Ticket Giveaway: Jim Jefferies at the Varsity

posted by MP Johnson

You like comedy? You like Australian comedy? You like free Australian comedy? Thanks to our friends at the Varsity Theater, one lucky Switchblade Comb reader (and a friend) will get just that.

To enter the contest, send an email with the subject line “I Wanna Punch Jim Jefferies” and I’ll randomly punch… I mean pick a winner Wednesday afternoon. Good luck!

Fallcon Comic Book Party

posted by MP Johnson

Spend a Saturday digging through comic books and meeting local and national creators, including Keith Pollard (co-creator of Marvel’s Black Cat). I recommend stopping by the Transylvania Television booth to learn more about their live online broadcasts and more.

Saturday, October 15
State Fairgrounds
10 AM – 4 PM | $8 | All Ages

Warbringer – “Shattered Like Glass”

posted by MP Johnson

Warbringer, who have played the Twin Cities about 500 times in the last couple years, seem intent on stepping up their game with every new show and every new song. They just released the first video from their new album, and it’s my favorite song from them so far.

These guys obviously have masters degrees in thrash science, so they’re worth checking out when they come to Station 4 at the tail end of October, especially since they’re headlining over the amazing Landmine Marathon.

Favorite Local Films: Bits

posted by Jason Lynn Mitchell

Bits (2009)

The Trylon
October 5, 7:00 pm

MNUnearthed presents Bits.

A few years ago, I went to see Bits at a midnight screening at the Uptown. I didn’t really know what it was or any of the people involved in its production. I wasn’t expecting much from it, based on my experiences with a lot of other local productions. I ended up being pretty blown away, and I’ve never been more impressed with the production value of a local film.

Without giving too much away, Bits is kind of like a more surreal Primer. It has beautiful cinematography, a great score including songs from Vampire Hands, and that one girl that was on Nate on Drums. Did you guys watch Nate on Drums? I really liked their Nate-free second season. Very meta.

Bits is probably my favorite local film, and I’m really excited that I have another chance to see it. Support local film and the Trylon at the same time. Go.

Check out a beautiful Quicktime trailer on the movie website.

Ticket Giveaway: Minus the Bear at the Varsity

posted by MP Johnson

Did you know that all of the members of Minus the Bear have been in different local Misfits cover bands? It’s true! (Actually, it’s not). Did you know that Minus the Bear has three guitar players and they can all shoot lasers out of their guitars? It’s true! (That one actually is true).

Thanks to the Varsity Theater, one lucky winner (and a friend) gets into the show for free. To enter, send an email with a subject line that includes one true or untrue fact about Minus the Bear and I’ll randomly pick a winner Wednesday afternoon. Good luck!

Downloadable: Voxatron (Update)

posted by Andrew Cross

I posted a story about this game back in January. Voxatron is still brewing, but a new video shows it’s coming along nicely. When it’s going to be done is still up in the air, but a playable alpha build is on the way for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Official Voxatron Site

Zombierama at the Parkway Theater

posted by MP Johnson

It’s October. Halloween season. Zombie season. The zombie pub crawl will probably be out of control this year, but it’s really not about zombie love. It’s about beer love. If you want something a little more hardcore, a true zombie celebration will be had at the Parkway Theater.

Zombierama is hosted by Ian from Drinking with Ian and featuring a performance by magician of the living dead Joe Lyon. Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead will also be screened. 2 Live Crew will not be in attendance, mainly because they have nothing at all to do with zombies.

Saturday, October 22
Parkway Theater
7 PM | $12 | 18+

R.I.P. Oak Street Cinema

posted by Andrew Cross

This is not surprising. It’s just hard to watch it actually happening.

