Under the Gun Review http://www.underthegunreview.net Entertainment news for today's generation Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Iggy Azalea Delivers Another Potential Hit With “Beg For It” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/iggy-azalea-delivers-another-potential-hit-with-beg-for-it/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/iggy-azalea-delivers-another-potential-hit-with-beg-for-it/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135542 Iggy Azalea has her detractors, but the majority of music fans seem to believe the young emcee is fancy enough to have earned their love. This week, Iggy delivered yet again when she shared a new song called “Beg For It,” and if we had to guess we’d say it might be your new favorite song.

Featuring the kind of minimalist production that has accompanied all of her biggest hits, “Beg For It” finds Iggy wants again flexing her ego and wordplay against thick bass. She knows she is a powerful young woman and she’s not going to let anyone …

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Iggy Azalea has her detractors, but the majority of music fans seem to believe the young emcee is fancy enough to have earned their love. This week, Iggy delivered yet again when she shared a new song called “Beg For It,” and if we had to guess we’d say it might be your new favorite song.

Featuring the kind of minimalist production that has accompanied all of her biggest hits, “Beg For It” finds Iggy wants again flexing her ego and wordplay against thick bass. She knows she is a powerful young woman and she’s not going to let anyone tell her otherwise. In fact, she’s going to explain why she’s so badass over and over again in songs she sends to radio until we all agree she is, in fact, something special. You’re going to want her so bad in the end you will beg for it.

As much as I enjoy what Iggy does here, I think we need to also mention the beautiful contribution from MØ on the hook. We don’t cover MØ as much as we should, but the Danish singer-songwriter is likely to become an even more prominent fixture of pop music in the year ahead.

Iggy is scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live this week, so it’s likely she will debut “Beg For It” on the show. If that happens, check back tomorrow for a clip of the performance right here on UTG. You can follow us on Twitter for updates.

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UTG’s 31 Days Of Halloween – ‘Hausu’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/utgs-31-days-of-halloween-hausu/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/utgs-31-days-of-halloween-hausu/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135506 Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of the year’s best month, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

Now in its third year, 31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween-themed) movie recommendation …

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Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of the year’s best month, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

Now in its third year, 31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween-themed) movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your All Hallows’ Eve festivities. We’ll be watching every film the day it’s featured, and we hope you’ll follow along at home.

[Warning: the material within is likely NSFW]

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Day 25: Hausu (1977)

To be honest there is no correct place to begin any kind of conscious thought on the 1977 Japanese film, Hausu, but let’s go for it anyway.

Hausu is a film that has a wide range of hilarity, imagination, eeriness, unsightliness, whimsy, and creativity. What would normally constitute a bare plot, (seven schoolgirls spend a weekend in an idyllic country home, only to be slaughtered one by one by a malevolent force) is illuminated by some of the most creative and imaginative death scenes conjured in any horror movie to date. Watching the film unfold to modern moviegoers could be equated to the evil twin of say, Michel Gondry, gone mad in stylistic fashion. Blood flies throughout the frame with a sense of certainty, and flair, as if each subsequent splatter was consciously ridden from the innocent schoolgirls venturing into a house filled with surreal horror.

Honestly, nothing will prepare you for what this film holds, and about 30 minutes into viewing, the quick ten-second bit of chandelier horror will give a glimpse into the weird that is about to be unleashed. From there, the surreal fully takes hold, as you can see Hausu‘s cute and quirky atmosphere bleed into the unsettling and eerie. The fun and frantic soundtrack will create an equilibrium with the attuned horror, so that the film itself is never truly scary, but, the atmosphere presented creates an environment filled with unsettling imagery, jarring editing and cinematography, and a vibe that is unlike anything seen before. Take all this into account along with the film’s 1977 release date, and you’ll wonder why it has taken you so long to experience such a surreal experience.

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What becomes another interesting aspect of the film, aside from its creativity and vividly gory imagination, is its ability to create transcendent imagery in a world and story sparsely explained. A moment where Gorgeous (yeah, that is her name. Quite normal when you consider her friends Kung Fu, Fantasy, Melody, and so on) is consumed through a mirror as she sees a younger version of her aunt, only for her body to break apart like the mirror she is viewing into, revealing an inner core of flame, anguish, unfulfilled familial questions, and the innocence entered with the girls as they began their getaway.

