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Tuesday, April 28 2015

More Definitely Means More in Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Joss Whedon and his heroes and villains epic offers more this time around -- more characters, more plot points, more action -- and a few reasons for concern.


A Cosmic Crescendo

An epic crossover involving cosmic power ends in a way that's satisfying without the specter of tragedy.


Resident Evil: Revelations 2

The Revelations spin-off series is officially the crazy younger sibling of the Resident Evil franchise.


Paul Thomas Anderson Douses Film Noir With Bong Smoke in ‘Inherent Vice’

Throughout cinema history, there have been countless films made about detectives and stoners, but nothing has ever been quite like Inherent Vice.


‘Lord of the Flies’ Is an Inferior Take on William Golding’s Classic Novel

The 1963 film Lord of the Flies is a transcendent experience in accurate filmmaking. The 1990 film Lord of the Flies is only a movie.


Brown Bird: Axis Mundi

Brown Bird's final album finds them expanding their sound without sacrificing their personality. And using drums played with hands, not just foot pedals.


Braids: Deep in the Iris

The Montreal trio's latest album shows an increasingly refined sense of knowing when to nurture one impulse and temper another, embracing compromise without sacrifice.


The Dirty Aces: From the Basement

Raucous and debauched, From the Basement has the strut and swagger of Stevie Ray Vaughn and the decadently ragged appeal of ‘70s Rolling Stones.


Seasick Steve: Sonic Soul Surfer

Seasick Steve shows excellence while away from his comfort zone, but re-re-fried blues is a dead end.


The Soft Moon: Deeper

If the Soft Moon's techno-mope isn't exactly authentic, it's certainly genuine and most definitely consistent on Deeper.


Martin Sexton: Mixtape of the Open Road

Mixtape of the Open Road is as cohesive and dynamic as the road itself.


Monday, April 27 2015

James Wood on Why Fiction and Criticism Matter

James Wood is exactly the sort of champion of belles lettres we need, and this collection is proof of it.


‘The Boy Next Door’ Is Wrong, but It Feels So Good

Like a musical, The Boy Next Door often asks us to suspend our disbelief and take a ridiculous ride to an absurd place -- in this case, a place where first editions of The Iliad actually exist.


The Potentially Great ‘Mommy’ Is Only Occasionally Good

Mommy has its memorable moments, but it's ultimately not worth the effort to watch obnoxious characters shout at each other for over two hours.


Blur: The Magic Whip

The Magic Whip is a goofy record, featuring a kind of scattershot energy that is usually only mustered by young bands just discovering their love of music for the first time.


Ava Luna: Infinite House

Ava Luna's latest is as multilayered and pleasantly bewildering as the "infinite house" where it was recorded.


‘The Light of the World’ Explores How to Cope When a Light Goes Out

In April 2012, Ficremariam Ghebreyseus collapsed on the treadmill in the house he shared with wife Elizabeth Alexander. Yet her memoir stubbornly adheres to joy.


The Late Call: Golden

Golden may be the one record to bring Johannes Mayer (The Late Call) to wider awareness.


Portico: Living Fields

The shift from Portico Quartet to Portico wasn't an evolution; it was a dismantling, a removal of so much of the soul that once made them vital.


Future Brown: Future Brown

Electronic supergroup Future Brown serve up a quietly evolutionary debut that blends multi-cultural styles without sacrificing mass appeal.


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