It Still Moves / Acoustic Citsouca / Z / Okonokos
Following their seperation from major label backer Sony BMG, Dave Matthews' ATO records have taken the opportunity to re-release their exisiting My Morning Jacket catalogue, which not entirely by coincidence ties-in with the release of the latest MMJ record Evil Urges, due next week.
It Still Moves - 2003 - 4 Stars
It Still Moves was considered the major label debut for the band after the success of The Tennesse Fire and At Dawn. As an album it's not particulalry cohesive, but it plays out nicely as a collection of great songs - and is a logical major label sequel to the home-grown efforts of the earlier records. The record provides little evolution from those records, but it magnificently showcases everything that there is to like about the band, from the opener Magheeta, through the rolling guitars of Golden or Just One Thing to the pounding rock of Steam Engine.
While many of its charming songs have since been overshadowed by the tightly honed follow up Z, It Still Moves provides for a great listen and is home to many of MMJ's staple live songs like Run Thru and Golden - plus the epic One Big Holiday, which is nothing short of spectacular.
Acoustic Citsuoca Live! At The Startime Pavilion - 2004 - 3.5 Stars
The band bridged the gap between major releases with this 5 track 'acoustic' EP, which is actually less live than it implies - as the "Startime Pavillion" show mentioned never actually occured. The EP was recorded over three nights in Austin, but none the less provides a magical document of the bands shows - particularly Jim James' solo acoustic shows. James' haunting voice dominates the release on highlights like Golden and Bermuda Highway, but the gem here has got to be the unbeatable version of The Bear, from album The Tennessee Fire. The song has a magnificent slow-building power at the best of times, but here it showcases James' vocal talents, unquestionable power and passion as a performer, building to a spine-tingling frenzied finale.
Z - 2005 - 5 Stars
Things stepped up a gear with Z, where the band moving away from the self-produced template of their previous efforts, handing over production duties to John Leckie (The Stone Roses, The Verve, Radiohead). It's a move that paid off hugely, with Leckie tightening the band's sound to the point of breaking. The sprawl of previous releases is trimmed to perfection, while every song is well-honed and muscular, with highlights ranging from the note perfecd electronics of It Beats 4U through the long rocker Lay Low to the powerful finale of Dondante. Eclipsing much of the bands previous work, this album moved them up to another level, bringing in new sounds and ideas while retaining all of their inherant qualities. Brilliant. Read our original revew here.
Okonokos - 2006 - 3 Stars
Following the release of Z, My Morning Jacket embarked on an epic tour, which did eventually land in London - but not before this two night residency at the legendary Fillmore in San Franciso. This live record documents the tour and was released with an accompanying DVD. While live albums can often be a little disappointing, this one rounds up everything that is good about the band and serves almost as a live greatest hits - covering 8 of the 10 songs from Z as well as numerous beefed-up renditions from their extensive back catlogue. Without seeing this unmissable live band in the flesh, this is about as close to the experience as you are going to get. Read our original revew here.
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The Forum, Kentish Town, London
St. James' Church, London
The Enterprise, Camden
Because Of The Times
Totally predictable, thoroughly inspiring animated sing-a-long for the X-Factor generation.
24th Jun 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
B-list, mis-cast, low-ball girl gang comedy. Weak.
19th Jun 2017Read more 1.5 star reviews
Catastrophically miscast black comedy that fails at every turn. Big let down from star and director.
11th Jun 2017Read more 2 star reviews
Effortless retread of a show that survived well past it's sell-by date.
29th May 2017Read more 1.5 star reviews
Codswallop that's as indecipherable as every other recent DC movie. Terrible script, hammy acting.
22nd May 2017Read more 1.5 star reviews
Chaotic, bloated sequel. Low on humour and mostly involving bad guys flying through plate glass.
17th May 2017Read more 2.5 star reviews
Lazy, half-baked remake/reboot, totally lacking in charm.
17th May 2017Read more 2 star reviews
Wafer thin parenting parable, barely coasting along on the charm of Ferrell and Wahlberg.
16th May 2017Read more 2 star reviews
Classic western tropes burn slowly to an intense finale. Classic Jeff Bridges.
12th May 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Tired, pointless rehash of a franchise that long ran out of steam.
6th May 2017Read more 3 star reviews
Stooges doc that is interesting by default, but dull given that Jim Jarmusch is behind the camera.
28th Apr 2017Read more 2.5 star reviews
Poingiant doc of the latest Bad Seeds album. Still falls into the usual making-of box.
26th Apr 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Stylish, thought-provoking indie contemplating the weighty responsibilities of parenthood.
22nd Apr 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Great 90s blockbuster, with Harrison Ford carrying the movie on top finger-wagging form.
