A recent Movie Quote of the Day and a revisit of Episode 9 of Ken Burns’ Jazz miniseries has inspired this week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude taken from the soundtrack to Lewis Gilbert’s Alfie composed and performed by tenor sax titan Sonny Rollins. This bit is from the end credits.

That’s literally all from me this week. I saw Django Unchained last night, but I’m going to hold my ammo in the hope I’ll get off my ass and write an actually review of it. Maybe if I get on a roll I’ll even review the upcoming Zero Dark Forty, Amour and maybe even Les Miserables. Stranger things have happened. In the mean time, if you’ve seen anything worth talking about in the last week, lay it on me.


11 Responses to “Sonny Rollins and the Alfiecooler”

  1. I saw Silver Linings Playbook yesterday, which I enjoyed. Good performances all around, lots of funny moments. It was nice to see Robert DeNiro in a movie I liked again.

  2. Love that jazzy interlude!!!!

    The darkest Christmas season ever in the nation’s consciousness has come to pass, and the words “unspeakable,” “unconscionable” and “inconsolable” immediately come to mind, if indeed anyone can ever come to terms with anything connected to this unbearable sadness. My site colleague Maurizio Roca in a telling e mail said with haunting simplicity: Better left this tragedy unspoken of. The lovely Laurie Buchanan in Crystal Lake, Illinois, send me a deeply-moving e mail, that looks at this terrible act as one ‘close to home.’ Teachers remain shell-shocked, and life over the last four days has been understandably compromised, as many almost feel guilty to do anything, much less entertain themselves. There is beauty and heartbreak in this life, and what happen in a Constitution State elementary school this past week is really something that can never be forgotten even as life must go on. For those who would prefer not to even mention this horrifying episode, I more than understand. I didn’t want to say a word here, but anything that comes after it is virtually meaningless. This may be true of any tragic ocurrence, but there can nothing quite as devastating as the grief that so many must endure for the remainder of their lives.

    Yes life goes on. And one must find a way to lessen their pain and sadness by attempting to focus on matters that will at least offer a temporary reprieve. I

    Lucille and I saw only two films in theaters this week, as we were busy with concerts and birthdays. Young Sammy played trumpet as part of the Cliffside Park High School Christmas concert on Wednesday night and the whole family was on hand to witness this fabulous holiday concert and choral show in the school auditorium. On Thursday we drove over to Manhattan to meet up with our old friend retired teacher Rene Kessler, who was celebrating her 65th birthday in front of a small gathering at Sardi’s Restaurant in Manhattan. During the visit we strolled over to 49th Street to take a look at the huge Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, competing with wall-to-wall people in the beautiful ornamented Radio City Music Hall area.
    Lucille, Sammy and I saw (with the full brood for Middle-Earth and Broadway Bob and his mom for HYDE PARK):

    Hyde Park on the Hudson * 1/2 (Saturday night)

    The Hobbit *** 1/2 (Sunday morning)

    While there is no denying that the first of three HOBBIT installments from Peter Jackson treads much of the same ground as the LOTR films, and the narrative possibilities are becoming exhausted, there is some magic left, aided by an extension of hi-def and an emotionally rousing climax with the birds that achieves some soaring lyricism, with the assistance of some awe-inspiring music from LOTR veteran Howard Shore. It does boggle the mind that there will be three films based on the novel -and there is a fair amount of tedium to accompany some of the fantastic sequences, but the new Bilbo, Martin Freeman is quite effective, especially in the extended cave segment with Golem, and Elijah Wood is there for a brief but welcome cameo. I know that there are some who can’t wait to write the obituary to this series, but it won’t happen this time. For the record, the best film of the LOTR trilogy is THE RETURN OF THE KING, even though all the awards will always have others rallying to FELLOWSHIP and TWO TOWERS.

    God, you’d think President Franklin D. Roosevelt deserved a better film than what he got with HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON, no? Well all he got here was a caricatured performance by Bill Murray, some unfocused film making and some lame narrative choices that mostly provided low-brow humor and poor pacing. We did get to see that practically everyone during that era, even in the royalty was a chain smoker, and Roosevelt himself was an annoying and pushy bore. I did get a good laugh though at the hot dog scene near the end with King George VI.

  3. Thanks for the great musical interlude, Craig – with your blessing I think I’ll post it on FB. Alfie still holds a warm spot in my heart.

