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Archive | August, 2014

Movie Breakdown: As Above, So Below (Noah)

August 29, 2014

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

You know, even though this is a found footage horror film that uses the terror of claustrophobia to once again try and scare the bejeezus out of me, it’s also a horror film, and no matter how strikingly bad it might be, I always love a horror film.

The Reality:

As Above, So Below is a preposterous Disneyland ride. If you’ve ever attended a local radio station’s Halloween Haunted House, then you’ve pretty much seen As Above, So Below, but instead of walking around with your stupid drunken friends, you’re walking around with a bunch of other people who, most definitely, are just as stupid, but they brought a camera and between screaming loudly they keep laying on some really thick bullshit about evil, or something. That said, as dumb as As Above, So Below is, and it is really, really, really dumb, it’s still has that haunted house shtick and the Dowdle Brothers manage to milk it for everything it’s worth. The story – part horror, part Indiana Jones, part first-person shooter – revolves around Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), a youthful archaeologist on the quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone that evaded her father, eventually driving him to his death. After a harrowing and nauseating flight through a series of undercover caves in Iran, Scarlet is lead to the Catacombs of Paris where the Philosopher’s Stone supposedly lives. Along the way she picks up a group of French street-rats (one of which, I swear to God, never says a single word the entire film), an ex-boyfriend/Aramaic scholar (Ben Feldman – Ginsberg!) and her erstwhile cameraman Benji (Edwin Hodge). I’m not spoiling anything here, but almost as soon as they get down into the Catacombs, shit starts going real, real bad, and the rest of the movie is an extended flight sequence where the group, a smaller and smaller group, tries to escape. Again, not a great movie, the characters are about as well defined as a pile of rotting, French bones, and their only traits are pinned on them just to give some meaning to events that happen at the end. There’s bad guys that appear and disappear without meaning or cause. Nothing is really that believable in the film – the emotions, the set, the characters in any way, shape or form – and it gives this sort of artifice that gives the stark impression that you are watching people go through a Disneyland ride. Really, really stupid people going through a Disneyland ride. I can’t think of a single decision made in this film that, if I was a part of this group, I would, in any way support. Again, the Dowdle Brothers aren’t trying to make films that stretch your cerebral capacities, they’re just trying to make some, fun, scary horror flicks, and for the most part, this one succeeds at that.

The Lesson:

How come whenever I watch one bad horror film, I only want to watch bad horror films?

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

August 29, 2014

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Hey everybody! There’s a rad new festival coming to Austin and if you don’t know yet, now ya know: Weird City Hip Hop Festival is where it’s at for the best in independent artists and it’s happening downtown from September 26-28 and tickets are on sale now.  Full disclosure, I am one of the fest organizers and I am super excited about the amazing artists we’ve managed to book, along with our friends at HE^RD ENTERTAINMENT, Pushermania, Proper Entertainment, Body Rock ATX, The Tipping Point, and Exploded Drawing.  Below is a mix of artists that will be at Weird City.  And below that you’ll find some extra deets on the festival.  Get your tickets now, dudes.  Don’t sleep.

:Dilated Peoples – Show Me the Way (Featuring Aloe Blacc):
:Jean Grae – Killing Em (Featuring Pharoahe Monch):
:Diamond D – Rap Life (Featuring Pharoahe Monch):
:Jean Grae – Don’t Rush Me:
:Black Milk – Sunday’s Best – Monday’s Worst:
:Guilty Simpson – Money Motivated Movements:
:Jonwayne – Numbers On The Hoard:
:Homeboy Sandman – Table Cloth (Featuring Fresh Daily):
:Open Mike Eagle – Cobra Commander (Featuring Danny Brown):
:Bleubird – Down Like Brothers (Featuring Radical):
:League of Extraordinary G’z – Hankuri:
:Space Camp Death Squad – Southern Hospitality:
:Subkulture Patriots – Near You (Featuring D.O.S):

What to expect at Weird City …

Opening night, Friday, September 26 Dam Funk, king of L.A.’s modern funk-disco-boogie sound will be setting things off with a special DJ set inside at Empire’s Control Room stage with Body Rock ATX: Austin’s premiere dance party led by DJ Chorizo Funk and Riders Against the Storm (Austin’s 2013-14 ‘Band of the Year’).

