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Archive | September, 2014

Flesh Lights

September 30, 2014

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I had a grand plan to share some ACL recommendations today, but the lineup is loaded at the top (surely I don’t have to tell you to see Outkast, St. Vincent, etc) and weak from the middle down, and I just couldn’t find much that I felt was worth posting about.  Also, it seemed like a better idea to share the new Flesh Lights tune that I totally whiffed on last week.

For those of you that don’t know, Flesh Lights are a punk act out of Austin.  Recently they put together their sophomore full length, and below you’ll find the first single off of it.  I’ve liked the trio for a long while, but Just About Due is really rad and now I’m all about making sure I’m riding high on their bandwagon.  Listen and decide if you’re with me.  Enjoy.

:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:

Free Yourself is due out November 4 via 12XU.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Diarrhea Planet, Cherry Glazerr, Tennis System, Weed Hounds, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

September 29, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Diarrhea Planet – Heat Wave:  This is a great song, but I have to admit that I’m currently operating in a place where I’ll post anything that Diarrhea Planet puts out.  The band is just too fun and too on point right now for me to even consider not sharing their stuff.   The Aliens In The Outfield EP is due out November 18 via Infinity Cat Recordings.

:Cherry Glazerr – Had Ten Dollaz:  Cherry Glazerr’s press release says they’re an “astonishingly young” trio (two of them aren’t old enough to vote and the other is just over 21), but they certainly don’t sound like it.  This song is dripping with confidence and is pushing out a fairly calculated vibe.  I like it.  A lot.  The band will release the Had Ten Dollaz/Nurse Ratched single on October 28 via Suicide Squeeze.

:Tennis System – Dead Honey:  Throughout the weekend I found myself wanting to frequently revisit this new one from Tennis System.  I love the driving arrangement and the vocal work is pretty great, too.  Technicolour Blind will be released on October 21 via Papercup Music.  See the band at Cheer Up Charlie’s on October 14.

:Weed Hounds – Harbor:  It took them five years (apparently), but Weed Hounds have finally readied a full length.  If you have a fondness for shoegaze and/or 90s indie rock, then you can expect to dig what the band has crafted.  You can either buy their self titled album in a variety of formats or you can download it right here for FREE.

:The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Summer Of Dreams:  Here’s a pleasant selection from the new extended version of the album that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart released earlier this year.  The songwriting is a bit cheesier than usual for the band, but I think that overall the track is a good one.  The deluxe edition of Days of Abandon is available now via Yebo.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

September 27, 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!

Director Dan Trachtenberg recently noted that his adaptation of Y: The Last Man is officially dead.

Alex Winter has confirmed that he and Keanu Reeves are set to return for Bill & Ted 3.  Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) is expected to direct.

Liam Neeson has joined the cast of Ted 2.

Michael Pena and Jessica Chastain are reportedly in talks for roles in Ridley Scott’s The Martian.  Matt Damon is already set to star.

Viggo Mortensen is rumored to be up for a part in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful 8.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will reportedly play the lead role in Oliver Stone’s upcoming film about Edward Snowden.  The script is said to be based on Time of the Octopus, a document that was written by Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

Peter Dinklage is set to appear in The Thicket.  It’s said to be a western, and he will apparently portray a bounty hunter.

Due to a scheduling conflict with Star Trek 3, Roberto Orci is no longer attached in any form to the The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers big screen reboot.

Taken 3 is officially set to be called Tak3n.  Sorry.

Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox have joined the cast of Bone Tomahawk.  Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins are already set to star in the movie, which is said to be a western that follows four men as they try to save a group of captives from a band of cannibalistic troglodytes.

Bryan Cranston and Matt Damn may star in Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall.  The film will reportedly center around a group of British soldiers who witness the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Rumor has it that Avengers 3 may be a two-volume film.

Jude Law, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce, Dominic West, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney will star in Genius.  The film is said to detail the complex relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe and iconic editor Max Perkins.

Adian Gillen (Game of Thrones) has landed a role in the upcoming Maze Runner sequel.

