FEBRUARY 9, 2012 • VOL. 29, NO. 27
INSIDEBEAT THE WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE OF THE DAILY TARGUM
Broken Bonds Hope they can still be friends?
VIDEOTAPE D N A , S IE SEX, L
CRIS CAB • Y T L E W Y CHEL PERR A R • E Y T R V • GO U IB L A C L U O
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February 9, 2012
EDITOR’S RANT & FASHION
It’s Complicated with 30 Rock BY FREDDIE MORGAN TV EDITOR
The complicated af fairs of band members remind me of a similar on-again, of f-again relationship of my own. When I find a show, I’m infatuated. I chase after it and insist we spend ever y waking moment together. I’ll watch four teen consecutive episodes of 30 Rock before bedtime until my eyes water with exhaustion, and then I’ll wake up and watch four teen more. I’m hooked – I want nothing more
than to be warmed by the glow of my computer screen. Call me insatiable, but things grow stale quickly. Soon I’ve seen every episode of 30 Rock twice, and I’m sick of the stagnant routine we’ve settled into. Every episode I can expect Jenna to be attention- seeking and Tracy to be clinically insane. Kenneth’s chuckle becomes grating. Liz’s compulsive eating drives me mad. When I can’t bear to see another suit on Alec Baldwin, I know I’ve got to call it quits. I inevitably I end up searching for something else.
So 30 Rock gets has been pushed to the wayside, to make room for other shows I should have watched ages ago, like HBO’s Six Feet Under, and others that I should have caught up on months ago, like How I Met Your Mother. And I’m happy, don’t get me wrong – glad I’m seeing other television shows. But I miss Frank’s hats with ironic sayings, and Liz’s mom jeans and lived-in TGS zip-up. I play back the funniest episodes in my head, nostalgic for those moments we shared. I was there
Z OË S ZATHMARY .................................................... EDITOR EDITOR EDITOR
FREDDIE MORGAN............................................................................TV EDITOR EMILY GABRIELE.......................................................................MUSIC EDITOR HEATHER TEDESCO................................................................THEATER EDITOR ZOË SZATHMARY....................................................................FASHION EDITOR JILLIAN PASON..........................................................................COPY EDITOR NOAH WITTENBURG....................................................................PHOTO EDITOR ALEX NATANZON............................................................................FILM EDITOR JASON PEARL...............................................................................ONLINE EDITOR RYAN SURUJNATH...........................................................VIDEO GAMES EDITOR
coo. I will never betray you again. I click on my favorite episode (“Subway Hero,” in case you were wondering) and smile to myself. I’ve missed you so. I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but this year I might. In honor of some of my most favorite shows and episodes of all time, I will indulge myself in an evening of reckless abandon of schoolwork. Instead, I will focus on rekindling the flame with some lost lovers: Scrubs, Flight of the Conchords and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
EDITORIAL BOARD RYAN SURUJNATH.....................................................ASSOCIATE ASHLEY PARK...................................................ASSISTANT
through Liz’s of f-brand snack food-induced pregnancy scare, or through Jack’s engagement to a husband murderer. This makes me remorseful; have I made a mistake? I log onto Netflix. Please forgive me, I beseech my screen as I hastily click for 30 Rock in my viewing histor y. Feelings of relief and euphoria wash over me as I leaf through the episode titles. The timestamp from when I last watched the episode calls to me like an old friend. Here you are before my eyes, I mentally
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS TO INSIDE BEAT : Spence Blazak Joseph Brown Tammie Chiou Diana Cholankeril Jessica Espinosa Shama Huq Saskia Kusnecov Kevin Ray Javier Salvador Cover Photo Courtesy of fanpop.com
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JASON WU FOR TARGET
BY DIVYA PATIBANDLA STAFF WRITER
Target, known for carrying all things cheap and chic, collaborates with designer Jason Wu. With Milu, a black cat adorning some of the collection’s tees and tote bags, it is apparent that “mischief is in the details.” Inspired by French New Wave films and their heroines — like Anna Karina and Jean Seberg — the collection captures the boyish and boxy silhouettes of the ’50s and ’60s. Although some of the garments are uniform-like in appearance, there are still touches of femininity sans the frills. White button downs with a black bow at the collar line are evidence of this. If you’re looking to take a trip into the past, slip on some saddle shoes and head to your local Target to snag a piece of this charming collaboration.