Also on that night at Red 7, Pushermania’s Texas Showcase will welcome breakout performers from the Houston and Dallas scenes with a huge line-up curated by former SXSW Hip Hop czar Matt Sonzala that includes Doughbeezy (Houston), A.Dd+ (Dallas), League of Extraordinary Gz (Austin), Worldwide (Houston), Subkulture Patriots (Austin), Uzoy (Houston), Dat Boi T (Houston), Lyric Michelle (Houston), Lil Sicc (Austin), Sertified (Austin), DJ Grip (Houston), and more.

***

On Saturday, September 27 Dilated Peoples (LA) will perform the festival’s headlining set at Empire Garage. Dilated Peoples are hot off the August release of their critically-acclaimed album Directors of Photography, released through their new home at Rhymesayers, and have been a consistent presence in hip-hop for years, straddling the line between conscious rhymes and bangin’ beats.  Inside the Empire Control Room at the monthly Tipping Point event (hosted by Riders Against the Storm), we will be featuring performances by Pharoahe Monch and Jean Grae.

Jonwayne (LA) will be headlining Saturday night’s show at the North Door.  As part of Stone’s Throw Records’ hip hop/soul arsenal, Jonwayne most recently released Cassette on Vinyl, a 2014 compilation of his former mixtapes.  A frequent collaborator of Flying Lotus and others, Jonwayne was discovered as a producer by Peanut Butter Wolf, which helped launch his studio career as an emcee.

Weird City Hip Hop Festival will also feature Homeboy Sandman (NYC), another Stones Throw Records artist, performing live with Black Milk (Detroit)/Open Mike Eagle (L.A.), and Bleubird (Ft. Lauderdale) at Red 7 on Saturday night.  Not only an emcee, but a frequent contributor to Huffington Post and Gawker, Sandman has been called “one of the best pure lyricists around” by Pitchfork.

***

On both Friday night and Saturday night at Beerland, AMX will be teaming up with noted battle league Grind Time Now to present two consecutive nights of battles.  Grind Time Now runs one of the most successfully subscribed and viewed battle channels on YouTube.  Both battles will be tournament-style with 16 artists competing to win.

Beyond the live performances, the Weird City Hip Hop Festival will also feature workshops/panels for artists, and a Kids Rap Camp, led by Austin non-profits, Attendance Records and Dub Academy.

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Stream This

August 29, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums come out, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Interpol – El Pintor

Blonde Redhead – Barragan
Half Japanese – Overjoyed
Ryan Adams – 1984
Sinkane – Mean Love
Los Angeles Police Department – Self Titled
Zammuto – Anchor
The Gotobeds – Poor People Are Revolting
Underpass – Assimilation
God Help The Girl – Soundtrack

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
The Both

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Movie Breakdown: The November Man

August 28, 2014

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

“You know what we used to call you? The November Man, because after you passed through, nothing lived.”  PIERCE BROSNAN IS BACK.

The Reality:

There’s really not a whole lot to say about The November Man.  It’s a generic, uninspired and convoluted spy thriller that feels like it was made in the 90s, shelved and then dusted off only because Relativity had a hole in their release schedule.  You shouldn’t bother seeing it.

By the way, I did go into The November Man thinking that even if it wasn’t any good, Pierce Brosnan would come through with some of the charm and charisma that made him famous.  Nope!  His performance is so uneven and disconnected that it made me wonder why he even made the film.  Here’s hoping that his poor effort is due to him being in a bad film and not because he’s transitioned into the “mailing it in” portion of his career.

