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TV shows these days are always trying to 'teach' us something. That is, if it isn't already a rip-off or a cliché. Seems like every new show is about serial killers, crime drama or vampires, and god knows we don't need more of those. The absence of good, lovable characters that are nicely written is killing the industry, so is awarding Emmys to Glee, instead of shows like 30 ROCK or Modern Family.
Fortunately, there are still some smart, pop culture-loving people who want to make great shows. And thankfully they made Community. Two seasons in, this show is already topping people's charts as their favourite of all time.
The community college we speak of is, of course, Greendale Community College, the dodgiest college in history. The admission page says 'You're already in!' and it offers courses like Beginners Pottery where you get an A just for participation, accounting courses where you have to 'Carpe Diem' for passing, or Conspiracy Theories 101. Surely Greendale gives its students the ultimate college experience.
The main characters are all part of a study group that does a good deal more than studying. Jeff (Joel McHale) is the handsome disbarred lawyer with ego issues; Britta (Gillian Jacobs) is the feminist of the group, with a dose of hippi-ness; there's prim and proper Annie (Alison Brie), jock Troy (Donald Glover) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown). These characters are pretty great on their own, but the showstoppers are the oddest pair, Pierce (Chevy Chase) and Abed (Danny Pudi); Pierce because of his never-ending racist, sexist and ignorant comments about everything, and Abed because he is Abed. He is to television and pop culture what Sheldon Cooper is to theoretical physics, only more likable. The teachers are fantastically peculiar: Senor Ben Chang for example, is the Chinese Spanish teacher.
The show is fresh, creative and loaded with pop-culture references, and there are some episodes that are true television gems. The paintball episode 'Modern Warfare' really upped the bar for the show and is hands down the best single episode of any show this year. No other show makes laugh tracks look this redundant. You could even say this is the new Arrested Development. It's that good. And the theme song 'At least it was here' by the 88 is brilliant.
Community has a downside though: college only lasts four years. Apart from that, the series is upbeat, quirky and cleverly written with a lot of heart. If after watching you don't want to study at Greendale we don't know what to say to you.
Sources: Greendalecommunitycollege.com, imdb.com
Too many bygone stars are attempting comebacks in recent times. Britney almost made it; Eminem is almost there, now Limp Bizkit is entering the stage from the left. Ex-teenagers and ex-fourteen year olds rejoice: the late nineties alter-rock band is making a comeback.
Gold Cobra represents exactly what Limp Bizkit is all, and always has been, about: loud and sometimes droning sound, explicit and in your face lyrics and a truckload of attitude. Featuring the full lineup for the first time in years, and including guitarist Wes Borland, this album was expected to have a punch similar to Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavoured Water.
"Introbra": Typical Limp Bizkit intro, random sound clips mixed in together. It's supposed to lead the feel for the rest of the album, but it can be called filler at best. 1/5
"Bring it Back": More old school rap than rap-metal, this is one of those songs you play in your car when you and your rowdy male friends are cruising around town, pretending to be “gangshtaar”. The track is too short to make any real impact, but Borland's raging riffs and John Otto's drumming are worth mentioning. 3/5
"Gold Cobra": Limp Bizkit nostalgia at its best. Fred Durst's vocal delivery hasn't changed, spitting out expletives one moment, then mellowing out with melodic vocals in the next. The turntable use is more noticeable in the title track than in any other track in the album. The track seems very familiar somehow, as if you've heard it somewhere before. It's hard to pinpoint why, though. 3.5/5
"Shark Attack": To be honest, this track was a bit too monotonous to hit anyone, let alone feel like a shark attack. The lyrics turn weird in the middle of the song, but considering its Limp Bizkit, it's expected. 2.5/5
"Get a Life": A hate rant, a typical one, by Fred Durst against everything from rednecks to the cows they own and on the opposite spectrum, “hating the haters” who conform to social rules. The ending is messed up again, horribly. 2/5
