Halloween is upon us which means loads of snack-sized candies to cram into your pockets as you head over to watch one of several new film releases this week. Every Friday, as always, we compile a list of reviews of this week's brand new movie releases in our Film Review Roundup. Read on for suggestions for what to watch while you're coming off that sugar high, then head to our Recently Reviewed section for more film reviews.
Up first we have Birdman, starring Michael Keaton. No stranger to a superhero movie, this time he plays washed up actor Riggan Thomson, who played the titular character in the fictional Birdman movies, and who struggles with the direction his life is taking. The film features an incredible lineup of actors including Edward Norton and Emma Stone, and was captured in one long single shot. Does this make the film too gimmicky? You'll have to read our review to find out.
Second on the list is Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the naive, opportunity-seeking Louis, who winds up becoming a "nightcrawler," a freelance camera person who captures seedy footage and sells it to a ratings-starved local news channel. The film reveals humanity's dark obsessions and, according to our reviewer, "the kinds of news culture we loudly mock but secretly consume." Want to know more? Check out our review.
Next up is Maps to the Stars, the latest from David Cronenberg. The film revolves around a fading actress in Hollywood (Julianne Moore), and features an array of Cronenberg's filmic trademarks. But does this film live up to Cronenberg's classics? Read our review to find out. Next is the high-concept thriller Before I Go To Sleep, which follows Christine (Nicole Kidman), who suffers from amnesia and wakes up day after day not able to remember what happened the day before. As the audience, we're only privy to the knowledge Christine has, but does this build tension or leave audiences in the fog? Read on to find out.
Young Ones takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce and the most valuable of natural resources. Director Jake Paltrow "smartly assesses what it is about human nature that creates conflict rather than focusing on the symptoms they present," says our reviewer, but does it resonate? Our review will let you know.
Last but not least is Laggies, a coming-of-age movie starring Keira Knightley, who plays an aimless 20-something, and Chloë Grace Moretz, her teenaged friend. Both girls provide award-winning performances, but does that equal a film success? Read on to find out.
Not enough for you? Check out our Recently Reviewed section for additional film, music and video reviews every day.
In addition to being the former host of the CBC show Q, Jian Ghomeshi is also known for his role in the now-defunct quirk-folk band Moxy Früvous. With Ghomeshi facing allegations of violent assault from nine women, his former bandmates in the '90s Canadian group have issued a statement denouncing his behaviour. In an email to Globe and Mail, musicians Mike Ford, Murray Foster and David Matheson had to following to say about Ghomeshi: As former colleagues of Jian (our last show was in 2000), we are sickened and saddened by this week's news. We had no inkling that...Read More
Halloween just got a whole lot happier for Arcade Fire fans, since the beloved Montreal outfit have just unveiled a film called Festi. This film is billed as "a look back at the Arcade Fire summer festival tour, 2011," with all of the band members making appearances. It begins as a run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes tour doc, supposedly taking place on band member Will Butler's 27th birthday. Things take a spooky turn when an assistant heads down into the spooky cellar to collect wine by candlelight. From there, there's lots of slapstick gore, supernatural creepiness and...Read More
In the wake of an eight-day prison stint, the charges laid against an Exodus fan after posting violent lyrics from the thrash group's "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)" were dropped earlier this week. The Associated Press reports that prosecutors have dropped charges of "terroristic threatening," stemming from a Facebook post 31-year-old Kentucky man James Evans made on August 24 that contained the lyrics "Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate / Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate." Exodus likewise pointed to the news on their...Read More
In the last couple of years, Jeff Mangum has thrilled indie fans by coming out of hiding and reuniting his band Neutral Milk Hotel for a lengthy string of tour dates. The group evidently haven't managed to impress U2, however, since guitarist the Edge has admitted that he doesn't under the appeal. Speaking with Rolling Stone [via Stereogum], the Edge spoke about his experience at this year's Coachella festival, and he had kind words for Cage the Elephant, Broken Bells, Skrillex, Pixies and Outkast. After all that positivity, however, here's what he had to say about...Read More
Bruce Springsteen's 1995 album The Ghost of Tom Joad takes its name from a character from John Steinbeck's 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath. Now, to the horror of English teachers everywhere, the Boss has revealed that he hadn't actually read the book until after writing the title track. Springsteen made the admission when speaking to the New York Times about his new children's book, Outlaw Pete. When asked about what books he was embarrassed to have never read, he said, "I read The Grapes of Wrath very late, long after I'd written the song 'Ghost of Tom...Read More
There's been no shortage of archival Bob Dylan material as of late, with the artist set to treat his Basement Tapes to an expanded release next week and a handful of other artists taking on unreleased lyrics on a new compilation. However, Dylan hasn't released a new studio album since 2012's Tempest, though that will change shortly. As Yahoo! News points out [via Spin], the new Basement Tapes box set contains a note that simply reads, "Bob Dylan, Shadows in the Night, New album coming in 2015." That's not much to go on, but the album will...Read More
With Keira Knightley commitment-phobe dramedy Laggies (a.k.a. Say When) having transferred from the festival circuit over into a wider release, film producers have opted to go ahead, bite the bullet and give the film's Ben Gibbard-composed score a soundtrack release. Featuring original music from the Death Cab for Cutie leader, a digital edition of the 22-song score arrives November 4 via Lakeshore Records. A CD edition hit stores November 10. As previously reported, the drama was directed by Lynn Shelton and written by Andrea Seigel. It stars Knightley as a woman taking...Read More
