Oscars Rundown: A Night Not to Remember
Harris’s performance felt lackluster, unoriginal and, at times, offensive. And, no, not in the Ricky Gervais, "he’s British, so it’s okay," kind of way.
Following last year's solid hosting performance from Ellen DeGeneres and major awards for a diverse range of actors, directors and films, this year’s Academy Awards were destined to fail. That’s not to say that Neil Patrick Harris didn’t attempt to relieve some of the tension right off the bat, even opening with, "Today we honor Hollywood's best and whitest. Sorry, brightest." Though cheeky, the joke highlighted a fundamental flaw in this year’s bevy of candidates.
Nonetheless, the opening number involving Harris being inserted into former classic films reminded viewers of the seasoned Tony-hosting veteran Harris really is. Unfortunately, he just did not seem equipped for this year’s Oscars. Several of his jokes fell flat, including one bit where Octavia Spencer was supposed to be guarding his "predictions" for this year's awards... Read more
Fireworks! Wow!: Thoughts on the Super Bowl Halftime Show
As a die-hard Seahawks fan, this year’s Super Bowl was very disappointing in ways that will haunt me for a long time. The ecstasy of that incredible bobble-catch followed up by the agony of the botched final offensive play was too much for me, and I would just like to forget about the actual sports aspect of the event for a good long while. Thankfully, I can turn my attentions to the other main attraction of the Super Bowl: Katy Perry’s halftime show.
As a primer to the rest of this article, I would just like to say that I feel no strong opinions one way or the other about Katy Perry. Like many Top 40 artists, she has songs that I love and songs that I hate yet have stuck in my head on a constant loop. Her lyrics are generic—she never sings about anything but sex or self-empowerment—and her voice is decent, but her production team and management have crafted her into an entirely unique pop phenomenon regardless... Read more
The Non-Sports Lover's Guide to the Super Bowl
I get it. Not everyone can understand why two, 250-pound bulldozers would run full speed into each other for the sake of a pigskin filled with air. I mean, why is it that Sunday, the day of rest (or let’s be honest, homework) is instead stereotypically defined by masses of men crowding around the TV with wings and nachos in hand? Well, today I hope to give all of you non-sports lovers a crash course on how to sound intelligent and interested during this upcoming Super Bowl.
The Game Itself
So, just like basically every other sport on this earth (okay, except golf) more points means you win. It’s easy. All you have to do is get the football … Wait right, the football is an ellipsoid (egg-shaped) ball made of leather that, no matter how it hits the ground, always seems to bounce in a direction no one was hoping for. Disclaimer: it looks nothing like a foot, nor do you kick it, except in the event of field goals, kick-offs, punts … actually you do seem to kick it a bit in the game. Anyway, I digress... Read more
Recess Predicts 2015
Here we are – 2015! We made it! As we move forward into the unknown of this new, exciting year, Recess sat around our crystal ball and summoned forth some predictions for what to expect in 2015. Whether the predictions have to do with the rise of television, the wealth of new movies being released, or seemingly random artist collaborations, Recess has you covered. Read on to see what our staff members think.
Contributing Staff Members: Adam Schutzman, Drew Haskins, Gary Hoffman, Josh Polikov, Katie Fernelius, Sid Gopinath
My Trip to the Food Truck Rodeo
When I first heard about the concept of a Food Truck Rodeo, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Really? I thought, How much hipper could people possibly try to be? I’ve never thought of myself as being anti-hipster, but the idea of a dozen mobile kitchens ringed up like 19th-century gourmands on the Oregon Trail instantly brought to mind the idea of faded Phoenix tee-shirts and sardonic conversations about how much better Burning Man used to be before it got all “mainstream.”
To me, food trucks were a utilitarian concept; they brought food to you, so that you didn't have to drag yourself out of your beanbag chair and put on your Sunday best just to drive downtown and find yourself a kebab and some potato chips. The idea of turning such a practical innovation into a cultural event was puzzling. However, as a person who loves food, I couldn’t stop myself from being curious when I heard about Durham’s very own Food Truck Rodeo. So, when it came about last Sunday, I battened down my prejudices against the concept and decided to go, mentally fortifying myself to be underwhelmed... Read more
Too Much Love or Not Enough?
I’m not going to lie to you guys. I woke up bright and early Thursday morning in order to see the Academy Award nominations the moment they came out. Was it a bit unnecessary? Sure. Do I regret it? Not one bit. From the moment I laid eyes on the fortunate few who will have a shot at Oscar Gold on Feb. 22, I knew we would have a competitive year at hand. Still, the Academy finds a way year after year to surprise me with unexpected contenders and, unfortunately, undeserved snubs. So, from one critic to another, here are some of the biggest shockers of 2015.
Where’s the love for Selma?
Selma, the biopic centered on the Martin Luther King Jr’s campaign to secure equal voting rights through multiple marches from Selma to Montgomery was highly popular this year with both critics and moviegoers. Though the film obtained a Best Picture nomination, David Oyelowo’s layered performance as the civil rights leader was considered a sure thing for his showing of the reverend's charisma, self-doubt, flaws and indomitable strength... Read more
Trust or Bust: 2015 TV Predictions
Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of new shows in the morning. Well, except napalm maybe. The new year has finally begun, so we are guaranteed an array of TV show premieres, from quirky comedies to tense thrillers. But be wary, my dear friends, for similar to the fall, plenty of these supposedly enthralling entities are likely to have short-lived seasons and get the unfortunate axe before they ever get into a groove. So, today, I hope to go out on a limb and predict the fate of the upcoming spectacles.
Marvel’s Agent Carter
To be honest, I struggled to get into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD... Read more
Winter Concert Preview
Week of 1/19-1/25: Dexter Romweber—1/21 at The Pinhook
· Rockabilly guru Romweber returns to the Triangle Area in what is sure to be an excellent time. Romweber blends country, rock and bluegrass, and his shows are notable for their high intensity and fun vibes. Romweber will be joined by musicians Melissa Swingle and Reese McHenry.
Week of 1/26-2/1: Parquet Courts—1/26 at Kings Barcade
· Parquet Courts is currently on tour promoting their two new albums released in 2014. The Brooklyn band has been acclaimed for their songwriting, and Kings Barcade should prove to be a wonderfully intimate venue for their brand of rock.
Five must-read Recess stories of 2014
What Recess Is Thankful For in 2014
Every year, the arts offer up a wealth of awesome culture that is both fun and edifying. 2014 was no exception. Here are some things that happened in 2014 for which Recess is thankful.
- Taylor Swift’s excellent, ear-wormy and hater-defying new album 1989
- Reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch on hot summer days outside
- True Detective for revitalizing the detective show
- The McConnaisance in general. Seriously, how good was Matthew McConaughey’s 2014? With True Detective, Interstellar and his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club, he dominated the cultural conversation... Read more