Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Upcoming Native American movies.

The holiday season comes and goes so fast every year. Tis the time of year for holiday cheer and festive activities abound. Don’t forget about going to the movies. In December movie studios release some of their so called big budget films hoping to get some of that holiday bonus money into their pockets. Well there are some Native American films on that list this year.

Christmas in the Clouds is billed as “The first romantic comedy set in Indian Country.” This movie was first show at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. It played to sellout crowds and received standing ovations. Director Kate Montgomery finally got it released to the general public this year. There must have been a very persistent campaign to get its general release. All of the reviews that I read have been very positive.

The cast list includes: Sam Vlahos (Joe Clouds on Fire), Tim Vahle (Ray Clouds on Fire), Graham Greene, Wes Studi, Sheila Tousey and Rita Coolidge. This movie was filmed on location at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Utah. It is a “Tale of Love, bingo, Tribal Enterprises and mistaken identity” in a nutshell.

“In Kate Montgomery’s romantic feature, Native Americans are neither iconic nor evil, neither virtuous seers nor monotone drunks. They are flawed and funny people. Just people!” Telluride Weekly Planet.

For more information go to their website This movie comes to the Milwaukee area on December 9, 2005.

Are you looking for a big budget film? How about a Native American big budget film? Well this year there is one. And it is being released on one of the biggest release dates of the year, Christmas Day.

The New World is the much anticipated release from famed writer/director Terrence Malick. (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line)
This is the story synopsis from the website :

"The New World is sweeping adventure set amidst the first encounter of European and Native American cultures during the founding of the Jamestown Virginia settlement in 1607. Acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick brings to life his own unique interpretation of the classic tale of Pocahontas and her relationships with adventurer John Smith and aristocrat John Rolfe. This woman’s remarkable journey of love lost and found takes her from the untouched beauty of the Virginia wilderness to the upper crust of English society as we witness the dawn of a new America.”

Terrence Malick’s version is in his own words. The cast includes: Colin Farrell (John Smith), Christian Bale (John Rolfe), Christopher Plummer (Captain Christopher Newport), Powhatan (August Schellenberg) and Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher) in her feature debut.

I have not seen any sneak preview reviews yet so I can’t say this is a must see yet. Its release date is scheduled for Christmas Day, December 25, 2005. Be a Tribal Soldier, go see both of these films and support Native actors. I am betting both of these films will be worth the price of admission.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Christmas in the Clouds

CHRISTMAS IN THE CLOUDS-- the first Native American romantic comedy-- is set to open nationwide the week after Thanksgiving! After an initial run in California (plus Gallup and Farmington, NM), this award-winning holiday film will open in 12 more states on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. The movie is featured in the Dec. issue of Oprah Magazine (p. 62)! "The upshot: a funny, spirited December charmer that will put you in a festive mood without leaving you with Jingle Bells overload." Also, on Nov. 23 look for us in "Indian Country Today" on Nov.23 and listen for us on the national radio call-in show "Native America Calling."

For more about this delightful family film and its innovative campaign for
school fundraisers.

This is it, folks our chance to put the Native community on the national map! But the film has no budget for advertising so word-of-mouth is absolutely essential.
BUY TICKETS and FILL SEATS. Let's show Hollywood how it's done!

Theaters subject to change. Check your local listings.

NOW PLAYING: Los Angeles, CA (Loews Beverly Center)-Monterey, CA (Nickelodeon 4?)-San Jose, CA (Camera 12)-San Luis Obispo, CA (Palm?)-Santa Rosa, CA(Rialto Cinemas Lakeside?)-Gallup,NM(Aztec)-Farmington, NM(Allen 8?) NOV. 23 -Bismarck, ND (Grand Bismarck)
NOV. 25 -Roosevelt, UT (Roosevelt) DEC. 2 -Anchorage, AK (Century 16)/Kayenta, AZ (Black Mesa)/Phoenix, AZ (Harkins Shea Scottsdale, Regal Scottsdale Pavilions)/Prescott, AZ (Frontier Valley)/Tucson, AZ (Century El Con)/Yuma, AZ (Main Street Cinema)/Chicago,
IL (AMC River East)/Lincoln, NE (Art Cinema)/Gallup, NM (Aztec)/Philadelphia,PA (Ritz, Ritz Voorhies, AMC Hamilton, AMC Neshaminy)/Austin, TX (RegalArbor)/Dallas, Angelika)/Yakima, WA (Yakima Cinema)

DEC. 9-Minneapolis, MN (Landmark Edina)-Alburquerque, NM (Century Rio)/Santa Fe, NM-Oklahoma City, OK (AMC Quail Springs)/Tulsa, OK (AMC Southroads)/Park City, UT (Holiday)/Seattle, WA (Loews Meridien, LincolnBellevue)/Milwaukee, WI (Ridge 20)/Tomah, WI (Marcus Ho-Chunk)

Go see this movie when it hits your city! The reviews are in and everything is positive.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

CD Review System of a Down “Toxicity” 2005

SOAD’S sophomore ID!

