Descent Into Sadness

The Descendants

I can’t really think of many directors who could possibly get me more excited for one of their releases than Alexander Payne.  Maybe it’s a bit strange to get excited for a guy who’s made a career for himself by directing low-key, character-driven drama/comedies, but the guy’s style really works for me.  Then on top of that, it’s been seven years since he released his last film Sideways, a gap in which Terrence Malick has released not one, but two films.  So after such a long absence, it’s a small wonder seeing how his latest film The Descendants provides us with another small, human story, starring the always dependable George Clooney.

Continue reading

Free as a Bird

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Here I am living in a post-Oasis world now with two albums that are kind of like Oasis but still not Oasis. The first release was from Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye (basically Oasis minus Noel) which sucked. Now we have Noel’s solo venture which although much better is still nothing compared to his work with the group that put him on the map. Noel’s new album (recorded primarily by himself) is produced marvelously with some pleasing sounds and moments, but the songs are fairly forgettable. His songwriting seemed in as good as form as ever on the last Oasis album, so maybe he really does need Liam to make it all work?

Most of these songs sound more like Oasis b-sides than anything else which is fine just not particularly exciting. The songs are lush, big, and drenched in reverb with some really beautiful instrumentation but it never amounts to anything notable. There are no big hooks or catchy chorus lines it’s all just a rambling collection of very average progressions. If you were to strip these songs down they wouldn’t even be worth talking about, but Noel’s lucky to have a talented producer like Dave Sardy.

I’d comment on individual tracks if I could separate them in my mind,,”The Death of You and Me” is the only song I can ever clearly remember and it’s nice enough. Looking past the so-so compositions Noel is definitely gifted at creating a mood. Not to get all mushy but he really does put genuine emotion into his songwriting and performance, more so than Liam with Beady Eyes and it shows. Now that this has been released I’m just counting down to the big Oasis reunion. I’m positive that it’ll happen someday, they may hate each other but they are brothers. The only question is how long could it take for a reunion to happen? I for one can wait, give them time to cool off and come back with some better music than what they’ve given us on these two post-Oasis albums.

Favorite Tracks: “The Death of You and Me”, “(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine”

Immortal Kombat

Immortals

Last year I went and saw Clash of Titans and liked it which probably made me one of five people who actually liked it. I suppose I have a genuine love for Greek Mythology so I get excited simply seeing it attempted on screen, or so I thought. In my original review of Clash I stated that I’d enjoy seeing a different character attempted on screen. My suggestions were either Bellophron or the story of Theseus and look now, it’s a little over a year and what we do have? A movie about Theseus… And it sucks. Why did someone like me who so closely follows reviews go see a panned movie? Once again I have a genuine love for the genre, plus Jon and I made a vow that we’d go see it… No matter what!

Going in I wasn’t very familiar with the story of Theseus aside from him defeating the Minotaur in the labyrinth so I can’t really vouch for how closely this follows the actual myth, though I’ll assume not very. Even reading up on Wikipedia I can see some glaring errors just in how the film handled it’s villain Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). Hyperion is portrayed in the film as a mortal king when in the myths he was a Titan, which means he in no way resembles his mythological counterpart. I could probably find holes like that ’till the hydra comes home but I’ll try and concentrate only on what is presented on screen and not any outside information.

Continue reading