Film Review: The Skeleton Twins

The Skeleton Twins

Skeleton Twins written and directed by Craig Johnson (Duplass Brothers Productions, Venture Forth, Roadside Attractions, R, 93 min) Starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell. A Special Bond? Rumor has it that twins share a special connection. Some even create their own language. What does that bond look like as they grow up and start their own families? The relationship between twins functions as the central theme to Craig Johnson’s The Skeleton Twins. Twins A dark comedy, the film begins with Milo (Bill Hader) finishing a suicide note before reclining in a bath tub to slit his wrists. Simultaneously, his twin sister Maggie (Kristen Wiig), three time zones away, prepares to swallow a lethal dose of pills. Before… Read More →

Film Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel written and directed by Wes Anderson (Scott Rudin Productions, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, R, 100 min) Starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, and Tony Revolori. The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders Anyone prone to independent film ought to know the Wes Anderson brand well enough. The hyper realism. The cheeky humor. The cinematic jokes. Anderson’s work might be one of the most distinctive in Hollywood. And, Wes Anderson became the source for my favorite SNL short last year, actually. So it’s interesting to see Anderson play with his signature elements… Read More →

Album Review: Days Are Gone

Days Are Gone by Haim

Days Are Gone by Haim (Columbia, 2013. 44 minutes) Haim is a band from Los Angeles, California comprised of sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim. A Trend Is But a Repeat of the Past With music, it seems as if we’re repeating ourselves every 20 years. The 90s mirrored the 70s. The aughts mirrored the 80s. Now it sounds like we’re giving a run at the 90s. When I was heavily involved in music during high school and college, I had a tendency toward demonizing these repetitions. I would mock popular music and be the first to point out how a musician sourced influences from the past. If I had to look at it introspectively, I would say my views… Read More →

Album Review: Trouble Will Find Me

Trouble Will Find Me by The National

Trouble Will Find Me by The National (4AD, 2013. 55 minutes) The National is Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Scott Devendorf, and Bryan Devendorf. The band has released 6 full-length albums. Let It Be When you find yourself in times of trouble, what comes to you? What speaks words of wisdom? Where do you go? In those dark places where trouble might find us, we all seek our buoys, those things which speak truth to our soul. Perhaps it’s a book. Maybe a painting. Potentially a collection of songs? While I personally won’t go so far as to say Trouble Will Find Me is my muse, its content and production make it a front-runner. In short, this album sticks… Read More →

Album Review: All the Times We Had

All the Times We Had by Ivan & Alyosa

All the Times We Had by Ivan & Alyosha (Dualtone Records, 2013. 43 minutes) Ivan & Alyosha is a Seattle band founded by lead singer, Tim Wilson, and lead guitarist, Ryan Carbary. Later, the band added Pete Wilson on bass and Tim Kim on guitar. Aside from All the Time We Had, the band has released multiple EPs. In Search of a Masterpiece We’ve all heard a masterpiece record. We might not agree on exactly what makes a masterpiece, but it always seems to transcend genre, each second contains pure gold. More than just a collection of songs, the album is a collective piece of art. But how does an album become art? And how does a band attain a… Read More →