New Journey Trailer Focuses On The Music

posted by Andrew Cross

The wait for Journey is hard.

With its mix of online play and a minimalistic open-world, it’s going to be exciting to play what ThatGameCompany have up their sleeves. It’s without a doubt my most anticipated PSN title of the year and this new trailer which features beautiful music from the game, just makes the wait harder.

Journey will be out on the PlayStation Network this Spring.






Cool Upcoming Games: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

posted by Andrew Cross

Kingdoms of Amalur has been in production for what feels like ages. It’s an open world action-RPG created by Big Huge Games. The world of Amalur looks like your typical swords and fantasy playground, but it’s trying to distinguish itself from the pack by having Todd Mcfarlane oversee the design of it. Novelist R.A. Salvatore (AKA, the guy who killed Chewbacca) penned the story for Reckoning.

It looks like it could be a fun ride. Combat looks solid, as you will see in the above video. I just hope the rest of the game holds up well.

Dropping on February 7th for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.






The Last of Us and Live-Action Ace Attorney Trailers

posted by Andrew Cross

This was released a while ago, but I’m just getting to it now.

I love Naughty Dog, which is the only solid reason I’m excited for this game. If they created a napkin folding game – I’d play it.

The post-apocalyptic setting and fungus zombies do nothing for me though. I’m tired of the post-apoc setting being the go to scenario for video games and zombies being easy targets. It strikes me as a weak attempt at grittiness, or something along those lines.

I know the world is coming to an end this year (Happy New Year by the way!), but that doesn’t mean you have to keep shoving it in our faces.

Takashi Miike is one of the best filmmakers in the world, so it seems like the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game series is in good hands for its live action debut. If only being a lawyer was this awesome looking.






Movie Reviews: War Horse and A Dangerous Method

posted by Rolocop

WAR HORSE – I love Steven Spielberg.  He was probably the first filmmaker I followed when I was growing up.  Several of his movies are in my top 100 of all time: (JAWS, RAIDERS, E.T., TEMPLE OF DOOM, and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), and most of his other films are top notch entertainment.  His track record has been a little off in the past 10 years, however.  Even though I think all of his movies have moments of brilliance, I felt like some of them misfired, like: A.I., THE TERMINAL and MUNICH (loved it until it train wrecked at the end).  I was really looking forward to what looked like a return to his old fashioned sense of filmmaking.

The story feels very much like a novel, as it is told in little episodic vignettes, or chapters.  It begins just before WWI in England when a drunken farmer purchases a horse from an auction.  His teenage son Albert grows attached to it, as he ends up raising the horse himself, which is named Joey.  When it seems like Albert’s family will lose the farm, the father sells the horse to the army to be used in the upcoming war.  The rest of the film chronicles Joey’s adventures as he is used in battle, befriends a small farm girl, and even gets acquired by the German army.

Spielberg is no longer in his prime, but it’s really entertaining seeing him try really, really hard to be the director he used to be.  Don’t get the wrong idea, I actually enjoyed the film quite a bit.  The episodic nature and simplistic characters reminded me of the movies Hollywood used to make.  The big melodramatic epics that John Ford would’ve made, like HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.  The acting is hokey (which works), and the movie tries without any excuses to make you cry.  And it succeeded with me on a couple of occasions.

Spielberg also still knows how to stage a set piece.  The war scenes in the last half are spectacular, featuring many long crane and tracking shots.  But my favorite moment might be when Joey is caught in some barbed wire with both German and American  soldiers working together to free him.  The movie lays it on a little thick in the sentimentality department, but I think that’s what Spielberg was going for.  It certainly helps that John Williams score is effectively manipulative.

If I had one major complaint, it would be that some of the shots were so old fashioned, that they were distracting.  Let me explain:  Most of the film has a certain look, but every once in awhile, Spielberg tries to emulate a fakey looking background that they used in movies like GONE WITH THE WIND (especially in the final sequence).  It looks absolutely gorgeous, except that it doesn’t match with the rest of the film, and draws too much attention to itself to the point that it’s distracting.

With it’s faults aside, it’s nice to see a movie like this in the theater.  They just don’t make em’ like this anymore.  It’s a film for all ages.  My 8 year old daughter absolutely loved it and is convinced it’s the best film of the year.  She also was crying through nearly half the film.  So it’ll work for people that will buy into all the sentiment.  Me?  I appreciated the movie, and thought it was fairly entertaining.  Is it great?  No.  But it’s at least good.  Opened on Christmas Day in Wide Release.  Rating:

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A DANGEROUS METHOD – David Cronenberg’s career is a pretty fascinating one.  He started making low budget, but highly effective B-Horror flicks.  Then he started making surreal dramatic pictures like M BUTTERFLY, CRASH and my personal favorite, DEAD RINGERS.  His last 2 films have shown his maturity.  Loved HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, but I felt EASTERN PROMISES wasn’t emotionally involving, though the direction was fantastic.

