In a technically impressive, utterly insane, and harrowing opening sequence, Overlord starts in the skies over Normandy on June 5, 1944—it’s the eve of D-Day. Where Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan showed us the horrific reality experienced by the soldiers who fought on the beaches, Overlord shows us the seldom-explored nightmare in the clouds. Read more…
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They may seem like strange bedfellows, but comedy and horror go hand-in-hand.
Some of the most revered horror movies of all time contain moments of extreme humor: Jack Torrance’s famous “Here’s Johnny!” line from The Shining, cannibalistic Hannibal Lector “having an old friend for dinner” in Silence of the Lambs, and the near entirety of Get Out.
“Comedy and horror are opposite sides of the same coin,” said Robert Bloch, the writer of Psycho. “Both deal in the grotesque and the unexpected, but in such a fashion as to provoke two entirely different physical reactions.” This couldn’t be truer, but it’s missing an important point. Comedy and horror may be opposite sides of the same coin, but it’s an easy coin to flip. You can transition from comedy to horror and back again to great success. Read more…
Let me cut to the chase: my musical taste is 100% weird.
I like everything from St. Vincent to Ted Nugent; from Courtney Barnett to Bronski Beat; from Au Revoir Simone to Nicki Minaj. I like music that grooves, peels your face off, and leaves you drowning in a puddle of sweat on the dance floor. I like music that gives you the feels, makes you question your place in the universe, and creates an atmosphere of ubiquitous sentimentality. I like music that’s devoid of all meaning—just shut up and dance already.
If you tried to chart my musical taste on a map, you’d start somewhere in Siberia and wind up finding me sleeping in the spare bedroom at your mom’s house eating a stale bag of Doritos. Yes, it’s that bizarre. Read more…
If you’re looking for a book recommendation, I recently finished Ken Greenhall’s Hell Hound. It’s stunning. Think Shirley Jackson meets Ernest Hemingway by way of Stephen King. It’s horror, but it’s that slow, seething, and spine-chilling kind of horror that gets under your skin and burns your heart.
The sidewalks of Seattle are a battlefield. A leisurely stroll downtown quickly turns into a high-stakes game of pedestrian Frogger. You bob and weave; you dash and dart; you stop and go. As Seattleites, we champion and support many causes, but, when our feet hit the pavement, our consideration and respect for others flies out the window.
Simply put: Seattle’s sidewalk etiquette sucks serious shit.
I’m being flippant, but this isn’t a trivial matter. Our opinion of the people around us is greatly informed by these brief and subtle interactions and, ergo, they inform our perspective of the world.
I don’t want to get too hippy-dippy or venture into self-help guru territory, but we can make these interactions better. Read more…
I sliced my middle finger open on the ceramic tile lining our kitchen wall. It was one of those silly, absent-minded accidents. I was leaning against the wall, reading the first novel in The Expanse series when it happened. I was trying to stretch my shoulder, so I put my hand on the wall for torque and a jagged, arrowhead-shaped tile caught my skin and ripped it open.
It was a deep tear.
It was bleeding profusely.
It wasn’t stopping.
An interesting behind-the-scenes look at how an episode of SNL goes from script to stage.
If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.
With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight. Read more…
Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!
Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.
It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…
The lights dim; a less-than-witty set of M&Ms remind us to quiet our cell phones; and then something strange happens. Writer/director Edgar Wright thanks us for “getting off the couch” to see Baby Driver as it was intended: in a movie theater.
With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video, being a part-time couch potato is all the rage. From Game of Thrones to Transparent, binge watching long-form media is part of our cultural currency. Not only are these stories marvelously performed, written, and directed, but they’re an easy way for us to quickly relate to one another. Discussing the entertainment we consume is a shorthand approach for creating meaningful connection. Read more…
On the surface, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse may seem like science fiction escapism, but there’s so much more. It’s the very best of modern juggernauts like Game Of Thrones and Star Wars with a dash of The Walking Dead and All The President’s Men. It’s fun, action-packed, full of political intrigue, hard science, and sometimes it’s really freaking scary.
Pure and simple, The Expanse is epic space opera done right.
Move over Michael Meyers, there’s some new kids in town.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you may have missed that we’re in the midst of a horror movie renaissance, and there are some soon-to-be-classics just waiting to be watched. Butter up some popcorn, turn the lights down low, and get ready to make this Halloween a frightening treat that you won’t soon forget.
Here’s a look at five newish horror movies that are guaranteed to set your spine atingle. Read more…
Up next, The West is traveling to Missoula, MT to for the Plus One Festival. We’re playing the main stage on Sat. Sept. 10th.
Tickets are on sale now! Get yours here: http://www.strangertickets.com/events/35582260/plus-one-fest-2016
Adrienne and I attended the Emerald City Comic-con again this year. We sat in on a few fascinating horror and science fiction panels, bought some nerdy t-shirts and posters, and we got to see the great Stan Lee and John Barrowman.
“BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) — famous for portraying an iconic superhero — as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.”
They announced the cast for the new Star Wars movie today. Not gonna lie, I love a lot of these actors and now I’m pretty excited. I still have my fingers crossed; it would be extremely easy to mess everything up again. #prequels #yikes
“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker in the new film.”
The West made it back to Seattle from tour on Sunday night. Thanks for spreading the word and coming out to see the shows!
In other news, I lost 5 pounds on tour on a diet of bar food, beer, lack of sleep, and way too much partying. #tourlife #thenewatkins
We’re playing this Sat. Apr. 26th at the High Dive w/ Jupe Jupe and The Jesus Rehab. 9PM.
(Above: The West at the Marquis Theater in Denver, CO.)