Thursday, August 31
In an era where computer-generated special effects can portray the most stunning of creatures or stunts, there is something exciting about watching a magician like Criss Angel or David Blaine leave onlookers in a state of shock by performing a trick right in front of their disbelieving eyes. It's that realization that something amazing has actually happened right in front of somebody, and with no camera tricks, that makes it special.
The differences in the photos are striking. So are the similarities.
'Jericho' promotion to include unveiling of Stan Herd's crop art
Hollywood is officially coming to town. And it's bringing a posse with it.
Wednesday, August 30
I'm definitely glad to see Starfox return to the skies and get rid of the terrible on-foot missions. If a DS sequel featured some classic on-rails areas and perhaps omitted the odd "strategy" element, I think this series has the potential to return to its former glory.
Deep Labyrinth is really only going to appeal to a small, dedicated group of gamers looking to relive the glory days of first-person dungeon crawls. For anyone else, the repetitive environments, RPG-lite gameplay, and lame story aren't going to be enough to satisfy.
Made-to-order treats specialty of small Lawrence shop
A.B. Rials is singing just loudly enough to be heard over the crackling of the grill. He walks to his fridge, in step to the song in his head, to pull out more ingredients.
Tuesday, August 29
While GTA clones are certainly nothing new in recent years, this title is the first that is arguably superior to Rockstar's baby. To describe them each in a word, GTA would be "more," but Saints Row could be accurately tagged as "better."
Monday, August 28
Jana Casper and Edwin Morales
Remember the gool ol' days, when the highlight of your week was finger painting or making papier-mÃ¢che masks?
Five years along and Neon is still glowing strong
When Edwin Morales laughingly talked his way into hosting a weekly dance party called NEON, he just wanted to spin records while having fun out with friends.
In a society 'two clicks away from Victorian', breasts shape more than women's curves
When she was 16, Cara already had what most men lust for and many women would do anything to have - enormous breasts. The problem was, she didn't want them.
Let's say you're Kirk Rundstrom. You've been through a very public battle with cancer, and as far as the doctors know, cancer's kicked your ass. But that discounts the fact that you're Kirk Rundstrom.
Want to make an evening pass by quickly?
Sunday, August 27
Tonganoxie author L.D. Harkrader's novel "Airball: My Life in Briefs," has been named a 2006 Kansas Notable Book and is a finalist for the 2006 Thorpe Menn Award.
"The Smallest Light," by Susan Waldo Simmons
Roger Shimomura will unveil new paintings at an exhibit titled "Gottabees, Wannabees & Gonnabees" at Jan Weiner studio, Kansas City, Mo.
Friday, August 25
Tekken: Dark Resurrection straddles the line well between accessibility and complexity. Longtime fans of the series will be thrilled to have such a full experience in portable form, and newcomers will reap the rewards of a decade's worth of enhancements and additions to the original game.
Even with the advantage of next-gen hardware, this title features even more repetitive action than Dynasty Warriors (and more glitches and annoyances to boot).
The standard sports movie cliche usually involves an underdog team faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their way. They look deep within themselves and, against the odds, pull out an unlikely victory. "Invincible," the newest Disney sports film, more or less follows that formula with one exception.
Indie film production unifies Lawrence and Hollywood talent
It's a complicated setup for the first day of filming. Dancers, musicians, actors and horses are all gathered around a bandstand at Pendleton's Country Market in Lawrence.
Not everything went perfectly smooth during Sunday's reunion of The Embarrassment at Liberty Hall. But what the Wichita band lacked in precision after a 17-year hiatus, it more than made up for in amplifying good vibes.
I had the feeling after watching music-video maestros Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' first feature, "Little Miss Sunshine," that if they'd known how well it would play at the Sundance Film Festival, they would have made a better movie.
Wednesday, August 23
Anticipated since the unveiling of the Xbox 360, the final version of Dead Rising is a truly conflicted title. Much fun can be had slashing through hordes of hundreds of zombies with a huge arsenal of weapons, but there are also tons of problems with the game.
Lawrence's lovable folk-grass weirdos weave yarns and afghans (or something warm and fuzzy) with new album
Employing natty haberdashery and a contraption called the harmophone, Drakkar Sauna crafts gleeful ditties about things that few humans can comprehend - the etiquette of dueling, cannibal metaphysics, Spanish cinema - and you can sing along to it all
Tuesday, August 22
If the quirky little indie comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" would have been made inside the Hollywood studio system, some studio executive somewhere would have suggested that the directors insert the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" during the film's cathartic finale. The title would have been changed to something more easily marketable like "Winners and Losers," and the pitch-perfect cast would instead feature bland family comedy A-listers like Tim Allen and Robin Williams.
