DATELINE February 2, 2015
ALIX TICHELMAN, CBS, MURDER, HEROIN, OUR YACHT HARBOR. The CBS 48 Hours show played on Jan. 24, 2015. It’s called “Kiss Of Death and The Google Exec.” We read part of the story in The Sentinel and Alix Tichelman is going to trial here on Wednesday, February 23. If you can view that program online watch it, by all means. Watch and listen how Santa Cruz Police spokesperson Steve Clark says and does everything he can to hang Alix for murdering Forrest Hayes Google executive. He actually says on the CBS show, “She’s a killer”. She’s not guilty, at least not yet and still Clark makes such accusing statements you really have to wonder about him, and his motivation for judging her. He’s of course the cop who labeled Leonie Sherman an anarchist in the last City Council election. We should wonder too why the Santa Cruz police (according to Clark) has kept video footage from Hayes boat secret. What does that video show? Why hasn’t it been shown to the court? Something is very fishy here, and needs more inverstigation than the Sentinel or our opinionated Police Force can give it. At least check out the photos from the story…
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE NEWS. On last week’s Universal Grapevine (1/27) Linda Bixby and Marilyn Citron O’Rourke broke the news (to me anyways) “that 55% of U.S. cities have a City Council/City Manager form of government, like Santa Cruz’s. Of those cities, 65% HAVE A DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYOR. This includes most of our neighbors in surrounding counties, including Monterey, Carmel, Seaside, and Salinas”. Voting for, and the direct election of, our Mayor would have a huge and positive change in how we relate to our governing representatives. As of now we never know for sure who our next mayor will be, or the one after that one. Council members like Cynthia Mathews and Mike Rotkin have manipulated those decisions for decades now. An actual campaign for mayor would bring out folks with responsibility and experience and help end our present, “Oh gee, I’m just mayor in name only” cop out. Maybe it’s time too to re-think District Elections. We need to face the facts that 6 of our 7 council members live on the Westside. Well, if not six, the vast majority of our last decades of councils are from the Westside.
|LES 7 DOIGHTS DE LA MAIN.
Our local ceramic sculptor Peggy Snyder’s daughter Gypsy heads this amazing group.
KPFA AND LIBERAL RADIO IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. Those of us who work (and play) at KZSC 88.1 fm become very attached to KPFA the Pacifica Foundation Station. We play their daily news hours twice every day. I’m attached to KPFA because I did some early student broadcasting there while I was a student at U.C.Berkeley. KPFA’s internal struggles have gone on for decades. Many court battles and many actual locked doors within the station. This is tragic in many ways but mostly because along with Amy Goodman, Pacifica gives us the only honest liberal reporting we’re getting. NPR sold out long ago to proWashington, D.C. progaganda. Read this link once or twice and think about where we stand on honesty and broadcasting.
|STEPHEN FRY …ALL ABOUT GOD
PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Monterey County and development of Fort Ord, and “industrializing about 3,000 acres of land in the southeastern corner of Monterey County, approximately seven miles southeast of Parkfield”. About Fort Ord he states, “The Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan requires the preparation of Regional Urban Design Guidelines for the redevelopment of the former Fort Ord, and these Guidelines are supposed to establish a framework for road design, setbacks, building height, landscaping, signage and other matters of visual importance. If you have any quibbles about the visual impact of the shopping center project that was built on Fort Ord lands right next to Highway One in Marina, you could well be interested in whether or not the proposed Guidelines will allow such developments in the future. He also warns that residents of San Lorenzo Water District need to be concerned about their future water source.
Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net
|YOU THINK SANTA CRUZ WAS HOT LAST WEEK? Watch this newsman deal with a disaster!!
CLASSICAL DeCINZO. What student housing problem??? See DeCinzo’s take on it…scroll lower down a few pages
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. The Koch Brothers divert more than we know…see Eagan’s point of view at the end of this column.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: ” Don’t miss the annual Hearts for the Arts auction, happening for two weeks only at Artisans Gallery, check it out this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, I share some thoughts on the Republic of Goodreads and ponder the often strange bedfellows of democracy and technology online.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
THAT IS THE QUESTION
(NEW ONES-IN ORDER OF PERFECTION)
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. Just watching Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain plus David Oyelowo act is reason enough to see this not very violent film. It’s set in 1981 New York City where mob control of the furnace oil delivery business is the entire plot. Oscar Isaac is the main Al Pacino– type nice guy fighting the evil truckers. Jessica Chastain doesn’t get a chance to do much but what she does is near-perfect. Go see this film IF you like well made films.
