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Friday, September 28, 2012

A conversation with Joe Rogan, the podcasting, joke-thief slayer

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Photo by Brian FriedmanJOE ROGAN@Memorial Auditorium7:30 p.m. When it comes right down to it, Joe Rogan will always be a stand-up. He may have served as a electrician of the '90s cult sitcom Newsradio, a replacement host for The Man Show, a UFC commentator and, most infamously, the host of the extreme reality show Fear Factor. But the man still takes pleasure performing his wild-eyed, button-pushing brand of stand-up. And when he isn't standing up riffing and ranting, he's sitting down, still riffing and ranting, as host of the podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan, 45, talked to the Indy...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DVD+Digital: Dirty jokes, Danish bacchanals and Klown

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

courtesy of Drafthouse Films The comedy of the idiot man-child has been a running theme in American movies of late, with an endless parade of films celebrating the joys of perpetual adolescence. The 2010 Danish hit KLOWN, new to DVD and Blu-ray this week, proves that the trend isn't a strictly American phenomenon, and there's plenty of room to riff on the theme. Written by and starring Danish TV stars Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, the film is based on a sitcom in which the actors play exaggerated versions of themselves. It's similar in approach to the very funny 2010...

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Questions for Brian Regan, a hard-working, good-guy comic

Posted By on Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Photo by Brian Friedman BRIAN REGAN@ Durham Performing Arts Center7 p.m. Even if you’ve never heard of Brian Regan, the minute you see him perform, you immediately fall in love with the guy. A 30-year veteran of the stand-up scene, the Miami-born, Vegas-based comic is well-known for his clean but still utterly uproarious stand-up. His humor has definitely given him not just fans but famous fans, like Jerry Seinfeld (who drove him around during an episode of his Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) and Marc Maron (who had him as a guest on his WTF with Marc Maron...

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Get a Life, the surreal Chris Elliott TV series, comes to DVD

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The neologism “man-child” has in recent years come to refer to the types typically played on screen by Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn and other gentlemen aged roughly 21-40 who partake in video games, alcohol, pot-smoking and varied instances of gay panic, foul language and confusion/consternation with the opposite sex and the realities of adulthood. Those who complain about the proliferation of these types may consider themselves lucky that they never encountered 30-year-old paperboy Chris Peterson. Chris, the alter ego of actor Chris Elliott, was the star of the late, great Fox sitcom Get a Life, which ran from 1990-92 and...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DVD+Digital: Sex, death and Steve Martin

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment This week's Cognitive Dissonance Double Feature begins with THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a twisty and postmodern horror movie from writer/producer Joss Whedon and his posse. New this week to DVD and Blu-ray, the film has been available via select video-on-demand for a while following its theatrical run this summer. Whedon co-wrote the script with director Drew Goddard, a collaborator from back in the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cabin shares some tonal DNA with Buffy and its mix of horror, comedy and imaginative rethinking of geek culture tropes. The film begins with a...

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Monday, September 17, 2012

One hell of a tale, in a Scottish pub: The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Photo by Drew FarrellMelody Grove in The Strange Undoing of Prudencia HartTHE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART4 stars (out of 5)National Theatre of Scotland@ Back Bar (Top of the Hill)Through Sept. 20 If strange be the tales that are invoked by strong drink, the National Theatre of Scotland has ginned up a production to match in The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. But if any expect the gravitas of Black Watch, the Iraqi War documentary drama which got our nod for five stars when the company performed here last February, they’re in for a shock. Instead, playwright David Grieg’s 2011...

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

There's only one Nina Simone: Weekend of tributes opens at UNC

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Sonja Haynes Stone CenterFive words: Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone. Those words have already summoned the disgust of fans, admirers and even Simone family members, who don’t think casting the light-skinned, Avatar ingénue as the late, legendary artist is a good idea. The New York Times recently reported that one woman posted an online petition that called for the producers of an upcoming biopic to cast someone who could pass for the darker-skinned Simone. Meanwhile, Simone Kelly, Simone’s daughter (who wrote on Simone’s official Facebook page that the project was unauthorized and Simone’s estate was not asked to participate in...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DVD+Digital: Titanic, 9/11 and the mad riot of home video

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

courtesy of Paramount Pictures The weird array of home video releases in any given week is stunning. Those few mainstream titles that cycle through Redbox and Blockbuster are just the tip of the iceberg. Every Tuesday brings a flood of material on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download — foreign films, classic reissues, independent movies, TV collections, concert films, documentaries, kids' programming, sports packages, cartoons, stand-up comedy specials and a surprising number of obscure educational titles. And that's not even counting the hundreds of, um, specialty films you can order from boutique distributors. My tastes run to a certain subset of...

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Ray Dooley electrifies in PlayMakers' production of An Iliad

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Photo by Jon Gardiner for PlayMakers RepRay Dooley in An IliadAN ILIAD* * * * * starsPRC2 @ Kenan Theatre, UNC campusSept. 5-9 We think of Homer as the first bard, the beginner of dramatic storytelling. But storytelling is as old as dirt: ancient, the collected dust of time that retains the human imprint. From dust to dust we go, and from the dust we live on as stories. Ray Dooley as The Narrator in the bleak ruins of An Iliad seems beyond time, even as he relates the story of Homer’s Iliad, the mighty battles just before the sack...

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The Words: Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons in a phony literary puzzler

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM

courtesy of CBS Films THE WORDS** starsOpens Friday In 1922, Ernest Hemingway's wife Hadley was traveling from Paris to Switzerland by train when she made a rather historic mistake. Getting up briefly to buy a bottle of water, she left behind a suitcase containing virtually all of her husband's fiction writing up to that point. When she returned, the suitcase was gone. It was never recovered. That's one version of the story, anyway. Hemingway's lost suitcase is part of our literary lore, and it serves as the inspiration — I use that word loosely — for The Words, an achingly...

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DVD+Digital: In defense of the Jason Statham movie

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM

courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment Professional tough guy Jason Statham's new film SAFE — new to DVD, Blu-ray and digital this week — is not a very good movie. But it's not a bad one either, and it illustrates nicely the many reasons that Statham is the best action movie star working today. In Safe, Staham plays Luke Wright, a mobbed-up punching bag on the mixed martial arts circuit. When Luke makes a costly mistake in a rigged fight, the Russian Mafia kills his family and hands down a baroque punishment: Luke will be watched for the rest of his...

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