Friday Movie Preview – 10/14/11

Every Friday, we’ll do a quick roundup of the movies coming out that weekend, reminding you of the blockbuster releases and maybe exposing some of the lesser known releases!

  • The Thing – So I’m still not sure if this is a remake or a prequel to the 1982 horror classic. I’ve seen it referred to as both, but I’m pretty sure that’s not possible. Here’s hoping it falls on the prequel side, because do we really need another half-assed remake of a beloved movie? Also, what is Mary Elizabeth Winstead doing in this movie? Seems like a weird fit. Regardless, considering the rest of this Friday’s slate, this looks like the clear winner.


  • Footloose – Speaking of half-assed remakes…. Here’s my movie confession of the week: I’ve never seen the original Footloose. And yet somehow the idea of this film still gets me angry. Can teenagers today just not be bothered to watch the original, so they need it changed into the same shitty street-dancing cliche that’s been done ad-nauseum for the past 10 years? Plus, the premise of Footloose is about 100x more implausible in the present day. The ACLU would be all over that shit in a second. And Dennis Quaid is in it. When was the last time Dennis Quaid was in anything good?


  • The Big Year – I guess this is about Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin going bird-watching? Looks like a pretty generic middle-age guys movie.


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New Releases for 10/11/2011

Hey we’re back! Sorry about the short hiatus, here’s your new releases for the week of October 11th.

Video Games

Movies/TV
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New Releases for 9/27/2011

You didn’t think I forgot, did you? Here’s this week’s major releases. Now with Amazon, Steam, etc. links!
Video Games

Movies

Music

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New Fall TV Review: Prime Suspect

There are a LOT of new shows premeiring this fall, and it’s hard to decide what to give a chance to, and what should be avoided at all costs. Throughout this fall, we’ll be giving short reviews of most of the new pilots, and letting you know what deserves your precious time.
It’s hard to create a compelling police drama. And as the last year or so has taught us, networks don’t have much tolerance for a cop show that’s not performing. I was a huge fan of both Detroit 1-8-7 and The Chicago Code, both of which were unceremoniously cancelled after their first seasons. If you’re not Law & Order, you’d better be damn good to survive in this TV landscape. There are definitely shades of The Chicago Code showing in Prime Suspect, which is a good thing. Maria Bello stars as Det. Jane Timoney, a role originated in the UK version of the show by Helen Mirren. Luckily, if anyone can fill those huge shoes, it’s Bello, whose underrated performance in A History of Violence in 2005 proved her dramatic chops. The show follows homicide detective Timoney after being transferred to a new squad, and deals with her facing coworkers who don’t entirely agree with her being a part of the group.All of this sounds like pretty generic police procedural stuff, but Bello carries the show, along with some extremely sharp writing. Some of the other officers in the squad come off as a bit bland, but I trust that characters will be fleshed out in the coming season. Overall, Prime Suspect is just what I needed to heal my cop show cancellation blues.
4 melting DVRs out of 5
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Abum Review: Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011)

I went into Golden Age of Apocalypse pretty much not knowing at all what to expect. I’m not gonna lie, I was not expecting a jazz fusion album. I can’t exactly say that I’m some sort of afficianado of the genre; hell, before listening to this album, I don’t think I’ve heard a single jazz fusion song in my whole life. That being said, I was surprised how much I found myself liking this album when all was said and done. Thundercat does a good job of making you feel like you should dress in a Bill Cosby sweater while simultaneously break dancing; the songs here are an awesome mix of traditional jazz elements and glitchy electronic beats. Hmm, mixing two genres of music together, could that be why they call it jazz fusion?! Wow! It’s all starting to make sense now! Stephen Bruner, the man behind Thundercat, is a seriously awesome bassist, and pretty much every track on this features some mind-boggingly crazy bass work. Some of the tracks have vocals, and they kind of sound like a lighter, higher-pitched Joe Jackson, which is of course awesome. The only knock I have against this album is that there isn’t a whole lot of variety among the tracks. This really isn’t a huge issue given how short the album is (37 minutes), and the songs here sound so good that having more of the same is certainly welcome. If you’re willing to broaden your musical horizons and give some jazz fusion a try, you definitely won’t be disappointed with what you find here.

4.5/5

Watch vintage motorcycles in slow motion set to a totally rad bass solo. Because that’s what jazz fusion’s all about!

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Album Review: CIVIL CIVIC – Rules (2011)

Rules is the debut album of CIVIL CIVIC, an instrumental electronic duo that has created some seriously catchy and atmospheric tunes for their first LP. They do this with only a synthesizer, bass guitar, drum machine, and the occasional guitar lick; some people may not like the lack of vocals here, but I think it allows the songs to grow and become more intricate without having to worry about adhering to the verse-chorus-verse structure in order to make room for the vocals. Speaking of song structures, I love the directions that the songs on this album take. Most songs will start off with a catchy bass groove and continue to add on layers and layers of sound, making many of the songs an incredibly deep and satisfying listen. Instead of repeating the same beat or melody over and over, the songs on Rules constantly build and change as they go on, keeping the sounds fresh and keeping the album from dragging on. The main complaint I have with this album is that some of the tracks here stray away from hard-hitting beats and grooves, instead creating a more laid back and subdued atmosphere. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think the duo is at their best when they’re more in-your-face. Some of the tracks have a weird, spooky sound to them, and “Grey Nurse” in particular sounds like it belongs on a haunted house themed course in a Nintendo 64 kart racer (which is the raddest thing EVER). CIVIL CIVIC may not be the most well-known band around, but I really hope Rules will put them on the map. I’m seriously digging this album and would love to hear more from these guys in the future.

4.5/5

Watch the totally umm…awesome(!) music video for “Run Overdrive” here.

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New Fall TV Review: Whitney

There are a LOT of new shows premeiring this fall, and it’s hard to decide what to give a chance to, and what should be avoided at all costs. Throughout this fall, we’ll be giving short reviews of most of the new pilots, and letting you know what deserves your precious time.
The most damning thing I can say about Whitney is that I literally can’t tell you what happened in the pilot. Iam writing this a mere 4 hours after the premiere, and I can’t tell you the name of a single character (beyond Whitney, obviously.) I know that the plot had something to do with Whitney dressing as a sexy nurse and injuring her husband, but I have absolutely zero context for what this had to do with anything. The most important thing a comedy pilot has to do is introduce its characters and make you like them, and that is precisely what Whitney fails to do. Not to mention that the presence of a laugh track (something I’m not as vehemently against as others) makes the show stick out like a sore thumb in NBC’s more non-traditional Thursday night lineup. All this isn’t to say that Whitney won’t be a good sitcom in the future. Maybe the second episode will be entirely okay, and the show will be a decent hit. But as it stands, this might be the most forgettable pilot of this fall season.

1 melting DVR out of 5

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