Monthly Archives

May 2015

by Matt Lynch Film

Aloha | Cameron Crowe

May 30, 2015

It seems that Aloha, Cameron Crowe’s newest drama, is just him taking a mulligan on 2005’s widely (and somewhat unfairly) derided Elizabethtown. Both films feature a disgraced wunderkind returning to a community from which he’s become estranged in order to become emotionally rejuvenated with the help of a fiercely principled but alarmingly giddy ingenue. This time, rather than a failed prodigal son coming home for dad’s funeral, it’s Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor…

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#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Bob Dylan | The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Though the cumulative impact of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is considerable, and its achievement is towering, it remains a strangely difficult record to discuss by way of synopsis or generalization; there’s simply no way to avoid digging into specific virtues of its songs, because the songs…

May 29, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

San Andreas | Brad Peyton

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Brad Peyton’s San Andreas is little more than an excuse for elaborate CG destruction and cliched narrative bullet points. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson must repair his fractured marriage and rescue his teen daughter in the midst of an apocalyptic natural cataclysm…that’s…

May 28, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Tomorrowland | Brad Bird

At one point in Tomorrowland, an exasperated George Clooney complains to a young woman (Britt Robertson) who keeps asking him to explain all the awesome future tech he’s showing her, “Can’t you just be amazed and move on?” Then, barely a scene later, he snaps,…

May 21, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Bob Dylan | Blonde on Blonde

The boozy, bloozy, cacophonous conclusion to Bob Dylan’s mid-60s “electric” trilogy, Blonde on Blonde feels every bit the culmination of…something. A wild fever dream of an album, owing as much to Fellini and T.S. Eliot as to Woody and Leadbelly, it’s the sound of Dylan’s imagination pushed…

May 15, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Kenji Fujishima Film

The Battle of Algiers | Gillo Pontecorvo

Proof of the lasting influence of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 docudrama The Battle of Algiers can be glimpsed in two relatively recent films making a sizable dent in last year’s new-release landscape: Ana DuVernay’s Selma and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. In Selma — as was the case with the film that is arguably its…

May 14, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Mad Max: Fury Road | George Miller

By the time of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the third entry in George Miller’s original scorched-Earth trilogy, society had begun to rebuild itself, but the post-apocalypse capitalism of Bartertown, a stronghold in the wastelands governed by gladiatorial combat, was even worse than that of the destroyed…

May 14, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Zach Lewis Music

Miles Davis | In A Silent Way

Though lauded today for lending traction in the then up-and-coming genre of jazz fusion, In a Silent Way was received as heresy on its release. Miles Davis’s most recent album, Filles de Kilimanjaro, had been recognized by jazz critics as a tour-de-force for its abstract, bluesy riffs and staunch…

May 8, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Budd Wilkins Film

Santa Sangre | Alejandro Jodorowsky

A three-ring circus exhibiting acts of murder, mutilation, sexual frenzy, and religious fanaticism, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre has a little something to perturb everyone. The story centers on serial murderer Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky), a young man burdened with a mother fixation unlikely enough to make even Norman…

May 4, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Jason Gubbels Music

Magic Sam | West Side Soul

Samuel Gene Maghett entered Cobra’s recording studios in 1957 as “Good Rocking Sam,” and luckily for all of us, some other Samuel was already laying claim to the clunky sobriquet. Maybe it really was Sam’s old friend and bass player Mack Thompson who suggested…

May 1, 2015
In Review | Online film and music criticism