The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
Who’s Better Than Mark Twain at Bible-bashing?

Sounding more like Christopher Hitchens than a lapsed Presbyterian from the 19th century, Mark Twain rips apart Testaments Old and New.

READ more
The Temper Trap: Thick As Thieves

Dougy Mandagi's feverishly operatic voice -- a spectacle in and of itself -- saves Thick as Thieves from becoming just another anodyne, stadium-ready rock trifle.

READ more
Bonnie Bishop: Ain’t Who I Was

Bonnie Bishop’s straight-no chaser take on country-soul goes down smooth on this triumphant return after a brief time away.

READ more

20 Jun 2016 // 2:10 AM

Rooney: Washed Away

Beach playlist essentials pepper the latest from Rooney.

READ more
Living the Dream: Robin Clark and Carlos Alomar Remember David Bowie and Luther Vandross

"Then we got to a point in our lives when we met David Bowie … and I didn’t even know who David Bowie was."

READ more
On Finding Forgetful Dory and Remembering How to Make a Decent Pixar Sequel

The Finding Nemo follow-up sends its forgetful fish on another ocean-crossing quest: this time to find her parents.

READ more

17 Jun 2016 // 10:35 AM

Lawrence: Yoyogi Park

On the third in a trio of collaborations with artist Stefan Marx, the electronic musician means to evoke the urban Tokyo landmark of the title, but his music is more of the bedroom-and-laptop sort.

READ more
Count Ossie and the Rasta Family: Man From Higher Heights

1983's Man From Higher Heights is an interesting chapter in the story of Count Ossie, but it succeeds in adding to that larger story more than it does as a stand-alone album.

READ more
‘Central Intelligence’ Has a Semblance of Self-awareness, If Not Actual Intelligence

It's no surprise that Central Intelligence, buddy movie or bromance, indulges in dick jokes.

READ more
BrainDead, Season 1, Episode 1, “The Insanity Principle ...”

The Kings don't quite hit it out of the park with their first post-The Good Wife effort, but the pilot makes the series worth coming back to.

READ more
‘Someone Else’ Director Nelson Kim on the Fluidity of Identity

"The puzzle, or mindfuck film, if you will, is an inherently cinematic idea. Something about the very nature of cinema invites playing around with different levels of reality."

READ more

17 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Gojira: Magma

Magma is a prime example of how Gojira successfully navigate the line between high art and theme park thrill ride.

READ more
Principled Pleasure: Janet Jackson’s ‘Control’ at 30 Still Commands Respect

A masterpiece of self worth-themed contextual pop proves our idiocy for downgrade shaming her to the status of "wardrobe malfunction".

READ more
Ottaviani and Purvis’s ‘The Imitation Game’ Is an Extraordinary Achievement

I thought of the notion of purity of the mind, of a kind of almost frustrating innocence, as I read this new biographical graphic novel about Alan Turing.

READ more
Sarah Jarosz: Undercurrent

The atmospherics are rich on Undercurrent. Even when Sarah Jarosz just sings the mundane language of ordinary conversations, her words suggest that much more is meant than is said.

READ more
UCLA Film & Television Archive to the Rescue

The Chase, Too Late for Tears, Woman on the Run and The Southerner are all examples of postwar indie cinema that had fallen through the cracks -- until now.

READ more
Charlie Faye and the Fayettes: Charlie Faye and the Fayettes

Charlie Faye and the Fayettes offer a flawed but ultimately successful soul-pop offering.

READ more
‘Maggie’s Plan’ Is a Genuinely Satisfying Romantic Comedy

Rebecca Miller’s writerly screwball comedy triangulates Ethan Hawke between two strong-willed women.

READ more
There’s Still Much to Enjoy in ‘Star Trek into Darkness’

Star Trek Into Darkness has never looked or sounded better than this new 4K UHD release, but it's hard to ignore that this is a big budget remake of Wrath of Khan.

READ more
Earthless + Harsh Toke: Acid Crusher / Mount Swan

This is psychoactive music for psychoactive times, and neither Earthless nor Harsh Toke falter in their mission to sing the words of the muse.

READ more
Travis: Everything at Once

Travis may never be able to cut loose from their folk rock trappings. But Everything At Once has enough injections of passion and departures from the regular formula to merit attention.

READ more
‘The Revenant’ Is Both Unquestionably Unpleasant and Incredibly Beautiful

Iñárritu immense skills with the camera eye, taking in the expansive, cruel landscape and harsh, cold mountain ranges in an appreciation that rivals the best nature paintings.

READ more

16 Jun 2016 // 9:00 AM

The Walking Dead Michonne, Episode 3

With so few even semi-accurate portrayals of mental illness in games, I'm forced to give The Walking Dead: Michonne props for getting what little I know and understand about the facts right.

