Friday, October 31, 2014

First Aid Kit - "Cedar Lane"

Imagine if the Carpenters tried to do a cover of "Rainbow Connection" but didn't get it quite right. That's one way to describe First Aid Kid's "Cedar Lane," which I find rather enchanting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

'Interstellar' Review

It's one hell of an experience. Interstellar, the latest from filmmaker Christopher Nolan, wants to be the biggest, grandest, most emotional sci-fi extravaganza ever. The storytelling isn't nearly as impressive but, to be honest, I was willing to forgive that -- up to a point, anyway. My review, which wrestles with the film's strengths and weaknesses, is up at Screen International.

Friday, October 24, 2014

'White Bird in a Blizzard' Review

Most who caught White Bird in a Blizzard at Sundance seemed to have been left cold by it. (Har har har.) But I found this Gregg Araki film, about a teenage girl coping with the disappearance of her mother, to be uniquely affecting. Shailene Woodley continues to demonstrate why she's one of our best young actors. My review is up at Paste.

Phish - "Waiting All Night"

Like lots of people, I enjoy mocking Phish and their fans. It's easy sport, even easier because I don't think I've heard more than, like, three Phish songs in my life. So, in the interest of fairness, I'm posting "Waiting All Night," off their new album Fuego. It's perfectly pleasant.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

'Citizenfour' Review

Over at Deadspin, I reviewed Citizenfour, which was a sensation at the New York Film Festival. A documentary that takes you behind the scenes when Edward Snowden first blew the whistle on the NSA, Citizenfour is quite good ... but I have a few reservations. I get into those right here.

'Force Majeure' Review

Sweden's official entry for the Oscars, Force Majeure kick-starts its plot on a split-second decision a husband makes that radically changes how his wife feels about him. (We've all been there, buddy.) My review of this character drama (or is it a dark comedy?) is live at Paste.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beirut 2014: 'Tom at the Farm' Review

Xavier Dolan's Mommy was one of the divisive films at this year's Cannes. I haven't seen it yet, but while in Beirut I got a chance to see the movie he made right before it, Tom at the Farm, which has yet to be released in the U.S. It stars Dolan as a man grieving for his dead lover by going to the deceased's family farm. This turns out to be a very bad idea but a pretty sly film. I reviewed Tom at the Farm for Paste.

Beirut 2014: 'The Blue Room' Review

While at the Beirut Film Festival, I got the chance to catch up on a few movies that I had let fall through the cracks. One of those was The Blue Room, Mathieu Amalric's romantic thriller that just opened in the States. A whodunit with a somber air, the film plays like an unlikely companion piece to Gone Girl, which I talk about in my Paste review.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Best Non-Disney Animated Movies on Netflix

For Playboy, I decided to to put together a handy-dandy list of great animated movies that are currently streaming on Netflix. (The catch: They couldn't come from Disney.) Some observations:

1) There are plenty of great candidates that currently aren't on Netflix.

2) Many of these are geared more to adults than kids.

3) It's a cheat, I admit, but I had to include Team America: World Police.

You can read the list here. (Don't worry: The site is SFW.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

tUnE-yArDs - "Wooly Wolly Gong"

Don't ask me my opinion of tUnE-yArDs: I simply have never been able to get a grasp on Merrill Garbus's much-acclaimed indie-rock project. Nikki Nack, her latest, continues to bewilder me months after its release--it's enchanting, sometimes aggravating, always vibrant--so this week's Friday Video is dedicated to the one song of hers I unquestionably love. It's "Wooly Wolly Gong," off 2011's Whokill.