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2FL Short & Video & Trivia: Jav Rivera

Below is a collection of 2FL Short and Video reviews and Trivia originally posted on 2FL's Facebook page.

July 4, 2013
2FL VIDEO: Jesse Heiman - World's Greatest Extra Documentary (Trailer)
by Jav Rivera

Happy Fourth of July! Before you head out for your picnics and fireworks celebrations, take a little time to check out the trailer (and Kickstarter campaign) for a feature-length documentary following a year in the life of Jesse Heiman, Hollywood's most recognizable background actor. The film, produced by Magic Happens Productions and directed by Nick Weis, is seeking funds to help tell this unique story. And if Jesse Heiman's name sounds familiar, perhaps you've already discovered him from our previous 2FL article: https://2ndfirstlook.com/2013/02/an-extra-interview-with-jesse-heiman.html

For more information on the documentary, visit the Kickstarter page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/magichappens/jesse-heiman-worlds-greatest-extra-documentary

April 30, 2013
2FL TRIVIA: Iron Man 3 & Shane Black
by Jav Rivera

In honor of Iron Man 3's U.S. theatrical release this coming Friday (Thursday for the lucky ones), we present to you a little bit of trivia.  This third solo film for Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr., is directed by Shane Black.  Black previously worked with Downey Jr. on his incredible film "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and was a top choice by Downey Jr as well as Jon Favreau (who previously directed Iron Man 1 & 2).

L-R: Robert Downey Jr, Shane Black, and Don Cheadle

April 11, 2013
2FL TRIVIA: Homer Simpson in The Office (US)
by Jav Rivera

In the U.S. version of "The Office," there is a Homer Simpson plush toy near a No Smoking sign. This is due to producer/writer/director Greg Daniels, the developer and creator of the U.S. Version. He was also writer and producer for "The Simpsons." Additionally, Paul Lieberstein (Toby) also wrote and produced with Daniels on "The Simpsons" and "King of The Hill."

Today we introduce a new segment for 2nd First Look entitled 2FL TRIVIA!  Every week our audience can enjoy either a 2FL Short, Video, or Trivia!  And so...

April 2, 2013
2FL TRIVIA: Pixar's Luxo Ball
by Jav Rivera

A yellow ball with a blue stripe and red star known as the Luxo Ball first appeared in "Luxo, Jr." a short film by Pixar (directed by John Lasseter).  This was Pixar's first animated film and showcases Luxo Jr., a desk lamp playing with a ball.  Luxo Jr., of course, became Pixar's logo and the ball went on to cameo in the background of several other Pixar films!  Look for it and post your favorite appearance(s)!

March 28, 2013
2FL VIDEO: "The Old Man Down The Road" (Music Video)
by Jav Rivera

John Fogerty, best known for his days as the front man for CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival), released his solo album "Centerfield" in 1985.  Several hit singles were released including "Rock and Roll Girls," "Centerfield," and "The Old Man Down The Road."  The latter also had a music video which aired on MTV during the 1980s.

The video begins in a swamp - no doubt as an homage to the swamp rock style in which CCR is associated.  Swamp rock mixes rock and roll with folk, country, and blues, a style that Fogerty still embraces.  The music video features a single camera following along a guitar cord that has been laid out throughout the town.  A mysterious figure (Fogerty) hides in several of these "scenes".  And by the end we find Fogerty and his trusty guitar.  It's a simple video but fun nonetheless.

Check out the video posted on Fogerty's official YouTube page here: http://youtu.be/JbSGMRZsN4Q

March 19, 2013
2FL VIDEO: Nacho Libre (Theatrical Trailer)
by Jav Rivera

Often is the case that movie trailers either give away too much detail or just represent the film incorrectly. I remember avoiding "Office Space" simply because of the trailer. Years later, by chance, I saw the film on TV and loved it. And I remember thinking to myself, "Wow...this is one of the best films ever made! That trailer stunk!" But every so often trailers get it right: the mood, the style, and just enough information to entice you.

The theatrical trailer for Jared Hess's 2006 film "Nacho Libre" is one of those. It shared the film's basic plot but never delved too far into the character's struggles. It highlighted some great moments but keeps some the film's best gags secret. This is how a trailer should be done. Enjoy.

(And stay tuned for a full article on "Nacho Libre" coming soon to our main website.)


March 19, 2013
2FL SHORT: Nacho Libre
by Jav Rivera

Director Jared Hess hit gold with his debut feature length film "Napoleon Dynamite". The film was an unexpected hit and has since made cultural history. The recipe was unusually simple: geeky main character with a good heart, quotable dialogue, and extremely dry humor.

Hess's follow-up film, "Nacho Libre" had big shoes to fill. And though his recipe was somewhat similar, the film for the most part was overlooked. It could be said that the endless comparisons to "Napoleon Dynamite" was the film's downfall. Unfortunate considering "Nacho Libre" has a lot of heart in the right places.

The film follows Nacho (Jack Black), a monk who moonlights as a Mexican wrestler, better known as a Luchador. He turns his love of wrestling into a means to help fund the church he represents. The film was loosely based on the story of Rev. Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, or known in the world of wrestling as "Fray Tormenta" ("Friar Storm").

Jack Black shows off his (kinda bad) Mexican accent in a role that oddly enough couldn't have been portrayed by anyone else. His top-notch supporting cast includes the beautiful Ana de la Reguera as Sister Encarnación - Nacho's muse, Darius Rose as Chancho - one of the children in Nacho's church, Cesar Gonzalez as Ramses - Nacho's final opponent, and Héctor Jiménez as Nacho's sidekick "Esqueleto," an actor you wish you could see more of in the other films.

The film has a lot of laughs from Jared Hess's now-famous dry humor, but most of all it's a great underdog story. For more information, visit IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457510/

March 14, 2013
2FL VIDEO: A Black & White Night Live (Roy Orbison)
by Jav Rivera

Shot in beautiful black and white, Roy Orbison's legendary concert "A Black & White Night Live" was released in 1989 and still holds up. Playing along with Orbison is an all-star band that includes Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, and T-Bone Burnett, among many more classic musicians.

The album is available on DVD as well as on CD (and digital download). Visit Roy Orbison's official website for more details: www.royorbison.com


March 12, 2013
2FL SHORT: American Scary (Documentary)
by Jav Rivera

In celebration of my favorite horror host's birthday (Rich "Svengoolie" Koz), today's 2FL Short focuses on the documentary "American Scary" written and directed by John E. Hudgens and Sandy Clark.  Featuring television icons new and old, "American Scary" is a great insight into the world of horror hosts.  It offers a wealth of history from Vampira's "The Vampira Show" (which is generally thought to be the first horror host program) to John Zacherle to Elvira and even Joel Hodgson's "Mystery Science Theater 3000".

Check out the official website here: www.americanscary.com

March 7, 2013
2FL VIDEO: "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel
by Jav Rivera

In 1986, Gabriel released his Platinum-earning album "So".  The album had much success primarily due to three of its singles: "Sledgehammer," "In Your Eyes," and "Big Time".

The music video for "Big Time" had heavy airplay on MTV during the time, and features stop motion claymation by David Daniels, as well as strata-cut animation.  This style was originally done for the album's previous single, "Sledgehammer".

The lyrics for "Big Time reflect the economic success of the 1980s and mocks the monetary mentality of the era.  Some have said that the song also refers to Gabriel's personal success as a musician.  "So" was the first time Gabriel found worldwide fame.  It was a departure to his more experimental style, which is more recognizable during his time as front man for the original lineup of the band Genesis.  With "So" Gabriel specifically wanted to write more pop-oriented tunes, which were more accessible to a wider audience.


Additional information: The video was supervised by Director Steven Johnson, produced by Prudence Fenton, and shot at Peter Wallach Studios. Wayne White, a graphic designer, contributed heavily as well.

February 21, 2013
2FL VIDEO: Red Hong Yi HP Ad
by Jav Rivera

The art of Hong Yi, also known as Red Hong, can be described as innovative and awe-inspiring.  Her use of unorthodox materials to create art is only bested by the actual piece itself.  Her more famous work include a portrait of Jay Chou using coffee stains from the bottom of a coffee cup (www.redhongyi.com/jay) and a portrait of Mark Zuckerburg using books (http://youtu.be/o66_3PMQ8k0).

Recently, Red was featured in an ad for HP printers and showcases what she would do if her printer could take advantage of the RM37 cartridge that prints 1500 pages.  Watch the ad here: http://youtu.be/Pi2ixbI6aew

February 14, 2013
2FL VIDEO: "Hit or Miss" by Tom Jones
by Jav Rivera

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here's a little love your way in the form of Tom Jones.  For decades Sir Thomas John Woodward, better known is Tom Jones, has been one of the few voices of love.  And after so many years, it's nice to hear that he's still got it.  Check out his performance of "Hit Or Miss" on the Graham Norton Show: http://youtu.be/mGPPGnce-tw

February 12, 2013
2FL SHORT: “Supernature” by Goldfrapp
by Jav Rivera

London duo Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, better known as the band Goldfrapp released their third album “Supernature” in 2005.  The album elaborated on their pop sensibilities while maintaining their dance influences noticeable on their previous releases.  Though still extremely inventive in originality, “Supernature” produced more accessible tunes.

Goldfrapp have been featured in several film and television ads, more often than not for the track “Ooh La La” which has been used over a dozen times on over a dozen projects.  Aside from “Ooh La La,” “Supernature” boasts other hypnotic tracks such as “Ride A White Horse,” “Number 1,” “Beautiful,” “Koko,” and personal favorite “Slide In”.

The band has since released two more albums; both straying from the style of “Supernature” and a new album is currently in the works.  Though Goldfrapp’s dance influences are apparent, their sound is all their own.  Along with “Supernature,” their 2008 album “Seventh Tree” is a collection of their best work.

