SYVEREVIEW: Pain & Gain
Michael Bay caught dismissive guffaws when he described his latest film as a “small character piece.” As absurd as that statement sounds coming from his lips, Bay was telling the truth. Pain & Gain takes a frantic look at some very twisted people, with minds deformed not only by steroids and supersets but by American pop mythology itself. Nationalist imagery and references to...
Podcast 4.2.13: My Chemical Romance, Lil Wayne....
shirtlesssymposium: In this week’s episode the guys talk about the break up of My Chemical Romance and take a look back on the band’s body of work. They also discuss the latest album from rapper Lil’ Wayne (I Am Not a Human Being 2), the downward spiral of Justin Bieber, and offer a few thoughts on the tragic death of Shain Gandee.
New Zatanna Costume a Dr. Light Ripoff?
wtf? this is outrageous.
This week the guys discuss Superman, Orson Scott Card, and the fine line between art and artist.
shirtlesssymposium: With special guest Tim Tremba, the guys take a meandering look at the return of Justin Timberlake. Download the FREE podcast HERE.
Transgender Identity and Superman's Pal
Rumor has it that in the upcoming Man of Steel picture, Superman’s lovable ginger bro won’t be a bro anymore. Although no formal announcement has been made, all signs point to Olsen’s character swapping genders. That’s right: no more Jimmy Olsen. From now on, it’s Jenny Olsen. As to whether this is a good thing or not, an ever-concerned and engaged comic book...
With the nominees announced, and my opinions literally bursting from my chest, it’s time for me to weigh in. Here are my (generally) informed predictions for the 85th Academy Awards, our culture’s famously anachronistic and unfair method for determining filmic accomplishment. Best Picture - Life of Pi This category is as vexing as it is exciting this year. With an absolute deluge...
Is Red She-Hulk a Blatant Ripoff of Purgatori?
I’m willing to bet the most popular comment you’ve heard about Skyfall so far is that it was “not as good as Casino.” Perfect though Daniel Craig may be as Bond, at this point he and the franchise appear to be suffering from a condition that may fairly be called the “agony of success.” Since 2005’s incredible Casino Royale, Craig and the pair of...
In an interactive chat with some of her more quasi-religious devotees the other day, Lady Gaga said she’s considering splitting her upcoming ARTPOP record into two separate volumes. One volume would be for the “commercial” stuff, and the other volume would be for the “experimental” material. What an awful idea. What’s so disappointing about this statement is...
SYVEREVIEW: Gorgeous Children (self-titled)
Previously, this blog exposed few and faithful readers out there to Face Vega, the mysterious and prodigious west coast rapper behind Black Lodge Vol. 1. Now comes Gorgeous Children, Vega’s brilliant collaboration with eccentric producer Gila Monster, and trust me: you wanna peep this. &amp;lt;a href=”http://gorgeouschildren.bandcamp.com/track/olive-skin-2”...
Quick Movie Reviews: The Master, Looper, & Argo
It’s been a while since I contaminated the internet with my vulgarly self-validating pop culture commentary, so I thought I’d take a moment to do just that. As always, spoiler free. The Master I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t pleased either. For some reason, it feels hard to form an honest opinion about this movie. Everyone sounds disingenuous when they talk...
SYVEREVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises
SPOILER FREE. SERIOUSLY. This, I think, is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. Rises is a perfectly plotted, epic and satisfying crescendo to the most important and influential superhero trilogy in genre history. I could say this a million different ways, but I won’t embellish: Simply, I love this movie. Impossibly, Rises was even better than I had imagined throughout...
Five Movies To Get PSYCHED About!
Does anyone even remember what happened in 2011, movie-wise? Not really. It seems to me that most people either blacked it out, or were perceptive enough at the time to ignore the entire cinematic calendar year. For those of us without that blessed ability, 2011 will forever be remembered as the year that a freakin’ silent film won Best Picture. But all that seems to have changed this...
This Summer's Super-Scapegoat: The Amazing...
Leave. Spider-Man. Alone. Following a vigorous and challenging public colloquy with one of my fellow twittellectuals, I feel the need to herein collect my views on The Amazing Spider-Man film, out this July. The vox populi I keep hearing on this film can be summed up as a collective sigh of jadedness, decrying the idea of rebooting a superhero franchise only five years after the conclusion of...
PEEP THIS: Face Vega - Black Lodge Vol. 1
You need to hear this. Black Lodge Vol. 1 is some of the dopest and most exciting avant-garde hip hop I have heard to date. I mean that sincerely. I don’t know who this kid is, but he raps like A$AP Rocky on acid, and references Twin Peaks, Taxi Driver, American Psycho, The Night Stalker (Richard Ramirez), Land Before Time, Street Fighter, and Spider-Man. You’re right to be...
It’s impossible for me to say one word about all that music has meant to...– Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Problem With Digital Mixtape Culture
The Digital Mixtape Era has had an arguably negative effect on the development of contemporary hip-hop. Where previously underground or aspiring artists promulgated skillz via promotion of a vinyl single or modest hard-copy EP, boasting only a few of their most solid and brandworthy tracks, today’s rap artists have succumbed to a promotional system of continually releasing freely...
