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Friday, August 31, 2012

Dialogue, density and Robert Pattinson in Cronenberg's tedious Cosmopolis

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 6:56 PM

courtesy of eOne Films COSMOPOLIS* starOpens Friday It must have seemed like solid math at the time: Cerebral director David Cronenberg (+) postmodernist writer Don DeLillo (x) ascendent movie star Robert Pattinson (=) edgy art film with box office potential. Sometimes, the numbers just don't add up. Cronenberg's tedious and talky Cosmopolis, adapted from DeLillo's novel of the same name, is a real disaster. For long and frequent stretches, the film seems to forget it's a film at all. It plays like an audiobook at double speed, with torrential dialogue and nothing to look at. The preternaturally handsome Pattinson helps...

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DVD+Digital: H.P. Lovecraft, Lovely Molly and Halloween in August

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

courtesy of Image Entertainment When The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999, it broke all sorts of molds. The creepy faux-documentary, about three student filmmakers who get lost in the woods, was the first to leverage the “found footage” idea into a full-length, mainstream horror movie. The film also employed new digital age promotion techniques, using fake websites and viral marketing strategies to build buzz. By some accounts, it's still the single most profitable movie ever made, earning $240 million worldwide off a $50,000 production budget. Blair Witch co-director Eduardo Sanchez is back this week with the home video...

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Progressive talk radio gets FM boost starting Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

It used to be that fans of station WCHL 1360’s progressive talk lineup were resigned to turning off their favorite station with a sigh at nighttime—particularly if they lived outside of the station’s main broadcast area. And Raleigh? Forget about it. You had a hard enough time listening during the day if you live there. Making matters worse, the FCC required the station to turn down the signal at night. Well, that’s not a problem anymore. When listeners wake up on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 28, they’ll find a more powerful antidote to all that Limbaugh/Hannity/Dumas crap on Triangle...

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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Amazing Kreskin gets into your head at ArtsCenter tonight

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Decades after he rose to prominence in the 1970s, the Amazing Kreskin remains a pop culture touchstone and a busy performer whose touring takes him to the Carrboro ArtsCenter tonight. For many, his name is synonymous with hypnosis, predictions and finding the check for his appearance in the audience. In a call from his home in New Jersey, Kreskin (real name: George Joseph Kresge) says he's grateful for his career longevity. “With the economy as tough as it is, I guess I’m pretty blessed, because I did 261 appearances around the world. The airline company [I use] announced I’d flown...

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Too-live crew: Neil Hamburger, Todd Barry and the hazards of live comedy

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Photo by Danny Norton/ Creative CommonsNeil HamburgerNeil Hamburger/ Todd BarryKings BarcadeAug. 17 In this age of comedians getting raked over the coals for being comedians—the slightly-est offensive, work-in-progress joke getting laid out in a comedy-club setting only to be regurgitated (usually very badly) by some online prude, pitifully looking for other people to join along in the I-can’t-believe-he-said-that circus—a writer could feel conflicted while reviewing a stand-up comedy show. Even if I do like the jokes the comics dispense, I still won’t do them a kindness reciting their material in print. For many comics, especially the trio of comics I...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DVD+Digital: Anniversary reissues, Hollywood lore and Good Will Hunting

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM

courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment Believe it or not, it's been 15 years since Good Will Hunting came out of nowhere to turn Matt Damon and Ben Affleck into Oscar winners and ginormous movie stars. The story behind the 1997 film has since become filmmaking legend; the kind of thing aspiring actors tell to one another late at night in cramped West Hollywood apartments: If we write our own script and say his name three times, Harvey Weinstein will appear at midnight and make us famous! New to Blu-ray this week, GOOD WILL HUNTING: 15th ANNIVERSARY EDITION adds some terrific...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Cirque du Soleil's athletic prowess compensates for show's flaws

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Cirque du Soleil's Dralion - Images by Independent Weekly CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: DRALION* * * starsPNC ArenaThrough Aug. 19 Cirque du Soleil is a global juggernaut, but it's still a surprisingly youthful institution. In contrast to, say, those 19th-century animal drivers Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, Cirque is a babe. Officially dating to 1984, the Montreal-based troupe exploded in the 1990s. In the middle of that decade, the troupe developed an Eastern-themed show called Dralion. The show focused on Chinese acrobatics and became a huge hit, running for about 13 years. In 2010, the show was revived for arena...

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Heroic puppetry, but how late? Hot Summer Nights / Theatre Raleigh's AVENUE Q

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 6:23 PM

photo by Lauren KennedyThe cast of Hot Summer Nights / Theatre Raleigh's AVENUE QAVENUE Q4 stars (out of 5)Hot Summer Nights / Theatre RaleighFletcher Opera House, Progress Energy Centerthrough Aug. 19www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org It’s hard enough being one character on stage in a musical. In Hot Summer Nights / Theater Raleigh’s lively production of AVENUE Q, Heather Maggs, Adam Poole and Erik and Annie Floor play ten. They’re the heroic puppeteers animating, speaking and singing the roles of the self-described “people of fur” (and fuzz) who occupy this slightly scuzzy neighborhood well beyond the city’s high-rent district. And since their characters weave...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DVD+Digital: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and the agonizing story of the West Memphis Three

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

The disturbing saga of the West Memphis Three has been playing out for nearly 20 years now. In 1993, three teenagers in West Memphis, Arkansas — Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley — were tried and convicted for the horrific murder of three young boys. The teens were accused of performing a Satanic ritual in the woods, and implicated as much for their black clothes and heavy metal records as anything else. No physical evidence tied them to the scene, and later revelations would raise multiple red flags on the trial, including suggestions of false testimony, coerced confessions...

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Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bourne Legacy takes the texture and fun out of a great spy franchise

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

courtesy of Universal Pictures THE BOURNE LEGACY** starsOpens Friday When The Bourne Identity hit theaters in 2002, it jostled loose in me old fanboy quirks I hadn't experienced since Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It's a little embarrassing, but I would sometimes pretend to be an amnesiac superspy in airports and shopping malls—scanning the crowds, analyzing my options. I can tell you that the guy at the Cinnabon counter is 190 pounds and knows how to handle himself. I can tell you that the best place to look for a bathroom is at Sears, and at this hour of the...

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zach Galifianakis settles some old North Carolina political scores with Will Ferrell and The Campaign

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Photo by Patti Perret/ Warner Bros.THE CAMPAIGN** starsOpens Friday in local theaters To really enjoy The Campaign, it’s best to be a) a Will Ferrell fan; b) a Zach Galifianakis fan; or c) from North Carolina. It isn’t surprising that this comedy about small-town candidates battling to win a seat in Congress is set in the Tar Heel State (by way of Louisiana, with filming taking place before N.C. state lawmakers added $60 million in filmmaking tax incentives this year). Ferrell’s parents hail from Roanoke Rapids and he still has relatives living in Cary. Galifianakis was born and raised in...

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DVD+Digital: Marley, subtitles and the importance of sound design

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 12:25 PM

courtesy of Magnolia Pictures Two of the great benefits of home video, in my embarrassingly considered opinion, have to do with sound and subtitles. I watch a lot of movies on DVD and Blu-ray, and have learned to appreciate having control over audio specs and closed captioning. Sound design in theaters is usually great. There's an entire industry dedicated to making movies sound good. But when the sound is bad, it's excruciating. Lately, it's a problem of volume. The last few action pictures I saw at the multiplex literally hurt my ears. Perhaps I'm getting old, but I still cling...

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicago brings the razzle-dazzle, but not the Brinkley

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Photo by Jeremy DanielToo bad Christie (above) is sick, but c'mon... Bianca Marroquin is covering for her.CHICAGO3.5 stars (out of five)@Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Aug. 5 I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad I missed Christie Brinkley last night. A buzz of disappointment ran through the opening-night crowd for the brash and bawdy musical Chicago at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Supermodel Brinkley, due to play murderous ingénue Roxie Hart, would not appear due to illness. She may return later this week. (DPAC announced this morning that Brinkley will not perform in Durham.) But Bianca Marroquin, who's playing...

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Hi Zack,

I'm reading this again after seeing it almost 5 months ago. Our new Quail Ridge Books is …

by Lisa Robie Poole on Remembering Quail Ridge Books Founder Nancy Olson, a Reader's Best Friend (Arts)

Thanks RobU. This review ran online only.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

Great review! Since it was out in previous paper, how do we get this in print? Possible to order it?

by RobU on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

This show is dreadful. I watched clips of the London production which lacked the wonderful sets in the Australian production. …

by mrappleby on Love never dies, but many terrible musicals have: Sitting through Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel. (Arts)

Awesome summation of the beauty and skill surrounding this tap festival! Great Job Dan!
Annabel's mom💕 …

by Dcable on Dance Review: Tap Genius Michelle Dorrance Brings It Home at the NC Rhythm Tap Festival (Arts)

Comments

Hi Zack,

I'm reading this again after seeing it almost 5 months ago. Our new Quail Ridge Books is …

by Lisa Robie Poole on Remembering Quail Ridge Books Founder Nancy Olson, a Reader's Best Friend (Arts)

Thanks RobU. This review ran online only.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

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