Music

Super Furry Animals - "BingBong" (Singles Going Steady)

When "BingBong" is not being occasionally annoying, it's fun, catchy and energetic, making it a great hit for the summer.

Emmanuel Elone: It would be really easy to hate this song. Super Furry Animals lays on the "bing bong" line heavily across all five minutes of "BingBong's" runtime, and there are moments in the beginning that feel obnoxious and frustrating as a result. However, once you look past the lack of lyrical ideas and the fairly excessive runtime, "BingBong" is actually pretty great. The beat is steady, and has a fantastic bass line at its core, while the simple lyrics float over the rhythm as another instrument of sorts. When "BingBong" is not being occasionally annoying, it's fun, catchy and energetic, making it a great hit for the summer. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Welsh missing-in-action psychedelic outfit Super Furry Animals release their first new piece of music in years, and it's apparently sung in their native Welsh. Hard to tell, really, since the vocals are wrapped up in a barrage of effects. It's a serviceable, stomping dance tune and the spacey keyboards provide a nice, giddy high, but I got my fill about halfway through the song and was struggling to make my way through the rest of it. Initially fun but ultimately tiresome. [5/10]

Pryor Stroud: "BingBong" is an absurdist rainbow-pop flight of fancy that makes no attempt to put together a coherent narrative, or even a coherent thought. It's bouncy, child-like, and pretty thoroughly harmless, but it's precisely this harmlessness -- repeatedly hammered into your brain throughout the track -- that makes "BingBong" seem more like a cloying charade than an endearing piece of bubblegum pop. [4/10]

Jordan Blum: I've been a big fan of this group for years, so I'm very excited to learn that there's new music from them. That said, I wasn't really keen on their last record, and if this track is any indication, I won't really dig the new one, either. It still feels quintessentially SFA (they're to pop music what Gorillaz is to hip-hop), but there isn't much substance here in terms of songwriting or variety (although the changes during the latter half are interesting). The repetition is annoying, to be honest, and it feels too close to "Inaugural Trams". I prefer the warmer, more lush production and melodies of their holy trilogy, Rings Around the World, Phantom Power, and Love Kraft. [7/10]

Chad Miller: The shapeshifting intro is pretty cool.The song doesn't seem to ever surpass that moment though, mostly just sounding like more of the same once the original melody is set. [6/10]

SCORE: 5.80

From drunken masters to rumbles in the Bronx, Jackie Chan's career is chock full of goofs and kicks. These ten films capture what makes Chan so magnetic.

Jackie Chan got his first film role way back in 1976, when a rival producer hired him for his obvious action prowess. Now, nearly 40 years later, he is more than a household name. He's a brand, a signature star with an equally recognizable onscreen persona. For many, he was their introduction into the world of Hong Kong cinema. For others, he's the goofy guy speaking broken English to Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour films.

From his grasp of physical comedy to his fearlessness in the face of certain death (until recently, Chan performed all of his own stunts) he's a one of a kind talent whose taken his abilities in directions both reasonable (charity work, political reform) and ridiculous (have your heard about his singing career?).

Now, Chan is back, bringing the latest installment in the long running Police Story franchise to Western shores (subtitled Lockdown, it's been around since 2013), and with it, a reminder of his multifaceted abilities. He's not just an actor. He's also a stunt coordinator and choreographer, a writer, a director, and most importantly, a ceaseless supporter of his country's cinema. With nearly four decades under his (black) belt, it's time to consider Chan's creative cannon. Below you will find our choices for the ten best pictures Jackie Chan's career, everything from the crazy to the classic. While he stuck to formula most of the time, no one made redundancy seem like original spectacle better than he.

Let's start with an oldie but goodie:

10. Operation Condor (Armour of God 2)

Two years after the final pre-Crystal Skull installment of the Indiana Jones films arrived in theaters, Chan was jumping on the adventurer/explorer bandwagon with this wonderful piece of movie mimicry. At the time, it was one of the most expensive Hong Kong movies ever made ($115 million, which translates to about $15 million American). Taking the character of Asian Hawk and turning him into more of a comedic figure would be the way in which Chan expanded his global reach, realizing that humor could help bring people to his otherwise over the top and carefully choreographed fight films -- and it's obviously worked.

9. Wheels on Meals

They are like the Three Stooges of Hong Kong action comedies, a combination so successful that it's amazing they never caught on around the world. Chan, along with director/writer/fight coordinator/actor Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, all met at the Peking Opera, where they studied martial arts and acrobatics. They then began making movies, including this hilarious romp involving a food truck, a mysterious woman, and lots of physical shtick. While some prefer their other collaborations (Project A, Lucky Stars), this is their most unabashedly silly and fun. Hung remains one of the most underrated directors in all of the genre.

8. Mr. Nice Guy
Sammo Hung is behind the lens again, this time dealing with Chan's genial chef and a missing mob tape. Basically, an investigative journalist films something she shouldn't, the footage gets mixed up with some of our heroes, and a collection of clever cat and mouse chases ensue. Perhaps one of the best sequences in all of Chan's career occurs in a mall, when a bunch of bad guys come calling to interrupt a cooking demonstration. Most fans have never seen the original film. When New Line picked it up for distribution, it made several editorial and creative cuts. A Japanese release contains the only unaltered version of the effort.

7. Who Am I?

Amnesia. An easy comedic concept, right? Well, leave it to our lead and collaborator Benny Chan (no relation) to take this idea and go crazy with it. The title refers to Chan's post-trauma illness, as well as the name given to him by natives who come across his confused persona. Soon, everyone is referring to our hero by the oddball moniker while major league action set pieces fly by. While Chan is clearly capable of dealing with the demands of physical comedy and slapstick, this is one of the rare occasions when the laughs come from character, not just chaos.

6. Rumble in the Bronx

For many, this was the movie that broke Chan into the US mainstream. Sure, before then, he was a favorite of film fans with access to a video store stocking his foreign titles, but this is the effort that got the attention of Joe and Jane Six Pack. Naturally, as they did with almost all his films, New Line reconfigured it for a domestic audience, and found itself with a huge hit on its hands. Chan purists prefer the original cut, including the cast voices sans dubbing. It was thanks to Rumble that Chan would go on to have a lengthy run in Tinseltown, including those annoying Rush Hour films.

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