"Shotgun": Goes smooth with fast, energetic rapping by Durst, smooth but high-tempo guitar work by Borland, and a slightly diminished bass track. Another song for the car cruising redneck wannabe buddies of yours. 2.5/5
"Douche Bag": By the time you get to this song, you'll be crying out for some variation in the songs. Sadly, this does nothing at all to relieve anyone. It goes like every other song so far, so it's time for a skip. 2/5
"Walking Away": The much needed relief comes a song late. The mellowest song in the whole album (at least compared to LB standards, i.e, not mellow at all), Walking Away is one of the best songs in the album. If anyone compares this track to Linkin Park's typical songs, be warned that Fred Durst will hunt you down and shoot you in the face. 4/5
"Loser": Another mellow sounding track, it gets heavier as the song progresses. The monotony has been broken by now, thank God. The general theme of hate and outcry running through most of the album also prevails here. 3/5
"Autotunage": A huge track by Limp Bizkit standards (5:05), that is a waste of time. Skip. 2/5
"90.2.10": Starts off very promising, with fast riffing by Borland, then settles into usual monotony. No magic here. Skip after 0:50 secs. 2/5
"Why Try”: One of the songs that just might save the rear end of the album. The chorus is kind of catchy and hip, good for a fairly decent sing along. Nowhere near the old Limp Bizkit genius, though. 2.5/5
"Killer In You": Just eject the CD or quit Windows Media Player. No need to continue anymore. 1.5/5
Nu-metal, rap-metal and the darker side of alternative rock died after KoRn's See You On the Otherside. KoRn's latest offering is so mind numbingly bad, alongside with Limp Bizkit's Gold Cobra, you can pretty much tell for sure that nu-metal is completely dead and buried. The golden years of our teenage, listening to Rollin and My Generation (Limp Bizkit); Freak on a Leash and Falling Away from Me (KoRn) are long gone. Tastes have changed, and the new batch of teenagers will be too busy lapping up Pitbull and whatnot to pay any attention to these past masters' comeback attempts. And it's not like they're helping matters.
Overall rating: 2.5/5
Eenage assassins are still a relatively untapped idea when you think about it. 15 year-olds taking on guys twice their age and size is still something we don't see in every other movie. Agent Cody Banks tried it, but that was a comedy rather than an action-thriller. And Kick-Ass was more superhero than assassin. So yeah, the idea was a refreshing change.
The Story: Erik (Eric Bana) is an ex-agent of CIA, who lives with his daughter in the middle of snowy nowhere and trains her to be the perfect killing machine. Hanna (played by the gorgeous Saoirse Ronan, from The Lovely Bones and Atonement) can take on ten men without batting an eye, can speak at least ten languages fluently but she's never even heard music or come in contact with modern technology. Hanna's goal is to get ready to go into the real world and kill Marissa (Cate Blanchette), who was Erik's boss and who killed Hanna's mother. For the most part, the story loosely stays together, though there can be a bit of confusion at times.
As can be expected, there are ploys and counter ploys with revelations and conspiracy theories. Most of them are pretty straightforward. Since the story is not the strongest suit of the movie, let's move onto some things that are.
The acting is very good. With Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, you wouldn't expect any less, but Saoirse Ronan proves once again how brilliant an actress she is and how her talent is wasted in the movies she has acted in so far. At times she looks almost inhuman as Hanna, even better than how we would imagine a teen assassin to be.
The directing also is very creative. The action scenes are cool, mostly because of Hanna's ferocious tenacity. There is one glitch though, as much as we like close up of the lead actor's eyes, it really gets a bit tiresome after a while. The soundtrack, however, doesn't disappoint at all.
Although Hanna was moderately impressive, it's not quite as good as it could have been. If you were expecting something mind-blowing, this is not it. For a movie that is almost two hours long, the storyline seemed to be completely broken in places. If you want to see a movie with friends for a night over, this is great; savouring it after days of exams as a treat, not so much.