18th Mar 2017Read more 5 star reviews
Accomplished character piece. Almost stretches itself a bit thin, but it's stylish enough to transcend.
18th Mar 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Dated indie classic that uses music to create pseudo-sentimental highs of little real substance.
18th Mar 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Engaging, nostalgic doc which meanders through the rise and rise of 1995’s greatest band ever.
14th Mar 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Quintessential Gus Van Zant. Great art direction, acting and photography. Possibly better with age.
7th Mar 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Confident indie comedy-thriller that pitches itself perfectly.
4th Mar 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Thoughtful character study, with Eddie Marsan standing up for those who slip through the cracks.
26th Feb 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Brutally fast paced meta-fest, backed up by the most sensible bat-plot for a long time.
16th Feb 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Tenuous financial hostage thriller, that doesn't add up to the sum of its parts.
11th Feb 2017Read more 3 star reviews
Disappointing punk rock horror thriller, that doesn't make the best of its left field set up.
9th Feb 2017Read more 3 star reviews
Potentially forgettable buddy cop pic, elevated by a killer script and live wire performances.
1st Feb 2017Read more 4.5 star reviews
Accomplished, charming NZ indie comedy that wears its influences well.
1st Feb 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
Inspiring doc about the kids remaking Raiders over 7 summers.
24th Jan 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Eight Days a Week
Inspiring reminder of the sheer volume of trail blazing laid down by The Beatles.
22nd Jan 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Seminal kids movie that I underrated in '85. Shot with an easy pace, until the free-swim at the end.
Halliwell says: The bottomless pit of the Spielberg genre, a silly tale which takes forever to get going and is acted by children who have not studied elocution. The trick effects when they come are OK, but it's a long annoying haul to that point.
22nd Jan 2017Read more 3.5 star reviews
Glacially paced, pretentious arthouse fluff, that fritters away a potentially interesting set up.
21st Jan 2017Read more 2 star reviews
Unremarkable potboiler from Le Carre, with a disappointingly bland turn from Ewan McGregor.
17th Jan 2017Read more 2.5 star reviews
Small scale period drama, anchored around strong central performances.
15th Jan 2017Read more 3 star reviews
Ambitious small scale sci-fi that drags a bit before it all gets a bit wacky.
11th Jan 2017Read more 3 star reviews
Tarantino zeros in on the most-tedious-film-ever award. Someone get the guy a new editor.
7th Jan 2017Read more 2 star reviews
Inventive ensemble drama, as David O. Russell takes another shot at Scorsese's crown. Great soundtrack too.
7th Jan 2017Read more 4 star reviews
Dawn of Justice
Mind-boggling, convoluted actioner that seems to have been written by picking ideas out of a hat.
4th Jan 2017Read more 1 star reviews
Extended super hero punch up, not dissimilar to the news man brawls of 'Anchorman'.
1st Jan 2017Read more 2.5 star reviews
Seamless CGI remake, lacking in humour and executed with the seriousness of LOTR or Apocalypse Now.
30th Dec 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews
Text-book rom-com that rebooted the genre and set the template for the next 3 decades.
26th Dec 2016Read more 4.5 star reviews
Decent enough animated parable from Disney. Lacking the usual emotional Pixar punch.
25th Dec 2016Read more 3 star reviews
A Star Wars Story
Second viewing and it's still holding together well. The third act is incredible.
22nd Dec 2016Read more 4 star reviews
A STAR WARS STORY
Impeccable world building and a nail biting finale mark a solid expansion of the universe.
18th Dec 2016Read more 4 star reviews
Solid Cold War drama. Unfortunately lacking the impact of both Spielberg and Hanks' best.
18th Dec 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews
From 3 minutes in this was the best film I've seen in ages. Nostalgic indie sci-fi.
13th Dec 2016Read more 4 star reviews
Arkward and occasionally hilarious Duplass-esque LA comedy. And only 75m long.
26th Nov 2016Read more 3 star reviews
Worthy, watertight journo movie. Full of great performances, but staying well between the lines.
21st Nov 2016Read more 4 star reviews
Derivative, badly cast cops + robbers pic. A pale imitation of Heat, without the style or performances.
12th Nov 2016Read more 2.5 star reviews
Glacially paced re-hash/follow up to Dazed and Confused, with moments of fun. Great music.
11th Nov 2016Read more 3 star reviews
Stupid action movie that never stops winking at the audience.
4th Nov 2016Read more 2.5 star reviews
LA Confidential meets The Big Lebowski in the best way possible. Great turns from Reynolds and Crowe.
4th Nov 2016Read more 4 star reviews
A classic story and allstar cast, but John Sturges' vintage western seems slow and dated now.
2nd Nov 2016Read more 3.5 star reviews