This past week: Popular articles posted on Sound On Sight

Death of a Family

There is so much great content published every week here at Sound On Sight, that even we have trouble keeping up. So, every Sunday, we will drop a list of the best articles delivered by our hard working, and extremely talented staff.

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Forecasting the Force Part One: The New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

A not so long ways away in a galaxy, well, in our own galaxy actually, a corporation adorned with mouse ears and a big blue castle are about to release the first of a barrage of new Star Wars films. This story begins in 2015, summer most likely, possibly late December, and starts with the seventh film in the Star Wars series;Episode VII. Actually, this story has really already begun in the hive-mind of internet speculation. Ever sinceDisney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm last October, the internet has been ablaze with questions and rumors of who would write, star and direct, what spinoff films are possible and what the next trilogy may entail. This is the first in a three part feature on that very future, ripe with theories, opinion and some downright nutty ideas about what’s next for Star Wars… (read the full article)

The Finest in Podcasting

The Godfather of Sound on Sight, Ricky D., and I were recently conversing through email when he broached the topic of me writing an article about the ten best film related podcasts. For those who don’t know me very well I am a big fan of the medium of podcasting when it comes to film. I love good discussion about the world of film, as well as interesting insight about the art form that I am so endeared with. A couple of years ago I began a trek, on my blog, through every single film related podcast I could find. The goal was to experience as much film discussion as I could and to separate the wheat from the chaff. The trek is still ongoing, but at this point I feel like I have a decent handle on what the very best film related podcasts are out of the ones I have listened to.

What follows below are the ten very best film related podcasts, but not in any sort of discerning order. Oh, and for obvious reasons I’m not including Sound on Sight Radio or Sordid Cinema in any list made for this article. They are associated with the site, and to be honest their inclusion in this article would be kind of tacky. Either way, read on … (read the full article)

‘River’s Edge’ is Fuelled by the Intensity of Adolescence

River’s Edge is probably best known as a bewildering showcase for some of the strangest performances of  1980s cinema.  Featuring Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper in an already puzzling film about the murder of a teenage girl and the apparent apathetic reaction of the city’s youth, River’s Edge tackles the question of society’s moral decay. Opening on a foggy California morning, this first sequence is our first look at an already cold, naked and dead teen. Lying in the grass, by the river’s edge, she becomes the symbol of the youth’s moral corruption. The boy, who strangled her, sits by her body rocking but apparently unperturbed by the crime he just committed…. (read the full article)

Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 84: ‘Return to Oz’

What child doesn’t have the distinct memory of sitting down with their family at the holidays to watch that old perennial favorite about Dorothy Gale traveling with an animal friend to the magical land of Oz? And what child doesn’t remember how that film began, with Dorothy sent to a mental institution to get electroshock therapy? Wait, what? Yes, that’s really the set-up to a film about Dorothy and Oz, but not the Judy Garland film. No, this week on Mousterpiece Cinema, your intrepid trio of hosts are talking about the 1985 film Return to Oz, starring a young Fairuza Balk. They’re joined by The AV Club’s Zack Handlen to revel in the glorious weirdness of Dorothy interacting with a person made of branches and a pumpkin, a talking chicken, a mechanical man, and a witch who exchanges her head at will. And, believe it or not, Gabe out-crazies Mike for the first time on the podcast! You’ll have to wait a bit, but it’s true! So check out the new show to find out what magic lurks in Oz! … (listen here)

Thursday Comedy Roundup: ‘Community’ 4.02, ‘Parks & Rec’ 5.13, & ‘Archer’ 4.05

“Paranormal Parentage” is something of an acid test for this new version of Community. It’s a holiday episode and written by Megan Ganz, two things that have historically meant quality, and for the most part, that holds true here as well. There are touches that don’t work—some of the big jokes don’t hit quite right (e.g. Pierce’s sex room), the best ones are often the most subtle (Pierce installed his panic room the day Do The Right Thingwas released)—but it’s a good story with some great character beats, something all but missing from last week’s premiere… (read the full article)

Daredevil: Yellow — A Knockout by Loeb and Sale

Daredevil: Yellow (January 2003) by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Superman For All SeasonsBatman: The Long Halloween) is a part of Marvel Comics’ “Color Series” which also features other titles such asHulk: Gray (June 2011, six issues) andSpider-Man: Blue (August 2011, six issues). This six-part series is a unique retelling of the beginnings of the blind acrobat from Hell’s Kitchen. A wonderful blend of action, romance, and comedy provides an entertaining adventure for all who turn the page of this beautifully written, drawn, and colored masterpiece… (read the ful article)

