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by Sean Fennell

20 Jul 2016

It’s amazing but in just a few short months Preacher has already carved a nice little groove for itself in an overly congested television landscape. It did so by refusing to do all the things that television fans often demand—most notably an easily understood plot—and did so with an almost mocking bravado. It has been an opening season that’s been at its best when it throwing things at the wall to see if they stick, which they have with almost otherworldly consistency.

We all knew this had to come to end. That showrunners Evan Goldberg, Sam Rami, and Seth Rogen had to eventually reign in all the stray parts of the series and build toward something substantial and concrete. Maybe I knew, but it hasn’t helped the fact that the last couple episodes, which feature a show creating boundaries instead of blasting through them, have been just the least bit disappointing.

by G. Christopher Williams

20 Jul 2016

What I like best about Pokemon Go is the uncertainty. I like the rumors, and I like the lies.

Playing the Legend of Zelda, as I did on its release in 1986, was kind of like this. The game came with a sealed fold-out pamphlet that was to only be opened if you wanted to have some of the game’s secrets spoiled for you. It was a point of pride that I never unsealed mine.

by Will Rivitz

19 Jul 2016

The Jezabels have rightfully broken through into the pop-rock elite, especially on the strength of this year’s excellent Synthia. “Smile” is proof that their position is warranted, flowing from a deceptive soft rock intro to a chorus that strikes with the force of a gale. It’s latently ferocious, waiting until just the right moment to bite with swirling guitars and crashing percussion operating under lead singer Hayley Mary’s misanthropic howl. The song’s wandering ethos fits in well with the video, featuring Mary’s best “Bittersweet Symphony” impression: she wanders from place to place, not settling down for even a moment, while relishing the music behind her.

by Anthony Merino

19 Jul 2016

The A Word is a family drama centered around Joe Hughes (Max Vento), a five-year-old child with autism. The show opens with Joe’s uncle, Eddie Scott (Greg McHugh)—who’s coming home with his adulterous wife Dr. Nicola Daniels (Vinette Robinson) to live with his brother—trying to navigate a car with a small trailer up a driveway. The visual is a great, if unintended, metaphor for the episode as a whole. Writer Peter Bowker seems to be trying to combine a social realism drama with an absurdist farce. Director Peter Cattaneo’s lingering shots and documentary feel add to the weirdness of it all.

It’s an utter shame because the best parts of the show depict the family dealing with coming to terms with Joe’s condition. The other melodramatic stories at best distract and at worst undermine the believability of the family’s central crisis.

by Will Rivitz

19 Jul 2016

Elizabeth Hunter‘s “Coming for You” is impressive in just how much it does right. There’s the instrumental, a Motown-influenced slammer with butter-smooth horns and luscious organ. There’s the vocal, a killer case of blue-eyed soul drawing heavily from Amy Winehouse’s days with Mark Ronson and suave harmonizing up the wazoo. Most importantly, though, Hunter struts forward with blinding energy, loud and dynamic and alive. It’ll truly be a shame if “Coming for You” doesn’t break through, since I haven’t heard a song that’s quite so sure to get people up and dancing in a while.

//Mixed media

Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

// Moving Pixels

"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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