As the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) had done a year earlier, Super Session (1968) initially ushered in several new phases in rock & roll's concurrent transformation. In the space of months, the soundscape of rock shifted radically from short, danceable pop songs to comparatively longer works with more attention to technical and musical subtleties. Enter the unlikely all-star triumvirate of Al Kooper (piano/organ/ondioline/vocals/guitars), Mike Bloomfield (guitar), and Stephen Stills (guitar) – all of whom were concurrently "on hiatus" from their most recent engagements. Kooper had just split after masterminding the groundbreaking Child Is Father to the Man (1968) version of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Bloomfield was fresh from a stint with the likewise brass-driven Electric Flag, while Stills was late of Buffalo Springfield and still a few weeks away from a full-time commitment to David Crosby and Graham Nash. Although the trio never actually performed together, the long-player was notable for idiosyncratically featuring one side led by the team of Kooper/Bloomfield and the other by Kooper/Stills.
When she's not moonlighting as back-up singer for acclaimed retro-pop group The Bird and the Bee, Alex Lilly is masterminding the fanciful pop of Obi Best. With a cadre of talented LA friends and a sensibility that's as at home with Stereolab as it is with Prokofiev, Lilly conjures music that's complex and catchy - think geometry, double-dutch, and animated spin art.
Jericho "Action" Jackson is a Detroit police sergeant who was demoted from lieutenant for almost tearing the arm off of sexually violent sociopath Sean Dellaplane, whose father is Peter Dellaplane, a major car manufacturer. But Dellaplane himself is violent as well. Dellaplane kills his wife Patrice by shooting her. And then he plants her body in Jackson's apartment, framing Jackson. Dellaplane won't miss Patrice very much, because he has a drug-addicted mistress named Sydney Ash. He keeps Sydney hooked with a free supply of heroin. Jackson suspects Dellaplane of masterminding a murder spree against local officials from the auto workers' union.
A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation.
One of the best-loved films from the idiosyncratic British film studio Ealing Pictures gets an update from the equally idiosyncratic filmmaking team of Joel and Ethan Coen in this offbeat comedy. Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall) is a spry, elderly woman who attends church regularly, doesn't care for loud noises or harsh language, and is looking for a tenant for the spare room in her house. Enter Goldthwait Higginson Dorr (Tom Hanks), a silver-tongued college professor who moves in and gains Munson's permission to use the basement for rehearsals with his "medieval music ensemble." What Munson doesn't know is that Dorr's latest project is not academic, but criminal. Dorr is masterminding the robbery of a riverboat casino, and the fellow musicians in his ensemble are actually the crew he's assembled to pull off the job: foul-mouthed "inside man" Gawain (Marlon Wayans), clumsy demolitions expert Pancake (J.K. Simmons), quiet strong-arm man Lump (Ryan Hurst), and logistical expert The General (Tzi Ma).
Best-selling author Michael Crichton wrote and directed this science fiction thriller that combined the influences of Blade Runner (1982), comic books, and Crichton's ongoing fascination with the dangers of high technology. Tom Selleck stars as Sergeant Jack Ramsey, a single father in the near future, when robots have largely replaced humans in performing menial labor. However, the robots occasionally malfunction, threatening human life and requiring a specialist like Jack, who terminates the haywire "runaways." Investigating a particularly nasty series of recent cases, Jack and his new partner Karen Thompson (Cynthia Rhodes) discover a connection between the runaways and Charles Luther (Kiss frontsman Gene Simmons). Luther, a maniacal genius, is masterminding a plot to create an army of killing machines. With time running out, it's up to Jack and Karen to match wits with Luther and save humanity.