Friday, July 31, 2009

Wrap up your weekend with A Night of Visual Manifestations

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Cruise on over to Tremont Music Hall on Sun., Aug. 2 for a special art show with music, dubbed A Night of Visual Manifestations. The event will feature a variety of art from a roster of talented artists (including Paige Ramsey, Sam Moody, Graham Ramsey, Erich Moffitt, Alex Cruz, David Banemanivong, Liz Shea, Matt Miller, Marti McElroy, Cheryl Couch, Obed Vallejo, Lauren Holiway, Jeni Malament, and Zach Northington). In addition, DJ Isaac will be spinning tunes for your listening pleasure and so your eyes aren't alone, in experiencing an evening spent in a creative atmosphere. Check out the cool pictures (below) of works to be featured in the one-night-only art installation. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3.

Erich Moffit's "Levon"
  • Erich Moffit's "Levon"

Paige Ramsey's "I Will Not Give In Accept Comply"
  • Paige Ramsey's "I Will Not Give In Accept Comply"

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WTF Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Blind People Enjoy Porn Too

This morning on 96.1 The Beat, Brother Fred was talking about this website called Porn for the Blind. Yup, www.pornfortheblind.org to be exact. It’s a pornography site targeting blind and visually impaired people. I found this story that BBC recently wrote about it. My only questions is: why didn’t YOU think of it first???

Lil Wayne’s New Song “Whip It Like A Slave”

I just really don’t know what to say. Oh, yes I do. Hip hop is SO dead. Chicago rapper Common provides his thoughts on this song here.

Here’s the audio for the song. Warning, this is Not safe for work!

New Sport Alert: Running In Stilettos

Now this is my type of sport! I do this every day on my way to the office. Apparently running in 3-inch heels is becoming pretty popular.

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(500) Days of Summer: Loving it

Rating: ***1/2

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 2:26 PM

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
***1/2
DIRECTED BY Marc Webb
STARS Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel

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It's too soon to tell whether (500) Days of Summer will emerge as an Annie Hall or The Graduate for this generation — or at least supplant Garden State insofar as being the movie of choice for lovelorn folks trying to make some sense out of their lives. My feeling is that it won't pull it off, given its platform distribution and indie roots (maybe the studio should have cast Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox to star and Michael Bay to direct?). But so what? The beauty of this utterly winning picture is that it doesn't live in a generational vacuum: Like the best films of its kind, its tale of young love (and all the accompanying trials and tribulations) will speak to all ages. Besides, it's safe to say that those of us who have actually seen The Graduate (heavily referenced throughout) are in a better position to appreciate its nuances than those whose knowledge of Dustin Hoffman begins and ends with that Meet the Parents sequel.

Written by the team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (whose only other credit is, uh, The Pink Panther 2) and directed by Marc Webb in his feature-film debut, (500) Days of Summer opens with an unfortunate author's note that not only seems too harsh under the circumstances but also spells out exactly where the entire film is heading. Get past that, however, and only good times lay ahead.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom Hansen, a sweet kid who works for a greeting card company even though his real dream has always been to become an architect. Into the workplace walks new employee Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), and Tom is immediately smitten. Tom, a romantic at heart, has always hoped to be swept off his feet by the overpowering force of true love, and while he comes to truly care for Summer, he also clearly loves the idea of being in love with another person. Summer, however, isn't on the same page: More cynical in nature, she doesn't particularly subscribe to the notion of true love and sees Tom as a "friend with benefits." Tom does his best to keep their union afloat, but he obviously has his work cut out for him.

Rather than spill the story in chronological order, Webb and team have elected to jump back and forth to various points in the relationship, showing the pair happy one minute and gloomy the next. In the wrong hands, such a decision might have turned out unwieldly or awkward, but here the scenes flow smoothly, making sense not only narratively (on-screen markers always alert us to the day being shown) but also emotionally, allowing us to fully understand and appreciate how earlier incidents might affect the characters' mindsets during later ones.

Webb's imagination also extends to the film's look. Romantic comedies aren't exactly known for their visual wit, but this one has fun playing around with movie conventions, particularly in a scene in which Tom imagines himself as the protagonist in various black-and-white foreign flicks. There's also a brilliant cameo of sorts by a Star Wars character, the result being the funniest moment in any film released thus far in 2009.

Ultimately, though, none of this would work without the proper actors essaying the roles of Tom and Summer. Webb struck gold by casting Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel, two adorable talents whose open faces and inviting eyes seem to allow audiences access to their very psyches. Because of them, we find ourselves completely invested in Tom and Summer, and their love story becomes our love story, warts and all.