READ more
‘The Rhapsodes’: When an Aesthetic Approach to Film Criticism Was Novel

It’s hard to imagine now, but in the '40s it was a daring thing to champion film. These four critics did just that, and did it very well.

READ more
Dexys: Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul

A minor triumph for one of music's ultimate mavericks, Kevin Rowland, convincing that Irish folk and pop/soul standards can make an appealing combination.

READ more
Packing Bags and Hittin’ the Road: A Look Back on Music Gatherings of Yore

Remember when Mumford and Sons spent their pre-show hours swinging from tires in a lake crowded with fans?

READ more

16 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

After Absurdism, Algiers

Jacques Ferrandez's graphic novel adaptation of Albert Camus's The Stranger is a surprising salve for grown-ups.

READ more
To Gong or Not to Gong? ‘The Gong Show Movie’

The Gong Show was screwball to the point of centrifuge. So how did The Gong Show Movie find itself being gonged?

READ more
The Trek Saga Re-Begins, Again, But This Time in UHD

The rebooted Star Trek looks and sounds amazing in 4K, but the Ultra High Definition proves even more that the film hasn't stood up to the (brief) test of time.

READ more
Vice: Season 4, Episode 13 - “State of Surveillance”

The Vice Team interviews the world's most infamous whistleblower, and hears why he's concerned.

READ more
Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 9 - “The Mitigation of Competition”

In many ways, this episode belongs to the two clones that’ve been most isolated this season: Rachel and Helena.

READ more
Fantôm Menace: The Films of ‘Fantômas’

One can’t help but feel as though the movements of this romantic and dreamlike world are the work of some whimsical puppet-mastery.

READ more
Leave Me Out of Your Loop: An Interview with Homeboy Sandman

A fixture in the indie hip-hop scene, Homeboy Sandman pivots from sociological commentary to personal rumination on new album Kindness for Weakness.

READ more
Flea-Market Music: On the Glorious Cacophony of The Felice Brothers

Their style is loose, but not without form; cluttered, though sometimes spare; common, but not ordinary; discounted, but not cheap; public, but out-of-the-way; historical, but liable to disappear at any moment.

READ more

15 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Classixx: Faraway Reach

In Faraway Reach, L.A.-bred dopamine dealers Michael David and Tyler Blake stick to their guns and craft disco-tinged dance-pop that draws equally from '80s new wave and maximalist EDM.

READ more
Rhys Chatham: Pythagorean Dream

Despite Chatham's history of working with hundreds of musicians for a single project, the complex and curious Pythagorean Dream is all about Chatham and his guitar.

READ more
‘The Restless Clock’ Will Have You Pondering the Matter of Matter

History of science professor Dr. Jessica Riskin examines how we banished agency from the science of living things.

READ more

15 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

Robert Ellis: Robert Ellis

The fourth album from the New York based songwriter reaches beyond a singular style or genre to showcase a growing talent.

READ more

15 Jun 2016 // 2:10 AM

Elephant Revival: Petals

Following the departure of a prominent band member, Elephant Revival holds its own with a restructuring on Petals.

READ more

15 Jun 2016 // 2:05 AM

Night School: Blush

With two EPs to their name already, the time was right for Night School to try their hand at crafting a full-length release.

READ more
Griffiths Bathes Her Color Palette in Grit for ‘The Night Stalker’

Griffiths expertly uses atmosphere and visuals to create a hellish summer in this cold-hearted examination of evil’s intoxicating allure.

READ more
UnREAL: Season 2, Episode 1 - “War”

“War” is an excellent introduction to UnREAL, and one that sets in motion a great deal to explore throughout season two.

READ more
In ‘45 Years’ the Quiet Speaks Volumes

A film this quiet and understated needs every element to work in subtle harmony, and Haigh's work has 45 Years humming with dignified vitality.

READ more
Outlander: Season 2, Episode 9 - “Je Suis Prest”

This Outlander episode showcases the landscape of Scotland better than any previous episode, clearly in an attempt to display what the men are fighting for.

READ more
Recent History Reduced to ‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’

13 Hours takes a politically fraught event and turns it into another Michael Bay shoot-out

READ more
Daredevil: Season 2, Episode 13 - “A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen”

Daredevil's season finale sets up some interesting stories, but fails to resolve any of them.

READ more
Bitchin’ Bajas and Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties

Will Oldham teams with Bitchin' Bajas for a record that's beautiful and meditative. Are we to believe that these cats have found the path to enlightenment? Or have they just made a groovy record?

READ more
Big Thief: Masterpiece (take 2)

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Adrianne Lenker dominates Big Thief's debut album, and she has enough personality to carry the whole band.

READ more
Austin Lucas: Between the Moon and the Midwest

Between the Moon and the Midwest is a collection of tales told by those with broken hearts and proud souls.

