Saturday, February 01, 2020

It's Midnight's time with 'Rebirth By Blasphemy'

Review by Bob Ignizio

For Cleveland band Midnight’s main-man Athenor, heavy metal is a part of him. It flows in his veins. Long before people started throwing around terms like “New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal”, Athenor (aka Jamie Walters) was playing this kind of stuff in bands like Boulder, Destructor, and Abudullah. Only now, with the power of Metal Blade Records backing him up, he can finally bring his brand of filth-flavored thrash to a wider audience on his latest release, REBIRTH BY BLASPHEMY.

While Midnight’s sound most obviously recalls proto black metal bands like Venom and early Bathory, influences from classic metal artists like Judas Priest, Motorhead, and Iron Maiden ensure there’s a catchiness and accessibility here that can appeal to a somewhat wider audience. Not that you should expect to hear Midnight on mainstream radio anytime soon, especially given Athenor’s penchant for lyrical sleaze.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A hand seeks its host in the Oscar nominated animated film 'I Lost My Body'

[I LOST MY BODY screens Thursday January 30th at 6:45 pm and Friday January 31st at 9:35 pm at the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

Seems like every year, the Oscars nominate one film in the Best Animated Feature category that is original, innovative, geared towards adults, and (usually) made in a non-English speaking country. If the last decade or so is any indication, it’s not going to win, but hey, at least they made one token attempt to show people animation isn’t just for kids, right?  This year, that film is I LOST MY BODY, co-written by AMELIE screenwriter Guillaume Laurant (adapted from his novel) and the film’s director, Jérémy Clapin, making his feature length debut.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hollywood still thinks the suburbs are weird in 'Greener Grass'

[GREENER GRASS screens Saturday January 18th at 9:50 pm at the Cleveland Cinematheque.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

Everyone in the pastel world of GREENER GRASS seems blandly happy, but (shocker) there’s a darkness underneath. Hollywood has given us similar visions of twisted suburbia in films like EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, THE BURBS, and BLUE VELVET. But writers/directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe distinguish their film with a comically surreal flavor of their own. “Jokes” like having housewife Jill (DeBoer) offer up her new baby to fellow soccer mom Lisa (Luebbe) as though it were simply good manners to do so display a level of matter of fact weirdness that recalls Luis Bunuel.