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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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El Rey

'Matador' a bit too campy for its own good

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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'Masters of Sex' begins its second season with a bang

Showtime

BY CHLOE GILKE

“Masters of Sex” is easily the best drama of the summer, perhaps up there with the greats airing during the rest of the year. Though the title might be a turn-off for some, the show actually focuses comparatively little of its energy on sex and spectacle.

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Brian Burlage: The Best Albums of 2014 (so far)

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

As these two ceremonies-of-sorts collide, sentiment rises, retrospection of the first half of the year ensues, and high hopes for the remaining half begin to take shape. In this sense, it seems entirely appropriate to take a closer look at some of 2014’s best music releases thus far:

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'Obvious Child' is honest, hilarious and powerful

Rooks Nest Entertainment

BY JACOB RICH

“Obvious Child” is a powerful, emotional story about people, and about abortion. It’s also absolutely hilarious throughout, something I wasn’t expecting considering its subject matter.

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu explores the aesthetics of cute on 'Pikapika Fantajin'

Warner Japan

BY ADAM DEPOLLO

The singer collaborated with super-producer Nakata once again on her latest album Pikapika Fantajin (literally translated as “Sparkling Fantasy-Person”), which was released in Japan on Wednesday.

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More than 'Community'

NBC

BY CHLOE GILKE

Here’s a little story about a girl with an armful of textbooks and an relentless imagination.

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Electric Forest is Decadent, but not Depraved

Bennett Sell-Kline/ Marc van der Aa © Electric Forest Festival 2014

BY GIANCARLO BUONOMO

Electric Forest is not so much a music festival as it is a four day act of collective weirdness, heavily facilitated by the festival organizers and sustained by a pervasive spirit of community and non-judgement.

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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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Harvest

Morrissey repackages the same old idiosyncrasies on 'World Peace'

BY ADAM DEPOLLO

While traces of that looming presence are visible on Morrissey’s latest album World Peace Is None Of Your Business, close inspection reveals the cracks in the façade of the singer’s sphinxlike persona.

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Moshi Moshi Records

Slow Club explores romance on 'Complete Surrender'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

In a sense, Slow Club’s first two albums form the first and second parts of a romantic trilogy. As the third installment, Complete Surrender rounds off the landscape’s fraying edges and reveals the redemptive joy of love in reunification.

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FX

Sluggish 'The Strain' still has its terrifying moments

BY ALEX INTNER

The slow plot development is mostly mitigated by the fantastic work done by the writers and directors to create some terrifying scenes.

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'The Fever' is both frightening and philosophical

BY CHLOE GILKE

“The Fever” is a wonderful dichotomy. It manages to be both a fun mystery and an interesting dissection of the dangers of femininity.

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The Weinstein Company

'Begin Again' delivers commonplace plot but uncommonly beautiful music

BY OMAR MAHMOOD

The heart of Begin Again is its music. We can all appreciate the indisputable take-home message, that music should be genuine. And though the movie may well overdo that message, it is beautifully overdone nonetheless.

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Brian Spady/ Electric Forest 2014

'I Sing the Forest Electric': The Subcultural Divide in EF2014's Music

BY ADAM THEISEN

What was most interesting about Electric Forest was that two entirely different subcultures coexisted, without ever really having to cross paths through the entire weekend.

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