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Photo courtesy of Flickr/qnomic
Photo courtesy of Flickr/qnomic
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I Never Understood Why My Mom Always Bought Me a AAA Card Membership for Christmas, Until This Happened [SPONSORED]

Every year, since I was 16 years-old, I would always expect the same card under the Christmas tree from my mom. The first few times I would have hoped to see either a check or some cash fall out from it when I tore into the envelope. Nope. The same thing each and every year... a renewal card for my AAA membership.

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Category: Local News, News Tags: ,
Frozen Review
Disney
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‘Frozen’ Review

Sometimes great artistry comes from coloring inside the lines.

Walt Disney Animation's newest film, 'Frozen,' does precious little to push the boundaries of narrative storytelling. Indeed, it is a quite predictable – might I even suggest formulaic - culmination of elements. While picking over the bones of a half-remembered Hans Christian Andersen story, 'The Snow Queen,' Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck's film expands certain themes, disposes of some characters and, of course, modernizes a bit for contemporary audiences. However, miraculously, this doesn't feel like a Xerox of a Xerox impersonating a classic Disney film. There's precious little winking; hardly any of the 'Shrek'-effect. 'Frozen' has enough of the goods to play it straight and succeed on its own terms. It is a major entry in family-friendly entertainment, one that ought to reverberate for years with tie-in toys and stage productions.

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Captain Phillips review
Sony Pictures
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‘Captain Phillips’ Review

With piracy drama 'Captain Phillips,' Paul Greengrass ('Bloody Sunday,' 'United 93') has defended his ground as the go-to man for tragic, reality-based pressure-cooker films. The dude really knows how to get your palms sweaty, even when you kinda-sorta know how things are going to end up. Note to self: don't take your cargo ship through the Somali Basin if you don't have to.

Greengrass is also the director of the best two 'Bourne' movies ('Supremacy' and 'Ultimatum') and just as Matt Damon glided through those films as the steely, mixed-martial killing machine, Tom Hanks' center-seat performance here is a master class in keeping it cool.

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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2013 NFL Season — 5 Things We Learned From Week 1

The 2013 NFL season got off to an incredible start in Week 1 with some amazing individual performances, a few upsets and several fantastic finishes. Here's what we learned from Sunday's games:

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Category: National Sports Tags: , ,
The Lone Ranger review
Walt Disney Pictures
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‘The Lone Ranger’ Review

I loved 'Rango,' the last time Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski offered up a madcap spin on the Western. I basically enjoyed 'John Carter,' last year's Western-infused would-be space epic, which, not coincidentally, was the last time Walt Disney stock holders had to reach for a shaker of Tums.

However, 'The Lone Ranger,' this new spazzed-out Western from Depp, Verbinski and Disney, takes unusual and unlikely measures to ensure that audiences have a miserable time. There are momentary flashes of amusement, but it is jumbled, tone-deaf and uninteresting. If I wanted to be kind I'd call it dull and ephemeral, but there are long stretches that seem to strive to be annoying - almost anti-entertainment. The only thing 'The Lone Ranger' has going for it is a long life as to go-to description how not to make a blockbusters movie - this generation's 'Last Action Hero.'

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E3 2013 Main
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E3 2013 Pictorial

E3 2013 has come and gone, but there's still quite a bit of fallout to cover from the show. Angelo will have more game previews up shortly. In the meantime, here are some images from the show floor that snapped while walking around looking for coffee and a game to play. The show this year was definitely a lot calmer than shows of the past. The companies didn't even try to out "booth babe" each other this year. Nope, this year's E3 was all about the games and the new systems. And giant statues.

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Xbox
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Xbox One: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Unless you've been living under a rock, the past three days have been an onslaught of adoration and vitriol for Microsoft’s newest console, Xbox One. Because the recent press conference was so vague, opinions about what the console is capable of is all over the map. For some, the new console means awesome new graphics, better online gaming, and tons of Fantasy Sports support. For others, the new systems’ disregard for indie games, ignorance of backwards compatibility, and obvious cash grab are pushing them away faster than a first date with a hidden snaggletooth. No matter where you stand, the Xbox One has everyone talking about what lies ahead in the next generation of gaming.

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Oblivion Review
Universal
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‘Oblivion’ Review

'Oblivion' is best described as opportunity, squandered. Its landscape – conceptual and physical – feels remarkably unique and bursting with possibilities, but the exploration of both lacks originality, and energy. Joe Kosinski’s follow-up to 'TRON: Legacy' is, like its predecessor, a gorgeously mounted, inventive world-building endeavor, but it’s also equally bloodless -- ponderous without being thoughtful, ambitious without being inspired, much less inspiring. The chronicle of a battle for the fate of humankind that possesses little humanity of its own, 'Oblivion' is an overstuffed compendium of familiar genre tropes rendered with ornamental beauty but not much emotional depth.

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Oz the Great and Powerful review
Walt Disney Pictures
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‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Review

"I don't want to be a good man; I want to be a great one." So says Oscar, a humble (read: crummy) magician in a traveling circus circa 1905, just before a magical tornado sweeps him and his hot air balloon away to a land that just so happens to share his nickname: Oz. In 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' Oscar (James Franco) finds exactly what his heart desires; the chance to be a great man, wealthy and powerful, the ruler of a beautiful kingdom. And the kingdom does look damn good, and most of Oz's adventures in it are pretty entertaining as well.

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Category: Elsewhere Tags: , , ,
Dead Space 3
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Dead Space 3 Review

The first Dead Space was a decidedly single-player affair that pitted players against the hordes of Necromorphs hiding in the shadows of space. When Dead Space 2 arrived on the scene, Visceral maintained the solo survival story, while also adding in a perfunctory multiplayer component to spice things up.

Despite the constant evolution of the series, much was made of the drastically different idea to insert cooperative play into Dead Space 3. At its heart, Dead Space 3 is the natural next stage in the growth of the franchise, which still keeps a keen focus on the solitary exploits of protagonist Isaac Clarke. Concerns raised that co-op might in any way diminish the quality or experience of Dead Space 3 were unfounded, and Visceral should be commended for how incredibly complete Dead Space 3 is from top to bottom.

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