Nine Inch Nails: This Isn’t the Place

I’m a little late in adding this to the site but better late than never. Nine Inch Nail’s “This Isn’t the Place” is one of the best songs from the band’s new EP Add Violence. The track is menacing with its drone-like atmosphere and haunting piano keys. Check it out.

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The Boxer Rebellion: Evacuate

The Boxer Rebellion is a band that specializes in melancholy and emotive rock music. Over the course of the band’s career, they have released album after album that further pushes the boundaries of indie rock.

“Evacuate” is one of the most popular songs from The Boxer Rebellion with its excellent guitar effects and quick tempo. Check it out.

The Twilight Sad: I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want

No band currently makes doomful post-punk like The Twilight Sad. Their music always seem to be as if you are staring into the abyss with a hand slowly pushing you forwards. However, their music is quite rewarding to hear in the face of countless post-punk knockoffs and new wave imitators who released one album and are gone forever. This Scottish band has been performing and releasing music at a steady pace that keeps fans coming back for more. Lead singer James Graham’s voice conveys so much sadness and pain that it sinks deep into your very being.

The band recently released their 4th album entitled “Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave”. It is a very dark and brooding album. One of the best tracks on the record is “I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want” with its driving bassline and Graham’s earnest vocals. Check it out above.

The Machine

I have been watching non-stop science fiction movies over the past few weekends after watching “Interstellar” in theaters. I have been actually surprised by the amount of great and interesting sci-fi movies that are out there. One of these recent discoveries is “The Machine” which was written by director Caradog W. James and which I was absolutely blown away by it.

“The Machine” stars Toby Stephens as Vincent McCarthy a scientist who works with cybernetics and who is also trying to develop a cure for his sick daughter. He meets a young scientist named Ava (Caity Lotz) who has developed an engaging artificial intelligence program that also has acquired a conscious. One day Ava and Vincent are assaulted by a Chinese agent sent by the leader of their corporation Thompson. Thier encounter results in Ava getting killed. Vincent decides to replicate Ava by using artificial intelligence. This results in a new Ava that is called The Machine.¬†Things start to change for both Vincent and the Machine when she starts to develop morals and begins to think for herself.

“The Machine” does a great job at displaying the world that the characters inhabit. It is a very dark and menacing world where people are used as guinea pigs for scientific tests then discarded after they complete their assignments. Vincent is tired of the constant misuse of people and the isolation that comes from his job and the constant surveillance that everyone is under. His only hope is finding a cure for his daughter and his feelings for the Machine’s well-being.

The CGI used in the film is also something to pay attention to. There are many visual scenes that showcase the technology being used to create these robots and artificial beings.

Overall, “The Machine” is a great film that delves into the discussion of what consciousness signifies as well as what constitutes being human. The differences between artificial intelligence and “humanness” creates an interesting film that tries to show what can be accomplished.

Salem

I recently finished the TV series Salem and I was really surprised by how good it actually was. There is definitely a resurgence of everything vampire, zombie and witch that is infiltrating films, books and television. This is both a good and a bad thing but for Salem it works quite well.

Salem takes place in the 17th century and presents a fictional account of the Salem witch trials. The show focuses on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) and her induction into witchcraft while secretly harboring feelings for her first love John Alden (Shane West) who is a soldier that has returned back to Salem. Mary Sibley is guided and instructed by her servant Tituba (Ashley Madekwe) who wants to bring forth the grand rite which is hell on earth.

Mary battles both her fellow witches who try to control her as well as Reverend Increase Mather who is a witch hunter that has killed many witches and does not shy away from torture. Mary also fights her feelings for John Alden who wants to protect her from the town’s vindictive nature towards witches.

This show is quite remarkable with its dark and erotic story. The production and costume design is really amazing and really helps to present this sordid and evil world. The acting is good especially from Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley. The theme song which is by Marilyn Manson is also an added incentive. Overall I highly recommend watching Salem.

Burial: Fostercare

I feel like I am way behind the curve on whats been going on in the electronic music genre. I recently discovered a boatload of artists that are making really engaging music in this genre and have been listening to them constantly.

Burial is one of these new discoveries that makes downbeat electronica music. There is a certain atmosphere that resonates in each one of his songs that sets the overall tone for the track. “Fostercare” is a turbulent song that fluctuates in intensity and with a movie clip from “The Machinist” it gets even darker in scope. Check it out.

Prisoners

Denis Villeneuve’s “Prisoners” is a dark and gripping thriller about the lengths that a parent would go to find their child. The film stars Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover a man whose child goes missing on Thanksgiving. His neighbors’ daughter goes missing as well and Dover enlists the help of Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) in getting information out of suspect Alex Jones (Paul Dano) by kidnapping him and imprisoning him in a contraption. He tortures the man who he believes knows exactly where his daughter is.

Meanwhile, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case and tries everything to track down the missing girls while butting heads with Dover.

I really enjoyed this movie due to several factors. The cinematography is amazing with its dark view of the small Pennsylvania town. It is constantly rainy and cloudy which adds to the film’s gloomy atmosphere. Another factor is Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as a dark detective who seems to have issues of his own that he has buried deep within himself. He is constantly working and doesn’t seem to even rest. He is a one-man team trying to find these girls that he has promised to find to the mothers.

After watching this movie I am very intrigued to watch Villeneuve’s “Enemy” which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal.

Under the Skin trailer

Scarlett Johansson had a terrific year in 2013 with appearances in well-received films “Don Jon” and “Her”. ¬†2014 also looks to be a year of more diverse roles for Johansson including upcoming film “Under the Skin”.

I watched the trailer for this film earlier today and was completely taken in by how little it states about the movie. The movie looks to be quite dark and intense especially the few scenes where Johansson’s character seems to be preying on the men she encounters. I like the dark look of Johansson’s character set against the night scenes. Her black hair seems to be very pronounced as if she is death herself.

“Under the Skin” is directed by Jonathan Glazer who also directed “Birth” which was creepy and dark in its own way. After watching the trailer for “Under the Skin” I can say without a doubt it will definitely have viewers captivated from beginning to end.

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