberg of the Replacements.

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Co-directors Drew DeNicola and Oliva Mori use the standard documentary form to deliver a haunting soup-to-nuts history of Big Star that will have you humming songs like “September Gurls” in your sleep.

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The filmmakers also go into loving detail regarding Alex Chilton’s mixed-bag of solo excursions — with punk band The Panther Burns, and Chilton's producing efforts on behalf of the Memphis-inspired punkabilly group The Cramps — as well as relating Chris Bell’s personal musical explorations, which led to the unforgettable song “I Am The Cosmos.”

Big Star

A tasteful labor of love, “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” is an enthusiastic documentary about enigmatic musicians whose music still sounds as fresh and essential today as when it was first recorded. Whether or not you are familiar with the band or their music, this movie will go straight to your heart.

Rated PG-13. 100 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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