REVIEW: Blinded By the Light [2019]

They’re not brilliant, but they’re mine. It was 1973 when Bruce Springsteen‘s debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. hit record stores—fourteen years before Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) first heard his name. By then this teenage Pakistani in Luton, England was listening to current synth tracks with best friend Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman) when his parents weren’t forcing their native country’s music upon him. Here he was a stranger in a familiar land dealing with a traditionalist family that worked as a collective, a racist National Front, and a dream of…

Read More

REVIEW: All Things Must Pass [2015]

“No music, no life” There’s no better hook for Colin Hanks‘ feature-length documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records entitled All Things Must Pass then the opening lines of text he and screenwriter Steven Leckart utilize: “In 1999, Tower Records had sales of over one billion dollars. Five years later, they filed for bankruptcy.” It’s almost impossible to fathom that statement as reality. I personally didn’t even know the retail franchise was big enough to come close to those sales, but as I soon discovered they expanded into…

Read More

REVIEW: Warm Bodies [2013]

“God, we move slow” Who would have thought even fifteen years ago that 2013’s nerd culture would have at its pinnacle zombies and bacon? Seriously, who? While we have Ron Swanson to thank for helping keep the latter alive recently, Hollywood has been the former’s driving force. What used to be a vehicle to disseminate political satire and civil unrest in a world slowly devolving towards a wasteland of mindless automatons has now become a million dollar moneymaking machine. They are so ubiquitous that I’m baffled none ever showed up…

Read More

Top 10 Albums of 2009

(short and sweet and to the point—culled from listening to 417 releases from 2009) The TOP TEN of 2009: 1.) Florence and the Machine: Lungs 2.) Mando Diao: Give Me Fire 3.) The Decemberists: Hazards of Love 4.) Passion Pit: Manners 5.) The Sounds: Crossing the Rubicon 6.) Silversun Pickups: Swoon 7.) White Lies: To Lose My Life 8.) The Audition: Self-Titled Album 9.) La Roux: La Roux 10.) Paper Route: Absence Honorable Mention (11-25): 11.) The Temper Trap: Conditions 12.) Gossip: Music for Men 13.) Doves: Kingdom of Rust…

Read More

TIFF08 REVIEW: The Wrestler [2008]

“Sacrificial ram” It’s a fascinating thought I had going into Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. I began to worry that a straightforward tale may not be playing to the director’s strengths. The reason being that his masterpiece The Fountain was still in my head and since he didn’t have writing credit here, my trepidation increased. It wasn’t until the end credits that I recalled Requiem For a Dream being an adaptation and his debut π being pretty grounded in reality despite its surrealistic tendencies.…

Read More