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February 9, 2012
COURTESY OF RACHEL PERRY WELTY
Art After Hours: Rachel Perry Welty 24/7 BY SASKIA KUSNECOV STAFF WRITER
When was the last time you threw something out that you didn’t really need — not garbage, but instead a dish that you never use or a piece of clothing you never wear? Massachusetts-based artist Rachel Perr y Welty challenges this ver y notion by showcasing what she refers to as the “business of living” in her newest collection, 24/7, featured in the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. The “Art After Hours” event on Feb. 1 included a guided tour of Welty’s exhibit, as well as a talk with the artist, where she was able to explain the stories and details
behind the galler y pieces. As a conceptual artist, Welty’s work is saturated with meaning that is communicated through the medium and the process. The materials she used for the pieces on exhibition include: twist-ties, fruit stickers, medical record text and even Facebook status updates. The pieces included in the “Lost in My Life” series feature the ar tist using herself as a medium, something Welty said she never originally intended. In “Lost in My Life,” Welty takes seemingly mundane objects that we often overlook and makes them incredible. In “Lost in My Life” Price Tag, she wears a dress with a price tag print and stands in front of a backdrop featuring the same print, effort-
lessly camouflaging herself. Like Inside Beat-featured Italian artist Marco Mazzoni, Welty omits the facial features from the piece to detract from the viewer, interpreting it as a portrait, so the piece features her back turned toward the viewer; it ultimately serves as a commentary on the influence of consumerism in American daily life. The process of collecting these stamps, twist-ties and the items does not compare to her most varied collection, titled “Deaccession.” More than 10 years ago, Welty started “deaccessioning” or throwing away her excess items, one each day. The entire back wall of the exhibit is covered in digital pictures of items that Welty discarded throughout the past 10 years.
Characterizing herself as a collector by nature, she says the process of clearing the excess made her realize that there is a way to deal with these kinds of habits. “Some days it’s something as simple as a paper clip,” Welty said. “We’re very lucky that we have stuff that we can throw away and not really notice.” The “Ar t After Hours” ended with a performance by Cotton, a local rock band that plays all over the tri-state area, but before the band began their set, Welty said her final words about the exhibit and how it related to her own life. “Some people told me I was weirdly fascinated,” Welty said, “Well, I think weirdly fascinated is a pretty good description.”
Page 4 • Inside Beat
February 9, 2012
T.V. & VIDEOGAMES
T.V. Matchmaker BY ASHLEY PARK ASSISTANT EDITOR
COURTESY OF FANPOP.COM
SHERLOCK BBC, Sundays at 10 p.m| A
BY KEYA BALAR STAFF WRITER
More than a century ago, Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a brilliant detective: Sherlock Holmes who was almost superhuman in his intellect and skills of deduction. Since then, thousands have been fascinated with Holmes. Now he’s been resurrected in BBC’s Sherlock, this time as a modern-day consulting detective working with the Scotland Yard. Timeless duo Holmes and Watson travel through the old city of London hailing cabs, following clues through text messages and running tests with 21st century technology. Award-winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) stars as Sherlock Holmes, who describes himself on the show as a “high-functioning sociopath.” Cumberbatch is able to
capture the quirks of a man who embraces solitude, idolizes logic and stumbles over social customs. Cumberbatch’s fluid acting and quick delivery convince us that we are watching someone who thinks twelve steps ahead of the rest of the world. Accompanying Holmes is Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman, Lord of the Rings), depicted in this adaptation as a complete foil to Holmes’ investigative intelligence and social idiocy. Both actors wholeheartedly commit to their characters, and there is a believable chemistry between them. Andrew Scott’s performance as arch-nemesis Jim Moriarty is both chilling and captivating. Scott presents Moriarty as a man who is so tired of the banality of ordinary life that he makes it his purpose to create chaos. Scott delivers his lines with a warped sense of delight, which makes his character seem insatiable in his desire for violence.
Creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss of Doctor Who were able to adapt Doyle’s stories to the present without sacrificing any integral elements of the original mysteries. Filmed in a modern, fast-paced city, the cinematography retains the quintessential charm of a foggy Victorian London dotted with gas streetlights. Most of the plotlines of the episodes put a spin on Doyle’s original stories, so even fans that have read the stories are kept on their toes. The beginnings of the episodes seem a bit slow as the plotlines flesh out, but the show becomes more action-packed and suspenseful as it progresses. The show has witty dialogue that is so refreshing in an era of laugh tracks and predictable puns. Though the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have been told and re-told throughout its existence, the show is a fresh and suspenseful interpretation.
SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online (SDGO)
Ever wonder what it would be like if your favorite television characters created profiles on eHarmony and dated across networks? Who would pair up with whom? In honor of Valentine’s Day, Inside Beat pulls out the astrology books and plays matchmaker to these should-be couples. Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother) & Charlotte York (Sex and the City) – THE LONG HAUL Ted, a hapless romantic, is always crying out for love, but after seven seasons and still no sign of a mother, it’s time to channel surf a little. Ted, have you met Charlotte York? Carrie’s gal pal on HBO’s Sex and the City longs for a family, too, and an apartment on the Upper East Side. Ted and Charlotte love New York, want the same things and, though they appear somewhat innocent, both know their way around the bedroom. Their relationship would be legen“wait for it”-dary. Har vey Specter (Suits) & Joan Holloway (Mad Men) – THE POWERHOUSE PAIR No woman knows how to handle head honchos like the va-va-voom Joan Holloway, head secretary of Mad Men’s fictional advertising company. She’s sexy, cool and confident — a perfect fit for Harvey Specter, New York’s top attorney in Suits. Also, unlike some of the males in Mad Men, Harvey has a strong moral compass and wouldn’t mistreat Joan. Together, these two alphas would make a spicy couple. Sue Sylvester (Glee) & The Janitor (Scrubs)–THE GRUESOME TWO-SOME Sue Sylvester, the Glee gym teacher with a vendetta
Bandai Korea | B+ BY KEVIN RAY JAVIER SALVADOR STAFF WRITER
The Gundam series has spanned over years of media, ranging from the ground-breaking anime series in 1979 to various video games, most recently Gundam: Extreme Vs. In its time, it has set the standard and established what is known as the “real robot” genre, demonstrated in games such as Armored Core and Front Mission. Despite having an audience, the United States has rarely received many Gundam video games and the ones that do make it are rarely of outstanding quality. However, that all changes with the latest game published by OGPlanet, which is the MMO third Person Shooter, SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online, also known as SDGO. Like the Gundam Vs. games published by Capcom, SDGO is an arena-styled third person shooter.
