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Movie Review: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

” Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” isn’t a remake to Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film. In fact, it’s far from resemblance. Director Werner Herzog was forced by producers to use the ‘Bad Lieutenant’ title for franchise potential. Still, Herzog’s film has the right mixture for cult status.

The film stars Nicolas Cage in an exceptional performance. Cage’s recent career moves are muddled with duds like “the Wicker Man” or “National Treasure”. The main highlight in “Bad Lieutenant” is watching Cage comedically drift into madness. His character Terence McDonagh has severe back problems. He takes prescription medication to subdue the pain, but its not enough. McDonagh also becomes dependant on cocaine. He arrests people for cocaine possesion and takes it. Eva Mendes plays McDonagh’s prositute/drug friend. She watches McDonagh’s addiction become violent. He also starts hallucinating reptiles and particularly in a scene when McDonagh’s drug buddy murders several thugs. McDonagh tells him to shoot the guy again because “his soul is dancing”! 

” Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” goes into a series of bizarre twists and turns. The performances are better than expected from Cage, Mendes and especially Xzibit.  The film often goes over the top, but never ceases to entertain. It’s hard to identify ” Bad Lieutenant” as a Herzog film without the iguana scenes. Herzog has made better films with “Aguirre, the Wrath of God’ or “Fitzcarraldo”. There were low expectations going into ” Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”. I’m happy to report it’s worth a look.

4 out of 5


WSU students enjoy SpringFest concert with Ying Yang Twins and Redeye Empire

Photo courtesy of The Daily Evergreen

By Andrea Castillo and Kari Bray

Hundreds of students packed Beasley Coliseum for the concert that wrapped up Springfest 2010.

Springfest, put on by the Student Entertainment Board, was split into an afternoon festival in the Bustad Hall parking lot with an indoor concert later on.

WSU Battle of the Bands winner Genevieve opened the concert with enthusiasm, pumping up the audience with songs such as “Welcome to Wazzu,” a local take on Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”

The Canadian band Redeye Empire took the stage next, bringing a springtime feel with their rock-reggae style.

Co-headliner The Maine really got the show going when they invited students onto the floor, whether or not they had floor tickets. Though campus police and the SEB asked that anyone without a floor ticket move back up to the seats, The Maine’s encouragement kept the floor packed throughout the rest of the show.

“The Maine did a really good job getting people going,” said Cassie Bilyeu, a freshman chemistry major.

The Ying Yang Twins closed the show. Audience members danced to popular songs such as “Shake” and “Wait (The Whisper Song).”

“It was a fun concert,” said Rachel Daniel, a sophomore agricultural biotechnology major. “I had a great time dancing with my friends and boyfriend, and I thought the lead singer of The Maine was pretty entertaining.”

Earlier in the day at the festival, downcast weather didn’t stop students and community members from enjoying themselves. Whoops and hollers could be heard from every ride.

Mary Yovanoff, a sophomore engineering and psychology major, said her favorite part was riding the Yoyo, a ride that spins people seated in swings, elevating off the ground as it speeds up.

“When my feet don’t touch the ground, I kind of feel like a little kid,” she said. Freshman neuroscience major Jacqueline Johnson said she came to Springfest because she wasn’t able to go to her hometown county fair this year. Though Springfest isn’t as big, she said, it was just as fun because she got to come with friends. Jessica Duren, SEB special events programmer, helped organize the event.

“I hope people see that Springfest is really getting big and becoming a carnival,” she said. “There is actually a lot of fun stuff to do that isn’t just sitting there and watching something. I’m hoping people see that this year.”


SEB Open Mic

The Student Entertainment Board has been keeping busy with Open Mic sessions around campus, featuring a variety of talented members of the WSU community.  Check out this behind-the-scenes video!

By Alexandra Schwappach and Rebekah Olden


Paul Haggis on Screenwriting

Ever wanted to see an “Inside the Actor’s Studio” style interview for screenwriters? A series titled “The Dialogue” does just that.

“The Dialogue” showcases famous contemporary screenwriters in Hollywood about the craft of writing. Excerpts from the interviews can be found on youtube. This video focuses on Academy Award winning writer/director Paul Haggis who’s famous for “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby”.

Check out the ten minute video above. You can also purchase the full 90 minute interview on the website here.


Movie Flashback: Drunken Angel (1948)

Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa is internationally famous for his samurai films – “Seven Samurai”, “Yojimbo” and “The Hidden Fortress”. They’ve inspired many American filmmakers. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas are major fans of Kurosawa’s work and asked Fox to fund “Kagemusha” in the 1980s.

It’s unfair to paint Kurosawa as a genre director. His films are always separate from conventional Japanese filmmaking. “Ran” was a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and “Rashomon” was about four people telling inconclusive stories of a single crime. These films are nothing less than masterpieces.

Kurosawa’s early efforts show signs of potential. He directed a film in the 1940s called “Drunken Angel”. The film is set in post-war Tokyo about a small time criminal named Matsunaga who visits an alcoholic doctor to remove a bullet from his hand. The doctor discovers he has tuberculosis, but the Matsunaga ignores advice. He continues his rough life-style and his habits quickly paralyze him.

“Drunken Angel” isn’t the legendary filmmaker’s best work, but its a great addition to his filmography. It was made when Kurosawa was still discovering his style. Most of the film’s depressing Anti-American themes are diluted due to the restrictions made by the U.S. censors at the time. Kurosawa had to follow explicit rules in order to receive a theatrical run in the U.S. “Drunken Angel” also marks the first time collaboration with actor Toshirô Mifune. We later see Mifune in full force as Sanjuro in Kurosawa’s 1961 classic “Yojimbo”. His acting within “Drunken Angel” breathes more life to Matsunaga. Mifune plays the character as both a tough guy and vulnerable. If you’re a fan of Kurosawa’s films this should not be missed.

4 out of five.


Crazy About “Inception”

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan and producing partner Emma Thomas appeared at the Warner Brothers presentation in Wondercon this April to discuss their latest film, “Inception” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Warner Brothers is tight-lipped about the storyline. The studio’s hint to the film is that it’s a thriller set within “the architecture of the mind”.

Nolan is famous for his unconventional noir thrillers like “Memento” or his fresh comic book adaptions like “The Dark Knight”. This time fans are clueless about his latest, “Inception” . The film is slated to release in July and moviegoers don’t have a clue what the film’s about. Wondercon fans were treated to footage from the film and a Q&A.

If there’s one movie to see this summer, it’s “Inception”. “The Dark Knight” IMAX presentation in Seattle will forever stay my mind as one of the best theatre experiences. I have no doubt Chris Nolan will deliver. Check out the interview video from Wondercon.


Dept. of Dance presents final dance showcase, “United We DANCE”

Photo courtesy of "United We DANCE" Facebook event page

Directed by Crystal Fullmer, the WSU Department of Theatre and Dance will hold its final dance performance this weekend, opening with a matinee show tomorrow.  “United We DANCE” will include a variety of styles of dance, including classical and contemporary ballet, hip hop, modern and lyrical dance, and jazz.  The event will also feature the WSU Hawaiian Club, the Northwest Dance Center, and the WSU Elite Dance Company.

Performances will be at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, with an additional showing Saturday evening at 7:00.  All performances will be held in Daggy Hall Jones Theatre.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for WSU students with ID and senior citizens, and $5 for youth under 17. Admission is free for WSU grad students and their partners.  To reserve tickets, call  509-335-7236 or email

Check out a preview of the event from the Daily Evergreen here.

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