Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2007 10:05pm | Post a Comment

The new BBC Television series Jekyll -- an updated version/reinterpration of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde -- is one highly recommended TV show that offers a strong plot, an excellent script, great acting, and a perfect balance of horror, sci-fi, suspense, and humor. There are only six episodes in this short but addictive series that is still ongoing on BBC America (also On Demand) and just finished up on BBC One over in England. But it is also available to view in good quality on YouTube -- painstakingly posted by "BBCJekyll" with each of the six episodes broken into eight parts.

James Nesbitt plays the series' main character(s)-- the good-natured and nice Dr. Tom Jackman (as Dr. Jekyll, the good half of his split personality) and also his alter-ego Mr. Hyde, the deranged psychopath side of himself. As both, Nesbitt turns in an amazing performance, especially when he morphs into the demonic and deranged Mr Hyde. What I love about this role is that when he becomes the crazed monster side he does so with great flair and with a winning sense of humor,  at times reminiscent of Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. He rattles off some wonderful one-liners that just beg to be quoted or sampled.

Jekyll's strong cast also includes Denis Lawson, Gina Bellman, Michelle Ryan and Meera Syal. The series is up to Episode 4 on BBC America, where it plays weekends as part of its "Supernatural Saturdays." To see all episodes right now, click on that YouTube link above. Meantime, below is a video clip of the ad for the TV show.

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Labyrinth Anniversary Edition

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 19, 2007 07:08pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the original release of "Labyrinth." This movie was one of my favorites at the time. It came out a couple of years after Time Bandits, The Neverending Story, and Dark Crystal. The same year as Legend. A year after Goonies, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf. The year before Willow and The Princess Bride.  Like many of us, I was a big fan of the fantasy film as a child and teenager. To be honest, I guess I still am.  Many of these films, like Labyrinth, had a story within a story. It allowed the story to be believable as a dream or "fantasy" world. But also never really that scary since we knew it was just a story. It wasn't until I was a bit older when my love of fantasy films turned into my love of horror films.  I was also obsessed with Jim Henson and the Muppets. Jim Henson directed both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Labyrinth also starred David Bowie. This movie really had everything going for it. It was sort of impossible for it not to be as successful as it was. The movie made its way deep into our hearts and still remains there to this day. This week we get the release of the Anniversary editions of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Muppets Season 2 also comes out. It is a big week for Jim Henson fans.

I have been in the process of replacing all my VHS with new DVDs. But I always have to wait until the deluxe versions of the movies come out. I want all the special stuff that they add on to the DVDs. And while there is always something missing, these versions often convince me to buy them. The Anniversary Edition of Labyrinth is 2 discs. I guess they meant to put this out last year as the 20th anniversary. But 21 years is close enough. Last year was also the 70th anniversary of Jim Henson's birth.  The movie starred Jennifer Connelly as a young girl bored with babysitting. She imagines herself into the world of goblins and creatures and the evil leader "David Bowie." The film is brilliant. And with the work of Jim Henson the film was ahead of its time. The creature effects still hold up and end up looking better than any modern film such as The Lord of the Rings. And with David Bowie we get an amazing original soundtrack. The soundtrack included 5 original David Bowie songs. The songs were sort of cheesy at the time, so I don;t really think they have gotten any worse.  And they are an integral part of the movie. I still know all the words to "Magic Dance" and "Underground." I always try to imagine this movie with Michael Jackson in the Bowie role. I don't know if it could have been better, but it for sure would have been amazing.

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This Week At The New Beverly Cinema 8/19 - 8/31

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2007 02:27am | Post a Comment
This Sunday and Monday, Aug. 19 & 20, we'll have a Paul Schrader double bill,

a brand NEW 35mm print of ROLLING THUNDER (1977)
Sun: 3:25 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30

Sun: 5:20 & 9:25; Mon: 9:25


This Tuesday, Aug. 21, Eric Caidin and Brian Quinn present the monthly Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Beverly

Cannibals and Zombies Take Over!

Directed by Charles McCrann

Directed by Umberto Lenzi

(all seats $8)

This Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 22 through Aug. 25, we present the Los Angeles premiere of Zeitgeist Films' re-release of two early Peter Greenaway classics

THE DRAUGHTMAN'S CONTRACT (1982) (New 35mm print!!)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:10 & 7:30

A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS (1985) (rare 35mm print)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 9:35; Sat: 5:15 & 9:35


Saturday, Aug. 25 at midnight
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship present Midnights at the New Beverly!


