Category Archives: Reviews

Suicide Squad Makes You Want More; Plus An Ode To Jared Leto

Last night, I saw “Suicide Squad” in 3D, which honestly wasn’t worth the pricier ticket.  I will be blunt about my opinion of the film: I am no comic book junky and I have not watched every single DC movie made, so take my review with a grain of salt.

The Joker scenes were the most enigmatic ones to watch, as expected, but they felt much too little for such a huge hype.  It’s hard to believe Jared Leto went into full-blown method acting mode for such brief screen time.

I understand this was pretty much an introduction to the Suicide Squad, but the story felt rushed and thrown together.  We were introduced to characters incredibly quickly and I found myself wanting to know more.

What the hell was Killer Croc’s story?  I found him to be useless and I wasn’t particularly fond of Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) either.  The whole Enchantress thing was just bizarre.  If they had fleshed out the story a bit, maybe it wouldn’t have felt so out of place.

Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) were the only two who got decent screen time and back story, though still not enough for my taste.  They made an effort to sum up El Diablo’s (Jay Hernandez) story with one short scene after his silent brooding for most of the movie.

While I loved Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley, her on-again-off-again fake New York (Gotham?) accent mixed with her natural Aussie one shining through bothered me at times.

Overall, I found the movie entertaining for the colorful performances by Leto, Robbie and Smith’s natural ability to carry any movie.  I just wish the script was written better.

AN ODE TO JARED LETO

Everyone knows I’m a huge Jared Leto fan.  Like most women my age, I was introduced to Jared as the hot guy who “leans great” in My So-Called Life.  While yes, I thought Jordan Catalano was beautiful and misunderstood, it wasn’t until I became a 30 Seconds To Mars fan in the 2000s that I actually fell for Jared.

There was something amazing, vocally and lyrically about him that I hadn’t experienced with any other music artist.  His adventurous spirit, the fact that he was a self-admitted dreamer, and vegan-ish ways have pulled me in deeper.

And while many criticize him for his method acting or think he is some Hollywood jackass, I found the one thing he truly has in common with Catalano — he is misunderstood.

Or maybe I’m just smitten and have made him into my own fictional character.  Either way, the Jared Leto I choose to love is smart, pithy, gorgeous in even the least likely styles (who else could pull off puke pink pants and a green coat?), dedicated, and truly lives life to the fullest.  And probably the biggest turn on is, he doesn’t give a F about what anyone thinks.

Maybe you hate him, maybe you met him, but like most celebrities, all we have is an image we choose to believe about them combined with what the media would like us to believe.  To that, I say, fall in love with characters, and worry about the reality when it directly involves you or the world negatively.

Enjoy this slideshow of the many looks of Jared Leto!

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98 Degrees Heats Up Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with My2K Tour!

That's My Jam! Radio's Sandy Lo + Kindell Moore with 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream + Ryan Cabrera
That’s My Jam! Radio’s Sandy Lo + Kindell Moore with 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream + Ryan Cabrera | Photo Credit: Courtney Christian

By Sandy Lo

In Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium is a place of musical worship — a legend in itself.  However, the Ryman doesn’t always bring on that good old pop music we sing along to when no one’s listening.  Last night though, it was definitely brought!

Hearing 98 Degrees sing Britney Spears — or any song really — is enough incentive to see this tour, but add on a few other throwback artists, and you’ve got yourself a party on memory lane!

Opening the show was former P. Diddy backed girl group, DREAM.  Remember “He Loves U Not”?  If you were like me, a teenager in high school when that sassy jam came out, you were creating dance moves to it and singing into a hairbrush.

While Holly, Diana, Melissa and Ashley have been gone from the scene for quite some time, they still had the crowd jumping with dance hits like, “This Is Me”.

Next up was Ryan Cabrera, the pop-rocker who was hot for a few minutes in the early 2000s with songs “On The Way Down” and “True”.  While many things have changed since then, Cabrera’s hair feels like a throwback to the “yellow thorn”, which is what Drew Lachey called brother Nick’s frosted tips from the ’90s.

