Under the Gun Review Entertainment news for today's generation 2015-06-30T12:56:39Z http://www.underthegunreview.net/feed/atom/ WordPress Dana Reandelar http://twitter.com/danarndlr <![CDATA[Four Year Strong Announce Massive US Fall Tour]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153212 2015-06-29T21:21:54Z 2015-06-29T21:21:54Z Four Year Strong are scheduled to hit the road once again this Fall for a huge US outing in support of their brand new self-titled record, which was released earlier this month via Pure Noise.

The Worcester, MA easycore four-piece will be taking a bunch of great bands on the road with them, including Defeater, Expire, Speak Low If You Speak Love, Superheaven, and Elder Brother.

You can head below for the full list of dates and their corresponding supporting acts. Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday at 12PM local.

11063469_10153009405096818_5009115162735082732_n

Tour dates:
Defeater, Expire …

]]>
Four Year Strong are scheduled to hit the road once again this Fall for a huge US outing in support of their brand new self-titled record, which was released earlier this month via Pure Noise.

The Worcester, MA easycore four-piece will be taking a bunch of great bands on the road with them, including Defeater, Expire, Speak Low If You Speak Love, Superheaven, and Elder Brother.

You can head below for the full list of dates and their corresponding supporting acts. Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday at 12PM local.

11063469_10153009405096818_5009115162735082732_n

Tour dates:
Defeater, Expire & Speak Low (full band)
Sept 1 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Sept 2 – Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
Sept 3 – Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
Sept 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Sept 5 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird*
Sept 6 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
Sept 8 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
Sept 9 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Sept 11 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Sept 12 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
*no Expire

Defeater, Expire & My Iron Lung
Sept 14 – Orangevale, CA @ The Boardwalk
Sept 15 – San Diego, CA @ The Epicentre
Sept 16 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
Sept 17 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
Sept 18 – Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
Sept 19 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Works
Sept 21 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
Sept 22 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
Sept 23 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio

Defeater, Superheaven & Elder Brother (acoustic)
Sept 25 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
Sept 26 – Margate, FL @ O’Malley’s
Sept 27 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Local 662
Sept 28 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade – Hell
Sept 29 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
Sept 30 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
Oct 1 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
Oct 2 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Oct 3 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shakas Live
Oct 4- Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Oct 6 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
Oct 7 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
Oct 8 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Rialto
Oct 9 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
Oct 10 – Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room
Oct 11 – Boston, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs

]]>
0
Dana Reandelar http://twitter.com/danarndlr <![CDATA[The Wonder Years Announce New Album, ‘No Closer to Heaven’]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153205 2015-06-30T12:56:39Z 2015-06-29T18:05:37Z Earlier this year, pop-punk frontrunners The Wonder Years celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band with three discography shows in their hometown of Philadelphia. It now seems as though there are more big things in store for them in 2015.

This morning, the band has announced that they will be putting out a brand new album, entitled No Closer to Heaven – their fourth full-length record and second Hopeless Records effort – on September 4. It has been a little over two years since the band put out their Billboard-charting The Greatest Generation; the last and most commercially well-recieved …

]]>
Earlier this year, pop-punk frontrunners The Wonder Years celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band with three discography shows in their hometown of Philadelphia. It now seems as though there are more big things in store for them in 2015.

This morning, the band has announced that they will be putting out a brand new album, entitled No Closer to Heaven – their fourth full-length record and second Hopeless Records effort – on September 4. It has been a little over two years since the band put out their Billboard-charting The Greatest Generation; the last and most commercially well-recieved installment to their musical “trilogy.”

You can check out No Closer to Heaven‘s album artwork and track list below. Stay tuned for a brand new song and pre-order information at midnight EST.

UPDATE: The band has just put out the new record’s lead single, entitled “Cardinals.” You can check out the heartstring-tugging music video for it below.

twy heaven

Track list:
01. Brothers &
02. Cardinals
03. A Song for Patsy Cline
04. I Don’t Like Who I Was Then
05. Cigarettes & Saints
06. The Bluest Things on Earth
07. A Song for Ernest Hemingway
08. Thanks for the Ride
09. Stained Glass Ceilings (feat. Jason Aalon Butler)
10. I Wanted So Badly to be Brave
11. You in January
12. Palm Reader
13. No Closer to Heaven

]]>
1
James Shotwell <![CDATA[BOSTON: Here’s Your Chance To See The New Film ‘Amy’ For Free!]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153197 2015-06-29T17:56:23Z 2015-06-29T16:16:07Z If you’re a regular reader of UTG then you no doubt know the only thing we love as much as music is movies, especially documentaries and indie films. There is something about the power of visual storytelling we cannot get enough of, and today we’re thrilled to offer you, our dear readers, a chance to see one of our favorite 2015 docs, for free, in advance of its US release.

Amy is a new documentary exploring the life and tragic death of powerhouse vocalist Amy Winehouse. The film has already won over festival audiences and film critics worldwide, but it …

]]>
If you’re a regular reader of UTG then you no doubt know the only thing we love as much as music is movies, especially documentaries and indie films. There is something about the power of visual storytelling we cannot get enough of, and today we’re thrilled to offer you, our dear readers, a chance to see one of our favorite 2015 docs, for free, in advance of its US release.

Amy is a new documentary exploring the life and tragic death of powerhouse vocalist Amy Winehouse. The film has already won over festival audiences and film critics worldwide, but it won’t be reaching mainstream crowds until its national release on July 10. We have partnered with the people behind the film to present a one-of-a-kind advance screening of the film in Boston on Tuesday, July 7, and we want YOU to be the first ones in the door.

The screening will take place at 7PM on July 7 inside Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA. We have 50 tickets available to give away online, and they can be claimed by following this link.

You can view the trailer for Amy below. If you like what you see, please consider attending our screening. We’d love to meet all of you and talk about this powerful new film.

]]>
1
MJ Rawls <![CDATA[UTG PHOTOS & REVIEW: Tove Lo At The Music Hall Of Williamsburg in New York, NY (06/16/15)]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153127 2015-06-29T04:57:04Z 2015-06-29T13:30:01Z Chances are, you have heard the song “Talking Body” either on the radio or while canoodling with your lover. Fun fact: Tove Lo‘s album, Queen Of The Clouds, came out in September 2014, but it seems like it’s peaking at the right time for your summer outings.

I had previously seen the Swedish pop star the week before at Free Press Summer Festival in Houston. Tove Lo has been on a lot of festival rosters – you have to respect her grind. It was about twenty degrees hotter and outdoors, but the singer had one of the biggest …

]]>
Chances are, you have heard the song “Talking Body” either on the radio or while canoodling with your lover. Fun fact: Tove Lo‘s album, Queen Of The Clouds, came out in September 2014, but it seems like it’s peaking at the right time for your summer outings.

