Film Reviews

FILM REVIEWS

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different

Read "Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different" reviewed by Walter Atkins

Betty Davis Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different Native Voice Films 2018 The incisive documentary Betty—They Say I'm Different chronicled the humble beginnings and explosive career of the '70s trail blazer, composer and vocalist Betty Davis. Her bold music and incendiary stage persona was light-years ahead of the existing social norms and well beyond music industry categorization. Director Phil Cox tells the compelling saga with her voice, and through interviews with family, childhood friends, ...

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Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me

Read "Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me A film by Olivia Lichtenstein BBC Films / Wasted Talent / Storyvault Films / Tempo Entertainment2019 “The Love I Lost," “I Miss You," “If You Don't Know Me By Now," “Bad Luck" and “Wake Up." These are all unforgettable hits by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. The group epitomized the string-drenched, symphonic soul sound of Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records (PIR) that became the ...

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Bridges To Bremen

Read "Bridges To Bremen" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Rolling Stones Bridges To Bremen Eagle Rock 2010 Stunned by the brilliant pacing of the two and half hours plus that comprises the Rolling Stones' Bridges To Bremen, it's easy to see why Paul Sexton turns borderline breathless during the course of his essay in the booklet enclosed in the two-CD/DVD package. To the author's credit though, his comprehensive exposition of details about the iconic group's performance, near the end of a massive tour ...

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The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus - Deluxe Edition

Read "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus - Deluxe Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus Deluxe Edition ABKCO 2019 The limited Deluxe Edition of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus may rescue the film from remaining (arguably) one of the lost artifacts of contemporary rock and roll. Originally set for 2019 release in this format while the iconic band was on the road in North America, a delay due to Mick Jagger's health issues now has the CD/DVD/Blu Ray and digital ...

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Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things

Read "Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Just One Of Those Things Ella Fitzgerald Eagle Rock90 minutes 2019 In the public mind, Ella Fitzgerald was unarguably one of the great jazz figures of the twentieth century. She mightn't be fetishized the way Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Chet Baker have been--there wasn't quite enough tragedy in the singer's life for that kind of attention--yet perhaps more than any other jazz musician, Fitzgerald is globally synonymous with The ...

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Buddy Bolden: Out of History's Shadows

Read "Buddy Bolden: Out of History's Shadows" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Bolden Directed by Daniel Pritzker Abramorama; King Bolden LLC Release Date: May 3, 2019 Buddy Bolden was a legendary African American jny: New Orleans cornet player at the turn of the twentieth century. His career was cut short by a psychiatric condition initially diagnosed as alcoholic psychosis but later changed to schizophrenia (then called dementia praecox), and he spent the remaining years of his life in a mental institution. But during his ...

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Green Book: A Serious Comedy and Jazz Allegory

Read "Green Book: A Serious Comedy and Jazz Allegory" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Green Book DreamWorks Universal 2018 Starting perhaps in the 1930s, African American jazz musicians and bands from the north, midwest, and west toured the segregationist South. There they found to their dismay that as much as they were sought after for performances, they were compelled to live in separate hotels and use non-white bathrooms and restaurants, a humiliating experience for men and women who were just beginning to acquire self-respect through their music. After World War ...

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Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (2CD/Blu Ray)

Read "Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (2CD/Blu Ray)" reviewed by John Kelman

Steven Wilson Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall Eagle Records 2018 In a career now early in its fourth decade, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has bucked almost every trend in the new millennium music industry. After spending over twenty years as the driving force behind Porcupine Tree, he made the seemingly risky move of going solo with 2009's Insurgentes (Kscope). In some ways it was an odd move, given that Porcupine Tree ostensibly ...

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Green Book Directed By Peter Farrelly

Read "Green Book Directed By Peter Farrelly" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

Green Book Directed by Peter Farrelly Universal Pictures 2018 For those unfamiliar with the guide or simply too young to know, the Green Book was a handbook for African American travelers seeking safe haven when trekking through the segregated Jim Crow South. The Green Book was an indispensable travel guide published (by Victor Green, a postal worker who worked in New Jersey but lived in Harlem) between 1936 and 1966 that listed hotels, bars, ...

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Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut

Read "Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut" reviewed by Doug Collette

Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Uncut Eagle Vision 2018 If there's anything better than issuing a previously-unreleased recording of some kind, it's putting out a fully-restored piece once available only in part. As indicated by its title, the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Uncut represents the full and complete performance, in proper running order, from Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami. Prior to this DVD/2CD (or Blu-ray/2CD and limited vinyl) package, only portions of this November 1994 concert ...

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Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining Culture

Read "Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining Culture" reviewed by Doug Collette

Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge: 50 Years of Defining Culture Shout Factory 2018 In its two DVD's, six-chapters and four hours-plus total running time (which might well have been twice that length to be truly comprehensive_, Stories From the Edge ostensibly (and fitfully) covers history also laid out in the coffee table book 50 Years of Rolling Stone: The Music, Politics And People That Shaped Our Culture (Harry N. Abrams, 2017) and, to a slightly ...

FILM REVIEWS

The US Festival 1982: The US Generation

Read "The US Festival 1982: The US Generation" reviewed by Doug Collette

Various Artists The US Festival 1982 MVD Entertainment Group 2018 By title alone, The US Festival of 1982 might seem light years removed from the abiding fascination with festivals now pervading our culture. But if director Glenn Aveni's ninety-minutes plus documentary proves anything, it's that this event founded and sponsored by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak presaged the sophisticated multi-media presentations of such events today. The scrupulous depiction of the evolution of the ...