Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters - Great Family Movie

Percy Jackson:  Sea of Monsters was a good sequel and just as entertaining as its predecessor The Lightning Thief.  The movie begins with some history, as Percy recounts the story of how Thalia, a half blood who made her way to the Olympians camp alongside Grover, Luke and Annabeth sacrificed her life to save them from their pursuers.  Zeus transformed her into a massive tree with an enchantment to protect the camp from intruders.  Thalia’s tree however has been poisoned and the magical barrier protecting everyone is quickly fading.  It is decided that that only way to save Thalia and the camp is to retrieve the mythical Golden Fleece from the Sea of Monsters (aka the Bermuda Triangle).  Percy’s rival Clarisse is selected to take on the quest and heads off to the sea.  However, troubled by a prophecy which states that the son of one of the original three gods will either save or destroy Olympus, as well as knowledge that Luke, his arch nemesis, plans to recover the Fleece for his own purposes, Percy decides to go after the Fleece himself.  Accompanied by Grover and Annabeth, as well as his new half-brother, a Cyclops named Tyson, Percy sets out in pursuit of the Fleece in an attempt to stop Luke and save Thalia.  The story was great in that it uses real mythology to support the fictional story as Percy encounters the infamous Charybdis and terrible Cyclops Polyphemus during his quest.  The father of all the Gods, Kronos also makes an appearance as Percy attempts to stop Luke from resurrecting him from his prison in Tartarus.  Overall, the film was worth the 90+ minute run time and had something for everyone.  As a student of history and the Greek Classics, I found the film to be accurate in its mythology while still maintaining an entertaining fictional storyline.  It does pick up where the last film left off however which was a bit confusing at first as I haven’t seen The Lightning Thief since theaters.  So I would recommend watching it ahead of time before jumping right in to Sea of Monsters.  All in all, it’s definitely destined to be a family movie night favorite.

The Biggest Night in Music

Everyone who loves music tuned in on Sunday night to watch the 56th annual Grammy Awards as the biggest names in the industry came out to honor one another.  Overall, the show was what I expected it to be.  It started off with a bang as Beyonce put on a stunning performance joined by husband Jay-Z which I'm sure made everyone think, how am I going to top that??  Other notable performances followed including a dark, satanic like performance from Katy Perry and a high flying, acrobatic blowout by Pink which seemed straight out of Cirque du Soleil.  Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones did a wonderful acoustic tribute to the Everly Brothers, and Metallica did a rousing, albeit non-traditional performance of "One" accompanied by pianist Lang Lang.  The big winners of the night were definitely Daft Punk taking home Album of the Year and Record of the Year among others.  It was also the year of Lorde as the 17 year old took home Song of the Year for smash hit "Royals" and Best Solo Pop Performance for the same.  While Beyonce didn't take anything home, Jay-Z managed to win what he called a "sippy cup" for daughter Blue Ivy, taking home best Rap Collaboration for "Holy Grail" featuring Justin Timberlake.  As a fan of rock and roll however, the night was a massive disappointment.  Metal and rock fans worldwide did a double take as Jeff Hanneman, incredibly influential lead guitarist for Slayer, who sadly passed away this past year, was left out of the award shows tribute to fallen members of the music community.  In addition, the one rock act slated to perform, a super group made up of Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age, Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl on drums, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, was cut short as advertisements and credits began to roll over their closing performance.  That being said, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney performed together with Ringo on his kit and McCartney on piano which was moving as the Beatles were honored with a lifetime achievement award that night.  However, the best moment of the night for rock fans was when McCartney took home an award for Best Rock Song alongside Dave Grohl and fellow ex-Nirvana band mates Krist Noveselic and Pat Smear for "Cut Me Some Slack" a song recorded in only three hours at Grohls studio in California during the filming of his documentary Sound City.  Overall, the night was entertaining with many people taking home awards which were undoubtedly deserved.  However, it also served as a reminder of the ever increasing efforts to push rock and roll underground.

Today's Playlist

Some songs from this morning

1.) You're a Prisoner - Death
2.) The Professional - Sleater Kinney
3.) Vertigo - The Libertines
4.) Tigers - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
5.) Cut Me Some Slack - Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Noveselic, Pat Smear

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

iPads with Zinio Available at the Library!!!

The Duxbury Free Library has two brand new iPad’s for checkout at the Circulation Desk!  Soon they will be out in the magazine and audio visual areas for anyone to use.  They are fully loaded with a variety of apps as well as Zinio, a service that allows you to read the latest editions of many popular magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and SPIN.  Be sure to try it out on one of the iPads in the library this January or create an account through the Zinio tab in the link below to use it on your own tablet or smartphone.  

Broken Bells Release Title Track from Upcoming Album

I was a HUGE fan of Broken Bell's debut release back in 2010.  The electro indie rock 2 piece made up of the Shin's James Mercer and Danger Mouse are releasing their highly anticipated follow up this February and have so far released two tracks from the album.  The second track to be released "After the Disco" is a dark dance tune with a crazy chorus.  I'm not too excited about it which is disappointing because I've been anxiously awaiting their new songs.  Their sound is still largely maintained but the chorus is a little too high pitched and obnoxious for me.  I'm hoping the rest of the album has some winners because I'm not too on board with what I've heard so far.  Listen to the track and read what Rolling Stone has to say about it below.

"After the Disco" New Track by Broken Bells

Insidious Chapter 2 Picks Right Up Where the Last Film Left Off

Directed by James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, Saw), Insidious Chapter 2 picked up right where the first film left off and had the same creepily subtle scary moments that made Insidious such a great horror movie.  The Lambert’s have moved into Josh’s childhood home pending the investigation of the (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)……..death of Elaine, the paranormal investigator who helped Josh enter the spirit realm to recuse his son Dalton from the clutches of a malevolent demon at the end of the first film.  However, Josh is not himself as his body was taken over by the spirit of an old woman who has been haunting him since he was a child.  While Josh was searching for Dalton the demon entered his shell of a body and left his spirit trapped.  All the characters from the previous film reprise their roles as Elaine’s fellow paranormal investigators join forces with Josh’s mother Lorraine to solve the mystery of the evil old woman and try and rescue Josh before it’s too late.  Overall, the film was great but not as good as the first which is pretty standard in the horror movie genre.  Still, with such a cliffhanger at the end of the first film it was good to see what happens next.  The mystery of the old woman possessing Josh takes a long time to unfold but when it finally does it is worth the wait which was relieving because I was concerned for a while that the movie wasn’t going anywhere.  Overall the film is horrific, frightening, and scarily believable which is consistently the strong point of Wan’s films.  If you enjoyed the first movie then Chapter 2 should definitely be on your “movies to watch” list.