In 1973, New York nightclub CBGB opened as a venue for Country, BlueGrass and Blues acts led by music entrepreneur Hilly Kristal. However, it soon became clear that that wasn't the way the music scene was going in the city and he soon began to book new rock and punk bands - excluding all cover and tribute bands - to play regular shows there which helped raise the profile of several musical pioneers including Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones and the Patti Smith Group. It wasn't the easiest ride for Kristal, however, who suffered many money troubles due to his vision and ambition for the bands that he showcased, as well as much scrutiny over the general poor health and safety of the venue. Nonetheless (and despite its closure in 2006), it will always been known as the kick off point for so many 70s and 80s bands.
Randall Miller ('Nobel Son', 'Bottle Shock', 'Houseguest') directs this music drama alongside his frequent writing partner Jody Savin as it follows the highs and lows of Hilly Kristal's life and ambition to give innovative local bands a chance at success. The movie will premiere at the CBGB Festival over its October 10th-13th weekend; not far off the anniversary of its 2006 official closure.
The Coen Brothers flopped with last year's comedically clumsy and questionably hammy "Intolerable Cruelty," and now that they have repeated and amplified the same arched-performance mistakes in "The Ladykillers," I am beginning to understand what it is about Joel and Ethan's movies that their detractors dislike so much.
The characters in the Coens' recent comedies have frequently been oblivious to the world beyond their whimsical capers, and in these last two pictures even the protagonists have become objects for audience ridicule, making them poor surrogates for getting us involved in their stories.
Tom Hanks takes that bullet in this loose remake of a 1955 British laffer about a band of crooks inadvertently foiled by the little old landlady who rents them a room. All toothy, affected mannerisms and blabbering balderdash as the endlessly loquacious supposed mastermind of the criminal enterprise, his character is nothing but caricature -- an over-educated, old-fashioned, pocket-watch-and-hankie type Southern gentleman who goes by the tongue-tying moniker of Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D.
Continue reading: The Ladykillers Review
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