Monday, April 27th |

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Panic at the Mythos Starring: Rinko Kikuchi, David Zellner Review written by Robert D. Patrick The first image that emblazons the screen is that of a woman, wearing a red sweater. The heat radiates like a crimson-hot coal streaking over an unknown shoreline. Imagine a lipstick smudge or a shock of red paint. The figure’s feet […]

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Deli Man

Love in the Time of Challah, Bruh Review by Robert D. Patrick A salvo of empirically pleasing images wash over the screen. Suddenly there is buttery meat, fine mustard, top shelf rye, and an honest serving of choleric wit. The Jewish deli, an institution for food lovers. You need an affable level of hubris and […]

Deli Man

The Top Ten Best Songs of 2014

Helado Negro by Eve Sussman Written by Robert D. Patrick After crushing my skull with thousands of songs in 2014, I came up with my top 100 tracks, only to chisel them down to an electric ten. Chromeo had the best dance song of the year (“Jealous”), and Caribou had one of the best pure […]

The Top Ten Best Songs of 2014

Musicians on Pitchfork

When I began the process of interviewing musicians, sometime in 2008, I hadn’t really thought of online journalists – specifically those of whom were devoted to acerbic album reviews. In the aughts, the juggernaut of esoteric references and irreverent snark, Pitchfork Media, had been widening their net over independent music. Practicing my brand of unfocused paper shuffling, […]


Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

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Adult Beginners (0)

Published on Fri, 24/04/15 | Comedy, Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick

Kroll Over, Play Dead

Starring: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

A thirty-something has an existential crisis, burrows into depression, and has some snarky, impertinent bile to spew against the walls of their loved ones’ home. This is an insipid, burgeoning genre that began with the tired eyelids of Owen Wilson in the aughts, and just hasn’t slowed down since. Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Happy Christmas, and, most recently, The Skeleton Twins have all approached the transformation comedy of what it takes to be an adult when you’re just not ready, bro.

Can we stop drawing from this well? Can we just demolish the thing? Throw a stick of TNT down into it?

Newly unemployed Jake (Nick Kroll) slinks back to his childhood home, carrying only a crestfallen gaze and a mussed lid of hair. Seeking refuge, he intends to bore himself into the nearest mattress and hibernate there. Justine (Rose Byrne), Jake’s sister, allows him to stay with her family under certain “comedic” concessions – he has to look after her son! How is this bedraggled, monotone, self-effacing manchild going to look after an energetic kid if he cant even look after himself?!

The groaning commences.

Clearly, screenwriters Liz Flahive and Jeff Cox have seen Mr. Mom, School of Rock, True Adolescents, or any other number of schlep-meets-his-match comedies. This kind of tired banana peel humor lifts its wary head throughout director Ross Katz’s meandering film. The soggy one liners rain down, glibly, as if any of the random non sequiturs are even remotely funny. “Oh, leaf babies,” Kroll cries out, when seeing his nephew’s art, “that makes perfect sense!” Is this supposed to be hilarious because it’s random? How does this work?

Even though she’s given little to do, Rose Byrne has an inherent likability that elevates this film, ever so mildly, over its sluggish ninety-minute running time. Byrne’s character seems relieved of texture: Justine is a mother, so she is tired. Justine is a sister, so she begrudgingly loves her brother. Justine eats, because she is a living person. There’s not much going on here to make her more than a prop. The characters can be confused, but should the screenwriters be?

Kroll can be snide and erudite, when he has the right material, but here he is playing a lo-fi version of Mark Duplass (which seems apropos, since both Duplass brothers produced Adult Beginners). Strangely, there’s not one line of interesting dialogue here. Not one funny thought. Not one clever observation or interesting interplay between characters. This is a placid, moss filled lake of nothing. With so many similar films being released lately, there’s absolutely no reason to encourage this “dude, what do I do now?” genre to continue – as of now, the laziness of its characters has officially seeped over to the filmmaking process itself.