By the time O-Town hit the stage, the crowd was ready for some man band action.  Let’s face it, we all love a good ole boy band!  While O-Town didn’t receive the praise Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC did, mostly due to their “Making The Band” roots, these guys can hold their own.

Trevor, Erik-Michael, Jacob and Dan are truly at ease on stage — dancing, singing and taking selfies — it makes you wonder why these boys don’t receive more credit.  O-Town performed hits “Liquid Dreams”, “We Fit Together” and “All Or Nothing” along with some newer tracks off their 2014 album, Lines & Circles.

Not to let O-Town take all the My2K glory, 98 Degrees delivered a flawless set of hits and covers along with plenty of muscled arm candy!  Nick, Jeff, Drew and Justin even resurrected one of their old stage costumes — bulletproof vests and camouflage cargo pants!  YES!

We all gazed with dreamy fan girl faces on during pop classics “Because Of You”, “The Hardest Thing”, “My Everything”, and “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”.  During “I Do (Cherish You)”, one very lucky girl was proposed to by the guys as she wore a wedding veil and they danced with her.  (Yeah, we were jealous too!)

Nick performed his solo hit, “What’s Left Of Me” followed by Jeff, Drew and Justin paying tribute to Prince.  Other covers included *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” and BSB’s “I Want It That Way”.  These guys truly put together a fun homage to the late 90s/early millennium music era that was much appreciated by the audience.

My2K Tour hits Greenville tonight and will run across the U.S. through the end of August.  Catch it while you can!  To help you reminisce, listen to our Millennium Pop playlist featuring 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream, Ryan Cabrera + many more!

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LTL’s Debut Single “Brand New Day” Brings A Touch Of Nostalgia To 90s Boy Bands

About a year ago, I was checking out my friend and 98 Degrees member, Jeff Timmons show in New York City when I discovered his opening act, Larger Than Life. My friend DJ Sandra Dee was coming to the show with me and warned me that her friend, lead singer of Larger Than Life (LTL) was amazingly talented. She didn’t lie!

LTL are a tribute band that covers music from boy bands like New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and One Direction. Of course, their show was right up my alley. I sang along to every song they performed at the top of my lungs!

Larger Than Life’s Edvin Ortega is a fantastic front man and possesses all of the charisma a boy band heartthrob should have. If you live in the NYC area, I highly suggest catching one of their shows. You won’t be disappointed.

They’ll be at Mulcahy’s Pub on Long Island March 25th for the bar’s 2nd Annual Back To The 90s party. You won’t want to miss it!

If you’re not in New York, you can still get a piece of the LTL action. The band released their first original song, “Brand New Day” late last year. Smooth pop vocals mixed with happy lyrics you want to wake up to makes “Brand New Day” the perfect debut for the group.

“Brand New Day” will be included on the LTL’s upcoming EP. Get the song on iTunes!

Follow Larger Than Life on social media for plenty of boy band flashbacks, updates on their upcoming documentary and EP!

Facebook: facebook.com/WeAreLargerThanLife
Twitter: twitter.com/WeAreLTL
Instagram: Instagram.com/WeAreLargerThanLife
YouTube: youtube.com/WeAreLargerThanLife

Movie Watch: Grantham & Rose Starring Jake T. Austin, Marla Gibbs and Tessa Thompson

Rising young actor, Jake T. Austin, best known for his roles on Wizards of Waverly Place and The Fosters, stars as Grantham Portnoy, a troubled teen with blue hair and emo make-up, who ends up in a detention facility.  At the facility, he meets Rose Price (Marla Gibbs), an elderly woman who works there with an unknown title.

Rose takes an interest in Grantham’s well-being and begins to mentor him before breaking him loose from the detention facility to take a road trip in her flower decorated car.

While on the road, the two bicker over driving skills,  what’s right and wrong, but mostly have some good laughs.  While stopped at a gas station, Grantham encounters a beautiful girl, Wallis (Tessa Thompson) a few years older than he is.

After stealing a few items, Grantham offers Wallis a ride, much to Rose’s dismay.  The oddly matched duo now turns into a motley trio on a journey of cleaning out old baggage.

