reviews


 

larkin-poe-from-fb 
::Larkin Poe:: Larkin Poe (EP)
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About the Album: This is the first album from part of what was originally The Lovell Sisters.  The album’s comprised of a wonderful mix of contemporary americana, folk, and bluegrass to present a heartwarming commentary on life’s ups and downs. Full tracks of all the songs can be found on their site (linked above).  For each song I mention specifically I tried to link to a full length video of the song (either the official video or a live taping).

First Encounter: Mention of the Lovell Sisters have been seeping into my life over the last couple of months.  I finally took a serious listen a couple of weeks ago and fell in love.  If their awesome wardrobe and obviously sincerity weren’t enough their music’s everything I look for in a good americana group

Favorite Songs: I’ve made no comments on the instrumentation, melody of the songs as I feel I’d be repeating myself with a lot of ‘awesome, refreshing, catchy’

Long Hard Fall- This song could be my theme song.  It’s an upbeat retelling of the classic life beats you up but with an optimistic spin: be open-minded, don’t let people stomp on you, and appreciate the little things.

We Intertwine- This song gives me the warm and fuzzies up until the point it gets stuck in my head and then I’m bopping around in a full blown gleefest.

Shadows of Ourselves- The best sort of love story, that sort of broken, yearning, joy.

Least Favorites:
I always find this to be an unpleasant task but in this case it’s near impossible.  All the songs on the album are equally solid, each with their own unique aspects.  They vary greatly but as a whole mesh perfectly.

Favorite Lyrics:
There is room around my table for the open hearted the steady and unstable and we know we can catch, those below prepare to catch cuz it’s a long hard fall from here. –We Intertwine

And when my heart can beat no more I hope I die for all the good that’s left in this world, and when my body gives out I hope you find out just what this whole life was for. –We Intertwine

Other Songs: They’re on my to do list, so none as of yet, but if you’re interested you can check out the Lovell Sisters website.

knit

I loved this book beyond what’s normal.  It’s hysterically funny, heartfelt, and the characters are weird just like me (yes, I did just admit that).  The writing was smooth and descriptive, capturing both character quirks and the essence of the craft itself.  I’d love to sit here and tell you exactly what it is about this book that is so awesome, but as the book does that by itself, here’s a couple of quotes:

There was a sniff from Martha’s chair, and then another.

Martha was crying, her face heavy with tears, a large hankie held to her nose. Her shoulders were shaking. The other three looked at each other in consternation. Martha kept crying, quietly and thoroughly, then put her head down on the arm of her padded chair and began to sob loudly, with small cries of pain that increased in volume as time went on. Wailing, thought Sandra. Martha is wailing.

"Martha," said Sandra, "whatever’s the matter?"

More sobs.

"Did I say something to upset you?" Sandara was quickly reviewing her one story, and Martha’s. Was Martha unstable? Had she said too much? Sandra looked at Kate and Tony, then got out of her chair and went to kneel by Martha, putting a tentative hand on her shoulder.

"Martha? Are you all right?"

"I’m all right," said Martha, looking Sanra full in the face. They searched each other’s eyes. Martha’s face was read and blubbery like a child’s. "I’m all right," she repeated. "It’s you I’m crying for Sandra." She swiped at her running nose. "Because you can’t. You don’t know how."

 

"You really are weird, Martha," said Sandra, then bit her tongue.

"Yes," said Martha cheerfully. "Just like you." She turned to look at Sandra. "Only your trouble is you don’t know how to enjoy it."

 

Cliff didn’t know which he liked better, the clinging stretch of bright red or the tease of buttons. Not that Martha would ever give him the chance, but she couldn’t stop him from thinking about it, no harm in that. (…) Now Sandra was another matter. If you even thought about stretching out a finger to Sandra, she would bite it off. Besides, she probably wore a bulletproof vest.

redcliff-johnwoo-USposter-fullsize

For most of the year the local art museum screens a film every week. A week or so back they showed Red Cliff (2008, directed by John Woo).  Going in I’m not quite sure what I was expecting other than something similar to the few Chinese films I’ve seen.  I knew it was a war epic and so I expected the usual fighting and talk of freedom or protection of home.  What I hadn’t expected, however, was the humanity infused into our heroes and even the villains.

Throughout the film quiet moments between the characters allow us an insight into the culture and its importance to the people.  Music and the traditional tea ceremony are woven carefully into the plot ushering both the violence of war and quiet moments of thought, both for the characters and the audience.

The role of women within the film was refreshing and well played.  The women were strong but still fit well within their traditional roles, holding true to the underlying focus on history and tradition.

My only complaint is that they weren’t screening the longer two part version of the film. I would’ve like to have seen more of the history predating the war and perhaps a bit more of the culture.

If you like war epics the film’s a definite must see, with the extended battle scenes the film comes out far in front of most recent films.  Much of the film is filled with scenes of war, and yet the violence never becomes violence for violence’s sake.  It’s done carefully with each battle having it’s own feel.  If, however, you’re not a fan of war epics, the film is still worth seeing for it’s breathtaking cinematography and for it’s preservation of humanity throughout.

Personally I’d give the film a 3.5 out of 5. I’d rewatch it again, but would fast forward through most of the battle scenes as that’s not something I particularly enjoy.  While never brutal, that much bloodshed doesn’t sit right with me. I’m all for fighting for what you believe in, but I prefer it in a much less literal sense.