Saturday, October 31, 2015

Room - Movie Review

Room (R) 118 mins B
Small room, big emotion

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy and Sean Bridgers

Room is adapted from Emma Donoghue's much ballyhooed, best-selling 2010 novel of the same name. The film is directed by Lenny Abrahamsom and stars one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood, Brie Larson (Short Term 12 and Train Wreck). I didn't read Donoghue's novel, so I was a little afraid the film would be one-dimensional, i.e., a mother and her son trapped in a tiny room talking to inanimate objects. However, this film has more tension and more heart than I expected. A good portion of the scenes do take place in a 10 x 10 windowless room (a garden shed) where five year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson) have been held captive for years. There is also some co-mingling with inanimate objects and critters. But, Abrahamson never lets the story feel contrived despite its "ripped from the headlines" familiarity. The best moments in Room take place outside of the room. (Spoiler Alert) It was interesting to see how Jack and Ma adjusted to freedom once they got it. And it raises the age old question, "Are we ever truly free?"

Check out the trailer

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jimmy & Rita - Book Review

Jimmy & Rita - Kim Addonizio B+
Published:  Jan 1997

Jimmy & Rita is an edgy and gritty novel-in-verse. Some of my favorite moments include:

What Happened
Smaller Each Day

The Publisher's Weekly Review via


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Legerdemain - Album Review

Released October 2015
Legerdemain - Duncan Sheik C
We get it, you liked the 80s. However...

I've been a Duncan Sheik fan since his debut album in 1996. I've seen him live a few times and I own all of his albums. Legerdemain, his latest effort, is the most underwhelming album he has ever made. Much has been said about his use of technology on this record- It's all over blown. The synths, the keyboards, the drum machines, all sound tired and too familiar. There are a handful of songs I dig, but the rest is surprisingly uninspired. That said, "Warning Light" was the only song I loved right away. It sounds like a 1980s dance floor gem. But, for the most part the strongest tracks are the slow quiet ones near the end of the album. Sheik is a great artist. Legerdemain is not a great album (but I'm still hoping it will grow on me).

Favorite Tracks: Warning LightSo There, Half A Room, No Happy End, and Circling

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Inferno (a poet's novel) - Book Review

Inferno (a poet's novel) - Eileen Myles B+
Published: Nov 2010

“My English professor’s ass was so beautiful. It was perfect and full as she stood at the board writing some important word.” And so began Inferno by Eileen Myles. The aforementioned opening, an instant favorite, grabbed me and never let go. Inferno claims to be a poet’s novel, also known as a K├╝nstlerroman, but it felt more like a dishy memoir. It’s raw, compelling and highly quotable. Myles manages to pull off the ultimate memoir-novel in true, uncompromising, rock star fashion.

For a preview check out this video (you won't regret it!)