Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘And So It Goes’

Film: And So It Goes
Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton
Directed by: Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner has made an art out of telling simple stories with relatable characters. In a time where every film tries to be bigger and more extravagant than the one that came before, Reiner’s work exists to remind cinemagoers that the only thing a movie needs to be a hit is a good story with a few solid laughs. Big name stars help, too, of course, but they’re not a prerequisite for success.

And So It Goes is the latest work from Reiner, and like many …

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REVIEW: Field Mouse – ‘Hold Still Life’

Artist: Field Mouse
Album: Hold Still Life
Genre: Alternative, Shoegaze
Label: Topshelf Records

Hold Still Life is an adventure fit for any occasion. While keeping a steady collective of pop, melody, and charm, Field Mouse’s sophomore LP is able to play with tones in ways that keep songs fresh, all while consistently holding a formula for songwriting, giving each track a vivid feel while providing consistency for the listener.

Swerving in and out of fuzz, dynamics, and variability, the one constant throughout the record are the vocals. Front and center, crisp and clear, Field Mouse prose vocals that act as …

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AFI Docs 2014 Round-Up

This past weekend, I had the unique pleasure of attending AFI Docs, the premiere documentary film festival in Washington, DC. For those of you who follow the site regularly, you know that here at UTG we are avid lovers of the documentary, and we do everything we can as writers to help promote this genre of filmmaking that is not given the same amount of exposure as your usual blockbusters. This was our second year attending AFI Docs, and I have to say, this year’s lineup was surely impressive. With a wide range of stories, styles, and filmmakers, the …

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SINGLE REVIEW: Basement – “Summer’s Colour”

Artist: Basement
Song: “Summer’s Colour”
Album: Further Sky EP
Label: Run For Cover Records

The beginning chords to Basement’s surprise single “Summer’s Colour” is a feeling of humbling invitation, providing a backdrop for the beginning summer season. I could write for hours on my feelings about the band’s return to music, but I surmise that it is a best fit for this band for me to neglect much of the social aspects of their surprise return and stick with the music.

Beginning with bright chords that eventually lead us into the full return of the much missed Basement, “Summer’s Colour” …

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REVIEW: Lana Del Rey – ‘Ultraviolence’

Artist: Lana Del Rey
Album: Ultraviolence
Genre: Pop

Lana Del Rey pulls no punches on Ultraviolence, her first release since the fall of 2012. After essentially spending two years working on new material the woman who was Born To Die has reemerged more confident and heartbroken than ever before, and she has brought along a strung out rock and roll sound produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to accompany her pain.

If you did not like Lana Del Rey in 2012 you will almost certainly not find her any more enjoyable in 2014. Lana has not switched her …

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REVIEW: Northernmost – ‘Northernmost’

Artist: Northernmost
Album: Northernmost
Genre: Post-Hardcore, Indie

Let me first begin by saying I love the name Northernmost. I know one is to not judge a book by its cover, but anyone acclimated with my writing knows just how much I appreciate a northern escapist mindset. With this on the tip of my imagination, when Northernmost’s debut LP Northernmost made it to my ears, I was ready to find where the northernmost point truly is.

Beginning with the somber and calming “Basic Space,” Northernmost introduce us with ease to their vast soundscape. Releasing a swooning quell on the mind, “Basic …

Sharon Van Etten Are We There

REVIEW: Sharon Van Etten – ‘Are We There’

Artist: Sharon Van Etten
Album: Are We There
Genre: Folk Rock
Label: Jagjaguwar

Sharon Van Etten is a rarity among musicians. The New Jersey native will step onstage and squabble with her three-piece backing band, combining nervous jokes with a half-snort laugh that would probably get a kid bullied in middle school. She’s a bit clumsy, somewhat outspoken, and always innocently honest. It’s been five years since she began twirling around the music scene, cutting herself open again and again for her songs, yet despite the continual applause she’s gotten onstage and off, Etten has always …

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REVIEW: Tigers Jaw – ‘Charmer’

Artist: Tigers Jaw
Album: Charmer
Label: Run For Cover Records

Scranton, Pennsylvania’s Tigers Jaw are a rare breed of band. Masters of introspective lyricism, this much-vaunted quintet possess a unique ability to create music that is both hauntingly beautiful and unashamedly heartfelt, yet still maintains a rollicking energy rooted deep in its punk rock soul. The band’s firm grasp of this duality is displayed to devastating effect on their latest studio album Charmer. The fourth full-length offering from the band, Charmer finds Tigers Jaw at their emotive best, utilizing the full power of their impressive songwriting chops to deliver …

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REVIEW: Brantley Gilbert – ‘Just As I Am’

Artist: Brantley Gilbert
Album: Just As I Am
Genre: Alt-Country
Label: Valory Music

Four years have passed since Brantley Gilbert released new material, and in that time country music has seen a number of new, young male singer-songwriters make their mark with so-called ‘bad boy’ music. These are essentially songs that keep the twang element of country firmly in place while incorporating classic rock influences and pop culture references ranging from television shows to popular rap artists into the lyrics. Florida Georgia Line, for example, have risen from obscurity to headliners in less time than Gilbert has …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Blended’

Film: Blended
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

I had hope walking into Blended. The reteaming of Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, and Frank Coraci (who also directed The Wedding Singer) gave me hope that we might see a return to form after so many failed Sandler outings. Unfortunately, not only did I not laugh heartily once during the film’s 117 minute running time but I cowered into my sweatshirt. I wanted this amalgam of Sandler film career references, off-colored jokes, muddled family messages, and misrepresentation of an entire country to end.…

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

Film: X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman
Directed by: Bryan Singer

Like a phoenix rising from the surface of the sun, Bryan Singer has returned to the X-Men franchise he helped build and delivered its most entertaining chapter to date.

There was a time not too long ago when it seemed the X-Men franchise had ran off the rails of box office entertainment. It was around the same time The Last Stand hit theaters, which coincidentally was the first film to not have filmmaker Bryan Singer’s involvement. The results were okay at best, but certainly not …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Sx_Tape’

Film: Sx_Tape
Starring: Ian Duncan, Caitlyn Folley
Directed By: Bernard Rose

It is almost impossible to believe that the found footage genre made it almost a decade into its existence before a film blending haunted abandon places and poorly filmed sex scenes was given a large scale marketing effort to try and cash in on whatever instant clicks it can garner, but here we are in 2014 and Sx_Tape is only just now rolling out to VOD and cursed tiny theaters nationwide.…