“I fantasized ’bout this back in Chicago…”
Continue reading “Can We Get Much Higher: Kanye West’s Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy Ten Years Later”
Long before Kanye West was a pop pariah / media megalomaniac / Christian contrarian, he was merely a polarizing figure who would interrupt Taylor Swift and liken himself to Michael Jackson repeatedly. Two albums later, he would make a whole song about how he loves himself. But at some point, Kanye was a true artist, the kind that calls himself a genius and for all its worth… is right. There is an apex to all ability, however, and it’s nearly always noticed in hindsight. When MBDTF dropped a decade ago, an artist had his most quintessential work- an endlessly quote-able, often repugnant, undeniably gorgeous, sonically diverse, musically challenging album. It was an artist reaching a zenith so shortly after his emotional nadir, and a masterpiece that has aged well in spite of its creator.
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new film from Sophia Coppola.
In 2004, Bill Murray got robbed.
The comedian and actor was in the middle of one of the great second acts in all of film, and it felt like the apex of that was going to be his role as Bob Harris in Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation. Murray, who had started taking roles that allowed him to show more range since 1998’s Rushmore, delivered not just the best performance of his career, but- HANDS DOWN- the best performance of that year.
Of course, life isn’t fair. In a twist that could only happen to a Bill Murray character, he lost the Best Actor Oscar to Sean Penn, who was fine in the wildly forgettable Mystic River. I’ve watched Lost In Translation over thirty times since I first saw it in the theater, while I can’t even tell you which of the many rivers is supposed to be the mystic one that Penn is looking for, or whatever that stupid movie was about.
While Bill Murray has been good- and even great- in roles since Lost In Translation, I don’t know that he’s ever captured that same magic. There’s something about Sofia Coppola that brought out every facet of what he could do; from broad comedy to deep emotional anguish to self-loathing to doubt. Coppola knew how to use Murray perfectly in that film, and the two of them teamed up again for 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, which was a delightful little Netflix special. But I wanted to see the two of them collaborate again like they had in 2003.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: On The Rocks”
Look, let’s just lay all of our cards out on the table: the world kinda fucking sucks right now.
In two weeks, the United States will have an election where, whoever wins, half of the country will think that the worst thing in the world is happening. We’re under restrictions as COVID has taken over a million lives worldwide. At any given point, any part of the world could be on fire. There are riots and protests and, also, Hulu didn’t renew High Fidelity for a second season and I was kind of getting into that show.
And we haven’t even talked about the internet.
Continue reading “The Greatest YouTube Clip Of All Time”
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new works from Aaron Sorkin.
For a dude with an Oscar, a couple of Golden Globes, a pair of WGA awards, and five Emmys to his name, Aaron Sorkin is a polarizing figure. For those who enjoy his work (like myself), he’s one of the more interesting writers working today, excelling at snappy dialogue and the ability to wrap scenes together seemlessly. For those who do not enjoy his work (like FBC co-producer Jack Baker), his works are pretentious slogs and have done more to damage American government that McCarthyism and lobbyists combined.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Stay Home With The Movies: Aaron Sorkin MEGA-EDITION!”
Man, I miss going to the movies.
I lamented earlier this year how I wasn’t comfortable going out to see Tenet, and I still wish I could go every time I see that trailer. But there’s just not a chance that it’s happening for me. Probably not until 2021, and honestly, who fucking knows?
I love the theater. Overpriced concessions. Annoying patrons. Not being able to pause even though I have to pee. That one kid who made fun of me for crying in my 3d glasses during the ending of Toy Story 3. All of those are worth the joy of seeing a movie on the big screen with a crowd.
Continue reading “My Funniest Moviegoing Moments”
Every generation seems to think it’s the one that has it all figured out. Then it comes to find that merit and valor are intangible, subjective wares. We assume the mantle of our predecessors and say that things will be better than before. Then we see the residual exhaustion and indifference permeating our own hearts, and say to the next generation, “I hope you leave the world better than you found it.” That objectivity and clarity often comes far too late in life, when our ability to impact is already taken from us. But what if the moment we’re in now is so woven into the fabric of our flesh that it resonates in spite of our differences. On his surprise near-instrumental album Long Violent History, that is precisely what is presented, twofold.
Continue reading “The Worst That It’s Been: Tyler Childer’s Long Violent History”
There have been few franchises in the 2000’s that have been more successful than the Fast & Furious films. Over nine films (eight of which set in the main cast plus last years Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw), each movie has been more successful than the last. Had F9, which was delayed to 2021 due to COVID, been released this year, it would have easily been one of the ten highest-grossing movies of the year. But not only have the movies gotten more successful, there came a point where the franchise dramatically improved in quality.
That point was 2011’s Fast Five.
Continue reading “Chaos In Rio: A Look Into The Final Action Sequence Of Fast Five”
19 years ago this month, I witnessed the best concert I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a bunch. I’ve seen They Might Be Giants (my favorite group of all time) play over 30 times in a variety of venues. I’ve seen Elvis Costello sing to a full Chicago Opera House without the use of a microphone. I’ve seen a Beatle play. I’ve seen an artist make over a dozen costume changes during a show, and that artist was “Weird Al” Yankovic and he was awesome.
I’ve seen all kinds of groups and at every kind of venue. But, we show then I think of all of the concerts in all of the rooms I’ve seen in my life, there is only one that is in the running for the best show I’ve ever seen. And it was a night, nineteen years ago this month, when I was reminded of the blistering power of live rock and roll.
I’m not the best writer, and it’s possible that I’m not even a very good writer. However, as you’ll soon come to see, I’m, literally, one of maybe four people who is both qualified and able to write this story. So, knowing what responsibility is on my shoulders, let me tell you a tale…
Continue reading “The Night A Libertyville Gravedigger Played Just For Me”
Life is full of chance encounters that, in hindsight, seem like they were a puzzle piece sliding into place. Back in April, what feels more like five years than five months ago, I had one of those moments that have genuinely aided my journey through this, the strangest of years. I tried to ease my way into a Friday work day at home by putting on Spotify’s Classical New Releases playlist. One artist that grabbed my attention was Chad Lawson. The song was “Stay,” and by day’s end I had probably listened to it twenty times. He released an EP of the same name on May 1st, but now the project is released in full as the LP You Finally Knew.
Continue reading “Calm in an Anxious Era: Chad Lawson’s ‘You Finally Knew’”
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new film from Charlie Kaufman, available on Netflix.