Album of the Week

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin is a beautiful, hallucinogenic album that truly engrosses the listener.

Recently I have been listening to a lot more electronic music. From Chromatics to Crystal Castles, I find this genre of music very hazy, which I really enjoy. It was only a matter of time before I started listening to Aphex Twin, and now he’s one of my favorites. This album is unlike nothing else because the beats are pretty techno and kind of dance like, but with so many more relaxing effects. With the added ambiance, reverbs, and subtle samples, it creates a heavenly sound. The way the uptempo beats and the ambient aspects combine, it creates an electronic album like no other. My favorite tracks are Xtal, Pulsewidth, and Heliosphan.

Movie Review

Blade by Stephen Norrington is an entertaining superhero action movie with a decent story and action scenes, but not much more.

I was pretty curious to see this movie because the story seemed appealing, but it also had a pretty big cultural impact. It was Marvels first movie with a black hero, and it really skyrocketed Marvel into to movie industry. So for that alone, thats pretty amazing. However, the movie itself isn’t great, but its not bad. Im not going to act like its something its not supposed to be, its a superhero movie meant to be a box office hit. Nonetheless, I still somewhat enjoyed it. The story of Blade is interesting in itself. Watching it doesn’t really feel like a chore, unlike many other superhero movies. However, there are still many shallow and stupid scenes.

Wesley Snipes does a great job as he plays a historic role for the movie industry. The other acting and dialogue is pretty bad, but there are still a few fun scenes that were entertaining This movie earns a 2/5 from me, but its cultural impact is more important than the movie itself.

Movie Review

In Paths of Glory, Kubrick delivers in this entertaining and provocative anti-war film.

Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors, so it was only a matter of time before I watched this. While i’m not the biggest war movie fan, but because this was very against the idea of war, I found it very relatable. While this film is a little short and left me craving more, I still enjoyed it. The narrative is very interesting and really made me sympathize with the man character Dax, played by Kirk Douglas. Douglas plays this role very well as he really displays what a man feels when even his own country is betraying him. However, all the characters are well done. The plot really provokes how the viewer thinks about the hidden scenes of a war.

As always, Kubrick plays a huge role in the movie. His shots are always beautiful and help the viewer see things differently. His shots in the trenches are especially profound as they’re very chaotic, but forces you to stay watching. The end scene is especially moving as it perfectly caps off the theme of the movie, as Dax has his faith restored in mankind after losing it all. This movie earns a 4/5 stars from me. It was very well done, just misses that last piece of beauty or emotion to make it a masterpiece.

Online Outfits

This a new series where I present my three friends and I a theme where we have to create an outfit on this theme from clothes we find online. This week I didn’t really choose a theme, I just wanted us to display our individual style. Be on the lookout for more (Thank you William for the graphic)!

Album of the Week

While more of a rock/guitar driven sound that I usually don’t enjoy, Catherine Wheel’s Crank finds the balance between rock but with a very pleasant sound.

As a Smiths and MBV fan, this album is very similar but brings more of a hard rock sound to it. The heavy guitar melodies really stand out for the better and really compliment Dickinsons raw but smooth voice. This creates a very atmospheric shoegaze like sound that is unique.

The lyrics are also very emotional and match the albums sound well. Songs Crank, Strange Fruit, and The Nude are my favorites and really perfect what I feel like the album was trying to accomplish. This album is really beautiful in all musical aspects and I highly recommend it!

Movie Review

Fritz Langs Ministry Of Fear, is full of suspense and mystery that entertains and puzzles the viewer.

To be honest, I watched this movie because I really liked the poster to the left. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the film. While the narrative is interesting, its the captivating suspense that what really makes the movie. However, I did enjoy the unique characters and their contribution to the mystery. Regarding the suspense, there is almost always a sense of fear in every scene but not in an overwhelming way. Combined with the mystery at hand, it creates a unique noir that left me satisfied. Lang does a good job with pacing to not make the film too extravagant. His use of lighting also stood out to me as it really emphasizes key moments.

In the end, for what it is, Lang delivers and left me content, earning a 3/5 stars.

Book Discussion

In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley connects the implications of Brave New World to the real world.

This was a must read for me as Brave New World is my favorite book. While the story itself is amazing, I was also really intrigued of the science and philosophical tones of the novel. The essays in this book are about the original book and provide more backstory and tie it to real world problems. These essays talk about the fundamentals of Huxley’s philosophy and really bring to light problems in modern society that could (or rather will) lead us to the dystopian setting of Brave New World. Huxley writes about pursuit of freedom, education of propaganda, mind-manipulation, etc within modern society. This was very eye opening to me as I thought ideas in Brave New World wouldn’t be used until a long time, but was I wrong. Huxley continues on to write about how we will get there, but also ways to stop, or at least slow ,this seemingly inevitable path to total tyranny. These essays are very insightful to problems society faces today, and is a must read for the modern man regardless of their stance regarding the original novel.

Movie Review

Fallen Angels is a cinematic masterpiece that really changed the way I see how movies can be made.

The narrative of this foreign film isn’t mind blowing, but it’s not the main point of the film. It follows three very different characters who all have some connection at one point or another. It’s a pretty standard plot, but includes some intricacies that make it a little more special. The plot involves the watcher through chaotic gun-fight scenes all the way to very intimate scenes of love. Through this, it really comes off as a raw story rather than forcing feelings on you, which made me relate to the characters.

What really made this movie enjoyable at every second is the cinematography. I have never seen anything as experimental as this, but Wong Kar-Wai nails it. The unconventional (but nonetheless fascinating) camerawork is almost like something out of a photograph essay, but it works well with the emotions displayed in the film. The atmosphere from the settings, color schemes, and shots of the city life create a beautiful, almost hallucinogenic feeling that entices the viewer.

The cinematography alone is worth the watch, but the plot isn’t bad by any means. This movie earns a 4/5 for me but is a much watch regardless.