Crime comedy gives Jack Black his best role in years. Too bad the movie isn’t better.
By Devin D. O’Leary
It's hard to reconcile Richard Linklater, the young-turk auteur who gave us 1991’s Gen-X manifesto Slacker, with Richard Linklater, the movie industry vet (Fast Food Nation, The School of Rock, Bad News Bears) who delivers Jack Black's latest: a pleasantly quirky crime comedy called Bernie. Not that Bernie represents any sort of sad, corporate sellout on the part of Linklater. It’s just that aside from the inclusion of fellow Austinite Matthew McConaughey (who worked with Linklater on Dazed & Confused and The Newton Boys), Bernie isn’t recognizable as something from Linklater’s résumé.
Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
The Match-Up: Director Christopher Nolan’s grown-up adaptation of DC’s Darknight Detective closes out with a trilogy-ending juggernaut. Marvel’s Friendly Neighborhood Web-Slinger, on the other hand, launches a ground-up reboot with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield taking over for Tobey Maguire. The Dark Knight took in more than $1 billion worldwide. Spider-Man 3, on the other hand, left a bad taste in a lot of viewers’ mouths. Do people really want to see Spider-Man’s origin story again? Probably not. The Winner: Batman
The Match-Up: Both of these CGI cartoon series are getting a bit long in the tooth. Both pulled in just under $200 million domestically on their last releases. Both boast all-star voice talent. So far, this is looking like a tie. But DreamWorks has done a better job of keeping its Madagascar franchise fresh in viewers’ minds with a TV show (“The Penguins of Madagascar”), video games and more. By a nose, it’s ... The Winner: Madagascar
The Match-Up: Which bow-wielding hero will reign supreme? OK, this one’s a bit of an unfair fight, pitting a studly superspy against a little red-haired girl. The Avengers has already joined the billion dollar club, making it virtually unbeatable this summer. However, Avengers star Jeremy Renner will be stripped of his bow for The Bourne Legacy in August. Still, he looks pretty bad-ass there too. Brave, being a Pixar movie, will make plenty of money. But so will The Bourne Legacy. Jeremy’s looking strong (if a bit like a bully) in this fight. The Winner: Hawkeye.
The Match-Up: Two time-tested militaristic toys go head-to-head. Mattel’s G.I. Joe became an action figure in 1964. Milton Bradley’s Battleship became a board game in 1967. Joe’s got multiple toy lines, several successful TV cartoons and a previous film (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra). Granted, Rise of Cobra wasn’t all that good. But Battleship? What’s it got—other than a bunch of plastic pegs and a $35 million opening weekend? The trailer for Retaliation actually makes it look like fun. Plus, Bruce Willis climbs on board to play “Joe Colton”—that’s the official name of the original 12-inch G.I. Joe figure! The Winner: G.I. Joe
Plenty of actors have two films being released this summer (Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig). But good old Bruce Willis tops them all with roles in three feature films (Moonrise Kingdom, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Expendables 2). If you throw in the time-traveling hit man drama Looper (which hits theaters on Sept. 28), the guy logs four features. Throw in three other completed-but-not-released films (Lay the Favorite, The Cold Light of Day and Fire With Fire) and the man’s got seven films on the books for 2012. The people’s champion!
Recess Records mastermind talks making albums, punks who go folk and nebulous band members
By Geoffrey Plant
Todd Congelliere has been producing punk rock music in the California style for more than two decades. His band Toys That Kill just released its fourth album, Fambly 42, and is playing an all-ages show at The Gasworks on Tuesday. When the Alibi spoke to Congelliere over the phone, he was at his San Pedro home, which also serves as practice space, recording studio and headquarters for his record label Recess Records.
Double Plow is a “Southern-fried jam band” that melds the hippy Southwestern aesthetic with blues and bluegrass. Hear it live at Marble Brewery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. ¿Que? Studio will be hosting an eclectic showcase from 1 to 8 p.m. (also on the bill is The Great Depression, Red Light Cameras, Vertigo Venus, Mrdrbrd and Temporary Tattoos). Food trucks and barbecue will be present, body painting and raffles will ensue. In observation of Double Plow's observation of the holiday, we asked singer Dwayne "Buzzard" Norris to put his music library on shuffle. Below are the random results.
DJ Caterwaul’s Low Life—an evening of garage, psychedelic and fine punk varietals—always comes with a good flyer. Notice the skeletons and greasy space/aquatic creature. Hear the music that goes with these images on Thursday, May 24, beginning at 9 p.m., or every second and fourth Thursday at Blackbird Buvette, 509 Central NW, for free. (JCC)
The Navajo Nation outlawed uranium mining and processing in 2005 in response to high cancer rates. Yet Larry J. King is one of many members of the tribe who are fighting plans to mine uranium from an aquifer.
State Route 15 is a remote drive with twisting switchbacks and piney mountaintop lookouts. After a full five hours, I made a right turn onto a dirt road about four miles south of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument toward my destination, the hot springs camp.
