Saturday, September 30
City manager gets warm response
Change is coming to City Hall, though the face promising to bring it is familiar.
Friday, September 29
Idaho native draws on state's too-comfortable critters to bring 'Open Season' to life
It wasn't the awe-inspiring Idaho landscape or Idaho's famous potatoes that motivated Boisean Steve Moore to come up with the story for a movie. Instead, he found his inspiration for the new film "Open Season" from the critters living outside of towns like Ketchum and McCall.
Hollywood is an impatient place. When it finds a promising young actor, its instinct is to thrust him into full-scale stardom before he outgrows youthful roles.
City commissioners interviewed two other finalists for the city manager's job:
"Open Season" is a rambunctious blast. It's Sony Pictures Animation's first full-length feature film, and no effort was spared getting it right.
First rule about Coast Guard rescue flicks set in Alaska: They should not last longer than the average time it takes to get to Alaska from, say, anywhere in the Lower 48.
Fireworks ensemble's 'Cartoon' celebrates golden age of Warner Bros. animation
Brian Coughlin grew up in a household where his parents restricted television viewing. But among the shows he was allowed to watch were Saturday morning cartoons.
Leader has worked for Lawrence since 1990
Lawrence City Commission, which was determined to chart a new direction, stays at home with the pick.
Lawrence artist Barbara Solberg will give two classes in pastels - the favorite medium of Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt - this month at her studio.
Jennifer Kinard Johnson, a 1994 Baker University graduate and co-author of "Nordie's at Noon," will speak about her experiences with breast cancer at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Rice Auditorium on the Baker campus.
Tuesday, September 26
Before Princess Peach (hell, even before she went by Princess Toadstool), Mario's love was a personality-free, vaguely feminine bunch of pixels named Pauline. Well, once again, she's been kidnapped by a giant ape in a red tie.
A playful but disturbed young dreamer falls in love with his next door neighbor in "The Science of Sleep," the latest from "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director Michel Gondry. It is a wondrous movie with absurdist flights of fancy, but also a surprisingly sad tale of an artist who only feels free to express himself in his sleep.
Rocket Slime really is a blast to play. It offers a lengthy quest that's packed with depth, personality, and above all, fun.
Monday, September 25
KU students and Lawrence bands come together to benefit a country that's falling apart
If you don't know where Darfur is, chances are you will soon. The long-burning genocide in Darfur, the western region of Sudan, has recently begun to capture as much media attention as the Middle East and the international war on terror.
Or so thinks his Democratic challenger, Paul Morrison
Taking the pulpit in a Topeka church recently, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline didn't so much blur the line separating church and state as he did snort it like a pound of finely cut blow.
But Ad Astra Per Aspera proves that it works when you work it
Germinated in 2002 in the rocky seedbed of punk, Ad Astra Per Aspera waited four years to release its first full-length recording. The band's performance at this year's South by Southwest festival garnered a contract with Canada's Sonic Unyun Records for its debut LP, "Catapult Calypso."
* based on actual news
The Godfather is a solid new entry in the popular open-ended crime genre, but it isn't without its flaws. While this 360 version added a few new aspects, it retained the same clunky controls and problems that the current-gen versions had.
It's an easy, lightweight introduction with a decent amount of customization that never becomes overwhelming. Of course, without much of a challenge that means that it gets repetitive. Fast.
"Woman's Intuition," a short film produced by See No Reality Pictures in conjunction with Free State Studios, Lawrence, won the audience award in the short horror film contest at the Independent Film Coalition/Kansas International Film Festival, conducted this month at the Glenwood Arts Theatre in Overland Park.
Sunday, September 24
The Lied Center of Kansas will present the official national folk dance company of the Philippines, Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6. The group portrays the captivating folk dances of the Philippines through the fusion of native island, Chinese, Spanish and Islamic traditions.
The following is an e-mail interview with James Grauerholz of Lawrence, a longtime friend and editor of William S. Burroughs who also knew Billy Burroughs, subject of the new book "Cursed from Birth" by David Ohle.
Come indulge in free ice cream for a cause. More than 1,350 Cold Stone Creamery locations are gearing up for the World's Largest Ice Cream Social, an annual nationwide fundraiser which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"I Call to You, My Loves," By Katie Lashbrook
Saturday, September 23
Fans of 50 and G-Unit will be able to find content they'll like with Bulletproof, but certainly not enough to warrant a purchase. They'd be much better off buying a CD than being forced to trudge through gameplay this monotonous.
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories is about as nerdy as games get. It's a strategy role-playing game with anime-style graphics, a Japanese pop soundtrack, and exploding penguins. Yes, you read that right. Exploding penguins.
