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Wednesday, December 22,2010

His own beat

Local rapper steps away from hip-hop clichés

by Rich Tupica
Taking mental notes on a variety of hip-hop heavyweights such as Pete Rock, Timbaland, the Neptunes and DJ Premiere, Gonzalez began to develop his own style. Over the past few years he has released three mix tapes and two albums, “Digital Dope” and “Higher Learning.
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
For those looking to hit the town on New Year’s Eve, a variety of Lansing venues are planning celebrations to usher in 2011. Here are a few of the hot spots hosting special events on Dec. 31. Some venues are already taking reservations, so plan ahead..
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

Dolly Parton: Still on the clock

The country legend has a new title: Broadway composer

by James Sanford
Obviously, it’s a plan that’s worked for her. Since the mid- 1960s Parton has been a force to reckon with in the entertainment world, crossing over from country music to the pop charts, touring tirelessly throughout the decades, launching an...
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

A peach of a 'Speech'

Inspirational message comes through clearly in first-rate drama

by James Sanford
The term "the king’s speech" implies perfect pronunciation and exemplary deportment, the hallmarks of a masterful speaker who couldn’t be more comfortable with the intricacies of English. The man at the center of director Tom Hooper’s "The King’s Speech," however, is terrified of the sound of his own voice.
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

The Screening Room

Coen Brothers' 'True Grit' hits the mark

by James Sanford
Mattie Ross is looking for a man, preferably a man who can find a man. All of 14 years old ' but with the self-confidence of a seasoned woman of the world ' Mattie has decided to take it upon herself to find and punish the outlaw who murdered her father.
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Tuesday, December 21,2010

'Backstage' Christmas

WKAR series includes holiday music from The Verve Pipe, Thom Jayne and more

by Chris Galford
WKAR is ringing out the holiday season with its second edition of a “Backstage Pass Christmas,” airing at 10 p.m. Thursday on channel 23. This year's show offers a variety of music straight from the heart of Michigan, including jazz, R&B, folk, vocal and rock.
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Friday, December 17,2010

Requiem for a dream ballet

Natalie Portman drowns in 'Swan Lake' in Darren Aronofsky's shocker 'Black Swan'

by James Sanford
From the moment Nina (Natalie Portman) gets out of bed, she’s reminded of her mission in life. Her toes and feet crackle like splintering ice as she braces herself for another day in the realm of ballet, an environment dominated by myriad mirrors and an insatiable appetite for youthful energy. If you could listen to Nina’s psyche, you might hear the same unnerving sounds the rest of her body makes: Time is running out, opportunities are elusive and, even though Nina still lives with her mom (Barbara Hershey) and sleeps in a cotton-candy-pink bedroom full of stuffed animals and a ballerina music box, she’s not a child anymore.
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Friday, December 17,2010

Packing a wallop

Outstanding performances and fine writing make 'The Fighter' worth cheering

by James Sanford
The title of director David O. Russell’s film is simple enough — “The Fighter” — but which character it refers to is not so clear. It would seem to be Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), the welterweight who’s been battling his way through the fight game in the early 1990s. But it could just as easily be his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a former boxer who seemed to be a champion in the making more than a decade earlier, before giving in to drug addiction.
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Friday, December 17,2010

Packing a wallop

Outstanding performances and fine writing make 'The Fighter' worth cheering

by James Sanford
The title of director David O. Russell’s film is simple enough — “The Fighter” — but which character it refers to is not so clear. It would seem to be Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), the welterweight who’s been battling his way through the fight game in the early 1990s. But it could just as easily be his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a former boxer who seemed to be a champion in the making more than a decade earlier, before giving in to drug addiction.
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Friday, December 17,2010

Electronic eye candy

'Tron: Legacy' dazzles the eyes and ears, but the mind — eh, not so much

by James Sanford
In 1982, Pac Man Fever was sweeping the nation. But in the Magic Kingdom, Disney executives were feeling aches and pains of a different sort. The studio's designated summer blockbuster "Tron" (which cost approximately $20 million, an impressive budget for those days) had all but short-circuited at the box office, failing to become the next "Star Wars," much less the "2001: A Space Odyssey" of the Atari generation.
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