By: G.H. Harding

Ben Affleck 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
BATFLECK --- Last night Warner Brothers and director Zach Snyder announced that none other than Ben Affleck would be the NEW Batman in the forthcoming Batman/Superman movie. Since the announcement, the twitter-verse has been on a feeding frenzy over the decision. Comments pro-and-con are running about half-and-half. Affleck, who won an Oscar for his direction of Argo, and, who solidly has Warner Brothers behind him, in 2004 essayed another comic book crusader, Daredevil, with less than stellar results. Don't get me wrong, I love Ben – The Town was brilliant, but Gigli; Smokin’ Aces and Jersey Girl, were somewhat more questionable choices.

Most folks in-the-know, assumed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would inherit the franchise; after his riveting performance in the Dark Knight Rises, but, Affleck got the cape and cowl. For me, a comic-kid from waaay back … I can't wait. I rather loved this summer’s Man of Steel, although the last third sort of ran off the tracks. Henry Cavill was terrific and the notion of him teeing off with Affleck is indeed captivating.

Wonder if Matt Damon will have a role ... Robin? Good luck Mr. Batfleck!

Kevin Zegers

MOTAL INSTRUMENTS --- In the never ending race to capture the Harry Potter movie-magic again, a new movie called Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opened this week. The reviews haven't been great but, the trailers and commercials, simply stunning. Combining smart visuals with some pretty good dialogue, I definitely want to catch this. Starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower; Kevin Zegers; and, Jemima West, this is actually the second installment inn the series. The direction by Harald Zwart, moves and shines like a diamond. There’s already a third installment in the works. I do want to see this.

THAT’S SID --- Sid Bernstein, the man who brought the Beatles to America and promoted their concerts, died this week at age 95. He was a popular raconteur and real New York figure, spending key moments at The Carnegie Deli and The Second Avenue Deli. He was sort of a regular at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room, especially at its old location on 24th street. PR-man David Salidor told me a funny story: “When I worked for Howard Bloom (another legendary PR-figure back in the day) we were walking back to the office one day, when Howard saw Sid at a payphone. He offered Sid the use of a spare office and we walked back together … with him telling some sensational stories en route. By the end of the afternoon, we were all gathered in the conference room, around Sid, listening to him.” 

The thing I learned about Sid that he really was a man of great style and taste. That’s my memory of Sid … telling another great story.

STILLS RISING --- A long, long time ago, 1968 to be exact, musicians Stephen Stills, Al Kooper, and Mike Bloomfield, banded together in the studio for sort of an all-star jam session. The resulting album Super Session, put the music world on its collectible ear. It was really good; really creative; and, sold.

Now, all these years later, Stills has banded together with former-electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldenberg, and guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd for a new group called The Rides; and, have released a full album called Can't Get Enough,” produced by Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads).

Can't Get Enough mixes originals with covers of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," Iggy & the Stooges' "Search and Destroy" and songs by Elmore James and Muddy Waters as well as "Word Game," a song Stills says he first wrote and recorded during the early 70's.

Shepherd says that he expects The Rides could be back in the studio as soon as December to work on the group's sophomore effort. 

"We're all very committed to this band, and we're already looking to the next record," he says. "We went to Stephen's house a while ago and we all brought stuff to the table, but Stephen already had a song that he was halfway through writing. And it was interesting because our band is supposed to be somewhat of a blues band, but the song sounds like vintage Crosby, Stills & Nash, so I'm kind of interested to see the direction that our next album will take, though I do believe that it will pretty much stay firmly rooted in the blues because that's what this band ultimately is."

While music-insiders are eagerly awaiting the results of the album, and tour, realistically, the album is on a small-indie label (825 Records) with limited-resources and, the audience, while not the size of One Direction’s audience, is in question. We called and called and still haven't received a full copy of the work.

The Rides hit the road for a 17-date U.S. tour on August 28-29 at the Iridium Jazz Club here in New York City.

CLOSING THOUGHTS-- Have you seen the trailers for NBC’s new show, The Blacklist, with James Spader? Positively thrilling. I've always liked Spader, especially in the Paul Haggis-movie Crash … so, let me predict right now this show to be #1 …The Singhs? Remember them? Apparently they surfaced a few months back with a new album Science Fiction … produced by Tony (T. Rex) Visconti. Has anyone heard this? I would love to too …Michael Starr in the New York Post is back with his classic and revelatory column The Starr Report. Congrats! And, CBS and Time-Warner have become friends. I think the strike is about to be over. Mark Bego releases Burning Bridges, with Debby Campbell, on life with father Glen, in early-October on Omnibus.


Anonymous said…
Totally agree about Affleck...I hope I'm wrong, but my gut says he is not right for Batman! One correction...Spader was not in the Haggis Crash, he was in Croenenberg's Crash.