The gameplay itself boils down to a mindless third-person run and gun. It consists of going room to room, killing a handful of enemies, and then moving on to the next same-looking room. It's not fun. This game really sucks.
The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr.
The book is a piecing together of writings, letters, interviews by others and even a psychiatric journal article that serve as the first biography of Billy Burroughs, who wrote two books of his own. "It's a very ugly, unpleasant story," Ohle says. "It's an interesting study in father/son relationship. His father kills his mother, for starters. And then he neglects him for the rest of his life."
Friday, September 22
Elizabeth Schultz sees poetry in a photograph of a tattooed man, or paintings of a slain animal or a sharecropper.
Part scavenger hunt, road rally, trivia test and brain teaser, Lawrence contest offers a wild and wacky experience
For those who like to run with a fire extinguisher down Mass St., wear a bikini made of bacon or sprint across Alvamar searching for a monkey, Andy Morton has a game for you.
Thursday, September 21
One of the funniest parts of "Jackass Number Two" is the warning at the beginning that states that all stunts were "performed by professionals." In the strictest sense of the word, I guess anybody who gets paid thousands of dollars to chug an entire beer through his butthole is a professional. Using that criterion, that term would also apply to the person who then plunges it out.
Watching Howard Hughes' "Hells Angels" fleet of biplanes speed recklessly across the sky in the 2004 Hughes biopic "The Aviator," I remembered thinking that there is a great movie waiting to be made about World War I pilots at the dawn of aviation. "Flyboys" is not that movie.
Marci Shore, award-winning author and leading expert on Polish culture and intellectual history, will discuss her book "Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation"s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968" during the annual Oswald P. Backus lecture in Polish studies on Monday.
Mike Shields makes his way through a stack of CDs, trying to figure out what genre they fall under.
Wakarusa fans attacking organizer in online forum
The promoter of the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival said he had no idea there were high-tech police surveillance cameras monitoring this year's festival, despite a state park official's statement that the promoter was informed in advance.
Kansas University's School of Fine Arts recently unveiled a new look for its Web site.
Wednesday, September 20
A Kansas-born poet along with the Kansas City Star book editor and a Kansas City area poetry professor will be featured tonight and Thursday at Kansas University.
Kansas University's Theatre for Young People will stage a dramatization of Homer's "The Odyssey" Monday through Oct. 1 in the Inge Theatre in Murphy Hall.
Tuesday, September 19
I appreciate the effort made to add some new elements to this massive franchise, but all in all, it certainly feels familiar. I can't stress enough how much this game would be improved with a simple map upgrade, as this was the source of most of my frustration with ZX.
Lawrence teens host to video game marathons
Packing for a sleepover used to be easier. Pillows, toothbrushes and sleeping bags are still required. But for kids who don't plan to consult a Ouija board or toilet-paper a pal's house, they might be packing something pretty cumbersome: a computer.
Monday, September 18
Test Drive Unlimited is a hugely ambitious title that succeeds in almost every presentation and online element. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay doesn't quite match up to its lofty aspirations. With a little tweaking to the actual driving, this could be a definite must-own for racing fans.
As Ramadan approaches, Lawrencians recount Muslim experiences in the Midwest
Falestine Afani Ruzik grew up in the Middle East, playing in the sand and carving castles into the Saudi Arabian desert. She loved it there, even though she was forced by law to cover her body with a dark wrap, she says. She's proud of the friendliness of the Saudis, their deep-rooted culture and the pervasive practice of Islam.
Denizens of local culture mastermind 'the game to end all games'
Would you crawl around under a bridge at Mary's Lake looking for a Golden Animal? Or dodge cars to have a dance party in the middle of Massachusetts Street? Matt Armstrong, Kitty Mitchell and Andy Morton are the creators of The Lawrence Hunt, an all day scramble that is part conundrum, part endurance feat and more fun than a meat bikini. The Hunt requires contestants - often more than 50 in number - to shed their inhibitions, and occasionally their clothing, in the quest to win prizes supplied by Lawrence businesses.
*based on actual news
Having already proven his adeptness at princess-saving, turtle-stomping, go-kart racing, golfing, tennis, baseball, soccer and partying, Mario is now hitting the basketball court. Entirely skipping the console scene, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 arrives on the DS with some unique stylus controls.
Online animation provides Kansas University students outlet for comedy, campus satire
Nolan T. Jones could be speaking in code, or he could be describing a scene in his animated cartoon. Frankly, it's hard to tell.
Sunday, September 17
(360, PS2, Cube, Xbox)
To the average non-gamer, I'd have to imagine that no series of words in the English language could sound as nerdy as "LEGO Star Wars." If they think LEGOs and Star Wars are nerdy, they've got to think that a videogame based on this concept is the absolute epitome of geektitude.
