Best of ATM 2016 – Film, Music, and Televison

As 2016 comes to its close, Across the Margin takes a look back at some of its most treasured moments in Film, Music, and Television…

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Throughout this final week of 2016, Across the Margin has been seasoning the air with thanks for all those who have spent time within our pages whilst sharing our picks for the “Best of Across the Margin, 2016.” Our best-of compilations concludes with a look at our choices for our finest articles in Film, Music, and Television…

The Top 50 Albums of 2016 (In Its Entirety!)

Across the Margin presents its choices for The Top 50 Albums of 2016…

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“But with time comes understanding, and as the weeks passed, and we began to appreciate Blackstar for what it really was, a touching goodbye, but also one of the most extreme, and staggeringly honest and touching albums Bowie has ever produced. We came to see that with Blackstar Bowie wasn’t just offering up a musical blueprint on how to move on from this realm, he was instead pulling a modern-day Lazarus, restoring a life taken away all too soon through the transformative power of his music, and in that way, we feel Blackstar deserves the distinction of Best Album of 2016. David Bowie may be gone, but his essence and his spirit live on dutifully in Blackstar, and in that way, the Thin White Duke has ensured that he will live forever.”

Twenty Years Later – Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt

Jay Z’s debut album, which dropped twenty years ago today, isn’t simply one of the best rap albums of all time, but represents the dawning of an empire…

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“This is the timeframe when the foundation for one of the greatest rap albums of all time was laid, where what occurred in and around Jay Z’s stash house at 560 State Street was born anew, given another life, this time in album form. Here, a collection of songs that paint a portrait of the streets, and of living large against all odds, was born. A lyrical recounting of a mafioso lifestyle, where music is just another hustle that leads to the finer things in life. A candid portrayal of a young industrialist with a freak ability to spit bars. This is Reasonable Doubt, an album that put Jay Z on the map and launched his illustrious career.”

Game of Thrones Season Six Deconstructed by Geoffrey Golia

ATM’s Game of Thrones Guru looks back at an unforgettable sixth season and the splendor that was The Winds of Winter…

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“It seems that there is broad consensus that Season 6 was one of the best in the show’s history, and I am certainly not one to disagree. Finales are a way to give the audience a sense of completeness and closure while, at the same time, planting seeds of curiosity regarding future events. So there needs to be a tying up of loose ends as well as a pivot, both in terms of plot and characters. And by pivoting, I mean killing lots of folks. Where this seasons finale succeeded, or at least felt very satisfying, was the fact that many of the deaths were a long time coming, and well-deserved. Also, Cersei blew up the motherfucking Vatican of Westeros. Sometimes I think to myself, ‘Wildfire, you’re the real MVP.'”

Bowie’s Final Alchemy

With a heavy heart Across the Margin bids farewell to a fearless innovator and a true original…

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“Because in the end, Bowie’s art and his death now feel inseparable, as if by merging the two, like an alchemist, Bowie’s turned the news of his death into life, ensuring that like Lazarus, he will forever be reborn and never truly disappear. While we are entirely unsure and ever doubtful about what is to await us in the hereafter, David Bowie’s spirited life has provided us with the solace and mindset that if there is another plane of existence after death, he is surely there. Because from our viewpoint, Bowie has always existed in another realm altogether anyways.”

Remembering The Five Foot Assassin

With a heavy heart Across the Margin bids farewell to one of the founding members of hip-hop’s most influential acts...

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“I am going to go so far as to suggest that the advances in evolution that led to the ability for a human to nod their head in rhythm might have occurred in preparation for A Tribe Called Quest’s arrival. A maturation of abilities in readiness for the moment in time when crisp, funky jazz beats would intermingle harmoniously with insane lyrical prowess in a way that would possess your body into movement. A Tribe Called Quest, who Nas once referred to as “hip-hop’s Beatles,” were the perfect commingling of groove-centric beats, thought-provoking and witty rhymes, and an untethered soul that enlivened the spirit and just felt flat-out right.”

For Your Consideration: The Martian

Across the Margin’s Chris Thompson makes his case for the best film of the year with Ridley Scott’s The Martian…

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“What ensues amidst a classic Ridley Scott backdrop of chaos, darkness, and the howling red winds of a penetrating Martian dust storm is an all out race for survival. As the astronauts’ emotions pervade the air and we watch them weigh their wonder and excitement for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore Mars with the very real fact that the dust storm may render inoperable their one spacecraft home. And it is their commanding officer Melissa Lewis’s (played solidly by Jessica Chastain) difficult decision to flee for the safety of their spacecraft and high Mars orbit, cutting their mission time on Mars in half, that sets in motion the dramatic series of events that come to define the remainder of The Martian’s gripping story.”

For Your Consideration: The Revenant

Across the Margin’s Michael Shields makes his case for the best film of the year with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant…

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“The Revenant isn’t simply beautiful, or a refreshing surrogate to Hollywood’s propensity for superhuman powers, it’s a sprawling epic rife with profound concepts that linger with you far after escaping from the glacial, menacing world that Inarritu so meticulously crafts. The entire plot of The Revenant centers around Glass’s fatherly devotion to his son, Hawk, and in this way the film acts as a penetrating emotional experience. For The Revenant forces one to wonder if it is likely easier to give into death’s reprieve, than what redress does justice truly furnish?”

For Your Consideration: Creed

Across the Margin’s Douglas Grant makes his case for the best film of the year with Ryan Coogler’s Creed…

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“Rocky has cried, bellowed, and groaned his way through six movies up until this point, but Stallone’s performance in Creed is reserved, as if old age has mellowed The Italian Stallion out. And it works here. Stallone’s understated portrayal of Rocky, under Coogler’s direction, is in contrast with his previous, larger than life performances of the former champ, and this contrast lends itself to the emotional impact of certain scenes, such as Rocky’s guilt over failing to stop the fight that killed Apollo, his son’s absence in his life, or his dealing with the news that he has cancer. Less is more here, and after so many years with Stallone the action star, we’ve become pleasantly reacquainted with Stallone the actor.”

Twenty Years Later – Ghostface Killah’s Ironman

Twenty Years after its release, Ironman persists as an exemplification of the extraordinary talents of Ghostface Killah…

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“Ghostface, from the birth of the incomparable Wu-Tang Clan unto a series of impressive and successful solo efforts, has perfected a stream of consciousness flow that also exhibits his extraordinary technical precision. It’s a full on assault, an attack on your senses. Ghostface’s powerful brand of hip-hop relentlessly pounds rhymes into your head without mercy, with bone crushing stanzas and a ruthless attitude. You have to keep up, or you will get left behind. Ghostface excels at the art of storytelling-rap that takes you on a ride. Listening to Ghostface is a visceral experience. And what’s more, the man is clever enough to lace his distinct machine-gun flow with a language that is all his own. It’s a remarkably unique style, that many try to imitate to this day.”

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