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by McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

23 Feb 2010

The following games are among those scheduled for release this week, according to vgreleases.com:

Feb. 22:

Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii, rated E)

by Randy Romig

23 Feb 2010

Stories about ‘growing up’ are timeless. The time, place, or circumstances may change, but a boy always becomes a man, and a girl always becomes a woman. I could share personal stories about how I did not get along with my father while I was in high school. I am sure you have your own stories. Everyone does. Growing up and becoming an adult is tough. Just as we deal with these problems in everyday life, the characters we read about in our comic books have problems as well.

 

by Matt Paproth

23 Feb 2010

So, it has been over a week since my last contribution to this blog, and I am going to put blame where blame is due – the Olympics.  I have been obsessing majorly over the Olympics throughout the past ten days, and, as they wind down here throughout the week, I want to record the duality of my feelings toward them (and, particularly, NBC’s coverage of them). Yesterday, I looked at the good. Today, the bad…

Like a gassy, bloated cow, NBC’s coverage of the Olympics continues to trudge forward toward its predictable end. Complemented by the talking puppets of the Today Show, NBC’s exhaustive (and exhausting, in most cases) coverage of various events spans many, many hours on many, many channels.

The biggest problem with the coverage is how thoroughly sanitized it is. The majority of the events are shown many hours after they occur, making the entire primetime broadcast a really compelling viewing experience… FOR MY GRANDMA!  I mean, apart from the rare event taking place late into the evening, isn’t anyone who really cares about Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal pursuit going to look on the million websites where this information is readily available in real-time?

by Bill Gibron

23 Feb 2010

You can’t blame a movie for trying. Heck, Hollywood has been striving to find another franchise as successful as a certain lightning foreheaded Harry Potter since the sprite little boy wizard wowed the publishing world with his multi-billion dollar bonanza. Again, it’s not for a lack of effort. In the last few years, we’ve seen the attempted start of such noble kid lit entities as Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, The Golden Compass, City of Ember, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and several others. As of now, no one is championing their return - no matter how financially or artistically successful they appeared to be. 

It looks like Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak series will follow suit. While another fine attempt at merging juvenile level Goosebumps horror with full blown family film wish fulfillment, The Vampire’s Assistant (new to Blu-ray from Universal) has a double barreled barrier to overcome - and frankly, it can’t manage either one. First, in a head to head with Hogwart’s favorite, it comes up short. No matter what you think of J.K. Rowling and her tales of magic and myth, she’s a grand storyteller - and she’s been lucky enough to find filmmakers capable of taking her material and whittling it down into its important narrative beats. Since all six films made so far have been huge hits (and two more of the seventh book are on their way), Harry is a huge albatross around any potential franchise’s neck.

by Evan Sawdey

23 Feb 2010

In a short amount of time, composer Ben Frost has gathered up a powerful arsenal of friends, ranging from (his mentor and The Reader score composer) Nico Muhly to Icelandic string quartet Amiina to Swedish metal band Crowpath to Bjork & Bonnie “Prince” Billy producer Valgeir Sigurðsson.  Then, he invited them all to play on his album. 

By the Throat is Frost’s third major full-length album, and it’s been bathing in ecstatic (and well-deserved) praise, mixing minimalist melodies with an eclectic mix of beats, vocal samples, and sheets of distortion, making for a powerful, cutting, and emotional disc that sounds like nothing like it on the avant-classical front today. 

Yet as film scores beckon and a long-awaited US tour is rumored to be in the works, the Australian-born Frost takes some time out of his busy schedule to discuss the paintings of Mark Rothko, the appreciation he holds for Looney Tunes, and why it’s best to carry a big stick with you when time traveling ...

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