The Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” (LINK to the article) may be the most justly reviled album in the whole “Reviled!” series. I usually find the good points, but this is mainly a stinker. Still, they say the negative reviews are more fun to read than the positive ones. Also comments on the Grateful Dead. The best thing about it is Gilbert Shelton’s sleeve illustration.

This is new on Amazon Prime. BOILING POINT (follow link to my review) is a 90 minute continuous take film centred around a chef in a London restaurant on the busiest night of the year, pre-Christmas. Stephen Graham is the chef. It’s tense, relentless and funny, yet it’s all one long rehearsed shot. It’s nominated for many awards. It’s only just on Amazon Prime, so is “Premiere” status … so £9.99 to watch. But factor in two cinema tickets, £5 to park etc and it’s still a bargain. It will get cheaper, but after the reviews we couldn’t wait to see it. You might enjoy my memories of working in catering too.

A new article on AROUND AND AROUND on Ronnie Spector (LINKED). It covers both The Ronettes and her solo career, heavily illustrated with quotes from her autobiography. It was based on my Toppermost articles on The Ronettes and on Robbie Spector, but is more than twice as long.

At AROUND AND AROUND, the latest article is a visual treat. A selection of record sleeves done by well-known artists including Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Aldridge, Gerald Scarfe and Ralph Steadman. Pure eye candy. See: RECORD SLEEVES BY FAMOUS ARTISTS (linked). Robert Crumb is the sample here.

Review added of tick, tick … BOOM! on Netflix (linked). Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, it’s the story of stage musical composer Jonathan Larson. We were so reliant on Miranda’s name that we didn’t look up any backstory. You really have to know who Larson was, and we hadn’t a clue. It didn’t work at all for us, but then I really disliked the music.

Elena Ferrante’s THE LOST DAUGHTER (link to review) was released on Netflix on New Year’s Eve, 2021. Directed and scripted by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and featuring Olivia Coleman, Jessie Buckley and Dakota Johnson. The theme of a woman who abandoned her daughters many years earlier and is thinking back to the time is what resonates with reviewers. It’s already picking up awards.

It started on NETFLIX on 24 December. Available now, DON’T LOOK UP (linked) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence who are astronomers who discover impending disaster from a comet, Will the president (Meryl Streep) listen? Will her son, the White House Chief-of-Staff. What about the media? (Cate Blanchett & Tyler Perry)? It’s not “about” a comet at all … think reaction to climate change and Covid. A great performance too from Mark Rylance as the billionaire tech wizard. Add Ariande Grande as a megastar pop singer. We loved it.

Let It Be

LET IT BE by The Beatles from 1970. Added to the Reviled! The albums critics love to hate on my AROUND AND AROUND site. This was always the original choice for The Beatles, but I held back knowing that the GET BACK film trilogy was imminent (all reviewed here) and so was the 5 CD / blu-ray deluxe box set. Now I’ve seen the films, heard the box set it can take its rightful place. A detailed review with many quotes.

Some personal thoughts on CHRISTMASES LONG PAST (aka “A Child’s Christmas in Bournemouth”) to suit the season. It only goes up to 1978 when we started having a detailed photographic record. Do feel free to add your own memories

It’s new on Amazon Prime, and it will beat watching Christmas TV. BEING THE RICARDOS (linked) is based on the I Love Lucy TV series with Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardam as Desi Arnaz. It’s about the most dramatic week in her career when he was accused of being a Communist (September 1953). Great performances from all four playing Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and Fred and Ethel Mertz from the TV show, but it’s mainly behind the scenes with flashbacks to their careers.