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Kenneth Branagh’s latest film, an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s best-selling detective, Hercule Poirot, premiered last week. Movies and television series featuring Poirot more often than not fail to live up to the greatness of Christie’s novels featuring Poirot’s detective work. I went into “A Haunting in Venice” with low expectations but left the theater pleasantly surprised.
Pop star Doja Cat has just released her fourth studio album “Scarlet,” a marked departure from her previous feminine aesthetic into a darker, punk-inspired style. Doja told Variety, “I know that I’ve done a lot of pink and soft things, a lot of pop and glittery sounds … but for this next era, I’m going in a more masculine direction.” With her new album, Doja is still Doja at heart — she once again showcases her depth and breadth as a vocal performer by effortlessly switching between singing and rapping. However, “Scarlet” thematically over-promises and under delivers, suffering from a lack of features and its 51 minute runtime that overstays its welcome.
I grew up religiously watching coming-of-age movies. From classics like “The Breakfast Club” to more recent hits like “Lady Bird,” I believe that coming-of-age movies have a special power. These movies remind us of the universality of growing up by tackling diverse themes of family, friendship, romance and more. While the transition to adulthood is a personal process influenced by each teenager’s unique circumstances, the very concept of growing up transcends the boundaries of culture and religion: Growing up is hard, but you are not alone.
“I am light as a feather and as stiff as a board,” sings 20-year old Olivia Rodrigo in the first line of her long-anticipated sophomore album, “GUTS,” released on Sept. 8. This familiar phrase serves as a fitting introduction to the album’s primary themes: grappling with one’s own sense of self while dealing with society’s relentless expectations. “GUTS” tells the story of a teenage girl on the brink of adulthood uncovering the distinct realities of girlhood and womanhood through the lenses of heartbreak, fame and self-doubt.
“I finally quit smokin’ cigarettes” is how Oklahoma singer-songwriter Zach Bryan begins “Jake’s Piano – Long Island” — the ninth track of his self-titled fourth album. When I first listened to “Zach Bryan,” this lyric struck me as strange. After all, the album’s cover features a lone Bryan smoking a cigarette over a black background. In retrospect, I can’t help but admire this apparent contrast. It summarizes the rare quality that makes “Zach Bryan” a special record: its author’s unabashed vulnerability.
I haven’t missed a daily dip all summer; it’s become the perfect tradition. With the sweltering heat and a room that is barely air conditioned, I’ve found it necessary to cool off with a nice plunge into the Connecticut River.
American auteur Wes Anderson has been churning out unique, visionary films since the mid 90s. As his career has progressed stellarly, The Wes Anderson Film can virtually classify as its own genre. Filled with colorful canvases painted by brilliant ensemble performers and striking attention to detail, the classic Anderson film is a meticulously designed collage of joy, love, grief and most notably, a bit of dysfunction. From his offbeat caper debut “Bottle Rocket” (1996) to the visual Renaissance spectacle “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014), Anderson’s films carry a cinematic quality unlike any other. “Asteroid City” (2023), the newest installment to the Wes Anderson universe, manages to continue Anderson’s impeccable form and style but also shows his fans and the rest of the Milky Way that he does have something more to offer.
At 7:54 p.m., “it’s been a long time coming,” echoed through the speakers of Gillette Stadium. Every seat was filled with a programmed, light-up bracelet as Taylor Swift emerged for The Eras Tour on Sunday, May 21. The Eras Tour does not just break the record for the first billion dollar tour, but it marks 17 years of Swift’s music and fan memories.
On May 19 at 7 p.m., the long-awaited Green Key concert will take place on Gold Coast Lawn featuring Neon Trees and Cochise. Neon Trees, with their infectious pop-rock sound and powerful vocals, has been a staple of the alternative music scene for over a decade, while Cochise’s blend of trap and Reggae pushes the boundaries of modern rap music.
John Mulaney takes the stage with a veteran’s grace tinged with his signature awkwardness. He begins: His siblings insist he is adopted. At age three, this confusing (and untrue) information sends young John Mulaney into a convoluted thought process involving his imaginary, dead birth mother, Miss America and the Statue of Liberty.
