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The Invincible Iron Man, Vol. 1: The Five Nightmares

Fraction's brilliant characterization makes "The Five Nightmares" an engaging character study. He exposes Tony Stark as a character not in pitched battle against his own successor, but one for whom obsolescence, inadequacy and fear of failure are baseline states, and equally powerful motivational drives.

shathley Q
Film

Superheroes Versus Comics

There can be no doubt that the summer of 2008 stands as a high-water mark for superheroes. But in the wake of a superhero renaissance and the growing cultural legitimacy of the genre, the question must be posed: Has the superhero genre evolved beyond the comics medium?

shathley Q
Music

Sonny Rollins: Road Shows, Vol. 1

Given the dearth of material Sonny Rollins had to choose from and his sharp attention to quality, Road Shows, Vol. 1 represents some of the best music the saxophone colossus has released to date, which should come as no surprise.

Craig Carson
Reviews

Route 66: Season 1, Vol. 1

Today, any character who got into so many brawls would be sentenced to counseling; in 1960, it was part of the he-man's landscape, and the fights were important signifiers in any show about two guys living together in close friendship.

Michael Barrett
Music

Part 1: Beethoven to Phil Ochs (1824-1965)

Psalm 100 instructs, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!". What more joyful sound than the life-affirming song of protest, for that is the sound wrenched from the deepest grief and suffering, from exhausted and diseased lungs, and the voice raised in tuneful protest is among the most beautiful of human sounds. Sing out, indeed!

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Tokko, Vol. 1 (2007)

This film is easily digestible but its meter, governed by repetition, sets it apart from the flimsily constituted anime tripe that is oft-showcased on cable television

Erik Hinton
Reviews

The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 1 (1947)

Anger can be seen not only as the godfather of queer cinema, but also of indie cinema: his budgets were virtually non-existent, and the production values might have been low; but the finished products were always regarded as works of art.

Matt Mazur
Reviews

Richie Hawtin: Pioneers of Electronic Music, Vol. 1 [DVD]

While its viewers are left out as mere spectators into this exercise in onanism, the incidental details that seep through the film -- such as his robotics engineer dad designing some of the equipment he uses onstage -- warm up the austere minimalist so that techno is finally given a real human face, however fleeting its glimpse.

Lee Wang
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