Monday, August 21
Don't let the allusions to Street Fighter II on the case of Super Dragon Ball Z fool you. This title plays nothing like the Capcom classic of the early 90s, but it does offer some moderate fun on its own merits.
The man behind that famous painting of John Brown (finally) gets an opening
Imagine John Brown without the lens of John Steuart Curry.
Gina Kaufmann breaks down why babies are the new black
For those of you living in Antarctica without grocery store aisles, internet access or InStyle subscriptions, here's a news flash: Every celebrity who ever so much as looked at Brad Pitt is having a baby. Angelina Jolie, all of the Friends ... even naughty secretary Maggie Gyllenhaal is due.
Ken Baker and Leilei Woolfolk
Activists have the Kansas River at the top of the mind
"Cat Daddy is one interesting character!" Or at least according to Alphilde Rees and Jason Dick, volunteers for the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance and Kansas Stream Link. The couple has been spending their free time volunteering for the organizations since the beginning of summer.
Sunday, August 20
The game is based off the recent Nickelodeon film, and follows the adventures of a group of farm animals who have the humanlike abilities to walk on two feet, talk with each other, use cell phones, and make vulgar thrusting motions.
"Going Home," by Ronda Miller
Kansas' beloved Embarrassment reunites after 17 years
They had short hair in an era when everybody had long hair. They wore thick glasses when only nerds embraced the look. They played tight, blistering pop songs when overproduced stadium-rock anthems and repetitive disco tracks were the norm.
News reports these past few weeks have been hard for dog lovers in our area. The media have placed pit bulls on center stage once again in regard to the tragic and preventable death of a woman in Kansas City. Even in our own backyards, it seems, no one is safe from vicious dog attacks.
Friday, August 18
If you're into snap judgments, write off "Accepted" for what it is, a doltish "college" comedy with characters so generic they could have come from any youth "party" comedy, from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" to "Old School," "Can't Hardly Wait" to "American Pie."
Thursday, August 17
The game's setting and story are based off the Nickelodeon movie of the same name, and for the most part, it gets the source material down. Whether that's a good thing is debatable.
The Pacifica Quartet, a group with a strong classical foundation and one of contemporary music's most ardent advocates, will perform at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Lied Center.
Lawrence playwrights will be in the spotlight starting Friday as EMU Theatre and Lawrence Community Theatre host the "Citywide Festival of Playwrights."
Fireworks, hailed as the "hottest new classical band in New York," will perform "Cartoon" next month at the Lied Center.
Kerry Altenbernd always saw theatrical portrayals of John Brown - the ones where the abolitionist is a larger-than-life character with a booming voice - and didn't think they painted a complete picture.
Wednesday, August 16
Six new civilizations have been added to the already extensive lineup, including the Carthaginians, Koreans, Vikings, Celts, Ottomans and finally the venerable Zulu. Each new civilization also received their own unique units and leaders, just as they're counterparts have.
Tuesday, August 15
Considering the amount of quality titles on Xbox Live Arcade (and the huge success of Street Fighter II), I think it's only appropriate for Lawrence.com to start covering them. From this point forward, we'll include reviews of new XBLA games in a kind of "mini-review" format. We'll kick things off with a brief roundup of some currently available XBLA titles.
Monday, August 14
143 years after Quantrill burned Lawrence to the ground, the Border War lingers on - even when KU isn't playing MU
Growing up in Kansas City, Mo., just on the other side of State Line Road, I was raised to believe that the Civil War was over.
Wichita, Kansas, 1979: Blondie, Donna Summer and Kenny Rogers dominate the AM airwaves; FM radio is home to REO Speedwagon, Styx and Foreigner. Four high school buddies, unimpressed with the radio, form a rock and roll band called The Embarrassment.
Model Laura DeVito and Colorist/stylist/esthetician Roxanne Klaus, Static Salon
Kevin Saunders and Liz Wilson
Sunday, August 13
In some ways, the temporary closing of the 20/21st Century Gallery at the Spencer Museum of Art will allow it to be better positioned for the 21st century.
"Forsaken," by Xin Liu
The premise for the TV show "30 Days" is to place individuals in a lifestyle that is different from their upbringing, values or profession. In the case of Lawrence resident Brenda Frei, an avowed atheist, that meant being sequestered for a month with a conservative Christian family in Frisco, Texas.
Saturday, August 12
Welcome to Lawrence, freshmen!
Impressive number of venues support Lawrence's sonic scene
The Wakarusa Festival peddles 60,000 tickets, mostly to out-of-towners, who come to Lawrence in June to revel in live music.
