The Must List: April 16 – April 22, 2010

4/17/2010 Posted by Admin

The Must List: April 16 – April 22, 2010

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


– Violent, foul-mouthed super-hero movies are nothing new. Violent, foul-mouthed super-hero movies starring children?  Now that’s an idea. “Kick-Ass” is the film adaptation of the ultra-bloody comic book penned by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. It features pint-sized superheroes and their fight against the devious crime-mogul, Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong).

Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse dive into the superhero underworld as Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, and Red Mist, respectively. Nicolas Cage stars as Big Daddy. He is Hit-Girl’s father and is the leader of this band of outcast superheroes. “Kick-Ass” is a tale of revenge, will-power, and standing-up for what’s right when no one else will.

The trailer looks pretty dull. That said, the film is receiving rave reviews. Many critics note the film is excessively violent and the coarse language is too pervasive. Much of the controversy involves the age of the protagonists. The characters, and the actors themselves, may be too young to be surrounded by such graphic material.

Check out “Kick-Ass” and let us know what you think. Will this be one of the better comic adaptations in recent memory, or is too graphic? The film hit theaters Friday (4/16).

*Runner-up: “Death at a Funeral” – The 2007 British version of this film was pretty hilarious. Three years later, Hollywood decided to ‘Americanize’ it. Danny Glover, Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Luke Wilson, James Marsden and Tracy Jordan all star in this potentially funny remake. The cast is solid and the trailer seems promising. Early reviews are mixed.


The Lovely Bones
– Though it wasn’t too well received by critics, I found “The Lovely Bones” to be quite an enjoyable, engaging and emotional experience. The film’s pacing is a bit slow, but its equal parts horrific and beautiful. It’s as visually stunning as it is heart-wrenching.

The film benefits from marvelous performances by Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci. Ronan plays a young girl, Susie Salmon. After she is murdered, she watches her family from the "in-between" and sees how their lives have changed. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz also deliver solid performances as Salmon’s parents.

Most of the opposition toward the film was aimed at director Peter Jackson’s over-indulgence in special effects. Though the beautiful, heavenly imagery is dazzling, it can be distracting from the dramatic, emotional tone of the story. The direction is, to be honest, a little sloppy the whole way through. The story is hauntingly beautiful, however, and the film ends up working pretty well.

“The Lovely Bones” was one of the most anticipated films of the year. While it ended up underwhelming most critics, perhaps you’ll find it appealing. Check it out when it hits shelves on Tuesday (4/20).

*Runner-up: “The Young Victoria” – I’ve never been a fan of historical royal dramas like this. “The Young Victoria” moves slower than a snail and won’t appeal to many people that have Y chromosomes. Emily Blunt does give an egregiously underrated performance and, for that, it’s worth seeing. “The Young Victoria” hits stores on Tuesday (4/20).


Cypress Hill – “Rise Up
: Cypress Hill is one of the most illustrious rap groups of all time. They hail from the west coast and have been putting out albums for nearly 20 years. Cypress Hill consists of B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog and Eric Bobo. It’s been six years since their last album, but now the group is back with their highly anticipated 2010 release “Rise Up.”

Cypress Hill’s style is refreshing and creative. The rappers have distinctly different styles. B-Real is way out there with high-pitched, often nasally vocals. Sen Dog is the other prominent rapper in the group, and his rhymes are deeper, rawer, and more aggressive. The group incorporates English and Spanish into their lyrics rather well. Cypress Hill combines a lot of different elements into their music and, for the most part, they do it flawlessly.

“Rise Up” ends a long lay-off for the group. They released “Till Death Do Us Part” in 2004 and have apparently been working on this album since than. There have been a few side-projects, but their new album is finally ready for release. There are impressive guest appearances from Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Daron Malakian of System of a Down fame. Early tracks “Get ‘Em Up,” “Armada Latina,” and “Rise Up,” are all quality. “Rise Up,” in particular, combines rap and rock seamlessly well. “Rise Up” will be released on Tuesday (4/20).

Songs to download:
“Rise Up”
“Carry Me Away” (feat. Mike Shinoda)
“Armada Latina”

*Runner-up: Sevendust – “Cold Day Memory: Sevendust is a very consistent, always entertaining, band in the metal/rock genre. They’ve putting out albums since 1997 and have been doing so at a steady clip. The release of “Cold Day Memory” on Tuesday (4/20) will mark their 8th studio album in 13 years. Sevendust provides polished music that nicely combines clean, harmonizing vocals with hard riffs, ambitious guitar solos, and head-pounding drums.


Payback,” “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” “American Gangster
– If you’re very bored this Saturday (4/17), turn in to TNT at noon. These four fantastic films will be playing back-to-back…to back…to back. This little Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe marathon will take you all the way to midnight, and if you’re still thirsty for more, “8 Mile,” starring Eminem, airs afterwards.

As far as bad-asses go, it’s hard to beat Gibson or Crowe. This marathon that TNT has put together pretty much exemplifies that fact. It’s hard to knock either “Braveheart” or “Gladiator.” Both films are impeccable. “Payback” is a thoroughly enjoyable action-comedy. Gibson, as he does so often, charms with his wit and sarcasm. “American Gangster” was a little underwhelming, but it features huge turns from Crowe and Denzel Washington. If you don’t like the outside, or you just want to take it easy, this would be a good way to spend your Saturday.

*Runner-up: “Deadliest Warrior” (Season Premiere) - “Deadliest Warrior” is a fun show. It pits two trained groups of warriors against each other each week to see who would win in a fight. For example, they may match a gladiator against a knight. What are each of their skills? What weapons, techniques, and defense mechanisms prove advantageous or harmful? The experts on the show are very well informed, and their experimentation with different weapons is undeniably interesting. Catch the new season of “Deadliest Warrior” 10/9c Tuesday (4/20) on Spike.

Music Video

The Spill Canvas – “Our Song

Tom Brokaw, Bob Barker, Hubert Humphrey, and The Spill Canvas--what do they have in common? They’re all from South Dakota. Just a small, fun fact that I thought would make a good lead-in to introducing The Spill Canvas, a fast-rising rock-band from the Mount Rushmore State. The band gained widespread success in 2004 with their album “Sunsets and Car Crashes.” Since then, it’s been smooth sailing as they’ve been rapidly increasing in popularity.

The music video for their new track, “Our Song,” was released on Wednesday. The song is off their EP “Realities” which was released earlier this week. The video for “Our Song” is cute, funny, and enjoyable. The video is shot in an old 1920s cinematic style. It features a cute couple that keeps going out on different dates. When they’re finally about to kiss, some freak occurrence intervenes and prevents them from locking lips. These occurrences range from the guy getting hit by a train to both of them getting stepped on by a huge gorilla foot.

The video suits the vibe of the song well. The lyrics are about the struggles of young love and how it’s not going to be as easy as it’s often portrayed on the big screen. Enjoy the video for “Our Song” by The Spill Canvas below:

Viral Video

Taiwanese Lin Yu Chun Sings Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"

If you haven’t seen this clip yet, crawl out from under your rock and check it out. This little Taiwanese boy sings “I Will Always Love You” on a Taiwanese show akin to “American Idol.” He absolutely nails it, and he makes it look easy. The kid has the voice of a star, but he might want to work on the ‘look’ factor a little bit. Remember Anton Chigur, the maniac from “No Country For Old Men”?  This kid looks like his chubby son. It kind of adds to the spectacle of it all though. Enjoy:

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes