Another year, another installment in the huge Marvel movie universe. Far from just a series with a set of films, the Marvel movies are a multifaceted collection of stories and characters that are less a linear narrative and more a web of plot. Their interconnectedness gets more impressive with each passing film, as each installment hearkens back to past films and sets up new ones. Thor: The Dark World does a decent job of each, but the writing isn’t quite strong enough to rank among the best of Marvel.
For a while, Pearl Jam had become a band that is mentioned and everyone nods and acknowledges them. They were in danger of merely existing, while the world either forgot about them or worse: just didn’t care. They’ve barely escaped downfall and obscurity multiple times. But they get another chance, four years after their last album, to jump back into relevancy. The result is “just another Pearl Jam album,” which, after years of the same feel, will feel worn out to all but the most devoted of fans.