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Thursday, February 28, 2013

DVD+Digital: Oscar winners, runners-up and release dates

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM

By all accounts, the 85th annual Academy Awards was a star-studded affair, with glamorous people saying glamorous things in glamorous clothing. Sadly, I missed this year's telecast due the fact that Seth MacFarlane makes me want to go on a tri-state killing spree. If you'd like to catch up with some of the Oscar winners and nominees, many of the big titles are now available on DVD, Blu-ray and various digital delivery platforms. Another wave of releases will come in late March and April, the traditional season for Oscar winners to cycle onto home video. Argo took home Best...

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

DVD+Digital: Brando, Kazan and On The Waterfront

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:45 AM

courtesy of the Criterion Collection Director Elia Kazan's classic 1954 drama On The Waterfront tells the story of dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), a once-promising boxer whose life is derailed when he gets mixed up with mobbed-up labor union honchos on the NYC waterfront. As you may have heard, Terry coulda been a contender. On The Waterfront is generally regarded as one of the greatest American films ever made and won eight Academy Awards in 1955, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Brando. New to DVD and Blu-ray this week, the Criterion Collection reissue of On The Waterfront features...

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Eleven paintings and a giant vagina: Robin Walker at the Carrack

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

“Decorative” is a bit of a dirty word in the art world. It’s why we say “interior decorators” instead of something like “décor artists.” In galleries and museums, the word “ornamental” is preferred, describing artwork that incorporates motifs from traditional crafts, fashion or architecture into a larger statement or meaning. If, in the context of your work, you scrutinize an aspect or example of craft, then you’re considering the ornamental. But if the work doesn’t mean beyond its aesthetic fact, it might be dismissed as merely decorative. Photo by Chris Vitiello"Juliette the Baptist," acrylic, paper and polyester flowers on panel,...

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Brandon Sanderson finishes Robert Jordan's bestselling Wheel of Time Series with A Memory of Light

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Imagine if J.K. Rowling had died before finishing Harry Potter, or if (as some fans fear) George R.R. Martin passes away before completing A Song of Ice and Fire, the bestselling series that’s also the basis for HBO’s Emmy-winning Game of Thrones. Now imagine you’re the one who has to come in, bring the epic to a satisfactory conclusion, resolve dozens of dangling plot threads, all while dealing with a passionate and demanding fan base who’ll never let you forget it if you fail. That was the challenge set before young writer Brandon Sanderson when he was called upon to...

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Save the Date, The Heartbreak Kid and more anti-romantic movies for a singles' Valentine's Day home on your couch

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Today, millions will celebrate Valentine’s Day with their spouses, significant others and loved ones. Millions more will celebrate it alone, and some will wonder why their lives aren’t like those of Audrey Hepburn, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, or (in my case) John Cusack, at least the characters they play on screen. Though Hollywood has provided many pairs of rose-colored glasses when it comes to relationships, there’s a number of lesser-known films that are perfect for those finding themselves lonely and/or bitter on Feb. 14, that depict everything from the complexities of commitment to what becomes of the broken-hearted. Here’s...

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Take it from us: Monty Python's Spamalot is for fans and non-fans alike

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Photo by Scott SuchmanThe Spamalot ensembleSPAMALOT* * * * starsNC Theatre@ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium A confession: I never totally understood the "classic" status of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I remember watching it for the first time in seventh grade at my friend’s house, and I remember how bewildered I was as she howled and quoted every line. I mean, it was amusing, but was it one of the funniest movies of all time? That seemed doubtful. It was so dumb and old-fashioned and low-budget and … British. I had the feeling I was missing the joke. So, as...

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Some assembly required? Meow Meow in Beyond Glamour at PSI Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Karl GiantCaburlesque performer Meow MeowBEYOND GLAMOURMeow Meow3.5 stars (out of 5)PSI Theatre, Durham Arts CouncilThrough Feb. 14 It doesn’t always look that way, I know. But critics usually don’t go to a show for the purpose of basking in their own smugness and perceived superiority over the material, the genre, the company or the audience. (At least, they shouldn’t. When one does—and occasionally it happens, even here—little more is served than their own ego.) But what do we make of a performance in which the performer appears to be doing this instead? That is the riddle posed by one Melissa...

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Endless vacation: Good Day to Die Hard knows why you bought your ticket

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Photo by Frank Masi/ Twentieth Century FoxA good day to whatever...A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD* * * starsOpens today (see times below) Supercop John McClane wants everybody to know he’s on vacation. So when he gets hit by a car or shot at by a helicopter or finds himself running from the fire of 10 machine guns, he screams at his attackers “I’m on vacation!” There’s a lot of gunfire and crashing cars in A Good Day to Die Hard. Accordingly, McClane (Bruce Willis, of course) gets to shout his catch phrase a few times. He probably does it...

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What the ocean saw: David Gatten's films at NCSU

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM

DAVID GATTEN FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSIONN.C. State UniversityCaldwell Hall G107, 2221 Hillsborough St.Fri., Feb. 15, 5-7:30 p.m. This is the true story of how the ocean made a movie. To be more precise, filmmaker David Gatten collaborated on a movie with the Atlantic Ocean, where the Edisto River empties its freshwater into the ocean’s salt along the South Carolina coast. Gatten put unexposed 16mm film stock into a crab trap, tied the ends of a 50-foot rope to the trap and his ankle, and dropped it into the water. Courtesy of the artistfrom "How to Conduct a Love Affair "...

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DVD+Digital: Game of Thrones, 30 Rock and TV binge watching

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment In the days before DVD/VHS, Netflix and endless online options — back when we had a little sanity left — TV binge watching was confined to weekend basic cable marathons. If you wanted to see all the episodes of a particular show in sequence, this was your sole option. Only the most dedicated souls braved those 24- and 48-hour endurance trials. I tried it once, years ago, with David Lynch's serial freakout Twin Peaks. Like an idiot I went in without a game plan or any training regimen at all. Amateur move. By Episode 15,...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mary Poppins is witty and colorful, if not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Kyle FromanMadeline Trumble and Con O'Shea-Creal as Mary Poppins and BertMARY POPPINS* * * 1/2 starsThrough Feb. 17Durham Performing Arts Center The touring production of the stage musical version of Disney's Mary Poppins, co-created by Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera hitmaker Cameron Mackintosh and appearing at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Feb. 17, is an odd experience, depending on which version of Mary Poppins you know. If you're mostly familiar with the 1964 film with Julie Andrews, this version jettisons many of the songs, scenes and plot points, creates a completely different conflict for the second act...

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Three years after the earthquake, Durham's Jonathan M. Katz talks Haiti relief, the media and Sean Penn

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Zach HetrickJonathan M. Katz Journalist Jonathan M. Katz, who currently resides in Durham, was the only full-time U.S. reporter in Haiti at the time of the 2010 earthquake. His experiences, not just during the immediate aftermath of the quake but over the next few years of relief efforts, are recounted in his new book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (Palgrave Macmillan, $26.00), which he'll read tonight at Durham's Regulator Bookshop at 7 p.m. The book has received widespread acclaim for its insight into post-earthquake Haiti, and during...

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Identity Thief steals nothing but time and joy

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Universal PicturesThe world will have to wait for a starring vehicle worthy of Melissa McCarthy.IDENTITY THIEF1 starOpens Friday in theaters everywhere For a movie that’s billed as a comedy, Identity Thief certainly leaves you with an empty feeling. Then again, the movie is about a con artist who steals from a dude who doesn’t even know he’s being jacked. That’s what happens to Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), a Denver company/family man who foolishly gives his personal info away on the phone to “Diana” (Melissa McCarthy), a Florida gal who spends her days making up phony IDs and credit cards and...

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Kevin Allison and the risks he takes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM

About 20 or so years ago, Kevin Allison was mostly known as that ginger dude from the MTV sketch-comedy crew The State, mostly serving as the straight guy for the other players’ more wacked-out characters. These days, Allison is less about playing roles and more about telling stories, mainly on his podcast, RISK!. Sort of a more uninhibited version of public-radio shows like The Moth and This American Life, host Allison usually corrals many funny people (to name a few, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, his former castmates in The State) to tell stories that are brutally...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

DVD+Digital: Denzel Washington, DVD extras and Flight

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

courtesy of Paramount Pictures After nearly a decade of experimentation with motion-capture animation, director Robert Zemeckis returned to live action filmmaking last fall with Flight, starring Denzel Washington. The film tells the story of commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker, who must confront his demons after crash landing a airliner while drunk on vodka and high on cocaine. (You can read Neil Morris' full review here.) Flight is a fascinating piece of filmmaking and a kind of stealthy movie business maneuver. The marketing and advance trailers for Flight highlighted the film's boffo action sequence — the plane crash — and the...

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Home movies at Mike's place? AMERICAN UTOPIAS at DPI Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM

AMERICAN UTOPIAS3.5 stars (out of five)Mike DaiseyDuke PerformancesPSI Theatre, Durham Arts CouncilThrough Feb. 3 Since it’s my first time in the room since renovations in 2011, I’m a little shocked when I enter Durham Arts Council’s PSI Theater on Wednesday night. Monologist Mike DaiseyThe stage is now conventionally draped; its lighting grid professionally concealed, for the first time in memory, behind black cloth borders known as teasers. On its floor, a subtle coat of matte gray has replaced the reflective white surface that so effectively bounced the theatrical light—in all directions—during every production staged there in the 1990s and 2000s....

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Kim Harrison on The Hollows

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Kate ThorntonKim Harrison After nearly a decade and 11 novels in her best-selling urban fantasy series The Hollows, author Kim Harrison admits that the characters "almost seem real" to her. "I know them better than a lot of my neighbors," says Harrison in a call from a hotel in Houston on her latest book tour. The author will appear at Quail Ridge Books and Music on Saturday, Feb. 2. "I’ve spent almost 10 years with most of the characters in the books, and know what they will and won’t do—but it’s most exciting for me when they do something I...

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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)

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