The Vermont Cynic

“Taken” for a ride

March 2, 2009

If you were a 17-year-old teenage girl who has been kidnapped in Paris, drugged and sold into the sex-slave trade, who would you want your father to be? Only one man: Bryan Mills.The events of "Taken" are so tightly directed and scripted that you have no choice but to suspend your disbelief and go along for...

“How I Learned to Drive” fails to rev engines

September 22, 2008

How I Learned to DrivePaula VogelDir. Joanne FarrellChamplain CollegePaula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "How I Learned to Drive," premiered last Wednesday at the Champlain Alumni Auditorium. Directed by Joanne Farrell, a former teacher of dramatic texts at the University of Vermont, the play w...

Mr. Hedberg, we hardly knew ye

Julia Wejchert

September 22, 2008

Do You Believe in Gosh? Mitch Hedberg (Comedy Central Records) 4 Stars Filling the void created by his untimely death in 2005, comedian Mitch Hedberg's recently released Do You Believe in Gosh has the bittersweetness of any posthumous release, that comes from the chance to revisit a missed artist,...

Will Sheff’s river flows on

September 22, 2008

Okkervil River The Stand Ins (Jagjaguar Records) 3.5 StatsWhile the indie world is wrapped up in the nondescript jaunt of synth-pop and dance rock, Okkervil River has released another intricate, thinking-man's album.For the veteran indie folkers from Austin, Texas, The Stand-Ins represents the i...

The Coens Come Out of “No Country for Old Men” talking politics

September 22, 2008

Burn After Reading Ethan & Joel Coen (Focus Features) 2 StarsThe new Coen brothers' farce "Burn After Reading" makes Shakespeare's famous line "Lord, what fools these mortals be" seem like icing on the cake.Set in a blanched and vast Washington, D.C. suburb, "Burn After Reading" is a cry against...

Don Cheadle makes for a great “Traitor”

September 15, 2008

TraitorDir. Jeffrey Nachmanoff(Overture Films)3.5 StarsDon Cheadle turns in an excellent performance in "Traitor," the most recent entry in what seems to be a perpetual train of spy thrillers going through theaters. However, Jeffery Nachmanoff's film distances itself from the slew of Bourne knock-offs ...

Two giants making it all happen again

September 15, 2008

Brian Eno & David ByrneEverything that Happens will Happen Today4 StarsThe 60-year-old Father of Ambient Music Brian Eno has released his 40th musical masterpiece and his second collaborative album with David Byrne, the former lead man of Talking Heads in "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today." Not...

Woody Allen’s new film leaves New York, hits the bull’s-eye

September 15, 2008

Vicky Cristina BarcelonaDir. Woody Allen(The Weinstein Company)4 StarsBull's eye. Wood Allen hit the mark with "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," a film about two American girls who take a trip to Spain and fall in love with freethinking Spanish artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). The plot remains traditional i...

New Kids On The Block, actually Creepy Old Men

September 8, 2008

The Block(Interscope Records)1 StarSounds like:New Kids On The BlockBackstreet BoysN'SYNCBoy Bands Past Their PrimeThere is an inherent absurdity to a boy band called New Kids On The Block reuniting after 14 years to put out a new album. The absurdity being, of course, that they're not so new.Yet th...

Tropic Thunder drowns out controversy, baffles critics

September 8, 2008

Tropic ThunderDreamWorks PicturesRated R2 StarsBen Stiller, long-time actor and Hollywood success, directs "Tropic Thunder," a film that steps beyond a parody of the system of which he is a part. The film is about five Hollywood stars, each exemplifying their own cliché war films, who are cast in a w...

Album Review: Flying Lotus straddles hip-hop and electronica with ease

September 8, 2008

Flying LotusLos Angeles(Warp Records)4 StarsPrefuse 73Boards of CanadaALBUM REVIEWJohn McMillinMany readers might be unconsciously familiar with his work - he did the tunes in those trip-hoppy black and white house ads for Adult Swim. Those beats were loopy, reverb-tinged chunks of late-night reverie, ...

[critic]al thinking

April 28, 2008

Saturdays = Youth + M83 = bomb-ass recordM83Saturdays = Youth(Mute U.S.)3.5 StarsRecord Review Molly Shaker"Saturdays = Youth" - the most recent album from French musician M83 (aka Anthony Gonzalez) - is big music. And by big, we really mean epic. In almost every sense of the word, "Saturdays = Youth" will r...

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