Bryan Singer is officially set to direct X-Men: Apocalypse.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Stream This

September 26, 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 Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold

Christoper Owens – A New Testament
The History Of Apple Pie – Feel Something
Curtin – One For The Doghearted
The Vaselines – V For Vaselines
Pujol – Reunited States of Being
Witch Mountain – Mobile of Angels
Julian Casablancas – Tyranny
Aphex Twin – Syro
Yelle – Completement Fou
Electric Youth – Innerworld
Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Kat Edmonson – The Big Picture
Finch – Back To Oblivion
Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
Hightide Hotel – Naturally
Team Spirit – Killing Time

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Ariel Pink

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Sad Bastard Music: Sulky September (John Gross)

September 26, 2014

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Welcome to another installment of the internet’s definitive column that talks about the best sad pop music there is. Each month we delve into heartbreak and feelings of general no-good, malaise.

If after listening to the below songs you don’t cry on the outside, you are dead on the inside. The sadder the song, the better the song- that’s been the motto.

Tear your heart out and drop it in a pint glass full of whiskey and let’s dig in.

:The Dukes - Teardrop Eyes:  The great New Orleans producer and proto-rock and roll godfather Cosimo Matassa passed away earlier this month so I wanted to include something here that he touched and the Dukes win. It’s the short, somber sax solo that does it for me for this 1956 doo wop jam. “Come back to me darling, these teardrops just keep falling.” Rest in peach Cosimo.

:Merle Haggard - Swinging Doors:  “In here the atmosphere’s just right for heartaches, and thanks to you I’m always here till closing time.” Merle’s character has been driven to living at the very hole in the wall he does his drinking. Poor guy. This 1966 album went to number 1 on the Billboard Country Charts and still resonates to anyone who has ever seen a lonely fella at a honkytonk. This is a common occurrence in Texas.

:Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Despair:  “Oh despair, you’ve always been there, You were there through my wasted years, Through all my lonely fears.”  I love it when the always fierce Karen O gets emotional. The band is so fun and such a turn-key, art-rock dance party in most cases but when they want to they can go from zero to gloomy hopelessness in no time at all. There’s no escaping a salty discharge from the eyes in this wasted life hymn.

:Kissing Book - Superman Vs Lloyd:  “I can’t believe all the time I spent thinking about the way that you walk and the way you dress. I can’t believe all those days went by when I was lying broken-hearted on your bed.” Being knocked emotionally down the scale from Superman all the way to Lloyd Dobler is no fun descent. No sir.  It happens and it hurts. 90’s Portland, Magic Marker recording artists Kissing Book know all about it.

:Beverly - Black And Grey:  This is the last song on the debut Beverly album Careers. The somber dittie is a perfect ambient closer to the indie-pop goodness from Frankie Rose (ex-Crystal Stilts/Vivian Girls drummer). The vocals are haunting and work together with the simple instrumentation in this song about darkness in a wonderfully lush way.

:The Mountain Goats - Hellhound On My Trail:  From 1996’s Nothing for Juice record, this Robert Johnson cover is as intense as it should be. There is no escaping the doom and the evil that is coming for the sinner protagonist. This is prime Mountain Goats territory.  And hey, that’s sad. KnowwhatImean?  Sidenote: John Darnielle’s new book Wolf in White Van is out now and it’s fantastic.

SONG OF THE MONTH:

Fuck it. Here’s some Taylor Swift.

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If you’re in Austin, hear the the saddest pop tunes of all time at the next installment of NO DANCING: Sad Bastard Music at the Volstead on October 14. The saddest, bastardest night of music in the whole country is enhanced each month with cheap drinks to drown the sorrows and free Kleenex to dry the tears. It’s fun to get lonely!

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Throwback Thursday: Team Sleep

September 25, 2014

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Team Sleep, which is made up of Chino Moreno (Deftones), Todd Wilkinson, DJ Crook. Rick Verret (Tinfed) and Zach Hill (Hella), have decided to reunite for a new album, and that means it’s time to take a look back at their only other release – 2005′s self titled effort.

I absolutely loved their debut.  At the time I was all about anything I could consider to be progressive, and hearing the oft-screamy Chino (along with some others) soften things up over a variety of headphone-worthy arrangements hit me in all of the right spots.  Also, just getting to listen to the album was a cool experience.  Not only did it feature of lots of talented folks, but as the band’s Wikipedia page details, leaked tracks and delays hampered the project for quite a while, and there were times where it seemed liked it wouldn’t even get released.  So, I essentially felt as though I was fortunate to have it.  On another note, college-me may have been too nerdy.

