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Friday, August 1, 2014

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Katherine Pekala/Daily

Festival Report: Pitchfork 2014

BY JOHN LYNCH

Before I heard any band play at Pitchfork Music Festival 2014, I took one lap around Chicago’s Union Park and already knew that I was in for a weekend of bizarre sights, sounds and tastes.

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Hoffman's final role showcases his full greatness

Lionsgate

BY AKSHAY SETH

The worst part about sitting through Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last major performance is how quickly one realizes that the genius actor was at the peak of his career in those final months leading up to his death.

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'The Purge: Anarchy' attacks the wealth gap without subtlety

BY OMAR MAHMOOD

The concept behind “The Purge” is so simple, and set only nine years from now in 2023, that we hardly have to suspend disbelief. The world is quite recognizable – the technology is not blatantly different, and the people live and talk like us.

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Common holds nothing back in portrait of Chicago streets

ARTium

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

The particular immaterial quality of his voice allows him to give his subject matter a unique importance, a cut-the-shit directness that aims its five-fingered death punch straight at your forehead.

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Akshay Seth: The greatest Hindi film I'll ever see

Anurag Kashyap Films

BY AKSHAY SETH

Leaving it off at ‘crime epic’ would be like calling “The Godfather” trilogy ‘those videos with the Italian people shooting each other.’ “Wasseypur” unfurls like a continually-expanding hand threaded carpet.

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'Matador' a bit too campy for its own good

El Rey

BY CATHERINE SULPIZIO

The question is whether self-awareness of all the campy clichés “Matador” revels in is enough. Just because the writers invite the meta-references doesn’t mean they belie any value.

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Weird Al's new parodies: Always witty, not always fun to listen to

Capitol

BY KEN SELANDER

Maybe pop music in the 90’s and early aughts was just better and gave Weird Al a foundation of quality music to build off of to gain success through ripping off other artists in the most comical, fun-loving way possible.

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Guillermo del Toro talks new, savage vampire show 'The Strain'

BY ALEX INTNER

During a conference call in which The Michigan Daily participated, del Toro said, when asked about what makes his show different from all the others, “very rarely do we get to see a savage form of vampirism in either film or TV, or basically any other medium.

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'Hellion' explores a troubled Texas childhood

IFC Films

BY CATHERINE SULPIZIO

All happy families are alike, yet despite what Tolstoy says, broken families must be alike too, because the subject of deep-rooted family angst – however removed from the viewer’s own life – almost always touches an easy nerve.

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Matador

1994: The Year Indie Broke

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

Part of what makes ‘90s music so fascinating, particularly the year 1994, is its place in time: a strange and unique buffer between music in the 20th century and music in the 21st century.

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Sub Pop

Shabazz Palaces creates an artful, unique sound on 'Lese Majesty'

BY ADAM DEPOLLO

This isn’t an album to be torn apart track by track; more than any other LP I’ve heard this year, Lese Majesty is a cohesive sonic unit that needs to be considered in its entirety to be fully appreciated.

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Universal Pictures

Ambitious 'Lucy' values images over plot

BY KARSTEN SMOLINSKI

“Lucy” wants to show viewers that boundaries exist only in the mind. Thanks to some beautiful CGI work, audience members see the boundaries between Lucy and everything around her slowly eroding.

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Polydor

La Roux satisfies with upbeat pop on 'Trouble in Paradise'

BY ADAM DEPOLLO

The creative split between the duo’s members seems to have opened the way for Jackson to pursue her ‘80s throwback aesthetic to its potently danceable and upbeat conclusions on her latest release.

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'Hold On, We're Going Home' hitmakers release debut EP

BY ADAM DEPOLLO

Majid Jordan was faced with the equally daunting tasks of establishing an identity for themselves and living up to the success of their collaboration with Drake. With this release’s brooding instrumentals and luscious vocals, it’s safe to say that the duo has succeeded on both counts.

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Akshay Seth: The political importance of 'Snowpiercer'

BY AKSHAY SETH

Initially confined to just eight screens, strong word-of-mouth in the last few has propelled a VOD release and made room for critics to squeeze this much-hyped sci-fi-apocalypse extravaganza into a box of bandwagon assertions: It’s simply a critique of classism; a blunt swing at bureaucracy; the most politically charged picture of the year.

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DGC

Rise Against devolves into repetitive droning on 'The Black Market'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

The Black Market is conspiratorial, speculative, and wholly reduced to formula. It’s a misanthropic, redundant mess. In fact, if the album achieves anything, it’s this: a complete representation of Rise Against’s own drastic polar-melting of its older, truer music.

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FX

Winning Cast Saves 'Married'

BY ALEX INTNER

The premise of the show is simple. Academy Award Winner Nat Faxon (“Ben and Kate”) and Judy Greer (“Arrested Development”) play Russ and Lina, a lower-middle class married couple. They live their lives, raise their kids, and crack sex jokes, like real couples do.

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