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Stories by Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley is an avid music listener and an occasional writer. He grew up in the Washington DC area and has been embedded in the local music scene for years. Currently he lives in Vienna, VA. He enjoys bands that have been broken up for at least a decade.

‘Suicide Squad’: The DC – Marvel rivalry continues

WASHINGTON, August 22, 2016 – As the 2016 blockbuster movie season winds down, it’s hard to think of a more divisive summer film release this year than “Suicide Squad.” The critical reception for this Warner Brothers release has not been great. But there’s been significant pushback from certain demographics that feel movie critics, on some ...

‘Captain America: Civil War’ — Are all Marvel films the same?

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2016 – One of the consistent criticisms leveled against the Marvel movies is they tend to feel the same. Opponents of this line of thought will point to specifics of the films and how those specifics actually do change. The more appropriate response to this might be that both sides are right ...

‘Captain America: Civil War.’ Who’s the hero in this movie?

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2016 – In our previous article on ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ we looked at the way this film was rolled out, wondering whether we’re now dealing with individual superhero films or whether franchise-character rollouts are taking precedence. We also began to wonder just who exactly is in control of the Avengers these ...

Beyoncé and ‘Lemonade’: Vision and art confront media clichés

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2016 – Back in February, Beyoncé dropped the song “Formation” on an unsuspecting public. She then followed it up with a politically charged Super Bowl halftime show performance that became something of a cultural touchstone. It was known, of course, that the artist was going to perform at the Super Bowl. But ...

‘Captain America: Civil War.’ Adventure yarn or cosmic dilemma?

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2016 – “Captain America: Civil War” is the 13th film chronicling the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008. It’s also ostensibly the third movie of the Captain America franchise, which started with “First Avengers” in 2011 and “Winter Soldier” in 2014. But at this point, each individual movie like this one can easily ...

Billy Corgan’s renewed Smashing Pumpkins at Lincoln Theater

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2016 – Smashing Pumpkins is Billy Corgan. Billy Corgan is Smashing Pumpkins. A lot of time and energy have been wasted trying to either dispute this notion or agree with it. But when Corgan stands on stage at DC’s Lincoln Theater – as he recently did – playing various stripped-down versions of ...

‘Batman v Superman’: Battles yes, but where’s the beef?

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 – In our previous installment of this two-part review, we dealt with the visual aesthetics, or lack thereof, including color, lighting and visibility of action. We also noted the film’s jittery narrative angles and flow as well as its at times amateurish editing that at times allow the plot threads to ...