Reviews written by alessandro
And the Next Desi Idol izzzzz...Jul 12th, 2011
Who knew that there could be so many silly, lovable, and down-right outrageous Indian characters staying in an indistinct, boring, middle-grade hotel in Jersey? Loins of Punjab Presents is a laugh-out-loud farce right from the start. The "Desi Idol" contest brings together Indian performers (along with one white male) to battle it out for the top prize of $25,000. The 'Idol' judges and directors include a couple eccentrics, one being a track-suited-gold-chain-wearing man with a penchant for The Gypsy Kings simply because, "it makes the gehhhrls sooo horny!" The contestants themselves include an array of pseudo-typical characters, but are luckily spun in just a way that the entertainment value isn't spoiled. A proudly gay man does his Bhangra meets b-boy shtick, a nerdy, insecure man sings just for the love, and a hapless Saddam Hussein is in the mix along with a few other contestants that carry the sub-plots. The meat of the humor comes from a few particular scenes with some witty dialogue coming from some satisfyingly stereotypical Indian-Americans taking themselves far too seriously. Just take it, embrace it, then move on.
Holy Smoke!Jun 7th, 2011
Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins comes from the true school of tattoo artists of the 50's, credited by most to modestly bring the art to the forefront of Americana. This doc could not have done a better job of retelling the beginning, the uprising, and the current state of tattoo artistry. This included great historical context as well, dating back to the Japanese's initial contribution to the art. The doc also included informative and entertaining interviews from some of Sailor Jerry's lifelong peers and admirers. (The only missing interviewed subject was Hori Smoku himself). I highly recommend this documentary of one of America's now prevalent subcultures. A fascinating, must-see film!
Come Outtta There Mate!May 18th, 2011
Partners Davis and Bennett are not your conventional salesmen. They are in the business of extraction--of concealed secrets within households. It's a delicate and potentially harmful procedure especially when used for personal devices. Director Nick Whitfield is clearly a professional who knows how to craft a unique and equally engaging story from beginning to end. The script was what you would expect from the "quirky Brit" genre--just enough humor,gloom, and quirk. It was definitely not an easy film to shoot as Whitfield had to utilize off-beat flashbacks in order to portray the "extractions". He achieved these flashbacks fluidly using creative, sometimes fast-paced cuts and effective sound effects. This isn't just an entertaining film, but also a thought-provoking piece about how we deal with loss. It is in our nature to dwell on our past misfortunes, but it is most important (for our own health) to find out how to address them and move on in a positive manner. Though most of the film is quite bleak and drab, at least it ends with our heads up--away from our closet doors.