Check out “Supernature” on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/supernature/id388090598

January 31, 2013
2FL VIDEO: World's Greatest Extra
by Jav Rivera

In March 2011, mrWHempel uploaded at video on YouTube and unwittingly helped gain cult status for a young man named Jesse Heiman. Jesse is an "extra," those people in the background in films and on TV. And it just so happens that Jesse Heiman has become one of the most popular faces hiding in the backgrounds of over 60 film and television projects. His distinct look has landed him in such films as "Old School," "Transformers 3," "The Social Network," and "Catch Me If You Can," as well as on TV shows and commercials. This video highlights some of his more high profile projects, and has already garnered nearly 3 MILLION views.

Stay tuned during the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (after the first quarter during the second set of commercials) where he'll be featured in a commercial. Additionally, 2nd First Look will be posting an interview with Jesse in a full article that same Sunday (February 3, 2013).


January 24, 2013
2FL VIDEO: "The Gate" Music Video by Sam Roberts Band
by Jav Rivera

Sam Roberts (and his band) are one of Canada's best kept secrets.  And their music video for "The Gate" is one example of what's been hiding.  The video, which was nominated for best "MuchMoreMusic" Award and "People's Choice – Favourite Canadian Artist," displays the band in their most famous location - on stage.  Well, almost on stage.  Each member of this stadium rock band stands on a moveable platform which is being pulled forward and backward.  And with saturated colors and polluted debris pouring down, the look coincides with the song's lyrics.

For more information, visit their official site here: www.samrobertsband.com.  And to read a full article on the band, visit our main site here: 2FL: Sam Roberts Band

Check out the music video for "The Gate" here: http://youtu.be/SkHSbPW1_v8

January 22, 2013
2FL SHORT: Get Smart (2008)
by Jav Rivera

Based on Mel Brooks' TV series from the 60s/70s, director Peter Segal's 2008 film, "Get Smart" was better than the critics may have lead you to believe. In the past few years there have been a multitude of films based on old television shows, "Get Smart" is one of the more decent "based on" projects.

Starring the hilarious Steve Carell as Agent 86, a very sexy Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, and the always great Alan Arkin as The Chief, the cast nearly lives up to their predecessors. Of course it's hard not to compare, but it's best to accept the fact that Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, and Edward Platt (the original actors from the series) had their show and the new cast has this film.

What's clearly visible is that everyone on board seems to be having fun. Terence Stamp as Siegfried, a role that is a bit underwritten for someone as powerful as Stamp, could have easily phoned his performance in but instead made for a great villain. Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson pokes fun at himself. And it's this relaxed style that makes the film work. They're fully aware that they cannot capture the same lightning in a bottle as the original TV series, but they're not afraid to catch their own.


January 17, 2013
2FL VIDEO: Trailer for "The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare"
by Jav Rivera

Having just been nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Animated Short Film" for "The Longest Daycare", FOX's long-running TV series "The Simpsons" had an interesting idea for their film's trailer - to make it extremely short and fast! I remember being in the theatre when this trailer played. At first I thought it was a joke and waited briefly for more information. But when the next trailer started, I literally laughed out loud. And it worked because I can't remember any other preview from that day. So here it is, the original trailer for "The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare" starring Maggie Simpson.


January 15, 2013
2FL SHORT: Finn by The Finn Brothers
by Jav Rivera

In 1995, brothers Neil and Tim Finn released their debut album "Finn". The duo had previously worked together in the band Split Enz, and later on Crowded House. Although Tim was officially only a full band member of the latter for one album, he contributed to other Crowded House releases. Both artists have enjoyed success as solo artists as well.

"Finn" combines Neil's gift of writing pop music with indie-minded experimentation and Tim's heartfelt style. Their voices blend together perfectly, adding achingly beautiful harmonies. Though the album's track list is impeccable, stand out songs include: "Suffer Never", "Last Day of June", "Angels Heap", "Only Talking Sense", "Where Is My Soul", and live track "Kiss the Road of Rarotonga".

For more information on "FInn" visit: wikipedia.org
And to hear the album visit: www.soundcloud.com

January 10, 2013
2FL VIDEO: Taxi Driver (re-cut)
by Jav Rivera

Have you ever seen a movie and thought, "Wow, the trailer for this didn't do it justice!"  Or maybe you thought, "Wow, the trailer made me think this was a totally different movie."  The power of trailers is terrifying.  To prove a point, there are people out there who re-edit scenes from movies and make trailers that don't match the content.  Here's an example for Martin Scorsese's dark, brutal film "Taxi Driver", made to look like a romantic comedy.


January 8, 2013
2FL SHORT: The Freddy Jones Band (debut album)
by Jav Rivera

Their band may not be a household name but most Midwesterners are familiar with The Freddy Jones Band's most famous single "In A Daydream". A studio version of this track can be found on their second album "Waiting For The Night" but personally my favorite version can be found on their self-titled debut album. This eleven track album includes three live tracks, one of which is an awe-inspiring version of "In A Daydream". The album also includes an acoustic version of their biggest hit but it's the live version that showcases the band's ability to perform rock music with stadium appeal.

The Chicago-based band includes Marty Lloyd (vocals, guitar), Wayne Healy (vocals, guitar), Jim Bonaccorsi (bass), Rob Bonaccorsi (vocals, guitar), and Simon Horrocks (drums). Notice that no one in the band is named Freddy Jones; the band's name is still a mystery to most fans. In an interview with Marty Lloyd (http://cisumreview.tripod.com/april1998/lloyd.html), apparently the band is named after a gentleman who helped Marty and Wayne out with a flat tire.

To date, The Freddy Jones Band have release four studio albums, a compilation, and two live albums. According to their website, they are currently in the studio producing their fifth album. If you're new to the band, check out their debut album now, available on iTunes. The three live tracks, which also include "And She Cried" and "The Puppet" should impress you enough to become a fan. But if you need more convincing, the rest of the album should leave you tapping your foot and bobbing your head. And with tracks like "Texas Skies", "This Time Around", and "Into the Wind" they prove that they can produce calmer, jazzy blues music as well as rock anthems.

For more information, visit their official site: www.freddyjonesband.com


January 1, 2013
2FL SHORT: Bricks Are Heavy - L7
by Jav Rivera

In 1992, the all female heavy metal band L7 released their third album "Bricks Are Heavy".  With it they released the singles "Everglade", "Monster", and their most popular track "Pretend We're Dead" which peaked at #8 on the US Billboard charts.  The album was produced by Butch Vig (who also produced Nirvana's "Nevermind" album). The band at the time consisted of Donita Sparks (guitar/vocals), Suzi Gardner (guitar/vocals), Jennifer Finch (bass/vocals), and Demetra Plakas (drums/backing vocals).

L7, a Los Angeles-based band, had been known for their heavy metal and punk influences, however, "Bricks Are Heavy" came out during the grunge days of the 90's and was quickly categorized as grunge music.  To their benefit, alternative rock stations began to play "Everglade" and "Pretend We're Dead" on heavy rotation.  MTV also gave much attention to the four ladies and featured them on several programs including "Alternative Nation", "120 Minutes", and "The Jon Stewart Show".

"Bricks Are Heavy" remains L7's most popular album and probably their most commercial friendly.  That said, the album is still extremely heavy and with tracks like "Slide", "Wargasm", "Sh-tlist", and "Mr. Integrity" the band never hold back their aggressive writing and musical style.

Check the album out on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bricks-are-heavy/id309736061

December 27, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Christoph Waltz as "Der Humpink"
by Jav Rivera

Christoph Waltz quickly gained America's attention after his role as Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film "Inglourious Basterds".  He will once again prove his value as Dr. King Schultz in Tarantino's "Django Unchained".  But if you ever wondered where this charming and unforgettable actor came from, you need look no more.  Check out this video where Waltz talks about his best role ever: "Der Humpink".


December 25, 2012
2FL SHORT: "My Christmas Dream" -- Trashcan Sinatras
by Jav Rivera

Nearly forty years ago, Perry Como (along with The London Boy Singers) recorded "Christmas Dream" for the 1974 film "The Odessa File" directed by Ronald Neame and starring Jon Voight. The song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (English lyrics), and André Heller (German lyrics). The film follows a reporter who discovers the name of a former SS officer who ran a concentration camp during WWII. The officer, whose name was found within the diary of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, now runs a high tech company which plans to send biochemical warheads to foreign land. The theme to "Christmas Dream" are of peace to mankind and include the lyrics: "Every year I dream it, hoping things will change. An end to the crying, the shouting, the dying.

More recently, Scottish band Trashcan Sinatras released a version in vein of their very soothing style. Their recording is available as a FREE download. To download, control-click or right-click on the following link: http://trashcansinatras.com/my-christmas-dream.mp3

For more information about the band, visit their official site: www.trashcansinatras.com

December 19, 2012
2FL SHORT: Chris Isaak - Christmas
By Jav Rivera

Fans of Chris Isaak probably already have his Christmas-themed album on heavy rotation. But those who are new to the crooner may be surprised to discover this fun and heartfelt album. It's a solid collection of old favorites and new tunes. Highlights include: "Washington Square", "Hey Santa!", "Last Month Of The Year" and "Gotta Be Good". Click here to preview the album on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/christmas/id105570263

December 13, 2012
2FL VIDEO: The Dark Knight Rises Trailer (LEGO Version)
by Jav Rivera

A good trailer entices an audience without giving away major plot details. Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film for his Dark Knight Trilogy did just that. And thanks to the people at ParanickFilmz (www.paranickfilmz.co.nr), we can watch The Dark Knight Rises' trailer in LEGO form.


December 11, 2012
2FL SHORT: Moonrise Kingdom
by Jav Rivera

Wes Anderson has established himself as a writer/director with studio-quality films and indie-style filmmaking.  His use of quirky characters in unusual situations has long been his recurring themes.  And yet he never seems to repeat himself.  His latest film "Moonrise Kingdom" (now out on Blu-ray) is no exception.

Anderson is the master or bringing out amazing performances from actors both new and established.  Here he uses two first-time actors as his leads while Oscar-level actors fill in the surrounding characters.  Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play Sam and Suzy, a couple of black sheep running away together to live in a self-created kingdom.  Sam's scout master (played by a brilliant Edward Norton) and Suzy's parents (Frances McDormand and Bil Murray) put together a search party to bring the kids back.

Anderson's last film "Fantastic Mr. Fox" which was created using stop-motion had his fans wondering if he would return to live action.  With "Moonrise Kingdom" not only does Anderson return, but he comes back with one of his strongest films.

For more information, visit the film's official website: www.moonrisekingdom.com

December 6, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Super Mario Beads 3
by Jav Rivera

Created by Marcus and Hannes Knutsson (of Lefvande bilder), this week's video highlight features Super Mario in "Super Mario Beads 3". Based on the famous NES game Super Mario Bros., this version of Mario is made up of beads and filmed against real world stop motion. For more information about Marcus and Hannes, and to view more of their films, visit: lefvandebilder.se.

November 22, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Super Golden Friends
by Jav Rivera

Today is a day of thanks so thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for getting our page views up to nearly 60 thousand. Thank you for sticking around for over 2 years since we launched.
And thank you for sharing our site with others.

And if that wasn't enough gratitude for you, let us present you with today's 2FL VIDEO which highlights KEVIN BAPP's take on the theme song/intro for the 80s TV series "Golden Girls". Bapp takes DC's Batman, Superman, Robin, and Aquaman and turns them "golden". Amazingly, he animates every frame from "Golden Girls" and replaces them with these DC characters - right down to Rue McClanahan's strut down the hall. Seriously...do the comparison! A link to the original intro is provided below.

Thank you for being a friend…indeed. We thank you and we hope you take a moment to give thanks to the wonderful people and things in your life. For more information on Kevin Bapp and his work, visit his official site: www.kevinbapp.com

Original Golden Girls Intro:

Kevin's Super Version:

November 20, 2012
2FL SHORT: Rachael Yamagata
by Jav Rivera

What would happen if you took Fiona Apple's voice, fierceness, and veracity and combined it with Norah Jones' delicacy and charm?  Anyone who's heard singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata may know the answer.  Her voice, as some may compare, does have similarities to Fiona Apple but her musical style and writing are all her own.  Yamagata's range is wide, spanning from beautiful piano-based to edgy and guitar heavy.  She can belt out a tune like “Letter Read” using every muscle in her vocal chord and bring you to ease with her gentleness on tracks like “Elephants”.

Among several EPs available on iTunes, she has also released three studio albums: “Happenstance” (2004), “Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart” (2008), and “Chesapeake” (2011).  She currently has a FREE album (“The NoiseTrade Loft Sessions Mixtape and More”) available on her website.  Though the album doesn’t successfully showcase her musical range, it’s still a nice addition to a musician with a collection of powerful pieces.  The highlight of the free album, entitled "Bullsh-t", is surprisingly calm for a song that could have easily been loud and angst.  It’s the sign of a young artist with a maturity level of a seasoned musician.

To download her free album and for more information, visit her official website: www.rachaelyamagata.com.

November 15, 2012
2FL VIDEO: "Is Your Love Big Enough?" -- Lianne La Havas
by Jav Rivera

It's been a while since I've seen guitar playing that truly impresses. How wonderful that it comes from the talented fingers of Lianne La Havas. Add a strong, equally talented voice and you have something that is sure to win awards. Check out her performance on Conan: http://teamcoco.com/video/lianne-la-havas-is-your-love-big-enough-11/14/12

And for more information, visit her official website: m.liannelahavas.com

November 6, 2012
2FL SHORT: The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus
by Jav Rivera

Director/Producer Charles de Lauzirika may not be a household name, but anyone who's watched bonus material from recent films may just have well seen his work.  De Lauzirika has been behind-the-scenes for several Hollywood pictures, primarily for director Ridley Scott including: "Fallen Empire: Making American Gangster," "The Beast Within: The Making of Alien," and "Strength and Honor: Creating the World of Gladiator" just to name a few.  His most recent documentary was for Scott's "Prometheus" entitled "The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus".

The documentary, which is an impressive 220 minutes, delves deep into the making of "Prometheus".  Though all departments get their screen time, there's great focus on story, digital special effects, stunts, and most importantly the use of practical effects.  In a time when most films use digital effects and green screen, Scott chose to use mostly practical effects and real locations, then using digital technology simply to enhance.  The results are beautiful and commendable - both for Scott's insistence and for his digital and practical team's ability to work with each to make a flawless blend of both mediums.

"The Furious Gods" can be found in the Prometheus Blu-ray 3D Collector's Edition.  Many other bonus features come on the disc but it's "Furious Gods" that stands out for its sheer magnitude and detail.  Kudos to another well-made documentary by Charles de Lauzirika.


October 30, 2012
2FL SHORT: I Am Legend
by Jav Rivera

Dr. Robert Neville is the last survivor of a plague that killed most of humanity. Committed to finding a cure, Dr. Neville (played by Will Smith), must hunt for food and gather supplies among the abandoned homes of New York City - making sure to only travel during the day. Some thing or some things lurk in the dark and Neville with his loyal dog are prisoners in their own home.

Director Francis Lawrence's film "I Am Legend" is loosely based on a 1954 novel by Richard Matheson. Matheson's novel was also the basis for other films including 1964's "The Last Man on Earth," 1971's "The Omega Man," and was the inspiration behind the 1968 film "Night of the Living Dead".

Lawrence's film has Will Smith on top form - artistically and physically - and utilizes sound design to the highest degree. It's a great thriller and a nice choice for a Halloween movie night.

October 23, 2012
2FL SHORT: Martin McDonagh
by Jav Rivera

In 2008, writer/director Martin McDonagh released his film "In Bruges" starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. His very unique twist on hit-men movies proved that he was a director with classic yet fresh style. With his follow up film, "Seven Psychopaths", still out in theatres there's still an opportunity to witness the director's genius being proved yet again.

"In Bruges" explores a tortured hit-man (Farrell) over a hit gone bad. He and his partner (a loveable Gleeson) are forced to hide out in a small Belgium town (Bruges) while their boss (a frightening Ralph Fiennes) figures out what to do with the situation. The film's pace may not match what the audience might expect but it's the presentation that fits perfectly for the story. Farrell's antsy character has absolutely no appreciation for Bruges' charm, and is anxious to get back home. We, the audience, are made to feel his claustrophobia. "In Bruges" is clever, charming, and above all Farrell's greatest role yet. A role in which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

With McDonagh's "Seven Psychopaths" he brings back some of his cast, including Farrell. But this time he's brought in the help of some major stars doing what they do best - solid performances. Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and even a bit part from singer/actor Tom Waits, deliver as they always do. But if someone's going to win an award, it will surely be Christopher Walken. Walken finally breaks from his caricature roles and back into actually acting. If anyone forgot what he can do (besides talk funny and poke fun at himself), this is the film to watch the man shine.

With back-to-back films that deliver on both humorous and heart-felt levels, Martin McDonagh is definitely a director to keep an eye on.

For more information on these two films visit IMDb:

Seven Psychopaths: www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533

October 16, 2012
2FL SHORT: Bubba Ho-Tep
by Jav Rivera

What do Elvis, JFK, an Egyptian mummy, and a retirement home have in common? If you don't know the answer then you haven't seen Don Coscarelli's hilarious (and frightening) film "BUBBA HO-TEP".

Released in 2003, "Bubba Ho-Tep" follows a still-living Elvis Presley (played by Bruce Campbell) as he moves into a retirement home. There he befriends John F. Kennedy...who just happens to be Black and played by the wonderful Ossie Davis.

They discover something around town has been sucking the souls of all the residents and decide it's time to take care of business. Watch The King and Black JFK kick some mummy butt in one of the strangest - yet believable - horror films.

For more information, visit the film's official website: www.bubbahotep.com

And here's the trailer: http://youtu.be/X7Qo74_L3vo

October 11, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Psycho Trailer (1960)
by Jav Rivera

ALFRED HITCHCOCK was famous for having a morbid sense of humor, and the original trailer for his film PSYCHO is a perfect example. Where as most horror films, especially nowadays, would use quick cuts and loud music, Hitch instead goes completely the opposite direction. He takes the audience on a pleasant tour of the "scene of the crime". The music is delightful and would seem like it would have been used to score a Sunday drive in a 1950s family sitcom. The narrative dialogue can only be served through his slow, cheeky voice. Hitch had more than just talent, he had courage to do what others could never dream. It's truly a quality trailer for a quality movie.

October 2, 2012
2FL SHORT: Don't Whisper Lies (EP)
by Jav Rivera

In 2004, brother and sister Bruce and Erica Driscoll released their debut EP "Don't Whisper Lies" under the name Astaire. Because of legal issues with the estate of Fred Astaire, they were asked to change their band name. Their new moniker, Blondfire, is fortunately a better-suited name for their music. (Note: searching "Blondfire" includes all previous releases as Astaire).

Included in the EP is their amazing single "L-L-Love". The track walks a fine line between rock and dance. The hypnotic beat of "L-L-Love" doesn't define their sound, though. Erica's gentle voice blended with Bruce's exploratory styles is best heard on the title track "Don't Whisper Lies". The final track "Right Where I Want You" showcases Blondfire's ability to write fun, original music.

