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Everything posted by opus

  1. Super 8 is a legitimate comparison because they're both mining the same type of tropes and source material, but while I enjoyed Super 8, I'd argue that Stranger Things delivers more in the end. I know it resonated with me a lot more strongly then Super 8 ever did.
  2. We're about 2/3 of the way through it and so far, we're loving it. Yes, it shamelessly traffics in '80s nostalgia, but it's actually kind of eclectic and avoids obvious cliches. (Or maybe I'm just not used to hearing Joy Division songs in TV shows.) And it references lots of classic films, from Stand By Me to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So it's shameless that way, too. But I just don't care because it's just done so well, a classic case in how to use nostalgia well. I love the characters, even the minor ones. (One of my favorite scenes is when the boys are having a discussion with their dweebish science teacher and they throw out a Dungeons & Dragons reference and he knows exactly what they're talking about.) And I love the show's aesthetic, which feels very authentic in terms of setting, wardrobe, etc., while adding to the atmosphere. For example, the way the camera lingers on scenes after they're technically over, which only adds to the sense of gloom and foreboding. I realize it could tank by the final episode, but I'm very hopeful. We'll probably binge watch the final episodes tonight.
  3. opus

    The Witch (2015)

    "Beware, Horror Fans: 'The Witch' Has Just Been Named an Official 'Satanic Experience'" Make of that what you will. FYI, the Satanic Temple were the folks who tried to get a statue of Baphomet placed in the Oklahoma State Capitol.
  4. Agreed. The original was as big, dumb, and loud as it gets, but from the one-liners and hamming it up, the film knew it. Based on the trailer, the sequel seems to think that darker and grittier is better. Sure, you have to raise the stakes for the sequel, but does it need to be so grim-dark?
  5. I am very OK with this casting decision.
  6. The film is now titled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny, and Netflix has released the first trailer. I haven't been following the film's production, so I was a bit surprised -- but perhaps I shouldn't have been -- that it'll apparently be an English language film. The martial arts action looks pretty good, which one would expect from Yuen Woo-Ping. But really, a dreary synth-y cover of "Bad Moon Rising" for the soundtrack? That was... odd. Also, is the film a prequel? Everything I've read indicates it's still a sequel.
  7. We Saw the First Episode of Marvel's Jessica Jones and Now We Want More:
  8. opus

    Song of the Sea

    FWIW, my wife and I watched this over our anniversary weekend. It was an absolutely beautiful film, but thematically speaking (especially the final scene), I'm not so sure it was the wisest viewing choice for that particular weekend.
  9. Not sure why The Man From Nowhere is part of "Kung Fu Fridays" but it's a solid, gritty action/thriller. It's like Taken, only much better. As for Into the Badlands, I was initially underwhelmed by what I saw. But the more I think about it, the more the bonkers premise has grown on me. The blend of old and new, and putting wuxia-style swordplay in a semi-modern context, reminds me of films like What Price Survival, Heroic Trio, The Executioners, and Savior of the Soul. Those weren't necessarily good films (though I believe What Price Survival is a truly hidden gem), but they can be entertaining in their bonkers-ness to watch. I think/hope Into the Badlands will be along the same lines.
  10. opus

    Greenbelt 2015.

    I sincerely hope some footage from the RAIJ's performance appears on YouTube soon. And yes, their new album is fantastic.
  11. BuzzFeed (of all places) has posted a pretty long, in-depth piece that delves into JPUSA's history in light of No Place to Call Home. It's a pretty heartbreaking read.
  12. opus

    New Stuff Worth Hearing

    A few recent faves of mine... CFCF - The Colours of Life 40 minutes of instrumental pop that blends together world music influences and '80s music tropes -- think Bill Laswell remixing a Phil Collins cover of Talk Talk. You might find it really cheesy, and it sort of is, but it also hits a real sweet spot for me that taps into '80s nostalgia but goes into some new directions. The Green Kingdom - Vapor Sequences A 4-song EP of minimal ambient dub -- think a more spacious, ethereal Burial. Perfect for late night coding sessions. Lightning Bug - Floaters Lo-fi shoegaze/ambient/experimental pop at its finest. Brings to mind Broadcast, Slowdive, Flying Saucer Attack, and Amy Annelle, but has a singular emotional wallop all its own. This one came out of left field and just bowled me over. Pilotpriest - W/W/D/K/F Cinematic synthesizer music reminiscent of Daft Punk and Makeup & Vanity Set. Cascading Slopes - Towards a Quaker View of Synthesizers The best album that Joy Electric never released. Absolutely beautiful and emotional synth-pop.
  13. opus

    It Follows

    I know previous commenters didn't care for the soundtrack, but if you'd like to hear it on its own terms, here it is. Edit: Having listened to it a bit, I can see how some might find it distracting. It seems like it wants to be like Sinoia Caves' soundtrack for Beyond the Black Rainbow, which also evoked John Carpenter's classic scores, and is also really ominous and overbearing, but that approach works for that movie.
  14. Here's my review. Nice review. I sure do hope it's not the last album (but I really want to hear Wedding Feast of the Lamb: Second Movement!). Who was the former theology prof? Matt Hinton. According to his bio on the website for Awake, My Soul, he taught religion at Morehouse College. He also runs an apparently excellent burrito restaurant.
  15. I've been listening to Trophies almost non-stop since I got it. Without a doubt, it's my favorite album of theirs, and if it's the last Luxury album, then it's a fantastic final statement. Here's my review.
  16. I understand why the film is so complicated, politically, and but that final shot is why I have trouble accepting that the film is just propaganda for the State. You're right, it's not a triumphant shot, but rather, a reminder that total and complete authority is something very grim, lonely, and isolating. The emperor gets what he wants, but loses all sense of connection or relationship, forced to kill the people who understand him. It also builds on a scene earlier in the film where the emperor explains that he must sleep in armor and forbid even his courtiers from coming too close, in order to protect him from assassins.
  17. opus

