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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden talks The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Journalist Mark Bowden’s books have covered everything from D-Day to cyber war to NFL football to the intense military action of Black Hawk Down, the basis for the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Now, he’s chronicled a recent and harrowing event in international history with The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden (Atlantic Monthly Press), a chronicle of the 10-year battle to find the notorious terrorist. We spoke recently with Bowden, who appears at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh on Thursday. INDY WEEK: It’s only been a little over a year and a half since bin...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DVD+Digital: Satanic cults, Halloween videos and Rosemary's Baby

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM

courtesy of the Criterion Collection Director Roman Polanski made his Hollywood debut in 1968 with Rosemary's Baby, a psychological thriller so thoroughly creepy that it has since ascended into the pop culture superconsciousness. Some films just seem to hit a nerve. The film has been re-released to DVD and Blu-ray this week from the archivists at the Criterion Collection, with the usual suite of film-nerd extras. For the uninitiated (heh), Rosemary's Baby is quite literally a cult classic. Its depiction of a secret Satanic coven kicked off a decade of diabolical thrillers like The Exorcist and The Omen. Mia Farrow...

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cloud Atlas dares to be great in epic, visionary style

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

courtesy of Warner Bros. CLOUD ATLAS**** starsOpens Friday My best friend from childhood, a ravenous science fiction reader, has been bugging me for several years to pick up David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas. Since my friend once read every Hugo Award winning novel ever written (in a single year, on a dare), I try to pay attention to his recommendations. But I never got around to it. I wish I had. Cloud Atlas has been adapted into a fierce, visionary and deliciously baffling sci-fi epic from co-directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix). For...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DVD+Digital: Michelle Williams, love stories and Take This Waltz

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

courtesy of Magnolia Pictures In Take This Waltz, a quietly brilliant romantic drama from Canadian actress and director Sarah Polley, we find ourselves in the colorful hipster neighborhoods of urban Toronto. Young married couple Margot and Lou (Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan) have an easy, playful banter around the house, but there are awkward pauses and sudden silences. All is not well. Margot leaves town for a work gig — she's a copywriter, he's a chef — and meets soulful, sexy artist Daniel (Luke Kirby). On the plane back home to Toronto, Daniel and Margot start crushing on each other,...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DVD+Digital: Bereaved puppets, Vaudevillian tragedy and Her Master's Voice

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 8:17 PM

courtesy of Virgil Films Actress and comedian Nina Conti has carved out a healthy alt-comedy career in her native U.K. and earned a small stateside following thanks to YouTube videos of her lateral-thinking ventriloquist act. Conti apprenticed early in life to British experimental theater guru and roustabout Ken Campbell and in fact the two carried on a May-December romance for years. Conti's beautiful debut film, Her Master's Voice, is a tribute of sorts to her former lover and mentor, and one of the best hidden gems you'll find on DVD and digital this year. Voice won an Audience Award at...

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DVD+Digital: French heist films, sad little girls and A Cat in Paris

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

courtesy of New Video Considering the volume and variety of family-friendly animated films that come down the pike, it's curious that they all offer essentially the same movie-watching experience: A kid-friendly story with kid-friendly jokes, the occasional stealthy double entendre aimed at parents, and varying levels of animated wizardry. With the good stuff, you'll get rich characters and real comic artistry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Pixar canon). With the lousy stuff, you get rebooted fairy tales and cheap pop cultre riffing (Shrek, anything with chipmunks). The French import and 2012 Academy Award nominee A Cat in Paris goes in another...

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Omigod you guys: NC Theatre's Legally Blonde—The Musical is fun but thin

Through Sunday at Memorial Auditorium

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

LEGALLY BLONDE—THE MUSICAL* * * starsNC Theatre@ Raleigh Memorial AuditoriumThrough Oct. 14 Of the approximately nine billion theatrical films rebranded onto Broadway, Legally Blonde is a smoother translation than most—it's easy to envision Judy Holliday or Kristin Chenoweth in their younger years as Elle Woods, the smarter-than-she-looks sorority queen who brings her pink wardrobe to Harvard Law in pursuit of an ex-boyfriend. The show presented at NC Theatre's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical could have worked perfectly well as a from-scratch show with its witty lyrics and endless energy. However, the show is occasionally dragged down by the need...

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Award-winning NCSU alum Kij Johnson returns to Triangle with new book

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Kij Johnson's appearance Tuesday night at Quail Ridge Books & Music to promote her new short story collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees (Small Beer Press, $16) is something of a homecoming for the award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy — it's a return to the city where she recently completed her MFA in Creative Writing at N.C. State University, and completed her novella "The Man Who Bridged the Mist," which recently won both of science fiction's top awards, the Hugo and the Nebula (the story is available for free online). Johnson, who is now Assistant...

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stephan Pastis talks Pearls Before Swine and the future of newspaper comic strips

Monday at Quail Ridge Books

Posted By on Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Provided by Andrews McMeel PublishingPearls Before Swine CoverAs the mind behind the hit newspaper comic Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis appreciates the time he's able to get away from the drawing board and interact with his fans. "When you’re a cartoonist, you basically see nobody," says Pastis, who appears at Quail Ridge Books and Music Monday night, in a call from his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. "You’re in a room by yourself, and you know that people see the strip, but the reality to the people reading it is very different from your reality — it’s like being a...

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The animals have the advantage in War Horse

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

© Brinkhoff/Mögenburg 2011Horses in wartime: Topthorn and Joey, from WAR HORSE.WAR HORSE3.5 stars (out of 5)Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Oct. 7 The image has come to symbolize the chaos and carnage of war: A panic-stricken horse, impaled by a spear, whose death-dance dominates the center of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Man’s inhumanity to man is a fundamental trope in the discourse of war—and one we can grow all too quickly numb to. But evidence of the widespread suffering of animals—in World War I accounts of biological agent testing, or the massacre at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in 1943—provides a different, and...

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

DVD+Digital: Catherine Keener, aging hippies and Misunderstanding

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM

courtesy of IFC Films In the romantic comedy Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, new to DVD and Blu-ray this week, Catherine Keener plays Diane, a stressed out Manhattan attorney who retreats to her hippie mom's house in Woodstock when her husband asks for a divorce. Diane brings the kids as well, college student Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and nerdy teenager Jake (Nat Wolff). Diane's mom, Grace, is played by Jane Fonda, who has a good time sending up her image as queen of the aging hippie baby boomers. Grace, it seems, is something of a legend in Woodstock — Bob Dylan had...

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Emma Straub talks classic Hollywood with "Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures" at Flyleaf Books tonight

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Photo by Sarah ShatzEmma Straub's decision to do a signing for her debut novel Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (Riverhead Books, $26.95) at Flyleaf Books at 7 p.m. tonight was sealed earlier this year when she casually stepped into the bookshop while in town for a show with the Magnetic Fields. “The most amazing thing happened—when I walked in the door, I saw a copy of my galley, which was brand new, on the desk," says Straub on a call from her book tour. "And then Land Arnold, one of the owners, looked up at me and said, ‘We were...

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I think that this sequel is a good movie to watch. It is frightening and has a lot of scenes …

by Hannah James on Movie Review: Blair Witch Takes Us Back to Ground Zero of the Found-Footage Horror Explosion (Arts)

such low key, warm, psychedelic cinematography (and Naomi Watts). beautiful film. …

by aria dac on Movie Review: Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees Reduces Japanese Culture to a Backdrop for American Angst (Arts)

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