Sunday, March 25, 2012
1) Burt Lancaster's two best performances are no doubt those from "Elmer Gantry" (as the charlatan preacher-man wannabe who all too often succumbs to the flesh/bottle) and "Atlantic City" (as the aging two-bit hood who finally gets the chance to be the "tough guy" and bed Susan Sarandon) . But I would personally like to add a third performance to that list; namely, his turn as J.J. Hunsecker (a vile and devious gossip-columnist) in the hugely under-appreciated now cult-classic, "Sweet Smell of Success". The way, folks, that Mr. Lancaster literally toys with the weaselly Sidney Falco (deftly portrayed by Tony Curtis in one of HIS finest acting jobs) is pure, unadulterated "Burt"; the undercurrent of bald, sinister bile, the teetering of a man on the verge of what, we're not entirely sure, etc.. And the fact that the movie itself was so significantly ahead of its time as well. Great, GREAT.............2) I'll admit it here. I really don't like it when people make fun of Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction. Not that I ever really give a rat's ass about him, mind you (the guy's a douche-bag). I just don't think that we should be making fun of chemical dependency, as a rule. I mean, yeah, I understand the whole hypocrisy thing; Limbaugh standing in righteous judgment of others, yada yada. But when you start to make fun of something like drug addiction, you aren't just hurting Mr. Limbaugh. You're hurting a lot of other people, too (same when we constantly make fun of his poundage). You just might want to call him an idiot and be done with it.............3) Jan Garbarek and Gato Barbieri were two of the finest jazz saxophonists of the late '60s and early '70s . But, to steal a phrase from the late, great Mae West (this, when she said that she USED TO BE Snow White), they drifted; Barbieri into pop, Garbarek into weirdness (some have referred to it as new-age, I would not). Now, this isn't to say that the two men haven't shown flashes of their former brilliance (Garbarek, especially, as a sideman for Keith Jarrett, Ralph Towner, Kenny Wheeler, Egberto Gismonti, etc.) from time to time. Not at all. I just wish that Barbieri had been a little less motivated by money and Garbarek a little less motivated by whatever (Scandinavian eccentricities?)....Oh well, at least there's still "Bolivia" and "Witchi Tai To".