Monday, August 15, 2016

The Suicide Squad (2016)

wasn't bad, I rather enjoyed it thanks to the sturdy shield of low expectations. That having been said the end of the film is utterly incoherent (but thats par for the course in this film genre at this point, can anyone out there summarize Lex Luthor's plan in "Batman versus Superman"? Did HE even understand it??) and relies almost completely on Will Smith's still vital charisma and Margot Robbie's willingness to bounce off the walls to carry the day. But what th' hell, at least this one worked....like I said low expectations and I did manage to see it at the Drive In (and on a rainy night too I "parted the storm" in drive in parlance) that undoubtedly helped. Hell the best movie I've seen so far in this benighted summer has been "Don't Think Twice" which is still playing around town in various venues, its the story of the decline and fall of a NYC Improv Comedy Group but whole scenes were very evocative of our experience running the Channel Zero Repertory Film Series.... That and "Bad Moms" are probably the two best movies I've seen since May....its been a bad summer otherwise for movies but I begin to repeat myself.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

I'm calling it folks, this was a TERRIBLE movie, confusing, loud, incoherent, the villain was disposable with a moribund gimmick, in two hours of action there was maybe five minutes of authentic science fiction in what is supposed to be The Tentpole sci fi Franchise of All Time. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto both phoned it in & looked bored by it all as well, Karl Urban at least put some skin in the game but he can't carry a film this misbegotten, no one can quite frankly. The movie's one other saving grace was the sturdy notion held over from the original series that whatever old clunker of a starship Kirk is on, instantly becomes the bad-ass fightingest ship in the Starfleet. And I hate to say this cuz' he is a talent, but I think Simon Pegg should stick to writing comedies....this was not his best work by any means. Its been an awful summer for movies overall, "Ghostbusters" was funny enough (McCarthy & Wiig are a natural comedy team IMHO) but it fell afoul of weird gender resistance, frankly the best movie I've seen this summer was "Bad Moms" and that was a pretty predictable exercise. Well Hell, Hollywood went into a death spiral two full years ago it just hasn't shot down the drain yet, they can't even pander to our basest urges anymore with any success....bad karma indeed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why A Documentary About the Paranormal?

A better question might be, why NOT a documentary about the Paranormal, especially when it is locally produced, locally focused and has never had a proper Boston Premiere.... We here at Channel Zero have been looking for quite some time for a local "artisanal" film we could screen something that was NOT some overwrought drama shot in front of a Boston Skyline. "The Bridgewater Triangle" has got everything in that regard, ghosts, aliens, Satanic Rituals, Missing Persons even Bigfoot Sightings. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, you have to admire the filmmaker's embrace of what amounts to an "Alternate History" of the South Shore. Moreover after twenty one years of doing screenings all over Metropolitan Boston, Channel Zero is pretty much all about giving everyone "Their day in Court." And we'd also like to thank the producers Aaron Cadieux and Manny Falamore for agreeing to a Q&A session after the screening, they will also be manning a merchandise table as well. So please, bring your questions...ESPECIALLY if you have ever had an encounter with any of this phenomena. "The Bridgewater Triangle" (2013) screens.... Friday July 22nd @ 8pm (Sharp!) The Somerville Theatre (Micro Cinema) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma. 617 625 5700 Admission $8.50 (cheap!) “They Are Here! And They Are On The South Shore!”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Channel Zero Returns This Friday!!

With a Local Documentary Premiere: "The Bridgewater Triangle" (2013) On the South Shore of Massachusetts there is a vast alleged locus of paranormal phenomenon known as “The Bridgewater Triangle”! From Bigfoot Sightings to Encounters with Extraterrestrials,with a Haunted Swamp & Alleged Satanic Activity, the area around Rehoboth, Freetown & Abington seethes with Unexplained Uncanny Incidents! Local filmmakers Aaron Cadieux & Manny Falamore Present All The Evidence in this Unique Locally Produced Feature Length Documentary! Friday July 22nd @ 8pm (Sharp!) The Somerville Theatre (Micro Cinema) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma. 617 625 5700 Admission $8.50 (cheap!) (The Producers will have a merchandise table at the screening and will be available for Q&A afterwards) “They Are Here! And They Are On The South Shore!”

Sunday, July 17, 2016

N.N. R.I.P.

