I try to not be a dick. I’ve got a life, there are people and things that I live for and that I’m accountable to…
One would think that because I have not yet landed a full time job since returning to San Diego, that I have all the time in the world to simply write. This is untrue; although the fantasy of the utterly self-absorbed artist who answers to nobody can be somewhat attractive, I try to not be a dick. I’ve got a life, there are people and things that I live for and that I’m accountable to, all while I’m trying to get my hustle on. So far it has been my lot in life to write, whether it be songs, poetry, short stories, or essays, simply for the love of it. If it were solely up to me, this blog would be the end result of the hustle, rendering these words more meaningful as the incremental building blocks of my livelihood.
As it is now however, there is some vanity in this endeavor. But, if somebody, say, a total stranger to me, enjoys my writing in this here blog, and digs the content thus far, perhaps the only reason for such a stranger, some hypothetical readership, to revisit someday, might be either movie reviews or music reviews, because for whatever reason when we find people who communicate in a way we find commensurate to our own understanding of the world, we like to know their opinions on such things, and so let the blowhards bloviate to amuse us and perhaps we’ll take their advice on such cosmopolitan matters.
And since the World Series is a day away AND basketball is back(!) we’ll use the old analogy of “keeping score.” For those of you into “keeping score” here’s mine: my breakdown of how the most recent movies I’ve seen on the big screen have fared, with a rundown of the newest records I’ve lent some ear-time to follow very soon. Now to find something that pays…
*Baby Driver: 🤘🏾🤙🏾👍🏾😜 Edgar Wright paean to car chases and Hollywood rebel-romance made with obvious infectious love. This film is a musical in a sense, the senses and emotions translated through a cool soundtrack, with heists and getaways choreographed perfectly to the beat of said soundtrack. As soon as I heard the opening strings and bashed guitar chords which introduce Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms,” a song that I’ve been in love with for its pure feral energy for 20 years, introducing me to the music of JSBX, which circuitously introduced me to The Stooges, one of my favorite bands ever, this film had me. Fun fun fun ’til Baby gets the T-bird taken away…Oh yeah: NOW ITS ON DVD!
*IT: 👌🏾🤙🏾😏It breaks my heart a little bit that we horror movie lovers have to be content with the glut of B-movies out there and just plain meh-quality horror that is churned out constantly. If there are a couple good scares, if we jump once or twice in our seats, then the movie has done its job and ‘at least we’ve had fun,’ we keep telling ourselves. By that measure, something like IT comes out and because the acting talent is actually fairly good, the production design achieves a distinct somewhat creepy atmosphere, and there are at least a few terrifying scenes scattered throughout, people will start saying “Best horror movie since such-and-such,” and the crowds will come out in droves. There are a couple sequences that really worked for me, and this Pennywise had eyes to steal your soul when he’d suddenly shut up, but there was definitely a pandering to our current romance with “Stranger Things” in changing the era from the ’50s to the ’80s that didn’t set well in my mind. OK.
*Mother: 👎🏾💩💩😤 Read review below.
*Kingsman 2: 👎🏾😏 Eh, almost enjoyable schlock that lacks the charm of its predecessor by losing its faithfulness to the genre the original spoofed lovingly. Everything cloyingly sweetened and disjointed messily. A dumbing-down and obvious appeal to “‘Murica-nize” the franchise. (I don’t know, maybe they thought the shelf-life of a Colin-Firth-starring British Spy franchise was nearing expiration???)
*Blade Runner 2049: 👍🏾❤️😍👍🏾Loved it. Not much else to say. For a couple hundreds words on how much I loved it, check this out here.
*The Florida Project: ⚡️😄👌🏾👍🏾A wonderful beautifully shot “smaller” (read: relatively low budget indie) film about life along the last stretch of highway that leads to Disney World filled with the hard-luck denizens of a pair of run down motels with names like The Magic Castle and Future Land. It focuses on a single mother, Halley, and her six year old daughter, Moonee, and their relationships and friendships within this one-step-away-from-homeless community during the sweltering summer. The film’s magic comes from director Sean Baker’s refusal to cast absolute judgement on the characters, portraying all with realistic nuance, illuminating the agency and freedom that can quickly swing the difference between the dark torpor of abject poverty and the tiny slivers of light that turn into windows of happiness and hope. The performances by mostly first-timers are awesome displays of humanist authenticity, particularly Bria Vinaite as Halley, Brooklyn Prince as Moonee, and Willem Defoe as Bobby, the manager of The Magic Castle who carries all the anguish of a single responsible adult that tries to navigate the perilous boundaries of an observer watching people make damaging decisions, who can’t help but care about the lives at stake. In this world, though everybody walks a troublesome tightrope, often the children are wisest and the adults just can’t grow up. Artful without being pretentious, generously empathetic without being glib, there is real alchemy here.
MORE RECORDREVIEWS COMING SOON…