Over the last few years, it seems like the little Oak Street Cinema has been on life support. My knowledge of the goings-on in the Minnesota film community is limited, but one of constant topics I’ve heard about is the Oak Street’s slow demise. I’ve always found that hard to accept, because I can’t think of the Oak Street without thinking about it back when I was in high school. Back then the monthly release of the new Oak Street schedule was something to get excited about. Looking over what cinematic genre, or filmmaker retrospective they had planned and marking off days on my calender..Seeing the awesome double features and triple features…Being crammed into the place like sardines when the theater would get a big exclusive during the MPLS International Film Fest. The place kind of felt like a clubhouse, with cheap ticket prices and a tiny concession stand. The Oak Street was magnificent in its prime and that’s how I choose to remember it. That’s all I can really do at this point.

My Top 5 Favorite Film Experiences At The Oak Street Cinema

1. The Akira Kurosawa Retrospective. I saw 11 Kurosawa films in one month.

2. (TIE) The Fifth Element/Blade Runner double feature and The Man With No Name Trilogy triple feature.

3. The brief MISFITS (now Geek Partnership Society) Sci-Fi movie night.

4. Seeing Dogville, being bored to death, until the ending.

5. Seeing Fifty Dead Men Walking. The place was empty and it was the last film I saw there.

Rest in peace you tiny little movie theater.

Only One Month Left

posted by Gaurk

Help our friends The Color Pharmacy raise enough money to press their newest record on vinyl!

Click here to listen to The Color Pharmacy.

Click here to visit their kickstarter page.

Our band, The Color Pharmacy, wants to release our latest album, Texatonka, on vinyl.  In order to cover the costs of mastering, pressing, and printing of the records, we are raising funds from our fans, friends, and family.  We are offering a variety of rewards as incentives for donations.

The Complete Portal 2 Soundtrack For FREE

posted by Andrew Cross

The final volume of the Portal 2 soundtrack is now available as a free download HERE along with Volumes 1 and 2.

In other Portal 2 news, new downloadable content is on the way this upcoming Wednesday. New single and multiplayer challenge rooms, leaderboards, the whole shabang. Oh yeah, you’ll be able to get all of this as a free download for either PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

The Weekend Movie Recap: 9/30/11

posted by Rolocop

TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL – Horror/Comedy has been done so many times now, that’s it’s starting to lose it’s freshness.  Fortunately, this latest satire hits mostly right notes.  If this were a typical horror film, rednecks Tucker and Dale would be icky mountain men that terrorize a group of idiot teenagers.  But Director and Co-Writer Eli Craig turns it around a bit.  What if Tucker and Dale were just a couple of good ol’ boys who are just on a summer vacation in woods, and a group of idiot teenagers are quick to judge them, thinking that they are killers?  The result is often hilarious.  Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk slip right into the roles of Tucker and Dale comfortably, creating 2 memorable, funny and surprisingly loving characters.

They run into some college kids at a gas station, and because Dale is so awkward when he tries to talk to one of the girls (cause he think she’s beautiful), they mistake him for a psychopath.  Later on, while the two buddies are fishing, they see the same teens skinny dipping (which is what college kids do in horror films, right?).  One of the girls gets spooked and she slips, falling off a rock and hitting her head.  Tucker and Dale rescue her, taking her back to their cabin.  Her friends think they kidnapped her and decide to save her from “those freaks”.  What follows are lots of gory accidental killings (due to the kids being morons), implicating Tucker & Dale.

What I liked about the movie is that the teens kinda end up being the villains.  I found the writing to be pretty clever too.  The dialogue during the opening scenes with the teens are right out of a bad horror remake (like FRIDAY THE 13TH).  They’re so stupid, and Eli Craig recognizes how moronic modern horror films are, so he turns the conventions of the genre on it’s ear.  The kills are silly, gross and very creative.  DO NOT watch the trailer as they give practically every kill away (even the green band trailer).  Half the fun of watching the film was discovering how the next kid would be slaughtered. It’s not a perfect film like say, SHAUN OF THE DEAD.  When the action amps up toward the end, some of the editing is a bit choppy.  The film also almost wares out it’s welcome, since it’s essentially a one-joke film.  But the lead actors inject real humanity in their characters, that it makes it worth sticking around.  I also thought the chemistry between Dale and the girl they saved was very good.  They definitely had more sparks than half of the lousy Hollywood romantic comedies I’ve seen this year.

