Corrosion of Conformity at the Triple Rock

posted by MP Johnson

Are you ready for eight-minute long stoner metal jams interspersed with classic hardcore? Corrosion of Conformity are headlining a show with Torche, Valient Thorr and A Storm of Light.

Thursday, March 8
Triple Rock
7 PM | $18 | 18+






Blood Ceremony at Station 4

posted by MP Johnson

I know a lot of people are psyched about the Ghost show at Station 4 tomorrow night. I am too. Ghost seems like a lot of fun. But I have to admit I’m more interested in Blood Ceremony‘s flute-wielding progressive doom metal. While seeing the word flute may make you want to run, I suggest you don’t. Somehow, these guys manage to make the instrument work in all the right (and by right, I mean evil) ways.

Wednesday, January 25
Station 4
7 PM | $13 | 16+






Miami Dolphins – Neon and Foam

posted by MP Johnson

The first time I saw the Miami Dolphins, I walked out because I thought they sucked ass. Then I intentionally showed up late when they opened for Melt Banana last year. For whatever reason, I decided to give them a second chance. In this case, I’m glad I did. Their new album, Neon and Foam, is actually pretty awesome. It’s chaotic, squeaky, gritty, poppy noise. I swear I even heard some super fast ska guitar in there.






Resident Evil 6 Announced

posted by Andrew Cross

The existence of Resident Evil 6 was officially revealed today by Capcom and…DAMN. It looks fucking huge.

It also got a release date of November 20th, 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360. A PC version is also in the works.

@CrossBits






The Weekend Movie Recap: 1/20/12

posted by Rolocop

EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE – I was looking back at director Stephen Daldry’s filmography and realized that he was nominated for an Oscar for all 3 of his previous films (BILLY ELLIOTT, THE HOURS and THE READER).  I’m sure he’s hoping he gets nominated for his fourth film in a row.

The story takes place in 2002 New York City and is about a pre-teen named Tom Schell, who may or may not have Asperger’s Syndrome.  His father (Tom Hanks) died in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks and the event has extremely effected Tom.  But then he finds something in his father’s closet that he believes is a clue.  You see, when he was still alive, he would create and send Tom on scavenger hunts across the city, in order to force him out of his comfort zone and communicate with others.  So Tom thinks this clue could be another hunt.  This adventure brings him all over the city meeting all sorts of characters, including a feuding couple (Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright) and a mysterious renter in his grandmother’s apartment (Max Von Sydow).  Does this journey have an end, and will it bring closure to the death of Tom’s father?

Any time you deal with a subject that is heavy, and is based on true, tragic events, it can be a little touchy.  You have to have just the right balance to pull it off, as to not have it feel exploitative or manipulative.  I can see someone finding this movie too much.  It all depends on the person.  At first, I felt that it may be pushing it too far, but as the film went on I was rewarded with a nicely told (even if it is emotionally heavy) character based drama about a kid coming to terms with the hard truths of reality.

Tom Horn does a pretty impressive job as the boy, though I can see how someone can find his precociousness irritating.  But since I have Asperger’s myself, I found his portrayal spot on.  The supporting cast is solid, from John Goodman as a hotel doorman, to Davis’ tortured wife.  Tom hanks does a decent job as the father, but his time is very limited.  Sandra Bullock surprisingly delivers an emotional impact as Tom’s mother, who tries to give her son his space.  The real standout is Von Sydow as the renter.  His character hasn’t spoken in over 40 years and only communicates by writing on a small note pad.  His face tells you everything you need to know.  It’s a brilliant performance.

The movie is full of sappy scenes, but I bought right into them.  I was completely involved in Tom’s story to find out the mystery, and discover the truth.  I was crying by the end of the film.  The script by Eric Roth is heavy handed, but it kind of has to be with this subject matter.  One scene that is handled very well, is when Bullocks gets the call from Tom Hanks that he is in the World Trade Center.  Her reaction is heartbreaking.  Daldry provides the appropriate direction for his dramatic material.  I do think that the film may be too much for the Academy to nominate him for a 4th time, which is too bad, cause I think this is better than his overrated THE HOURS.

