The Must List: February 19, 2010 – February 25, 2010

2/19/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


“Shutter Island”--Pretty easy pick this week. Famed director Martin Scorsese is teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio again for the mind-bending, psychological thriller, “Shutter Island.” The film originally was dubbed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2009, but the release date was pushed back four months. Now it carries the same title, but it appears in 2010.

The film, set in the 1950s, follows U.S. Marshals Teddy (DiCaprio) and Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) and their investigation into the mysterious happenings at a hospital for the criminally insane. The hospital's top physician (Ben Kingsley) leads them on a dark, twisted game of cat and mouse. Scorsese is back in “Cape Fear” form here. The trailer looks legitimately creepy and stylistic. “Shutter Island” is easily the must see film of the week, and one of the major films released this year. Missing it would be unfortunate. “Shutter Island” hits theaters today (2/19).

*Runner-up: “Ghost Writer”--Everyone’s favorite, Roman Polanski, releases his latest effort today (2/19). This political thriller starring Ewan Mcgregor could end up being Polanski’s swan song. While his character and personal history are questionable, his work behind the camera isn’t. “Ghost Writer” will receive a limited release here in the states.


“The Informant!”--This film is a bit of a conundrum. It’s not consistently funny. It’s not entirely engaging or interesting, but somehow, it works. Steven Soderbergh is a master behind the camera. The angles and shots he uses in all his work are laudable. It’s no different in “The Informant!”

As much as Soderbergh is a genius behind the camera, Matt Damon is a star in front of it. He completely transforms himself into the chubby, frantic, paranoid vice-president of a large lysine developing company. The company, ADM, is under the watchful eye of the government for alleged illegal price-fixing activities. The FBI coerces vice-president of ADM, Mark Whitacre (Damon) to act as a spy and gather intel against the company. Whitacre is at first hesitant to take on the assignment. He gains confidence over time and begins to believe he is a true government spy.

The end result of “The Informant!” is a bit underwhelming but it’s worth a view to see Damon’s physical and emotional transformation. Soderbergh is also in quality form. Check out “The Informant!” when it hits shelves on Tuesday (2/23).

*Runner-up: “The Box”--Here’s an interesting film. The first 45 minutes or so are immense. “The Box” starts to lose control of itself in the last portion, though. It’s a great concept for a film and the innovative, creative Richard Kelly is behind the camera. It all ends up being a bit silly, but it’s worth a look. There are some eerily creepy moments.


Alkaline Trio – “This Addiction”: The Chicago-based punk rock band is releasing their seventh studio album on Tuesday (2/23). “This Addiction” supposedly takes the band back to their hardcore punk roots that made them mainstays in that genre. Their last two records “Crimson” and “Agony & Irony,” while quality albums, kind of strayed from the punk rock genre. Now, Alkaline Trio is kicking it back to the olden days.

“This Addiction” is set up to be one of the most emotionally raw albums from the group. The lyrics take inspiration from suicide, politics, war, and other personal tragedies. There are a few surprise elements on here too. One track, “Lead Poisoning” has trumpets in it; an interesting and quality addition. Synthesizers are also used successfully in the song, “Draculina.” Listen for Alkaline Trio to get back to their punk origins while also adding some other elements to spice things up.

Songs to download:
“This Addiction”
“Lead Poisoning”

*Runner-up: The Rocket Summer: “Of Men and Angels”: For piano driven, pop-rock, it doesn’t get too much better or catchier than The Rocket Summer. This solo project from songwriter Bryce Avary will remind many of frontman Andre McMahon’s bands “Something Corporate” and “Jack’s Mannequin.” The Rocket Summer, however, has enough originality and skill to be relevant. The fourth studio album, “Of Men and Angels,” hits stores on Tuesday (2/23).


“Men of a Certain Age” (Season Finale)--TNT already has renewed this adult comedy-drama for a second season. This manly series focuses on the lives of three men: Joe (Ray Romano), Owen (Andre Braugher), and Terry (Scott Bakula). They’re all old college friends. They’re all also inching closer to being in their 50s.

This show does a great job of showing how real men handle real-world decisions. Television shows tend to portray males as emotionless stalwarts who don’t think before they act. “Men of a Certain Age” deals with common issues in a very sincere and extremely hilarious way. Romano has never been funnier, and all of the content is quite relatable. “Men of a Certain Age” has been one of the bright spots for new shows this year. Watch it come to a close on TNT, Monday (2/22) at 10/9c.

*Runner-up: “The British Academy Film Awards”--The awards ceremony, hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is one of the final indicators for how the stars might align at the Oscars. There are a bevy of categories and a wide variety in the list of nominees. Check it out Sunday (2/21) on BBC at 8/7c.

Music Video

Passion Pit – “Little Secrets”

If you haven’t heard the Massachusetts-based electronic group, Passion Pit, it’s imperative you check them out. Their debut album, “Manners,” released in May 2009 impressed the heck out of the electronic/dance community. Today, they released the music video to the albums third single, “Little Secrets.”

The video is pretty standard, but incorporates some pretty cool elements. The video opens up with a shot of a lady dressed in a bright yellow dress buying food from a grocery store. She exists out of the back of the store and walks into a run-down warehouse where Passion Pit is playing their song, “Little Secrets.” There are tons of people there dancing to their groovy sounds, but they all have paper bags over their heads. About half way through the video, the paper bags start exploding off the peoples’ heads and massive amounts of colorful confetti comes out. It’s a pretty fun video that makes a good companion to a pretty catchy, upbeat song.

Viral Video

Granny Beats Up Robber

I love this old lady. Although it’s hard to say she’s actually inflicting serious pain on the robber, she’s putting up decent fight. The robber must’ve been completely blindsided by this babushka-esque granny’s vigilante efforts, though. To quote the great Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber,” “I guess they're right. Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.”

Awesome Granny Beats Up Robber - Watch more Funny Videos

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