BLACK SEA. Jude Law gets a great chance to play atough, driven, courageous, mean submarine captain….and he does it perfectly, it’s a Jude Law we’ve seldom if ever, seen on screen. A bunch of non- communicating Russians and Brits are forced to work together to get $182 million dollars worth of gold bars out of a sunken German U-Boat. It’s incredibly tense, all underwater, and probably best described as a “mans” movie….and it’s really, really, good.
OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. A few years ago one of these Oscar Shorts had an interview with a filmaker who said how much deeper, better, easier, cheaper it is to make shorts than to attempt “greatness” or even getting your “statement out” in a full length film. This years live action shorts AND the animated shorts are all so much better in general than the years out- put of feature length films…it just isn’t funny. Butter Lamp from China (and set in Tibet) is worth the price of admission.
OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS.Try to sneak in and see “Duet” a gorgeous, colorful 4 minute love story. Unfortunately it didn’t make the final cut for Oscar nominations but it’s being shown anyway. Go see this grand grouping of shorts.
BLACK OR WHITE. Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer battle it out over the loosey-goosey Hollywood style color line plot. This film is supposed to be dealing with the ongoing racist life styles in the USA but it really doesn’t. It’s a superficial and actually a very stereotyped thin attempt to make a statement…save your money.
STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
FROM BEST TO REALLY BAD
BIRDMAN. Great cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think. I’m betting on this to take the best film Oscar!!!
THE IMITATION GAME.Excellent film, and if you care a lot about authenticity look the plot up on Wikipedia (much artistic license) but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a fine film. Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightly as his best friend are nearly perfect. It’s all about breaking the code that the Germans were using during WW2. Turing invents a machine, and in spite of his extra odd personality, the Germans are defeated. The sub theme of Turing’s then illegal homosexuality, and the deathly consequences he paid for it are strangly underplayed, but significent. See this fine film asap.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia.The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything, is a physicists’ jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.
SELMA. Given the state of racial affairs in the USA and the world today, this movie should be seen by every thinking human.It’s a powerful document of a shameful historic period in our history that should never be forgotten. There are many facts, lessons, and messages here that need repeating over and over again, no matter how well you think you remember or understand our Civil Rights issues. It gives us a real picture of Martin Luther King and David Oyelowo portrays him beautifully. Tom Wilkinson isn’t a great LBJ but he tries hard and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99, so there you are. Go see it.
MR. TURNER. Mike Leigh the director of this partial biography, doesn’t make simple films. Secrets & Lies, Life is Sweet, and High Hopes among others. Mr. Turner is famed ‘action” painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Timothy Spall plays Turner and is so kinky and erractic that you can’t stop watching him. But the story line is so pointless, jumpy, erractic and odd that you constantly keep wide awake just trying to piece it together for your own sake. It’s a curious film, not a great film, and you’ll wonder what point Mike Leigh was trying to make when he directed this beautifully photographed attempt.
INHERENT VICE. I can’t review this film fairly. I can’t “get into” Thomas Pynchon’s books and this film is an excellent adaptation of his 2009 Los Angeles themed novel. Like his books the film’s plot weaves and staggers leaps ahead and falls back. Here’s what a friend of mine who knows Pynchon as a friend said of the film…” Upon further reflection, I realize now that when I said the movie was schizophrenic, what I was feeling was that there was no coherent thematic feel (despite a cinematic unity/style) but that THAT is precisely the nature of Tom’s writing. His stock in trade is the mixture of high and low culture, profane/sacred, slapstick/goofiness with high art/glorious writing. This and his (consistent) paranoid/anti-authoritarian/pro-individual themes contributes to his status as a primary source of “postmodern” literature. We like our stories to be linear and with a consistent theme or tone, whether books or movies, despite our own experience that real life is a hodgepodge of conflicting occurrences and desires, successes and failures, punches out of left field, transcendent grace, whacky/strange/unpleasant thoughts, wistful memories of lost loves/opportunities, etc. creating a general posture of “Huh?” This befuddlement and all of society’s attempts to “explain” or provide coherency/context (religion, morality, philosophy, politics, etc.) at the expense of individual spontaneous expression and our general turning away from looking at the usually disastrous, and evil consequences and actions of these (corporate/fascist) control mechanisms is a central theme of Tom’s writing. That Yin/Yang “chaotic” nature is, I think, what I was feeling and it perfectly captures Tom’s writing style. So I think this movie is a resounding success not only in presenting the primary story line but in somehow capturing the quality of the writing in the film. It is not a film for everybody, nor are the books”. A complex review , a complex film, and a very complex writer.