With a showering of blood, Hausu is an escape from horror master plots that have plagued (generally) the 21st century in mediocrity and lackluster “imagination.” You will not understand the properties and visuals of the film, and maybe you are not supposed to. Hausu is much better digested as an admiration for the true darkness and surrealism that can lie within unrestricted thought and internal investigation, and how it can sometimes be beautiful.

Editorial written by: Drew Caruso
Last year’s Day 25 film: Rosemary’s Baby

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Cobra Starship Release “Never Been In Love” Music Video http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/cobra-starship-release-never-been-in-love-music-video/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/cobra-starship-release-never-been-in-love-music-video/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:38:30 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135538 Following a single premiere late last month, Cobra Starship have released the official video for their Icona Pop assisted single, “Never Been In Love.”

I don’t everything that transpired between the last time Cobra Starship released an album and now, but Gabe Saporta has returned to the spotlight with a pop friendly change of pace that is incredibly infectious. “Never Been In Love” is unlike most of Cobra Starship’s previous material, but the inherent sense of fun that has always driven the group’s sound remains in tact. The video is largely performance based, with brief glimpses of Saporta and the …

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Following a single premiere late last month, Cobra Starship have released the official video for their Icona Pop assisted single, “Never Been In Love.”

I don’t everything that transpired between the last time Cobra Starship released an album and now, but Gabe Saporta has returned to the spotlight with a pop friendly change of pace that is incredibly infectious. “Never Been In Love” is unlike most of Cobra Starship’s previous material, but the inherent sense of fun that has always driven the group’s sound remains in tact. The video is largely performance based, with brief glimpses of Saporta and the girls of Icona Pop both in the studio and exploring a European city. Check it out:

I don’t know if this song has what it takes to go number one, but if the group’s next album is full of tracks like this I am certain they will have at least one or two potential hits on their hands. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on “Never Been In Love.”

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‘Batman v Superman’ Teaser To Run In Front Of ‘The Hobbit’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/batman-v-superman-teaser-to-run-in-front-of-the-hobbit/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/batman-v-superman-teaser-to-run-in-front-of-the-hobbit/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:18:31 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135535 They might not admit it to the public, but it’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that DC Comics is desperately trying to catch up to, if not top, Marvel‘s cinematic universe. Every time one company announces something big, the other one follows, and every time it’s the fans who win.

We have just under two years to wait until Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice hits theaters, but according to a new story on Forbes we might get a glimpse of the superhero epic as soon as December 2014. Writer Mark Hughes claims to have heard from a …

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They might not admit it to the public, but it’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that DC Comics is desperately trying to catch up to, if not top, Marvel‘s cinematic universe. Every time one company announces something big, the other one follows, and every time it’s the fans who win.

We have just under two years to wait until Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice hits theaters, but according to a new story on Forbes we might get a glimpse of the superhero epic as soon as December 2014. Writer Mark Hughes claims to have heard from a good source that a teaser for the film, which will likely be similar to the footage shown at Comic-Con earlier this year, will run in front of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Warner Bros has not confirmed this report, but we like to think Forbes know what they’re talking about.

The article does not claim The Hobbit will host the premiere of the footage, so it’s possible the teaser will debut somewhere else before running in from of the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s long-running franchise. There have been reports claiming that debut could take place in front of Interstellar in November, but again – that cannot be confirmed at this time.

We will bring you more information regarding the trailer premiere as soon as additional details becomes available. Whatever the case, Batman V Superman does not open until March 25, 2016. That’s right – 2016.

Do you think it’s too soon for footage to be made available? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Rick Ross Streams “Don’t Tell ‘Em” Remix http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/rick-ross-streams-dont-tell-em-remix/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/25/rick-ross-streams-dont-tell-em-remix/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:51:38 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135533 We are still a month away from the November 24 release of Hood Billionaire, but that’s not stopping Rick Ross from sharing new music with fans.

Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em” has been an undeniable urban radio sensation for a minute now, and late last night (October 24) Ross decided to add his twist to the chart-topping track. The song, which can be streamed below, now begins with a verse from Ross that touches on women, wealth, and the life of excess that the boss lives every single day. Check it out:

Ross releases his last studio album, Mastermind, …

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We are still a month away from the November 24 release of Hood Billionaire, but that’s not stopping Rick Ross from sharing new music with fans.

Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em” has been an undeniable urban radio sensation for a minute now, and late last night (October 24) Ross decided to add his twist to the chart-topping track. The song, which can be streamed below, now begins with a verse from Ross that touches on women, wealth, and the life of excess that the boss lives every single day. Check it out:

Ross releases his last studio album, Mastermind, in March. This is the shortest period between albums for Ross, so it will be interesting to see what it is about this material that has the MMG boss itching to get it on shelves. For now, comment below and let us know your thoughts on the remix above.

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Man Overboard Stream ‘Passing Ends’ EP http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/man-overboard-stream-passing-ends-ep/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/man-overboard-stream-passing-ends-ep/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:03:02 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135499 We’ve already had the chance to listen to “Stood Up” and “For Vince,” but thanks to Billboard, we can now listen to Man Overboard‘s Passing Ends EP in full.

It may have only been about a year and a half since the NJ group released their Heart Attack LP, but the maturity displayed on this new EP makes it seem like decades. With a production team of vocalist/bass player Nik Bruzzese on production duties and Will Yip behind the mixing, this EP is sure to whet the appetites of fans before Man O releases …

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We’ve already had the chance to listen to “Stood Up” and “For Vince,” but thanks to Billboard, we can now listen to Man Overboard‘s Passing Ends EP in full.

It may have only been about a year and a half since the NJ group released their Heart Attack LP, but the maturity displayed on this new EP makes it seem like decades. With a production team of vocalist/bass player Nik Bruzzese on production duties and Will Yip behind the mixing, this EP is sure to whet the appetites of fans before Man O releases their fourth studio album in 2015 through Rise Records.

Passing Ends can still be pre-ordered through Lost Tape Collective prior to its release this upcoming Tuesday (10/28).

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One Direction Recruit Danny Devito For “Steal My Girl” Video http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/one-direction-recruit-danny-devito-for-steal-my-girl-video/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/one-direction-recruit-danny-devito-for-steal-my-girl-video/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:26:59 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135469 One Direction may seem like any other boy band that has ever existed to those who do not invest much time in such things, but truth be told they are actually quite unique. For starters, they don’t dance in unison. They also don’t take themselves all that serious, which is proven once and for all in their new video for “Steal My Girl.”

Set in a desert far from any major city, the official video for “Steal My Girl” opens with the members of One Direction asking one another where their director has gone. Moments later, the man in question …

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One Direction may seem like any other boy band that has ever existed to those who do not invest much time in such things, but truth be told they are actually quite unique. For starters, they don’t dance in unison. They also don’t take themselves all that serious, which is proven once and for all in their new video for “Steal My Girl.”

Set in a desert far from any major city, the official video for “Steal My Girl” opens with the members of One Direction asking one another where their director has gone. Moments later, the man in question arrives (Danny Devito), and he proceeds to tell the group that their new clip will showcase “a higher form of expression.” This includes, but is not limited to, sumo wrestlers, monkeys, and ribbon dancers. You can view the video below:

I doubt this video will win over any new fans for the group, but Directioners are sure to have one or several heart attacks while watching the clip above. It’s got everything you could ask for from the group, as well as Danny Devito! What’s not to love?

One Direction are planning to release a new album next month. I don’t think it will be better than Midnight Memories, but I would love to be wrong. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on the video for “Steal My Girl.”

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Brent Walsh (I The Mighty) Streams “Default World” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/brent-walsh-i-the-mighty-streams-default-world/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/brent-walsh-i-the-mighty-streams-default-world/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:10:01 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135493 Guitarist and vocalist Brent Walsh of I The Mighty will be releasing his solo debut through Equal Vision Records on November 10. The eclectic mix of tracks that make up the album, 7, are reflective of different points in Walsh’s life over the past 7 years working with I The Mighty.

Today, Walsh released the second song from 7, a folk-acoustic jam called “Default World.” If you’re familiar with Walsh’s acoustic tracks with I The Mighty you’ll be right at home with this new cut.

You can stream “Default World” below via AltPress.

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Guitarist and vocalist Brent Walsh of I The Mighty will be releasing his solo debut through Equal Vision Records on November 10. The eclectic mix of tracks that make up the album, 7, are reflective of different points in Walsh’s life over the past 7 years working with I The Mighty.

