Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Closet Case 

R. Kelly's urban opera tops our pop-culture picks of the week.

R. Kelly gets freaky (there's a surprise) in the new Trapped in the Closet DVD. -  -
  • R. Kelly gets freaky (there's a surprise) in the new Trapped in the Closet DVD.

DVD -- Trapped in the Closet: Taking overindulgence to a new level, everybody's favorite alleged pedophile/piss-fetishist R. Kelly expands his bloated "urban opera" to a dozen chapters. But damn if it isn't engaging! Kelly's song cycle becomes a 12-part music video (directed like a stylized soap opera by Jim Swaffield), in which infidelity, paranoia, and general freakiness come into play. We doubt that Kelly had to study too hard for his role.

VIDEOGAME -- Disney's Chicken Little: Yeah, we thought the movie sucked too. But this game (for all platforms) packs more thrills and fun in one level than the animated hit managed in 80 minutes. All the major characters are available for play (including our favorite, the IQ-deficient Fish-Out-of-Water), in environments cribbed straight from the flick. Best is the blast-'em-up involving alien spaceships. Bonus: No Barenaked Ladies on the soundtrack.

CD -- A John Waters Christmas: The underground filmmaker -- who once had a transvestite actor on all fours eating a fresh pile of dog doo-doo -- gets in the holiday spirit with this collection of songs, which you probably won't be singing around the tree this year. Unless, of course, "Here Comes Fatty Claus" and "Santa Claus Is a Black Man" are favorites in your house.

PRODUCT -- Paparazzi Chic: We may not have Paris Hilton's cash flow, free time, or sex life, but with this line of T-shirts, we can have her attitude. Emblazoned with celebrity-friendly slogans like "Caution: Call My Agent" and "No Photos," these sassy wardrobe enhancers say it better than that whole "Talk to the hand" thing. They'll have you racing off in your ride and endangering the lives of innocent pedestrians in no time.

PRODUCT -- Singing Coach: This PC program promises to teach even tone-deaf folks how to carry a tune. And while we'd probably be impressed with the Pitch-Tracking System and Vocal Range Analyzer if we could figure out just what it is they do, anything that boosts our performance of "Don't Stop Believin'" at karaoke night is OK by us. Now, if they can only get a couple of these to Bai Ling and Antonio Sabato Jr., before they butcher any more classics.

BOOK -- The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition: We don't plan to ever -- ever! -- find ourselves in the middle of an elephant stampede or stranded on an iceberg, but it's nice to know that this book is there to walk us through, just in case. Other tips include "How to Escape From an Angry Gorilla," "How to Cross Between Buildings on a Wire," and "How to Take a Bullet." We're guessing 50 Cent's read up on that last one.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- The Polar Express: Last year's CGI adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's beloved Christmas book -- a bit of a snoozer, if you ask us -- is finally out as a two-disc DVD, loaded with games and an in-depth look at how they gave all those landscapes such a realistic appearance. Alas, nobody bothers to fill us in on why all the people in the movie look so freakin' creepy.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Culture Jamming

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Louis C.K. @ Agora Theatre

    • Thu., Dec. 2
  • Andrea Bocelli @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

    • Thu., Dec. 2

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation