April 7-13, 2010 \ Volume 20 \ Issue 14 \ Always Free
Film | Music | Culture
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Contributing Writers Jonathan Bautts, Scott Bedno, Scott Bell, China Bialos, Erica Carter, Richard Castaneda, Joshua Chilton, Cesar Cruz, Nick Day, Natasha Desianto, James Famera, Ximena Herschberg, Zach Hines, Damon Huss, Olga Khazan, Kathy Leonardo, Becca Lett, Lucia, Ebony March, Angela Matano, Stephanie Nolasco, Samantha Ofole, Samantha Oltman, Brien Overly, Ariel Paredes, Sasha Perl-Raver, Parimal M. Rohit, Melissa Russell, Mike Sebastian, Doug Simpson, Jennifer Smith, Jessica Stern, Spence Stokell, David Tobin, Emmanuelle Troy, Mike Venezia, TJ Webber, Kevin Wierzbicki, Candice Winters, Paul Zollo Contributing Artists & Photographers Paul Zollo
04 NEWS U.S. NEWS 04 CULTURE L.A. FACES 06 BLOGS D-DAY 06 BLOGS FUN FOR LESS 07 CULTURE L.A. MOVES 07 CULTURE CURTAIN CALL 08 FILM STEVE CARELL & TINA FEY Experience a Date Night from Hell 08 FILM WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE All You Need to Know About the Doors 10 FILM THE SQUARE Director Nash Edgerton’s Thrilling Drama 10 FILM PROJECTIONS 11 FILM TV TIME 12 FILM REVIEWS 13 FILM JEREMY RAY VALDEZ The Rising Star’s Passionate Performance in La Mission 14 FILM SCREEN SHOTS 14 FILM DVD DISH
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16 MUSIC GBH British Punk legends have fun with Perfume and Piss. 16 MUSIC PAPER ROUTE Make Their Mark on the Rock Scene 17 MUSIC REPORT 18 MUSIC FREQUENCY 18 MUSIC CD REVIEWS 19 MUSIC LIVE SHOW REVIEWS 19 CULTURE ON THE MENU 19 CULTURE GRAPHIC NOVELS 20 SPORTS L.A. HOOPLA 20 SPORTS THE DIAMOND DISPATCH 21 SPORTS CENTER ICE 21 SPORTS GALAXY KICK 21 CULTURE COLLEGE CENTRAL 22 CULTURE GAMES & GADGETS 23 CULTURE THE ART OF LOVE 23 EVENTS THE 10 SPOT Cover: Jordan Farmar of the Los Angeles Lakers Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBA Photos
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SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS Campus News College Central Local News U.S. News
OBAMA CHANGES STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM by CHRISTI PARSONS AND JANET HOOK tribune washington bureau ( mct )
President Barack Obama signed into law the last piece of his mammoth plan to overhaul health care March 30 and, with the same pen strokes, achieved a dramatic and far-reaching change in the way most Americas help pay the cost of a college education. Both the health care provisions and revamping the loan program for college students were sandwiched into a single piece of legislation – the budget reconciliation bill approved weeks ago by the House and Senate. And, while the changes in the health care system are historic, the changes in the student loan program – though smaller – are just about as drastic. After years of controversy over a system in which the government and the private sector were major players, the new law ends the role of private banks as “middle men,” cuts program costs and channels the extra money to the neediest students. Overhauling the loan program, which fulfilled an Obama
Campus Circle > News > U.S. News campaign promise, was a kind of stealth accomplishment for the president, coming as rider on the final piece of health care legislation. The bill would shift responsibility for making cut-rate student loans to the government, ending the federal subsidies and guarantees now given to private banks that lend to students. The overhaul was a defeat for the banking lobby, which has long succeeded in blocking efforts to cut out their lucrative role. Ironically, the health care debate has been replete with outsized warnings of a government takeover of health care, but the student loan overhaul marks an even more direct government move to supplant the private sector. Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, ranking Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, says the law amounts to “replacing a popular student loan model with yet another one-size-fits-all government bureaucracy,” that would destroy 30,000 jobs in the private student loan industry. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says that students would prefer getting such critical financing from a banker they know rather than from anonymous bureaucrats. “I don’t see how the students of this country are going to get the same service out of four call centers as they get from their individual banks,” says Grassley. Because studies show the government-operated program would be less costly, the overhaul would free up money to increase Pell Grants for low-income students and aid to black colleges. Obama, speaking to a crowd of students at a community college in suburban Virginia before signing the legislation, says money that should have been spent advancing the educational interests of students “instead was spent padding student lenders’ profits.” “I didn’t stand with the banks and the financial industries in this fight. That’s not why I came to Washington. And neither
Making Mister Rogers Proud Xavier Vanegas, USC ’11, was awarded one of three annual Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarships March 22 by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. Vanegas won $10,000 in recognition of his innovative ideas and dedication to the education and development of children through media. Vanegas is earning his masters in Motion Picture Producing. How did you hear about the scholarship? It was funny; two friends e-mailed me at the same time about the scholarship. I was in the process of developing “Fink Forest Friends” and wasn’t even thinking about scholarships. When I read about the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship and the mentorship aspects of it, it seemed like a great opportunity to learn from those who have continued in the tradition of Fred Rogers – spreading positive messages through television. How did you feel when you heard that you won? As one of the Academy reps said at the Fred Forward conference, “Xavier was the only one of the three that actually screamed when he found out!” You were a PA for DreamWorks’ Shrek films and interned at Disney’s live-action feature development. Why did you
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
did any of the members of Congress who are here today. We stood with you. We stood with America’s students,” he says. In his Tuesday speech, Obama offered a preview of how in this election year Democrats plan to cast the health and education initiatives as help for families against moneyed interests that have profited in their time of economic distress. The success of a little-noticed student loan bill was a testament, in part, to the changes in the balance of specialinterest power in Washington since Obama became president and the economy has struggled through difficult times – a shift that eroded the effectiveness of financial industry lobbyists, especially as the public soured over bank bailouts and the role of financial institutions in precipitating the recession. The Obama proposal “lent itself to the politics of the time more so than it would have three or four years ago,” says John Dean, special counsel to the Consumer Bankers’ Association, which opposed the legislation. “Many people see the recession was caused by the misbehavior by banks.” What is more, the idea was particularly appealing to a deficit-conscious Congress because the shift to government lending would save an estimated $61 billion over 10 years. The new law will make it easier for borrowers to repay their loans if they take low-wage jobs by capping monthly payments at 10 percent of their income, down from 15 percent now. In addition, the new law would cancel any debts that remain after 20 years; under current law, loan balances are forgiven after 25 years. “We are sending millions of young Americans into significant borrowing decisions with nothing but hope,” says Barmak Nassirian, an official of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. “The income based repayment system ... is an enormous safety net.” (c) 2010, Tribune Co. / Distributed by MCT.
Campus Circle > Culture > L.A. Faces choose children’s programming as your field? The “Fink Forest Friends” is for children, but it’s also for the child within every adult. I don’t think of it as strictly children’s programming, because it has the possibility of entertaining everyone. When you tell a good story, people get involved, regardless of how old they are. What do your parents think about this scholarship achievement? They’re thrilled about the achievement and see it as one step closer to fulfilling my passion for filmmaking. My parents have always supported me in whatever I wanted to do. They’re both immigrants from Nicaragua, so when they came to this country, their options were quite limited. What sticks out the most about the television you watched as a kid? It’s amazing the kind of power television has over you when you’re a kid. To me, it was like a window into reality. Everything was real, and we were on the outside looking in. Like most kids, I had an almost spiritual connection to that box. I’m still amazed at how TV can unite the world. Television creates this unified space that the entire world can tap into, so people can experience things they couldn’t possibly otherwise. What is your animated children’s TV show, “Fink Forest Friends,” about? “Fink Forest Friends” is about a group of young magical forest animals who learn emotional literacy and social responsibility as they work together to preserve their forest kingdom. It started when I was in college, and I wanted to impress a girl, Cathleen. We sat next to each other in a political science class, and I used to draw these happy forest animals to make her
laugh. We’d draw back and forth, and they eventually became the “Fink Forest Friends.” One Valentine’s Day, Cathleen and I sat down and made a painting with all the characters. We’ve continued to work together on the “Finks,” and Cathleen has been a major driving force in their development. Xavier Vanegas It became obvious that the “Fink Forest Friends” lent themselves naturally to a children’s media project and that this could be a vehicle to spread positive messages to children. I’ve always felt that humor isn’t just a great device for entertaining, but also for teaching. What upcoming projects are you working on, and what do you plan on doing with the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship? Cathleen and I are in the process of launching an environmentally friendly “Fink Forest Friends” plush toy line that’s already available at a few local shops in Los Angeles and online (etsy.com/shop/finkforestfriends). We’re hoping to expand the toy line in the coming months. The scholarship will go toward transforming the “Fink Forest Friends” into an animated series. I am also writing a sci-fi feature film and continuing to direct music videos and commercials to hone my skills as an aspiring director.
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CULTURE EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS The Art of Love Books D-Day Fashion Food Fun For Less Gaming L.A. Moves Theater Travel
A Guide to Winning the Battle by denise guerra I recently found an old newspaper clipping my dad gave me when I first started college. The small news piece listed a couple of Web sites to help save money on textbooks. His show of affection by saving me money had a lasting effect on me throughout my experiences as a starving college student. You see, my four years in college at UC Riverside and later as a transfer at UCLA were extremely successful in beating the horrendous overpriced textbook publication industry at their own game. The result: I only spent a total of $300 on all my textbooks throughout college. Mind you, this includes textbooks in courses in English, math and sciences (I didn’t know what to major in so I took everything.). Considering my classmates spent thousands of dollars on books they used for one quarter that now lay underneath piles of clothes and pizza, the amount of money I spent in four years is probably enough to pay a down payment on a car. Now, this of course, took a lot of patience, ingenuity and sleepless nights. If you’re the type of person that values convenience (having access to your book anytime), my
Campus Circle > Blogs > D-Day methods probably won’t work for you, and buying a textbook at the bookstore is probably your best bet. For the rest of us poor folk, here is an alumni legacy I hope you’ll find useful. Active planning starts with the syllabus. Yeah, yeah, you would think the required reading list is important, but really it’s the due dates of papers and assignments that you need to scan carefully because it dictates which books you really have to have all the time. Any other book that is required reading mid-quarter/semester is something you can probably wait to borrow at the library. The price range I always went for was FREE first, and the library is always free (in theory, I’m looking at you library fines). Do a book search with the ISBN number, and see whether copies were put on hold by the professor or available for checkout. Be wary though, smart frugals like you will be eyeing the same book, so plan to check out the book early enough so you can renew it just in time for the assignment. Another UC library feature to take advantage of is called an “interlibrary loan” – if another library happens to have the textbook you need, you can request it to be sent to your school’s library. The next cheapest way is to use your social networks, including Facebook. Ask around for people who’ve taken the class before, and quickly snatch it up. Just hope your buddy doesn’t try to make money off of you. Shout it out on your Facebook: “I need this book!” or Facebook marketplace it. Bring it up during a casual conversation, “I need said book. Do you know someone’s whose taken said class?” Chances are, your dorm mates, Greek siblings or some random is willing to give away a book they no longer need. If you’re really desperate, which I was, there’s this option (but use precaution): Buy or borrow the book, make copies of the pages you need and return. This works only when you have to read short chapters. That is all.
DOLLARS AND SCENTS Fab Fragrances Under $20 by ebony march With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, there are a ton of social opportunities available for all takers. Garden parties, nights at the club and even graduation celebrations put us in close quarters with old friends and perfect strangers. Sure, you may look like a million bucks as you cozy up to that new cutie, but you won’t get any play if you smell like leftover soup. I, as well as my buddies, are all HUGE proponents of defunking for the good times. Whether it’s the eau de toilette on your body or the fragrance in your house, there are a number of clean scents that can take your social standing up a notch without breaking the bank. Looking for a clean and sensual scent to calm your nerves and incite lust in a potential love interest? Look no further than the Healing Garden Relax Therapy White Tea Body Mist (available at Walgreens, $9.95). This scent smells light, airy and cozy and boasts skin conditioners to leave you touchable and soft for hookups. I love it because it has got a shot of Valerian root extract, which peaces out even the most neurotic user.
