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Melancholia (2011)

Poster by Mondo

Melancholy Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and the doom bringing planet Melancholia poetically tell the same story in this big budget art house film. One being an almost overwhelmingly neurotic young lady and the other being a planet that may just be set to destroy the Earth.

The movie was really good too. I’d give it about a 8/10. Watch it art lovers!

Great New Music

Port of Morrow - The Shins (2012)

1. The Rifle’s Spiral: Sets the mood for the rest of the album. - 8/10

2. Simple Song: Impressive layering of instruments. The background guitar reminds me of a certain Rush song which is nice. The whole album seems to be influenced by progressive rock and this song really stands out. Obviously why it was the single. - 9/10

3. It’s Only Life: A truly touching song with lyrics that are highly relatable. Probably my favorite track off the whole record. “Open up your parachute, something’s gotta stop the free fall.” - 9/10

4. Bait & Switch: A fun little number that brings the mood back up after the previous track. - 7/10

5. September: And just like that, another mellow track comes to slow it back down. But the lyrics are beautiful. “and love is the ink of the well that her body writes”. - 8/10

6. No Way Down: “a tiny few are having all of the fun” - 7/10

7. For a Fool: I really like this track a lot. The lyrics remind me of the Stroke’s song of the same name, but the music is more mellow and in a way hits home a lot better. Both great songs. “…taken for a fool, yes I was because I was a fool.” Aren’t we all? - 9/10

8. Fall of ‘82: Incorporates a cool instrumental part reminiscent of 60’s movie themes but overall not one of the stronger tracks. Still enjoyable to listen to. - 6.5/10

9. 40 Mark Strasse: I’m not going to pretend I understand the lyrics but they sound good and match the music. “Every single story, is a story about love. Both the overflowing cup and the painful lack thereof.” How it matches some of the other lyrics is beyond me, but it sounds cool as hell! - 8.5/10

10. Port of Morrow: The title track that seems as wildly experimental and reminiscent as 'Wincing the Night Away’. Great to hear “the lines are all imagined.” Interesting closing track and perfect cap for a great album. - 9/10

Packaging: Beautiful artwork in a nifty cardboard folding design. The designer, Jacob Escobedo, is also the genius behind the great 'Broken Bells’ artwork.

Overall: A great new album from the Shin’s after a long hiatus. Glad to see James Mercer firing all the old members didn’t ruin it. He truly is the genius behind this band. 'Port of Morrow’ is full of awesome instruments and bizarrely beautiful and confusing lyrics. This progressive rock inspired album is a definite must own for all indie rock fans.

8.5/10

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Movie Review Short #1

The Artist (2011)

In a time when high-tech, explosive CGI blockbusters are the mainstay, along comes a little known movie to challenge it all, getting awards and nominations out the bajinga. You gotta wonder really: Who needs pointless 3D? Who needs color? Heck, who even needs any voices at all? Taking the audiences back to the era of silent films and managing to keep the viewers captivated and able to follow along is a challenge - especially with the current generation’s ever decreasing attention span. Using little more than music and occasional cue cards, ’The Artist’ is a beautiful, even comedic, love story between a disgruntled, has-been silent film star and a young, energetic talkie actress. But really it’s all a metaphor for the end of an era, the changing of the guards. Nominated for tons of Oscars, I have no doubt it’ll take home a butt load. Personally, I’d give it Best Picture myself….and best actor to the true star, the adorable dog.

10/10 (Perfect)

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Movie Review Short: #7

The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)

This is a mo-cap animated adventure that is based on an old comic series. This particular adventure revolves around an old sea family rivalry and the search for treasure.

It’s lead character is a young reporter who somehow solves cases like a genius despite his idiotic behavior throughout. Luckily, he had a smart dog for a partner. When I say Tin Tin bugged me, I mean it. One example, (I mean seriously) he’s riding a motorcycle with the little important scrolls in one hand, waving precariously in the wind, while a hawk flies around trying to steal them. Just guess what happens to those scrolls.  Put them in your damn pocket idiot! This is the type of behavior he exhibited throughout. I haven’t yelled at the TV this much since those kids in ‘28 Weeks Later’.

The film itself was clearly made to be 3D. I  say this because I watched it in 2D and the amount of 3D-esque gags thrown in reminded me of a Disney theme park film. But I let it slide due to the fact that it didn’t detract from the plot at all and that it actually had a cool story and didn’t use the gags as a crutch so good on them. The music was also good, but then again everything John Williams touches turns to gold.

Overall, it’s a fun movie with a good story that leaves the ending open for a sequel. The main character frustrated the hell out of me but maybe that was the whole point. It was a solid effort and I look forward to his next ridiculous adventure.

8/10 (Good)

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Movie Review Short: #2

Safe House (2012)

Ryan Reynolds is a safe house keeper in South Africa who dreams of becoming a top CIA agent. One day Denzel Washington, who just happens to be an ex-agent, gets brought in for interrogation after waltzing into the US Consulate there. One thing leads to another, and Reynolds gets his wish, protecting Frost (Washington) from an unknown group that is trying desperately to kill him. Explosions, hand-to-hand combat, gunfire, car chases…the works…Safe House delivers the goods. It’s a thrill-a-minute monsoon of action with only a few pauses to breathe.

Don’t get me wrong, this movie was quite impressive. The backstory was a tad hard to follow at times, but I really think this was made to just be a blockbuster. It’s a fun movie and it did quite well opening weekend and I’m sure it’ll continue to do so. In the end I think it’s worth a watch for action fans. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but you get to see Denzel being a bad ass, so it’s all good. Is it perfect? No. Do I feel I’ll ever watch it again? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I didn’t.

7/10 (Good)