Monthly Archives: August 2012

47 posts

Movie still: Layer Cake

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Layer Cake, #62


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The movie’s title refers to the various strata of the chaotically violent, multibillion dollar world of cocaine trafficking. Craig may think he’s made it to the top layer of that world, but he is about to learn that he is a lot closer to the bottom. Caught in the switches of a series of double-crosses and never quite sure whom he can trust, Craig eventually becomes the gangster that he claims not to be.

The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 by Scott Zesch

Book Review: The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 by Scott Zesch


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As the 1860’s ended, the steadily growing numbers of Chinese immigrants led to fears that eventually their numbers would outstrip those of California’s white population. And the Chinese themselves became more “Americanized” in their response to insults, assaults and robbery attempts. As attacks by Anglos and Latinos escalated and as factional fighting grew in their own ranks, Chinese in California increasingly armed themselves with Colt 45s. Increasingly, they began to shoot back.

Pulp Shakespeare

NYC Fringe Report: Murder and Mayhem, California Style


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East Coasters rarely think of Los Angeles as a great theater town. But, as two ambitious entries in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival prove, there’s a talent pool out there that has much more to offer than just good looks and cry-on-cue naturalism.

Breaking Bad, Season 6, Episode 6, Original artwork

Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Buyout’ (Season 5, Episode 6)


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Back at the pest control garage, Mike is in for a nasty shock – the methylamine has been cleared out completely. Mike storms into the back of the shop and discovers Walt and Jesse speaking in hushed tones in the office. Mike shoves his gun in Walter’s face and starts demanding to know where the methylamine supply is.

The Newsroom Recap: The Blackout Part 2-Mock Debate (Season 1, Episode 9)


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Hopefully, the season ends with something more exciting than “Mock Debate” which feels very much like the first quarter of an episode stretched out over 55 minutes.

Video Game Review: Deadlight


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Deadlight has impressive aesthetics surrounding a center that’s almost non-existent; a perfect example of people who have looked at other games, thought “how hard could that be?” and then attempted without understanding.

The Expendables 2 poster

Movie Review: The Expendables 2


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The Expendables 2 operates as a parody of a sequel to an already outrageous film, but it would be nice if it it stood more solidly on its own merits.

Beasts of the Southern Wild original artwork

Movie Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild


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Along with energy of place, comes a specific manifestation of that energy in the person of young Quevenzhané Wallis, who plays Hushpuppy, the film’s narrator and heroine. Wallis, a schoolgirl from Houma, Louisiana, confronts the camera untutored, dead-on, and fearless. She can juice it up and she can flatten it out, as required, but her Hushpuppy is always skinny, strong, disheveled, intense, thoughtful and thoroughly believable.

Movie still: The Asphalt Jungle

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Asphalt Jungle, #63


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This tale of a jewel theft gone wrong is credited with resetting the ground rules for gangster films. More than any previous effort, it focuses on the inner lives and aspirations of its criminals.

IMAX Classics- Potential Future With Ark Re-Release?


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A look at the Raiders of the Lost Ark re-release and the potential benefit of putting older movies on the IMAX format.

Broken Harbor by Tana French

Book Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French


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Right out of the gate, French displayed a gift for rich psychological plots, complex characterizations, and evocative prose. With her fourth, Broken Harbor, she continues to mature as a writer and (one hopes) to delight and collect more readers across the English-speaking world.

Original artwork, Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 5

Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Dead Freight’ (Season 5, Episode 5)


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“You agree to that, and I will be whatever kind of partner you want me to be.” As Walt gets up to leave, Skyler notices the dirt on his hands. “Out burying bodies?” she quips sarcastically. “Robbing a train,” Walt fires back.

True Believers by Kurt Anderson

Book Review: True Believers by Kurt Andersen


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Nevertheless, Andersen’s willingness to digress, to reflect in Karen’s voice on the implications of her experiences and perceptions, to cram in yet another observation, yet another illustration of The Way We Live Now (or The Way We Lived Then), ultimately emerges as the novel’s strength.

The Newsroom Recap: The Blackout Part 1-Tragey Porn (Season 1, Episode 8)


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Photos courtesy of Melissa Moseley/HBO Over the past seven episodes, Aaron Sorkin has thrown a lot against the wall with The Newsroom and not everything has stuck. The Maggie/Jim/Don love triangle is completely unnecessary and fortunately absent from this week’s episode, “The Blackout Part 1: Tragedy Porn.” As the show’s […]