Movie Review: Toy Story 4

There are few, if any, franchises that have ridden off into the sunset quite like the “Toy Story” films did. “Toy Story 3” has a pitch-perfect, if gut-wrenching, ending, and the characters were the frequent subject of Pixar’s short films, which seemed like an ideal post script. Why would any studio risk, um, sullying that? The cynical response is money (it’s always money), but it’s hard to dismiss Pixar founding father Andrew Stanton’s rationale: “Toy Story 3” was a perfect ending for the audience, but for the toys that Bonnie inherited from Andy, their story was starting all over again, and it is through that lens that Pixar would like us to view “Toy Story 4.” That’s nice, but it’s of small comfort when the feeling of familiarity (toy in distress, Woody to the rescue) quickly consumes everything. This is basically “Toy Story 2” in reverse, with more moving parts.

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Dizzy Heights #57: Kiss Me Senseless – One-Syllable Songs (Classic Alternative Edition)

Think. Stay. Go. Change. Why bother with two syllables when one will do just fine?

Credit goes to Scraps, Popdose’s former Name That Tune host, as he came up with this idea over a decade ago.

There is some hot classic alternative action going on here. In fact, this is the only show I’ve ever done that stays in one lane. It is all modern, or modern-adjacent, from start to finish. This will probably never happen again.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debuts this week: Godley & Crème, The Apples in Stereo, The Sugarcubes, Tones on Tail, Age of Chance, My Bloody Valentine, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and (checks notes) Gary Numan? What?

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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Movie Review – Men in Black: International

“Men in Black: International” makes so much sense from a marketing standpoint that it’s tempting to dismiss the film as the cynical global box office cash grab that, let’s face it, it probably is. The previous three films took place almost exclusively in or immediately outside of New York City, and that, um, ‘America first’ approach just doesn’t fly in an era where overseas box office is usually two-thirds to three-fourths of the overall box office. It makes perfect sense that there would be MIB field offices all over the world, and considering the fact that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson’s dance cards have opened up considerably since the end of shooting Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in addition to showcasing great on-screen chemistry in “Thor: Ragnarok,” casting them as the leads is a no-brainer on a number of levels.

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Dizzy Heights #56: Let’s Stay Friends Forever – The Wind and the Rain

Sorry for the extended absence. It was a whirlwind couple of weeks (kids finish school, vacation, totally first world problems), but here is the overdue, Tears for Fears-inspired follow-up to the show about the sun and the moon. I actually had to export this show about six times to get all of the tracks to appear (thanks, network drive), but I think, THINK, that everything turned out okay.

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Movie Review: Aladdin

When Disney announced that it would be releasing live action remakes of three of the studio’s most loved animated films, all within the span of four months, that seemed, well, foolish. It’s one thing to release three films that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one year; there’s a thread tying those stories together. There is nothing tying “Dumbo,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King” together.

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Dizzy Heights #55: They Will Never Find Me Here – The Sun and the Moon, Vol. I

I called an audible. Originally, the plan was to do a show about kids and children, after hearing a great show by Mixclouder The Show About… on the same subject, but one that left enough room for me to do a similar show without copying too much off of his paper.

Then he did a show about stars, and that reminded me of another idea that I had been flirting with for a while. This month, the sun and the moon. The Seeds of Love-era Tears for Fears fans know what the next show will be. Assuming I have enough material, that is.

Bands/artists making their Dizzy Heights debut: Aqualung, The Beloved, Matthew Sweet, Paul McCartney (solo), The Waterboys, Eggstone, The Merrymakers, Love & Rockets, Len, and somehow, I’m just now playing The Police for the first time.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

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The Popdose Interview with Howard Jones

It was my great privilege to interview Howard Jones. Even better, it was great to discover that he is every bit the kind, thoughtful, stand-up guy that he appeared to be. One of my favorite interviews that I’ve ever done, for reasons that won’t leap off the page. He was just so upbeat and happy! My wife will attest: I was positively flying for the rest of the day.

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The Popdose Interview with Stine Bramsen of Alphabeat

They may play the bounciest dance pop this side of ABBA, but make no mistake, the members of Danish sextet Alphabeat take their band seriously. They turned down multiple offers that would have raised their profile on the global stage, and to hear co-singer Stine Bramsen explain it, she and her bandmates wouldn’t have done it any other way. Freshly reunited after a six-year hiatus, Alphabeat has signed their first US record deal (a mere 12 years after their debut album), and with Atlantic Records, no less, who promptly flew the band to Austin to showcase at South by Southwest. Popdose’s resident Alphabeat fan boy chatted with Bramsen about conquering America, and the importance of making sure the world knows that your pop band was not created in a boardroom.

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Dizzy Heights #54: Watch the World Argue – Songs About Dancing

I’ve been sitting on this idea for about a year. It felt too obvious, but then I ran into a really busy stretch, and then suddenly obvious sounded AWESOME. So here we are.

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Movie Review: Dumbo

Tim Burton and Disney have done great things together. Well, perhaps ‘great’ isn’t the right word. Tim Burton and Disney have made boatloads of cash together. Indeed, this whole ‘live action revival’ trend likely never gets off the ground if Burton’s 2010 adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” doesn’t make $1 billion worldwide. Sure, that movie was a hot mess, but $1 billion worldwide! And Johnny Depp at his commercial peak. Ahhhh, simpler times.

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