Movie Review- ‘Dark Shadows’ – This vampire should probably stay in the dark

April Barkley WCB Movie Writer                                                                                                                                                      Immersing a vampire from the 1700s into the 1970s seems that it would be a pretty hilarious thing to watch and purely entertaining. For the new Johnny Depp and Tim Burton film Dark Shadows, it really wasn’t.Studio- Village Roadshow Pictures Director- Tim BurtonStarring- Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle HaleyRating- 1.5 out of 4 starsI must admit, I have not seen the television show that this movie was based off of but the movie did not dazzle me at all. Barnabas Collins (Depp) is cursed into a vampire by an evil woman, who is also a witch (Eva Green) and imprisoned for a hundred years. He is set free and returns to his family home, where he meets his new distant relatives and tries to adjust to life in the 70s. He becomes closer with his new relatives, who later are in need of his protection from the witch.

Album Review – The All-American Rejects, “Kids in the Street”

Megan Purazrang WCB Music Writer The-All American Rejects Kids in the Street Released – March 26, 2012 Producer – Greg Wells Label – Interscope, DGC Kids in the Street marks the bands fourth album since their formation in 2009. All it takes is a listen of lead vocalist Tyson Ritter screaming “1, 2, 3, 4!” followed by the song “Someday’s Gone” to know that this album is not just similar, but closer to identical to the music releases that are a part of The-All American Rejects past albums. The song allows predictability in the lyrics so an audience could easily guess and remain with the pace of the music. The first single off of the record is “Beekeeper’s Daughter” lyrically a song narrated from the perspective of a boy who is no friend of commitment. The melodic line “you’re a pretty little flower and I’m a busy little bee” clearly sums up the message without further explanation. Three minutes into the song is a defiant guitar solo to emphasis the lack of monogamous interest of the story.

TV Review – TRON: Uprising – Disney XD Official

Tom WrayWCB EditorTron: UprisingPremiere: June 7, 2012Channel: Disny XD3 out of 4 starsIf you hadn’t already heard through sites like io9.com, there is a new series coming up on Disney XD. The story from Tron and Tron: Legacy is being continued in Tron: Uprising. The first full episode has been released on YouTube (posted below). The verdict so far? Promising.The cast is pretty impressive.

Movie Review- The Crafty Story of Poe- ‘The Raven’

April Barkley WCB Movie WriterStudio- Relativity MediaDirector- James McTeigueStarring-John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Jackson-CohenRating- 3 out of 4 starsI saw a rather clever movie today with a clever plot and it was a smart murder-mystery thrill ride. And I saw a rather drunk John Cusack, playing Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven. It won’t win best picture but it’s an entertaining look at the fictional end of Poe’s life.Basically a crazy guy starts committing murders inspired by Poe’s darkest poems and a detective (Luke Evans) joins Poe in a hunt to stop him from making every one of Poe’s fictional eerie stories into a reality. It all takes place in the last few days of Poe’s life. Crappy way to spend your last days alive huh?

Album Review – Train, “California 37”

Megan PurazrangWCB Music Writer Train California 37Released – April 13, 2012Producer – Espionage, David Hodges,Diji Parq, Butch Walker, Gregg WattenbergLabel – Columbia, SonyTrain has returned to mainstream radio with the release of their sixth studio album titled California 37. It was as recent as October of 2009 when Save Me, San Franciscothe band’s fifth album, lead to the band’s third grammy win for its dominant single and the title of Top Selling Single of 2010, “Hey, Soul Sister.” The album re-established Train’s strength as a rock/pop band that has and continues to survive the modern evolution of music. The other singles released “If It’s Love” and “Marry Me” in what made the album popular. Anyone who was aware of music in the early 2000’s without question heard Train’s infamous hits “Drops of Jupiter” and “Calling All Angels.” California 37 is themed to a tee – from the introductory note through each melody and lyrical word leading up to the conclusion, the album is filled with references that state a realization of time and life. These two subjects clearly have infinite meaning and encompassing detail.

Movie Review- ‘The Avengers’- So, When’s the Sequel?

April Barkley WCB Movie WriterStudio- Marvel StudiosDirector- Joss WhedonStarring- Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. JacksonRating- 3.5 out of 4 stars  Windy City Banner couldn’t have been more excited when Marvel’s The Avengers was released May 4th, and for good reason. The movie was at the top of the box office list, generated millions of dollars, and hardly produced any negative criticism. I couldn’t wait to see it and enjoyed every minute of it. Go grab your tickets, popcorn, and gather up your friends to see why this movie was such a hit.Director Joss Whedon certainly has a way with making his films captivating and bringing to life his characters and showing us why we love the movies. Known for his work with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fireflyand other geek excitement, including his work within comics, he brought The Avengers, which is based on the comic series, to a whole different level.

Album Review – Bush, “Sea of Memories”

Megan Purazrang WCB Music WriterBushSea of MemoriesReleased – September 13, 2011Producer – Bob RockLabel – Zuma Rock RecordsTake a moment and go back to the well-known music of the ‘90s. This was the time when Nigel Pulsford, Robin Goodridge, Dave Parsons, and Gavin Rossdale all London born rockers, joined the music scene with their band Bush. The band was best known for their hit single “Swallowed” from their second album Razorblade Suitcase. In 2002, the band dispersed, and last year lead singer Rossdale and drummer Goodridge reunited to bring the band back adding new members, guitarist Chris Traynor and bassist Corey Britz. The band’s new album is called The Sea of Memories.The album was produced by Bob Rock and holds the typical alternative-rock edgy, adventurous sound, but it lacks a pull for listeners.

Shiloh Concert Review

Megan PurazrangWCB Music Writer ShilohDouble Door1572 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago            It was around 9:00 P.M. when Shiloh hit the stage at Double Door 1572 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL. The band was larger than expected for their indie-rock, alternative sound. Once they got on stage and began playing it was immediately obvious that the six members on stage (including a bored looking violin player) of the band co-exist well in the root of their chemistry, musically speaking is a different story.            During the 30 minute set, there were many occurrences when the band showed a more immature side of musical talent. With that being said, there is certainly an opportunity for growth. Musically one of the biggest issues was the lack of flow in their sound.

Album Review – Blink-182, “Neighborhoods”

Megan Purazrang WCB Music Writer Blink-182Neighborhoods Released September 27, 2011Producers – Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge,Travis BarkerLabel -DGC Records and Interscope RecordsA decent career path of a band displays growth and evolution. Reunited punk band Blink 182 is proof that successful bands can do this with the most recent release of their first album in six years labeled Neighborhoods. The band formed in 1992. Original members Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Scott Raynor (replaced by Travis Barker in 1998) were on a fast track to success beginning with the self-released EP called Fly Swatter, and proceeded by Buddha and Cheshire Cat consecutively in the two years to follow. The punk rebellion motif in their younger sound and lyrics was appealing to fans in a time when successful boy bands such as the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were popular for love songs.