Browsing: Critics Den

Critics Den
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In the world of the entertainment industry, the artisans that usually gain the most attention are the ones that are always in your face: actors and actresses, directors, lead vocalists… Behind the show, however, are the artisans that make sure the attention-getters look and sound good: soundboard mixers, cinematographers, set designers, costume designers, and make-up and special FX artists. Without these individuals, we would be forced to submit to one-frame, monophonic sound film where you can see the zippers on the backs of monsters. It is with this respect for the artists behind the scenes that a recent web-series, Art Creature, has take its cue from.

Critics Den
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When dealing with Halloween, you’re also pitting yourself against one of the fab 4 of last century’s late movie monsters: Michael Meyers. How can the holiday of Halloween ever be touched again? Frank Sabatella, director of Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, took on this challenge, and is in the process of finalizing his latest short film, Night of the Pumpkin.

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This is what happens when you give every kid in the soccer league a trophy. This is what happens when you hold up movie and television stars as idols. They start making shitty music. I want to blame Gwyneth Paltrow for this trend, but its dark roots go much deeper. Remember Don Johnson? Remember Eddie Murphy? We have a long and shameful history of first convincing people that they can act, and then allowing them to believe they can sing.

Critics Den
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Never has a movie played off of recent global fears since Night of the Living Dead as has the upcoming movie Contagion, starring, well, everybody. 12 Monkeys just missed the cultural fear of epidemics. The Flash game Pandemic 2 came out, or got popular, after avian bird flu, swine flu, and the common cold ran rampant, so we could happily kill off the human race…except for Madagascar. So here is an easy, pictorial representation of what to expect from Contagion and its possible sequels.

Critics Den
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It had to happen. After such an insane response to my HBO’s Game of Thrones Explained…with Beer article, I decided to push the envelope and see what I could get away with in a sequel article. I know, it’s shameful. Then again, this could the makings of an intelligent trilogy, or even series, much like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the first two Back to the Future movies. I’m not regurgitating. These are a new group of characters, a new group of alcohol(even if it does have a cameo in line with KISS showing up in a Scooby-Doo episode), and a new group of jokes. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Critics Den
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The Inept Owl has been lucky enough to have a few artists in multiple fields come back again and again with new albums, ideas, and visions. It has the feel of a family reunion, as we see each other grow up and grow out each time we get together for a brief moment in the year. Such is the case with The Northstar Session as I review their latest album, “Late Bloomer”.

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Rap as an art form has continually evolved. From its tribal, beat-based story-telling syncopation around a fire to its modern, beat-based story-telling syncopation in 50,000 capacity sports arenas, rap has been in constant flux in how the form has been portrayed, enacted, and interpreted. The same can be said for modern biological evolution. So it is no surprise that Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman would take both of these linear ideas of evolution, and evolve them from performance, feedback, and revision, into a new album, The Rap Guide to Evolution: Revised, and then bring it to New York City as a public performance.

Critics Den
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You think you know the blues? Hold up there, Hipster Hank. Put down your PBR and listen for a minute. This isn’t your super-rare bootleg 45 of Etta James playing live in some smoky dive in New Orleans. This isn’t John Lee Hooker, growling his way through another “woman done me wrong” song. And this definitely isn’t some long-haired white boy who just shreds his way through a 12-bar blues chord progression. Meet Christian St. Croix… a self-described “un-closeted new-roots blues singer into tattoos, street art and slasher flicks.”

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On April 20th, I got an email notification whose subject line read: “The Editor wants to share ‘TV on the Radio’ with you.” Do me a favor: go to Wikipedia, look up “TV on the Radio,” then see if you can find a reference to April 20th. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Yep. That guy sent me an album to crack jokes about on the day the band’s bassist died of cancer.

Critics Den
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The promotional world of satire and parody mediums is a dark, but adventurous place. The critical gauntlet for bands, movies, television shows, and anything else that accidentally makes it into our mailbox is long, blood-thirsty, and rarely praising. Praise isn’t funny. Mockery is. Mockery of praise is funny. Praising mockery isn’t. Mocking the praising of mock….well, you get the point. The one standing at the dark alter today: ABC and two new shows slated for the Fall season.

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