I had previously seen the Swedish pop star the week before at Free Press Summer Festival in Houston. Tove Lo has been on a lot of festival rosters – you have to respect her grind. It was about twenty degrees hotter and outdoors, but the singer had one of the biggest crowds throughout the whole weekend, so I knew fans were receptive to it.

tove lo 1

Flash forward to a special Steve Madden event at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg. To my delight, (OMG, an actual photo pit) it was a free concert that sold out almost instantly. Fans RSVPed in rabid fashion and were asking to see if anybody had extra tickets on Twitter minutes before the show went on. The thing about Tove Lo is that along with her music–which is pretty up front in all aspects==is her stage presence. She uses her sexuality to enhance her subject matter. It’s cool that more artists are embracing that part of themselves.

tove lo3

The night kicked off with “My Gun” and one of the first singles released from Clouds, “Not On Drugs.” Although the album was recently embraced here in the United States, the songs have garnered enough fans to sing every word, or at least hum along with them. The fourth song, “Talking Body” – unless you’ve been living under a rock, well, then you know what happens. Not on this night, however; we kept it strictly music. The last songs performed were the recently released singles “Habits (Stay High)” and “Timebomb.”

If you’ve heard the radio lately, you would know that the album has legs. If you’re going to a festival anytime soon, it seems likely Tove Lo will be performing. Check out her set; you’ll more than likely leave a fan if you weren’t already one going in.

tove lo 4-3

]]>
1
Brian Lion http://underthegunreview.net <![CDATA[UTG INTERVIEW: The Great Game Discuss Their Huge Lineup and Newest Album]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153178 2015-06-29T21:20:02Z 2015-06-29T12:25:13Z The Great Game is spread across Europe–primarily from Spain to Scotland–but that doesn’t stop its several members, both permanent and the occasional contributor, from creating some of the most unique music you’ve heard, from any genre, in some time.

We had the chance to have a lengthy conversation with composer and guitarist Mounzer Sarraf, and we discussed the band’s large cast of players, how they all came together, and their newest album they created–a lengthy, 13-track effort that melds far too many styles and genres to list here.

UTG: Firstly, can you introduce yourself to our readers and what your

]]>
The Great Game is spread across Europe–primarily from Spain to Scotland–but that doesn’t stop its several members, both permanent and the occasional contributor, from creating some of the most unique music you’ve heard, from any genre, in some time.

We had the chance to have a lengthy conversation with composer and guitarist Mounzer Sarraf, and we discussed the band’s large cast of players, how they all came together, and their newest album they created–a lengthy, 13-track effort that melds far too many styles and genres to list here.

UTG: Firstly, can you introduce yourself to our readers and what your role is within The Great Game?

MS: Yes I can. I am Mounzer Sarraf, I founded the band and for our first album I have been the main composer of the songs and the writer for the lyrics. I also play guitar in the band.

You’ve got a whole slew of talented people involved with this most recent record. Were you all friends and colleagues before this album started being created?

Well, I knew many of the musicians. I think Bruno is the first one I met years ago when we played a concert of improvised music together. Since then we always said we would stay in touch and when the time would come make an album.

I met Martin when I was living in Scotland. He owns a famous tea house in the west end of Glasgow and I used to frequent it a lot when I was writing a book on music. After jamming one night at my place we started busking on the streets of Glasgow. We’ve been good friends since then.

When I first moved to Lanjaron in Spain I met a mechanic who told me there was a great bass player living in town. I couldn’t believe my luck when I finally met Manuel and he wanted to join after hearing a rough sketch of the music.

One day I was visiting my mother in the town I grew up in and there was David, busking in the center of town. When I cycled passed he had just finished a song but his voice intrigued me. So I put a coin in his hat and asked him if he could sing another one and I knew immediately I wanted to work with him. We stayed in touch et voila…

One day I was on a local market and my daughter was playing with Medina’s kids, we started talking about music and she told me how she loved to sing Latin-American songs. When I heard her sing I promptly asked her if she would be up to singing some songs and she chose “Poetry in Motion.”

Inbal has always been singing; ask anyone who knows her. When I asked her she was immediately interested and she was particularly fond of “Television.” Later on I made a new song (for her) and she ended up singing in it. She became a wonderful friend and partner and in a week we are getting married.

Cesar was picked up on the eve of the recording after Martin had had a night out in Granada.

Jimi was a friend of the technical team at KBYO studios. He was supposed to come and record the trumpets on “Poetry in Motion” but he got really into it and decided to stay. I was very pleased with his way of playing. He has this “Spanish” feel to his playing; just amazing.

Paul was our last addition; I found him online. I felt very lucky because I needed an accordionist who could pull off something amazing.

On our bonus track (“The Great Game”) you can hear James Steele, who will be joining the band in June.

And who all is part of the actual core group that are considered to generally be in the band?

The official core consists of Manuel, Bruno and me and then there’s Martin and David. We have a very fluid way of working and wish to be able to perform under any circumstance. If we can manage we would like to perform with a ten-piece band but we understand that this will not always be the case.

I could sit here and try to pick out influences all day, but I’d rather just ask who some key inspirations are for your creations. Any specific artists for any of you who have really played a role in the way you’ve developed as musicians?

As I am sitting here on my own I can only speak for myself. My foremost inspiration is the John Coltrane quartet. The song called “Resolution” was the most important piece of art in my quest for musical understanding. As a young boy I was a big fan of The Dire Straits but later in life King Crimson became my favorite band. Up to this day their performance in Dour (a big festival in Belgium) has been the best live show I’ve ever been to. I’m also a huge fan of Kroke, Gogol Bordello and System of a Down.

I love the artwork for the album; it’s very minimalist but very eye-catching as well. Where did that image come from and how would you say it relates to the material on the album?

As with most of my songs, I woke up one day and I knew what the album should look like, only I am not a visual artist at all. Luckily, my good friend Simon is. I told him I wanted a bee with a gas mask in a style that reminds me of these official signs you see in traffic and the next day it was done. I think that the purpose of artists is to point out things that are happening in the world, to give people a nudge. Although not all the songs are related to important topics, most of them have a message I hope will not fall on deaf ears, and the artwork might be the most vital one.

the great game cover

It’s one of the most expansive and versatile albums I’ve heard in a long time. For the sake of brevity, have you guys ever consolidated your sound down to one single genre title for when you have to describe it? I’ve seen ‘new world music’ thrown around but that’s definitely restricting in this case.

Before using the term ‘new world Mmusic’ I thought long and hard about the dilemma that was “our style.” It was never my intention to create songs such as the ones you hear on the album. Most of the time I wake up with an idea and in no time the rough sketch is made and the direction of the composition is taken. After putting the album together I noticed how all the songs were like a roller coaster of styles. Then I started thinking that world music has restricted itself over the last decades and I truly believe it is time to reconsider which styles fall under its names. Consider Scandinavian countries. With great bands such as Opeth and Enslaved, shouldn’t black metal be added to world music as it is Ethnic or at least with Ethnic roots?

On the other hand, if you were to take the distortion out of many songs from Metallica, you might be surprised to hear a crazy up-tempo kind of country music. What I found out is that you can blend any style as long as you know how to groove and that in the end musical styles are not that different from each other. This is why I decided on the term ‘new world music.’ It is not so much a style as it is a way of making music that does not limit itself to any style.

Do you feel there are any limitations in fully reaching listeners with having such a lengthy album in today’s music scene?

