Lil' Movie Reviews: SPLIT & PATRIOTS DAY


Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan


I know. Trust me, I fucking know. You've been fooled too many times to fall for another enticing M. Night Shyamalan trailer, only to be beyond disappointed when you shell out the cash to see the flick, you leave so angry you vow you will never, ever, ever do it again. I was just like you. I made that same vow, and have tried to stick to it... but I had to do it again when I saw the trailer for Split.  Why? It was either because I'm a hopeless romantic or a giant idiot. Either way, I was happy that I did it. M. Night Shyamalan may still be in movie jail, but Split will definitely be a good mark on his record when his next parole hearing comes up.

Let's start with the obvious, James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy were both brilliant in the leads. McAvoy had to play 20-something personalities-- although only about 4 or 5 for most of the film (yeah, Dan, "ONLY")-- while Taylor-Joy had to be the strong empathetic character we desperately needed to follow to stay invested in this film. By the way, Anya is becoming one of my favorite new actresses, and if you haven't done so already, go check out her amazing talent on display in one of the best films of last year in The Witch.

But let's also give credit where credit's due-- Shyamalan did good work here, and shows that he may finally getting back on that promising track he led us to believe he was on when he made The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable (and not leading the trainwrecks that were The Lady in the Water and The Happening). And he does so by getting back to his roots of suspense. Lest we forget, the man used to be really, really good at generating true cinematic suspense, and here he is Split doing it again. And... there is also a big spoiler alert moment I could bring up right now, but I won't. Let me just say if you were actually a fan of Shyamalan's first few movies, you will dig this film a little more than the rest. Is this a great movie? No, but it's really good, and makes me anxious to see what's next.








Directed by Peter Berg;
written by Berg, Matt Cook & Joshua Zetumer


Let's be honest, when you heard they were doing a movie about the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, you groaned. You probably even got angry and shouted about exploiting tragedy and the like... and then you saw the trailer, a lone tear fell from your eye and you said, "Okay, maybe." Then you heard Mark Wahlberg would be doing a Q&A, and you were like, "Oh, my God! I love him! I'm going! I'm going! I already bought tickets!" And then you beat the traffic over the hills into Hollywood to get your seats in second row only to hear that Mr. Wahlberg had something come up and could only introduce the movie, and were all, "That's less than five minutes of Mark! I'm not feeling good vibrations here!" But then the Arclight shrugged and went, "We'll give you all free movie passes to come back again," and then you were happy again and decided to stay and watch the movie all the same. Am I right? Did I nail the exact train of thought of every single person when they heard about Patriots Day? Yeah, thought so.


We totally made eye contact.


Patriots Day had to be a tough film to make, taking on a real-life, well-known tragedy, but Peter Berg and the crew did a pretty good job here by setting the story on the ground, and keeping it there. Instead of over-dramatizing the situation, set on some giant world-wide level (aka Michael Beying a film), what happens here is we follow the main characters-- from policeman to the victims to the terrorists themselves-- in their everyday life and take it step by step, dealing with the situations that arise as they arise, holding the story in the moment and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, hearts thumping and eyes watering the whole way through.

I still maintain that Boston accents are ruining cinema, but this movie got a pass because they were easy to overlook since the filmmakers did a pretty damn good job making you feel one with Boston watching the movie... but then the Patriots went and won the Super Bowl again, so B-minus!





Live in Los Angeles: RUN THE JEWELS

Live in Los Angeles:



Wednesday, February 2, 2017
The Shrine Expo Hall
Los Angeles, CA



Words (and a couple shitty pictures like the one right above)
by Dan Sinclair

The much better, promotional photos are courtesy of Biz3


FEBRUARY 2, 2017: Your mission, if you chose to accept it is to leave your pregnant girlfriend alone sick in bed, beat traffic all the way to USC's downtown campus on a Wednesday night. Once there, proceed to the Shrine Expo Hall and witness the performance of Run the Jewels

Mission fucking accepted. The sold-out show sure brought out all types tonight, and all those types are now directly heading to the lone parking garage next to the Shrine. I look around for street parking-- none. Shit. Ooh, what's this? A small parking lot adjacent to the traffic for $20. Sold. And just in time to catch the end of The Gaslamp Killer's set. Haven't seen him since he opened up for Deltron 3030 at the Fonda. Do any of you remember that? Hanging up high above him is the RTJ symbol...

