Monthly Archives

July 2015

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation | Christopher McQuarrie

July 30, 2015

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in this franchise, finds hero superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, but you knew that) battling a sinister organization of ex-operatives called The Syndicate in a relentlessly convoluted plot of double-agents and double-crosses so cloudy that the villains’ goal is only vaguely articulated at the very end. And yet that doesn’t matter one bit, because the spectacle on hand is at once classical and modern, complicated and totally simple…

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#KickingtheCanon by Jason Gubbels Music

Mighty Diamonds | Right Time

The 1976 debut album from reggae trio Mighty Diamonds doesn’t usually get lumped in with other roughly contemporary works of Jamaican revolutionary agit-prop, and the reasons why aren’t difficult to comprehend. Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey, the Abyssinians’ Satta Massagana, and Culture’s Two Sevens Clash all spelled out their apocalyptic intentions — even…

July 17, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Bob Dylan | John Wesley Harding

Perhaps sensing that he couldn’t push his electric mayhem any further, Bob Dylan retreated from his wild, boozy rock and roll with John Wesley Harding, returning to largely acoustic arrangements but — crucially — not to the sound of The Times They Are a-Changin’ or The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. For one thing, these are full-band…

July 17, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Days of Being Wild | Wong Kar-wai

Though Days of Being Wild is Wong Kar-Wai’s second feature, in many ways it’s a film of firsts. It’s his first collaboration with Christopher Doyle (arguably the most important director/cinematographer partnership in modern cinema), his first brush with building a stock company of performers, and perhaps most…

July 16, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

The Age of Innocence | Martin Scorsese

There is a remarkable shot late in The Age of Innocence when the narrator (Joanne Woodward) describes a room in Newland Archer’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) New York City home as “the room in which most of the real things in his life had happened.” As the camera…

July 16, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

The Roots | Things Fall Apart

They could have called it Young, Gifted and Black, were the name not otherwise in use. Not until Robert Glasper convened his Black Radio sessions in 2012 would there be such a significant summit meeting of black American bohemians: Things Fall Apart finds The Roots’ roster swelling to include Erykah…

July 15, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Ant-Man | Peyton Reed

After menacing the world with inter-dimensional aliens, robots bent on mankind’s extermination, and cities plummeting from the sky, maybe it’s time Marvel did something a little more grounded, even lighthearted. That appears to be the intent with Ant-Man, a relatively earthbound story compared to the…

July 15, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Ryo Miyauchi Music

Outkast | ATLiens

For an idea of where Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s heads were at after their first album, look no further than the infamous 1995 Source Awards. The massive New York crowd booed Outkast as the duo took home the Best New Rap Group award. But they…

July 14, 2015
Uncategorized

Conference of the Birds | Dave Holland Quartet

Fairly or not, Manfred Eicher’s ECM Records has long been saddled with a reputation for producing airy and cavernous Euro-jazz, best exemplified by Keith Jarrett’s mid-70s solo piano excursions and the Scandinavian folk / Gregorian chant mashups of tenor/soprano saxist Jan Garbarek. Certainly one…

July 13, 2015
In Review | Online film and music criticism