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Wednesday, July 2 2014

‘Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China’ Is both Trivial and Expansive

There is nothing hidden about the world of these stories, and Yu Hua’s writing is defined by its plainspoken voice and depiction of quotidian lives.


Willie Nelson: Band of Brothers

Willie Nelson still makes records that are smart, funny, sexy, and heartbreaking.


Linkin Park: The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party is a decent record on its own, but it feels too repetitive, uninspired, and generic to equal its immediate predecessors.


The Meatmen: Savage Sagas

“The Ballad of Stinky Penis”. “I’m Gonna Fuck You Up!". “Big Bloody Booger on the Bathroom Wall”. If those song titles seem even remotely appealing to you, boy, have I got the record for you!


Buddy Rich: The Solos

As the title implies, this is nothing but drum solos from one of the greatest drummers of all time. Even if the notion turns you off, the album itself will prove mesmerizing.


Tuesday, July 1 2014

In ‘Earth to Echo’,  Kids Find an Alien (and Themselves) with Their Cameras

The children in Earth to Echo are trying to be understood, and to matter, with the footage they shoot.


But for the Trees: “The Woods #2”

Imagine you’re back in high school. You’re faced with a lot of societal pressures such as fitting in and applying for colleges. Now to top that off your school has inexplicably been transported to an alien galaxy. You are now entering The Woods.


Going ‘Up the Junction’ to Get Down with the Common People

Despite being set in London's Swinging Sixties, Up the Junction comes across just as apropos of America's here and now.


The Pleasure Seekers’ Have All the Cars, Clothes, and Guys That Money Can Buy

These adventurous women only wear some kind of underwear or nightie in front of the windows for that funny little peeping tom across the courtyard.


Phish: Fuego

Good effort, gentlemen, but not the best effort. You've put together a very solid studio album but also somehow managed to include two total duds and one supremely silly track.


William T. Vollmann’s Words to Howl at Death

The success of the 32 restless, spectral stories in Last Stories and Other Stories depends upon whether Vollmann can sustain in-depth soul-searching.


Peter Murphy: Lion

Here comes Peter Murphy again, and he's got a mane this time. He might even bite you. Seriously, Lion is ferocious.


Wiz Khalifa: 28 Grams

28 Grams is full of interesting, moody, personality-drenched beats, many of which go to waste because they’re not suited to the artist.


Chuck E. Weiss: Red Beans and Weiss

Cartoonish in nature, like an exploding cigar joke. No matter how smart one thinks he or she is, one always laughs to the groove at the moment of detonation.


Monday, June 30 2014

So There Are ‘112 Weddings’, but What Happens After the 112 Ceremonies?

This explores the marriages that come after the weddings and perhaps more provocatively, the hopes and limits of documentary filmmaking.


You’ll Lose Your Religion in ‘The Leftovers’

The cop and the reverend spend the first few episodes starting or not avoiding fights, their faces increasingly bruised and bloodied, increasingly emblems of disorder.


‘Tomodachi Life’ Is As Much a Digital Pet As It Is a Farcical Soap Opera

A sequel to the 2009 Japan-only DS release Tomodachi Collection, Tomodachi Life is less a game than a virtual aquarium (or perhaps sitcom set) populated by Miis.


The Demon That You Can Swallow: “New Avengers Annual #1”

According to Joseph Campbell, The Demon You Can Swallow "gives you its power—and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply."


‘Il Sorpasso’ Makes for a Luxurious Summer Treat

Dino Risi is able to turn this odd couple’s story into a film that’s socially and emotionally intelligent -- and entertaining.


‘Bang! Bang! You’re Dead’ Gives Us a Wry Twist on the Wrong Man Theme

Tony Randall comes across like a star for the little screen overwhelmed by the Big Screen, a Felix Unger-type trying out unsuccessfully for Her Majesty’s Service.


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