Today, Walsh released the second song from 7, a folk-acoustic jam called “Default World.” If you’re familiar with Walsh’s acoustic tracks with I The Mighty you’ll be right at home with this new cut.

You can stream “Default World” below via AltPress.

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…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Release Music Video For “The Ghost Within” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/and-you-will-know-us-by-the-trail-of-dead-release-music-video-for-the-ghost-within/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/and-you-will-know-us-by-the-trail-of-dead-release-music-video-for-the-ghost-within/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:19:15 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135485 …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have released a new video for their track “The Ghost Within” over at The Line Of Best Fit. The song comes from their most recent album, IX.

This is one of the softer …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead songs that I’ve heard. The feature-style video is a perfect companion piece, as expected from a band that’s been known for their public perception as much as their music.

Watch “The Ghost Within” below and let us know what you think.

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…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have released a new video for their track “The Ghost Within” over at The Line Of Best Fit. The song comes from their most recent album, IX.

This is one of the softer …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead songs that I’ve heard. The feature-style video is a perfect companion piece, as expected from a band that’s been known for their public perception as much as their music.

Watch “The Ghost Within” below and let us know what you think.

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The Decemberists Announce New Album http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/the-decemberists-announce-new-album/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/the-decemberists-announce-new-album/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:10:26 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135478 The Decemberists have announced that their new album will be titled What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.

The band announced the album by unveiling a large mural in Brooklyn featuring the album artwork. Frontman Colin Meloy was at the affair, and performed a brand new song called “Make You Better” for everyone in attendance. Check out some YouTube footage of the new song, as well as the album artwork below.

What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World does not yet have a release date, but that information is likely coming soon. We’ll keep you posted as …

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The Decemberists have announced that their new album will be titled What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.

The band announced the album by unveiling a large mural in Brooklyn featuring the album artwork. Frontman Colin Meloy was at the affair, and performed a brand new song called “Make You Better” for everyone in attendance. Check out some YouTube footage of the new song, as well as the album artwork below.

What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World does not yet have a release date, but that information is likely coming soon. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out.

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Better Off Release “I Was Better 10 Years Ago” From ‘Meth Head’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/better-off-release-i-was-better-10-years-ago-from-meth-head/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/better-off-release-i-was-better-10-years-ago-from-meth-head/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:59:18 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135476 Better Off recently announced their signing to Equal Vision Records and confirmed the release of a seven-inch entitled Meth Head. We heard the title track a while back, and you can now stream the b-side, “I Was Better 10 Years Ago,” at AltPress.

This band is something special, and the new track solidifies that. I think I prefer this song to “Meth Head,” although I’m not sure how I feel about them in comparison to last year’s full-length, (I Think) I’m Leaving. The new seven-inch is a bit of a different direction. Good, but different.

Stream “I Was …

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Better Off recently announced their signing to Equal Vision Records and confirmed the release of a seven-inch entitled Meth Head. We heard the title track a while back, and you can now stream the b-side, “I Was Better 10 Years Ago,” at AltPress.

This band is something special, and the new track solidifies that. I think I prefer this song to “Meth Head,” although I’m not sure how I feel about them in comparison to last year’s full-length, (I Think) I’m Leaving. The new seven-inch is a bit of a different direction. Good, but different.

Stream “I Was Better 10 Years Ago” below or over at AltPress.

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Vacationer Release Music Video For “Go Anywhere” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/vacationer-release-music-video-for-go-anywhere/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/vacationer-release-music-video-for-go-anywhere/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:46:01 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135471 As fall weather starts to take over, you might have forgotten that Vacationer put out a pretty great album earlier this year. Revisit the summer vibes of Relief with the new music video for “Go Anywhere.”

I don’t think Kenny Vasoli could look more mellowed out than he does here. If you’re having a stressful day, this might be just what you need to regroup and wind down. Take a break, make yourself a piña colada, and enjoy “Go Anywhere.”

You can watch the video below.

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As fall weather starts to take over, you might have forgotten that Vacationer put out a pretty great album earlier this year. Revisit the summer vibes of Relief with the new music video for “Go Anywhere.”

I don’t think Kenny Vasoli could look more mellowed out than he does here. If you’re having a stressful day, this might be just what you need to regroup and wind down. Take a break, make yourself a piña colada, and enjoy “Go Anywhere.”

You can watch the video below.

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘John Wick’ Delivers Thrilling Action And Little Else http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/movie-review-john-wick-delivers-thrilling-action-and-little-else/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/movie-review-john-wick-delivers-thrilling-action-and-little-else/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:38:31 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135443 Film: John Wick
Starring: Keanu Reeves
Directed by: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski

Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but neither can hold a candle to the rage that fuels John Wick after losing everything he loves.

The world is a very cold and cruel place when we first meet John Wick, and rarely in the 96 minutes that follow do things ever look up. Hidden away from society after years spent in a life of crime, Wick is a strong and quiet man who is trying his best to mourn the untimely loss of his wife. Her …

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Film: John Wick
Starring: Keanu Reeves
Directed by: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski

Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but neither can hold a candle to the rage that fuels John Wick after losing everything he loves.

The world is a very cold and cruel place when we first meet John Wick, and rarely in the 96 minutes that follow do things ever look up. Hidden away from society after years spent in a life of crime, Wick is a strong and quiet man who is trying his best to mourn the untimely loss of his wife. Her death, brought on by medical issues, has left him searching for purpose in a world he only cared about when she was in it.

One night, following a strange encounter at a nearby gas station, John awakes to find intruders in his home. They knock him around, steal his car, and do something awful to his newly-adopted puppy before leaving John passed out in a pool of his own blood. When he awakes, the sun is out and the men have gone. John tries to stay calm, but before long he pieces together the identities of the men responsible and sets out to unleash his own brand of violent justice.

I’m not sure I would go as far as to call John Wick a ‘noir’ in the classic sense, but it definitely takes cues from that popular genre in order to craft its bleak and bullet-riddled universe. Less than twenty minutes pass from the moment we first meet John to the day after his attack, and nearly every minute that happens after that point is drenched in violence or the talk of violent acts. John is a ruthless killer, willing to take down anyone who stands in the way of taking out the men he views as responsible for his pain, and he never pays much mind to whether or not he is ever making a scene. He kills indoors just as he does when he is on the streets, and the same goes for every crowded place he roams as well. The body count rises, the set pieces change, but what happens after each transition is largely the same: John enters, says a few cheesy lines about not backing down or not giving up, kills bad guys, gets a new piece of information about the true villain’s whereabouts, and leaves.

John Wick would likely be written off as another dull action effort if it weren’t for the extreme level of badassery with which Keanu Reeves portrays the lead role. It has been a little while since Reeves was given the chance to carry a major action film, but here we learn that time has only improved the screen veteran’s impeccable delivery. It’s often hard to differentiate between the characters a particular star plays, as many roles today are written in a way that cater to an individual’s traits, but the way Reeves portrays John Wick is different from anyone else he has brought to life on screen. There is no regret in John Wick’s heart, nor is there any real sense of sympathy for those he must gun down in order to reach his true foe. He is simply heartbroken, and through his speech and actions Reeves allows audiences to see what the weight of heartache can do to a man’s soul.

This is not a perfect film. Though its violence is engrossing and largely original, John Wick has little else to offer viewers for the majority of its runtime. This is very much a straightforward tale of a man on a mission, and to make matters worse there is rarely a moment when we doubt his ability to complete his journey. All we’re really able to do is kick back, count the bodies as they fall, and wait for John to feel as if his thirst for vengeance has been quenched. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t begin to wonder just how many nameless and essentially faceless bad guys would have to be shot in the face before the credits would roll. I lost count around 57.

John Wick is a thrilling ride, but how many miles you get out of your journey will vary greatly from person to person. It’s not the kind of astounding action film that people will still be talking about in five years, but at the moment it’s one of the best and most grisly entries the action genre has received in some time. Keanu is great, the gunplay is heavy, and the entire thing looks really good. With a little more substance this film could be something special, but as is John Wick is good enough to please those still willing to pay for a trip to the movies and that’s more than I can say about most films released this year.

GRADE: B

Review written by: James Shotwell

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UTG’s 31 Days Of Halloween: ‘Lake Placid’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/utgs-31-days-of-halloween-lake-placid/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/utgs-31-days-of-halloween-lake-placid/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:32 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135312 Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of the year’s best month, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

Now in its third year, 31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween-themed) movie recommendation …

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Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of the year’s best month, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

Now in its third year, 31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween-themed) movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your All Hallows’ Eve festivities. We’ll be watching every film the day it’s featured, and we hope you’ll follow along at home.

