Going Deep With “Shallow”

star_is_born

Would you like 300 cover versions of the song Shallow from the film A Star Is Born? Of course you would. After exhaustive and exhausting research, I’m proud to present this list of some — repeat, some — of the too many cover versions of this Oscar-worthy tune, performed in the film by the Oscar-worthy Bradley Cooper and the Oscar-worthy Lady Gaga. Many of these renditions rival the quality and emotional resonance of the film version. Many do not. Some have thousands of views; others low single digits. Some are just inexplicable. Enjoy this time-suck. You’re welcome.

  1. Alyssa Shouse
  2. Allie Sherlock
  3. Moniqué, Justinas Jarutis
  4. Brian Justin Crum
  5. Jess & Matt
  6. The JLP Show
  7. Kurt Hugo Schneider
  8. Cimorelli
  9. Mackenzie Johnson
  10. Lynnea M.
  11. Flavie Léa
  12. Angela Vazquez
  13. Lewis Capaldi
  14. Alexander Stewart
  15. AJ Rafael ft. Shoshana Bean
  16. Fran Coem & Andrea Guasch
  17. Cheska
  18. Lyrical Jazz’s choreography of Cheska cover of Shallow
  19. Fran Lopez
  20. Sonny & Hannah Grace
  21. Cody & Lexy
  22. Emma Heesters
  23. The Marlows
  24. David Alvareeezy & Alex Aiono
  25. Greg Gontier
  26. Kingdom Street
  27. Maria Demian
  28. Sophia Scott
  29. Sam Woolf
  30. Nguyen Kien
  31. Madysyn Rose Cover Ft. Tyler Ward
  32. New Hope Club
  33. Lyam Neal
  34. Sam Mangubat ft. Gidget dela Llana
  35. Always Alessandra
  36. funtwo
  37. Ben Siskin
  38. Valerie Varela
  39. Tayla Mae
  40. Rajiv Dhall
  41. Leadley
  42. Lawrence Park & Ali Brustofski
  43. The Light Parade
  44. Sofía y Ander
  45. Žan Sercic & Sara Lamprecnik
  46. Melissa Y Eureka
  47. Hannah Alex
  48. Della Firdatia ft. Felix
  49. Victoria Skie
  50. Cheryl K
  51. Jasmine Clarke
  52. Konah Raynes
  53. Luiza Gattai
  54. Sophie Pecora
  55. Melissa Walker
  56. Fatma Rizaldi
  57. Lisa Onuoha
  58. Chase Fouraker & Lena Stone
  59. Gabriela Toklowicz
  60. Casi Joy
  61. Jake Mackay
  62. Davi Music Official
  63. Arlene Zelina & Printz Board
  64. Renn Miko & Ashira
  65. Peter Gergely
  66. Toni Pirosa
  67. Voncken
  68. Luis Busho / Monsster Holland
  69. Robert Grace
  70. Eduard Freixa
  71. Kevin & Karla
  72. Musicality
  73. Carla Laubalo y Claupasal
  74. Heru Lee
  75. FLYGHTS
  76. Valentin YOMBA
  77. Kyle Meagher and Dalila Bela
  78. Demi van Wijngaarden
  79. Alexander Stewart
  80. Kitty Kathusky
  81. Sydney Simpson
  82. Fiddlerman
  83. Liv Bevan
  84. Break Out The Crazy
  85. Siren Gene
  86. Madu Hisaoka
  87. Jake Davey & Kylie Jane
  88. Steph La Rochelle
  89. Andres Colin & Kindred
  90. Bella River
  91. Mario Spinetti
  92. Fun Factory TV
  93. Evynne Hollens & Peter Hollens
  94. Francesco Parrino
  95. Ethan
  96. Lily Schub
  97. Ellina Styliadou
  98. Yuval Salomon
  99. Denis Kalytovskyi
  100. Camelia Crisan & Titus Homei
  101. Ben Woodward
  102. Ben Platt
  103. Gabriela Toklowicz
  104. Nanda Pratiwy ft. Troy
  105. Alex Kautz
  106. Maria Pina Cavezza ft Claudio
  107. Maíra Amorim
  108. Josh Lewis
  109. Katharina Schwerk & Guillermo Campoy
  110. Justin Capps and The Cavaliers ft. Erin Newman
  111. Yasam Chyne
  112. Lloyd Griffiths
  113. Halyss & Marina Odessa
  114. Šárka Tonarová feat Cory Smallegan
  115. Jaune Papillon
  116. Hannah Hobbs
  117. Brooklyn Duo – cello and piano
  118. Zoe Moreton
  119. Axelle Thays
  120. Omar Afuni
  121. Evi Christina, Liset Michel & Silvester Pool
  122. Abby and Sarah
  123. The Lars
  124. Nika Zorjan
  125. Julia Carlile // merseygirls
  126. Jimena Amor y Álvaro Hdez
  127. Emeline
  128. Shelley Mill
  129. Charlee Polidano
  130. Signe goffygang
  131. Logan Alexandra
  132. Amy Astrid
