I love Gateway District. I haven’t done all of the calculations yet, but I’m pretty sure this was one of my favorite albums of 2011. I’ve listened to it over and over and I can’t find any flaws. The lyrics transcend punk. The music builds up in a way that is rare on albums, which more often just sound like a hodgepodge of songs. These all sound like they were meant to be together, on my stereo, on repeat. Listen to it here and then download it for a measly $5.
Social Distortion is one of my favorites. I’ve seen them a lot in the last 15 years. The sold out show they played at First Ave in 2010 might have been the best I’ve seen. They played a perfect set of old favorites and new gems like “Still Alive”. I’m hoping for a repeat.
Thursday, April 26
5 PM | $30 | 18+
Overall, the cast is solid. I’m curious to hear Freddie Prinze Jr. as a solider with the biggest biceps in the universe. Jessica Chobot is a surprising edition, as is the reveal that her character kind of looks like her. Chobot is great, but seeing her in Mass Effect is jarring. Will see how it works out March 6th, 2012.
Syndicate keeps looking more and more intriguing to me. A multiplayer demo is out today on PSN and Xbox LIVE. The above video demonstrates the 4 player co-op. Expect the full game on February 21st, 2012 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
I would pick up Skyrim right now if this was true (nothing against Skyrim, I’m just waiting for the PS3 version to get completely patched).
Can someone please explain to me why this show is not on Adult Swim yet? It’s certainly funnier than Moral Orel. Oh well. Transylvania Television live continues through the spring with shows every other week. Learn more and watch old episodes and clips at the Transylvania TV Website.
If you haven’t watched Season One yet, don’t watch this.
April 1st, 2012. Mark it.
City Mouse’s self-titled 7″ is one of those rare perfect punk rock records. The band has accompanied it by one of those even more rare perfect punk rock videos. A party werewolf snorting videogames right off the TV screen through a giant coke straw? How can you beat that?
New video from Villa Rosa (Muja Messiah & Maria Isa) directed by Greg Grease. I love the production by Benzilla. Track from 2011’s Blue Diamond Island, out now.
If you are in Minneapolis without any plans tomorrow night be sure to catch Muja Messiah opening for Freddie Gibbs at the 7th St. Entry.
Transmission Zero, the new Ghoul album, is out now. It’s a slasher thrash masterpiece, filled with tales of decapitation, voodoo and gore. Check out the amazing cover by local artist Bill Hauser. His work has also graced albums by Hirax, In Defence, Toxic Holocaust and many more. Cover art is such a crucial piece of a good thrash album.
THE GREY –
<begin spoiler if you’ve seen the trailer>
Do yourself a favor. Don’t watch any trailers or TV spots for this movie, it gives away the final scene, not to mention the last shot of the movie.
Director Joe Carnahan has come along way since his first film BLOOD,GUTS,BULLETS & OCTANE. It was a low budget film that was trying too hard to be CLERKS with an edge. But his follow-up NARC was an effective, gritty cop thriller. His next films (SMOKIN’ ACES and THE A-TEAM) were crazy fun. This time he’s teaming up with Liam Neeson again.
Neeson stars as a hard ass who works on an oil rig in Alaska. His job is to protect the place from wolves, using his trusty rifle. He accompanies the men from the rig on a flight, only it crashes in the middle of the cold landscape. There are only a handful of survivors, and the bad news is that they seem to be days, maybe weeks from civilization. And if that wasn’t enough, they are being stalked by a pack of hungry vicious wolves. Neeson knows how the wolves thinks, so he takes charge of the group as the men struggle to stay alive.
The plot is about as basic as you can get, but if you have good characters and some inventive filmmaking it can be solid entertainment. And this film delivers. The movie wastes no time as the plane crashes before the 10 minute mark. And what a crash sequence, which is what I can only describe as the most emotionally disturbing and intense moments I have experienced since THE DESCENT. It’s going to be awhile before I fly again. We get to know the characters briefly, and they’re your typical stock characters. The bad ass, the coward, the loud mouth, the family man, etc. But the actors (notably Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo) make the roles their own, and succeed in getting the viewer to care about them. Then the wolves start attacking and it’s very unsettling. The rest of the film is a kind of cat and mouse game between the men and the wolves.
Neeson owns this film. Remember his bad ass from TAKEN? Total pussy compared to his character here. The movie gives him just enough back story to make him sympathetic. And there is a moment early on when he talks a man through dying that shows just how totally awesome Neeson is. But what I liked most about the movie is that there is a certain poetic element to it. It’s not just a straight action film. It’s a man vs. nature adventure that has some thrilling moments. There are some great scenes that has Neeson reflecting on his life and his beliefs (loved it when he yells at God).
It’s not a perfect film. I thought some of the characters were a bit too cliched at times. The movie reminded me of a better movie, THE EDGE, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. But for the most part, I think Carnahan has accomplished something most Hollywood directors dream of doing. Making a solid adventure film with characters you care about. Also, the direction isn’t boring. There are some very creative and inventive shots that add to the film rather than distract, though occasionally he uses the shaky cam too much during the wolf attacks.
I can see some mainstream moviegoers being upset that the film doesn’t exactly deliver what the trailers promise, but I thought the actual movie is something better than what the trailer suggests. It’s more cerebral, and that was right up my alley. Wide Release. Rating:
ALBERT NOBBS – Glenn Close first played the title character on stage 30 years ago, and has since been trying to get it made for the big screen. Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to work as butler in a posh hotel during the early 1900’s in Ireland. She has been posing as a man for 3 decades and is now , in a way, trapped. She falls in love with one of the other maids (Mia Wasikowska), but doesn’t have the courage to act upon her feelings… Until she meets another woman passing for a man, Hubert Page (Janet McTeer), who has a wife. But Nobbs has stiff competition from a maintenance boy who is also trying to woo the girl of her fancy.
This is your typical upstairs/downstairs story and that aspect is done much better in GOSFORD PARK. However, Glenn Close is excellent in the leading role, as you would expect. She is definitely the reason to see this, and as the film went on, I became compelled by her character (but is it me, or does Glenn Close look a lot like Robin Williams when she’s dressed up as a man?). McTeer is a bit hammy, but overall does a decent job. Mia Wasikowska turns in another solid performance, but I found her romantic interest, Aaron Johnson a bit of a pud. But fortunately, he’s not the main star. The direction is serviceable, the script follows the formula effectively, and Close is stunning. I also like the way the film concluded.
Though it has it’s flaws, it’s a good story with an Oscar Nominated Glenn Close doing a fantastic job carrying the film. It’s worth a look. Opens at The Edina. Rating:
Also Opening this weekend:
MAN ON A LEDGE – Intriguing premise is ruined by an absolutely ludicrous and laughably unbelievable script. The performances are fine I guess (I liked Ed Burns), except for Genesis Rodriguez as Jamie Bell’s love interest and heist partner. Her character and performance was terrible and is easily a contender for next year’s razzies. The direction is actually pretty good and for the first hour it delivers a solid (yet generic) thriller, but the final act goes off the deep end with it’s credibility. Wide Release. Rating:
ONE FOR THE MONEY – Wasn’t screened for critics. Wide Release.
NORWEGIAN WOOD – Missed this one. At St. Anthony Main.
You know how Darren Aronofsky‘s the Wrestler was totally brilliant? Well, fuck that. I don’t want brilliance, I want wrestling (actually, I want brilliance, but just go with me here). I want Verne Gagne and Ed Asner throwing body slams and hamming it up. I want 70s movies with poster art that is so cool the movie could never possibly live up to it. The Parkway is delivering this in the original the Wrestler, showing from 1/27 to 2/2. During the weekend showings, Verne is going to make an appearance and his son Greg is going to do a Q&A.
I am very pleased to report that the Uptown Theater will be going under a complete renovation. I have been going there for almost 20 years now, my first time being when I saw THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at Midnight when I was in High School (sometime in the early 90’s). I have many, many great movie memories from this iconic theater, and deserves to be restored to it’s former glory. Here is the official press release:
“Landmark Theatres and Swervo Development have announced plans to completely refurbish and renovate the historic Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis. The renovation of the theatre, built in 1930, will preserve the best features of the Uptown, including the famous neon sign and beloved balcony. Landmark plans to add a variety of new amenities, including an expanded concession stand, full service bar, giant screen, completely new luxury seating and digital projection.
Landmark has operated the Uptown since 1978, in that time cultivating a loyal customer base. “In a day when most single screens are closing, I am truly honored to not only keep the Uptown alive, but oversee the complete transformation into what will be Minneapolis’ premiere movie theatre,” said Ted Mundorff, CEO Landmark Theatres, noting that “If it wasn’t for the vision, perseverance and support from our partner Ned Abdul, this undertaking would not have been possible.”
“We are so happy to be part of keeping the historic Uptown open and provide a first-class theatre-going experience to the many people who enjoy one of the best areas for nightlife in Minneapolis,” added Mundorff.
Landmark expects the theatre to re-open in late spring, 2012.”
Being a huge Pac-Man fan, I love this show. It’s cheesy and ridiculous, full of lousy jokes. And that’s why this show rules! The 80’s released some of the most insanely bizarre cartoons and thanks to Warner Brothers Archives, the complete first season of PAC-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES comes out on DVD Jan 31st! Make your way over to the WBshop and pre- order your copy now!