Players use SD-styled robots from various Gundam series' in either Player vs. Player arena maps or Missions, which have much larger maps that are split up into different sectors. While the game awards players more units by completing certain quests, players can also obtain stronger units by earning Blueprints or using points to buy capsules, hence the name of the game. With the game’s latest update, SDGO now has 30 different capsules and a new feature called Overcustom, which allows players to further customize their favorite units. Even though it is a third person shooter, the game features an auto lock-on feature to help players with their aim. While this game is much more fun than the average MMO, it still has its share of flaws. For example, OGPlanet is not very good with compensating players with rewards equal to effort put in, which re-
sults with a second place winner having a better reward than the Grand Prize. On occasion, the game fails to award players what they have earned. Additionally, their latest update still lacks certain Blueprints of units that are already in the game. At the same time, paid content for the game tends to be overly expensive. For about $2.85, users can roll for a randomly selected prize which can be a new, pre-leveled unit, or something as useless as an EXP Pack. On top of that, since this is a relatively new game, the Expert’s Ser ver does not have a large enough community yet, despite sporting greater rewards than the Beginner’s Server. While still relatively new, SDGO has seen great success in Korea, where it was developed. If OGPlanet can better manage this game, then it is possible that it could become a successful MMO to fans and newcomers alike.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FANPOP.COM
against the Glee Club, once created a profile on a dating website, but her only match was … herself. Had that database included The Janitor from Scrubs, however, she may have been matched. Both of these diabolical characters have a penchant for tormenting those beneath them. If they joined forces, the Glee club and Scrubs protagonist J.D. would need more than white flags to ward off this match made in hell. Mozzie (White Collar) & Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory) – THE NERDS It’s not impossible to find love even for quirky brainiacs like Mozzie, a conspiracy theory-happy criminal mastermind, and Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist who experiments with monkeys. On White Collar, Mozzie can quote every philosopher from Dante to Emerson but also knows how to tinker with laboratory chemicals. Amy from The Big Bang Theory is well versed in biological sciences but can be caught referring to Shakespeare. If these two met, they’d be more likely to form a beast with two brains rather than two backs. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) & Emma Pillsbur y (Glee) – THE NEUROTICS Sheldon Cooper, a pedantic physicist, and Emma Pillsbury, an obsessive-compulsive guidance counselor, as a couple may seem weird at first, but it makes sense. Sheldon is apparently too high a life form to ‘copulate,’ and Emma is such a germophobe that her fear hampers comfort in her own bedroom. Let’s face it. If Matthew Morrison doesn’t do it for her, nothing will, so she and Sheldon might as well not “do it” together.
D B R N A B
Tricky relationships don’t exist solely in romance — there have been plenty of musical artists that had sic groups such as Oasis, Guns ‘N’ Roses, N.W.A and The Supremes, animosity within groups appear closed doors is a whole different story… Here are some of the most recent bad band-break-ups — loo THURSDAY Often in relationships there is a falling out. For members of New Brunswick-based band Thursday however, remaining close will not be an issue. The band recently announced that they intend to stop making music together. Although the band has not clearly stated whether or not they are breaking up, the year has been one full of personal difficulties. “Underneath it all, the personal circumstances involved make it impossible to continue Thursday in the spirit that has made it so special,” the band said in a public statement. The band has talked about turning Thursday into a non-profit venture that records sporadically. The natives have left their musical mark with release of six full-length albums — the most recent was their 2011 release No Devolución. Although memories of their 1997 basement shows in New Brunswick may be forgotten, hopefully a day will come when those memories will re-emerge. – Divya Patibandla COURTESY OF THURSDAY.NET
THE ACADEMY IS... Saying goodbye to their Warped Tour days, the boys of the Chicago-based band The Academy Is… decided to go their separate ways. The band began in 2003 and released a total of three studio albums. Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz was impressed by the band’s initial EP, in turn causing the record label Fueled By Ramen to sign them immediately. The band’s 2008 release and final studio album, Fast Times at Barrington High, was an instant success. The album made its way onto Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of the Year in 2008, and the first single, “About a Girl” was featured in an episode of MTV’s hit series The Hills. In May 2011, the band announced the departure of lead guitarist Michael Guy Chislett and drummer Andy Mrotek, known by most as “The Butcher.” The band’s remaining three members, lead singer William Beckett, guitarist Mike Carden and bassist Adam T. Siska allegedly recorded new music in May 2011. Just five months later, The Academy Is… announced it is disbanding without release of any further recordings. Those were some “fast times” indeed. – Divya Patibandla COURTESY OF RYAN RUSSEL
THRICE The Artist in the Ambulance might just be an appropriate album name for California-based rock band Thrice, with the future of the band headed for the emergency room. Sometimes, people just need a break from each other. Members Dustin Kensrue, Teppei Teranishi, Eddie Breckenridge and Riley Breckenridge had taken some “me time” to individually write music for the band’s new album as a whole. The album, Major/Minor, came out in September 2011. The band’s hiatus follows their early 2012 tour. “Thrice is not breaking up,” the band said in a public statement in November 2011. “If nothing has broken us up by now, I doubt anything ever could.” Thrice recently announced their reunion tour, which will start up this May. – Divya Patibandla
COURTESY OF FACEBOOK.COM/OFFICIALTHRICE
d some rocky relationships ending in break ups. From the notorious Fab Four break up, to other clasrs to always exist. It may seem like candles and rose petals in the beginning, but what goes on behind oks like they’ll be spending Valentine’s Day alone.
BLACK EYED PEAS An electro-pop group that’s nearly trademarked the phrase “Let’s get it started” put their group’s musical pursuits on pause. The group keeps insisting it does not intend to “break up” and that it is simply “taking a break” – but we all know what that means. Will.i.am has fervently stressed that their musical hiatus is not an official end. When interviewed about the matter on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he commented, “When we take breaks you know, we work on side projects and get our personal stuff in order then come back and make beautiful music. We think beautiful music.” The Black Eyed Peas played their latest show together at the end of November last year in Miami. Each member has plans of their own to conquer during their break. Will.i.am intends to work on his solo career, and release his 4th album, tentatively titled #willpower. The group’s rapper, Taboo, intends to spend time with his family, especially since he and his wife recently had a child in April 2011. Apl.de.ap has noted that he will spend his time off to put forth energy into his ambassadorship for education in the Philippines. Completing the B.E.P. roster, frontwoman Fergie wants to focus on building a family with her husband, Josh Duhamel — so be on the lookout for baby bumps. – Emily Gabriele COURTESY OF BLACKEYEDPEAS.COM
FLEET FOXES The Washington folk-rock band did not completely break up; they still have their handful of solo ventures in the works. Less than a month ago, the band’s drummer, Josh Tillman announced his departure from the band. He posted on his Tumblr, “Tokyo is my last show with the Foxes. Sorry if I was distant and obtuse if we ever met. Have fun,” thus signifying his ultimate leave from the group. Tillman previously released solo albums, his most recent one titled Singing Ax in 2010. However, he’s not the only group member who is not whole-heartedly dedicated to the isolated project of Fleet Foxes. Casey Wescott, the band’s keyboard, mandolin and semi-vocalist along with Christian Wargo, the Foxes’ bassist and semi-vocalist also announced their side endeavor with the band Poor Moon. Poor Moon’s EP, Illusion, is due for release on March 27. With a drummer gone, and two members not focusing solely on Fleet Foxes, is it safe to think that Fleet Foxes won’t be coming out with a new album anytime soon? Like any other relationship, when a main focus isn’t shared among all parties, trouble is usually soon to follow. – Emily Gabriele COURTESY OF SEAN PECKNOLD
R.E.M. The iconic quartet that made fans around the world “lose their religion” announced their break up this past September. Group members, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry made the ultimate decision to step away from all they’ve known for the past 31 years. After releasing 15 full-length albums, the Georgia-rooted alternative-rock band made a legitimate announcement on their official website confirming the finality of their disbandment: “We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality and of astonishment at all we have accomplished.” They released their last album, Accelerate, Collapse Into Now in March 2011, only six months before they made the announcement. In November 2011 the band released a compilation of all their music titled, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage — a collection that contains music from their humble beginnings in 1982 to their final year as a band in 2011. It’s evident that there are no hard feelings or negative sentiments within R.E.M.’s break up; they actually seem to have a mature and mutual understanding of their decision — if only that could be said for all relationships. – Emily Gabriele COURTESY OF REMHW.COM
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February 9, 2012
VIDEOGAMES & FILM
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Square Enix| BBY KEVIN RAY JAVIER SALVADOR STAFF WRITER
Final Fantasy, Square Enix’s flagship franchise, has had a long history since the early ’90s. Originally conceived as a last-ditch effort to save Squaresoft, Final Fantasy has since gone on to be a great success, with instant classics such as Final Fantasy VII. Recently though, gamers are demanding more out of their RPGs, such as real-time battle systems and more choices on how the player advances the storyline. For any RPG to deviate from this new norm, especially a JRPG, it would have to do something innovative enough to grab players’ attention. Does Final Fantasy XIII-2 manage to achieve this? Final Fantasy XIII’s extreme lengthiness and linear gameplay turned some players away from the game. Not having played the first game does not entirely matter, because aside from providing a beginner’s primer to catch new players up on Final Fantasy XIII’s plot, the storyline is entirely new. Final Fantasy XIII-2 introduces a new character, Noel Kreiss, who fights alongside Serah, as they search for Serah’s sister and former protagonist, Lightning. The
game takes into account various time paradoxes and incorporates them into the gameplay to allow for various alternate endings and a somewhat less linear storyline. As for the battle system, it retains and improves the system from its predecessor by allowing the player to switch control between Noel and Serah. In addition, it allows players to recruit monsters to fight alongside the two, making the turn-based battle system a little more bearable. On top of that, boss battles tend to have quick time events that exist to make battles easier by causing additional damage to bosses. Despite improvements, XIII-2 still has its share of flaws, one of the biggest being the ending. Without revealing anything, it makes the game feel incomplete as players are forced to wait for the additional DLC chapter or sequel to resolve the plot, since paradox endings are non-canon by default. Also, while battles look cinematic, they tend to be distracting when the player is trying to choose commands and everything is moving a bit too fast. Despite being a rare case of a direct Final Fantasy sequel, XIII-2 still needs a bit of work in order to restore Final Fantasy’s name. COURTESY OF FANPOP.COM
Soulcalibur V Project Soul | C BY JASON PEARL ONLINE EDITOR
COURTESY OF FANPOP.COM
“Transcending history and the world, a tale of souls and swords, eternally retold.” This emblematic Soulcalibur quote has never been more appropriate than with this latest entry, because regardless of when or where Soulcalibur V is played, it will be yet another reiteration in a franchise desperate for innovation. Picking up 17 years after the conclusion of Soulcalibur IV, this latest entry in the series follows the tribulations of the children of Sophitia, one of the original characters of the Soul series. Her son Patroklos is a self-decreed holy warrior with a mountain-sized chip on his shoulder, while her daughter Pyrrha is a whimpering and misguided young woman slowly descending into darkness. While Pyrrha gravitates towards the
demon sword Soul Edge, her brother begins to accept his responsibility as wielder of the spirit sword Soul Calibur. Some classic Soulcalibur characters return (including Maxi, Mitsurugi and Nightmare) although others are either replaced by protégés (Taki, Xianghua) or left out entirely (Talim, Yun-Seong). Also returning is the Character Creation mode, which continues Soulcalibur IV’s lamentable trend of only allowing the created character to mimic an existing warrior’s play style, as opposed to the ability to use original fighting styles featured in Soulcalibur III. Familiar modes like Arcade and Versus return as well, albeit relatively unchanged. Of course, what matters most in a fighting game isn’t the amount of its characters or the quality of its story, but how well it plays. With Soulcalibur V, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Despite the overall smooth
combat system, attacks are sometimes difficult to execute fluidly and response time often feels a little off. Furthermore, since large and slight characters alike have similar movement speeds, a weapon’s reach is frequently the deciding factor in a match. In addition, the gameplay is much more sophisticated than that of games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Street Fighter IV, necessitating long practice sessions in Training mode for those wishing to compete with the diehard fans populating Soulcalibur V’s online lobbies. Even though it has several shortcomings and a lack of any truly new features, Soulcalibur V manages to provide the same consistently solid gameplay that is expected of the series, for better or worse. To paraphrase another Soulcalibur quote: while the franchise may be seriously wounded, the soul still burns.
sex, lies, and videotape (1989) BY SPENCE BLAZAK STAFF WRITER
Along with vanity spectacles, wearing ties in casual situations and listening to Vampire Weekend, independent film has long been a cornerstone of hipster culture. While this may discourage many viewers from discovering indie cinema, there is no need to be intimidated. An independent film is just like any other, except that it is made on a shoe-string budget, features artistic camera work and all of the parts are played by “oh yeah…I’ve seen
them somewhere before” actors rather than established A-listers . Basically, they are nothing but fun. sex, lies, and videotape was the debut effort of acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Soderbergh (Contagion) and is generally considered one of the trailblazing endeavors in independent cinema. It even won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival when it was released — that’s saying a lot, seeing as how the French never like American films. The story follows Ann (Andie MacDowell), a Southern housewife who is almost always clad in white and lit up to look like a saint. Ann's
slimy husband John invites an old college friend named Graham to come stay with them until he finds a new place to live. Ann is immediately curious about the peculiar Graham, and soon finds out that his hobby is to tape interviews of women discussing their sex lives. With the “videotape” part explained, the “sex and lies” soon appear in the form of the affair between John and Ann’s sister Cynthia. The movie is a truly unique experience. The aforementioned characters are virtually the entire cast. It’s structured like a play, and the dialogue is crafted to re-
veal only the most vital things about each character’s past. Very few aspects are explicitly explained, and the rest of the characters’ stories are shrouded in ambiguity and mystery. The film also plays with a few of the most interesting techniques of storytelling. At the film’s climax, just when the audience thinks they are about discover why Ann is the way she is, the film skips over the scene. Only after the following scene does the story return to what was jumped over. It works perfectly by switching the audience’s viewpoint from Ann’s to
John’s. It gets pretty crazy. The other technique Soderbergh uses is by having the antagonist become something psychological within the characters. While it might seem like John or Cynthia is the villain, the real battle is between Ann and her hang-ups, as well as Graham and his. This keeps the film, grounded, subtle and ver y indie. Weird? Undoubtedly. Is it a masterpiece of cinema that is a sin not to watch due to its ultra-realistic performances and the brilliantly realized psyche surrounding every character? Definitely.
