The “Metropolis” that won’t be screening at TCM Fest

Back in 1984, film composer and hit-maker Giorgio Moroder scored a version of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” with the help of passel of rock stars of the day. Despite being a rather visually dazzling edition of the pioneering science-fiction film on a visual level, for me, it was a disaster. It was hampered by Moroder’s oddly anachronistic soundtrack (the future from the twenties perspective should not sound like 1980s disco), and utterly ruined by the inclusion of vocal tracks from singers like David Bowie and much, much worse, Pat Benatar, who I didn’t much care for in any context.

Regardless, I think there’s something very, very wrong and distracting about combining pop vocal music with silent cinema. See if you agree.

  

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American Idol: have we found our next Simon Cowell?

Last night’s “American Idol” on Fox showed a huge disparity between two guest judges, but more on that later. The Los Angeles auditions were, as you might expect, polarizing…because of course you have talented singers, but you also have wannabes….the ones who have moved out to Cali because their moms and sisters told them they were talented.

The first set of auditions featured guest judge Avril Lavigne, who is now 25 but looks (and kind of acts) like she’s 11. Here were the best and worst of Day 1…..

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American Idol: Orlando crushes Chicago

You surely would expect that Chicago would produce more contenders on “American Idol” than Orlando, right? Wrong. Orlando produced 31 Hollywood-bound singers than Chicago, which delivered 13 in two days. Whatever, once the Hollywood rounds begin we won’t remember where these folks auditioned unless Ryan Seacrest decides to remind us. So the guest judge was Kristin Chenoweth, at least for Day 1, and she had more spunk in her pinky than Shania Twain. Anyway, the producers showed us most of the good performances last night and not as many crappy ones, to which we say, BO-RING. Here they are…

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American Idol: southern hospitality

Last night “American Idol” on Fox moved to Atlanta, hometown of host Ryan Seacrest. Oh really, you say? Seacrest wasn’t created in some robot factory? Nope, guess not. Anyway, Mary J. Blige was the guest judge and as always they showed us the best and worst of the auditions. Here is your recap….

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American Idol runs for the roses

Thank you FOX for once again keeping the “American Idol” auditions show to one hour last night. I have a feeling I’ll be giving you those hours back, but it’s still nice to have a condensed version of these initial shows. Last night it was a trip to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and not a ton of trips to Hollywood. Here are the bad and good of what they showed….

THE BAD

Tiffany kicked things off, and she was a bleach-blond trailer trash looking thing whose parents had been telling her how great she was for years. Yikes. She sang Mariah Carey and was just awful, and apparently stunned that the judges thought she sucked. Welcome to the real world, Tiffany…..Mark Mudd was a real hill-jack and took on country legend George Jones. Dude was not very good, and when he was leaving the stage said to the judges, “Be careful.” Look, I live in the south and I know that people say that..it’s a form of sayingm “Take it easy,” but the judges took it as a threat to their safety…pretty funny….Ross, a self-proclaimed nerd who was trying to use mathematical formulas to learn how to sing, had a deep and horrible voice, and in the end just knew he wasn’t good enough….Aaron Williamson sang Creedence Clearwater’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and was just too loud and emotive for this competition….and finally, Rebecca Garcia from Nashville sang Carrie Underwood and Paula had recognized her from being on the morning news while she waited on line for her audition. For some reason, we all thought Rebecca was going to be good, but she was just awful. Kara thought that her audition was a joke, literally, which made Rebecca cry…oops…..they also showed a medley of bad auditions, including this really large dude named Patrick who thought he was Michael Jackson, and a girl who sang in all weird vibrato.

THE GOOD

Joanna, a 23 year old from Los Angeles, who Kara recognized as a former recording artists for A&M Records, was somewhat humble and nervous, but as you might expect, was an awesome singer. She sang Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” and really belted it with great control…..Brent Keith Smith sang Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough” and while he had a great voice, did not have the fire Simon Cowell wanted to see. Still, he’s moving on…..Matt Giraud, a 23-year old dueling piano player, proved that he has probably better vocal skills than anything. I want you all to keep an eye on this one…..Alexis, a 21 year old from Memphis, was a pasty, blonde girl who took on Aretha Franklin and sounded way more soulful than you would expect from a white girl. She really has enormous potential too…..after another medley of yes’s (thank you again FOX), the last contestant was Laneshe, an 18 year old from Cincinnati, who had been growing up most of her life in homeless shelters with her mom and siblings. This was the sad/heartwarming story of the night, but there was nothing sad about this girl’s vocal chops. She even had the balls to sing one of her own songs, and it was very good, though not as good as her monstrous voice. Feel good story or not, this girl can sing and could really go far in this thing.

Next week the auditions move to Jacksonville, Florida. I’m relieved that these initial auditions are halfway through, and that Hollywood is beckoning. See you on Wednesday!

  

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