Doctor Who Podcast Episode 37: The Peter Davison Era, Part 3: ‘Timecrash’ & ‘The Five Doctors’

We’ve got is a double header for you all today as we take a look at not one, but two Multi-Doctor stories, both staring Mr. Peter Davison as the Doctor. As well, we’ll be recovering from Derek’s terrible attempts at British accents, and his frequent and entirely inappropriate misuse of the term “Fan Wank”. So join Derek Gladu, Eric Mendoza, Beverly Brown and returning special guest Phil Cannnon from the Who’s he Podcast as we review 2007’s ‘Time Crash’ and 1983’s twentieth anniversary special ‘The Five Doctors’… (listen here)

The Americans Ep 1.03 ‘Gregory’ is smaller in scope, but bigger in heart

There’s a noticeable downshift in the pace of “Gregory,” relieving some of the tension behind the episode’s mission by keeping the FBI at arm’s length throughout. A smart move that gives the show time to relax into the two main characters a bit more (as well as highlight their terrific performances), ‘Gregory’ is a bit neater than The Americans’s first two episodes, but hardly a step down in quality.

At the heart of the episode are two secret marriages: one we’ve known about (Elizabeth and Phillip), and one that becomes the focal point of the episode. The KGB agent who died on the mission in the opening scenes of the pilot turns out to have a secret wife and child living in Philadelphia, and both the KGB and FBI catch wind of this at the same time. At the risk of being exposed, Elizabeth and Phillip reach out to a contact, a man named Gregory (and played by Derek Luke, who I haven’t seen in awhile), who Elizabeth once had a little on-the-side action with… (read the full article)

Arrow Ep 1.14 ‘The Odyssey’ goes big when it should’ve stayed home

I’ve asked a few times how important Arrow‘s flashback sequences were to the show’s narrative – once the journey from weak playboy to strong, brooding vigilante started, things have quickly devolved into double-crosses, fight scenes, and unspoken betrayal. As an audience, we inherently understand what it meant when Oliver was trapped on the island for four years and had to learn how to fight. Which begs the question: do we need to be spending all this time on the island?… (read the full review)

‘My Own Private Idaho’ a sleepy, melancholic trip to nowhere

Though he has made his share of more conventional dramas like Good Will Hunting and Milk, and received Oscar nominations by doing so, Gus Van Sant always seems to fall back to a more sedate style, such as that seen in his early film My Own Private Idaho. Following Mike (River Phoenix), a narcoleptic hustler from a broken home, and Scott (Keanu Reeves), the fallen son of a wealthy man, on a parentally inspired quest… (read the full article)

Batman: Death of the Family is an Honour to Read

This Wednesday the Batman event Death of the Family, spanning issues 13-17, reached its long awaited conclusion. The terrifying tale has been met with overwhelming praise and rightfully so. When the Joker finally returns after a yearlong absence, Batman and his world is turned upside down. Over the years, Batman’s lone mission of justice has grown to include a stable of close colleagues, his ‘Bat-Family’ if you will. Batman has grown himself over the years, understanding that there are some things you just cannot do alone. The Joker, meanwhile, has grown as well, though in an entirely different and creepy way. Seeing the Bat-Family as a weakness, the Joker longs for the days when it was just him and the Bats. What follows over the course of five issues is an intense and horrifying thriller as the Joker opens psychological warfare on what he perceives as the Batman’s one weakness; family… (read the full review)

How The Following is Changing How We View Bisexual Relationships

Is everyone watching what’s happening on Monday at 9pm on Fox? Who knew that along with a spine tingling cult mystery from the creator of Scream and The Vampire Diaries that we’d also get one of the most comprehensive and complicated looks at bisexuality committed to screen. The love triangle on The Following between Emma, Will and Paul has become just as fascinating as the premise of the show. To catch everyone up to speed, Will (Nico Tortorella) and Emma (Valerie Curry) were dating before they met serial killer mastermind Joe Carroll. Eager to help him catch a victim that got away, Sarah Fuller, Emma convinces Will and fellow acolyte Paul (Adan Canto) to pretend to be gay lovers in order to ensnare her. However, in last week’s episode, it was revealed that the act had turned into a genuine relationship, which has complicated the threesomes present day dynamic… (read the full article)

