But while Iron Man is undoubtedly simplistic, a light and larky tone carries the movie easily over potential political pitfalls. Stark, a humming dynamo of energy and humour in Downey Jr's delightful performance, is far more appealing that the stodgy, guilt-ridden heroes of Batman and Spider-Man.
- excerpt from BBC review
The world needs another comic book movie like it needs another Bush administration, but if we must have one more (and the Evil Marketing Geniuses at Marvel MegaIndustries will do their utmost to ensure that we always will), Iron Man is a swell one to have.
- excerpt from Chicago Sun Times review
This could well be the best comic book movie of 2008. Perfect writing, directing, and acting. The casting by director Jon Favreau of Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role was a wise choice. Lots of action, humor, and the effects, which thankfully are mostly real action rather than computer generated, are incredible. Even the product placement (Burger King) isn't as obnoxious as it could be. Four out of five stars. If you go see it, be sure to wait around til the closing credits roll to a close for a sneak preview of what is to come.
- excerpt from NY Phil da Thumb's Amoeblog review of Iron Man.
To all the mothers, Happy Mother's Day! And to all those (including mothers) who might feel that this day, one when flower sales and brunch reservations go through the roof, is way overly commercialized -- you will appreciate the informative story below titled Mother's Day founder Anna Jarvis opposed to holiday's commercialism. The story was written by John Horton in his Plain Dealer Reporter column in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer (the main daily in Cleveland, Ohio) and was spotted by Amoeba Marc:
"Anna Jarvis (left) mothered Mother's Day a century ago. To see what her baby grew into . .. oh, how it would break her heart. Jarvis despised attempts to commercialize the "holy day" that she launched in 1908
in memory of her mother, Ann. She fought tenaciously until her death to shield Mother's Day from "the hordes of money-schemers" that were hawking flowers, cards and candy.
She didn't exactly hold 'em off. Mother's Day spending on the 100th anniversary of the holiday is expected to reach $15.8 billion in the United States, according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers will spend an average of $138.63 doting on dear old mom during her special day.
Jarvis "is probably spinning in her grave," said Katharine Antolini, a board member and historian for the International Mother's Day Shrine, the church in Grafton, W.Va. That is where the first celebration took place. "What we have today," said Antolini, who grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, "is not what Anna wanted." Not even close. Jarvis envisioned a day marked by hymns and prayers. She called for intimate family gatherings to "revive the dormant love and filial gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth." She wanted the focus and attention on a mother's devotion and sacrifice. It didn't take long, however, before some merchant got the idea of tossing up a SALE sign. Cha-ching!
If you have read my blogs in the past, you probably noticed I'm a big fan of Cumbia. So low and behold, bubbling in the city of Norwalk of all places, comes a band that sounds like they came straight from Magdalena, Colombia. They are called Buyepongo. Most of the band is very young, yet they have a sound that rivals Cumbia legends such as Andres Landero, Lisadro Meza and Aniceto Molina.
There are many things I love about this band. They are descendants and citizens from Guatamala, El Salvador, Bolivia and Mexico. Still, it seems these guys have Cumbia running through their veins just by the way they play it. It would be easy to mistake Buyepongo for a Colombian band three times their age.
Another thing is that they are a great live band and they write their own songs. I saw them for the first time in a bar in Pasadena on Monday and I could of sworn they were playing obscure Cumbia covers.
And lastly... at last, there is another local Vallenato group that isn't Very Be Careful! I love the VBC, but it's good to have variety and more than one group in L.A. playing this type of music.
I think I mentioned before that I had the good fortune of meeting Joe Strummer a few times. On those occasions we talked about Cumbia and his love for it. I remember turning him on to Very Be Careful and he went gaga over them, so much so that he had VBC open for him during his last L.A. shows. I wish he was around for Buyepongo, he would have dug these guys.
Buyepongo have nothing released yet but you can go to their myspace page to hear some live tracks.