Tag Archives: Grief

Review: By the Sea

via IMP Awards

By the Sea (2015)

R / 122 min.

Drama / Romance

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent

Director: Angelia Jolie

A French seaside resort sounds like the perfect locale for a romantic getaway weekend.  The fresh and salty breeze kisses your face as the sound of the waves crashing upon the beach fills your ears.  It is relaxing just thinking about it.  It sounds a lot better than this damp and foggy day I am currently experiencing.  Unfortunately, By the Sea, directed and written by actress-turned-director Angelina Jolie is anything but romantic…or a good movie for that matter.

via The AV Club

The film, starring Angelina and her ex-real-life husband Brad Pitt, is a reflective piece on the subject of grief and love.  It is a deeply personal film about a couple, Vanessa and Roland (played by Jolie and Pitt), at a crossroads in the relationship who decide to go to a French seaside resort to perhaps sort things out in their marriage.  Instead, things seem to take a turn for the weird when they begin to meet some new friends around the town, two of which happen to be a newly-wed couple next door.

What brought me to this movie was the obvious draw of a voyeuristic look into the real-life relationship of Jolie and Pitt.  It was no secret that their marriage was hanging on a thread and that things were not all roses and dandelions between the two of them.  By the Sea was advertised as a personal art-house piece about a couple going through a rough patch.  It does not take a genius to connect the dots and theorize that perhaps the movie is a story about the director’s marriage.  Despite these theories, we get nothing of the sort.  Instead, we get a rather odd voyeuristic look into the sex life of the couple next door thanks to a hidden peep hole that offers Vanessa a view into their life.  Feelings of jealousy and lust begin to creep into her thoughts as she becomes addicted to the peep hole while Roland is off getting drunk at the resort’s bar.

via Rolling Stone

This fascination with the couple next door is certainly something I was not expecting, but it is just too bad the overall plot is boring.  The film never managed to grab me like I thought it initially would.  It does not help that 75% of the movie is one big moan fest full of self-loathing and blank stares.  Everyone just lies around drinking and acting all mopey-dopey.  The performances feel lifeless, especially from Jolie and Pitt.  The dynamic and chemistry between their two characters is the backbone that the movie relies upon but the two never feel invested in their characters.  For a movie so personal it was surprising how detached the two felt from it.

There is one department of the movie that deserves praise and that is its cinematography.  Angelina Jolie is a great director who looks to have a future ahead of her that does not solely include acting.  She takes a simplistic angle on the film, with some great minimalist shots and a lot of silence.  It was at least pleasant to look at, despite the boring travesty that was taking place in the resort.  There was also a nice orchestrated musical score that added to the movie as well.

via Collider

Things only get worse as the movie creeps towards its conclusion, but I never found it in myself to care.  By the Sea must have been tough to create given the circumstances of what Jolie and Pitt were going through at the time, so I have to commend them for attempting to put something like this out there in the wild.  If you came into this movie looking for an irresistible look into the two’s love life however, then you are going to be madly disappointed.  It is quite possible you might self-loath yourself just as much as the characters in the movie.



Review: Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside

via Barstool Beats
via Barstool Beats

I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside (2015)

Earl Sweatshirt

Alternative Hip-Hop

Tan Cressida / Columbia Records

Surprise album releases have been so common these days in the music industry.  It is almost like these surprise albums are not even surprises anymore.  In Earl Sweatshirt’s case, his album I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside was put up for pre order without prior announcement, and was then released a few weeks later.  Earl’s second studio album is what I like to call a little above average.  It is not bad, but it also is not a knockout either.

The first thing you may notice about the album is its title.  It is certainly unique, and kind of pessimistic and negative.  However, the name definitely works in this case, given the album’s largely dark and chilling sound.  The songs on the album include a lot of talk about his depression, addictions, and other negative stuff from his childhood.  It certainly is not your “let’s listen to music and get happy about life” kind of album.

via Konbini
via Konbini

I’ll start with the positives.  IDLSIDGO starts with “Huey,” which serves as the pre-intro to the album.  It has a nice sounding organ being played in the background, and sounds pretty similar to Earl’s “Sunday” from Doris.  The next song “Mantra,” which can be considered the actual intro to the album, is another dark sounding song with some chilling verses from Earl.  It goes into his experience with fame, as well as his ex-girlfriend.

Another downbeat and gloomy song comes in the form of “Inside,” where Earl opens up about how he missed out on going on tour with Odd Future.  He also talks about some of his drug addictions, and how it is easier to get drugs once you are famous.  Earl also opens up on songs like “Faucet” and “Grief.”

idlsidgo 3

Vince Staples and Da$h also join in on “Wool” and “Grown Ups” respectively.  In both of those songs, Earl, Vince, and Da$h go bar for bar, providing us with some pretty good sounding verses.  Wiki is the other feature on the album, but his song he does with Earl, “AM // Radio,” is lackluster compared to Vince and Da$h’s.

Some of my least favorite tracks from the project were “Off Top,” which was produced by Mellowhype’s Left Brain, and “DNA,” which features an alright verse from Nakel Smith.  Compared to the other songs on the album, they just do not stack up.  They fit in the same theme of darkness and pessimism, but they just were not doing anything for me.

via Rap Xclusive
via Rap Xclusive

Earl Sweatshirt has a lot of talent, and he largely flies under the radar when talking about rap.  When his mom sent him away to Samoa for a time, that hiatus must have done a lot for him as an artist.  It fueled a lot of this album, and probably more to come.  Earl Sweatshirt has had a tough going, and IDLSIDGO is here to prove it.  It is worth a listen, but you might need a bright and cheery pallet cleanser afterwards.

idlsidgo score