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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reviews

    Live Free or Die Hard

    John McClane is the quintessential action hero. He kicks ass, blows shit up and has fun doing it.

    In “”Live Free or Die Hard,”” Bruce Willis returns as the scruffy, jibing action hero for the

    Rated PG-13
    130 mins.
    20th Century Fox
    3 stars

    fourth part of the series. This time he’s assisted by Justin Long (the witty kid from the “”Mac vs. PC”” commercials) in taking down an Internet-based terrorist, played by Timothy Olyphant (TV’s “”Deadwood””).

    On paper the plot may sound dry, but this is “”Die Hard””: every other scene is littered with explosions and flying bodies. Fans of the series initially complained of the PG-13 rating, but the action is still intense. The only way to realize the movie isn’t rated R is from a gunshot censoring the tagline “”Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.””

    “”Live Free or Die Hard”” doesn’t stick to the realistic action of the first three movies and has a tendency to get a little too campy – like when the Harrier-esque F-35B fighter jet follows a car chase under an overpass.

    It’s great watching the 50-something Willis take out thugs half his age, but the most enjoyable part is watching him chuckle and serve up one-liners afterward. Fans of the “”Die Hard”” series and action movies will enjoy this latest installment. It’s not just a rehash of nostalgic action, and that may be why it works so well.

    – Andrew Austin

    The Mix Up

    Everyone’s favorite punk rockers, The Beastie Boys, are known for having a trick or two up their sleeves. Dabbling in genres from hip-hop to rock, they are no strangers to experimentation. The Mix-Up, their latest album, takes a step in a new musical direction: the album is all instrumental. Yes, that’s right, no lyrics.

    In the past, the Boys have relied on a number of jazz, rock and funk influences. The Mix-Up is definitely funky – think heavy

    The Beastie Boys
    Capitol
    3 stars

    bass and simple percussion. After a complete listen-through, it’s difficult to distinguish one song from the others. While instrumental music can at times be profound, with each song you find yourself wondering when the MC skills will come in.

    “”The Rat Cage”” begins with a promising bass line and continues to reinvent itself while remaining fluid. Nevertheless, an obtrusive whistle becomes all-encompassing. Some instruments are better left in the hands of lifeguards.

    The congas and keyboards in “”The Melee”” are upbeat and fun. This song shows that the Boys indeed have an ear for experimentation and creativity. The beats are groovy and the song heads in a direction unlike the others.

    Despite some fine moments, The Mix-Up fails to impress. The Beastie Boys surely know music, though, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

    – Laura Hassett

    Zoology

    Ben Dolnick’s first novel, “”Zoology,”” walks a fine line between the immature and the refreshingly youthful. Like the hypothetical eighth “”Harry Potter”” book, in which Harry flunks out of Hogwarts, this novel has bumbling boyish charm but soon gets old.

    While the narrator, Henry Elinsky, is old enough to have dropped out of college, his thoughts and actions place him more at junior-high level. This lack of life experience is, of course, why Henry was unable

    Ben Dolnick
    Vintage<
    2 1/2 stars

    to handle college. He is a whiny teenager obsessed with girls but unable to talk to them – whom, to be honest, I wouldn’t be friends with, either.

    We watch Henry as he moves back in with his parents, spends a few weeks on the couch doing nothing and then gets a job at the Central Park Zoo. While befriending goats and old janitorial staff, Henry gets no closer to his ultimate goal, a kiss with potential girlfriend Margaret.

    Dolnick seems to aim to create in Henry Elinsky a modern Holden Caulfield: lost, disillusioned and rather alone in the world. Henry, however, lacks the cynical and memorable voice that makes Holden and “”Catcher in the Rye”” a serious work. Still, “”Zoology”” is a sometimes-fun summer time-waster that perhaps your younger siblings would enjoy more.

    – Astrid Duffy

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