‘Angel City’ is as interesting as it is confusing

Pasadena City College’s rendition of Sam Shepard’s “Angel City” explores the destructive and exploitative nature of the Hollywood machine that often drives people to corruption.   The play follows Rabbit, a magical miracle man with a reputation for helping Hollywood with failing film projects. Rabbit is asked by film executives, Wheeler and Lanx, to create a cinematic catastrophe large enough to save their newest disaster film. Over time Rabbit comes to find that everyone there is waiting for their big moment that will never come, Miss …

Mike White’s ‘White Lotus’ is fabulously disappointing

The second installment in Mike White’s anthology series about wealthy residents vacationing at the eponymous White Lotus resort is as stunning and painful as the first.  There is much to praise in season 2 of “The White Lotus”. The incredible soundtrack composed by Cristobal Tapia de Veer springs readily to mind. Then, there is the show’s powerhouse cast who manage to make even the most infuriating characters lovable by merit of their humanity. The three-act structure of each episode that follows its players from morning …

‘Andor’ shines bright in a galaxy far, far away

Despite being announced in 2018, “Andor” was finally released on Disney+ on Sep. 21, 2022. The show follows Diego Luna’s character Cassian Andor in the years leading up to the film that originally introduced him, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. To put it simply, this show kicks ass and is the best offering on Disney+. It’s enthralling, complex, and most of all, exciting. It’s the space political thriller I didn’t know I needed or wanted for that matter. Between its 12 episodes, the show …

‘Glass Onion’ peels back layers in another Rian Johnson whodunnit

After a sweeping box office success in 2019, Rian Johnson was off to the races to produce a sequel to “Knives Out” and after three years, a switch in distributors, and a pandemic, it finally arrived. Ditching the New England estate and familial setting, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” moves detective Benoit Blanc to a Grecian island owned by tech billionaire Miles Bron. The film follows a fantastic ensemble cast, so-called “disruptors” who are portrayed by the likes of Kathryn Hahn as Claire Debella, …

Restless nights never end with Taylor Swift’s latest ‘Midnights’

Following a reveal at the MTV music awards, weeks of cryptic teasers on TikTok, and several fan theories, Taylor Swift has released her tenth studio album, “Midnights”. The album combines aspects like the theming of “Reputation”, the upbeat pop of “1989” and the deep, spiritual lyrics of “Folklore” to deliver a rollercoaster of emotions. “Midnights” follows 13 sleepless nights throughout Swift’s life, whether it’s staying up wondering if that special someone actually loves you or being provoked by thoughts of revenge, this album has it …

The hierarchy of power did change: All it needed was ‘Black Adam’

Following an upheaval of Warner Brothers leadership, and a myriad of financial problems, ‘Black Adam’ is the only other Warner Brothers Pictures film to release this year. Headlined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, this film follows Black Adam, a character many probably haven’t heard of but this film will most definitely change that for the better. The film opens with narration from Bodhi Sabongui’s character Amon Tomaz that gives a much-needed exposition on Kahndaq, a fictional middle eastern civilization that has existed since before the …

‘Halloween Ends’ and 9 other slasher movies you should be watching this October

“Halloween Ends” arrived in theaters and streaming on Peacock last Friday, with the promise of bringing one of the most iconic and identifiable horror franchises to a close. The series, which began with John Carpenter’s undisputed classic in 1978, has followed masked serial killer Michael Myers in pursuit of babysitter Laurie Strode for more than a dozen films spanning over 40 years.  Jamie Lee Curtis has starred as Strode since the original, and has vowed that “Ends” will be her final reprisal of the role. …

‘CHARLIE’: Puth produces perfectly fine pop on imperfect third album

Released on Oct. 7, “CHARLIE” shows 30-year-old Charlie Puth in the depths of romantic melodramas as he yearns, mourns, and details his past relationships with pop and rock influences spanning the 80s to now. Coming off of the heat of a 2018 Grammy-nominated album, Puth’s self-titled 2022 project continues the artistic exhibition of his divided attentions as an overtly intellectual,  perfectionist producer and a desperate-to-be-liked, but never-in-love singer-songwriter.  The first track, “That’s Hilarious”, starts off the album with a rebuttal to a pitiful and begging …

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ fails to serve suspense to its viewers

While watching ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ there were a lot of questions. In fact, there are only questions. The unnecessarily long movie takes place in an experimental neighborhood designed to impersonate a perfect and safe community. Main characters Alice and Jack Chamber, played by Florence Pugh and Harry Styles respectively, live an ongoing honeymoon life with no kids and friends who act similarly.  What seemed like a tired version of the Disney Plus series, Wanda Vision, takes a turn into becoming a semi-thriller when Alice spots …

‘DAWN FM’: The rise of the Weeknd’s mature sound

2021 marked a decade of Abel Tesfaye, known more by his stage name The Weeknd, telling the world of his tumultuous lifestyle. Over the span of three mixtapes and four albums, he has successfully branded himself the master of recounting the late night escapades that lead to morning regret. The true king of passing off heartache as jadeness.  In 2022, however, Tesfaye returns with an album that breaks free from this self made mold. Dawn FM, a 16-track album that plays like a radio station …