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OSR: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug December 23, 2013

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One Sentence Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Again, the length should have been relegated to a home video release, but it was good to be back in Middle Earth even if many things were not how they are remembered.

Rating: Matinee (7/10)

Rating System: Needs IMAX 3D Glasses (10), Full-Price Ticket (9-8), Matinee (7-6), Wait For Digital (5-4), Late-Night Cable Fodder (3-2), I’ve Made Better Films With My Ass Camera (1)

Favorite Albums of 2012: #4 December 18, 2012

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4. The Presets – Pacifica

You’ve just released an album that won Australia’s equivalent of the Grammy’s Album of the Year and are the first electronic band to ever do so. What do you do next? You take four years off. Who needs that kind of pressure? Thankfully, Pacifica is worth the wait. Julian and Kim are still working out their demons through trance punk dance pop and this time around they’ve seem to have spent some time in the Outback with their Aboriginal brothers. Many of the songs are tribal with a militant beat like “Ghosts” which finds Julian reliving his hedonistic youth and trying to learn from it: “Cocaine, song and women and wine/Memories blur and they make me shudder.” This theme of learning from mistakes and attempting to overcome disappointment run throughout especially “Fail Epic” and the extremely intense “Youth in Trouble.” It even laces through their most 80’s-sounding song. “Promises” is the tune you would have expected from them earlier in their career since they claim the likes of Eurythmics as their musical heroes. And like Eurythmics, The Presets can take a stereotypically shallow music style and give it weight. There is a lot of heavy stuff happening in Pacifica, but you won’t mind too much. You’ll be too busy dancing in your own private rave.

Favorite songs: “Youth in Trouble,” “Promises,” “Fall,” “Fast Seconds”

Review: Tennis – Young & Old February 20, 2012

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Tennis
Young & Old
Fat Possum Records

The latest from the Denver duo seems to start where Cape Dory left off: not only a song about traveling but revealing we’re about to proceed in much the same precocious 50’s innocence style. This time around they’ve added just a more touch of production value by hiring Patrick Carney of The Black Keys to run the boards. Carney does his best to leave the band in a garage studio setting but the overall effect still delivers a more polished sound. This is most evident in “Petition” with its big bass and drums and the overdubbing of Alaina Moore’s vocals which give the song that 50’s girl group sound. It is also the funkiest song the band has ever recorded. Unfortunately, much like eating too much candy, the songs become cloying over the course of 10 tracks with the realization there isn’t much change in the attempt to charm.

New Scissor Sisters Song January 2, 2012

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The song is alright, but having the video set up as a junior high play? Awesome.

OSR: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows December 19, 2011

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One Sentence Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

A Game of Shadows is a charming, old-fashioned romp.

Rating: Matinee

Rating System: Full-Price Ticket, Matinee, Wait For DVD, Late-Night Cable Fodder, I’ve Made Better Films With My Ass Camera

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