Inside Beat • Page 9
February 9, 2012
The Big Bad BY ALEX NATANZON FILM EDITOR
Br yan Enk’s and Jessi Gotta’s gore-ridden revenge tale, The Big Bad, has as much in common with the stor y of Little Red Riding Hood as Larr y the Cable Guy has with Peter O’Toole. This violently gritty contribution to the New Jersey International Film Festival will have viewers perched on the edge of their seats, wincing at many of the grotesque scenes while simultaneously drawing them to the stor y and the plight of the main character. Frankie (Jessi Gotta), the fiery heroine of the film, is in the city in search of a mysterious man named Carter. Her sleuthing eventually leads her to a shady bar where she meets Molly (Jessica Savage), a short-tempered, street-smart
young woman. The two of them hit it off, drink together, swap stories and, of course, indulge in copious amounts of cocaine in true-blue rock ’n’ roll fashion. Things take a turn for the “outlandish” after Frankie inquires about Carter, and Molly reluctantly shares her own tale of her encounter with this “beastly” man. What follows is a bloody journey of discovery, enlightenment and revenge that will have our heroine quite bruised and battered to say the least. The Big Bad is not for the squeamish. This splatter film’s over-the-top gore will appease blood-thirsty movie-goers. From eye gougings to melting monsters who spray all forms of bodily bile, this movie is never fails to walk the line of absurd, indulgent violence. Despite all this, the way the plot is slowly unraveled and bits and pieces of Frankie’s backstory are
unearthed throughout the films progression is a real pull factor for viewers. Viewers will find themselves entranced by the mysteries clouding the main character and eager to join Frankie on her journey of discovery. The cinematography of The Big Bad is commendable. Many of the scenes are filmed in a shaky camera fashion, with fog and mist clouding the surrounding, which really gives parts of the film a Sin City-meets-Taxi Driver feel. One of the initial scenes where Frankie converses with Molly in the seedy bar is filled with such tension and raw emotional acting that the hyperrealism almost feels surreal. While this film sometimes teeters on the brink of ridiculousness in regard to the plot, it thoroughly compensates with action and memorable filmmaking. COURTESY OF NEW JERSEY FILM FESTIVAL
The Gaze of Man BY ELENA GEORGOPOULOS STAFF WRITER
If Almodovar is known for his use of primary colors and Fellini for his saturated pastels, then Theodros Angelopoulos’ movies are known to be in a 1,000 shades of grey. In fact, “a 1,000 shades of grey” very well could have been the title of his next movie, had he not met an untimely end — Angelopoulos was killed on Jan. 24 while filming his latest project. He won six awards at Cannes over 40 years, including many
others honoring his lifetime achievements. He was known for his sweeping visual style, complex narrative and for making the most desolate of locations look hauntingly beautiful. His 1995 work Ulysses Gaze best shows off his skills, and truly touches on the pain and joy of loving films. A Greek-American director known as A (played by Harvey Keitel) is on the lookout for the lost film reels of the Manakis brothers, a pair of photography and film pioneers in the Balkans. What plays out is not only his
search for the two men, but also a journey through the warring regions of his past and present. It is a love-letter to the things that get lost in war: cultural relics, family, loves and the evidence of everyday life, while pondering what it truly means to “gaze” and capture the world around you. As mentioned before, Angelopoulos appears to use ever y imaginable kind of grey in his films. He paints Greece and the neighboring Balkan countries not as tourist attractions but rather as the birthplace of tragedies. His
COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
BY JESSICA ESPINOSA STAFF WRITER
When three teens wander into a mysterious cavern, exciting things are bound to happen, though that excitement level never even rises past mid-way in Chronicle. The characters in this film have super hero-like powers, such as flight and telekinesis, but the story is at times hard to watch. Chronicle tells the story of a high school teenager, Andrew (Dane DeHaan, In Treatment), who leads a sad life as an outsider at school and an abused son at home. The film starts off by showing Andrew’s broken home life with his mother slowly dying of a terminal illness and his alcoholic father abusing him physically — while Andrew captures it all on film. He decides he wants to document every moment of his life and so the
Josh Trank| C+ film uses a found footage style reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. Andrew’s filming makes certain scenes feel a bit more real and intense as the audience sees him suffer through bullying left and right. Things quickly change for Andrew, his cousin Matt (Alex Russell, Wasted on the Young), and a popular student from school named Steve (Michael B. Jordan, All My Children) when they come across a cavern and decide to go exploring in it after attending a rave party together. Somehow, the trio receives miraculous powers, though it is never explained how. While the movie focuses on Andrew’s character, Matt is often more interesting. As far as innovative ideas go, Chronicle has none. Everything that happens throughout the film is predictable and generally bor-
ing. The writers lose a great opportunity for expansion of ideas by never explaining why or how the main characters get their powers. Dane DeHaan plays the dark “villain” well enough, and viewers can almost understand the rationale behind what he does because of all he’s been through. The action scenes are unfortunately in the last ten minutes of the film and just when the audience thinks something surprising is going to happen, nothing does. The film is mediocre; the cast does a good job with the characters they are given but what makes this movie lackluster is the fact that there’s no real edge-ofyour-seat drama. The director chooses to drag out many scenes seemingly without reason. Overall this film is nothing special; the trailer basically depicts the only interesting scenes.
