The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Fall ’08 brings new books, shows, movies

    Miracle at St. Anna
    Miracle at St. Anna

    Now that Labor Day has come and gone, entertainment fans can look forward to, for the next month and the next wave of new television seasons, movies, music and book releases. While the summer blockbuster season brought us bats, bots, and yet another Indiana Jones movie, with fall comes a revival of thought and quality for the discerning fan.


    Annually, September brings about a resurrection of TV shows, which return from a long summer hibernation. While there may be great shows coming on network television like NBC’s “The Office,” ABC’s “Heroes,”
    and FOX’s “House,” this season, cable television dominates in the race for couch space and lately, FX and Showtime have been the frontrunners in that race.
    One such show in cable’s arsenal is FX’s perennial under-the-radar comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The show’s fourth season began Sept. 18 and is on Thursdays at 9 p.m.
    “It’s Always Sunny” features the “gang,” consisting of Dennis, Mac, Charlie, Deandra (Sweet Dee) and Frank, who run a bar, Paddy’s, in Philadephia, obviously. They are the bar’s biggest, if not only, customers. Controversial issues abound in this openly offensive show. For instance, in an episode from the third season, the gang finds a baby in a dumpster and decide to keep it for profit by getting the baby in commercials because of it’s cuteness. When they find out that white babies are not in demand, they take it to a tanning salon to give it a “more ethnic look.” Other issues lampooned include welfare, gun control and abortion.
    FX’s newest drama, “Sons of Anarchy,” which premiered earlier this month is also worth mentioning. “Sons of Anarchy,” follows in the footsteps of FX’s strain of gritty, cutting-edge shows like “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me,” “Sons of Anarchy” focuses on a biker gang that’s trying to protect its town from drug dealers and other unfortunates in any way possible even though they are themselves gunrunners.
    The show features Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal, known for her role as Peg Bundy in “Married with Children. Charlie Hunnam, who co-starred in “Green Street Hooligans,” plays the lead role in this new lean, mean drama.
    Recently, Showtime has become the mecca for great shows thanks to superb writing and has emerged as worthy competition to HBO’s lineup. Showtime features “Weeds,” “Dexter” and “Californication,” among others to compete with the fall premieres of HBO shows like “True Blood,” new culture-comedy “Little Britain USA,” and the animated “The Life & Times of Tim.”
    Showtime’s, “Dexter” and “Californication” premiere on Sunday at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively.
    The third season of “Dexter” follows the serial-killer-killing serial killer. Dexter, who works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police, has special insight into getting away with murder, moonlighting as a serial killer.
    Michael C. Hall, star of “Six Feet Under,” plays the title character, while Julie Benz, as Dexter’s girlfriend Rita, plays a single mother unknowingly dating a serial killer.
    David Duchovny returns to television as Hollywood writer Hank Moody, in the Golden Globe-winning series “Californication.”
    In the show’s second season, Moody will no doubt seek out beautiful women, drink libations, fight people and try to get back with his ex-girlfriend and daughter’s mother, Karen van der Beek, played by Natascha McElhone.
    “Californication” is quick-witted, fast-paced Hollywood drama. The show may not be action-packed, but Moody’s surly character still gets in plenty of fights.


    Spike Lee and Disney? Spike Lee leaps back in the director’s seat with a new turn on an old movie genre: the war epic. After criticizing Clint Eastwood for his lack of minority soldiers portrayed on recent war movies, Lee takes on the challenge of bringing their stories to the big screen.
    “Miracle at St. Anna,” based on James McBride’s novel of the same name, focuses on four African-American soldiers in World War II. Derek Luke, star of “Antwon Fisher,” and “Lions for Lambs,” plays the lead role. “Miracle” has the hype to make it an Oscar contender.
    “Choke” might not win an Oscar, but this black comedy will be worth watching. Nine years after the cult success of 1999s “Fight Club,” the second movie based on a Chuck Palahniuk book premieres this fall. In “Choke,” Sam Rockwell portrays, Victor Mancini, a con-artist and sex addict who fakes choking at restaurants in order to exact pity-money from the people that come to his aid. Needless to say, this twisted comedy, should bring guilt, shame and laughter to the forefront.


    On the music front, Kings of Leon has a new album out today. The Tennessee-based family-band brings their unique style to the forefront once again. The Followills follow through on their fourth album Only By The Night. “Sex on Fire” is their first released single, and toe-tapping-garage-Southern-rock reigns in this song mixed with a little ’70s as well. The single debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.
    A few of the songs, “Revelry” and “17” are reminiscent of My Morning Jacket, while “Crawl” has a Flaming Lips-like bass line. Another attention grabber, “Use Somebody” is an anthematic, stadium rocker sound the band has begun dabbling with since its last album, Because Of The Times.
    Rising indie quartet, Cold War Kids debuts its second album Loyalties To Loyalties today also. The band brings its stripped-down drums and minimalist-rhythm style pop to the forefront once again with its lead-off single, “Something Is Not Right with Me,” The Cold War Kids emerged last year with their debut, Robbers & Cowards which featured “Hang Me Up to Dry” and the catchy “Hospital Beds.”


    Last but not least is Charlie Huston’s fourth installment of the Joe Pitt series, “Every Last Drop.” This book continues with Pitt, a quasi-ethical vampire, as he attempts to struggle in the “straight” world.
    Huston’s series features vampire gangs of New York as they struggle to keep peace with each other and, all the while, not letting “straight” people know what they are up to. It is a series for those who never thought they would like vampire books.
    If your reading choices don’t include vampires, you might consider books like, pop-culturist Chuck Klosterman’s “Downtown Owl: A Novel,” Toni Morrison’s “A Mercy,” or the 20th installment of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt adventure series, “Arctic Drift.”

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Fall ’08 brings new books, shows, movies