Yes I do. I think that our album alone will be a hard sell at first. I like each song on it but it is not the kind of album to put on the background while relaxing after a days work. Our live performance however is a whole other matter. I think that what The Great Game has to offer is an evening to be remembered. If someone decides to come to a performance after hearing a song or maybe the album, the performance itself will be an experience that reveals the true potential of the band and uncovers the gem that is our music. I believe we have what it takes to be one of those bands that never ceases to amaze you on stage.

Why have you decided to offer the album for free download? What’s the importance of that to you?

First of all, I believe in the strength of our performance and to be able to perform we need people to want us to come and perform. I believe that a recording is a momentary glimpse of what a band can really do. I see the recording as a calling card. Why ask money for it? If we can stay independent, our second album will also be free of charge.

I would imagine that most or all of you are involved with other bands and projects. I could of course be wrong, but can you tell me some other things musically connected to The Great Game?

Bruno plays in a lot of projects and bands. He is also famous; a masterclass teacher and endorser for Mapex, Sabian and Vic Firth. Martin plays in and composes for Martyazz and plays in different bands. Manuel has a few successful bands such as the Babacar Kamara project in Spain. David plays in and composes for Walking Horizon, another emerging band. Paul is a well known and accomplished contemporary accordionist in the UK and Europe.

So the album’s been out for a bit now. Have you already been working on your next material at all? Any details on that?

I am well into the next album and I shared the idea of the cover with Simon.

Do you think a lot of the same players will be involved with the next bit of output or will there be a vastly different, rotating cast so to speak?

That will depend on the availability of the musicians when we record. I have some ideas as regards to the line-up but for now getting together and performing is paramount.

And beyond that, what does The Great Game have in store for the rest of the year? Any big plans or goals on the horizon?

Well, I am in contact with a manager. Hopefully we can find a way to work together as I would really like to find someone to take over the management of the band. We will be performing Spain in June and we would like to start performing in Northern Europe in the fall.

]]>
1
Brian Lion http://underthegunreview.net <![CDATA[UTG INTERVIEW: CalatrilloZ Talk Concepts and ‘Psalms Of Zahyin’]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153176 2015-06-29T08:49:27Z 2015-06-29T12:10:26Z Last week, London-based operatic metal band CalatrilloZ released their newest effort, Psalms Of Zahyin — a 6-track blast of shredding guitar riffs, pummeling drum work, orchestral string arrangements and classical vocals led by Zahyin himself, the creative ringleader.

We had the chance to speak with Zahyin about all things CalatrilloZ, from the band’s beginnings to their newest album and everything they have lined up for the future, so read through to find our full conversation and the band’s newest video for “Z The Psychopath.”

First off, the band name is really unique and eye-catching. Where did CalatrilloZ come from and

]]>
Last week, London-based operatic metal band CalatrilloZ released their newest effort, Psalms Of Zahyin — a 6-track blast of shredding guitar riffs, pummeling drum work, orchestral string arrangements and classical vocals led by Zahyin himself, the creative ringleader.

We had the chance to speak with Zahyin about all things CalatrilloZ, from the band’s beginnings to their newest album and everything they have lined up for the future, so read through to find our full conversation and the band’s newest video for “Z The Psychopath.”

First off, the band name is really unique and eye-catching. Where did CalatrilloZ come from and what’s the story or meaning behind it?

The name represents a traveling circus family; it’s original and it is an amalgamation of similar titles. We come on stage as characters of an original fictional history, on which we base the songs and costumes.

And how did you all come together to form the band? Were any of you involved with other bands or projects before this?

Chance, pure chance. I came from across the ocean, and most band members are foreigners as well, with exception of our drummer – straight from UK, Birmingham. I, Zahyin, was raised in a classical music, operatic environment, and I have pretty much been doing only two things music related for the last 9 years: 1) classical music as an operatic tenor, and 2) CalatrilloZ, my dream, my release.

Was it quickly agreed upon what style of music you would play or did just evolve naturally?

Neither. I write and compose all songs and arrangements. And I don’t frame the music in styles/genres. I guess the ones who are with me now, are the ones who love it as much as I do. With a classical music composition background, you tend to hear the music in your head as a whole, and not parts. It’s a different way of composing.

As far as musical influences, who would you say are some artists important to you all collectively who you think might have inspired certain aspects of your music?

Aye aye. Difficult questions. As before, the creative output comes from me, and my influences are the unholy alliance of gods such as Puccini, Verdi, Strauss the II, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aretha. To be honest, I am not sure whether what I compose goes alongside what I believe inspires me. But on the possibility aspect of the question, I guess the way the great composers arrange a cello, a violin and a viola, is very close to the way I play with two guitars and a bass.

Can you tell me about the importance of your guys’ appearance and stage presence and how it all relates to the music for you?

Paramount. We are a concept, storytelling band; it was born from an encompassing concept and never moves away from it. We do go down the road of “Theater x Opera x Metal,” and we are telling a story alongside the music.

So this current release, Psalms Of Zahyin — how long was this in the making before it was completed?

The songs have been there for a while, and we have plenty more in the pocket. This album was our move to break through the anonymity shell of the underground world of music, and it is just a prelude. It was aligned with a expensive, and hopefully successful campaign, so we could climb some ladders, and reach a point where we could amass resources to release our true first album–a huge concept album–arts and video included, to be considered our first true CalatrilloZ release.

A lot of reviews are touching on the originality in your sound and the fact that you stand out from similar bands in metal music. What do you think sets CalatrilloZ apart from the rest?

Depth. It’s a non-intentional different approach to composition and arrangement, inspired by a melody, a feeling, and a story, and laboriously stretched and refined, where every single note is intentional and plays a part in the storytelling aspect of our band. It’s the full offer, all inclusive.

You mentioned having a lot more material…

We are aiming for the true first album of CalatrilloZ. The songs are there, the funds are not. It will be a fat concept album, videos included, the songs entwined by classical movements such as interludes, openings and sonatas. A true storytelling experience.

As of now, I see one upcoming show on your website. Do you have any touring plans in the works this year? And also, how would you describe your live show for those who have yet to see you perform?

We will wait for the results of the PR campaign to set the next step in motion. We ain’t rich, and not a single one of us has a foot in the music industry. Our live show is what a live show is supposed to be. A show. You will be blown away, maybe by the vocals, rare quality, range and power–maybe by the guitar work, some riffs and passages you have never heard before, and they actually make sense. Maybe the drumming session, where you will see the amalgam of jazz and metal, where fills are plenty, but the drive is never lost. Then, the visuals, the make-up the costumes, the acting, the never-seen-before musical diversity in a single band.

And overall, what do you guys have in store for the remainder of 2015? Anything we haven’t discussed yet that you can reveal?

Soon we will start scripting small videos telling the background story of the characters. Picture Spawn meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

]]>
1
James Shotwell <![CDATA[MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Big Game’ Is The Original Action Film Summer 2015 Needs]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153154 2015-06-27T20:40:22Z 2015-06-27T20:40:22Z Film: Big Game
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

In a summer overrun with sequels and visually impressive, yet predictable action epics, Finnish director Jalmari Helander has found a way to make adventure films feel new once again.

