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Sound and Vision

Thursday January 22 2009

A scene from the movie - Changelin.

A scene from the movie - Changelin. 


The Movie: Changelin

Angelina Jolie teams up with legend Clint Eastwood for this epic drama, set in the 1920s. She acts as Christine Collins, a single mother who finds herself in a media storm after she denies that the boy returned to her by the LAPD is her lost son Walter.

Based on the infamous Wineville Chicken-Coop Murders, which ran from 1928 to 1930, and the unpredictable aftermath that resulted in major sackings of the LAPD’s top brass but never achieved anything substantial, Changeling is a tear-jerker of a well scripted and acted movie.

Christie is a dotting single mother to Walter, a young moody son and works as a roller-skating switchboard operator something she juggles with a lot of effort.

She returns home one day to find her son gone and of course, she is devastated. She calls the LAPD who tell her they will help search for him but they don’t give the devastated mother any hope.

Months later, while at work, a police officer gives her some good news. They have found her son. Crying and unbelieving, she rushes to the train station only to stop on her tracks and immediately starts denying that the Walter standing in front of her is hers.


It was PR heaven for the LAPD and that is visible by the number of journalists who have been invited to cover the reunion.

Christie is forced to accept that the boy, who is already hugging her and calling her mother is her Walter after she is convinced that once she calms down, she will see that is her son.

After taking the boy home, she begins to document inaccuracies between the delivered boy and her son, such as the height difference and looks only to be brushed off by Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), the man in charge of the investigation.

She receives support from Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), a flamboyant radio preacher with a massive following who has been on the LAPD’s tail for years.
After they refuse to admit they made a mistake, Christie takes her story to the media and she is forced into a psychiatric hospital by the top cop. Will she waste away or will she fight the corrupt system and get her son back? That is what the film tries to answer.

At the end of the film, perhaps the only light hearted moment of the entire picture, Christie refuses to go out with her colleagues and boss and remains behind to listen to the Oscars where she has bet on the winner.

I have a feeling that during this year’s Oscar Awards, she will still refuse any offers to go out. She will be at the awards where she just might walk home a winner.


The DVD: Family that preys

The most powerful movie maker not in Hollywood is back with a new serving that will definitely excite his best fans and still manage to rattle his worst of critics.

“Family that Preys” is yet another film from the man who gave us Diary of a mad black woman”, “Daddy’s little girl”, “Why did I get married” and “Meet the Browns” among others that entertains yet maintains a high moral ground.

But expect no Madea, everyone’s favourite grandmother on this flick. This is a more serious film a la “Why did I get married” about two families, the Cartwrights and the Pratts.

The two families are run by Charlotte Cartwright (Kathy Bates) and Alice Pratt (Alfre Woodard), two strong women who have been friends for over 30 years and have the tightest of bonds. The former is a wealthy construction company owner who loves the good things in life and the latter is a simple, yet heavily religious and uptight woman who runs a diner.

However, the same cannot be said of their children. Charlotte has one son William (Cole Hauser) who aspires to take over the business and would go to any lengths to oust the mother.

Alice has two daughters a hardworking and realistic Pam (Taraji P. Henson) who is married to the likeable Ben and a proud and snooty career woman Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) who uses her high Harvard education and high paying job to belittle people including her own sister and hardworking husband Chris (Rockmond Dunbar).

Andrea gets into an affair with her boss and family friend William so that she can get to the top and out of sheer foolishness. However, things aren’t all rosy for the two at work thanks to Charlotte’s small “coup” against her son.

The script is simple although it feels pushed and creaking under the weight of other added plots where everybody in the movie is either good or bad.

The end is as predictable as it can be right from the word go but it still serves up as a lesson to anyone who thinks that money is the source of all happiness. I however feel like men will want their women to watch this flick for obvious reasons.


The CD: Heshimu


The strength of band is certainly in its oneness of sound which is why i find the gelled instruments and vocals on this album commendable.

The bass and saxophone intros on the title track, Heshimu, Kulamusana and Si radhi make for an unpredictable start of the songs, which soon evolve into dance tracks. Other notable tracks include Kilele, a sax-laced love ballad and Toka leo - a love assertion, but Si radhi is certainly hit music material.

Being the second release in Gogosimo’s discography-the first being a self titled album (Susan and James Gogosimo)- there’s no doubt that the band works towards leaving an impression. Its contagious energy during their world music live gigs at local clubs is impressionable and the album too has an equal serving of prowess.

Susan’s robust vocals and incredible dynamics are amazing on every track. Mastering the lowest of altos to a good soprano range, its no wonder she’s the only lady needed in the band. The only back up she gets are of male voices from the instrumentalists.

The five man band serves a collection of different genres though not entirely removed from each other. A coastal feel certainly comes out in most of their music with the likes of Bua and Kibwebwe giving you that taarab feel.


The Channel: Of imported soaps

I’ve been walking in on ladies watching these translation pieces for too long and this is what I think-They need a life!

There’s something about these imported crybaby flicks that fail to impress me. For one, they all seem to have a predictable storyline.

Boy meets girl, boy likes girl (and vice versa), girl is from a wealthy family but boy is a hustler (or bad boy). Boy feels the need to fight for his (true) love, a more eligible (read father’s choice) bachelor appears, girl rebels and after a whole season of back and forth, love wins (they elope).

It’s no wonder that some breed of ladies will always fall for the bad boy aka hustler.

What’s more annoying than the voice-overs? They all seem to be done by one person who fakes a cold for male characters and then clears his throat to play girl. Didn’t I say you need a life?

To agree to watch the same thing (theme) over and over, is a show of a melancholic state that needs a rude awakening.

But since they are the cheapest merchandise in the syndication market, my guess is that the Philipino cum Latin American cum Mexican dramas are here to stay. Infact, something tells me that as long as women exist, these flicks will be there.


The station: Radio 316

Mike is the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind waking you up in the morning. The hearty laughter foams out of his personality giving you a clue of the kind of charisma he strikes with many of his ‘reloading’ audience.

What used to be Mike on the Mic is now Jam 3:16 but the audience keeps coming back again and again. It’s a shame that what was perhaps the most fascinating segment of the show -the birthday dropped with the relaunch to Radio 3:16, such little pleasures are no more.

Still, what was amusing was the requests that callers made on Fridays. Despite the station perhaps having one of the largest playlist music variety around, the public would still ask for the very same songs for four hours every week.

I can’t begin to explain the redundant irk that became of it . Well, that too is gone, that’s what happens to exploited freedom.

While the station hardly ever plays local music, rock heads would have a refreshing day streaming this guys on… I just like the fact that they have more music and less talk.