If you’re looking for a tearjerker, and an emotionally rewarding experience (if you buy into this kind of thing.  You know if you are or not), then this will satisfy you.  I am looking forward to sharing this film with my daughter, who was already crying during the previews.  Sometimes, people just need a good cry and need to be moved.  This fits the bill.  In Wide Release.  Rating:

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RED TAILS – Remember those war films of the 40’s and 50’s?  Those pro-war, pro-American propaganda films that had simple stories and corny dialogue? Did you like those?  Cause that’s what Red Tails is.  It’s an old fashioned “Hooray for America” film that used to grace the screen.  Who needs cynical, realistic war films when there can be a movie this much fun in the theaters?

The movie is about the Tuskegee pilots in WWII.  They were the first black men that fought fighter pilots, battling the Nazi’s.  I’m sure there is a lot more to it in History books, but this pretty much sums up the movie.  It’s not deep.  Colored pilots (but preferred to be called Negros, as we find out in the film), want to prove themselves during the war, and they do.  The end.  There are four main pilots with schlocky nicknames like Easy, Joker, Ray Gun, and Sticks.  Also 2 leaders of the program played by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.  The Nazi’s are one dimensional villains that seem right out of a comic book.

If any of the above comments sound sarcastic or like I’m putting the film down.  I’m not.  I really enjoyed this.  Is it a serious work and accurate account of history?  Hell no!  But that’s fine.  What I got was cornball entertainment.  I love old war movies like THEY WERE EXPENDEABLE, FLYING LEATHERNECKS, AIR FORCE, and WINGS OF THE EAGLES.  Those weren’t realistic either.  But they were a lot of fun.  And that’s what this is.  It’s cliched, it’s cheesy, and…. it’s really well directed.

The acting is appropriately corny and every actor does there part.  The standout for me was Nate Parker as Easy, who looked and acted very much like a young Denzel Washington.  The real reason to see this is for the flying assaults.  They are perfectly storyboarded and expertly crafted.  It’s all CGI, but it looks fantastic!  Even though George Lucas is only listed as Executive Producer, his touch is all over this.  The action scenes very much have that Star Wars flavor.  I even heard several sound effects straight from those movies, which for me, added to the enjoyment.  The energy is very high during these scenes which are very excited, and had me cheering in my seat as the Americans blew the Nazi’s to smithereens.

If I have one complaint, it would be  that there may have been one too many subplots (just like the old war movies), and the movie was about 15 minutes too long.  But overall, I had a fun time.  If you want a realistic account of the Tuskegee airmen, then you will be sorely disappointed.  You have to know what you’re getting into when you go see this (and it seemed like many critics had no clue, as most of them are criticizing how cheesy it is).  It’s like a 1950′ pulp comic book, full of silly dialogue and beautiful, stylized action.  If that sounds good to you, then you’ll have a good time.  In wide release Rating:

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HAYWIRE – Steven Soderbergh is one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, always challenging himself as he tries different genres and styles.  This time he’s made his version of an action movie.  It stars MMA fighter Gina Carano as a covert agent who was betrayed by Ewan McGregor.  Her plan is to find him and find out why. Along the way she kicks a lot of ass!

If this sounds like a pretty standard action movie that would normally star Jason Statham, don’t worry, cause the filmmakers do everything they can to make it far from mainstream Hollywood junk.  Screenwriter Lem Dobbs (who also wrote Soderbergh’s sensational The Limey) makes a smart decision by telling half the movie in flashbacks, which adds to the unique style.  Soderbergh shoots the movie like it was an arty low budget indie film, with very little cuts.  This makes the action scenes easy to follow, and they certainly let you enjoy the awesomeness of the choreography as you can always see who’s hitting who. An action nut who’s used to seeing crap, full of incoherent action scenes might find this approach to be dull, but those that have taste will appreciate it.

Gina Carano isn’t a serious dramatic actress, but she proves to be an effective action heroine.  Her stunning looks clash with her ability to wreak havoc on people, which works to her advantage.  Because of this, it’s even more shocking when she’s breaking bones.  Soderbergh made the brilliant decision to surround her with some of the best actors around.  Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton (as her father), Michael Angarano and Michael Douglas.  The only one who doesn’t quite work is McGregor.  He is the heavy in the movie, and yet he’s surprisingly dull, delivering every line as if he were a robot running out of batteries.  But everyone else is good, even Channing Tatum!

The plot in this movie is secondary to the hip style and tone that is helped by a funky score by David Holmes.  The other big reason to see this is for the fight scenes.  Since Carano is a professional fighter, it’s of no surprise that she can handle herself admirably in this department.  The fights are quick and brutal. I can’t wait to see it again, to dissect how they were staged and shot. Also, Soderbergh did a smart thing by adding a smidgen of humor to a few sequences, the highlight being the end of a car chase, which had the audience laughing out loud.

It’s not going to change the game, but HAYWIRE is a fun, unconventional action movie that still delivers the goods, when most entries in the genre don’t.  In wide release.  Rating:

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Also opening this weekend:

PARIAH – A low-budget drama about a black lesbian teen who is hiding her secret from her family.  It has an unique look and has a great performance by Kim Wayans as the girls mother, but some of the acting comes across amateurish as does some of the writing.  I think writer/director Dee Rees’ next film is going to be great, but this one wasn’t.  It felt more like it was from a filmmaker trying to find her voice.  She’s almost there. Opens at The Uptown.  Rating:

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING – The fourth in the series wasn’t screened for critics.  I may see it this weekend, and update the article with my review.

THE DIVIDE – Wasn’t screened for me.  Showing this weekend at The Uptown, at Midnight only.

FULL METAL ALCHEMIST: THE SACRED STAR OF MILOS – Wasn’t screened for me.  Showing at St. Anthony Main.






Sony’s 12 For’12 Sale

posted by Andrew Cross

Until now and January 23rd, PlayStation Network subscribers can get any of these 12 games for 30% off the retail price. If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can snatch ’em up for 50% off the regular price.

Bloodrayne: Betrayal (now $10.49, original price $14.99)
Cubixx HD (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Dungeon Defenders (now $10.49, original price $14.99)
Eufloria (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Okabu (now $10.49, original price $14.99)
Payday: The Heist (now $13.99, original price $19.99)
PixelJunk SideScroller (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Rochard (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (now $8.39, original price $11.99)
Sideway: New York (now $6.99, original price $9.99)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike (now $10.49, original price $14.99)

@CrossBits






Rolocop’s Top 10 Films of 2011

posted by Rolocop

JUST KIDDING!!!

But seriously, before I get into my favorite films of 2011, I would like to reflect a little bit on last year.

I didn’t get to see everything, as I was also busy with Roller Derby and dealing with my Panic Disorder (which made it hard to get to the theater in the first part of the year).  The films I missed that I still want to see are: CEDAR RAPIDS, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (though I heard it’s awful), CERTIFIED COPY, JANE EYRE, INSIDIOUS, MIRAL, WIN WIN, HANNA, KILL THE IRISHMAN, THE CONSPIRATOR, IN A BETTER WORLD, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, FAST FIVE, DYLAN DOG, HESHER, POTICHE, EVERYTHING MUST GO, A BETTER LIFE, TERRI, ONE DAY, THE WHISTLEBLOWER, SENNA, BUCKY LARSON (just curious to see how bad it really is), STRAW DOGS, MACHINE GUN PREACHER, MARGIN CALL, IN TIME, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS, LIKE CRAZY, TYRANNOSAUR, RUBBER, CORMAN’S WORLD, CORIOLANUS, W.E., and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

I only saw 162 movies last year, so please bare that in mind when reading my lists.  I will say that it was a very good year for movies.  I gave 14 movies four stars, which is a rare thing.  I do tend to give out my highest rating more than most critics, but still, on an average year I would never give out more than 6 or 7.  But since it was so high, I just had to come up with a runner-up list.