...which most of the crowd imitates as El-P and Killer Mike take stage as Queen's "We Are the Champions" plays. This quickly changes into "Talk to Me," and everyone goes fucking nuts. With very little ado in-between, the alternative hip-hop duo follows this with "Legend Has It," which quickly becomes "Ticketron."  All three are off the new album Run the Jewels 3-- yes, the very same one this tour is in support of.

But they go down one to Run the Jewels 2 for the next little ditty known as "Blockbuster Night, Part 1." What are they doing, counting down to fu... No, no, I'm getting ahead of myself. RTJ stays with number two as they go into "Oh My Darling Don't Cry," and oh, my, it's hard to spot someone who isn't dancing back and forth and rapping along to every song-- oh, well, there's that guy back by the bathroom who seems to be too drunk to stand. But he's got a big smile on his face, so he's clearly having a good time, too. Next up is the DJ Shadow track "Nobody Speak..."



Shortly thereafter, El-P yells out "Hey..." and everyone yells back "Hey!" before he can continue. He laughs and apologies, claiming there was more to what he needs to say aside from the word "hey." He again yells "Hey" again and the crowd yells "Hey!" back again. This goes on for a few more times, much to El-P's frustration. "We're gonna end up doing this all fucking night." He eventually is able to get out the other "hey" and a "kids" out to finish the intro to "Hey Kids (Bumaye)." After he does his verse and Killer Mike does his, they are joined on stage by the night's very first special guest Detroit's own Danny Brown to finish the track!



Run the Jewels doesn't say a whole lot in-between songs aside from thanking the shit out of the fans. Well, aside from the part where El-P read some of his poetry. He was actually nervous to do so, but got it out and the crowd loved it. I didn't write down the words, so you'll have to look it up yourself, but I will tell you if you like RTJ lyrics, you'll probably be down with El-P's poetry and that's word. Next up is more RTJ3 with "Stay Gold" followed by "Don't Get Captured" followed by "Panther Like a Panther" because I'm the shit, bitch!

Then it's the next guest of the night as Gangsta Boo comes out to help with "Love Again (Akinyele Back)." Then it's time for "Lie Cheat Steal" because everybody's doing it, which is followed by "Early." Blink 182/Transplants/Box Car Racer/Antemasque drummer Travis Barker comes out to whale on the drums for "All Due Respect." I think that was the part where my buddy EVZ went to get some more Coke to mix with the contents of his flask. He borrowed my note-taking pen to stir his concoction, so I apologize if my notebook got drunk and none of this shit makes sense.



That's about the time I see Brian Posehn (or some other giant human being) walking around. Did not know he was a hip-hop fan. I wonder if he went as crazy as everyone else when Run the Jewels did "Run the Jewels" off the album Run the Jewels. I bet he did. Then it's "A Report to the Shareholders," before Joi joins RTJ onstage to close out the set with "Down."

But the intermission to the encore doesn't last long at all, and before you know it, Killer Mike and El-P are right back out and bring none other than former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha to close out the show with "Kill Your Master" and "Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)"


Here's a shitty pic to take you there...


Yes it was as awesome as you can imagine. Then I ran out the back to hurry to my $20 parking spot, just barely beating the traffic out of downtown LA and making it back to join my poor pregnant girlfriend in bed to once again thank her for putting up with me when I like to go run the jewels and stuff.



For more on RUN THE JEWELS, go here.

For more on Dan Sinclair's writing, check out
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