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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reviews

    Rise of the Silver Surfer

    It’s rare that a sequel is able to overcome the bar set by its precursor. Fortunately for “”Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”” that bar was pretty low.

    Even for comic fans, the Fantastic Four team is dorky. Luckily this time they’re assisted by the Silver Surfer, who saves them from annihilation (in both the story and at the box office).

    The film is no “”Citizen Kane,”” or even a good comic book adaptation, but taking into account the source material, it’s not awful.

    The story begins with Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman ready to wed, but wait, here comes the Silver Surfer with different plans.

    The reflective surfing alien, who ironically brings some much-needed gravitas to the story, has arrived to prep Earth for his planet-eating master, Galactus. In this incarnation, Galactus is a colossal space cloud, as opposed to the comics, where he’s a 30-foot giant wearing a pink and purple metal dress.

    The Silver Surfer seems to be the only redeeming quality about this flick, which doesn’t warrant a trip to the theater – it’s like receiving a cookie for getting kicked in the groin. “”Rise of the Silver Surfer”” just isn’t worth it.

    – Andrew Austin

    Era Vulgaris

    Queens of the Stone Age is a rock ‘n’ roll band without any limits. Since forming in 1997 the group has not only gone through too many member changes to keep track of but also kept its style unpredictable.

    Its new album, Era Vulgaris, is no exception to this trend. With hard-riffing guitars and a grunge sound, the songs come out complex and funky.

    Those expecting the same style as the Queens’ last album, Lullabies to Paralyze, are in for a surprise. Even lead singer Josh Homme has admitted that the group is almost like a new band.

    Songs like “”Sick, Sick, Sick”” and “”Misfit Love”” show this completely different approach. The sound is rough, making it difficult at times to understand the lyrics.

    Queens did include songs like “”Make It Wit Chu”” and “”Into the Hollow”” that have a vibe more in line with its old style and work to slow the album down.

    Many of the songs on Era Vulgaris seem to blend together, which makes the album cry for a little more variety. But the groovy sound seems to get better with each listen, making this a worthwhile buy.

    – Kara Slack

    After Dark

    Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has recently gained quite a cult following for his distinct style, which incorporates the magical-realism characteristic of Japanese entertainment into a well-crafted and complex plot.

    A Murakami story is like taking literature and giving it a shot of playful anime.

    This latest novel, “”After Dark,”” is rather more diluted than his previous stories, with no possibility of talking frogs or the imminent demise of the world. The twists of fate and coincidental turns of plot are reminders that, though the world and Denny’s diner look the same, Murakami has taken liberties with normality.

    “”After Dark”” is set in Tokyo, spanning seven hours of a night. The series of characters that meet there include 19-year-old Mari, an ex-boyfriend of her older sister and a brothel owner looking for her help. Glimpses are also given of Mari’s sister, who appears to be sleeping in a hellish other realm.

    Throughout the novel, the idea of loneliness is explored but in a surprisingly cheerful way. The characters are unusual, making for interesting dialogue and a satisfying read.

    “”After Dark”” is a perfect taste of Murakami, introducing his style without going over the top. This watered-down feeling, however, may disappoint those who are already fans.

    – Astrid Duffy

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