Friday, August 29, 2008

At war with itself

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Terrorist drama tries to find middle ground

By Matt Brunson

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TRAITOR

**1/2

DIRECTED BY Jeffrey Nachmanoff

STARS Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce

Tackling terrorism on screen is a dicey proposition, often resulting in a push-pull dynamic of trying to make an entertaining crowd-pleaser that nevertheless can't forget its civic duty to present its ugly subject matter in an honest and illuminating light. Traitor tries for that line drive right down the middle and, consequently, ends up as a middle-of-the-road movie.

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Art film influx

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Support these (and other) alternative flicks

By Matt Brunson

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@2008 Jean-Louis Blondeau / Polaris Images

MAN ON WIRE

DIRECTED BY James Marsh

STARS Phillipe Petit, Jean-Louis Blondeau

TELL NO ONE

DIRECTED BY Guillaume Canet

STARS Francois Cluzet, Marie-Josee Croze

It's been a few weeks since Regal Entertainment Group elected to turn Park Terrace into an art-house theater, and so far, it's led to an embarrassment of riches when it comes to alternative offerings and foreign-language flicks. Coupled with Regal's Manor venue, this increases the chain's number of indie-friendly screens from two to eight; add to that the five screens at Ballantyne Village Theatre in south Charlotte, and local movie fans can expect to see limited-release pictures sooner rather than later - and, in some cases, movies that otherwise would have bypassed Charlotte altogether. Of course, patrons need to actually turn out to watch these movies for the implementation to succeed, and Man on Wire (at Park Terrace) and Tell No One (Manor) are both worthy of the admission price.

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Live Review: Jon Reep

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Live Review: Jon Reep

Aug. 28, 2008; McGlohon Theatre, 9:30 p.m.

The Deal: Hickory-native and stand-up comedian Jon Reep visited the Q.C. last night, performing two shows at McGlohon Theatre with local opening comedy acts Sean Keenan and Sid Davis.

The Good: Jon Reep is hilarious. During his set, he tackled topics like the audacity of Southern states (including sayings and customs), nudity in locker rooms and of course, he danced. Pretty much everything that came out of his mouth was funny, whether it be jokes or just his own personal stories about his family and wife. At the end of his set, he shifted to doing more dancing and impersonations. It was just as funny as the first half of his set and the audience cackling.

The Bad: Not a thing. He went over time-wise during both sets, but this was a good thing for those in the crowd, who seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The Verdict: Next time Reep is in town, go see his show. There is a reason he won NBC's Last Standing Comic. He will make your face hurt from laughing so hard.

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Get over it, people

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 11:35 AM

You just know that's what the rich powers-that-be at the United Way are thinking — at least if you judge by this Q&A with interim United Way CEO Mac Everett. What a prickly, uh, character. Check it out if you want to be further angered by the current situation. The leadership just clearly aren't getting why people won't shut up. It's class warfare on both ends: The middle-class donors tiring of donating to this bloated agency that fills a vital function, and the rich folks wondering why people won't just get over it, already! And that damn Charlotte Observer, with all their pesky questions — who do they think they are to question him like that?

The indignities one must suffer for $20,000 a month.

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John McCain picks a woman

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I guess the Republicans didn't want the Democrats to be the only ones with a historic presidential ticket.

Senator John McCain has chosen a woman as his running mate. And no, it's not Condi Rice.

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin will run with McCain, according to CNN.com

Palin, 44, who's in her first term as governor, is a pioneering figure in Alaska, the first woman and the youngest person to hold the state's top political job.

She catapulted to the post with a strong reputation as a political outsider, forged during her stint in local politics. She was mayor and a council member of the small town of Wasila and was chairman of the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska's oil and gas resources, in 2003 and 2004.

The conservative Palin defeated two so-called political insiders to win the governor's job -- incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary and former two-term Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in the 2006 general election.

Palin made her name in part by backing tough ethical standards for politicians. During the first legislative session after her election, her administration passed a state ethics law overhaul.

Palin's term has not been without controversy. A legislative investigation is looking into allegations that Palin fired Alaska's public safety commissioner because he refused to fire the governor's former brother-in-law, a state trooper.

Palin acknowledged that a call was made by a member of her staff to a trooper in which the staffer suggested he was speaking for the governor.

She is also a life member of the NRA. Full Story

Some people may see this pick as hypocritical, since McCain's gripe against his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, is his lack of experience. Because let's face it, McCain is 75 and he does have cancer -- a disease that there is no cure for. This woman could end up as commander in chief. Will she be ready to answer the phone at 3 a.m.?

And then there are those who may say he picked this woman to appeal to the whiny, stupid , can't let shit go Hillary Clinton supporters who claim they'd rather vote for McCain than Obama because Clinton lost in the primary. (Even though the only thing McCain and Clinton have in common is the color of their skin.)

Whatever the reason for the pick, McCain has also made history.

God Bless America and no one else.

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Go Obama!

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 9:43 AM

For those of you without cable who may have missed last night's historical appearance at the DNC, here's all 42 minutes of Obama's moving acceptance speech.

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Meaty shoe

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 9:15 AM

It's a burger. It's a sneaker. It's a Sneaker Burger! Check out this Sneaker Burger created to look like Nike's Air Max 90.  It's amazing how creative some people can get with food. Mmmm...tastes like dirty socks.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Weekender

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Friday, August 29

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Film

Elegy: Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz star as a professor and former student engaged in a May-December romance. CL’s own film critic Matt Brunson gave this film 3 and ½ stars … check it out for yourself and see if you agree! Local theaters. www.charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Film. Find more in Film.

Music

Elf rock: The Athens-based indie rockers Elf Power come out of the cave and into Charlotte for a performance that consists of an eclectic blend of psychedelic and folk rock genres. L.A. Tool & Die to open. $8-$10. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tremont Music Hall. www.tremontmusichall.com. Find more in Music.

Arts

Alive and kicking: Kick off Labor Day weekend at the Matthews Alive! Festival. The four-day family-oriented event features music, locally made arts and crafts, a parade, quilt shows, a Kiwanis race and lots of activities for children. Free admission. Tickets 75 cents or 20 for $12. Stumptown Park-Matthews Community Center. www.matthewsalive.org. Find more in Arts.

Food

The Press Box: With a pub-like interior, this meeting place is a Charlotte tradition for burgers, sandwiches and salads. 1627 Montford Dr. 704-523-4981. Find more in Food.

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Calling all foodies

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Move over, there's a new blog in town! Read reviews and gaze longingly at luscious photos of food from a diverse array of Charlotte restaurants at The Charlotte Spoon, a food blog written by one Charlotte girl named Julie "and sometimes her boyfriend." Along with her reviews, she provides extremely helpful information like restaurant website links, price range per meal, and dress.

Most recently reviewed is the Salara Dessert Lounge & Bistro in Ballantyne. Instead of stars, The Charlotte Spoon rates with "spoons," and it gives Salara 3.5 out of 5 spoons. Check out the review here. Other restaurants reviewed so far include Mama Ricotta's, Addie's, and Zada Jane's.

The reviews are helpful and the pics are scrumptious. Try not to drool on your keyboard.

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Funniest. URL. Ever.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 3:17 PM

I just got a notice about a Web site called: www.tbags4me.com.

Oh help me Lord, I hope it's not what I think it is.

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