Muscle Shoals

Jared Leto in Mr Nobody

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Mr. Nobody Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is 118 years old and on his death bed. He’s the last human doomed to die in a world where mankind has achieved a level of immortality and no longer faces an expiration date. Before he passes on, Nemo gives an interview to share the story of his life, but the tale he tales is an impossible one featuring multiple outcomes and events that simply couldn’t all be true. Or could they? This gorgeously shot and endlessly fascinating film is actually from 2009 and only now getting a release here in the U.S. for reasons unknown. It’s far from a traditional film, but if you like science fiction that explores humanity in surprising ways then you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. Leto does some incredible work here as a man shifting in and out of multiple threads of his own life, moving between different loves and events, and the supporting cast (Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-dan Pham) is equally strong. This Blu also includes both the R-rated cut and the extended international cut that runs an additional 16 minutes. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of, deleted scenes, featurette, trailer]

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Muscle Shoals Movie

The recording studio can be a magical place where the songs you now know and love are first born, and there are many factors go into making that magic a reality – a talented artist, just the right hook, a producer with a keen ear, a dedicated engineer, the perfect microphone placement. But there is one other factor that certain studios are also able to deliver: an iconic sound. Earlier this year Sundance premiered two different documentaries that gave audiences an inside look at two famous recording studios – one located in rural Alabama and the other on the outskirts of the entertainment capital that is Los Angeles (i.e. “The Valley”). Nearly a country apart in more ways than one. Muscle Shoals focused on the Alabama town that housed FAME Studios which produced some of the biggest hits of the 1960s and 1970s such as “I’ll Take You There,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Freebird.” Where Muscle Shoals explored the location’s unique sound, Sound City focused on a more tangible object – the studio’s Neve board which helped produce hit albums for artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, and Slipknot. Not to mention Sound City’s musician-turned-director, Dave Grohl, who recorded there with his former band (one you may have heard of), Nirvana. With the release of Muscle Shoals last week, I wanted to revisit these two films as one documentary brought the music to life while the other seemed to circle around the same idea […]

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MuscleShoals_still2_ArethaFranklin

Editor’s note: With Muscle Shoals opening in limited release, please enjoy the sweet sounds of our Sundance review, originally published on January 26. Rick Hall grew up in rural Alabama, but despite these simple roots, Hall always wanted to be somebody. Muscle Shoals tells the story of how he did become somebody when he founded FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, and in doing so created a deep Southern sound that permeated the music industry, and still exists today. While many accredit this to the “magic” of the Tennessee River, it was the rhythm section Hall put together, called “The Swampers,” that created this unique sound in this unexpected place. When you think of the locations of famous recording studios, you usually think of Los Angeles, New York City or London, but artists started flocking down south to FAME Studios thanks to The Swampers and Hall’s ability to recognize a hit song. The Swampers were a group of white musicians made up of David Hood (bass), Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), and Jimmy Johnson (guitar), who ended up creating the roots of this “funkier” style of music — which they claim only came about because they didn’t know how to “make it smooth.”

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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