“Baby Driver” Blends Music & Movie in Perfect Unison

Baby Driver, the latest from writer/director Edgar Wright, is about to further fuel Wright’s cinematic position as one of the most daring auteurs this side of the arthouse. Although Wright’s name may not be household, his films certainly are. From Shaun of the Dead to Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wright has been crafting the most loved of so-called “cult classics” for years now. Baby Driver is not Wright’s first genre-bending work, but the film is the first to withhold comedy from being the driving force. Instead, Wright allows the harmonious relationship between music and action to cultivate a glorious spectacle of summer blockbuster.

Ansel Elgort stars as Baby, a getaway driver with tinnitus who constantly listens to music on his vintage (they’re not that old) iPods. This opens the gateway for the fusion of music and film Wright is so known for. As Baby goes from heist to heist, meeting criminals played by Jon Hamm, Jaimie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, and Eiza González, he listens to a wildly fitting selection of songs from a bevy of decades to accompany his driving prowess. Added in to the playlist is Lily James’ Debora as the love interest to Baby and his main cause for action. Through the spectacular cinematography and soundtrack, Baby speeds through a number of automobiles, turning Atlanta into a demolition derby.

Edgar Wright continuously brings his own overt-style to each film (seems fitting he didn’t direct Ant-Man) with quick editing, wry humor, and of course, music and action in sync. For Baby Driver, its as if Wright has turned his own love for music into a narrative force. Each song for the soundtrack isn’t there for just background noise and helps add to the already much heightened reality. The fantasy of living out a personal movie through personal soundtracks is fulfilled by Baby’s constant musical choices of BlurDavid McCallumThe Commodores, among plenty of others playing out through his day. From the long tracking shot in the beginning set to Bob & Earle’s “Harlem Shuffle” showing Baby interacting with his world, the importance of a soundtrack is never diminished. A finale set to an apt Queen song is one of those perfect movie moments. More than a car/heist/action movie, Baby Driver is a music lover’s fantasy, a “what if” all those songs rolling around your head were helping make the movie of your life.

The fantasy of stylish getaway driving seen in other films like Drive, The Driver, and The Getaway have by tradition always favored the neo-noir soaked approach to cool. Wright’s wonderful eye for color leaves out the chiaroscuro and neon-stylings for a palette of primary colors and bright Atlanta scenery. Narratively, Wright keeps the archetypical silent driver through Baby (along with the classic villainous criminal tropes) and the “damsel-in-distress” character as Debora. Wright gives Debora enough nuance to flourish as a character, but never lets her break the male-dominated ideas of the car-chase-movie. The romance between her and Baby more highlights Baby’s own motivation than it does Debora’s character.

Baby Driver will be accepted into the Wright canon as more midnight movie watching and rewatching become accessible. Wright’s fans will have further reason to adulate him while his detractors may see this as, at least, a film demonstrating growth. The film is a towering love letter to music and action films and exemplifies Wright’s genre-bending intelligence. The kinetic editing and pacing only allow the energy of the film to flourish rather than hindering the action under a miasma of quick-cuts. The sheer coolness of style also breathes new life into the genre, with Kevin Spacey coming out as the primary scene-stealer, jazzed up on his own criminal world.

Wright’s ability to cross genres and present fresh takes on old stories is so well received because he crafts fun movies. There’s always drama present in his works, but he doesn’t let that slow down the massive appeal of action and comedy and character. Baby Driver continues this tradition but within a more dramatic vein. Its an action movie for music lovers, and vice versa. A homage without being cliché. A whirlwind of fantasy without being totally unrealistic.

Grade: A

 

[Adult Swim] On The Green Experience

Mind if I come in here with some words yo? I hope you’re reading this because this is way better read. What is [adult swim]? I’m not asking you, so don’t give me an answer. [adult swim] Is a television and media broadcasting company owned by Time Warner Cable. [adult swim] does a live broadcast every night after Cartoon Network goes to bed. If you stayed up this late then, like me, you’ve been scarred by this channel and you, like me, have a post-ironic nostalgic craving for a wad of meat. This past weekend on June 23, 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an [adult swim] touring festival.

After arriving and hearing the music I could already tell I was in for a treat. They played a lot of songs made popular by [adult swim]. Before I got into the place, they required me to allow them access to my social media information. I gave them some real bogus information because you never know what they can do with all of that sweet, sweet personal data. Then they gave me this wristband that had this panel to scan at the different giveaway areas in order to keep people from taking too much free swag. The paranoia in me thought it was a panel for mind control. I realize, in retrospect, the mind control came from the feature presentation at the end of the night.

When I was more of a child I would attend these elementary school fairs. The school would rent all kinds of fun and games to put out in a field. Those are some of my fondest memories. Going to this event took me back to that place. The lawn was littered with activities! Croquet, connect four, large Jenga™, a Geico™-sponsored prize eye. The prize eye was a large eye that when spun. it allowed you to keep your eyes on the prize and on the prize eye. Because the prize eye will reveal your prize if you keep your eyes on the prize eye and on the prize.  I won a towel with Mr. Poopybutthole from Rick and Morty on it. There was a tent that upon entering you are led to a screen that asks you to give feedback on your experiences with [adult swim] and in return, you get a dank poster. I got to take my photo with the Rick Mobile™ and they even hooked it up with popcorn and candy. None of that cheap stuff. I’m talking high-quality Italian knit popcorn and candy. This was all to keep the crowd occupied as we awaited the main event. The screening of things never before seen.

The Lawn was set up so there were activities on the outside perimeter and an empty field in the middle. People set up in the field and faced an extremely large LED High definition screen. Before they played the fresh content everyone was invited to play trivia. That was mostly unrelated to [adult swim]. Once the trivia had wrapped up, there was a personal message from a live stream and a Geico™ commercial and then the moment had arrived to see some brand new content.

You can expect to see a lot of upgrades and advancements being made to the channel thanks to its growing popularity. Tyler The Creator will be putting out a new cartoon. The show Squidbillies is getting a spit shine and will be returning this fall. A little quote from the episode about conspiracy theories. The Sheriff and Early are in a room where there are all kinds of bits of paper and pictures connected by red strings. The Sheriff stumbling in and pulling down strings says “Sorry I messed up your thing, I had no idea the conspiracy ran this deep.” To which Early replies, “That’s alright let me just make some more connections.” He then proceeds to, using a can of silly string, randomly connect different areas in the room which he only makes justifications for, after he’s already connected them. Other new shows coming. Apollo Gauntlet, Tigtone, Lazer Wulf and always more and more. Really what you need to know is the new shows are all off-the-wall random and perfect for smoking a fatty and frying all night or a sober night that you want to feel like you are on drugs. If this is you, [adult swim] is just what you need. The grand finale was an episode of Rick and Morty, season three, episode one. This is an episode I’ve already seen several times but it was fun to see it on such a big screen surrounded by laughter. After that, I thanked the Lord, put on my moon boots and jogged back to Salt Lake From Ogden. What a great night!

Local Natives – Sunlit Youth

On August 8, 2014, Local Natives took the Twilight Concert Series’ stage and performed to their heart’s content. I remember the day like it was yesterday: the crowd was cheering, the lights on the stage were a calm blue, and my friend and I danced and sang along to all the songs they played. It was a great concert only made better by the announcement that they were already working on new material for their third album. Fast forward two years later and they have finally released what I had been waiting for: Sunlit Youth.

Local Natives got their start in Silver Lake, California. Right out of college, the band wasted no time to start working on their first album. Their debut album Gorilla Manor was well received and set the stage for the potential the group has. From Gorilla Manor to Sunlit Youth, they have significantly matured. This album is not as charismatic as Gorilla Manor, but is much more optimistic than their emotionally driven second album Hummingbird. The lyrics have a more profound impact, addressing issues that are prominent in this day and age, such as telling the younger generation they have a voice (Fountain of Youth) to advising people to live in the moment (Past Lives).