The Lesson:

Does anyone have Liam Neeson’s phone number?  Pierce Brosnan needs it.

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We Were Promised Jetpacks

August 28, 2014

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We Were Promised Jetpacks will soon put out a new album, and as of today it’s one that I’m really looking forward to.  I thought the first single, Safety In Numbers, was solid and worth sharing because it signified a shift to a less raw, more calculated sound for the band, but I haven’t found myself feeling a need to revisit it often.  Today’s track though, is spectacular and I’ve had it on repeat for the last day or so.  While it also showcases a rather clean, mathy approach, it’s epic and feels more like the We Were Promised Jetpacks that won everyone over all those years ago.  Expect to like it.  Enjoy.

:We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed:

Unraveling is due out on October 14 via FatCat.  See them at the Mohawk on November 11.

Bonus Video:

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Throwback Thursday: Mates Of State

August 28, 2014

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Many years ago my good friend Kendra and I were set to make a trip to Houston so that we could interview Mates of State and then see them play.  We were pumped.  So much so in fact that we completely disregarded the fact that Hurricane Rita was set to blow through Texas the same night of the show.  Thankfully, Mates of State canceled and we didn’t attempt to drive to Houston during a hurricane just so that we could prove our love for them and their album Team Boo.

CLOSE CALL.

Anyways, something reminded of that story the other day, then I thought of Team Boo, and I’ve been wormholing on it ever since.  Now you get to join in on remembering the album’s set of super catchy, synth-filled pop tracks.  Have fun.

PS – What are Jason and Kori up to these days (pun intended)?  I want new music.

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Rich Girls (Noah)

August 27, 2014

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As a relatively long-term resident of San Francisco, one who crash-landed in “The City By The Bay” amidst the blooming of a now vacant garage rock scene, it’s been a hard year. San Francisco’s music is changing, the fuzz is gone, a sweeter, cleaner, folkier sound is cresting, and call me an old bitter hipster, but I’m profoundly unhappy about it. Most of the time. Though the void left by the departure of bands like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall is being filled by the sort of whining 90s synth-rock I happily left behind in high school, the flip side of that coin, the one marked by crunching, simple guitar chords, and angst-filled lyrics, is quietly developing.

Rich Girls, the solo project of former garage rock stalwarts The Black’s Luisa Black, are a logical progression from the 60s fueled swagger of John Dwyer and his lot, carrying over the thrashy guitars and sneering attitude but adding a bouncy layer of 90s powered bass that pushes the sound into a rollicking amalgam of grunge and goth. The band dips a toe into the tepid waters of Beach House, but Luisa Blacks voice, crystal clear with just a hint of broken-toothed attitude lingering on the edges, flips the tone, turning Victoria Legrands mope-heavy indie-jams into rollicking rock and fucking roll.  Look for the Fiver EP on October 10.

:Rich Girls – Worse:

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The Sour Notes (Jennifer)

August 27, 2014

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The Sour Notes are a longtime favorite here at SOTO due to them being one of the hardest working and most engaging bands in Austin. When they’re not crafting their own material or touring, they’re booking shows and collaborating with other bands and venues to keep the local music scene alive and kicking.

Throughout the last two years the band has been recording their fifth full length, Do What May.  They always strive to do something different with each release, and on the new album it’s collaborations with multiple singers from various Austin bands to give each song its own unique mood and vibe.  There’s Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit, A Giant Dog) on the title track, Bailey Glover (Little Lo) on With Ease, With Time, and Sara Houser (Lowin) on In the Meanwhile. Their songs hit all the right notes for me; they’re hook filled, ambitious pop tunes with added dramatic flair from horns and strings, and lyrics and melodies that range from sweet to sinister.

Come celebrate with the band at their Album Release Party at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Saturday, September 6. There’s no cover charge, but a $5 donation will get you the new album and a packed local music lineup on both CUC stages – Grape St, Black Books, The Sour Notes, and Pollen will be on the inside stage, and Genuine Leather and Chris Catalena and the Native Americans will be on the outside stage. I’ve been enjoying the songs from Do What May during the band’s shows for a while now, but I’m still excited for them and proud to see all of their hard work come to light for the rest of the world to hear.  Below you’ll find the band’s new single, Cutthroat, and a full stream of Do What May.

:The Sour Notes – Cutthroat:

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The Rural Alberta Advantage

August 26, 2014

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Today for your listening pleasure I have the latest single off of the new Rural Alberta Advantage album, Mended With Gold.  It’s somewhat of a slow burner and it (of course) features the three things that have long made me appreciate RAA – spectacular drumming, heartfelt lyrics and great vocal work.  By the way, you can also jump to the bottom of the post to check out another song off of the upcoming LP.  Enjoy.

:The Rural Alberta Advantage – On The Rocks:

Mended With Gold is due out September 30 via Saddle Creek.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Run The Jewels, King Tuff, White Sands, S, The Twilight Sad

August 25, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Run The Jewels – Blockbuster Night Part 1:  For those of you in dire need of a pick-me-up today, this Run The Jewels track and its aggressively inspiring approach should more than do the trick.  Look for RTJ2 on October 28 via Mass Appeal Records.  See them at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November.

:King Tuff – Black Moon Spell:  Here’s a super riffy new one from King Tuff.  I wonder if the rest of the upcoming album will be like this or if it’ll have some of the sunny psychedelic stuff that the act normally delivers?  Guess we’ll see when Black Moon Spell is released on September 23 via Sub Pop.

:White Sands – The Wait:  Conan Roberts (Mazes), Sophy Hollington (Novella) and John Arthur Webb (Male Bonding) make up White Sands.  I think this driving rock number of theirs is damn catchy.  The band’s 7″ is expected out in October via Art Is Hard.

:S – Brunch:  The impending full length from S (Jenn Ghetto from the now defunct Carissa’s Wierd) is one that I’m really starting to look forward to.  I blame the genuineness of both her songwriting and her vocals.  Hardly Art will release Cool Choices on September 23.

:The Twilight Sad – There’s A Girl In The Corner:  Are you feeling too happy?  This grade-A brooder from The Twilight Sad should help!  The band will release Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave on October 27 via FatCat.  See them at the Mohawk on November 12.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

August 23, 2014

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Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Matthew McConaughey may portray Randall Flag in the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.  Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) is attached to direct.

Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Benedict Cumberbatch have joined the cast of Jungle Book: Origins.  The film will be Andy Serkis’ directorial debut.

Akiva Goldsman is reportedly in talks to pen the script for The Ring 3D.

Shane Black is set to direct the adaptation of William Murphy’s book series The Destroyer.  The books are centered around a character named Remo Williams, who works for a top secret branch of the US government.

David Yates may direct the first entry in the Harry Potter spin-off trilogy, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins) has been hired to direct the adaptation of the zombie-centric video game Dead Rising.

Relativity Studios have started working on a sequel for The November Man.  Pierce Brosnan will reprise his role.

Ving Rhames has signed on to appear in Missions Impossible 5.

Steve Martin may star in Disney’s Magic Camp.  The movie is said to be about a straight-laced banker who returns to his childhood camp as a counselor.

Andrew Dominik (Killing Me Softly) is set to write a 3D remake of Shaolin Temple.  Justin Lin is expected to direct.

Rumor has it that Jennifer Lawrence has landed a role in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

Mark Wahlberg may star in a movie based on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) may direct Bradley Cooper in an adaptation of the pulp novel series The Executioner, which follows anti-terrorist operative Mack Bolan.

Kevin Smith will direct Johnny Depp in Yoga Hosers.  It’s said to follow two Canadian teenage girls who join forces with an investigator to battle a threat to the Earth.

