Raw 8/10

So gross! And yet it sounds beautiful, looks beautiful…. This French (subtitled) film is set at a veterinary school (stay away animal lovers – unless you also love horror). A young woman student eats raw meat for the first time and — how can I put this delicately — she can’t stop. Simple, elegant, creepy….

The Mephisto Waltz (1971) – 7/10

Superb idea + superb score. A dying pianist uses black magic to swap bodies with a young Juliard dropout. The pianist is played by Curd J├╝rgens (Stromberg from “The Spy Who Loved Me”), Alan Alda — who plays the dropout (pre- and post-  body-swap) and the incredible JAQUELINE BISSET is the dropout’s wife.  The setting…

Happy Birthday, Elfman!

Happy Memorial Day to everyone, and Happy birthday to Danny Elfman, a composer whose work I’ve enjoyed ever since Oingo Boingo recorded “Ain’t This The Life.”  I worked on the cue sheets on the TV show “Sledgehammer” and had the privilege of listening to his amazing main theme over, and over, and over…. Everyone knows…

RIP Chris Cornell

Important musical artists have been dying with disturbing frequency in the last couple of years, haven’t they? I woke up this morning to the news and at first I thought I had dreamed it. It was unlikely that he would die so young. Loved his performances in Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Audioslave, and his…

Billions – 10/10!

That’s right, I’m putting this @Showtime series — that just finished it’s second season — right up there with the best things I’ve ever seen on TV or a movie screen. The medium of TV is on top of the world now that experiments like “Wiseguy” and “The Sopranos” showed others how to create the…

Barolo (Seattle Restaurant) – 8/10

Seattle residents/visitors – this recent Italian discovery of mine is highly recommended. Reservations: Allow at least three to four days if you’re reserving a table for the weekend. Food: Delicious. Not a lot of fish or chicken entrees. Good house chianti. Cost: Medium. Atmosphere: Medium noise, but definitely upscale/romantic. Good views of Seattle downtown from…

“The Devil’s Candy” 8/10

Now that’s more like it. An interesting amalgam of horror and metal music enhanced by good music supervision and sound design. This is not a horror-comedy. There are some pleasant moments in the first act, then it gathers speed as it rolls into pure horror country. Good performances from Pruitt Taylor Vince (“The X-Files”), Ethan…

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – 9/10

I just read that this sixty-minute Amazon pilot has made it to series, and rightly so.  Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein use their prodigious acting talents to give a heart to this period-piece about a superstar housewife with everything who trades it all in to embrace her other true gift: standup comedy. It’s set in…

“The Love Witch” 8/10

Streaming now on Amazon Prime, this flabbergasting homage of technicolor witchcraft exploitation movies of the 60s and 70s is true to its source, yet thoroughly self-aware. The color pallette is insanely bright, and reminds the viewer in every frame this is not the real world, despite the occasional reveals of a modern car or cel phone….

RIP Michael Ballhaus

Director of Photography and Cinematographer for Scorsese’s films and many others, including the charming, kenetic “After Hours” (1985).

The Void Premiere 

#HeavyMetalFriday – I grew up with the works of Barker, Lovecraft and Carpenter. I understand directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski have achieved something that belongs in that universe with their film THE VOID that opens today! If it’s not playing in your neighborhood, it’s streaming on Amazon for six bucks. I’ll be checking it…