I am a Tolkien geek of the highest order. I created a magical box for the copy of The Hobbit that we read from each year at a summer program I attended in middle school. I have a tattoo in Sindarin. My children have (non-crazy-sounding) names derived from Tolkien. I have played in an online version of Middle-Earth off and on for more than 8 years. When I die I want “Into the West” from Return of the King played at my funeral. Then I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread in the pond of the permanent Hobbiton set in Matamata, New Zealand.
But I hated The Battle of Five Armies. Sorry.
I’m not a Hellblazer fan. Never read the series. But as a defender of the criminally underrated 2005 Constantine film, I was excited for the NBC series of the same name. Unfortunately, the trouble with that began even before it premiered in September.
In July a slew of news broke about the still in production series that was worrisome. First, the actress appearing in the pilot and all the promotional trailers and ads, Lucy Griffiths, previously from True Blood, was cut from the series and replaced with another woman. The new female lead was Angela Celaya, playing the character Zed, who is actually from the comic series. For both narrative consistency and demographic diversity, this was a good move. As we’ll see later, reality didn’t mean expectations.
Album art goes to Amazon. Title goes to Spotify.
1. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
Everything that hip-hop should be. Fun, smart, funny, honest, enlightening, offensive, bombastic, and fucking spectacular. So good it spawned a global art movement. Doesn’t hurt that it’s free too.
2. ††† – Crosses
Chino Moreno, alternately of Deftones, Team Sleep, Palms, and other projects, has finally found what his voice was made for. Dark, brooding, moody, and sexy as hell.
3. Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds
Swedish pop doesn’t have to be brainless, soulless, and sexless. The chronological story of a relationship in three phases, all with glitz, passion, and dependency. Who needs Katy Perry when you have this?