Full Cavity Search
UR A Meatball Rating System

Everybody's Doing It

 

Lurk No Further

Monday
Oct132014

Destiny

Destiny | PS4/PS3 Xbox 360/Xbox One
Released: Sept 9th, 2014
Developer/Publisher: Bungie/Activision & Sony
Grade: 2.75 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Pawl Schwartz

Frankly, I’m pissed. After ten minutes of research online, I have determined that I have, in fact, beaten the highly anticipated video game known as Destiny. I downloaded it five days ago, and it’s already over. Epic? More like a gorgeous two-pump-chump as it stands now.

It was all roses and puppy dogs back at level ten. I had my four or five planets open as locations to travel to in order to do missions, and I never saw anyone over level 25 (this was early into the release). “Oh,” I think to myself, “another area must open up after level 25” because, if I was already at level 10 after a good solid sitting of play, 25 couldn’t be the end.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct132014

Left Behind

Left Behind
Directed by: Vic Armstrong
Released on: October 3rd, 2014
Grade: 1 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

Yep, it’s been 14 years since the incredibly awful, low-budget, end-times thriller Left Behind: The Movie starring Kirk Cameron hit video shelves. As per usual, idea-strapped Hollywood thinks it’s due for a remake. Producer Paul Lalonde returns to familiar Revelation-inspired territory with a bigger budget, more sophisticated productions values and a recognizable cast to retell the story of those left over after the Rapture, the event where the godly are taken instantly to Heaven before Christ returns to Earth, as some Christians believed is prophesied in the Bible. Based on Rev. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ wildly popular series of novels, this Left Behind remake, despite its Hollywood polish, is just as bad and laughable as the original.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep222014

Fight Church

Fight Church
Directed by: Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel
Released on iTunes/VOD: September 16th, 2014
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

If you remember Sunday school, there’s a story in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God until the break of day. Jacob is then renamed Israel because he fought with God, prevailed, and is blessed. It is this story from the Book of Genesis that pastor and mixed martial artist Paul Burress takes inspiration for his fight ministry at Victory Church in Rochester, New York.

Preaching from the pulpit in a t-shirt and jeans, he’ll admit he doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional minister. He also recognizes that people may have difficulty understanding how someone can reconcile Christian beliefs with fiercely beating another human for sport. Blessed are the peacemakers and love thy neighbor, right? To him, and many other pastors across the country, MMA is a means to serve God and spread the gospel of Jesus.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep112014

BANKS || Goddess

Banks
Goddess
Label: Harvest Records
Released on: September 9th, 2014
Grade: 5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

This album is the reason why I review music.  When it comes down to it, being a music journalist is about waiting for that special moment to happen where I'm rendered speechless because of a record.  I can critique music endlessly until I fall asleep, but albums like Banks' Goddess provide a struggle for me and that's when this gets fun.  Banks will inevitably be compared to a list of artists that will stretch to War and Peace lengths, but when it comes down to it...there's no one like Banks.  She may sound like anybody you can name drop, but she is the beginning of something totally fresh and new.  In a perfect world, Goddess would kickstart a new golden age for pop music.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep092014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Author/Publisher: Haruki Murakami / Knopf
Release date: August 12th, 2014
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Pawl Schwartz

Tsukuru is colorless. He has a tight-knit group of friends that define him this way, their names all being Japanese for a different color, and his meaning ‘Gray’ and ‘Builder,’ which he is. Tsukuru builds train stations, and gets an almost aspergers-esque glee from doing so.

When Tsukuru comes back to visit his hometown, his group of friends quite vocally cast him aside and ask him never to contact them again, which he accepts without question. For years afterwards, Tsukuru lives in Tokyo, never visiting home, and never asking why he was excommunicated, living a very Murikami-esque lonely existence, only without the Japanese joy-in-simplicity attitude that most Murikami characters are imbued with. Tsukuru is in a dark place, a lonely place, and he plans to do nothing about it. That is, until a new girlfriend forces him to confront his childhood friends and get some closure on the situation, to free Tsukuru from his constant misanthropy and fear (not to mention, erectile dysfunction).