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Hinda Schuman/Phildealphia Inquirer/MCT
Textbooks don’t have to drain your bank account. Now if there is no way to get the book free, then it’s time to do some Internet searching. Half.com has served me well, and I thank them. Also try a Google search of the book’s ISBN number and compare prices. A risky venture is to buy a previous edition, which contains basically the same information but lacks some newer “features.” Whatever pages you’re missing from your old edition you can ask a classmate to borrow their newer edition to make copies. Another reason to make friends in class, right? Something interesting on that newspaper clipping my dad gave me was a site called textbookz.com, which has a textbook swapping service. You can immediately e-mail or phone a person who has placed an ad buying or selling their book. The important part of this is the ability to negotiate, even if it’s only $5. Every penny saved is worth all the effort. Hopefully these tips find you well, and you stick it to those overpriced bookstores. Cue: evil laugh.
Campus Circle > Blogs > Fun For Less Back in the late 1990s, it seemed like there was a huge trend toward unisex EVERYTHING. Calvin Klein’s CK One was all the rage and couples such as Posh and Becks attended all the coolest shindigs dressed in matching garb. BARF-OLA! Nowadays, unisex gets a much-needed upgrade with scents like Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo. Ferragamo may be known for shoes, shoes and more shoes, but this Italian designer’s legacy has definitely stretched into a dope lifestyle brand. One whiff of this woodsy fragrance with its dreamy citrus top notes and you’ll be screaming, “Viva Italiano!” Get it online at perfumeheadquarter.com for $16.99. One thing my good friends know about me is that I am a junk food junkie. Since everybody’s got his or her poison, I can admit that mine is birthday cake. I love the stuff. I can’t freakin’ get enough. The more gloppy and sweet the frosting on top, the better. I don’t even know if I like cake so much as I love sugary butter cream icing – but I digress. When all that delicious goodness spends a little too much time migrating to my hips and waistline, I substitute the food kind for the perfume. Demeter (demeterfragrance.com) serves up a slice of something good with its line of “real-life” spray scents. The absolute best is my signature scent – Birthday Cake. This goodie smells EXACTLY like the real thing and is guilt-free. It retails for around $18 and is available at Sephora. A fragrance that’s sure to make a resurgence alongside the outrageous and fun-filled fashions of the 1970s is Charlie. Revlon released this iconic perfume to capture the hearts of cool, hip and young career gals who were way too vibrant and independent for mainstays like Chanel No. 5. Aside from its spicy and fruity vibe, it’s also hella cheap. Charlie comes in at a mere $5 a bottle and is available at drugstores such as CVS. Guys aren’t left out in the dark. By now, I’m sure everyone has seen those hilarious commercials with actor Isaiah Mustafa
Bob Fila/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Smell like birthday cake with a Demeter fragrance. – otherwise known as “the dude on the horse in the Old Spice commercials.” Not only is Old Spice enjoying the success of a rad ad campaign, it’s giving brands such as Axe Body Wash a run for its money. Old Spice smells awesome, and it’s actually affordable: Pick up a gift set at Target for $8.99. Finally, if you want your crib to smell as tasty as your bod does, there’s a quick fix: Glade Scented Oil PlugIns. Retailing at about $4 each, these little bottles of yumminess fit into a tiny fan distribution unit (also retailing at about $4), which heats the oil and blows it out into the air. Traditional sprays work well for a moment or two, but they do very little when it comes to masking pet and food smells. Your partygoers won’t know what hit ’em when jasmine and vanilla or honeysuckle wafts overhead. This one is like aromatherapy for heart and home.
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Performers in the “Walking Mad” portion of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago show
HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO April 9-11 @ Ahmanson Theatre
2009 college graduate Jacqueline Burnett is just one of the young starlets of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) performing as part of the 20092010 season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center. Below, Burnett takes us on a journey through the mind of a contemporary mover. How did you get into dancing? Both of my older sisters danced before me, by the encouragement of my mother and her interest in the art form. Before I could even walk I became a muse and a central figure in my sisters’ early choreographic works. Dancing was inevitable. How did you get involved with HSDC? Hubbard Street was a company that I had admired and known about as a teenager, but it wasn’t until college that I actually had any type of contact with the company. I attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance where Glenn Edgerton was teaching Jirí Kylián repertoire. That summer I felt how inspired and challenged I was by contemporary movement. The following fall, Glenn was making the transition to becoming the Artistic Associate for Hubbard Street, so we had kept in touch and I was able to go to Chicago and audition for him, Jim Vincent (former HSDC Artistic Director) and Lucas Crandall. In just a few months, January 2008, I was hired as a Center Apprentice for Hubbard Street. As the Center Apprentice, my job position sat between the two companies – Hubbard Street 2 (HS2) and HSDC – meaning I could learn the repertoire of both companies and rehearse and perform where I was needed. This was ideal because I spent the majority of my time touring and performing with HS2 for the first year and a half and performing in two of the main company’s home seasons. I was hired into the main company in August 2009. What are the best parts about being a member of HSDC? There are so many “best parts” about being a part of HSDC, and I don’t think they can be ranked because they all go into producing the high quality work that we present. The community that we build is incredible – so many compassionate, talented artists and minds. The repertoire we are able to learn and perform is both choreographed on us and reset on us by some of the best contemporary choreographers in the world. We are able to travel and interact with people of different cultures and perform for audiences that may have an entirely different viewpoint or experience of our work. And we have the advantage of highly trusting our artistic director and artistic staff in presenting the company in the best light. This trust is also returned to us, as dancers, so we really are given an environment where we are free to explore and express ourselves as individuals and artists. Tell us about the piece you will be performing at the Music Center. The piece I will be dancing in is “Tabula Rasa,” choreographed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. In October, we toured to Israel and were able to rehearse with Ohad in Tel Aviv. This work is one of his earliest and just as stunning as many of his later works. Dancing it is a physical and mental journey, and the experience is always dependent on the atmosphere that the dancers create onstage with each other. What are some of your goals as a performer? I always hope to be a captivating performer – to send people’s minds in different spirals and unrecognized spaces. What are the hardest things about being a dancer? The hardest part of being a dancer is dealing with yourself everyday – having to be in tune physically, emotionally and mentally, and then being critiqued on what and who you are that day. But, along with being the hardest part, it can also be the most rewarding. Ahmanson Theatre is located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, visit musiccenter.org.
Now-April 18 @ Kirk Douglas Theatre I took my boyfriend to check out “The Wake,” the new play by Lisa Kron, directed by Leigh Silverman. We took our seats and observe the beautiful modern set of an older looking apartment building right out of NYC with the fire escape stairway to the left. There was a thick border framing the entire stage where media images and newsreels are shown. I knew something great was in store by David Korins’ scenic design alone. The play takes place in New York City, in Ellen (played by Heidi Schreck) Heidi Schreck as Ellen in “The Wake” and Danny’s (played by Carson Elrod) apartment. They live two floors above Kayla, Danny’s sister (played by Andrea Frankle), and her wife Laurie (Danielle Skraastad). Ellen’s friend Judy (played brilliantly by Deirdre O’Connell), a social recluse, is in town for her mother’s funeral and crashes their Thanksgiving festivities. Everyone is getting ready for dinner, but Ellen is constantly distracted by the media coverage of the recount vote taking place in Florida. Ellen, a journalist, is enthralled with politics and passionate about her political views and convictions. She appears to be in a happy and comfortable place in her life, living with a warm and loving boyfriend and having great friends and family as neighbors. That wonderfully comfortable world takes a turn when she meets a woman named Amy, played by Emily Donahoe, with whom she falls madly in love. As the story evolves, Ellen has to make a choice between the man with whom she shares a life or continue exploring this new relationship with this woman. The ensemble cast is perfection! The actors are so much fun, so real, so relatable you feel like you are taking part in their world and the audience is an extension of their living room. The most disturbing part of the whole show is relieving the horrific events of the dreadful Bush years and 9/11. This is definitely a play that will provoke strong conversation and debate. It explores complicated arenas and asks some tough questions. What more could you ask for from a great play? —Ximena Herschberg Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. For more information, visit centertheatregroup.org.
“Buffalo Hole” Now-May 1 @ Arena Stage at Theatre of Arts It was gory, bloody, dark, but very funny. “Buffalo Hole” is set in North Dakota, when the temperature is 15 below zero. Braggert Strong is holding his father, Patton Strong, captive for lying about the Congressional Medal of Honor he received years ago in the service. Braggert intends on killing his father, who ultimately was not regarded as a good parent by his three children and ex-wife. However, before doing so, Braggert is awaiting the arrival of the entire family to say their last words to the old man. The arrival of Jessop Strong (the only college graduate of the family) comes first, and he soon finds out that his father is missing a toe and hanging from the ceiling tied on a chain in Braggert’s room. Hilarious laughs are delivered when these two brothers meet at the “shit hole” where Braggert resides. By this time it is evident that Braggert is psychologically unstable after having suffered enormous abuse from his father as a child. Then again, the entire Strong family is dysfunctional, and portrayed by Eva (mother) and Sara (sister). Eva is an old, pregnant mother who drinks beer and whiskey to relax and feel comfortable with reality. Sara appears to be headed in the same direction. As soon as all five family members come together, they resemble the family in the movie The Devil’s Rejects. (There is no killing in the play, however.) Braggert eventually learns that his father honestly won and attained the Congressional Medal of Honor, as his family laughs at him because he misunderstood a story his father described when he was drunk. Braggert apologizes, but still amputates a foot. “Buffalo Hole” is a story of revenge and misunderstandings. It depicts a family who has struggled to be happy, especially with the alcohol problems of the father and, apparently, the mother. How dysfunctional is the family? Well, they are all eating Kentucky Fried Chicken together in the end as if nothing has happened. —Marvin G. Vasquez Arena Stage at Theatre of Arts (formerly The Egyptian Arena Theatre) is located at 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. For more information, visit plays411.com/buffalohole.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
CULTURE EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS DVD Dish Interviews L.A. Faces Movie Reviews Projections Screen Shots Special Features TV Time
Tina Fey and Steve Carell kick ass and take names. BY ebony march Marriage, even for the best of us, can sometimes lose its luster. The monotony of waking up beside the same person day in and day out has soured a number of people from even bothering to take the plunge in the first place. Add the screaming, pooping, tantrum-having pitterpatter of little feet, and those once-romantic “I do’s” can begin to feel like a bad case of the “Hell no’s!” Unfortunately for some couples, it’s hard to inject lust back into marital relations once it’s gone. Claire and Phil Foster (Tina Fey, Steve Carell) are beginning to feel the pangs of a long-term union. They happily plod along in their suburban New Jersey existence – he, as an accountant and she, as a real estate agent. To keep the spark in their marriage, Claire and Phil have date nights at a local restaurant. However, you could set a watch by the routine – all the way down to the entrees they order and the conversation they have over potato skin appetizers. One evening, the couple decides to mix it up a bit by going into nearby Manhattan for an extra-spicy date in the city. They leave the kids with their snarky babysitter (“Gossip Girl”’s Leighton Meester) and head to an über-hip downtown hotspot frequented by models celebrities and a scattered assortment of
D-bags. After waiting around at the bar for a table, they decide to jump a claim on another couple’s reservation. Claire and Phil Foster become “The Tripplehorns.” Dinner is great fun; the food is amazing and for once in a long time, so is the conversation. That is, until two thugs (Jimmi Simpson, Common) usher the couple out of the restaurant. In what becomes a HUGE comedy of errors, Claire and Phil wind up fighting for their lives and dodging the bad guys while getting to the bottom of some grossly illegal activity that can be traced all the way to City Hall. Date Night is a hilarious comedy directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Just Married). He takes a departure from the dark humor that has become so popular in recent years and, instead, guides viewers through a humorous exploration of 1980s-style buddy comedies – this time, for the married set. Levy confesses that he had a blast dreaming up the roster of actors who would act out the over-the-top action and humor within the film. One scene garnering early buzz in the film is when celebrated young actor James Franco and screen siren Mila Kunis steal the show as a sleazy young couple who play a huge part in the Tripplehorn saga. While Franco has expanded his repertoire recently by appearing on ABC’s venerable daytime program “General Hospital,” he’s nevertheless a huge box office draw, as is Kunis with her recent roster of breakthrough performances. Levy was thrilled that everyone wanted to be on board. “Talent likes being with talent,” he says, adding that his casting success came simply by dreaming up people who’d be great in each role and approaching them with an offer. No one capitalized on their fame and image more than Mark Wahlberg. As a shirtless lothario, he pokes fun at his days as a Calvin Klein model.
Campus Circle > Film > Interviews
Claire (Tina Fey) and Phil (Steve Carell) make a frantic call for help.
