Sunday, September 30
Halo 3 more than redeems the relative shortcomings of its two predecessors, and the sounds of the game will surely be pouring out of millions of living rooms for years to come.
Thursday, September 27
"In The Shadow of the Moon" goes a long way towards explaining what it was like to be in the first rickety rockets heading into unexplored space, courtesy of the men who were actually in them. Beautiful cinematography and lively first-hand testimony from 10 members of each of the nine U.S. moon missions between 1968 to 1972 make this an engaging film, despite some distracting moments.
Tuesday, September 25
Clare Doveton's past is new again
It's the perfect season for this Clare Doveton show. The fields, harvested to the soil, are down to their elemental basis. Likewise, Doveton is exploring, through her painting, the idea of a personal fallow period.
The year was 2007. The date: Sept. 25. The day: Tuesday. 00:00:01 hours. The floodgates opened. Gamers around the world united as one to herald the game they'd be waiting for three years now. It's here. And already sales are poised to top that of Spiderman 3, Harry Potter and all other forms of entertainment know to gentle mankind
Monday, September 24
Debate over potential repercussions of South Lawrence Trafficway route through the wetlands is poisonous as ever
In Lawrence, ain't no issue that puts fire in the bellies of the citizens quite like this one: Should a highway be built through the wetlands south of town? Depending on one's opinion, the South Lawrence Traficway would either desecrate this nature preserve for the sake of convenience. Or the SLT would provide a long overdue route around town, clearing up the grinding traffic on 23rd Street. Perhaps it would do both. The question is... which is more important?
Short Film Festival lets Lawrence pass judgment on world cinema
It's not the size of the film, it's how you use it. The Manhattan Short Film Festival is hoping to spread that sentiment to an ever-expanding international audience and dispel any inferiority complex Hollywood's diminutive sibling may have about itself.
iD invites his friends to the "Avatar Hotel"
Since moving to Lawrence in 2000, rapper Isaac Diehl-a.k.a. iD-has been releasing albums at a prolific clip under various guises: Archetype, The Find, iD & Sleeper, Rain Closet and Lost Cats. With his hands dipped in so many honey pots, the fecund lyricist saw fit to assemble an odds-and-ends collection that offers a wide-angle view of his cluttered consciousness.
In David Cronenberg's latest film, the narration from a dead Russian girl's diary provides a jarring dash of naÃivete that is in stark contrast to everything that has come before it. She speaks of immigrating to Great Britain, and her hopes and dreams once she arrives. What awaits her, however, is an awful life as a sex slave for the Vory V. Zakone, a first-generation Russian mob family.
Friday, September 21
Welcome to Art a la Carte. I'm Journal-World arts editor Mindie Paget.
If not for a city in Kansas, Pure Prairie League might never have existed. The members of the classic country-rock act, eventually known for the hit songs "Amie" and "Let Me Love You Tonight," were trying to come up with a name for the fledgling band in the late 1960s when the drummer happened across an airing of the 1939 film "Dodge City."
Lawrence joins 98 other global venues for simultaneous 'cinematic Olympiad'
It started out small but potent. Nick Mason decided to set up a screening in New York's Union Square Park to showcase fledgling student filmmakers. "I had to go over to a friend's house to borrow a computer so I could make the press release, but the T button never worked right on it," Mason recalls.
Thursday, September 20
I've talked to a couple of my friends that skateboard, and they consider this game to be far superior to Tony Hawk thanks to the more realistic approach. However, if you're more of a gamer than a skater, it's probably a safe bet to stick with the long-standing king of the genre.
Wednesday, September 19
Monday, September 17
Down the road from Lawrence, old schoolhouses find a second life as an artists' retreat
Take the lunch lady, for starters. That's one way Harveyville Junior High has been thrown askew since the kids shipped out three years ago. The lunch lady is a tattooed, pierced dude in a blue bandanna and white apron-half punk, half domestic. He's also a savvy chef who once owned a few hip St. Louis restaurants with names like Tangerine, Hungry Buddha, The Chocolate Bar and Lo.
Filmmaker Patrick Rea clears out his own 'Empty Acre'
For a film lumped into the horror genre, "The Empty Acre" is refreshingly devoid of cheap thrills-no gore, no fakeout "gotcha" moments, and not even the slightest tease of a nudie shot.
Etta Vendetta keeps the burlesque torch burning
"We'll say someone wronged me and leave it at that," says Etta Vendetta of her name's shadowy origin. It's an appropriately dramatic tease from this burlesque vixen, whose stage presence and very art form is predicated upon titillation. And much like the artifice of burlesque, that answer is a complete put-on.
Craig Comstock and Dan Kozak unveil clamorous collaboration
As collaborations go, the pairing of Craig Comstock and Dan Kozak is a bit like treating an LSD overdose with hallucinogenic mushrooms-shit just keeps getting crazier
If there's one massive weakness Heavenly Sword has, it's certainly in the length department. I beat the game in two sittings, with each lasting barely over two hours. Obviously, many gamers will have a difficult time handing over $60 for a 4-6 hour experience.
We take a look at some of the more low-profile games of the last month.
Friday, September 14
Sony seemed so set back by the reviews that they sent out a "Lair Reviewer's Guide" to the gaming media, presumably to teach us how to review their crappy game.
Documentary examines local school board case that evolved into national controversy
In the beginning, God created controversy. And filmmaker Jeff Tamblyn was there to cover it. To clarify, this particular "beginning" took place in 2005 when three members of the Kansas State Board of Education - Steve Abrams, Kathy Martin and Connie Morris - conducted controversial hearings to debate where God belonged in the classroom.
Thursday, September 13
Ben Fuller and Brent Lippincott push the DJ envelope
f your ghosts wanna dance, Tactic is who you gonna call.
