Staff picks of the week

Staff

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By. Fabian Garcia

My movie pick of the week is “Drive” – a high-tension crime drama set apart by simple storytelling and nuanced performances.

The film stars Ryan Gosling as the nameless “Driver” who plays a stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night. When he tries to help his neighbor pay off a family debt, he consequently sparks a violent manhunt on himself.

Relying heavily on Gosling’s nearly silent role, “Drive” is about 90 percent character-driven. It uses the protagonist’s subtle facial expressions, body language and actions to convey a compelling narrative about heroism. In other words, there isn’t too much dialogue, which is nice for a change.

“Drive” does not complicate itself with too many characters or a twisted plot. Things are pretty straightforward so the audience can follow along comfortably. This makes the action less confusing as it unfolds.

Interestingly, the production as a whole evokes an almost timeless feeling. You realize the setting is present day Los Angeles, but the themes of love and bravery make the film seem like a modern classic.

By. Nick Scheuer

Jet Set Radio Future is a decade-old game that shared a disk with Sega GT 2002 and was bundled with new Xboxes. Most people, including me, would expect the game to be mediocre due to these humble origins. However, this game is the exception rather than the rule; there’s a reason it is still $10 used over a decade after its release.

The player takes the role of a rollerblading-gang member in a future Tokyo where a mega-corporation is attempting to smother the city’s culture. The way the gang fights it is by spraying graffiti on walls and on the grey-clad police officers.

What makes this game stand out from its silly plot is the fun gameplay and innovative use of music. The player travels through downtown on Tokyo at unreasonably fast speeds while a multitude of indie-hip hop tracks blasted in the background, depending on which area the player was in. Admittedly, the game has some technical issues due to its age and lower budget, but it is extremely fun and will provide dozens of hours of entertainment. Jetset Radio is avalaiable soon on Xbox Arcade for $10.

By. Vanessa Walker

If you’re in the mood to listen to a record that is catchy, addicting and a great addition to any workout playlist, try Metric’s 2009 record, “Fantasies.”

The record is known for the infectious song “Help, I’m Alive,” but they’re notorious for making songs with seemingly nonsensical lyrics. Tracks like “Stadium Love” tout lines such as “wanna make a bet/ we’ll be neck to neck taking off the gloves/ spider versus bat/ tiger versus rat, rabbit versus dove” with no clear indication of what Amy Haines is actually talking about.

Even though the songs take a little effort to decipher, they’re fun to sing along to on the way to school on a Monday morning or on the way out on Friday nights.

But be warned—the tracks “Twilight Galaxy,” “Collect Call” and “Blindness” have slower tempos and the transition from the other fun and upbeat sing-along songs can be jarring. Skip over those unless you’re in the mood for them.

If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and buy the whole album, try a few tracks off of iTunes for $1.29 each first. But you’ll come back for more soon after that.