This cheerful holiday comedy, a surprise box office smash, featured a generous dollop of raunchy, crude humor and was greatly elevated by the presence of masterful performers in the lead roles. Jack Lemmon is John Gustafson, an ice-fishing Minnesota native who has been feuding with his neighbor and former best friend Max Goldman (Walter Matthau) for decades. The battle of wills between John and Max is characterized by crude name calling and harmless practical jokes. Max is unaware that John is having serious problems, chiefly that his daughter Melanie (Daryl Hannah) is experiencing marital woes and that his house is about to be confiscated by an officious IRS agent (Buck Henry). When it seems that John and Max may finally put aside their childish rivalry, however, sexy new neighbor Ariel (Ann-Margret) arrives and dates both men, pitting them against each other more fiercely than ever before. Despite their mutual loathing, the death of a friend, John's problems, and a budding romance between Max's son Jacob (Kevin Pollak) and Melanie may force the two old friends to reconcile.
The legendary Four Brothers reed section of Woody Herman's famous "Second Herd" big band of 1947, (Herbie Steward, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and Serge Chaloff) is reimagined and reinvigorated by jazz icons Harry Allen, Eric Alexander, Grant Stewart and Gary Smulyan on the exciting, swinging and audacious recording of The Candy Men by Harry Allen's All Star New York Saxophone Band. Offering a sensational set of twelve bop-infused tunes containing some hard-driving, mid-tempo swing pieces to breathy and bossa-styled ballads, one sampling of this disc is just not enough. The material and the musicianship is so outstanding, that the late, great bandleader Woody Herman himself, would be proud of the way this group of jazz icons, has so elegantly represented the original Brothers section.
Y Tu Mamá También and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón returns to the helm to tell this futuristic tale in which society is without hope since humankind lost its ability to procreate. The year is 2027, and women can no longer give birth. The youngest inhabitant of the planet has just died at the age of 18, and all hope for humanity has been lost. As civilization descends into chaos, a dying world finds one last chance for survival in the form of a woman who has become inexplicably pregnant. Now, as warring nationalistic sects clash and British leaders try to maintain their totalitarian stronghold on the country, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) is brought back into the fold of activism by his guerrilla ex-wife (Julianne Moore). Reluctantly, he takes on the daunting task of escorting Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), the refugee who represents humankind's last hope for survival, out of harm's way and into the care of a mysterious organization known as The Human Project. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, and Michael Caine co-star in this adaptation of author P.D. James's gripping 1992 novel.
Film director Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian science fiction thriller Children of Men is about a near future in which human fertility has nearly ceased, and to represent a setting that is familiar yet disturbing, the compilers of this various-artists soundtrack (there is also an album of the score) have chosen some rock and pop songs by well-known artists dating back to the '60s, some of them, however, presented in versions not so well known. Everybody knows the heavy metal band Deep Purple, but the band's initial American hit, a cover of Joe South's "Hush," doesn't sound much like its more successful "Smoke on the Water" phase. The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" are iconic '60s songs, but they are here performed by Junior Parker and heavily accented Italian singer Franco Battiato, respectively. John Lennon's "Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)," a song featured on his 1973 album Mind Games, is not one of his more celebrated numbers, despite its anthemic appeal; the version heard here is a rehearsal take that first appeared on the Lennon Anthology box set in 1998. There are also rap and reggae toasting tracks, and some electronic music, adding to the sense of dislocation called for in the film.