Monthly Archives: October 2011

39 posts

The Walking Dead Recap: Save the Last One (Season 2, Episode 3)

The opening of last night’s episode of “The Walking Dead” fed us a familiar trope. Travis Bickle. Britney Spears, pre-umbrella-incident. Shane dragging an electric razor over his cranium while steam wafts around his muscular nakedness. Someone shaving his head with that kind of frightening intensity is not someone we want […]

Video Game Review: Batman Arkham City

With all these issues aired though, Batman Arkham City can still be summarily broken down to one simple fact: it’s more Batman Arkham Asylum, with improvements across the board, more characters, and a better plot. Considering that game is deservedly hailed as one of the greatest things to come out of England since The Beatles, that’s not only an endorsement for you to simply go and enjoy it for yourself, it’s also my guarantee to end up as “Best Game of the Year” barring some sort of “Second Coming of Samus.”

Book Review: Blue Nights by Joan Didion

We learn that Quintana Roo was adopted, a beautiful precocious girl with hair “bleached by the beach sun” and an unearthly adult sensibility. At the age of 5, she called the state psychiatric facility to “find out what she needed to do if she was going crazy;” soon after, she called Twentieth-Century Fox to “find out what she needed to do to be a star.”

Movie Review: The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary stars Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, a struggling novelist at the end of his rope, who sees journalism in Puerto Rico as a chance to lie low, regroup, and hopefully make a few dollars. The island seems like a broken-down but perfectly serviceable paradise, where he can indulge his penchant for excessive drinking and not be judged too harshly by his fellow man.

Book Review: Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream and Five Acres in Maine by Lou Ureneck

In September 2007, Lou Ureneck, a 56-year-old journalism professor at Boston University, was hospitalized for atrial fibrillation, the exclamation point following a decade-long tailspin that included divorce, his mother’s death, financial failure, deepening depression, and a withering sense of purpose or connection. The week-long stay at Massachusetts General underscored what he’d already begun to realize: he needed to change.

The Walking Dead Recap: “Bloodletting” (Season 2, Episode 2)

In its first season, “The Walking Dead” was like a gore-streaked helium balloon that began firmly tethered to its source material and started to float off into the ether about halfway through. Now, it appears, someone is yanking its string.

Book Review: Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark by Brian Kellow

So if she wasn’t pleasant, what was Pauline Kael? She was earthy; she was tough; she was not afraid of sex, drugs or Woody Allen. Cigarettes and bourbon were her loyal companions. The East Coast establishment and prissy editors her enemies. As Jerry Lewis said, she was a “dirty old broad.” But he also called her “the most qualified critic in the world. “ Both, I think, she would have perceived as compliments.

Video Game Review: Dark Souls

So why would anyone submit themselves to such a nightmarish test of their sanity, and drain time into such a bleak and foreboding world? Especially since the “story” is pretty much a series of footnotes to make the world come to life, the plot is a joke and the ending recalls Ghouls and Ghosts levels of “totally not worth it”? Because while it may be one of the most nightmarishly crafted experiences in gaming that you will encounter, it’s also one of the most amazingly executed. The world is truly breathtaking, and the combat is beyond superb with surprising depth while maintaining functional simplicity.

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Paranormal Activity 3 was inevitable. This is the horror franchise that people love to hate, but still keep paying to see. Rather than introduce another parallel timeline to the first two chapters, this movie serves as a full-blown prequel. We will now witness the harrowing events of 1988, when protagonists Kristi and Katie were little girls together. As it turns out, they have already been through the familiar regimen of being taped while they sleep.

Theater Review: Relatively Speaking

In Woody Allen’s Honeymoon Motel, young bride Nina Roth (Ari Graynor) enters a gaudy roadside inn with not-so-young novelist Jerry Spector (Steve Guttenberg). They’re excited to get away from all the wedding hoopla and take pleasure in simple joys like pizza and tacky furniture. Obviously, this is no typical pair of newlyweds. In fact, as it is soon revealed, they aren’t a couple at all. Nina was betrothed to Jerry’s stepson, but has run off with Jerry in an impulsive moment.