Anyhow, have fun revisiting Team Sleep’s self titled album.

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Little Big League

September 25, 2014

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My plan for today was to roll out a nice five-song Quickdraw, but instead I’m going to focus on Little Big League.  I found the recently released title track off of the band’s upcoming full length, Tropical Jinx, to be pretty solid, but I think the single I have for you today is nothing short of fantastic.  Michelle Zauner’s engaging voice and stellar songwriting shine brighter in it, and I can fully hear why the band’s press release describes their sound as “bridging the gap between 90′s college radio, mid-period Saddle Creek, and many of their Philly indie peers.”  Enjoy.

:Little Big League – Property Line:

Tropical Jinx will be released on October 14 via Run For Cover Records.

Bonus Video:

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Alex Napping (Jennifer)

September 24, 2014

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Alex Napping has become one of my favorite local pop bands. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Alexandra Cohen formed the band with guitarist Adrian Haynes, bassist Tomas Garcia-Olano and drummer Andrew Stevens. She writes bright, charming and smart guitar pop songs that capture your attention and make you want to listen to them over and over again. Her clear yet soft vocals and layers of clean, sharp guitars accompanied by a solid, expert rhythm section make them stand out. If asked to recommend a new band I like on the Austin scene, I will often mention Alex Napping.

Their debut album This Is Not A Bedroom is out now on the Austin-based label Punctum Records. If you’re not planning on joining SOTO at the Blackheart this Friday, Alex Napping are having a release party at Cheer Up Charlie’s with Big Bill, Lowin, and Soft Swells. The record will be available in a variety of formats – vinyl, CD,  digital download, and cassette tape (via Accrue Cassettes). I expect that it will perk up your ears and whet your appetite for more from this promising band.


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Shivery Shakes

September 23, 2014

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One of the more anticipated releases set to come out of Austin this year is the upcoming debut from Shivery Shakes. The band has been a local highlight for the last couple of years, and there are plenty of folks ready to see how they’ll sound spread out over a full length.  Below you’ll find a track off the new album.  It’s a warm, retro pop tune that will undoubtedly lodge itself in your head for the foreseeable future.  Enjoy.

:Shivery Shakes – Hold On:

Three Waves & A Shake is due out October 21 via Punctum and Austin Town Hall Records.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Pompeii, NehruvianDOOM, Superhumanoids, Dream Police, Radical Dads

September 22, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Pompeii – Loom:  I’m starting to think that Pompeii’s upcoming album might end up being one of the better efforts to come out of Austin in 2014.  This song in particular reminds me of Transatlanticism/Plans-era Death Cab For Cutie.  Loom will be released on October 14 via Red Eye Transit.

:NehruvianDOOM – Caskets:  Aside from Run The Jewels’ new one, the other hip hop effort that I can’t wait to hear is the debut from NehruvianDOOM.  Personally, I think DOOM is always impressive, but I will admit that it does sound as though his partnership with Bishop Nehru has refreshed him.  The act will release their self titled album on October 6 via Lex.

:Superhumanoids – Flipping Out:  Here’s a new single from Superhumanoids.  Like everything they do, this is adequately hooky and totally ready to be devoured through a nice pair of headphones.  The Flipping Out/Another One 7″ is available now via Innovative Leisure.  The band is set to play two nights at ACL Live with Erasure.

:Dream Police – Hypnotized:  Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi, who founded the Men, are the main brains behind Dream Police.  This driving rock track is pretty damn great, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.  The band will release Hypnotized on November 11 via Sacred Bones.

:Radical Dads – In The Water:  The still-wonderfully named Radical Dads have signed to Old Flame and put together a new EP (while they wrap their third album).  I’ve long been fond of their 90s rock ways, and you should be too.  Look for the Cassette Brain EP when it gets set free on October 7.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

September 20, 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!

David Ayer (the upcoming Fury) may direct a Suicide Squad adaptation.  The comic centers around a team of supervillains who are given the chance to redeem themselves by completing a dangerous mission for the government.

Tom Hiddleston is set to star in the King Kong prequel Skull Island.

Max Borenstein (the upcoming Skull Island) has been hired to write the script for Godzilla 2.

