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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Summer Movie Previews

Looking for an escape from the dreaded summer heat? What better place to avoid it then the cool dark atmosphere offered by your local movie theater. Here are some summer movies sure to show you a good time and the ones definitely not worth $10. Get Him to the Greek Release Date: June 4 Grade: B- Russel Brand (Bedtime Stories) reprises his role of the eccentric Aldous Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall in this comedy about the troubled life of a rock-and-roll star. Jonah Hill (Superbad) plays the role of a record label employee who is tasked with escorting Snow from England to his live performance at the Greek in Los Angeles. What follows is a whirlwind of sex, drugs, alcohol and an amazing performance given by Sean ‘P. Diddy' Combs (Death of a Dynasty). Unfortunately a lot of the jokes throughout are hit or miss. But the good ones are definitely worth the price of the ticket. The A-Team Release Date: June 11 Grade: C+ This reimagining of the hit '80s show is a decent movie that'll take your mind off of the summer heat. The action is exciting and the Team's plans are as crafty and ingenious as ever. It's too bad the plot couldn't hold its own. In fact, the only thing deserving an A on this team was the all-star cast. Liam Neeson (Clash of the Titans), Bradley Cooper (Valentines Day) and Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson (Death Warrior) all have their moments throughout the film. But with his performance as the team's slightly insane pilot, it's Sharlto Copely (District 9) that gives the best performance. Toy Story 3 Release Date: June 18 Grade: B+ Woody (Tom Hanks, Angels and Demons) and Buzz (Tim Allen, Crazy on the Outside) are back in the third installment of this beloved series. This time around, their owner is off to college and the toys are left to fend for themselves. Pixar did an excellent job making the movie, filling it with just the right amount of comedy, action and nostalgia. By the time the credits roll, you're guaranteed to be craving a long overdue play date with your favorite action figure or doll. Predators Release Date: July 9 Produced by Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror), Predators is a reboot of the Sci-Fi series of the same name originally made famous by the Govenator. If you've seen any of the recent Aliens Vs Predators movies don't fret, because this flick stands apart. The movie promises to take things back to it's roots by throwing the hunter and the prey back into the jungle setting that once trademarked the Predator's hunting ground. With an incredible line-up of actors including Adrien Brody (High School) and Lawrence Fishburne (Armored) this is one movie you should keep your targeting reticule on. Inception Release Date: July 16 Renowned director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) looks to make every psychedelic drug rendered useless with his latest mind trip of a film, Inception. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island) and Ellen Paige (Whip It) and revolves around a plot in which thieves are able to invade your dreams to steal your most valuable and intimate secrets. With incredible visuals and a mind-melting story, Inception is a movie you won't want to miss, even in your wildest dreams. The Other Guys Release Date: August 6 The Other Guys is an upcoming comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The movie takes a unique approach to the cookie-cutter cop action films, throwing the paper pushers into the action instead of the action junkies. Based on trailers, Ferrell's quirky humor looks top notch, and the chemistry between Wahlberg and Ferrell on the silver screen is expected to be nothing short of hilarious. If you do make it out to see any of these movies, I hope you enjoy the films. If you don't like what you're watching, hopefully you'll be with your summer love and can find an alternative way to enjoy the theater's cool dark atmosphere. Questions? Comments? Have a better idea? E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


ARTS

Inexpensive entertainment

Students are always looking for a way to have fun. For those at the University at Buffalo, an often expensive trip to downtown's party district can help ease the stress caused by homework and exams.But the poor college student need not empty their frequently scrawny wallet to enjoy a night in the city.Within a few blocks of the metro, the Queen City offers music-lovers, party-goers and theater fanatics various venues that fit everybody's budget.One of the area's largest and most popular venues is the Town Ballroom.Ranging from hip-hop to heavy metal and everything in between, the ballroom provides entertainment from garage band to well-known acts including Flogging Molly, Third Eye Blind and Goo Goo Dolls.


ARTS

Sizzling sounds

The summer season tends to be an ideal time for great music. Record labels and artists want to have that signature summer hit that can be heard at every beach party and backyard barbeque.


The Spectrum
ARTS

Nothing to forgive here

Grade: A-It's been nearly five years since the last Broken Social Scene album, and quite a bit has happened to the large Canadian collective in that time.In 2007, Leslie Feist and Kevin Drew released critically acclaimed solo albums that received quite a bit of mainstream media attention and helped introduce the band to a wider audience.With so many changes occurring for the band, and so many people expecting brilliance from their next album, it was unclear if they would be able to live up to the immense pressure surrounding their album.Thankfully, with the release of Forgiveness Rock Record, the band's fourth album, those fears have been put to rest.


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ARTS

Summer Energy

All winter, concertgoers have hidden from sub-zero temperatures in the warmth of an indoor venue. But now the temperature's rising and summer nights draw music lovers out into the open, filling up arenas and parking lots across the country. So here are a few dates you might just want to skip that summer job for. Vans Warped Tour at Darien Lake PAC 7/14 $30 The aptly named "Punk Rock Summer Camp" is back for its 16th year and is boasting one of its strongest lineups yet. Although the tour is famous for being the grueling boot camp for the newer bands, this year also brings back some older, well-established acts. Gracing the stage will be the talented men of Sum 41 and Motion City Soundtrack – both must-see acts. Also hitting the parking lots will be We the Kings, Four Year Strong, Alkaline Trio, Never Shout Never, All-American Rejects, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Buffalo natives Every Time I Die. Of the lesser-known bands, The Downtown Fiction is one that shouldn't be overlooked. As the tour crisscrosses the USA, the only reason punk rock lovers have for missing this summer staple is if they're out of the country. Bamboozle Roadshow at Molson Amphitheater, Toronto, ON 6/16 $39.25 to $51.75 CAN (fees included) Although this concert may require a passport and a roughly two-hour drive, it will be worth it. All Time Low boasts some of the best music in the pop-punk genus and has a live show to match it. After years on the Warped Tour, this quartet has honed their summer concert skills and definitely won't disappoint. They are joined by three more headliners – Boys Like Girls, LMFAO and Third Eye Blind. Out of the nine other performers, Forever the Sickest Kids and Good Charlotte are two sets you will want to be in the pit for. Green Day with AFI at Darien Lake PAC 8/5 $35-$85 If you have somehow missed any of Green Day's concerts, then consider the night of August 5 booked. Green Day gives one of the best live shows this decade has to offer. They won't be taking your attendance for granted. The trio will work up a sweat halfway into the first song and their energy won't die down until the last note ends. Plus, they tend to bring along fireworks. Oh, and that other band? AFI? They're pretty amazing as well. Honda Civic Tour- Paramore with Tegan & Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha Darien Lake PAC 8/8 $26- $37.50 Another band that grew up in the spotlight, Paramore started in the business at an age when they still knew how painful it was to go to a bad show, so they have created the opposite. With an energetic show sure to keep you happy, they are supported by the amazing talents of Tegan & Sara and New Found Glory. Although Kadawatha is lesser known, they have a strong sound and Paramore fans can trust that the band wouldn't bring along a bad act. Lynard Skynyrd God and Guns Tour at Darien Lake PAC 7/3 $29-$59.50 It's a chance to yell "Free Bird" and actually have it be relevant. Festivals Music festivals are an integral part of the summer and there are three well-established, excellent offerings you can get to without too much trouble. Unfortunately, none are in the Buffalo area and most will make your wallet cry. Bamboozle Chicago 5/15 $35 Travel time: Eight and a half hours Since the largest Bamboozle falls during exams (May 1 and 2), most will be missing this. Yet for the first time ever, this problem has been rectified with Bamboozle's newest endeavor, located in the Windy City. It may be a drive, but the tickets are cheap and the eight hours on the highway will pay off with the headliners alone: Something Corporate, Cobra Starship, and 3OH!3. Since the only shows the newly reformed Something Corporate has announced are Bamboozle-related, fans may want to head out to see them for fear they may disappear again. Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN June 10-13 $249.50 (includes camping and parking) Travel time: 12 hours This infamous four-day festival really needs no introduction. Featuring over 100 bands and comedians, concertgoers will get their money's worth. This year, the festival hosts such bands as Rise Against, the National, Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, OK Go, Bo Burnham, Manchester Orchestra and Frank Turner. Comedians include Conan O'Brien and Nick Kroll. It's expensive and far away, but if it has enough bands you like, it's going to be worth it. Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago August 6-8 $215 Travel time: Nine hours Featuring mainly punk and pop acts, this year's major bands include Sound Garden, Green Day and Lady Gaga. Other well-known bands appearing are Arcade Fire, MGMT, The National, AFI, Matt & Kim, Drive-By Truckers, Switchfoot, Foxy Shazam and The Strokes. As with Boonaroo, if the love of the music outweighs the hefty price, the money won't be wasted. E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


ARTS

New life

Grade: AIn the turbulent, mixed up, war-waging post-9/11 world, three friends struggle to break out of their mundane existence in suburbia.While one stays behind in Jingle Town, one jumps into Middle Eastern combat and the last falls into a heroin-addicted existence in The City.This is the plot of Broadway's newest musical, American Idiot, driven by the revamped punk rock music of Green Day's 2004 album of the same name.


ARTS

Clear blue skies for Circa Survive

Grade: BThe Circa Survive you once knew is gone. The band's major label debut proves to be more intricate and, for lack of a better word, mature than previous efforts.Since releasing Juturna nearly five years ago, Circa's popularity has grown exponentially.


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ARTS

A heavenly album

Grade: AIn the past decade, the Hold Steady has established themselves as one of the strongest rock bands around.


ARTS

A stopped clock

Fans of the hit television show 24 were shocked last Monday as former FBI agent Renee Walker was killed off in the shows final season. A Russian operative shot Walker, played by Annie Wersching, after a passionate love-making scene with Jack Bauer. She later died in the hospital. Walker, who was introduced into the world of 24 in Day Seven, was a by-the-book character when first established to the audience. As her relationship with Bauer began to blossom, she, too, evolved into an entirely different character. Walker was a different type of character on the show for a variety of reasons, specifically because she was nearly a mirror image of Bauer. Because of this, many people would refer to her as "Jacqueline Bauer." "Obviously, that's quite an honor to share that title," Wersching said. "I got that a lot last year when [Walker] first came on the scene. It wasn't something we thought about or said when we were filming [Day Seven], so it was interesting to hear that it was the fan reaction. Again, he's a tragic hero, and, obviously, that's sort of ended up happening to her." While a lead character's death from the show isn't new to anyone, in the past, some stars have actually complained to Executive Producer Howard Gordon after reading the script and seeing their character's dying off. While Wersching initially wanted to plead for a chance for survival, the reasoning behind her character's death held her back. "At the top of the season they don't usually know all that much of what they want to do, so the fact that the one big thing they knew they wanted to do was to bring her back damaged, to have Jack have to sort of save her in more ways than one and have them finally get together and then have her be taken away from him, which leads to his path for the end of the series. I knew that that was pretty set in stone, a big thing that they wanted to do overall for the season," Wersching said. "I didn't beg too much. Obviously, they knew that I was very sad about it and upset, but those are the moments that make 24 so great." In Walker's final episode, both actors and actresses, along with producers from the show, wanted to make her final moments as strong as possible. For Wersching, Walker's death felt right, but it still brought about many questions in her mind. "Simply because I love the character so much, you always think of other ways that things could have happened. I kind of wish that the Jack/Renee love story-making would have maybe had its own episode to resonate and then maybe she got shot because that was a pretty huge deal," Wersching said. "There's a little part of me that was like bummed that those both happened in the same episode because that's really kind of getting overshadowed by the fact that she died. That was a huge moment for the show." According to Wersching, one major question was how long Walker and Bauer would spend in bed making love. Because the show is in a real-time format, decisions such as this have to be considered carefully, unlike many shows on the air today, because of the assumptions people could make simply due to a timing error. "Because he's Jack Bauer, there can't be like an eight-minute adventure, but we went through many different ways that it was going to be. We weren't even sure if were able to actually get them to the place where they were actually making love because of the real-time," Wersching said. " But they figured out finally sort of a way to do it, and it was interesting trying to see to, like, because they knew she was going to get shot right afterwards, so Jack couldn't be naked when he was carrying her to the hospital, so there had to be a way for him to sort of get a little bit of clothes on, but yet make it look like they were still going to go back and have more fun. The specifics were very interesting to figure out, but we were very aware that it needed to have the right amount of time." While the timing was a serious issue for those involved, the lovemaking scene itself was somewhat tough for Wersching and Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Bauer, because of the relationship they built throughout the past two seasons. But Walker's death made the scene somewhat easier to act. "Since I knew it was coming, I knew that I was pretty prepared for all of this," Wersching said. "However, we shot the lovemaking and the death, sort of both of those things, together over the two days, so it actually helped take away – Kiefer and I were so nervous about the love scene – that it sort of helped tame down the ‘oh, that Renee was getting shot' part. The whole thing was bittersweet. It was bittersweet to be able to shoot scenes with Kiefer where they finally get close and then straight into covered in blood. It was all pretty bittersweet." Throughout the entire series, episodes end with a clock ticking from the end of the 59th minute to the beginning of the next hour. In a majority of the episodes, beeping occurs in unison with the time changing. In few episodes, however, there is silence, which producers do in honor of lives lost by a main character, or if some other powerful moment occurs. Walker's character is the only character in the history of 24 to receive two silent clocks – other than Jack Bauer. The first clock occurred once in Day Seven after she was buried alive, and in Day Eight when she died from her gunshot wounds in the hospital. Wersching believes that this is a big deal for anyone who has acted on the set of 24. "It was a great honor, obviously," Wersching said. "Besides Jack, she was actually the only one to ever get two silent clocks, because there was a silent clock, with a little bit of breathing for Renee after she was buried alive in Episode 5 of Season 7, and I didn't even think about that. A complete honor, because I'm a fan of the show and I know the significance of the silent clock – a complete honor." Wersching was sucked into 24 for a variety of reasons prior to getting the opportunity to be a part of the show's universe. Specifically, how the show is presented to viewers is one reason why Wersching feels that it has succeeded for so long. "Well, definitely in the beginning, it was such a groundbreaking show, and there was nothing else like it on television. It's really like a little feature film every week with the ticking clock and the real-time aspect," Wersching said. "There's such an intensity to the show that at the end of the episode, it just leaves you wanting more which is how I think every television show should be." While most fans are upset following March 26's announcement that the series was officially ending, Wersching felt that all is not lost. "There were always sort of rumors going around through the crew," Wersching said. "We knew it wasn't necessarily looking great, but everybody had high hopes. I think the fact that the movie is sort of lurking out there in the future was something that at least was something sort of to look forward to, knowing that you will at least see Jack again." E-mail: arts@ubsepctrum.com


ARTS

Who is Lady Danville?

For such a star-studded city like Los Angeles, the City of Angels' underground rock scene is one of the strongest in America. The city has produced cult favorites like Elliot Smith and Rilo Kiley and continues to thrive.





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