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review Archives - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Isle of Dogs delights with animation, disappoints with representation

Isle of Dogs delights with animation, disappoints with representation

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

April 12, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Wes Anderson has once again proven himself to be one of the most visually innovative auteurs in cinema with his latest film, “Isle of Dogs.” Set in a futuristic Japan, “Isle of Dogs” tells the tale of a headstrong 12-year-old boy named Atari, voiced by Koyu Rankin, who searches for his beloved d...

Ready Player One: Riddled with nostalgia

Ready Player One: Riddled with nostalgia

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

April 3, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Film deity and acclaimed director Steven Spielberg takes audiences on a two-hour-and-19-minute nostalgia fever dream with his latest film, “Ready Player One.” Based on Ernest Cline’s popular novel of the same name, Spielberg’s adaptation of “Ready Player One” was shaping up to be the defini...

Reopening the tomb: “Tomb Raider” returns with tired tropes

Reopening the tomb: “Tomb Raider” returns with tired tropes

By Derek Wagner | For The Pitt News

March 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

The original “Tomb Raider” film, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” released in 2001, as well as its equally disastrous 2003 sequel, successfully banished the franchise to cinematic purgatory for 15 years. While reboots and remakes made up the majority of films over the past decade, “Tomb Raider” ...

“Annihilation” renovates past sci-fi thrillers

“Annihilation” renovates past sci-fi thrillers

By Derek Wagner | For The Pitt News

February 27, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

As my friend and I walked out of the theater after seeing Director Alex Garland’s new film “Annihilation” — both trying to wrap our heads around what we had just witnessed — my friend said, “I feel like this is how audiences felt after seeing ‘2001’ in theaters for the first time.”...

Review: Tyler the Creator takes over Stage AE with trademark performance

Review: Tyler the Creator takes over Stage AE with trademark performance

By Charlie Garcia-Weger | For The Pitt News

February 22, 2018


Filed under Culture, Music

The only venue you’d expect to see an act like Tyler, the Creator performing in Pittsburgh is Stage AE. And the only rapper that wouldn’t even think about the title of the concert hall until five songs through is the notorious “Odd Future” frontman. “What the f***, this is an American Eagle ...

Black Panther revitalizes the stagnant superhero genre

Black Panther revitalizes the stagnant superhero genre

By Vikram Sundar | For The Pitt News

February 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Director Ryan Coogler enters new territory with “Black Panther,” peeling back old layers of the formulaic superhero narrative to reveal fresh and exciting elements rarely seen in the genre. Following the enormous box office success of Marvel’s latest entries — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vo...

Pitt Stage’s Marie Antionette wows with symbolism and decadence

Pitt Stage’s Marie Antionette wows with symbolism and decadence

By Amanda Reed | Contributing Editor

February 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Theater

Pitt’s production of “Marie Antoinette” has everything needed to recall the history of its title character — chandeliers, a guillotine and plenty of wigs. But make no mistake — this is not a historical play, but a “meditation on excess,” as director Le’Mil Eiland notes in the program. After ...

Review: Pitt Stages puts modern spin on Little Shop of Horrors

Review: Pitt Stages puts modern spin on Little Shop of Horrors

By Amanda Reed | Contributing Editor

February 15, 2018


Filed under Culture, Theater

Upon walking into the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland Friday night, I was immediately transported from the dreary Pittsburgh weather to the even drearier Skid Row. But after two hours there, I didn’t want to return to the Steel City. Pitt’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a 1982 off-...

Sree’s Foods serves up Indian cuisine in Oakland

Sree’s Foods serves up Indian cuisine in Oakland

By Sarah Connor, Staff Writer

February 15, 2018


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Nestled next to Peace, Love and Little Donuts on Meyran Avenue sits a small, family-owned shop selling homemade Indian food. A colorful sign hanging from the top of the building reading “Sree’s Foods” welcomes customers into the quick-service restaurant. Sree’s Foods is a restaurant that serves a...

Review: Timberlake tanks crossover in “Man of the Woods”

Review: Timberlake tanks crossover in “Man of the Woods”

By Zachary Donovan | For The Pitt News

February 13, 2018


Filed under Culture, Music

Every so often, an established mainstream artist proudly announces they are returning to their roots. In recent years, we’ve heard Lady Gaga trade provocative synth pop for introspective piano ballads, Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish retire his post-grunge flannel and opt for cowboy b...

“Phantom Thread” weaves a tale of style and strange love

“Phantom Thread” weaves a tale of style and strange love

By Vikram Sundar | For The Pitt News

February 8, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Leading man Daniel Day-Lewis sews his way into our hearts once again in the stylish, yet heartfelt “Phantom Thread.” Written and directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread” is an engrossing portrait of the posh, self-indulgent realm of fashion-driven aristocrats in impove...

Migos’ third album “Culture II” falls flat

Migos’ third album “Culture II” falls flat

By Zachary Donovan | For The Pitt News

February 1, 2018


Filed under Culture, Music

Migos had every reason to go down as a footnote in the brief history of the trap genre. The collective — made up of Atlanta rappers Quavo, Offset and Takeoff — dropped its breakout single, “Versace,” almost five years ago but failed to recreate the track’s success because of a string of PR and l...

Review: Walk the Moon delivers electrifying performance at Stage AE

Review: Walk the Moon delivers electrifying performance at Stage AE

By Darren Campuzano | Staff Writer

January 25, 2018


Filed under Culture, Music

If there is a single guideline for bands performing in Pittsburgh, it is to never offend Steel City football. The audience at Stage AE witnessed this cardinal sin committed onstage Tuesday night by the unapologetic Cincinnati band, Walk the Moon. “When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of how badass ...

Review: Miguel makes waves with ‘War & Leisure’

Review: Miguel makes waves with ‘War & Leisure’

By Taylor Robinson | For The Pitt News

January 16, 2018


Filed under Culture, Music

Miguel’s most recent album is a practice in reflection — asking listeners to re-examine their integrity and take a second look at their treatment of each other. In the chorus of “Now,” Miguel sings, “Is that the look of freedom, now? / Is that the sound of freedom, now? / ‘Cause it's ...

Sam Smith sings with sincerity in sophomore album

Sam Smith sings with sincerity in sophomore album

By Sarah Morris / Staff Writer

November 6, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

Sam Smith is not heartbroken anymore — sad and emotional, sure, but that seems to be a part of who he will always be. The heartbreak that propelled most of Smith’s 2014 debut, “In The Lonely Hour,” is a thing of the past. And while his new record, “The Thrill of It All,” holds onto the e...

‘Just in a rut’: The Killers’s new album disappoints, but not without hope

‘Just in a rut’: The Killers’s new album disappoints, but not without hope

By Sarah Morris / Staff Writer

September 26, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

In the chorus of “Rut” — the third song off The Killers’ new album “Wonderful Wonderful” — front man Brandon Flowers croons against a catchy beat, “Don’t give up on me / ‘cause I’m just in a rut.” And it’s hard to hear the words as anything other than a direct plea to the lis...

Summer Album Analysis

Summer Album Analysis

By TPN Staff

August 27, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

From the moody, morbid “Melodrama” to the introspective “Witness,” the songs of the summer were filled with self-discovery, disappointment and apologies. And with so many new releases over the course of three short months, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s essential and what you can tune ...

‘Shall we begin?’: Dragons, the undead and murderous mortals take their final places in ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiere

‘Shall we begin?’: Dragons, the undead and murderous mortals take their final places in ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiere

By Matt Maielli / Contributing Editor

July 19, 2017


Filed under Culture, Television

In the “Game of Thrones” season seven premiere, “Dragonstone,” the remaining pieces of the Great Game finally move into their places on the board. A large part of prestige television — which viewing audiences are drowning in lately — is waiting. That is definitely true of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and also true of S...

Songs over storyline: music fuels Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”

Songs over storyline: music fuels Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”

By Matt Maielli / Contributing Editor

June 27, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

After watching Edgar Wright’s new film “Baby Driver,” I have no doubt Wright would be a ton of fun at karaoke night. Wright’s newest film prioritizes its soundtrack — packing a whopping 30 tracks — more than any other feature films to come out in the past few years, aside from James Gunn’...

‘The Lobster’ leaves plenty to chew on

‘The Lobster’ leaves plenty to chew on

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

June 7, 2016


Filed under Movies

“The Lobster,” for all of its bizarre pleasures, is a film that in some ways defies proper analysis. After developing a curious reputation for itself since its Jury Prize win at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, “The Lobster” arrives to puzzle domestic audiences after A24 acquired its distribution...

‘A Bigger Splash’ rides wave of passion

‘A Bigger Splash’ rides wave of passion

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 17, 2016


Filed under Movies

After a year of cycling through international festivals, Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s English-language “A Bigger Splash” has made its way to American theaters. As a dialogue-laden, lengthy slow-burner, “A Bigger Splash” relies heavily on quietly mounted suspense and intense character study. ...

‘Pixels’ stuck in the past

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Pixels” Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan  Grade: C Run for your lives from this mediocre alien invasion flick. Based on a short film of the same name — and not exactly receiving a glowing recommendation from its creator, French filmmaker Patrick Jean — “Pixels” imagines mank...

‘Watch Dogs’ not hype-defying, but satisfies on some level

‘Watch Dogs’ not hype-defying, but satisfies on some level

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

July 8, 2014


Filed under Archives

"Watch Dogs"Developer: Ubisoft MontrealReleased: May 27Available on: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii UGrade: B-The Chicago Cubs are ahead in the bottom of the eighth. Aiden Pearce, vigilante hacker, lurks beneath the field and beats Maurice Vega senselessl...

‘Jersey Boys’ a gloomier look at The Four Seasons’ rise to fame

‘Jersey Boys’ a gloomier look at The Four Seasons’ rise to fame

By Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

July 8, 2014


Filed under Archives

"Jersey Boys"Starring: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen and Michael LomendaDirected by: Clint EastwoodGrade: BFrankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) once said he’d be bigger than Sinatra — big words for a young boy from working-class New Jersey. For a while, he was a sensation, but it was a bumpy road to t...

Neko Case brings big voice, laughs to Byham Theater

Neko Case brings big voice, laughs to Byham Theater

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

July 1, 2014


Filed under Archives

Nearly all conversations about Neko Case revolve around her voice — it’s a powerful, cutting weapon of an instrument.After Monday night’s show at the Byham Theater, Case likely sparked several new conversations about her superhuman gift, as she confirmed to fans that, yes, it’s for real.Still tour...

’22 Jump Street’ a rare sufficient comedy sequel

’22 Jump Street’ a rare sufficient comedy sequel

By Mason Lazarcheff / For The Pitt News

July 1, 2014


Filed under Archives

"22 Jump Street"Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice CubeDirected by: Phil Lord and Christopher MillerGrade: B“You boys are going to college.” Those were the last words we heard in the 2012 comedy film reboot of the serious ‘80s TV show “21 Jump Street.”  In “22 Jump Street,” ...

‘Lego Movie’ a stop-motion success

‘Lego Movie’ a stop-motion success

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 5, 2014


Filed under Archives

"The Lego Movie"Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher MillerStarring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth BanksFrom afar, “The Lego Movie” may seem like a shameless cash-in on a recognizable toy brand in the vein of the recent G.I. Joe movies or “Battleship,” but upon proper examination, the f...

‘Lone Survivor’ encapsulates complexities of modern war

By Shawn Cooke / Staff Writer

January 29, 2014


Filed under Archives

You could argue that the climax of “Lone Survivor” occurs just halfway into the movie.After Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and his team of Navy SEALs are discovered by three mountain herders (two boys and an old man), they are presented with three options: set them free — which could compromise ...

Pittsburgh Public Theater’s ‘True West’ suffers from campy excess

Pittsburgh Public Theater’s ‘True West’ suffers from campy excess

By John Lavanga / A&E Editor

November 14, 2013


Filed under Archives

Sam Shepard’s “True West,” which is being performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theater through Dec. 8, is a brilliant, darkly comic play about envy, alcohol and that classic pastime of searching for something real amid the glitz and glimmer of Hollywood.First and foremost, however, it is a tale of sibli...

Julian Assange biopic tries, fails to exploit his infamy

By Jeff Ihaza / Senior Staff Writer

October 24, 2013


Filed under Archives

"The Fifth Estate"Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel BruhlDirected by: Bill CondonGrade: DPerhaps the shining achievement of Wikileaks was releasing a leak preventing people from seeing a decidedly awful movie about Wikileaks. “The Fifth Estate,” the latest film from Razzie Award winner Bill...

‘Captain Phillips’ skillfully retells true tales of piracy

‘Captain Phillips’ skillfully retells true tales of piracy

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

October 16, 2013


Filed under Archives

“Captain Phillips”Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad AbdiDirected by: Paul GreengrassGrade: B+ “Have a safe trip.”This simple farewell is spoken to loved ones nearly every time they leave on a flight or a trip. It’s what Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) was told by his wife, Andrea (Catherine K...

Dr. Dog’s latest release lacks stand-out sound

Dr. Dog’s latest release lacks stand-out sound

By Matt Singer / Senior Staff Writer

October 14, 2013


Filed under Archives

 B-Room Dr. DogANTI- RecordsGrade: CSounds like: That one Dr. Dog song you'll never like enough to buy on vinyl.When a band ceases to be innovative, its reliability often makes up for its lack of groundbreaking work. But with some bands, this reliability sometimes waxes and wanes, and venerable bands that u...

PPT’s rendition captures ‘Our Town’s” existential depth

PPT’s rendition captures ‘Our Town’s” existential depth

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

October 10, 2013


Filed under Archives

“Our Town”Pittsburgh Public Theater621 Penn Ave., Cultural DistrictThrough Oct. 27Admission: $29 - $55 general, $15 with Student ID“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” The simplicities and complexities of life are seen in narrative descriptions in Thornton Wilder’s 1...

Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes directorial debut with ‘Don Jon’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes directorial debut with ‘Don Jon’

By Dylan Abbott / For The Pitt News

October 10, 2013


Filed under Archives

"Don Jon"Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne MooreDirected by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt B+Joseph Gordon-Levitt bares all in his feature-film directorial debut, “Don Jon,” an R-rated rendition of love and relationships in the 21st century — “Porn and Prejudice,” if you will...

Haim sisters make waves on surfer sourced, immersive debut

Haim sisters make waves on surfer sourced, immersive debut

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

October 7, 2013


Filed under Archives

HaimDays Are GoneGrade: A-Sounds Like: LA pop band meets Fleetwood MacWith much of the new pop music produced either blending into ubiquitous obscurity or hitting high marks through media promotion, it can be hard to find refreshingly original music that makes it big. But the Haim sisters quietly br...

Arctic Monkeys continue to disappoint on AM

Arctic Monkeys continue to disappoint on AM

By John Lavanga / A&E Editor

September 26, 2013


Filed under Archives

Arctic MonkeysAMC-Sounds Like: Arctic Monkeys can't remember when they used to be rascals“Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment.”That was front man Alex Turner’s opening line on Arctic Monkeys riveting debut LP, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Little did h...

Pittsburgh rocker Nic Lawless shows polish, versatility on newest release

Pittsburgh rocker Nic Lawless shows polish, versatility on newest release

By Shawn Cooke / For The Pitt News

September 11, 2013


Filed under Archives

Nic Lawless and His Young CriminalesSunlessGrade: BSelf-releasedA name like Nic Lawless can evoke a dangerous brand of listener expectations. Harkening back to a time when punk implied serious troublemaking, a sensational alias may raise a few eyebrows within the now hyper-image-conscious scene. Such is...

Japandroids rock Mr. Smalls

Japandroids rock Mr. Smalls

By John Lavanga

August 6, 2013


Filed under Archives

As he caught his breath and slowly played out the last poignant notes of “Evil’s Sway,” Japandroids guitarist Brian King looked out into the sweaty, clamoring crowd with a smirk and leaned toward his microphone.“Guess we shouldn’t have waited three years to come back, eh Pittsburgh?”With cheers and laughs, th...

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