Chris Isaak

If you doubt that the spirit of Elvis is alive, then you obviously didn’t go see Chris Isaak at Mandalay Beach on July 16. (An appropriate venue, considering his infamous “Wicked Game” video, which portrayed him and supermodel Helena Christensen romping on the beach.) His voice takes you back to a time when ballads were still en vogue, and his set list was pieced together in a way that made you feel like you were listening in on someone’s diary.

Isaak played a wide spectrum of originals and covers, including Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” proving not only that he still has the chops of his younger days but is, in fact, getting better with age. Combined with an endearing wit and boyish charm, it’s no wonder Isaak can still melt the hearts of people old and young.

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On the wobbly heels of the disastrous atheist film The Ledge, here comes Salvation Boulevard, another hopeless flop about the hypocrisy and homicidal passions of evil born-again Christians. I’m not taking sides. I’m just telling you it’s a stupid farrago of aborted ideas, misguided actors, lame direction, sub-mental writing and follow-the-dots plotting that never comes anywhere within a 10-mile radius of what I used to call coherent filmmaking.

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