At the height of her tenure on "The Adventures of Superman", you could have dropped a cinderblock on her head, and Noelle "Lois Lane" Neill would not have so much as cocked an eyebrow. She played it all absolutely straight regardless of underwritten scripts, spotty SPFX or rushed production methods. The woman simply never broke character ever, today's actresses could learn a thing or two on how to commit to a performance no matter how daunting the challenge. She got that training coming up The Hard Way as a pin up model (real popular in WW2 nudge-nudge), a drudge in poverty row productions and still later a contract gig at Columbia where she ground on in Serials, and it was at Columbia where she fortuitously cast as the movies first Lois Lane in the two Kirk Alyn Superman serials. And that was her ticket to ride, for when Superman was passed off to George Reeves there was a need for a new Lois after the first season's actress Phyllis Coates moved on to better things, there stood Noelle, tanned rested and ready from the git go. But the show was a real generator of typecasting, Reeves likely died from it in 1959, Jack "Jimmy Olsen" Larsen wisely drifted into writing and producing...Noelle tried her hand at journalism before settling into a "Lois Emeritus" status. It suited her, the woman was uncommonly nice and pleasant in a grandmotherly way, perfectly adapted to the comic book convention circuit. I met her briefly down in New Jersey maybe fifteen years ago, she was hawking a self published book of memoirs (a canny way to monetize her autograph, a gimmick pioneered oddly enough by her former castmate Kirk Alyn in the 1970's) and exuded friendliness and charm in a venue given over to KISS Fans, Amateur Klingons and the occasional Juggalo. She will be missed, like Jack Larsen Noelle Neill was blessed with longevity to remind us all that whatever tabloid sensation clings to the memory of George Reeve he was in all things a nigh perfect castmate. Well what the hell, so was she in every way....Class Like That Will Always Be Missed.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Star Spangled Clamor....

I have Carly Carioli from yesterday's Globe to thank for reminding me that Igor Stravinsky once came within an ace of being fined in Boston for imposing an "illegal" arrangement on the National Anthem back in the 1940's. Apparently it is STILL a law on the books in the commonwealth criminalizing any bid to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" as part of medley, as dance music or with any undue embellishments. Stravinsky was gonna debut his own arrangement of the "Star Spangled Banner" in Boston during WW II, one he THOUGHT was easier to sing til' the local rollers leaned on him hard, Igor elected to conduct the traditional BSO version no doubt with some understandable ruffled feathers. Now as it happens I've heard the Stravinsky arrangement and it's perfectly fine a few high notes are rationalized and or dropped thats all....but poor Igor misunderstood one important and unique thing about the USA, we derive something unique and powerful from our inherently unsingable National Anthem. Other countries have national anthems far more bombastic and tuneful, veritable hymns to Power Glory and Eternal National Greatness, if you listen to any of them, you get a distinct "whistling past the graveyard vibe" if not outright National Reaction-Formation. "We Must Be Great, Our National Anthem Attests to It With A Mighty Booming Chorus!" in other words. Not the USA, we didn't even have one until 1931 and we picked the most discordant unsingable musical mishaugas on the list....yay for us, we don't need to act out in patriotic song. However, the current statute as described Citizen Carioli in yesteday's Globe is superfluous cultural overreach on the part of the Commonwealth's criminal code. It must be defied via civil disobedience...Therefore I intend to hold auditions in the near future for a band I like to call "The Bangtail Yap Orchestra" which will be planted on a traffic island in Davis Square Somerville to play a little ditty I call "The Star Spangled Shimmy", something I hope will be the Dance Craze of the Age! Happy Fourth of July....anyone out there who is virtuoso with a tin bucket and big ass spoon, drop me a little note....

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Ali Is Dead...The Heaven's Do Shake.

If Friedrich Nietzsche designed a Boxer, he'd be Muhammad Ali. If the American Dream with All It's Light and Dark Facets has a Better Exemplar, then I don't know them.... From Louisville to Global Fame...no small trick. And he did it boxing...a mobbed up sport on it's best day...especially when he was up and coming. Just don't read any of his interviews back in his "Nation of Islam" days....very bigoted childish stuff, suffice to say Ali grew quite a bit when he and Elijah Muhammad's Son Wallace made the break to a Sunni Muslim Faith and the old man went for the Terminal Dirt Nap. But what the hell Muhammad Ali was a Natural Showman to Put P.T. Barnum (who invented Showmanship) to absolute shame....a talent for improv, a pronounced taste for doggerel and speed & stopping power in the ring. The Selective Service Never Had a Chance. For My Money a Great & Terrible Series of Lessons in the Glory and Barbaric Brutality of Boxing can be absorbed just by watching all the Ali-Joe Frazier Fights and then the "Rumble in the Jungle" between George Foreman and The Champ. At the very least you can see the apex of Ali's sheer Will to Power and the Origins of His Parkinson's Disease. But I give him credit, Ali never ducked a fight, no "Bum of the Month Club" for him....even if he kept at it long after common sense dictated a quiet bail out. But he was the very embodiment of the American Dream....three wives, a super lawsuit to end all lawsuits, a Fight with Superman, a partnership with Howard Cosell,a cataract of opinions, and fight after fight....what is more American Than That??