Monthly Archives: September 2012

45 posts

Book Review: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

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Perhaps it’s fair to say that the big accomplishment of Diaz’s new book is that it does what authors have always done, but it does it really well. He explores grand concepts—pain, love, history, and life—through an obsessive devotion to particulars. The violence of colonial history replays itself in the troubled starts and stops of a family struggling for connection and in Yunior’s own search for love.

Setting Fallout 4 Part 1 (of 2) – How the West Was Fun

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But to do so would be to miss the point more than your Facebook friend who thinks articles by The Onion are real.

Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

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The Garden of Evening Mists is set in three inter-linked time frames. Past and present struggle to reconcile Yun Ling’s memories of wartime suffering and loss. But Yun Ling is faced by a cruel dilemma. Soon she will no longer have a future. Her brilliant, sensitive mind is slowly deteriorating from an incurable neurological disease. Oblivion will settle Yun Ling’s efforts to find inner peace if she does not achieve it first.

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Doctor Who Recap: ‘Dinosaurs On A Spaceship’ (Season 33/Series 7, Episode 2)

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Secondly, there were loads of little things that really intrigue me. I daresay I’m a bit picky, but I just felt I should share them with you since the television doesn’t answer when I yell at it.

Roger Allam as Peter Mannion in The Thick Of It

The Thick of It Recap – Series 4, Episode 1

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The next time a BBC arts show wants to talk about works which explore the British character, they could do with ignoring Brideshead Revisited and having a think about what The Thick Of It accidentally revealed.

Game of the Week: UCF vs Ohio State — The View from England

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Paying or not paying student athletes is a labor issue, just as the term “student athlete” was invented in an early twentieth-century court case to prevent them from claiming certain employment benefits whilst participating in a lucrative and physically risky industry. PhD students who undertake teaching within their department, and part-time contingent lecturers, are becoming increasingly vocal after the way they underpin the entire higher education system, and I’d like to see more discussion across the sports-academics line about the common causes to be made.

The Words poster

Movie Review: The Words

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In an age when originality is almost anathema to filmmaking (Hollywood, especially), it is exciting and refreshing when a film dares to take a risk by telling a story not based on a comic book, a 70s television show or a Broadway musical.

Movie still: Bugsy

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Bugsy, #60

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Back home on the East Coast, he tells Lansky, “What do people always fantasize about? Sex, romance, money, adventure. I am building a monument to all of them.”

Poster: John Lithgow in The Magistrate

Upcoming Season at the National Theatre, London: Sept. ‘12 – Feb. ‘13

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Arthur Wing Pinero is another British talent getting a lot of attention at the moment, though sadly he is somewhat too dead to enjoy it. He lived from the 1850s to the 1930s, and seems to be having a bit of a revival at the moment.

Dark Hollow

Is there life after Fringe? Four shows that deserve longer runs.

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In the meantime we Fringe attendees enjoy compiling our personal wish lists. Here, in addition to the shows praised in previous columns, is a critic’s lineup of productions that show promise.

Video Game Review: Sleeping Dogs

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Taking massive cues from Hong Kong action cinema, especially “Heroic Bloodshed” classics like City on Fire and Infernal Affairs (better known in the U.S. for its remake The Departed), Sleeping Dogs has players step into the shoes of Wei Shen, a modern Chinese supercop who fights like Bruce Lee, flips over display cases like Jackie Chan, and shoots like Chow Yun Fat. Wei’s been tasked with infiltrating the Sun On Yee Triad by going deep undercover and bringing them down from the inside.

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures

Book Review: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub

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The feelings and experiences that preoccupy Straub are pregnancy and motherhood, friendship and domestic partnership. The repeated evocation of bodily experience and physical closeness is one of the most marked features of her writing.

Grant Wood: American Gothic

American Mythologies: Grant Wood at the RNC

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But, the painting tells us, to impose order is also to fictionalize, to distort. It’s a good lesson to keep in mind in a season when we are being presented with carefully packaged versions of history, complete with carefully articulated morals.

Breaking Bad: Jesse Pinkman, Season 5, Episode 8

Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Gliding Over All’ (Season 5, Episode 8)

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Two montages in one episode, guys! This one is set, adorably, to “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells, which I can’t believe has never been used on this show before, because yeah, wow. Todd and Walt cook blue crystal, Lydia pencils out the logistics of shipping and transport for the international sales, and a phalanx of nameless, faceless heavies drop bags of meth into oil barrels, which they then seal and tag to ship. Skyler and Saul Goodman both make their first (and in Saul’s case, tragically, last) appearances of the episode, cooking books at the car wash and furtively accepting fistfuls of ill-gotten cash, respectively. The montage’s final shot is a sweeping pan over the residential neighborhoods of Albuquerque, with yellow-and-green striped tents tranquilly fading in, one after another, blanketing a succession of roofs.