This is the third Clooney-directed film I’ve seen, and I’ve noticed it’s a common issue. Where’s Jack Nicholson screaming, “you can’t handle the truth!” Where’s the fist fight? Where’s the heavy-hitting music to create suspense? When actors turn to directing, they leave behind these essential elements in favor of an understated approach (remember Robert De Niro’s ‘The Good Shepherd,’ for example?). I think they feel above it. I think they resent having spent so much time executing cheesy dialogue while running from a burning vehicle that they feel they can accomplish the same task without it. But like it or not — those things are often necessary to make a movie enjoyable. Otherwise, it’s as if I’m watching a documentary.
The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney), the Pennsylvania Governor who is trying to win the Democratic Primary to later run for President. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Paul Zara, his Senior Campaign Manager. The campaign can be cutthroat at times, and by the end of it, it really doesn’t matter what anyone’s political belief is as long as Morris wins. The plot is relatively expected, with the exception of an interesting twist in act three. Unfortunately, by the time act three hit I had already mentally checked out of the film.
OVERALL RATING: 3/5 DISHES
Hearing a song’s acoustic version is a great way to test its quality. Can the band survive without auto-tune and all the other bells and whistles that go along with producing a record (and yes — “bells and whistles” is a technical music term)? In the case of ‘Foster the People’, I actually prefer the acoustic version of their music. They appeared on NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk Concert’ series, and sounded incredible. The band formed in 2009 and it has three members, including, Mark Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar, programming, percussion), Mark Pontius (drums and extra percussion), and Cubbie Fink (bass and backing vocals) Watch below.
This was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. I discovered ‘The Head and the Heart‘ from my Pandora ‘Mumford and Sons’ station, and I’ve since played their album on repeat. So when I heard they’d be at The Music Box, I immediately got tickets. The band formed in Seattle, Washington just two years ago, and there are six members, including: Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), and Tyler Williams (drums).
It’s always a gamble when you hear a band play live, because they sometimes don’t sound as good as their record. But ‘The Head and the Heart’ sounded better than their record. It’s magical to see a band before they become monstrously successful. These guys are still hungry, and their energy reflected that. Listen to ‘Cats and Dogs’ below.
“Sal used to play football. He’s got discipline. He shut it down. We went to Grenada before we got married, and I was horny as a loon and I’m chasing him around the hotel room saying, ‘We can make a mistake!’ And he was like, ‘Jesus is in Grenada too!’ Many, many times I was like, ‘Why did I say this?'” Sherri Shepherd on her difficult decision to stay celibate prior to her marriage.