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Showing posts from April, 2017

K-Dot Rises: Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." (2017)

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Kendrick Lamar flows in all-caps so it's fitting that his latest album, titled DAMN., is spelled out in jumbo fonts, with the one-word song titles displayed in large-print as if Lamar graffiti-ed them on billboards around SoCal, scaffolding through Compton as rap's Dark Knight. Akin to director Christopher Nolan, K-Dot composes his albums with a blend of art-house gravitas and big-budget fireworks. A hip-hop purist, Lamar recalls the spirit of Dr. Dre's Chronic albums, OutKast's thematic elements and golden-age Wu-Tang projects, packed with an animated cast of characters, captivating skits and plot-thickening interludes.
With his first release for the Aftermath label in 2012, good kid, m.A.A.d city, there was a blockbuster breakout. Dr. Dre acted as a marveling Professor X mentoring to Lamar, hovering in the background as Lamar laid out his origin story, joining the elite class of California rap superheroes such as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. DAMN. follows on the heels o…

Trailer Trash Talk: Kathryn Bigelow's "Detroit" (August 2017)

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I have some problems with this.

First, why is this movie simply named Detroit? So, you're going to name a movie about race riots that occurred 50 years ago in the city of Detroit simply Detroit? Nice way to A) be lazy and B) blacken an eye.

This film does look like it could have some potential and reminds me of Assault on Precinct 13 meets Mississippi Burning. But it also seems awfully opportunistic (50th anniversary of the riots) and set as shameless Oscar bait. It doesn't seem to have much creative juice or visual flair -- honestly it looks very Lifetime movie filtered -- instead of having the thrilling intensity director Bigelow delivered in The Hurt Locker.

This is one of two high-profile releases (the other being The Circle) that John Bonyega is starring in this year following his breakthrough in Star Wars: The Force Awakens andboth films appear to have script problems and destined to be box office duds. As Johnny Rotten once sang "I could be wrong, I could be right…