The Writers

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Us | Jordan Peele

March 21, 2019

Us begins with a sincerely spooky prologue taking place in 1986, when young Addy wanders away from her bickering parents at the Santa Cruz boardwalk and encounters what appears to be her own smirking, scary double, an experience that apparently leaves her traumatized. Cut to the present, and adult Addy (Lupita Nyong’o) and her husband (Winston Duke) and two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) return to their summer home near that same beach. Even while Addy feels constantly on edge…

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#PopRocks by Stephen Eisermann Music

Maren Morris | Girl

March 18, 2019

Maren Morris’ second album, Girl, certainly feels and sounds like her type of record, at least based off of the music from her previous album and more recent collaborations, but there’s one glaring issue here: on Girl, it seems that Morris has sanded down some of her sharper sonic edges, hoping to appeal to a larger base in the process. Where Maren’s…

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#KickingtheCanon by M.G. Mailloux Music

Violent Femmes | Violent Femmes

March 17, 2019

“College rock” has lost just about any use it once had as a genre signifier, now mostly just a descriptor for broad, alternative rock of an ill-defined era (‘80s through the ‘90s). That said, if there was ever an album to live up to the college rock tag it was eventually slapped with, it would be Violent Femmes’ 1983 eponymous debut. Violent Femmes…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Film

Eyes Wide Shut | Stanley Kubrick

March 15, 2019

Stanley Kubrick’s final film is one of the least-sexy films ever made about sex. Libidinous, yes, and full of naked bodies in salacious motion, engaging in lubricious acts — but also off-putting, too meticulous to be arousing. Eyes Wide Shut is a dreamy traipse through the nocturnal fantasies of a successful Manhattan doctor (Tom Cruise) who, married to a beautiful…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film

Before We Vanish | Issue 2

March 15, 2019

OK, so things don’t really vanish anymore: even the most limited film release will (most likely, eventually) find its way onto some streaming service or into some DVD bargain bin assuming that those still exist by the time this sentence finishes. In other words, while the title of In Review Online‘s new monthly feature devoted to current domestic…

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#ObscureObject by Tanner Stechnij Music

The Japanese House | Good at Falling

March 14, 2019

The Japanese House of 2019 isn’t the same artist as the dreampop debutant who gained recognition for her first EP, Pools to Bathe In, in 2015. Back then, soloist Amber Bain’s identity was unknown and her auto-tuned, low-pitched, androgynous voice only added to her elusiveness. Now, with the release of her first full-length album, Good at Falling, Bain has lifted the veil: she’s finally shedding the mystery that’s surrounded her music, directly referring to real-life friends and lovers with first names…

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#KickingtheCanon by Joe Biglin Music

Run-DMC | Run-D.M.C.

March 9, 2019

To distinguish between “old-school” hip-hop of the late 1970s and the “new school,” founded primarily by Run-DMC and LL Cool J, listen to Kurtis Blow’s 1980 cut “Hard Times.” Socially-conscious lyricism is underscored by smooth-groove funk; it’s party music, replete with a minute-long bongo solo serving as the bridge. On the other hand,…

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by Joe Biglin by Paul Attard Feature Articles Music

What Would Meek Do? | Issue 6

March 9, 2019

SoundCloud junkies Paul Attard and Joe Biglin run down some rap releases from the months of December and January in the latest What Would Meek Do?. This sixth official issue (after a special edition of the column last month) features takes on a number of embattled artists: Kodak Black, who has had allegations of sexual assault brought against him in recent months; 21 Savage, who had a fraught run-in with ICE in February and since then has been arrested on felony theft charges; and YWN…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Captain Marvel | Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

March 8, 2019

Like Black Panther before it, the representational bona-fides of Captain Marvel, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe, entry have been at the forefront of its marketing and will assuredly be a prominent feature of future discussion. That this is the first female-fronted installment, after 11 years and 20+ films, is certainly noteworthy. Unfortunately, the film isn’t particularly distinctive beyond that. …

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#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Greta | Neil Jordan

March 8, 2019

We’re a long ways away from when directors like Allan Dwan and Joseph H. Lewis could pack an absurd amount of plot into 70-minute features; even rom-coms and straight-to-dvd action flicks today clock in at over two hours (to say nothing of the glut of extremely long superhero epics and prestige dramas). Neil Jordan’s Greta, then, is praiseworthy for its narrative compactness, as it moves through its story swiftly and concisely. Jordan sets the plot in motion and establishes three main characters during the…

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#StreamingScene by Calum Reed Film

I See You | Andrew Schuth

March 5, 2019

It’s been 20 years since game-changer The Blair Witch Project hit cinemas, and yet the found-footage horror sub-genre is going strong. Just last year, both the well-regarded horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web and the missing-persons thriller Searching pulled off novel formal feats, weaving together action…

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