Monthly Archives: June 2011

31 posts

Theater Review: Spider-man: Turn off the Dark


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Despite the fact that the producers of this spectacle have been changing their minds for months now, throwing out directors and story lines, reworking songs and dance numbers and dialogue, the heart of this superhero musical flutters weakly, pumping worn out clichés—and millions of dollars—through its veins. As the Green Goblin croons cannily at the beginning of Act Two, in a rare moment of clarity, this is a “65 million dollar circus tragedy.”

Video Game Review: Duke Nukem Forever


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

No, wait I was right the first time: Shame on you, Duke Nukem development teams! You fooled us again! Where’s the real game? The one actually worth fifteen years of our time and yours? Alright, I won’t be too harsh on this point (others already have already beaten me to it), but Duke Nukem Forever simply isn’t worth the time it’s taken to make. I’m not sure what could be worth such a prolapsed cycle, but it sure isn’t this.

Movie Review: Green Lantern


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

This sequence is the best in the entire film. There’s something very 1950s sci-fi serial about it with the combination of set design, colors, and Martin Campbell’s direction. Disappointingly, it’s the only time this inherent quality of the film is used to its full extent. The ring (which is powered by willpower and can bring anything its wearer can imagine into existence) chooses Hal.

James Blake in Chicago: Sold-Out and Silent


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

  I was late to the must-attend show in Chicago of 2011…and I’m better for it. James Blake went on stage around 10:00, I arrived close to 10:10, and before opening the heavy doors to the concert hall floor, I heard no indication that there was anyone inside. If I […]

Clark Johnson as Gus Haynes

The Weekly Listicle: An Obit For Print Journalism


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

CALIFORNIA LITERARY REVIEW, Internet- Print journalism is dying. Well, it’s been dying for years if we’re going to be completely honest. Television news and 24-hour cable stations both contributed their portion of the 23 wounds, but it’s the Internet that might finally put an end to this branch of the […]

The Guggenheim Effect on Gaming


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

During the grand Marvel comics crossover event of 2006 – Civil War – Wolverine, the clawed Canuckle-head, chased after the super villain who triggered the whole shebang, Nitro. Nitro is a guy whose power is to blow up, not in the “I ated too many pizzas” sense, but rather in […]

Book Review: Mightier Than The Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America by David S. Reynolds


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

The escalating one-upmanship led to some truly bizarre innovations, such as casting famous boxers in the lead roles. Reynolds described how Peter Jackson, a famous black boxer, figured into the entertainments: “Uncle Tom, between acts or just before dying, would momentarily trade his slave costume for boxing trunks and spar for three rounds with another actor before resuming his tragic role.”

Movie Review: The Troll Hunter


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

The idea of hunting mythical trolls with the technological advantages of modern storm chasing and large game management is a clever one. The development and execution of the story, however, fall flat in one sequence after another. Thomas, Kalle, and Johanna are students roving the breathtaking Norwegian countryside in search of a bold, incisive scoop for their documentary on bear poaching. Instead, they meet up with a gruff, mysterious character named Hans, who is after something else entirely.

You Can Never Leave: L.A. Burnout Mixes


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

What do you do when you get tired of the place you live in? When you can’t stand the idea of heading down road that gets you to your house one more time? When you’d rather just take a right for once. Do you move? Do you give up? Let’s say you’re in Demascus, Maryland. Then I’d say yes. I’d say yes, get out of there. Find another Safeway to forage in. Find another lawn to mow. But you can’t leave Los Angeles. You’ve learned that from the Eagles.

Collab: Four Decades of Giving Modern and Contemporary Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Put them together as an integrated unit and you have a masterpiece. And in doing so, you have a vivid testimonial to Nelson’s famous 1965 evocation of “junk” as the “crowning glory” of modern consumer culture, “the symbol as clear a statement as the pyramids, the Parthenon, the cathedrals … the rusty, lovely, brilliant symbol of the dying years of your time. Junk is your ultimate landscape.”

Day Late, Dollar Short, Solid Gold: “Dear Twilight…”


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Somewhere in the Twilight cutting room, did the thought never stir that they could drag untold ranks of non-Twilight initiates into the theaters merely by cutting fan reactions into the regular trailers? I was working as a movie usher when New Moon came out, and I had grown people stepping out of ticket lines with money outstretched, offering outrageous sums of cash to buy my promotional New Moon t-shirt off my back. And believe me, it was not an excuse to peek at my trout belly. This is for real, people! Star Wars and Harry Potter premieres have nothing on this.

Art Review: Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

The pieces presented in this forty-year retrospective are bright and smooth, often dauntingly large, and composed of multiple parts that cluster together like organisms in an ecosystem or diverse components within a cell. They are frequently plantlike, vital and faintly menacing, and sport attachments that suggest insect pincers or lobster claws. They’re organic and goofy, as if they’d grown themselves, rather than being made. Yet at the same time there is something stubbornly artificial in their fantastic symmetries.

AMC’s Unfortunate Killing


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9av38iK_Y0[/youtube] As The Killing starts its final three episodes next week without a renewal (or cancellation) notice, one cannot help but be disappointed at AMC’s first misstep in its original production line-up. Well second misstep if you count the unjust cancellation of the brilliant Rubicon. After four years, it’s still […]

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class


Notice: Undefined variable: option8 in /home/admin6/domains/calitreview.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/Ultimate-Premium-Plugin/usm_premium_icons.php on line 613

In the world of the mainstream superhero movie, X-Men: First Class shares a place alongside the first Iron Man. Quirky, enjoyable to comic fans and non-comic fans alike, and most importantly confident in itself, X-Men: First Class succeeds in understanding that the key to these films is making us want to spend time with the characters rather than wait for the next action set piece.