“I play a guy named Holbrooke Grant, who is a security expert who Claire and Phil come to for help,” he explains. “They catch Holbrooke at a bad time; he’s with his beautiful Israeli girlfriend.” But perhaps the biggest shocker and most pleasant surprise in Date Night is all the wild action. Fey and Carell succeed as a slapstick-y Bonnie and Clyde, bashing around New York City in a number of outrageous sequences. Most notable is a high-speed car chase that is sure to send pulses racing. Fey goes from prim and proper soccer mom to Danica Patrick on ’roids in one fell swoop. “I thought all of the action stuff was really fun to do,” admits the comedienne. For Fey, it was the simple act of her character shedding her inhibitions (and wardrobe) that made her role so easy to get into. “Once I lose my purse and coat, it was just me and my arms for the night,” she jokes. Date Night releases in theaters April 9.
WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE by ebony march
The Doors open up on the big screen.
Peek behind the Doors.
I enjoy a compelling story as much as the next guy. Here’s one of my favorites: A couple of students meet while attending film school at UCLA. After graduating and going their separate ways, they run into each other by chance. They, along with a couple of other friends, decide to start a band. The group develops a sound that’s neither expected nor mainstream: a sexy mix of Latin and jazz percussion interlaced with a sinister circus-like organ. The lead singer is especially magnetic. He’s sex, drugs, heaven and hell rolled into one. Too bad the kid’s substance abuse problem has gotten out of hand. Next thing everybody knows, he’s sinking into a downward spiral that is destined to end poorly. Now, this may seem like the cautionary tale of a tragic pack of Silver Lake hipsters, but in actuality, it’s the story of music’s most timeless and electrifying act. That’s right: You have just been treated to the legend of the Doors. When You’re Strange is a clever documentary about Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore told through the group’s own archival footage. It gets an added boost with powerful narration by Johnny Depp. With 40 years and countless recordings of historical and pop culture significance, it’s the Doors’ keyboardist Manzarek – bold, vibrant and cool as ever – who manages to keep all the hype surrounding himself and his cohorts to a surprising minimum. “If you think of yourself as a rock star,” he cautions, “you’re a fool.” When You’re Strange releases in select theaters April 9.
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Campuscircle.com/screening/DeathAtAFuneral Screening will take place: Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles No purchase necessary. While supplies last. Each pass admits two. All winners will be drawn at random from all eligible entries. Screen Gems, Campus Circle and their affiliated agencies accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or injury incurred in connection with use of a prize. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. No phone calls, please. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed. Specific terms, conditions and limitations may apply.
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An Aussie auteur ushers in a new era in film. by ebony march Every 20 years or so, a new dawn emerges in the film industry. The last time cinephiles had their minds blown was during the early 1990s when directors like Quentin Tarantino, Allison Anders, Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant ushered in a new style of independent filmmaking and found fame in the process. Since then, some exciting names (like Paul Thomas Anderson and Michel Gondry) have come and gone, but moviegoers have mostly seen expansions and revisions of the same old style. Enter: Nash Edgerton. The Aussie stuntman has done what some may have deemed impossible years ago; he’s made the leap from behind-the-scenes player to show runner in one fell swoop. Edgerton makes his feature film directorial debut in The Square. This is not your ordinary independent. The Square is a stylish film noir with lots of plot twists, turns and all the action one might expect from an industry daredevil. It all starts when Ray and Carla decide to escape their monotonous and unsuitable relationships to run off together. Carla’s thug boyfriend has stashed a large wad of cash in their house, and she decides that this windfall will provide the financial freedom that she and Ray need to start over.
Campus Circle > Film > Interviews Ray reluctantly gives in to Carla’s plan and hires an arsonist to set fire to Carla’s home in order to mask her theft of the stolen money. Unfortunately, as with most criminal activity, something goes horribly wrong. This results in a lot of fingerpointing, some bite-your-nails suspense and a growing body count. Soon Ray and Carla are in over their heads, leaving the audience to wonder, “Was it really worth it?” Edgerton didn’t have very far to go for collaborators. His brother, Joel, has partnered with him on a series of wellreceived short films. Joel even co-wrote, co-produced and costars in The Square as Billy, the arsonist. “We have skills that kind of complement each other,” says Nash of working with his brother. “And it’s pretty easy telling Joel if I don’t like something, knowing that we’ll still be brothers at the end of it.” Nash also relied upon colleagues from other projects to handle some of the more challenging aspects of production. His mentor in the stunt world, Tony Lynch, coordinated many of the film’s action sequences. “Tony is probably someone I’ve done more stunts with than anyone,” explains Nash. “And anytime I have had stunts in anything, Tony has been a part of that. If I am going to crash a car, I want Tony to strap me in. If I am going to be set on fire, I want Tony to put me out. It’s as simple as that. When it came to doing The Square, there was really no question who I was going to get to do the stunt part of it. I thought I’ve done more car chases with Tony than anyone else, so for that scene it was going to be him.” But even with a tight technical ship run during production, it’s the artistry and audacity of the Edgerton esthetic that makes The Square so fascinating. Nash’s style consists of a great deal of Steadicam work, which is something that not many film directors are comfortable exploring.
A DAY AT THE RACES April 10 @ Alex Theatre BY candice winters Hollywood has mastered the art of fooling us. Don’t be offended; I’m not insulting your competency. The people calling the shots on set are skilled and trained at saving money by using locations in Los Angeles in lieu of traveling to actual exotic places. For example, Pearl Harbor (2001) was not completely shot in Hawaii. Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and the Queen Mary in Long Beach were just a few of the locations stuck in the film – and quite convincingly, too. Union Station was also employed by Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, which was supposed to take place in the scary year of 2019. Films like The Flintstones (1994), which takes place millions of years in the past were shot at Vasquez Rock in Agua Dulce. However, many films are supposed to take place in our city. I don’t know about you, but it always makes me happy when I am able to identify an L.A. landmark while I’m sitting entranced in my seat at the theater. Roman Polanski’s masterpiece Chinatown (1974) was shot virtually entirely in Los Angeles and outlying areas. If you look closely you can recognize the Biltmore Hotel as well as Chinatown, obviously.
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The Square’s composer, Ben Lee, and director, Nash Edgerton
However, the raw method of capturing action lends itself to the duplicitous and daring deeds of the cast of characters. What’s more, he managed to accomplish his vision, even under tight budget and time constraints. The director, along with his editor, mapped out much of the film’s action by utilizing camcorders during rehearsals. He was also able to call upon his work as a music video director, which is a genre known for high production value at often-discounted overhead. Nash even called upon some talented musicians to contribute to his overall vision. In Spider (a 2007 short directed by Edgerton), Aussie singer Ben Lee and his wife, actress Ione Skye, contribute to the film’s soundtrack. Moviegoers should be on the lookout for Nash’s inside joke linking The Square and Spider together. The Square releases in select theaters April 9.
Campus Circle > Film > Projections And then there are the films that either draw me in or completely disappoint me. These films are shot predominantly in backlots and use sets that were built for other films or television shows. The creepy house on the hill from Psycho (1960) is still there, as are parts of the 2000 live-action remake of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I can accept those movies because they are distinct constructions. Then there are films that were noticeably shot in a backlot on a generic set to easily and cheaply produce blockbuster hits. Take another look at Bruce Almighty (2003) and you may notice how similar the New York in that film looks like a very Victorian London in The Prestige (2006). Hollywood, we’ll forgive you as long as you at least try and make it less obvious. After all, not everything can be filmed on a pre-made set. In fact, the 1937 film A Day at the Races starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico and Harpo) was actually shot at Santa Anita Park, Calif. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. The Alex Film Society, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of classic movies, is hosting two special screenings of the film in fabulous 35mm black and white. Maureen O’Sullivan is Judy, a farm owner who risks losing her sanatorium. Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush (Groucho) is a horse doctor posing as an accredited human doctor, and Tony and Stuffy (Chico and Harpo, respectively) are two racetrack hustlers. The three brothers are there to help Judy, who is at risk of losing her sanatorium to a local mobster looking to turn it into a casino. Margaret Dumont also stars in the classic film about which the New York Times wrote in 1937, “Saddle-up for the time of your life because the Marx Brothers are at it again.” Dorothy Dandridge makes her film debut, and members
Alex Film Society
You could win A Day at the Races when you screen the film.
of Duke Ellington’s Orchestra including singer Ivie Anderson are featured in the film. Also included on the big screen is a Bugs Bunny cartoon, Slick Hare (WB 1947), and the News Parade of 1937 newsreel featuring Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. You can catch the film at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Before the 8 p.m. screening Joe Adamson, author of Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Sometimes Zeppo will be on stage to present the film. The best thing about this event is that you stand to win more than a nice moviegoing experience. Audience members can win box seats to the Santa Anita Park races, including valet parking courtesy of Santa Anita Racetrack. The lucky grand prize winner will receive dinner for two at Santa Anita Park’s exclusive Derby Restaurant, plus two box seats. A basket of Marx Bros memorabilia goodies, dinners and other items will also be raffled at each screening. At least it’s for a good cause: All proceeds go to support the Alex Film Society. Alex Theatre is located at 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. For more information, visit alexfilmsociety.org.
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ACTION-ADVENTURE.” RICHARD CORLISS, TIME MAGAZINE
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Plays with “Glee”
by lynda correa
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“GREAT ENTERTAINMENT... THE CLIMAX IS A CLASSIC!” ROGER EBERT, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Courtesy of Food Network
‘PRIVATE CHEFS OF BEVERLY HILLS’
THRILLING BIG FUN...A MUST-SEE!”
Guido Jimenez on the set of “Glee”
With new drama, laughs, love and most importantly, song AND dance, the Spring premiere of “Glee” is going to be big – especially since Madonna is making her “Glee” debut. However, this article does not focus on the characters of “Glee” or Madonna. Instead, it is about another celebrity, the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. “Hollywood’s Band” makes yet another TV appearance acting as the McKinley High School Marching Band, performing at halftime of a basketball game to one of Madonna’s hits. Senior TMB trumpet Guido Jimenez elaborates on the experience: “He [the choreographer] wanted us to glide step, which isn’t what we normally do. So we showed them our “drive-it” style. He loved it and was ecstatic for how great marching in sync looked. He wanted to incorporate it as much as he could into the routine.” However, the fast drill didn’t allow for the “drive-it” style to be used the whole time. So a combination of that and the glide step was used during the routine. The TMB members were excited about contributing this particular piece of flair into their performance. “This is cool ’cause everyone is really going to know it’s [the USC Band],” Jimenez says. Alas, the 15 seconds of fame are often well deserved after the amount of work that gets put into programming a show like this. Sophomore TMB trumpet Keith Yoerg agrees: “My least favorite part was the first practice we had, and I think I can speak for most of the band when saying it was a very tiring day.” The collaboration between the cast and crew, Madonna and the USC Trojan Marching Band is sure to “set the stage” for the rest of the second season of “Glee,” which premieres April 13 at 9:28 p.m. on Fox. There will be a sneak preview of the “Glee” spring premiere episode and fountain show debut at the Grove April 10 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
by sasha perl-raver
JIM FERGUSON, ABC-TV
Sasha Perl-Raver is hands-on.
Being on a TV show is glamorous, right? Then how did I find myself covered in soot, drenched in freezing water, cooking a meal for six millionaires who were “glamping” (translation: glam camping)? Because I’m on the Food Network’s newest series, “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills,” a docu-soap that chronicles the travails of six personal chefs who cater to Southern California’s rich and demanding. While I’ve dreamed of being on the Food Network for as long as it has existed, this wasn’t what I had in mind. I’ve been a private chef since I was 16, working for clients from suburban families to movie stars, and I thought being on television meant my days of toil were over. I had visions of Paula Deen calling me “Darlin’” while we melted a pound of butter or Tyler Florence and I doing something ultimate. Instead, I’m bent over a fire, battling the elements in the wilderness, hustling to make a gourmet meal for a group of men with the combined net worth of most small nations as TV cameras follow my every move. And there isn’t a makeup person in sight. Curses! The wind whips over distant snow-capped mountains, sending smoke hurtling into my eyes, as I stir a cauldron of “Cowboy Caviar” Soup with “Hot Dog” croutons (creamy black-eyed pea soup with diced chicken sausage and jalapeno sautéed to a crispy, crackling golden brown) and can’t help but laugh. Overhead an owl flies through the garnet sunset sky while a shrouded watchful Cyclops lurks somewhere in the distance, filming away. I dip a spoon into my soup and taste. I may be in desperate need of a flat iron and some pressed powder, but I’ll be damned if this soup isn’t downright delicious. “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills” premieres April 9 at 10 p.m. on Food Network.
