In Review: Sept. 23, 2009

The Final Destination 3D
Directed by: David R. Ellis
Starring: Bobby Campo and Shantel VanSanten

There is definitely a reason why this was the final destination: because once viewers realize that they were suckered into not only a low-budget horror film, but that they also wasted extra money to see it in 3D, nobody would ever go see another Final Destination flick. Ever.

Of course, as there were no recognizable actors in the film, it was to be expected that the acting would be sub-par.

But one would hope that the awesome 3D effects would make up for it. Wrong.

Through about 75 per cent of the movie, you forget that you are even viewing it in 3D.

And when you are reminded, the effects are lame and often repeated.

The writers did think of some new, interesting ways for death to chase its prey, but this tad bit of creativity did not make up for the movie on the whole.

Devon Sawa would be ashamed.

-Kari Pritchard

Heartbeat Radio
Rounder Records
Released: Sept. 8, 2009

Norwegian indie-pop veteran Sondre Lerche makes a memorable return to the music industry with his fifth studio album Heartbeat Radio.

Lerche showcases his brilliant musicianship by combining jangly guitar riffs with incredibly clever lyrics and subtle one-liners.

Highlights on the album include “Just Like Lazenby” – a tribute to one of the most unfortunate actors to play James Bond. ‘

Also, in an almost nauseatingly cute extended metaphor of a song, “Words and Music”, Lerche croons, “When we fight it’s rock ’n’ roll, when we make it up it’s soul.’”

The remaining songs complement each other, making Heartbeat Radio an enjoyable pop record, and quite frankly, a damn catchy one.

-Sarah Murphy

Fox Broadcasting Company
Created by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan
Starring: Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison

The show that has been heralded as the “one to beat” this season would most definitely have to be Fox’s much-anticipated Glee.

The show comes off as High School Musical crossed with Popular, showcasing little bits of choreographed performances in each episode.

So far it is working, but in the first three episodes the creators have yet to match the show’s pilot.

It seems that the inevitable is already happening and Fox is manipulating the formula to bring it closer to an after school special as opposed to the glow-in-the-dark comedy they originally promised.

There are still some real flashes of genius, but it isn’t a very good sign when this early on in the season the big picture storyline already seems to be veering off course.

-Wade Thompson

Third Man Records
Released: Jul. 14, 2009

The moment it was announced that two of the best people in music – Jack White of The White Stripes and Alison Mosshart of The Kills – had joined together with Dean Ferrita from Queens of the Stone Age and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs to form The Dead Weather, it was a match made in heaven.

Mosshart is one of the most alluring female vocalists in the music industry and White is one of the fiercest guitarists ever, so they complement each other really well.

White has taken a backseat to the ensemble, playing drums for a change, and Mosshart’s raw vocals only enhance the already raw, bluesy tone of The Dead Weather’s debut Horehound.
Songs such as “So Far from Your Weapon” and “60 Feet Tall” offer a quiet counterpart to the heavy guitar tracks like “Treat Me Like Your Mother” and a radical cover of Bob Dylan’s “New Pony”.

Overall, this album is a must-listen for any fan of White or Mosshart or anyone longing for blues inspired old-fashioned rock and roll.

-Sarah MacDonald

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Nintendo DS
Developer: Level-5
Released: Aug. 24, 2009

After a two-year wait, the second title in the Professor Layton series of puzzle and mystery games finally saw a North American release.

This time, the titular professor must investigate both the murder of his mentor and a fabled box that allegedly kills whoever opens it.

To solve the mystery, you must put your brain to the test and solve the game’s puzzles and brainteasers.

The player works through a true gaming and storytelling experience, not just a string of dull puzzles.

Though some of the side quests are underwhelming and the ending plot twist leaves something to be desired, Layton was ultimately an inspired, rewarding title.

-Morgan Alan