Witty comedies, powerful dramas dominate season's movie scene
The hype machine loves to talk about "summer movies." But most film fans know that the best cinematic material released each year comes out in that stretch between late September and Christmas.
What's open into the wee hours to sate your grumbling tummy
The Frosty. The Big Mac. The Double Decker Taco. They're cheap, impossibly convenient and yes, deliciously decadent during the late night hours. But, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. So for those looking to revamp their nocturnal fast food habit, here's a guide to the best eats in town after the sun goes down.
Offerings to soothe your occasional urge for refinement
Let's face it. Kansas isn't the most culturally "cool" state in the nation.
Having a ball in Lawrence without spending a penny
If you've done your research - like every good college student should - you arrived in Lawrence knowing the city has a rep for its wicked entertainment scene.
Friday, August 11
Lately, the PSP has been host to several RPGs that play like lesser versions of their console big brothers. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is no different.
For all of you - OK, all of us - who wish and wish for an old-fashioned Woody Allen movie, here it is: "Scoop." It's a tired, thin, almost laughless reminder of the earlier Allen.
Thousands of wannabe stars embarked on the initial leg of auditions this week for the sixth season of "American Idol."
Thursday, August 10
Riggs Skepnek, a painter and 2001 graduate of Free State High School, has been named a winner of the coveted Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation award.
Wednesday, August 9
Oliver Stone is the last person one would think of to direct a straightforward survival movie about the World Trade Center attack that is free of post-9/11 politics and full of religious empathy. Yet that's exactly what the rabble-rousing director of "JFK," the biggest government conspiracy film ever, has done. Whomever you think is responsible for the attacks of that infamous day, it is impossible to deny the powerful emotion in Stone's new movie, titled simply "World Trade Center."
Tuesday, August 8
Lawrence filmmakers hope project will find new audience
Like hundreds of other area residents, producer Rick Cowan had a juicy cameo role in his film "C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America."
Monday, August 7
Young cancer victims talk about the disease that has changed their lives - in terrible but also in beautiful ways
Lately, it feels less and less like some crazy fluke for young adults to be diagnosed with cancer. Local calendars are heavily peppered with benefits for cancer patients, many of whom are just in their early 20s and most under 40.
Emily Lamb is in the business of birthday parties. Her latest celebration, which was held on July 6, had all the makings of any normal birthday party: cake, ice cream, streamers, presents, music, games, and friends - but it was anything but ordinary. Since the age of 11, Emily has been throwing birthday parties for the homeless at Lawrence Community Shelter.
Sunday, August 6
Spencer project, others exhibit works of John Steuart Curry
The image, in most Kansans' minds, is indelible. John Brown, a maniacal look on his face, stands in a crucifix-like pose, a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other. Dead soldiers from the North and South lay at his feet.
The story is familiar, but it's coming to a completely new stage.
"Mom and Apple Pie," by Florence Smith
Look down the schedule of events for this year's Civil War on the Western Frontier, and you'll realize: This isn't just about North and South, slave and free, Union and Confederate. In fact, many of the speakers and events attempt to get people thinking outside the stereotypes usually associated with Civil War historians.
Saturday, August 5
Indie record stores look ahead for ways to stay afloat in turbulent industry times
When it comes to supporting indie music, Will Oldham is putting his money where his mouth is.
Neighborhood supportive of concerts at Burcham Park
Every once in awhile, Doug Moles is drawn outside by the sounds of loud music coming from Burcham Park.
Friday, August 4
Thousand of art and music lovers are ready to take over Burcham Park in northern Lawrence for a first-of-its-kind festival inspired by Lawrence's rich political history.
In the case of the newest improv-heavy Will Ferrell comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," the MVP of the movie is most definitely editor Brent White. Just as he did with 2004's "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy," White had to choose the best scenes from hours and hours of wildly different takes to fashion together something with a narrative arc that resembles a movie. It can't be easy work, but he had a little more story to work with than he did in the uneven "Anchorman." Minor continuity errors be damned, "Talladega Nights" is one funny film.
"What does 'diablo' mean?" "It's like Spanish for fighting chicken."
British trio Keane survives success and madness
It's tough to name a band that accomplished more in its first full year in the spotlight than Keane did in 2005.
Thursday, August 3
Missions are extremely unoriginal and can be very frustrating at times. Most are straight-up fetch quests that feature you running around whacking spiders and larva with a stick.
Most people know Burcham Park as the place to watch Fourth of July fireworks or walk their dogs along the river. But on Saturday the locale will transform into an international concert venue.
Kansas University's School of Fine Arts has announced its fall schedule of events at the Art and Design Gallery.
Bernard Ewbank, 86, will feature his black-and-white photographs of New York City after World War II as well as candids and portraits of his family on Saturday.