His latest is even a bigger step into mature moviemaking: A period piece about the famous doctor Sigmund Freud.  Actually, it’s about a protege of his. named Carl Jung, and his patient Sabina.  Sabina (Keira Knightley) is crazy and gets committed to a hospital.  Jung (Michael Fassbender) is the doctor assigned to analyze her.  He helps her, but also gets involved in a pretty intense sexual relationship with her (involving spanking).  He goes to his mentor Freud (Viggo Mortensen) on occasion, for advice.

I thought the first half of the film worked very well.  The relationship between Jung and Sabina is handled very delicately.  It also helps that the two actors have great chemistry together.  Fassbender turns in another terrific performance as Jung.  But for me, it was Knightley who stole the picture.  Now, I’ve talked to a few people who were irritated by her performance, and I can see why.  She makes a bold decision to contort her face, and change her vocal patterns, but it makes sense for the character and what she is going through.  It’s a brave performance that some could see as overacting, but I found it brilliant.  I think it’s her best performance and definitely deserves an Oscar nod.  Mortensen is understated as Freud, but it works.

Cronenberg’s direction is easily the most laid back I have ever seen from him.  Instead of wowing the audience with surreal images, he let’s the story unfold in a simple fashion.  Unfortunately, the second half wasn’t as involving.  That’s because it jumps around years at a time every 10 minutes.  For me, this jagged approach alienated me from the characters and I eventually stopped caring.  By the time the film reached it’s climax, I was disengaged.

Die hard Cronenberg fans will probably want to check this out, but I even think they’ll be surprised by how subdued the film is.  Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing.  I like low key films, but just ones that can engage me for it’s entire running time.  This one didn’t quite do it.  Opened at The Uptown Theater last Friday.  Rating:






Gaurk’s Top Ten Tracks Of 2011

posted by Gaurk

In chronological order:

Cake – Long Time
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Britney Spears – Till the World Ends
The Strokes – Machu Picchu
Justice – Civilization
Beastie Boys – Pop Your Balloon
Benny Benassi – Good Girl
Little Dragon – Ritual Union
Ellie Goulding – Lights (Bassnectar Remix)
M83 – Midnight City

Click here to listen to all ten tracks compiled into a playlist on youtube.






The Joe’s Favorites of 2011

posted by The Joe

So.

I may no longer write regularly for Switchblade Comb, but I was around for the first half of the year, so hopefully that earns me the right for a one-night-only return with my favorites of 2011. For anyone who might be curious.

FAVORITE FILMS OF 2011

1. Ne Change Rien
2. The Trip
3. Last Lions
4. Le Quattro Volte
5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
6. Into the Abyss
7. Winnie the Pooh
8. Take Shelter
9. House of Pleasures
10. Nostalgia For the Light

HONORABLE MENTION (alphabetical): 13 Assassins, Drive, The Interrupters, Melancholia, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

PAST FAVORITES: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

I meant to write a bit on each selection, but that currently sounds kind of unpleasant. I will say that while I enjoyed more films this year than last, there were fewer that felt truly outstanding.

#1 is one of the most beautiful, haunting, & hypnotic films I’ve ever seen, and the rest are all quite phenomenal in their own little ways. And yes, in a year full of unusually great action films (Mission: Impossible 4 & Fast 5 just missed the list), Transformers 3 was the most fun I had at the cinema all year. If I must be its sole defender, so be it.

FAVORITE TV OF 2011

1. An Idiot Abroad
2. Parks & Recreation
3. South Park – “You’re Getting Old/Ass Burgers”
4. Louie – “Country Drive”
5. WWE Money in the Bank 2011 – CM Punk vs. John Cena

SPECIAL INTERNET MENTION: Rock & Roll Ray’s VHS From the Crypt

An Idiot Abroad might just be the funniest show I’ve ever seen. Ever since its perfect season 2, Parks & Rec has remained one of all-time favorite sitcoms. South Park‘s two-parter, so epic that it was mistaken for a surprise series finale, has astonishing gut-punch power. Louie is the most unique show on TV, and I single that particular episode out for its bizarre car ride and gas station visit. And while everything involving CM Punk on WWE was some of the most entertaining TV of 2011, that PPV match was both national sports headline news and also the best match I’ve seen in, oh, seven or so years.