All in all, if you enjoy a fun gory horror comedy, this one won’t disappoint.  At 88 minutes, it’s a silly little gorefest that should keep you smiling and laughing for most of it’s running time.  Playing at The Lagoon.  Rating:


50/50 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a young man who finds out that he has cancer.  His whole life is turned upside down.  His girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) becomes alienated, his mother (Anjelica Huston) too overbearing, and is friend (Seth Rogen) too cynical.  While going through chemotherapy, he begins to see a rookie psychologist (Anna Kendrick), and the two form a friendship.

The great thing about this movie is it’s honesty in the writing.  I really feel like this is how real people would react to this tragic situation.  The direction by Jonathan Levine is pretty low key (and not quite as good as THE WACKNESS), but the performances are the film’s main strength.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a very genuine and at times powerful performance as a man coming to terms with what life has given him.  He can handle the comedic scenes well, but since he’s also one of our great serious actors, he gives the film the right amount of dramatic weight.  In a scene towards the end he does something that felt so real and it had me in tears.  Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston fit into their parts nicely too.  Anna Kendrick is such a great actress when she gets the proper role (not the Twilight movies).  She’s so cute and adorable, but has the acting chops to hold her own with Levitt.  It’s also just a great character that she plays.  I admit, I fell in love with her during the movie.

The film’s only downfall would be Seth Rogen, who plays the typical smart-ass best friend.  Now, I don’t think the problem is necessarily in the character.  I think a more dramatic actor would have pulled this off more successfully.  No, it’s because Rogen has played this type of role so many times, that it was hard to see a character.  I just saw Seth Rogen doing his normal “shaving the balls” schtick.  I don’t think he was able to round the character out like it should’ve been.  He’s just a sexist dude that wants to use his friend’s disease to get laid.  And even when they try to get deeper into his character, Rogen doesn’t quite pull it off.  That said, he does have some funny moments but it did get old after about 20 minutes.

I am recommending the movie because of the honest way it deals with this sensitive topic, the chemistry between Levitt and Kendrick, and Levitt’s terrific performance.  In Wide Release.  Rating:


Also opening this weekend:

RESTLESS – The new film by Gus Van Sant is derailed by Henry Hopper’s (Dennis’ son) incredibly wooden and stale performance as a young man who likes to crash funerals and talk to ghosts.  It’s too bad, cause the quirky premise had potential and Mia Wasikowska (looking absolutely gorgeous with her pixie hairdo) gives a fantastic performance as a cancer patient whom Hopper begins a relationship with.  The film has it’s cute moments, but can’t overcome the awful work by it’s lead actor.  I would say that it’s more watchable than the overrated GARDEN STATE, as far as indie romances go.  At The Lagoon.  Rating:

DREAM HOUSE – Wide release.  Not screened for critics.

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? – Wide Release

COURAGEOUS – Select AMC Theaters. Not screened for critics.

MACHINE GUN PREACHER – The Lagoon, and select AMC theaters.

MR. NICE – Lagoon.


FILM SOCIALISME – St. Anthony Main

Note: (I missed a few screening this week due to a funeral I had to attend)

Human Centipede 2 at the Uptown

posted by MP Johnson

Did you see Human Centipede? Did you think it was pretty gory, pretty gross? Pansy.

Human Centipede is virtually gore-free. Bloody bandages and ick-faces do not equal gore. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an amazing movie. It turned the old-school mad scientist theme on its head for the 21st century and introduced one of the most intense movie villains since the Universal horror flicks of old. Also, the marketing campaign that managed to convince everyone that it’s a seriously disturbing movie was pretty brilliant.

Everything that Human Centipede was hyped to be in terms of gore and gross-outs? Supposedly those promises are going to be fulfilled in Human Centipede 2, which will be playing at midnight on the second and third weekends of October at the Uptown. I’m psyched to see the looks on the faces of the people who couldn’t handle the first one.

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