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Easter (#110 of 3)

Poster Lab: Savages

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Poster Lab: <em>Savages</em>
Poster Lab: <em>Savages</em>

It’s probably not a good sign that the poster for Oliver Stone’s Savages makes a perfect column subject for Easter Sunday. By most evidence, this isn’t a movie that wants to be associated with jelly beans and Marshmallow Peeps; however, the egg-dye color palette of one-sheet number one would beg to differ. Cut this image along the lines that divvy it into seven slices, and you’ve got instant sleeves for the hard-boiled beauties you dunked in vinegar last night. This isn’t the first time a poster for an Oliver Stone film used vibrant hues to herald something largely dark (the ads for The Doors and Natural Born Killers went that route at one stage or another), but it is the first time the poster seems wildly out of step with what it’s selling. Yes, Blake Lively’s hippie-ish character, O, is prone to snorting coke, but that’s not exactly the sort of candy this glossy collage appears to promise.

Based on Don Winslow’s lauded 2010 novel of the same name, Savages is a crime-filled, drug-loaded drama unfolding across sun-soaked California and Mexico. Its cast? A bevy of ’90s megastars who dabbled on the pulpy fringes (John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro), and a smattering of camera-ready, pore-free, in-demand hotties (Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Emile Hirsch). On second thought, perhaps that color scheme isn’t so off the mark after all.

Single Review: Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

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Single Review: Lady Gaga’s “Judas”
Single Review: Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

She expressed herself with the baptismal “Born This Way,” but Lady Gaga saved her prayers—or something like them—for the urgent follow-up, “Judas.” Slated to be released at the beginning of Holy Week (before a leaked snippet ostensibly forced a slightly early debut), Gaga’s “Judas” spins a satyrical tale of history’s worst romance, plotted with heavy, foreboding beats. Though she gives Jesus a shout out as her “virtue,” Gaga’s Mary Magdalene sock puppet keeps sidelining Our Savior in favor of history’s greatest scapegoat, whose dark destiny fuels her desire for self-fulfilling, star-crossed prophecy. “In the most bibilical sense, I am beyond repentance,” she admits, but the recrudescent exclamatory bullet points peppered throughout the chorus (“Ju-DAH, Ju-duh-AH-AH, Ju-DAH, Ju-DAH, GA-GA!”) suggest Gaga’s not actively seeking redemption either. The whole production bears more than just a passing resemblance to “Bad Romance,” and in this case, it feels like a willful resurrection. Happy Easter, Roma-ma!

Patti, Natalie, and the Boss

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Patti, Natalie, and the Boss
Patti, Natalie, and the Boss

With Bruce Springsteen slated to do the halftime honors during this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, I thought it appropriate to dredge up one of those minor life decisions that, because of my obsessive personality, takes up an inordinate amount of my time.

My iPod Shuffle is a few years old and, by today’s standards, a relic. Imagine how disheartening it is for me to see that all the songs saved in my player would barely register on the space indicator bar of my kids’ Nanos. As a result, I can’t afford to make playlist decisions cavalierly.

This led to a bit of a dilemma for me when trying to decide which version of “Because the Night” to add to my music portfolio. I had to choose between Patti Smith’s, Natalie Merchant’s or Springsteen’s version of the song. This may be sacrilege, but even though technically “the Boss” was the first one to record it, I’ve never been a fan of his rendition. The 1978 song that was made famous by Patti Smith from her album Easter was actually written by Springsteen.