CLASSICAL MUSIC TODAY
MILT OKUN/Along the Cherry Lane: If you weren't a fan of folk music during it's initial boom in the early 60s, this then-I-wrote memoir might not hold much water for you. On the other hand, if you were always intrigued by the various credits on the various albums attributed to Okun, this story of the scenes behind the scenes will be a wonderful trip down memory (if not Cherry) lane. A prime mover in the world of 60s folk and beyond, Okun was in the birthing room for everything from Peter, Paul and Mary to John Denver, which were the golden years of his publishing company, and he stayed quite vital years beyond the initial bloom being off the initial rose. Assembled in bathroom book style, you can jump around the chapters without really missing anything that can't be filled in later and enjoy the episodes you want in the order you want. Not really a find for anyone that's looking for a dish full of dirt, the tone and content are generally as upbeat as the wonderful professional life Okun led for many years. This behind the music look at things makes you think VH1 should change the name of their dirt sniffing show to "Under the Music". A brightly colored, fun read that looks back at a simpler time.
WARNER HOME VIDEO
SUCKER PUNCH: If you don't buy the combo pack, they want you to buy the blu ray if you want to see the extended cut as the standard DVD ain't got it. "Caged Heat" for today's young ladies, this high action sfx pic follows young women trapped in a hell hole prison and just what they're going to do about it, even if escaping into fantasy is the only way out. Girl action heroes on the march, the blu ray makes the most of the sfx turning this into an eye popping, knuckle grinding actioner. So, suspend disbelief, pop some popcorn and makes sure the kids you're babysitting have been put to bed before the action begins. A really wild ride.
RED RIDING HOOD: The wolf..grandma...the picnic basket, forget it. Here we find Amanda Seyfried looking to dirty up her image ala Anna Hathaway as she takes the lead in this werewolf twisted tale of LRRH for the vampire/zombie age. This ain't nothing like what the ol' Grimm Brothers set out to do when they first decided to scare children with their fairy tales. With the werewolf taking Dracula's place in the romance, she's drawn and repelled to what might be her fate. Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers move over, there's a new scary guy in town. The extended cut is only in the blu ray.
UNKNOWN: The one flaw in this pic is a flaw common to all switcheroo movies----there's a lot of exposition. That's why they struggle at the box office, it takes a lot of time to lull you into a daze and set you up for the sucker punch. Once the switcheroos start in this pic, they keep coming right up until the happy ending. If you enjoy a good switcheroo pic, you will enjoy this, particularly the last half hour. You'll also appreciate Liam Neeson underplaying what would have been Mel Gibson chewing the scenery ‘give me back my son' style as he tries to reclaim his stolen life.
DEEP PURPLE at Ravinia: When you think about all the bands from 45 years ago that are still sort of together today, almost all of them are playing crummy 40 seat clubs or casinos because they need the money. Not Purp, 45 years later, they are still holding fourth with their original orchestral rock concept and hushing you up while there's smoke on the water. Ravinia's near sell out for Deep Purple was pretty much the 38th high school reunion of the head bangers class of 1973, and they were out in packs. Without Blackmore, without all the dead lead singers and without all the transient chairs that were filled by someone or another over the years, with the help of the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the cats from the second original line up that are still on board rocked out in a way that should make AARP reconsider their recent decision to roll over and accept Medicare cuts. All the guvnas that were here knew this would be their cuppa tea and a good time was had by all.
Volume 34/Number 229
June 19, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
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