Popmatic Podcast October 2009
Bryan tells grown ups how to get their Samuel Clemens on, as part of Nashville’s Twain and Twang celebration. Amanda’s review of contemporary composer Noah Creshevsky proves that classical music is anything but boring. Closing out, Clint and Bryan share sleeper-creeper gems on DVD for Halloween night viewing.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3 1/2 Stars
Woody Allen has been making films outside of New York for the past few years, and Spain proves to be a perfect inspiration and setting for his latest film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Rebecca Hall plays Vicky, an attractive and smart woman engaged to a successful and sensible man. Scarlett Johansson plays Cristina, the beautiful and impulsive best friend of Vicky who knows what she DOESN’T want in life, but can’t figure out which “path” to pursue. The girls are invited to spend two summer months in Barcelona with distant relatives of Vicky’s. This gives Vicky a perfect opportunity to finish work on her thesis topic, Catalan culture. After attending an art gallery opening, the two friends end up at a restaurant where they are approached by the handsome Spanish artist Juan Antonio (played by Javier Bardem.) He proceeds to invite both women away for a weekend of art, food and drink, and lovemaking. Vicky is appalled. Cristina is intrigued. And soon they are on an adventure sure to change the course of their lives. There are several angles to talk up this movie to potential viewers. If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, VCB is replete with witty Woody Allen dialogue and plenty of sensuality. For the armchair traveler, there’s good food and wine, breathtaking sights, and the passionate sounds of Spanish guitar. And I haven’t even mentioned Penelope Cruz’s Oscar-winning performance as Maria Elena, the crazy and gorgeous ex-wife of Juan Antonio’s. Last but not least, see this movie if only to realize that Javier Bardem can play a lover as well or better than a villain.
Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played
By Jon L. Wertheim
Senior Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim weaves an intricately detailed recounting of what all agree was an epic, thoroughly well played tennis match into a compelling multi faceted book.
This is a very descriptive portrait of each man’s differences, backgrounds, tendencies, technical strengths and styles, coaching entourages and personalities which leads up to the titanic Wimbledon final that was played over five sets and seven hours in July of 2008.
Many interesting behind the scenes moments, humorous asides and detours including how Federer met Mirka, his disdain for Djokavic’s “boorish” parents, Nadal’s family dynamics and upbringing, racquet comparisons and endorsements all add background color to the event. Even chair umpire Pascal Maria gets his time in the sun (or rain as it were) here.
One of the best tennis books I’ve read; an often witty and full account of the quirks and glories of Wimbledon, “The Championships” and of what makes both Roger Federer and the eventual ’08 Champion Rafael Nadal so outstanding by anyone’s standards.
My only complaint: no photos included.
- Phil K.
See Amy Adams in the best role of her career in this underrated Southern indie film.
What’s the deal with odd numbers and movies? If you give it some thought, I bet you can think of at least three movies off the top of your head with an odd number as the title, or at least an odd number in the title. District 9 debuted in the summer of 2009, and a new movie musical directed by Rob Marshall called Nine also hit the big screen in September.
See list of Odd-Numbered Movies.
Popmatic Podcast Special Edition: Larry Cohen
Bill and Clint interview Larry Cohen director of It’s Alive and other classics. It’s Alive will be shown at the Main Library on October 17 at 2 PM, as part of our Shocking Saturdays film series.
The Long Fall Back to Earth
by Jars of Clay
5 stars…but it takes a while to get there
When I first heard the latest album from Jars of Clay, I kinda didn’t know what to think about it. It was a complete departure from their normal sound with all the electronic music and whatnot. I’ve been a Jars fan since high school and this album was disappointing in that it didn’t sound like them…at first. However, I kept the CD in my car and as it spun through I began to really listen to the songs. Eventually I found the Jars of Clay I love. If you only listen to two tracks, make sure you hear #9 (Boys) and #10 (Hero). The title track’s pretty good as well. The soul of the music was always in this album…it just took me a little longer to find it.