Since the EP's debut, the duo has released more singles and EPs (all available on iTunes), and finally releasing a full album entitled "My Someday" in 2008. For more information visit their official website: www.blondfiremusic.tumblr.com

September 20, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Big Shake Commercial
By Jav Rivera

There's not much that can be said about today's video clip, other than that it's a commercial for a drink sold in Haiti. That said...enjoy.

September 18, 2012
2FL SHORT: "Kite" by Nick Heyward (covered by Ivy)
by Jav Rivera

In 1993, Nick Heyward released his flawless album "From Monday To Sunday" which included the single "Kite". Nearly a decade later (in 2002) Ivy released their album "Guestroom" which included a cover of "Kite".

For the most part covers bother me, but one day I was shopping and I heard the tail end of Ivy's version. Before I recognized it, I had been enjoying the tune and it suddenly hit me that it was "Kite".

"Kite" has a happy, pop feel to it despite its somewhat dark lyrics about dreams and goals. It's a perfect summation of Heyward's album. Ivy's version keeps the tune's happy sound but singer Dominique Durand's voice adds a fresh take, making it sound more like a love song.

Both versions should be in your iTunes library. For Ivy's cover, click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/kite/id317901258?i=317901273

For Nick Heyward's original tune click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/from-monday-to-sunday/id292747664

September 13, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Muscle Man Compilation
by Jav Rivera

We here are 2nd First Look pride ourselves in highlighting quality projects from esteemed artists. But every once in a while we like to let our hair down and share quality projects from silly artists. Cartoon Network's series "Regular Show" is quickly becoming one of those goofy gems that will most likely have a page in cartoon history.

Created by J.G. Quintel, "Regular Show" features main characters: Mordecai, Rigby, Benson, Pops Maellard, High Five Ghost, and Muscle Man. Muscle Man is known for his catch phrase "My Mom", much to the annoyance of the other characters. This video is a compilation of Muscle Man using the aforementioned catch phrase.

And what will we feature next week? Perhaps a ballet routine by Anna Pavlovna Pavlova. Or maybe something from Pee-Wee Herman.

For more information about "Regular Show" visit their official site: www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/regularshow

Muscle Man Compilation: http://youtu.be/kuCV4-CXwOs

September 11, 2012
2FL SHORT: The Fire Theft
by Jav Rivera

In 2003, three members of 90s band Sunny Day Real Estate released the self-titled album for their newly-formed band The Fire Theft. The band is fronted by singer/guitarist Jeremy Enigk with Nate Mendel on bass and William Goldsmith on drums. The album is categorized as Indie Rock and Emo which can be somewhat misleading since the album also contains prog-rock, experimental, and blues influences.

Besides the compelling music and harmonies, what stands out the most is Enigk's unique and powerful voice. Sounding unlike any other singer, he delivers soft, aching vocals. And with just a strum of a note his voice can stretch out to a bellow. Great examples of his vocals can be found on: "Houses," "It's Over," "Ocean's Apart," and "Chain". And the best example of the band as a whole is their epic tune "Sinatra".

No other album was released under this moniker and with the recent reunion of Sunny Day Real Estate, it looks as if The Fire House will remain a one-off. Fortunately for fans of The Fire House, Enigk has released several solo albums, not to mention his work with Sunny Day Real Estate.

For more information, visit Jeremy Enigk's website: www.jeremyenigk.com. And to preview or purchase The Fire Theft album click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-fire-theft/id162506012

September 6, 2012
2FL VIDEO: "Batman Chooses His Voice"
by Jav Rivera

With over 4 MILLION views on YouTube, online fans have showed their appreciation for this short video by the trio from Front Page Films. The title of their video, entitled "Batman Chooses His Voice," is pretty much self-explanatory.

Not only is their acting superb, but so too is the quality of their production. The scene is a spoof from Christopher Nolan's film "Batman Begins" - the first of his amazing trilogy. And a fine performance indeed by the actor playing "Batman" as he unsuccessfully scares his prey with a high-pitch voice. "Batman" attempts to use different voices until he finally gets it right...by accident.

Check out the clip and for more videos, visit their official site: www.frontpagefilms.com.

September 4, 2012
2FL SHORT: "Hawkmoon 269" by U2
by Jav Rivera

Those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s were very much aware of U2's impossibly awesome live album "Rattle and Hum". It set the bar extremely high for all other live albums to come. U2 released "Rattle and Hum" after the success of their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree".

Besides the endless list of hit tracks ("Desire," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Pride," "When Love Comes To Town," and "All I Want Is You" to name a few), came one of the most overshadowed tunes - "Hawkmoon 269".

The track starts off with a steady guitar strum that continues through the track. Much of the song remains on a steady beat and level until the later portion. The drums beat more aggressively and Bono's voice turns to a controlled scream (like no other singer can do).

"Hawkmoon 269" could be one of U2's best, hidden gems. Check it out on iTunes:

TRIVIA: Guitarist The Edge has stated that the band mixed the track 269 times, taking three weeks to complete - hence its title.

August 28, 2012
2FL SHORT: Black Dynamite (The Animated Series)
by Jav Rivera

Created by Scott Sanders, Byron Minns, and Michael Jai White (the latter two also star), "Black Dynamite" is probably what you'd expect from their poster - a Blaxploitation series. But what you may not expect is the quality of its humor. Based on the 2009 film (www.imdb.com/title/tt1190536), the animated series follows the hood-related adventures of Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) and his trusted trio: Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson), Bullhorn (Byron Minns) and Honeybee (Kym Whitley). The voice actors - with huge props to Tommy Davidson who starred in the 80's sketch comedy series "In Living Color" - are perfectly cast.

The series, much like the film, pokes fun at the Blaxploitation genre and its stereotypical B-movie filmmaking qualities. Even plot errors are pointed out by the characters. There's lots of guns, hoes, and bleeped out swearing - just enough to make you proud to be Black. Wait...what?

"Black Dynamite" can be found on Adult Swim (on The Cartoon Network). Visit the show's official website for more information: www.adultswim.com/shows/black-dynamite

August 23, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
by Jav Rivera

Last month, Comedian Jerry Seinfeld introduced the world to his latest endeavor - "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" - a web series that brings together three things: comedians, cars, and coffee! What's not to love?

Every Thursday, a new episode features a classic automobile and diner. But more impressive are the comedians and conversation. So far, Seinfeld has met with Joel Hodgson, Alec Baldwin, Brian Regan, Ricky Gervais, and Larry David, his co-creator of the 90's television series "Seinfeld".

They discuss whatever's on their mind, but primarily feature conversations about comedy. Each episode runs around 12 minutes or so and include bonus video clips that didn't make the final cut. These extras are labeled "Spare Parts" and are often just as funny as the main video.

The show is slowly garnering a following and with any luck "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" will continue on for months (perhaps years). This week's episode features Joel Hodgson, comedian and creator of the much-loved "Mystery Science Theater 3000".

August 21, 2012
2FL SHORT: True Romance
by Jav Rivera

In honor of Director Tony Scott's death, I'd like to present one of his best films, 1993's "True Romance" starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Bronson Pinchot, Christopher Walken, and Val Kilmer.

Written by Quentin Tarantino, "True Romance" follows the naivety life of Elvis-fanatic Clarence (Christian Slater). One bad decision after another, Clarence decides to save hooker Alabama (Patricia Arquette) from her pimp Drexl (Gary Oldman). On top of that, he steals his cocaine and attempts to sell it. Things inevitably get worse.

Tarantino's script is original and powerful, with amazing performances by everyone involved, especially a memorable scene involving Dennis Hopper and a fierce Christopher Walken. Tony Scott may not have had as many critically acclaimed films as his older brother Ridley but when Tony got it right, he certainly got it right. "True Romance" may have been his best film but he left us with many others to enjoy. (Also check out "Domino" - www.imdb.com/title/tt0421054 and "Unstoppable: - www.imdb.com/title/tt0477080)

"True Romance" - www.imdb.com/title/tt0108399

August 16, 2012

2FL VIDEO: Dollar Shave Club
by Jav Rivera

The video for web company Dollar Shave Club is low budget and incredibly clever. It's also quite popular, garnering nearly SIX MILLION views on YouTube. So how did this company get so famous by selling razors? Watch their commercial and you may find out.

August 7, 2012
2FL SHORT: "Lyrisk fantasi (Lyric Fantasy), Op. 54" by Lars-Erik Larsson
by Jav Rivera

In 1966, Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson wrote the dreamy and calming piece "Lyrisk fantasi". The 8 and a half minute composition begins with deep,
eerie strings perfect for setting a chilling mood. The main melody in introduced through the horn section. Flutes flow in and add lightness to a somewhat dark theme.

The piece, in general, has a very visual style, perfect for producing incredible images within your mind. Perfect, indeed, for Larrson since he wrote for the theatre, cinema, and broadcasting. He also worked in more traditional forms of symphony, concerto, chamber, and vocal music, but this piece is most definitely cinematic.

"Lyrisk fantasi" (which can also be found listed as "Lyric Fantasy, Op 54") is available on iTunes performed by Petter Sundkvist & Swedish Chamber Orchestra on the "The Best of Lars-Erik Larsson" album: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-best-of-lars-erik-larsson/id517032544

"Lyrisk fantasi": http://youtu.be/FzT89agM20o

August 2, 2012
2FL VIDEO: "Make It Home" by thenewno2
by Jav Rivera

In 2008, Alternative band thenewno2 released their debut album "You Are Here" to critical acclaim. Under the guise of a band name, Dhani Harrison (son of The Beatles' George Harrison) and Oliver Hecks were able to create a unique and original album without any prior assumptions. Dhani, whose voice sounds eerily (and pleasantly) like his father's, provides vocals, guitars, and programming. thenewno2's latest album includes new band members Jonathan Sadoff, Jeremy Faccone, Nick Fyffe, Frank Zummo, and Paul Hicks who mixed the debut album.