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Funny People: More jeers than cheers

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 2:25 PM

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By Matt Brunson

FUNNY PEOPLE

DIRECTED BY Judd Apatow

STARS Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen

Most genre filmmakers reach that point in their careers when they elect to turn their backs — if only momentarily — on the exciting bread-and-butter flicks that made their names and attempt to create a film full of "purpose" and "meaning" (and, if they're lucky, will fall squarely in the sights of gullible Academy members). Tim Burton tried this with the disappointing Big Fish while David Fincher went this route with the stillborn drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And now here's Judd Apatow giving it a shot — sort of — with Funny People.

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Hardee's 'French maids' visit Creative Loafing

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM

The fast food burger company Hardee's paid a visit to the offices of Creative Loafing a few minutes ago — the visit was part of a marketing blitz for the joint's new French Dip Thickburger.

Hardee's sent over a bunch of burgers ... and four ladies dressed as french maids to introduce us to their new line of burgers. Now, I personally don't eat at fast food spots too much anymore (trying to get sexi-fied) — except for those nights when I need some grease to cut through the alcohol in my belly — but I don't turn down free food. I also don't turn away women dressed as French maids, youknowwhatI'msayin'?

Take a look for yourself:

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Nice, right? (Shut it you haters!)

Oh and here's a little video we shot of one of the French maids:

Cute, eh? (Oh whatever!) Lastly, here's a shot of the burgers — before the CL staff ravaged them, that is:

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How do they taste? Well, it was free, so that skews judgment a little. But, they were pretty tasty.

All in all, however, I think I liked the French maids more.

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Saboteur: Underrated Hitchcock

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

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The 1942 thriller Saboteur may not be as famous as many of Alfred Hitchcock's other titles, but that's not to say it isn't worth checking out when it plays Charlotte this Saturday. Set during World War II, it stars charismatic Robert Cummings (Dial M for Murder) as a working Joe falsely accused of helping the Nazis via acts of stateside sabotage; equally charming Priscilla Lane (Arsenic and Old Lace) co-stars as the only person who believes he's innocent. And despite its relatively unknown status, it does contain one of Hitch's most famous set-pieces, a climactic battle atop the Statue of Liberty.

Saboteur will be screened as part of the film series The Master of Suspense: 7 Alfred Hitchcock Classics. The showing will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 1, in ImaginOn's Wachovia Playhouse. Admission is free. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

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Japanese, please

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 12:09 PM

The annual Bon Odori Festival will invade Wachovia Atrium and Plaza on Sat., Aug. 1 to celebrate Japanese culture with an array of entertainment, from Japanese dance and drum performances to martial arts demonstrations. The fest will also feature food, crafts and more, including a raffle ($5 to enter) for a free trip to Japan! Free admission to the festival. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wachovia Atrium and Plaza, 301 S. Tryon St.

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Alien prequel has a new director

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Ridley Scott
  • Ridley Scott

By Adam Frazier

Back in May, commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch was signed on to direct a remake of Ridley Scott's 1979 classic film, Alien. Since then, the remake has developed into more of a prequel. Now, according to this story in Variety, Ridley Scott himself is returning to the director's chair to helm Twentieth Century Fox's Alien prequel.

In Alien, the crew of a commercial towing vessel discovers a derelict spaceship on an unexplored planet. Upon exploring the derelict craft, the crew discovers a vast chamber containing thousands of eggs, with no explanation of how they got there. It is predicted that Scott's prequel will tell the story of the derelict craft, its crew, and the origin of the Alien species.

Fox is also overseeing Predators with Robert Rodriguez producing. Does this mean a remake of Alien vs. Predator in the future? I surely hope not.

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Grits at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 11:38 AM

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The South is known for a lot of things, but sweet tea and grits are the first things to spring to my mind. Then there’s Southern charm — well hopefully you find the charm ... it’s out there somewhere. Can’t find it? Then head to Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte for a drama that’ll seem like the read deal. Kicking off tonight is Grits: The Musical — by the way, Grits stands for Girls Raised in the South. This is a new musical based off of the book Friends are Forevah!, a series of stories about women and their Southern culture, by author Deborah Ford. But, the adaptation, music and lyrics used for the production hit close to home, as they were created by Charlotte’s own Erica McGee. Performances continue through Aug.15.  Show dates and times are as followed: July 31-Aug. 1, 8 p.m.; Aug. 2, 3 p.m.; Aug. 5- Aug. 8, 8 p.m.; Aug. 9, 3 p.m.; Aug. 12-Aug. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

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BofA: Big bonuses, recession prediction

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Bank of America is all over the paper today.

In excessive bonus news:

Bank of America paid out $3.3 billion in bonuses last year, with 172 employees receiving at least $1million each, according to a report released Thursday by the New York attorney general.

In recession news:

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis expects economic growth to resume later this year, although unemployment will stay at high levels into 2010.

Wonder if The Ken was able to predict people's outrage? Taxpayers should be outraged to find out that a bailed-out bank loaded its employee's pockets with bonuses in amounts that sound more like lottery winnings.

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