There is a long-running tradition amongst the people in Finland where, upon reaching a certain age, boys are tasked with proving their manhood by hunting alone in the woods. Oskari (Onni Tommila), a young man with dreams of being as great a hunter as his father, is about to embark on that very same mission when Big Game

]]>
Film: Big Game
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

In a summer overrun with sequels and visually impressive, yet predictable action epics, Finnish director Jalmari Helander has found a way to make adventure films feel new once again.

There is a long-running tradition amongst the people in Finland where, upon reaching a certain age, boys are tasked with proving their manhood by hunting alone in the woods. Oskari (Onni Tommila), a young man with dreams of being as great a hunter as his father, is about to embark on that very same mission when Big Game begins. He’s smaller than the average boy, and truth be told he’s not exactly as strong as you might expect, but he’s determined to prove himself to be just as much a man as his father.

Meanwhile, a mile or more above the Earth, the president (Samuel L. Jackson) is on his way to handle business in a foreign country. He’s expecting the day to be just like any other, but things take a turn for the worse when alarms begin going off on board the plane and the secret service tell him he must relocate to an escape pod located in the belly of the plane. He complies, and not long after entering the device he’s ejected from the plane as those aboard the flight fight for their own survival. The fall is not easy, but the president survives. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his security detail.

It’s at this point that Helander’s Big Game finds a witty and fun groove that it follows all the way to the very end. Oskari discovers the president not long after he crash lands, and together the two continue the boy’s mission to find and kill his first animal. The president wants to go home, of course, but as he is unfamiliar with the area he’s dependent on Oskari for survival. This forces our protagonists to work together, and as the enemies come to ensure the president never makes it home, the stakes only continue to rise. There is nowhere to run except further into the woods. Nowhere to hide except under trees, rocks, and dirt. This is man and boy against nature and the evil of the world, and it delivers all the entertainment you hope to find in a summer movie without succumbing to the predictable twists that often appear in features released during this time of year.

There is a very unique energy running throughout Big Game that will either be a huge selling point for viewers or a complete turn off. There is nothing typical about this film in terms of how it plays with the rules of action films, and it remains incredibly grounded despite several moments that require sustained suspension of belief. Helander taps into the kind of wit and charm that made Spielberg’s best films come to life, but just like his previous film (Rare Exports) you get the idea about halfway through that his next project will be even better. Helander may understand how to create pure movie magic, but he’s not yet honed his abilities to the point where he can no longer improve.

Samuel L. Jackson, shedding the on-screen persona he has delivered in most mainstream films in the last decade, delivers a very strong turn as the president. I cannot imagine this role being one he is offered many times in the future given the caricature of himself he’s become in pop culture, but here he moves from dramatic to comedic beats and back again with ease. He’s strong, yet reserved.

It’s hard to know how much American audiences will see young Onni Tommila in the future, but he carries the bulk of Big Game with the precision of far more experienced actors. The role of Oskari demands an almost cocky sense of confidence wrapped around a very fragile young soul, combined with the inquisitive nature of any growing child and the ever-present desire to impress one’s parents. Add to this the action sequences, which generally involve large set pieces, and you’ve got a challenge for actors at any age. Tommila delivers.

Between shoot-outs, explosions, deception, friendship, and the absolutely gorgeous views of Finland, Big Game offers plenty for action fans, as well as those seeking something unique at the summer box office. It’s a wholly original story built using only the elements you want in a tale of adventure. Even better, it also has a huge heart, and it finds a way to hit home that most bullet-riddled tales of survival never even attempt to accomplish. Helander may not be at the top of his game just yet, but he’s certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to forward-thinking cinema. I ask anyone reading this with the ability to finance his projects to please give him whatever he needs to continue creating films. His brand of escapism is increasingly hard to find, and we need to nurture his abilities for as long as he’s willing to share his vision with the world.

GRADE: B+

Review written by James Shotwell

]]>
3
James Shotwell <![CDATA[iLoveMakonnen Is Planning To Steal Your Girl With His New Track]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153157 2015-06-30T03:11:48Z 2015-06-27T19:56:59Z If French Montana is known for repetitively saying “Hanh!,” then iLoveMakonnen may soon be known for his use of “Huuuuuuughhhhhh!” on his latest track.

Kicking off the weekend with a party track sure to have clubs and frats going crazy, iLoveMakonnen dropped “Where Your Girl At” seemingly out of the blue. The song finds the rapper asking for your girl because, if you can’t figure out the most obvious of plots, he’s trying to steal her for the night. He’s not looking for a wife however, so he’s completely willing to let you have her back later. Being the good …

]]>
If French Montana is known for repetitively saying “Hanh!,” then iLoveMakonnen may soon be known for his use of “Huuuuuuughhhhhh!” on his latest track.

Kicking off the weekend with a party track sure to have clubs and frats going crazy, iLoveMakonnen dropped “Where Your Girl At” seemingly out of the blue. The song finds the rapper asking for your girl because, if you can’t figure out the most obvious of plots, he’s trying to steal her for the night. He’s not looking for a wife however, so he’s completely willing to let you have her back later. Being the good guy he is, it just makes sense to let you know before he tries to swoop in an steal your girl. You can stream the song below.

The heat from “Tuesday” is finally starting to die down, so all eyes are on iLoveMakonnen to prove himself to be something more than a one hit wonder. I think he possesses the talent needed to pull that off, but I question whether or not he’s got the patience to put in the work needed to create another monster single. “Where Your Girl At” is fine for the internet and people who consume based on the opinions of Twitter, but it’s not the kind of song that guarantees another six to twelve months in the spotlight. Comment below and let us know if you agree.

]]>
2
James Shotwell <![CDATA[UTG INTERVIEW: Patrick Brice Discusses His New Film, ‘The Overnight’]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153139 2015-06-26T18:04:26Z 2015-06-26T15:28:36Z It’s hard to throw a stone in the world of modern indie movies without hitting some up and coming filmmaker who one or more publications has dubbed the latest ‘visionary’ storyteller. Everyone has someone they’re rooting for in the race to see who graduates from one-time genius to career-long writer/director who influences countless future storytellers, and for me there is no one with more promise or talent working right now than Patrick Brice. He’s delivered two incredibly different and immensely entertaining films over the last year, each pushing genre boundaries in ways rarely, if ever seen before. Like Mark Duplass …

]]>
It’s hard to throw a stone in the world of modern indie movies without hitting some up and coming filmmaker who one or more publications has dubbed the latest ‘visionary’ storyteller. Everyone has someone they’re rooting for in the race to see who graduates from one-time genius to career-long writer/director who influences countless future storytellers, and for me there is no one with more promise or talent working right now than Patrick Brice. He’s delivered two incredibly different and immensely entertaining films over the last year, each pushing genre boundaries in ways rarely, if ever seen before. Like Mark Duplass and Kevin Smith in years prior, Brice could easily become the next indie film everyman, and earlier this month he chose to speak with us about The Overnight, as well as his plans for the future.

At the time of this post we have yet to run our review of The Overnight, but suffice to say it’s destined to be the most talked about sex comedy of 2015. The film follows a couple new to Los Angeles who, following a chance encounter with new neighbors at a local park, embark on a seemingly innocent get-together only to later realize they’ve stumbled upon the strangest and wildest night of their lives. You can view the trailer below, followed by our conversation with Brice. The Overnight is in theaters now.

