Monthly Archives: May 2011

31 posts

Book Review: Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee


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The title refers to the new female embodiment aspired to by the main character Anjali Bose – the modern woman working as one of India’s burgeoning number of call-center agents “bearing hope and energy that is infectious.” This modern woman has abandoned the sari for American blue jeans, hangs out at Starbucks, shops at upscale stores, and commutes around town by motorcycle.

Movie Review: Bridesmaids


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The rivalry between Annie and Helen escalates into several delightfully over the top disasters, including a highly disruptive airplane trip and a wedding shower you just won’t believe. In addition to hilarious delivery and timing, Kristen Wiig has the guts to throw herself fully into physical comedy, like Martha Raye or Lucille Ball used to in the good old days. Not every actress would be willing to wrestle a gigantic wedding cookie, but it is just about the funniest thing I ever saw.

Movie Review: Everything Must Go


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This is an interesting movie to come out at the tail end of Will Ferrell’s spin on The Office, where he played regional manager/salesman D’Angelo Vickers in typical comedic Will Ferrell fashion. Yet, while Everything Must Go leaves plenty of room for Will Ferrell, Comedy Star to emerge, he never does. He plays his role subtly and quietly, even during his more emotional moments. Nick is an average man. He’s not witty, smart, or charming. He’s bloated, miserable, and lost.

Lies, LIES! Never Trust Nothing, Especially A “Last” Sequel


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After going to the trouble of naming the fourth installment of the series THE Final Destination, the good folks at New Line Cinema and Zide/Perry Productions have decided that they cannot part with their fatalistic techno-geist kill parade after all. Then again, if they can still quadruple a $40 million […]

Art Review: Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore


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While Robinson’s depiction of a pensive young woman in a sylvan setting hardly seems revolutionary today, his painting marked a significant moment of transition in the American art scene. During the 1890’s, wealthy Americans like Henry Frick were buying Rembrandts by the cart-load.

Badlands Revisited


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Badlands was filmed on location in southern Colorado, and recently I finally made it to Pueblo, Colorado’s Rosemount House Museum, aka the interior of the “rich man’s house.” Fans of Malick’s offbeat, lyrical American aesthetic should find plenty to like there.

Welcome to When You See Sparks, CLR’s New Music Blog


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We are pleased to announce the start of CLR’s new music blog. Ben Caro, a Los Angeles based writer, and Charlie Coffeen, a professional musician from Chicago, will be keeping you informed about all areas of the music world — concerts, albums, up-and-coming artists, as well as Charlie’s insights into […]

Dance Review: New York City Ballet Opens Its Spring Season


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As anyone who has seen the New York City Ballet can attest, George Balanchine hardly stuck to one dance style. Yet the ballets for which he is most well-known are his “black and white” ballets, works in which he stripped ballet to its essence — movement, and music, and the ways in which the two illuminate each other. Gone were elaborate costumes and sets, replaced with practice clothes (leotards and tights, sometimes accompanied by short dance skirts or belts) and an empty stage. NYCB has devoted the first week of its spring season to a dozen such ballets.

Denver’s Camera Obscura Gallery Closes


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In dramatic contrast to the wide-open, sleekly minimalist aesthetic of most modern art galleries, Camera Obscura’s displays rambled through a series of rooms whose uniform coat of white paint barely obscured their past as a Victorian home. It was in this casual, intimate, even cluttered environment that I encountered many of the luminaries of modern photography, such as Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Imogen Cunningham…

Movie Review: Thor


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Once upon a time in the New Mexico desert, there lived a brilliant young astrophysicist with fabulous hair, whose obsessive devotion to the study of aberrant gravitational fields masked a lonely, vulnerable side which made her all the more adorable. Lucky for her, the perfect specimen of Nordic manhood was just about to tumble from the heavens. Could it be…. Thor, God Of Thunder?

Video Game Review: Portal 2


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Yes, Portal 2 is great, there are no two bones about it. If all you want from this is validation, then boom! There you go. The less you know about it, the better the game will be, so go play it at a friend’s house, or nab your own copy and enjoy! Seriously, take it on faith alone. Portal 2 is an excellent game worthy of your time. Go play it. Now.

San Francisco Ballet: The Little Mermaid


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Although described as being more closely aligned with the Andersen tale, this is an exposition more focused on the pain and suffering aspect of the story than in the redemptive resolution of the original. Andersen’s Mermaid is not primarily interested in the Prince, but recognizes that his love can help her gain an immortal soul, something the merpeople do not possess. For this to happen, however, the Prince must fall in love with and marry her. If he doesn’t, her deal with the Sea Witch is that she will die, turning into sea foam.

Review: Boston Ballet’s Bella Figura


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When the curtain rises on The Second Detail, the stage looks leeched of color: the leotards worn by the dancers are an icy, bleached blue, the walls are muted gray.  Along the back edge of the stage is a row of simple black stools, where throughout the piece dancers perch to rest.

It feels both stylish and vaguely unformed — an aesthetic that runs through the piece, from the attitude of the dancers to the block-lettered “THE” placed challengingly on the lip of the stage.

Sex, Choice and Video Games . . . on a Quantum level.


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I, along with most of the free world, have been playing Portal 2. Perhaps thinking 5th dimensionally has put everyone in the mood for science, as there’s an interesting issue that the Metro City board of certified physics professors has brought to my attention. Normally they stay in their labs […]

What Is Best In Life? Not Conan 3D, Barring A Miracle


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Borne on the crest of the wind, I hear already the lamentation of women. Women whose dates have dragged them, possibly by the hair, to the late summer picture show. By now many of you know that Lionsgate will soon release a new film entitled Conan The Barbarian. Most of you will recall a cult classic by the same name from 1982, which was the breakout role of a certain Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger.