|The Caveman’s Valentine
Samuel L. Jackson howls and stomps his way through this film about a former concert pianist turned homeless (living in a cave in Central Park). When he finds the frozen corpse of a friend in a tree, he engages in some pretty slick detective work for a crazy guy. “Magic realism” compensates for much of what the script lacks in logic.
Intense biopic chronicles the long suffering, rapid fame, and tragic death of the legendary expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. Along with Oscar-nominated Harris in the lead role, this engrossing film features an Oscar-winning performance by Marcia Gay Harden as his wife and fellow artist, Lee Krasner.
|Life of Brian
One of the best British comedies ever made has risen above the controversy to earn its place as a legitimate cinema classic. Beyond the fantastic character performances (especially Graham Chapman as the eponymous Brian), you get more quotable lines than Shakespeare and a glorious sing-along in the crucifixion scene.
While Christopher Nolan’s previous movie, Memento, was a thriller for film obsessives to love, his latest offering is one for general moviegoers to like. Smart and well-crafted, Insomnia boasts complex characters, effective turns and evocative photography of a small Alaskan town in summertime, when the sun never sets. A solid Hollywood thriller.
|Floetry – Floetic
Soulful London duo Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart understand harmony – between voices, between music and words, between ideas and execution. By speaking their minds and wearing their hearts on their sleeves, the two vocalists weave an organic neo-soul tapestry so intricate that one loose thread would unravel everything.
|Buffseeds – The Picture Show
After the initial three tracks, the image of a lilting, piano-driven band (so popular in indie music these days) is shattered by a burst of discordant guitar, followed by some decidedly off-kilter drumming. Lyrically as well as musically emotive, this debut album covers pretty much every subject you could think of – all in just 40 minutes.
|Múm – Finally We Are No One
Conceived in a remote Icelandic lighthouse, this electronica album is like extracts from a vivid dream journal. Obvious comparisons are with Boards of Canada and Björk, but Múm’s music is not so easily compartmentalized. Analog keyboards hum alongside muted digital glitches, while accordions, cellos and melodicas flutter in and out of the mix.
|Roots – Phrenology
Roots adds yet another hectare to its sonic territory that already includes Jazz, Soul, Funk and Blues: the blazing first track, “Rock You”, says it all. Guest appearances from Cody Chestnutt, Musiq, Jill Scott and Nelly Furtado add irresistibly smooth elements of classic Soul to the proceedings. As essential as the band’s 1999 masterpiece.