UTG: Hello, Patrick. Thank you for taking time to speak with us. How are you this afternoon?

PB: I’m great! Thank you for asking.

UTG: I had the opportunity to watch The Overnight yesterday, and it was eye-opening to say the least. I pride myself on being someone who claims to have seen it all, but you caught me off guard a time or two.

PB: Oh good. You’re part of the demographic I’m worried about the most.

UTG: Why is that? Do you think the reveals are not big enough or something like that? What makes you worried?

PB: I don’t know, really. It’s a pretty inclusive movie, despite the fact so much crazy or potentially discomforting stuff happens in it. I just think that if you’re watching it and you’re looking to poke holes or disprove something it might not be as fun of an experience. My goal was just to make things as entertaining as possible, and of course to keep things moving.

UTG: I think you pulled it off. Things move very fast throughout, and the story never seems to plateau. The third act is the craziest of the bunch. Watching a screener at home this week my fiancée and I were constantly looking at one another in disbelief.

PB: Oh, man. That is so great to hear. It has been interesting to watch the way people react based on the situation they’re in when they see it.

UTG: It’s funny you mention that because I remember wondering what it must have been like to see this film play out in front of a sold-out crowd. I was uncomfortable watching it with the person I’m most myself around, so I can’t imagine how it plays in a room of strangers.

PB: It runs the gamut. It’s funny, really, because I never thought I would make movies that were contingent on receiving an audible response from the audience to determine whether or not it was a good feature. We never expected the film to be the crowd-pleaser it has become. It’s always fun to hear people–for lack of a better description–discover the film at the same time.

UTG: Let me back up for a second. I saw your short doc, Maurice, years ago and I am thrilled to see you working more today. When I realized you were the same man who made that film things started to make a bit more sense.

PB: [Laughs] Yeah, I can see that.

UTG: So you went from that, to Creep, and then you made The Overnight? I know most audiences are seeing Overnight first, but I’m pretty sure it’s not your first feature.

PB: Exactly. Creep premiered at SXSW last year, but it’s not on VOD until a few days after The Overnight hits theaters. That is just how things worked out. It was never planned for the film to roll out the way they have, but it’s all good.

UTG: So where does the initial inspiration for The Overnight come from?

PB: It was drawing on a few different things. One was thinking about this sub-genre of film where stories play out over one night or twenty-four hours. The idea of making something that fit those story constraints really appealed to me. Also, I am a transplant to Los Angeles myself, and I know about how the perceptions of this town can sometimes turn out to be real, so I wanted to make a film about that. I also wanted a film about sex and intimacy that I could relate to more than how most comedic films approach those topics. I was able to try some things thematically and tonally I don’t think we’ve seen before. Male body issues, for example, is something a lot of films shy away from. My hope is that we are able to convey an idea of self-acceptance that viewers will pick up on while also having a fun, laugh-filled time.

the_overnight_still

UTG: I assume most people will go in expecting a straight-up comedic romp, but you do make an effort to bring real emotional weight to the story.

PB: Exactly. Normally, films like this are made with people making marks on a checklist of thematic must-haves, and we didn’t want to do that. I knew we were treading on familiar ground, but it was exciting to try and meet the challenge of upping the ante every step of the way.

UTG: Is there anything in this story that would make you uncomfortable in real life? I know some people may be made to feel uneasy during the sequences dealing with emotion just as easily as others will feel themselves becoming uncomfortable when the more shocking comedic elements hit, so I’m curious which unsettles you?

PB: For me, what’s funny is the sort of slow discovery of the characters, what they’re about, and what their intentions are for the night.

UTG: Without giving too much away, you certainly leave the door open for a sequel or two to be created. Do you have a desire to pursue that if the film is well-received?

PB: I mean, yeah, I’m completely open to it. I especially love the idea of seeing where Jason Schwartzman’s character goes from the point where we leave him.

UTG: There is a lot left unsaid when the story ends.

PB: I wanted there to be an ambiguity to everything. That last scene may feel a little unfulfilling for people who want everything wrapped up nice and tight, but I wanted it to feel as awkward and true to the story as possible. It plays out the way I would expect it to in real life.

UTG: In real life things don’t end with big punchlines.

PB: Exactly.

UTG: We only have time for one more question, so let’s take it back to the beginning. Do you have any interest in further pursuing the world of documentary filmmaking?

PB: One of the things that is really exciting about making movies is that you’re allowed to be into everything. I am very much interested in the possibility of making more docs, and if I do it will probably be something along the lines of Maurice.

UTG: Great. Well, thank you very much for your time.

PB: No problem, man. Thank you. Have a good day.


The Overnight is now playing in theaters nationwide. Brice’s other recent film, Creep, is available on iTunes. This weekend, avoid big budget blockbusters and support Patrick Brice’s unique cinematic vision.

Interview written and conducted by James Shotwell

]]>
2
James Shotwell <![CDATA[MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Creep’ Is Incredibly Unsettling]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153104 2015-06-25T18:47:35Z 2015-06-25T14:20:35Z Film: Creep
Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Directed By: Patrick Brice

I have never seen a found footage film quite like Creep, but I always wanted to. It’s a combination of horror, drama, and comedy that is so tightly wound that you never know what to expect from one moment to the next. Credit for this is owed as much to the script as it is to the cast, which consists of just two people, and even though I know it’s still a bit early in 2015 to say such things, I must admit I walked away from Patrick …

]]>
Film: Creep
Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Directed By: Patrick Brice

I have never seen a found footage film quite like Creep, but I always wanted to. It’s a combination of horror, drama, and comedy that is so tightly wound that you never know what to expect from one moment to the next. Credit for this is owed as much to the script as it is to the cast, which consists of just two people, and even though I know it’s still a bit early in 2015 to say such things, I must admit I walked away from Patrick Brice’s first foray into horror knowing without a doubt in my mind it’s the most unsettling film to be released this year.

The idea is simple: Responding to a Craigslist ad that sought a videographer for a one-day job, an unassuming man named Aaron (Patrick Brice) drives to rural California to film a dying man’s final video message to his wife and as-of-yet unborn child. At least, that is why he believes he is taking the job. The real reason he was hired, as well as the story of the man he lured him into one of the more scenic areas of the gold rush state, remains a mystery to Aaron and the audience throughout most of the film. Even when the twists begin to be revealed the true horror of everything happening remains a secret. It’s not until you’re able to step back and consider the movie as a whole, from beginning to end, that the twisted mind of writer/director Patrick Brice reveals its sinister master plan to ensure you never, ever trust strangers you meet online in the real world again.

The man Aaron travels to meet, Josef, is portrayed by indie film everyman Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed, The League). He and Brice share an on-screen chemistry rarely found in film today, especially POV titles like Creep. The idea of first person is always good in theory, but over a decade of disposable Blair Witch Project-inspired horror has taught viewers otherwise. Making viewers feel the way the person holding the camera does is incredibly hard to accomplish, but through either genius or sheer luck Brice and Duplass pull it off. It’s as much in what you see and hear as it is in what’s left to the imagination. One conversation that, while heard, is never shown on camera and forces viewers to pull together their own mental depiction of events, and the results are likely to send chills down your spine.