  133. Rei Cover Videos
  134. Jerry & Yuki
  135. Georgia Box
  136. Dani Octa
  137. Morgan Mattheis
  138. Aaron Odell
  139. Luke Moskowitz
  140. Jahne Dreams Jesse Linn
  141. The Oceanic Aria
  142. John Buckley
  143. Danny Rey
  144. Suzanne Samson
  145. Charlotte Hannah
  146. Jon Pumper
  147. Line Gosselin
  148. Trent Bell
  149. Katia
  150. Kfir Ochaion
  151. Gara González
  152. Alec Chambers
  153. Zainab Darong
  154. Sup I’m Bianca
  155. Maximedro
  156. Giselle Rivera
  157. Cecilia Pascal
  158. Cherry Lita
  159. Deborah Ghiddi
  160. Megan Tara
  161. Alexis Pinney
  162. Macià Pallarès Pallarès
  163. Abigail Frances
  164. Chiara Cami
  165. Taylor Duarte
  166. Gary C
  167. Jackie Foster
  168. Beth O’Reilly
  169. BTWN US
  170. Alessandra Patané, Salvatore Alderuccio
  171. Nischal Nepal
  172. Harmonie London
  173. KarLita Dinni Kadiin
  174. Wesley Li
  175. ELISKA + Martin Cisar
  176. Jon G.
  177. Kolton Stewart and Abigail Winter
  178. Malgowski Michel
  179. Marko The Piano Man
  180. heather_xoxo _101
  181. Chad Graham Feat. Fallon Graham
  182. Joyful Luisa
  183. Léo Quentin
  184. Amir Brandon
  185. Alison Sparrow
  186. Cerita Nusantara
  187. Thomas and Audrey NVH
  188. Ania Deko & Grzegorz Hyzy
  189. Toni Pirosa
  190. Itcho Pcelár
  191. Little Lyrebird
  192. Dylan Fraser
  193. Bagus Cahya Wibawa
  194. Sara Bentes
  195. Omar Chirinos
  196. Mandy Dickson
  197. Adriana Colón
  198. Fabiana Sousa
  199. Will Faust
  200. Sophie Hastings
  201. michiamberg
  202. Jonathan Tilkin
  203. Disney65Fan
  204. Micle’s Piano
  205. BALÉ_TV
  206. Nayara Portela
  207. Brae Cala
  208. Andrey Sado & Yuliya Dementyeva & Damien Safronov
  209. Saskia Eng
  210. Fergie Lian
  211. Lina Frances Music
  212. Jamie LeRose
  213. Frank Cotty
  214. Hannah Adams
  215. Mark Fantasia
  216. David Stanyer
  217. Kaiennenhawi Cross
  218. Melissa Martin & Alex Grenier
  219. Laís Araújo
  220. swiftcovers
  221. Evan & Mary-Jane
  222. Ana Horvat & Dino Antonic
  223. Larve Limbagan
  224. Vi Franks
  225. we winqa
  226. Natalie & Chloe Music
  227. Emily Price
  228. Elliott
  229. Erica Lazo
  230. Matthew Lin
  231. Celine Norambuena
  232. George Cisneros
  233. Alexandre Gallet & Inès Serra
  234. Ari Nao
  235. Victoria Anthony Music
  236. Iva Curic
  237. Thames Band
  238. Michelle Vinic
  239. Davina Michelle
  240. Amelia Rosa Butterworth
  241. AMÉ
  242. Steph Willis
  243. Bruno Araujo
  244. Matty Queen Bee
  245. Maddison Mian
  246. Bree Lenehan
  247. Julia Omelko
  248. munyehkels
  249. Tyler Costin and Siena Streiber
  250. Emily Summers and Leo Luck
  251. Ria Ritchie
  252. JD Larsen
  253. Ellen Dowse (Elliott Dowse)
  254. Maria Laroco
  255. David Calabrés
  256. Osher
  257. Aine Carroll
  258. Allie Sealey
  259. Giuseppe de Simone e Claudia Irto
  260. Jett Blyton
  261. Emma Jayne
  262. harmonyjo
  263. Aimee Music Official
  264. Dalton Russell
  265. Riyandi Kusuma
  266. Chandler Berardi
  267. Amanda Defacendis
  268. Rapluvi
  269. Jonash
  270. It’s Alex
  271. Adelia Mahaffee
  272. Junior Paez
  273. Dani Octa
  274. Anastasia Papas
  275. Daphne Snow
  276. Yoel Sanchez
  277. Simon James
  278. Claire Rxse
  279. EKA SPS
  280. Zoe Alexander
  281. Paulene May
  282. Lynsay Ryan
  283. Arno K
  284. Sergio Tur
  285. Lise DARLY
  286. Spence Cater
  287. Yazmin Aziz
  288. Savannah Van
  289. Oly Green
  290. Yahto Kraft
  291. Daphné R.
  292. Christian Oscarsson
  293. Marisol Luna
  294. OMJamie
  295. Daniel Alkato
  296. SeriouslyChris
  297. Darien Bernard
  298. Caitlin Simone & Lloyd Snyder
  299. Elle Smarzinski
  300. And of course, this:

  301. Wanderson Prudencio oficial

The Wonder of It All

batman v superman2

Firstly, this is not an anti-Wonder Woman rant. I like Wonder Woman just fine. Nor an anti-feminist rant. “I’m With Her,” and all that. Oh, it is a rant, to be sure. A rant about bullshit marketing. Which, I know, too easy, but still…

As the picture above indicates, this is a rant about the movie Batman v Superman, which I am on record here as despising. As crass and inhuman as that film is, not surprisingly, so, too, is the marketing a cynical ploy. Which, again, a redundant and easy complaint about marketing, but fight we must.

My ire is raised because for some reason Wonder Woman is given front-and-center position on the Blu-ray and on the store rack. Remember, the movie is titled (foolishly) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, not Wonder Woman and Batman and Superman: Some Kind of Insane Three-Way. Of course, that movie I would watch, at least for a while. Wonder Woman, portrayed with universally-praised panache by Gal Gadot, was only in the two-and-a-half hour slogfest for a total of seven minutes. Seven minutes! A credit to the actress that she can command such reviews from so little screen time. And a discredit to the rest of the film that a bit player can steal the show, which remember features two of the most iconic characters in the history of the world.

The reason Wonder Woman was in the film, and the only reason she is heavily featured on all the packaging and posters, is that Warner Bros. is also making a Wonder Woman film. Probably several. It’s cross-promotion, don’t you know.

batman v superman

But it’s so blatant, so in-your-face, so shameless, that it just defeats its own purpose. What the campaign is saying is, “Hey, you didn’t really like this movie, but you did like this one character, so here you go, she’s in the movie, remember? Please buy this disc because there might be more of her on the DVD extras.”

Sticking your IP into everything just because you can is a filthy business.

If this is your best play, Warner Bros., why not go all the way. Warners is also making another Ben Affleck film, The Accountant. Let’s add Wonder Woman to that. Here’s the synopsis, wherein Affleck plays

“a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.”

Could probably use Diana Prince and her invisible plane, right?

But why stop there? Let’s add Wonder Woman (or Batman, or Superman, or the Flash, or…) to other upcoming Warner Bros. features!

Warners is making a new Tomb Raider. Another Scooby Doo. Another Jungle Book. Another King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island. Yet another Godzilla movie, and a King Kong vs Godzilla movie!

Wonder Woman vs. Lara Croft on Skull Island: Dawn of Mowgli. A Scooby Doo Adventure!

Jeez. I take it all back. Warner Bros. should just stop making movies.

Batman v Superman v Bullshit

The film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was so scorned by critics (a lousy 28% on Rotten Tomatoes) that the Warner Bros. marketing team has been reduced to dredging up what positive quotes they can find from the most random people on social media: a guy from Pakistan, an Irish dude who mostly tweets about football (i.e., soccer), and even a grandmother on Facebook.

