So You Think You Can Dance

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And the winners are…. Tonight is the finale so you are not going to want to miss this. After a full summer of competing, there will be one male winner and one female winner tonight. The top four contestants are all deserving of the title but only two can win the $100,000 grand total. For this grand finale, the special guest was Paula Abdul and her hair. It was hard for any part of me to be able to listen to her talk because I was distracted by her frizzed hair. Other than that, the episode was great and included the judges favorite dances of the season. One of my personal favorite all-stars, Twitch, is not only a judge tonight but performs with finalist Fik-Shun. For all you ultimate fans, it’s been announced So You Think You Can Dance has been renewed for a Season Eleven!

Who to Listen to: Twenty One Pilots

Who to Listen to This Week: Twenty One Pilots

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This band from Columbus, Ohio is refreshingly different from today’s top 40. The duo creates interesting beats using not only the drums, but also the speed, sound, and rhythm of the lyrics in each song, making each song unique and easily identifiable. They have an eclectic vibe – sometimes using reggae beats, unexpected harmonies, rock/indie rap, and even classical piano. Many of their songs focus on heavy topics, such as Guns for Hands, with the underlying theme being teen suicide. Despite such depressing themes the pair seem to uplift their songs and make them upbeat. Fuse named them one of South by Southwest Music Fest’s Breakout artists earlier this year. Other songs to listen to: Migraine, Semi-Automatic, Lovely, Car Radio, and their new single Holding on to You.

The Bling Ring

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Director: Sofia Coppola
Screenwriter: Sofia Coppola, Nancy Jo Sales
Genre: Crime, Drama

Our recently developed obsessive need to be close to the celebrities from the movies, magazines, and reality tv, is what drives this film. Sophia Coppola (Lost in Translation) captures the essence of the teenagers’ desperation perfectly. As for the people the characters are based on, they have either declined interviews or rebutted the actuality of the film. Without a doubt, the film is based on actual news stories and arrests that have occurred over the past few years. Coppola and the actors did a beautiful job showing how the first generation has come to idolize celebs to near sociopathic obsessions. The film itself has a documentary type feel to it that keeps you plugged in. Just don’t be expecting an explosive set of events. The Bling Ring is meant to be so much more than that and is one to watch.

Who to Listen to: Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Who to listen to this week:  Benjamin Francis Leftwich

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Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a singer/songwriter from England. In 2011 his album Last Smoke Before the Snow Storm was released.  In this album compelling lyrics combine with acoustic guitar and Benjamin’s unique voice to create inspiring songs that may invoke tears from the emotional connection that is made while listening. I personally listened to Atlas Hands to lull myself into a restfull sleep every night for about a month. All of his songs have a peaceful, relaxing quality without being boring and despondent.  Other songs: Stole you Away, Maps, Sophie, and Box of Stones.

 

White House Down V.S. Olympus Has Fallen

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Director: Roland Emmerich                          Director: Antoine Fuqua
Screenwriters: James Vanderbuilt              Screenwriters: Creighton Rothenberg
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller                       Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Summer is full of nothing but fun times at the pool, melting ice cream, and patriotic movies. What more could anyone want! This summer has brought just that. While both movies take a similar concept, it is hard not to compare. Now without giving too many spoilers away, you’ll be comparing theme side by side at your local Redbox. Both have plenty of violence, guns and explosions but one clearly has a higher death rate. And that movie is Olympus Has Fallen (OHF for short). Though as a Channing Tatum fan, of course we find him handsome to look at in White House Down (WHD for short). But I found his acting a bit flat on the big screen this time. Jamie Foxx who plays President Sawyer on the other hand was funny and entertaining to watch. I have to give it to OHF because on one does action better than my man Gerard Butler. So I can fully say in my opinion Olympus Has Fallen supremely surpasses the lesser White House Down.