OWN THE ORIGINAL ON BLU-RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME μ WESTWOOD Regency £ μ CENTURY CITY ¥ SANTA MONICA AMC Loews μ WEST LOS ANGELES ı 310/208-8998 AMC Century 15 888/AMC-4FUN Broadway 4 888/AMC-4FUN The Bridge Cinema De Lux $3.00 parking after 6:00 PM 3 hrs free parking. 310/568-3375 ∂ UNIVERSAL CITY CityWalk in “Privilege Parking Lots”. Additional 2 hr parking Stadium 19 with IMAX μ SHERMAN OAKS $1.00 refunded with paid $3.00 with AMC validation. 888/AMC-4FUN admission after 6:00 PM. μ BEVERLY HILLS Pacific’s The Grove Half Price General Movie μ HOLLYWOOD Grauman’s Stadium 14 323/692-0829 #209 Parking With Rebate at the Sherman Oaks Galleria Ç 323/464-8111 £ 4 hours on-site validated 818/501-0753 μ DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES parking only $2.00. 4 hr parking at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Hollywood & Highland ¥ SANTA MONICA AMC Santa Monica Stadium 14 800/FANDANGO 4046# μ WEST LOS ANGELES only $2 with validation. Seven Theatres 888/AMC-4FUN Validated Parking $5 for The Landmark at W. Pico & 4 Hours, Parking Lot Westwood 310/281-8233 μ HOLLYWOOD Mann £ at Olympic & Francisco www.landmarktheatres.com Ç 6 323/464-8111 4 hr parking at Hollywood & NO PASSES, COUPONS, GROUP ACTIVITY CHECK THEATRE DIRECTORIES FREE PARKING OR CALL FOR SHOWTIMES. (2D ONLY) Highland only $2 with validation. TICKETS OR VIP TICKETS ACCEPTED.
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Campus Circle > Film > Movie Reviews
(c) 2008 Cindy Kleine
their aging relatives over a holiday. What begins as a potentially awkward annoyance builds into a friendship between four rambunctious women who refuse to allow aging to get in the way of having fun. When life wants to peg them down with curfews, medication regimens and other restrictions that come with advancing years, they respond with defiance, passing the time with palm readings or sneaking out to the bar for a good stiff drink. Unfortunately, I wanted more from the ladies. They were likable, but we don’t really get enough of a backstory to love any of them. It’s a shame too, because these ladies are marvelous and it would have been glorious had they more of a chance to shine. You have to hand it to Di Gregorio, however, where this film could have fallen into an endless number of clichés, he delivers just enough of the unexpected to keep the viewer engaged. The characters are real, and his directorial style is a bit like peeking in from a window across the way – enough intimacy to feel mildly ashamed at the voyeurism. Grade: C+ —Natasha Desianto Mid-August Lunch releases in select theaters April 9. Phyllis in the grass, circa 1943: a still from Phyllis and Harold
After.Life (Anchor Bay) One of the lifelong questions many people ask is: “What happens after we die?” Some people explore this mystery via religion or spirituality, while others say nothing happens and we simply decompose. After.Life, by first-time feature director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, takes on the question, prodding you to think everything you might know could be dead wrong. Anna (Christina Ricci) dies in a terrible car accident after having an unpleasant dinner with her boyfriend, Paul (Justin Long). When Anna “wakes up,” she finds herself staring into the eyes of funeral director Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson) preparing her for burial. She refuses to believe that she is actually dead, and Eliot insists she is and should come to terms with her unfortunate demise. Eliot informs Anna he has a special gift that allows him to communicate with the recently departed. Paul, dealing with the grief and holding on to guilt, doesn’t quite believe that she is gone, either. He senses something is not right in the funeral home. The film feels like a modern version of Ghost, but darker and more eerie. Throughout, you are questioning what is real and what isn’t. After.Life definitely plays out like a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end, but there were a few holes. Some questions that should have been answered were left up in the air. It has a strong cast, though, and is a great effort for a first-time feature director. Grade: B —Ariel Paredes After.Life releases in select theaters April 9.
Breaking Upwards (IFC) No matter how mature you think you’re being at the time, no relationship (at least not in your 20s) ever really ends amicably. Sure, you can discuss it and there can certainly be closure, but deep down inside, there’s the fear of starting again. This is what happens in Breaking Upwards. Based on an experiment, real-life couple Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones play a New York couple who, four years into their relationship, decide that they’re not meant to be together. But how can they just end it? Instead, they set up a system of boundaries in an effort to wean themselves and find out who they are as individuals again. Breaking Upwards is a true exploration of what it means to be 20-something. From defining intimacy and what it means to be in or out of a relationship, living on your own, moving in with parents, unemployed, following your dreams, the film runs the gamut of young, domestic urban
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Phyllis and Harold life. It is a quietly engrossing film that is both understated and powerfully profound. There are some parts that drag, there are also moments where you get so involved with the characters that you can feel your heart breaking with theirs. Grade: B+ —Melissa Russell Breaking Upwards releases in select theaters April 9.
Godspeed (Lightyear Entertainment) Director Robert Saitzyk creates an engrossing and satisfying film with Godspeed. In this suspenseful tragedy, Joseph McKelheer plays Charlie Shepard, a modern day faith healer, who claims that if you just believe, then his gift will heal you. However, Charlie has been living a double life; he’s been seeing a hooker, his marriage is failing and his alcoholism is ready for a second round. But that’s not the problem. Trouble arises when, after an unsuccessful night of showy healing, drinking and a half-assed affair, his wife and child are brutally murdered by unknown assailants. The harrowing act throws Charlie into the grips of his illness and a shabby little trailer somewhere deep in the Alaskan woods. Until Sarah (Courtney Halverson) appears to him and asks for help with her troubled brother, Luke (Cory Knauf), in a tragic episode that reveals truth, violence and whole lot of tragedy. Knauf is impressive. His mere introduction not only sets the movie’s cynical energy, but also puts the story in motion. In fact, his portrayal of Luke is half the reason the film is so deliciously satisfying in the end. Godspeed delivers the same visual quality as most bigbudget Hollywood films. The story truly capitalizes on the gorgeous Alaskan terrain and rural communities to create the cultish notion on which the film thrives. In addition, Saitzyk masterfully finds the perfect amount of violence in a story that deals with self-righteous anger and the intangible price of retribution, without being grotesque. Grade: A —Cesar Cruz Godspeed releases in select theaters April 9.
Mid-August Lunch (Zeitgeist) Who would believe that this is the man who had a hand in writing the gangster epic Gomorrah? In his directorial debut, Gianni Di Gregorio takes on a light comedy and a semiautobiographical role as a middle-aged do-nothing who lives with his demanding mother. Due to his lack of financial management skills, he owes a few favors to his building manager and doctor. He is forced to make good by taking in
(Rainbow Releasing) In 1995, writer-director Cindy Kleine set out to tell the story of her parents’ marriage in all its gory detail, from abuse to adultery. She initially intended to create a work of fiction based on interviews she conducted with her parents, but she soon found their answers to her questions – always the same question but with either parent giving radically different answers – to be stranger, deeper and more beguiling than any constructed fiction. Over the next 12 years, Kleine compiled interviews, home movies and animated family photos to weave together in her documentary, Phyllis and Harold, a hypnotically voyeuristic, über-personal glimpse into one troubled but loving family. Shot mostly on low-res home video, the kind your parents have of you in a school play or running around on the Slip ’n Slide, the film instantly feels shockingly intimate and unvarnished. Phyllis and Harold first appear bickering in their Long Island kitchen, the picture of a stereotypical “old married couple.” But Kleine dispels any sense that you’ve seen this story before by delving into the inner workings of her parents’ marriage. The couple poignantly begins by reading the courtship letters they wrote in the 1940s aloud to each other. It’s in the rehashing of these early tickles of passion that Phyllis and Harold share their first onscreen tenderness, smiling warmly as Harold strokes Phyllis’ cheek. But before you can revel in the heartwarming moment, Kleine cuts to another scene where her mother is deeply moved as she reads Harold’s kind words, and he brusquely asks, “Did I really write this shit?” not noticing that his wife is wiping away tears. The Kleines aren’t as cut and dried as you might suspect. Case in point, Phyllis’ five-year dalliance with another man, whom she claims is the only one she ever loved. Although infidelity is central to their story, it’s not tawdry divulgences that make Phyllis and Harold compelling. Rather, the movie is at its more intriguing when Kleine plays a good old-fashioned game of “He Said, She Said,” demonstrating how patently opposite her parents’ experiences of their lives together have been. One of the film’s most disquieting moments is in a solo interview with Phyllis, when in absolute certainly she declares that she’s always known that she married the wrong man. Kleine then cuts back to an interview with her father who just as absolutely vows that he always knew Phyllis was the right woman for him. “I’m very lucky she married me,” he says. Phyllis and Harold is both gripping and repellent, disturbing and terribly tender. Grade: B —Sasha Perl-Raver Phyllis and Harold releases in select theaters April 9.
ONE LITTLE WHITE LIE... ”ONE
GIANT COMEDY.” ”A MATCH MADE IN COMEDY HEAVEN.” ”SMART AND WILDLY FUNNY.” Kelli Gillespie, XETV- CW San Diego
Ben Lyons, E!
La Mission’s Jeremy Ray Valdez
Jeanne Wolf, Parade
Jeremy Ray Valdez gets lost in the world of whatever. by lynda correa The colorful Mission District of San Francisco fosters a distinct cultural flavor, one that audiences get to witness on the silver screen in La Mission. La Mission tells the story of the father-son relationship between Che and Jess Rivera, two Latinos living in the Mission District. Che, a single parent portrayed by Benjamin Bratt, is described as “old school” and has a deep passion for lowriders. Jess, played by Jeremy Ray Valdez, is a high school senior getting ready to graduate and attend UCLA on scholarship. The friendship between the two is destroyed once Che finds out that his only son is homosexual. Valdez gives a wildly passionate performance as a troubled teenager learning how to handle himself and his relationships. “[He is] the shining light of the neighborhood who evolves, becoming his own man, learning to love himself despite what other people feel,” Valdez says, describing Jess. To prep for the role, Valdez went up to the Bay Area before filming began in order to get a feel for the neighborhood, hanging out and playing ball with some of the kids from the area. When asked about how he is able to portray a character that’s new and different to him so fluidly, he answers that simply working with people helps. “When you work with different actors you pick up different things,” he says. He learned a lot from the Bratt brothers (Peter Bratt is the director.), but acting alongside Benjamin was especially exciting. “Acting is what drives me. It’s my passion,” he assures. “Being famous is not really my concern. It’s a harsh world, and you have to have a tough skin. Rejection is what destroys a lot of people, but if you truly love it, you’ll go through the bad to get to the good – the work.” The “work” he refers to does not come off as labor at all. “I’m living my dream,” he says. “I get to play make-believe for a living.” His favorite “make-believe” project thus far has been La Mission. “It was a super cool experience,” he says, adding, “The opportunities to act drive you; going to other worlds but still going at the end of the day to be myself. I’ve always had it in my heart, to get lost in the world of whatever I’ve created in my mind.” Next on the list for Valdez is a co-starring role in The Obama Effect. The film follows the effects of the Obama administration on the lives of two families with sons who are boxers, leading to the ultimate boxing match. As a lightweight boxer himself, Valdez’s humility shines through. “I mean here I am boxing against Zab Judah. That just doesn’t happen,” he states. La Mission releases in select theaters April 9.
Make It A Date, April 9th
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DVDDISH Peter Mountain (c) Disney Enterprises, Inc..
The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogyis high-end filmmaking gone right.
