The Must List: March 19 – March 25, 2010

3/18/2010 Posted by Admin

The Must List: March 19 – March 25, 2010

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


“Repo Men” – Jude Law plays a bad-ass killing machine with no conscious, no morals, and no remorse? Forest Whitaker is his equally maniacal, even more ruthless partner? This curiously fascinating casting decision will reveal itself when “Repo Men” hits theaters on Friday (3/19).

Law and Whitaker play Remy and Jake respectively, two highly skilled repo men who repossess artificial organs from people who haven’t been making their payments. In the futuristic society, people with organ problems can buy artificial ones from a company called The Union. However, if the recipient fails to make payments, The Union sends in the repo men to take back the organ, by all means necessary.

While on a job, Remy suffers a heart attack and becomes a recipient of an artificial heart. He finds that it isn’t so easy to make payments, and soon becomes the target of The Union. Jake, Remy’s former partner and The Union’s most decorated repo man, is given orders to repossess Remy’s new heart. What follows is an action-packed chase that focuses on Remy’s fight for survival and the inner-turmoil that Jake is facing while hunting down his old friend.

“Repo Men” is directed by first timer Miguel Sapochnik. The film also co-stars Alice Braga, Live Schreiber and RZA. Many early reviews are bashing “Repo Men” for being senseless, violent, and brainless. The fact remains that it’s an intriguing concept and it’s hard to beat the two lead actors. Check out “Repo Men” and let us know what you think.

*Runner-up: “The Runaways” – Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie and their rise to stardom. Talk about another interesting casting decision. The film documents the relationship of Jett and Cherie both on and off the stage as their band begins to turn heads. Watch for a great performance by Michael Shannon as Kim Fowley, a sleazy rock-n-roll mogul who makes the girls more famous and more corrupt than they would’ve ever imagined. “The Runaways” gets a limited release on Friday (3/19). Be sure to see it if it’s playing your area.


– There are a bevy of spectacular and popular movies released on DVD/Blu-ray this week (“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Blindside,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”). So what makes “Brothers” this week’s pick? It’s incredibly powerful performances, lingering intensity, and undeniable relevance and believability. The film is one of the most underappreciated of 2009.

“Brothers” tells the story of a family that’s torn apart by the supposed death of Capt. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire). Sam’s wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), and two kids are told that Sam was shot down while on tour in the Middle East. Their world crumbles. Sam’s delinquent brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), attempts to be the cornerstone of the healing process.

The film mainly follows Tommy’s relationship with his brother’s wife, Grace, a relationship that turns romantic. Thinking that Sam is dead, the two grow noticeably fond of each other. Even the kids think Tommy is a step up from their old dad. Only problem is, Sam isn’t dead.

When Sam returns home, the gripping last third of the film begins. Subtle intensity abounds, tempers flare, and violence ensues in preparation for the film’s immensely fascinating finale. “Brothers” is anchored by three stellar performances from Maguire, Portman and Gyllenhaal. Sam Shephard also shines as the brother’s authoritarian, demeaning, drunk father. If you love powerhouse acting, than you’ll love “Brothers.” Check it out when it hits shelves on Tuesday (3/23).

*Runner-up: “Toy Story 1 and 2” (Blu-ray): There has been a massive amount of anticipation for when these groundbreaking Disney films were going to drop on Blu-ray. Tuesday (3/23) is the day. How will Blu-ray technology already enhance these animated treasures? Watching “Toy Story 1 and 2” on Blu-ray should be a tremendous experience. Don’t miss it.


The Dillinger Escape Plan - “Option Paralysis”: The Dillinger Escape Plan has come a long way since their punk-rock days of the late '90s. The band has emerged as one of the most creative, experimental, and fun groups in the complex mathcore genre. Their fourth studio album, “Option Paralysis,” hits stores on Tuesday (3/23).

TDEP are dubbed as pioneers of the mathcore scene. Mathcore combines elements of punk, techno, metal, jazz and others. There are no rules or guidelines to how these sounds should be mixed together. The genre is often regarded as noise metal because, well, it’s tough to get in to. It can be considered ‘noise’ to those outside the genre’s fan base. TDEP have done a good job at bridging the gap and making music that meets the desires of dedicated mathcore fans while also reaching out to a more mainstream listener.

“Option Paralysis” doesn’t see TDEP doing things they haven’t already done before. There are a few surprises like “Widower,” a beautiful piano-driven ballad which crescendos into a spastic climax. Most other songs are predictably unpredictable, yet extremely well crafted. There aren’t a lot of anthem hooks or catchy choruses on “Option Paralysis.” However, the musicianship is there and proves to be an enjoyable ride.

Songs to download:
“Gold Teeth on a Bum”
“Room Full of Eyes”

*Runner-up: Justin Bieber – “My World 2.0”: This runner-up recommendation goes against my better judgment, but I am no fool, I realize Justin Bieber is taking over the lives of pre-teen girls across the world. “My World 2.0,” the follow-up to his highly successful debut album hits shelves on Tuesday (3/23). That’s about all I have to say about that.


“Breaking Bad” (3rd Season Premiere) – One of the most recent unlikely successes in the television industry is “Breaking Bad.” The star is Bryan Cranston who’s really only known for being the father in “Malcolm in the Middle.” The show doesn’t really get much promotion outside AMC and it’s in an extremely competitive time slot. Regardless, the show has become a cult hit and its third season kicks off next week.

The show follows neurotic chemistry teacher turned drug lord, Walter White (Cranston). In the first season, White is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He is strapped for cash and decides to use his knowledge in chemistry to start a crystal meth drug ring out of his house. The show follows his desire to live an average, domestic life with his sudden affinity for the criminal underworld.

Cranston’s turn as the absurdly loveable Walter White is truly a pleasure. He has deservedly received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series two years running. I wonder why the Golden Globes haven’t caught on yet. The series airs on AMC. Be sure to check out the third season premiere on Sunday (3/21) at 10/9c.

*Runner-up: “March Madness” – March is circled on every sports fan’s calendar each year. The annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, dubbed March Madness, is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Sixty-four teams are vying for the coveted title of NCAA Champion. The tournament always boasts major upsets, riveting drama, and plain old fun. All games will be broadcast on the CBS network in the next two weeks. Check your local listings for times and dates.

Music Video

Lady Gaga – “Telephone” (Long Version)

We all know Lady Gaga’s deal by now. She makes amazingly catchy pop/dance music, has an inexplicably strange sense of fashion and style, and all her music videos turn heads with their quirkiness and innovation. The long version of her new video for the song “Telephone” is pretty impressive.

The music video is clearly inspired by the “Kill Bill” series. From the opening credits to the dialogue, this is evident. In short the video goes like this: Lady Gaga is admitted into prison, Beyonce bails her out, they both go to a diner to poison Tyrese Gibson and the rest of the diner patrons, then they drive off vowing to never leave each other’s side again.

Now, the video is 10 minutes long, so that is a very brief summary. There’s a lot of craziness, quirkiness, and general ‘what the heck is going on?’ feel to the video. Gaga sports some tremendously ridiculous costumes, cigarette sunglasses and Diet Coke can hair, to name a few. While the whole “Kill Bill” vibe comes off very hokie and under-developed, the music video for “Telephone” is as strange as it is entertaining and is a solid entry into Gaga’s repertoire.

Viral Video

Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama

It’s interesting what some news stations consider news these days. Is this a real news story or some really clever parody? Everyone they interview in this news package is hilarious. I’m partial to the man who has the leprechaun flute which has been passed down for thousands of years. There’s a leprechaun roaming the streets of Mobile, Alabama; and the citizens are getting ready. Enjoy!

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