A Deadpool movie is officially on the way.  Ryan Reynolds will star, Tim Miller will direct (it will be his debut effort) and it will be released on February 12, 2016.

Matthew McConaughey will not appear in Magic Mike XXL.

Martin Campbell may direct Hunter Killer.  It’s said to be a high-stakes story with nuclear war ramifications.

Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) is set to portray the titular character in Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur.

Leslie Mann has landed a role in the upcoming reboot of Vacation.  Chevy Chase. Ed Helms and Christina Applegate are already set to star.

Angelina Jolie is reportedly set to direct Africa.  It’s said to be an epic drama about ivory poaching in the 80s.

Ang Lee will officially adapt the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk.

Chris Hemsworth will produce and star in an adaptation of I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive.  The book follows Toby “Doc” Ebersole as he’s haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams.

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are reportedly in talks to return for another Bourne movie.  A Jeremy Lin-directed and Jeremy Renner-lead Bourne film is said to also still be in development.

The next Bond movie is set so start shooting in December of this year.

The Assassin Creed’s adaptation has been delayed indefinitely.

Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four has been bumped from August 7, 2015 to June 19, 2015.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie will be released on July 8, 2016.

Liam Neeson is reportedly being courted to star in the American version of Tell No One.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Movie Breakdown: Wetlands (Noah)

September 19, 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:

This is a film about a 20-something German girl who’s obsessed, in the most vile of ways, with her own bodily, well, stuff. From everything I can garner this is like the shit and piss and sadness version of Amelie. So, obviously, I’m totally in.

The Reality:

German’s do the strange, disgusting, quirky, yet somehow emotionally wrenching film about as well as anyone. David Wnendt’s Wetlands is a prime example of this. The story follows Helen (a wonderfully attractive and repulsive Carla Juri), a rebellious 20-year old with an affinity for the natural, yet starkly disgusting effluvia of her body. From the moment we meet Helen, she’s got a finger in her ass, or in her crotch, or on the disgusting cum-stained rim of a public toilet. Through a series of fluid-related flashbacks (shot with verve and originality by Wnendt and his crew) we see Helen grow up, live through a divorce, and become the absurd, mouthy, attitude-filled spitfire she is today. When she cuts her anus shaving (yes this is the catalyst for almost the entire story) she ends up in the hospital and we quickly learn that Helen’s quirky obsession with her internal bits is deeply rooted in something much deeper. Sure, this is a film that features a scene where five men jerk off onto a pizza. And yes, the main character does fondle a piece of her excavated butthole at one point. And yes, there is a scene where two women smear menstrual blood on each other’s faces. This is a gross movie, but the aggressive grossness of it isn’t purely for shock, and it is never entirely without reason. Helen’s proclivity towards trouble, be it external or internal, is a product of a sadness. She’s a lonely girl who’s built a wall of attitude and nastiness around her to shield herself from the void of emptiness she deals with on a daily basis. All of the blood-licking and general vagina and ass disgustingness Helen floats through in her life, are merely tools she’s created to impress an untrue image of herself upon the rest of the world. This isn’t really a story about shit and cum and smegma (though they all do make bold and pretty shocking cameos), it’s about a fucked-up girl who just doesn’t want to be lonely. If you’re squeamish, I’d sidestep this shit-bullet, but in doing so you’re missing out on a truly original and enjoyable piece of filmmaking.

The Lesson:

Germans love making movies about things that come out of your body holes.

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Stream This

September 19, 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 ➡ Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Alex Napping – This Is Not A Bedroom
Spray Paint – Clean Blood, Regular Acid
S – Cool Choices
Whirr – Sway
Terry Malts – Insides EP
Dntel – Human Voice
Foxes In Fiction – Ontario Gothic
Tweedy – Sukierae
Mr. Twin Sister – Self Titled
King Tuff – Black Moon Spell
Sondre Lerche – Please
Alt-J – This Is All Yours
Black Moth – Condemned To Hope
Erasure – The Violent Flame
Suicide Year – Remembrance
Youth Code – A Place To Stand
The Aislers Set – The Last Match
Goat – Commune
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
Mapei – Hey Hey
Weird Wombs – Laziness EP
Pink Frost – Traitors EP
Teach Me Equals – Knives In The Hope Chest
Redinho – Self Titled
Roz And The Rice Cakes – Need To Feed

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
The Raveonettes

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Movie Breakdown: The Maze Runner (Noah)

September 18, 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:

We’ve hit the oversaturation point with dystopian YA films where every new one feels like it might be some loose amalgamation of the five thousand that have come before. From the trailer this looks like that film – a bunch of mildly attractive youth facing off against an unknown and seemingly unbeatable enemy.