THE GENIUS OF THE PIRATES TRILOGY by zach hines
Today I’m going to be talking pirates. More specifically, Pirates of the Caribbean Because I fucking love Pirates of the Caribbean! The POTC trilogy, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and directed by Gore Verbinski, is very dear to my heart because the films are the ultimate example of high-end filmmaking gone right. Although a bit lighter than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, POTC provides an almost perfect blend of humor, action, drama, suspense and horror. The first one, The Curse of the Black Pearl, was a huge hit in 2003, and everybody for the most part has a love for it. The second one, Dead Man’s Chest, came out in 2006 and broke box office records. The third, At Word’s End, came out in 2007, and while it didn’t shatter the records of the previous one, it was still a massive hit and huge feather in the filmmakers’ caps. While most people love the first one, there is a lot of criticism of the second and third films. I think that the POTC sequels are as great as sequels get and make up one of the best trilogies in motion picture history. There are several reasons why these films are the groundbreaking achievements that they are, and I’m going to give them to you one by one. These are not in any particular order, but when added up make for cinematic genius. 1) The scripts. The writing team of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio is one of the best writing collaborations in the business today, and they are masters of their genres. These guys really understand big epic storytelling, and it’s only through that understanding that good scripts are written. 2) The direction. Gore Verbinski was born to direct these films. End of story. 3) Jerry Bruckheimer. Jerry is arguably the king of action films. Over the course of his career he’s produced tons of epic classic action films, and it’s a testament to his own creative genius that the films came out the way they did. 4) Johnny Depp. Characters are what make good films great. All too often you get well-made, well-written, well-plotted films that just have generic cookie-cutter characters. While the films are good, they lack a really strong central character. What Depp brought to the character of Jack Sparrow is arguably the one thing that pushed the first film over the fence into classic territory, and ultimately, that’s why people turn out in droves to see these films. For Captain Jack. 5) Great villains. The protagonist is only as good as his antagonists, and I’ve always said that when you hire great actors to play roles in films that ultimately aren’t about the performances, you get classic shit. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa in The Curse of the Black Pearl and Bill Nighy as Davy Jones in Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End are the perfect counterbalance to Depp’s Sparrow. The pirate act is a pretty hammy stereotypical routine, but when you hire actors like Rush and Nighy, they breathe real acting craft into it, which gives it credibility. 6) The special effects. The effects in these films are what dreams are made of. I’ve always said that the best special effects are a blend of practical and digital effects. When the audience can’t tell when it’s real and when it’s fake, you’ve done your job. When I came out of the theater after seeing Dead Man’s Chest, I thought that Davy Jones’ tentacles were real, and that’s coming from someone who studies effects and always knows when something is digital. The most ambitious aspect of the production was the construction of a tank built right onto the side of the ocean similar to what was done on James Cameron’s Titanic in order to actually create the feeling that you were out at sea. No matter which way you look at it, these films are brilliant. At the end of the day, a great story was told in these films, supported by the filmmakers’ understanding of the craft of story. As it turns out, the story will continue. A fourth film in the series is currently in production titled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and although Verbinski is not returning to the director’s chair, Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) is replacing him, and I’m very intrigued to see where he’s going to take it. Elliott and Rossio are continuing their writing duties and Bruckheimer is again producing, so as long as most of the creative team remains in place, the adventure continues, and everyone who doesn’t like the Pirates films can kiss my ass. Send feedback to email@example.com.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
SPECIAL FEATURES BY mike sebastian
The Majors: Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan headline an all-star cast in the Oscar-nominated An Education. Set in 1960s Britain, the film follows a bright young schoolgirl who becomes romantically involved with a playboy older man who introduces her to the world of jazz clubs and sex. Alfred Molina and Emma Thompson co-star. After a string of paycheck roles, the idiosyncratic Nicolas Cage finally returns to serious acting with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Director Werner Herzog completes the unlikely combination. Set in the devastation of post-Katrina New Orleans, the film follows a detective/addict’s turbulent existence. Cage gives another of his unpredictable livewire performances. Eva Mendes is his prostitute girlfriend. Val Kilmer also stars. It’s a worthy follow-up to the original.
The Idiotbox: Perhaps the most famous comic duo in TV history stars in The Abbott & Costello Show: The Complete Series. All of the classic bits are here, from “Who’s On First” to “Niagara Falls” and “Mustard.” The nine-disc set includes a 44-page booklet, as well as three hours of bonus materials, including Lou Costello’s home movies. Multi-talented Judy Garland hosts “The Judy Garland Show.” Volume 3 contains appearances by Lena Horne, Tony Bennett and series regular Jerry Van Dyke. Also available: British drama Sharpe’s Peril, Sharpe’s Challenge, reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season One
The Vault: Long unavailable, Emir Kusturica’s (Underground) American debut, Arizona Dream, starring Johnny Depp comes to DVD courtesy of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection. Kusturica’s original blend of the surreal and comedic defies plot synopsis in this cult hit. Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway and Vincent Gallo also star. All 24 Ripley’s Believe It or Not theatrical shorts are collected in this two-disc collection. From a woman who can speak 200 words in 24 seconds to a six-year-old who can lift 200 pounds, Robert L. Ripley captured all of the entertaining oddities across America. The Icons of Suspense Collection: Hammer Films contains six non-monster thrillers from the legendary Hammer Studios. Included are: These Are the Damned, Cash on Demand with Peter Cushing, The Snorkel, Stop Me Before I Kill!, Maniac, Never Take Candy From a Stranger.
Under the Radar: A young teacher (Wes Bentley) is on a quest for revenge against the Vegas mobster (Christian Slater) who killed his wife after she witnessed a murder in Dolan’s Cadillac – a modern-day twist on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. Fish Tales: The riveting “Deadliest Catch” returns for Season Five. See the late Captain Phil in his final season as four fishing crews battle the high seas, storms and fierce competition to bring home the most difficult to obtain fish in the sea. Jim Carrey narrates the dazzling tropical underwater adventure documentary IMAX: Under the Sea. Also available: Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove with Beau Bridges Blu Notes: There’s no better movie to test out that new Blu-ray player than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. All three beautiful films are included in their original theatrical cuts, along with seven hours of special features. Experience the biggest spectacle in movie history in lush hi-def. Then, check out master of animation Ralph Bakshi’s classic adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, simply titled The Lord of the Rings. Since 1978, Bakshi’s vision defined the images of Middle Earth, laying the groundwork for Peter Jackson. John Hurt provides the voice of Aragorn. Included is a behind-the-scenes featurette with Bakshi.
Musical Docs: Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love follows the Grammy-winning African icon after he releases his best-selling Egypt album, on which N’Dour sings about Islam for the first time. Upon release in Senegal, many considered the album blasphemous, forcing the most popular Muslim artist in the world to examine the relationship between music and his faith. Masters of American Music releases its second set of amazingly in-depth documentaries: The World According to John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan – The Divine One, Count Basie – Swingin’ the Blues and Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music. Focusing on the musicians’ lives and performances, hear the story of jazz in their own words.
Also Available: The Bollywood-style “American Idol” parody, Lions of Punjab; documentary Dirt! The Movie; the WWI-era La France
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‘ONLY DEATH CAN STOP US’ An Interview with Colin Abrahall of GBH BY damon huss In the last half-century, there’s arguably only one English city that could rival Detroit, Mich. for its working-class, factory-town rock ’n’ roll. That city is, of course, Birmingham. It’s probably best known as the birthplace of heavy metal, giving us Black Sabbath and Judas Priest (and eventually Napalm Death). It’s no surprise, then, that seminal punk rockers GBH would come out of Birmingham, since they are a monument of hardcore. Their feral sound helped lead a defining punk rock British invasion in the 1980s, influencing Metallica and Rancid and providing a template for countless bands today. To get that sound, says lead singer Colin Abrahall, “You don’t need a heap of equipment, just a couple of guitars and a cheap drumkit.” Still true to this bare-essential purity, GBH has just released the fragrantly titled Perfume and Piss, their 11th studio album (though their drumkit today hardly sounds cheap). Abrahall recently answered many of my questions in an e-mail interview and shed some light on the new album,
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews the band and the punk sound of the last 30 years. (It’s worth noting that I myself saw them in Pasadena, Calif. in 1983, early in the first of their three decades as a band. “Wow!” says Abrahall, “I remember that show!”) The name stands for “grievous bodily harm,” a UK legal term, but they didn’t form to revel in violence. Quite the contrary: “We got together at the tail end of 1979, just messing about in a bedroom. Something to entertain ourselves when the pub closed.” In fact, that explains a lot, because one thing that always struck me about GBH was the hint of a wry smile behind Abrahall’s raspy wail. It set him and the band apart from some of their more stern compatriots, like Discharge, Conflict and the Exploited. The wryness comes in handy when on tour. Once, in a hotel lobby, a group of Girl Scouts mistook the band – known for their signature leather jackets and bristled hair – for none other than the Pretenders. Without missing a beat, GBH played the part they’d been given. When the girls asked where Chrissie Hynde was, the boys said “Oh, she always stays in a different hotel.” The tone of Abrahall’s recollections is refreshingly upbeat, considering the band still tours in a van – even when playing on the Vans Warped Tour (no pun intended). Perhaps it is the payoff of persistence and a sense of integrity, revealed in the song “Ballads,” which exhorts bored youth to create meaning in rebellion. Persistence, really, is GBH’s theme. The musical core of Abrahall, Jock (on guitar) and Ross (on bass) remains intact. In all these years, did these three ever confront a time when GBH might break up? “No, not really,” Abrahall bluntly states, “Only death can stop us.” The tenacity of the band largely stems from the fact that
PAPER ROUTE Freshness Delivered Daily BY brien overly Indie and pop have often been considered to be diametrically opposing concepts and genres as far as music is concerned. Even in a time when a band like Kings of Leon can win a Grammy, it’s either one camp or the other other, and bands that win Grammys aren’t indie anymore. The Indiana-based four-piece outfit of Paper Route, however, takes issue with that mentality. “I don’t know why people are so turned off by pop. It used to be some of the most creative music there was,” says frontman J.T. Daly. Given the age-old debate of pop versus indie – and the equally tiresome pigeonholing of immaturity versus pretentiousness – what the members of Paper Route are doing with their music might be considered blasphemous. Daly, bassist Chad Howat, drummer Gavin McDonald and guitarist Andy Smith are attempting the impossible by being the band that successfully bridges that gap between fandoms. “That was kind of our vision from the start, to maybe be the coolest band that pop kids listen to and the poppiest band that snobs listen to,” Daly jokes. Though touring with the likes of Paramore and Owl City might seemingly cement its assigned genre in stone, the foursome has garnered acclaim from across the musical spectrum for its ethereal brand of atmospheric rock. So how
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
GBH release the fragrantly titled Perfume and Piss this week.
they’ve been friends since childhood. “We are like a family. We are there for each other.” The consistency shows in the sound of Perfume and Piss, on which fans will hear the same energy from their 1982 classic City Baby Attacked by Rats, but with flourishes of hard rock (“Cadillac One”), moshpit-ready tempo changes (“Dead Man Walking”) and power-chord echoes of Stiff Little Fingers (“This Is Not the Real World”). Abrahall reflects on his most recent studio experience: “It is important to have fun whilst recording,” he says, “and I think you can hear it in the music.” Nonetheless, he does miss the days of analog. “I don’t know if I am a fan of Pro Tools. I used to like watching the big tape reels going round, and it all seemed a bit more organic instead of watching a computer screen.” It’s all been fun. In fact, while making loud rock ’n’ roll, GBH lives by this philosophy: “Have fun and just be nice to each other.” Perfume and Piss is currently available. For more information, visit myspace.com/gbh.
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews does a band go from playing tiny Silver Lake dive bar clubs in front of jaded hipsters to playing ballroom and amphitheatre venues filled with screaming teenagers? “Same thing, you just turn it up a little bit,” says Smith with a laugh. The key to Paper Route’s widespread accessibility to varied audience segments seems to ironically have less to do with playing for any specific crowd, and more to do with playing music for themselves. “We try to be sensitive that we’re writing because we’re excited about an idea, rather than purely based on the discipline of writing something. Because that gets stale really quick,” says Smith. “When we moved to Nashville, we saw these singer-songwriters, where the strength of the song just came down to the lyric and the voice. We were fascinated by that because we previously came from rock bands where it was how raucous you were and how much you could destroy the stage every night. This was pretty much the antithesis of that, where it’s all about the voice, the lyric and almost how quiet you can get. I think that pushed us further into that honest storytelling world.” Though Smith says the song lyrics on the band’s debut full-length, Absence, are roughly only half narratives taken directly from personal experience and half figurative storytelling containing fragmented history, certain ones hold quite a bit of weight with him. “The one song that the set hinges on for me is ‘Are We All Forgotten,’” he says. “I’ll know how the rest of the set is going to feel as soon as that song happens.” Daly likewise has his own select tracks that strike a chord with him. “‘Dance On Our Graves’ for me. As far as what I contributed on the album, that one was probably the hardest
Paper Route: disproving stereotypes
for me to write, just to be that honest and then try to mean it every night,” he says. “If I don’t mean it on stage, it’s just a waste of my time.” Though the words might be Daly’s, Smith found that particular song to resonate quite strongly with him as well. “There was a night where during ‘Dance On Our Graves,’ it got kind of embarrassingly personal on stage,” he says. “It was just powerful, which I think is a sign of a song working.” That’s why Paper Route might actually be the band to successfully disprove all those aforementioned stereotypes. They have the fabled understanding of what authenticity is and that it goes far beyond just how they play their instruments. “I want something real. It can be the most painful, depressing, dark thing ever, but I see a sense of hope in the center of that. That’s what I search for in art. I’ve never been more encouraged than by a song that was just completely honest, and when that lyric matches the melody, you hit that special moment,” says Smith. “Everything else is just a matter of taste.” Paper Route performs April 7 at the Fox Theatre and April 9 at Club Nokia. For more information, visit paperrouteonline.com.