Recently, thenewno2 appeared on TBS's "Conan" television series to perform their first single entitled "Make It Home".  The new album, "thefearofmissingout " is available for download on Amazon MP3 (www.amazon.com). So if you like what you hear, then give back to a band whose music is effortlessly breaking new ground.

On a side note, Conan O'Brien is once again featuring additional (unaired) performances by his music guests. These videos are available on the official TeamCoco website for the "Conan Summer Music Series" (www.teamcoco.com/summermusic).

Official Band Website

Thenewno2 on TBS's "Conan"

July 31, 2012
2FL SHORT: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
by Jav Rivera

How do you describe a show like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"? No, seriously...that's a real question. It's a little like "Arrested Development" and a little like "Seinfeld". The cast includes Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, and the always great Danny DeVito. They all play insane characters with a specificity that's almost frightful. And because they constantly feed off each other, it's hard to tell when moments are scripted and when they're improvised. The entire show seems like a group of crazy people trying desperately to maintain the little sanity they have left.

IMDb describes the show as "Four young friends with big egos and slightly arrogant attitudes are the proprietors of an Irish bar in Philadelphia." Essentially that's correct but even IMDb can't explain it accurately! The comedic genius behind each character and story is so beyond words. The show is best explained by just watching it. How these actors maintain this level of humor with such vitality is truly astonishing.

So how do you describe a show like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"? Hell if I know. Chime in if you have any thoughts.

July 19, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Clue The Movie (on Blu-ray!)
by Jav Rivera

With one of cinema's best ensemble cast, a clever mystery, and a hilarious take on a board game, Clue The Movie is a thing of brilliance. The clip featured here gives an excellent sample of the cast playing off of each other and at the same time adding their own unique identity. Mrs. White (played by the late Madeline Kahn) in particular is a treat.

Happily, the film will be released on Blu-ray for the first time on August 7, 2012. For more information, visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clue/345821172149964.

And to read a full 2nd First Look article, click here: https://2ndfirstlook.com/2010/10/clue-one-of-best-ensemble-casts.html

July 5, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Christopher O'Riley - "Subterranean Homesick Alien"
by Jav Rivera

Pianist Christopher O'Riley may not be a household name but he's definitely got a following. Respected by many musicians and having won several awards, O'Riley has arranged music ranging from Classical to Alternative Rock. His most notable arrangements come from his two albums featuring the music of Radiohead ("True Love Waits," released 2003, ""Hold Me To This," released 2005). He has also arranged music from Elliot Smith and Nick Drake ("Home to Oblivion" and "Second Grace" respectively).

O'Riley doesn't just play their music, he transforms guitars and voices into beautiful notes, played passionately. The songs sound amazingly different despite having the same DNA. When you listen to Radiohead's "Airbag" for example and compare it to O'Riley's version, you're amazing by its transformation. Today's 2FL Video features O'Riley playing Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien" when he appeared on Qtv.

O'Riley also hosts NPR's most famous program entitled "From the Top," where he interviews and features live performances of young musicians.

News for our Austin, Texas audience: O'Riley will be playing with Cellist Matt Haimovitz at Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music on Sunday, July 15. For more information about the concert visit: http://austinchambermusic.org/calendar/071512

And for more information on Christopher O'Riley visit: www.christopheroriley.com

"Subterranean Homesick Alien": http://youtu.be/WBGh3yKB7lo

June 26, 2012
2FL SHORT: Bob's Burgers
by Jav Rivera

An animated show about a man passionate about making burgers, and his less than enthusiastic wife and three kids. But that's just a basic description. Really, "Bob's Burgers," created by Loren Bouchard, has great stories with hilariously odd characters. It's a nice blend of both family and office humor.

Starring John Roberts as Linda, Kristen Schaal as Louise, Eugene Mirman as Gene, Dan Mintz as Tina, and H. Jon Benjamin as Bob, whose voice may sound familiar to fans of the show "Archer". The heart of the show comes from the heart of the characters. They're each very weird, very quirky, and very heartfelt. Sure they make fun of each other but they're always there for each other.

Season One of "Bob's Burgers" is available on Netflix streaming. For more information check out their official page on FOX: www.fox.com/bobsburgers

June 19, 2012
2FL SHORT: Futurama (NEW EPISODES!!! and Podcasts)
by Jav Rivera

Futurama is BACK! Starting tomorrow (Wednesday, June 20), Comedy Central will begin airing new episodes of the best animated program ever. Currently Futurama is offering a FREE podcast available on iTunes. The podcasts, a first ever for Futurama, highlights new characters, storylines, and more. Click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/futurama-countdown-to-futurama/id526059138

And to read 2nd First Look's FULL article on this show, click here: https://2ndfirstlook.com/2012/05/futurama.html

Oh yeah...and 2FL is past 27,000 views! WOOT!

June 7, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Jav Rivera

On June 5, 2012, we lost the great Ray Bradbury (aged 91 years). In honor of this esteemed writer, I'd like to present the trailer for the 1983 film "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce star in Director Jack Clayton's film based on Bradbury's novel, which was released in 1962. The story follows two young boys after then encounter a sinister carnival whose proprietor, Mr. Dark, lures the townsfolk to their doom by promising to fulfill their childhood desires. These wishes, however, come with a terrible price.

Bradbury was hired as screenwriter and in a more recent interview stated that he considered the film one of the better adaptations of his works. Like Bradbury's writing, the film is dark with hints of lightness. It's a great choice for any time, but best enjoyed during the chilly month of October.

June 5, 2012
2FL SHORT: Drive
by Jav Rivera

Last year I had the privilege of attending a panel for the film "Drive" at 2011's ComicCon. They showed an intriguing scene in an elevator, which has now become one of the more popular scenes of the film. The "elevator scene" has a mixture of romance and disturbing violence. But it's not this that makes the film one of the best of 2011.

Ryan Gosling stars as Driver and like Clint Eastwood before him, he plays a stark character with no name. For an actor who has done several odd characters (see "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Half Nelson"), "Drive" showcases Gosling as a quiet and very intense actor.

The lovely Carey Mulligan and wonderful Albert Brooks co-star but it's Bryan Cranston and Gosling who steal the show. Cranston, better known for his father character in "Malcolm in the Middle" and as Walter White in "Breaking Bad," shows a weaker side with a tragic past. Though not actually related in the film, their father-son relationship is the heart of the story. Their bond parallels Driver's protection over Mulligan's character.

And then there's the best aspect of "Drive" - the pace. It's slow, pulsating, and absolutely perfect. The first scene says it all. Driver's after hours gig as a getaway driver shows a chase unlike anything in cinema history. He's not fast or destructive - instead he's intelligent and patient. With knowledge of the streets, Driver outsmarts the LA Police.

It's not what you think and unlike anything you'd imagine. "Drive" is sure to have a long life in cinematic history.

May 22, 2012
2FL SHORT: The People vs. George Lucas
by Jav Rivera

After creating his masterpiece Star Wars: A New Hope, did Director George Lucas tarnish his legacy by releasing the prequels? Was he wrong to change the original trilogy by enhancing the imagery and messing with key moments of the film? Director Alexandre O. Philippe's documentary "The People vs. George Lucas" explores the two-sided opinions from fans of legendary director.

There's a lot to laugh at and a surprisingly large amount of great insight (from BOTH sides of this argument). Ultimately, yes...George Lucas was wrong. But that's just my opinion - check out what other fans have to say. Available now on Netflix streaming.

May 15, 2012
2FL SHORT: Mindy Smith's "Exclusive 4 Song Sampler" EP
by Jav Rivera

Back in December Jav Rivera wrote a full article highlighting the music of Mindy Smith (https://2ndfirstlook.com/2011/12/mindy-smith.html). Since then, the lovely and talented Ms. Smith has been hard at work on her new self-titled album (due out in June 2012). Today, she released an exclusive EP available as a FREE download (link below). The sampler includes 2 new tracks from her upcoming album, “Don’t Mind Me” and “If I” as well as former hits “Come To Jesus” and “Highs and Lows”. Check out Mindy Smith's amazing voice and beautiful music.

May 10, 2012
2FL VIDEO: "Twice If You're Lucky"
by Jav Rivera

Directed by Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali, the music video for Crowded House's song "Twice If You're Lucky" features a bear, a train, and lovely landscapes. The tune comes from Crowded House's 2010 album "Intriguer" which in my opinion is the best album of that year. The video is as heart-warming as the message of the lyrics.

April 26, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Lie To Me (TV Series)
by Jav Rivera

It might be hard to imagine the magnificent Tim Roth on television, especially after appearing in such classic performances in film. But FOX's television series "Lie To Me" was tailor made for someone with this much intensity. Though the series is no longer on television, Netflix has all the episodes on Streaming. Check out this series, created by Samuel Baum, that solves mysteries based on body language.

April 17, 2012
2FL SHORT: Thomas Newman
by Jav Rivera

With a ridiculous amount of nominations as a composer, it's a wonder why Thomas Newman still hasn't won an Academy Award. Composing for films since the 1980s (technically since 1979), Newman perfected his style by the time he composed for "The Shawshank Redemption". Since then, his style has been very much intact and easily recognizable in films such as "The Green Mile," "Road To Perdition," "WALL•E," and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events".

Thomas combines classical beauty with rhythmic percussion. The best way to describe his style is to compare it to a thunderstorm. He can start with a simplistic, heartbreaking melody much like the first few raindrops and within seconds the clouds form into a dark, frightful moment. He leads you through a variety of emotions, always enhancing the film, rather than taking it over.

