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California Literary ReviewMay 2012 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for May, 2012

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Roaring Twenties, #74

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

May 31st, 2012

Warner Brothers owned the franchise for gangster films in the 1930s. The studio capped the decade with this Cagney-Bogey crime drama that some consider a classic. James Cagney is great as Eddie Bartlett and Humphrey Bogart is convincing as treacherous bad guy George Hally.

Trailer Watch: Les Misérables

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Dan
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Fields

May 30th, 2012

This is, in showbiz terms, the textbook definition of “a big deal.” After all this anticipation, it will almost certainly become the definitive film version of the show, for good or ill. And so it must be done right the first time. We are a long way from Spider-Man now.

Video Game Review: Max Payne 3

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

May 30th, 2012

The Max Payne series has always been about contradiction. On the one hand, each game is archetypical Noir: a cynical anti-hero set against the gritty, grimy underworld who wryly waxes poetic via internal monologue. On the other, the actual gameplay is derived from Hong Kong action cinema: bloody gunfights accentuated with lots diving through the air while firing guns akimbo in Matrix “bullet time,” a technique as flashy as it is impractical.

Mad Men Recap: “The Other Woman” (Season 5, Episode 11)

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Julia
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Rhodes

May 29th, 2012

I’ve known a lot of men and women who quite simply can’t watch Mad Men. Watching the powerful men on the show mistreat their spouses, lovers, and secretaries week after week proves too much for some people. I’ve always taken a wicked pleasure in watching the women of the show pave the path on which […]

Album review: Silversun Pickups’ Neck of the Woods

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Hazel
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Robinson

May 29th, 2012

The Smashing Pumpkins themselves were not the sort of people who listened to Melon Collie on repeat while reading Philip K Dick novels, not taking any drugs and staring at their own socked feet on the end of their bed. Silversun Pickups are.

The Killing Recap: 72 Hours (Season 2, Episode 10)

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

May 28th, 2012

A recap/review of The Killing: 72 Hours (Season 2, Episode 10)

Video Game Review: Minecraft XBLA Edition

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Laura
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Buttrick

May 27th, 2012

The inclusion of drop-in drop-out multiplayer allows for friends to build settlements together, wage war on each other and have fun without the hassle of purchasing and maintaining servers, a costly and sometimes difficult process required of the PC version. Playing alone is all well and good, but humans are social animals even when isolated in a block-eat-block world. Whether collaborative or competitive, multiplayer expands the Minecraft universe exponentially.

Movie Review: Chernobyl Diaries

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Dan
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Fields

May 26th, 2012

What it is, though, is a robust specimen of a very particular kind of movie. It is a midnight movie. It is a drive-in flick. It is a B-movie in the most favorable sense. It was made to be seen in as crowded and rowdy and theater as possible. It aspires to nothing more clever or edifying than exactly that.

Movie Review: Men in Black III

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Matthew
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Newlin

May 26th, 2012

Smith, in his first role in four years, appears refreshed and re-energized as an actor. His performance in Men in Black 3 relies more heavily on comedic timing and verbal sparring than on silly faces and faux macho bravado. The real success of the film comes from the wonderfully talented supporting cast. Nothing will prepare you for Brolin’s dead on performance as a younger Tommy Lee Jones. Somehow, Brolin has mastered Jones’ vocal cadence and the rhythm with which he delivers his dialogue and one-liners.

Album Review: The Shallows from I Like Trains

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Michelle
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Lopes

May 26th, 2012

If ever there was a soundtrack for a party held on the oil-drenched shore of a Malibu beach house in Blade Runner, this is it.

Book Review: Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins

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Holly
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Hunt

May 24th, 2012

Her measured and elegant style does indeed evoke Austen, and the grace of the writing makes the book all the more chilling. With pitiless clarity, Jenkins limns the process of self-deception by which four people, for the most ordinary of motives, bring themselves to commit murder by deliberate neglect.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Godfather: Part III, #75

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

May 24th, 2012

The problem with Godfather III is that . . . it’s not Godfather I or Godfather II. It’s a good, not great, gangster movie and certainly deserves to be included in our Top 100. But it will always be compared with the two movies that preceded it. And in that comparison, it will always come up short.

Interview: Yvette Nicole Brown Discusses Community and Her Positive Outlook

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Matthew
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Newlin

May 22nd, 2012

For Brown, the fans are one of the most satisfying aspects of being on the show. “They’re like ‘A video game? Sure! Zombie apocalypse? Yes!’” she says, referring to two specific episodes, “Digital Estate Planning” (Season 3, Episode 20) and “Epidemiology” (Season 1, Episode 6). Is Brown surprised that fans are so rabidly loyal to a series that prefers spaghetti Western homages to typical sitcom storytelling? “I’m not really surprised anymore. I’m eternally grateful, but not surprised.”

House Recap: ‘Everybody Dies’ (Season 8, Episode 22 – Series Finale)

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Holly
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Hunt

May 22nd, 2012

And now to the issues fans will no doubt be debating for ages to come: Did House plan this? We never do see what happens with the patient between the time that House finds the twig in his neck vein, and when he’s lying dead on the floor of the shooting gallery, having presumably OD’d.

Mad Men Recap: “The Christmas Waltz” (Season 5, Episode 10)

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Julia
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Rhodes

May 21st, 2012

The Christmas episode of Mad Men always feels strange, as the show airs in spring and summer. Watching the characters wander around chilly, under-saturated New York City streets in heavy wool coats while we on the east coast are breaking out summer linens and shorts is always bizarre. Last night’s episode was exhilarating and melancholy […]

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