Spectrum Check

As I noted last week, I had several more pieces go up at Spectrum Culture in my second full week back, in part because of some backlogged music releases. That effectively describes the first thing I had go up this week, a review of the sophomore effort from the U.K. band the Vaccines. My unimpressed assessment proved to be the appropriate kick-off to a week of bad reviews.

On the film side, I offered an evaluation of the new documentary about the late Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame. Especially given the life being drawn upon, the film is shockingly bad, completely missing in its attempt to replicate the devious humor that made Chapman and his cohorts revolutionary in the first place. Watching a couple of minutes of John Cleese’s marvelous eulogy for his old friend is a far more effective way to honor Chapman’s memory.

I also delivered my first contribution to our new Oeuvre series, this time focusing on one of the American directors who is perhaps best suited to a film-by-film career evaluation, for good or bad. Part of the challenge for me is that the director in question, Brian De Palma, is a filmmaker who I often consider to be overrated, largely as a byproduct of one especially influential critic’s noted and almost notorious love for his work. In reviewing one of his messy, clumsy earliest works, I can’t say I’m ready to shift that opinion just yet.

Finally, I kicked in a few words on this week’s List Inconsequential. I now believe I’ve written about the Psychedelic Furs song “Heartbreak Beat” quote enough.

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