Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mad Max Fury Road Was a Major Disappointment

Let me just say that if I ran Barter Town, I wouldn’t trade half a dirt clod for the abomination that is the Mad Max reboot Fury Road.  Before we break down all the things this movie did wrong, I just wanted to make that clear.  Let’s get the one positive thing straight up front; the movie’s effects were great and the post-apocalyptic vehicles they constructed were indeed, very cool and a great homage to 1981’s The Road Warrior.  But the nice comments stop there. 
The film was completely devoid of plot, dialogue, and subtext. It was essentially one, long (two hour!!) continuous car chase.  I wish that was an exaggeration.  Tom Hardy’s rendition of Mel Gibson’s titular character was appalling.  He came across more like an escaped, mumbling convict with brain damage than the heroic waste lander with a devastating past I was hoping for.  While his past is checkered as evidenced by random flashbacks he has of some traumatic experience and a girl whom we assume Max couldn’t save, the details end there.  We never get any background or context or explanation of what these visions represent. 
On top of that, Charlize Theron’s character has some sort of standing with the evil warlord who runs a solitary, desolate community by controlling the only water source for miles, but we don’t ever find out what their relationship is.  He allows her to drive his massive war vehicle full of water to trade for fuel and bullets (a very important duty) despite the fact that she has admittedly tried to defy him in the past.  On this particular run (the one which takes up the entirety of the film) she decides to attempt to rescue the young women who essentially serve as the warlords baby factories.  Upon the discovery of her treachery he sets out with all of his forces to safely apprehend his "wives" and kill Theron.  After initially being captured by the evil, mutated(?) army of the warlord, Max manages to break free during the beginnings of the chase and join up with Theron’s motley crew of blond, scantily clad escapees. Once the rulers of Bullet Town and Gas Town (two places we never get to see or learn about) realize their water has been high jacked, they also set out in pursuit of the war rig and now ladies and gentlemen the plot is set.  Explosions, screaming, shooting, and lots of fire are all that follows with a disappointing climax and even more far-fetched conclusion. 
What I’m saying is, and I can’t make this clear enough, don’t go in to this film thinking that it’s anything more than a glorified car chase.  Hardy Tom Hardy’s Mad Max has approximately 15 lines, most of which are grunted and mumbled in an indiscernible slurry that dribbles out of his always concerned looking visage beneath an annoying and permanently furrowed brow.  He is essentially a cave man!! 
If you were a fan of the original films which have since become cult classics and arguably made Mel Gibson’s early career and turned him into the 80’s action star he became, than you will be so incredibly disappointed with this film.  I was so excited when I heard of this movie last year and was anxiously awaiting a new chapter in the story of Mad Max but what I got was a ridiculously extended PORTION of a complete movie; a chunk of what could have been a well-developed, well-acted sci-fi powerhouse. Now I’m left wishing I could go back to the before time, to the long long ago when I hadn’t wasted two hours of my life watching this atrocious excuse of a reboot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Song's From This Morning

1. I Was a Teenage Anarchist - Against Me!
2. I Can't Keep the Tears from Falling - Nude Beach
3. Get Over It - OK Go
4. Creep - Radiohead
5. Mad World - Tears for Fears
6. If You Could Only See - Tonic
7. Pizza Day - Aquabats
8. Adam's Song - Blink 182
9. Nu Punk - Ovlov
10. Casper (1995) - Speedy Ortiz

Hoopla is Coming to the DFL!!!

So for those who don't know, there is a TON of music and movies right here for your listening and viewing pleasure at the Duxbury Free Library.  But is there some obscure band from the 80's we don't have?  Some classic flick which we don't stock?  Odds are that has it among its tens of thousands of titles which will soon be available to YOU courtesy of the DFL.  Hoopla is a service similar to Zinio or Freegal which libraries can subscribe to and it allows for a set number of checkouts each month per patron.  They have books, audiobooks, graphic novels, music, movies and TV shows.  Each month you'll be able to check out 6-8 of any or all of these digital items.  No waiting, no holds, no late fees.  When your time is up, the item gets automatically returned and at the end of the month your checkouts get reset so you can take out EVEN MORE.  You can watch, read, or listen on you computer, tablet, OR phone with an internet connection and you can even download the music/audio you rent (temporarily) so you can listen free of WiFi.  Stay tuned for more updates and look for Hoopla to be available to every DFL card holder sometime in October!  In the meantime, check out all the amazing titles they have to offer below and start planning your first checkouts today.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall Movie Preview!!

