Movie Review | Testament of Youth (2015)

Bob Dylan once sang “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” It is a humble lyric “Testament of Youth” readily brings to mind when reflecting upon it further.

Director James Kent’s adaptation of Vera Brittain’s landmark memoir of the same name rivetingly portrays the events she chronicled; the ones that would come to shake and shape her life.

Movie Review | The Girl on the Train (2016)

A simmering thriller that almost flies off the rails, “The Girl on the Train” is rescued by a strong final act. It is a trip that takes viewers through the perilously dark and twisted tunnels of three women’s interwoven lives. First there is Rachel (Emily Blunt), a divorcee struggling with alcoholism.

Movie Review | Demolition (2015)

A lot of how you receive “Demolition” depends on the kind of mood you are in. If you happen to be in a quirky frame of mind, director Jean-Marc Vallee’s follow-up to “Wild” will leave you feeling…a lot of things. There is something to be said for a movie that can take us to various emotional realms and “Demolition” does that without over tipping its hand.

It is a strange movie that much is certain. It is too somber to be funny and too indie to be considered mainstream, dramatic fluff.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an investment banker who loses his wife, Julia (Heather Lind), in a car accident they are both involved in. This all occurs within the opening minutes of the film. In a shocking reaction to this massive loss, Davis (Gyllenhaal) expresses no grief.

In fact, he registers no emotional response to it, whatsoever. The mystery is whether that is because he does not care, is in shock or is incapable of expressing such strong emotion due to a personality disorder.

Top 10 Most-Read Posts of August & September 2016

Eclectic Pop has recapped and linked to the Top 10 Most-Read Posts for both August and September. Check them out below…

August - Top 10 Recap: The final full month of summer 2016, saw readers trend towards movie reviews and the return of an old feature in rebooted form (Top 5). Out of the Top 10, half were movie reviews and 80% were movie-related, period.

Best New Bets on Netflix: October 2016

A new batch of entertainment has arrived on Netflix this October and Eclectic Pop has narrowed down the best bets for your viewing pleasure. First up the Top 5 movie additions and then a TV pick.

All of the movies listed are now available to stream. Below will you will find a family comedy, a romantic comedy, a documentary, an action/adventure and a thriller. Let’s get started…

Movie Review | Disorder (2015)

Writer/director Alice Winocour’s hypnotic French-language thriller runs heavy on innuendo and light on details. “Disorder” is an atmospheric drama that centers on Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) a veteran of France’s Special Forces, who has returned home from a recent stint in Afghanistan. After multiple tours he is paying the price both physically and emotionally. When a physical reveals that he is losing his hearing and a psychological exam leads to a PTSD diagnosis, he is grounded from going back.

Movie Review | The Forest (2015)

“Game of Thrones” alum Natalie Dormer stars as an American who travels to Japan’s Suicide Forest to find her missing twin sister. What follows is a mix between human-made suspense and a supernatural thriller. As Dormer’s Sara ignores all reason to locate her sister, eventually drawing a travel journalist (Taylor Kinney) and perceptive guide (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) into her plight.

It is easy to empathize with Sara, one half of a contrasting, identical twin combo. She is the long-suffering sister of her troubled counterpart, Jess. Recently, Jess had been getting her life together, teaching English in Japan. It is during a school field trip that she disappears. The assumption is made that since she vanished in Aokigahara (the Suicide Forest), she stayed to commit suicide. A frantic Sara does not believe it and packs her bags, determined to find her sister. 

At first she hits several dead ends before encountering the enthusiastic Aiden (Kinney). She agrees to be a part of an article he wants to write about her case, in exchange for his help. With a deal struck, the two set off on a mission with Michi (Ozawa), the guide. It is not long before visions of ghosts and angry spirits begin to haunt Sara. They appear to her, even before she enters the reputedly haunted forest.

It is the beginning of the movie toying with whether what you are witnessing is “real” or not. Is it supernatural or the product of someone becoming psychologically unglued? Or is Sara being hunted by a living presence, working in a sinister capacity? You have to stay tuned to find out. 

Director Jason Zada keeps the pace moving and the story unfolding with newfound revelations around every bend. “The Forest” is not a boring movie, by any means. It incorporates the 3 plot mainstays that comprise the mystery thriller genre with remarkable ease. Its unexpected mix of the 3 infusing the movie with an unpredictability factor it would have otherwise lacked.

Why Figure Skaters Should Consider Music from 'Game of Thrones' and 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

A new season of figure skating is upon us and with that, a slew of new programs. If you are a fan of figure skating, be it singles, pairs or ice dance, then you know that music selection can oftentimes be the make or break difference between a good program and a great one.

The beautiful part of the following music is that working two programs around them would be easy. There is enough variety on these soundtracks that using a different medley of songs from the same soundtrack would be sustainable for both the short and free skate, and it would not bore the listener. Plus, it would tie the two programs together.

With a bent towards the classics, certain skaters have dared to flirt with the modern and last season saw a nice rotation of movie soundtracks. Ashley Wagner performed to a medley from “Moulin Rouge” for her free skate, while Mirai Nagasu skated to one from the 2013 “Great Gatsby” remake. It is a trend that would be wonderful to see continue and Eclectic Pop has some ideas on how to keep it going.

Entertainment Inquiry #7 - Fall Movies, 'Fifty Shades Darker', 'Narcos' & more!

Since there is only so much time in the day to read 750+word reviews, it seemed right to boil down all of the sentiments expressed on Eclectic Pop into a simple question and answer format; getting to the point in a concise and clear manner that transforms those broader analyses into a bite-size read.

If there is an entertainment topic you want a quick answer to, the Entertainment Inquiry aims to give it to you. These questions have been self-generated by taking into account current hot topics and the interests you already come to Eclectic Pop for coverage on. In this edition, you will find inquiries about the “Fifty Shades Darker” trailer, the Venice Film Festival, the recent season of “Narcos”, what’s worth watching on Netflix, Emmy predictions and more…

#RKC Presents the Final Eclectic Selection #12 - The Complete Playlist

On Friday September 23; Eclectic Selection #12 will premiere on #RKC. As previously announced playlist #12 will also be the last Eclectic Selection. The final show will consist of a 16 song lineup. Below you will find the complete playlist (in order of airplay), the artist, the song and the social media links for you to connect with the featured artists further. I would like to thank all of the talented artists whose music comprises this playlist and all of the previous installments. As with every Eclectic Selection; it has been your music that has made the evening sing!

I would also like to thank everyone who has listened to the show throughout the past 2 years, my fellow Selectors for their support and of course, Jerome (aka Ze Boss) for the opportunity to compose 12 Eclectic Selections. It has been a blast.

Eclectic Pop News | Music Announcment

As many of you know there has been a recent change with the content on the site.
For one, there has been less of it. As my freelancing work expands, Eclectic Pop has taken a bit of a back seat, though it remains a top priority. Working through this learning curve has been an adjustment. Rest assured that through the ebbs and flows, new content will continue to be created. However, the focus of that content will soon be changing.

Effective immediately, Eclectic Pop will be taking an indefinite sabbatical from conducting music reviews. As many of you who have reached out for a review are aware I have been saying for a while now that I would only be taking submissions for the Eclectic Selection playlist on #RKC. As you may have recently read, I will no longer be doing that either.