Wavves: Sail to the Sun

California surf/garage rock band  Wavves has had a really standout year with the release of their new album “Afraid of Heights”. The album is a mixture of that familiar surf pop sound from the band and post-grunge. The album opens with one of the best tracks on the album, ‘Sail to the Sun’. The video for this track is so captivating with its dark subject matter of an unholy priest who leads a secret life. The priest dabbles in drugs and even engages in solicitation of prostitutes. This video is definitely one of my top favorite music videos of the year.

Alt-J: Breezeblocks

I recently checked out the British band Alt-J after hearing so much about them last year. Everywhere I looked there was a magazine or website talking about the band. I finally looked them up and came across their song “Breezeblocks” which completely blew me away. The music video is interesting in itself but the song has become an instant favorite of mine. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Newman’s voice is quite unique and the music is really catchy with its downtempo sound and intricate guitar work. I will definitely be reviewing their entire album in the coming days.

About Schmidt Review

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Jack Nicholson has become one of my favorite actors over the past few years. He has absolutely surprised me with the many great performances he has delivered in many films. I have re-watched many of his movies countless times and each time I find something new that I missed the first or second time around. About Schmidt is one of Nicholson’s best films where he delivers a quirky and even subdued performance quite different from many of his other films.

About Schmidt is about Warren Schmidt (Nicholson), a just retired insurance man who is trying to figure out what to do with the remainder of his life. His wife gives him several options such as traveling across the states in a Winnebago to which Warren nonchalantly agrees even though he has no intention to do so. He decides to foster a child in Africa where he writes the child hilarious in-depth letters about his life. Shortly into his retirement, Warren’s wife dies leaving him to fend for himself. His daughter and her fiancée, which Warren vehemently disapproves of, arrive for the funeral and tell Warren to make sure to come to their wedding in a few weeks. However, Warren and his daughter have a disagreement which leads to his daughter quickly departing.

Alone and bereaved, Warren decides to hop in the Winnebago for a long overdue road trip. He goes through a series of adventures before arriving for his daughter’s wedding where things come to head with Warren and his daughter’s fiancée’s family.

Nicholson’s performance as Warren is both funny and moving. Warren is a man who feels that he hasn’t done all that he wanted to do with his life which is further brought forth when he retires. He misses his job and desperately wants to prove that he can still be productive. He feels a profound emptiness when he sees how his life has turned out. He no longer has romantic feelings for his wife and barely knows his daughter. In an effort to counteract his feelings of inadequacy, Warren decides to take a road trip. He bumbles through several hilarious situations where his actions are misunderstood.

About Schmidt is a movie that questions what fulfillment means. Warren feels completely unfulfilled in his life and fears that he never made a mark in life. Director Alexander Payne does a remarkable job delving into this philosophical problem that everyone tries to solve at one time in their life. Nicholson delivers one of his best performances of all time playing a man attempting to change the course of his life as death looms ever so close. I highly recommend this movie for those who are fans of Nicholson and the familiar theme of trying to create meaning in one’s life.

Bored to Death Season One Review

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After doing a search for current TV shows that delve into the film noir/neo-noir genre, I came across Bored to Death. I had heard about this show a few years ago but never got around to watching it due to the million other shows and movies I had already wanted to see. I did an initial query on the show and decided to check it out.

The first season of Bored to Death is not what I expected. It seemed to be all over the place and even boring at times. My expectations for the show did not measure up one iota and I found myself struggling through the remainder of the series. I was bored by the lame jokes and even the dull plot-lines for several episodes.

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The one good thing I liked about the show was Ted Danson. His performance as a magazine editor who is a womanizer and enjoys pot is the only rewarding thing about this show. I always looked forward to see what he would do next during each episode and was always surprised by the witty things his character would say. He reminded me of Bill Murray with his quirky and offbeat personality. The other actors such as Jason Schwartzman and Zack Galifianakis do not even come close to the comedic performances by Danson which is really surprising.

Even though the first season of Bored to Death didn’t grab hold of me as I thought that it would, I have decided to watch the remaining seasons out of mere curiosity to see if it would improve and to just watch Ted Danson’s hilarious character.