Running under 80 minutes, which is perfectly fine for the genre, Creep is a disturbing nightmare of a film that takes twists that may feel familiar, but through innovation and creativity are made new once more. If you go on the adventure Josef hires Aaron to experience with the same open mind as the protagonist there is not a doubt in my mind you will spend the next several days or weeks trying to scrub certain elements of this film from the darkest corners of your mind. Oh, and good luck making new friends.

GRADE: A-

Review written by James Shotwell

]]>
2
James Shotwell <![CDATA[MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Ted 2′ Is The First Major Misfire Of Summer 2015]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153108 2015-06-25T13:29:18Z 2015-06-25T14:00:06Z Film: Ted 2
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

Having established a new hero in the world of profane comedy with his initial outing, Seth MacFarlane has proven with Ted 2 what A Million Ways To Die In The West alluded to over a year ago: America’s turn of the millennium funnyman has lost his charm. To make matters worse, he’s pulling Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, John Slattery, and Morgan Freeman down with him.

Taking place one year, one marriage, and one divorce after we last said goodbye, Ted 2 reintroduces the characters you loved from the …

]]>
Film: Ted 2
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

Having established a new hero in the world of profane comedy with his initial outing, Seth MacFarlane has proven with Ted 2 what A Million Ways To Die In The West alluded to over a year ago: America’s turn of the millennium funnyman has lost his charm. To make matters worse, he’s pulling Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, John Slattery, and Morgan Freeman down with him.

Taking place one year, one marriage, and one divorce after we last said goodbye, Ted 2 reintroduces the characters you loved from the first film, sans Mila Kunis. It seems Mark Wahlberg’s character realized they were simply not meant to be, and that is all the explanation a movie like this needs to introduce a new love interest (Amanda Seyfried) somewhere near the end of the first act. This basically means everything the characters went through in the first film was utterly pointless, but it soon becomes apparent that may be a recurring theme in this modern comedy ‘franchise.’

Ted and Tammy Lynn are still married, but the magic of being newlyweds has long worn off. They decide the only way to guarantee their marriage doesn’t fail is to have a child, but obviously that is impossible given Ted’s lack of sex organs, so they decide to adopt. That is, until the government decides Ted is technically property, and therefore not guaranteed the same rights as people.

Upset and worried what unfortunate things might happen now that Ted has been stripped of his rights, the gang decides to launch a civil rights campaign to prove MacFarlane’s naughty talking bear is, in fact, human. It seems big in theory, but in execution it all passes with little to no dramatic arc whatsoever.

To be fair, I don’t think MacFarlane cares if you give a crap about what is happening in the story as long as you are laughing, or at least that is what I gather from the constant onslaught of non-sequiturs and punch-up gags that are littered throughout the film. The biggest laughs come from jokes added late in post-production, with references to everything from the events in Ferguson, Missouri to the recent ‘Deflategate’ scandal involving Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. It’s all very topical and very much like what you would expect from an episode of MacFarlane’s original million-dollar idea, Family Guy.

And therein lies the problem. This movie is so akin to MacFarlane’s television work that most of the gags are largely indistinguishable from the antics of Peter, Quagmire, Joe, and Cleveland that most could see for free every Sunday night from the comfort of their own home. The first Ted film felt like a silly and original idea when it was announced, but it was an original idea nonetheless. People flocked to the film and fell in love with the characters because MacFarlane found a way to offer something no other modern film had attempted, let alone been able to pull off. Everyone knew it would be funny, but not many expected to walk away actually caring about what happened to the talking bear who loves to joke about ejaculate, but MacFarlane found a way to make that happen. Ted 2, unfortunately, feels more like a collection of gags that didn’t work anywhere else than another fresh idea.

To their credit, the cast do their best to work with the material they’ve been given, and I assume there was a lot of improv worked into the final cut as well. Wahlberg, pushing his silliness to a new extreme, doesn’t have nearly as many quippy remarks or sentimental counterweights as before. His character feels as directionless as ever, and you get the idea MacFarlane wants his recent divorce to explain this, but it never really comes across in a convincing manner. Seyfried, however, brings a lot of heat as the stoner attorney brought on to save the day. Her comedy efforts have been rare in recent years, but here she proves she still has the innate comedy skills many first fell for in Mean Girls.

There are several smaller appearances as well, which run the gamut from cute and funny to downright nauseating. The better of the bunch goes to Morgan Freeman and John Slattery who, without having much to do, make a lasting impression on the audience. Liam Neeson, on the other hand, has an early appearance so embarrassingly bad you might wonder if his poor performance in Taken 3 was actually the start of a dark era for the prolific actor.

I wanted to like Ted 2 so much. I really, really did. The first film was an unexpected surprise that left me wanting more, but halfway through Ted 2 I wanted nothing more than for the credits to roll. The movie is downright exhausting in its efforts to pry a dirty laugh out of every opportunity. You’re pummeled with half-assed jokes and pop culture references until you’re too dizzy to realize nearly two hours have passed and maybe twenty minutes of story has been told. It’s pointless, thoughtless, and seemingly produced for no reason other than to pump more money out of MacFarlane’s quickly aging core audience.

So I guess this is where we go our separate ways, thunder buddies. It was fun until it wasn’t, and then it was a bore.

GRADE: D

Review written by James Shotwell

]]>
2
James Shotwell <![CDATA[Game & Drake Swap Bars About The Realities Of Fame On “100″]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153120 2015-06-25T20:37:16Z 2015-06-25T13:38:09Z The Game and Drake just delivered a new single that is destined to take hip-hop by storm in no time at all.

Remember when Drake was spotted dropping a few unreleased bars to a sold out Detroit crowd late last month? That so-called freestyle was actually an unannounced preview for the Toronto native’s latest collaboration with California heavyweight The Game. “100″ finds the two top shelf emcees swapping bars that address the snakes in the grass who think they slink by unseen, as well as the reality of pursuing your dreams in a time where most feel unable to even …

]]>
The Game and Drake just delivered a new single that is destined to take hip-hop by storm in no time at all.

Remember when Drake was spotted dropping a few unreleased bars to a sold out Detroit crowd late last month? That so-called freestyle was actually an unannounced preview for the Toronto native’s latest collaboration with California heavyweight The Game. “100″ finds the two top shelf emcees swapping bars that address the snakes in the grass who think they slink by unseen, as well as the reality of pursuing your dreams in a time where most feel unable to even believe in themselves. It’s the kind of quasi-inspiration material Drizzy has been dropping since day one, but it’s actually The Game who shines brightest on the track. You can stream the song, in full, at the end of this post.

Both Game and Drake are set to release new albums later this year, so it kind of makes sense that the two would pair for this summertime single while they individually grind away at their solo projects. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on “100.”

]]>
1
Dana Reandelar http://twitter.com/danarndlr <![CDATA[Lydia Announce Fall Headlining Tour With Seahaven, Turnover & The Technicolors]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153100 2015-06-25T05:45:03Z 2015-06-25T13:00:33Z Having recently wrapped up their successful summer tour alongside The Early November and Restorations, Phoenix indie rock outfit Lydia have just announced that they will be back on the road this Fall.