[Warning: the material within is likely NSFW]

lake placid

Day 24: Lake Placid (1999)

For as long as there have been horror movies, there have been monsters to fill them. This particular sub-genre has outlasted all others, and despite its habit of recycling old material, still manages to draw in viewers by the boatload. Perhaps it is mankind’s inherent fear of the unknown that fuels the need for inhuman antagonists, but whatever the reason, there is something timeless about a grotesque figure lurking in the foreground, snatching up victims without warning or mercy.

Enter Lake Placid. Written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner, this creature-based carnival expertly emphasizes genre tropes without growing stale while sprinkling in enough humor along the way to keep things light and accessible. Though not particularly groundbreaking in terms of plot or content, this film has a personality all its own, and builds suspense in a way that is both fun and refreshing. Plus, it also has Betty White swearing like a trucker and berating law enforcement, which is a treat in itself.

Betty white

Set in the fictional town of Black Lake, Maine, Lake Placid revolves around paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda), who is flown out east to investigate a mysterious tooth and a serious of odd, seemingly accidental deaths. Following a number of strange occurrences and accounts, she is soon joined by Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson) and fish & game officer Jack Welis (Bill Pullman), and with the help of eccentric millionaire Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt), the unlikely outfit set out to determine just what lies beneath the glassy surface of Black Lake. SPOILER ALERT: it’s a huge freaking crocodile.

lake placid croc

As mentioned, Lake Placid is by no means the best monster movie to ever grace the big screen, but it is more than enough to make you second-guess that trip to your family’s lake cottage. The cast has a natural chemistry that keeps things moving during less exciting sequences, and while there are a few times that the script overreaches, eye-rolls are kept to a minimum. Additionally, the real star, the crocodile, looks damn good considering this film was released in 1999, when CGI was still in its infancy. Toothy and terrifying, his screen time is kept to a minimum until the second act, paying homage to classic thrillers like Jaws and Alien without feeling like a total rip-off.

The end result is an easy-to-swallow piece of cinema that, despite a good amount of dismemberment and mayhem, doesn’t take itself too seriously. And though it probably won’t haunt your dreams quite like The Thing or It, Lake Placid is an essential viewing experience for any fan of man-eating monsters.

Editorial written by: Kyle Florence
Last year’s Day 24 film: The Faculty

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UTG PREMIERE: Act As If – “Easier” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/utg-premiere-act-as-if-easier/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/utg-premiere-act-as-if-easier/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:54:47 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135446 The weekend is almost here, so in our minds it is as good a time as any to forget about work and focus on what really matters: Discovering great new music.

Today, we have the great honor of partnering with fast-rising pop rock outfit Act As If to premiere the closing track from their highly anticipated new album. The song, titled “Easier,” knocked us off our collective feet when it first blared throughout our offices, and in the days that followed it could be heard booming from various individual work spaces. To say we’ve fallen head over heels would probably …

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The weekend is almost here, so in our minds it is as good a time as any to forget about work and focus on what really matters: Discovering great new music.

Today, we have the great honor of partnering with fast-rising pop rock outfit Act As If to premiere the closing track from their highly anticipated new album. The song, titled “Easier,” knocked us off our collective feet when it first blared throughout our offices, and in the days that followed it could be heard booming from various individual work spaces. To say we’ve fallen head over heels would probably be an understatement, so drop whatever you’re doing and take a few moments to fall in love with Act As If:

Act As If have been on the rise for four years now, and with songs like “Easier” it should not be too much longer before they are considered a household name. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on the new song.

Steady, the new album from Act As If, is slated for release on November 10. The album was produced by Peter Verdell, Adrian Alvarado, and Eric Palmquist over the course of six months at Grey Area Studios and Infrasonic Sound.

“This is hands down the best album we’ve made as a band; I think we created something quite special – something that is unique to us,” explains vocalist Peter Verdell. “I love our last EP and our previous album, but the new record is on a new level…and it’s really exciting.”

For more information on Steady and the rest of Act As If’s plans for the future, head over to the band’s official website.

