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Friday, October 28, 2011

The Rum Diary is a drunken stumble for Johnny Depp

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Photo by Peter MountainThe Rum Diary*Opens today Nobody would publish the book this film was based on when it was first written. And now, nobody would make this film except for who wrote it. Reading The Rum Diary, which Hunter S. Thompson pushed into print 38 years after he wrote it, it’s easy to see why it was initially rejected. The various, largely indistinct characters slip in and out of now-familiar Gonzo slogans (“the fat is in the fire,” “I’m getting the fear”). Chenault, the only female character, spends the entire book either wandering around naked or being abused by...

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rock Of Ages is rote and uninspired

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Bourbon Room Rocks/ DPACROCK OF AGES* * 1/2 starsDurham Performing Arts Center A visit to the Durham Performing Arts Center for the touring production of Rock of Ages yields a number of odd sights. Audience members, mostly people in their 40s and 50s, are wearing suits and evening wear to a play that’s based, in part, on the fashion excesses of 1980s youth culture. They also sip cups of red wine in front of a set labeled “The Bourbon Room.” And as they trudge along the red-carpeted floors, the sound system blasts the likes of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” and Def...

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Thing is a pointless remake ... er, prequel

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Photo by Kerry Hayes/ Universal PicturesMary Elizabeth Winstead breaks out the flamethrower.THE THING* Opens Friday Considering it pits its heroine against a ravenous space alien whose man-eating orifice resembles a vagina dentata, you’d be forgiven for believing The Thing actually contains a thing or two to think about. Or at the very least, something to differentiate itself from John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing (which itself was a remake of the 1951 horror classic, The Thing from Another World). The 1982 movie, made during the height of Carpenter’s career, benefited from the director’s then-deft suspenseful touch, a terrific cast, Ennio Morricone’s...

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Hinge Poem offers chance to go deep into poetry

Alan Shapiro live in the comments box Sunday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Have you ever been to a poetry reading? You know that awkward time afterward when you're not sure what to do? The Hinge Poem, a new online feature from the Hinge Literary Center, gives a new model for how to connect with an author's work, perhaps even more deeply than one might at an auditorium or bookstore reading. Alan Shapiro's lyric poem "Wherever My Dead Go When I’m Not Remembering Them" kicks off the program, which will feature a new poet and poem each month. As with a blogpost, readers can start and participate in conversations about the poem by...

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Good-hearted yokels, nasty college kids in "Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Courtesy of Magnet ReleasingTUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL**Opens Friday in select theaters When it comes to the portrayal of hillbillies on the big screen, there are usually two archetypes: the dim-witted but sweet-natured yokel or the raving, homicidal psychopath. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil poses the question of what would happen if two yokels were mistaken for psycho killers. As the movie shows, the result would be incredibly stupid yet immensely watchable. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are fixing up their new “vacation home” in the woods. Unfortunately, their renovations get interrupted by a group of college kids...

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Come back to the 1980s at the Escapism Film Festival, which begins Friday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Courtesy of the Carolina TheatreIn today’s world, if you loved something growing up, DVD and YouTube have meant you’ve never had to let it go. For those born to a post-Star Wars world, the Escapism Film Festival’s transformation into a revival house for SF/fantasy films has been a stroll down memory lane, with the likes of Flash Gordon, Enemy Mine and The Last Unicorn available on the big screen at past shows. This year’s lineup of 17 films, all but one of which were released in the 1980s, speaks to cable TV and home video’s influence on a generation—both for...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In praise of nice nihilism: Alex Rosenberg discusses his new book on atheism

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Photo by Jim WallaceDoes the concept of atheism need a makeover? Is the term too negative, too focused on what one doesn’t believe? That’s one of the intriguing suggestions of Duke philosophy professor Alex Rosenberg in his new book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions. As it happens, Rosenberg proposes “scientism” as a positive term to describe a worldview that does not contain a supernatural being. It’s a relatively minor point but it’s indicative of the focus of his book, which aims to provide a positive set of beliefs for today’s atheist. For Rosenberg, who has extensive...

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On absence and presence: Catherine Howard's Veil Tease

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 7:25 AM

Diaphaneity. When was the last time you encountered that word? Perhaps never. But you likely embody it almost at all times. Photo by Chris VitielloA view of the hanging banner paintings in Catherine Howard's "Veil Tease." at the Carrack Modern Art Gallery through Oct. 12.Catherine Howard's "Veil Tease," an installation of 15 free-hanging banner paintings, elaborates the strange human condition of having always to be both a physical and psychological being. These colorful scrolls, some of which flap out the open gallery windows on breezy days, fill the cavity of the Carrack Modern Art Gallery in Durham through Oct. 12....

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

People-watching at the club, with Twyla and Frank:
Come Fly Away at DPAC

Posted By on Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Cody Green and Laurie Kanyok in COME FLY AWAYCOME FLY AWAY4 stars out of 5Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Oct. 2dpacnc.org It’s understandable that modern dance aficionados might have paused when considering the touring version of COME FLY AWAY, choreographer Twyla Tharp’s evening-length tribute to musical legend Frank Sinatra which closes a stand at Durham Performing Arts Center on Sunday. As mentioned in our preview, Tharp had already gone to the well three times with Ol’ Blue Eyes between 1976 and 1983, reconfiguring various groupings of his hits that she’d choreographed into what ultimately became one of her most widely interpreted—and...

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You stopped the arts coverage to cover the election..... You were probably better off just covering the arts, rather than …

by Matt Price on Will to Live Cautiously Returning? Here's a Few Things to Do This Week. (Arts)

Thanks for being there. You will be missed.

by vidvis on Theater News: Common Ground Theatre to Go Dark in December (Arts)

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