READ more
Eliot Sumner: An Adrenaline Junkie on Stage (Governors Ball 2016 Interview + Photos)

Eliot Sumner's second studio album Information was strongly influenced by Krautrock. She's currently on the road, including a stop at Governors Ball Music Festival.

READ more
Fitz and the Tantrums: Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums find contentment in the soft, sleek, and simple on their infectious but frivolous third album.

READ more
The Eye Pointed In: An Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

Man of many hats Spencer Krug discusses new Moonface release My Best Human Face, future collaborations, and avoiding "just icing" lyrics.

READ more
Doctor Who: “Seeing patterns in things that aren’t there”

How a '90s Doctor Who might have been uniquely Doctor Who while differing greatly from what it actually ended up becoming.

READ more
Paul McCartney: Pure McCartney

Pure McCartney is a collection rich with terrific songwriting and performances, a monumental testament to Paul McCartney’s legacy that extends far beyond the Beatles.

READ more
Instant Photography Before the Digital Era

The Polaroid cameras brought instant gratification to photography long before the digital era.

READ more
An Englishman in the American South

Five Southern states in 11 days: scattered views from the old world.

READ more
With ‘Civil War II #1’ Marvel Is Hoping to Succeed Where Vanilla Ice Failed

Capturing success in a sequel is even harder than capturing lightning in a bottle a second time, but Marvel makes a fearless attempt, here.

READ more
‘The Conjuring 2’ Speculates on How We Believe or Don’t Believe

This movie is what you expect. You don’t have to believe any of it.

READ more
Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2016: ‘P.S. Jerusalem’ + ‘Inside the Chinese Closet’

Two documentaries, about a family searching for peace in Jerusalem and gay individuals fighting to have a family of their own in China, focus on the universal desire for a sense of home.

READ more
Don’t Forget to Breathe While Reading ‘Music for Wartime’

Music for Wartime is an exceptional collection that further cements Makkai as one of today’s strongest fiction writers.

READ more

13 Jun 2016 // 3:00 AM

Destruction and Space: An Interview with Heron Oblivion

The heavy psych supergroup (that's half of Comets on Fire, Espers' Meg Baird and guitar wizard Charlie Saufley) makes a beautiful noise, with plenty of space for reflection and experiment.

READ more
On Saul Bellow’s Artful Two-mindedness

There may be simply too much to think about, but Saul Bellow certainly made a valiant effort over the course of his long career.

READ more
Garbage: Strange Little Birds

Strange Little Birds is far better than it has any right to be, as few bands ever deliver such a steady and satisfying record this far into their career.

READ more
Mutual Benefit: Skip a Sinking Stone

This record made me buy better headphones so I could do it justice writing about it. This record made me a better person.

READ more
‘I Ain’t Afraid of No Bros’: What’s Really Scary About the New Ghostbusters’

The new Ghostbusters have to fight twice as hard to be considered half as good as the old Ghostbusters. As a recipe for heroism, it's perfect.

READ more

13 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

Oddisee: The Odd Tape

The Odd Tape is pleasant and lively but overstays its welcome in the process.

READ more
Walker Family Singers: Panola County Spirit

The Walker Family masterfully preserves traditional southern gospel music and spirituals on Panola County Spirit.

READ more
Isabelle Huppert Unites the Diverse Strands of Warlikowski’s ‘Phaedra(s)’

Krzysztof Warlikowski’s characteristically idiosyncratic production reflects on the legend and legacy of Phaedra as icon – and draws much of its interest from Isabelle Huppert as icon.

READ more
An Anatomical Dissection of Calvino’s ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler’

Postmodernism seeks to disrupt the grand narrative, and expose the artifice of writing. Dissected, its innards revealed, this resembles geometry.

READ more
Outcast: Season 1, Episode 1 - “A Darkness Surrounds Him”

Cinemax's new series from Robert Kirkman doubles down on the demonic possessions but does little else.

READ more
‘Warcraft’? More Like ‘Snore-craft’ or ‘Bore-craft’

Whatever intrigue the source contains is diluted by a desire to pander to an eager international demo.

READ more
Sarah Neufeld Gets Physical With “The Ridge”

Sarah Neufeld has recorded in underground parking garages, toured with Arcade Fire, and recorded remarkable music with Colin Stetson. She's also made some superior solo recordings, and her latest, The Ridge, encourages listeners to feel the music along with her.

READ more
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes: To Be True (Expanded Edition)

Stone-cold Philly Soul classic gets the reissue treatment, complete with bonus tracks and thorough liner notes.

READ more
The Turner Prize: A Brief Introduction to Film and Video (and Disappointment in 2016)

If we look past the ludicrous, carnival facade of The Turner Prize, the obscured film work might be less on the “outer fringes of the map of cinema” than we are led to believe.