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep092014

Life Itself

Life Itself
Directed by: Steve James
Release Date: July 4th, 2014/Streaming now on Amazon.com 
Grade: 5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

One of my favorite pastimes growing up was staying up late on Sunday nights to watch Siskel & Ebert on the St. Louis affiliate. Not only was it a great way to end the week in anticipation of going back to school on Monday, but it fostered my interest in movies as an art form. The dynamic duo broadened my horizons by introducing me to films I couldn’t find at my small town multiplex and by recommending classics to rent at the video store. Without Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, I would not be doing what I am right now.

When Ebert passed away in April of last year, after more than a decade battling thyroid cancer, he joined his reviewing partner at the Great Movie Palace in the Sky. The world mourned the death of the most popular and important film critic in the history of movies. There has never been anyone quite like him in his field and there probably won’t be anyone else like him to come. He was the rockstar of movie reviewers. He was the voice of the plebs in a profession mostly made up of pretentious snobs and humorless know-it-alls out of touch with the general moviegoing public.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep092014

Locke

Locke
Directed by: Steven Knight
Released on DVD/Blu-Ray: August 12th, 2014
Grade: 4.5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

In this age of bloated CGI spectacles, pointless remakes/reboots/reimaginings and two-hour dick jokes, innovation in cinema is very far and very few between. It seems that Hollywood would rather run out of ideas than make smart and challenging films. It’s quite an embarrassment.

On the other hand, you have films like the British import, Locke. Written and directed by Oscar nominee Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises), this captivating film experiment is the antithesis of everything that is wrong with the current state of Hollywood. Shot over a few weeks on a miniscule budget and set entirely in a car in real time, it tells the story of engineer and family man Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises) going for one of the most important drives of his life.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep072014

Now I'm Nothing @ Mojoe's

Now I'm Nothing
Where: Mojoe's
When: September 6th, 2014
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

Never in a million years would I have thought I could have so much fun seeing bands performing tribute sets.  Sure, Scott Lucas can get away with doing his Halloween “performing as…” sets every year and those are fun and entertaining, but I’ve always been skeptical of tribute bands outside of that.  Enter Now I’m Nothing.  I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails live countless times at this point – I’ve actually lost an accurate count.  I even told my friend who invited me to this show before they took the stage that I was setting the bar really high for this.  Little did I know that this band, who normally perform their own material as Worm (The World Organization of the Righteous Movement), would drastically exceed my expectations and actually put on a show that any fans of Nine Inch Nails should witness.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep062014

The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears

The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
Directed by: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Released on: August 29th, 2014 [USA/LIMITED]
Grade: 1 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Dan Kristensen (Klaus Tange) has just returned to Brussels from a business trip abroad. After leaving several messages for his wife, Edwige (Ursula Bedena), without receiving response, Dan comes home to find the door is chained from the inside. When Edwige still does not answer Dan through the ajar door, Dan breaks the chain and enters his home.

Edwige is missing. Rather than immediately call the cops, Dan goes on a drinking binge and then rings up his neighbors to see if they have seen his wife. One of his neighbors lets him into her home. A strange woman whose face remains shadowed in darkness, Dora (Birgin Yew), relays a ghastly story about the day her husband went missing in the ceiling after he tied her up and sedated her. (She wakes up later to help him, somehow eschewing or forgetting or forgiving her husband's horrific behavior.)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug262014

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Experienced at: Hollywood Palms Cinema
Released on: August 22nd, 2014
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

Upon entering the gorgeous and extremely accommodating Hollywood Palms theater in Naperville, I was first greeted by the presence of a lavish cherry-red 1956 Ford Thunderbird just like the one used in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  It set the tone for an undeniably prestigious and unforgettable evening, packed with a viewing of the new Sin City film as well as a face to face meeting with Rosario Dawson, Patricia Vonne, and Crystal McCahill – aka three of the Old Town girls in Sin City.  Hollywood Palms always bring the stars to you through meet & greets and this night was among the best they’ve put together.  As long as I’d waited in my career for a chance to meet Ms. Dawson (to say I’m a huge fan is an understatement), the encounter was on par with how spectacular the film turned out to be.

Click to read more ...