Anything But Phoning It In

BlacKkKlansman / Sorry To Bother You

Prior to seeing BlacKkKlansman, I thought about comparing and contrasting it with another somewhat widely released movie from earlier this summer, Sorry To Bother You. But, as basically every Compare/Contrast has, it felt a little reductive to compare two movies so full of social complexities. But then I saw BlacKkKlansman, and remembered that it does share one big plot similarity with Sorry To Bother You – in that it is also about a black male trying to do his job, and then attempts to get ahead in his job by using his “white voice” while talking into a telephone. Then there’s also the fact that Sorry To Bother You director Boots Riley got into a bit of a kerfuffle with Spike Lee about BlacKkKlansman on Twitter. So here I am, talking about two of the more memorable movies of the summer in the same light. Continue reading

RIP Aretha Franklin

It’s always hard being on the road when a pop culture figure who was important to you dies. The last time I remember this happening to me was when James Gandolfini died. Though, I suppose it’s easier with a musician. Since it made it pretty easy to decide what I’d be listening to in the car yesterday, even if the occasion was less than ideal. Because even if it’s a busy day, you always want to be able to take the time and stop to appreciate the figure in question’s importance and the work they left behind, and its hard to think of many singers who left more great music behind than Aretha Franklin. Continue reading

Freaky Fridays: Halloween

Halloween (1978)

If you weren’t aware a new Halloween movie is coming out on October 19th. The film is a sequel, or is it a soft reboot? Either way it’s the first Halloween film in nine years. Or as the makers want you to believe, the first in 40 years. What this means is that writer/director David Gordon Green along with his fart-ner (funny?) in crime Danny McBride have penned a direct sequel to the original Halloween. One that erases Halloween’s entire legacy after John Carpenter’s 1978 original.

What I aim to do every Friday from here until the release of this new film is answer the question “Is this a legacy worth remembering?” Which means I will review every installment in the Halloween series (even the Rob Zombie ones). I’ve seen all the films before but I thought it might be fun to revisit the franchise in this format. After all, everyone is entitled to one good scare. That’s a tagline for the original Halloween. Doesn’t really make any sense how I used it.

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C.A.T.: Superfuzz Bigmuff

Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)

This year has marked not only the 30th anniversary of Sub Pop Records, but also the 30th anniversary of this seminal debut release by one of the label’s signature bands. So it seemed like ample time to talk about Superfuzz Bigmuff, considering the venerable Seattle record label is celebrating it’s anniversary in a big ‘ol free concert in theirs (and my) hometown this weekend, which Mudhoney will be performing at. Now, I know I am kinda fudging the prerequisites of “Classic Album Tuesdays” by writing about an EP. But considering Superfuzz has been re-released multiple times over the years in extended versions that reach album length, it seemed ok. Especially when it seems as good a representation as any of the sludgy, energetic records that Sub Pop first made its name on. Continue reading

Can’t Fight the Friction

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

I was so skeptical of the sixth Mission: Impossible movie that I didn’t put it on my list of most anticipated movies this year, even though I loved the last three dearly. I was influenced by the news stories about it: Christopher McQuarrie bucking the trend of having a new director for each film. Jeremy Renner choosing to be in Avengers 3 over this. Henry Cavill growing the world’s most expensive mustache. We were due for a disappointment, it seemed inevitable. I was wrong: instead we got the best Mission: Impossible yet.

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