Also, Rock & Roll Ray is awesome.

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2011

1. World Order – “Machine Civilization
2. Swedish House Mafia – “Save the World
3. Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – “Sun & Moon
4. Karl x Johan – “Flames
5. Bill Callahan – “Riding For the Feeling
6. Manchester Orchestra – “Simple Math
7. Gotye – “Bronte
8. Childish Gambino – “Freaks & Geeks
9. Horseback – “Blood Fountain
10. Magnetic Man feat. John Legend – “Getting Nowhere

They’re pretty short. You can fit them all in.

So there you go.

Anyway.






Rusty Quarters Arcade, Opening Tonight

posted by Mojo Marshall

Bryant Lake Bowl has a new neighbor, Rusty Quarters Retro Arcade & Museum! The Uptown arcade will be having their grand opening at 6PM tonight. They are still working out pricing for hosting private parties and serving food, but for now you can buy a Mexican Coke and play a nice selection of classic games all for 25¢ per play. The arcade also plans to host tournaments in the near future and will post weekly high scores to their website.

More info is available on their website HERE and Facebook page HERE.

Hours of operation:
Mondays: CLOSED
Tuesdays through Thursdays: 3pm – 10pm
Fridays: 3pm – 11pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 11pm
Sundays: 12pm – 8pm






Top 10 Twin Cities Shows of 2011

posted by MP Johnson

This was a weird year. Some of the shows I expected to be the best fell short. While it’s lame to blame the crowd, because it’s partly the band’s responsibility to draw a crowd, the reality is that bands feed off the crowd’s energy and vice versa. If there’s hardly anybody at a Sick Of It All or Agnostic Front show, and those who are there sit in the back drinking beer, it just doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. Thankfully, there were a lot of good shows to pick up the slack.

My list of the best shows of 2011 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, in chronological order:

Culo, Brain Tumors, Getting Even – Rathole – 2/11

This reminded me just how awesome basement shows can be. Brain Tumors and Getting Even (RIP) took their places among the best hardcore bands in the twin cities. Smashing a bottle on the ground in lieu of an introduction, Culo blew through a microscopic and mighty hardcore set that sent heads spinning.

Robyn, Diamond Rings, Natalia Kills – First Avenue – 2/13

Somehow, Robyn‘s music seems like it has always been a part of my life, even though I just started listening to it. This was the first of three triumphant Diamond Rings sets in the Twin Cities, each of which was awesome. I missed most of Natalia Kills, but her CD is one of my favorite pop albums of the year.

Off!, Trash Talk, Much Worse – Triple Rock – 4/3

I loved the contrast between the old schoolers in Off! and the new schoolers in Trash Talk.

Agenda, Formaldehyde Junkies, Pink Reason, Condominium, Manipulation, Culo – Rathole – 4/22

More people showed up to this show in a tiny basement than a lot of club shows I’ve seen, and for good reason. Every band on the lineup was perfect. Personally, I loved all the hardcore kids who fled when Pink Reason started. Slow and scary wins the race. And clears the room.

Night Birds, Much Worse – House o’ Lard – 6/11

Another packed and insane basement show. Night Birds combine horror and hardcore in a way nobody else has.

Go-Go’s – Minnesota Zoo – 6/14

After hours of pouring rain and delays, the show finally started and the sun came up, not literally, but metaphorically. I ran to the front and stood within five feet of Belinda Carlisle and the band as they played songs I’ve loved for a looong time.

Bob Mould – Dakota Jazz Club – 6/15

I’ve seen Bob Mould play songs like “Wishing Well” many times. This show was different. Listening to him read from his autobiography and tell the stories that lead to the creation of these songs gave them a huge emotional punch, beyond that which he usually delivers.

Rihanna, Cee Lo Green – Target Center – 6/16

Capping off a great run of shows, I high-fived Rihanna.

Evergrey, Sabaton, Powerglove, Blackguard – Station 4 – 9/27

Sabaton is everything a good power metal band should be. The band played to a half-full Station 4 as if they were playing to a packed arena. They so fully blew my mind that I had to leave early, knowing that Evergrey could not possibly follow them. Sabaton’s return to Station 4 in the spring is my most anticipated show of next year, so far.

