Basement Medicine

George Saunders’ tortured Lincoln

George Saunders’ tortured Lincoln

Josh Lemay

April 27, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment

While “Lincoln in the Bardo” is George Saunders’ seventh foray into the world of fiction, it is his first, and thus far only, journey into the land of novel writing. The author of the brilliant collections “Tenth of December” and “Pastoralia” rose to national attention with a dark and cutting...

Viewers beware: You’re in for a trip with this looney movie

Viewers beware: You’re in for a trip with this looney movie

Avery Bliss

April 27, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment

I’ve never tried LSD. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the effects of the drug would be remarkably similar to watching the movie “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” because I don’t quite trust my eyes or mind anymore.   “Back in Action,” which came out in 2003, hasn’t aged quite...

Wooden acting and dumb beards in a sad “King Arthur” knock-off

Avery Bliss

April 14, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Movies

I realize that, right now, Hollywood is currently in the phase where remaking movies is all the rage. Sometimes that works out and the audience gets a halfway decent movie, like the recent “Godzilla” movie. And then other times, the remake drifts into the territory of “lock it in the basement...

Original play offers unique look at mental illnesses

Cayla Fronhofer

April 14, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Stage

The theater is dark and quiet until white lights suddenly sweep across the stage, accompanied by the sound of a car’s engine. It quiets, white lights shift to red, and the sound of a blinker is heard. After a moment, the sounds fade and the play begins. “The Cover of a Book” is an original play...

New book addresses farcical coverage of 2016 election

New book addresses farcical coverage of 2016 election

Lisa Kent

April 14, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Matt Taibbi is a Rolling Stone correspondent and an author. During 2015-2016, he reports on the presidential campaign and the ensuing election, and then combines his dispatches into “Insane Clown President.” Before he starts his dispatches, he writes of his prior book “The Great Derangement,”...

Disney remake brings beauty and anachronism to the big screen

Disney remake brings beauty and anachronism to the big screen

Emily Mullaney

April 14, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Movies

“Beauty and the Beast” was extravagantly gorgeous, well written and performed well. Director Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 and 2) struck a good balance between following the old story and adding new material. While most of the new material is nice, none of it is essential, and some...

Throwing back to hairspray and classic rock in “Adventureland”

Throwing back to hairspray and classic rock in “Adventureland”

Avery Bliss

March 23, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Movies

Hey, do you like the ’80s? Teenage angst? Kristen Stewart trying her damnedest to make a normal human expression? Well then, “Adventureland,” featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, is the movie for you. Even though this movie came out only a few years ago, it has that definite feel...

Wolverine’s last ride

Wolverine’s last ride

Cayla Fronhofer

March 23, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Movies

Three years after his second solo film, Wolverine has returned to the big screen with his claws out and his taciturn demeanor fully intact. Following the enormous success of last year’s “Deadpool,” 20th Century Fox has released its second attempt at an R-rated X-Men film: “Logan,” the 10th...

Pierce the Veil offers listeners red and orange hues of a West Coast sunset

Jacob Greenia

March 23, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Music

Few artists have parlayed their collective frustration and vision into rich songwriting quite like Pierce the Veil has with its fourth full-length album, “Misadventures.” After six years of nonstop touring around the world, the San Diego-bred post-hardcore quartet had a breakthrough moment in...

A behind-the-scenes look at “Beauty Queen of Leenane”

Caroline Loftus

March 23, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Stage

In the dark, winding halls of the Dibden Center of Performing Arts, Emily Pike, special effects makeup specialist, frantically looks for the gelatin-based prosthetic molding compound she uses to make life-like burns and injuries. Finding the compound, Pike hurries back to where the crowd of four is. In...

Bad accents and other misses

Bad accents and other misses

Avery Bliss

March 9, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Movies

Does anyone remember Val Kilmer at his prime, in movies like “Top Gun” or “Tombstone”? And then you watch him in his more recent works and he just looks tired and bloated? That’s what watching Nicolas Cage (“National Treasure”) in the American-Canadian-Chinese action film “Outcast”...

Steady as she goes

Steady as she goes

Emily Mullaney

March 9, 2017


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Music

I like to think of the Steady Betty concert from March 2 in Dibden as a two-layered cake. The icing was not smooth and well decorated, but both layers of cake were moist and satisfying, and the icing melted in the mouth. The bottom layer of the cake was a rich chocolate flavor and arguably the most important...

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