Join CAMPUS CIRCLE www.campuscircle.com MUSICREPORT BY kevin wierzbicki Kate Nash is Your Best Friend
British singer Kate Nash has announced the impending release of her sophomore album, and you’ll be pleased to know that it is entitled My Best Friend Is You. Former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler produced the album for Nash, who has spent the time between albums selling a million records, winning a Brit Award, the Vodafone Music Award and trophies from Q Magazine, NME and the U.K. VMAs. My Best Friend Is You drops April 20, but you can view the video for the first single “Do Wah Doo” now at katenash. Be Kate Nash’s pal and stop by the El Rey May 11. co.uk. And since Kate considers you her best friend, you’ll probably want to be supportive and cheer like mad when she plays at the El Rey May 11.
Paul Curreri’s California There aren’t many things scarier to a singer than facing the prospect of having throat surgery, but an operation is not necessarily a career-ending event as Paul Curreri has proven. The folksinger-songwriter was out of action for 15 months after enduring major throat surgery, but he’s bounced back fully and is about to release a new album entitled California. “Oh man, here and there, all this forced time off whirl-winded me,” says Curreri. “But we all live with hardship and crisis, and I realized certain junk isn’t permanently within me, that there’s peace to be found relatively close by and that some degree of grace is attainable.” The album’s title cut is not so much about the Golden State as it is about the inner quest for happiness, something Curreri has attained by staying busy riding his motorcycle, venturing to Kenya and producing albums for various acts, including his wife Devon Sproule. California drops April 27 and U.S. tour dates will be announced after Curreri completes his current European tour.
Earn it Yourself Returns to Warped Tour Earnityourself.com has announced that they will once again be giving local bands a chance to perform on the Kevin Says Stage during this year’s Warped Tour. Bands interested in applying need to visit earnityourself.com/kevinsaysstage for information on how to submit for the Earn it Yourself spot at their local Warped Tour date. Earn it Yourself is looking for bands that have strong roots in their communities, well-developed business plans and a reputation for working hard, having a strong following and putting on a good live show. Bands need to build a thorough profile that demonstrates what they’re doing. To that end, the competition Web site offers myriad tools like “scene calendar,” “venue database” and “EIYpedia” to help things along. EIY’s Sarah Saturday and Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman personally choose the winners.
Summerfest Band Contest Bands from all over the world are being invited to enter the Briggs & Stratton Battle of the Bands for a chance to play at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. The grand prize-winning band has the opportunity to open for a top headlining musical act at Summerfest on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage June 26. Last year’s winning act, the Run Around, got to open for Blues Traveler. The outcome of this year’s contest will be announced on May 25 and determined by online fan voting. Contestants need to register and upload their music at briggsbattleofthebands.com no later than April 16.
Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Competition Here’s yet another chance for musicians to garner national attention by entering the Ernie Ball Play Crossroads contest. The winning artist or band receives roundtrip airfare to Chicago, hotel and a 30-minute performance slot on the Ernie Ball Village Stage at the Crossroads Guitar Festival June 26. The Crossroads Festival is a one-day benefit show for Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, a substance abuse clinic on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Confirmed acts at this year’s festival include Eric Clapton, John Mayer, ZZ Top, Vince Gill, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, the Allman Brothers and many others. Applicants need to create a profile and upload MP3s and photos at playcrossroads. com. The winner also gets a full Ernie Ball Music Man endorsement, prizes from the Guitar Center and a feature in Premier Guitar Magazine.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
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by brien overly
Murder By Death are indie cool and old-school classy.
Paper Route April 7 @ Fox Theatre April 9 @ Club Nokia Easily my favorite new band discovery of last year, the Paper Route dudes also put on one of the best live shows around. For as many instrumental layers as there are in each of their songs, the Nashville foursome flawlessly bring each one to their live performance. Showing off both masterful technical skill and an effortless emotive ability, their brand of atmospheric, melodic rock is as aurally captivating as it is heartstring-pulling. These dudes are skilled far beyond their years and have the stage presence of a headlining act, so it’s only a matter of time before everyone else catches on that maybe they should actually be headliners. Take this as an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon before everyone else does. Apparently, from what I hear, some other dude is playing after Paper Route finishes, but I’d hardly qualify him as an actual headliner. I give you readers my full permission to peace out of this show once Paper Route is finished. You can thank me later.
Murder by Death April 9 @ Troubadour April 10 @ Detroit Bar I love, love, love the Indiana-bred folk-rockers of Murder by Death because playing their albums is like listening to a great classic rock vinyl, but actually being able to get stoked on it because all the band members are, y’know, currently alive. Able to effortlessly capture the soul of a musical era now long gone, the foursome are quintessentially indie-cool while still being old-school classy. Whether going for big and epic anthemic jams or raw and stripped-down crooning, the band packs an emotional punch in each of their songs. Oh, and their new album absolutely kills. Make sure you have it on your iPod before you make any drives through the Midwest on a road trip. You can thank me later for that advice, as well.
Yellow Red Sparks April 10 @ Hotel Cafe Awesome band plus tiny, intimate venue will always equal amazing show. That’s like, one of the big axioms that all advanced calculus is based on. Or something. Now insert acoustic-folk act Yellow Red Sparks in place of “awesome band” and Hotel Café in place of “tiny, intimate venue,” and I think we can all deduce what the resultant outcome will be. Remember that. It’s totally an SAT question.
Dillinger Escape Plan April 13 @ The Glass House My original thought process for how to best describe hardcore band Dillinger Escape Plan was to say that frontman Greg Puciato might actually be the human avatar of chaos. Until I realized the word “avatar” has completely and utterly lost all meaning to me over the last many months. But alas, I have an analogy that is better, yet. When dudes do illogical things that are reaffirming to their masculinity, Dillinger is the soundtrack running through their heads as they do it. Bar fights, guerilla warfare, hunting large or venomous animals, drinking Jack Daniel’s straight, drag races, that one weekend in Vegas they don’t talk about, y’know, activities along those lines. Things that feel really epic at the time, until a few days later when you realize you’ve lost a tooth, an extremity or your pride. Likewise, being in the middle of a Dillinger show is indeed as epic as it sounds, but if you’ve gotten the full experience, you’ll be feeling the physical effects of it for a few days afterward. So make sure you’ve still got a few sick days left you can make use of, just in case, because these guys put on a hardcore show like no other. Trust me, if you go to this show, you’ll never look at live music or rock the same way again. Granted, nothing looks quite the same when you lack depth perception because one of your eyes is swollen completely shut, but the statement still works on a number of levels.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
Self-titled (Citation) Piña coladas, white sandy beaches and tropical weather are always the perfect mix for a classic reggae album. One other essential ingredient is imagination, and from the opening song off the self-titled debut from Babylon Saints, you feel lost in that paradise. Track one, entitled “Day to Day,” captures the true “feel good” sounds of reggae and reflects on the experiences we encounter each day. The song delivers on how each new day impacts our lives in the world, especially here in the United States. “Day to Day” affirms our feelings of how wages at work are low and rents for a home are high. Nevertheless, the song definitely delivers positive vibes in its expression. Reggae is not the only genre depicted on the album. Rock and funk are also implemented musically in a variety of songs, such as on “Burn On” and “Follow.” The up-tempo melody on “Burn On” is a true reflection of the everyday man or woman not conforming to the ways of “the man” and rather than sitting back and doing nothing … “keep on asking questions, but don’t believe the answers.” A great track that will surely get you up out of your seat and feeling the groove! Put quite simply, the Babylon Saints and their new self-titled release convey happiness and strong energy all the way through. After listening to this funky mix of reggae, catchy hooks and soulful chants, you too will feel inspired. Grade: A —Marvin G. Vasquez Babylon Saints is currently available.
Cary Brothers Under Control (InGrooves) There’s something to be said for sincerity. Forget the likes of John Mayer and their plays at wooing the ladies through song; intelligent women can spot a phony from a mile off. Cary Brothers, on the other hand, while maintaining that courting troubadour, singersongwriter simplicity, has an air of integrity that can’t be mistaken. Brothers should be at least as well known as Mayer, and his latest offering, Under Control, might just carry him to that pinnacle. The album opens strong, with Brothers declaring, “Strike a match and burn your soul down” over a woeful piano phrase on the melancholy yet soaring “Ghost Town.” From here on it doesn’t let up, even on understated numbers like the title track. Brothers has one of those voices that is expressive enough to evoke shivers. These are break-up anthems for people who hold their melancholia dear. “Break Off the Bough” is certainly among the album’s strongest, kicking off sparse with a haunting melody laid over a staccato guitar line which builds up to a momentous chorus and bridge that offer a rare glimmer of sunshine. “Someday” is the other uplifting track, danceable with a hook that doesn’t quit your brain. This offering’s sole misstep is its cover of Level 42’s “Something About You,” which lacks the power and glory of the original and leaves the listener wondering why he bothered. The album closes with the minimalist “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” another example of Brothers’ ability to captivate in even the most restrained moments. Under Control is simple good songwriting, a string of elegant jewels that nestle up to your heart. Grade: A —Natasha Desianto Under Control is currently available.
The Morakestra Witness to Connection (Stratkings) The Morakestra’s second effort is a unique blend of layered pop choruses, theatrical vocals and an outstanding rhythm section. With the help of seasoned producer/musician Gabriel Gonzalez (Sparta), the songs are to the point. The drums chug with staggering momentum, and the guitars are powerfully atmospheric. But the production clarity on Witness to Connection tends to make the vocals sound a little weak and misplaced at times. William Mora’s vocal squeal sometimes sounds like a young Getty Lee, most noticeably on the rhythmically interesting “Goodbye.” Similar to Lee, Mora’s voice is a little hard to swallow, but when it is accompanied with layered vocal harmonies, like on the discs elegant opener “Angels,” it can sound quite beautiful. “Tonight” is a bubbly prog-rock song that moves and sounds like Mars Volta’s attempt at writing a heart-wrenching love song. “Butterfly” is a majestic piece with thumping drums swirling guitars and an enchanting melody that wouldn’t sound out of place during the opening credits of a Lord of the Rings film. Witness to Connection is an 11-track disc full of two-and-a-half minute atmospheric indie pop songs. The disc is a good attempt from a band that still has its best years ahead of them. Grade: B —Joshua Chilton Witness to Connection is currently available.
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Stop by Sundays for bottomless Sake Sangria at Yojie Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar.
YOJIE JAPANESE FONDUE & SAKE BAR 501 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles by erica carter Driving down Olympic Boulevard earlier this year, I saw a “Coming Soon” sign for a corner restaurant that was all things Japanese fondue. I’ve heard of Shabu-Shabu, the art of boiling meats and vegetables, or Sukiyaki, where you dip said proteins in egg before dropping them into the flavored hot pot. But after dining at Yojie, downtown’s newest Asian eatery, I realized that fondue is a fancy word to describe Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki. The concept restaurant offers both styles of cooking, as well as traditional fondue by way of dessert. The atmosphere is quite lively, mostly comprised of groups of students from nearby FIDM or L.A. Live visitors. The sleek interior looks nothing like the hole in the wall shops in the Little Tokyo section of downtown and, of course, the prices reflect that. Another part of the Yojie concept is the premium sake bar with options ranging from 30 percent rice polished Honjozo to 50 percent Junmai-Daiginjo. I opted for the highly polished rice-infused Yumetsukito that had a mildly flowerlike aroma and was very smooth to digest. Seeing as Yojie is all about the sake, I figured I’d stick to that theme and decided on a sake cocktail as well. The Paradise Island, with tropical guava and mint-infused sake, is arguably the best out of the 10 signature drinks. I was a little offended with the Rice Rocket drink, but hey, if you like the taste of Red Bull with your sake, by all means order it. The appetizers include your standard edamame, green salad with sesame dressing and miso soup. The carpaccio with a trio of fresh seafood and Kobe beef is pretty good, but at $20, it’s more expensive than most things on the menu. Moving on to the “swish-swish” Shabu-Shabu dishes, you get a generous assortment of fresh veggies, udon and harusame noodles, tofu, Japanese mushrooms and seaweed. Free refills of rice (Brown rice is served, too.), are offered, along with sesame seed sauce and my favorite, citrus ponzu. I especially enjoyed the marbling on the Samurai, eight ounces of certified Angus beef, thinly sliced and colorful. The Seafood Delight was also presented with five different types of fish, including scallops and ahi tuna. For the vegetarians, Napa cabbage with an assortment of Japanese mushrooms, leeks and noodles didn’t seem like you were eating rabbit food. It was nice and hearty! The “grill-on-sauce” Sukiyaki portion of the menu offers the same choices of proteins, seafood, beef, chicken and combos, but your food comes with an egg for dipping before putting it in the warishita, a slightly sweet broth made with sugar, soy sauce and salt. The difference between the Sukiyaki and Shabu-Shabu is literally, would you like a slightly sweet or savory experience? Either way, they’re both bursting with flavor. The dessert keeps with the “theme” with a green tea-infused chocolate concoction. The choices are plentiful with marshmallow, pound cake, cheesecake and the alwaysreliable strawberries. Or you can opt for a red bean mochi, among other flavors. I tried the lychee ramune float. Ramune is Japan’s answer to the carbonated soft drinks we love to consume; add some ice cream and you have the Japanese float! I’m not sure why Banana Foster is conspicuously on the menu, but I hardly ever see it anywhere, so it was kind of nice to see the flambéed dish. There is a promotion for bottomless Sake Sangria on Sundays that I’ll have to revisit, as I am all about bottomless everything. But until then, I’ll probably stick to going to Yojie for lunch to avoid the crowds. All in all, Yojie is one of those places to either go on a first date or a weekend night with a group of friends. But be sure to make reservations! For more information, call (213) 988-8808 or visit yojie.com.
