Sick of working in the junk business, Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) decides to open a nightclub on Chicago's predominantly black South Side. When he discovers a Mississippi bluesman named Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), he burns down the club and uses the insurance money to buy a record studio. Soon, Chess has drawn in the likes of Waters, Little Walter (Columbus Short), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer) and, famously, Chuck Berry (Mos Def). But when the architect of rock-&-roll ends up in prison for violating the Mann Act, Chess has to find another star. She arrives in the person of Miss Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), a fiery young singer with a world of pain in her voice. Yet the changing times and shifting musical landscape may just spell the end for Chess, once and for all.
Continue reading: Cadillac Records Review
Every superhero needs a supervillain, of course, and this film's answer to that maxim is Andy Dick. Apparently psychotic from birth, Dick plays Damian, the racist son of Santa who kills his more tolerant father and sets about turning the North Pole into a sweatshop, banishing the non-Aryan elves and concocting a diabolical plan to destroy Hanukkah. Not surprisingly, this causes the Jewish Justice League (who hold court in a massive, Star of David-shaped building) no small amount of consternation, and they start casting about for a Jewish hero to fight Damian. Quickly discarding suggestions of Steven Spielberg and Yitzhak Perlman, they reluctantly settle on the Hammer, whom they'd drummed out of the organization long before.
Continue reading: The Hebrew Hammer Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.