REVIEW: Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey [2013]

“I’m living a fairy tale right now” It was Journey‘s album Trial by Fire from 1996 that opened my eyes to their insane library of hits upon entering high school. Here was their first new music since the year after my birth in 1983—”When You Love a Woman” was constantly on the radio, my father […]

REVIEW: Hurry Up and Wait [2013]

“They’ll go on tour for 40 days and end up playing 42 shows” Remember when Atlanta, Georgia based rock band Gringo Star was on everyone’s lips and selling out shows throughout the USA back in 2011? Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Listening to their albums—Count Yer Lucky Stars and All Yall—right now […]

REVIEW: Les Misérables [2012]

“I dreamed a dream” I tried to tackle Victor Hugo‘s massive literary masterpiece Les Misérables years ago only to find myself stuck two hundred pages in and our book club disbanded after learning my poor progress was actually second best among the lot of us. Suffice it to say, none of the words I caught […]

REVIEW: Shut Up and Play the Hits [2012]

“If I can see all my friends tonight” The end of LCD Soundsystem was a seminal moment in rock and roll music history. I’m not even a fan of the band and I know this to be true. Frontman James Murphy created something that spoke to the college crowd with a mix of electronic dance […]

REVIEW: Queen City [2013]

“You have any hot water left, Mr. Bubbles?” The second film in writer/director Peter McGennis‘ Buffalo trilogy, Queen City is a very different beast than his first. Where Buffalo Bushido utilized the locale as a backdrop to the personal story of loss at hand, his newest appears to have been written around its inside jokes […]

REVIEW: Pitch Perfect [2012]

“He is a hunter” Anything trying to capitalize on the now waning “Glee” craze and Step Up‘s surprising staying power probably should be dismissed sight unseen. How could a film dealing with the catty rivalries of the a cappella world be anything but an eye-rolling waste of celluloid? This is probably exactly what Universal Pictures […]

REVIEW: Sparkle [2012]

“You snuck out of the house for less” I can’t wait for the Director’s Cut. No, not Criterion’s much ballyhooed 216-minute edit of Michael Cimino‘s Heaven’s Gate. I’m talking about Salim Akil‘s Sparkle. I need to try and piece together the gaps leading towards its imploded Motown trio’s back-up singer earning a sold out first […]

REVIEW: Rock of Ages [2012]

“Actually, I told him the gig was last night. So he’s a day late.” Listening to Night Ranger‘s “Sister Christian” sung by a bus full of strangers a la Almost Famous was a pretty good way to start Rock of Ages, the big screen adaptation of the Tony Award nominated musical. Julianne Hough‘s ‘Sherrie’ Christian’s […]

REVIEW: 7:35 de la mañana [7:35 in the Morning] [2004]

“Always in a hurry; always at the same time” An Oscar nominee for Best Live Action Short with his debut work, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has gone on to make a couple features with festival appeal in the almost decade since. But there is something peculiar, unique, and a bit demented about 7:35 de la mañana […]

REVIEW: Chico & Rita [2011]

“I needed to kiss you again” Set during the synthesis of Latin Jazz in Cuba and its spilling over to the United States, Chico y Rita [Chico & Rita] gives us a love story that lasts half a century. Animated in a charmingly two-dimensional way devoid of gradients in lieu of clearly defined shadows superimposed […]

BNFF12 REVIEW: The Delray Story [2011]

“What the Sam Heck?” Shot on $3000 to satisfy his graduate thesis, Nelson Cuellar‘s The Delray Story is a love letter to a bygone era of music. In a world filled with electronic beats and rehashed styles, where the kids fawn over celebrity images instead of good voices and quality sounds, accepting that the music […]