Grown Ups 2

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Grown Ups 2 is out in theaters now! And definitely not worth your time or money. Adam Sandler is not one to usually leave you let down, but this movie is a waste for Happy Gilmore Productions. I will admit there are some funny jokes but nowhere near the side gripping hilarity of what you expect with a Sandler movie. The visiual effects were rough and the physical humor was tiresome. I was glad to see the original cast back together because usually sequels are not worth the time. But I guess everyone needs to make a few bucks now and then. There’s a large amount of scattered story lines going on with the different families, making the scene transitions chopped and rushed. Maybe if you are desperately interested in seeing how things proceeded with the families from when we were last left off, I suggest just wait until Grown Ups 2 comes to FX channel and not even for DVD.

Lore

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Director: Cate Shortland
Screenwriters: Cate Shortland, Robin Mukherjee
Based on Novel “The Dark Room” by: Rachel Seiffert
Genre: Drama, Thriller

From the history channel and books, we learn early on of the true evils of World War II and the waves of devastation that ripped through the world. Lore is a grigging story taking place at the end of this war. A young girl, Lore played by German actress Saskia Rosendahl, is a forced to take charge of her siblings to travel across miles with no one to turn to but her sworn enemy. This young girl, only 14 years of age, has been engrained from her birth with her parents’ Nazi beliefs. With Hitler dead and the end of the war, Lore is relieved to see her father once again, but soon both parents are taken. Then life as she knew changed forever in an instant. This gruesome backdrop sets the scene that will leave you with permanent chills and unforgettable images. Director Cate Shorland’s sophmore film surpasses any limitaions put in her way. The Australiam film shot in Germany with mostly English subtitles is unlike any Holocaust story told before. From the point of view of the Nazi war criminals’s children, we see the innocents tainted by their parents’ beliefs. With the brilliant you cast and enticing cinematography brings tension to film that cuts our breath stort and leaves us gasping for more.

Man of Steel

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Director: Zack Snyder
Screenwriter: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action

Never having read the Superman comics as chilren, we did not have much backround knowledge of the superhero except for pervious movies and television shows. So we can’t speak for Superman superfans, but as for novices we thought Man of Steel did a wonderful job portraying the iconic superhero. No one besides Henry Cavill could have played the role of Superman. He fit the description to a “T.” Although we prefer him with a little bit of stubble, Cavill was incredibly sexy clean shaven as well. The graphics were amazing and the futuristic imagery created a believeable world of future technology and different animal species from unknown planets. Thrilling action was abundant throughout the movie, making for some “edge of your seat” moments. The underlying themes of free will and faith in humanity created some drama amidst the action. And of course we can’t forget about the chemistry between Clark Kent and Lois Lane (Amy Adams). There is a bit of a different spin on Lois as well. She’s not just some simpering woman who needs to be rescued. She actually helps Superman save the world. Overall, it’s a good superhero movie with amazing imagery. Here’s to hoping for more men of steel in the future.

Who to Listen to: Milo Greene

Who to Listen to This Week: Milo Greene
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This song, Son my Son, is from Milo Greene’s 2012 self titled album. The four part harmonies layered with acoustic guitars, interesting drum work, and a myriad of different instruments make for complex, compelling songs. They are just as good, if not better, live – adding intricacies that can not be found on the album. Moddison is a short film they have created using all of their songs from the album to create an engaging storyline and can be viewed on YouTube. Other harmonious songs to listen to: What’s the Matter, Perfectly Aligned, Autumn Tree, and Silent Way.

 

The Hangover: Part 3

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Director: Todd Phillips
Screenwriter: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin
Genre: Comedy

As excited as we were for The Hangover: Part 3, we were also a little weary. Because the original was really good, but the sequel was just as disappointing. So we were nervous as we sat down for Part 3. The trailer looked genuinely funny – but were those the only funny parts? It was not as bad as we were expecting, but it wasn’t side-spliting funny either. We were almost constantly laughing but it was not because the jokes were that funny. It was because we were bombarded with joke after joke. We were disappointed that the storyline did not involve a bacholer party like the two previous movies. However, Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) is a major player, making for some very funny scenes. We were overjoyed at this development because he is unarguably the most hilarious of all the characters. Without Chow and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) there wouldn’t be a hangover at all. The ending came to a concrete close, so there doesn’t seem to be any hangovers in the foreseeable future.