Evaluation: Purple Rocket Showcases Sean Baker’s Signature Model and Simon Rex’s Robust Efficiency

One of the most interesting aspects of Sean Baker filmmaking is his ability to achieve his unique vision in circumstances that other, less staunch filmmakers would consider disadvantages. Baker (Starlet, Tangerine, The Florida Project) routinely takes creative decisions that others would never make, let alone incorporate them into her visual style and approach to filmmaking. From working with aspiring actors (or non-actors at all) to Verité-style filming on location (Tangerine was shot exclusively on iPhones), Baker’s films always contain a sense of visceral reality that sets them apart. The filmmaker’s style and all of his signature choices come into their own in Red Rocket, Baker’s latest film starring Simon Rex, which is both captivating and slightly off-putting. The result, though perhaps not as poignant as the Oscar-nominated The Florida Project, is more than worth seeing, a modern exploration of hectic pace and opportunism.

Image courtesy of A24

Rex is Mikey, an articulate charmer who made a name for himself as an adult movie star in Los Angeles. But he’s out of luck, out of work and back to his hometown in Texas, where his first stop is his wife’s house. Right, Mikey has been away for years and fucked other women on camera, but he has a wife, Lexi (Bree Elrod), at home who still lives with her mother, Lil (Brenda Deiss). It takes a bit of persuasion, but Lexi finally lets Mikey back in the house (and eventually her bed) as he finds a way to make a living after his entertainment career is over. After convincing Leondria (Judy Hill), the local pot dealer, to give him some inventory to sell on, he asks his unemployed neighbor Lonnie (Ethan Darbone) to take him to the various strip clubs around town for his Sales. It is a life.

Looking for new customers, Mikey ends up in a donut shop outside a power station where all union workers take their breaks. Believing he is going to commit murder with them, he gets more than he expected when he meets Strawberry (Suzanna Son), the cute young clerk who calls him. She is seventeen, has large, innocent eyes and a confident demeanor that Mikey is immediately drawn to. This is where it gets interesting, because Mikey’s interest is real. It’s also a little creepy and predatory. Mikey never does anything obvious to Strawberry, and she is just as invested in their relationship, which is becoming sexual, as he is. But Mikey is always looking for a point of view, and soon he’s thinking about what a pretty young thing like Strawberry could do in his former industry and plans to convince her to move back to LA with him.

As the central character of Red Rocket, Mikey is never entirely lovable and never a villain. He’s that weird duck that you don’t see often enough in movies, a complex person with flaws and needs, someone with motivations that are not always honorable, but by no means illegal or immoral. His ambition puts him in some interesting situations, from confronting Strawberry’s teenage boyfriend (and the family who are defending him) to having unexpectedly deep conversations with Leondria’s partner June (Brittney Rodriguez). But he’s a man who knows how to get what he wants, and he’s not afraid to charm or flatter to get it. In fact, all of his charm and caress is basically a matter of course for him at this point, his usual course of action in planning his way through life. Rex perfectly manages this balance, can be anything the situation calls for – flirting with Strawberry, a frustrated husband held back by Lexi, a businessman with a vision with Lonnie.

In true Baker fashion, the non-actors surrounding Rex just elevate the process, from Lil’s natural comedic timing to Leondria’s no-nonsense performance. Suzanna Son can more than assert herself next to Rex and embodies this peculiar moment in the life of a young woman when she is no longer a child, not yet a grown woman, but is nevertheless fully capable of attracting a man’s attention. Filmed in the heat of the summer in Texas, Baker takes advantage of the wide sky and the vast landscapes and gives the film strong, bright colors that glow from the screen. While the script (co-written by Chris Bergoch) loses some of its momentum in the film’s final twenty minutes, there’s enough between Rex’s strong performance and Baker’s ever-compelling filmmaking to make Red Rocket an enjoyable ride.

Red Rocket is now playing in select cinemas.

Did you enjoy this post? Please consider supporting Third Coast Review’s arts and culture coverage by make a donation. Choose the amount that works best for you and know how much we appreciate your support!

Evaluation: JPEGMAFIA’s album “LP!” a continuation of the rapper’s signature type

Although the album contains some redundant tracks, its chaotic sound is powerful.

from Jack Hargrove
| 11/11/21 2:05 am

With his fourth full-length album in five years, “LP!”, JPEGMAFIA is strengthening its reputation as one of the most experimental hip-hop artists of our time.

JPEGMAFIA, also known as Peggy, released his debut album “Black Ben Carson” in 2016, but many, including myself, were introduced to his music with “Veteran” in 2018. With its eclectic samples, incoherent production and dark tone, “Veteran” laid the foundation for the music Peggy would make in the future. His follow-up album “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” improved this style further and landed at number five My list of the top ten albums of 2019.

Since then, Peggy has released two EPs and now “LP!” For which he did the entire production. The album refines its experimental electronic hip-hop with aggressive lyrics and flows and is chaotic. While “LP!” Is too long and bloated in places, its good songs are really good and it marks another successful period in Peggy’s career.

It is important to note that there are two versions of the album: the “online” version, which is released on streaming services, and the “offline” version, which is available on free platforms such as YouTube and Bandcamp. The most likely reason for the existence of multiple versions is that Peggy was unable to release some of the samples originally used from their owners. Each version contains some songs that the other does not, although the “online” version is slightly shorter. For the purposes of this review, I will only be referring to the 18-track “online” version as it is the version of the album that most casual listeners will come across.