He is also a master at the use of strange, embellishing instruments to layer on top of his orchestrated foundation. His sound has always made me feel both dreadful and hopeful at the same. It's as if he surrounds you with the cruelty of a situation but exposes a little ray of hope in the distance. An absolute genius, Thomas Newman is well overdue for an Oscar. More importantly, he is overdue the credit from the general public as an established and masterful composer.

April 12, 2012
2FL VIDEO: A Fantastic Fear of Everything (Trailer)
by Jav Rivera

Crispian Mills, frontman for the band Kula Shaker, just released the trailer for his debut feature film, "A Fantastic Fear of Everything". The film stars the hilarious Simon Pegg in what looks to be a very trippy, Terry Gilliam-esque story. Check out this remarkable trailer and see for yourself.

April 10, 2012
2FL SHORT: Fantastic Mr. Fox
by Jav Rivera

Based on Roald Dahl's novel, Wes Anderson's 2009 film features George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. Mostly dismissed as a children's film due to its animated style, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is an essential Wes Anderson film. He is a master when it comes to obsessive characters and quirky humor, and the film fits perfectly within the director's career. In fact, the animation is a breath of fresh air.

The film follows the rebellious Mr. Fox stealing from three separate farms and dealing with the repercussions of his actions. Anderson embellishes as well as honors Dahl's story with this very unique and adorable film. For more information visit the official IMDb page: www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283

April 5, 2012
2FL VIDEO: Still Bill Documentary
by Jav Rivera

2ND FIRST LOOK has some new changes! Every Tuesday, we're going to continue our 2FL SHORT series, but from now on every Thursday we'll feature a 2FL VIDEO. These posts will feature music videos, movie trailers, commercials, or random videos found online.

This week we're presenting the trailer for the documentary "Still Bill" about singer/songwriter Bill Withers: http://vimeo.com/4013622. Read the full article here: Bill Withers

March 27, 2012
2FL SHORT: Moon (Soundtrack by Clint Mansell)
by Jav Rivera

Stark and seemingly simple, the mood of Director Duncan Jones' film "Moon" is established during its title sequence, perfectly enhanced by Clint Mansell's compelling score. The film stars Sam Rockwell in his most challenging role(s). Mansell's impressive list of credits including "The Wrestler," "Black Swan," "Smokin' Aces," and "Requiem for a Dream" is an example of his versatility as a composer, and still creating his signature by adding his dark flavor.

With "Moon" Mansell has created a spatial and lost feeling by layering various instruments playing separate notes in a multitude of directions and yet somehow making it all flow together. The score, available on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/moon-soundtrack-from-motion/id321240751), is generally somber with the exception of its main theme found on "Welcome to Lunar Industries". The track provides the scores most pulsating and pounding beats and listener-friendly melody.

Mansell is a master of his craft and in the film's trailer; an excellent mix of his score proves the soundtrack fits together in unusual puzzle pieces. (Trailer http://youtu.be/twuScTcDP_Q)

March 20, 2012
2FL SHORT: Howl Sessions (by BRMC)
by Jav Rivera

When the album "Howl" was released in 2005, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) surprised their fan base by stripping down their fuzzy, effect-heavy guitars to a more acoustic sound. The trio had previously released two heavy, dark rock (highly praised) albums, so when "Howl" showcased the band's style with blues, country, and gospel, critics took notice.

Stemming from their love of Americana, the band had proved maturity as musicians and songwriters. From the "Howl" recordings also came two EPs with music that could have easily fit within the actual album. "Howl Sessions Vol 1" includes the track "Steal a Ride," a gritty rock tune and two softer tracks "Feel It now," and "Pretend". "Howl Sessions Vol 2" offers a lighter touch with the tracks "Grind My Bones," "Mercy," and "Wishing Well".

"Howl" was a huge leap for BRMC and its companion EPs add to the list of this innovative departure for a band with their eyes on longevity.

March 15, 2012
2FL SHORT: "This Perfect World" by Freedy Johnston
by Jav Rivera

Freedy Johnston has remained a personal favorite ever since I learned of his 1994 album "This Perfect World". His single "Bad Reputation" received decent radio and video airplay and was even featured in the film "Kingpin" by The Farrelly Brothers.

"This Perfect World" is a collection of impeccable songwriting and craftsmanship. It's dark and cruel and at the same time heartbreaking and beautiful. His songs often focus on people's failures and ignorance of faults. Songs like "Disappointed Man," "Gone Like The Water," and "I Can Hear The Laughs" showcase incredibly sorrowful characters trying to run away from their past while carrying the weight of their mistakes.

Freedy is master at character driven pieces and though each of his albums is a study in humanity, "This Perfect World" is a highlight in his incredible career as a musician.

Read a full 2FL article here: 2FL Freedy Johnston.  Visit www.freedyjohnston.com for more information on the artist.  And check out the video for "Bad Reputation" here: http://youtu.be/OVqBYkrlsmw

February 28, 2012
2FL SHORT: In My Own Time (by Karen Dalton)
by Jav Rivera

Few people have heard of Karen Dalton and even fewer have heard her music. Those who have, however, adore her. Her voice has been described as a folk version of Billie Holiday. Having produced only two studio albums, Dalton left behind a short but stellar collection of music. Her second album, "In My Own Time" was released in 1971, two years after her debut.

"In My Own Time" showcases Dalton's ability to cover such classics as "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "How Sweet It Is" with a very unique style. As wonderful as those tracks are, the album's strength comes from the less popular tunes. Songs like "Katie Cruel" and "Same Old Man" have distinct bluegrass origins and dark lyrical content. On the more radio-friendly side, her jazz/country swing track "One Night Of Love" gets your toe tapping. All in all, the album combines jazz, country, and folk, creating a versatile album that flows in unison.

February 23, 2012
2FL SHORT: The Bad Examples
by Jav Rivera

Ralph Covert is slowly but surely becoming famous for work with children's music, even being nominated for Best Musical Album for Children at the 48th Grammy Awards. But if you're looking for some good ole blues-pop-rock music, take a look at his earlier work with his Chicago-based band The Bad Examples.

"Popscape," which features selections from all of their albums, is a great starting point for newcomers. Tracks like "Not Dead Yet" and "A Mindless Pop Song" combine their sense of humor with their solid rock playing abilities. In comparison, "Adam McCarthy" and "The Reunion" show off Ralph Covert's compassionate writing and heartbreaking vocals.

Despite this album containing 18 tracks, there are still several gems missing from this collection, which proves the impressive vastness of their work. Check them out on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ralph-covert-the-bad-examples/id130369000) or at their official website: www.waterdogmusic.com

February 21, 2012
2FL SHORT: Southland
by Jav Rivera

NBC's loss is TNT's gain. After NBC pulled the plug on the series, TNT picked it up and hasn't looked back. As the promotional poster states this series is first rate, riveting, and flawless. Each character is extremely well written and perfectly portrayed by the cast. The production is executed to the highest degree and the editing is a work of art.

Award-winning television series "Southland" follows various police officers and detectives through the streets of Los Angeles. Much like FOX's "Cops" series if it were scripted, "Southland" is engaging and surprisingly fun. Along with its intensity, there's a great balance of humor, which makes the scenes more realistic.

Among several other awards, Regina King who plays "Detective Lydia Adams" recently won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Link to Awards: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1299368/awards

"Southland" is already on its fourth season but each episode is self-contained so if you're late to the series, like myself, there's no need to catch up. As gripping as this series is, however, you're going to want to watch the first three seasons just for the value of this production. Catch new episodes on TNT (check your local listing for days and times).

February 16, 2012
2FL SHORT: Cara B (Jorge Drexler)
by Jav Rivera

Mostly famous for his Oscar-winning song "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" for the film "Diarios de motocicleta" ("The Motorcycle Diaries"), Jorge Drexler has grown as an artist with every album. His live double-album "Cara B" highlights his 17-year career showcasing music from his previous 8 records. It's a very intimate album, mostly performed with only Drexler's incredible voice and his guitar.

Early in his career, Drexler sounded like he was finding his style, not always succeeding. It's these earlier recordings that benefit the most from his acoustic take. The album works well for both Drexler fans and newcomers.

Suggested tracks: "Zamba del olvido," "Dove Sei?," "Dance Me To The End Of The World," "Horas," "Club Tonight," "Zamba Por Vos," "Cara B," "Equipaje," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Inoportuna," "Soledad," "Milonga Paraguaya," and "Toíto Cái Lo Traigo Andao".

February 9, 2012
2FL SHORT: Buried
by Jav Rivera

Uncomfortable, claustrophobic, and absolutely brilliant. Director Rodrigo Cortés' 2010 film "Buried" starring Ryan Reynolds is truly a test in an audience's patience and nerves. Reynolds wakes up inside a wooden box buried underground; the audience is with him every minute of the film as he tries to discover where and why he's there. Reynolds shows off brilliant acting and Cortés amazing direction. Teamed with Cinematographer Eduard Grau, Cortés uses innovative camera work and well-crafted editing to keep the audience both entertained and, more importantly, agitated. Don't be surprised if you have to take a break to step outside, but definitely give this one a try. This is unique filmmaking.

February 7, 2012
2FL SHORT: Rufus Wainwright
by Jav Rivera

Son of folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer/songwriter with five studio albums and several compilation projects. His music is classified as operatic pop, and though some would say he's an acquire taste, he's written more radio-friendly tracks including "I Don't Know What It Is" (which can be found on his "Want One" album).