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True Story (0)

Published on Fri, 17/04/15 | Crime, Drama, Reality Based, Written By: Robert Patrick
True Story

Close-Ups: The Movie Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco Review written by Robert D. Patrick The gossamer web that director Rupert Goold weaves is more of the plastic bag, Halloween variety. Fake, difficult to pull apart, and without a genuine aesthetic. True Story is a film about two desperate men interrogating one another by spitting venom through […]

Serena (0)

Published on Fri, 27/03/15 | Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick

Love In a Time of Bore Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper Review written by Robert D. Patrick Dust-licked North Carolina aches and trembles under the oppressive weight of the depression. In the shadow of a land dipped in sadness comes an irascible, headstrong businessman with his eyes set on timbre. His employees are lacquered in sweat and […]

What We Do In The Shadows (0)

Published on Fri, 20/02/15 | Comedy, Horror, Written By: Robert Patrick
What We Do In The Shadows

In the Land of Blood and Funny Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi Review written by Robert D. Patrick Vampires, again? When drawing from an empty, moss-encased well, you would expect your rusty bucket to hit the sludge at the bottom. We’ve had empirically attractive, virile blood suckers. Well quaffed, Victorian vampires. Apathetic, vinyl hoarding shapeshifters. Grotesquely moribund […]

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Top Ten Movies of 2014

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Pootie Tang: Revisited

I wanted to confirm my suspicions that Pootie Tang was indeed relegated to hatred and disgust prior to writing this column.  Yes, I am that delusional about this film… according to others.  I browsed to a certain spoiled produce aggregator and saw a resounding 26% approval, lauded as dismal, and completely admonished by various critics.  […]

Critical Failures: Coming Soon…

A new column written by Kyle Henke that argues against critical viewpoints shared by many.  Was the movie really awful or actually great?  Is the actor playing the role amazingly while being shamed for the script?  Lets find out.  Share on Tumblr

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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]

From the Vault: Interview w/ Wolf Parade

  Working as an editor of a small weekly in the aughts, I fought to perforate the innocuous milquetoast sheen of community articles by bringing in band interviews. The experiment didn’t last long, and pictures of pumpkin patches prevailed. I was in my early twenties, I was barking up the wrong tree. Though violently abridged, this […]

Interview with TV Girl

‘I’m fascinated by beautiful women & not in a (strictly) prurient sense’ TV Girl’s hushed, ethereal hymns aren’t as docile or playful as they may seem. Flecked with emotional carnage and fanged observations, the Los Angeles based band has carved out a living making heart-masticating songs that deal with the pangs of acceptance. Brad Petering, […]

Interview with Colleen Green

Cool, ethereal, and blistering. Colleen Green’s fuzz-laden punk-rock is a carbonated minefield of guitar riffs and drum machines. It’s a sort of sonic hush that emblazons every fiber of her music. “Sock it to Me,” the newest opus by Green, has been heralded by critics and adored by fans. Cinema Spartan managed to catch up […]

Interview with Chastity Belt

‘We Don’t Have to Hide Behind Anything Now’ The rowdy, carbonated, guitar tenderizing music of Chastity Belt hails from Walla Walla, Washington. Through a cocktail of venomous riffs and feet stomping snark that bruises amps, the band released one of the best records of 2013. Lead singer Julia Shapiro’s sonic, booming vocals soar over the […]

Q&A w/ Julie Klausner

Julie Klausner’s anecdotal, razor-sharp wit has branded everything from television shows to an autobiographical memoir.  Bubble wrap snark and cultural observations stirred by cocktail swords, Klausner always has something new in her book bag. Her show, How Was Your Week?, was earmarked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top ten comedy podcasts of […]

From the Vault: The Fiery Furnaces Interview

In 2008, I interviewed the mercurial, outspoken, often times wonky Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces for The East County Herald newspaper. Here, in its entirety, is the clunky, humorous, sometimes incendiary transcript of the exchange I had with Matthew. Known for their staccato production, esoteric lyrics, plunking pianos and rarely middling subject matter, The […]

Medium to Medium with Colleen Green

Fuzzy, dirty, rollicking guitar riffs that feel like you’re being bludgeoned with a pillowcase full of Pop Rocks and fireworks. Ethereal and airy vocals that perforate the buzzing instruments. Lou Reed sunglasses and some jagged abandon define the mercurial, sonic, who-gives-a-fuck offerings of Colleen Green. With her newest record, Milo Goes to Compton, the barbed […]

Medium to Medium: The Wooden Birds

Andrew Kenny’s achingly ethereal voice whittles away your preconceptions about what a band, emotionally, is capable of doing. The singer-songwriter has been a workhorse when it comes to traveling coast-to-coast – he has done it practically nonstop – throughout his career; if you tracked the flight lines across the United States it would look like […]

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The Best of Arnold

I was a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and as a result I was weaned on action movies, particularly the glorious works of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and, OF COURSE, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Watching these films still imbues me with a sort of visceral delight, an upsurge of joy and contentment within the universe. I […]

Ultraman: Episodes 1&2

I was thrilled this weekend when I glanced through a $3.99 movie bin at Albertson’s and pulled out the most random inclusion I could find: Volume One of the 1966-7 Japanese TV show ULTRAMAN: A SPECIAL EFFECTS FANTASY SERIES.  One look at the cover art and I knew I’d be in for a treat. A quick […]

Sam’s Cosmic Movie Peeves

We’ve all got our little pet peeves when it comes to movies and television. Sometimes it stems from our areas of expertise (“Well I’M a fighter pilot and there’s no way I’d do it like that”) or sometimes we just learn some trivia and can never look at those troublesome scenes the same way again. […]

B-Movie: Rock N Roll Nightmare

Review by Sam Wood Jon Mikl Thor, the Legendary Rock Warrior, has had an expansive career spanning back to 1973 and continuing on in the present day. According to his VERY self-aggrandizing website, “THOR first made waves in the bodybuilding world, becoming Mr. Canada and Mr. USA, always using heavy music as an intensive training […]

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story

My little column turns twenty posts old today, and what better way to celebrate than by reviewing the most ridiculously sleazy Hong Kong exploitation film I have ever seen? “A Chinese Torture Chamber Story” exemplifies the concept of a guilty pleasure film. It is as hilarious as it is disgusting. The first time I watched […]

Presidents in Film

I was puttering around the Box Office Mojo website recently and came across an interesting comparison: the domestic box office gross of films about U.S. presidents. This includes documentaries, fictionalized accounts, and accounts that are entirely fictional in the first place. Here are the fifteen top-performing presidential films (rounded to the nearest million): Independence Day […]

Holiday Cards

In lieu of an article this week I thought I’d provide something special for all the procrastinators out there. If you haven’t sent out Christmas cards this year, but you vaguely intended to do so, and now you’re looking at the calendar and realizing there is no way in hell they would arrive in time: […]


From the moment the title screen flew at my face, I knew I was in for something special. And I was right! “Solarbabies” is not just special, it is exceptional, mind-blowing, earth-shattering (sometimes literally). The movie has a whopping 0% approval rating on Rottentomatoes (though in its defense there are only 10 accumulated reviews, and […]

My Favorite Aliens

Guys, I have a confession to make. I am really excited about the upcoming “Cowboys and Aliens.” Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell? Um, cowboys fighting aliens? I’m a little nervous though, because often when Hollywood raises my expectations with a fun concept they are planning some prank to dash it all away again. The […]

Old School Movie Review: The Hobbit

I was initially planning to do another B-Movie review this week, but decide to do an old-school movie review instead. There’s a fine distinction between them sometimes, but in this case I couldn’t classify the film in question as B-grade material. Mostly it’s just… horrible. Plain horrible. Just not due to budgetary reasons. Purportedly this […]