Friday, May 29, 2009

Game of the Week: Virtua Tennis 2009 - Just in Time for the Culmination of Clay Court Season



If you’re anything like me, you’re passionate about tennis.

If you’re not that much like me, but you are a gamer, then there’s a good chance you love a good tennis video game, even if you have no interest in the real sport. And if your tennis affiliation lies in the virtual world, then you should hit your local game retailer this week – Virtua Tennis 2009 releases June 2nd!

Now, don’t you worry – I’m not going to start talking about the French Open that is going on at Roland Garros right now. I won’t mention that Andy Roddick isn’t fooling anyone by getting in to the 3rd round, or that it doesn’t matter as Rafa Nadal is unbeatable in France (and don’t talk to me about Federer beating him in the last tourney, Nadal owns him and you know it). I won’t talk about the women’s game, or about how I want Serena Williams to show the rest of the ladies in the world who is boss.

Instead, let’s talk about gameplay and how Virtua Tennis always delivers great gameplay like a slicing second serve by Nadal himself – easy to get a bead on, but with so much English on it that it takes a long time to master. The controls in the Virtua Tennis games are simple enough to pick up and play by just about anyone almost immediately. You can pop the disc into the tray of your console of choice (the game releases across all major platforms), and can start playing and having fun within minutes. At the same time, though, there are nuances and skills to be learned, and mastery of the game is a rewarding experience. And skills will be learned – there are 12 mini games to play, in the ridiculous style of past iterations of the franchise. All the fun (and they are FUN) to be had with them will build you skill for the career mode, where online rankings can have you compete with players around the world.

I love this franchise for its fun, arcade take on a great sport – anyone planning on getting it to challenge me on Xbox Live?

- Goodchild

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Movie Releases: May 29th


A lot was made about Wall-E when it came out. Many people thought that an animated family movie that starred a non-speaking robot and that had minimal amounts of dialogue would be lost on the children that were its target demographic. As we all know, this was obviously not the case – the movie was a huge success, and as such can be construed as a step forward for the art of Pixar Studios.

A quick look at a list of Pixar’s major motion pictures reads as a list of 9 titles – and only one of those films had human protagonists (The Incredibles – though the characters in the lead role were superhuman). So, when we look at Up!, the 10th major release by Pixar, we can’t righteously call it a “return to form” when we see it’s a film about a human. In fact, it’s quite abnormal – and if we factor in that the story revolves around a man in his 70’s (who does NOT have any super powers), we see that Pixar is pushing their own envelope again, trying to do something new instead of playing it safe and rehashing old ideas.

Earlier in the year, the film’s director and producer screened the first half of the movie for a select few (no, I was not there, but I read about it) and it seems that once again Pixar is looking to take a more artistic route, and have sections of the movie without dialogue. They’re quickly becoming a family friendly studio akin to the Cohen Brothers (Blood Simple, No Country For Old Men, etc.) in that respect.

Up! seems to have a great story, as well. An old man decides to floa t his house to South America in order to fulfill the travel dream he had with his late wife. A nice and touching story, with room for fantastic adventure and great comedy. I am a huge fan of Pixar, and though I might have to see Drag Me To Hell first, I’ll be seeing Up! as soon as I can.

- Goodchild

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Northside Festival

People at The L Magazine have teamed up with local music businesses to put together the first annual Northside Festival taking place in Greenpoint and Williamsburg Brooklyn from Thursday June 11th to Sunday June 14th. It will showcase bands and artists of the independent music and art scene in the NYC area.

Some of the bands playing include The Hold Steady, Bishop Allen, O'Death and Aa. The Williamsburg Gallery Association will be helping out featuring artists throughout the art spaces in the area. Tickets are $45 passes for all 4 days and they are not doing single day tickets apparently. It is cheap considering but it is only available for all of us 21 and older. I think you can get tickets for the individual shows through the venues though. My friends O'Death are playing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and I'm pretty sure you can get tickets for that specific show online.

It's pretty much an uber hipster festival I'm assuming, but I can totally be wrong and on the flipside it's a music and art festival what can go wrong? Check out their website for complete line-ups and schedules. www.northsidefestival.com

+ The Northside Festival - Snooze [Lucid Culture]
+ The Northside Festival is coming to Brooklyn [Brooklyn Vegan]

- Sonic

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Discover: Maurits Cornelis Escher - Artist / Mathematician

Reptiles by M.C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher often referred simply as M.C. Escher was a Dutch artist born in 1898. You may recognize the Drawing Hands piece but he is known for his mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

Concave and Convex by M.C. Escher

Escher's interest in symmetry and polygons led to his unique style characterized by a mathematical approach to art. It is definitely an unorthodox way of tackling art, but as you can see from his work it is rather intriguing. His "math-art" can often be conceptually and artistically simple like the Fish below, but often got more complex and detailed in works like Concave and Convex (shown above).

Fish by M.C. Escher

In a way Escher is more a mathematician and a philosopher than an artist. He just happened to express his ideas with art instead of text. Take a look at Escher's Wikipedia entry to learn more about his life and how his art directly reflects mathematical theories and concepts.

Drawing Hands by M.C. Escher

- Sonic

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video Pick: The Lonely Island - I'm on a Boat



I'm sure many of you have seen this video, but it's just too good I had to post it in case people missed it. The Lonely Island is a comedy group consisting of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. They started doing parody music video skits on SNL and ended up making a whole album appropriately titled Incredibad. Enjoy!

- Sonic

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Featured Artist: Danica Novgorodoff

The Ghosts of Sailors © Danica Novgorodoff

Hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend, but now it's back to work and let's kick it off with some awesome art.

Danica Novgorodoff is an artist from Kentucky, and is a great painter as well as an illustrator. She may not be as detail oriented as some of the other artists we have featured but her slightly messy style is aesthetically pleasing and has a lot of character.

I am dead / I am drunk © Danica Novgorodoff

Danica has also published several graphic novels which you guys should definitely check out. Read the interview linked below and browse through her site for more information.

Astroland Illustration: Baptism © Danica Novgorodoff

+ Danica Novgorodoff Interview [Graphic Language]

- Sonic

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Featured Band: The Go! Team


"The Go! Team are an English, Brighton-based six piece band (with two drummers) whose songs are a mixture of action theme songs, cheerleader chants, guitars and early hip hop, with a hint of '70s funk. Their songs are a mix of live instrumentation and samples from various sources."

That's what it says on the first paragraph on their Wikipedia page, and that along with their band name, artwork (images, videos and what not) pretty much sum it up. To be honest some of their stuff I really don't get at all but there are also times when I think they are just brilliant. Check out the video above for starters but link up to their myspace page to check out more tunes.

- Sonic

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Movie Releases: May 22nd



Not a particularly exciting week for movie releases but today we are featuring The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story, which is a documentary film about the Sherman Brothers who pretty much wrote all of the songs from the early Disney movies.

The Girlfriend Experience
comes out in limited release today as well, this is the film I featured during Tribeca Film Festival week starring adult film actress Sasha Grey.

- Sonic

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Video Pick: White Rabbits - Percussion Gun


I don't usually do a video pick of the featured band, but they are so awesome I just had to post it. This is the White Rabbits doing the song "Percussion Gun" from the Letterman show on Monday night. Enjoy.

- Sonic

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Movie Review: The Brothers Bloom


Pick a genre of film – any genre at all. Horror, fantasy, drama, thriller … pick one, and when you’ve got it, proceed to name every movie in that genre. Not easy, right? Here, let me try.

Bottle Rocket. Rushmore. The Royal Tenenbaums. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The Darjeeling Limited. Hmn … One more in there …. Oh yeah! The Brothers Bloom.

While not a classically established genre, this list represents films from a new grouping for cinema: the Wes Anderson film. While some of them are a bit iffy, especially those at the beginning of the list – you know, the ones by Wes Anderson – the one at the end is really, really great. And, it’s the only one not by Wes Anderson.

Second time filmmaker Rian Johnson’s new film, The Brothers Bloom, does something very odd – it created this new genre. All of Anderson’s films have a very distinctive quirkiness to them, and when you watch one, you know the film is by him. Johnson obviously liked them so much, that he decided to write and direct one, himself. So … when you take established parameters, create art within them, and by adding your own voice improve upon them … and not maliciously – there is nothing in Johnson’s film that feels like he is “ripping off” Anderson’s ideas – doesn’t that mean that a new genre has been created for artists to work in?

Well, whether it does or it doesn’t, The Brothers Bloom is one hell of a great film. Basically, it’s the story of two brothers who, after a life of moving from foster home to foster home perfecting scamming people, are con men grifting their way through life. Stephen (Mark Ruffalo), the elder, dreams up the cons and writes them thematically with his brother Bloom (Adrian Brody) “starring” in them as the subject of each tale. With their partner Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), a Japanese explosives expert who is silent by choice and a scene stealer by nature, they try for “one last con” on Penelope, a rich shut in played by Rachel Weisz.

The dialogue flows beautifully; the sets and locations are exquisite and exotic; and even when the situations are at their worst, the characters are simply delightful to watch. Weisz is the best example of this – her Penelope is one of the most instantly lovable characters I’ve ever seen on screen. From her entrance in the film (a car crash of habitual routine), to the montage of her showing off all her home-learned skills (such as juggling chainsaws while riding a tall unicycle), to her blossoming romance with Bloom (containing the funniest make-out scene I’ve seen in a long time), every second of her screen time made me smile and just say “Awww …” When I last saw her in a movie, it was in My Blueberry Nights, and her supporting role helped me to me fall in love with star Norah Jones (if I ever meet her, I WILL propose to her) - but her role here was unlike any other I’ve seen her play. Innocent, childish, energetic and wildly cute, she is the movie. As it stands, the film is an excellent character piece, with great comedy, drama, action and thrills to keep a smile on your face from beginning to end.

I strongly recommend that you see this when it opens – if you like laughing and have an imagination. It is delightful, it is extremely well crafted, and best of all – it is pure fun.

+ The Brothers Bloom Review [Movie Moron]

- Goodchild

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The Spot: Upper Playground

photo by Joe Benjamin

Upper Playground is a cool shop with several locations around the U.S. one being in NYC. It has art prints, clothes, skate gear, some household items and just a bunch of things you can put art on. It features artwork and designs from some great artists and a good spot for some urban lowbrow gear.

Check out their website at www.upperplayground.com. If you want to stop by their NYC shop it is located at 437 E. 9th St.

- Sonic

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

About Damn Time! Fallout 3 DLC coming to PS3

photo from G4tv.com

Goodchild shot me an email letting me know of this great news so I thought I'd share it with everyone.... DLC (Downloadable Content) for Fallout 3 finally coming out for PS3! I was definitely pissed that they would neglect PS3 owners with the extra missions and perks for this awesome game, but now I can rest easy.

Anyway, read the article at G4 TV for the details.

- Sonic

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Featured Artist: Damon Soule

© Damon Soule

Awesome. That is what comes to mind when I look at Damon Soule's artwork. The creativity, the colors, everything is really cool to look at. He is a versatile artist that can do amazing things with pretty much any medium and style. The three pics I have here are only a very small portion of what Soule is capable of.

© Damon Soule

Soule is an artist from San Francisco, and one of the reasons I need to get out to Cali. There is such a great art scene throughout that state and all the cool galleries and showcases are happening out there. Check out his website to see more of Soule's work and don't forget to follow the link below and read his interview!

© Damon Soule

+ Damon Soule Interview [Fecal Face]

- Sonic

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Bringing the Awesome: Prototype


I recently tripped over to the webpage for Radical Entertainment’s current project - PROTOTYPE.


Holy.

Mother.

Of.

Zeus.


Alright, so this game has been on my radar since I first heard of it a year or so ago, and everything I’ve seen from it has been just amazing to look at – but nothing is as bad ass as what I just saw on the site.
Once you go to the page, click ABOUT on the top left, and then click PARKOUR in the DNA strand on the left of the page.

Watch … and salivate accordingly. This is no joke, ladies and gents – the threat is very real, and very close.

June 9th is the release date, for Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 … and though it’s less than a month away, it just can’t come fast enough.