His music has been featured in films such as "Brokeback Mountain," "I am Sam," and Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" in which Rufus also appeared as a musical act at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub. (Additionally, both his sister Martha and father Loudon were also featured in "The Aviator" in the same nightclub at different periods). His latest album "Out of the Game" is due for release in May 2012. Check out his website for more information.

January 26, 2012
2FL SHORT: Micah P. Hinson--"She Don't Own Me"
by Jav Rivera

A sad tune for the loss of a loved one. Though Micah's lyrics are somewhat vague, it can be interpreted as someone's death after a long struggle. Released on Micah's 2006 album entitled "Micah P. Hinson and the Opera Circuit," the song is one its most somber and beautiful. No other voice could carry such a heavy-hearted song so perfectly. It's a great reminder to hold someone's love a little tighter while you can.


She Don't Own Me

reign, ria, reign
all the plans you've made

and time
time and time
all the bonds you've saved

and she don't owe me and i don't owe her a thing
she ain't calling and i can see the end

fly away
leave me

and hold
hold, i hold you tight
from all the worries, you're safe

play and replay
all the memories you crave

and i don't owe her and she don't owe me a thing
cuz i ain't calling and she can see the end

fly away
leave me

January 19, 2012
2FL SHORT: Crosby, Stills & Nash
by Jav Rivera

In 1969, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills released their debut album "Crosby, Stills & Nash". It was a dramatic change in style at a time when the 60s sound was dominated by blues-based rock music utilizing electric guitars. By comparison, "CS&N" was primarily acoustic with harmonies like no other.

It spawned the Top 40 hits "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and "Marrakesh Express". Those combined with my other personal favorites "You Don't Have To Cry" and "Lady of the Island" make for a great chill out album. If you're already a fan, try listening to the album with headphones and pay closer attention to the astounding guitar and vocal work. The iTunes download includes bonus tracks, all of which are amazing additions, especially "Do For Others".

January 12, 2012
2FL SHORT: Burn Notice
by Jav Rivera

Have you been watching "Burn Notice"? Clever and humorous, TV needs this show. USA Network already scored with "Monk" and topped themselves with "Burn Notice". Running since 2007, the series doesn't show signs of weakening. It's fun for all audiences and smart enough for the picky viewer.

The cast fits like an Armani suit. Jeffrey Donovan is the cool, Gabrielle Anwar is the sexy, and Bruce Campbell is the funny that seams it all together. With three great characters it feels like watching three versions of James Bond. (Note: a full article is available here: 2FL: Burn Notice).

January 10, 2012
2FL SHORT: Head Case
by Jav Rivera

Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of celebrities? Creators Alexandra Wentworth and Robert Bauer's television series "Head Case" exposes the trauma, insecurities and insanity of your favorite artists.
Wentworth also stars at Dr. Goode, a doctor crazy enough to handle all these massive egos. And if you're wondering why she looks so familiar then maybe you'll remember Seinfeld's famous Soup Nazi episode where Jerry is in a relationship with a woman he calls "Schmoopie."

The series also stars Steve Landesberg, who's famous for his work on "Barney Miller" and can been seen as Jason Segel's doctor in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." There's a lot of familiar faces and hilarious over-the-top performances by the likes of Jonathan Silverman, Andy Dick, Tom Sizemore (whose therapy is getting knocked out), Alanis Morissette and more. Dr. Goode may be insane but it's her crazy therapy that helps keep these celebrities in check.

I also have to mention the theme music by H. Scott Salinas. It's absolutely catchy and beautiful. And stay through the end credits for an extra scene after each episode. Fortunately you'll have Salinas's music to enjoy while you wait for the credits to finish.

January 5, 2012
2FL SHORT: At The Doors
by Jav Rivera

The Swedish band Junip was born over 10 years ago but frontman José González's solo career delayed the band from releasing anything. In that time the band (including Tobias Winterkorn on keyboards, Elias Araya on drums and González on vocals/guitars) had shaped into a solid trio with music unlike that of any other artist. Labeled as folk rock, their experimental sound is infused with worldly influences and jam band sensibilities.

The band is at its best when improvisation leads the music and their epic tune "At The Doors" is a great example. The droning beat and quiet, haunting vocals makes this a perfect track to chill out to. Whether driving in your car, painting on a canvas or just relaxing at the end of a long day, "At The Door" creates a somber and inspirational feeling. Check out the rest of the tracks on which this song can be found, "Rope & Summit - EP" (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rope-summit-ep/id407371902). And check out their official site here: www.junip.net.

December 27, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
By Jav Rivera

Before Genesis became pop stars with front man Phil Collins, they had a catalog of concept albums with original singer Peter Gabriel. In 1974, they released "The Lamb Lies Down On Bro
adway" (which would be Gabriel's last contribution with the band). The music was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford, with some contribution from Steve Hackett and Gabriel taking on the lyrics.

The concept was based on Gabriel's dreams and focuses on a half Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in order to rescue his brother John. This isn't radio-friendly material but if studied, especially with headphones, the album is magical.

November 24, 2011
2FL SHORT: American Gangster
by Jav Rivera

Happy Thanksgiving! It may be an odd choice for today but believe it or not Ridley Scott's film "American Gangster" has several recurring themes about thanks and appreciation (not to mention actua
l Thanksgiving scenes). Denzel hones in on the fierceness of previous characters such as Det. Alonzo Harris from "Training Day" and Pvt. Trip from "Glory" to portray the cool but frightening Frank Lucas. Russell Crowe on the other hand takes a more humbled approach to his Richie Roberts character, an overweight underdog with Boyscout morals. 

Though most of the attention went to these two incredible actors, the film would be nothing with out its supporting roles. From Lucas's gang to Roberts's solid undercover team. Maybe it's not a a good choice for a day with young family members, but it's definitely one of Ridley Scott's best films.

November 18, 2011
2FL SHORT: NewsRadio
by Jav Rivera

Before the world lost one of its funniest people, Phil Hartman starred in NBC's TV series "NewsRadio". A perfect ensemble piece starring Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Stephen Root and Andy Dick among others,
the show focused on the mishaps of a New York news radio network. The series had a solid run but could not avoid cancellation after the death of Phil Hartman.

A valiant effort was made by his replacement Jon Lovitz but even his comedic genius could not save the show. Fortunately the show has nearly 100 episodes to watch on DVD and Netflix streaming. If you've never seen the show then you're in for a treat. If you're already a fan, then you may be surprised how much funnier it is on repeated viewing.

November 16, 2011
2FL SHORT: Creation
by Jav Rivera

Jon Amiel's spectacular film "Creation" tells the tale of Charles Darwin's internal struggle of writing his book "On The Origin of Species". Married to a religious woman (Jennifer Connelly), Darwin (Paul
Bettany) is is confronted with the effect his book may have on religion. Meanwhile he is also haunted by the death of his child Annie (Martha West). Paul Bettany is in top form and his relationship with Annie is heartbreaking to say the least. Director Jon Amiel has produced a brilliant piece with his amazing cast, not to mention the beautiful cinematography.

November 12, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Amateurs
by Jav Rivera

Okay...stick with me on this one. Michael Traeger's film "The Amateurs" can best be explained by saying that it's about a small town who invests in a porno film. But it's so much more than that. Each c
haracter is not only interesting and unique but they're all vital to the plot's success. Jeff Bridges stars as the idea man whose plan to make a porn was based on the fact that he's done nothing respectable in his life - ironic that he chooses to make a porno then. The film is more touching than you'd expect and thanks to the cast, especially the underrated William Fichtner, has several laugh out loud moments. Put this on your Netflix queue and don't worry because there's no actual nudity which makes the film somewhat family friendly. It's a touching story with "touching" characters.

(A full article for our main site is available here: The Amateurs).

October 21, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Walking Dead
by Jav Rivera

Frank Darabont, director of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Green Mile", developed the critically acclaimed series "The Walking Dead" last year. Based on a graphic novel by writer Robert Kirkman and artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, season 1 is finally on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.

Set in Georgia, the series follows a group of survivors after zombies take over. What makes this zombie apocalypse different than others is the attention to characters. Darabont is a master of writing characters that audiences care about, which explains why the series was nominated for several Emmys. Season 2 has already started airing so catch up with the first season on Netflix!

October 19, 2011
2FL SHORT: Tim O'Reagan
by Jav Rivera

Tim O'Reagan is famous for being the drummer for The Jayhawks. He can also be credited for writing one of the best tunes on their "Sound of Lies" album entitled "Bottomless Cup". Much like that song, his self-titled debut album released in 2006 has a very similar vibe. He combines Dylanesque writing with wholesome country bar tunes and heartbreaking vocals. A solid album perfect for long drives or late night evenings at home.

September 29, 2011
2FL SHORT: Railroad Earth
by Jav Rivera

It happened in 2001 when I discovered that one of my favorite bands, From Good Homes, parted ways. And I learned about this because frontman Todd Sheaffer was about to release a new album with his new band Railroad Earth. Their debut, “The Black Bear Sessions” was actually made up of several demos that were so well crafted that they released them, along with a few more tracks, as a fully formed album. And after I heard this unique blend of bluegrass and jam-band, I easily made peace with the fact that FGH had disbanded. It’s that good. (But I’m still secretly waiting for FGH to get back into the studio).

September 24, 2011
2FL SHORT: Jim Henson
by Jav Rivera

Today is Jim Henson’s birthday! We here at 2FL cherish this innovative gentleman. It’s going to be a great year to honor the man who gave us The Muppets. A new Muppets movie will be released this Thanksgiving and we couldn’t be more excited (www.imdb.com/title/tt1204342). Even Google is celebrating! Check out Jim Henson’s official site and remember why this man helped shaped an entire generation and how he continues to do so through his legacy. Happy Birthday, Mr. Henson…and thank you.

