The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday February 9th

Arts & Culture


Passion for Pharmacy, Writing Can Coexist

While other students lament writing seven-, 10- or 20-page papers, fourth-year pharmacy student Simba Wiltz published his own impressive number of pages -- 320. The Dec. 10 publication of his debut novel, the sci-fi adventure "MainFrame- Beginnings," was the culmination of balancing studying for his pharmacy degree and writing a full-length novel. "It's a hard balance," Wiltz said.

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Influential War Films

Our nation's wars have been revisited in film throughout the years. Here is a short list of notable war movies, the year in which they were released and the wars that came between them. WWI 1914 1918: "Shoulder Arms" Charlie Chaplin 1927: "Wings" William A. Wellman 1930: "All Quiet on the Western Front" Lewis Milestone WWII 1939 1949: "Twelve O'Clock High" Henry King 1949: "Sands of Iwo Jima" Allan Dwan 1951: "The Red Badge of Courage" John Huston Korean War 1950

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Dresden Overpowered by Inconsistent Vocals

Sorry About Dresden Cat's Cradle Jan. 25 Three Stars With powerful music, commanding stage presence and Budweisers resting on their amps, Sorry About Dresden provides a high energy show. Sorry About Dresden visibly enjoys its craft, and the group's musical talent and lyrics give them credibility, but its vocals can be lacking. Varied and sometimes funky melodies are overpowered by the lyrics and raspy vocals. They break away just when a jam is getting interesting, leaving you wanting to hear more of where they were headed.

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'Mothman Prophecies' Provides Creepy Thrills

"The Mothman Prophecies" Three Stars The town of Point Pleasant doesn't stay true to its name in the good-looking but flawed new thriller "The Mothman Prophecies." One night, reporter John Klein (Richard Gere) finds himself in the West Virginia town, but he can't remember how he got there. He meets a local police officer (Laura Linney) and learns about a number of strange things that are going on. Several of the townspeople have seen a strange figure with red eyes. Others have heard strange voices over the phone.

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40oz Makes an Impact; Halstead Goes Solo

40oz Impacto 4 Stars And you thought 40oz was just a Sublime cover ban. Actually, the ska-based Chapel Hill group has wasted no time releasing an album with its own songs and style. After two years of covering Sublime songs, 40oz has crafted an album of catchy originals that are ideal for live venues. On Impacto, its first album, the band's intermingling of ska, rock and reggae make for upbeat tunes and 11 tracks of high-energy fun.

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Caviezel Swashbuckles as Count of Monte Cristo

"The Count of Monte Cristo" Three Stars Is it possible for a film to have too many sword fights? Apparently the answer is no. Not if it's based on an Alexandre Dumas book. Director Kevin Reynolds has taken Dumas' epic tale of revenge and transformed it into a compelling mix of big-screen action and dark psychological twists. And he very nearly pulls it off. In true swashbuckling form, "The Count of Monte Cristo" opens with riveting, well-choreographed swordplay. And the blades aren't sheathed until the finale.

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Benson Album Reminiscent Of Mature Beatles Pop-Rock

Brendan Benson Lapalco 4 Stars At a time when pop is usually associated with snot-nosed punks, vapid stadium-rock drones and singers who don't even write their own material, it's about time that we get a refreshing blast from the past. Brendan Benson sounds like he came straight out of the pop rock spectrum of the '60s and '70s on Lapalco. It's not a far cry to say that, at some points, he sounds positively Beatle-esque.

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The Art of War

Since the terrorist attacks in September and the onset of the war in Afghanistan, America is experiencing a renewed interest in war films. But what has the potential to be a new beginning for the war film genre could turn out to be Hollywood simply repeating itself.

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History of War Films Reflects Shifting Public Opinion

It is widely believed that films have power to influence. But when it comes to portrayals of wars, this influence has been used both to encourage and to criticize. The current conflict in Afghanistan will undoubtedly be portrayed on film at some point, but history indicates that the current trend of rampant patriotism doesn't guarantee a completely positive angle. Late in the 20th century, after Vietnam, the pervading sentiment in Hollywood was skepticism. But during the first era that film and warfare coexisted, propaganda ruled the day.

