Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keeping Up With the Katchadourians

Imagine if the themes of Albert Camus' The Stranger were smuggled into a story about troublesome motherhood. But more importantly, the story of just how damaging the effects of neglect can have on a child.

What Lionel Shriver gives us (& what Lynne Ramsey is able to pull off adaptation wise) is a villian with the type of remorselesness that is reserved for the types of villians from a Cormac McCarthy novel. Yet he isn't in a world of crumbling morality set in the desert plains. He's in a spacious house. With squiggly square pictures that cover up Eva's room. A lawn in which the sprinklers are all lined up perfectly and are activated with succinct synchronicity. All of this being backdrop for the grim observer. Keeping his mother, sister and father in the crosshairs of his fury.

The grubby fingerprints of Alex DeLarge are discernable in the creation of Kevin.  But what is even more present is Kevin's claw marks on Eva's psyche. The consequences that butterfly out of Eva's decisions leaves broken crayons on the kitchen table and traces of red paint in her hair. As we watch her ambivalence over the birth of Kevin turn into a story of coming to terms with the creation of a monster.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Top 100 Albums: #79- 70

79. Celtic Frost- Monotheist (2006)
A perfect winter album. 

78. Pixies- Surfer Rosa (1987)
It's no Doolittle, but what is? Instead, Surfer is the best collection of Pixies songs that demonstrates the energy of the band. Alot looser than its followup. Rosa is the more punkish as well.

77. Depeche Mode- Violator (1990)
There's a reason why this is beloved as it is. Synthesized bliss.

76. Toy Matinee- Toy Matinee (1991)
One of pop music's greatest unsung masterpieces.

75. Dream Theater- Awake (1994)
There was a time when I was a Dream Theater fanatic. That time is long past. But I still owe them a debt of gratitude for making me realize just how well the blending of progressive rock and metal can sound. 

74. Arcade Fire- Funeral (2004)
It's a shame these guys get lumped in with generic hipster crowd. This is how indie rock should sound. Anthemic and soulful.

73. Sigur Ros- ( ) (2002)
The cinematic quality of these songs lends themselves to the mind. 

72. George Harrison- All Things Must Pass (1970)
Harrison has always been my favorite Beatle. This album is a reminder of the diversity and sprituality he brought the band and shows just how ready for solo material he was at that time.

71. Swans- White Light From the Mouth of Infinity (1991)
Swans are that one band you keep hearing about when you start digging deep into other bands like The Cure & Depeche Mode. While White Light isn't as experimental as earlier efforts, its the best example of their darker sensibilities.

70. Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
The album I got addicted to on my last few weeks of college. But beyond those memories, it's just a great alt rock album. Complex but delicately soothing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Small beginnings

"Well I think that sucked!" This was the first thing I heard coming out of the theater. Not that I am of the opinion of that particular let down moviegoer. Quite the opposite in fact. Prometheus was a film that was far from "sucking". At least quality wise anyway. It did most of its (face) sucking and oral rape in a classy manner.

I hoped that Ridley Scott had at least some juice left in him after over a decade of lackluster movies. After all, there should be at least some compensation for such a shift in quality ever since Blade Runner. Which, by the end of this film in which I am reviewing, the conclusion has come to this- Scott is to sci-fi in the same way Fincher is to the crime genre. Efficient and economical. But what put me over the edge with foamy anticipation was not Scott but screenwriter Damon Lindelof.  We all know that there is no quicker way to empty this type of heady sci-fi film of its peculiar magic than to explain it. Lindelof understands this. So after going back to the mystery box once more, he managed to serve up something that gives us curious glimpses behind the curtain and a small puzzle piece Scott tossed us back in '79 with Alien.

This brings to light a shift in tone from previous installments. One reviewer noted this was a "thinking man's Alien." The philosophical jargon and lingo is up front to decipher into the plot. A quote from Weyland Yutani should have all existentialists collectively cream their pants. Even the first words spoken are "Good morning, David". A wink to 2001 if I ever heard  one. Yet, it still doesn't forget its roots nor its primary objective. It's a sci-fi horror film. The soon to be famous C-section scene left me scuttling around in my mind, desperately trying to collect my thoughts. & it was nice seeing Stringer Bell in charge of the ship.

what gives the film major points is by not giving us memories of Xenomorphs with razor sharped teeth, but adding whole new elements to the mythology. Prometheus delivers on the promise of a prequel should be.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Top 100 Albums: #89-80

89. The Who- Quadrophenia (1973)

88. Fiona Apple- When the Pawn... (1999)

87. Fleetwood Mac- Rumours (1977)

86. Bob Dylan- Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

85. Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence (1966)

84. Ulver- Shadows of the Sun (2007)

83. Nick Drake- Pink Moon (1972)

82. Fantomas- Director's Cut (2001)

81. Massive Attack- Mezzanine (1998)

80. Yes- Close to the Edge (1972)