Almost seven years ago when Everyview was first getting started, I penned a review for an Explosions in the Sky concert at the Congress Theatre in Chicago. It was my first time seeing the band and they blew my mind.
Last year at Denver’s Riot Fest and Rodeo, I finally got the chance to see them for a second time. I had a significantly better view right up at the stage this time, but one couldn’t help but notice the technical difficulties being endured by guitarist Munaf Rayani throughout their set. They were still great, but it didn’t quite match the flawlessness of the Congress show. Shit like that happens at festivals, and I definitely don’t hold it against the band. Continue reading
Overview: Guys, Radiohead released a new album today.
And it’s incredible.
Offering up their first album in five years, Radiohead returns to the scene with a melancholy (well, no shit), ambient technical masterpiece that solidifies their reign as the greatest band of the new millennium. And it isn’t just because of the music contained on A Moon Shaped Pool, though in itself that’s transcendent enough. It’s the way this band has endured over time and still found the ability to put something truly magical together each and every time they release something.
Sure, they’ve had their ups and the higher-ups (I refuse to say they’ve had any downs). 2011’s The King of Limbs wasn’t as well received as I believe A Moon Shaped Pool will be once enough pretentious bastards like me get a chance to give it a few listens and review it. It’s a return to form and an escape from form at the same time. It’s probably an album you can sort of imagine the sound of before you give it a listen, but that doesn’t mean it lacks surprises along the way.
And by surprises I mean those moments when Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and company take a song that’s going one direction and shift on a dime into an unexpected tune that ends up being more beautiful than you imagined. Over eleven songs on A Moon Shaped Pool, I never found a song that felt out of place, forced or redundant. As a total package, it’s a sweeping, epic affair that will please both diehard fans and also offers a great new album for newer fans to dive in and get to know them.
Moonrise Kingdom is classic Wes Anderson. Every film that Wes Anderson has ever directed has been classic Wes Anderson, and it’s this feeling of excessive self-awareness that prevents his latest film from exceeding the hype that has surrounded it since its release. Anderson takes a pretty common human experience (in this case, young love), peppers it with a cast of unique characters played by recognizable actors in a bygone romanticized era, and mixes in equal parts classical and surreal to the plot to make some sort of Wes Anderson buffet that tastes exactly like the buffet he’s been serving us for over a decade. Everything still tastes good, maybe just okay these days. It’s filling enough, but there’s an emptiness that persists not so long after that makes you wonder why you keep coming back when there might be more exciting options available.
Ted is the relatively simple tale of boy and toy, seen through the sometimes perverse, but often hilarious eyes of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad). MacFarlane, who directs and provides the voice of the title character (a teddy bear brought to life through a young boy’s Christmas wish), gives us a comedy that stands out not only because it’s MacFarlane’s first live action directed feature, but because it also ironically takes what would seem to be the plot of a G-rated movie and converts it into R-rated glory packed with MacFarlane’s signature brand of pop culture laden crude humor. Ted is exactly what you’d expect– funny and simple– but with a surprising ability to blend its fantastical premise with some genuine emotion.
Usually when a film gets tagged with the dreaded NC-17 rating it’s largely swept under the rug by the mass movie going public, only to be seen by those who go out of their way to seek it out. Whatever the subject matter that is contained within the film that warranted the severe MPAA restriction is usually enough to keep all but the most ardent cinephiles from taking the time to seek it out. Shame is a 2011 film that did receive that rating, but for mature filmgoers it packs a simple concept into one of the most remarkably moving packages in recent memory.
My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 film based on the true story that transpired in the summer of 1956 on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, a film that brought together two titans of show business—the highly acclaimed thespian Sir Laurence Olivier and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe—with fresh Oxford graduate Colin Clark playing the bridge that connected the two famed actors both on and off the set.
George Clooney is the safest bet in Hollywood these days. If you take a drive to the movie theater, or adjust your Netflix queue or visit a Redbox unit, odds are that if you take a chance on a Clooney flick you won’t be disappointed. He has become a home run hitter not only as an actor, but as a director and producer as well, and he has shown a keen eye for choosing scripts that provide him with the opportunity to make meaningful movies that hold some type of social significance, and The Descendants is no different.
The works of Philip K. Dick have been adapted to the silver screen for over two decades, ranging from Blade Runner to A Scanner Darkly, Dick’s work has often succeeded in creating a completely new world based on reality. Does The Adjustment Bureau, the most recent of Dick’s works to be adapted, merit to shift to the big screen?
Last Sunday, The King’s Speech was honored at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards as Best Picture, and also earned nods for Best Actor and Best Director. Does the film, starring Colin Firth as King George VI, live up to the hype?
Yes, and no.
Firth’s performance as the troubled monarch was phenomenal and very much deserving of his Best Actor award. Firth’s humanity is evident in nearly every frame, as the soon-to-be King battles a stammering issue that has plauged him since childhood with the help of a new Speech Coach, Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush).
Blue Valentine is a film that centers around a contemporary married couple in a struggle to keep the relationship afloat amidst a dimming romantic flame between them. The film is raw, unflinching, and boasts two of the most intense, brave performances from leads Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
The film portrays the relationship by cross-cutting between the present as a struggling married couple and their initial meeting and subsequent courtship. The film is such a roller coaster of emotion that it’s almost unnerving at times.
Gosling and Williams deliver two of the most powerful performances in recent memory, as the film forces the two actors to balance equal parts optimism and dejection, a rare feat that allows each of them to rip your heart out and put it back time after time.
The two burst off screen with Gosling channeling the intensity of Robert De Niro with Nicholas Cage’s ability to completely delve into the character like a chameleon. Williams is just a powerful, but her performance might be just slightly more impressive just because of how amazingly brave and one of a kind it is.