Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 things to do: Umphrey's McGee

Posted by on Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Umphrey's McGee at the Tabernacle

2. Pizza party with Faun and a Pan Flute and more at the Office

3. Dunch at the Earl

4. Chick-fil-A Bowl Official Fan Night at the Georgia Aquarium

5. Next Up Artist Showcase at the Masquerade

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 things to do: Hermits of Suburbia

Posted by on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Hermits of Suburbia and more at WonderRoot

2. Baptism by Fire continues at Barbara Archer Gallery

3. Neurosis, Rwake, and more at the Masquerade

4. You Can't Get There From Here continues at Emily Amy Gallery

5. Cabaret continues at the Alley Stage

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Audit: Errors in DDS record system could cost Georgia $30 million

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM

  • GA DDS
A recent audit has exposed flaws in the Georgia Department of Driver Services' record system which could potentially cost the state upwards of $30 million in federal funding.

The state's 31-page report found that some courts at all levels across the state have either failed to report certain convictions - particularly drug, traffic, and stolen vehicle ones - or took far too long to report them. Auditors discovered that 28 courts were not forwarding many convictions to the DDS. And in some cases they didn't even know about the requirement.

In Georgia, DUI offenders have ability to expunge a license suspension if a conviction isn't made. According to the AJC, that runs contrary to a new federal law, meaning that the state must amend its procedures by 2015.

The investigation highlights a disconnect between Georgia courts and the DDS on numerous related issues. The AJC also pointed out a few additional discrepancies yesterday, saying that:

- State law requires courts to report offenses within 10 days of the conviction date. About 300,000 of the million convictions processed last year did not meet this requirement. As a result, state driver records are not up to date with convictions, points and license suspensions.
- When DDS detects errors in conviction records, it returns them to the courts for corrections. Last year, state officials identified 58,650 such records needing corrections. As of August of this year, 53,449 had not been resolved and resubmitted to the state.
- About 9,500 "super speeder" fine notices were returned as undeliverable between 2010 and 2011. Of those motorists, about 5,700 had not paid their fines as of April of this year, causing more than $1.1 million in fines to go uncollected.
- Driver records also are marred by some inaccurate addresses, missing and inaccurate case numbers for convictions and missing blood alcohol levels, used to determine the length of license suspension for first-time DUI offenders under age 21. Omissions of critical driving violations from states where Georgia drivers previously lived also hamper identification of problem drivers, the report says.

DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell said in a statement that the agency will "look forward to studying" the audit's suggestions. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, says the lower chamber's top leader is looking into ways to recommend changes during the upcoming legislative session.

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Fuqua sends city revised plan for retail center near Glenwood Park

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Fuquas new plan for the 800 Glenwood Avenue development features some minor changes that were made to the original proposal.
  • Fuqua's new plan for the 800 Glenwood Avenue development features some minor changes

Fuqua Development has submitted a corrected application to the city for 800 Glenwood Park, its 177,000-square-foot retail center proposed along the Atlanta Beltline near Glenwood Park.

In the application, Fuqua Development's Heather Correa says the firm has addressed some of the faults that city planners found last month in the firm's previous application.

Several revisions attempt to adhere to what Beltline planners and residents envisioned during public meetings about that segment of the 22-mile loop of parks, trails, and transit. A new street would link the development and Kalb Street, which could offer more access to the surrounding area. Fuqua has also proposed breaking up the massive parking lot that the firm originally proposed with a new "street" that would be lined with retail.

Fuqua has also asked the city to waive a pair of Beltline Overlay District regulations. The firm says that the required Kalb Street extension is possible but can't meet exactly Beltline planners and residents' specifications. In addition, the street grid's location would have to be altered due to a sewer line.

We've reached out to both Fuqua and NPU-W Chairman Ed Gilgor for comment and will post an update if we hear more details. Gilgor posted on the NPU-W's Facebook page that the neighborhood group will be "utilizing the same method as before, in which a special committee shall be convened to review the application and make comments to the City." The NPU-W previously opposed Fuqua's original proposal, citing its suburban-style layout and lack of 'live, work, play' characteristics.

NPU-W has 21 days to reply to the developer's new application, after which the city will have nine more days to respond.

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Film Clips: Django Unchained

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Christmas Day Releases

Django Unchained

DJANGO UNCHAINED: (R) Quentin Tarantino's newest film takes place during the time leading up to the Civil War, Django (Jamie Fox) is a slave seeking revenge on his former owners. After being freed by bounty hunter Dr. King Schlutz (Christoph Waltz), the two form an unlikely pair and track down the master (Leonardo DiCaprio) who still owns Django's wife. Django's happiness is hinged on him helping Schlutz catch the master.

LES MISERABLES: (PG-13) This motion picture adaptation of the stage-performed phenomenon is set in France, following the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean. Jean is being hunted down by a policeman named Javert after jumping parole. Jean comes across a young girl named Cosette, he pities her and the way her family treats her and whisks her away from the terrible place. As they attempt to make a new life for themselves Jean realizes that nothing is going to be easy or given to them in this world.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE: (PG) When mom and dad have to leave town for a week, its always up to grandma and grandpa to watch the kids. This film looks at what happens when the old school, hard-nosed grandparents take care of the kids raised by the new-age, constructive parents. In a clash of different eras, Artie and Diane realize compromise is what family is all about.


PROMISED LAND: (R) Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, a slick corporate employee of a large natural gas firm, who is tasked with the job of buying land from the members of a small town sitting on top of a enormous reserve of gas. Steve and his partner, Sue, are the best at what they do; buying the land right out from under people. At first the job appears it is going to be easy, but Steve faces the challenge of an ambitious environmentalist (Josh Krasinski) bent on keeping Steve from getting control of the land.


BOOGIE NIGHTS: (R) Mark Whalberg plays Eddie, a good looking guy who has been 'endowed' with a big 'package,' working in a disco club in LA. Jack (Burt Reynolds) spots Eddie one day in the club and is convinced that Eddie is blessed with a gift. Jack, who is an adult film director, convinces Eddie to become an actor in porn. Eddie, is enamored by the idea of fame and the potential Jack sees in him, so he agrees to star in one of Jack's films. After changing his name to Dirk Diggler, Eddie meets a cast of other adult industry stars, all with their own stories, struggles, and reasons for being in the controversial industry. A must-see Thomas Anderson movie. Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive

HAIR: (NR) The Plaza Theatre will be showing the 1979 hippie film Hair by Milos Forman tonight. The film, which is an adaptation of a Broadway hit with the same name, is centered around a young draftee about to enter the Vietnam war. On the way to register himself, the young man encounters a group of long-haired hippies who show him another way of thinking. The film follows the band of hippies as they attempt to 'free' their new friend from the chains of serving in the army. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon

TRAILER WARS: (NR) This interesting presentation at the Plaza Theatre combines a collection of the most interesting, unique, and outrageous movie trailers from around the world into one full hour presentation. Each three-minute segment is a different window into films spanning genres and generations, this novel presentation will be playing at the Plaza throughout the weekend and into the New Year. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon

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Post-holiday resolutions for witch babes

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

The holidays are over. You ate too much and hung out with too many relatives. You are feeling angst-filled and like a slob. Perhaps you need a video guide to becoming a witch babe?

I don't really know how else to describe BabeAbility, except to say that it is the latest project of Atlanta-based producers Newmerica and local creative person Zopari Kristjanson and you should probably just watch it.

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Auteurs assemble! The best films of 2012

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

For at least a year, print and on-line publications have been lamenting the loss of celluloid, the death of film culture and the creative bankruptcy of the Hollywood studio system. As a narrative art form, though, film is showing a stubborn refusal to lay down in its grave. When intensely personal projects like Beasts of the Southern Wild can find audiences, when a dense history lesson like Lincoln can become a box office hit, when an uncompromising, defiantly non-commercial project like Cloud Atlas can get made and released, there's clearly life left at the cinema. Here's a list of my 10 (give or take) favorites of the year in reverse order.

10. Bernie. Slacker director Richard Linklater uses an actual small-town murder trial as the source of this pleasing, under-the-radar comedy, with Jack Black delivering a bubbly change of pace as a tireless funeral director accused of a major crime. Where movies often condescend to small Southern communities, Bernie finds the warm humor without resorting to caricature, celebrating the specific characteristics of East Texas and casting actual townsfolk as themselves. Plus, Matthew McConaughey's funny turn as a vain district attorney kicked off his most acclaimed year as an actor with even meatier turns in Magic Mike and Killer Joe to come.

9. Life of Pi. Ang Lee's luminous adaptation of Yann Martel's novel might not live up to its claim to convince the viewer of the existence of God, but it still plays like a miracle. The magic-realist account of a young Indian man marooned at sea with a hungry Bengal tiger named Richard Parker delivers the kind of breathtaking visual splendor that's only enhanced by 3D presentation, while offering a one-of-a-kind tale of survival amid outlandish circumstances.

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New Year's Eve events

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

2013 Peach Drop Ring in 2013 at Atlanta's largest New Year's Eve celebration and spend the last day of the year enjoying activities at Underground Atlanta, ranging from kid-friendly games to live music to a performance by Beatles tribute band Abbey Road LIVE. Mon., Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-midnight. Free. Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-523-2311.

Dad's Garage's New Year's Eve Shizzazzle(s) Ring in the new year at Dad's Garage Theatre, which will provide the audience with a belly full of laughs and champagne. Enjoy improvised games and scenes starring a collection of the finest improvisers from Dad's ensemble. Because this show sells out every year, they've added a second show at 10 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31, 7 and 10 p.m. $35-$47. Dad's Garage Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141.

New Year's Eve Blowout Rock 'n' roll show with champagne toast. Featuring MuckRaker, Red Rocket Deluxe, and Blasted. Mon., Dec. 31, 10 p.m. Free. The Highlander, 931 Monroe Drive, Suite C-101. 404-877-0060.

NYE 2013 with Yacht Rock Revue This is an all-inclusive event. Drinks and food are covered all night and into the wee hours of the morning. Featuring live music with Yacht Rock Revue and a DJ spinning music in the Piedmont Room. Mon., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $120-$150. Park Tavern, 500 10th St. 404-249-0001.

NYE Black Comedy Explosion Featuring Lavelle Crawford, Corey Holcomb, with host DL Hughley, and more. Mon., Dec. 31, 10 p.m. $64.90-$97. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-881-2100.

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Weekend Arts Agenda: Whitespace's A Moveable Feast

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

A window vignette installation at A Moveable Feast

The annual December show at Whitespace Gallery titled A Moveable Feast will be closing this weekend. The show which encompasses both the Whitespec and Whitespace galleries, with works from gallery artists on paper in the main gallery and work from emerging artists in the Whitespec space. In addition, artists utilized windows around the main house, transforming each one into a narrative vignette. Today and tomorrow are the last days to catch the year-ending show, more after the jump in this weekend arts agenda.

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Hair vs. Les Miz

Posted by on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM

In its opening holiday week, Les Miserables, Tom Hooper's Oscar-contending adaption of the hit Broadway musical has already grossed $40 million, with strong returns expected headed into the "holiday sandwich" weekend.

Such numbers inevitably lead some to pronounce the return of the big-screen musical!

Meanwhile, another big-screen musical, Hair (1979) hits the big screen today at The Plaza for a weeklong revival.

How do the two period films measure up?

Hair stars John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo and Nell Carter. Les Miz stars Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe.

Advantage: Les Miz

Hair is helmed by Oscar-winner Miloš Forman. Les Miz is directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper.

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