Good Movie/Bad Movie: Ghosts in the Shells

What is The Matrix? We know the answer to that question now, but do you know its real source? One of the Wachowskis’ biggest inspirations was a 1995 film called Ghost in the Shell, one of the first anime movies to find success in the United States. Tragically, now that movie risks being lumped in with a bunch of half-cooked Scarlett Johansson sci fi action flicks, like Lucy, The Island, or We Bought a Zoo, thanks to a modern, live action remake. But maybe the remake, despite all the controversy surrounding it, isn’t that bad? Maybe the original isn’t that good? Let’s find out this week, on Good Movie/Bad Movie!

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Condition Critical

The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions

The New Pornographers are a good band.

This is probably as close to an irrefutable a fact as– ah shit. I already did this intro for my Spoon review. But, basically I’d say the same principals that guide how a longtime indie rock fan like myself processes a new Spoon album is about the same as how I process a new New Pornographers album. Continue reading

Eat Your Heart Out

The Shins – Heartworms

“Do the Shins write catchy songs?” Don’t take this statement as “Do the Shins write good songs?” They do for the most part. I’m asking if any random blue collar slob walked into a karaoke bar and tried to sing any Shins song other than “New Slang“ could they nail even fifty percent of the right notes? I’ve probably heard “Phantom Limb” and “So Says I” hundreds of times but no way could I ever belt those tunes in a sing-a-long. This is a factor that has for years held me be back from loving The Shins. Their songs (or at least singles) are too complicated.

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The Fast and the Furiosa

The Fate of the Furious

After 16 years and eight movies, pretty much everyone is in on the joke when it comes to the Fast and Furious series. We all know the first four fluctuated between kinetic messes and charming absurdity, and that the fifth through seventh are insanely entertaining. But eight is a lot of movies, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rarefied air the franchise is now breathing. This is how many Harry Potter movies there are (not counting Fantastic Beasts). This is double Hunger Games. We’re talking James Bond, infinite franchise territory. With that in mind, I’ve been looking for the right James Bond movie to compare F8 to, and despite the icy connection to Die Another Day, I think it’s Spectre.
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License To Illness

Aimee Mann – Mental Illness

I know, I know. I should probably be writing about the new Kendrick album instead of a month old Aimee Mann album. Oh, see what I did there? This album isn’t even a month old yet and feels way older. In fact, it’s not even three weeks old (our culture is screwed btw). But either way, these past couple weeks, Mental Illness has been a great “early morning” album for me, as it makes no attempt to hide its melancholy, but for that reason is a nice warm-up for whatever anxiety each day may bring. Continue reading

Girls No More

Going into its final season, there seemed to be a lot of thinkpieces characterizing Girls as the show that launched a million thinkpieces (if you can wrap your mind around that). That said, I really didn’t do a ton of writing about Girls on this blog (apart from a season 3 review) despite being a fairly unabashed fan of it from nearly the beginning. And maybe it’s that unabashed fandom that oddly enough deterred me from writing about it. Continue reading

Hurray For The Navigator

Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator

I’m a little hesitant to say it, but Hurray For The Riff Raff’s The Navigator might be the first album to come out of 2017 that I truly love. Granted, at first I was hesitant to give this album even a listen, due to a number of factors that now seem trivial. First of all, the sort of gimmicky name behind this project led by Alynda Segarra (which I’d never listened to). Then the fact that Segarra’s songs have been described as roots rock or Americana, which can’t help but remind me of all the Mumford wannabe’s of the early ’10s. While that kind of music usually can’t help but feel overly quaint or archaic, especially when we’re being forced to live so much in the here and now these days. Continue reading