The broadcast networks have already started showing off their shiny new fall schedules. That means, of course, the conspicuous absence of several shows you may or may not have liked. Yup, the ax has fallen, and a whole host of network shows have been canceled. Some escaped by the skin of their teeth. (ABC’s low-rated but highly regarded “Cougar Town” is moving to TBS in 2013.) Others emerged battered and beaten. (Fan-fave “Community” will return next season. For a truncated 13 episode run. On Friday nights. Paired with “Whitney.” Also, creator Dan Harmon was told to take a hike.) So which shows are gone, gone, gone?
The South Broadway Cultural Center is hosting a three-day Bollywood film festival to benefit Peacecraft, the fair trade craft store in Nob Hill. On Friday, May 25, the show starts with Satyajit Ray’s 1964 romantic drama Charulata: The Lonely Wife at 7 p.m. On Saturday, it’s the 2009 road trip comedy Three Idiots at 2 p.m. followed by another Satyajit Ray film, the 1966 movie industry drama Nayak: The Hero at 7 p.m. Things close out on Sunday with the 2010 drama My Name is Khan, about an Indian Muslim with Asperger’s who embarks on a cross-country journey to speak with President Obama. That one begins at 2 p.m. Cost of each showing is $8 per person.
VSA’s regional series returns with Whitman, war and psychology
By Christie Chisholm
Meshi Chavez moved to Portland, Ore., at the age of 18. Sixteen years later, he’s returning with We Two Boys to Wild Dancing West, VSA North Fourth Art Center’s contemporary dance festival. Now in its seventh year, Wild Dancing West is “the sibling of Global DanceFest,” says Kearny, referring to VSA’s international spectacle that began in 2001. After celebrating dance from around the world, creators decided “it was important to also focus on contemporary dance happening in our region,” she says.
Toni Morrison’s tale of siblings searching for solace has character but lacks resolution
By Sam Adams
Like pretty much everything else she's written, Morrison's most recent novel is a work of historical fiction deeply ingrained in social injustices. Home’s story revolves around brother and sister Frank and Ycidra (aka "Cee") Money, who grew up in the destitute shantytown of Lotus, Ga. It was a place where, as Frank says in one of the book's many internal monologues, "There was no goal other than breathing, nothing to win and, save for somebody else's quiet death, nothing to survive or worth surviving for."
John Chervinsky's Frames of Referenceis an exquisite contemplation on the interplay between scientific principles and their worldly manifestations. In one of the series' subsets, Studio Physics, the Harvard applied physics professor went to great lengths for his final photographic prints. Chervinsky set up studio still lifes, then photographed portions of them. He mailed those photos to a painting factory in China and incorporated the reproductions of his photos by anonymous artists back into the still lifes. Elements of decay (a bowl of rotten bananas half covered by a painted “before” version of the ripe fruit) exhibit the enigma of impermanence in a visually straightforward way.
The chickens are laying again, the greens and onions are up, and the days are getting longer: Brunch season is here. I've been practicing a simple dish of poached eggs served on a bed of spinach and asparagus, garnished with crispy pieces of salt pork or bacon. Sometimes I drench the whole business in a blanket of hollandaise sauce. Or more often, it’s a blanket of failed hollandaise that I resurrect to perfection with mayonnaise and a microwave.
Who are the politicians determining where your tax money is invested, whether you’re charged with a felony or if a megaplex shopping center gets built in that field down the way? Better read up. And when you're in the voting booth on June 5, go to alibi.com on your smartphone to refresh your memory.
Go to alibi.com/election2012 and enter your address to get a personalized election guide tailored to your voting precinct. Visit with your handheld electronic device and feast your eyes on our easy-to-scan Alibi.com mobile interface, perfect for your smartphone.
We got the photo of Commissioner Michael Wiener posing with four Pinay women in a sex-cation destination in the Philippines. It crossed our desks a month before other media outlets shook a titillated-yet-morally outraged finger at it. If it bleeds—or wears hot pants—it leads, right?
If you're registered to vote, you can do it at any one of the 69 centers throughout the city. Pick the place that's easiest for you and show up between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. For updates and an interactive map, visit bernco.gov/clerk. You can also call the County Clerk's Office for additional information at 243-VOTE (8683).
The Dolls have returned with a new batch of witty and raunchy one-liners, mimed sex scenes and subversive political commentary. But this time, they're doing it to the tune of Candace Bushnell's landmark HBO show.
Ralph Fiennes takes Shakespeare’s most obscure tragedy and adds a lot of firepower
By Devin D. O’Leary
I’m not sure there was ever anything edgy or avant-garde about staging a Shakespeare play in modern day. Even if there was at one time, we can probably agree that’s no longer the case. In fact, setting Macbeth in postapocalyptic Detroit or Romeo and Juliet in whatever era you find stuffed in the community theater’s prop closet is so commonplace now that seeing a Shakespeare play in full 16th century regalia is becoming the rarity.
