“The Dark Knight”
The long awaited Christopher Nolan-directed Batman sequel arrives in theatres Friday, July 18, and may bring out a cult following since “ Batman Begins” stirred new interest in the comic book character. In addition, critics are hailing Heath Ledger's posthumous performance as The Joker as the best of his career, and indie film fans are glad to see Maggie Gyllenhaal replace Katie Holmes' role as Rachel Dawes.
Now in its fifth season, Bravo's “ Project Runway” is one of the few reality TV shows that hasn't lost its cool. “Runway” now attracts a broader audience than just the art and fashion types, and it's premiering an hour earlier tonight (July 16) at 9 p.m. to gather more viewers. So, are you in or are you out?
Artist of the Week
Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers
Samantha Crain, who has played at The Evening Muse, presents her debut album, “ The Confiscation,” Tuesday (July 22) on N.C.'s Ramseur Records. Hailing from Woody Guthrie's home state of Oklahoma, Crain has the folk storytelling tradition down pat, along with a hauntingly sweet voice to match it. She's calling her CD a musical novella, or a collection of story chapters she wrote and then put to music.
OK, it's not “ Donkey Kong.” Nor is it “ Planet of the Apes.” But “ Space Chimps” nicely translates both worlds in the video game form of the summer animated film. Climb, jump, and explore new worlds without a virtual opposable thumb. (Released July 15 for PS2, PC, Wii, XBox360).
Read musician profiles, keep up with local folk concerts, and listen to recordings of live performances you missed on the Charlotte Folk Society's blog and podcast page. It's finger-pickin' and foot stompin' entertainment.
Amanda Seyfried (left, from TV's “ Big Love” and “ Veronica Mars”) stars alongside Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in this film adaptation of the Broadway musical about a girl's search for her real father. ABBA songs, which are the score, will captivate a new generation of drama queens, and therefore stay stuck in your head until next July.
“Time is a River” by Mary Alice Monroe
Mary Alice Monroe's novel is about a woman who retreats to the Asheville mountains after surviving breast cancer. There she finds a lost journal by a 1920s fly-fisherwoman, which reopens doors to the outside world. Monroe will sign copies of the book at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark mall 7 p.m. today (July 16).
“Stay Positive” by The Hold Steady
Behind the dark humor of singer Craig Finn's narrative lyrics, Brooklyn's The Hold Steady brings an uplifting rock serenade on their fourth album, “ Stay Positive.” (Released July 15.)
Avoid the scare of long theater lines and watch “ Shutter” on DVD. The American horror film based on Thailand's '04 version stars Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor as lost honeymooners who capture ghoulish images on their cameras . (Released July 15 in widescreen, unrated version, and Blu-Ray.)
“The Second Gleam” by The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers' first vinyl release, the six-song EP called “The Second Gleam,” arrives from Ramseur Records on Tuesday (July 22). The Concord-based band recently announced that their next album will be produced by Rick Rubin on American/Columbian Records. “The Second Gleam” is also available on CD.