Saturday, September 28, 2013

In a World - Movie Review

In a World (R) 93 minutes A-
Sexism & the Industry

Starring: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino and Fred Melamed

In a World is mostly about the competitive nature of the voiceover industry. But, it's also about love (bad boy vs. nice guy), about a father's ego and his relationship with his daughters, and about a marriage in crisis. In a world full of crap films that corrode our brains it's a shame that more people won't see this film. Written and directed by Lake Bell, and the recipient of the Sundance Film Festival Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, In a World is a funny, slice of life, dysfunctional family comedy that is a low-key gem. Recommended!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mazzy Star & NIN - The Tale of Two Bands (Album Reviews)

First Impression Music Reviews
Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day B
Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks B 
Released 9/24/13
Released 9/3/13

Obviously these are two very different bands with very different sounds, but their new albums had a similar effect on me.  Since acquiring both they have acted mainly as mood music.  For Mazzy Star this has always been the modus operandi upon the first few spins of their music. However, Trent Reznor and company usually dig their claws in right away and begin gnawing away at my pessimistic little soul. Hesitation Marks feels like a smart album-cold, calculated and at times, surprisingly funky. But, when I turn off the music a majority of these songs (on both albums) are not staying with me. That's not to say that there is a lack of strong material here. Season of Your Day and Hesitation Marks feature some of my favorite songs this year. Mazzy Star's "California" is a near perfect single and probably one of the best songs they have ever done, while NIN's "All Time Low" jumped out of the stereo the first time I heard it. The things is, whenever I pop these CDs (yeah, I'm old school) into the stereo I am initially jazzed, but by the time the disc stops spinning I've already mentally stopped listening. Both albums are good and worth paying for; however, I have yet to make a deeper connection... but the potential is there.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Butler - Movie Review

The Butler (PG-13) 132 minutes A-

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, John Cusack, James Marsden, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Jane Fonda, Minka Kelly, Vanessa Redgrave, Clarence Williams III, Yaya Alafia, Elijah Kelley and Alex Pettyfer.

It's true, I sort of expected The Butler to be a highfalutin, over-cameoed, schmoozy film about a black butler working in the White House through eight presidencies.  Forest Whitaker is one of the best actors of our time, but when I heard about so many high profile stars: Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz, etc... I feared the film would be overindulgent.  Boy, was I wrong! I underestimated everything and everyone in this film... especially director Lee Daniels who I am now convinced is someone very special.  I will be rooting for Daniels, Whitaker and Winfrey come award nomination season.