Friday, July 23, 2010
It’s All in the Movies
It’s hot. Brain melting, sweat dripping, wardrobe wilting, h-o-t, hot. In weather like this leaving the house is most definitely overrated. It’s far better to stay indoors blasting your a/c with a tall icy drink and a big tub of popcorn for a music movie marathon. Here in no particular order is a list of some of our favorites not including documentaries and concert films; we’ll save those for future posts.
This Is Spinal Tap: Spandex, Stonehenge and tiny sandwiches, oh my! How many music movies can claim to be both hilarious AND realistic? Or maybe it’s realistically hilarious, we don’t care we’re too busy laughing.
Lush Life: Jeff Goldblum and Forrest Whitaker star in this one about pals trying to make music in NYC. A bit difficult to track down, but well worth the hunt.
Still Crazy: The very funny story of the very fictional band Strange Fruit. There’s a Great cast that includes Bill Nighy, Billy Connolly, Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall & Stephen Rea; and a great score by Foreigner’s Mick Jones, and Chris Difford of Squeeze.
Coal Miner’s Daughter: A great actress playing a country music icon; Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for portraying Loretta Lynn in her remarkable life story.
Bird: Forrest Whitaker makes another appearance on our list, this time playing Charlie Parker in this Clint Eastwood-directed biopic. A great flick, but a sad one.
Amadeus: Sex, intrigue, pretty costumes, and divine music - what more do you need? Oh yeah, great acting. Don’t worry it’s got that too!
Music & Lyrics: Perhaps not the most realistic movie of the bunch, especially if you like your music flicks with a bit more grit, but it’s great escapist fare. Drew Barrymore is charming and Hugh Grant is perfect as the happy has-been 80’s pop god.
Love Me or Leave Me: Speaking of gritty realism, it’s not a term one usually associates with Miss Doris Day, but that’s exactly what you get in this film version of the life of Ruth Etting. It’s a rare dramatic turn for her, and it pays off.
Immortal Beloved: Another costume drama this one featuring Gary Oldman as Bethoven . It’s tragic and romantic…sigh.
High Fidelity: Not really a movie about musicians as much as it is a movie about people who love music. John Cusak (one of Miss Wendy Lane’s top five crushes) is terrific, and the soundtrack is killer. Nick Hornby, one of the funniest writers on the planet, wrote the book on which this film is based and the screenwriters did a great job of transferring Hornby’s unique humor to the film. This was made into a broadway musical as well, but without as much success.
So, that’s what we’re watching this summer. How 'bout you?