    Our 2014 lists

    That Grouper album is slowly growing on me. "Clearing" will probably end up on my year-end list, too.
  18. opus

    Our 2014 lists

    I'm still in the process of ordering and listing, but here's my favorite songs of 2014 so far (in no particular order): "Intro (Its Album Time)" - Todd Terje "Tu hevur taer dyrastu perlur" - Gudrid Hansdottir "Stay" - Seasurfer "Plains To Crash" - Damien Jurado (feat. Sisters of the Eternal Son) "Good Shepherd" - Wovenhand "Secant" - Ben Frost "Tomorrow" - The Roots "Windswept" - CFCF "SolĂȘr" - Otto A Totland "Micheline" - Sun Kil Moon "It Hurts to Say Goodbye" - The Choir "Hard Wired" - Perturbator (feat. Isabella Goloversic) "Old 45's" - Chromeo "Foil" - "Weird Al" Yankovic "The Body You Deserve" - HTRK "Caught In Time, So Far Away" - You'll Never Get to Heaven "Orion" - 2:54 "Shelter Song" - Temples "Kelly" - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart "The Fog Closing In" - Desiderii Marginis "Elena's Sound-World" - Sinoia Caves "Fall" - Cheatahs "Oblivion" - Deaf Center "The Wings of the Dawn" - Remedy Drive "Never Catch Me" - Flying Lotus (feat. Kendrick Lamar) "Sparks Were Real" - Anilore "This is All We Know" - Le Cassette "Shadows And Light" - Turks & Caicos "Museums In Decline" - Luxury
  19. Another day, another fantastic track from the new Luxury album. I confess, I was a bit ambivalent at first -- I liked Luxury, but didn't love them like some of my friends did -- but I'm getting really excited for Trophies. https://soundcloud.com/luxury2014/museums-in-decline
  20. On Halloween, I got to fulfill a twenty-year-old wish and see Slowdive in concert. It did not disappoint. But after years of listening to their albums, I wasn't prepared for just how intense and aggressive their live sound would be. Their setlist covered their entire career, with a couple of songs ("Crazy For You," "Golden Hair") getting reworked in some interesting ways. Low opened for them, so I got to see two of my favorite bands of all time in one night. I'm not too familiar with their last two albums, which comprised most of Low's setlist, but it was a solid set, and like Slowdive, much more intense and aggressive than I was expecting. My full review, plus some pictures, is here.
  21. Animation-wise, it's nowhere near the movies... which shouldn't be too surprising, though it's head and shoulders above a lot of anime series. However, it felt much more character-driven than the movies, which are all about the Big Ideas (hence the over-the-top monologues dripping with philosophical treatises). SAC deals with plenty of big ideas, too -- esp. when the tachikomas start becoming self-aware -- but it also has lots of nice character moments (e.g., glimpses of Togusa's home life and backstory, Batou dealing with the ghosts of his past) that make Section 9 feel like a real team with real personalities. I'm with you. I love the original film, love Innocence, but really dig SAC. The second half of the season is riveting. I didn't care much for Innocence when I first saw it, but I've had a recent hankering to watch it again. Is there a recommended release/edition? Also, did you know that Ghost in the Shell: Arise is streaming on Netflix? Or at least the first two episodes are. There are some cool moments, but there's something about the animation that really throws me off; it feels really stiff compared to the other series.
  22. The 25th anniversary's release details sadden me. I still have a two-disc set on DVD that Manga released years ago and would love to get a remastered, cleaned up version on Blu-ray. And I wholeheartedly agree with the strangeness and contemplative aspects of the movie. My absolute favorite part of the movie occurs when Kusanagi and Batou are hunting down an invisible gunman in a crowded marketplace, and as they slowly walk down the street, the entire film slows down and becomes as dreamlike as anything I've seen. At one point, the shadow of a giant airliner fly overhead, and it fascinates me every time. That being said, and at the risk of being sacrilegious, I think the first season of Stand Alone Complex is my favorite animated incarnation of Ghost in the Shell.
  23. opus

    John Wick

    So he plays a hitman who goes on a rampage of revenge because somebody killed his puppy?! How can I not see this? Oh, and here's Twitch's review from Fantastic Fest:
  24. Syro more closely resembles stuff like The Richard D. James Album and I Care Because You Do, i.e., more hookier and groovier. It's definitely a far cry from his pure ambient stuff. Syro is still growing on me, mainly because I've really immersed myself in his ambient material lately. If nothing else, it's an example of the sheer range of styles and material that James has released over the last 2-3 decades -- and yet, they all sound incredibly like him and him alone.
  25. opus


    Sigh... Why does every hacker-related movie have to show packets of energy/light/electricity traveling across wires and cables? I wonder if we'll get to see some dueling hackers?
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