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Article Archive for May 2011

Book Review: Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

May 31, 2011 – 2:44 pm | One Comment
Book Review: <em>Bird Cloud</em> by Annie Proulx

Place, in literature, is often the most complex of characters, boasting variable backdrops with tones and textures of every mood imaginable—windswept cliffs, checkered floors, twisted roads and rivers, cobwebbed attics, portentous slants of light and so on down the centuries.

Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

May 28, 2011 – 12:10 pm |
Movie Review: <em>The Hangover Part II</em>

One common complaint I’ve read is that The Hangover Part II is beat-by-beat the same movie as the first one. There’s a reason for this. The Hangover Part II is beat-by-beat the same movie as the first one, right down to the mid-movie Ed Helms song lamenting their situation.

Book Review: Doc by Mary Doria Russell

May 28, 2011 – 11:33 am | One Comment
Book Review: <em>Doc</em> by Mary Doria Russell

It is the daily struggle of life that blights the lives of Russell’s protagonists. Ill-health and empty wallets are a greater danger than a Cheyenne raid. For Doc Holliday, the enemy is tuberculosis, a cruel, cunning disease that truly consumes him, body and — steadily, stealthily — soul. During a brief period of remission, Doc rides out to the surrounding prairie and experiences an epiphany of what life, during a good spell, can offer.

I Am NOT An Animal! (But I Play One In The Movies)

May 27, 2011 – 4:42 pm | 2 Comments
I Am NOT An Animal! (But I Play One In The Movies)

Putting animal antics into movies is a perennially popular way to cobble up a goofball family comedy on short notice. This is a distinctly separate practice than merely animating creatures from scratch, which has produced its own wonderful results in the past. Nowadays, however, the line between the two is blurring at an alarming rate, so much so that it scarcely seems worth the trouble of getting real animals to be in live-action movies at all. The increasing intrusion of computer generated animal behavior is really beginning to mar the magic.

The Weekly Listicle: Assuming Direct Control!

May 26, 2011 – 7:52 pm |
Ken Castle

MUHUAHAHAHA I have assumed control over your regularly scheduled Listicle!
There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to reload the page. I am controlling the upload. I control the image files. I control …

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

May 21, 2011 – 12:34 pm |
Movie Review: <em>Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides</em>

Here we are, leading into blockbuster season 2011, and the best thing one can say about the fourth Pirates flick is, well, Academy darlings need paychecks too. The last movie, At World’s End, was four years ago. That film left us with a sentimental ending that ought to have finished the series.

The 2011-2012 Fall Schedule: The CW

May 20, 2011 – 7:19 pm |

And so we come to the end of our week long journey through the fall schedule with the CW. The network only has four new series, none of which are comedies but one of which …

The Weekly Listicle: A Johnny Depp-sticle!

May 19, 2011 – 7:46 pm | 2 Comments
The Weekly Listicle: A Johnny Depp-sticle!

Yep, this is still happening. Still.
When I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Curse of the Black Pearl, and I was so charmed I dragged my friends to go see it at the …

Target Margin Theater’s The Tempest

May 19, 2011 – 12:07 pm |
Target Margin Theater’s <em>The Tempest </em>

The production focuses its energies on exposing its illusion-making apparatuses to such an extent that the creaks and cranks of its pulleys and the nonchalant all-female run crew become the focal point of the play. When Prospero declares “I abjure this rough magic” in the final act, Shakespeare’s poetry is imbued with an unexpected shade of meaning because theater itself is shown as a failed contrivance bereft of illusory magic.

The 2011-2012 Fall Schedule: CBS

May 18, 2011 – 4:25 pm |

The nation’s most watched network boasting television’s number one comedy and drama, CBS has fewer new shows than the other networks. No promos are up of the new series and even the press release is …

The 2011-2012 Fall Schedule: ABC

May 18, 2011 – 4:05 pm | 2 Comments

It occurred to me while writing this that the only show I watched last season on ABC was V., which was canceled despite a far-too-late season/series finale that considerably upped the show’s potential. However, that …

The 2011-2012 Fall Schedule: FOX

May 17, 2011 – 2:59 pm | 4 Comments

FOX tends to be more innovative than its three network counterparts, except for this year when the vast majority of new series seem to be relatively conventional. One even has a laugh track. For the …

The 2011-2012 Fall Schedule: NBC

May 17, 2011 – 2:29 pm |

The weakest of the major networks, NBC is the first of the four to release their 2011-2012 schedule. Instead of waiting for Monday, the Comcast-owned Peacock Network sent out the information this Sunday leading bloggers …

Insecurity Deposits: Catching Up With Hammer’s The Resident

May 16, 2011 – 2:42 pm |
Insecurity Deposits: Catching Up With Hammer’s <em>The Resident</em>

The Resident is nicely paced, moodily presented, eerily scored and based upon a very creepy idea. As a rather by-the-book thriller, it satisfies on many levels. If the characters are nothing new, at least the structure has some less familiar kinks. By revealing Max’s true nature early on (to the audience, and not to Juliet), the movie switches abruptly from a creepy mystery to a dread-heavy thriller. Instead of discovering the danger along with Juliet, viewers are given a little head start, so that they are already yelling, “Get out of there!” just as Juliet is starting to feel at home.

Art Review: Cities of Splendor: A Journey Through Renaissance Italy, Denver Art Museum

May 16, 2011 – 1:03 pm |
Art Review: <em>Cities of Splendor: A Journey Through Renaissance Italy</em>, Denver Art Museum

The shepherds look up in bewilderment at the announcing angel whose golden halo, rose-pink robes, and orangey-bronze wings seem to glow. Surely, this is what a supernatural visitation should look like. And yet the effect of nocturnal shadow shows the painter to be as interested in earthly experiences as heavenly ones – here already is the keenly observational eye of the Renaissance.

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