Sunday, April 20, 2014

Category Archives: Arts+Entertainment

transcendence
Silver Screen Riot: “Transcendence” Does Not Transcend
Every once in a blue moon an unsung talent breaks out of their wheelhouse to extraordinary results.  Quentin Tarantino famously emerged from a video store, learning his craft at the film school of VHS rentals. Ron Howard was a can-kicking child actor before stepping in to direct acclaimed films like Apollo 13, Rush and Academy Award winner A Beautiful Mind. Even Japanese auteur and samurai-lordship himself Akira Kurosawa trained as a painter before ever stepping behind a camera. The lesson is: great directors can come from pretty much anywhere. Wally Pfister, longtime cinematographer for Christopher Nolan (another cinebuff who did not receive formal film school education) and head hancho of Transcendence, has spent the better part of two decades behind a camera. But this is the first time he’s sat in the black foldout chair etched with the word “director.” In this 100 million dollar dry run of his, he’s all but sullied the name. (more…)
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pyoh
Silver Screen Riot: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is Perfunctory Marvel
Growing up in the 1940s gives Steve Rogers an excuse to not understand the mechanics of speed dial. But when neo-Nazi’s threaten the freedom of the entire world, you have to wonder why he’s not more focused on contacting his nuclear suit-wearing chum, Tony Stark, or the bad Shakespeare in the park actor/Norse God, Thor. Unless he’s gone on some spirit journey to be explained away in extra Blu-Ray bonus material, Tony’s probably just shambling around Stark Towers in his drawers. His billionaire skyline must be literally cast in shadow by the helicarriers of doom that Captain America’s trying to take down with the only weapons at his disposal: record-breaking sprinting skills and a shield.  The fate of the entire world is at stake and here’s good hearted Steve clearly taking a hell of an ass-whopping and he still doesn’t see fit to call up his Avengers pals? Or at least try? I’m sorry but you lost me there. (more…)
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Young the Giant
Music Madness: Young The Giant
It’s About Time To Experience Young The Giant at the Showbox Who: When the Jakes got together at their Orange County high school destined to emerge as one of 2009′s best new indie artists, their strengths grew to be as diverse as their backgrounds (Indian, Persian French-Canadian, and British). The Jake’s initial name is an acronym for each members’ first name, and thankfully after a successful summer performance at South by Southwest, and some face time on MTV, they announced they were done with abbreviations and resurfaced as Young the Giant – and young and giant they were. They began writing music together in their teens filled with excitement and ambition, and in their early 20′s as they began (more…)
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NOAH
Silver Screen Riot: Aronofsky’s “Noah” Is a Boatload of Goodness
Glenn Beck has spoken. “Noah is just ridiculous,” Beck preached, going so far as to call the message contained within Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical blockbuster “danger disinformation.” Wise words from a man defending a story involving “the Creator” committing genocide against humankind, save for a 600-year old hero and his family (Genesis 7:6). For the creationist talk show host, ridiculousness exists only outside the confines of the Bible. But Beck is onto something. (more…)
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MUPPETS MOST WANTED
Silver Screen Riot: “The Muppets: Most Wanted” Admits Sequels Aren’t as Good
From the first musical number, The Muppets: Most Wanted admits what it’s up to. “We’re doing a sequel,” the beloved Jim Henson puppets croak and caw, “that’s what we do in Hollywood. Though everyone knows that a sequel’s never quite as good.” And even though Kermit might be spot on with his sentiment, starting things off with this kind of disclaimer doesn’t offer a ton of hope to an expecting audience. Following that mantra of mediocrity, director and writer James Bobin offers up a Muppets that’s fully tolerable but never exceptional. (more…)
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NEED FOR SPEED
Silver Screen Riot: “Need For Speed” Deals in Muscle Car Boners
Need For Speed is the kind of movie that the descriptor “high octane” was conceived for. It’s dumb but technically competent enough to pander to the NASCAR hillbilly types and Formula One engine snobs at once. But with neck-breaking car stunts and tightrope tension, it’ll keep your posterior numb and your adrenaline glands humming. (more…)
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Iska Dhaaf
Music Madness: Iska Dhaaf
Even the Sun Will Burn at Neumos Who: Inspired by Sufi poetry, expanding the idea of limitations, and an obsession with the preoccupation of writing, Iska Dhaaf duo Benjamin Verdoes and Nathan Quiroga have been tirelessly creating inspiring tracks for the release of their debut album Even the Sun Will Burn, and have emerged as the IT band to discover in Seattle in 2014. Iska Dhaaf (loosely translated from the Somali words for Let it Go, which Verdoes speaks fluently) is a merging of two distinct characters, with Quiroga on (more…)
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