BIG BAD WOLVES
2 stars out of 4
Like Taratino’s work, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s film is both gleefully violent and prone to moments of morbid humor. It also, however, carries many of the same problems that have plagued QT’s output over the past decade; namely, an inability to develop its provocative themes beyond grindhouse genre shocks.
7 out of 10
Scottish trailblazers Mogwai have been channeling their brand of loud-soft guitar dynamics, thundering drums, and distorted effects since the mid 1990′s, long before frat-boy approved bands like Explosions In The Sky took hold of the general zeitgeist. As such, their mostly instrumental soundscapes have often been defined as post-rock, but Mogwai really don’t care for that term since it involves unnecessary analyzation. In other words, the band prefers you simply allow the music to exist on it’s own terms.
-FILM PICK OF THE WEEK-
A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Released in Britain in 2012 before being shelved and then dumped into a limited theatrical/VOD release this year, writer/director Crispian Mills’ visually inventive macabre comedy is decidedly better than one would expect given such a delay. It stars Simon Pegg as a children’s author attempting to switch gears and penn a novel about serial killers who has become irrational and obsessed with his subjects.
-MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK-
Australian quartet Blank Realm have quietly dropped the first great album of 2014, a bittersweet collection of wonky pop tunes drawing influences ranging from the Flying Nun catalog, Sonic Youth, and The Velvet Underground, but surprisingly, the music never comes across derivative.
Inside Llewyn Davis
2.5 stars out of 4
There’s an impetus, quite common amongst film lovers, to allow one’s excitement for the existence of a new work from beloved filmmakers to overshadow the actual content of said film. When it comes to the Coen brothers, who are now in their sixties and on their sixtieth picture, critical support of the worshipful kind is so commonplace that it’s easy to overlook whether or not their movies are saying anything or have merit beyond technical proficiency and robust acting performances. After winning Oscars for adapting Cormac McCarthy with No Country For Old Men, it seemed as if the critical community was ready to take idiosyncratic duo who crafted cult hits such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski seriously.
ARMANDO’S 25 FAVORITE FILMS OF 2013!
Fellow member of The Third Act Podcast Armando Rivera has fashioned a list of his 25 favorite films of 2013 that’s an ace mixture of genres, spanning the indie/mainstream barrier with aplomb. But will it play? Will it impress? Will it linger in the hearts and minds of ardent cinephiles everywhere?
CHRISTIAN’S FAVORITE 25 FILMS OF 2013|
As the host of The Third Act Podcast, Christian Estabrook brings a healthy dose of snarky humor and intelligent film critique to the table, and he’s also pretty fired up about his favorite 25 movies of 2013. I’m honored to have his list on my site, listed below in all their genre-defying glory.
BEST 25 ALBUMS OF 2013
This is a list documenting my most beloved albums of 2013. It is not a window into my soul or a reason to lambast Kayne West, Daft Punk, or Vampire Weekend for making wildly overpraised albums. Alright, maybe there’s a little bit of that, but what’s most interesting is the absence of that full-blown masterpiece early on that made the race to the top a foregone conclusion. So, without further ado, here are my favorite records of 2013!
3.5 stars out of 4
So much in Spike Jonze’s new film Her is unexpected. It’s a love story, but it’s also about overcoming regret and past trauma. It follows a thirtysomething man with commitment problems, but it also refuses to make him a socially maladjusted creep. It’s about how obsessed we are with technology, but it’s never didactic in delineating this as necessarily evil. Above all else, Her seems to find that human longing for connection that exits in all of us, and to which many desperately cling to their entire lives.