This upcoming tour will be held in support of their impending full-length record, the direct follow-up to 2013′s Devil, which is estimated to be released this Fall, as well. The three-piece will be touring alongside Seahaven, Turnover, and label-mates The Technicolors. More details regarding the new record are yet to be announced. You can check out the full list of dates below.

In …

]]>
Having recently wrapped up their successful summer tour alongside The Early November and Restorations, Phoenix indie rock outfit Lydia have just announced that they will be back on the road this Fall.

This upcoming tour will be held in support of their impending full-length record, the direct follow-up to 2013′s Devil, which is estimated to be released this Fall, as well. The three-piece will be touring alongside Seahaven, Turnover, and label-mates The Technicolors. More details regarding the new record are yet to be announced. You can check out the full list of dates below.

In case you missed it, we recently got the chance to speak with Lydia about their upcoming record. You can read more of that here.

unnamed-2

Tour Dates:
Sept 15 – The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 17 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
Sept 18 – The Parish – Austin, TX
Sept 19 – Trees – Dallas, TX
Sept 20 – Warehouse Live (Studio) – Houston, TX
Sept 22 – The Social – Orlando, FL*
Sept 23 – Crowbar – Ybor City, FL*
Sept 24 – 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL*
Sept 25 – The Loft – Atlanta, GA
Sept 26 – Exit/In – Nashville, TN
Sept 27 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
Sept 29 – Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington, DC*
Oct 1 – The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY*
Oct 2 – The Hollow – Albany, NY
Oct 3 – World Cafe Live Downstairs – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 4 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA*
Oct 6 – Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY*
Oct 7 – The Mod Club – Toronto, ON
Oct 8 – Musica – Akron, OH*
Oct 9 – The Loft – Lansing, MI
Oct 10 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Oct 11 – Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 13 – Firebird – St Louis, MO
Oct 14 – The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
Oct 16 – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Oct 17 – Club Sound – Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 19 – Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
Oct 20 – The Crocodile – Seattle, WA
Oct 22 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
Oct 23 – The Glass House – Pomona, CA
* Without Turnover

]]>
1
James Shotwell <![CDATA[MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Avalanche Sharks’ Has Bite, But No Brains]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153092 2015-06-24T19:31:04Z 2015-06-24T17:42:35Z Film: Avalanche Sharks
Starring: Alexander Mendeluk, Kate Nauta
Directed By: Scott Wheeler

Monster movies have never been for everybody. From the dawn of cinema–when the likes of King Kong first appeared–there have been some who simply do not grasp why so many people enjoy watching poorly realized fictional creatures terrorize people on screen. I’ve never been one of those people, but I’ve certainly known a few. I’ve even dated a couple (if we’re being completely honest) but eventually their inability to appreciate the fantastic goodness of b-movie carnage drove a wedge between us that no amount of sweet nothings could …

]]>
Film: Avalanche Sharks
Starring: Alexander Mendeluk, Kate Nauta
Directed By: Scott Wheeler

Monster movies have never been for everybody. From the dawn of cinema–when the likes of King Kong first appeared–there have been some who simply do not grasp why so many people enjoy watching poorly realized fictional creatures terrorize people on screen. I’ve never been one of those people, but I’ve certainly known a few. I’ve even dated a couple (if we’re being completely honest) but eventually their inability to appreciate the fantastic goodness of b-movie carnage drove a wedge between us that no amount of sweet nothings could fix.

Avalanche Sharks, the latest film from visual effects guru Scott Wheeler, is not likely to convince anyone who isn’t already a fan of monster movies to suddenly change their mind…but that’s perfectly okay. Not every film needs to be a genre-defining masterpiece that raises the bar for all stories that follow. Some films, especially those that full under the direct-to-video world of science fiction and horror, simply need a decent story, believable actors, and enough of an original monster idea to stand out from the ever-growing competition. This film has at least two of those bases covered (the acting is a mess), and that is more than I can say for most monster movies as of late.

The story of Avalanche Sharks is largely diluted within the film itself by the need to introduce numerous future victims, but essentially what unfolds is the result of illegal explosive detonation on the backside of a mountain that doubles as a popular ski destination for white twenty-somethings with too much money and too few brain cells. On the day before spring break is set to begin, a random detonation causes the grave of long-deceased Native Americans to be disturbed, which unleashes a breed of menacing ghost sharks that wreak havoc on winter sports enthusiasts of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Yeah, you read that right: ghost sharks.

The film wastes essentially no time unleashing the ancient beasts on unsuspecting people. However, after their initial introduction, the film suffers from a major bout with underwhelming, yet overly long exposition sequences intended to make you care about characters so thin you could see through their personality if such a thing could be held against a light. That said, considering the film’s runtime falls short of 80 minutes with the addition of the sequences, I would hate to know how long the feature would run without them. My guess is that you could cut it down enough to make the film work as a crazy, one-hour special on the SyFy channel, but I could be wrong.

Acting aside, there isn’t much you could hope to find in a monster movie that isn’t present somewhere in Avalanche Sharks. You have the crazy local resident who knows more than people believe, the random ‘hot chicks’ who serve their purpose as eye candy right up until they are devoured, the sheriff who doesn’t believe the teens’ cries for help, and of course, plenty of CGI carnage. The shark spirits can move through snow, wood, metal, and even plastic the same way regular sharks would through water. But, due to poor digital follow-through they almost never leave an actual trail on screen. Their presence is only witnessed when it serves to up the tension of the moment, then they disappear until the moment of attack. It’s never really scary, but the payoff for each and every murder is guaranteed to quench the average horrorhound’s blood thirst.

I won’t go as far as to say Avalanche Sharks is a modern monster movie masterpiece because it certainly is not, but you could do a lot worse in the world of direct-to-video science fiction filmmaking. Scott Wheeler has made magic happen on a shoestring budget, and while the results can be silly at times, the final product is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure for anyone looking to have their need for monster mayhem fulfilled. Will it be remembered in three years? Probably not. Titles like this come out so often it’s amazing any ever get press attention at all, let alone linger in the minds of film fans long enough to be celebrated years later. Avalanche Sharks is not that kind of movie. It’s dumb, admirably made, yet laughably rendered entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.

GRADE: C-

Review written by James Shotwell

]]>
1
Dana Reandelar http://twitter.com/danarndlr <![CDATA[You Can Now Listen To The New Refused Album, ‘Freedom’]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153076 2015-06-24T16:29:07Z 2015-06-24T16:29:07Z It has been over seventeen years since their last full-length album, The Shape Of Punk to Come; but Swedish punk band Refused are finally back with new material. Due out on June 30 via Epitaph, Freedom is produced by Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

“It’s not a reunion anymore,” frontman Dennis Lyxzén shares. “This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically. Nobody wanted us to fuck with the image of the band who makes a great album and splits up,” drummer David Sandström adds. “Nobody wanted us to dilute it. That …

]]>
It has been over seventeen years since their last full-length album, The Shape Of Punk to Come; but Swedish punk band Refused are finally back with new material. Due out on June 30 via Epitaph, Freedom is produced by Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

“It’s not a reunion anymore,” frontman Dennis Lyxzén shares. “This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically. Nobody wanted us to fuck with the image of the band who makes a great album and splits up,” drummer David Sandström adds. “Nobody wanted us to dilute it. That actually provoked us.”

