All posts tagged: The Wire

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Last Things Last: A Rachel Grimes Profile

Rachel Grimes knew how to play the piano before she learned to walk. “My dad and grandmother played, so I was always sitting beside them following along, watching and listening in wonder at how they could make that magic,” the composer/pianist told me recently from the home she and her husband, educator Alec Johnson, share in the rustic countryside north of Louisville. “I took piano lessons, but mostly played by ear, movie and TV themes. I got a little more serious about classical music in middle school, though I was never interested in competitions. When I was 15, I was working part-time in the record department of a book-store and joined a rock band formed by the music department manager.” A decade later, in the mid ‘90s, Grimes gained wide-spread notoriety beyond her native Louisville by fronting a ground-breaking chamber ensemble that bore her name but was minted without her in mind. She’s been busy ever since, and now plans to release her second solo outing, a collection of chamber ensemble and piano music tentatively …

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TV Review: “Low Winter Sun”

The run down, poverty stricken streets of Detroit are the backdrop of AMC’s latest crime drama, Low Winter Sun. Just like The Wire and Homicide used Baltimore to great effect, Low Winter Sun uses the streets of the Motor City to set the dark, bleak mood for this adaptation of the 2006 award-winning British mini-series by the same name. Unlike that BBC series, which ran 180 minutes, this American version is 10 hour-long episodes, and possibly more should the show garner enough acclaim and ratings. Since it airs directly after the final episodes of Breaking Bad, odds are in its favor. Is it worth your time? I think that fans of The Wire, The Shield and Homicide should be intrigued. I know I am. The pilot opens with a shot of Mark Strong (who also starred in the British version) as Detective Frank Agnew staring at camera, a tear running down his eye. Who’s he crying for? Himself?  His dead lover? We don’t know. From there we jump to another time and place: The back …

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10 Movies…That Are Fifth-Quels (To Prepare You For Another Fifth Movie in a Franchise, ‘Scary Movie 5’

Most movie series don’t make it to five films. Either the filmmakers run out of ideas, or the studio reboots the characters. The latest “fifth-quel” is Scary Movie 5, which, since it’s in a franchise that just parodies whatever horror movies and cultural moments came along since the last one came out, doesn’t have to concern itself with such matters. Here are some movies that kept the gravy train going—formula and tired plotlines be damned! Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994) The Death Wish series reflected and defined the ‘70s as a grimy, violent, seedy place, where there were brutally violent bad guys just asking to get shot by the stone-faced, equally brutally violent good guys — and it actually lasted into the ‘90s. Once more, Paul Kersey is a magnet for thugs as a woman he loves gets brutalized and he has to write some wrongs and vigilante the shit out of some shit. Starring a 73-year-old Charles Bronson. The Dead Pool (1988) The iconic Dirty Harry film series reflected and defined the …

The Three Strike Rule: 10 for 10- A List of shows for My Daughter

Welcome back to The Three Strike Rule.  You’d think I could come up with a better title for this week’s column than that, huh?  Today is my daughter Sophie’s 10th birthday.  When you hear that cliche, “I don’t know where the years went,” believe it.  I have watched a baby grow into an inquisitive toddler, then transform into a bright little preschooler and finally she has become an empathetic (I throw that word around a lot when I discuss my little girl), smart and talented 10-year-old. As I am prone to giving her advice (which she has already begun to ignore), I have opted to dedicate this week’s column to highlighting 10 standout television shows from the past 10 years that I hope Sophie will seek out to be entertained and enlightened. In the past 10 years, due to DVD box sets, TiVo, and the Internet, we have seen a change in attitudes about television.  No longer is it just considered “disposable” entertainment.  Viewers are seeking out quality programming and making it successful.  Moreover, stars …