February 12th, 2010

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

21st ANNUAL RIVERWALK BLUES AND MUSIC FESTIVAL STARTS TODAY!!

Being held in the Downtowner Saloon Parking Lot and in the Maxwell Room, 408 S. Andrews Ave.
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (954) 463-9800

In an effort to keep the music scene active in South Florida and to keep the memory and Legacy of Don Cohen's Riverwalk Blues And Music Festival, Blueatheart Productions and The Downtowner Saloon have joined forces to pull together the: 21st Annual Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival. The South Florida Blues Society is proud to be an associate sponsor!!!


TODAY!!!, FRIDAY, FEB. 12th:

6:30 pm MARCEL ANTON & THE HEALERS
8:00 pm THE JEFF PRINE GROUP w/JUANITA DIXON
10:00 pm JOSH SMITH


SATURDAY, FEB. 13th:

12:30 pm IKO-IKO
2:30 pm ALBERT CASTIGLIA BAND w/NICOLE HART
4:30 pm SPAM ALLSTARS
6:30 pm OTIS TAYLOR
8:30 pm SUGAR BLUE BAND
10:00 pm "BLUE TUESDAY" Invitational Jam with "FAMOUS" FRANK WARD

Also, in the Downtowner Saloon it's: AUSTIN, GOLDMAN & HANSFORD (BBG & RICHIE from the former Blue House band, ERIC AUSTIN on guitar & HAL HANSFORD on keyboards) @ 9:30 pm


SUNDAY, FEB. 14th:

Noon MAGDA HILLER
2:00 pm THE HEP CAT BOO DADDIES
4:00 pm DAVE SHELLEY & BLUESTONE
6:00 pm DEBBIE DAVIES with ROBIN ROGERS
8:00 pm J.P. SOARS & THE RED HOTS
10:00 pm "BLUE TUESDAY" Invitational Jam with "FAMOUS" FRANK WARD

Also, in the Downtowner Saloon it's: "Sunday Blues Brunch" with BIG POPPA E (Solo Acoustic) 1:00 - 3:00 pm


For Tickets & Info go to www.riverwalkbluesfestival.com
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

BIGSTAR Online Film Festival to Award $50,000 Cash Prize Jury of Celebrities to Select Winner

(Miami, FL) -- BIGSTAR.tv, a global online film networking community and digital distribution platform for independent cinema, will award a grand prize of $50,000 cash through their first film festival. The BIGSTAR Online Film Festival (BOFF) has opened its global competition to short films of any genre that are five minutes or less. BOFF will present the grand prize cash award to the best film of the festival, chosen by a jury of industry professionals and celebrities. BIGSTAR.tv will also present awards of merit for other outstanding submissions.



"BIGSTAR.tv was developed to showcase the work of independent filmmakers to mass audiences, assist them in developing future projects and gain recognition for their films. BOFF is one of the ways we intend to foster this commitment,” commented Xavi Dalmau, President and CEO of BIGSTAR.tv.



BIGSTAR.tv has aligned with Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) to assemble two panels of judges for the competition. FLIFF has brought together a jury of 20 industry professionals, including FLIFF President and CEO Gregory von Hausch and Senior Programmer Bonnie Leigh Adams for the preliminary screenings of all entries which will culminate with the selection of ten finalists.



A jury of celebrities comprised of Steve Guttenberg, Ian Ziering, Victor Nunez and others (to be announced), will screen the ten finalists and select the best film of the festival which will receive the $50,000 grand prize.



In addition to a monetary prize, BIGSTAR.tv will present awards of merit to films that stand out in the following categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Animation, Best Foreign Film, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Drama, Best Experimental Film, Best Original Song, Best Screenplay and Best Visually Artistic Film.



Festival screenings will coincide with the kick-off of BIGSTAR.tv's subscription service which begins April 1, 2010. For $5.99, subscribers will receive unlimited streaming of BOFF film entries and can choose from over 1,000 titles available in the BIGSTAR.tv online movie store at www.bigstar.tv



Striving to maintain the latest in technology, BIGSTAR.tv will make festival films available on television through Yahoo! TV Widgets, Roku and Boxee; and for those on the go via iPhone, Google Android, Palm Pre and other mobile devices with internet capability.



Filmmakers can find additional details and enter their film online at www.bigstar.tv now through December 31, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Entry fees are $25 per film.



