2021 Music Resurrections: Star-Crossed

Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed

I’m still a fan of this album, but I feel like its moment came and went pretty quickly. Some of that may be due to the fact that Star-Crossed is decidedly one big bummer of an album, though I would argue it’s far more bittersweet than straight-up depressing. Also, the album kinda confirms that Kacey Musgraves has gotten to a level of cross-over success that few country singers get to, but she’s not Taylor Swift. She’s not using her cache as a singer-songwriter to invade the pop world with bangers that abandon the nuance and wit of her earlier work. Instead, she’s decided to use her strengths to use music as therapy to deconstruct the romance that led to her greatest achievement. Continue reading

2021 Music Resurrections: Let Me Do One More

illuminati hotties – Let Me Do One More

Like everything else in this bleak, mixed-up world, the year in music wasn’t quite as normal as we would’ve wanted. While 2021 didn’t see the kind of indefinite album postponements that marked last year, the year also had a weird imbalance in what music was released in 2021. Usually, the early Summer is the busiest time of year (at least for me) in terms of anticipated new albums coming out, and while there were a few of those this Summer, I actually found more music that I liked coming out in the other parts of the year.

The first half of 2021 wasn’t half bad, as I found plenty of albums enough to my liking worth writing about at the year’s mid-point. Meanwhile, there have been a flurry of albums to come out in the last month or two that I haven’t spent nearly as much time with. So once again, doing these short, stupidly-named yearly wrap-up reviews will hopefully give me more reason to catch up with some recent stand-outs while teeing us up for our end-of-year lists. Continue reading

The Pick: The Green Mile

Hanksgiving continues with what might be Tom Hanks’ longest movie (don’t quote me on that), The Green Mile. We dive into its Steven King origins and how director Frank Darabont has been one of King’s more successful adaptors, even if he can’t seem to get a movie made these days. We also have a little bit of Tom Hanks trivia to take the place of John’s Rogue’s Gallery after sprinkling plenty of Green Mile trivia throughout the podcast, which includes imagining a considerably worse film that starred John Travolta and Shaq. Continue reading

The Pick: The ‘Burbs

Happy Hanksgiving, everyone!

That’s right. Throughout the month of November, we’ll exclusively be reviewing Tom Hanks movies on The Pick, since why not spend some time with America’s Dad before you’re forced to do the same with your own family in a few weeks? We start things off with The ‘Burbs, a movie that came at the end of Hanks’ shaggy ’80s, where he was still finding his footing as a leading man. We talk about the “hang-out” quality of the movie, as well as our various ideas that could’ve made it a little better, which includes giant two-headed dogs, an underground society of mole people, and recasting that includes George Wendt and Ray Charles. Continue reading

The Pick: Dune (2021)

Well, it finally happened. We’ve finally arrived at the release of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, a film we’ve been waiting for ever since the three of us (plus Matt Carstens) did a Dune book club during the early days of the pandemic and then did an episode of The Pick talking about the book in relation to the 1984 version of Dune. Matt joins us for an in-depth discussion covering this new Dune as we once again get into how this movie compares to the book while also learning to let go and accept the movie as its own thing. Also, we forgo our Little Picks with a little discussion of No Time To Die, which we were planning on doing a full podcast on, but it just kinda got away from us.

Shocktober: Censor

Censor (2021)

If you’re a horror fan then you’re familiar with the “Video Nasties” movement of the 1980s. If not, let me take you across the pond. In the early ‘80s, VHS exploded. Anything and everything was coming out on videotape, but in the UK there was a loophole in film classification laws. Videos could bypass a review process and be sold regardless of content. Panic ensued.

In response, the British Board of Film Certification (BBFC) set out to not only censor films but outright ban titles. The “Video Nasties” was a list of 72 titles that were banned and deemed the most explicit. This list included some now classics like; The Evil Dead, Possession, Tenebrae, and pretty much any movie by Lucio Fulci or Joe D’Amato. Censor is a film that dives into the phenomenon.

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Shocktober: Raw

Shocktober: Raw (2016)

I chose this movie basically to see whether I would want to check out Titane, the other recently released Julia Ducournau film, before the end of the year. While I don’t regret seeing Raw, it pretty definitively gives me my verdict that I do not want to see Titane. Raw is a movie that is certainly effective and pushes your buttons in all sorts of ways, but it’s just not what I want out of a movie. I mentioned in my review of Goodnight Mommy that there was a specific scene in which I had to put my hands over my eyes, and I probably spent a quarter of Raw’s running time doing that. I know that’s a pretty pathetic thing for a grown man to be doing, but Jesus Christ this movie got under my sweet delicious skin. Continue reading