The Black Eyed Peas’ show illustrated what a positive, hopeful and unifying force music can still be.
Black Eyed Peas March 29 @ Staples Center This show was astounding. Nonstop music, dance and pyrotechnics – but with a warm exultation rare in immense stadium shows. Back on their home turf, will.i.am started by acknowledging the band’s shared joy at having reached this mountaintop after so many years of climbing: “We started in L.A. and now here we are – selling out the Staples Center two nights in a row!” Each Pea did a great solo turn and then came together with a perfectly measured but uncontrived sense of joy – more celebration than concert. From Fergie’s sexy/sultry soaring vocals and killer dance moves to will.i.am’s DJ set (in which he wizarded twin turntables flying above the crowd, cross-cutting between Michael Jackson, Nirvana and more), it’s a show with wide-ranging appeal, as attested by the multi-generational, crosscultural audience in attendance. Funny hip-hop raves like “My Humps” and “Imma Be” blended ideally with ballads that show off Fergie’s pipes (especially “Where Is the Love?”) and exploded with giant hits, such as “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling.” This was a happy reminder of how positive, hopeful and unifying of a force music can still be. —Paul Zollo
GRAPHICNOVELS Almost Silent (Fantagraphics) Almost Silent is the new hardcover collection of four books by Jason. Drawing inspiration from old Hollywood monster and noir movies, the Norwegian born writer/artist is a total original. His distinctive anthropomorphic characters and deadpan humor are simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. This aptly titled collection features stories of unrequited love, loneliness, and the absurd ironies of life, told almost without dialogue. Meow, Baby! collects Jason’s short stories and strips. The Living and the Dead concerns the zombie apocalypse that brings two people together. You Can’t Get There From Here is a reinvention of The Bride of Frankenstein. Tell Me Something is a love triangle told in flashback. While it’s not Jason’s best work, Almost Silent is a solid collection for fans. Grade: A—Mike Sebastian Almost Silent is currently available.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Pandemonium (Vertigo) Original Hellblazer writer (not counting creator Alan Moore) Jamie Delano returns to pen a special graphic novel in honor of the character’s 25th anniversary. With him is artist Jock, who seems to be just about everywhere these days. Delano manages to come up with an original take on a character and genre that have been around the block a few times, transporting the Liverpudlian occultist to war-torn Afghanistan. The British government shanghais Constantine, forcing him to investigate a Djinn that has been feeding off the carnage of the war and who is being held in a military prison. Constantine’s journey will take him to Hell and back, taking on Babylonian gods in the process. Delano’s writing is well researched and convincing. And he uses the genre to comment on the real world, which is ultimately the purpose of horror fiction. Grade: B+ —Mike Sebastian John Constantine, Hellblazer: Pandemonium is currently available.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
MUSIC CULTURE EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS Baseball Basketball Football Hockey Soccer The Sports Wanderer
JORDAN FARMAR by marvin g. vasquez He played high school ball at Birmingham and Taft in the San Fernando Valley before granting his services to UCLA in Westwood. And now, guard Jordan Farmar is under his final contract year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Farmar, who is 23, has basically played basketball in his hometown for his entire life, but this summer a colossal decision in his career approaches. “It will be time to negotiate. We are just focused on winning a championship right now,” he says. “In terms of free agency, that will not be active until July, so we [the Lakers and Farmar] will have a lot to talk about then.” Farmar has already earned one championship ring with the Lakers. This unique piece of jewelry came in the 2009 season after the Lake Show powered their way against the Magic with a 4-1 series win in the Finals. During that playoff segment, Farmar stepped onto the court for 20 games while recording nearly five points and two assists per game. As of now, the Lakers have a three point-guard rotation. Farmar comments, “Everyone gets opportunities. We do not have a guard to dominate the offense, so you just have to be aggressive and help the team any way you can – whether it is to speed up the tempo of the game or knock down shots.”
Campus Circle > Sports > Basketball “I love playing with Farmar,” guard Shannon Brown remarks. “He is easy to play with and has a high basketball IQ.” Farmar, who resides in Redondo Beach, stays active off the court as well. He has been involved in multiple philanthropy efforts, highlighted by his 2008 trip to Israel. During his visit, Farmar directed a basketball camp where Israeli and Palestinian kids set differences aside in order to play hoops together. He also created Hoop Farm at UCLA, where youngsters are encouraged to be eco-friendly. “He is a great person. I call him ‘little pro,’” forward Lamar Odom states, laughing. “He has had a great career so far.” A 26th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, Farmar has had his share of prominent moments. Farmar’s careerhigh in points came in 2008 when he tallied 28 against the Miami Heat at home. His most successful season with the Lakers came in 2007-08 when he averaged 9.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. During that campaign, he posted double figures 37 times, led the squad in scoring in one affair and posted 46 percent in shooting from the floor. Forward Pau Gasol offers his perspective: “Farmar is a player who provides a lot to the team, especially his ability to modify the rhythm of the games. He has a lot of potential. He is someone who brings energy from the bench. If he wants to continue playing here and the team wants him back, then that would be great.” Like any true athlete, Farmar played numerous sports growing up. He enjoyed playing football, baseball and soccer, but basketball is where his true passion lies. “I have been playing since I was 4 years old at a YMCA with my friends. I have not put the ball down ever since,” Farmar shares. “I knew this was what I wanted to do since day one. I just love it.” A true baller and ambassador of the sport, Farmar’s
kids are no longer kids By dov rudnick The impulse to make predictions while talking baseball is only natural. It is a game of speculation after all, where strategy is based on the ability to predict probable outcomes. The obsession with predictions in baseball has, in fact, given rise to a whole branch of statistics. In bars, on talk shows and in discussion among fans, the questions of who will win or lose predominate. Of course, nobody knows, and what makes it fun is that the experts are more often than not wrong. The problems of prediction are multifold. The most obvious is perhaps the fanatic factor, which is to say the predictions of the biased fan who sees with his heart and in some quasi-religious way imagines that he or she can will their team to victory by force of hope. This bias is even present among players, managers and team owners who have a measure of control, however small, over what happens on the field. Every spring we hear the confidence that they express about the coming season and the sincerity in which they state their intentions to win the World Series. Dodger owner Frank McCourt made a lovely poster boy for this type of thinking when he remarked recently during a
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Jordan Farmar: step-by-steb getting better as a player
favorite things about the game are its intimacy with the crowd and the competition. He goes on to mention the personal one-on-one matchups players have and that he idolizes Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Hopefully, after the Lakers take care of business in the playoffs, Farmar will have a new contract offer from the Lake Show. “Right now, I am just trying to play basketball and do my best,” he says. “I know I can play, and they know that as well.” The Lakers should simply re-sign Farmar. This would be a smart and safe move for the organization, especially because of Derek Fisher’s imminent aging and route to retirement. And, Farmar has embellished his persona with the purple and gold. “He is a good guy. He has accomplished a lot at such a young age,” Gasol says. “He has a lot coming to him in the future, and step-by-step he will get better as a player.” The Lakers head to Denver April 8 and Minnesota April 9, then host the Trail Blazers April 11 and Kings April 13.
Campus Circle > Sports > Baseball conversation with press. “Our goal is to win it all, and that’s what we’re gonna do,” he assured. It is a forgivable human impulse, and who knows, he could be right. The Los Angeles Dodgers could “win it all” this year. It would mean overcoming some serious concerns on the field, but that is the game of baseball, where the deciding factor is always the unexpected: the illusive X Factor, the star rookie, the sudden resurgence of a veteran or the presence of a mystical baseball force called “chemistry.” The 2009 team was fortunate to have each of these factors at some point throughout their season. The performance of rookie reliever Ronald Belisario helped propel the pitching staff to the best ERA in baseball. Veterans Juan Pierre and Randy Wolf showed a grit and consistency, which inspired the team. At their best, the Dodgers were a happy, fun-loving crew whose camaraderie could be felt from the bleachers. Yet despite their fondest ambitions, the Blue Crew failed to surpass the success of the 2008 season by getting decisively chopped up by the Phillies in the second round of the playoffs. This year’s roster of would-be champs maintains a core of youthful players who’ve grown up with the organization. Those who have moved on include Pierre, Wolf and gregarious second baseman Orlando Hudson. Their absence makes one wonder who will provide the mature leadership necessary to sustain the team through the emotional highs and lows of a long season. The candidates are many for the simple reason that the kids are no longer kids. Outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp will each go into their third season as regular starters. The player who has been with the team longest is none other than Russell Martin. The 27-year old catcher reported
to camp a good 25 pounds heavier with the idea that the extra weight would provide more power to his bat. He also incurred a strain in his groin, which has management concerned about his ability to sustain a heavy workload behind the plate. The pitching rotation of Vicente Padilla, Hiroki Kuroda, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw remains intact. Both Kershaw and Billingsley have appeared very strong during the spring, which makes some scratch their head as to why manager Joe Torre has named Padilla to start opening day. The smooth-dressing Nicaraguan with the face of a Mayan deity posted a 5.71 ERA and 1-3 record during spring training. The Dodger bullpen looks especially strong with the usual suspects of Jonathan Broxton and George Sherrill returning and the addition of veteran Ramon Ortiz, whose 1.15 ERA this spring caught everyone’s attention. Without wishing to play the prediction game, there is good reason to expect the Dodgers will be a major force in the Western Division. But will they be good enough to “win it all” as Frank McCourt says? After two consecutive years of near misses, Dodger fans are beginning to fiend for a pennant. They have watched ticket prices rise steadily while team payroll has not. The unfolding divorce drama of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt have given rise to almost daily reports of their lavish personal expenditures. The question then follows: If the team fails to surpass its previous successes, will Dodger fans think favorably on the organization? You don’t have to be an expert to predict otherwise. The Dodgers home opener is April 13 at 1:10 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. For more information, visit losangeles.dodgers.mlb. com.