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Whiplash’ Is Likely The Best Film Of 2014 http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/movie-review-whiplash-is-likely-the-best-film-of-2014/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/movie-review-whiplash-is-likely-the-best-film-of-2014/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:18:40 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135436 Film: Whiplash
Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Featuring two unforgettable performances and a script that is as close to perfection as you can find in cinema today, Whiplash is a surefire contender for best film of 2014.

There have been many films about music and various fictional individuals’ attempts at greatness, but never have the heartbreaking sacrifices and unnervingly tense moments that come with truly achieving something special been captured the way they are in Whiplash. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the film is as much an exercise in focused effort as the story …

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Film: Whiplash
Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Featuring two unforgettable performances and a script that is as close to perfection as you can find in cinema today, Whiplash is a surefire contender for best film of 2014.

There have been many films about music and various fictional individuals’ attempts at greatness, but never have the heartbreaking sacrifices and unnervingly tense moments that come with truly achieving something special been captured the way they are in Whiplash. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the film is as much an exercise in focused effort as the story it has to share, stripping away every moment of needless exposition and unnecessary side-stories in order to deliver a driving and relentlessly thrilling journey to heights of human ability.

Miles Teller stars as Andrew, a promising young jazz drummer who hopes to one day join the elite band at his East Coast music conservatory. That group is led by Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a tough-as-nails instructor whose methods of pushing his students are viewed by many as unorthodox. He screams, throws things, tears people down, swears, and often makes it clear that nobody currently performing for him is so good he cannot cut them at a moment’s notice. He’s probably amongst the most ruthless instructors to ever be brought to the screen, but as the story unfolds Chazelle makes a clear and well-fought argument that such over the top methods are necessary in order to help others reach a point where they do something truly unique.

I was sold on Whiplash from the opening scene, but what took me by surprise was just how far Chazelle was willing to push his characters in order to do something out of the ordinary with a somewhat familiar setup. It’s clear very early on that Whiplash has set out to go beyond the heights of past music films, abandoning many of the familiar tropes that give characters depth in favor of delivering a more goal-oriented story, and while that move may cause some titles to eventually lose steam it’s a decision that allows Whiplash to break miles of new ground in a genre that has been flooded with redundancy in recent years.

Whiplash would likely work with almost anyone filling the lead roles, as the script is tight and Chazelle’s work behind the camera is strong, but the entire production is taken to another level with the presence of Teller and Simmons. Teller has been the breakout star of young Hollywood for the last two years, and here he makes it clear that his talents are going to be a staple of the entertainment industry for years to come. Having started drumming at the age of 15 and learning new techniques specifically for the film, he pours his all into the role, and in doing so accomplishes something great himself. Simmons, on the other hand, has long proven himself to be an intense and, at times, vicious actor. Watching him display his vast talent throughout the various set pieces of Whiplash is akin to taking a lightning-fast class in acting taught by a professor who at this point needs no real introduction. Those familiar with Simmons have known him to be a star for years, and here he finally gets the time in the limelight he has long deserved.

There will be some who talk of Whiplash with the opinion Fletcher pushes too hard, or that perhaps the message of the story is one that risks ruining some people’s desire to ever chase their dreams, but the more I think about it the more I believe Chazelle is speaking the truth with this picture. To achieve real greatness you must make great sacrifices, and that includes everything from physical demands like endless hours of practice, to emotional ties that may distract you from remaining focused on your goals. Most people realize these things must happen in order to go beyond wherever they are in life, but very few fully commit. Most drop whatever they feel is detrimental and reason with themselves as to why other elements of distraction or laziness may remain. I know I’ve done it, and if you think about it you probably have as well at one point or another. We’re only human, after all.

Whiplash fully commits to being something great from its opening scene, and it demands that its audience do the same. If you get behind that idea early enough, you will find yourself spending over 90 minutes on the edge of your seat. If it takes a while, that’s fine too. Everyone’s journey to self-fulfillment is different, and in many ways I think the same will eventually be said about how people view Whiplash. Those who have given their all for something will connect the most, while those on the fence about how much they can commit to whatever they desire to pursue may feel a bit antagonized by the message the film conveys. All I’m going to say is that it has a point to make, and it’s one more people should take to heart.