(all seats $7)

Aug. 26, 27 & 28
John Carpenter's remake of THE THING (1982)
Sun: 3:25 & 7:30; Mon/Tue: 7:30

Philip Kaufman's remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
Sun: 5:15 & 9:40; Mon/Tue: 9:40


Aug. 29, 30, 31 & Sept. 1

The new prints of Alejandro Jodorowsky's
EL TOPO (1970)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:50 & 7:30

Wed/Thu/Fri: 9:50; Sat: 5:15 & 9:50


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Anna King

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2007 11:29pm | Post a Comment

My son just named his new guinea pig “Sally,” and though I’m not a fan of rodent type critters, I think Sally is pretty cool. Also, guinea pigs make this really odd electronic kind of sound when their excited.

Some time ago I wrote about a Jean Dushon single on Atco Records “I’m Tired,” produced by Phil Specter. And with absolute over the top aplomb I ranted, raved and foamed like peroxide on a road rash about that track. “How,” I thought  “can it get any better than this?”  A discovery like this, out of the blue, only happens once in a lifetime to a lowly record store employee.

I went so far as to write that my aching back was miraculously healed by the Bo Diddlyesque drumbeat; it had to be the vibrations!

Well … I may have been wrong; I know this revelation may surprise you. I’m generally not one to exaggerate. Really. Anyway, my backache returned and eventually worsened, but did I lose hope? Almost … but no! I felt that somewhere down the line something greater, something deeper was going to breathe life back into me, an empty shell of a man. Carpe Diem! Corpus, Mens, Spiritus! E pluribus unum! Eureka! Ars longa vita brevis!

A few months back I discovered a 7 inch record from a somewhat obscure singer, Anna King … and this time I think I actually had a religious experience. My back wasn’t healed, but I swear to god I didn’t have an asthma attack for weeks. It’s as if my ears and lungs and bronchial tubes were touched by healing hands.

“Was that you Katherine Kuhlman?”

Long ago I discovered that the flip side is often the hot side, and "Sally" is the B-side to "Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own", a kind of a dig at Anna King’s old boss. "Sally" is an impossibly soulful, medium tempo ballad with just a hint of a musical arrangement. To start with, there’s a little piano, a touch of a bass line, a kick drum and all the room in the world for the vocals. King first starts off a little breathy, a little hesitant, telling her dear friend Sally about her no Anna Kinggood boyfriend.  But by the end the full band kicks in and the vocals just lay it on the line: Sally should just forget about that son of a bitch, because as Anna King plainly states, “I’m gonna steal him from you.”  And I thought they were pals! I just don’t have the words to explain the greatness of this cut. Find it, if it takes you a decade, it would still be worth your time. Think of it as a religious pilgrimage. I’m serious!

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Patti Smith: The Santa Monica Pier

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 18, 2007 07:32pm | Post a Comment
One day it's the 1970's, I'm trapped in the kind of hell a youngster homo freak usually is trapped in, and hey, Patti Smith is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. (Who in the '70's didn't watch Belushi when you were 9?) Suddenly, you realize you can stop jumping off the roof of any building you can scale the side of, you stop trying to figure out how to knot a noose, and you ... embrace life.

Because you realize if this woman is on TV in America ... that there is hope. And when Gilda Radner did her Patti Smith impression--you loved Gilda even more. Crazy.

Next thing you know, a some 3 decades later, you are standing on the Santa Monica Pier watching Patti Smith from about 3 feet away. Life is so weird and magical.
30 years later, you can barely stand up, you're half deaf, blind in one eye and ... none of that matters a god damned bit. Yeah, you feel all the pain, and you clutch the stage so you don't fall over ... it's just that being there makes it all bearable for a little while, and that is all any of us can ask for. I'm not a unicorn: tons of people are broken into pieces: but these beautiful and generous artists give to us that magic, that roar of love ... that medicine that the HMO and free clinic can't conceive of ... the kind that really does heal you.
And for the first time since Patti played her show at Amoeba Hollywood, I can feel my soul, I can feel your heart and I keep turning around to witness the joy in the people around me.

Yeah, she's a genius. Yeah, Patti Smith is an inspiration ...  She is a force of nature. I think if there are any Gods at all ... they roar truth and power through her voice. But face it, she doesn't save your soul. You gotta do that. She shows up to do a non-profit, save The Santa Monica Pier, and if you want to know without any question at all that the people do have the damn power--you show up, and you feel pretty damn grateful and powerful.

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