Movie review: “Darkest Hour” (2017)


“He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”

Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is history writ large right down to the colossal block font used in its main titles, blown up and simplified enough to be digestible without ever quite spoon feeding its audience. It depicts with near-relentless and, occasionally, nerve-wracking intensity Sir Winston Churchill’s harrowing first three weeks as British Prime Minister, a particularly fraught period mere months into World War II where the European continent balanced on a knife edge and the proud United Kingdom stood by, dumbfounded, not to mention relatively powerless for the first time in centuries, watching one neighbor state domino after another (Belgium, Denmark, then, unbelievably, France) fall under the crush of Nazi Germany’s advance. Continue reading “Movie review: “Darkest Hour” (2017)”

My Top 20 Albums of 2017 + supplemental lists


In what has become something of an unfortunate tradition inside a tradition, once again it takes me until February to officially close up business for the prior year (though the Valentine’s Day publishing date was an unexpected coincidence). I don’t know what to tell you. There’s not a lot to recommend researching, compiling, writing up, and releasing a comprehensive top twenty music countdown without fellow contributors to help shoulder the workload. I write professionally in addition to running this little backwater, and I can tell you that there are days when the last possible thing on my mind is trying to fill yet another blank page with pop culture ephemera. There’s also a level on which I was probably too consistently consumed with national and world events in 2017 to let the year’s roster of music go about its transporting and soothing work to the degree it was needed. Lord knows I could’ve used the break. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2017 + supplemental lists”