BARR’s cubist pop in ‘Summary’ blows the mind

On the first album he recorded with his band, The Modern Lovers, Jonathan Richman droned 31 years ago, "I called this number three (insert interminable, sweaty pause here) times already." "I'm Straight" was his talk-singing declaration of drug-free romance, which cut through the snarky, Teflon-ironic fa?ade of late-seventies punk music with its startlingly unguarded, conversational delivery.

Mother doesn’t know best in ‘Because I Said So’

"Because I Said So" can't decide if it's a warm-hearted romance or a slapstick comedy, and it suffers in both genres. A meddlesome mother, Daphne (Diane Keaton, "Something's Gotta Give," "The Family Stone"), spends a majority of her time worrying about her youngest daughter, Milly (Mandy Moore, "American Dreamz," "Saved!"), because Milly doesn't have a successful relationship in her life.

Rza’s ‘Afro Samurai’ soundtrack stumbles

A great soundtrack can make a mediocre movie good, as Zach Braff and Eminem can attest. And a soundtrack can't be critiqued without taking its film into consideration. The Wu-Tang Clan's Rza was hired to score the anime miniseries "Afro Samurai," so there's no question as to the level of excellence that the soundtrack achieves.

‘Rainbow Six: Vegas,’ ‘Elite Beat Agents,’ ‘Gears of War’

'Rainbow Six: Vegas' 4.5/5 Stars "Rainbow Six: Vegas" puts the player in control of a Jack Bauer-esque covert ops agent and a pair of armored cronies. The mission: Take out the typical bad guys in a new environment. The "Rainbow Six" series has long been a solid source for tactical shooters.

{Music Review}

Since 2002, Xiu Xiu has released one album and countless singles and split EPs every year. This prolific output matched their ascent into critical...

{Features Briefs}

Crime scene expert and innovator discusses forensics in Alaska Some recognize George Taft as a bronze bust at the Anchorage Trooper Museum. Taft presented a...

{Music Reviews}

Shame on those who aren't familiar with The Roots. They are one of the few groups that has yet to release a bad album....

{Movie Review}

As kung-fu movie fans sadly await Jet Li's announced final film ("Fearless"), along comes muay thai expert Tony Jaa to swipe for the mantle...

{A Second Look}

In this series, The Northern Light investigates the meaning and history of public artworks around campus. "Transaction," 1999 Bright Bimpong She sits, not in a chair, but...

Alaska-grown band gains momentum internationally

Note: This version is longer than the print version Metalcore band 36 Crazyfists got their start in Anchorage in 1994 as teenagers playing the now-defunct...

‘Silent Hill’ scary, but excess exposition kills pace

~.~.? Silent Hill TriStar Pictures, 2006 Starring Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Alice Krige Directed by Christophe Gans Written by Christophe Gans and Roger Avary Rated R, 127 min. Horror The...

‘Ice-Age: The Meltdown’ proves a lukewarm kids’ flick

~.~. Ice Age: The Meltdown Blue Sky Studios, 2006 Starring Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary Directed by Carlos Saldanha Written by Russel Gewirtz Rated PG, 90 min. Family/comedy Kids...

Alaskans respect live music

I had an experience in Seattle last weekend that made me realize how great Alaska is. I went to the Taste of Chaos tour,...

Wood, plastic and clay dominate student art show

Student artwork selected as the best 3-D pieces of 2006 are currently being displayed at the 3-Dimensional Student Invitational Show in the Student Union...

‘Inside Man’ bamboozles audience with empty promises

~.~. Inside Man Universal, 2006 Starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster Directed by Spike Lee Written by Russel Gewirtz Rated R, 129 min. Thriller/crime "Inside Man" looks like it should be...

‘The Hills Have Eyes’ remake scary, but not fun

~.~.~.~. The Hills Have Eyes Craven-Maddalena Films, 2006 Starring Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw Directed by Alexandre Aja Written by Wes Craven and Alexandre Aja Rated R, 107 min. Horror/drama "The...

Yet another music genre emerges

Do you ever think that there are too many music genres to remember? It used to be simpler. In the '90s, music tended to...

Actors shouldn’t make music

I'd like to ask everyone for his or her help. I want you all to go home tonight and ask whatever god it is...

Alaska’s leading ladies cameo in stage adaptation of ‘Adam’s Rib’

"Adam's Rib," a stage adaptation of the classic movie, opened to a standing ovation Feb. 17 at Cyrano's. The play, newly adapted to the...

‘Tis the season for out-of-state tunes

If you live in or near Anchorage and complain about never seeing any shows, then now is the time to do something about it....

‘Stranger’ remake takes original’s first act, stretches it too thin

With older movies being remade by Hollywood at a record rate, one might wonder: Was it really necessary to remake? What changes have been...

Alaska bands earn new respect

Alaska music is slowly making a respectable name for itself in the U.S., as well as the globe. However, our state had a rough start....

Woody Allen departs from his usual style in ‘Match Point’

~.~.~.~. Match Point Dreamworks Pictures/BBC Films, 2005 Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer Directed by Woody Allen Rated R, 124 min. Drama/romance "Match Point" is the least Allenesque Woody...

’80s new wave should stay dead

Isn't this whole "new wave" fad getting a little old? There's a fantastic reason this music died in the '80s. It sucked. Dance rock is...

Will the last person to leave ‘Aeon Flux’ please turn off...

n? Aeon Flux MTV/Paramount, 2005 Starring Charlize Theron, Martin Csokas Directed by Karyn Kusama Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi Rated PG-13, 136 min. Sci-fi/Action Is Hollywood so desperate for story...

‘CSI’ forensic geek squad offers viewers absolute truth

There's a corner of television you can tuck yourself into when you want to feel safe. You'll find sliced, bruised, beaten, torn, gagged, and...

‘Zathura’ a well-rounded, feel-good family film

nnnn? Zathura Columbia Pictures, 2005 Starring Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart Directed by Jon Favreau Written by David Koepp and John Kamps Rated PG, 113 min. Adventure/family/ sci-fi "Zathura"...

‘Saw’ sequel succeeds where original movie failed

Last year about this time I reviewed a little movie called "Saw." I was charmed by its twisted inventiveness but felt that the ides...

‘Doom’ surprisingly clever for video game adaptation

"Doom," the latest film adaptation of a popular video game series, opens with a scene common to many movies. People are being chased down...

Acting shines, but cast needs some voice lessons

Those in the mood for a quirky play that will alarm viewers with its subject while charming them with its characters, "Landscape of the...