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Tuesday, April 22 2014

‘30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Maradona ‘86 and The Opposition’

These two soccer stories, focused on the World Cups of 1974 and 1986, reveal the politics, culpability, and legacy of FIFA in broader contexts.


‘Casebook’ Is an Engrossing Example of the Coming of Age Novel

Mona Simpson’s novels, always sensitive and complex, have only become more so with time, acquiring the depth only a seasoned writer can proffer.


Divine Was a Master in the Fun of Making Fun

Divine was large and loud, an actor who challenged expectations, even among drag queens.


Paradoxical Obscurity: “All New X-men #25”

A time travel paradox that's overdue yet underwhelming.


‘At Middleton’ Is a Delightful, European-Style Romance

Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia are enchanting in a film made exclusively for the pleasure of hearing them talk.


TEEN: The Way and Color

The Way and Color is a welcome and daring departure from TEEN's Spacemen 3-laced debut, 2012’s In Limbo, even though it doesn’t always hit its marks.


G. Love & Special Sauce: Sugar

Sugar is not a sticky-sweet album. Whether or not that's good news to you, G. Love & Special Sauce have returned.


Will Yet Another Scholarly Trip to Walden Yield Any New Truths?

This vigorous interdisciplinary approach brings a revealing new perspective to a well-worn classic of American literature.


Cloud Cult: Unplug

Occasional corniness aside, Cloud Cult have crafted an excellent live album.


Young Money: Rise of an Empire

Lil' Wayne hits the reset button on his Cash Money imprint, but with only minor roster changes is it worth the effort?


Connections: Year One

Year One, which collects three releases from the past year or so, serves as both a celebration of what has been and a preamble to what seems like an awfully bright future.


Monday, April 21 2014

The Psycho in a Batsuit is My Friend: “Batman #30”

I find myself growing tired of Zero Year, a yearlong story that has come after two other lengthy storyarcs. I’m especially tired after lines like this: “Gentlemen, meet my friend…the ‘$%$^! psycho in a batsuit.’


‘McSweeney’s Internet Tendency’ Takes on the Bathroom Reading Format

The beloved McSweeney's is stripped of its Internet cloak and laid before us on the bare, naked pages of print.


Which Is More Interesting in ‘A Brief History of Time’, His Ideas or Stephen Hawking Himself?

Errol Morris delivers an impressionistic take on a remarkable life that is perhaps more wondrous than it has any right to be.


‘Fez’: Revisiting Exceptional Design

Curiously, getting lost in Fez's pixelated world becomes the game's greatest pleasure.


Mean Streets Meet Clean Streets: ‘Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries’

Despite tough breaks, happy endings prevail thanks to the intelligence and professionalism of law enforcement.


Keb’ Mo’: BLUESAmericana

On BLUESAmericana, Keb' Mo' clears a few emotional cobwebs then plays in the mud. It's not his best, but it's got one of his best songs.


Smoke DZA: Dream.Zone.Achieve

Smoke DZA's third album, Dream.Zone.Achieve, is strong on beats but weak on personality.


‘Shotgun Lovesongs’ is One Big Nostalgic Ballad

Nickolas Butler’s golden-toned Bon Iver-inspired novel about four friends in a small Wisconsin town has gorgeous intent, but too little purpose.


Architecture in Helsinki: Now + 4Eva

Lacking their usual frenetic pace and diverse instrumentation, Architecture in Helsinki put out something surprisingly boring


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