Hanging out with horrible people

The improvisation section of most high school drama classes typically include a concept known as “raising the stakes.” It’s sometimes taught as a game, where two actors improvise increasingly complex scenarios that they get their counterpart involved in. When one of the players cannot come up with anything to raise the stakes, the scene ends.… Continue reading Hanging out with horrible people

Mario In Space!

It’s-a-him, Mario, and he’s in space. If you thought Mario Galaxy was going to be lame because it was just “Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine in space,” you’re horribly wrong. In fact, though it is very close to those vintage 3D Mario titles, it adds enough new twists and awesome level design to put itself… Continue reading Mario In Space!

Spun: The Summerlad

Ambition is a tricky thing. In the music world, ambition manifests itself as doing something longer, smarter or better than before. For Calgary-based rockers The Summerlad, their latest album, City of Noise, represents their most ambitious release to date. The album features a mere two of songs and lasts almost 45 minutes. City of Noise… Continue reading Spun: The Summerlad

Spun: Relient K

It’s often said that the holiday season is all about commercialism. With the annual re-release of cookie-cutter Christmas albums, it’s hard to argue with that notion. Whatever the rationale behind Relient K’s latest holiday album, you can’t knock a system that works. Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer is an update of Relient K’s… Continue reading Spun: Relient K

Spun: A Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas

Sometimes things that are great separately, like peanut butter and jam, are also great together. Sometimes they are not, like pickles and chocolate. Such is the case with A Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas, the most unnecessary Christmas album in recent memory The album’s approach is thus: take a children’s choir singing Christmas songs–which have proven… Continue reading Spun: A Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas

Old people can still make great films

Crime films are often violent, unrealistic affairs that romanticize criminal activity. In this filmmaking realm, some directors have cultivated reputations for crafting films that show crime for what it is–a conscious choice made by individuals, either because of extenuating circumstances or simply to pay the bills. Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is… Continue reading Old people can still make great films

Flawed Compass still entertains

If the 2005 film Chronicles of Narnia has proven anything, religious allegory in film is A-OK with movie audiences. Most of these religious metaphors are from Christian theology. It’s not controversial, and shouldn’t be, when these kinds of themes are in a film. There’s one important caveat: the rule should also extend to when atheism… Continue reading Flawed Compass still entertains

Facebook makes the naughty list after ruining Christmas

Over 50,000 people protested Facebook’s invasion of privacy last month following the release of the Beacon advertising platform. The controversial program tracks the browsing and purchase history of Facebook users on over 40 websites, and publishes them in the user’s news feed. Many users of the social networking site were unaware the advertising program even… Continue reading Facebook makes the naughty list after ruining Christmas

Modern Twist is orphan-tastic!

The holiday season traditionally sees the same favourite plays, books, songs and films return to entertain audiences year after year. This year, Alberta Theatre Projects brings a modernized version of Oliver Twist to Calgary for the Christmas season. With dark, haunting undertones, Charles Dickens’ classic play tells a story of an orphan boy set in… Continue reading Modern Twist is orphan-tastic!

The Top 10 Films of 2007

When the book is written on the history of film, 2007 is likely to be remembered as a year with many good films but few great ones. Such is the challenge when crafting a list of the best films of the year: there are many films that could find their way onto the list, but… Continue reading The Top 10 Films of 2007