Review: Yesterday (2019)

Yesterday (dir. Danny Boyle, 2019) – Following a road accident, musician Jack Malik wakes up to find himself in an alternate timeline, where the Beatles do not exist.

Verdict

Leaving the cultural legacy of the Beatles to the sidelines, Yesterday serves up its charming romance with a disappointing side of missed opportunities.

3/5

Review

Imagine there’s no Beatles. What would the world be without Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Yellow Submarine? Who, if anyone, would have led the cultural revolution in place of the Fab Four?What of the myriad bands influenced by John, Paul, George, and Ringo to begin playing music in the first place?

Oddly enough, no major changes occur in this alternate timeline of Yesterday. That is at least in the aspect of music, which continues to thrive with the gaping hole in cultural history. The whimsical concept remains uninterested in exploring the musical legacy of the Beatles, operating on arbitrary rules of logic.

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Review: The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

The Dead Don’t Die (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2019) – Zombies rise in the quiet town of Centerville, pitting its citizens against an unexpected apocalypse.

Verdict

Auteur Jim Jarmusch lets none of his dark wit obscure what his latest film truly is – a tragic ode to the quiet death of humanity.

4/5

Review

Calamity befalls the once peaceful Centerville, where farmer Miller (Steve Buscemi) reports his poultry missing. Soon, police trio Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), Ronnie Petersen (Adam Driver), and Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny) discover two mutilated corpses at the diner, then two open graves at the cemetery.

“This is all gonna end badly,” Petersen mutters in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, convinced that the town’s destruction is but inevitable.

Consider that a big, pessimistic hint at what Jim Jarmusch may just be saying with his latest elegiac work. Indeed, The Dead Don’t Die is far from a cautionary tale. It is an irate, bitter rebuke against the hordes of us, responsible for the mess that is the world today. 

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Music Recs: Samantha Fish, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Godsmack

Music Recs is an attempt at regular Friday content, the sharing of good music that I found this week, and honestly, just an excuse to promote my favourite old/new bands.

Samantha Fish – Bulletproof

Immense talent Samantha Fish marks her sixth solo release this month, and her first single Bulletproof off the album exemplifies her very best. Backed by lyrical honesty on societal expectations, the single takes no time to rip into her insistent riff that urges one to move to the groove.

Under her lead, contemporary sentiments slip with ease into her traditional blues influences. This display of raw talent in songwriting (and guitar playing, of course) no doubt cements her as a true innovator in the beloved genre.

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Review: Parasite / Gisaengchung (2019)

Parasite / Gisaengchung (dir. Bong Joon-ho, 2019) – An unemployed family takes interest in the wealthy Parks and goes down a dangerous road of fraud.

Verdict

Genre-bending masterwork Parasite dives into the intimate lives of two families, forcing an introspective look into the difficult subject of the world’s growing social divide.

5/5

Review

Bong Joon-ho is anything but a conventional filmmaker. Undeterred by controversy, his string of masterworks never steer away from sharp critiques on politics and capitalistic greed. The Host, Memories of Murder, and Mother; few have made movies as resonant as his, earning deserving acclaim for their layered reflection on South Korean society.

Recent years saw him reach English-speaking audiences with genetically-engineered pigs ripe for slaughter (Okja), and a brewing revolution aboard an analogous train (Showpiercer). The commentaries on class divisions again hit home for many, especially during this politically trying decade.

Back on home grounds, the South Korean director continues to transcend borders with his latest social satire on economic inequality. More akin to his former all-Korean productions, Parasite roots itself back in harsh reality, homing in on two families of different worlds.

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Music Recs: Palaye Royale, Toli Wild, Larkin Poe

Music Recs is an attempt at regular Friday content, the sharing of good music that I found this week, and honestly, just an excuse to promote my favourite old/new bands.

Palaye Royale – Fucking With My Head

To a sucker for catchy choruses and Britpop/glam influences, two-parter album Boom Boom Room will simply never be enough. So thank Palaye Royale for churning out a new single less than a year after Side B’s release.

Despite the lack of lyrical content, the infectiously impassioned accusations has us willingly overlook the minor infraction. Fucking with my Head is an absolute banger that thrives on attitude alone; them being great fun to watch is just a bonus.

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Review: The Perfection (2019)

The Perfection (dir. Richard Shepard, 2019) – Strange events unfold when musical prodigy Lizzie encounters the former star pupil of her school.

Verdict

A deceptively simple thriller slips in slick blood across genres. Avoid trailers at all costs.

4/5

Review

Art demands perfection and thrives on competition. This endless pressure to be the best can manifest dangerous demands. In Whiplash, it coerces hurtful abuse out of two musicians in their strive for the ideal.

Borrowing the same note, The Perfection sees the same ghost haunt cello prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams), whose promising career was cut short upon her mother’s illness. When she meets the new star pupil of her former school Lizzie (Logan Browning), she is driven to violent jealousy… or so we are led to believe.

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