Gargoyle guide to the week in entertainment, Feb. 11-17
Published: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 1:59am
For a quick look at all the entertainment choices the Gargoyle has featured this year, be sure to visit our A&E Hitlist. There you'll find at-a-glance info about all the movies, DVDs, CDs, and video games that we've included in our weekly entertainment guides since the school year began. In addition, you'll find links to external reviews (usually by Roger Ebert or New York Times critics) of all the movies and DVDs in our weekly guides, plus iTunes or MySpace links to our music selections. We've also added GameSpot links to our video game choices. So check out this wealth of A&E info!
Movies opening in C-U
(Rated PG-13, dir. Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud)
Marjane Satrapi co-directs the animated film adaptation of her graphic novel about an outspoken young Iranian girl coming of age during the Islamic Revolution.
Feb. 14 update: Boardman's Art Theatre has decided to continue the run of “There Shall Be Blood” for one more week. “Persepolis” will open on Feb. 22. Our apologies for getting your hopes up one week too soon.
(Rated PG-13, dir. Adam Brooks)
Ryan Reynolds plays a thirtysomething divorcee whose daughter begins to ask him some tough questions that compel him to recount his past relationships. Derek Luke, Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, and Kevin Kline also star.
(Rated PG-13, dir. Doug Liman)
Doug Liman (“Swingers,” “The Bourne Identity”) helms this sci-fi actioner about a young man (Hayden Christensen) gifted with a genetic anomaly that allows him to teleport himself anywhere.
“The Spiderwick Chronicles”
(Rated PG, dir. Mark S. Waters)
When the Grace family leaves New York City for their great-great-uncle’s secluded old mansion, they begin to experience a series of disappearances and abnormalities that can only be explained by the discovery of the mansion’s magical powers and the creatures that reside therein.
“Step Up 2 the Streets”
(Rated PG-13, dir. Jon Chu)
In this sequel to the popular dance-themed teen drama, Andie (Briana Evigan) feels out of place at her new elite arts academy, and rallies a crew of like-minded outcasts to compete in a local underground dance competition.
Kumars’ Pick: “Persepolis” will replace “There Will Be Blood” at Boardman’s, and any film with this level of critical acclaim is worth checking out.
CD releases this week
Pop punk arguably at its best (or worst) after Blink 182 and Sum 41. Simple Plan's first two albums both went platinum, and their infectious rocking may just make the third time another charm. The band's Web site calls it not just an album but a statement of “artistic ambition and growth from the Montreal-based quintet.”
The international dance-pop star tries to get back into the U.S. mainstream after last being widely recognized for 2002's “Can't Get You Out of My Head.” Chris Long of BBC Music claims:
“Thankfully, ['X' is] not all beats, treats and squeaks. Kylie has never been a one-trick pony, and the cabaret big-band fun of lead single '2 Hearts' is as wonderfully camp as anything she has ever done, though even that is topped by 'The One,' which follows in her fine tradition of making songs capable of both breaking your heart and shaking your rump ….”
Die! Die! Die!
The New Zealand punk three-piece tries to balance their harmless appearance with minimal production noise. As Spin Magazine says: “If the name didn't tip you off, Die! Die! Die! have little patience for pop concessions. Abrasive and bare-bones, the band makes a lot out of a little — in love with a loud/soft dynamic, their eardrum-rattling clatter recalls the rollicking franticness of the Liars and the nervous jerkiness of Hot Hot Heat.”
Laura's Pick: Ewww ….
DVD releases this week
“Gone Baby Gone”
(Rated R, dir. Ben Affleck)
The much-maligned Ben Affleck makes his shockingly well-received directorial debut with this tale of two detectives on the trail of a kidnapper in a hunt that grows larger and larger in its scope and implications. Ben’s younger brother Casey Affleck, who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance, and Morgan Freeman star.
“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?”
(Rated PG-13, dir. Tyler Perry)
Eight married college friends reunite at their annual retreat in Colorado, but two additions to their group throw the entire dynamic upside-down.
“We Own the Night”
(Rated R, dir. James Gray)
Two brothers, an NYPD officer (Mark Wahlberg) and the manager of a mob-owned nightclub (Joaquin Phoenix), team up to fight the Russian mafia, each for his own reason.
Kumars’ Pick: The two most high-profile releases here are “Into the Wild” and “Gone Baby Gone.” The latter gets my choice for Pick of the Week because frankly, “Into the Wild” was fairly underwhelming and most of it was Sean Penn’s fault. The other actor-director with a film coming out on DVD this week has gotten remarkably positive responses for his film, and though I haven’t seen it, I certainly plan to.
Video game releases this week
(Microsoft Game Studios)
Kaim Argonar is a young knight who is sentenced to live for 1,000 years. In this action role-playing game, the player plays through Kaim’s life as he lives through many generations of evil and despair. Through his exploration of the world, Kaim meets eight other immortals who help him combat the evils he has to deal with in the 1,000 years of his life. “Lost Odyssey” costs $59.99 for the Xbox 360.
“Conflict: Denied Ops”
The fifth game in the “Conflict series,” this tactical first-person shooter tells the story of two CIA soldiers named Graves and Lang. Graves is an expert sniper, while Lang is a heavy weapons expert. When the U.S. finds information about a possible nuclear attack by Venezuela, Graves and Lang are assigned to shut the operation down before the nuclear missiles launch. “Conflict: Denied Ops” costs $59.99 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 and $49.99 for the PC.
“Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements”
A remake of the first-person action game “Dark Messiah Might and Magic,” the Xbox 360 version reintroduces the life of the young man Sareth and his journey to become a wizard. The remake will include an expanded single-campaign mode, completely redone multiplayer mode, and will fix the glitches and bugs in the original version. “Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements” costs $59.99 for the Xbox 360.
Gordon’s Pick: “The Lost Odyssey” is a must-have for RPG fans. On the other hand, I’m not very impressed by “Conflict: Denied Ops” or “Dark Messiah Might and Magic: Elements.” “Conflict: Denied Ops” doesn’t seem to improve in the first-person shooter genre at all, and anyone who wants a shooter game should check out the superb ones from last year such as “Halo 3,” “BioShock,” and “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.” The original “Dark Messiah Might and Magic” was released two years ago on the PC, and I highly doubt the new version will improve much on it.
Live music this week
Salt the Wound, 1999, Ryan Willis, The Final Hour
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14
Error House, 505 Haines Blvd., Champaign, $5
On Valentine's Day, a night of live music from a handful of genres can be enjoyed at Error House. This house show will feature Salt the Wound, a death metal/hardcore band from Cleveland. Ryan Willis, an Illinois-based blues/folk musician, will provide some contrastingly mellow tunes, and Error Productions’ regulars 1999 will certainly provide another upbeat, energetic performance.
Sindha’s Pick: Champaign-Urbana is running dry on shows this week! Thursday night isn’t really the ideal night for a concert, but if death metal/hardcore music is your thing, I can promise you that Error Productions’ shows are always fun and filled with an enthusiastic crowd. The location is also pleasantly clean, unlike many house shows, and the atmosphere is lively.