But before that, I’ll share my worst list.  Now, it’s probably not 100% accurate since I didn’t see BIG MOMMAS, GREEN HORNET, the new TWILIGHT, COURAGEOUS, and just about every other crappy looking movie that came out in the first few months.  I’m just going to present the list by name only.  These films aren’t worth my time to talk about them any more.  Here it is:

Worst films of 2011:

  • 10. RED RIDING HOOD
  • 9. THE CHAMELEON
  • 8. SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
  • 7. MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS
  • 6. THE WAY
  • 5. THE SITTER
  • 4. ASSASSINATION GAMES
  • 3. ZOOKEEPER
  • 2. THE SMURFS
  • 1. 30 MINUTES OR LESS

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Overrated Films:

  • ARTHUR CHRISTMAS – It certainly had imagination, but I thought the title character was bland, who didn’t involve me at all.
  • BRIDESMAIDS – This DID NOT need to be 2 hours and 4 minutes.  Half of the scenes seemed half-assed improvised on the spot, and I thought Melissa McCarthy’s performance was just dreadful.  She was acting as if she was in a completely different movie than the rest of the cast.
  • CONTAGION – Soderbergh’s experiment to take the fun out of an epidemic thriller was interesting, but not really enjoyable.
  • LE HARVE – Loved the color palette, and that’s about it.
  • MEEK’S CUTOFF – Yeah, I get it!  The pace is supposed to be deliberate.  I might have liked this when I was a film school snob, but I see through it’s pretentiousness now.  It’s just a poorly written art-house experiment.
  • TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY – The direction and acting were fantastic.  But I just couldn’t get into the story.
  • YOUNG ADULT – Charlize Theron is impressive, but her character is just so darn unlikable.  I guess that was the point, but that still didn’t help me like the film.

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Disappointing Films:

  • CAPTAIN AMERICA – The tone and look was spot on.  But I wanted a self-contained action story and what I got was 4 years of the superhero’s entire WWII career crammed into 2 hours.  Too much.
  • A DANGEROUS METHOD – Cronenberg made an emotionally cold film, despite good performances.
  • THE FUTURE – Her debut film (ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW) is one of my favorite films of the past 10 years, so I guess I was just expecting her follow-up to be, you know, good.
  • THE GUARD – Brendan Gleeson was awesome, I just wish the rest of the movie was.
  • HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN – I really wanted this to be a fun ode to Troma films, instead I thought it tried way too hard to be one.  To be like a Troma film, I don’t think you need to try hard at all, but the filmmakers didn’t realize that.
  • MELANCHOLIA – Beautiful film, but I wasn’t involved with the characters like I was with Von Trier’s last film, ANTICHRIST.
  • PAUL – Was hoping Pegg and Frost’s third pairing was going to be as good as the others, but it was just mediocre.
  • RED STATE – I have a lot of respect for Kevin Smith trying something out of his comfort zone, except that he tired to do too much.  The film shifts tones and character points-of-view so often, that it was impossible for the story to involve me.
  • THE RUM DIARY – Love FEAR AND LOATHING.  This is not even close!
  • SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS – The first one took me by surprise as my expectations were low.  This time they were high, and I was extremely letdown.  It’s a mess.
  • THOR – Not bad, but the tone was inconsistent and Natalie Portman’s character wasn’t really necessary.

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Underrated Films:

  • THE BEAVER – Mel Gibson gave one of the best performances of his career, and the movie was really good.  I just don’t think audiences were ready to see Mel in a movie again.  In fact, they may never be ready.
  • THE CHANGE UP – Sure.  The premise is just rehashed from those awful 80’s switcheroo comedies, but I laughed a lot more than I probably should have.
  • HIGHER GROUND – Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut was a sobering look at how religion affects a family during the 60’s.
  • IMMORTALS – I thought Tarsem’s action-fantasy was a kick ass time, and the visuals were outstanding.  Liked it better than overpraised 300.
  • JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER – This was a very faithful adaptation of the kids books, which I have read with my daughter.  I don’t know why everyone was so hard on a movie that encourages young girls to use their imagination.
  • MARS NEEDS MOMS – This motion capture film flopped hard, but I thought it was a fun adventure.
  • SUCKER PUNCH – Zach Snyder’s misunderstood experiment is full of crazy action scenes and unique imagery.  People complained that there was no story, and I won’t argue there. But I don’t think he was trying to make a conventional film.  I thought it was very bold.
  • THE THING – A very well directed prequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece.  It was faithful to the spirit of the original, and I’m sad that it didn’t do well.

