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Arts & Entertainment

Betsy Palmer's triumphant return

As someone who has made a few horror films, Felix Diaz is a huge fan of the genre. A man who believes that such films give the viewer "something you can't get from real life," Diaz sought to give horror, sci-fi, fantasy and thriller films the credit they deserve.

by JENNIFER ZUCKERMAN

Booty Rock

Featuring nothing but the gyrations of a particularly impressive female behind, the video for "Backyard Betty," Spank Rock's debut single, has a clear purpose: to get them asses shakin'. But the music is far from standard club hip-hop fare; in fact, the MC at the helm, 24-year-old Naeem Juwan, would rather avoid classification altogether. YoYoYoYoYo, Spank Rock's first full-length album, is a detailed collaborative effort: Naeem raps over beats ranging from Baltimore house to Hendrix, artfully layered by his childhood friend and producer, Alex "Armani XXXChange" Epton. Naeem attributes the eclecticism of the music to his move from Baltimore to Philly to become a Drexel student (and one-time Penn partygoer). "We come from Baltimore," he says, "and the cultures don't really mix up too much." Though early exposure to traditional hip-hop and the ecstatic phenomenon of 'B-more' club house continue to be profoundly influential on the pair, it primed Naeem for a musical awakening. "I really didn't know much about rock or punk or '80s, so when I went to Philly, things were a lot more diverse.

by CLAIRE STAPLETON

The truman show continues

In 1959, four members of a Kansas family were brutally murdered in their home. The gruesome killings inspired both a media frenzy and a literary classic, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Infamous illuminates the motivation behind the murders and Capote's coverage of the story.

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YOUR WHAT FEELS LIKE CORN?!?

If you asked us which of today's popular young comics most definitely engages in recreational drug abuse, we'd probably say Dane Cook - in about a second.

by JONATHAN LEHR

Three-6 Mafia: 1, Scorsese: Almost 1

In his latest triumph, Martin Scorsese succeeds where few before him have: filming a remake that trumps the original in all respects.

by JEREMY PRICE

A Long December

It's a brave new world for Decemberists fans. The release of their new album, The Crane Wife, marks the group's shift to Capitol Records from indie Kill Rock Stars.

by VINCE LEVY

Home at Last

Political activism and artistic integrity go hand in hand," said a calm and composed Salim Washington over the phone from his New York office.

by TAYLOR HOWARD

No Man is an Island

By all accounts, life on the road is nasty, brutish and long. And on the eve of a North American tour, Islands' Nick Diamonds is sick in a Toronto hotel room, speaking in low tones to protect his voice.

by ALEX JACOBS

Great Scot!

The Last King of Scotland is an intense political thriller that brings to life the mythical figure of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Forest Whitaker's performance as Amin mesmerizes.

by DANIEL SABRA

Chinese Road Trip (Tom Green not Included)

In the Chinese film Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, acclaimed director Yimou Zhang (House of Flying Daggers; Hero) presents a compelling meditation on father-son relationships.

by APRIL HAIL

A Royal Flush

In an age when one can't swing a bat in a video store without hitting a biopic, it's easy to get sick of movies that chronicle the lives of famous people, no matter how interesting those lives may or may not have been.

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Weird Science

Beck is a man known for wearing many hats at once. He has built his career upon shapeshifting, evading classification, seamlessly blending the unlikely with the illogical.

by STEVE MCLAUGHLIN

Reinventing Lennon

The U.S. vs. John Lennon traces pop star John Lennon's metamorphosis from mop-topped singer to one of the most eminent cultural icons of the 1970s. During that decade, his antiwar actions garnered media attention and the wrath of the Nixon administration, which persecuted Lennon by following, wiretapping and attempting to deport him. Aside from the political story, Lennon shows the passionate, complex relationship Lennon shared with his wife, Yoko Ono.

by DANIEL SABRA

Emily Haines

Some good CDs make you smile, some make you dance, and some make you cry. Emily Haines's Knives Don't Have Your Back belongs in the last category: bittersweet, but infectious all the same.

by SARAH BIRNBAUM

Sorority Life

At a time when pop culture phenomena like Paris Hilton and Hulk Hogan's daughter are relentlessly promoting their debut albums, the idea of the remake doesn't sound all that bad. Take Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," for instance.

by LAURA AMANN

A two-hour vigil with student radio

The outer room of WQHS is the most organized it's been in a long time. Rows and rows of CDs and LPs stand ordered alphabetically and by genre.

by GABE CRANE

Sandi Thom

Smile... It Confuses People is the kind of record that really makes you wonder. Whatever happened to the idyllic, innocent rebellion of our parents' generation?

by STEVE MCLAUGHLIN

He's Here for the Gang Bang

Perhaps no filmmaker today has a better grasp on a college guy's sense of humor than Todd Phillips. The director who cornered the market on frat-boy comedies - Old School, Road Trip - played Twenty Questions in an exclusive interview with Street at the Four Seasons downtown Tuesday to promote his new movie School for Scoundrels. Street: What's it like working with Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)? What's he like in real life? Todd Phillips: In real life, Heder is a Mormon, did you know that? Street: I heard the cast from Napoleon was shipped in from Utah. TP: They're all like Mormon guys.

by STEPHEN MORSE

Fear is not a factor

Fearless 4 Stars Directed by: Ronny Yu Starring: Jet Li, Shido Nakamura Rated: PG-13 If Fearless truly is Jet Li's last martial arts film, as is advertised, then Li has succeeded in going out on top. It's hard to imagine that this movie could fall short of excellence, given the pedigree of its principles.

by TIM WILKINS

Sparklehorse

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It's a motto that most aptly describes Sparklehorse's latest, a merely competent album that explores little new ground.

by RAFAEL GARCIA

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