Gargoyle guide to the week in entertainment, May 24-30
Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 9:16pm
This is it! It's almost done! So close! For the final finals push, we've picked out our favorite new releases for your break times and end-of-school celebrations, and we're excited about all of it! Check out "Prince of Persia" in theaters, based on the popular video game. On shelves is a wicked new CD/DVD from All Time Low, and gamers will be psyched for "Super Mario Galaxy 2." Yes!
MOVIE RELEASES THIS WEEK
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
Rated PG-13, dir. Mike Newell
Nationwide release: Friday, May 28
Based on a popular video game franchise, this film tells the story of how Dastan(Jake Gyllenhaal), heir to the throne of Persia, and Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) team up to prevent the villain Nizam (Ben Kingsley) from creating a sandstorm that will destroy the world.
"Sex and the City 2"
Rated R, dir. Michael Patrick King
Nationwide release: Thursday, May 27
Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is married to Big (Chris Noth), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) are moms, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is a cougar trying to reverse the effects of time. The "Sex and the City" gang is back for a sequel to the popular and fairly well-received 2008 film based on the groundbreaking HBO series that ran from 1998 to 2004. "SATC" defined an era of excess, but with the main actresses now well into middle age and the economy having collapsed, there doesn't seem to be much life remaining in the initial premise. Unfortunately for everyone involved in this latest effort, critics agree; the movie has been getting awful reviews.
"Survival of the Dead"
Rated R, dir. George A. Romero
Nationwide release: Friday, May 28
On Plum Island, a town of ordinary humans becomes infested with crazy zombies. In effort to save their lives, the residents must ensure that their former relatives rest in peace … again.
Eleni's Pick: The move releases this week look rather pathetic, but Luke seems to think that "Prince of Persia" might be worth it for fans of the games.
CDs in stores this week
"Straight to DVD"
All Time Low
It blows me away that these guys call themselves pop punk. Popular punk? Isn't punk about defying the mainstream? But anyway. This is a DVD not a CD, but rockumentaries are my guilty pleasure, and "Straight to DVD" seems to be a true-to-form on-the-road documentary in the style of Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" (my all time favorite!). It's cut with live footage of one of their recent concerts to boot, and purportedly contains some new music. Yay!
"Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor"
I'm a little confused but totally psyched for this album proper. Smashing Pumpkins have been releasing this, one song at a time, since September as free downloads from their Web site (DRM free, very considerate). Now available altogether, the band has announced that this isn't the end! There will be more! Many more! Also free! Culminating in a box set at some point in the undetermined future. And, lo and behold, it sounds like really early, classic Smashing Pumpkins. I'm excited.
"Stone Temple Pilots"
Stone Temple Pilots
The eponymous album is really coming back around, man. Anyway. This is purported to be the rock-iest rock album of this classic rock band, so I guess if you like rock, you're in for a treat. It's the first time the DeLeo brothers have written together since 2006's " Army of Anyone" release, and the first album since the band's reformation. If that isn't enough for you, however, "Stone Temple Pilots" has received rave reviews left and right, and what little I can track down sounds great. Keep your eye out for this.
Katy's Pick: I'm such a sucker for rockumentaries — I'll be watching "Straight to DVD" after my last final!
DVD RELEASES THIS WEEK
Rated PG-13, dir. Lasse Hallström
Original U.S. theatrical release: Feb. 5, 2010
John Tyree (Channing Tatum) is a soldier who was fighting in Iraq. While home on a break, he meets a conservative college student, Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried). When the two meet, it's love at first sight. Their romance continues on, quite strong, until John gets notice that he is wanted back in battle and the lovebirds must separate.
Rated R, dir. John Hillcoat
Original U.S. theatrical release: Nov. 25, 2009
A father and his son take a walk through America. It has burned due to the apocalypse. In order to find life, the duo voyage to the South with nothing but a pistol, the clothes they are wearing, and bits of food. Based on the 2006 Cormac McCarthy novel, this movie stars Viggo Mortensen as the father and Kodi Smit-McPhee as his son.
Eleni's Pick: "Dear John" is on my list of movies to watch over summer break.
VIDEO GAME RELEASES THIS WEEK
"Super Mario Galaxy 2"
As usual, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach (someone needs to get that woman some pepper spray), and it is up to you to find her. However, Bowser has grown to an immense size, the princess seems to be genuinely interested in being your friend, and you spend most of the game flying around a space ship shaped like Mario's head. A refreshing departure from Mario games, but not quite as exciting as "Super Mario Sunshine." I don't really have anything against Mario, and this title looks somewhat interesting. It is available this week for $49.99. As usual, this Nintendo game is only for the Wii.
"Star Wars: Battle for Hoth"
Publisher: THQ Wireless
There has been no shortage of "Star Wars" games on the iPhone, and there are probably too many tower-defense games out there. I think that everyone knew they would get together some day. Just in time for the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back," you get to be Luke (Luke Skywalker, since a game about me would be boring) and defend the shield generators of Hoth against Vader's forces. Look for this geek gem in the iPhone app store this week.
Luke's Pick: For the first (and last) time this year, I am going to recommend both games. Now that I own a Wii, I will certainly buy "Super Mario Galaxy 2," and I have a definite weakness for "Star Wars" games.
Local shows and events
Uni High Commencement
3 p.m. Saturday, May 29
Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center
Go and watch the Class of 2010 in their final farewell to Uni! Listen to English teachers Elizabeth Majerus and Matt Mitchell give speeches. Go see the seniors walk across the stage! Because, hey, that's going to be you one day. (Or maybe this weekend, I don't know.)
Sabu's Fund: An Animal Art Show
Indi Go Artist Co-op, 9 E. University Ave., Champaign
6 to 10 p.m., Thursday, May 27
Founded by Uni grad Laura Voitik (Class of '09), Sabu's Fund is a charity to raise money for pets whose owners could not otherwise afford cancer treatments. This fundraiser includes gourmet food, artwork, and live animals.
Katy's Pick: You can find me seeing the seniors off on Saturday, surely. Good luck, guys!