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Journey 2: The Unintentionally Hilarious

About two weeks ago, a few friends and I decided to kill an evening by going out to eat and then seeing a movie at the dollar theater. The pickings at Lexington’s local dollar theater were slim, but eventually we decided on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. What a fortuitous choice it was. I laughed harder at Josh Hutcherson and The Rock loping around Jules Verne’s CGI-ed island than I have at any recent film I’ve seen. Unfortunately, not all the laughs (read: most of them) were unintentionally funny. In order to preserve the exquisite experience, I’ve penned a recap of the kids’ adventure flick below. I can only hope it makes you laugh a fraction of how much I did in that nearly-empty theater. Continue reading

Post-Movie Thoughts on The Hunger Games

So, I joined the throngs of people this weekend who packed into movie theaters around the country to watch Katniss Everdeen, she of the fiery-lady fame, open up a can of whoop-ass on her fellow Hunger Games tributes, and pull in the third-highest opening weekend ever. ($155,000,000!) My pre-movie concerns were thankfully in vain, and while the adaptation was not perfect, it was deft, faithful and pretty darn enjoyable. Continue reading

In Defense of Lana Del Rey

So…Lana Del Rey.

If you’ve perused any music blog in the last month, I’m sure you had her name thrown at least into your periphery. (If you frequent Hipster Runoff, it’s probably been legitimately shoved down your throat, complete with a side of vitriol.) She’s the songstress behind “Video Games,” the song that has divided Internet-using music fans into two camps: those who decry the “shocking inauthenticity” behind Ms. Del Rey’s melancholic neo-torch song, and those who like the self-proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and find themselves confused by the extreme backlash against her.

Continue reading

Michel Faber’s Under The Skin

Wowzers, it’s been a while! I know, I know: I’m a bad blog-father. I won’t bother trying to defend myself. Rather, I submit here to you, Internet, a review of Michel Faber’s Under The Skin, an excellent novel I just finished reading, published first on my Goodreads account. This novel blew me away.

The cover of Michel Faber's "Under The Skin"

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American Idol Season 10 Finale: I Loved It This Big

And tonight, American Idol‘s tenth season draws to a close. It will be remembered for its shocking eliminations (Pia! Casey! James!), its eccentric Top 13, who represented a sweeping number of musical genres, and for its all-country finale, the duel between Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, ending with the down-home country crooner Scotty coming out on top.

I watched the finale with my friends Kelcie and Dut, both of whom contributed some stellar sound bites to the viewing experience. (I’ve collected some of the best gems and included them in a Witticisms section below, which you won’t regret checking out.) Thankfully, though the finale performance night was stale (enough so that I feel no compulsion to cover its activities at all), tonight’s results show was lively and jam-packed with some pretty solid performances. Because a lot took place, I’ll spend no more than 140 characters, Twitter-style, on each performance, video package, or important event in an effort to preserve some brevity. (It probably won’t work.)

Kick us off, Top 13! (Photos courtesy Rickey.org and MTV.com.) Continue reading

Idol: Goodbye, Growler

Tonight, America chose its top two Idol finalists. Unfortunately, the fantastic Haley Reinhart was not one of them, which means that Scotty “The Body” McCreery will be squaring off against Lauren “L’il Ol’ Southern Me” Alaina in next week’s finale, which has inexplicably been moving to Tuesday and Wednesday evenings instead of the usual Wednesday/Thursday lineup. Continue reading

Idol Top 4: Haley Gets Thrown Under The Bus…Again

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, my fellow Idol obsessives. My first semester of grad school finally came to a close, and in the final few weeks, I wrote somewhere between forty and fifty pages of academic writing, which didn’t leave me a bunch of time to write about my favorite little TV singing competition on the side. It might be a good thing, actually, because my words would have been so acidic that they might have managed to burn you through the computer screen. Continue reading

Top 8: American Idol Goes To The Movies

Continuing with their overdone themes week after week, American Idol took its contestants to the movies tonight, asking them to perform “Songs of the Cinema.” Yet again, this allows every contestant to stay within their wheelhouse and sing songs that are very comfortable to them (see also: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week and über-generic Billboard Number Ones Week). Continue reading

A Surprising Idol Ouster

This will be a short one.

Come on, America! You sent PIA home? (Check out video here.) That’s astounding. She has been one of the most consistent vocalists this season, and you reward her by giving her a ninth place finish? I’m a little dumbfounded, if I’m being honest. Continue reading

Idol’s Top 9 Rock Out

It was Rock and Roll Hall of Fame night on American Idol this evening, and while that theme seems to imply covers of classic rock songs, it actually seems to provide contestants with just another opportunity to showcase their wheelhouses. However, I’m not saying that is a bad thing. In the vein of last week and the week before, the remaining finalists delivered a solid performance show. In fact, I agree with the observation my friend Kelcie made: this was the best performance show yet this season. Honestly, ranking these covers was a nigh arduous task, because, yet again, no contestant slipped up with an unfortunate genre-switch or particularly out-of-tune vocal. Everybody sounded great, save a few janky notes here and there. So, to rank these potential Idols, I had to look beyond the vocal to the performance. Who actually performed the song convincingly instead of just singing a competent cover?  Continue reading

"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"

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