Television Show Review: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Season Two created by Frank Darabont; produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, and Charles H. Eglee (Circle of Confusion and Valhalla Motion Pictures) Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, and Chandler Riggs. A Premature Review Partly because I’m currently engaged in some lengthy books and need to post some content, I am reviewing the current season of The Walking Dead despite the fact that it is early in its second season. As I mentioned in my review of the show last year, I am not a fan of the zombie genre. Yet, the more I consider the subtext beneath these post-apocalyptic narratives, the more the genre… Read More →

Album Review: The Rip Tide

The Rip Tide by Beirut (Pompeii Records, 2011. 33 minutes) Originally the music project of New-Mexico-native Zach Condon, Beirut is an indie rock band which combines Eastern European music, Balkan folk, and Western pop music. While traveling through Europe in his youth, Condon fell in love with world music. This love prompted musical experimentation that resulted in the band. While attending the University of New Mexico, Condon recorded his first record, GulagOrkestar, in his bedroom. He shopped the record to labels and ultimately signed with Ba Da Bing! Records. Before releasing The Rip Tide, Condon founded Pompeii Records giving him full control over his music. Evaluative Difficulty I find it difficult to review music. Of all art forms, it is… Read More →

Television Show Review: Doctor Who

Doctor Who created by Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and Donald Wilson (British Broadcasting Corporation) Currently starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Alex Kingston. His Name Is the Doctor Currently listed as the longest-running science fiction television show by the Guinness World Records, Doctor Who follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien named The Doctor. Traversing the universe with a time machine called the TARDIS which possesses an outward appearance of a blue police box, the Doctor typically travels with a female human companion and, together, they encounter numerous villains and work toward saving people groups, worlds, and righting injustices in the universe. Although the series began in 1963, the current version of Doctor Who premiered in 2005. With… Read More →

Film Review: Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds directed by Quentin Tarantino (Universal Pictures, Weinstein Company, A Band Apart, R, 153 minutes) Starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent, and Christoph Waltz. Dual Duels Set in France during World War II, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds tells the story of two separately planned attempts to assassinate the leaders of the Nazi party. In one storyline, Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) – nicknamed “The Jew Hunter” for his ability to locate Jews in hiding – interrogates a dairy farmer learning that he is harboring a Jewish family under the floorboards. While Landa’s men shoot through the floor, teenage daughter Shosanna Dreyfus escapes the carnage. Three years later, Shosanna hides in plain sight as a cinema owner… Read More →

Book Review: Moneyball

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. 320 pp) Michael Lewis is the author of Panic!, Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Home Game, among other works. He lives in Berkley, California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children. Baseball Cards: Collectible and Informative As an avid baseball fan, statistics have augmented my appreciation of the sport since my youth. My favorite part of collecting baseball cards surrounded studying the statistics on the back of the trading card; my enjoyment of baseball video games was partly due to accumulating statistics myself. With the rise of the internet, the way I consumed baseball… Read More →

Book Review: The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011. 528 pp) Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin and was educated at Harvard and the University of Virginia. He is a cofounder and coeditor ofn+1. The Art of Fielding is Harbach’s first book. Failure: The Sad Story of Rick Ankiel As the playoffs dawned in 2000, I was at the height of my baseball fandom. The Seattle Mariners – my hometown team – were in a period of sustained success, my joy for playing the game had yet to dwindle, and I held an acute awareness of Major League players. During this time, I vividly remember game one of the NLDS featuring the St. Louis Cardinals… Read More →

Book Review: The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (New York: Riverhead Books, 2008. 272 pp)                                                                                                                        Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Sarah Vowell is an author, journalist, and social commentator. She earned her B.A. from Montana State University and an M.A. in Art History from the School of Art Institute Chicago. Having written six nonfiction books, Vowell brings a witty voice to her historical topics. She… Read More →

Album Review: If Not Now, When?

If Not Now, When?  by Incubus (Epic Records, 2011. 50 minutes) From California, Incubus is a rock band comprised of Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger, Jose Pasillas, Ben Kenney, and DJ Kilmore. With seven full-length albums, Incubus has reached multi-platinum sales and is arguably considered the most successful rock band of the early 2000s. Gaining prominence during the nu-metal trend of the late nineties, Incubus is often classified with Limp Bizkit, Korn, and P.O.D. Yet, the band’s style contains alternative rock, hip hop, jazz, funk, and metal influences. Post-Hiatus After years of constant touring, Incubus faced a dilemma: either they continued prolific songwriting with diminishing returns or they take a break, fall in and out of love, experience life in all… Read More →

Film Review: Paul

Paul directed by Greg Mottola (Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Working Title Films, R, 104 minutes) Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, and Kristen Wiig. I Hated This Movie So Let Me Be Brief I wanted to see this movie because I had faith in the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Starring in the soon-to-be cult classics, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, these actors have blended comedy and social satire through an artful presentation. With the funding of a major studio, Paul ought to be even better with a larger budget. Wrong! A Mandatory Plot Mention Pegg and Frost play nerds on holiday in the United States. Having attended Comic Con, the duo travels the southwest encountering… Read More →

Book Review: The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (New York: Doubleday, 2009. 448 pp) Born in Ottawa in the autumn of 1939, Margaret Atwood grew up in Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She attained her B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto and her M.A. from Radcliffe College. Atwood has written more than 50 works of poetry, children’s fiction, fiction, and non-fiction. While she is most known for her many novels, her book, Blind Assassin, received highest acclaim winning the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Currently, she lives with Graeme Gibson in Toronto. Dystopia Everyone knows Orwell’s 1984. The classic dystopian novel depicts the frightening consequences of an authoritarian state. Without removing much of its well-deserved praise, I wonder if 1984 remains a masterpiece not for its… Read More →