By 6 p.m., on May 1, a line of teenagers clad in floral maxi skirts and leather jackets snaked past the drunken pre-game chaos of Fenway’s sport-themed bars, over the David Ortiz Bridge and onto the urban side-street past it. Boston’s House of Blues wouldn’t open their doors until 7 p.m., but these devoted concert-goers bided their time, happily sacrificing an hour to secure a spot on the General Admission floor to see Lizzy McAlpine. Amidst Fenway’s boisterous atmosphere, as Red Sox fans filtered into the neighboring stadium, the hum of whirling anticipation and wistful melodies echoed down Lansdowne Street, outside the stadium’s high green walls.
“NEVER ENOUGH” is by far Daniel Caesar's most brutally personal and candidly human project to date. Released on April 7, Caesar’s third studio album is a melancholy amble into the Grammy award-winning artist’s psyche. The album delves into themes like death, romance, fame and maturity. Spread over 15 tracks with a run time of about 50 minutes, Caesar’s latest release — despite its title — is sure to satisfy his fans’ four-year itch for new music.
Pakistani-American singer Arooj Aftab's new album “Love in Exile,” released in March, is an atmospheric jazz record that challenges the boundaries of genre through its simplicity. Collaborative in nature, the album features composer and pianist Vijay Iyer and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. On each of the album’s seven tracks, the artists primarily stick to their strengths — with Aftab on vocals, Iyer on piano and Ismaily on bass — yet the final product achieves an effortlessly synchronous sound.
Despite being in the top 0.005% of Lana Del Rey listeners on Spotify, it seems I’m always the last to listen to her latest album. I have a certain unflinching loyalty to her past albums, particularly “Born to Die” and “Norman Fucking Rockwell.” After all, how could anything surpass being sixteen and listening to “Video Games” for the first time? There’s something thrilling about discovering Lana Del Rey as a young teen — positioned at the crux of adolescent angst, pretending to relate to lyrics like “It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you, everything I do,” despite never having been in love.
Released on March 31, boygenius’s debut album “the record” presents a genre-bending exploration of togetherness and uncertainty, as well as an embodied story of what it means to be a band. The so-called “supergroup” is composed of three individually-beloved female artists — Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. When Baker, Bridgers and Dacus were all serendipitously booked on the same tour in 2018, they decided to record one song as a group. The three knew each other previously from the music circuit, but “boygenius” was born when, after four days in the studio, the trio left with a full-length EP which would go on to achieve cult classic status.
As the number of new action movies keeps rising, most have become indistinguishable from one another. They often seem to blend together into a muddy soup of surface-level story beats, mediocre acting and ill-choreographed fight sequences. To some extent, this trend is understandable: The action-dependent movie genre does not offer a lot of space for innovation, forcing tropes to be recycled.
My review for the TV adaptation of “Daisy Jones and The Six” must begin with an important caveat: I have not read the book. And while I know you may think it a great sin for me to write this review, what I lack in book background knowledge I promise I make up for with a healthy appreciation for Fleetwood Mac, Free People and messy relationships. Additionally, my review will judge the show based on its merit alone without comparing it to its beloved predecessor.
Savannah Brown’s latest poetry collection, “Closer Baby Closer,” envisions a definition of love that is not exclusively romantic. Her poems of timid love focus on relationships, time and mere existence. She writes with a youthful lens and styles her feelings in a coming of age collection of poetry. With ambitious and wide-scoped imagery, Brown’s work hangs onto her youthful years.
Gracie Abrams’s debut album “Good Riddance” captures the feelings of responsibility and powerlessness that come after accepting that you were the problem in a situation. This honesty is heartbreaking — as Abrams creates songs of acceptance and loss that anyone can relate to. As a fan of similar artists, I immediately connected to her lyricism: Her vulnerability is unmatched as she reflects on what it feels like to be the villain in a relationship. Released on Feb. 24, 2023, this is Abrams’s first full album, following a series of successful singles and her “This Is What It Feels Like” EP, which was released in November 2021. Abrams has been steadily growing in popularity with her well-received singles — including “I miss you, I’m sorry” and she is going to be opening for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour at certain tour locations.
I, first and foremost, identify as a voracious consumer of romantic comedies. As far as cinematic experiences go, I am unashamed to announce that one of my best memories was watching “Bridget Jones’s Diary” while sprawled on my sofa, a pack of Pringles in my left hand and a can of Diet Coke in my right. As such, I always approach the release of new rom-coms with a degree of excitement — eager to see whether any new rom-com can make it into my list of favorites (which, as you might guess, is currently topped by “Bridget Jones’s Diary”). This week, I sat down with high hopes for “Your Place or Mine,” a Netflix original starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher.