Album Review – J. COLE: 2014 FOREST HILLS DRIVE

Sometimes You Can Go Back Home

J. Cole has been on the precipice of greatness since his first album, according to himself anyway. That’s not to say that he’s delusional, but more that he understands the eminent pressure put on him by his fans and the hip-hop community at large. You’re signed by Jay-Z, doing features with TLC, and rubbing elbows with some of the best in the game (Kendrick Lamar, Wale & Drake). Where Cole falters as an artist, and on his album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive is his lasting appeal. He’s an artist that’s aware of how good he’s supposed to be, but inconsistently delivers at that level.

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Album Review – Wu-Tang Clan: A Better Tomorrow

Get Off My Lawn, Motherf**ker

Anyone from a large family has experienced times when most of the family gets together for a holiday or graduation. It’s a good time had by all, but what’s most interesting is when the various generations break off into groups and you get to witness a time warp of sorts. Most entertaining of which is that group that spent their most formative years in the ’90s; Just young enough to still be “with it,” but showing some signs of their age. That’s what Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow sounds like. A bunch of guys who spent their best years together, but don’t see each other very often.

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Rage, Carnage & Fury in the Latest Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer

MadMax_FR_Comicon_TrailerGive me this movie, NOW. Mad Max: Fury Road looks over the top, full throttle(man I hate that phrase, but it fits) and insane. I’ve always been a fan of the franchise, mostly the Road Warrior sequels, since the original never got much play on TV, but that world always interested me. Using the Australian outback as a setting for dystopian future full of car obsessed maniacs. It spoke to me, and also my lack of adult supervision. Continue reading Rage, Carnage & Fury in the Latest Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer

Sons of Anarchy: “Papa’s Goods” Series Finale Review

Good night, sweet prince

**SPOILERS BELOW**

“I did what I know how to do.” A very telling line from the tragic hero of SAMCRO. This finale was to be the culmination of seven years. An ending to both, the events of the last two seasons and the last seven seasons for Jax Teller. There were definitely hits on both counts, but “Papa’s Goods” wasn’t the home run that many may have hoped for. Some on the nose imagery, and a too many neat coincidences, exposed the try-hard nature Sons of Anarchy. Continue reading Sons of Anarchy: “Papa’s Goods” Series Finale Review

It’s a Rock and Shock Connection in the San Andreas Trailer

Ah, the the disaster flick. An american staple. Put file_116066_0_dwaynejohnsonandreasa bunch of actors in or on a location, then completely destroy it. The ultimate in “turn your brain off” movies. So why am I filled with nothing but apathy (can you be filled with apathy?) for San Andreas? It has a lot going for it that is so far up my alley it murdered Batman’s parents. The Rock running around, Carla Guigino and Alexandra Dadario in what are sure to be thankless roles, even by disaster standards and Paul Giamatti buying a beach house. It’s dumb.

It’s also a CGI bonanza. The major draw of a disaster flick is watching the set crumble. In newer disaster movies (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012), it’s all on a computer. Not much for the actors to interact with, the element of danger is mostly gone. It’s what makes Dwayne Johnson an interesting choice to lead this thing. Yes, he’s a box-office draw, but we want to see him doing things, not reacting. So watching him flying through the air, and dodging debris isn’t the hero we want. Who knows, I could be wrong, this could work, but it looks like a cash in for all involved. I ain’t mad. Keep getting them checks.

Album Review – Shady Records: Shady XV

Verse Errbody

The last few years for Eminem have been something of a victory lap. Not that he’s not putting his all into his work, but he’s basically been showing off his exceptional talent. Marshall Mathers, is arguably the best rapper in the world. His cadence, lyrical barbs, metaphors, and punchlines are so on point and lightning fast, that you’ll miss most of the punch of a song in just one pass. Which is what makes Shady XV the disappointment that it is. The entire Shady Records roster gets to flex their muscles, but their fearless leader throws off the balance at every turn.

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A Better Trailer for an Iffy Terminator Genisys Movie

Come with me if you want to limp along

First, there were the Entertainment Weekly photos. Then there was the motion poster, followed by the teaser for this trailer(because that’s what we do now). Finally, we have our first “real” look at Terminator: Gemisys, and it’s only slightly better than the dress up we’ve gotten so far.

terminator5onesheetAdmittedly, this has me a lot more interested in the film than any marketing that preceded it, but it’s still a little wonky in its execution. Kyle Reese is sent back in time to 1984 to stop a the Terminator for killing Sarah Connor, but it turns out that she’s already taken care of that and now he’s in an alternate timeline much like Back to the Future: Part IIIn the the Terminator: Genisys univers, Sarah has been raised by the Arnie-faced, T-800, and is a total badass, long before she was destined to be later. That’s a hook I can get behind. With these characters thrown into the mix of the 1984 original.

That said, it’s not the concept that bothers me, but what i’m seeing. An over abundance of CGI, especially on the aging Schwarzenegger, and a lot of hokey set pieces for the dystopian future. I LOVE the first two Terminator films, and much like the first two Alien  films, they work together because they are so different tonally. From tense sci-fi thriller, to action sequel, those transitions worked. This follows the dumb-tertainment path a little too far it seems. I can accept an over the top, ridiculous, action flick (I champion the Fast & Furious movies), but somethings rotten in Denmark. Maybe this franchise should be dipped into lava instead of strapped to studio life support.