Then & Now
Album, Book & DVD reviews
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Men Without Women – Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul
Actor, radio DJ, producer, and charismatic mainstay of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band – there’s not much “Miami Steve” Van Zandt can’t do. 1982’s Men Without Women album shows off Little Steven’s incredible blue-eyed soul chops, pulled off with all the rebellion and cheeky swagger of a born rocker. If The Temptations and The Stones formed a garage band, it would sound like Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul.
Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen gathers his E Street posse and circles the wagons for an angry, harmonic blast of truth…straight from the Boss’s lips. In addition to a guest appearance by Tom Morello, the album also features the last recorded performances by Clarence Clemons, the veritable heart and soul of the E Street band, who sadly passed away in 2011.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Centered around the mothers and daughters of four Chinese-American families who play mahjong for money and live in San Francisco, Amy Tan’s 1989 debut novel is masterfully structured to mirror a mahjong game and has become a living entity of its own. Also a critically acclaimed 1993 movie, The Joy Luck Club is an enduring celebration of identity.
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
Catherine Chung’s debut novel Forgotten Country has all the weight and emotion of a seasoned novelist’s work, and early comparisons to heavyweights like Amy Tan are well earned. Drawing on Korean folklore and the ravages of war, Chung weaves a beautifully haunting tale of the deep and mysterious ties of war, loss and silence that bind a family together across generations.
Action movies don’t have to be huge explosions and boat crashes. Legendary director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) gives us a near-perfect action movie without a boat, or even a bikini; instead, there are plot twists, intrigue, and great acting from heavyweights like Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Sean Bean and Stellan Skarsgård. Not only can you watch this movie repeatedly, Ronin is also blessed with quite possibly the best ever white-knuckle car chase.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Le Carre’s classic spy thriller gets the full Hollywood treatment in this tense adaptation by director Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In), and Gary Oldman finally gets his due as Le Carre’s great leading man, George Smiley. Backed by an A-list supporting cast including Ciarán Hinds, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, John Hurt and Mark Strong, this flick is taut, intricate and nail-biting from start to finish, as any good spy thriller should be.