Eclectic Pop

where "pop" culture gets "eclectic"

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Movie Review: 'Philomena' (2013)

The first word that comes to mind when describing “Philomena” is that it is curious. It’s a drama with awkward moments of comedy, a road trip movie without much car travel and juxtaposed characters whose conflict never reaches any clear resolution.

Based on a true story, the film tells of the titular Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) as she implores journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) to find the son she had to give up for adoption 50 years ago, when she was a teenager stranded by her father at a convent in Ireland.

Sonic Assembly: IceChrystalls, iScat & Tom Humphreys

IceChrystalls This dreamy band based out of Colchester, UK transport listeners with wistful vocals and 80’s girl power style to indie rock. Composed of vocalists Emily Ince and Deanna Christalls, bassist Laura Yapp and guitarists Del Yapp and Callum Gutteridge, the band boasts teen spirit and int…

Memorable Moments: The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

Golden Opening Ceremony: Russia celebrated its history in a stunning display of 3-D projections and a dazzling performance of their illustrious dance history in a moving ballet piece that encapsulated the unparalleled skill that serves as the golden standard, ballerinas all around the world try to achieve.

Movie Review: 'About Time' (2013) Is A Life Love Story

Time is such a precious thing, an all-encompassing unit of every person’s life. We are all blessed with it, capable of using it various ways and always dealing with how we have chosen to spend it. Battling regrets and wondering what we would do with a second chance, all the while managing the fact we only have so much time, to begin with.

These are heavy thoughts and “About Time” explores them without depressingly sorrow pauses. It's a coming of age story about what happens after you come of age.

Movie Review: 'Gravity' (2013)

Movies that center on one or two protagonists is a difficult premise to tackle and whether you’re stuck in outer space for an hour and half, the ocean (“Open Water”), on a ski-lift (“Frozen”), in a cave (“127 Hours”), or in a freezer (“Freezer”), there are key ingredients that have to come together to make the story work.

As claustrophobic as a single setting can be, the element that can create a sense of breathing room is getting caught up in a charismatic character and an exciting narrative. On both of these fronts, the critically and awards lauded “Gravity” fails.

Sonic Assembly: Eliza Neals, The Palace Wolves & Billy Shaddox

Eliza Neals, 'Misery'

Based out of Detroit, singer-songwriter Eliza Neals’ soulful voice is the key instrument for her firebrand version of blues-fueled tunes. Producing a retro time warp, Neal’s song catalogue hits its mark by fusing rock and old school Motown into a steady stream of musical harmony.

Her foxy single “Misery” is the perfect illustration of her gift to boldly capture a golden era, ushering it back to life with the opening, sound effect of a crackling record spinning.

6 Eclectic Movie Romances + A Look at Notable Film Chemistries

#6: Sound of the Sea (2001)

When love is intoxicating it can be a beautiful thing to witness and it can also be destructive. This mystifying look at an all-consuming love affair and the fine line between devotion and obsession is powerfully displayed in this Spanish drama.

As a window into the romance of two tortured souls lost in their passion for one another. Led by the exhilarating performances of Leonor Watling and Jordi Molla, this a romantic entanglement that portrays two people so wrapped up in each other, they can’t exist without the other and the aftermath is wrenchingly unforgettable.

Readers' Picks: Romantic Movie Favorites

Eclectic Pop reached out via Twitter, and asked readers what their favorite romantic movies were, and they were kind enough to give an array of choices that span several depicted centuries, countries and genres.

As diverse as the picks are, "two" was a prominent number in the trend of favorites, “The Notebook” was chosen twice, rival adaptations of “Pride & Prejudice” were a double favorite, and actresses Meg Ryan and Kate Winslet, appeared in two of the overall choices. Eclectic Pop’s comments appear in italics.

@_AutNihil aka @iwill_callyou's Picks:

“Mostly Martha” (2001) starring Martina Gedeck and Sergio Castellitto, a restaurant kitchen serves up romance in this overseas smash hit, which was later remade into the underwhelming “No Reservations”. The original however, remains highly cherished among viewers.

“Educating Rita” (1983) starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters, the titular “Rita”, a housewife ready for an higher education besots a frosty English literature professor when the pair become student and teacher.  

“Les grandes chaleaurs” (2009) starring Marie-Therese Fortin and Francois Arnaud, a widow finds solace and an abiding romance in the arms of a younger man.

Ava Gacser - @AvaGacser's Picks:

“When Harry Met Sally” (1989) starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, the love/hate relationship of two yuppies takes on several forms as it plays out over the course of several years.

“Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001) starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s novel, this British hit stirred a worldwide sensation,as the film found Zellweger’s Bridget caught between two romantic suitors.

“Something’s Gotta Give” (2003) starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, a man with a notorious streak of carrying on with younger women, meets his match in his most recent fling’s mother.

Movie Review: 'Rush' (2013)

What could draw two men, so diametrically opposed into a universe where they are constantly in each other’s orbit? In the case of Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), it was the sport of Formula 1 racing.

A battle of wills and ideology plays out on the race track of the 1970’s, in "Rush" which is based on an amazingly true story. It is a finishing line that not only decides who the better driver is but of whose course of action in life, is the right one.

Song of the Week: 'Ghost' by Nina Yasmineh

Following up on last year's sublime EP “Seven Years”, Nina Yasmineh is back with a new single, “Ghost”, a poignant jaunt into the painful world of a crumbling relationship. Where that might be a musical rut for others, Yasmineh only uses it as an overall framework, to take a more decidedly evocative turn, as a tale of romantic existentialism. Speaking to the magnetic and hypnotizing quandaries, a relationship with a person can evoke in one’s life and acknowledging rationality isn’t always possible.

Concert Review: Imagine Dragons

After a rainstorm and the threat of worse weather, Imagine Dragons stormed onto the stage with a riveting presence. The rockers played to a packed, sizable venue and delivered a punch without utilizing pyrotechnics, instead opting for high-flying acrobatics that might make Pink blush.

Imagine Dragons have immense stage acumen and it is not lost on their fans. Looking around, there were people despite, being drenched in the rain who still had smiles on their faces, remaining undeterred to take in a fabulous show.

The Wild Young Hearts: 'California Dreams' (Album Review)

Returning with their debut album ‘California Dreams’, The Wild Young Hearts beckon listeners back to the California coast, complete with sunny reveries, valley swagger and indefatigable moxie. Picking up where their EP ‘Pretty Girls’ left off, The Wild Young Hearts present once more with passion.

Sharing with listeners a wily essence that cultivates a new sound, while paying homage to the beachy rock that dominated the smooth soundscape of the 60’s, they also manage to play with the sonic era of the 90’s. It’s this twist on the conventional sounds of the past that spawns a revolutionary orbit, unearthing a portal to the past and present.

Let's Discuss: Jay Leno's Late Night Legacy

Why is it that on the evening of Jay Leno’s last episode as the host of “The Tonight Show” there was still so much animosity towards him? Entertainment Weekly, for example, penned a blow by blow of the harsh criticism thrown towards him through the years and with the headline “Big Jaw vs. The World” there is really no question as to where their sentiments lied.

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

All of these years, I’ve had a nickname for Philip Seymour Hoffman, it was See More Hoffman, a moniker he’d earned because whenever I’d see him in any film, it was clear his presence was always needed more. Hoffman was one of my favorite actors, someone who constantly elevated whatever film he was in.

He was a true a thespian, whose filmography spanned comedies, dramas and a range of characters, who were everyday men and other times dastardly villains with a few complex shades, in between. Hoffman always dug deeper, a true empath whose discernible gift to capture and break down every aspect of a character, will remain in a league all its own.

Best New Movie Bets: February

"Vampire Academy" starring Zoey Deutch Based on the best-selling young adult novels of the same name, it follows Rose (Zoey Deutch) a vampire-human hybrid as she attends boarding school. Coming on the heels of vampiric saturation at the hands of the “Twilight” franchise, vampire fatigue m…

Let's Discuss: A Sports Biopic Waiting to Be Made

As the world awaits the Olympics in Sochi, a retrospective glimpse is unavoidable and an unforgettable Winter Olympics quickly emerges to the forefront. The year was 1994 and all eyes were on Lillehammer, Norway. The sport was women’s figure skating and the rivalry was tailor-made for Hollywood drama. You need to look no further than ESPN's dazzling documentary "30 for 30: The Price of Gold" for the evidence.