Rotworld Reaches Finale for Swamp Thing and Animal Man

While the “Swamp Thing”/”Animal Man” cross-over “Rotworld” has been ongoing only since issues #12, the two titles have been intertwined since the New 52 debuted one year and a half ago. The first issues of these comics introduced the concepts of the Green and the Red, the natural life force behind all plant life and all animal life on the planet. There exists a third, the Rot, the natural life force behind death and decay, and a balance between these three forces is essential to maintaining order and the cycle of life on Earth. Anton Arcane, the Avatar of the Rot, has been staging to take control of all three forces, and in doing so, having complete control of the Earth itself, and Swamp Thing and Animal Man are forced to work together to restore the natural balance… (read the full review)

Justified, Ep. 4.06: “Foot Chase” sticks to the show’s periphery, with mixed results

Justified is generally wonderful at balancing a ludicrous array of plots and characters, but “Foot Chase” demonstrates that the show can;t function properly without Raylan at its center. With too much time spent in the company of peripheral characters, some of whom we’ve only just met, and without tying it back to Raylan directly enough (at lest, just yet), “Foot Chase” is either a move-the-pieces episode that will take us where we need to go, plot-wise, or just an odd set of digressions. Only the coming weeks will tell which.

The episode opens promisingly enough, with Art tossing out roughly two dozen awesomely cringeworthy foot puns, and Raylan heckling Shelby’s deputies relentlessly while he attempts to collect evidence that will lead him to the culprit. Unfortunately, we actually spend most of the episode with Colt, who winds up roughing up Johnny Crowder’s main squeeze in his search for a score, and, surprisingly, Marshal Tim, who accompanies a wayward pal on a tricky errand… (read the full review)

Comics you Should be Reading…Warren Ellis’ Desolation Jones

It’s one of those great mysteries of the ages why UK writers produce some of the best, most creative, most profoundly messed up comics in the biz. Perhaps England, Scotland and Ireland are all over some kind of gigantic natural gas leak like the Oracle at freakin’ Delphi, or maybe the Thatcher Era, The Troubles, and just being Scottish drove every creative mind they have irrevocably insane.

Either way, “Desolation Jones” is a hell of a comic.

It’s written by Warren Ellis, one of the more notorious of the “UK crazies” who also brought us jems like “Transmetropolitan”, “Planetary” and the briefly-lived “Newuniversal”. His one big drawback as a writer is the time he takes to put out new works and his tendency to seemingly abandon projects when he gets bored with them. “Desolation Jones” for example, only ever got one full story arc, with the second just dropping off the face of the Earth after one or two issues. The first arc is still out there in paperback form, and if you can get your hands on it, run at that thing like it’s a chocolate coated sex machine… (read the full review)

Uninspired ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is merely a generic shoot-’em-up

Die Hard, 25 years after its initial release, is one of the best action films of all time not because of its jaw-dropping setpieces or titanic explosions, but because its hero is perfectly, proudly unspectacular. John McClane pulled off some amazing stunts at the Nakatomi Plaza, of course. What makes him so endearing, however, is his sheer disbelief at surviving each volley of gunfire, each explosion. By now, McClane’s less a hard-bitten survivor and more of a superhero wreaking havoc wherever he steps foot. Because the stage has grown so large, from a building to an entire country, it’s ironic that A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth film in this seemingly unending franchise, is distressingly unspectacular.. (read the full review)

Girls, Ep. 2.05: “One Man’s Trash” a beautifully crafted, if slightly redundant restatement of purpose

Hannnah Horvath can be a deeply tiring individual. She’s self-centered almost to the point of pathology, she has a probably-inflated sense of her own talent, and she has an infuriating tendency to reject those who genuinely want the best for her, simply because they’re nott constantly conforming to her worldview. All that makes “One Man’s Trash,” the second episode in which we focus more or less solely on Hannah’s side of things (the first being the first season’s excellent “The Return”), a daunting prospect for anyone who has even the slightest doubts about whether or not they really want to spend 30 minutes a week in the company of a character like Hannah. Structured more like a short film than any previous episode, “Trash” is the ultimate Girls litmus test… (read the full review)



By Ricky

Ricky D is the editor-in-chief of Sound on Sight and one of the hosts of the Sound On Sight podcast and the Sordid Cinema podcast. He is Sound On Sight's expert on Horror and contributes written reviews when time permits.

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