• 2015

Year: 2015

Shakespeare’s Henry IV – Conflict between Father and Son

  Guest blogger: Patricia Robertson Shakespeare has a keen understanding of the human psyche, including family dynamics. This is apparent in the 2015 Michigan Shakespeare Festival (July 11-August 16) production of Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, masterfully combined and abridged into one bringing out the best and highlighting the conflict between King Henry and his son, Hal, Prince of Wales.  This familiar family saga ends with Prince Hal requesting that his father’s advisors’ treat any sons he has as they treated him, a touching tribute to his father. Thus the wound between father and son is...

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“Trainwreck”—A Comic Collision

  “Trainwreck” is the best and funniest rom-com since “Bridesmaids”, another hilarious feminist film by Judd Apatow, known also for bro-coms like “40-Year Old Virgin”.  And like previous Apatow productions “Bridesmaids” (see my June 20, 2011 review) and “Girls” , “Trainwreck” is both funny and a little sad. The scenes that are the most memorable and vivid, however, are comic fireworks. Written and starring Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck’s” humor is raunchy, pushes the boundaries of conventional one-liners, and is as sexually explicit as Schumer’s Comedy Central TV series. Amy Townsend (Schumer)...

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“Muscle Shoals”–Music Muscle from the Deep South

 [This movie review can be also seen at Josephsreviews.com where I was a guest blogger on July 17,2015) A 2013 documentary about an Alabama musical legacy, “Muscle Shoals“,  brings to light a group of musicians who never had their day in the sun. Two iconic recording studios in the tiny town of Muscle Shoals Alabama—FAME (est. 1959) and its spinoff Muscle Shoals Sound (1960) —became the “must have” sound for, among others, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Etta James, and many other Rock-and-Roll legendary...

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“Love and Mercy”– Mostly “Good Vibrations”

  If you remember the 1960’s classic album “Pet Sounds” by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, there is a good chance you will enjoy the movie “Love and Mercy”. In an unusual music biopic of Brian Wilson, “Love and Mercy” structures his life through two highly acclaimed actors, Paul Dano and John Cusack, playing Brian the younger and middle-aged Brian respectively. In a highly innovative flashback structure in which Paul Dano plays twenty-something Brian Wilson and John Cusack plays his fifty-something 1980’s version, we see the backstory of a creative musical genius whose abusive childhood...

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Orange is the New Black (OITNB) –Keeps on Going Strong

    Feminism, sexual perversion, peccadilloes, assault, and experimentation run strong in Season Three (2015). [See my reviews, “Orange is the New Black—Life Behind Bars”, August 7, 2013 and “The Backstory Behind Orange is the New Black”, August 15, 2013.] Nothing like this has been portrayed on television, without a suggestive body shot, excruciating violence, or even the victim’s voice. OITNB scenes of how women can become more compassionate through sex with each other are so powerful, indeed so extraordinary and original, that the sexual scene is secondary to the emotional intimacy....

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Son of a Gun—On Target

  A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of going to Son of a Gun, a newish West Hollywood restaurant. Small, intimate—when we first drove by, we had to circle the block twice to find it—the food is original and delicious. We started off with the hamachi with vinaigrette apple and radish sprouts. Hamachi with Apples, Sprouts and Vinaigrette Sashimi-grade yellow-fin tuna with tart apples and a light splash of rice-vinegar dressing and a sprinkling of green spouts. This precious appetizer deserves a shout-out. Next, we had the steelhead roe which was good, but not memorable, the uni with burrata...

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