For a brief moment at the start of the '90s, everyone seemed to be doing the retro-rock thing, and while most bands were digging back to the late '60s for inspiration, the Four Horsemen's ambitions went no further than the late '70s – more specifically AC/DC. There's not a single original riff on all of their first full album, Nobody Said It Was Easy, mind you, but the band's raunchy guitars and gritty delivery make up for this in spades. And had he not been arrested seemingly every six months for one misdemeanor or another, outlaw frontman Frank Starr may have even challenged Axl Rose for his "king of the bad boys" crown. Starr's whiskey and broken glass vocal style literally ignites the album's best moments, including the title track, "Can't Stop Rockin'," and the incredible "Rockin' Is Ma' Business." And while "Hot Head lifts its main riff directly from AC/DC's "Rock'n'Roll Damnation," the slightly more original "Tired Wings" actually received some MTV rotation thanks to its mellower Southern rock vibe and slide guitars.
Veteran Japanese writer/director Yasujiro Ozu's second postwar production was 1949's Late Spring or Banshun. Chisu Ryu plays another of Ozu's realistic middle-class types, this time a widower with a marriageable daughter. Not wishing to see the girl resign herself to spinsterhood, Ryu pretends that he himself is about to be married. The game plan is to convince the daughter that they'll be no room for her at home, thus forcing her to seek comfort and joy elsewhere. What makes this homey little domestic episode work is the rapport between Chisu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, who plays the daughter. Late Spring is no facile Hollywood farce; we like these people, believe in them, and wish them the best.