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  • Muscle Shoals 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 11 May, 2014

    In its assessment of how a small town in Alabama came to be a recording destination for discerning musicians and a hotbed of hit singles, Muscle Shoals spends a little too much time indulging New Age mysticism and Native American fables about the region’s supernatural gifts. Thankfully, it spends considerably more time peeling back the layers of Fame Studios founder Rick Hall, whose vision and prodigious talent as a producer is the unquestionable nucleus of the legendary “Muscle Shoals sound.”…

  • Breadcrumb Trail 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 05 May, 2014

    Slint was a short-lived indie rock band from Louisville, KY whose second and final album, Spiderland, is one of underground music’s most revered recordings. The album’s cryptic, distinctively uneasy aura, coupled with the group’s decision to disband without promoting it or touring, has granted Slint a rare mythic quality. Breadcrumb Trail, a documentary named after Spiderland’s opening track, somehow manages to be an informative and compelling account of the band’s story without really demystifying it all that much. Most of…

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  • The Others 2001

    ★★ Watched 21 Oct, 2011 4

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…

  • The Trip 2010

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Nov, 2011 5

    Following Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a week-long drive through the sights, sounds, and tastes of the northern English countryside, The Trip is equal parts tour documentary, buddy movie, and road trip flick. But more than anything, and in spite of its many laughs, it is a poignant meditation on aging.

    Ostensibly playing themselves, Coogan and Brydon are a juxtaposition of insecure and self-possessed, of serious artist and happy-go-lucky entertainer. Their differences are sussed out in conversations brimming over…