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And now for the best films of the year.  Before I reveal the Top 10, I would like to mention 11 other films that represent the best that 2011 had to offer.  It was really hard to narrow my favorites to just 10, so these are the films that almost made my list:

Runner-Ups (in alphabetical order):

  • 13 ASSASSINS – A truly epic samurai film that boasts a 42-minute action finale.  Bound to be a classic of the genre.
  • ATTACK THE BLOCK – Quite possibly the most fun I had at all year was at this energetic movie about teenage hoodlums battling aliens.  It’s like The Goonies and Monster Squad, but with more swearing and gore.
  • THE DESCENDENTS – George Clooney gives the performance of his career in Alexander Payne’s terrific new film.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART II – Easily the best of the series.  Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up.  And every character is given the perfect coda.
  • I SAW THE DEVIL – This was the best movie about a serial killer last year, not GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
  • IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY – Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut is an unflinching look at the Bosnian war during the 90’s.  It’s an ambitious undertaking for one’s first feature, but Jolie hits it out of the park.
  • PEARL JAM TWENTY – I was in 9th grade when Ten came out, so I found this chronicle of the famous Seattle band completely engrossing.  One of the best docs about a band ever, and certainly Cameron Crowe’s best film.  He needs to make more music Documentaries.
  • RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – This movie completely surprised me.  The special effects are top notch and I loved that the story focused on the apes, instead of the humans.
  • SUPER 8 – J.J. Abrams love letter to Spielberg was definitely one of the most entertaining films of the year.
  • WARRIOR – This is a great movie about 2 mixed martial arts fighters (who are also brothers) competing in a tournament.  Nick Nolte gives a career crowning performance as their recovering alcoholic father.
  • WINNIE THE POOH – Now this is how you pay homage to something.  This was exactly like the old 60’s and 70’s Pooh shorts.  Absolutely enchanting.

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And now, my absolute favorite films of the year:

The Top Ten Films of 2011:

10. MONEYBALL – I could care less about sports, but I have never seen a Baseball movie about how a team is put together before on the technical side.  I found it fascinating.  Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are wonderful, and the script is smart.  Also, Bennett Miller’s direction is beautifully cinematic.

9. RANGO– I’ve seen this 3 times now, and it gets better each time I see it.  Johnny Depp gives one of the the best vocal performances in an animated film I have ever seen.  Gore Verbinski has made an excellent homage to Sergio Leone westerns.  It’s dark, action-packed, full of wonderful eccentric characters and hilarious.  It’s also full of many film references.  Perfect animated film for a film geek.

8. THE INTERRUPETERS – This Documentary about gang violence in Chicago is every bit as engrossing as any dramatic film released last year.  It’s intense, but emotionally rewarding.

7. THE TREE OF LIFE – Terrence Malick has created a true cinematic experience.  It can be interpreted many different ways and is the perfect film to debate with your friends.  It’s an epic story about human nature that’s in the same vein as Kubrick’s 2001.

6. THE IDES OF MARCH – The best political film since THE CONTENDER. Excellent performances from George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and especially Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The script is in the same league as Mamet, and the movie really shows that Clooney is getting more confident in his direction.  It’s his best film.

5. DRIVE – Ryan Gosling gives an iconic performance in this violent art-house thriller.  The direction is done in a very precise and deliberate way that gives the film a welcome unique flavor.  The soundtrack perfectly emulates the early films of Michael Mann, especially 1981’s THIEF.  It’s a cinematic punch to the gut, and I mean that in the best possible way.

