Hotline to the Underground With Joe Viglione

By Joe Viglione

9:55 pm Saturday, October 19, 2019, Blue Manic performed at Club Bohemia. Playing harder, faster and more determined than ever. Blue Manic has become one of New England’s best metal bands, though that was not the original path, their blues-based rock evolving into something very heavy, and very, very good.

The refined two guitar attack from Mike Tate and Max Grebe (both on guitars and vocals,) with the driving rhythm section of bassist Jared Greiff and Corey Downs on drums. Both mesmerizing and riveting in song, Mike Tate is emerging as one of the best guitarists on the New England music scene, and this creative team as a whole matches him note for note.

Check them out on https://tinyurl.com/bluemanicbohemiaoctober Tiny Url dot com / blue manic bohemia october

THE EGGSHELL COWBOY

Which takes us to the Bruce Springsteen movie I viewed at the AMC in Boston at 7 pm the same evening. It’s been seven years since The Boss came out with the Wrecking Ball CD in 2012 and the elephant in the room: who cares?

While the Rolling Stones are still out there dividing and conquering, Jethro Tull issuing psychedelia with their unique and compelling biography-on-stage, Springsteen puts together a top notch band, superb audio and video and gives his audience loads of self-indulgence.

The It sounded like one long formula song repeated. The fifty minutes and fifty seconds the 13 songs take up would have been better spent had Bruce covered the aforementioned Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” or “Wild Horses.”

Instead, his “Chasin’ Wild Horses,” “Moonlight Motel” (a mixture of Mick Jagger/Keith Richards “Memory Motel” meets “Moonlight Mile”) and “Stones” make one think – was Bruce really inspired by Burt Bacharach and Glen Campbell? His fan base gobbled this up, but it is uninspiring, the definition of ennui, and a documentary on Neil Young’s Harvest would have served all involved better.

Best moment of the movie was the band performing “Rhinestone Cowboy,” the Glen Campbell hit from 1975. In 44 years one would think Bruce could add something to that old nugget. But he can’t.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – This film critic almost walked out of Spiderman: Far from Home and Maleficent for the same reason, the first 30 minutes of each film drawn out and cumbersome for adults, though I’m sure the kids enjoyed it. Quite sure by the audience applause meter.

But once those booster rockets dropped off, both films turned out to be highly entertaining. Spiderman with a terrific Jake Gyllenhaal villain, Maleficent a quasi-vampire thriller, creatures with wings stalking the night (and day.) A big disappointment was AD ASTRA. Who needs Brad Pitt finding his inner Sandra Bullock from Gravity or stalking Matt Damon’s The Martian on the very same planet?

This was 2001 meets mediocrity and what a waste when two exiles from Space Cowboys, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones, are used so sparingly…so you can stare at Brad Pitt. That’s not acting, that’s non-acting. Sutherland and Lee Jones should file elder abuse complaints.

Todd Phillips’ Joker is raking in the cash, but outside of a brilliant soundtrack to the movie, I did not find Joaquin Phoenix going where he should have gone: to the world embraced by Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger. The tragedy of the Batman film series is that the Adam West / Frank Gorshin / Burgess Meredith crew didn’t get called for Tim Burton’s Batman, where The Joker played Jack Nicholson playing The Joker.

Nicholson’s imprint was front and center – great acting job, but it was straight out of The Shining. Ledger’s perspective is one of the greatest acting jobs of any genre, while Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto was a joke. On the audience. Joker is unnerving. Some love it, some hate it. Somewhere Heath Ledger is laughing from the beyond.

The Angry Birds Movie 2? Now that sixty-five million to make this animated monstrosity? Someone couldn’t have made a better film with that money? Of course they could.

GEMINI MAN with Will Smith – now this is two fun films in a row for Smith. Aladdin was simply amazing, a modern day Wizard of Oz while Gemini Man IS Will Smith’s very own Treadstone. Right down to the motorbike scene straight out of Jeremy Renner’s 2012 epic The Bourne Legacy. Gemini Man is hardly original, but it isn’t supposed to be. Elements drawn from so much sci-fi at such a fast pace you don’t even worry about it. Just a roller coaster ride that is lots of fun.

More music, movies and interviews soon!

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