I have to admit to being a reverse SOAD fan. I purchased the “Mezmerize” CD first. I liked what I heard, so I purchase “Toxicity.” I see now were SOAD realized what songs worked with “Toxicity” and produced more songs along that line with “Mezmerize.” I usually scoff at any new metal bands these days because of the lack of originality, style and staying power. I have always been a RATM supporter, so their split hurt. As a side note, I am still waiting for Zach to due a solo CD. But I do follow Audioslave (Tom Morello works his magic but is still under-utilized!) SO it takes a lot for me to purchase any CD these days.

“Toxicity” was release in 2001 with a mix of hardcore metal songs (Deer Dance, Jet Pilot, X) and those that were experimental (Bounce, Atwa, Psycho) with quirky Middle Eastern vocals. The combination of vocal changes and guitar chord timing is what makes this CD work. “Chop Suey” and “Aerials” are examples of songs that were popular. So do what staying power bands do. Build on your success and “Mezmerize” was born. The most popular song is “Toxicity” because it is more mainstream and acceptable for radio play.

Here is a pet peeve of mine: Does this sound familiar? A lead vocalist is singing in one monotone vocal from the diaphragm “Arrrrh Barrrrrrr Rahhhhh HELL Arrrrrh Barrrrrrh,” then a single guitar riff chord solo….END. This is a typical metal song from A LOT of so called great metal bands. But to me that is un-original and uninteresting. There might be a market for that somewhere or nowhere.

SOAD is not afraid of experimentation. That is a good thing. Their music evolves and is not stagnant. I can’t wait for their new release “Hypnotize.” Due in stores November 22, 2005.

CD Review System of a Down “Mezmerize” 2005

Improving with experimentation!

This was my first SOAD musical experience. This CD brought out “what the” F is this about initially. But after listening to the entire CD, I asked myself; “What did I just listen to?” Then I played it again. And again! Now I am constantly playing it.

“Mezmerize” intros with “Soldier Side” then blast off with “B.Y.O.B” (Bring your own bombs) and asks the question “Why do they always send the poor?” “Revenga” rivals in “Bleeding in a sink.” And “Cigaro” references the hugest member of the band I think.
“Radio/Video” spooks the look and listen. “This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m On This Song” bends the mind into a trip of epic proportion. “Violent Pornography” means everybody does something and then dances. Right? “Question!” contains sweet berries ready to eat. “Sad Statue” drowns our sad country lyrically. “Old School Hollywood” and “Lost in Hollywood” joins a long list of this city of dysfunction. Enough said!

“Mezmerize” crosses many genres and whips them into a highly unique blend of anti-messages with liquid sound not categorized. Serj Tankian (Vocals, Guitar) and Daron Malakian (Vocals, Keyboards) blend harmonized vocals and vocal note distortion not seen since Bobby McFerrin. Shavo Odadjian (Bass) and John Dolmayan (Drums) round out this cast of trendsetters.

Take this magnificent journey into sound satisfaction and lyrical message brainwashing. Join the fresh fruits from experienced musicians at the height of experimentation. Do not miss out on this opportunity! Purchase this CD before part II is thrust upon you November 22, 2005.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wyoming Bill Outlines Gaming Commission

Wyoming Bill Outlines Gaming Commission: "Wyoming Bill Outlines Gaming Commission
3 November 2005

WYOMING � As reported by the Jackson Hold Star Tribune: 'A charity could receive millions of dollars from its bingo game and not be required to give even $1 to its stated mission of helping people, according to a draft bill approved Tuesday creating a commission to regulate gambling.
''It's a loophole in the legislation that we're sending to the committee,' said Sen. Mike Massie, D-Laramie.
'�The committee created the five-member gaming subcommittee to hear public comment and review questions about gambling.
'The subcommittee finished its work Tuesday, and the full committee will consider the draft bill at its Dec. 15-16 meeting in Laramie, Massie said.
'The full committee could accept the subcommittee's draft as it is, revise it or kill it.
'Subcommittee chairman Rep. Pat Childers, R-Cody, said the issue came to the fore because of uneven application of the state's outdated gambling laws.
'�The proposed gaming commission -- its seven members appointed by the governor with Senate approval -- would oversee and license those who operate legal games of chance; assess fees; investigate possible illegal activity; conduct background checks of those seeking licenses; and inspect places where legal games of chance are played.
'�While the draft bill allows e-bingo aids such as electronic daubers for people with disabilities, it continues the ban on e-bingo machines that look and play like slot machines.
'�The draft bill requires charitable or nonprofit organizations to pay out 65 percent of its gross revenues as winnings.
'Of the remaining 35 percent, the charity applies 40 percent -- or 14 percent of the gross revenues -- to the costs of operating the bingo games"