On #MDNA, Lady Gaga, and Camille Paglia
Madonna came out of de facto retirement to record MDNA, saying she “felt like a caged animal.” First thing I did was groan. I’m an enormous Madonna fan, but it’s utterly depressing to watch an aging artist like her try and fail over again at other mediums, only to crawl back to the music scene a shell of her former self. The record’s first single “Give Me...
Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'" Terrifyingly...
Here is a fascinating remix of the newest Madonna single by ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ of Mater Suspira Vision. It’s a disturbingly unique take on a disturbingly a bland song, complete with a music video constructed out of clips from Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (1992), which was pretty much the Citizen Kane of gore films. The remix also sounds like it’s just a Type O Negative cover. And...
Mob Wives: Midseason Analysis
VH1’s Mob Wives provides one of the most stimulating and controversial depictions of the Italian American lifestyle on television, second perhaps only to Jersey Shore. When I say “Italian American,” I of course mean nothing in terms of national origin or authentic cultural heritage. I merely refer to that set of popularized stereotypes that have been sensationalized and...
The Knife - Heartbeats (live)
SYVEREVIEW: Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
It’s a bittersweet realization, when it dawns on you that an artist’s debut effort is so fantastic, so groundbreaking, and so personally resonant, that nothing they do subsequently will ever compare. In film there’s Richard Kelly and Donnie Darko. In rap, it’s Nas and Illmatic. With TV, you’ve got season one of practically everything. And in the world of...
Jessie Malakouti: Pop VISIONARY
Egregiously underrated pop artist Jessie Malakouti released a new song and video today, “Runaway.” The song is excellent, excellent, excellent. It’s available for free download here, straight from Jessie herself. The video is also great, with content timely and relevant, and not just because it’s Valentine’s Day. (I insist you watch the full video before...
Earl Sweatshirt is Back to Rap
Odd Future’s Prodigal Son has returned. Yesterday, Earl Sweatshirt issued a youtube video which spookily felt like a randsom note, demanding 50,000 twitter followers in exchange for releasing a surprise new track. Three and a half hours later, Earl had his 50K, and promptly released the full version of “Home” here. The playful spookiness of the stunt, and his endearing...
Get Your Act Togetha...
SYVEREVIEW: Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
“Everywhere, the beautiful woman is scrutinized and harassed.” -Camille Paglia It’s no coincidence the savage current of blogospheric criticism directed at Lana Del Rey over the past several months has been so often sexually tinged. Badgering hipsters unrelentingly focus not on her music, but on her lips, midriff, and modeling contract, attaching cynical observations about...
Lana. Del. Rey. *sigh*
As one can surely tell by now, Lana Del Rey is the newest bizarre and divisive pop culture phenomenon I cannot shut up about. Depending on your level of “real life” going on these days, you may or may not have heard of this girl, that she’s accumulated a strange air of confusing internet buzz, that she was on SNL this past weekend, and that it went badly. But just about everyone I know personally...
Gaga in L'Uomo Vogue
These photos of Gaga are positively Matthew-Barney-esque, huh? There’s even one kinda showing her boob. Definitely gonna have to cop this issue when it comes out…
The Beef Creature
(BRO)LD Predictions: Jersey Shore, Season Five
Okay. Before I officially crack down and start studying for this semester, I want to lay down a few brief predictions for this coming season of the greatest show, nay, GREATEST THING, ever concocted by human ingenuity, Jersey Shore. 1) SITUATION is going to change up his strategy. As we all experienced poignantly last season, his evil genius stratagem quite simply did not pan out. In fact it...
SYVEREVIEW: New Year's Eve
Forget what you heard. This movie was alright. Maybe you’re the kind of snotty moviegoer that expects every movie to be as good as (overrated) Inception. Maybe your time is valuable, and not to be wasted on two FULL hours of mediocre seasonal content. Maybe the thought of Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele kissing turns your delicate stomach. Maybe you still believe Robert DeNiro is a...
SYVEREVIEW: Young Adult
The Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman connection continues its successful run with Young Adult, producing a thoughtful story about self-dissatisfaction, shallow reget, and the ever-challenging process of simply carrying on. Cody’s dialogue is decidedly less gimmicky and “fresh” than in her previous scripts, showing a more complex and methodic approach to characterization. The writing...
SYVEREVIEW: Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol I swear, my ass never left the edge of the seat. From beginning to end, this film is bursting with exciting, intelligently conceived action and legitimately stimulating thrills. The cast has pitch-perfect chemistry, with promising performances by rising stars like Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. Michael Nyqvist delivers a by-the-numbers, but...
SYVEREVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I don’t know what it is. But there’s something about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I don’t like. The positively geometric plot progression makes this film incredibly engaging while you are watching, but then feels like a cop-out afterwards. It doesn’t seem likely that watching Mikael and Lisbeth pour over old photographs and business records will be half as good...
God Found Dead in Space
They’re the same.
Son of Jonah
Uh…is it just me or would Jonah Hill make the perfect David Berkowitz?
So what can be said of The Weeknd’s new video for “The Knowing”? It’s cool, and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Unless you count this stupid Cee Lo video. They’re both by Mikael Colombu, an obviously too-smart-for-his-own-good French “filmmaker.” He appears to specialize in “trippy” stuff. I’m puzzled as to why “The...