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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reviews

    Harry Potter … (VII)

    And so the era of Harry Potter ends.

    Within the last week, more printed pages have probably been read then ever before, as a result of the recent release of J. K. Rowling’s seventh and final book of the series, “”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.””

    This book has much to accomplish as the series finale, and readers will be relieved to hear that no strings are left untied. The looming prophecy that neither Harry nor Voldemort can live while the other survives drives the plot, following Harry on his search for the Horcruxes, the remaining elements of Voldemort’s broken soul.

    Though much of the book is set in the cold and lonely fields of England, which make for a bleak canvas compared to the rich colors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, readers see Harry, Ron and Hermione in an interesting new light as they struggle to survive below the radar of the Death Eaters.

    Rowling takes care to resolve the questions of Snape’s loyalties and Dumbledore’s secrets and also toys with the wizards’ romantic entanglements. Sadly, the fun of Harry’s classes is long past, but still we see higher levels of magic, trickier traps and the most climactic battle yet.

    “”Deathly Hallows”” does not disappoint as a satisfying conclusion to Harry’s troubled career as the boy who lived.

    – Astrid Duffy

    Is Is

    After two albums of varying quality, New York’s near-legendary neo-punk trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has returned to the art form it knows best – the EP.

    It was with its self-titled 2002 debut, with its five biting tracks, that the band caught everyone’s attention in the first place. (Of course, lead singer Karen O, a manic performer prone to pouring beer on herself onstage, didn’t hurt.) For a while, like many other flavor-of-the-month favorites, it was in danger of getting drowned in its own hype.

    The group’s latest release, Is Is, mirrors its debut, showing definite signs of development. Gone are the more awkward, artsy pretensions of years past. Is Is consists of five grinding, grueling slices of frenzied art-rock.

    “”Rockers to Swallow,”” with its furious yet languidly spacey vibe, is one of the band’s best songs to date, and the menacing “”Isis”” isn’t far behind.

    The record was recorded in one day, and it sounds like it – in a good way.

    Some listeners may be put off by the record’s brevity, but as artists as diverse as The Buzzcocks and The Beatles knew well, an EP can be every bit as strong as an album.

    -Justyn Dillingham

    The Simpsons Movie

    The most unexpected thing about the long-awaited “”Simpsons”” movie is that it’s actually good. Considering the show’s been around for nearly two decades, it’s fresher and funnier than it has any right to be. Somehow its unique brand of humor – serious and satirical, yet always light and jazzy – hasn’t gone stale.

    In contrast to the show, which has all but been taken over by its vast cast of minor players, the movie focuses almost exclusively on the Simpsons themselves.

    Even familiar characters like Homer’s scheming boss, Mr. Burns, or Bart’s hero, Krusty the Klown, only show up for about a minute.

    The hinge the plot turns on is that Homer, the doltish but (sometimes) well-meaning father of the clan, has finally gone too far; long-suffering wife Marge, bright eyed activist daughter Lisa, smart-alecky son Bart and even the entire population of Springfield have finally gotten fed up with his antics.

    After adopting a pig, Homer decides to dispose of his new pet’s droppings in the town’s pristine lake. In response, the government decides to get rid of Springfield – literally, by dropping a giant glass dome over it and removing it from all maps. After being chased out of town by an angry mob, Homer and the gang move to Alaska, but duty soon calls them to come to the town’s rescue.

    Old-time “”Simpsons”” fans confronted with this movie’s slick computer graphics may feel a twinge of nostalgia for the endearingly klutzy animation of the show’s early years. Fortunately, the added veneer of professionalism isn’t too distracting.

    – Justyn Dillingham

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