- Goodchild

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Featured Band: White Rabbits

photo and copyright by Lucy Hamblin

White Rabbits are another band that is from Brooklyn, but really from somewhere else. That somewhere else being Missouri in their case, but I'm not being snotty here in fact the opposite. It doesn't matter where you're from, a great band is a great band and the White Rabbits are awesome!

They are a six piece band with two drummers which often is absolutely pointless to be truthful. I can't really name too many bands if any that have 2 drummers or extra percussionists that actually serve a purpose. Most of the time when a band has two drummers its just a way to say "Hey! We have two drummers, we must sound interesting and cool." Fortunately that is not the case for the White Rabbits and it is evident in the mix. You can hear the different percussive elements really working together making a unified beat but doing different things.

They have a new record entitled It's Frightening coming out tomorrow. You can catch them on Letterman tonight, or check them out live this Thursday at the Bowery Ballroom. I think tickets are still available if you haven't picked them up already!

+ White Rabbits on Myspace

- Sonic

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Game of the Week: Bionic Comando



Anyone who had or knew someone who had a Nintendo knows the game Bionic Commando. I mean, seriously –a platformer game where you can’t jump?! And it’s cool as hell?

Well, fan boys and girls, rejoice – your time is here. A series reboot is releasing on May 19th!

Beautiful new 3d worlds to swing around in, sweet graphics, cool gunplay, Mike Patton voicing the lead character, and … the ability to jump! I’m stoked. Download the multiplayer demo now onto your Xbox 360, and look for me on there.

Oh, but first, check out this all-sorts-of-awesome video Capcom made for the game.



- Goodchild

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Movie Releases: May 15th

THE BROTHERS BLOOM:


In 2005, a movie came out called BRICK that I’d never heard of. It was not until one lazy afternoon in 2007 that I happened to see the movie listed on HBO OnDemand. Not knowing what it was, I put it on – and a few hours later when it was over, I could not believe how unbelievably coooooooooooooool the film had been. To those who don’t know it, it is essentially a old school noir detective story, complete with the 40’s-ish dialogue you’d expect in a film like that – but it takes place in a modern day high school.

Now, it might sound a bit gimmicky, but I assure you it worked with aplomb. The writing on the film was superb – an obvious labor of love for the writer. And the acting was absolutely spot on – the director, whoever it was, had gotten excellent performances out of his players. The cinematography was great, the soundtrack was perfect – I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it.

So, I looked into it, and turns out the film was written and directed by a newcomer to the scene named Rian Johnson – his writing and directing filmography for before BRICK consists of a short, and that was it (though he apparently edited the quirkily cool flick MAY back in 2002). His freshmen effort paid off in spades, it seemed – the film won many nominations and awards at film festivals the world over.

Well, Johnson has been on my radar since then (boy, that just doesn’t look right after typing it …), and I am ridiculously excited for two things:

1. I have off from work on 05.15.2009

2. I live in New York City.

Rian Johnson’s new film, THE BROTHERS BLOOM, comes out today in a limited release in New York and Los Angeles. The next week, it will see a widespread release around the country and in Toronto. I plan on seeing it as early as I can, so check back here for my thoughts on Johnson’s sophomore endeavor.

- Goodchild

----------------------------------------------------


BIG MAN JAPAN:


This movie is probably going to be terrible or AWESOME, but the trailer is just hilarious. I know, I know, Japanese people are crazy.

----------------------------------------------------

ALSO COMING OUT TODAY:

High Hopes For:
- 99
- Summer Hours

Not So Much:
- Management
- Angels & Demons

- Sonic

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Video Pick: Tim Armstrong - Hold On


This video is from Tim Armstrong (from Rancid)'s solo record A Poet's Life he did 2 years ago and it is such an awesome record and it is great summer music so I'm bringing it back! The video is once again super simple but the style goes great with the music. When this came out he put it up on the Rancid myspace page so there isn't a page for Tim you can go to. The good news though there is a new Rancid record coming out June 2nd titled Let The Dominoes Fall. They are also going on tour with Rise Against starting June 4th so check out their tour schedule, they will be at Roseland in NYC on July 26th.