Stepping in front of the cameras to mess with our minds this week is Eric André (“Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23”). “The Eric André Show” is a riotous send-up of TV talks shows—in that the show most closely resembles an actual riot.
June 22 through 24, Famous Monsters of Filmland will present the inaugural Roswell Comic-Con and Film Fest. Jason Faunt (the Red Ranger from “Power Rangers: Time Force”), Jessica Rey (the White Ranger from “Power Rangers: Wild Force”) and Nakia Burrise (the Yellow Ranger from “Power Rangers: Turbo”) are among the celebrity guests. So, “Power Rangers” fans are totally freaking set.
The first day of summer officially arrives on June 20. But with school being out and temperatures reaching into the upper ’80s, it’s as good as here. Assuming the moth army retreats from our corner of the world some point soon, I expect the next 12 weeks or so to be the finest of the year. Here are 15 hot tracks to go with it. Listen here.
On Saturday, May 19, local punk band Stabbed In Back commemorates the release of “New States.” The 7-inch split with New Jersey act The Scandals, out on Dang! Records, is SIB’s first release in six years. The free show, happening at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW), will be supported by Ghost Circles, Molat The Tank and Houston’s the Latch Key Kids. Buy your copy of the split at dangrecordsmusic.com. (JCC)
Evil children are a reliable movie trope. They’ve served well as the covertly malignant villains in films from 1956’s The Bad Seed to 1964’s Children of the Damned to 1976’s The Omen to 2009’s Orphan. Now, U.K. director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) takes the genre in an arty, esoteric direction with her darkly unnerving but deeply flawed domestic nightmare We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Everybody knows it’s cooler in the mountains, so get out and explore them already. You don't need climbing gear or a Sherpa to scale tall peaks—just a thirst for adventure and, perhaps, a beer or two. Here are a few of our picks for an elevated summer.
Retiring legislator fought for women and the working class
By Christie Chisholm
Danice Picraux is a pioneer, but don’t let her catch you saying that. Born, as she says, at the “head of the baby boom” in 1946, she was raised in the aftershock of World War II. It was a time when, like a rubber band pulled too taut, the nation snapped back to traditional gender roles. The United States fled from the cultural phenomenon of women working during wartime. Returning to pre-war gender norms with a glaze of extremism, the ’50s model of the powdered, curled and aproned white housewife was born.
Councilors tackled a long agenda before a full house at their Monday, May 7 meeting. It was standing-room only with more than 100 people signed up to speak about police shootings, public access television and gas station regulation.
As we speak, television networks are in the middle of “up front season.” That means the broadcast networks (and a few of their cable brethren) are showing off potential new shows to advertisers. The interest (or lack thereof) that Frito-Lay and General Motors show in these series will decide A) which ones go on the air in fall, and B) how much the networks are gonna charge to advertise on them. Weeding through the crop of possible new shows, there are a few that catch our eye.
Downtown Albuquerque’s historic KiMo Theatre is looking increasingly committed to classic silver screen entertainment. Starting this weekend, KiMo begins its new Friday Fright Night series. Every Friday in May, there will be a screening of a horror classic, freshly unearthed from the vaults of Universal Studios. The scares start with James Whale’s 1931 version of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff stars in the role that launched a thousand nightmares. On May 18, it’s 1933’s The Invisible Man starring Claude Raines. On May 25, we get Bela Lugosi vamping it up in 1931’s Dracula. Tickets are $7 general admission, or $5 students and seniors. You even get free popcorn with your ticket! All films start at 8 p.m.
World-renowned guitar aficionado feels right at home
By Margaret Wright
For Michael Eliot, one of the most internationally respected vintage guitar dealers, Albuquerque was the ideal place to set up the western wing of his collection, and not because it's remote and quieter than the New York City of his youth. On the contrary, it was the up-and-coming, hardscrabble energy of the place that drew him in and kept him here.
Inexpensive custom creations have kept Casa de Piñatas a UNM-area staple for 16 years
By Sam Adams
In 1996, Francisco Rodriguez opened a little store at the intersection of Lead and Yale with his wife, Patty. Rodriguez handled the crafting, and his wife managed the business side. It's at that same location, 16 years later, that Rodriguez and his son continue the tradition of custom piñatas.
The Vortex lines up David Mamet’s soulless film industry farce
By Christie Chisholm
Speed-the-Plow is a play about the coke-addled, fortune-obsessed, power-crazed workings of late-’80s Hollywood, fortified with typical David Mamet misogynistic underpinnings. Also in true Mamet fashion, it’s a story in which all of the characters prove themselves despicable, some more than others. Yet Speed-the-Plow still manages to be light, frivolous fun.
Note to the world’s marketing geniuses: Place the prefix “Octo” in front of any word and you automatically have something people won’t stop saying. Try it. Octomom, Octoplex, OctoStash. See, it’s fun. You can even make up something like “Octodog” and I bet it’ll catch on. I’m not even sure what that is, but I’ve got to have one.