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CASH FOR CLASS And Summer Enrichment
BY christine hernandez Apply now for the Tourism Cares - Contiki No matter what money Vacations Scholarship. has been called (cashola, dough, dinero), it’s something that people don’t mind having around, underneath their mattresses, inside the deepest corners of their pockets or in their bank accounts. For college students this also rings true, but if at the end of the day your college-self feels as though it hasn’t been rewarded appropriately for that late-night shift or those long hours spent studying the mitosis cycle, the next best thing to money is a scholarship, a.k.a. free money. Contiki Vacations, the leader in fun travel packages for 18 to 35-year-olds, has partnered up with Tourism Cares, a non-profit public charity, and they’ve established a scholarship fund, “Tourism Cares - Contiki Vacations Scholarship Fund,” for U.S. undergraduate students pursuing a degree in a travel, tourism or hospitality-related program. “As a company that caters to the youth market, we are excited to provide this support,” says Michelle Murray, Director of Marketing at Contiki. “We look forward to helping a deserving and hardworking student begin an exciting and enlightening career in the travel, tourism or hospitality field.” The deadline for this program is April 15, and it’ll endow an undergrad student with a one-year, $1,500 scholarship. In order to apply for the funds, students are asked to submit their resume, two letters of recommendation and an original essay that outlines their goals. The Tourism Cares Scholarship Selection Committee will then review all submissions, narrow down the candidates and appoint the final recipient. Awarded funds will be applied to the student’s fall semester for tuition, books and educational fees. Get all the information you need in order to get your future not only looking brighter, but greener. Visit contiki.com/getinvolved to learn about eligibility and restrictions of the scholarship fund and tourismcares.org/scholarships to apply. Not yet a college student? If you’re in high school you can now pay to live, breathe and learn like one at a top, prestigious university. Academic Study Associates (ASA; asaprograms.com) is a college-preparatory organization offering college-bound high school students a range of summer academic programs “to inspire personal and intellectual growth, as well as social change and global understanding.” ASA, comprised of 15 summer enrichment programs for high school students, has just opened up two new programs that will be offered this summer: Film Studies: Hollywood Uncovered, offered on the USC campus, and Leaders for Social Change, offered on the university campuses of Stanford and Yale. The Film Studies: Hollywood Uncovered costs $6,195 for a four-week program starting June 27 and ending July 24, for students in grades 9 through 12. It offers students the complete, full-on college experience: residing on campus, working up a sweat at the USC gym, getting a behind-the-scenes look at how movies evolve from concept to the real Hollywood deal in classes taught by accredited professors and even going to a Dodgers baseball game. High school participants will also explore myriad film genres, while dissecting and understanding the concepts that go behind a story structure, visual style and other vital cinematic devices. The program might seem pricey, but it includes two courses, meals and accommodation on USC’s University Park campus, daily and evening activities and supervised visits to Universal Studios, Santa Barbara, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica and more. The Leaders for Social Change costs $4,695 for a three-week long program offered on the campuses of Stanford and Yale, from June 27 to July 17, for high school sophomores and juniors. Participants not only gain leadership skills, problem solving and business etiquette, but will identify issues of concern such as global climate change and health care.
BUDDLE AND DEFENSE
Lead Galaxy in SuperClasico BY marvin g. vasquez
Edson Buddle scores two!
Two scores from Edson Buddle and solid defensive play led the Galaxy to a 2-0 victory over Chivas USA in the SuperClasico April 1 at the Home Depot Center. “For the game, we played well defensively,” coach Bruce Arena acknowledges. “I think our form played well and played hard. It was a challenging game for us.” An early goal at the seven-minute mark from a Buddle header set the tone. After a few dribbles, Landon Donovan drove a ball to the right flank, where Sean Franklin connected on a well-crossed pass into the box. Buddle did the rest in his second score of the campaign, as he triggered a potent header to the back of the net. In all of Buddle’s goals thus far, Donovan has been highly active with him. “I wanted to be more competitive and involved in the game,” Donovan says. “I want to win, so whatever my role needs to be to help us win, I’ll do that.” Only two shots on goal were what the Galaxy needed in the contest to record both scores. The second came in the 87th minute when Donovan provided a through ball to an open Buddle, who finished with class in the upper left corner of the net. For the season, Buddle now has three goals and Donovan three assists. “Buddle has been great. He is being rewarded for all the hard work he did in the offseason,” Donovan remarks. “When he is healthy, he is as good as any other forward in this league.” The Galaxy’s win improves their record to 2-0 with six total points after two matches. The group next plays at Houston, where they will face the Dynamo in their first road affair Saturday.
KINGS’ ARMOR LOSES SOME SHINE BY parimal M. Rohit It has been a promising 2009-2010 season for the Kings, but last weekend’s contest against the hated Anaheim Ducks may have been a sign of bad things to come for Los Angeles. On the bright side, winning two of their last four games, the Kings (44-27-7, 95 points) will set a franchise record for most wins in one season and should surpass the 100-point mark for just the third time in team history. Two things have helped the Kings put themselves in a position to make this season one of the greatest ever in franchise history: a 26-1 record when scoring four-plus goals in a game (including an 8-3 shellacking against Vancouver on Thursday) and a 29-0 mark when leading after two periods. Make that 29-1. When the second period ended on Saturday evening at Staples Center, the Kings led 1-0. Alas, the Ducks managed to win the game in a shootout, taking a 2-1 victory back to Anaheim. As the Kings enter the final week of regular season play, the players have to wonder if their first loss after a second intermission lead is part of a bigger problem – the inability of the Kings to finish a season strongly. Since the Winter Olympic break, the Kings are 7-10-3 and are struggling to secure a playoff seed. Sure, the Kings will probably earn a playoff berth this week, what with winnable games against Anaheim, Phoenix, Edmonton and Colorado (with the contest against the Avalanche the only one away from Southern California). No team wants to enter the postseason on a losing note, but the Kings are currently on pace to do just that – again. The Kings need to return to their winning ways if they want this season to be the one that changes the franchise’s future fortune. All stats as of April 5.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
MUSIC CULTURE EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS The Art of Love Beauty Books D-Day Fashion Food Fun For Less Gaming Get Up, Get Out Theater Travel
Courtesy of Nintendo
LITTLE BIG SYSTEM
Rethinking Portable by Scott bell
Nintendo’s DSi XL
If you only came into the handheld gaming world within THE last decade or so, you might think that portable gaming is all about being small. As the technology has progressed, we have seen progressively thinner systems and even tinier game cartridges. You would have a good reason to believe that better handhelds mean smaller handhelds. You would be at least partially wrong. To be fair to the smaller-is-better movement, any of us who remember the classic Game Boy model can tell you how nice it is to have a system where the screens take up more than half of the system’s face. The old handhelds were horribly bulky, and yet it would still be a real struggle to look over your buddy’s shoulder to see how he was doing at “Tetris.” Newer portables – even those that are made to fit comfortably into your pocket – have succeeded at making the hardware smaller even as the screen size has remained the same or even grown larger. As far as Nintendo seems to be concerned, however, smaller may no longer be better. Their newest portable system – the DSi XL – is all about big. While the original DS may have been fairly big, the DSi XL looks and feels fairly massive. Of course, this larger system makes use of almost every inch of the gaming surface, offering two screens that are 93 percent larger than the DSi and a more immersive gaming experience. While some may argue that a system that is so big that it doesn’t fit in your pocket goes against the idea of portable gaming, it could just as easily be said that portable gaming no longer fits on smaller systems. Modern portable games are far more detailed than the consoles that were around when the Game Boy was first introduced, and yet the screens never grew as the games became far more detailed. With the larger screens, you can really appreciate the deep details that were built into newer DS games. Not only do the larger screens mean that you will be able to appreciate the graphics, but it may actually make you a better gamer on some games. If you have ever suffered from accidentally covering part of the touch screen or have desperately tried to tap a point on the screen that was too small, then playing the DSi XL will be a welcome change. Of course, if you miss the experience of dragging a stylus that takes up a fifth of your screen, the DSi XL comes with a massive, pen-sized stylus that will be a much-needed relief for players who suffer from tiny stylus syndrome. Bigger screens offer more than just an enhanced individual experience. The DSi XL offers the unique ability to share the gaming experience with your friends in a way that games on smaller screened handhelds simply couldn’t. Now, players can show their friends more than just the top screen when they are playing their new game. Granted, there is still just one person holding the stylus, but it gives everyone the opportunity to share the playing experience. Admittedly, a larger screen does mean that some games have a slightly grainy look to them, but it is not really that bad. The graininess is very subtle, often to the point where you have to be actively looking for it to see it, and many games do not seem to have any display problems at all. Before you presume that the DSi XL is just about bigger screens, rest assured that all of the features of the DSi are readily available in the DSi XL. The console comes with the dual camera set-up, the wireless and WiFi connectivity and the DSiWare functionality that DSi users have grown used to. The system even comes with three pre-installed games: “Brain Age Express: Math,” “Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters” and “Flipnote Studio.” The bottom line is that DSi XL is at its core a DSi that was built to fully showcase the ever-expanding Nintendo portable library and to allow players to share the experience with their friends. It may be resting its innovations on this one trait, but it is an impressive asset to boast about. If you own a portable system just to be able to keep a game system in your pocket, you may be better off with a classic DSi, but for those who are willing to trade portability for a more intense, communal gaming experience, the DSi XL is a great handheld.
Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
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CALENDARTHE10SPOT BY FREDERICK MINTCHELL
Renaissance Pleasure Faire Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, 15501 Arrow Highway, Irwindale; renfair.com/socal Swashbuckling heroes, merry minstrels, daz– zling daredevils, dancers, jugglers and hundreds of colorful characters fill 12 stages and bustling streets bringing you non-stop entertainment throughout the day. Download a coupon at campuscircle.com/ coupons/rpfcoupon.jpg. Saturdays and Sundays through May 23, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $25.
WEDNESDAYAPRIL 7 College Night at the Getty Center 1200 Getty Center Drive, West Los Angeles; getty.edu With four awesome exhibits on display, including one on Leonardo da Vinci, plus live music, food, drinks and other surprises exclusively for college students, you’ll be busy at the world famous art museum. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. FREE.
WEDNESDAYAPRIL 7 Death at a Funeral Stand-Up Comedy Contest Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; power106.com If you think you’ve got what it takes to make people laugh out loud, then you could win $1,000. Your comedy set will also be featured deathatafuneral-movie. com. All sets must include one of the following three topics: funny things that happened at a funeral, crazy family stories or family secrets. Registration at 4:30 p.m., contest at 6 p.m. FREE.
THURSDAYAPRIL 8 Jerry Seinfeld Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; reprise.org Don’t miss a rare chance to experience the great Jerry Seinfeld live, hosted by his former “Seinfeld” co-star, Jason Alexander. Ticket sales support the Reprise Theatre Company and its mission to produce musical theatre and provide arts education programs for underserved members of our community. 8 p.m. Tix start at $40.
FRIDAYAPRIL 9 “The Blvd” Macha Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; plays411.com/theblvd What happens when titanic egos collide in a parody of two great cinema classics, Sunset Blvd. and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Tragedy and hysterics, of course. Runs FridaySunday through April 18. 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. $28.
SATURDAYAPRIL 10 Cherry Blossom Festival Little Tokyo, on 1st Street between Alameda Street and San Pedro Street; cherryblossomfestivalsocal.org Live entertainment of Japanese danc–
ing, Taiko and up-and-coming performers, a kimono fashion show, a Hawaiian Village, cultural village, a martial arts arena, Odori dancing and food and craft vendors. Also Sunday. FREE.
SATURDAYAPRIL 10 L.A. Beer Festival Sony Studios, 10202 Washington Blvd., Culver City; drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest Beer lovers rejoice! Sample dozens of international and domestic beers while enjoying the fun live music and tasty beerfriendly food. 21+. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. and also 5 p.m.-8 p.m. $40 admission includes unlimited 4 ounce pours.
SUNDAYAPRIL 11 Shrine Circus Shrine Auditorium, 700 W. 32nd St. Downtown; shrineauditorium.com In case you missed Saturday’s show, embrace your inner child and head to the Big Top knowing proceeds benefit children’s hospitals and other charities. 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. $20.
MONDAYAPRIL 12 Spa Week spaweek.com Select spas in the area offer luxurious spa treatments for just $50. Indulge in anything from massages and facials to manicures and pedicures that would normally range from $100 all the way up to $450. Runs through April 18.
Q&A BY lucia
I have been seeing a married man for six months. I’ve tried to break it off several times, but we have so much chemistry that we keep getting back Lucia together. Even though we discussed the fact that I could get pregnant, we continued to not use birth control, and I am now pregnant. I had two abortions in my 20s and told him that I would NEVER have another abortion NO MATTER WHAT. I am 36 years old and do want to be a mother. He wanted me to get an abortion the first week I told him, but he has now accepted my decision to have the baby. He has no children with his current wife, but has three children from his ex wife and two other girlfriends of his past. Yes, he sounds like a total loser, but he is actually a very caring and compassionate man – just very mixed up. I’m not going to tell his wife, but sooner or later she will find out. I do not want to tell him to hit the road because he is the father and I am hoping his feelings may change once the baby is here. If not, well, I am fine with that. I am prepared to be a single mother. He pays child support for his children and is very close to them. What do you think? —Anonymous What is your definition of a mother? A mother puts the best interests of her child first. She would never risk becoming pregnant until she was in a committed relationship with someone who was available and not a loser. She would never bring a child into a situation where it will be forced to grow up without a father in the home, making it more likely that it will become involved in criminal activities or end up “on the pole.” It doesn’t matter what I think because it’s obvious from your actions that the only thing you care about is what you want and how you feel. Unfortunately, your child will now have to pay the price for that. Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.
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TUESDAYAPRIL 13 Dodgers Home Opener Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Way, Downtown; losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com Head to Chavez Ravine to witness Los Angeles’ Boys in Blue as they begin their quest for a third straight division crown versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. 1:10 p.m. Tix start at $12.
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Campus Circle 4.7.10 - 4.13.10
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