CAKE. The big talk about this saga is Jennifer Anniston’s not wearing her usual amount of makeup, and it works. The script isn’t great, it’s slow, and has some odd-unrelated scenes but it still remains an interesting story of a woman dealing with some serious tragedies in her life. She uses pills like water and thinks about suicide quite a bit…it’s like I said, a very “interesting” film.
AMERICAN SNIPER. Director Clint Eastwood downplays the bar fighting, cruder aspects of this Navy Seal sniper who killed 160 humans and maybe another 95 not confiirmed. Brad Cooper got all big and tubby for the part, and does a great job as an actor. We see a bit of complexity and thoughtfulness from this killing machine, but untimately its’ another Eastwood product. Only go if you like killing, war, and surprise endings, or if you want to see Brad Cooper acting like it’s really a baby and not a doll he holds in one scene!!!
UNBROKEN.More than a few critics have remarked about director Angelina Jolie’s focus on male torture in this near-true saga. It’s a Hollywood product, all heroism, suffering, payoff at the end, and unless you need to feel bad, think twice before you see this one.
INTO THE WOODS. By now we all know the cast, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick.We know too that Stephen Sondheim wrote the music, and yet it misses. It’s a clever mixing of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, and still it doesn’t hang together. The plot is crazy and lacks cleverness, the singing is what you’d expect fom that lineup of non-singing stars, and you’ll just sit there and watch the screen and leave unimpressed.
WILD. Any Santa Cruzan will be totally sucked in when Reese Witherspoon starts hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and starts reading a copy of one of Adrienne Rich’s books. Somebody mentions Adrienne later in the film too. Cheryl Strayed did hike the PCT and wrote the book.Thomas Sadoski from HBO’s The Newsroom is in it too. Good acting, a few award nominations are already happening and it’s a very good feel-good movie. Not a great movie but a good feel good thing….especially for women. And it wasn’t filmed in California!!!
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. This is supposed to end the Hobbit trilogies, but considering the huge opening weekend they’ll probably squeeze another dwarf flick and go for four. Yes, Martin Freeman is still in it as Bilbo Baggins, the titular lead of the little people. So is Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and good old Ian Holm for two minutes at the end. Like Exodus it’s all done with pixels, and it’s impossible to tell one army fromanother. It’s very bloody and violent as all these billion dollar money makers are. So if you want to support more of these torture scenes , just go.
BLACKHAT. Australian Chris Hemsworth noted mostly for playing Thor brings the same stupidity to this worst movie of 2015. He tries to play someone who can read and write and use a computer. Even if you can believe that…you still shouldn’t see this movie. It’s about hacking, nuclear power plants and lots of bloody chase scenes. It’s a terrible film, and I left before it ended.
MORTDECAI. To watch a cast such as Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Bettany and Olivia Munn camp and ham their roles in this sad excuse for a comedy is not just embarrassing, it’s a waste of your money. There’s not a clever or intelligent moment in it. Actually it’s closer to a Jeff Apatow/Seth Rogen/Adam Sandler type gross out than any British comedy they might have been trying to copy. Don’t go, by any means.
THE INTERVIEW. Yes, I saw that desperate, anti-North Korea gross-out attempt at a comedy. More than that, I saw it Christmas night with daughter Jennifer at famed Hollywood theatre, The Crest.The Crest was built in 1940 and has been named a cultural landmark. Three TV Stations were there to cover any and all action as this indy theatre defied the SONY ban on distribution. James Franco and Seth Rogen should be very ashamed to appear in as ignorant, vile, unclever film like this. The only funny line in it was when Rogen said about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, “he’s gone to bed with more women than Ellen De Generes“.
|UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. February 3 has UCSC Professor Linda Burman Hall talking about the new season of The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival. She’s followed by UCSC Music Professor Roy Malan talking about the UCSC Faculty Concert on Wed. Feb 4. February 10 John Orlando gives details on the remaining two concerts in The Distinguished Artists Series. On Feb. 17 Good Times film reviewer Lisa Jensen and I talk about the Oscars. Then cardiologist Dr. Neil Sawhney discusses current news and recent methods of maintaining heart health. . Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at email@example.com
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!
QUOTES. “February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long,” Anna Quindlen, One True Thing. (I know that’s depressing, but spring is coming!!!) “Away in a meadow all covered with snow, The little old groundhog looks for his shadow
The clouds in the sky determine our fate, If winter will leave us all early or late,” Don Halley. “February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer,”Shirley Jackson, Raising Demons.
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.
Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.