Che, Part Two-Reviewed

February 3, 2009

 

Benecio Del Toro as Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the comic romp, Che, Part Two

Benecio Del Toro as Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the comedic romp, Che, Part Two.

by Kevin Egan

At the end of Che, Part One, viewers were left with quite a cliffhanger. After Castro (Demian Bichir) fell to his death in a field of vines and every enemy of Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Benecio Del Toro) had been eliminated through violent means, our protagonist had been dubbed heir to the thrown, while simultaneously shutting out his wife from his affairs. It was an unsettling moment as the door was closed so forcefully in her face. Still, we loved the Guevaras and desperately desired to see more of them. With Che, Part Two, director Steven Sodenbergh pulls no punches, giving us viewers the family epic we had been waiting for. Saturated with plot twists, celebrity cameos (Adam Sandler as Batista) and endings upon endings upon endings, this sequel supercedes the possibilities already established by other films, taking us into unexplored territories.

Part Two begins exactly where Part One left off, except this time around, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) returns to the present time to warn Che about his troubling children and the havoc they are wreaking in the future. This catapults Che on another wacky adventure, outsmarting his old nemesis, Biff (Thomas F.Wilson), and rescuing his family from danger. Then, once Che believes he is clear of all hijinks, an apparition of his mentor, Ben (performed elegantly by the late Alec Guinness) appears, instructing him to go to the Degoba system, to study with an old Jedi master named “Yoda.” While Che follows this path outlined for him by his old friend, his children find themselves in trouble once more, except this time it comes in the form of a shark. Luckily for them, a desperate-for-any-kind-of-work Michael Caine (as himself) shows up to help them in their struggle.

Just like in Part One, Del Toro is again magnificent in the triple roles of Guevara, his wife and his ornery grandfather. And although the “fat suit” he wears through the second half of the film will most likely earn the make-up team an Oscar nomination, it is what Del Toro does with the suit that one finds most appealing. His ability to conjure up deep and funny voices for all three of the characters, as well as contort his face to provide the most comic expressions, is a skill unrivalled in the cinema today. Robert DeNiro himself could do no better.

Without giving too much away in regards to the ending, Che, Part Two borrows from the classic comedy, Clue, offering multiple endings, each shown separately, depending on which theatre you attend. If you’re like me, you’ll see it more than once, hitting every theatre in town, for no other reason than to ensure you catch all the unbelievable ways in which Che’s fate hangs in the balance. This one’s a keeper!

4 out of 5 stars.  Bring the kids!!!

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Tipper Gore to be Inducted into Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame

January 15, 2009

by Kevin Egan

CLEVELAND (AP)-In what might be the most controversial news in the world of rock ‘n’ roll since the passing of Elvis Presley, it was announced today that Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President, Al Gore, is to be inducted in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, causing both praise and outrage from rock ‘n’ roll fanatics throughout the world.

Gore, 60, besides being known as the wife of the former vice president, had also made a name for herself back in the Eighties by leading a group composed mostly of Washington wives called, The Parent’s Music Resource Center (or The P.M.R.C., as it was more infamously known).  The P.M.R.C.’s main task was to force the music industry to label  each record it released, in the same manner films were rated by the MPAA, particularly those that included “explicit lyrics.”

In response to many of the rock videos Gore had watched as part of her research with the P.M.R.C., she had once publicly cried, “The images frightened my children!  They frightened me!  I am frightened!  Way frightened!  The graphic sex and the violence were too much for us to handle.”         

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Eventually, a Senate-hearing on the “dangers” of rock music was held and artists including Frank Zappa, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and legendary folk artist, John Denver, came to the defense of the first amendment rights of the artists in question.  It was later decided that each record company would “voluntarily” label albums if they felt they might cause a disturbance in certain communities.  Still, once the smoke had cleared, Tipper Gore had become a full-blown enemy of the rock world.   

Ironically, years later, after her husband and Bill Clinton had won the 1992 presidential election, The Gore’s made an appearance on MTV, the very channel they had once accused of perpetrating “pornography,” thanking all the young people that had supported them in their campaign.  Those that remembered the Tipper Gore of the 1980’s were shocked and somewhat perplexed by the appearance.

Mike Scorzelli, 39, Massapequa, N.Y. remembers: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I remember thinking, ‘Wasn’t that the same broad that tried to outlaw music videos like seven years ago?  Now, all of a sudden, everyone’s on MTV’s kissing her ass?  That’s so f**ked up.’” 

And if that wasn’t enough to inflame the rage of those that remembered Gore’s past as “Public Enemy No. 1,” Al Gore, himself, during his bid for the presidency in 2000, was, surprisingly enough, financially backed by such famous rock stars as Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh, Stevie Nicks and Dweezil Zappa, son of one of Tipper Gore’s most outspoken opponents, Frank Zappa.

Apparently, all had either been forgiven or “forgotten.”

