Coming to The Warfield

Coming to The Warfield

This is kind of a short week… Because venue owners and staff gotta take a holiday, too!

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H-O-B-B-I-T! Fight! Fight! Fight!…and joke…and Fight! Fight! Fight!…and joke…

Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) size each other up.

Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) size each other up.

Let’s get this out of the way — The Hobbit should’ve been 1-2 movies, not 3.  Most of us came to terms with this years ago.  That’s a conversation for a another time, however.  For now, let’s concentrate on the third and final installment of The Hobbit trilogy, and the final chapter (without debate) of Peter Jackson’s exploration of Middle Earth.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (HTBotFA) is not the best of the trilogy – it trails HTDoS (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) but is a bit ahead of HAUJ (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey).  While the middle chapter had some interesting character transitions, HTBotFA has very little substance outside the constant fighting taking place.  We’ve seen better battles before, so the ones featured here seem tired and stale, and therefore overwrought with unique creature designs to help grasp for freshness.  And once again, it’s an exciting but sometimes silly feast of CGI, the kind that makes you miss the hillside skirmish in Fellowship of the Ring or even the large battle at the end of The Return of the King, which featured a lot of actual actors in costumes.  Here, it’s commonly 1-2 actors versus scores of CGI creatures.  It’s just not as thrilling.  And so the newest Hobbit film is a tired, ultra climactic end to a superfluously extended journey which was generally fun to watch, yet constantly played second fiddle to the far superior LotR trilogy.

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Film Review: Top Five

by Carrie Kahn on December 12, 2014

Rock in top form with Top Five

Rosario Dawson’s Chelsea and Chris Rock’s Andre get to know each other.

With Top Five, Chris Rock gives us his first directing/writing/acting trifecta since 2007’s relatively unknown I Think I Love my Wife. Top Five should fare better, as it has something for everyone; it combines the raunchy humor of today’s most popular comedies with more cerebral humor. If the Farrelly Brothers had directed Birdman, the result might look something like Top Five. While the result often feels a bit disjointed, the film always succeeds in eliciting laughs.

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Exodus highlights the ongoing battle between traditional and modern filmmaking, and neither side really wins.

Battle Moses.  Complete with armor, shiny sword, and unidentifiable accent.

Battle Moses. Complete with armor, shiny sword, and unidentifiable accent.

Exodus: Gods and Kings was bound to be a spectacular epic, considering the biblical source material and the director at the helm, Sir Ridley Scott.  Scott echoed this projection when he said that Exodus: Gods and Kings is his “biggest” movie yet.  Considering his long resume of major titles, that’s quite a statement and yet it’s true.  The sets, the action, the effects, and the scope are all monumental, and these are mainly where the movie succeeds.  It’s heartwarming to know that there’s still room for traditional sandal epics in the modern film business, featuring a good amount of built sets and armies of real actors (as opposed to CGI backdrops and armies…though these are still employed here as well).  But trying to keep to tradition comes with a price, and some poor decisions.  Exodus is weakest (and most controversial) in its casting choices and artistic breaks from the source material, but these falters can’t keep Exodus from providing a mostly exciting experience.

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We may be experiencing the biggest storm in decades in the Bay Area, however, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to rock.

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...and all the girls went wild.

…and all the girls went wild.

If admitting that I’ve loved a boyband (one in particular, and pretty much only them) for my entire life makes me uncool, then so be it. I’m uncool. Having said that, I never really got into pop in the way many do. New Kids on the Block aside, there was only really ever one other similar group whose music I got into, and that’s irrelevant. Anyway, whether because I decided so at a very young age, or simply because it’s true, I still find Jordan Knight to be one of the most beautiful men on the planet. And okay, if he wants to make a record and then tour with some other musician, well… I’d probably go see him with just about anyone. (Willie Nelson? Barbra Streisand? Rick Astley? I’m game.) If his choice is another cute boy from a similar boyband background, specifically Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, well, alright. Look, he could tour with Miss Piggy and I’d go see him. And so I did, about a month ago (11/18), when the Nick & Knight tour stopped at SF’s Regency Ballroom. [read the whole post]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts: 12/4/14-12/9/14

December 4, 2014

Thursday, December 4th

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Film Review: Horrible Bosses 2

November 26, 2014
www.youtube.com/watch?v=utriEZFno0E

A solid second ride thanks to great chemistry From the co-writers of Dumb and Dumber To, the disappointing comedy sequel, comes Horrible Bosses 2, the slightly-less disappointing and still quite funny comedy sequel.  Yes, we know that comedy sequels rarely work since the humor isn’t as fresh and the jokes are often forced.  Horrible Bosses […]

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Mid-November METAL overload!

November 24, 2014

There really is no such thing as “metal overload”.  If there was this many epic metal shows per week every week of the year, that would be more like “metal heaven” (except all metalheads are Satanic, right? So, “metal hell”?)…

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Support Norton the First: America’s Emperor on Kickstarter

November 24, 2014

While it’s easy to be appalled by the overwhelming amount of bad behavior that abounds in Silicon Valley, just remember one thing: from the Gold Rush to the tech boom, the greater Bay Area has always been a haven for misfits looking to make a fortune. Colorful characters have fueled its expansion and gained notoriety […]

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