This is a pleasant fiction, isn't it?

Posts tagged “Review

Circa Survive — On Letting Go

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I picked up Circa Survive a few years back, it was their album Juturna, and well, it didn’t really catch me. It wasn’t bad, but nothing breath-taking. I picked up On Letting Go shortly after, and I liked it a lot, but I couldn’t get past Anthony Green’s voice.

And I left it.

A few months back on a whim, I listened to it again, this time my outlook on music and judgement of it has changed immensely; a lot of what I obsessed over 3 years ago is mediocre, if not just bad altogether.

So with this in mind, I loaded On Letting Go on to my phone to listen to while I was working night shifts. As I’m working, I’m listening and it literally hit me. That rush like the first time when your crowd is going wild, like that first time you heard Venetian Snares… maybe that first time you orgasmed.

SO much emotion in this, and it’s a fantastic balance of post-rock and traditional song structured indie rock. Bloody brilliant work. And the lyrics: well written, beautiful and SO MUCH RELATE. SO MUCH RELATE. Yes, Green’s voice is hard to get used to for some, but there are many moments where his voice is choked with emotion-filled volume. That emotion goes so well the rest of the music; one of the rare times I’ll pay attention to the vocals more than the instruments.

Initially I thought the album got weaker as it went on, but on the contrary, it’s a journey of skepticism and pity spotted with remorse and despair.

Tracks that highlight the album would be:

  • Living Together
  • The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose
  • Semi Constructive Criticism
  • Kicking Your Crosses Down
  • Carry Us Away
  • Your Friends Are Gone

Fantastic album all the way through. I’ve listened to it numerous times since, sometimes on repeat. Singing it all the way through, at work, driving…wherever it’s playing.

So it led me to think, “What if I’ve misjudged Circa Survive entirely and that the rest of their material is just as good if not better?”

Nope.

I re-listened to Juturna, was somewhat disappointed in it — it’s not as together. Blue Sky Noise was also a disappointment, more indie rock and less of that post-y feel, and well, his voice also changed. It’s no longer that high-pitched emotional strain… but more of a high pitch rasp. It’s bouncier and (dare I say it) happier. Appendage followed the same route. Nothing stuck out at me to give a little flag in my memory about it.

But yes, On Letting Go is definitely their strongest release and I highly recommend picking it up and losing yourself to it, until that burn in your heart escapes as a melody or a scream.


Inception: A Review

WARNING: SPOILERS

Alright, so I sat down to watch Inception again.
I saw it once in theatres and I really loved it. At the time, I gave it a 9.5 out of 10…citing that I would’ve gone into detail with limbo and make it longer…
But that was just once, and I had no chance to formulate an actual opinion without the whole “OMG This movie is AMAZING!”

Alright. Well, first off, I really like the script in it. I love how it points out the power of the mind over the body. I really related to it (Refer to my post “Dreaming of Love”).
I could blather on about character development of Cobb and what not, but really…it’s fairly archetypal: Man loses love, can’t let go — too much guilt, at the end, he learns to let go — guilt and all.
One thing I will say about the characters is the lack of exploration of the rest of the characters. Everything is focused on Cobb and Mal. Yeah, Fischer is included, but that is mainly for plot purposes. I wish near the end they would dabble on about Ariande, Eames, Arthur, and delve a little into the future of Saito’s business.
The movie starts out as character development and plot…then ends off in just character. Yes, it would’ve taken more time to do, but a lot of people aren’t smart enough to have a coherent attention span to last through the entire feature.

The score didn’t stick out at me. When I watch films, I listen for the soundtrack/score and appreciate the accent it has on the film. The soundtrack for Inception is slightly disappointing.
Nothing was noticably elaborate, and through the final “act,” or climax, if you will, the score sounded like it was trying to give the sense of suspense, severity, or seriousness.
What I took from it was that there wasn’t enough “action” or things happening to equate such intense music. It got me slightly impatient… I like how they used Edith Piaf’s song “Non, je ne regrette rien” to tie in with the line “an old man filled with regret.” Although I’m not a fan of the genre, it seems appropriate to some thematic elements in the film.

The “kicks” were well orchestrated…however, I’m curious as to how it could’ve been done in the order of levels (limbo upwards) rather than using the dropping car to gauge what’s happening and so on down the levels…

A few things I’d have to disagree with. Dying in a dream doesn’t necessarily wake you up (Refer to my post “Dreaming of Love”). It’s just the most assumed outcome.
And also the shifting of body position during sleep…not seeing it possible to alter the sub-conscious perceptions…even with the altered sedative to allow inner ear balance. But hey, for special effects purposes and to give the audience “something sick,” why not.
Also, it isn’t taken to account the dreams that occur that have nothing to do with the individual. Then what? Meh. Whatever.

The action sequences weren’t overdone, especially for a “dream” world. The initial shootout after the train comes through is a tad too long though…

I’d like a little explanation of the reason for decay in limbo…I mean, it’s awesome scenery, but I’m just curious as to why…
There is no physical time passing, it’s all a part of the mind, so unless the subconscious automatically assumes decay…well, fuck it; it’s all fictional anyways, right?

I’m slightly disappointed at the decision to have Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead character. He’s not a bad actor; on the contrary, I find him to be rather good. It’s just the fact that he’s played this type of character before: suffering man who’s lost a love in which he reveals more details as the movie goes further (i.e. Shutter Island).
And utter anguish doesn’t really come over entirely convincing on him…his frustration is very well done though, I have to give him that.

Ellen Page. I’m fairly attracted to this woman. I watched The Tracey Fragments and was really impressed with her performance as a delusional teenager.
So, I was interested in seeing what she had to offer in this film; I was not disappointed.

Now, Mal is an entirely different story. First off, Marion Cotillard is nostril-flaringly gorgeous in a rather bodacious manner. Saw her in Public Enemies and, in the words of Inspector Gadget, “Wowzers!”
Her character in this movie was very well put together. So beautiful but at the same time you feel obligated to hate her for being so delusional.
But at the end, the blame is shifted, and slightly to my dismay, she appears to accept that she was wrong about her perception of reality. I would’ve had her defy it to the end.
But OH! she was enticing in that film. HAWT.DIGGITY.DAMN.

The way the plot ends, I am actually content with. For once, I opted for the “happy ending.”
Although it’s a happy ending for the protagonist, but the means in which it was reached is rather devious, so in light of that, I cast judgement aside.
Normally, I HATE “happy” endings.

Overall, I am still slightly in awe of this film; reason being Nolan’s capability of bringing an abstract idea to screen.
The plot was slightly archetypal but with a neat “twist,” the characters were dimensional, and the score accented the film nicely…
So I have to say, Christopher Nolan, I am once again impressed.
9/10