Kareem's Weekend Boost (Feb. 11-13)
What to Watch, Read, or Listen to This Weekend
It’s Super Bowl weekend, so many of you will be busy cramming Cheetos into your maws and getting orange powder on the remote. In the meantime, here are some very good distractions from four hours of mostly commercials (no matter how entertaining, they’re still commercials).
The previews make this look like just another disaster movie that exists only to horrify us with apocalyptic visions of world destruction. Sure, there’s some of that, and it looks pretty cool to see a tidal wave wash through Los Angeles. But there’s actually unexpected sci-fi tropes here about aliens and giant spacecrafts that make this more interesting than the usual end-of-the-world flicks. The premise is that the moon has mysteriously changed orbit and is going to crash into Earth, destroying the planet. Fortunately, a rag-tag team (a la Armageddon) has a plan so crazy it might just work.
Here’s what works: the special effects are very good, the characters are solid and fun, there’s some nice humor, and the last 30 minutes in the moon are exciting. What the film struggles with is human emotions. Any time there’s a scene that requires real emotional interaction, it feels like it was written by a robot that’s seen too many Hallmark movies. Nevertheless, a fun, entertaining movie.
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SE10 by James Beckwith
Londoner James Beckwith is a keyboardist and composer with what some call an electro-jazz sound. This album is smooth and thoughtful, conveying the sensation of a long walk through the woods or a space walk while orbiting the Earth. There’s a floating detachment that comes through that brings clarity to your thoughts. It’s intellectually stimulating while being physically relaxing.
Here’s James Beckwith explaining the genesis of his album:
“The main focus of the album is to be personal, the musicians on the tracks are people I’ve known and worked with for years. We recorded the album in my friends recording studio which I’ve been going to time and time again. I even slept in the studio by the piano for 4 days because I really wanted to get into the mindset of the record! Being in charge of this community for 4 days was a special thing that made the sound of this record really work.” ‘SE10’ explores aspects of mental health, “with the album being broken up with a series of ‘meditations’, ambient, slowly building synthesised pieces that reflect the three different celestial bodies which surround us.”
Get album here.