Clint Eastwood takes on the popular jukebox musical looking at the career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and largely wrestles it to a draw. The reviews have generally been mixed here, and it’s not hard to see why as director Eastwood decided to make this a film about people who happened to be musicians rather than make a straight-up musical.
Yes this is stupid, even by the standards of Hollywood blockbusters. It’s not just the on-screen visuals that are driven by the need to make things explode; more than once director Michael Bay seems to use something blowing up as a way to distract audiences from the way one scene doesn’t seem to connect in any real way with the next.
The most exciting local release this year to date is Tim Hulsman’s debut Dead Man’s Garden. Throughout the twelve tracks, the folky acoustic lap steel and rootsy sound that we have all grown to love over the past couple of years is present. The first time that I ever saw Tim Hulsman play was at Beav’s Bar a couple of years ago.
It’s “Ten Years After the Collapse” and the Australian outback is looking pretty shabby. Actually, it’s looking pretty much like what you’d expect: while for overseas viewers no doubt this particular barren countryside (it was filmed in the northern part of South Australia) looks suitably hostile and desolate, for Australians – the occasionally hanging corpse or army patrol aside – it’s just another day in paradise. Our hero Eric (Guy Pearce) has just pulled into a local bar for a drink when a gang of armed robbers crashes their car outside; having no other options, they steal his car and drive off.
Though we may roll our eyes at the need for musicians to create a ‘persona’, let’s face it, it’s damn entertaining when they do – especially when they get it as right as Merrill Garbus does in tUnE-yArDs. Her third album, Nikki Nack is a theatrical 13-track album chock-full of expression and experimentalism. ‘Water Fountain’ deceives us with its uppity guitar strums, rhythmic clapping and percussion while we bop along to some seriously deep lyrics.
Our story begins pretty much where you’d expect an Adam Sandler movie to begin: in a toilet stall at Hooters. There Lauren (Drew Barrymore) is on the phone to best friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey) trying to escape from a horrible blind date with Jim (Adam Sandler). While they superficially seem to hate each other, there’s been a glimmer of bonding over her line “It’s as weird as Weird Al starring in Weird Science”, so even though their date fizzles we just know they’ll get back together because that’s the point of this two-hour movie. But because this is a two-hour movie, we first have to spend time with their kids.
Rose Water, the new EP from Melbourne’s own Milwaukee Banks (MB), is an impressive release. At first, ‘Pluto Bounce’ comes across as a simple electro RnB track, yet the more you listen to it the greater depth and more detail you will find within the vocal samples and instrumentation. A collaboration between Edo and tight lyricist and wordsmith Dyl Thomas, it’s easy to hear how Milwaukee Banks have been compared to the likes of James Blake and Earl Sweatshirt.
Deep down there’s a pop lover in all of us, and if there’s one sickly sweet album you pick up this year make it Foxes’. With her emotive and silky smooth vocals, Louisa Rose Allen couldn’t have put together a better debut. Though this album has been under works for quite a while, it’s been three years since Foxes first started performing. It’s a welcome addition to the CD shelf.
Jack White is a god. Lazaretto, his latest release, is an absolute rocking listen right from the get-go. Released in the last fortnight, it has had rave reviews from all over the world and has been featured on triple j. From the overdriven guitar lines to the rollicking twelve bar blues piano and simple lyrics, there is definitely something here for everybody to enjoy.
Most jokes just aren’t as funny the second time around. Luckily, in this follow-up to the surprise hit 21 Jump Street, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) have put a new spin on the old TV series. The first film was all about how lame it was to even try to make a movie of the 21 Jump Street TV show; this one is about how lame it is to even try to make a sequel to the 21 Jump Street movie … Maybe the jokes aren’t all that new.