Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Justified: Season One
Timothy Olyphant is a modern American badass best known — before this wonderful little meditation on evil — as the lawman in Deadwood. He wasn't quite as good in Hitman or any of his other films as he's been in his two TV series, which leads us to wonder whence derives his power — the small screen or the cowboy hat? Rated TV-MA
Newsflash: Melbourne has crime families. You know, in addition to kangaroos and what not. Crocodile Dundee must not have cleaned them all out. Anyway, Guy Pearce is trying his damnedest to do what Paul Hogan couldn’t here — going after the Cody boys, a troop of bank-robbing
wallabies brothers. His entree into the crew is their new recruit, a kid whose mother was just brutally murdered under the direction of the Codys' mom. She’s a real peach.
One critic called this the Australian Goodfellas, which hints at the film's tone but leaves us wondering who plays Joe Pesci. Rated R
Have you ever said to yourself, “Man I wish Ryan Reynolds would just get buried alive and never be found?” The first part of that wish comes true here. Rated R
Does anyone ever make movies about bank robbers’ second-to-last heists before quitting the life forever? These guys sure didn’t. Starring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker and Elba, who hopefully just needed the money. Rated PG-13
Ed Norton wants his wife (Milla Jovovich) to schtup his potential parole officer (Robert DeNiro) for some reason related to not wanting to be in jail anymore. She’s all like, “OK.” Rated R
Death Race 2
If you just couldn’t get enough of the recent crappy remake of a crappy quasi-sci-fi murder racing film, prepare for the (almost assuredly crappy) origin story. Rated R
Mindjack | Xbox 360, PS3
This little champ is a near-future sci-fi first-person shooter. But the twist is that internet peeps can “hack” into the single player mode and try to kill you, potentially circumventing the age-old paradox with shooter games: multiplayer has no story arc, single player has dumb (read: computer-controlled) enemies. Killer concept, but no critics have weighed in on it yet, which makes us think it wasn’t made available to them, leaving us to worry that Mindjack is all talk and no walk. Like a videogame equivalent of Legion. ---
Mass Effect 2 | PS3
Once upon a time there was a role-playing game set in space that focused on shooting crap rather than obsessing over the minutia of character-growth. The gaming press, a somewhat hyperbolic lot, sang its praises like a choir of angels. Then a sequel came out that was declared, by some, as the best game ever created by anyone, leaving nowhere for hyperbole to go in the future. The biggest problem for Playstation owners was that it was an Xbox and PC-only game. As of today, that problem has vanished.
LittleBigPlanet 2 | PS3
Sequel to quite possibly the cutest videogame of all time (the hyperbole is beginning to rub off, kids, help). The little sack people are back with more adorably adorable antics. And also a better story mode and level-editor. Er, that is, world-creator.
Plants vs. Zombies | DS
You can tell we’re in a weird place technologically when the week’s biggest release for the best portable gaming system is a port of an iPhone app.
The King is Dead | The Decemberists
I was just thinking today, upon hearing Colin Meloy’s whiny yarble for the first time in years: “God, I really used to love that guy’s voice.” My thought continued: “And now I want to poke my ears out.” The thought then concluded: “Well, at least they haven’t released anything in a while, so their inexplicable crossover success won’t have their music assailing my ears from department store speakers any time soon …” Seems I was a bit hasty on that last part.
Space City Kicks | Robert Pollard
Guided by Voices was one of the great indie bands of the '90s. Lead singer Pollard’s solo output hasn’t been quite as strong, but the man is a melodic genius, and has a truly strange mind. The kind you want to just crawl around in. There’s a good chance this album will miss more than it hits, but when it hits, it could knock you out.
Low Country Blues | Gregg Allman
What do you do when you’re 63, in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and #70 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 best singers in rock history? Release your first album in nine years.
Teenage and Torture
| Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers
If this backing band isn’t actually made of jovial whores, I’m going to be upset.
Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes
| Social Distortion
They're still around? Huh.