In the time-honored movie-marketing ploy of plucking a few words out of context from a review to suggest that the critic actually enjoyed the movie, the Warners team has been posting the following graphics to Twitter. To be fair, the fans seem to have actually enjoyed the movie (the Rotten Tomatoes audience score is an inexplicable 69%). But is the opinion of someone with less than 200 followers on Twitter of any use? Yeah, yeah, democratization of the Internet, end of the gatekeepers, blah blah. But seriously, Twitter user @ceepascual‘s money quote, “Literally every scene with @galgadot in it took my breath away,” is just a guy ogling a pretty lady. Progress!

I have been retweeting these desperate memes right back at Warners, with snarky comments, to no effect.

There is an entire wing of the Nuttycombe Archives filled with Silver Age Superman and Batman comic books, a treasure trove that I adore. I was such a Batman purist that when I watched the Adam West Batman show on TV in the ’60s, I despised it. Why so unserious? As a kid, I did not understand camp. I’ve evolved.

But the approach to adapting comic book characters for film and television (and, indeed, in comic books) has swung so far in the other direction that I was about to write my own screed against this current climate of morose, sociopathic superhero movies, filled with what Wesley Morris in the New York Times termed “lugubrious solemnity and generic philosophizing.” But here’s the Austin American-Statesman‘s Joe Gross summing up better than I the problem with BvSDoJ. Spoiler alert: He compares it, unfavorably, to a garbage fire.

Here are some of the film studio’s sad attempts to lure you into the theater, and the new social media cineastes who inspired them:

bvs1

Source: https://instagram.com/nic_ferazzoli

bvs2

Source: https://instagram.com/gabrielqueirox

bvs3

Source: http://twitter.com/ceepascual

bvs4

Source: https://www.facebook.com/SuniyehNabeel

bvs5

“@ohsnapitsgingee” seems to have disappeared from Twitter.

bvs7

Source: https://twitter.com/JohnnyCrua

bvs8

Source: https://instagram.com/kms_fotografie

bvs9

Source: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.gummere.1

bvs10

Source: https://twitter.com/TriangleSpidey

bvs13

Source: https://twitter.com/Themysciran

The End of the West End

west end cinema

In recapping my movie-going for 2010, I wrote this:

This year saw the appearance of a new movie outlet, the West End Cinema. Well, sorta new. It’s a fresh venue in a tired old location. When it was the Circle West End 5-7 in the ’70s and ’80s, I purposefully avoided the place. I loved the original West End, which offered a real moviegoing experience. (Saw Repo Man there. Also, John Cusack riding up to the box office on a bicycle.) But the 5-7 was in the basement of an office building and had all the charms that implies. And, though the new West End still has the same tiny theaters and tinier screens (see image above), the new owners are making interesting programming choices that mitigate the less-than-Cinerama experience. And they’re cleverly taking advantage of modern technology. Before a screening of the hysterical and disturbing Four Lions, they played a video that the director made specifically for this screening — and e-mailed to the theater. I think more films should start this way.

And now the West End is closing.

Indeed, the big difference between the West End Cinema and when it was under Circle management was the programming. (And please note, I loved most of the Circle Theaters; the Pedas brothers also ran a great operation. In this instance, they went a theater too far.) There was little point in watching a first-run Hollywood feature on a tiny screen when you could catch it at the Uptown, Avalon, or even a multiplex. And while West End also programmed first-run A pictures, more often it showcased indies, obscure indies, and even local films.

So I came off my high horse and added the West End to my regular filmgoing spots. The new relationship was not not without issues.

When the West End screened a documentary about L.A.’s famed Troubadour nightclub, I was first into the theater — only to be greeted by the menu screen for a Sony Blu-ray player. The screen itself was not all that much larger than the TVs of many of my friends. But I wanted to see the movie in a theater and the West End was the only place to see it.

And the film wasn’t great — I was expecting more on the Troubadour’s legendary owner Doug Weston rather than a tarted up James Taylor/Carole King concert film. But you can’t complain too much about spending time with James Taylor and Carole King.

When the film showed up on PBS two weeks later, I still wasn’t upset. Yes, I could have saved my money, especially as the Troub doc is exactly the type of PBS show you watch on your couch before bedtime. But so what? I got out of the house, had some tasty snacks, and shared an experience with strangers in a darkened room. That last bit sounds kinda dicey. But the West End was always a class joint. And I’ll miss the place.

I knew the end was near when the Oscar-nominated documentary The Square premiered at the West End — and at the same time on Netflix. Hard competing with that.

Fare thee well, Josh Levin and the West End staff.