The album opens up with the enthusiastic song Villainy. It is a grand departure from the somber mood of their second album to a livelier, joyous tone. It is immediately evident that they were not afraid to take some risks because of the heavy synths that loop from start to finish. In a way, it feels like they wrote a love letter to their hometown with the lyrics, “Mine is a chrome palace/Lost in Los Angeles/I know that I’ll make it through.”

Midway through the album, we get what is unarguably the most distinct and experimental single the band has ever produced with Coins. While still sounding like a Local Natives song, it veers away from the indie rock feel they usually have to a bluesy vibe. Singer Taylor Rice serenades the listener with a soulful voice while the prominent chords of the guitar play in the background.

Jellyfish has to be one of my favorite tracks on the album. Its hypnotic melody is captivating with its tribal beating drums, elegantly contrasted by gentle chimes. Rice’s soothing voice sings a story of love to the listener as he begins to describe how unexpected falling in love can be, “Took the wrong train and I fell/Head over heels in a moment.” This instantly shifts to the downfall of a relationship and how it equally can catch you off guard. The pain of heartbreak can be relatable to many people, however, the song still has a sense of positivity to it as if to assure people that everything will be okay.

Local Natives are currently on tour and will be performing on September 22nd at The Depot. Doors open at 7 p.m.

 

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Hey guys welcome back! This week I wanted to give a quick non-spoiler review of the anime Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (wow that’s a mouthful). Seeing as how the season is rounding up on its last few episodes I thought I would give my opinion on the anime thus far. My first thought of this show was that it was almost like Erased, but with a fantasy twist in it. Boy was I wrong!

From rezero.wikia.com

From rezero.wikia.com

I will admit that the first few episodes do have a feel that resembles what I can only describe as SAO (Sword Art Online) without the “You die in real life” deal or a more serious version of Konosuba. I must say that the anime gave a very pleasant vibe for starters. However, as the show progressed the atmosphere of the show became less whimsical and started to get my curiosity going. It was about this time that the show picks up like a hurricane and you can’t stop wishing for the next episode to be released.

From www.t411.ch

From www.t411.ch

But, I did say that this review would be SPOILER FREE so I won’t go any further than saying that the show is totally worth the long run for a series that will most likely go for about 24 episodes. After looking into the history of the anime to see how long the manga ran for I found that It didn’t actually start as a mange. In one of the more interesting origin tales I found that Re:Zero actually started as a Web Novel in 2012. When I read this I though that all the riveting anime are coming from the web recently I.e. One Punch Man started as a Web Comic. After having finished 17 episodes so far I can fully understand how this anime went from being a Web Novel to popular anime in just under 7 years.

From alpha.wallhaven.cc

From alpha.wallhaven.cc

The biggest compliment that I can give this anime is the same reason why I would so highly recommend the series to new or veteran fans of fantasy and or mystery anime. That being how the characters in this series are exquisitely well crafted. From the main character to the support, the show boasts some of the more complete character designs that I’ve seen. I highly enjoy how the show broke the troupe of the nice guy MC that can’t do anything wrong in the eyes of the cast.What this anime does is use its MC as a means of unraveling a seriously complex plot line in a way that will leave you glued to your screen.

From rezero.wikia.com

From rezero.wikia.com

To end my little rant here I would give Re:Zero an 11/10. My reasoning for this is that in a medium that has recently become stuff full of predictable stories and even more predictable characters Re:Zero breaks the mold. When I watch this anime I never know how the story will change and I’m never bored. With that I’ll leave you with one more piece of information to serve as a teaser of sorts for those interested, but not yet hooked on this show. Episode 15 will leave you speechless, that’s a promise.

Geekwave Vlog: iHome Go+ Arc Bluetooth Speaker Unboxing and Review

Hey Amigos,

This is a vlog unboxing and review of the iHome Go+ Arc Bluetooth Speaker. Thank you so much iHome for generously providing this product for review. ALSO, tune into The Geekwave Podcast tomorrow to hear who won our Geek Madness iHome prizes!

Hope you enjoy!

-Ollie, a wanna be velociraptor (goes break-dancing!)