The Reality:

The Maze Runner is, at its very core, as much your typical YA dystopian film as any we’ve seen before. A scrappy kid (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in an elevator that deposits him in a weird glade, populated by a bunch of futuristic Lord of the Flies rejects, and surrounded by a particularly epic maze. Turns out Thomas is harboring a whole shit-ton of secrets, and his mere presence amongst the gentleman of the Glade (or Gladers) brings about a series of unfortunate events only the YA-est of YA novels would dictate. And yes, looking at that description, you’d think this film was another money grab for YA-hungry studios, but really, honestly, it’s not. The cast of gentlemen is strong (Son of Rambow’s Thomas Brodie-Sanger, Ami Ameen, and Will Poulter being particular standouts) and their interactions with both each other and the strange, man-made hell they’ve been deposited in, help push the film into a higher echelon of YA films. Don’t get me wrong, by the time the credits roll the film has exposed itself as an hour and half long television pilot struck through with all the worst trappings of films aimed at tweeners and the like. Prior to this though first time director Wes Ball gives his actors room to, well, act and it becomes a sort of futuristic, modern telling of Lord of the Flies if all of those wild English lads hadn’t turned into brutal savages. As much as this is a film about a bunch of teenagers running through a maze full of robot-spiders, it’s also a film about survival and what that means to each and all of us. Thomas, a brand new Greenie, isn’t content to just live out his life in the Glade, his natural proclivity is one of curiosity, and when he butts up against the solid rules and regulations of Alby (Ami Ameen) and Gally (Will Poulter) the film really shines. Unfortunately this is a film based on a quadrology of books, and it must put its youthful characters through those similar paces and when it does, the film suffers. Try as hard as you want Wes Ball, but you’re contained by the source material, and this suffocates the film just the right amount to never allow it to be as good as it could be.

The Lesson:

Can we just make some original youth-oriented sci-fi films like they used to in the 1980s?

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Movie Breakdown: This Is Where I Leave You (Noah)

September 18, 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:

Shawn Levy is bit of a turd when it comes to directing but with the right actors he can actually put together a semi-decent flick (see Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell). That said, his general turdness as a director throws everything off balance, so let’s just throw the dice in the air and see what happens.

The Reality:

This Is Where I Leave You is like a white, Republican take on The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s a film stacked with a whole bushel of some of the best actors working today (Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, etc.) and their interactions are the very best part of the film. I won’t ding the film for surrounding the actors with a narrative that just loosely connects them as a disparate family coming together to sit shiva for this deceased dad. I can ding the film for placing the actors in an atmosphere that somehow transplants upstate New York to the Midwest, and uses the frailest of plot devices to drag them through their predictable character arcs. That said, for every bland, vaguely conservative bit of film, you get an interaction between Bateman and Driver, or Bateman and Byrne, or Driver and Stoll, or Fey and anyone. These moments, almost across the board, are fantastic, humorous and heart-wrenching and shot through with the credibility and acting chops actors of these stature nearly always bring to a role. I can’t say that This Is Where I Leave You (based on a Jonathan Tropper novel and screenplay) is a particularly funny movie, but it manages to imbue it’s character interactions with a realism and sense of gravity you wouldn’t expect from the guy who’s behind the Night at the Museum films. By the end of the film though, when everything has wrapped up reasonably nicely, emotional connections have been reformed, and the characters have separated into their own slightly better lives, I didn’t feel sated. Levy has the benefit of great actors, but he doesn’t have the benefit of being a particularly interesting director, and the film suffers for it. There might be a great film here starring Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, and Jason Bateman, but Levy buries it in over-explained platitudes and neatly tied up conclusions, and when you get to the end the saccharine nature of it all just doesn’t jibe. It’s a nice effort, but not a great film.

The Lesson:

Get Stoll, Driver and Bateman in a film together. Make it a heist movie or a 70s softcore or something. It’ll be fantastic.

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