GRADE: A+

Review written by: James Shotwell

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REVIEW: Arms And Sleepers – ‘Swim Team’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/review-arms-and-sleepers-swim-team/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/review-arms-and-sleepers-swim-team/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:30:35 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135423 Artist: Arms And Sleepers
Album: Swim Team
Genre: Chillwave, Trip-Hop

Adding to a hefty catalog of LPs, EPs, and split releases riddled with lush tones, intricate instrumentals, ethereal auras, smooth beats and soothing vocal samples, Boston’s Arms and Sleepers are back, post-hiatus, with Swim Team, their fifth full-length studio effort since forming in 2006.

Opening with a slow-builder in “Unbound,” Swim Team immediately compels you to nod your head to one of its many ’90s-inspired beats as you float along with A&S’ evolved sound before meeting a very new one in the title track, which brings to mind the …

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Artist: Arms And Sleepers
Album: Swim Team
Genre: Chillwave, Trip-Hop

Adding to a hefty catalog of LPs, EPs, and split releases riddled with lush tones, intricate instrumentals, ethereal auras, smooth beats and soothing vocal samples, Boston’s Arms and Sleepers are back, post-hiatus, with Swim Team, their fifth full-length studio effort since forming in 2006.

Opening with a slow-builder in “Unbound,” Swim Team immediately compels you to nod your head to one of its many ’90s-inspired beats as you float along with A&S’ evolved sound before meeting a very new one in the title track, which brings to mind the playful and summery childlike exuberance of acts such as Neon Indian, Discovery, and Cults. The rest of the album features moments of hard-hitting, down-tempo drone (“Tiger Tempo”), twinkling R&B that brings Nelly & Kelly to mind (“Forever Only”), pure relaxation to completely lose yourself within (“Better Living Thru Chemistry”), and amped-up, synth-driven, ’80s sunglasses-wearing awesomeness (“Tetro”).

One of my favorite aspects of Swim Team, however, are the subtle musical nuances that serve as callbacks to the earlier works of the duo from their Black Paris 86 and Matador days (e.g. “Hummingbird,” “Ghost Loop,” “Hurry Slowly”). There are specific notes and tones that I pick up on that sound like they’ve been plucked straight from some of my favorite A&S tracks; not in a lazy, recycled kind of way, but more in a ‘not forgetting the roots of our brand’ kind of way. That’s an aspect that I love and respect when it comes to any ever-evolving act, no matter the genre.

Overall, there’s something more simple, safe and reserved about Swim Team; something ostensibly less complicated. That might sound like a negative remark, but I promise you that it’s not. While I do find myself missing some of the more natural-sounding instrumentation and intricacies of the duo’s back catalog, this newest effort is as welcome as any in my book. Swim Team is wholly cohesive and plays like the instrumental accompaniment to a charting hip-hop album, and that might not sound very A&S but they’ve already proved themselves several times over in numerous other areas of ambient and experimental electronic music. The fact that I’ve listened to this album at least 20 times in the past month proves two things to me: 1) It has tremendous replay value, and 2) I wish it was twice as long.

Swim Team is easily one of my favorite albums of the year and the only way it could get any better is if A&S pulled a reverse Ratatat and got some of hip-hop’s finest to record complementing bars over each of the tracks, then released the results as an alternate version called Swim Team 2: Freestyle.

SCORE: 9.5/10
Review written by Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter)

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Foo Fighters Stream “The Feast And The Famine” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/foo-fighters-stream-the-feast-and-the-famine/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/10/24/foo-fighters-stream-the-feast-and-the-famine/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:17:48 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1135433 Just a week after fans devoured “Something From Nothing,” Foo Fighters have shared another song off their highly anticipated new album.

“The Feast And The Famine” arrived online early this morning. The track is the second to surface off Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album, which found the band recording eight songs across eight US cities, and it is the result of the band’s time in Washington D.C. You can stream the song, in full, below:

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is a DC regular, so it’s probably safe to assume this song is a little special. It was …

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Just a week after fans devoured “Something From Nothing,” Foo Fighters have shared another song off their highly anticipated new album.

“The Feast And The Famine” arrived online early this morning. The track is the second to surface off Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album, which found the band recording eight songs across eight US cities, and it is the result of the band’s time in Washington D.C. You can stream the song, in full, below:

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is a DC regular, so it’s probably safe to assume this song is a little special. It was recorded at Inner Ear Studios, the Arlington, Virginia site where countless Dischord classics were created.

Sonic Highways is slated for release in November. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on “The Feast And The Famine.”

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