2.5 stars out of 4
Snowpiercer, the latest film from South Korean director Bong Joon Ho (The Host, Mother) is an allegorical myth wrapped in a dystopian overcoat, the kind of needlessly glum film about the ruthless haves and the beaten down have-nots that never quite reaches it’s destination. This destination, ironically, really doesn’t exist, as the speeding train protecting what’s left of humanity from sub-zero temperatures in a future world ravaged by global warming (which we hear in artless newsreel voiceovers), keeps on chugging along, irregardless of police brutality and gross protein blocks.
-SYMBIOTIC RECOMMENDS: 10 ALBUMS, JUNE 2014-
Hey people, here’s some cool records I was digging on last month.
Check out album recommendations here!
How To Train Your Dragon 2
3.5 stars out of 4
In it’s swooping, romantic, free-flowing grandness, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is that rarest of all things in the sequel universe; a film that actually expands upon the richly created world of the first movie while also broadening its themes into more complex territory.
The Fresh & Onlys
House of Spirits
5 out of 10
What happened to The Fresh & Onlys? Forged in the fire of the same San Francisco cauldron that bred the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, frontman Tim Cohen’s psychedelic rock outfit seemed like an exciting new voice when they materialized some six years ago in an overly saturated garage rock scene. Playing fast and nimble, with distorted jangle and manic choruses, the band had a lively playfulness that was infectious.
3 stars out of 4
With The Rover, writer-director David Michod has defiantly moved away from protecting whatever mainstream acceptance he many have gained by making a film likely to alienate with it’s sparse dialogue, skeletal plot, and unbearably dark tone.
Niggas on the Moon
7 out of 10
The tendency toward hiding behind a sonic curtain is at the core of Niggas on the Moon; an 8-track, 31-minute blast of chaos that’s supposedly the first part of a two-part album entitled The powers that B, due out later this year. Like Government Plates, but unlike The Money Store, the album pushes the listener into the realms of atonality without a contextual net.
-FILM PICK OF THE WEEK-
Only Lovers Left Alive
With the overwhelming emphasis on vampire mythologies and blood-sucking tween franchises, it’s nice to see an old pro like indie cult darling Jim Jarmusch giving us a vampire flick that really isn’t about vampires at all, but rather about roving aimlessness and the appreciation of art.
-MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK-
The spirit of The Fall and Pavement are alive and well on Parquet Courts’ third LP Sunbathing Animal. After the invigorating Americana/post-punk of last year’s Light Up Gold, which sounded like laconic slacker rock dabbling in self-reflection, Sunbathing Animal wears it’s 90′s Malkmus influences proudly on it’s sleeve without ever dipping into all-out pastiche.
Edge of Tomorrow
2.5 stars out of 4
One could do worse in terms of big budget Hollywood escapism than Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow, a high-concept sci-fi action thriller starring the ubiquitous Tom Cruise trying to save the world from squiggly alien thingamabobbers. A well-crafted, imaginative melding of genres, the film is pretty ridiculous on its surface, but thankfully never takes itself too seriously for most of it’s running time before, as is custom with these types of things, it finally does.
2 stars out of 4
Through a series of fraught phone calls over the course of one evening, hermetically sealed inside his claustrophobic BMW, Ivan Locke desperately tries to keep his life from unraveling. Ivan Locke is an ordinary man played by an extraordinary actor named Tom Hardy, and throughout writer/director Steven Knight’s contrived stage play masquerading as a movie, he valiantly tries to hold our attention while battling against a hysterical wife, confused children, an irate boss, puzzled coworkers, a mysterious woman, and some seriously heavy-handed symbolism.