September 22, 2011
2FL SHORT: Once Upon a Time in the West
by Jav Rivera

It's still one of my favorite westerns and a classic Sergio Leone film. Without much, if any, promotion this incredible film was finally released on Bluray a few weeks ago. An article on our website explains why this film should be on your list of must sees. Here's the link: https://2ndfirstlook.com/2010/10/best-western-and-no-im-not-talking.html

September 17, 2011
2FL SHORT: Semi-Pro
by Jav Rivera

Sometimes I wonder why certain comedies don’t click with the general public. Kent Alterman’s “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson is one of those. It has a great underdog story with hilarious performances by the entire cast. It’s weird, it’s silly and best of all it’s unashamedly awkward. Check out Jackie Moon’s uncomfortably funny song “Love Me Sexy”.

September 14, 2011
2FL SHORT: Extract
by Jav Rivera

Mike Judge is known for such comedies as “King of the Hill”, “Beavis and Butthead” and his much adored cult classic “Office Space”. In 2009, he released “Extract” starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and a superb supporting cast. It’s not what you expect in any way and probably slower than most comedies but extremely fun. The stand out scene involves a bit of “smoking” and a lot of paranoia (listen for that scary music whenever the character Willie speaks).

September 11, 2011
2FL Short: Spiderman Teaser
by Jav Rivera

Several months before Sam Raimi’s Spiderman was released, there was a teaser showcasing a first look at Spidey. After the events in September, however, it was pulled from the public eye. Although t
he studio’s intensions were honorable, my thinking is that the twin towers seen in this teaser are shown in a heroic manner. How better to represent NY and the towers? So here’s to the heroes of 9/11.

September 6, 2011
2FL SHORT: Melody Gardot
by Jav Rivera

With her deep, soothing voice, Melody Gardot fits perfectly in the jazz genre. Her music comes from the heyday of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Her debut album "Worrisome Heart" sounded like it couldn't be beat but her followup "My One and Only Thrill" bypassed it effortlessly. Check both albums out and keep an eye on this incredible artist.

September 4, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Grays
by Jav Rivera

"Ro Sham Bo" was the first and only release by The Grays. The album sounds like a cross between the twang of The Eagles and the pop sensibilities of The Beatles. It's a rare find these days and I couldn't find a digital download. Fortunately I bought the CD when it was released in 1994. Unfortunately the only way to provide you with samples is to send you to Myspace.

September 2, 2011
2FL SHORT: “She Was a Boy”
by Jav Rivera

In 2007, Yael Naïm released her self-titled debut album and received incredibly positive reviews. It contained multilingual lyrics and multi-layered music written and performed by Naïm and her main collaborator David Donatien. Their second album "She Was a Boy" proves once again that pop music can still demand an audience's attention effortlessly and without compromise.

August 31, 2011
2FL SHORT: Opium
by Jav Rivera

What would happen if you crossed William Shatner with Jethro Tull and then take a psychedelic time traveling trip to the 70s? Check out Matt Berry's album "Opium", especially if you have a sense of humor and an appreciation for music compositions. It's as hilarious as it is musically astounding.

August 28, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Monster at the End of This Book
by Jav Rivera

When I was a child, I read my first suspense thriller. And even though "The Monster at the End of This Book" is a children's book, it truly is suspenseful. Every page has Grover Monster telling the reader to not turn the page. Written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin, this book is a great example of how to read as a character. It's also great for children who have a fear of the unknown.

August 26, 2011
2FL SHORT: In Bruges
by Jav Rivera

"In Bruges" sees Collin Farrell as a depressive hit man on the run for a hit gone wrong. His partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is the only one who understands Ray. Their very intense boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) isn't as sympathetic. The three all play against type in characters that are both charming and annoying. It's a heartfelt film that just happens to have a lot of swearing.

August 24, 2011
2FL SHORT: Catch Me If You Can
by Jav Rivera

Steven Spielberg is typically known for his blockbusters but some of his best work is with drama. "Catch Me If You Can" starring Leonardo DiCaprio is a prime example. DiCaprio pulls off one of his best performances as does Christopher Walken. Tom Hanks is a great counterpart to DiCaprio and you can sense the closeness of their characters despite being archenemies. 

August 18, 2011
2FL SHORT: Dada (American Highway Flower)
by Jav Rivera

Dada’s second album showcased them with a much louder sound. Their blues-influenced rock style gained more angst both lyrically and musically. Tracks like “Feel Me Don’t You” and “Real Soon” are great examples. But their alternative-blues are still intact, especially with the incredible “Heaven and Nowhere”. This is a brilliant follow-up to a brilliant debut.

August 16, 2011
by Jav Rivera

Famous for their hit single "Dizz Knee Land", Dada didn't quite reach the audience they deserved. With songs like "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow", "Posters" and "Who You Are", Dada showcased some of the sweetest guitar licks and solos. The song craft is superb and "Puzzle" is one of those rare albums where every track is great. Truly a great start for an inventive alternative-rock band.

August 14, 2011
2FL SHORT: Peter Case / Full Service No Waiting
by Jav Rivera

Those who do know Peter Case are loyal fans of his work. "Full Service No Waiting" was his sixth album and finally showcased Case as an artist with commercial sensibilities by mixing his folk/blues style with a little twang. He still strayed from the limelight, however, and remains one of the best hidden gems of the music world.

August 7, 2011
2FL SHORT: Land of the Lost (2009)
by Jav Rivera

Critics were cruel and not many people have actually seen it but 2009's adaptation of LAND OF THE LOST was surprisingly excellent. Even the creators of the 70's Saturday morning TV show, Sid & Marty Krofft, hated it. But you'll laugh and definitely be entertained. The special effects and cinematography also deserve mention. Give it a try and you see what I mean.

July 29, 2011
2FL SHORT: Nil Lara
by Jav Rivera

Cuban-American Nil Lara has been around for nearly two decades blending Cuban instruments with American rock. Although he's released several EPs before and after his self-titled debut, this is his first and only official full length album. His music can be tricky to find but every release is worth the search.

July 26, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Winning Season
by Jav Rivera

Sam Rockwell proves again what a tremendous actor he is in THE WINNING SEASON. His team of high school girls including Emma Roberts and Rooney Mara prove themselves as well, portraying realistic teenagers. Rob Corddry is surprisingly toned down but maintains his comedic genius. It's a fun film with some great dramatic moments.

July 24, 2011
2FL SHORT: Raz Ortiz
by Jav Rivera

As I mentioned in the latest 2nd First Look article, Raz Ortiz is an artist/illustrator who has established himself as someone with unique renditions of other comics/characters as well as original characters. Check out his first book of drawings entitled "Drawn Amuck!" and his other work at: www.razillustration.com

July 17, 2011
2FL SHORT: The Fighter
by Jav Rivera

New to Netflix Streaming, THE FIGHTER! David O. Russell's film about boxers Micky Ward & Dicky Eklund reminds me much of the original Rocky. Both focus more on the person rather than the sport which makes even non-sports fans like me invested. Bale got much attention for his role (deservedly so) but the entire cast including Wahlberg, Adams & Melissa Leo were in top form.

July 14, 2011
2FL SHORT: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
by Jav Rivera

In celebration of Sherlock Holmes 2's first trailer, I'd like to highlight the 2009 film starring Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law. Visually marvelous, Sherlock Holmes (directed by Guy Richie) brings an old series back to life for a new generation.

Look for "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" in theatres this December. Until then, check out the first film!

July 12, 2011
2FL SHORT: Forget About It
by Jav Rivera

"Forget About It" is still my favorite album by Alison Krauss and Union Station. It's a lighter album than Union Station's other releases and features Krauss on lead vocals throughout the entire album. Her voice never sounded as sweet and heartbroken. These songs could only be written for her and Union Station. Check it out!

July 10, 2011
2FL SHORT: Firefly
by Jav Rivera

The best way to describe FIREFLY? It's a western in space. There's a good reason why Joss Whedon's little-known TV series is so cherished by its fans. Because it's good...damn good. Great characters, great use of special effects and best of all great writing. And if like this, look for the show's feature film, SERENITY.

July 4, 2011
2FL SHORT: Gary Larson
by Jav Rivera

The title read simply: FAILED MARKETING PLOYS. If this image looks familiar then you must be a Gary Larson fan. He was famous for his single-panel comic strip, "The Far Side", published in the 80's and 90's.

He semi-retired in 1995 but has released several books including New York Times Best Seller, "There's a Hair in My Dirt!: A Worm's Story". Larson is a true genius: twisted, clever and unique. www.thefarside.com

July 2, 2011
2FL SHORT: The IT Crowd
by Jav Rivera

Two nerds work in a basement with a boss who can't even pronounce the word "Computer" correctly. Great actors, great writing & great characters. And fortunately all the actors are getting a lot of substantial new projects including Richard Ayoade's film "Submarine" (which he directed) and Chris O'Dowd's charming performance in "Bridesmaids".

Check it out on Netflix streaming!

June 25, 2011
by Jav Rivera)

In 2009, Duncan Jones released his critically-acclaimed feature debut, MOON. Whether you like the genre or not, MOON goes beyond standard sci-fi films. Sam Rockwell's performance(s) finally showcase an actor who has been underrated for years.

Clint Mansell's score is hauntingly beautiful and worth a listen (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/moon-soundtrack-from-motion/id321240751).

June 24, 2011
2FL SHORT: Doc Martin
by Jav Rivera

TV series "Doc Martin" is about a brilliant doctor who develops haemophobia and decides to become a General Practitioner in a small fishing village. Martin (Martin Clunes) immediately regrets his decision as soon as the townsfolk bombard him. The characters are frustratingly charming and Martin must learn how to adapt to his new surroundings.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408381/

And that's today's "short" review.