    Regarding the Connecticut tragedy, I don’t have much to add to what’s already being said. As usual, TV coverage is ubiquitous, which I don’t appreciate in light of everything else going on in the world that merits our attention. But I am sensitive to the needs of others who process their grief in different ways.

    Sam, your assessment to the FDR film doesn’t surprise me. It looks like a real stinker — even worse than HItchcock. :)

    Alison – I suspect you enjoyed SLP more than I did. Mind you, there were things I liked about it, but I’m not much of a David O. Russell fan, so the material to begin with limits what the actors, for example, can do with it.

    I finally got to see Life of Pi, which I enjoyed quite a lot. However, it was much more a visceral experience (i.e., darker) than I expected. I love how the beginning gently drifts into our consciousness, and I also quite like the performance of Irfan Khan and wish that he’d receive more attention for his work here.

  4. Alison, De Niro was a highlight of SLP for me, a movie I liked, but have found myself resisting now that it’s in the Oscar conversation. My biggest beef with it is that I felt Jennifer Lawrence’s character was badly underwritten and it could’ve been much better if she’d been more well developed. Basically I’m penalizing a good movie for not being great when maybe I should just accept that it was good and leave it at that.

    Sam, indeed. It seems kind of pointless to think and talk about movies right now, but at the same time it’s nice to have a break from reality.

    Too bad about Hyde Park. I haven’t seen it yet myself, but I always have high hopes for Murray and this one looked promising. I’m less interested in The Hobbit this time for some reason and I say that as a big fan of Lord of the Rings. Out of curiosity, did you see it in 48fps? If so, what did you think?

    By all means Pierre. Spread the good Alfie word!

    I’m a big fan of Life of Pi, a movie I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but it was a really lovely surprise.

  5. Yeah, Craig, I’m actually puzzled by the way the awards bodies have gone nuts over the film. It’s a perfectly enjoyable, well-done film and I was entertained, but I’m just not seeing what the people who are raving over it are seeing. I like Jennifer Lawrence and I think she did a good job with what she had to work with but agree with you on the role being underwritten. The character is more of a plot device.

  6. I saw THE HOBBIT in both 24 and 48 fps. Both have their pros, I think, but the 48 fps is stunning. It takes some getting used to, but it makes for some of the most spectacular 3D I’ve ever seen (and I’m no fan of 3D). I think both certainly have their place.

  7. I saw it in the non 3D presentation, which would then be 24. I didn’t get the feeling I was missing much in that regard. Seeing LIFE OF PI in 3D was essential, but not so much here.

  8. I want to see it in 48fps and Atmos just to see what the hubbub is about, for better or for worse. I don’t have so much invested in the film that if I don’t like how it looks it’s going to ruin my whole childhood.

    What I’m more troubled about from what I’ve heard about Hobbit is that it sticks much closer to the tone of the Lord of the Rings trilogy which is really different from the orignal Hobbit book. It sounds like I’m going to have to give up the idea that it’s The Hobbit so much as it’s a prequel to Lord of the Rings based on the events from The Hobbit.

  9. Alison, I keep find myself being critical of SLP because of the “awards buzz” and I really need to back off and just accept that I liked it and leave it at that.

  10. A week ago I saw Rise of the Guardians (3.75/5)and I really liked it despite people saying it’s like Avengers for little kids.

    My Top 5 of animated films: Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, Brave, Rise of the Guardians and Pirates! Band of Misfits (yet to see Wreck-It Ralph and some of the foreign animated stuff)

    But my work at the clinic consumes my time and life lately, so this weekend I finally had time to see only 3 films:

    Looper (4.25/5)
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (3/5)
    Bernie (3.75/5)

    Surprisingly enough, I didn’t see The Hobbit yet, but I’m gonna see it this Saturday with my dad. I could have seen it last Saturday, but I shelled out cash for Looper instead and it was worth it.

    Looper was so much fun to watch and damn, Willis and JGL were fantastic to watch. The little kid was stellar too.

    Perks had some good performances from its lead casts (especially Ezra Miller), but I wasn’t much into the film.

    Bernie was pretty interesting to watch. Glad to see Jack Black getting nominated for Bernie, I wouldn’t mind seeing him win at the Globes.

    Anyways, my Top 5 of 2012 stands like this and it’ll most likely change when I get to see the “bigger” films in a month or two:

    Argo, Looper, TDKR, Moonrise Kingdom and The Avengers.

  11. It’s similar in look and feel yes, but it’s quite a bit lighter than the LOTR films. It’s more of a jaunty adventure, without the same gravity as LOTR, which is as it should be, I think.

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