The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia on December 28, 1980 · Page 38
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia · Page 38

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Location:
Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 28, 1980
Page:
Page 38
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7 Mm 5 mMkm A Neil Simon screenplay that doesn't fire Is a bit like a Mercedes which refuses to start unbelievable. Seems Like Old Times is a film from a crack production line. Simon is, of course, renowned for mass production of very effective humour ignition systems. He's backed by his usual team of mechanics cinematographer David Walsh, producer Ray Stark, and executive producer Roger Rothstein who, between them, have totalled eighteen Neil Simon films. And the on-screen The Blue Brothers Is a rather strange combination of ancient 40s musical format, rhythm and blues, and car chases. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are two R and B fanatics who dress in dark suits, black hats, and sunglasses, and front a successful group called The Blues Brothers Band. They've obviously been bankrolled very heavily in the cars and stars department by enthusiastic supporters. They possibly may have set some sort of record for most cars Llmh 42 THE SUN-HERALD, DEC 28, 1980 42 VRW SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES. Directed by Jay Sandrich. Screenplay Neil Simon. Starring Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin. Hoyts. NRC. team includes everyone's favourite dippy blonde, Goldie Hawn quite impossible to dislike. Plus' Chevy Chase who, despite his National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live background, is really a reborn Cary Grant. He does nothing much, pleasantly enough. The story is meant to be pure comic farce. Goldie is a do-gooder lawyer, with a household staff of bailed clients, illegal immigrants, and The Blues Brothers ... a THE BLUES BROTHERS. Directed by John Landis. Written by Dan Aykroyd and Dan Aykroyd. Barclay. M. smashed in one movie, in the mammoth chases which regularly punctuate the music. Unfortunately the demolition derbies are choreographed with little wit just piles of squad cars. Apart from leaving their trail of havoc "Jake and Ellwood" (Belushi and Aykroyd) are indulging in an old-fashioned quest. When one is released from jail they return to Nvfe - j lllliliilllipiilliii Goldie Hawn . . . impossible to dislike her. more canines than the dog pound. Her husband (Charles Grodin) is an uptight District Attorney, who has just one more boot to lick before being appointed Attorney General of California. The boot belongs to the Governor, who comes home to dinner around the same time Goldie's former hubby (nice Chev-vy Chase) fronts upjseek-ing refuge from the police, who are wrongly, claiming he was strange combination. their, boyhood orphanage and discover the sheriffs are about to close it down because the Mother Superior hasn't paid the taxes. She rejects the tainted $5000 they offer from whoever they're about to hold-up. So they decide to raise the money by reviving their once successful band. The quest is on. Getting the members back together involves a round-up operation that o o r55 s UK EtfUnUS BABfl H 2CXV Monday. to Friday, 6.00 a.m.-9.00 a.m. responsible for a bank robbery. Sounds like fun? Goldie hiding Chevy under the bed. Chevy serving dinner for the Gov. Hot flushes and hot pursuit . It's terribly frantic, and extremely tiring packed with overworked situations and lines that don't quite come off. Until this film It seemed that Neil Simon was at his best, quite brilliant and at his worst, still entertaining. Perhap it is relevant that Simon says this is the first play he has written which does not relate to any true incident in his own life, or to any lives he has observed. is entirely authentic in its claimed parallel to the Broadway traditional of musicals, i.e. The clumsiest of excuses will do to get the sext song up and running. There are some good musical moments, especially with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, and John Lee Hooker on screen. Between numbers there are a number of good laughs, but most of the comedy falls flat through constant over-statemest. The 20-car prang where two might do philosophy, spills through the ' whole film. EE ) In the past -year Sun-Herald record reviewer, MADELEINE d'HAEYE has listened to, and written about, approximately 500 albums. Most have been middle-of-the-road, ranging from the classics to azx. We asked her to list her pick of the crop ... There have been too many gaps, in too many fields, for me to label my choice of the year's albums as "tops." All I can do is list my favourites from the albums I've listened to in fields including country,, rhythm and blues, popular, soundtracks, compil-alions and anthologies, instrumental and jazz. My favourite album of the year? That's easy. The . brilliant concept and flawless welding of classical and popular influences makes Tarot Suite, by Mike Batt and Friends (Epic label ELPS 4020, through CBS), - a -clear winner and certainly the most-played album in my collection. Batt, fresh with success from the beautiful tune Bright Eyes (written for the movie . Watership Down and sung by Art Garfunkel) based Tarot Suite around his arrangements of the 22 arcana trumps from the Tarot (fortune-telling) set of cards. A couple of the tracks got considerable airplay; Lady Of The Dawn, featuring the voice of Colin Blunstone, and Imbeciles, sung by Roger Chapman. But you most probably heard other excerpts , from the album without realising ' it. FM station 2MMM lifted some for its advertising theme, and the Seven Network used, an excerpt as background for live crosses to Moscow for the Olympic Games. The strength behind the album is the brilliant way in which Batt uses the London Symphony Orchestra to beef up his driving tunese. Batt told me in an interview earlier in the year that he had stumbled across the theme of the album by accident; he was browsing in a book store and came across a Tarot deck of cards. He didn't know their meaning, and began to read books about the Tarot cards. "There are so many characters and they have so much colour ... the theme was really asking for an album." My second choice be- , comes more difficult, but I'll plump for Fleetwood Mac's latest release, the double-disc Live (Warner , Brothers label 2WB 3500, through WEA). Tracks from the album were recorded during the group's fantastically successful Tusk tour of the world. There's a good mixture of newer and older num-bers, aid t he audience participation adds an extra dimension of enjoyment. The album show- On. the record cases the versatility of a top group. When I'm in a country mood, nothing gives me greater pleasure than the warm, sincere voice of O. C. Smith. ' ' During the year CBS re-released the Greatest " Hits of O.C. under the title The Best of O. C. Smith (CSP 134), To my mind, this album sums up all that is best in country-influenced music. This means - lyrics that tell little stories, often sad and usually drawn from life. This album is chock full of just that. Tracks like Hickory Holler's Tramp, Little Green Apples, Primrose Lane, Daddy's Little Man and . Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife. Jazz blues? My favour- , ite album . for the year was an Australian-produced disc featuring singer Jimmy Witherspoon, Spoon In Australia (Jazzis Records R 0100, through Larrikin). He got wonderful support from the Melbourne-based Peter Gaudion's Blues Express In a mixture of jazz - classics and other numbers that we don't get to her much because there are not to many singers left in the Spoon style ... a relaxed style, maintaining strict ftmpo with a wonderful sense of timing and phrasing. . Music from the stage and screen was high- O. C. Smith ma lighted for meby Bette Midler in The Rose At-lantic label SD 16010, through WEA). The soundtrack captured all the fervor of rock; the hysteria of a top star and concert crowd in communication. Tracks which stood out included The Rose, which got tremendous airplay, When A Man Loves A Woman and Sold My Soul To Rock 'N' Roll. Compilation albums cropped up, week after week, during the year. The best-researched and presented was the 12-record boxed set, Volume 1 of Elvis The Legend, 1954 to 1961 (RCA Vic-tor label ELR 1). The set took three years to research, compile and record and contains all the Presley "official" recordings from the - period July 1954 to March 1961. This is really nostalgia . . . recorded memories of a superstar who had tremendous influence on rock n' roll during his peak, and who had sufficient talent to . adapt his voice, selecton of titles and stage act in his "mellowing" period. Instrumental wizardry was the keynote of the success behind the "pop" group Sky, that fascinating concept of five top: musicians getting together to have musical fun in different fields. Sky 2 (Ariola label VAL 20289, through RCA) particularly highlighted the talents of Australian-born wizard John Williams, both playing and arranging. Supported by Kevin Peek (who started his musical career as a percussionist at the Adelaide Conservatorium), Herbie Flowers (who came to Sky after a strong career in jazz), Francis Mon-kman (a strong classical background including piano, harpsichord and . clarinet) and Tristan Fry (side dummer for the London Philharmonic) Williams is the unofficial leader. Sky's music is a delightful pot pourri of ele ments of rock, jazz, folk,, baroque and classics.

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