Anyone who cut their teeth on the R Type or Gradius series or has recently given Geometry Wars a shot will feel right at home with this game.
The Freedom V Wireless Guitar is the first wireless controller for Guitar Hero, and it proves to be a worthy one. Anyone who has played RedOctane's huge sleeper hit knows how much fun it is to rock out with, and it's even more fun when you're not constricted by a cord.
New book examines large-scale artworks across state
Scott McMichael admits he often sees the colorful hallway wall simply as a way to get to his office. But there are special times when he walks by the mural at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, which was painted by Lawrence teens, and admires it.
"Tumbleweed," by Dan McCarthy
John Phythyon has acted with a Western drawl. And he's acted with a British accent. But he's never used both in the same musical before.
Friday, September 15
Running alongside the closing credits for "Gridiron Gang" is a series of clips from a 1993 documentary of the same name, which provided the basis for this drama about a football team at a Los Angeles juvenile detention center.
Lawrence native takes rock drumming to the next level
There is a reason drummer Danny Carey can often be seen wearing a Jayhawks basketball jersey while onstage with Tool.
Hidden cameras helped in drug busts
Hidden, high-dollar equipment helped police crack down on drug dealing at this year's Wakarusa Festival.
Lawrence filmmaker Patrick Rea describes his new feature, "The Empty Acre," as a work that deals with small-town fears.
Thursday, September 14
Local police say they had help from a system of high-tech remote controlled cameras hidden throughout Clinton State Park during the annual Wakarusa Music Festival.
Based on the fictional novel by the renowned "demon dog of crime fiction" James Ellroy, De Palma's film purports to be about the unsolved real-life murder of Short, an aspiring actress-to-be. What it actually does is use her brutal death as a metaphor for the filth beneath the town's glitzy surface, a place where the Dahlia's own father shows no grief over her demise and gleefully tags his murdered daughter a tramp. Dreams don't come true in this Hollywood. This is the place where dreams are ridiculed and beaten, then crawl away to die.
For his first lead role since the 2004 surprise hit "Garden State," Zach Braff is back with "The Last Kiss," a melodrama about impending adulthood that is seriously lacking in laughs. Unlike "Garden State," though, which defined ennui for the post-emo college crowd, this remake of recent Italian film "L'Ultimo Bacio," was not written or directed by Braff. The movie's advertising is quick to point out however, in a nod to the unusual success of the "Garden State" soundtrack, that Braff did pick the music for "The Last Kiss" as well.
Welcome to the post-Katamari era of videogaming. Ever since that very Japanese, very unique budget title rolled its way into gaming history, the doors have been blown wide open for some truly one-of-a-kind titles. Loco Roco is certainly one of those games, but don't knock it off as a Katamari imposter.
After five years at the corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, Westside Deli & Bistro is about to move into a larger space and get a new name.
The Lawrence Arts Center has announced audition dates for "Snow Queen," a December production that will coincide with the holiday season.
Lawrence Community Theatre will have auditions Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 for the musical "Seussical," which will be performed Nov. 17 through Dec. 10.
Baker University's first theater production of the 2006-2007 season, "Story Theatre," will run Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Rice Auditorium on the Baker campus.
Matthew Crooks had no idea Linda Hope could sing so well. Crooks, a Kansas University sophomore, mainly knew Hope as the manager of audience services for University Theatre. But recently she's been onstage, her character trying to seduce his young, impressionable character in a scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Tuesday, September 12
This new title in the series is a welcome homage to its classic dagger-throwing gameplay, while adding enough elements to make it more than a nostalgia act (and don't worry, the difficulty has been retained:for better or worse).
Lawrence residents put on adult-themed puppet show
Three chairs in the Kansas Union are piled high with more than a dozen puppets. Everyone who walks by does a double-take. Paul Santos does the introductions.
Monday, September 11
Many fans say the unofficial side of Winfield's festival is where it's at
Since its humble beginnings 35 years ago, the Walnut Valley Festival has grown up considerably, becoming perhaps the premier bluegrass festival in the country.
Kendra Oberzan and Chris Millspaugh
Built To Spill's Doug Martsch previews two-night stand discussing small-town music and culture
Doug Martsch, the mastermind behind quintessential indie rockers Built To Spill, is single-handedly responsible for putting Boise, Idaho, on the rock and roll map. Martsch formed the first incarnation of Built To Spill in 1993.
*based on actual news
Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week...
Sunday, September 10
Kansas University's Department of Music and Dance will present Larry and Linda Maxey in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Swarthout Recital Hall.
For the year following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, new membership in the Friends of the University Theatre at Kansas University plummeted. "People, in general, were not willing to spend money and time on frivolous things like the arts," says John Staniunas, director of University Theatre.
