The Must List: April 23 - April 29, 2010

4/24/2010 Posted by Admin

The Must List: April 23 - April 29, 2010

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


– The term ‘natural beauty’ is lost on many people in modern society. Cities are cluttered with thousands of skyscrapers and millions of inhabitants. Films like “Oceans” remind us of how beautiful the natural landscape of earth can be and how majestic the wildlife surrounding us is.

Nature documentaries have taken off since BBC introduced the eye-popping “Planet Earth” series in 2006. Disneynature is a French subsidiary of Disney that produces nature documentaries. They were responsible for 2009’s “Earth,” a record-breaking release narrated by James Earl Jones.

“Oceans” is the studio’s 2010 release. The film focuses, as you may guess, on the beauty of the deep. There is practically a whole other world below the surface of the oceans, and this film attempts to give viewers an inside look into that magnificent, mysterious underwater domain.

Crisp, high-definition shots were taken from all seven oceans. The film took four years to film. The wait was worth it. Some shots are absolutely spectacular--notably that of a blue whale, the world’s largest animal. “Oceans” is a marvelous film and is easily this week’s movie pick. The film was released on Thursday, Earth Day. Check your local listings to see if “Oceans” is playing in a theater near you.

*Runner-up: “The Losers” – Another week at the box office, and the world gets yet another comic book adaptation. “The Losers” is poised to be a brash, violent, fun mess. The story will most likely wreak and there will be flashes of humor here and there. Check out “The Losers” for some entertaining action, nothing more.

View's video review of "Oceans" below:


“The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”
– Call Terry Gilliam pretentious and self-indulgent if you like, but the man makes a heck of a compelling film. “Dr. Parnassus” gives the viewer a lot to think about and even more to look at. The film is a visual feast and a narrative success as well.

Much of the anticipation surrounding the film was in regards to how the filmmakers would deal with the passing of Heath Ledger, the lead. They dealt remarkably well. The role of the devious and dashing Tony was divided up into four parts, each part played brilliantly by Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.

The plot of the film is difficult to explain, but not too hard to follow. In its simplest form, “Dr. Parnassus” is a race between Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and the Devil. Who can capture five souls first? In Parnassus’ imaginarium, people can easily be seduced and persuaded into doing certain things. Whoever can successfully entrance five people first will win the prize of Valentina, Parnassus’ young daughter.

The acting in “Dr. Parnassus” is top-notch, the story is extremely well crafted, and the visuals are a treat. Tom Waits as Mr. Nick, a.k.a. the Devil, is hilarious. “Dr. Parnassus” is a must-see. Check it out when it hits shelves on Tuesday (4/27).

*Runner-up: “Avatar” – Shame on me for not realizing “Avatar” was released on DVD/Blu-ray yesterday (4/22). I suppose an Earth Day release isn’t the craziest thing ever for this film. “Avatar” was obviously a titanic hit on the big screen, but how will it translate to home theater systems? I say its DVD sales will be a little underwhelming in relation to how it did in the box office.


Bullet for my Valentine – “Fever”
: Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for my Valentine isn’t out to rewrite the genre. They know their strengths--aggressive guitar riffs, strong vocals and bits of creativity. Their ultra-whiney 2005 release, “The Poison,” sold astronomically well. Their more mature, heavier sophomore album, “Scream Aim Fire,” didn’t sell as well, but was a step up musically. Their third album, “Fever,” seems to contain elements of both previous releases.

“Fever” is a solid album. There are head-churning, heavy anthems like “Your Betrayal” and “Begging for Mercy” and there are slower ballads like “A Place Where You Belong.” “The Last Fight” is a major stinker though. The vocals are weak and uninspired on this track alone. Generally, Bullet for my Valentine does a marquee job at combining clean vocals with deep growls. “Fever” flows well and will have the listeners’ attention throughout.

Bullet for my Valentine will begin a U.S. tour in support of the album beginning in Worcester, Mass., on April 30. “Fever” drops on Tuesday (4/27). Give the album a listen, and if you like it, check out an upcoming show.

Songs to download:
“Your Betrayal”
“A Place Where You Belong”

*Runner-up: Gogol Bordello – “Transcontinental Hustle”: Now, this is a seriously weird band. Classified as gypsy punk rock, the band is most unique. Some band members simply play tambourine and dance around on stage. Their music often incorporates accordion, violin, and other unconventional instruments. Members of Gogol Bordello come from Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Ethiopia, Scotland, Ecuador, and the USA. They’re an eclectic bunch that make very compelling music. Listen to “Transcontinental Hustle” when it hits stores on Tuesday (4/27).


“The Hills” (6th Season Premiere)
– OMG people, the sixth and final season of “The Hills” starts next week. The MTV hit show has somehow managed five seasons on the air, so why not give season six a shot? Entertainment Weekly called the show a “New Classic,” ranking it 82nd on their list of “The 100 Best Shows of the Last 25 Years.”

To be fair, the show has its moments. It cleverly combines documentary accounts of young Los Angeles socialites with noticeably staged soap opera acting. There is a lot of drama in “The Hills,” too much to be believable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Why we should care about any of these people’s lives, nobody knows. There’s just something undeniably appealing about watching Brody Jenner and Spencer Pratt act like complete tools or watching Heidi Montag act like, well, Heidi Montag.

I typically hate reality shows like these, but by now, I’ve stopped caring. Shows like “The Hills” will be around forever, might as well see them for what they’re worth; mindless, often intriguing, always stupid entertainment.

The final season of “The Hills” airs 10/9c Tuesday (4/27) on MTV. Don’t miss it.

*Runner-up: “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” (5th Season Premiere) – This is a culturally fascinating show. Food-columnist, chef, and TV/radio personality, Andrew Zimmern, takes the viewer on a culinary world tour. He takes a look at local cuisines; how they are made, where they are made, and their impact on local culture. “Bizarre Foods” focuses on foods that would typically perceived as being gross, inedible or simply weird. Zimmern generally bites the bullet and eats everything presented to him. “Bizarre Foods” is an informing, fun, delicious slice of television. Check out the season five premiere when it airs 10/9c Monday (4/25) on the Travel Channel.

Music Video

We The Kings feat. Demi Lovato – “We’ll be a Dream”

I want to be smack dab in the middle of this concert audience. Pillow fights, toilet paper wars, water balloon battles, and ice cream condiment assaults; that’ll make for a good concert no matter what band is on stage. Luckily for listeners, We the Kings is a pretty good band, and “We’ll be a Dream” is an extremely catchy, easy song to listen to.

Certain shots of the actual band playing are a bit cheesy and over dramatic. The rest of the video is undeniably fun though. The audience is split in two, and the two sides use childish weapons and tactics to battle each other. The video for “We’ll be a Dream,” the second single off the band’s sophomore release, “Smile Kid,” was released on Thursday. The video is playful and original, and the song features a stellar guest vocal performance from Demi Lovato of “Camp Rock” fame.

Check out this energetic music video below:

Viral Video

Baseball Player Leaps Catcher

Usually, plays at home plate involve huge collisions between catcher and runner. This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this. Fordham player Brian Kownacki is waved home by his third base coach. The throw gets there before Kownacki, so what does he do in order to score? Watch the video below and find out. It’s pretty amazing.

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  1. Steve Capell said...

    "Oceans" looks like a really awesome film to watch. I have always liked watching films centered around the water world. Thanks for a great review.