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Beastly 'Brotherhood' Bends History

"Brotherhood of the Wolf" Three Stars Wouldn't "Four Weddings and a Funeral" have been infinitely more entertaining if it had less talking and more kickboxing? And who wouldn't have enjoyed "All About My Mother" more if it had included a hefty helping of gratuitous nudity?

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'All My Sons' Showing Timely

Spring is typically a lighthearted time, but Company Carolina's first play of the spring semester, Arthur Miller's "All My Sons," might take audiences on a heavier emotional ride. The play tells the story of a typical American family struggling with the loss of a son in World War II, leaving the remaining son, Chris, to adjust his idealistic views to the reality at hand. Awaiting the return of her fallen son, his mother finds herself in a country eager to forget the atrocities of war. "All My Sons" opens Friday.

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Festival Brings Capra's Life, Film To Art Museum

Frank Capra, one of America's best-loved film directors, is being honored with a retrospective film festival at the N.C. Museum of Art. Capra's works, from "It Happened One Night" to "It's a Wonderful Life," are deeply ingrained in the American psyche. The next two weeks will be filled with multiple showings of his many films, but a documentary on Capra's life and career will kick off the festivities this Friday.

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'Troopers' Tour to Promote Film

Getting paid to make comedies and travel with friends to different college campuses is all in a day's work for Broken Lizard. A comedy troupe of five, Broken Lizard is touring the country to promote its new film "Super Troopers," the story of a group of Vermont state troopers and their ongoing feud with the local police force, haphazard abuse of authority and occasional imbibing of drugs and alcohol.

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Bad Cops Fail to Serve In 'Super Troopers'

Super Troopers 2 Stars If "Super Troopers" presents the reality of law enforcement, we should all stay at home, lock our doors and prepare for the worst. "Super Troopers" details a pointless conflict between a band of Vermont highway cops and an uptight group of pushy city cops. The plot centers on the highway cops and their attempts to save their floundering station and essentially worthless jobs.

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Dancers Find a Creative Outlet With Style

It's Wednesday night, and it sounds like there's a storm brewing inside Woollen Gym. Strains of the Alien Ant Farm version of "Smooth Criminal" are barely audible over the thunderous rhythm of tapping heels and toes. With ponytails bouncing, nine women clad in T-shirts and jeans unleash a hailstorm of steps, stomps, shuffles, flaps and chugs. "Five, six, seven, eight." Amber Sherrill, director of Carolina Style's tap company, loudly calls out steps and counts in time with the music, never slowing her feet.

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Blonde's Comeback Fails; Blue Collar Overcomes Frat Rock

Concrete Blonde Group Therapy 2 Stars Concrete Blonde's reunion album Group Therapy begs the overwhelming question, "Why?" The band burst from the L.A. scene in the late '80s and oozed an edginess that contrasted with everything else on the radio. But the band's comeback effort, Group Therapy, lacks the rawness and originality that made the band essential. The trio, made up of singer/bassist Johnette Napolitano, guitarist James Mankey and drummer Harry Rushakoff, blended Latin-rock grooves with gothic sensibilities.

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Billy Dechand Band Proves Interesting But Imperfect

The Billy Dechand Band World Famous in Chapel Hill 3 Stars In the current stagnant waters of mediocre music, it can be said with great relief that there is absolutely nothing mediocre about World Famous in Chapel Hill. More often than not the album is both excellent and original. But on the other hand, several tracks will have even the laziest of people leaping from the couch to skip past them. While The Billy Dechand Band has an extensive discography under its belt, it still seems to be feeling its way around what styles it can and cannot do.

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'Black Hawk Down' Captures Horrors of War

4 Stars If anything can go wrong, it will. Murphy's Law seems to be the premise behind director Ridley Scott's latest film, "Black Hawk Down." Based on the book by Mark Bowden, this war drama uses vivid images and emotionally charged portrayals to tell the true story of one of America's biggest modern military blunders.

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