Saturday, September 24, 2016
Vanishing Point is a near perfect drive-in movie: It has a slight plot, a lot of driving/chase scenes, and some gratuitous nudity. What more could you ask for?
The movie includes a performance by Bonnie & Delaney & Friends (Merry Clayton, Rita Coolidge, David Gates, and Ted Neeley). They appear as gospel group J. Hovah and sing one song "You Got To Believe".
Although Vanishing Point is suppose to be a commentary on post Woodstock America, it plays best, for me, as a simple "car chase film", ranking with the best of the best: "Gone in 60 Seconds"(1974 version), "Bullitt", "Eat My Dust", and "Junkman".
Saturday, February 20, 2016
The term for a certain type of music called Northern Soul is hard for me to grasp. In an effort to understand it better, I watched this BBC documentary. After viewing this special, I came away with the following definition of Northern Soul: Motown Sound, but not on the Motown Label , plus obscure Soul Music on obscure labels.
Just like Carolina Beach Music songs, which often cross paths with Northern Soul songs, this allows for a wide variety of music. Carolina Beach Music however, has to have a certain rhythm for the Shag Dancers. I could not distinguish any certain beat in Northern Soul. And while the male partner in Shag dancing has the most ornate footwork, the Northern Soul dancer (male or female) many times doesn't even require a partner.
Living For The Weekend draws a direct line from The Mods of London to Northern Soul to Disco to House Music and ends up with Pharrel Williams and his song "Happy" fitting into the mold of Northern Soul. Do I know exactly what Northern Soul is after watching this documentary....no I don't and I don't think I ever will, but I do have a slight understanding of the phenomena that I didn't have before.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
If you only have time to see one mid 60s movie built around an English band who aren't The Beatles, please don't let it be Seaside Swingers. Pick Ferry Across The Mersey with Gerry and The Pacemakers or Having A Wild Weekend with Dave Clark Five or even The Ghost Goes Gear with The Spencer Davis Group, but unless you're really want to be bored to tears, don't let it be Seaside Swingers.
The main reason Seaside Swingers is so bad, compared to those other films, is that it isn't built around Freddie and The Dreamers, even though the movie poster would lead you to believe otherwise. Instead, it's light romantic musical comedy, which includes several dance numbers in the style of Oklahoma or Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Freddie and The Dreamers are only featured in minor roles as goofy cooks. Since Freddie & the Dreamers were a minor British Invasion band, I guess in a way that's appropriate. In Seaside Swingers, they perform one absolutely terrible song and then during a talent show, they sing another song, which is just barely listenable. I still think Freddie & The Dreamers could have carried a move (and certainly a better one than this), IF they had a script written around them.