Coldplay: Parachutes

Coldplay: Parachutes.Music doesn’t come more touching than this. With their debut single alone, the emotion-fortified “Shiver,” Coldplay prove they can shift between elated and crushed in a breath, as singer Chris Martin pours out music’s oldest chestnut (unconditional yet unrequited love) with the shakiest of voices and a backdrop of epic guitars. For 10 tracks on Parachutes, he adds new-found meaning to the most tired and overused rock sentiments — love found, love lost, love unrequited — over acoustic guitars and emotionally fraught rock.

And for once, all the clichés ring true because Chris Martin genuinely sounds like a man picking over the bones of his life, coming up with just as many reasons to be cheerful as seriously depressed. Not that Parachutes is a depressing album–there’s too much conviction to the guitars and hope in Martin’s words for that. Instead it’s a beautifully tender balance that comes as close to perfection as anything that’s come before it.

Oh, yeah… This album really grows on you. A friend of mine bought the album and the first time I listened to it, I thought it was OK, but nothing more. The second time it was a bit better. The fifth time I listened to it, I completely fell in love. This album is just damn spectacular! I’ve now bought a copy for myself and I gave one to a friend of mine for his 22nd birthday.

Goo Goo Dolls: Dizzy Up The Girl

Goo Goo Dolls: Dizzy Up The Girl.With hit single ‘Iris’ from the motion picture ‘City Of Angels’, Goo Goo Dolls set the standard for this album. Because it’s a great album, with good American pop/rock. Or at least that is what it sounds like to me. Here is what Amazon.com said about the album:

“One listen to “Slide,” the crafty, yearning second track off their sixth release, suggests the streak continues for Buffalo’s finest. Not surprisingly, aspects that make the aforementioned songs memorable–warm, acoustic stylings; strings; heartrending hooks–also make Dizzy come alive elsewhere.”

Face/Off

Face/Off.The ordeal of superheroic, singularly dedicated FBI agent Sean Archer is only beginning after finally capturing his archnemesis, Castor Troy, an elusive, maniacal terrorist who claimed the life of Archer’s son. While Troy languishes in a coma, Archer surgically “borrows” Troy’s face in an attempt to gather evidence about Troy’s last bomb – which is currently ticking away in a Los Angeles office building. Trouble ensues when Troy wakes up faceless, borrows Archer’s visage, and makes a mess of Archer’s life; all the while, both men struggle to adapt to their new identities while struggling to blow each other away. Another balletically filmed, thematically complex action smorgasbord from Hong Kong vet Woo. Academy Award Nomination: Best Sound Effects Editing.

Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday.Oh, it’s hard to write a movie review three of four weeks after you actually saw the movie, but I’ll give it a go anyway…

After a few tries, I was totally unable to write something entertaining so I’ll give you an excerpt from another review instead:

Al Pacino plays Tony D’Amato, the head coach of the Miami Sharks. The once-great football team is now being managed by the late founder’s daughter: Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz). She wants the team to modernize and emphasize passing, regardless of the venerable coach’s opinion. The starting quarterback, Jack “Cap” Rooney (Dennis Quaid) is injured after losing three straight games. The second-stringer goes down right after him, so Tony sends out the new third-stringer: Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx).

Beaman couldn’t pull that win, but starts picking up and wins the next few games, keeping the playoff hopes alive and giving Cap a chance to come back for the postseason. Christina loves the seat-of-the-pants style that Beaman has, but Tony is frustrated by his lack of discipline and respect for his coaching. Beaman might not be executing the called plays, but he is winning and filling the stadium with new fans. FilmHead.com

“2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke

"2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke.When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it’s at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it’s unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained–the best–and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL’s programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one of Discovery’s components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.

Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate, and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though history has disproved its “predictions,” it’s still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction.