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Feb 21, 2015

The 87th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will happen on Sunday, February 22nd. This week we’ve taken a look at this year’s short film competitions. The Academy defines a short film as an original motion picture running 40 minutes or less, and excludes all advertisments, unaired or unsold television episodes, or credit sequences from feature-length films. Our critic, Shawn Hazelett, watched and ranked all of this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts. In this final installment, he’ll look at this year’s documentary category.

Feb 20, 2015

The 87th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will happen this Sunday, February 22nd. This week we’ve taken a look at this year’s short film competitions. The Academy defines a short film as an original motion picture running 40 minutes or less, and excludes all advertisments, unaired or unsold television episodes, or credit sequences from feature-length films. Our critic, Shawn Hazelett, watched and ranked all of this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts. In this installment, he’ll look at this year’s animated category.

Feb 19, 2015

The 87th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will happen this Sunday, February 22nd. This week we’ve taken a look at this year’s short film competitions. The Academy defines a short film as an original motion picture running 40 minutes or less, and excludes all advertisments, unaired or unsold television episodes, or credit sequences from feature-length films. Our critic, Shawn Hazelett, watched and ranked all of this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts. In this first installment, he’ll look at this year’s live action category.

Oct 01, 2014

Last week FOX debuted Gotham, a detective series that takes place in the fictional titular city. Of course, the series is based on characters from DC comics’ Batman, a character who first showed up in ink 75 years ago.

Gotham takes a twist on the Batman mythos by focusing on the early career of The Dark Knight’s closest ally, James Gordon, a police officer who eventually takes on the mantle of Gotham police commissioner. In various retellings of the Batman origin story, Gordon plays a major role in tackling corruption within the police department and political infrastructure of Gotham, ensuring the criminals Batman takes down stay locked away. The TV series Gotham also takes place years before Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl, so we’ll theoretically never see Batman in this series.

But it’s not like Batman is a stranger to TV audiences anyway. Aside from the massively successful movie series from Christopher Nolannot to mention an uneven series of films from the ‘90sBatman has also seen his fair share of TV time slots, from prime time to weekday afternoons. Batman TV shows come in as wide a variety of tone and production as gadgets in Batman’s belt. Some offer the best Batman on screen, others are bleak disappointments. Here we attempt to rank Batman’s many TV incarnations. Where will Gotham end up on this list? By Cody Ray Shafer

Nov 08, 2013

Welcome to Ranked, our recurring series in which one of our writers takes an artist’s catalogue and ranks all of their official studio albums from most essential to least essential. The order is decided by the individual writer, rather than our editors. If you disagree with our ranking then please let us know in the comments section. This time Cody Ray Shafer ranks The Flaming Lips.

From their inception in the mid ‘80s, The Flaming Lips have touted themselves as a band you have to see live to really understand. Frontman Wayne Coyne’s talent isn’t so much his musicianship as his role as a master of weird ceremonies. After all, it was one of the band’s crazy concertsthis one featuring a flaming cymbal fueled by lighter fluid that led to at least one incident of a band member’s hair catching firethat landed their record deal with Warner Bros. It is safe to say The Lips rely on gimmicks, lights, balloons, confetti, giant hands, and lasers to win over crowds, something they have managed successfully for nearly three decades.

In the studio, however, The Flaming Lips created a whole new niche in pop music teetering on the edge of avant-garde brilliance. Maybe it’s a testament to their old-fashioned Midwestern work ethic, sheer luck, or the raw talent of multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd, but Flaming Lips albums are known for explorations into vast caverns of human emotion, psychedelia, and sonic experiments.

These are the best full-length albums from The Flaming Lips, including their often-overlooked pre-Warner Bros. releases.

Omitted are 2012’s Heady Fwends duets album, their full-length cover of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, the soundtrack for Wayne Coyne’s film Christmas on Mars, and any EP releases or compilations.