Must be that Midwestern hospitality. The city and state rolled out the red carpet for Hollywood on Saturday, welcoming a crew from the upcoming CBS show "Jericho" with hordes of media, elected officials and expansive crop art made just for them.
Friday, September 8
In tonight's 6News and tomorrow's Journal-World, a dog is shot in North Lawrence, parole denied for man who set fatal fire, and turn-out for college-age voters.
George Reeves was an Average Joe. A struggling actor whose apparent suicide in 1959 suddenly made his unremarkable tale a whole lot more intriguing, Reeves reluctantly took the role of Superman on TV after a series of false starts at a serious movie career. The actor in a similar career slump these days who portrays Reeves' longing and desperation with surprising grace is Ben Affleck. Along with a feisty Diane Lane, as Reeves' paramour and the wife of a powerful MGM executive, the couple forms the heartbreaking soul of "Hollywoodland."
Local group screens film that disputes 'official' version of 9/11
Americans are acclimated to conspiracy theories. From the assassination of John F. Kennedy to aliens landing in Roswell, N.M., the country's history has been rife with tales of cabals and cover-ups. And, statistically, most Americans will admit to at least partial belief in these benchmark conspiracies.
"Hollywoodland" is an intriguing place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. In fact, people who live there often wind up dead or wishing they were.
Thursday, September 7
Haricot verts, the food, is a type of French string bean. "Haricot Verts," the snare drum duet, is a four-minute wall of solid sound. And if you throw in that it's part drum duet and part juggling act, you have yourself some entertainment.
The Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Co., known for combining its mime, juggling and acrobatics talents, will open Baker University's Artist and Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Rice Auditorium.
Wednesday, September 6
Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerebrus
If Dirge was stripped of its FFVII setting, all you would be left with is a mediocre shooter with a few interesting ideas and a whole slew of problems
It simply spreads out the good stuff and crams a whole lot of useless filler in between. Imagine eating a tasty meal from Taco Bell, and then imagine eating a tasty meal from Taco Bell where you had to jog a mile after every bite.
Tuesday, September 5
MOFRO's "front porch soul" sounds and feels as much like rural North Florida as the wet night air alive with buzzing insects and bouncing fireflies. They like to play up the down-home angle-because it's true-but perhaps it's more accurate to say multi-instrumentalists JJ Grey and Daryl Hance are superior musicians who simply refuse to put their musicianship or egos ahead of the music. They are true to their sound, their stories and their homes, all of which are firmly rooted in Florida's piney woods, and audiences unfailingly respond to the rare authenticity.
KU grad Neil LaBute wrestles with film remake of 'Wicker Man'
Neil LaBute is no stranger to psychological horrors. Nearly a decade since the writer-director released "In the Company of Men," LaBute has continued to earn a reputation as a master of placing amoral individuals in schemes of revenge and betrayal.
Monday, September 4
The resurgence of nuclear standoffs - and memories of those stranded post-Katrina - have some preparing for the Day After
In the first few scenes of "The Day After," the 1983 made-for-TV movie about a nuclear attack on America, one Lawrence citizen asks: "What do you really think the chances are of something like that happening way the hell out here in the middle of nowhere?"
Former Republicans express disillusionment with party policy by switching to the Dems ticket
You need sniff no further than the Kansas Republican Party's own website to get a decent whiff of that putrid, clinging stench of fear, which now hangs over the state GOP.
Or at least <em>based on</em> actual news ... you'd have to actually read the news to know the difference.
How a boy from Kansas became one of rock's most acclaimed musicians
Born and bred in Kansas, Danny Carey was a typical small-town kid: he scrapped with his brothers, he played basketball and he joined his high school band playing drums. Eventually he spent a few years studying drums at UMKC, and then headed west to L.A., where he ultimately formed the nationally reknowned band Tool
Claire Hagen and Andy Gassaway
Sunday, September 3
Bomberman is no longer the likable cartoon figure you grew up with, he's now a ridiculous looking "badass" robot. Imagine if they made a Mario game where he looks like Vin Diesel with a mustache and a red hat, and you'll have sort of an idea of how bad of an idea this was.
"Street Scene" By Gary Lechliter
Kendra Herring's personal journal is on her skin, for all to see. The tattoo ink that marks her arms and legs is a narrative of the important moments in her life.
Friday, September 1
Local TV host showcases rotten films in fresh way
Perched upon a lonely cliff in Lawrence rests a ranch-style house under the shadow of a TV signal tower.
When the book is written on the great character-actor-masquerading-as-a-leading-man, Edward Norton, somebody's going to discover an early childhood love of trickery, con jobs and practical jokes.
The Akita is a Japanese hunting dog that weighs from 70 to 130 pounds. They are known for being a quiet, clean breed with an easygoing temperament and gentle nature around children.