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Friday, March 6 2015

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Is a Landlocked Version of ‘The Love Boat’

If you liked the first one, you'll love this return trip. All others should perhaps consider booking their entertainment lodging elsewhere.


‘Chappie’ Offers up Rave Rap Ridiculousness and Little Else

Chappie is a weird combination of science fiction and South African rage-rap culture that's so off key, you can't see the good for the god-awful.


With ‘Unfinished Business’, Vince Vaughn Can Kiss the Rest of His Career Goodbye

Unfinished Business is like a juggler given too many divergent elements to manage.


Vulnerability Becomes Strength When Sleater-Kinney Takes D.C.

The crowd is riveted to the intensity of the performance; some barely moving as they watch the stage, almost reverent in their witness. Sleater-Kinney has walked out onto the ledge with us and back. Again.


‘The Francois Truffaut Collection’ Captures the Director’s Finest Hours

These eight films collectively demonstrate a master filmmaker with a total understanding and command of cinematic language.


The Rezillos: Zero

Seminal Scottish punkers show they’ve still got what it takes.


Camper Van Beethoven: New Roman Times

Expanded re-issue of CVB’s 2004 epic New Roman Times remains ambitiously thrilling.


‘Vanessa and Her Sister’ Is Enchanting

Those of us who write only wish for half of author Priya Parmar’s talents, whose writing is a lovely, lilting thing.


In Tall Buildings: Driver

Driver is heavy on melodies and breezy in its effortlessness. It's the kind of album that moves in different ways during different times and reveals aural layers on multiple listens.


JJ Grey & Mofro: Ol’ Glory

JJ Grey and Mofro provide a connection to the past and a time when talent and tenacity moved the music forward.


Ralph Stanley: Cracker Barrel Presents Ralph Stanley: A Man of Constant Sorrow

A "new" CD of Ralph Stanley duets provides an easy metaphor for how music is currently sold.


Thursday, March 5 2015

Fragmented History Is Beautifully Reconnected in ‘1913: The Year Before the Storm’

Florian Illies embraces the importance of moments as he peers into a fragmented past to offer something that is simple yet monumental.


‘Maison Close’ Brings the Dark Side of 1870s Paris to Vivid Life

Maison Close might not quite uplift you; but, then again, many of the best and most realistic series on television usually don’t.


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday

Noel Gallagher may not be completely chasing yesterday, but he certainly isn't moving forward.


Gill Landry: Gill Landry

The Old Crow Medicine Show member stretches his solo songwriting muscle on his self-titled release.


William S. Burroughs’ Ugly Spirit, Resurrected

Barry Miles' work depicts a complicated human being and visionary artist who has too often been dehumanized and made one-dimensional.


Pops Staples: Don’t Lose This

The deep, rich sound of Pops’ guitar captures the immense spirit of a human being that cannot be seen in the physical manifestation of a man.


Kid Ink: Full Speed

Kid Ink is a major label rapper, and Full Speed is his collection of major label rap song facsimiles.


Martin Callingham: Tonight We All Swim Free

Martin Callingham plays it safe with a series of watery folk numbers that might soothe but are too slack and too nebulous to exert any real power.


Wednesday, March 4 2015

‘Batgirl #39’ and the Burn of a Social Media Reboot

Batgirl began her stay with the kind of bang that could only come from being anointed by social media. In this issue, we see that fake love begin to unravel.


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