I believe that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption might just be the best game on the Wii, but I hesitate to recommend it to everyone. It's a very challenging title, and will certainly cause the Wii's target audience (casual gamers) quite a bit of trouble.
Monday, September 10
Marijuana's lingering illicitness frustrates the chronically ill who say it's more effective than their prescribed meds
Da herb. Bette Hulser couldn't stand it, wouldn't tolerate it and was estranged from her son because he smoked it. Things began to change in 1991. That was when her son, Mike Mallonee, fell again, this time into a scalding vat of beans at Giorgio's in Topeka, where he worked as a chef.
Something about jazz-it never feels quite at home in the wrong environment. Like a hearing some Coleman Hawkins performed in his hometown performing arts center-posh-with a bunch of wannabe rich, white-haired white people filling out the seats (all reclining, all with armrests). So what?
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School offers a kinky curriculum in burlesque life drawing
Think that the fine art world is stuffy, elitist and not nearly nude enough? Then Dr. Sketchy has just the prescription for you. Begun in Brooklyn by pin-up artist Molly Crabapple in 2005, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School is a saucy cocktail of booze, bosoms and brush-strokes that's spread like a French social disease across the globe.
An engrossing and funny documentary about a subject most people could care less about, "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" covers the intense rivalry between two giants of the classic arcade game community.
Aaron Wiley, 29, "Punditocracy" podcaster, patriotic militia-man, freedom fighter
Our occasional reminder that people aren't all bastards
Like furtive spiders, charities are hiding in every corner-among houses in seemingly ordinary neighborhoods, in back rooms of buildings, under your bed, everywhere. This is what Maggie Bixler says.
Sunday, September 9
Exhibit honors native son whose artwork became the bold signature of a new era in black culture
Growing up in Topeka, Cyrene Holt knew that her uncle - "the artist" - was making important work in New York. "Everyone was really impressed with what he was doing," Holt says. "But thinking that he was going to be famous or known - I don't know if that was thought of because of the fact that black people weren't recognized in that way."
Friday, September 7
This re-make of the 1957 western "3:10 to Yuma" is a more action-packed and morally complex tale than the original. Starring Christian Bale as a virtuous rancher and Russell Crowe as a slippery outlaw, it has an eye on classic western themes, while its pace keeps it firmly rooted in the present.
This venerable parody of uber-violent, gun-toting action flicks, starring Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti, has some of the most ridiculous action scenes ever filmed. For once, it is nice to see a movie that freely admits that all the downtime scenes in between the action are nothing more than paper thin set-ups to get the pawns (characters) into place for the next gun battle.
Robert Baker doesn't perform works by the Beat Generation poets. But that doesn't mean their influence is ever far from his mind. "It's more beat-oriented," Baker says. "Some of my older stuff has been called hipster poetry."
Wednesday, September 5
It's not a must-have title for the DS, but Jungle Climber is a nice game to pick up and play for a few levels at a time. Extended play might cause you to tire a bit of the L and R movement, but it's a fun distraction in short bursts.
Two Kansas University graduates return to Lawrence today to share their poetry. Kevin Rabas and Matthew Porubsky will give a reading at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. Both have books published by Lawrence-based Coal City Review. Porubsky's "Voyeur Poems" was released in May 2006; "Bird's Horn & Other Poems," by Rabas, came out last month.
KU alumni tapping local market for savory ethnic dumplings
Growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, Frank Gazella ate a lot of pierogies. "These are a No. 1 food," he says. But when he came to Kansas University for college, the ethnic dumplings were virtually nonexistent. "Nobody knew what it was," Gazella says. "That sparked the idea."
Monday, September 3
It's almost more of an expansion pack than a full fledged sequel, actually. Brain Age 2 doesn't re-invent the wheel, but it offers DS owners more of the training and sudoku puzzles that made the original title such a hit.
Songwriter Sarah Buxton performs her first hometown show since leaving for Nashville nearly a decade ago
Much of what audiences need to know about Sarah Buxton she spells out in the first lyric on her latest album. "I left Lawrence, Kansas, at the age of 17 / To chase down my own version of the American dream."Ten years later, that dream has evolved into a daily reality for the Nashville-based country artist.
Nashville star Sarah Buxton returns to Lawrence for a homecoming show
Sing along with Sarah Buxton and your shower will resonate with stories of cranky relatives, careless ex-boyfriends, shopping binges, wannabe cowboys and strong-willed women. It's the kind of slice-of-life stuff that composes the fiber of country music, and it's the reason the raspy voiced 27-year-old songwriter has a dream deal with Lyric Street Records (Rascal Flatts, SheDaisy, Bucky Covington) and a Top Five hit with Keith Urban's version of her song "Stupid Boy," which just earned a CMA nomination for song of the year.
Local Hip-Hop Vet Looks West
Longtime Lawrence wordsmith Sean "Approach" Hunt has absolutely made his mark on the KC/Lawrence hip hop scene, starting with his first release in 1999, "Web of Thought." He's known for tirelessly supporting other artists, friends and fans while unleashing a flow with seeming effortlessness that'd be the pride of any coast.
"6 Gallery" opens up in the art of Lawrence
Sally Piller faced a nagging dilemma. She and her husband, Lynn Piller, had just moved Richard's Music Co.-the downtown music store they own-into its new location, the storefront formerly occupied by defunct art gallery Olive.
*:based on actual news
Our occasional reminder that people aren't all bastards
Like many college grads, Jim Weatherly chose to delay his entry to that cold ol' money-grubbing world. After earning a photography degree from Southwest Missouri State University, he signed on with AmeriCorps.
Bob Borowiecki, 22, professional caffeinator
Sunday, September 2
Star Force is simply a glorified rehash of everything from the Battle Network series, with a few very minor differences.