The folks behind torrent-sharing giant the Pirate Bay have already experienced a mountain of legal troubles over the years, and now co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has received a jail sentence over a separate case involving hacking. Warg has been given a three-and-a-half-year prison term from a Danish court, after being charged with breaking into computers owned by technical services company CSC. Prosecutors called it the "largest hacking case to date," according to the BBC. The incident took place in 2012, when Warg and an accomplice allegedly gained access to social security...Read More
Outside of carrying on his version of the Smashing Pumpkins and releasing experimental solo albums, alt icon Billy Corgan has spent some of his free time in weird ways, like posing for the cover of a cat magazine in Chicago and appearing in a wrestling-themed commercial for a furniture store. Of of all the people piling on poor Billy for his hilarious choices, we'd have to say we're most surprised that Anderson Cooper joined the fold. On Anderson Cooper 360, the host called out Corgan during a segment called "RidiCulist." He suggested Corgan is "off his alternative rocker,"...Read More
Killer Mike has turned not one but two of his passions into profit, and both are ready to spread their reach. As the Atlanta MC currently tours behind the newly released RTJ2, his second collaboration with producer/rapper El-P as Run the Jewels, his barbershop business is on the verge of expansion. Graffitis SWAG Shop, which operates minutes from Atlanta's airport, will expand to a second location, Mike reveals to Exclaim!, as soon he secures one of several locations he's bidding on. And in the next two or three years, he expects five to 10 of his "Shave, wash and groom" shops...Read More
"Blurred Lines," the barely-remembered single that once waterboarded our ear drums for an entire year, has since turned into a point of legal contention as Robin Thicke and Pharrell have been accused of swiping the whole thing from Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." Things aren't looking too great, either, as the pair have reportedly lost their first legal battle against Gaye's family. As Spin reports, Judge John Kronstadt ruled that music experts "made a sufficient showing that elements of 'Blurred Lines' may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of 'Got to...Read More
The harrowing Jian Ghomeshi scandal rages on. The former CBC radio host now faces accusations of violent abuse from eight women, including Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere. Ghomeshi has now promised to speak out against the allegations, but he'll have to do so without crisis management specialists Navigator and longtime PR firm rock-it promotions, since he's been dropped as a client. UPDATE: A ninth accuser has now come forward. Author and lawyer Reva Seth wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post detailing her experience with Ghomeshi in 2002. Seth wrote that,...Read More
Picking himself up after a deportation incident and a scrapped early edition of his new album, grime star Wiley has now formally announced his album Snakes & Ladders, and it will be out sooner than you may think. In fact, it's set to arrive digitally on Monday (November 3) through Big Dada. The album consists of 17 tracks. There are a smattering of guests, including Cam'ron, JR Writer, Gudda Gudda, JME and Footsie. A press release promises "innovative, banging beats and fast, scattershot, brilliant rhyming." That's the album cover above the tracklist below. Scroll to the...Read More
Public Enemy's "Countdown to Armageddon" started close to 30 years ago, but the political hip-hop icons have just now unveiled plans to give both their 1988 LP It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and its equally classic follow-up Fear of a Black Planet special deluxe CD reissues loaded with a number of bonus tracks. The band will first deliver the deluxe It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back on November 24 via Def Jam. It arrives as a double CD with a DVD. The first disc features the album proper, including classic tracks like "Bring the Noise" and...Read More
As if BADBADNOTGOOD didn't already have a busy enough year, the Toronto trio have announced even more North American tour dates to go down in the coming months. The outing consists of eight shows spread out across nearly a month in November and December. Three of the dates are in the U.S., while the rest are split between Ontario and Quebec. See the schedule below. These shows are in support of this year's acclaimed album III. As previously announced, the band have teamed up with Ghostface Killah for a collaborative record called Sour Soul, due out on February 17...Read More
Samantha Savage Smith still hasn't released that sophomore album she said was finished more than a year ago, but the Calgary singer-songwriter and all-around tough cookie is keeping busy with a tour of Western Canada in November. The outing it a fairly short one, lasting a little more than a week in the middle part of next month. In that time, Smith will play seven shows. Following a trio of British Columbia shows, she will head into Prairies for gigs in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. See the schedule below. In related news, Smith was part of a collaborative project called...Read More
Twin River have undergone lineup changes, sonic shifts and a partial move since delivering their debut EP Rough Gold in 2012. Ready to take their next step, the band have now revealed the details to their first full-length, Should the Light Go Out. The 10-song set arrives February 17 via Light Organ Records, with a press release noting that while Courtney Ewan Bromley and guitarist Andy Bishop (White Ash Falls) had previously played with folk structures, the current five-piece lineup "favours noisy pop-rock and atmospheric synth textures over quiet laments." It's further...Read More
Calgary combo Reuben and the Dark have had a big year thanks to their Funeral Sky, which was released through Arts & Crafts back in the spring. Now, the folksy group have announced plans to cap off their 2014 campaign with a few dates in Western Canada. The bulk of the newly added shows are in British Columbia. In addition to playing major hubs like Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna, the group will hit up some smaller locales like Fernie and Rossland. The eight-show trek will wrap up in Banff, AB. The trek runs from late November into the beginning of December. It starts almost...Read More
Since pressing the Normal's "Warm Leatherette" single in 1978, legendary UK imprint Mute has been instrumental in shaping the world of electronic and synth-based music. Now, the iconic label has teamed up with music instrument makers Dirty Electronics to produce a synthesizer/sequencer that could further evolve the Mute sound. A press release notes that the handheld Dirty Electronics Mute Synth II, or MSII, is an updated version of the sequencer that was unveiled at Mute's Short Circuit event at London's Roundhouse in 2011. The newly modified product came out of a collaboration between the...Read More