4. TAKE SHELTER – Probably the most emotionally exhausting film of the year.  Michael Shannon gives the best performance of 2011 as a man who becomes obsessed with his visions of the Apocalypse.  It’s masterfully crafted and has my favorite payoff of the year.

3. THE MUPPETS – I am a huge muppet fan.  Honestly, no other film made me cry as much as this one (6 times).  It just touched the kid in me.  The songs are amazing, and did I mention how great it was seeing Muppets on the big screen again!  It was a magical journey into my childhood that I got to share with my daughter.  One of the best experiences of the year for me.

2. THE ARTIST – A beautiful and loving homage to silent cinema.  The filmmakers did their homework.  Everything about it perfectly emulates the lost art form.  The story is a charming heartbreaker.  It’s perfect in every way.

1. HUGO – Martin Scorsese has arguably made his masterpiece.  It’s a love letter to classic cinema, but told in a giant, enormous way.  It pretty much has everything in it.  Drama, action, suspense, comedy, tragedy, romance… it has it all.  Every shot is perfectly thought out, and the story is told with absolute whimsy.  There is a sense of wonder in this movie that has been missing in cinema lately.   Scorsese has made this film to remind us why we started loving movies in the first place, and shows us why they’re special.  And it’s also the first film that I really enjoyed 3-D in.  If you love movies at all, HUGO is an absolute must-see.  It’s a masterful film by a master filmmaker.

(Note: I saw Hugo twice, and The Artist once.  It is possible that The Artist could beat out Hugo for my favorite of the year if I see it again.  It was a very hard decision to make, as both are excellent films that show love, respect and appreciation for older cinema.  If anything, it’s the perfect double feature)






The Weekend Movie Recap: 1/13/12

posted by Rolocop

CARNAGE – I consider myself a fan of Roman Polanski, though I probably only have seen half of his films.  I missed his last film, GHOST WRITER, which I heard was pretty darn good.  CHINATOWN is one of my favorite films.  I also really like REPULSION, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, ROSEMARY’S BABY, FRANTIC, THE PIANIST and yes, even THE NINTH GATE.  The only one I didn’t care for was OLIVER TWIST.

His latest seems more like an after thought.  Based on a play, and with the exception of 2 shots, takes place entirely in an Apartment.  A kid seriously injures another kid at a playground, and now their parents get together to discuss the consequences.  What starts off as an artificial courtesy call, slowly becomes a breakout in brutal honesty as the 2 couples trade insults and harsh truths with each other.

Like I said, it’s an after thought… but a pretty entertaining one.  When I first heard about the premise, it sounded like it was going to be rather serious.  So I was surprised that there was a great amount of humor.  I would classify this as a comedy.  While the subject matter is a bit heavy and dark themes are explored, it’s executed with some great comic timing from the four actors who play the couples, Kate Winslet & Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster & John C. Reilly, who are all terrific.  It’s hard to say who is the best because they all have their moments to shine.

Waltz is amusing as the shrewd business man who is permanently attached to his cellphone.  Winslet plays his uptight wife who has a hilarious puking scene (I laughed out loud on that one).  It was nice to see Jodie Foster take this hysterical role as a very liberal mother who has large tantrums.  And at first I thought that maybe John C. Reilly would be out of his league, but then I remembered that he got his start doing dramatic work before he became a silly actor.  He’s probably got the film’s best lines, and is one of the highlights of the film.

My only complaint was that the movie constantly builds and builds, and then just kind of ends.  It’s a disappointing climax in an otherwise very entertaining flick.  Those that like character studies should enjoy this one, as it is sort of a satirical take on one.  CARNAGE opens exclusively at The Edina.  Rating:

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THE IRON LADY – Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of England.  The movie focuses on Thatcher in her later years as she struggles with Alzheimer’s disease, looking back on her life.

