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Underrated/Overrated

June 17, 2012|By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times

UNDERRATED

Euro 2012: If you hear more shouting than usual from the neighbors this month it's thanks to this event, which every four years rounds up the top soccer nations in Europe in pursuit of continental bragging rights. Though many countries have made the news while staving off further financial meltdowns, it's inspiring to watch world-class athletes and face-painted fans (with their national tics) show their true colors, even if you're ambivalent toward what everyone else calls "football."

Anna Chlumsky in 'Veep': As much as the first season of this biting political satire was all about the twisted ensemble work around an imaginary vice president, Chlumsky was a standout as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' chief of staff, Amy Brookheimer. Perhaps best known for her childhood turn with Macaulay Culkin in "My Girl," the actress flexed the same dryly deadpan chops honed in series creator Armando Iannucci's 2009 feature, "In the Loop."

OVERRATED

The Redbox redirect: You can't blame the DVD rental company for trying to up its profits, but some of its selections seem angled toward camouflaging themselves as bigger (and better) films. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" comes out Friday, but the completely unrelated "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies" is available now. Like "Snow White and the Huntsman"? Then you'll know it's a long way from "Grimm's Snow White." Be careful out there.

Best Coast's 'The Only Place': Although there's nothing wrong with loving where you live — and we do — the first track on this band's summer-bright sophomore album is so puffed with Southern California pride that it veers into self-congratulation. Despite Bethany Cosentino's vocals sounding like an irresistible mix of sun and sugar, a jangly pop song boasting "Why would you live anywhere else?" probably won't help our rankings in the next "most hated state" survey.

chris.barton@latimes.com

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