January Staff Picks

Felicia

Sorry to Bother You

An absurd take on modern working culture, artfully directed by Boots Riley; In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, Calif., telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material glory.

Lotta Sea Lice (Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile)

This collaboration album between local Philly based musician Kurt Vile and Australian sing-songwriter Courtney Barnett is a meandering, almost conversational album that is great for relaxed listening.

Eric

The Hudsucker Proxy

If you love Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, or Burn After Reading then this movie is right up you alley!!! A truly under appreciated comedy gem from the master story tellers: Joel & Ethan Coen. Set in a cartoonishly heightened version of New York City in the 1950’s, this film is packed to the brim with crackling dialogue, hilarious performances, and the kind of trademark camera techniques and cinematography that fans have come to expect from the Coen Brothers. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

With no exaggeration or hyperbole, this is hands-down the greatest, most addictive video game that I have EVER. PLAYED. Breath of the Wild offers a level of exploration and freedom of choice beyond anything in the realm open-world gaming to this day. With its soothing landscapes, consistently engaging mechanics, and endless quests, Breath of the Wild will have you hooked from the moment you enter Hyrule.

Kim

Dolly Parton: Songteller:  My Life in Lyrics

In this biography (narrator, Robert K. Oermann) and autobiography, famed singer, songwriter, actress and big-hair exemplar Parton recounts her life from truly hard-scrabble beginnings in Tennessee (one of a dozen children) to the plateau on which she now stands, attained through gumption and grit.  A case can be made that her talent, longevity and likability make her the preeminent female country artist.  There are often hilarious anecdotes and turns of phrase, as when her husband Carl (of 50 years+) asked her after two months of marriage if she’d ever been with another man and she said she wasn’t going to begin the marriage with lie.  After all, who was he to deserve an angel?  The roster of famous singers, producers and other famous folk with whom Dolly has interacted and speaks about include Connie Smith, Skeeter Davis, Porter Wagoner, Kitty Wells, Willie Nelson, Mac Davis, Emmy lou Harris, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, well, everybody who is anybody in the country music field.  Song selections are short and do not slow the narrative.    

Blood on the Moon

Jim Garry (Robert Mitchum) heeds invitation from Tate Riling (Robert Preston in his typical good cowpoke gone bad role) to join him and homesteaders seeking redress of specious grievances.  It is not long before Jim realizes Tate is using hired guns and a crooked Indian agent to essentially ruin the ranch belonging to John Lufton (Tom Tully).  Complications arise when Lufton’s daughter Amy (Barbara Bel Geddes) falls for him while his sister (Phyllis Thaxter) attaches herself to Tate.  Former Citizen Kane editor, now director Robert Wise was proving himself adept at westerns as he would with all genres.  This 1948 film is now considered western noir, like the previous year’s Pursued, also with Mitchum.

Jessie

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

A great cast (Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, and Michelle Yeoh) perfectly combines humor, martial arts, and familial drama in this Marvel movie.

So Far – The best of Sinéad O’Connor

This greatest hits compilation covers the Irish singer’s first eleven years (1986-1997) and four albums. It includes her biggest song, a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” along with her overseas hits and some rarities. If you like her Prince cover, then check out this compilation to discover some more of her great songs.

By Eric

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