wed 23/10/2019

America

CD: Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Colorado

Neil Young’s prolific, patchy output rejects the very notion of major releases, though only a major artist would be given so much rope. His thirtieth album of the century (new or archive) still stirs anticipation as his first with Crazy Horse in...

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Zombieland: Double Tap review - dead dull redo

Another unnecessary sequel: we’re used to this sort of thing. The film knows it, too, as lead dork Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) meekly thanks the audience during the opening credits: “There are lots of options when it comes to zombie entertainment, so...

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The Peanut Butter Falcon review - sentimental comedy is so damn heartwarming

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to find oneself completely at odds with an audience in a cinema, but it happens. The recent London Film Festival screening of The Peanut Butter Falcon came complete with the two lead actors and the co-directors and...

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LFF 2019: The Irishman review - masterful, unsentimental gangster epic

Time passes slowly and remorselessly in The Irishman. Though its much remarked de-ageing technology lets us glimpse Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) executing German POWs aged 24, none of the gangsters here ever seem young. Everyone is heavy with...

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Thomas J Campanella: Brooklyn - The Once and Future City review - out of Manhattan's shadow

For visitors to New York, it’s all about Manhattan, its 23 square miles of skyscraper-encrusted granite instantly familiar, its many landmarks – enshrined in movies and music – must-sees on the itinerary of first-time tourists. The other...

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Gemini Man review - high-concept, high-tech Zen weirdness

Will Smith’s giant hand looms out of the screen towards you, gripping his gun’s trigger with weird realism. Director Ang Lee’s lonely devotion to filming in 120 frames per second 4K 3D, already widely loathed by audiences in less developed form in...

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The Day Shall Come review – Homeland Security satire lacks bite

A new film by Chris Morris ought to be an event. The agent provocateur of Brass Eye infamy has tended to rustle feathers and spark debate whatever he does. His last film, Four Lions, dared to find comedy in Islamic terrorism in 2010,...

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Assassins, Watermill Theatre, Newbury - Sondheim musical in scalding form

“Every now and then the country goes a little wrong”: so goes one of the many lyrics from the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Assassins that makes this 1990 Off Broadway musical (subsequently chosen to open Sam Mendes’ Donmar Warehouse in 1992...

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American Woman review - leading lady Sienna Miller moves up a gear

Sienna Miller’s career has been short on leading roles, though she excelled in the TV drama The Girl and has notched up some memorable supporting roles. However, if there’s any justice, her commanding and deeply-felt performance in American Woman...

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Zadie Smith: Grand Union review – a roller coaster collection

“Adorable cock, nothing too dramatic, suitable for many situations,” remarks Monica on the penis of her university boyfriend. She is the candid protagonist of ‘Sentimental Education’, the second of 19 short stories that form Grand Union, an eclectic...

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Ben Lerner: The Topeka School review - lessons to be learned

The Topeka School begins with a female listener getting bored of hearing her boyfriend talk. Which did not bode well, as the perspective’s was the boyfriend, and I am a female reader. Such a self-effacing move is typically Lerneresque: he excels at...

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CD: Wilco - Ode to Joy

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy has been pondering how to react to oppression, and his own music’s obsolescence. What use is a rock band’s eleventh album at the best of times, he’s wondered, let alone in these worse ones under Trump?Wilco’s response is not to...

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