Reviews

24 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Built Like Alaska: Autumnland

These songs are an eclectic mix of mostly sad thoughts, infused with small town ennui and presented in a haunting and hypnotic manner.

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

The Shield: Season 3

The Shield's moral center perpetually shifts, as the Team members struggle to maintain their sense of balance, caught between the outright villains and their own dishonesty.

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Millennium: The Complete Second Season

Frank's newly troubled family life was the first of many alterations made to the format of Millennium during its second season.

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

Sam the Man (2000)

If Sam the Man didn't tackle some difficult relationship questions so perceptively, its horrible lead and crappy lighting would have sunk it.

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

Shanghai Ghetto (2002)

As survivor Henry Meisel observes in one of the supplemental, extended interviews: 'It's amazing how people can improvise.'"

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

She Hate Me (2004)

As the last bill appears -- a three dollar 'bogus' bill featuring George W. Bush's face -- Spike Lee laughs. 'Hopefully, by the time you're seeing this DVD, he'll be out!'"

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

Nine Good Teeth (2003)

While the director suggests he wants make an objective film, Nine Good Teeth is undeniably skewed to display Nana in the best possible light.

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

Hello Down There (1969)

Having failed to hold onto small-town American values during the late '60s mod explosion, the nuclear family man here flees to the bottom of the sea.

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The Grudge: Special Edition (2004)

Precisely composed frames of urban and ancient architecture give way to Karen's face, deftly shadowed and shot from low angles, as Karen struggles to decipher the symbols that set her course.

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24 Feb 2005 // 1:00 AM

All About Lily Chou-Chou (2002)

The film's point is to suggest that emotional withdrawal is symptomatic of contemporary Japanese culture.

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The American Astronaut (2004)

At an hour and a half, the film is transporting to look at but only intermittently fun to watch.

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23 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Various Artists: Music From the Chocolate Lands

Another cutesy compilation concept from the Putumayo label overcomes predictability with some truly infectious songs.

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	Old 97’s: Old 97’s Live [DVD]

In their first (but hopefully not last) concert DVD, these alt-country stalwarts damn near blow the roof off Hollywood's Troubadour.

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23 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Martika: Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika

Just missed pop diva and historical footnote, Martika gets the 'best of' treatment, leaving everyone but her most sentimental fans wondering why...

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23 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Libretto: Ill-Oet: The Last Element

Libretto takes Coolio's funk revival and gives rise to slum funk, a sound heavily influenced by the Stylistics and the Delfonics.

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23 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Joy Zipper: American Whip

This is an album of conflicted tunes that tease the listener with pure pop melodies subverted by gallows humor.

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23 Feb 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Jennifer Gentle: Valende

Jennifer Gentle is not a woman, it is a band consisting of two Italian men who clearly love confounding listener expectations. Why else would they follow-up the rock and roll rave-up of the year with a series of strange folk sketches and noise collages?"

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	Miles Davis: A Tribute to Jack Johnson

Not so revolutionary as it presumed to be in 1971, the recording presents a more conservative Miles Davis paired with John McLaughlin's blues-influenced guitar, jamming on rhythms that are mainstream now.

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	Crooked Fingers: Dignity and Shame

The fourth full-length album from Eric Bachmann and Co. is unabashedly hopeful, shaking awake the sleeping promises in human compassion.

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Vaughan and Harris insert yet another facet of reality into the fictional world of comic book superheroics, one that has gone largely overlooked: politics.

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