Peggy makes it clear right away that “LP!” Will not sound like a typical hip-hop album with the opening song “TRUST!”. The production is dominated by strange synths, a hallmark of Peggy’s experimental electronic style. While the lyrics of the song are simple, the unconventional instrumental immediately catches the ear. This effect is used in the third song, “NEMO! which contains synthesizers that sound almost mushy. The fact that Peggy delivers such a great flow with such erratic production is testament to his ability as a rapper.

Other tracks on the album demonstrate Peggy’s unique ability to produce songs that sound both completely disjointed and somehow cohesive. The seventh track “ARE U HAPPY?” Is the embodiment of pure chaos; Samples of not only robotic techno music, but also spoken word pages and sung vocals are mixed up and make it impossible for the listener to settle into any kind of groove. However, Peggy masters this cacophony so well that it becomes one of the most enjoyable songs on the album.

The aforementioned “NEMO!” Is another demonstration of Peggy’s mastery of chaos. The entire track is out of whack and denies the listener any kind of break. While the high-pitched synthesizer melody makes up the most notable part of the song, it often goes out without warning, keeping the listener busy.

Many of the songs on the album are more like mainstream hip-hop songs, although each retains its own flair. The second track, “DIRTY!”, Is more in the style of the opener of Peggy’s second album “Veteran” “1539 N. Calvert”. While his production is more relaxed than other songs, his lyrics and flows are intense and show Peggy’s ability to express emotion. The eighth track “REBOUND!” – one of the best on the album – follows in a similar direction. Its production is defined by a booming, deep horn sample that creates a deep anchor for the track that prevents it from becoming too turbulent.

Other songs that demonstrate Peggy’s mastery over a more traditional hip-hop style are “DAM! DAM! DAMM! “And” BMT! “The former is one of the quieter tracks on the album, with a soaring keyboard riff in production. Conversely, the latter is one of the heaviest, with a blown out bassline and spiteful lyrics. Both show Peggy’s ability to combine your own niche styles with existing sounds.

Lyrically, Peggy sums up his style with a line on the fourth track “END CREDITS!”: “And I only rap out of defiance / loss is the theme of my life.” On this album, Peggy most prominently disses the New York hip-hop duo Armand Hammer. On “REBOUND!” Peggy raps: “N – as named after baking powder, but I’ve never touched a damn cola in your town”, an indication of the similarity between the name of Armand Hammer and the baking powder from Arm & Hammer.

Despite all the fantastic songs on “LP!” There are a few that feel unnecessary for the album. The tracks “OG!” And “KISSY, FACE EMOJI!” Are both uninteresting in contrast to other dynamic and unusual songs. Likewise, the longest track on the album, “SICK, NERVOUS & BROKE!” Is not exciting enough to justify its five and a half minutes running time.

The last three songs are also strange. All three appeared on Peggy’s 2020 EP “EP!” And while all of them are good songs, they feel pinned to the end of the album to fill in the running time lost to songs that have no deleted samples. This is especially true for the last two tracks, as the closer “SOON! REMIX ”is a small variation of the penultimate track“ SOON! ”. These tracks seem jam-packed and make for a disappointing end to the album.

Overall, despite its bloating, “LP!” marks a further development in Peggy’s unique niche style. In addition, the track “THOT’S PRAYER!” Contains a strong interpolation of Britney Spears’ hit “… Baby One More Time” from 1998 and makes “LP!” Peggy’s second full-length album in a row, on which he covers a classic pop song; on “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” the song “BasicBitchTearGas” is practically a cover of TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs”. This kind of connection between the albums creates a nice recall for long-time Peggy fans and shows the artistic consistency of his albums. The highs of the album are very high and are among the best songs he has ever created. These tracks, especially “REBOUND!”, “NEMO!” And “BIST DU GLÜCKLICH?” Feel like a natural evolution of the sounds of “Veteran” and “All My Heroes Are Cornballs”. Overall, “LP!” Is another great chapter in Peggy’s discography and a nice collection of songs.

Evaluation (online):

Jennifer Garner Showcases Her Signature Mother Type in Striped Sweater, Blue Denims & These Sneakers She Can’t Cease Carrying

If you purchase an independently verified product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Jennifer Garner I just stepped out in a foolproof outfit that went perfectly with her classic mom style.

More from Footwear News

Garner was seen in Brentwood, Calif., On Thursday inspecting the construction of her new home. For the excursion, Garner opted for a blue striped sweater in combination with classic blue jeans. The denim had a straight silhouette with a desperate hem.

Garner equipped with a brown shopping bag. When it comes to shoes, Garner opted for sneakers from her sports brand Brooks. The kick, known as the Ghost 13 Running Shoe, has a lace-up closure and a mesh upper. The shoe is also padded and equipped with a rubber sole.

When Garner isn’t in the Ghost 13, he often wears the brand Levitate 4 Road Shoes in black color. These high-performance shoes feature the brand’s Fit Knit upper with a lightweight DNA AMP midsole, ample cushioning, and a removable insole. As in today’s look, Garner often pairs her sneakers with sweaters and simple t-shirts.

Brooks Ghost 13 running shoe

Brooks Ghost 13 running shoe

To buy: Brooks Ghost 13 running shoe, $ 130

She also swaps it out for Canadian suits, overalls, flannels, and sweatshirts. When Garner isn’t in jeans, he also wears activewear looks like classic leggings and other Alo Yoga products.

Click through the gallery to see other times Jennifer Garner wore Mom jeans and sneakers.

Start gallery: 15 times Jennifer Garner styled mom jeans with sneakers

Sign up for FN’s newsletter. Follow us for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.