Grantham and Wallis relate to each other, offering comfort while Rose’s “tell it like it is” personality sometimes clashes.  Soon it becomes clear that the 80-year-old has secrets of her own that reveal her real motivation for helping Grantham.

With a solid storyline, and vague details, Grantham & Rose allows the viewer to put pieces together and fill in the blanks.  The movie does this while showcasing some wonderful upcoming talent in Austin and Thompson, and allowing Gibbs’ star to shine as the wise guiding force.

Grantham & Rose is now available from MarVista Digital Entertainment on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and OnDemand!  Check your local carriers for it.

For more info: http://granthamandrose.com

Watch the Trailer!

AWESOME ALERT: Matt And Kim – “Get It” Lyric Video; New Album + Tour Set for April!

Before you read anything, watch the “Get It” lyric video! Why? 1. Because the song is awesome and catchy. 2. Because it’ll make you want to see Matt And Kim live. THEN you can read on for all of the info on their upcoming album, New Glow and tour dates!

Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt and Kim release New Glow, the band’s latest full length on April 07th, 2015. Fans who pre-order New Glow through their official online store will get exclusive ticket access for the Spring tour starting January 13th. See tour dates below.

Matt and Kim, aka Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums), get things rolling in their exuberant style with a performance lyric video for the song “Get It”: Three minutes and seven seconds of heaven for anyone who has, or hasn’t yet, seen Matt and Kim’s legendary live shows. Watch HERE.

“Anyone who has seen us knows we love any style of music you can have fun and get wild to. I’m not sure we were able to put that diversity on any of our albums the way we did on New Glow. While there are definitely songs that will feel familiar to people who know our stuff, there are also songs like “Get It” which have always been part of who we are but went unrecorded to this point.”

“We helped edit a lyric video for “Get It”, using live footage from a handful of festivals and shows we played in the last couple years. Going through that footage really made it hard to believe how lucky we are to have the best f**king job in the world.”

With New Glow, the duo who love hip-hop and pop have made an album of undeniably catchy beat-driven anthems with hooks that just don’t stop and just won’t leave your head. “The best era of music is right now and we’re doing our best work yet,” said Matt.

The two met while attending Pratt Institute and quickly became known for their thunder-punching, melodic mix of indie and dance music. Right off, Spin said “there truly is no sound these two won’t use to support their almost religious commitment to spreading huge grins,” while Pitchfork described their quality as “melody so happily jerky and rhythms so dangerously spastic that you can practically hear paroxysmal crowds pogo-ing madly…Johnson sings, and thousands of other kids in his zip code (and others like it around the country) feel like he’s describing their Saturday nights.”

Previously, Matt and Kim’s video for “Lessons Learned,” in which they strip naked in Times Square on a very cold February day, won an MTV Music Award for “Breakthrough Video.” 2012’s Lightning (FADER) featured the Alternative radio hit “Let’s Go” and single “Daylight” was certified Gold.

All the while they toured the globe, becoming the go-to band for raw exuberance, bombastic beats, sing-along refrains and dance-ready anthems on larger and larger scales. They’ve performed at many, many major music festivals including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Firefly, Summerfest, Big Day Out, Fuji, V, Pukkelpop and Ultra.

Get on board: Matt and Kim’s Spring 2015 tour:

04/15 Norfolk, VA NorVa

04/16 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion

04/17 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory

04/20 Asheville, NC Orange Peel

04/21 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theater

04/23 Austin, TX Stubbs

04/24 Dallas, TX House of Blues

04/25 Houston, TX House of Blues

04/27 Phoenix, AZ Marquee

04/28 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

04/30 Santa Ana, CA Observatory

05/01 San Diego, CA North Park Theater

05/02 San Francisco, CA Warfield

05/04 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot

05/05 Denver, CO The Ogden

05/08 St Louis, MO The Pageant

05/09 Nashville, TN Marathon Sun

05/11 Washington, DC 9:30 Club

05/14 New York, NY Terminal 5

05/18 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall

05/19 Cleveland, OH House of Blues

05/20 Detroit, MI Royal Oak Music Hall

05/21 Chicago, IL Riviera

05/22 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights

CONNECT WITH MATT AND KIM:
http://mattandkimmusic.com
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