      The Summer is such an awful time for movies.  With all the kids on Summer vacation, the warmest months of the year have historically been reserved for the big blockbusters which sacrifice filmography and subtlety for explosions and big budget, instantly forgettable garbage.  But the Fall is always the harbinger of good things to come as directors and producers look ahead to the Academy Awards in just a few shorts months.  Now is the time to head to the theater and this year has some truly exciting flicks to get in line for.  From Johnny Depp's portrayal of Whitey Bulger in Black Mass, to Ellen Page's powerful lesbian rights film Freeheld there is something for everyone and plenty in between.  I'm very excited to see Matt Damon in The Martian AND Hugh Jackman at the helm in the new Neverland film Pan.  Of course there is yet another Steve Jobs biopic coming out, this time with Michael Fassbender in the titular role and Tom Hanks is back on the big screen in a spy thriller that looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Last but not least, let us not forget that STAR WARS comes out in December!!!!  So excited. PLUS new James Bond AND new Hunger Games?!  What isn't coming out this season?!  Check out Rolling Stone's list below and read about all these films and MORE as we all get excited to overpay for popcorn and sit next to a bunch of people we don't know just to say we saw it first.

RS Fall Movie Preview!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ted and I are BACK with another episode of our podcast where we discuss the movies and music we experienced over the summer.  Films we loved (Ex-Machina, Kingsman), films we hated (Jupiter Ascending, Mission Impossible 4) and music we saw live (Pile, Tim McGraw, J. Cole).  We also talk about music festivals and rumors of a new Northeast festival in talks for next year PLUS what we're looking forward to in the coming months (Ted's going to see Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky!).  Keep an eye out for more in the coming weeks and check out this episode below!

Music and Movies with Mike and Ted - What We Did Over the Summer

Friday, September 4, 2015

Songs From This Morning

1. TV - Colleen Green
2. Listed MIA - Rancid
3. Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin
4. Hey Baby - No Doubt
5. M&M's - Blink 182
6. Running with the Devil - Van Halen
7. Rock and Roll Community College - Ben Katzman's Degreaser
8. Who's Gonna Be My Babe? - Free Pizza
9. Jungle Love - Ex Breathers
10. Sangwich - Gnarwhal

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Colleen Green Just Get's It...And You Should Listen

Some people may say my tastes are limited; that I only review rock and alternative bands (and the like).  However, in today’s music landscape it’s near impossible to find decent rock and roll and thus I feel it is my responsibility to share my findings.  Namely, bands and artists writing and performing KILLER rock music and not getting the attention they deserve.  This is a perfect way to describe Boston ex-pat Colleen Green who now calls sunny LA home.  Green’s 2015 LP I Want To Grow Up perfectly captures the anxiety, fear, and excitement everyone in their 20’s goes through as they leave college and school behind and realize that it is time to get serious (just not too serious). 
The record, which is out on Hardly Art and is the third full length for Green shows tremendous artistic and lyrical growth as she explores a multitude of millennial themes and feelings.  The album opens with the titular track “I Want to Grow Up” in which Green sings “sick of being young, sick of being dumb” over a fuzzy, distorted alt riff and her simple drum machine back beat.  Colleen’s drum machine is a staple of her sound and though she has graduated to bringing a drummer on tour with her, the drum machine on her records contributes heavily to her lo-fi aesthetic.  “Wild One” brings her vocals to the forefront and makes you realize, this girl can sing!  Poppier than the first track, “Wild One” gives way to “TV” one of my favorites on the album.  A chunky riff and faster tempo give the song a pop punk feel a la Blink 182 and you suddenly realize why she covered the bands classic hit “M&M’s” years ago.  She sings “TV is my friend, and it has been, with me every day…from an early age” something millennials who grew up with Nickelodeon feel all too well.  “Pay Attention” brings things back to a pop leaning sound with a dance beat that gets your feet moving and smoothly transitions into the darker, 80’s tinged “Deeper than Love” as Green leaves behind the 90’s for the sounds of her birth decade. 
A highlight of the album is back to back tracks “Things That Are Bad for Me” part I and II.  The first sees Green happily singing “I’ve gotta stop doing things that are bad for me” as she adopts the mentality we all have as we try to grow up and be more mature.  No more late nights, no more partying every weekend, eating healthier, all things everyone must come face to face with.  However, part two is the contradiction.  Adopting a significantly heavier sound (the heaviest on the album) Green employs a driving, tonal riff and steady beat as she talks about how anxiety and a little voice inside her head make her keep doing things that she KNOWS are bad for her and yet she can’t seem to stop.  Something everyone in their 20’s can relate to. 
The following track “Some People” brings love back as the central theme as Green sings of envying those around her who find love so easily while she sits in a loveless, relationship void.  Here we see the themes from “TV” showing up again towards the end of the album.  The idea of loneliness, lack of a love life, and all this depressing negativity while still feeling like it’s time to be an adult and be mature is ever present throughout each song.  The album closes with a bang and a breeze.  “Grind My Teeth” is the punkiest on the album and brings to mind Southern California punk gods The Descendents.  The album then finishes calmly with the positive, uplifting indie pop of “Whatever I Want” which sees Green realizing that despite all the negativity and contradictions associated with growing up, the best part of being an adult is the freedom of being able to do whatever you want. 
Colleen Green has hit the nail on the head when it comes to getting older.  Often times you’re caught up in a whirlwind of confusion and mostly feel like you’re just faking your way through each day/month/year.  Luckily for the rest of us, Green is here to put our minds at ease and let us know we’re not alone.