The Dead Don’t Die (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2019) – Zombies rise in the quiet town of Centerville, pitting its citizens against an unexpected apocalypse.
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.
Calamity befalls the once peaceful Centerville, where farmer Miller (Steve Buscemi) has reported his poultry missing. Police trio Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), Ronnie Petersen (Adam Driver), and Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny) soon discover two mutilated corpses at the town’s diner, then two open graves at the cemetery.
“This is all gonna end badly,” Petersen mutters as he identifies the responsible culprits in no time – zombies. He repeats the words, convinced that the town’s destruction is but inevitable.
Consider his mantra 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 the typical cautionary tale. It is an irate, bitter rebuke against the hordes of us, responsible for the mess that is the world today.
Continue reading “Review: The Dead Don’t Die (2019)”
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.
Continue reading “Music Recs #11: Samantha Fish, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Godsmack”
Parasite / Gisaengchung (dir. Bong Joon-ho, 2019) – An unemployed family takes interest in the wealthy Parks and goes down a dangerous road of fraud.
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.
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.
Continue reading “Review: Parasite / Gisaengchung (2019)”
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.
Continue reading “Music Recs #10: Palaye Royale, Toli Wild, Larkin Poe”
The Perfection (dir. Richard Shepard, 2019) – Strange events unfold when musical prodigy Lizzie encounters the former star pupil of her school.
A deceptively simple thriller slips in slick blood across genres. Avoid trailers at all costs.
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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Hollywood Vampires – The Boogieman Surprise
Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry form Hollywood Vampires, the oddest super group that no one should complain about. Their album Rise shows the reasons why, bringing out the best of the musicians.
In covers, Depp’s timbre works perfect for David Bowie’s Heroes. Perry’s does the same for Johnny Thunders’ You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory. Original material The Boogieman Surprise and Mr. Spider feel almost like spiritual b-sides of Welcome to the Nightmare, and it is certainly any Cooper fan’s poison.
Continue reading “Music Recs #9: Hollywood Vampires, The Raconteurs, Sum 41”