[five things.]

I know, I know… it seems like all I write these days are ‘five things.’ I just like doing it, and since I post less frequently now it gets more of what I’m currently loving onto the blog.

This week it’s all sorts of random.

1. Dead Space 2

More scary, gruesome necromorph action. Great story, perhaps even better than the first. Entertaining and engaging from start to finish.

It also had two of the best action scenes I’ve ever seen in a video game, or anywhere.

Bonus, here’s an awesome minimalist poster for the original Dead Space, via@Frank Russo

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2. Never Let Me Go

I really did love this film, but in part it was bittersweet because I love Ishiguro’s book so dearly. There were so many tender moments that didn’t make it to the film that I missed. The nuance and complexity of the book can’t possibly translate onto the screen completely, so even while I was enjoying the film I also found myself pining for the novel.

However, the movie should most definitely be praised. It was well filmed and well written. Most of all, any mention of this film needs to celebrate the acting. The performances of the leads were achingly powerful. It’s no surprise by now, but these are three young actors who should be turning in dazzling performances for decades to come.

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3. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light

I guess I’ll need to use the word bittersweet one more time if I’m going to write about the new TV on the Radio album. The album is brilliant, but just a week after its release the band’s bassist, Gerard Smith, died of lung cancer at the young age of 36. It’s so sad, and can’t but influence the way I listen to the album.

While nothing works as a silver lining in a death like this, one couldn’t ask for a better swan song, however involved his illness may have allowed him to be in the album’s recording.

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4. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Seattle’s own indie favorites are back, and the album is faaannnnnnntastic. Such a joy to listen to. The band grew into a deeper sound without losing what makes them great.

Now, hopefully touring won’t eliminate any chance that J. Tillman releases some more solo stuff in the next year or two.

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5. Thor

I loved it. A really fun introduction to a character not many folks know, at least in the comic incarnation. It was funny, action packed, had enough human drama to be engaging without taking itself too seriously. It would have been disastrous if the film hadn’t acknowledged how silly the whole premise is, but it was able to be badass and have heart without forgetting that at the end of the day it’s a comic book movie based in Norse mythology.

Often, when movies ‘don’t take themselves seriously,’ that’s code for taking a dump on film and calling it a comic book movie. Examples of this include Ghost Rider and both Fantastic Four films. Blech! Not so with Thor, well crafted and charmingly acted, I was sad to see it end.

It looks like Thor is going to have a modest, but healthy opening weekend. Yet, since it is doing far better critically and amongst audiences than other films which have had similar weekends, like Fantastic Four and Clash of the Titans, I’m hoping it will perform better over the long term than those films and be more successful overall.

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