plots are usually not consecutively structured and are played out slowly and minimally, often how scenes of real life do. Yet, he often switches between the abstract and realistic in his films, such as in Ulysses Gaze, with his lack of changing shots even when scenes and supposed time periods alternate, giving into the idea that histor y and memor y often meld into one another, especially in one’s specific vision. Ulysses Gaze in particular questions if seeing the world as it is, not how one imagines or remembers, is a
better alternative considering all the strife in the world. Whether Angelopoulos was dissecting the inconsistencies of time that make up one’s existence or looking for the most realistic way to portray life, debating the merits of showing the tragic or the mundane, he would always do it with attention, elegance and an understanding that films, such as life, should be left open-ended. Ever ything we have is only what we are allotted, soon to be gone because it was never really ours to begin with.
Page 10 • Inside Beat
February 9, 2012
Gotye Making Mirrors | BBY SPENCE BLAZAK STAFF WRITER
Nothing says “fun” like “experimental Australian pop artist!” Gotye has been around for 11 years now, and his newest album is so far his biggest commercial success. Anyone who is friends with a hipster on Facebook has probably seen the music video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” posted in their newsfeed, and for anyone who hasn’t, it is imperative to go and listen to it right now. anyone who hasn’t ought to do so as soon as possible. The song is a tale of loss and bitterness after a relationship and also features a killer marimba solo. Gotye’s Peter Gabriel-esque voice on the high notes is an utter joy. On Making Mirrors, it is apparent that Gotye is still trying to
figure out exactly what his style is, so he draws from a lot of different influences. While this is charming to an extent, it is also the album’s undoing because it often feels like the album doesn’t know what it is tr ying to be. “Eyes Wide Open,” “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Bronte” are the closest in relation to each other and have a style that Gotye could base a career on. The album takes a few interesting risks with the Beckinspired tune “Easy Out” and the Aretha Franklin-inspired track “I Feel Better.” While intriguing, the songs feel out of place and don’t really contribute to the central feel of the album. While there is a lot of good content on the album, overall it doesn’t quite work as a cohesive work of art.
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COURTESY OF LANADELREY.COM
LANA DEL REY Born to Die | B+
BY SHAMA HUQ STAFF WRITER
Lana Del Rey, the stage name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Grant, has polarized the music world over the last few months — way before her debut album Born To Die was even released. Critics initially took notice when she released her homemade video for “Video Games” on the Internet last summer. The success of the song launched Lana into the stratosphere of major pop music, leaving many anticipating what she would do next. The controversy and criticism surrounding her came to a head a couple weeks ago with her much-discussed appearance on Saturday
Night Live, especially since her album was still not released prior to her appearance. The 25-year-old musician from New York has described herself as “the gangster Nancy Sinatra” and the audience can see plenty of that in her image — flawlessly curled hair, sad siren eyes and a full mouth shaped into a perpetual pretty pout. Here is an artistic creation, campy at times, but nonetheless an image perfectly within the realm of creative expression. Even her lips have been the topic of much debate … but what about the songs coming out of that mouth? It seems that critics have forgotten about one crucial element: her music. Setting aside all critical accusations, acclaims and the general
hype, listeners are left with an atmospheric record that draws the listener in from the first note on the title track, “Born to Die.” Del Rey’s smoky voice goes through many twists and turns, at times going darkly seductive and nearly gritty in the lower register and sweetly ascending into the higher register just as easily. She favors the melancholic sound of sweeping strings with slow plucking guitars and smaller details, such as the church bells at the beginning of “Video Games,” or the tinkling bells and speaking par ts she samples in various songs that hint at the labor that went into producing this album. With care, she meshes together a glamorous vintage sound, harkening
back to the days of 1950s lounge singers, with hip-hop beats and a jaded, wounded hear t beating beneath it all. The songs are haunting and cinematic in scope, and it is the tightly crafted melodies that really make this album worth listening to. Her weakest point is perhaps the lyrics, which can be clever at times, but often leave something to be desired. She does not really venture much farther than the realm of broken hearts, bad boys and being a “girl” in the most retro sense. Adding to her onedimensional lyricism, there are certain phrases that grow repetitive. Still, there is a particular charm, and a feeling of je ne sais quoi that follows the listener through each song on the record.
