Halsey – Badlands

halsey badlandsSometimes music has the ability to make me feel my age…or old. This is the reaction I had listening to twenty-year-old Halsey’s debut album. Obviously she comes from the same vein as and has been influenced by the music of Lorde, Katy Perry and Rihanna in that it is very imagery heavy and comes at you all herky jerky in spurts. She also references Biggie and Nirvana in her songs. The young New Yorker certainly is cool. As for the lyrics even in the songs that don’t work as well (of which there are few) she paints a picture with her words. Forcing you to feel the music and acknowledge that there is a mature young lady behind the words. One moment she can be sexy with the next she is a total waif. At the age where she is exploring the world and figuring out what’s what. If you purchase the vinyl version of the album you get a couple of extra tracks including a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line”.

Misery – Blu-ray Edition

misery blu rayWriter Paul Sheldon (James Caan – from television’s Las Vegas) has just finished his latest novel, which he completed in a remote cabin in the woods. Wanting to deliver his novel, in which he kills off the main character, Misery Chastaine, to his publisher (Lauren Bacall – How to Marry a Millionaire, The Mirror Has Two Faces) as quickly as possible, Sheldon drives in a blinding snowstorm. Due to the slickness of the roads and the blinding snow Sheldon crashes off the road. He is dug out by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates – Failure to Launch, About Schmidt) and brought to her house. Sheldon is severely injured, but being a nurse Annie is able to take care of him.

His good luck turns to bad when it becomes apparent that Annie is a crazed fan and is not willing to let her favourite author slip out of her hands. After she reads Sheldon’s manuscript and realizes that he has killed off Misery Annie loses all touch with reality. She insists that Sheldon stays there and writes another novel bringing Misery back to life. It becomes a game of cat-and-mouse between the two with Sheldon trying to figure out a way to get away from Annie despite his injuries.

This is probably the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel to film. Director Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap, The Story of Us) keeps the tension and cat and mouse game between the two main characters amped up throughout the film. He never lets things get too over the top, but just keeps it simply scary. You will find yourself alternating between nervous laughter and edge-of-your-seat throughout the whole film. This juxtaposition works well in that the violence of this horror/thriller is not what the focus is on. A lesson that many recent horror directors should learn.

While some of the credit for the film’s success rest with Reiner the bulk of it is due to the great acting. It is truly a character and by extension an actor driven film in which all lays on the shoulders of the Kathy Bates and James Caan. Bates inhabits the crazy obsessed fan character she plays and was rewarded with an Oscar Award for the role. Due to this it is a film that you can watch multiple times and not be bored of.

Special Features:

– “Misery Loves Company”
-“Marc Shaiman’s Musical Misery Tour”
-“Diagnosing Annie Wilkes”
-“Advice for the Stalked”
-“Profile of a Stalker”
-“Celebrity Stalkers”
-“Anti-Stalking Laws”
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Original Theatrical Teaser

Hit a High with All Time Low

all time low live 2015A pop punk band that formed in 2003.  The band name is taken from a New Found Glory lyric.  They began in high school in Maryland and have grown in reputation due to their constant touring.

While in high school the members of the band, Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson, and Zack Merrick, starting performing doing covers of pop punk bands like Blink 182. After gaining some recognition they were signed to a label and then released their debut album in 2005. They have gone on to release six full length albums with their latest being Future Hearts that was released this year.  This tour is supporting that album.

Additional Information:

-Date:  September 18, 2015

-Venue:  Metropolis

-Website:  www.alltimelow.com

-Ticket Purchase:  www.ticketmaster.ca

-Ticket Price:  $27.50 (plus handling charge)

-Show Time:  7:15 p.m. (Doors @ 5:45 p.m.)

-Opening Acts:  Set It Off and Nova Rockafeller