Each week iMore's editors round up the books, movies, TV shows and music that really jumped out at us. And we're here to share them with you. This week's roundup runs the gamut from James Bond's latest to an epic comic book series, a rom-com, demonic funk music...a little something for everyone, we hope.
I'm a huge Bond fan but was a little disappointed by Quantum of Solace. I was super glad that the 007 team managed to redeem themselves and then some with Skyfall. From the quirky humor to the great plot, I loved every minute of Skyfall in the theater and couldn't wait to pick it up when it was available on iTunes.
So far I've probably watched it almost 10 times and it's still a great movie. Whether you rent it or buy it, you won't regret either choice.
I both love and hate Planetary dearly. A 27-issue comic book series written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by John Cassaday, and colored by Laura DePuy, it took the better part of 10 years to unfold. (Cassaday played hooky for 2 years, illustrating Joss Whedon's excellent Astonishing X-Men, during the run.) Over the course of the series, Ellis and Cassaday explored pulp fiction, both paperpack and comic, from the time of the Nautilus and Doc Savage, the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, to Superman and Batman, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four, MiracleMan and Hellblazer, You get the idea.
The heroes of the story are Elijah Snow, a "century baby" (in Ellis' Wildstorm mythology) who has dangerous holes in his memory, Jakita Wagner, a superwoman in many senses of the word, and the Drummer, who's a technopath hooked into all the information, everywhere. And they want to discover the secret history of their very strange world.
As they perform super-archeology, Ellis deconstructs much of the history of comics, and while doing so, throws around enough pseudo-scientific theory to stun Galactus. There's description theory and holographically projected universes, there are sub-quantum flowers and supra-relativity snowflakes. There's the bleed between dimensions, and the world's defensive systems. The deconstruction is skillful, but it's also nihilistic. Ellis and Planetary were part of a period in comics where Mark Miller, Grant Morrison, and other created more incredible ideas than they knew what to do with, but also wasted many of them, and left much of their worlds bloodied and dead around them. That's too bad.
Planetary is transcendently good, even if tragically pessimistic. I just read it again and it holds up brilliantly, however, and like I said at the beginning, I both love and hate it dearly.
The Carpenter is one of my favorite albums from the last few years, and is tied for my favorite Avett Brothers album. With most music, I tend to listen quite a bit in phases, listening to an album over and over again for a period of time, then putting it aside, picking it up again later. But that's not the case with The Carpenter. I can listen to this album at any time, under any circumstances.
Their most recent album, The Carpenter is not a reinvention of The Avett Brothers. They hit many of the same beats that they have in previous albums. But they do it better here. It's an album that refines what The Avett Brothers are. Standout tracks include "The Once and Future Carpenter", "Live and Die", "Pretty Girl From Michigan", and "Geraldine". I mostly listen to music on Spotify these days, but if you buy music, you can find The Carpenter, along with the rest of the Avett Brothers collection, on the iTunes Store.
[Editor's note: If you've been a castaway on a desert island or recently released from incarceration, you may not be aware of the identity of Doctor #12. As River Song would say, "Spoilers, sweetie." You have been warned.]
If you happen to pay attention to any news over the past few days then you may have heard the talk about the BBC choosing a 'new doctor'. No, they're not getting a new in house doctor for their employees or anything like that, they're referring to the casting of Peter Capaldi as the new doctor in Doctor Who. Going on its 50th anniversary, Doctor Who has been huge part of the BBC and the celebrations are just now getting started. Doctor Who is an incredibly hard show to explain to someone so, I refer you to Wikipedia. With that being said though, folks who read the entry will likely wonder 'Where do I start?' to that I say, start with the 'reboot' series otherwise known as season 1 starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper and go from there. If you love science fiction, comedy, drama then chances are you'll love Doctor Who and eventually you'll be loading up on the rest of the seasons as well.
On the face of it, this is not a movie that I'd normally sit down and watch, but I'm so glad that I did. I know it was nominated for a bunch of Oscars, but that sort of thing never usually catches my imagination either. But, I gave it a shot, and so should you.
It's a pretty impressive cast, with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro and Chris Tucker all on hand, and each of them delivers a pretty stunning performance. Cooper plays Pat Solatano who has just been released from a state institution following a plea bargain and moves back in with his parents. Without giving away the story, he meets the 'interesting' Tiffany Maxwell played by Lawrence, and the two begin to connect and bond.
It's been some time since I've been genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed a movie, but Silver Linings Playbook is one of those times. It's the first thing I've watched with Jennifer Lawrence in too, and I have to say she knocks it out of the park. Definitely worth a watch if you've yet to discover it.
Black Moth Super Rainbow founder Tobacco's latest project, a collaboration with Arizona-based MC Zackey Force Funk, is a bizarre, dark and awesome trip; a gritty urban fantasy filled with soul funk beats, Zackey Force Funk's Prince-style falsetto vocals, jackhammer rapping and grinding, buzzy electro synths accented by Gameboy 8-bit crunch. This is America's answer to Die Antwoord's Ten$ion.
Black Moth Super Rainbow was a weird combination of folk, pop and electronica. Exorcise Tape shows a very different side of Tobacco - there's still the imaginative, spacey out there-ness of BMSR, but less vocodery psychedelic pop and loads more gangsta funk. Tobacco has previously collaborated with Beck, so it's no wonder that many of the 11 tracks on Exorcise Tape have a flavor of Beck's own 1999 funk opus Midnite Vultures, only with a much harder edge thanks to the rhyming skills of Zackey Force Funk's Machina Muerte collaborators N8NOFACE and Isaiah Toothtaker.
Any of this stuff strike your fancy? Have you found any outstanding media picks this week that you'd like to share with others? Please let us know in the comments.