With Born To Die, Lana Del Rey has created a cohesive concept album with songs that are stirring — a refreshing change of pace from the formulaic sounds that make up much of today’s pop music. It might not be for ever yone, especially with the leisurely pace on many of the songs, but it is a slow burn and overall a pleasure to listen to. It also hints at the potential that Del Rey has to further develop her music in the future. Some standout tracks include the first single “Video Games,” “Dark Paradise,” “Summertime Sadness” and “Without You.” So sit back, relax, and just enjoy this album; just like Del Rey sings, “The road is long, we carry on; try to have fun in the meantime…”
Inside Beat • Page 11
February 9, 2012
Hospitality Hospitality| C COURTESY OF GLIDE.COM
BY TAMMIE CHIOU STAFF WRITER
The band Hospitality has been around for quite awhile, plucking away at a few Brooklyn shows, but only now has the group finally emerged with a full-length album. Sounding not unlike a twee college set, the band’s default mode is strippeddown and informal. Relying more on the strength of execution rather than tricky songwriting, the band’s adherence to the basics is admirable but sometimes proves to be a bit stifling. “Betty Wang” is a tribute to the singer’s old boss, and the fun chirping of the CEO’s Chinese name in the chorus is fun to sing along with. The lead vocalist Amber Papini seems to have a laid-back aura about her; many of the tracks feature her talking with a lilt in her voice rather
than her truly singing the lyrics. This ultimately produces an impression of a one-way conversation — a monologue backed by some instruments. The rest of Hospitality’s fast tempo songs don’t seem to quite hit the mark as well as its calmer, shoegazing tracks. Nostalgic strums and the repetitive plea, “Don’t forget about,” in “Argonauts” paint a quiet picture of glistening, warped solemnity. On the same pace, “Sleepover” is a half-lidded, swaying, campfire melody. Despite the earnest sincerity, the band doesn’t seem to be looking to impress. It’s rather easy to put the whole album on and not notice when one song has stopped and another has started. Though adorable and charming, Hospitality seems guarded and safe, making for an overall mediocre selection.
Artist of the Week: Neon Hitch BY EMILY GABRIELE MUSIC EDITOR
“I grew up in a bus. My mom still has the bus; it was actually an old school bus that she converted inside, into a house,” Neon Hitch commented in a light-hearted manner. Yes, her name is actually Neon and her upbringing is as unconventional as her name. Aside from growing up on a bus, Neon also was a trapeze artist from the young age of nine, and her Mom was a performer, too; as Hitch puts it, “It’s kind of a family tradition to perform.” Originally from England, Hitch ran away from her family and trapeze performing life. She ran awayfled to India when she was 16 years old and was basically homeless. When asked why she ran away she responded, “That was the discovering-who-I-was path in my life. I wouldn’t encourage it — don’t try this at home kids. It’s not as magical as it seems. I would go to my friend’s house to check my Myspace every day. It was like the high-
light of my day because I was completely homeless.” Ironically, her homelessness in turn flourished into a budding musical career. Due to her incessant pursuit, her music Myspace was discovered by a Warner Brothers Records A & R representative. From there, she was contacted via Myspace and flown to America where she continues to partake in a musical lifestyle. Her deep-rooted passion to perform is still alive today. The musical work of Neon can be found throughout today’s popmusic sphere. She’s worked with artists alongalongside the likes of 3OH!3 and Ke$ha — but that’s just her behind the scenes work. Currently circulating through radio playlists is a track that features Neon on the hook titled, “A** Back Home.” The song can be found on Gym Class Heroes most recently released album, The Papercut Chronicles II. Her debut full-length album, Beg, Borrow and Steal has yet to have a set release date, but is due out sometime in 2012. COURTESY OF SHERYL NIELDS
Cris Cab COURTESY OF ALFITUDE.COM
Echo Boom | B+
BY JOSEPH BROWN STAFF WRITER
If there is one thing that 18year-old singer/songwriter Cris Cab can do, he can certainly make listeners wholeheartedly groove to his soft, yet sharp and melodic voice. Combine that with the backings of the Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) — the flagship fashion line founded by the award-winning artist and record producer Pharrell — and you have a solid mixtape compilation. There is a stor y embedded in this mixtape that most full-length albums do not have. Wyclef and Shaggy are two excellent choices that provide some vocals on the mixtape’s smoother tracks. “Turn You O,” featuring Melanie Fiona and Shaggy, is provocative and sexy, yet has a certain classiness to it that makes it easy on the ears. “Put In Work,” produced by Wyclef and Sedek, not only has an underlying message,
but it also has one of the best jam rock-inspired baselines interwoven with Cris Cab’s unique singing style — a style that is brought to life throughout the whole project. There is nothing that sounds quite like this project on the radio — each track is very different and cohesive. Another special quality of this tape is its perfect balance between Cris and the entire line up of strong, feature artists. In tracks like “Echo Boom” ft. Pharell, Cab uses his vocal abilities to melodically harmonize while Pharell brings out his conscious rapping ability. However, tracks without feature artists are not to be overlooked. Chris Cab’s solo tracks, “Cross Your Fingers” and “Gypsies on the Boulevard,” are must-listens because they boast Cab’s finger-picking skills. If more mixtapes are like this hip hop project, then albums better step their game up. Echo Boom — download it.
Published on Feb 9, 2012