Reviews

Ex-Machina-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Ex Machina’ Is More Than Just Skin Deep

Film: Ex Machina
Starring: Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander
Directed by: Alex Garland

In the massive sci-fi canon that viewers have been subjected to today, you start seeing more similarities than differences and feel that not enough thought is being poured into a concept. Alex Garland, the man behind Dredd and Sunshine, uses that canon as a launchpad to apply familiar sci-fi concepts to burning philosophical questions. His directorial debut film, Ex Machina, plays like a Petri dish of fantastic ideas. Some come off perfectly fleshed out while others seem half-baked. As a film that utilizes misdirection …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Unfriended’ Is Not Worth The Price Of Admission

Film: Unfriended
Starring: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer
Directed by: Levan Gabriadze

Serving as the first ‘all on-screen’ horror film to open in thousands of theaters nationwide, Unfriended boasts a relatively fresh gimmick and almost nothing else.

Remember that long period of silence at the beginning of Wall-E? Replace the colorful animation, comedy, and adorable robots with the computer screen of a high school-aged girl named Blaire who likes to watch videos online without making them full screen and you pretty much have the opening fifteen minutes of Unfriended.…

FOOTBURGERPASCOE

UTG @ MICF: Paul Foot, Neil Hamburger & Sara Pascoe

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Comic: Paul Foot
Show: Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon #Major
Venue: The HiFi Bar, Melbourne

Over the course of his storied career, UK jester Paul Foot has developed a reputation as one of the most excitable and unpredictable comics the world has to offer. His new show Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon #Major sees his trademark manic energy, over the top delivery and love of the absurd turned to eleven to uproarious effect. Foot has the audience in stitches early on, courtesy of some esteemed crowd work that resulted in him performing his official introduction while literally mounted …

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LIVE REVIEW: Yellowcard, Finch & One OK Rock At Wooly’s in Des Moines, Iowa (4/10/15)

The roughly 700-person capacity Wooly’s music venue in Des Moines’ historic East Village was on fire last Friday for the high-energy triple-punch show of Yellowcard, Finch, and One OK Rock.

One OK Rock sufficed in warming the crowd up with their set of aggressive rock songs. The crowd seemed receptive and impressed with the band’s performance, despite many still flooding in as their set wrapped and Finch began to take the stage. The crowd, mostly mid-20-somethings looking to hold on to a bit of nostalgic pop-punk lore, were fun during this set. Not too over the top …

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UTG @ MICF: Sarah Kendall, DeAnne Smith, Russell Kane & Jonestown

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Comic: Sarah Kendall
Show: A Day In October
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall

UK-based, Australian born and raised, Sarah Kendall has a knack for telling stories that inspire you to laugh and cry in equal measure. Kendall displays this skill in all its emotionally manipulative glory in her new show, A Day In October. Much like her previous, critically acclaimed offering, Touchdown, A Day In October draws from Kendall’s experiences of teenhood in Newcastle, New South Wales, delivering a hilarious yet heartbreaking tale of self-realization with a particularly powerful anti-bullying message.…

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REVIEW: The Damnwells – ‘The Damnwells’

Artist: The Damnwells
Title: The Damnwells
Label: Independent
Genre: Indie Rock

While often quite permeable, our musical palates allow for very little flexibility in terms of what we feel comfortable listening to. Certain people feel for hard-hitting lyrical attributes, some look to instrumentation for inspiration, and others run to records blindly and wait until something feels right. Listening to The Damnwells’ fifth studio album (and their first effort with the band’s original lineup since 2006) is a combination of all three mentioned above.

Comparing this self-titled effort to their older records would not do either justice. The Damnwells is …

Instant-Gratification-Review

REVIEW: Dance Gavin Dance – ‘Instant Gratification’

Artist: Dance Gavin Dance
Album: Instant Gratification
Genre: Rock, Pop, Experimental

I typically hate reviews and editorials that begin with quotes, but when attempting to begin discussing the latest release from Dance Gavin Dance there was one quote that stuck in my mind like the hook of “Stroke God, Millionaire” will soon stick with all of you: “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”

Stephen Sondheim will probably never be found sitting at the back of your local Dance Gavin Dance concert, but I cannot help thinking the legendary composer and lyricist would, at the …

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UTG PHOTOS: Big Data At The Shelter in Detroit, MI (4/2/15)

Under The Gun’s Head of Photography, Corbin Alvae, stopped over at The Shelter to catch the Gimme Data Tour.

It feels like forever since I did a photo gallery, but I kicked off my Spring season this year by stopping over at one of my hometown venues, called The Shelter, to catch a paranoid electronic pop group called Big Data.

Big Data is comprised of Alan Wilkis and his super talented band performing music that lifts the soul. I showed up to the venue and the downtown area was packed, not realizing that there was another event going on …

all time low

REVIEW: All Time Low – ‘Future Hearts’

Artist: All Time Low
Album: Future Hearts
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Hopeless Records

It’s 3:51 a.m. At this point, I’ve listened to All Time Low’s Future Hearts at least 7 times continuously, and I still can’t figure out what I want to say about it. I could hop on the bandwagon and gush about how the band’s sixth studio effort is all for the fans. I just have one question: Isn’t that the point of all albums? While I understand where other critics are coming from when they point this out, it seems like a cop out. There’s so …

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REVIEW: Everclear – ‘Black Is The New Black’

Artist: Everclear
Album: Black Is The New Black
Genre: Rock

Twenty years after turning the rock world upside down with release of Sparkle & Fade, Everclear have delivered a solid mix of new and old with Black Is The New Black.

I thought all hope was lost for Everclear. After a string of hits between So Much For The Afterglow and the lesser-appreciated Songs From An American Movie series, the California rock outfit spent a good portion of the 2000s struggling to find a sound that fans, including myself, wanted to hear. Starting with Slow Motion Daydream, …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘While We’re Young’ Is Baumbach At His Weakest

Film: While We’re Young
Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts
Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach has spent the majority of his career exploring the idea of identity and what it means to different people at various stages in life. It’s a theme that runs throughout every single one of his works, but never has it been presented in such an oddly mischevious way than in his latest feature, While We’re Young.

Living on the wrong side of forty, a filmmaker (Ben Stiller) and his wife (Naomi Watts) have recently discovered they are growing increasingly bored by their continued existence. …

gentlemen rogues

REVIEW: Gentlemen Rogues – ‘A History So Repeating’ EP

Artist: Gentlemen Rogues
Album: A History So Repeating EP
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: End Sounds

After a debut EP release in 2013, the canvas is still fairly blank for pop punk newcomers Gentlemen Rogues. A History So Repeating is their latest palette of colors, painting a bright and potential-driven future for themselves in just six simple songs. This sophomore EP trademarks the first style that Gentlemen Rogues seem to easily and impressively create – a playful pop punk that isn’t like the others.

Personally, pop punk music wouldn’t be my first choice playlist. So every time I come across …