You can listen to Freedom in full over at Pandora. Its album artwork and track list are available below. Pre-orders are still available here.

refused

Freedom track list:
01. Elektra
02. Old Friends / New War
03. Dawkins Christ
04. Françafrique
05. Thought Is Blood
06. War on the Palaces
07. Destroy the Man
08. 366
09. Servants of Death
10. Useless Europeans

European Tour Dates:
06/27 – Seinäjoki, FI @ Provinssirock
07/11 – Renon Bz, IT @ Rock im Ring Festival
07/16 – Viveiro, ES @ Resurrection Fest
07/17 – Tonsberg, NO @ Bukta Tromso Open Air Festival
08/28 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
08/29 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Pure & Crafted Festival
08/30 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival

]]>
1
Matthew Leimkuehler http://underthegunreview.net <![CDATA[UTG PREMIERE: theWhen – ‘Layer Zero’]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153062 2015-06-24T16:29:24Z 2015-06-24T16:21:54Z Streaming exclusively now below is the brand new EP from theWhen, titled Layer Zero. The record contains a huge sound, mixing modern electronic, rock and pop elements to deliver memorable track after memorable track.

Tracks like “Better Than Now” and “Learning To Try” stand out through a mixture of electronic grit and sheer melodic infectiousness. Here’s what theWhen mastermind and curator Matt Kourie had to say about the release:

Layer Zero is about coming back to center and finding your true self. It is a rebirth and a metamorphosis. It is a state of being, where there

]]>
Streaming exclusively now below is the brand new EP from theWhen, titled Layer Zero. The record contains a huge sound, mixing modern electronic, rock and pop elements to deliver memorable track after memorable track.

Tracks like “Better Than Now” and “Learning To Try” stand out through a mixture of electronic grit and sheer melodic infectiousness. Here’s what theWhen mastermind and curator Matt Kourie had to say about the release:

Layer Zero is about coming back to center and finding your true self. It is a rebirth and a metamorphosis. It is a state of being, where there is clarity. Bias and common association to language are stripped away for an illuminating perspective, as opposed to a misguided perception. This is an awakening of the soul and a powerful manifestation into the waking life towards becoming the real you.”

Stream the record in full here and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you in NYC? Be on the lookout for theWhen’s record release show tonight at Pianos.

]]>
1
James Shotwell <![CDATA[MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Dope’ Is A Fittingly Titled Teen Masterpiece]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153077 2015-06-24T16:18:32Z 2015-06-24T16:18:32Z Film: Dope
Starring: Shameik Moore, A$AP Rocky
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

Every year audiences are given numerous coming-of-age tales based around themes of self-discovery and love, but what ever happened to growing up in response to the stupid decisions we make when we’re young? Dope, the latest feature from writer/director Rick Famuyiwa, has the answer.

Malcolm is a promising young teen growing up in a rough neighborhood who, along with his two equally nerdy best friends, has a punk band and dresses as if he fell out of an early ’90s hip-hop video. Every decision Malcolm has made up …

]]>
Film: Dope
Starring: Shameik Moore, A$AP Rocky
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

Every year audiences are given numerous coming-of-age tales based around themes of self-discovery and love, but what ever happened to growing up in response to the stupid decisions we make when we’re young? Dope, the latest feature from writer/director Rick Famuyiwa, has the answer.

Malcolm is a promising young teen growing up in a rough neighborhood who, along with his two equally nerdy best friends, has a punk band and dresses as if he fell out of an early ’90s hip-hop video. Every decision Malcolm has made up to the point we first meet him has been with his future in mind. He wants to get out of the rough area he’s always known and into the Ivy League, but he would be lying if he told you he did not also want to fall in love and be considered cool, or at the very least be cool enough to not get bullied by jerks at his school.

On the day we first meet Malcolm he makes the poor decision to relay a message between a local drug dealer and the girl he admires. This leads Malcolm and his friends to a private party they are far too young to be attending and, following an unexpected police presence at the event, the trio are thrust into one of the most complicated and difficult situations of their still young lives. I won’t spoil the twist here, but suffice to say it’s a familiar premise that is used in a truly unique and original way.

It would have been incredibly easy for Rick Famuyiwa to tell a story we’ve heard a thousand times before when developing Dope, but after the The Wood and Brown Sugar, he appears to have wanted to challenge himself as much as the audience with something a bit left of center. Once Malcolm and his friends understand the circumstances surrounding them in the aftermath of the party, Dope begins to transform from typical coming-of-age tale to a message-based story of overcoming adversity and learning to see the world as something more than black and white. The color of Malcolm’s skin shouldn’t matter to the viewer, but Famuyiwa knows it still does, and he uses the pre-conceived notions of how black teens act as a way to poke fun at stereotypes without losing track of his narrative. Like Dear White People did in 2014, this film manages to convey thought-provoking social commentary without sacrificing engaging narrative.

In addition to offering an original and compelling narrative, Dope is littered with brilliant performances that linger in the mind long after the final line of credits has rolled. Shameik Moore, who portrays Malcolm, seems destined to become Hollywood’s next go-to actor for all new future teen-centric projects. Like Michael B. Jordan with Fruitvale Station or Miles Teller with Spectacular Now, Moore has used this role to showcase every bit of talent he possesses. The strong supporting cast, notably led by A$AP Rocky, Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori, deserve praise as well.

By combining modern filmmaking techniques with familiar teen movie tropes, Rick Famuyiwa has created a coming-of-age masterpiece with Dope that will no doubt stand the test of time. It’s a movie for anyone who has ever wondered if it was okay to simply be themselves, and it encourages everyone who sees it to do whatever they must to embrace the person they were always meant to be. It’s a fun, unexpected burst of creativity amidst a summer run amuck with sequels and destruction porn. Don’t miss it.

GRADE: A

Review written by James Shotwell

]]>
0
Drew Caruso <![CDATA[Foreign Tongues Launch Pre-Orders For Debut LP, Stream New Track]]> http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1153075 2015-06-24T16:21:05Z 2015-06-24T16:09:35Z In case you weren’t unaware, I really like Foreign Tongues.

The New England-based act are gearing up to release their debut LP, Fragile, As Said Before, on July 24 via No Sleep. Pre-orders are live here.

Substream is premiering a new track from the LP, “Assembly,” which is a heartbreaking cut about dealing with the loss of a friend from suicide. The band melds influences varying from The National, The Cure, and more, blending beautifully into a heartbreaking, yet sonically soaring track.

Stream the fantastic new single from Foreign Tongues after the jump.

]]>
In case you weren’t unaware, I really like Foreign Tongues.

The New England-based act are gearing up to release their debut LP, Fragile, As Said Before, on July 24 via No Sleep. Pre-orders are live here.

Substream is premiering a new track from the LP, “Assembly,” which is a heartbreaking cut about dealing with the loss of a friend from suicide. The band melds influences varying from The National, The Cure, and more, blending beautifully into a heartbreaking, yet sonically soaring track.

Stream the fantastic new single from Foreign Tongues after the jump.

]]>
0