Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mesmerizing Music--"This is for the White in Your Eyes" Plus "Mad Men"!

This is for the White in Your Eyes by Choir of Young Believers
Mesmerizing Music that sent me on internet search to find it after watching "The Bridge"
If you have watched The Bridge, the Swedish-Danish co-produced television series, then chances are that you have been mesmerized by the musical theme. I had to find and obtain that music and this is it. The specific piece that opens the series is Hollow Talk. The rest of the album is mesmerizing as well. Although this is classed as indie rock, it is indie rock resembling Radiohead, not the Rolling Stones. The lead singer is quite comparable to Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Since this is not hard driving rock music, it is also very nice to put it on for driving or listening to while you are doing other things. This music has nothing to do with the American version of this TV series also called The Bridge.

TV Mad Men
Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, was one of the writers on the Sopranos. He hovers over every detail of Mad Men, getting it absolutely right, just as creator David Chase did for the Sopranos. The first choice he made was absolutely insisting that Jon Hamm had to play the lead. Everyone thought Weiner was crazy insisting on an unknown. Result? Jon Hamm is now a major tv star. Next bit of historical marvel was that HBO turned this show down so that Weiner took it to an upstart cable channel, AMC, and ended up putting AMC on the map. 

Don Draper is the fulcrum for the show; everything pivots around him. However, it is a very rich band of characters indeed who do that pivoting.  Everyone comes into his or her own in the rich world of New York City advertising in the 1960s, whether for good or ill. Draper goes through crisis after crisis primarily centered around what little identity he has created as his own. Most of that identity comes down to his job, which is finding a way to brilliantly project falsity, which is a metaphor for his entire life.

The advertising world back then wholly existed on Madison Avenue in New York City which is one way of reading the title, Mad Men. However, the madness goes well beyond the street address in these wonderful series. The last season begins in April 2014.  Every season can be watched on Amazon Instant Video, including the one starting in April, and past seasons can be watched on Netflix.

This season can be instantly streamed at Amazon Instant Video or iTunes. The earlier seasons, also excellent, are available on Netflix as well as iTunes and Amazon.  I am a top reviewer at Amazon. You can see my reviews here.

Film: Wolf of Wall Street
I saw this film during awards season and I saw why it was such a contender on that circuit. This is a very black and darkly satiric look at the horrible people who made tons of money illegally because of their practices on Wall Street. It is similar to the director's, Martin Scorsese's, scathing look at mob guys in Goodfellas. Both films were biographies of very bad guys, Goodfellas of mob guy Henry Hill who went into witness protection and Wolf of Wall Street of Jordan Belford whose crimes were all financial instead of murder. Ray Liotta was the lead in Goodfellas and Leonardo DiCaprio is the lead in WOLF. It helps to know that the director was a victim of one of these wall street sharks so that has presumably influenced his artistic choices in making this film.

Unlike Goodfellas, on the awards circuit Wolf of Wall Street is being primarily seen as a comedy and especially DiCaprio's performance. He won the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy and was nominated for the Oscar. 

Although initially very tough to watch (because I hated every single person), the movie gradually worked its magic on me and by the midpoint I was indeed laughing. I would have never taken a bet that this movie could make me laugh had I not made it to the mid point. But DiCaprio positively revels in this role and is willing to do whatever is necessary to develop the role to its fullest extent. There is one scene where he is so high on quaaludes that he has to crawl to his car from his country club's lobby. That crawl to the car is just genius. Also, his attempt to get to a Swiss bank using his own yacht on the high seas during a major storm becomes utter bedlam.

Basically, what it gets down to, is whether you are a Martin Scorsese fan or not. If you have loved all of his films, as I have, then strap yourself into your seat, and get ready for some leading edge cinema, as per usual.

This film can be instantly streamed at Amazon Instant Video, iTunes. I am a top reviewer at Amazon. You can see my reviews here.

Novel: Missing You by Harlan Coben
Ingenious internet dating crime plot from the crime king!
Author Harlan Coben comes up with the most ingenious plots among crime and thriller writers. By the time you figure out everything, you are only pages from the end. NYPD detective Kat Donovan had two horrible things happen to her 18 years ago. Her policeman father was murdered and her fiance Jeff, the love of her life, walked out on her. Both events rear their ugly heads again when she finds Jeff listed on an internet dating site and her father's killer about to die of pancreatic cancer in prison. Into this maelstrom walks a college student, a computer whiz, who claims his mother has vanished because of that same internet dating site. With that, we are off and you will only come up for air when you are done.

This book can be instantly downloaded as an ebook at Amazon, iTunes and the Overdrive Public Library app. The audiobook can be instantly downloaded at Audible and iTunes.  I am a top reviewer at Amazon. You can see my reviews here.

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