Check out the two full galleries from Liquid Stranger’s live performance at El Rey on March 3rd, 2020. Find more photos from the show in Gallery 2[Read more…]
By Hector Valverde
There’s always that one sad movie that gets left out or forgotten in the cascade of prestigious releases rushing to score Oscar nominations at the end of the year. Despite featuring a great cast and a compelling story, Just Mercy is only a mediocre film that gets left in the dust of other, much better movies.
Just Mercy follows the real-life case of Walter McMillian, a black lumberjack put on death row after being wrongfully accused of killing a white woman. After moving to the Deep South to represent convicts without resources, newly graduated lawyer Bryan Stevenson fights to repeal McMillian’s sentence before his execution.
Michael B. Jordan (Stevenson) and Brie Larson (his assistant Eva) are wasted; they’re given the bare minimum amount of personality to pass as characters despite being billed as a big selling point for the film. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx gives a halfway decent supporting performance as McMillian, but his solid work is mostly lost in a boring, uninspired, blatantly obvious piece of Oscar-bait that seldom bothers to differentiate itself from other similar work.
From its cookie-cutter characters down to its story and general narrative, everything about Just Mercy has already been told dozens of times in significantly more interesting and affecting films; there’s not a lot of moving substance or emotion in its storytelling to compensate. The end stinger paying tribute to the people behind the true story hits harder than anything else preceding it, mostly because the majority of the film goes for the easiest, most overused tropes and emotional appeals in the melodramatic-handbook.
Despite having good intentions and more than solid material to tell a moving, sadly timeless narrative about racial injustice, the film instead comes across as preachy with its forced and lame attempts at greater thematic depth. It’s a shame, too, because writer and director Destin Daniel Cretton has previously proven himself with great work in his two excellent collaborations with Larson, Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle.
For more current film and television reviews, follow Hector Valverde on Twitter @hpvalverde.
Effex Nightclub featured the dubstep/ trap dj and producer Hekler live on September 12, 2019. Find the full photo gallery below.[Read more…]
The holiday season is here and if you’re like most people, you probably do your gift shopping last minute. Maybe you’re on a budget. Sometimes, you might not even have the slightest idea what to get for someone. Your choices start to become quite limited at any major retailer, but that’s where local shops begin to shine. These small business offer original and creative products you often won’t find anywhere else.
Need some recommendations where to look? We’ve compiled a quick list of some great places both online and here in Albuquerque for you to check out!
Image by @creativecultureabq via Instagram
Know someone with a creative side? Creative Culture has you covered. The arts and crafts store boasts a unique selection of handmade and hard-to-get papers from around the world, alongside hundreds of different cards, supplies, workshops, and more. The store opened up just this past summer and has been a new hotspot for artists and crafters alike looking for something new. If you find yourself in the Nob Hill area, be sure to drop in and grab some exotic papers and maybe that holiday card while you’re there too!
Creative Culture ABQ 3001 Monte Vista Blvd NE
Image by @strangerfactory via Instagram
Don’t be a stranger… at least while you check out Stranger Factory. This art gallery showcases different pop surrealist to “lowbrow” artists’ original work and editioned releases. Here, you’ll find the latest gifts and novelties from the newest branch of the Circus Posterus collective, with art inspired by carnival fashion and folklore from around the world. Stop by and browse some one-of-a-kind curious gifts and apparel that will surely have you coming back for more.
Stranger Factory 3411 Central Ave NE
Metal the Brand
Image by @metal_the_brand via Instagram
If you’re all about being local, check out Metal the Brand; artwork and merchandise based around the New Mexico and “Burqueño” lifestyle, but with its own creative flair. From stickers to shirts, this online store and occasional vendor has original and clever gifts to choose from, whether it’s a new bumper sticker for a friend or an enamel pin for your own collection. Check out their website and Facebook page to see the full lineup of available products to truly support local.
FS2 Supply Co.
Image by @fs2supplyco via Instagram
Still looking for local? If you want to wear New Mexico with pride, you’ll find what you need at Fs2 Supply. Their love for New Mexico culture and history has driven them to create a brand that reflects that core idea. This online only shop is dedicated to sharing the 505 with everyone, carrying collections sporting the Zia Symbol to the state shape. Be proud to be a New Mexican with their wide variety of shirts, hats, and even water bottles and share that pride with others this holiday season.
Root and Feather
Image by @rootandfeathernm via Instagram
If you’re still doing all of your gift shopping online, open a new tab and search for Root and Feather on Etsy. This talented mother and daughter team creates stunning handmade jewelry that truly does show its local roots. On their site you will come across earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings all while keeping that New Mexico feel. Each item is made from either brass, copper, or aluminum and incorporates quartz crystals and colored stones into their designs. Supporting small businesses feels great and getting to share a handmade gift with another feels even greater.