BOFF winners will be announced March 31, 2011, and the films will be presented at Cinema Paradiso, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival’s year-round art-house theatre. For additional information about Cinema Paradiso events visit www.FLIFF.com



About BIGSTAR.tv
Established in 2006, BIGSTAR.tv is a digital distribution platform offering downloads of over 1,000 independent films and premium content online in high definition. With their support of filmmakers, who earn 50% of the revenues on their movies, BIGSTAR.tv receives a daily assortment of new product that is certain to engage the viewer. Film fans can preview, download and transfer unlimited screenings of cutting-edge indie films directly to their computer, DVD or TV screen from the BIGSTAR.tv online movie store. With a social networking community designed for indie-viduals™, BIGSTAR.tv has made it possible for a global network to meet, contribute, and create projects. The online community will also save time and money by promoting and distributing content directly to audiences, through multiple sources, with the click of a button in one single format. In addition to BOFF, BIGSTAR.tv hosts a variety of short film contests with cash prizes. For more information www.bigstar.tv or call 800-67FILMS (800-673-4567)

About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization dedicated to presenting independent film and cultural events to the South Florida Community at their year-round art-house theatre, Cinema Paradiso, and through outreach programs from Key West to Amelia Island. The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is scheduled annually during October/ November. 2010 marks their 25th Anniversary during which they will premiere over 100 films from around the globe, bring together film industry talent, and offer nightly parties. www.FLIFF.com or 954-525-3456
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Energize the Weary Kind with "Crazy Heart"

And this ain’t no place for the weary kind
And this ain’t no place to lose your mind
And this ain’t no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try
(Bad Blake)

While not Oscar nominated for Best Picture, "Crazy Heart" is nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Best Song ("The Weary Kind") and best actor (Jeff Bridges). Had this film been released in other years, it may have been nominated for Best Picture. "Crazy Heart" is a character study that tackles tough subjects, but tackles these subjects in an entertaining way.

"Crazy Heart" opens with an a gorgeous establishment shot of the New Mexico landscape. A beat up pick-up truck crosses the landscape and the driver arrives at a bowling alley. Within one minute of his entrance, the audience is learns everything they need to know about Bad Blake (Bridges), a country singer who has seen better days.

Bad Blake spends most of his life on the road and lives off the residual checks of his hit songs with his former partner, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell). Formerly a duet, Blake and Sweet had a falling out. Since the split, Sweet became a superstar of country music. Fearing that he is losing his touch, Sweet attempts to hire Blake to write him some new hit songs.

Between gigs, Blake is interviewed by Jean Craddock (Gyllenhaal), a single mother with a precocious four year old boy. Despite his addiction to alcohol, Blake develops a fond relationship with this mother and son. After years of driving around in the dustbowl, Blake begins to consider a new life away from the road.

Despite the simple plot and camera work, "Crazy Heart" keeps one guessing. Will the film end in tragedy or triumph? One could read the novel by Thomas Cobb to find out, but that would detract from the cinematic experience of "Crazy Heart."

Since her bun warming debut from "The Secretary" in 2002, Gyllenhaal has created a niche for herself with independent films. Her Jean Craddock is a vulnerable creature, yet she displays a strong maternal backbone when the need arises. Yet "Crazy Heart" will be remembered for Jeff Bridges dominating performance. Despite the multiple opportunities to go wild, Bridges underplays his scenes and the performance is stronger because of it. While he sings with the conviction of a barroom brawler, Bridges shines in his scenes with a four year old boy.

"Crazy Heart" will be compared to "Tender Mercies," which earned Robert Duvall his only Oscar. Duvall has a small role in **Crazy Heart** and is one of the producers for the film. Given Bridges’ success in this year’s award circuit, Duvall has chaperoned the son of Lloyd Bridges to his first Oscar.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

The second Sadistic "Saw" trilogy

John Kramer (Tobin Bell), alias the "Jigsaw" serial killer, is dead. We saw him die in "Saw III" and we watched his autopsy in "Saw IV," but his crimes live on with a new apprentice.

It was announced that "Saw VI" would end the series, but each October this franchise kept opening with 30 million dollar weekends. As "Saw VI" approached it's opening weekend, it was revealed that producers were planning a 3rd trilogy. Feeling betrayed and distracted by a new film titled "Paranormal Activity," "Saw VI" opened with it's smallest box office purse. "Saw VI" concludes on an open ended note with a "Saw VII" being produced as this is being written. Produced in 3D, the "Saw" franchise may be taking a break for a new generation. Oh yea, Tobin Bell will be back.

What it lacks in story, the second sadistic "Saw" trilogy provides improved production values. By "Saw VI," Jigsaw's warehouse of doom looks pristine and clean. Unlike the attention deficit disorder of the first "Saw" trilogy, "Saw VI" allows one to see every painful bloodletting bear trap.

Unlike the torture porn of Eli Roth's "Hostel" flicks, John "Jigsaw" Kramer does have a code of conduct. In "Saw VI," Jigsaw's victims of people who profit on health care.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2" could have been better if it did not call itself "Halloween"

"Halloween II" opened last summer to lackluster box office and reviews.
Despite wiping out most of the cast and crew by the end of his last "Halloween" opus, Rob zombie reunites his favorite castmates (Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane and Danielle Harris) and kills them again.

As a stand alone thriller, Zombie's "Halloween II" features some incredible visuals and thought provoking action. The theme of family and genetic behavior is a major theme to this thought provoking sequel. Perhaps this film would have been more successful if it did not call itself "Halloween II."
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"Paranormal Activity" is something out of nothing

Last Halloween, the scary movie to go see was "Paranormal Activity," which was often compared to 1999's "The Blair Witch Project." What both films have in common is a low budget and a small cast, but "Paranormal Activity" has more static cinematography.

This stationary camera work is a real treat. The terror grows and creeps upon the viewers, is is easy to see why "Paranormal Activity" was a fan favorite last October, stealing box office thunder from "Saw VI" and "Halloween II."
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Lon Chaney Jr. is STLL "the Wolf Man"

One must give Walt Disney Studios their due, they have protected Mickey Mouse and his colleagues for many years, the same can not be said of the way Universal Studios has treated their Classic Monsters.

**The Wolf Man** is the latest remake from the Universal factory of souless productions. This **Wolfman** is a disappointment. Had Universal executives spent more time on story development than special effects, this "Wolfman" could have been a great Valentine's Day hit. Earning over 30 million dollars, **The Wolf Man** will likely have a significant drop in the box office this weekend.

If one reviews the original **Wolf Man** starring Lon Chaney Jr., we are introduced to an avuncular figure who returns home to reconcile with his greiving father, Claude Rains. Chaney's Lawrence Stewart Talbot is a likeable figure and when he is bitten by a werewolf in the form of Bela Lugosi, one feels sympathy for the Wolf Man's plight.

In the new **Wolf Man,** Lawrence (Benecio Del Toro) is a Shakespearian actor who returns to Talbot Manor to see his cranky father, Sir John (Sir Anthony Hopkins). Lawrence is trying to solve the mystery of who mauled his brother in Talbot Moor and why his late bother's fiance Gwen (Emily Blunt) is still hanging around Talbot Castle. These mysteries cause Lawrence to recall the nightmare of his mother's murder in the Talbot Backyard.

While the mysteries are solved, the multiple resolutions get lost in the blurr of flashcut edits and the slow camera pans of flesh wounds created by Rick Baker. The new **Wolf Man** is full of spectacle, but with no pure heart. Benecio Del Toro starts and ends his performance on a brooding note. Anthony Hopkins creates the most two dimensional role in the movie. Hopkins' Sir John Talbot has enough charm to be a distant ancestor of Hannibal Lechter.As the wise gypsy woman Maleva, one wishes Geraldine Chaplin had more screen time to develop her character.

While people may debate who the best James Bond is, there is no debate for **The Wolf Man** ~ Lon Chaney Jr. is still the best. From 1941 until 1945, Chaney portrayed Larry Talbot in four movies during the War World II years. Written by German Jew Curt Siomak, the **Wolf Man** became a symbol of a hero who had to confront their own violent behavior. Given the stories of Hitler's Holocaust factories, it is no coincidence that a five pointed star marked the fate of people destined for doom.
**Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man** is subtle propaganda. The American Talbot fights a monster who was created man with an Aryan bloodline, Frankenstein. Chaney's last serious **Wolf Man** movie, **House of Dracula** was released after the two atomic bombs were dropped in Japan. Science is used to cure Larry's malady and **The Wolf Man** achieved a happy ending.

There is no cure for the modern **Wolf Man.** When Universal Pictures decides to respect their Classic Monster history, their box office gross will be sustained more than opening weekend.