by Sam Juliano
As I pen this week’s lead in snow is again falling on the Metropolitan area, though expectations are that it will conclude around midnight, leaving in its wake two inches.
What can beat a glorious marathon session of classic rock from a talented veteran trio who grew up in your own back yard? The Nemesys and their erstwhile leader, bass guitarist Cliff Bernunzio rocked the rustic night club-restaurant The Recovery Room for over three hours on a frigid Saturday night in the quaint town of Westwood, New Jersey. Bernunzio, 63, and his his esteemed colleagues, Tony Cavallo on lead guitar and Chris Carnavale on drums gave the classic catalog quite the work out with three sets, that totaled 36 songs by the greatest bands in rock history: The Beatles, The Stones, The Doors, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, The Yardbirds, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Queen, Steppenwolf, The Ramones, The Kinks, Simon & Garfunkle, The Zombies, John Lennon and the Steve Miller Band. As performed by the Nemesys, several of the covers were electrifying – “Magic Carpet Ride,” “I Want You,” “Brown Sugar” and “Green River” among others. All three band members alternated and/or converged on the vocals, with Carnavale assuming much of the duty in dynamic form. Bernunzio, of Little Ferry, has upcoming venues in Bayonne, in Maywood and back in Westwood in the coming months, with one devoted exclusively to Doo Wop, that will focus on Classic 45s.
The Romantic Film countdown will be pushed back one month because of the Tribeca Film Festival scheduled for mid April. Still, everyone’s Top 50 ballots will be due on April 1st. The group e mail announcement is nearing.
Lucille and I saw the following films in theaters this past week:
7 Boxes **** (Friday night) Cinema Village
A Field in England *** 1/2 (Sunday afternoon) Cinema Village
The Lego Movie **** 1/2 (Saturday afternoon) Starplex
The Paraguayan thriller 7 BOXES makes impressive use of setting to showcase an original chase tale, where the characters know little about what awaits them. For the most part this is an original and tautly constructed tale by a South American director – Juanca Maneglia – with considerable talent. He appeared at the theater from a most engaging Q and A. THE LEGO MOVIE takes its inspiration from TOY STORY, but there’s quite a bit of originality on display as well. This animated treasure is irreverent, satiric and brimming with ideas and a resounding emotional undercurrent that make this an entertainment with resonance. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this all seems headed to another blockbusting money franchise, which could be good or very bad. Ha! I think Jaimie Grijalba said it best when he called Ben Wheatley’s A FIELD IN ENGLAND a “head f**k” yet like Jaimie I found there was a certain degree of brilliance in this bizarre yet cinematically dazzling film by a master of this form. At some point I’d like to take in another viewing.