Skeletonwitch, Quincy Punx, In Defence – Triple Rock – 12/15

Skeletonwitch had a day off from their tour. So they called the Triple Rock and asked what was going on, drove hours out of their way and played this show, without raising the door beyond the announced $5. In Defence demonstrated exactly why they’re the best hardcore band around and the Quincy Punx sang songs about beer and zombies. Waaaaay more than $5 worth of fun was had.






Movie Recap: Christmas Weekend 2011

posted by Rolocop

THE ARTIST – I have a deep affection for older film, especially silent cinema.  I am an avid Laurel & Hardy fan, as well as other silent legends like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.  So, when I heard about this ode to “films of the 20’s” back in May, it quickly made it’s way to the top of my most anticipated films of the year.  I also enjoyed OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES, which also starred Jean Dujardin and directed by Michel Hazanavicius.  Well, let’s just say I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. Shot in glorious black & white, and formatted in the aspect ratio of 1:37 (which were how films were shot pre-1953).  It’s also a genuine silent film, with some very necessary sound effects and cleverly placed dialogue used in the perfect moments.

THE ARTIST begins in 1927, when silent film star George Valentin (Dujardin) is at the peak of his career.  He’s just finished another successful picture and is greeting his fans when he literally runs into a beautiful aspiring actress, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo).  There is a certain spark they share in that brief moment, but then they quickly go there separate ways.  Later on, he meets her on the set of his latest film, as she is an extra.  The producers see something in Peppy and slowly begin to give her bigger roles.  Meanwhile, talkies are becoming all the rage, but George wants nothing to do with them.  His stubborn attitude eventually kills his career, while Peppy becomes a superstar.  The rest of the film focuses on George’s attempt to make a comeback.

I went into this thinking that this was going to be more of a silent comedy, but it’s much, much more than that.  It’s an elegantly told melodrama, though there is some subtle humor throughout.  I don’t even think I can begin to describe just how perfect this movie is, but I’ll try. Every single technical decision made on this film is brilliant.  The cinematography expertly emulates the films from the silent age, the editing is flawlessly clever, Ludovic Bource’s score captures exactly how the music was in films from the era, and the performances are spot on.

The screenplay is wonderful.  It’s a completely involving story.  Sure, we’ve seen the tale of a has-been trying to get in the spotlight again, but the screenwriter also knows this.  The film plays on our expectations and exceeds them.  I was completely involved in George’s story, and was rooting for him the entire time.  I also thought the filmmakers handled the relationship between George and Peppy delicately.  There are many subtle visual gags that had me smiling.  Also, George has a pet dog who steals many scenes, and is used perfectly.  So many things from this movie I love:  The movie-within-the-movie’s (and there are a few) pay homage to film history, a nicely conceived nightmare sequence, a rousing dance number, a clever montage sequence showing the rise of one star and the fall of another, and many many more scenes.  Did I mention the gorgeous and wonderfully detailed art direction?

Jean Dujardin is nothing short of fantastic as George Valentin.  He obviously did his homework on silent films, and pulls off the difficult task of carrying a silent picture himself.  He’s a natural for this kind of pantomime, and could have easily made a living back in that era.  It’s a lively and heartbreaking performance.  Bernice Bejo is also charming as the up and coming star with a kind heart.  The supporting cast is used sparingly but effectively.  John Goodman surprisingly does well in the silent format as head of the movie studio, and Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, James Cromwell, Ed Lauter and a “blink and you’ll miss him” Malcolm McDowell are all a welcome sight.

There is something pure and magical about THE ARTIST, and I think it’s because it strips down all of the modern Hollywood technology and reminds us just how movies used to entertain us, move us, make us laugh, and transport us into another world.  This is NOT just a gimmick.  It’s a true silent film with a completely involving story that will keep you compelled until the final frame.  Not unlike HUGO, this is a love letter to film history and every film lover should see this.  I sure hope come Oscar time, that this will get what it deserves, cause it’s absolutely one of the best, if not THE BEST, movie of the year.  I can’t wait to see this multiple times with my friends and family.  DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE!!!!  THE ARTIST is a masterpiece! Opens on Friday, 12/23 at The Edina.   Rating:

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THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN – I knew nothing of Tintin until a few weeks ago.  I found out that it’s a famous graphic novel/comic over seas.  But for me, the real reason to see this was to see how Steven Spielberg would direct an animated adventure.  Actually it’s not animated like a Pixar movie, but in that motion capture style like Robert Zemeckis has been using ever since he decided to stop making real movies (sorry, had to do it).  Films like POLAR EXPRESS, MONSTER HOUSE, and BEOWULF.  Now, I enjoyed some of those but I haven’t been truly sold on this whole motion capture thing.

Tintin is a young journalist who craves adventure.  When he purchases a model ship from a street merchant, adventure is just what he gets, as he discovers it holds many secrets and villainous people who want there hands on it.  What follows is the kind of old-fashioned adventure only Spielberg can pull off as Tintin meets all sorts of characters (like 2 bumbling detectives and a drunken sea captain), and gets thrown into all sorts of action.

This film isn’t going to change the world, but I had a grand ole’ time with it.  The motion capture seems to get better with every film it’s used in.  Everything looks great!  In fact, at several points, I forgot that I was watching animation cause things looked so real.  The characters are colorful and tons of fun.  There are many inventive gags and action sequences that impressed me.  Like when a character is knocked to the ground and birds are flying around him like in a Looney Tunes cartoon, but then it’s cleverly revealed that he is right next to a pet shop and birds have escaped their cage.  TINTIN is full of moments like this.  The action gets pretty thrilling, especially during a chase sequence that is presented as an unbroken 5-minute take.  Spielberg is clearly having fun with this new medium.  And as always, John Williams score adds to the adventure, but this time a little more playful than usual.

As much as I enjoyed it, I can’t help but be bothered by one thing.  As neat as everything looks, I still don’t really see the point in motion capture.  It makes sense for visual effects, like in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and I enjoy a straight computer generated animated film like the Pixar films, or even stop-motion animation.  But an entire motion capture feature makes no sense to me.  If you’re going to make things look this real, then why not just shoot it in live action?  I probably would have been even more impressed if an unbroken take was in a live-action than in animation, because it’s more difficult to pull off.  I don’t know… maybe I’m just over thinking it.

Anyhoo, I did enjoy myself and those looking for a fun adventure story that is full of whimsy and imagination should check it out.  I probably will be seeing it again when I bring my daughter, and I’ll gladly sit through it.  Opened in Wide Release on Wed 12/21.  Rating:

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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – I just saw the original Swedish film 2 days before I saw this new American version.  I was surprised that I didn’t really care for it.  I loved the characters and every time it dealt with them personally I was involved, but every time it switched to the mystery, I just didn’t care.  Also, the direction wasn’t very good as it felt like it was made for TV (which it was overseas).  Since I’m a big David Fincher fan, I was definitely curious to see if he could get me involved in the mystery.

Since most people seem to know about this story (either from the book or the Swedish film), I’m not going to over explain the plot.  Daniel Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who is trying to solve a mystery.  Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander, an a emotionally disturbed punk (I hate the term goth, which most critics have been using) who is an expert hacker.  Together the two team up to solve this 40 year old murder mystery.

During the first hour, I was a bit worried.  Just like the first one, I was having a tough time getting into the mystery.  I also thought there was a lot of fat on it.  I felt many small scenes and moments could have either been trimmed or cut.  Sure, it’s being faithful to the book, but this is a film and you have to make it fit the medium.  I also thought the opening title sequence was completely out of place, making it feel like a NINE INCH NAILS music video…. oh wait, that’s right.  Trent Reznor did the soundtrack.  Whatever.  Still didn’t like that.

Now for the good news:  Just around the Lisbeth revenge moment (readers of the book will know what I’m talking about, and those who don’t know… get ready!) is when the film really takes off.  The pacing gets tighter, the story becomes compelling, and you really start to invest in the characters and what they’re doing.  Once Mikael and Lisbeth meet is when I noticed a difference between the two versions.  Their chemistry is different and it’s all for the best.  This time, Lisbeth actually cares for Mikael. Fincher handles the second half very well, and I slowly became compelled by the mystery too.  And by the film’s heart breaker of a ending (which is different and superior than the original), I was deeply invested in everyone and everything.

Daniel Craig started off a bit flat for me, but once he teams with Lisbeth, he began to shine.  Rooney Mara really brought out the best of him.  And speaking of Mara…… HOLY SHIT!  She’s astonishing!  Pretty much known as the girl who dumps Jessie Eisenberg at the beginning of THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Rooney completely immerses herself into the character of Lisbeth Salander.  She dyed her hair jet black, bleached her eyebrows, and got several body piercings, which shows just how dedicated she was to the project.  In fact, she’s much more attractive all punked out than in real life, but that’s just my taste.  Her performance is ferocious and shockingly convincing.  It’s a star making role that is sure to garner her much deserved attention.  I must also note how brave she is by appearing fully nude, and any actor that can play a victim in a rape scene is fearless in my book.  The supporting cast is solid.  Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, and especially Stellan Skarsgard give memorable performances.  Also, it was nice seeing RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2 villain Steven Berkoff in a substantial role.

