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Wild things: I think I love you

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Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney in Super 8

Writer/director J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 is like a throwback to the days when kids, and adults alike, looked forward to the next summer movie-going event that film auteur Steven Spielberg would unleash upon the masses. So, it should come as no surprise that Spielberg serves as the producer of this homage to days-gone-by; when kids let their imaginations flourish in a pre-digital age with handheld movie cameras, aka, the titular Super 8.

The film focuses on a group of kids, including Dakota Fanning’s little sister Elle, Joel Courtney as the lead and The C Word co-star Gabriel Basso (he plays Laura Linney’s son Adam on the show) in the summer of ’79.

To utilize their time off from the drudgery of school, the group films a movie, which is interrupted by a train derailment. And, no, the plot point about said locomotive wreck and the subsequent events caused by a creature on the loose, do not fall under the category of being a spoiler.

Why is it that all the modern-day monstrosities resemble another Abrams-affiliated project, as in Cloverfield’s and now, Super 8’s beast? Even the Kraken in the Clash of The Titans looked like that big screen baddie!

OK, with that said there are some great set pieces for the mysterious cargo, including a not-so-subtle cinematic nod to Jurassic Park in one portion. However, the vibe of the movie really harkens back to 1982’s E.T., and that doesn’t mean that this film is just a cut-and-paste-edited-from-the-past homage to the modern day equivalent of Alfred Hitchcock.

African Cats

No, Super 8 stands on its, pun intended, tripod as an individual celluloid achievement. Available Nov. 22.

African Cats may not immediately spring to mind as being an action-packed, humorous and even dramatic look at the world of the big cats that populate the wilds of the world’s second largest continent.

Well, you would be sorely mistaken by overlooking this very captivating film, and terming it as mere kiddie fare.

In a lot of ways, this live-action Disney Nature film could be the live-action equivalent of the Mouse House’s animated feature The Lion King, minus Elton John and Tim Rice songs, flatulent warthogs and the like.

The main reason is the movie’s focus on a young bunch of wild things, and their mother’s quest to keep them safe and far from danger as they grow into ferocious beasties, all spoken of by Samuel L. Jackson, the poor man’s version of Morgan Freeman as far as nature documentary narration goes.

Another interesting aspect for those old enough to remember Sunday nights watching The Wonderful World of Disney is African Cats seems like an update of real-life nature fare, like Charlie, The Lonesome Cougar and Yellowstone Cubs. Now available. listen up!


Coldplay hasn’t really held my attention after they were branded the next incarnation of U2. When they emerged on the music scene in grand fashion with 2000’s Parachutes and its title track, plus the single “Yellow” all equated to a new favorite. But, I have largely ignored subsequent projects; so it was with a bit of trepidation that I listened to Mylo Xyloto with an open mind about their greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread status. And my ears could not believe what they were hearing, which was the drumming of my fingers and the tapping of my foot in synchronicity with their newest CD.

Hurts Like Heaven” is a driving force, all guitars keeping time with drums and rapid fire energy from lead singer Chris Martin’s approach to the vocals of the song. With the door of appreciation opened a crack, my journey through its threshold was well worth the walk, as a wealth of tracks reconverted me back into a fan.

Charlie Brown” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” have all of the signature Coldplay sounds and Martin’s unique inflections that were so prevalent on Parachutes. The first single that was released from the group, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” is eerily reminiscent, in some guitar sections, of the sound that emitted from an early U2 effort “Bad” from The Unforgettable Fire.

While the tracks, “U.F.O.,” “Up In Flames,” and most notably the second single “Paradise,” were a hauntingly melodic reminder why I fell head-over-heels for these British blokes in the first place. Mylo Xyloto is definitely swoon-worthy. Now available.

Tegan and Sara

Those lesbian twins and band name-inspired chanteuses, Tegan and Sara, once again bring their brand of indie rock to the forefront with Get Along, a compilation of 15 of their hits performed live, and comes complete with a DVD for good measure.

Songs, such as “Alligator,” receive a stripped down acoustic starkness with the accompaniment of a lonely piano to flesh out its skeletal lyrical exterior. The so-nice-you’ll-say-them-thrice tracks “I Know I Know I Know” and “Monday Monday Monday” are at odds with each other in their delivery; upbeat for the former and melancholy for the latter.

Night Watch,” “Back In Your Head” and “The Ocean” are standout efforts, breaking the shackles of some of the similarities inherent on a vast majority of songs that flesh out the CD. Now available.

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2011. Filed under Entertainment News, Section 4A, The Media Closet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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