Entertainment: A look back

It’s December, and with this month comes the end of another fall semester and another year of entertainment news.

MUSIC

Dave Matthews fans got a new CD by the famous artist but without his band. But that’s okay because he apparently can still make a good album without them. In their place, he brought on different guitarists and a different drummer just for Some Devil before going back with his original band for their next tour, a series of moves that hopefully makes sense to somebody out there because it doesn’t make much sense to me.

Linkin Park released a CD/DVD package that includes a lot of footage from some of their live performances. As cool as this is, it still feels kind of like Reanimation: another tide-me-over product until they come up with new material. But people will buy it anyway because Linkin Park is just that popular.

I’d just like to make a couple comments on Britney Spears before moving on. How is she everywhere all of a sudden? She’s on a half dozen magazine covers, she appears on TV specials almost regularly, and you can’t walk out of your house (or dorm) without seeing her name.

The Britney propaganda engine is going full steam and it feels like it’s 1999 again, minus Y2K scares and a decent economy. Jumpstarting one’s career is fine, but she’s doing it so quickly and with so much hype that it seems she’s going to just be a flash in the pan … again.

VIDEO GAMES

PC owners rejoiced when Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was ported over to Windows. Okay, maybe Linux users didn’t rejoice, but the other 90-some percent of home computer gamers certainly did. Yay for stealing someone’s car and running over pedestrians while being chased by the police, and being able to do it on more than just a PS2!

One of the most anticipated titles of the year, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” was finally released for all major consoles and the PC. It’s a reincarnation of the popular Prince of Persia games from yesteryear in which the player is an athletic prince of a storybook Middle East who goes adventuring.

The general public loves the series, giving Ubisoft a lot to live up to when developing “The Sands of Time,” but they delivered with a beautiful game that handles well and has a solid plot. The only criticism? It’s too short!

Perhaps one of the biggest stories in console gaming these past few months has been the GameCube price drop to $99 and its subsequent success.

Right now, it’s selling more than PlayStation 2 and X-Box combined, an amazing feat considering the system was being called a failure just four months ago.

MOVIES

This past semester saw some decent movies but no real blockbusters. “School of Rock” was very funny, “Underworld” got good reviews from Goths and fans of women in tight leather, and “Elf” has made more money than “The Matrix: Revolutions.” No kidding.

Speaking of “The Matrix: Revolutions;” it and its sister sequel “Reloaded” are a disappointment, and not because they “aren’t new and fresh” like the first movie; that’s only an excuse. The original film was excellently done with an arcing plot, solid character development, and a good mix of action and drama.

The sequels, on the other hand, had what felt like thrown together stories, weak character growth, and a lot of action with some random scenes mixed in that are heavy on the philosophy. By the way, go see “Master and Commander,” and not because it’s a good movie (I’ve never seen it actually) but because it could use the money. See “Lord of the Rings” when it comes out on Dec. 17, too. That’s good filmmaking.