Paul Giamatti will portray Ruthless Records co-founder and NWA manager Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton.

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost recently noted that they’re in the very early stages of what could be another loosely connected trilogy.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Stream This

August 22, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums come out, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

J Mascis – Tied To A Star
Ty Segall – Manipulator
The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader
Merchandise – After The End
The Rentals – Lost In Alphaville
Opeth – Pale Communion
Mono/Poly – Golden Skies
Cassie Ramone – The Time Has Come
Elephant Stone – The Three Poisons
Johnny Aries – Unbloomed
Rubblebucket – Survival Sounds
The Young – Chrome Cactus
Gemma Ray – Milk For Your Motors
Emily And The Complexes – Dirty Southern Love EP
Maps – Realigned
Wand – Ganglion Reef
Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Action Bronson

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Sad Bastard Music: Angsty August (John Gross)

August 22, 2014

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Sure, it’s fun to listen to November Rain in its entirety before getting out of bed in the morning, but sometimes it’s nice to spice it up a little and add some variety to your stockade of Sad Bastard Music.  I’m here for you.

:Modern Lovers – Girlfren:  Do kids these days know about the Modern Lovers? They fucking should.  They need to understand the beauty of a simple song that proposes that: I’d be happy if I could only have a girlfriend … not only that, but I’d be able to understand the true art of Cezanne and would better connect with the breathing city of Boston. If only. And kids – take note: it’s spelled “G-I-R-L-F-R-E-N.”

:The Mountain Goats – Autoclave:  Crippling depression, dreams of death and destruction, perfect metaphors – this Mountain Goats song has it all.  What a hook this is: “I am this great, unstable mass of blood and foam And no one in her right mind would make my home her home”  It has a beat and you can doubt your very core to it!

:The Mr. T Experience – How’d the Date End?:  The classic narrative of a date gone wrong as explained in song to Chuck Woolery and a studio audience on Love Connection.

“How’d the date end? Horrible.  How’d the date end? Deplorable.”

That Dr. Frank sure is a sweetheart.

:The Rentals – Say Goodbye Forever:  “I’m in such a lonely place (It’s a lonely place) …  And I could be forever (Goodbye)”  1999’s Seven More Minutes is a classic album and we’re so lucky to be alive while Matt Sharp has a NEW album on Polyvinyl Records entitled Lost in Alphaville that comes out August 26. First one in 15 years and yes there are still some sad bastard homeruns up his sleeve.  That’s a promise.  Preorder it HERE.

:Harry Nilsson – She’s Leaving Home:  This Lennon/McCartney gut-wrencher from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has the listener right there with the lonely runaway girl who’s setting out on her own to try and find happiness and we also get to peek into the crushed parents who will never understand what happened. The original song was played for Brian Wilson before Sgt. Peppers came out and it made him uncontrollably weep right then and there, which is no small feat – but I’ll argue that this Harry Nillson version is as much of a tearjerker if not more. And he does it without the trickery of that breathtaking string section. The Nillson covers appears on his 1967 record Pandemonium Shadow Show and paved the way for a greater friendship with the Beatles who eventually helped him get more and more fame and consequential money. If you haven’t seen the documentary WHO IS HARRY NILLSON AND WHY IS EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT HIM – I highly recommend it.

:The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want To Get Over You:  Sure, there are things that could be done to make the pain go away, but what fun is that if you’re a character in a Stephin Merritt song?

:Dolly Parton – Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright:  One of Bob Dylan’s many timeless sad bastard tracks here has a jangly and Dolly-ized treatment that makes sense somehow. This song has been covered countless times by all sorts of musical greats over the years …. most recently by … ummm … gulp … Ke$ha. Yup – read it and weep. Let’s all just enjoy this Dolly version shall we?

SONG OF THE MONTH:

:Divorcee – Law & Order:

The Divorcee project of Yoni Wolf (from Why?) and ex-girlfriend Anna Stewart is a fantastic EP out now on Joyful Noise Records. It’s full of tunes from fragments of a broken relationship. Yoni was able to sift thru tiny moments and feelings on various Why? albums, but here Stewart is able to as well.

“Living with you is like driving in the rain, I can’t see where I’m going but I still don’t press the brake.”

Using poetic lyrics and slivers of what was, the release is a successful victory for any couple, and doubly so for an ex couple.  Yoni handles all of the beats on the record while Stewart heads up all things lyrical – so we have her to thank for name-dropping both Law & Order (created by Dick Wolf – no relation) and Woody Allen in this great song.  Note: the colored vinyl is outta sight and limited to 400 copies … I snagged mine, make sure you do the same.

I you like what you read here and happen to live in Austin – you should come to NO DANCING: Sad Bastard Music at the Volstead on September 16 where this sort of music will be played all night long and there is an abundance much kleenex.

Let’s close this month’s column with getting November Rain stuck in your head:

“Do you need some time…on your own

Do you need some time…all alone

Everybody needs some time… on their own

Don’t you know you need some time…all alone.”

NO DANCING!

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Movie Breakdown: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

August 22, 2014

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

After a nearly decade-long break, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller return to Sin City.

The Reality:

I didn’t go into Sin City: A Dame To Kill For expecting a lot, and yet it still somehow managed to be a massive disappointment.  No other film put out in 2014 has featured so many soulless characters or nonsensical plot points, and – here’s what really got me – nothing else released this year has been more boring than Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  There is honestly not a single entertaining moment to be found anywhere in the damn thing, and I don’t really know why.  The source material is a violent, stylistic graphic novel with over the top characters, but Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller deliver a flat film that’s nothing but indistinguishable monologues and poorly executed action pieces.  To be honest, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that Rodriguez and Miller had never even seen the original Sin City.

Unless you’re on the hunt for a woeful time at the theater, do not bother with Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.

The Lesson:

Sometimes “one and done” is the way to go.

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Movie Breakdown: The Trip To Italy (Noah)

August 21, 2014

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

If you enjoyed the pleasure of the Coogan/Brydon dramedy The Trip, you should only be excited for another, more Italian outing with the two. I certainly am.

The Reality:

The Trip to Italy is a film that’s very, very much like it’s predecessor. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing (possibly) exaggerated versions of themselves, are tasked by The Observer to drive around Italy (in the last film it was England) and review six restaurants. Along the way, the two talented comedians talk, do impressions, eat a ton of food, give each other shit, and generally have a damn good time of it. This is not a film where a lot happens, but plot isn’t what’s on display to enjoy. Instead The Trip to Italy (and its predecessor) are films about two men getting older. Where The Trip focused on Coogan’s character, an actor just on the brink of something else struggling with drugs and alcohol, The Trip to Italy focuses on Brydon. Here Brydon is husband and father pushing against the soft walls of domesticity. Brydon, a impressionist and caricature, carries the film, imbuing his over-the-top humor with a sense of loneliness, especially in the moments where he actually converses with his own characters. In both men, you see the common worries of aging just below surface, their needs, wants and motivations suddenly changed. It’s a testament to the skill of director Michael Winterbottom that this film is still, in parts, laugh out loud funny. These are very, very skilled comedians and they’re able to broadcast their inner qualms while facing off in a Marlon Brando imitation duel, or talking to a Pompeii mummy. It lags a bit, but in the slow, peaceful way a lackadaisical drive through the country might. And when the film lingers to a close with Coogan and his son swimming off the Amalfi Coast, and Brydon watching from above, no real conclusion has been drawn, but that’s the point – this is life, and life doesn’t have any clean cut endings.

The Lesson:

I hope this becomes the British equivalent of Linklater’s Before Sunrise films, with Winterbottom returning to these two characters time and time again, to see where they are, and just how their lives have progressed.

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