‘Minutes to Midnight’ – New album’s different sound unlikely to bring...

In a world of music elitists, aspiring industry hounds and coffee-table artist development divisions of record labels, Linkin Park will never be anything more than a guilty pleasure or the favorite band of some kid with bad taste in music. Linkin Park's time is just about up.

Old sounds resurface in Bjork’s new album, ‘Volta’

Bjork serves as a rite of passage for young music hounds' professional opinions. It's only when they hear the Icelandic wonder that aural aficionados realize that what someone thinks of a piece doesn't matter. Bjork is so strange and obscure that every opinion somehow manages to be objective fact.

‘Spider-Man 3’

A tie-in with one of the biggest summer movie franchises of all time is enough to warrant a game release on multiple consoles and a ridiculous marketing campaign. One would think someone would capitalize on such leverage and make a decent product. Sadly, it seems Activision hates gamers, because "Spider-Man 3" might be the most disappointing superhero game released in the last five years.

‘Pokemon Diamond and Pearl’

Anyone who thought the Pokemon craze was dead has underestimated the little critters. The latest Pokemon game, in Diamond and Pearl versions, is the best-selling Pokemon game in both Japanese and U.S. history, selling more than a million copies in the first week of its American release alone.

‘Guitar Hero II’

"Guitar Hero II" is in no way a guitar simulator. There are only five fret buttons to play different notes. The neck and headstock of the guitar controller that comes with the game is made of plastic. "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden is easier to play in the game than on actual guitar-even on the expert difficulty level.

‘Hot Fuzz’ hilarious sendup of cop flicks

Fans of the sleeper hit "Shaun of the Dead" will not be disappointed by "Hot Fuzz." The second pairing of the writing, directing and acting talents of Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "A Fistful of Fingers") and Simon Pegg ("Shaun of the Dead," "Mission: Impossible III") is worth the watch.

Adult. pursues elegant musical perversity in ‘Why Bother?’

The Hamburglar occupies a curious place in the pantheon of McDonaldland - a twisted and idiosyncratic niche that is much the same as that held by the Detroit technopop duo Adult.

‘Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2’

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2," more easily known as "GRAW2," is a third-person tactical military shooter, with more realism and strategy involved than many famous first-person shooters like "Halo." In single player mode, players have the ability to take cover behind walls and obstacles, peeking and shooting around corners as someone afraid of getting shot would do.

‘Le Chevalier D’Eon’

French historical fiction is getting an odd renaissance in anime, with recent adaptations of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "Les Miserables," and now "Le Chevalier D'Eon," an original work based on a real French spy during the time of King Louis XV. The most notable thing about the real d'Eon Beaumont was the confusion over his sex; there were rumors he was actually a woman (he did disguise himself as Lia de Beaumont during a secret mission to Russia), and he actually claimed he was a woman in the latter part of his life, although anatomically he wasn't.

‘Final Fantasy VI Advance’

Back in 1994, Squaresoft graced the Super Nintendo with a beastly role-playing game by the name of "Final Fantasy III." In Japan, however, "Final Fantasy III" was the sixth game in the series and was aptly titled "Final Fantasy VI." Confused? So was every American fantasy fan in '94.

‘Virtua Tennis 3’

Diehard Sega Dreamcast fans - oh, they're out there - swear by the original "Virtua Tennis," released in the U.S. in 2000. Real Dreamcast fanatics also swear by "Virtua Tennis 2," not only because of numerous improvements over the original, but because it was one of the last games made for the system before Sega's console division was dissolved.

Dark, romantic ‘Disturbia’ a stunning masterpiece

You cannot watch 'Disturbia' without comparing it to Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "Rear Window." Despite claims to the contrary, this is a remake of that film and an incredible one at that. From the opening lines of the film you know you're in for a special treat.

‘The Reaping’ performs a minor miracle for a B-movie

Finally, here is a thriller with religious themes that doesn't fall back on clich?s or cheesy plots! Despite what seems to be the obvious storyline advertised in the previews, this movie has many surprises in store for the viewer and isn't quite what one would expect.

Bloc Party’s ‘Weekend’ trip not for travel-weary listeners

Listening to Bloc Party's second album is like listening to the sound of being just barely too cool for school. It's a golden age that can happen at any time: the briefest window when one realizes whatever rat-race one happens to be engaged in is an illusion that won't have any lasting impact on the course of one's life and it's possible to breeze by armed with half-baked ambition and the knowledge that it doesn't matter what people think - until the next crushing societal pressure takes hold of one's psyche, and the window closes.

‘Meet the Robinsons’ a delight for young and old

Viewers who expect the typical Disney film might be a little disappointed with "Meet the Robinsons." There is no good versus evil, or true love conquering all, in this film. But "Meet the Robinsons" manages to capture a sense of the good old days of Disney, while focusing on the future.

Redman transcends bland beats with wry rhymes

Redman is better than your favorite rapper. This isn't an opinion. This is an objective fact. Easily one of the most consistent MCs out there, Redman recorded an obviously good album with "Red Gone Wild." Even after his six-year hiatus, was there ever really any doubt? Though he's never been known for being clean, Redman took his triple-extra-grimy style down two notches when "Doc's Da Name 2000" came out in 1998.

Local bluegrass band Well Strung earns fans, First Tap stage

Local bluegrass and country band Well Strung has recently earned local fans, and the stage at Bear Tooth Theatre Pub's April 5 First Tap. Well Strung will be featured at the 9 p.m. event where the brewery will introduce this month's new beer, Dientee Del Oso.

‘God of War II’

It seems Spartans are getting all the glory these days. But as incredible as Frank Miller's "300" is, movies aren't an interactive format. Luckily, the gods created video games. Those intelligent enough to play the original "God of War" for the PS2 were treated to one of the greatest action games of all time.

Sonic and the Secret Rings

Of all the outdated franchises littering store shelves with rehashes and cash-ins these days, no intellectual property is more in need of a redesign than Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. Following the abysmal "Sonic the Hedgehog," a so-called "next-gen" title for the Xbox 360 and PS3, Sonic makes a dash to Nintendo's hot new console with an innovative game built from the ground up for the Wii.

Graphic novel adaptation ‘300’ a raging success

Although movies based on comic books are becoming more popular, they still aren't considered very mainstream and generally haven't been very successful. Some superhero films have certainly pulled ahead of the pack ("X-Men" and "Spider-Man" come to mind) and brought in soaring box-office numbers, but for the most part, many true comic book adaptations have been financial failures.

‘Virtua Fighter 5’

Back when arcades were still populated (do they even exist anymore?), fighting games used to have perpetual crowds gathered around, top players getting more than their money's worth as they took on all challengers. That concept is the basis of the quest mode in "Virtua Fighter 5," in which players navigate a city map with different arcade venues to challenge computer players of various skill levels.

Chaotic ‘Zodiac’ mystery killed by failure to thrill

It's always incredibly difficult to write and produce a film based on true events. As "Hollywoodland" proved, it is even more difficult when it's based on an unsolved mystery. The Zodiac killer is one of America's most infamous unsolved mysteries, spanning several decades of investigation.

RJD2’s newest melodic lullabies will not put you to sleep

It was after the end of his set in a Denton, Texas bar called Hailey's in 2004. RJD2 had been complaining to the sound men that it sounded "like a fuckin' dolphin (was) screaming through the monitors." The crowd didn't care. They all just cheered the DJ on and cursed the sound men.

‘Gitaroo Man Lives!’

The PSP has had an interesting run thus far. Sony's sleek and sexy handheld experienced something of an identity crisis from the get-go. Multimedia abilities and UMD (the system's proprietary disc format) movies seemed to overshadow its gaming properties. This negligence has given birth to a slew of lackluster PS2 and PS1 ports.


At first glance, "Crackdown" looks to emulate the open-world environments of "Saints Row" or "Grand Theft Auto." This makes plenty of sense considering that David Jones, the game's lead designer, was also head designer for the "Grand Theft Auto" team. But dig deeper into the world of "Crackdown," and the similarities end there.

Hella’s tight musical chops impressive but monotonous

"Chops" refers to a level of playing that reflects hours of practice. The etymology of the term is anatomical, stemming from the shape of an experienced wind instrument player's mouth, when the musculature inside the face and jowls is toned and refined by prodigious levels of practice to become supernaturally efficient at performing the peculiar task of blowing into a horn.

‘Rouge Galaxy’

Proving that PlayStation 2 is still alive and well, "Rouge Galaxy" is a role-playing game that lets players travel to several different planets (one added for the North American version) as an accidental space pirate, looking for a planet said to contain incredible treasures.

Poor storytelling in ‘Ghost Rider’ vanquished by hot visual effects

After a five-month delay, Ghost Rider has finally gotten his boney butt into theaters. Pushed back from its initial August opening, Ol' Flamehead has been tantalizing his anxious fans for over a year and a half. Now that this most badass of comic book characters has arrived, fans will flock to theaters in droves, but anyone not already enamored with "Ghost Rider" will have difficulty enjoying the film.

Cynical ‘Back to Black’ tells the raw dark truth about love

This album doesn't need a review; it needs a warning. Here goes: Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" is not for delicate ears. On "Back to Black," Winehouse takes the bitter conversations a young 20-something would really have and puts them on a record. She comes off so raw that Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah put her song "You Know I'm No Good" on his latest album.

‘WarioWare: Smooth Moves’

Since its initial release on the Game Boy Advance, the "WarioWare" series has provided Nintendo with a much-needed outlet for fart jokes and toilet humor. Wario's foray onto the Wii continues this grand tradition with an all-new set of over 200 "microgames" utilizing the system's innovative controller.