Browsing: Critics Den

Critics Den
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We are in the midst of a cross-marketing Babylon. Musical whores are jumping across genres to sell albums left and right, and country music is the biggest beneficiary. First, Sheryl Crow had a brief fling with the twangy stuff. Then, Jewel went over to the dark side. Even Jessica Simpson, whose deeply moving pop lyrics should have guaranteed her a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has crossed the border. And today, I offer you the greatest travishamockery in the history of music:

Darius Rucker has gone country.

In case you don’t recognize the name, Darius is Hootie of “Hootie & The Blowfish” fame.

Yes, that guy. The African-American guy with the shaved head and gravely voice.

Critics Den
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You remember Coldplay. They were the English rock band that the radio deejays fell in love with a couple years ago, playing songs like “Clocks” and “The Scientist” until you were ready to throw yourself into traffic just so you wouldn’t have to hear them played one more time. They take on charitable causes. They don’t let their music be used in advertising (except for iPods). They’re like the British version of U2, only less famous. And less talented. And less cool. Lead singer Chris Martin is perhaps best known for being bold enough to legally bond himself to Gwyneth Paltrow and spawning oddly-named children like “Apple” and “Moses.”

Critics Den
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After finally seeing The Dark Knight and living through the hype surrounding this movie for the past 3 months, I thought it was time to write a rating article. No, I’m not rating which Batman character was better(that one should be obvious: Adam West of course!), and I’m not going to rate the movies themselves. That has been done time and again, in jest and in seriousness.

Critics Den
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The editor asked that I compare Sugar Pops® and Sugar Smacks® in some sort of fashion dictated by my experience as an artist. While being an artist is not a pre-requisite for judging/comparing cereals, I do have the advantage of hailing from a City that is home to Quaker Oats as well as General Mills. This compounded by the fact that cereal was the fuel that allowed me to sit through hours of cartoons every Saturday morning DOES qualify me to at least compare and compress these two products.

Critics Den
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Welcome to Flavors Of Entanglement

Don’t get me wrong. Lyrically, this is still Alanis. You still have a “kiss my ass” anthem in “Straightjacket.” You still have the “I admire you from a distance” credo in “In Praise of the Vulnerable Man.” You have the “I’m at rock bottom but I’ll make it someday” types in “Incomplete” and “Not As We.” But apparently, somebody thought it would be a good idea to layer some techno crap on top of her singing and call it an album. At one point, I actually looked to make sure I hadn’t downloaded the soundtrack for Underworld 3 by mistake.

Critics Den
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Once again fulfilling his 4th of July weekend movie quota, Will Smith appears as the titular burned out superhero in Hancock. Previews for months have shown scenes of Smith flying around LA with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, a ratty ski cap on his head, and a case of five o’clock shadow, as he smashes through freeway signs and in general causes more problems than he stops.

Critics Den
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Pixar studio’s new release, Wall*E, is following a long line of highly successful animated features from a company who consistently shows they know what they are doing with the medium. Wall*E, as we were told from the first teaser trailer, is the last of the original concepts drawn up by Pixar upon the release of Toy Story. It comes to us 13 years after that first film, and so one must wonder if there was a particular reason why it took so much longer than say, A Bug’s Life or Finding Nemo, and after new concepts such as The Incredibles, Cars, and Ratatouille.

Critics Den
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Back in January, I wrote a blog that debated how good an idea a Get Smart remake was in 2008. Can a parody of a genre that no longer functions in the same way it is being parodied work? Having seen the movie, the answer is yes.

Book Reviews
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Listen: When Ron Currie, Jr. awoke from troubled dreams one morning, he found that he had been transformed in his bed into an award-winning author.

Sort of. Ron’s transformation actually happened on the evening of April 30, 2008, when he was presented with the 2008 New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award in recognition of his debut novel, God is Dead (2007, Viking). The story is a believable account of mankind’s reaction to a devastating supernatural event (spoiler alert: God dies). At 33, Currie has already been compared to Kafka and Vonnegut.

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