When asked why Tipper Gore was being inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, spokeswoman for the institution, Helen Gurchnecht, replied, ”The Hall of Fame is going ‘green’ this year and there’s nothing more ‘green’ than the Gore’s.   Rock ‘n’ Roll is no longer about playing loud, living fast and expressing yourself creatively.   These days, it’s more about whether or not you bring your own shopping bag to the grocery store.  Or if you decide to walk to church instead of taking the family SUV.” 

Along with Tipper Gore, other inductees will include Run DMC, Jeff Beck, Little Anthony and the Imperials and longtime friends of the Gore’s, Metallica, who have publicly defended the Hall of Fame’s choice to induct Gore. 

“Tipper kicks ass,” says drummer, Lars Ulrich.  “We all belong to the same country club and enjoy each other’s company immensely.  In fact, we recently had the Gore’s over for cocktails and it turned out that my butler used to be their butler, like fifteen years ago.  We got a great laugh out of that one.  It’s such a weird and crazy world.” 

Although the rock ‘n’ roll elite seem to have embraced Gore, regardless of her past assaults on their art and culture, there are still some rock ‘n’ roll fans that will never forgive or “forget” the havoc she wreaked back in the Eighties, no matter how “green” she may have become.

“I’ve got two words for Tipper Gore,” says Robby “the Snake” Fontana, 41, Freehold, New Jersey.  “Go f**k yourself.”  

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

      

 


On Deathbed, Man Claims He “Put The Bomp In The Bomp-A-Bomp-A-Bomp”

October 20, 2008

 

The song that started all the controversy

The song that started all the controversy

By Carl Kuckell

 

 

Appleton, Wisconsin (AP)-This past Sunday, 83 year old, Arnie Glurm, aka “Arnie Wheeler,” while on his death bed, admitted to friends and family that he, in fact, was solely responsible for putting “the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp,” back in November of 1959, causing an unnamed female to fall in love with singer/songwriter, Barry Mann. 

 It was Mann, who, two years later, in 1961, asked the infamous question in one of his own songs, “Who Put The Bomp,” causing a worldwide search for the mysterious tune that actually changed the mind of the young girl who originally had doubts about the love between her and Mann.  In Mann’s song, the lyrics state:

 I’d like to thank that guy that wrote the song

That made my baby fall in love with me       

 

 Then, after a subtle but effective drum fill, he sings:

 

Who put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp?

 

Before passing away quietly in his sleep, Glurm shared with his loved ones that it was his 1959 minor hit, “Give the Schnook a Break,” that was able to sway the young woman’s love towards Mann and away from then upcoming pop icon, Gary “Flash In The Pan” Cartman, who’s career coincidentally fell flat after losing her affections. 

Glurm also disputed Frankie Lymon’s own claim that it was he that “put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp” in Lymon’s musical response to Mann, which was released the very same year under the title, “I Put The Bomp.”  According to Glurm’s son-in-law, Walter Fleck, Glurm’s very last words were, “That little bastard, Lymon, was too full of shit at the time to have written a song that powerful.  He had already peaked at 14 with ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love.’  That was three years before Mann and that young lady even met.  It was my song that convinced her.  By the time 1959 came around, I was on a fuckin’ roll!”

The young woman, who had remained anonymous since the release of “Who Put The Bomp,” was rumored to be Shirley Fenton of Jackson Heights, Queens, who worked as a waitress in a diner, two blocks away from where Mann was struggling as a songwriter.  Since Mann went on to marry one of his songwriting partners, Cynthia Weil, in 1961, soon after the release the song, he refused to confirm any relations with Fenton, though many that knew the two, still insist they were very much in love by the end of the fifties. 

Gladys Drepp, 73, of Albany, New York, states, “I remember Barry and Shirley constantly holding hands, eating ice creams, doing all the things lovebirds did back in the fifties.  When they broke up, everyone was so shocked because Barry waited so long to win her love.  But then, out of nowhere, he fell for Cynthia and everything came crashing down, especially for Shirley.  I don’t think she ever really recovered.”

Fenton died under mysterious circumstances in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village on Christmas Eve, 1964.  At the time, Mann had “no comment.”

Ironically, Arnie Glurm’s career as “Arnie Wheeler” also came to a somewhat of a tragic end when his left hand became mangled inside a player piano, when drunk and claiming he could force the machine to translate anything he sung.  The machine obviously did not listen to Glurm’s commands and “chewed up” three of his five fingers.  After the accident, Glurms was unable to write or perform, leaving him no other option than to leave show business and return to Wisconsin, where he worked as a shoe salesman until he retired in 1991. 

Whether or not Glurm’s deathbed confession is accurate or not is now one for the musical scholars to debate.  And debate they will.  Already, counterclaims and rebuttals are surfacing, bringing this shocking story to an unbelievably climactic peak, one that may even become bigger than the song Glurm claims to have inspired.

Still, one last question remains unanswered.  And since Glurm has passed on, the chances of solving the mystery may, unfortunately, go unfulfilled.  If Arnie Glurm did, in fact, “put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp,” then who “put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding dong?”

Perhaps we’ll never know.