READ more

10 Jun 2016 // 8:10 AM

Anohni: Hopelessness

Anohni didn't reinvent the wheel on her new album, but she did get it spinning in another direction.

READ more
Esmé Patterson: We Were Wild

The Denver folk-rocker rebels against modern-day domestication on her latest.

READ more
‘In a Lonely Place’ and the Performative Signature

Despite his various successes as a writer and a lover, Bogart's Dixon Steele fails to attain the recognition he insists he deserves.

READ more

10 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Wye Oak: Tween

The Baltimore dream pop duo are back with a hazy, mesmerizing collection that holds together nicely.

READ more
Helen McCrory Captivates in the National Theatre’s Revival of ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

Carrie Cracknell delivers a beautiful, sensitive and measured production of the Terence Rattigan masterpiece.

READ more
Who Are You Calling ‘White Trash’?

White Trash serves as an opening statement on the long ignored presence of class within a country that prides itself on freedom and equality for all.

READ more
A New Era Dawns in ‘DC Universe Rebirth #1’

Geoff Johns recognizes the importance of balancing realism and idealism, not letting the former infringe upon and cripple the latter.

READ more

9 Jun 2016 // 11:00 AM

‘Traded’: Kris Kristofferson in the Sunset

The highlight of this movie is Kris Kristofferson as Billy, who provides gun power and a horse at key moments, as well as some philosophizing about violence.

READ more
Governors Ball 2016: The Killers and M83 Embrace the Rain and Rock the Night

Not even a horrendous rainstorm could hold back Governors Ball from embracing thy inner festival animal.

READ more

9 Jun 2016 // 10:44 AM

Boys Noize: Mayday

In the midst of a conflict between his mainstream ambitions and his established style, Boys Noize creates a hybrid album that actually kind of works.

READ more
WOMPS: Our Fertile Forever

WOMPS pay homage to the stylings of some modern legends on their debut album.

READ more
Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 7 - “The Broken Man”

The seventh episode of Game of Thrones season six featured the return of two of the show's most curious and charismatic characters.

READ more

9 Jun 2016 // 8:44 AM

Jackie Lynn: Jackie Lynn

Here's an intriguing concept album, a midwestern Western set to music.

READ more

9 Jun 2016 // 8:33 AM

Lone: Levitate

In Levitate, Lone finds himself at a healthy middle ground between subterranean ambience and soaring, sweat-soaked club music.

READ more
What Fills the Empty Spaces in ‘City Squares’?

Squares are the empty hearts of cities waiting to be filled by individual and public meaning.

READ more
‘Hyper Light Drifter’ Is Moody, Mysterious, and Minimalistic

The best riddles inspire dedication and near-obsession to arrive at an answer. Hyper Light Drifter inspires those qualities in its players.

READ more
What’s ‘Love’ Got to Do With it? Why Do Audiences Reject Sex in the Movies?

Gaspar Noé’s Love was panned in many different parts of the world because its unsimulated sex scenes defy narrative norms and take moviegoers out of the story.

READ more
Teen Manga Tackle Tough Topics

From deafness to gender identity, teen manga offer rewarding and complex treatments of fraught issues.

READ more

9 Jun 2016 // 2:00 AM

In Love by Default: An Interview with Band of Skulls

When you have to move out of the church you are recording in because your fans found out, that's generally a good sign that you're Band of Skulls and up to something good.

READ more
Preacher: Season 1, Episode 2 - “See”

Jesse begins to come to terms with his new-found powers in a rambunctious second episode.

READ more
Emilia Clarke Plays a Manic Pixie Kewpie Doll in ‘Me Before You’

This film crushes together any number of tropes, from the savior pixie to the flawed hero to the melodramatic lessons learned by tragedy.

READ more

8 Jun 2016 // 10:14 AM

Still Parade: Concrete Vision

Warm and pacific, Concrete Vision uncovers bucolic reverie in an imposing city.

READ more
An Anxious Eroticism: The Flesh and Machinery Grooves of Elyas Khan

Elyas Khan's sensuously-disquieting music, in his own words, is a hallucinatory event: it embodies the kind of fear, alarm and agoraphobia we sometimes feel when we've read too many headlines for the day.

READ more
Boldly Going Where the ‘Wrath of Khan’ Director’s Cut Has Never Gone Before

Whether you want the original theatrical cut and all of the previously released extras, or a revised cut and new bonus content, this Blu-ray release has almost everything.

READ more
‘How to Smoke Pot (Properly)’ Is the Model for Confident, Professional Marijuana Advocacy

David Bienenstock proves himself more than capable as a rhetorician, mixing equal parts manifesto, memoir and pamphlet.

READ more
Kathy Rain: A Detective Is Born

Kathy Rain is Twin Peaks by way of Sue Grafton.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

I Don't Get 'Pokémon Go'

// Moving Pixels

"I’ve never felt more out of touch.

READ the article