Now, I don’t really know anything about politics or much about the lead character, but I found the movie compelling.  I thought it was clever how the flashbacks of her late husband (Jim Broadbent) haunted her every day life.  Director Phyllida Lloyd comes up with some pretty imaginative transitions and edited techniques to make the film have a unique style.  The movie shows how Thatcher started off when she was younger, and then working up to be Prime Minister.  I found myself more interested at her personal life when she was older than the politics, but that’s just me being bored by politics.

The real reason to see this is Meryl Streep, who delivers a marvelously theatrical, powerhouse performance.  She completely embodies Thatcher (which is entirely expected, given Streep’s track record) from her mannerisms to her vocal influctuations. Even the makeup job on her is entirely convincing.  Broadbent also stands out as her loyal and loving husband.  And Alexandra Roach really made in impression as a young Margaret Thatcher.

The script is kind of jagged, but that’s what you get when you try to cram someone’s life into an hour and forty-four minutes.  I would say it is mostly successful, as the film is held together by Streep’s excellent work.  And if Thatcher’s life is of great interest to you, you’ll enjoy it all the more.  I think it’s worth a look.  At the Lagoon.  Rating:

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Also opening this weekend:

CONTRABAND – Well, it’s January and the first films of 2012 are bound to be mediocre, and that’s exactly what this lazy heist thriller starring Mark Wahlberg is.  It’s a sloppily directed movie (lots of bad shaky-cam) with boring performances and a generic script.  Wide Release.  Rating:

JOYFUL NOISE – And I thought Tyler Perry movies were bad.  This faith based film about a church choir is just embarrassing.  Dolly Parton looks like a clown and delivers one of the worst performances I have seen on a movie screen in a long time.  It’s a bad TV movie complete with cartoon-like characters that would never live in the real world.  Cinematic garbage! Wide Release.  Rating:

SLEEPING BEAUTY – Wasn’t screened for me.  At St. Anthony Main.

THE DEVIL INSIDE – This opened last week in wide release, but wasn’t screened for critics, which is usually a bad sign.






Anticipated Films: MOONRISE KINGDOM

posted by Rolocop

Wes Anderson’s first live-action film in 5 years is definitely something to get excited about!






Sabaton at Station 4

posted by MP Johnson

As I mentioned in my best shows of 2011 post, Sabaton’s appearance at Station 4 is my most anticipated show of 2012. Any band that can make a half-full St. Paul show feel like a packed Euro arena has my respect. The fact that they play amazingly catchy, chills-down-your-spine power metal doesn’t hurt either. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 15
Station 4
6 PM | $12 | All Ages






Diablo III Is Coming To Consoles

posted by Andrew Cross

The action-RPG/dungeon crawler PC epic Diablo III is going to be making its way over to consoles at some point. When? Well, the PC release doesn’t even have a release date yet, so who knows when Xbox or PS3 users will be getting it. None the less, good news for us couch gamers.

In non-fantasy news, you can now find me on Twitter at #CrossBits.






Eyeballs Growing All Over Me …Again by Tony Rauch

posted by MP Johnson

Local author Tony Rauch’s  third book is available now from Eraserhead Press, arguably the most prominent publisher of bizarro fiction.

It’s filled with short stories that zig where they should zag. Yes, the situations are weird. There’s time machines and time-slowing-down machines. There’s big foot and giant chicken heads. There’s fucked up shit going on in basements. The weirdness is not what makes these stories great. What makes them great is the three-dimensional characters and how they react to the weirdness.

While every story in this book is a certified blast to read, particularly late at night with a belly full of root beer (or whatever), my favorite, “Red Ball Jet,” perfectly demonstrates characters not reacting the way you’d think they’d react, leading to charming results.

It opens with these lines: “Aliens appear in my bedroom. They wake me by shining some kind of weird blue light in my eyes. Jerks.” The aliens offer up a time traveling opportunity and the main character is thrust into an internal debate between traveling back to ’82 for a UFO concert or ’78 to see the Only Ones and the Flamin’ Groovies. He makes his choice and things get weirder from there.

Support local bizarro authors and pick up a copy of Tony Rauch’s Eyeballs Growing All Over Me …Again at Magers & Quinn, Micawbers, Hot Comics or Comic Book College.






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