+ Rancid on Myspace

- Sonic

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Browse Worthy: Juxtapoz


Juxtapoz is the don of art magazines as it boasts the title of having the largest circulation out of all the art magazines in the U.S. The website for Juxtapoz of course features artists but functions as a blog covering all the news in the arts world whether its clothes, videos, galleries or photos. The best feature they have online is the gallery guide that list a ton of art galleries, shops and museums in NYC (also California and other locations). I know Cali has a big art scene but I didn't realize there were that many spots in the NYC area. Another site that you should bookmark just to be on top of all the great art out in our world.

+ Juxtapoz: Art & Culture Magazine Online

- Sonic

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Sam Raimi: A Return To Form



Sometimes, when the little guys stop being little guys in Hollywood and get a bit too big for their britches, they tend to forget where they came from. This, luckily, is not always true.
Sam Raimi, you beautiful bastard, you’re up to your old tricks again!

Many know Raimi’s name from some of the more recent Hollywood blockbusters he’s directed – movies like Spiderman, Spiderman 2, and Spiderman 3. Some more know him from smaller Hollywood films, like The Gift, For the Love of the Game, or A Simple Plan. But, for some of us, Raimi is, and will always be, the incredibly cool horror director that gave us the Evil Dead trilogy (and who introduced us to Bruce Campbell).

The Evil Dead movies might have been low budget and campy, but they had scares, laughs, zombies, demons and – in the case of Army of Darkness – some of the worst best one-liners in cinema history. Plus, they had an overflowing wealth of imagination, humor and wonder that even made a scene where a girl gets raped by trees possible, acceptable and if nothing else, just a little awesome.

The thing is it seemed to us horror fans that Raimi had given all that up. Hollywood had called, he’d answered the phone, and Campbell was given bit roles in all the big films as they moved further and further from what had gained them notoriety in the first place. But that all ends this May 29th!

That’s right – in less than 3 weeks, Drag Me to Hell releases into theaters! To be honest, I don’t know if I could be more psyched. Midnight show, opening night … anyone else down?

- Goodchild

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Peek: District 9



A while back, I posted about my extreme interest in the feature film debut of Neill Blomkamp, a movie called District 9. Knowing that Peter Jackson is producing it, and having seen the short films based in the Halo universe that Blomkamp did, I’m counting the days until the film is released on August 14th.

Finally, a full official trailer has been released! I just watched it, and it is really cool – I think it’ll really capture people who don’t know what it is beforehand off guard.

Check out the trailer – are you getting psyched to see this?

+ Goodchild's previous posts on District 9 and Neil Blomkamp

- Goodchild

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Featured Artist: Natalia Fabia

Glamour Pot © Natalia Fabia

Natalia Fabia's bio says it all "Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with 'hookers', which fuels her paintings of sultry women." Aside from the subjects she paints which are fascinating enough, the detail and realism in her paintings are astounding. When I was browsing her work, I encountered few paintings which I could have sworn were photos.

Peacock Dancer © Natalia Fabia

She is definitely a talented and highly skilled artist but she also extends her interest in "hookers" with her jewelry/clothing line HookerFeathers. It features necklaces, bracelets, sexy tops and skirts all inspired from hot punk rock chicks and their life style. So follow the links and take a look at more of her work, especially the interview she did with Hi-Fructose Magazine (linked below).

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Swearing: The Sopranos, Uncensored

the sopranos, uncensored. from victor solomon on Vimeo

Living in New York City, I tend to look at speech patterns a little differently than I assume most other people do. A bit more to the point, I take swearing a bit too lightly. Years ago, I was living in Boston while attending one of the many universities there. Many of the other students were from the New England area, and had the New England accent. Worried that it might rub off on me – and having a severe aversion to saying “wicked” to describe anything – I thought about how to hold on to my NYC tone and inflection. I came up with the word “fuck”.

Where I was from, the word is bandied about almost as though it’s not even that bad a word, just another regular word in everyone’s vocabulary. This, of course, was not entirely true, nor was it close as to how my family raised me – but from different social interactions, on different levels, I found that the word was prevalent enough, and had enough punch to it in order to drive home the NYC diction I cared so much for. And so, I began using the word a lot more in my day to day routine and I never once said “wicked”, or talked about “pahking the cah”.

Since then, I have never personally looked at swearing as too grievous an offense – I understand it’s not for mixed company, but they are, after all, just words, and in this country we have the luxury of free speech. So, I may not use swears in front of children or at work – but I truly feel that using swear words is a perfectly acceptable means of conveying message. Case in point:
Back in February, director Victor Solomon took the entire series of The Sopranos and recut it down to (essentially) just the swear words from the 7 years that it ran. Anyone who watched the show might think that a video of all the swearing from a show like this might be hours long – but it tops out at just over 27 minutes. I don’t know why exactly, but I find this extremely interesting to watch. It’s great to see the different inflections used in different situations, completely out of context.

Remember: this video is NOT safe for work, family time, or maybe watching in general.

- Goodchild

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Feature Band: Point Juncture, WA

photo by Sonic

So who were the openers for The Thermals show? Point Juncture, WA was one of them (pronounced Point Juncture Washington), and they were great. This band is from Portland Oregon and is made up of different members or other bands in the Portland scene. The main singer plays keys and sometimes trumpet, but the other 3 members rotate instruments depending on the song. It's always impressive to see people play drums and sing at the same time. I really enjoy the drumming in their songs, the rhythms are really cool and it serves as a great foundation for the other parts to ride over. Anyway, go check them out on their myspace page.

photo by Sonic

- Sonic

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Highlark Was There: The Thermals at Bowery Ballroom 05/09/09



So I went to Bowery Ballroom on Saturday to check out The Thermals. They were great and I had a lot of fun. Here is a live video for their song "We Were Sick" which I took on my camera... it's kind of crappy but the audio is pretty good I think. Check out our YouTube Channel for the live video of The Thermals performing "Now We Can See."

photo by Sonic

photo by Sonic

photo by Sonic

- Sonic

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Movie Releases: May 8th

Everyone knows the new Star Trek Movie came out last night, but here are some of the lesser known films coming out today.

ADORATION:


-
SYNOPSIS: Sabine, a high school French teacher, gives her class a translation exercise based on a real news story about a terrorist who plants a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. The assignment has a profound effect on one student , Simon, who lives with his uncle (Scott Speedman). In the course of translating, Simon re-imagines that the news item is his own family's story, with the terrorist standing in for his father. Years ago, Simon's father crashed the family car, killing both himself and his wife, making Simon an orphan. Simon has always feared that the accident was intentional. Simon reads his version to the class and then takes it to the Internet. In essence, he has created a false identity which allows him to probe his family secret. As Simon uses his new persona to journey deeper into his past, the public reaction is swift and strong. Then an exotic woman reveals her true identity. The truth about Simon's family emerges.

+ Cannes Review: Adoration [Cinematical]

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JULIA:


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SYNOPSIS: Tilda Swinton gives the performance of a lifetime as Julia, a middle-aged alcoholic who totters around nightclubs on six-inch heels, and gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs sandwiched between shots of vodka and one-night stands. Julia is manipulative , unreliable and a compulsive liar, and when an opportunity presents itself to make a substantial amount of money, she jumps at the chance and commits a desperate act. As the repercussions spiral beyond her control, she is forced to make a choice between sacrifice and redemption.

+ Tilda Swinton Devours Julia [Village Voice]

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RUDO Y CURSI:


- SYNOPSIS: Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal and Diego Luna play two brothers scraping by as laborers in rural Mexico , until one day a scout spies their friendly game of soccer and sign them on as star athletes for rival teams. They quickly learn that the high life of top players-fame, money, and beautiful women-has a dark side. And when their professional rivalry turns bitter and personal, the brothers see that they must reunite before they lose everything they once dreamed of.

+ Rudo y Cursi Review [Variety]

- Sonic

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Video Pick: The Thermals - Now We Can See


We featured The Thermals a while back and today's video pick is the title track off their latest Now We Can See. They are coming around town playing at the Bowery Ballroom May 8th and 9th which are both sold out, but they just added another show on May 11th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. So if you wanted to catch them live you still can!

+ The Thermals on Myspace

- Sonic

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Game of the Week: NBA Live 09


I've been slacking on the game of the week posts lately mainly because I was heavily addicted to Valkyria Chronicles, but in light of the NBA Playoffs going on I bring this series back with NBA Live 09. I've played 2K9 which seems to be the more popular choice but I think Live is a much better game.

The Dynamic DNA feature updates real life stats to game play everyday. It's not just rosters, but in its simplest form if a player is hot in real life, he is hot in the game. It's not just hot or cold either, it is also applies to areas on the court and play selection. You can even replay a real life game that happened last night with the stats from that game. I know the regular season is over, but it's pretty crazy what games can do these days. Basically the game is very realistic which also makes the game very hard. I couldn't win a game even on Starter Mode for a bit but you can really get into it whether it's doing pick-and-rolls, calling plays or actually playing defense!

Check out the link below for a more detailed review and features.

+ NBA Live 09 Review [IGN]

- Sonic

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The Peek: Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen


The new Transformers movie is due out June 24th and this is the first time I've seen the trailer for it so I'm putting it up for all you guys. As well all know the only thing director Michael Bay is good at is action sequences, but even that can be a miss at times. Having said that though I really enjoyed the first Transformers and aside from Megan Fox looking super hot the trailer for the new movie looks pretty nuts. Don't watch it for plot or character development, but if you just want to be entertained for 2 hours I think it will definitely get the job done.

- Sonic

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Browse Worthy: Format Magazine

photo and copyright by Mr.Wright2 on Flickr

Format Magazine is a site that features urban fashion and art. It is really easy to navigate and they put up info on all the latest threads, toys, graffiti, art and anything that would fall under their moniker Urban Art Fashion. They do some great interviews with artists like the one for our featured artist this week Brandi Milne. This is definitely a site you can check back often to see all the latest in the Urban World.

+ Format Magazine

- Sonic

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Featured Artist: Brandi Milne

Sugar Head In The Sky © Brandi Milne

Brandi Milne is another artist influenced by Japanese culture and products, but her 1970s upbringing may possibly be the main inspiration. Whether it's the cartoons she watched or the warmth of her mother giving her cupcakes and treats, it comes through beautifully with her art nouveau-ish style. Her paintings are obviously pretty to look at but they also stir up a sense of nostalgia.

Let's Eat Cake © Brandi Milne

Being a self-taught artist, this California native is able to paint freely without convention and express herself in her own unique style. Make sure you visit her site for more great paintings it will definitely be worth your while. www.brandimilne.com

Tea Party © Brandi Milne

+ Brandi Milne Interview [Format]

- Sonic

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Tech Check: Why Text Messages are 160 Characters Long

photo and copyright by Giusi-gurL on Flickr

Have you ever wondered why your text message can only be 160 characters in length? It's not your phone or your service provider but rather a universal standard! The man behind the plan was the German Friedhelm Hillebrand, chairman of GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications). Back around 1985 communications researchers were trying to standardize a way for cellphones to transmit text messages and these texts needed to be short for two reasons. One, the bandwidth was very limited at the time and two, the wireless networks back then were mostly only used by car phones.

Hillebrand did some at home research where he typed up all the simple messages he can come up with, and you guessed it they were all under 160 characters in length. So how did he convince everyone that 160 was the magic number without any real market research? Most post cards back then were less than 150 characters in length, and most of the messages sent via business messaging system Telex also clocked in around 150. Even emails were rather short, so as far as they knew the whole world was already used to communicating with less than 160 characters.

So that's the short story of the why text messages are only 160 characters in length, and Twitter's 140 character limit is definitely based off of the text standard. For the detailed story check the link below!

+ Why text messages are limited to 160 characters [LA Times]

- Sonic

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Featured Band: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band on Myspace

Of course you know Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, and you may have picked up his solo release Conor Oberst which came out last year. The Mystic Valley Band actually backed Oberst on the Conor Oberst record, and the new record Outer South which is due out tomorrow (May 5th) is considered the second record by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. The backing band is included in the band name this time, possibly due to the fact that some of the songs on Outer South were reportedly written and even sung by members of the band other than Conor Oberst.

They will be playing a free show at Battery Park in NYC on July 4th with Jenny Lewis.

- Sonic

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