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‘I’m Not There’ is a film not to be missed

New album by Alicia Keys and “Frank TV” are  also among the week’s best offerings.
/ Source: contributor


Bob Dylan is an enigmatic artist, so naturally any film based on his life would not follow a linear path from A to B. Even people who know Dylan well aren’t sure quite what to make of him. Director Todd Haynes recognized this when he made “I’m Not There,” which will either delight Dylan fans or confound them. And people who don’t get Dylan won’t get this movie, either. Haynes employed six actors to play Dylan at various stages of his life, and he used different visual approaches as well as some off-the-wall narrative choices to create one of the more unusual and captivating portrayals of an American icon in recent memory. This movie isn’t for everyone, but neither is Bob Dylan, which is one of his charms. (The Weinstein Co., opens Wednesday)


Some women who are stunningly attractive view it as a curse because they can’t seem to get certain people to take them seriously. In the case of Alicia Keys, anyone who can’t get past the looks and savor the music is not only a little deficient in the judgment department, but is also missing out big time. “As I Am,” Keys’ third studio album, is a daring venture that takes the ravishing songstress into areas of reggae, hip-hop, soul, rhythm and blues, pop and rock. She doesn’t seem to care what people think of her, but with this new CD she is safe in adopting that attitude because she can be fairly certain the response to her work will be largely enthusiastic. The album is highlighted by the single “No One,” but also features the forceful “Wreckless Love” and the ballad “Like You’ll Never See Me Again.” Can’t take your eyes off her? Try harder, and listen closely. (J Records)


There used to be a time when the impressionist made an impression on audiences. Guys like Rich Little and Frank Gorshin were regulars on the comedy circuit and as guests of Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” Alas, perhaps as comedy has become edgier and more risqué, the impressionist has gone the way of the dodo bird. But Frank Caliendo is a shining example that a man pretending he’s another man is still a noble endeavor. “Frank TV” is a new series that features the post-modern impressionist in a variety of situations. The show mixes some clips from Caliendo’s live sets at clubs with comedy skits in a studio. The former standout on “MADtv” and the FOX NFL broadcasts now has his own show. This week’s guests include George W. Bush, John Madden, Joe Pesci, Robin Williams and others. (TBS, Tuesday, 11 p.m.)


If you weren’t around in the early ‘70s, you probably missed Led Zeppelin live. Even if you did catch a show, it is by now just a hazy memory filled with Robert Plant wails, Jimmy Page licks, John Bonham beats and John Paul Jones thumps. The definitive Zeppelin concert film may help. “The Song Remains the Same” isn’t a great cohesive film, as it meanders from live shows at Madison Square Garden in 1973 with fantasy sequences and other oddball footage. But the concert stuff rocks. “Song” is now available on DVD in a two-disc special edition to coincide with an influx of new releases by the group and a planned concert with the three surviving members in London. The DVD set contains some new extras that include two never-before-released performances as well as old TV footage, interviews and a radio profile by Cameron Crowe. Now those memories will no longer seem as if they’re over the hills and far away. (Warner Home Video)


I saw Steve Martin many years ago as an opening act for singer Andy Williams. It was the wrong crowd for Steve. He was putting an arrow through his head and playing the banjo while people in tuxes and gowns were looking at each other as if he were insane. Thankfully, Steve rebounded from that performance and has gone on to a brilliant career as an actor, writer and filmmaker. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots. “Born Standing Up” is his memoir of his days as a stand-up comic. It doesn’t stop there. From his times selling guide books at Disneyland through his experiences in college and later writing for the Smothers Brothers, he not only explains his career ascent but also reveals a lot of personal laundry. The result is an entertaining read by one of the true comic geniuses in recent years. Now he can put an arrow through his head in front of just about anybody and get a laugh. (Scribner)