David Fincher has made a good (not great) murder mystery.  His direction seems to be a bit toned down and safe this time, like he was more of a director-for-hire rather than making a personal project.  Every once in a while you can see the Fincher touch.  At least he didn’t over direct the movie, which he easily could have done.  I also thought that Trent Reznor’s score fit the film very well (more than it fit THE SOCIAL NETWORK).

Even though I was completely entranced by the end, I still can’t get over the sluggish pacing of the first hour.  I can’t help but think that this could have been a classic murder mystery, but in order to achieve that Fincher would have to go back and cut at least 15 minutes out of the first act.  However, the rest of the film is pretty darn good.  Audiences are sure to embrace it, as people were applauding after and during the movie.  I also think it’s going to break R-Rated Box Office records.  If you were a fan of the first film, don’t worry, this is better.  Not perfect, but it ended up being entertaining for me, mainly because Rooney Mara gives one of the most memorable performances of the year. Opened Wide Release on Wed 12/21.  Rating:

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Also opening in theaters this weekend:

WE BOUGHT A ZOO – Cameron Crowe’s latest is a pleasant family film about a single father (Matt Damon) who purchases a house that ends up being on the property of an old abandoned zoo.  It’s unapologetically heartwarming and the lead performances from Damon and Scarlett Johansson are very good.  However, the supporting cast seems to be from a different film (like a made-for-TV Disney film).  John Michael Higgins and Thomas Hayden Church are pretty dreadful, and Patrick Fugit appears to be stoned the whole time.  Most families will enjoy it, but I wish every performer was on the same page.  My 8 year old loved it, however.  Opens in Wide Release Friday 12/23.  Rating:

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – I’m sure I will be disagreeing with many people on this one, but I just couldn’t get into this movie.  The direction by Tomas Alfredson is precise, and every performance is great.  Gary Oldman in particular is solid, though it’s far from his best performance.  But the story is so overcomplicated that I just couldn’t get involved.  They introduce so many characters in the 2 hour run time, that I just didn’t know who to care for.  There wasn’t a hook for me to get involved in the story.  I appreciate the 70’s style of filmmaking as it fits the slow moving thriller genre (I enjoyed many of those films from the 70’s , like THE CONVERSATION and 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR), but the movie is just so cold and distant.  I admired the craft, but the movie should have been more involving.  In the film’s defense, I’ve heard from a few different critics that the film benefits from multiple viewings, so I would be willing to give it another chance.  But as of now, I thought it was just okay.  Opens on Friday 12/23 at The Edina.  Rating:

WAR HORSE – This Steven Spielberg film is one of my most anticipated films of the year.  Unfortunately, I had the flu when the press screening took place.  I will be seeing it during the Holidays and update this article with my review. Opens on 12/25 in Wide Release.

THE DARKEST HOUR – This Sci-Fi thriller was NOT screened for critics, which is never a good sign.  I probably won’t be paying to see this.  Sorry!  Opens on 12/25 in Wide Release.

 






The Theatre Bizarre at the Uptown Theatre

posted by MP Johnson

The fact that this anthology film features a new piece by Richard Stanley, director of Hardware and Dust Devil, is enough to sell a ticket to any real horror nerd. But really, don’t guts and gore appeal to everyone, including non-horror nerds? Okay, maybe not, but they should. This is playing as part of the Uptown Theatre’s Midnight Madness on February 3 and 4, a week before they screen Troma’s Father’s Day!






Powermad – “Souls Descending”

posted by MP Johnson

I’m way behind on this one. Up until last week I was more or less oblivious of legendary Twin Cities thrashers Powermad. Sure, I saw them in that David Lynch movie, but that’s about it.

In the process of checking out their classics, I discovered that they regrouped and released a new single earlier this year. It’s on par with anything coming out of the current thrash revival. Here’s hoping they play a show soon so I can get a complete picture of what I’ve been missing.






Grant Hart at the Entry

posted by MP Johnson

I missed Grant Hart‘s full-band Christmas show last year, but I caught his solo show this summer as part of his Grumpy’s residency and it was fantastic. Who knows what he’ll have in store for us this holiday season? One thing is certain about Grant Hart shows: they are not predictable. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I keep going.

Thursday, December 22
7th Street Entry
8 PM | $5 | 18+






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