Monthly Archives

December 2018

by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film Year in Review

Top 20 Films of 2018

December 29, 2018

Toxic masculinity had a year; scan the top three titles on this list and you’ll find three films about self-involved men belaboring the value of ‘their art’ — made by three self-involved men belaboring the value of their art. That may seem like a dispiriting regression, especially considering where we were as a culture like 24 months ago, and in many ways 2018 has been a backslide of a year. But take a closer look at those three films —…

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by Joe Biglin by Paul Attard Feature Articles Music

What Would Meek Do? | Issue 5

December 28, 2018
Vince Staples released "GTFOMD" after a masterful marketing rollout presented in the form of a GoFundMe campaign.

In an effort to reboot our music coverage, In Review Online has launched monthly features devoted to reviewing new album releases. One such feature is What Would Meek Do? — in which SoundCloud junkies Paul Attard and Joe Biglin run down some of the latest rap releases. The fifth issue of What Would Meek Do? features takes on the recently-incarcerated 6ix9ine’s “debut”; rapper-producer Anderson .Paak’s third album; Long Beach native Vince Staples’s third “album” (it’s just over 22 minutes); XXL Freshman-selected J.I.D.’s second album, called DiCaprio 2 (his first…

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#StreamingScene by Joe Biglin Film

Bodied | Joseph Kahn

December 27, 2018

Bodied ends with a needle drop: “Hi, My Name Is.” As explicated in our Kicking the Canon piece, Eminem sought to make a villain of himself on this track, distilling all his anxieties and the absurdity of modern culture into high-proof venom. Homophobia and misogyny abound — and yet this provocateur still became the best-selling hip-hop artist of all time. Let’s reset… or like director Joseph Kahn, let’s come at this from a different angle: The central character of Bodied, Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy), isn’t…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 8 – 10 | Sion Sono

December 23, 2018

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.…

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by Daniel Gorman Film

If Beale Street Could Talk | Barry Jenkins

December 23, 2018
beale street

The first shot is a marvel — a quiet, lovely reverie that ends with a punch to the gut. As a young couple walk hand in hand in a picturesque park setting, the camera cranes in over them, tracks them down a path, and slowly twirls around, as if swooning (or dancing). The man, Fonny (Stephan James), and woman, Tish (newcomer KiKi Layne), are in color-coded outfits that visually establish the link between them: her coat matches his shirt, his denim jacket matches her blouse.…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Aquaman | James Wan

December 21, 2018

Imagine a script development meeting where everyone involved in making Aquaman sat down to solve one all-important question: “How do we make Aquaman cool?” Now imagine if the answer was, “What if we don’t?” After the DC comics cinematic universe failed to take off as confidently as Marvel’s, Aquaman seemed doomed to failure.…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Bumblebee | Travis Knight

December 20, 2018

It’s kind of hard to imagine that the multi-billion-dollar Transformers franchise has never previously leaned hard on nostalgia for the beloved ’80s toys and cartoon series that inspired it. Michael Bay’s films — all five of them — are anxious corporate cacophony; expensive commercials for themselves, sure, but they’re more about maximalist image-making and pop plasticity than any actual affection for the source, which seems strange given the fealty audiences have shown they have for this sort of thing.…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Lawrence Garcia Film

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

December 20, 2018

Tired of superhero origin stories? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is here to fix that. The film’s nominal hero is Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who’s bitten one day by a radioactive spider and, well, you know the rest. Or at least you think you do. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, this…

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#KickingtheCanon by Hassan Abbas Music

Sepultura | Chaos A.D.

December 15, 2018

Brazil in the early ’90s, seen in popular imaginaries of the West and as a rich cultural oasis of bustling urbanity and golden, suntanned sexual expression, loses its luster when looked at through the lens of its imperial history. Riddled with almost 400 years of direct colonialist rule, since its independence, the country has witnessed the trademark political…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Music

Foreign Correspondent | Issue 2

December 15, 2018

In an effort to reboot our music coverage, In Review Online has launched some monthly features devoted to reviewing new album releases. One such feature is Foreign Correspondent — a survey of new releases from the international music world. In this issue, we cover releases from Chilean pop sensation Mon Laferte; two South Korean releases, from girl group Red Velvet and composer/multi-instrumentalist Park Jiha; and two Japanese albums, from singer-songwriter Yoshizawa Kayoko and idol group Maison Book Girl. The issue also features a selection for InRO‘s Kicking the Canon: Brazilian heavy-metal icons Sepultura’s 1993 album Chaos A.D.…

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#ObscureObject by Will Rivitz Music

KOAN Sound | Polychrome

December 15, 2018
© Sarah Koury / KoLAB Studios

Though Polychrome is KOAN Sound’s first proper album, it functions more as a career retrospective. The Bristol duo came into their own just over 5 years ago, when they expanded their repertoire from neck-snapping dubstep and glitch-hop into a more diverse array of sonics. While always excellent producers, they really left their mark once they started letting their more maximalist and frenetic impulses, and their instrumentally knotty compositional sense, inform …

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#PopRocks by Stephen Eisermann Music

Alessia Cara | The Pains of Growing

December 11, 2018

Alessia Cara is at odds with herself on her sophomore album, The Pains of Growing. Following the meteoric rise of debut single “Here” — a murky and moody loner-anthem that caught everyone by surprise in 2015 — Cara released her first album, Know-It-All, which gave further insight into her teenager-perspective on societal expectations and beauty standards. Cara seemed to be walking down a similar path as that which her contemporary, Taylor Swift, had previously been on.…

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