Monthly Archives

November 2018

#PopRocks by Calum Reed Music

Mariah Carey | Caution

November 27, 2018
mariah-carey-new-years-eve

It’s often been said that Mariah Carey has little humility, but how much of that is just for show? Four years on from the flamboyantly-titled Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse — a commercial failure, though one modest critical acclaim — Mimi is back, and in an understandably more vulnerable state. Carey’s latest, Caution, is her first…

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#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

Najma | Qareeb

November 22, 2018
Najma

British-born Najma Akhtar never intended to become a singer; she followed in the footsteps of her parents and graduated with a masters in Chemical Engineering from Aston University. It wasn’t until Najma visited distant relatives in Najibabad, India, and learned Urdu, that she picked up the vocal tradition of spiritual poems (or as their known in the Arab world, ghazals). As the liner notes for 1987’s Qareeb explain, “The ghazal occupies a unique place in the poetry and music of the Indian subcontinent.”…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Music

Foreign Correspondent | Issue #1

November 22, 2018
FC1

In an effort to reboot our music coverage, In Review Online has launched some monthly features devoted to reviewing new album releases. Today, we launch Foreign Correspondent — a survey of new releases from the international music world. Issue #1 features takes on albums from Chilean pop artist Alex Anwandter; rising Catalonian star Rosalía; Norwegian electronic avant-gardist and vocalist Stine Janvin; and two Japanese releases, from “post-hardcore” band Cöe Shu Nie and electronic producer Tofubeats. The issue also features a selection for InRO’s Kicking the Canon project: British-born, Indian descended Najma’s 1987 album Qareeb. Chilean…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 1 & 2 | Sion Sono

November 21, 2018
TVH1

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments. Sion Sono’s Tokyo Vampire Hotel, is…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Creed II | Steven Caple Jr.

November 21, 2018
C2_08795_RC
Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in 
CREED II, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Whereas 2015’s Creed transcends its station as essentially the seventh Rocky due in large part to director Ryan Coogler’s reliance on his actors’ emotional intelligence, and his ability to balance character nuance and broad narrative strokes, Creed II resembles not much more than a generic Rocky sequel. Coogler’s out, and new director Steven Caple Jr. abandons the complex aspirational working class perspective that defined the first Creed (and the original Rocky) in favor of mounting yet another bland sports story about male pride redeemed and women standing by and worrying.…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs | Joel & Ethan Coen

November 19, 2018
balladbuster

Composed of six dime-store tales from the frontier — complete with color plates! — and boasting an appropriately storybook feel (courtesy of cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, who helms this first foray into digital), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs articulates, with ruthless efficiency, Joel and Ethan Coen’s bleak, sobering worldview. The result is “downright Archimedean,” to borrow from Buster Scruggs himself (Tim Blake Nelson), a preternaturally jolly psycho-killer who wreaks gleeful havoc all over the film’s first episode.…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Cam | Daniel Goldhaber

November 19, 2018
Cam

A suspicious charge on a credit card, a call from the bank — few among us haven’t experienced this. Mostly the notifications cause minor inconvenience, but that isn’t always the case. Set in the world of “cam-girls” — women who perform sexual acts in online chat rooms for money — Daniel Goldhaber’s feature debut, Cam, derives its horror from the all-too-real idea of a total identity theft, enacted through means of the digital world.…

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#StreamingScene by Zach Lewis Film

Zama | Lucrecia Martel

November 19, 2018
Zama

Antonio di Benedetto’s novel, Zama, is renowned for its simplicity, with most paragraphs a mere sentence in length; Lucrecia Martel’s film adaptation is full of detail. Where di Benedetto cuts descriptions short (even principal characters are dubbed “mulatto”), Martel fills every extended shot with sumptuous color and soundscapes. And where, at every point, di Benedetto skirts realism with blunt mystical phenomena, Martel builds surreality out of unexplained shifts in tone and volatile pacing.…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Wild Boys | Bertrand Mandico

November 19, 2018
The Wild Boys

The Wild Boys opens with a shimmering black-and-white title card, an homage to Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks, and voiceover that soon takes the viewer back to the violent origin of this delirious, gender-bending tale. Fueled by an impulse dubbed only “TREVOR” (which may stand in for hormonal adolescent fervor, violent masculine tendencies, or both), a group of five pubescent boys (all played by women) assault and murder their literature teacher in an orgiastic recreation of Macbeth.…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Widows | Steve McQueen

November 16, 2018
Widows

After celebrated prestige pictures like Shame and 12 Years a Slave, you’d be forgiven for expecting something less disreputable from Steve McQueen than Widows. But McQueen’s normal tendencies toward making “important” work (not to mention his gorgeous, tactile images) add essential texture to what’s basically a rambunctious exploitation movie dressed up in classier clothing. The action kicks off after Harry (Liam Neeson) and his thief club get blown up by the cops.…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Shirkers | Sandi Tan

November 16, 2018
Shirkers

In 1992, a group of teenage cinephiles in Singapore set out to make a film, gathering their friends and neighbors to assert their country’s place in the cinema world at large. That film, Shirkers, was written by aspiring filmmaker and critic Sandi Tan — whose friendship with a mysterious, married, middle-aged American ex-pat named Georges would have a lasting impact on her life. A film professor full of tall-tales and dubious motives, Georges eventually absconded with the complete footage…

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