Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


This Week’s Best Bets

Cult Mainstream is In, Thanks to the Internetby Phillip Valys ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Hollywood is quickly realizing that pre-theatrical release film hype on the internet is a boon for movie publicists. Much the example of cash cow sleeper hits Borat, Snakes on a Plane and Black Snake Moan, pre-release buzz meandered its way onto message boards and entertainment websites, brewing heavy discussion and intrigue.

We know the success story of Borat, whose box office gross totaled a phenomenal $128 million (and whose subsequent DVD sales topped $12 million). When Black Snake Moan and 300 both drifted within earshot last fall, their respected trailers harbored all the ingredients of instant cult status.

Moan’s preview chopped the entire film down to a 15-minute sequence- a string of sweaty scenes laden with harmonica Blues, the absurd visual of Christina Ricci chained to a radiator, and a masculine country-bumpkin whose misogynistic-laden dialogue (“I aim to cure you of your wickedness…get yo’ ass back in my house!”). It closely resembled another Snake movie released the previous Summer. Unfortunately, the rest of Moan was too ordinary by comparison.

300 grossed an astronomical $132 million in nearly two weeks, dishing out a similar masculine theme. Cornball dialogue (“Spartans! Enjoy your breakfast, for tonight we dine in Hell!”), the allure of yet another graphic novel adaptation, and a plotline tinged with Frank Miller-ian nuanced dialogue slingshoted 300 to surprise net revenues.

To be certain, the spellbinding and often captivating realm of male-dominated society- from the rugged group of senators dealing out legislation in Sparta to the six-pack Spartan soldiers crossing swords with the Persian Empire miles away- is sprinkled with a certain riveting fantasy the less-endowed 300 male viewer might come to admire.

So, why has the overnight bombshell 300 suddenly struck a cord among this generation’s younger demographic? Grossing nearly $136 million thus far, the Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead remake) epic taps into a comic book-laden culture inextricably obsessed by the Marvel/DC string of í_ber-marketable adaptations, not to mention Miller’s other blue screen brainchild from 2005, the star-studded, ultra-rich Sin City.

There’s a point here. 300 gathered steam on the internet as a sleek trailer sporting the Nine Inch Nails song “Just Like You Imagined”, and amassed just the right cult following/Miller sympathizers prior to release to ensure a more universal appeal beyond the net geeks. Inevitably, this Spartan vs. Persian chronicle struck gold depicting the ideal masculine figure and a whole lotta nudity.

And if you haven’t guessed yet, the Cult Mainstream formula is again fully-realized by the upcoming Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse, out April 6.

Best Bets: CD’sby Anthony A. Choman STAFF WRITERThe KlaxonsMyths of the Near Future (Geffen) Release Date: March 27th Macy GrayBig (Geffen) Release Date: March 27th Good CharlotteGood Morning Revival (Sony) Release Date: March 20th

Stratford-upon-Avon has not had a hit since ol’ Willy Shakespeare was cranking out sonnets like FAU’s finest issues parking tickets. The Klaxons are here and this tremendous tribe of troubadours has cut one of the finest dance-punk records to date with Myths of the Near Future. The Klaxons cite the early nineties rave scene, novelist William Burroughs, twisted-firestarters-The Prodigy, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin as their major influences. The Klaxons are so killer without any flippy-floppy filler that even vocalist/bassist Jamie Reynolds coined a new genre to help describe his group’s sound- “nu-rave.” The first single off Myths, “Magick,” has already scorched up both the underground & topside charts in the U.K., so get ready for the self-proclaimed “4 Horsemen of 2012.”

Unplug the amps and grab a bottle of red for raspy neo-soul songstress Macy Gray’s latest album, Big. Just in case any of you out there thought the album’s title sounds a bit pretentious, it should come as no surprise Ms. Gray’s backers and detractors alike say her vivaciously-vibrant vocals are…well… big. Just ask some of the soulful-songbird’s friends that pitched in on Big: music-royalty princess Natalie Cole proves worthy of her bloodline as she joins Ms. Gray on the album’s opener, “Finally Made Me Happy”. The always still-matic Nas adds gritty-floetry to “Ghetto Love,” while Black-Eyed-Peas-turned strumpet Fergie also dishes out a teaspoon of starpower to “Glad You’re Here.”

Good Morning Revival is the fourth studio album from boy band-turned wannabe-punk-rockers Good Charlotte. The Madden twins, Benji & Joel, are out to prove yet again that their music is no less real than the imaginary tea parties thrown by their millions of pre-pubescent fans each day during daycare. Fortunately for the Madden brothers, Revival limps by with a little help from their surprisingly sound band mates- G.C. actually managed to nab former Morrissey drummer Dean Butterworth. Tracks to pop-rock your little punk-heart are: “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl,” “Broken Hearts Parade,” and “Where Would We Be,” an epically-sappy-satire that surmises Joel Madden’s breakup with pop princess-turned-crisis pinup girl Hillary Duff.

Best Bets: Museum ExhibitCheech Marin’s Smokin’ Hot Art Collectionby Michelle Johnson CONTRIBUTOR

Richard “Cheech” Marin earned great recognition from the popular 1970’s Cheech and Chong pot-smoker films, yet many people don’t realize that Marin is an avid collector of Chicano artwork. His vast collection of Mexican-American paintings are the basis for Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, currently on display at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Visions is the combined effort of Curator Rení© Yaí±ez, Marin and many others to showcase how the Chicano “school of art” defies traditional styles of painting. As a cultural “melting pot”, South Florida is home to many racially diverse art schools and universities, most of which expose students to a variety of cultures throughout their post-secondary education. This exhibition serves to broaden awareness about the Mexican-American culture.

Chicano artists such as Melesio Casas, Leo Limí_n, Glugio “Gronk” Nicondra, Frank Romero, Patssi Valdez, Vincent Valdez and George Yepes combine traditional religious and common Mexican images in their artwork with undertones of social, political and economic hardships they and their ancestors dealt with as Mexican-Americans. Vincent Valdez’s painting “Kill the Pachuco Bastard!” in particular incurred much vitriol, depicting a controversial version of the 1940’s Zoot Suit Riots. The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of racially-charged uprisings between local Mexican, zoot suit-wearing youths (i.e. “pachucos,”) and the sailors and soldiers stationed in the heavily Mexican-populated city of Los Angeles.

Artist Patssi Valdez’s work depicts her Chicano upbringing using a more whimsical, dream-like approach. In her painting, “The Dream”, there’s an unusual yet breathtaking image of a young girl floating on water as she sleeps soundly in her bed. George Yepes’ highly religious yet mysteriously dark work “La Pistola y el Corazon” is also on display, not to mention featured in many Los Angeles churches, and on a Los Lobos album cover of the same name.

Chicano Visions runs through May 1, 2007 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *