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November 17, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-17

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Step into it...
Menttllity presents, "Spotlight
Thursday" at the Michigin Lelguc,
8:30-10 p.m., League Undlergrund.
michigandaily.comn /arts

(The }R0.idti9tut Baitg

NOVEMBER 17, 2000

oure a mean one, Mr. arrey:'The Grinch'


By Lyle Henretty
Daily Ais riter
Director Ron Howard could hardly go please
the millions of Grinch fans
he wished to appease. The
film is a joy, made with
much care and thought, but
The exactly the book and car-
Grmich toon, it is not. Oh, it takes
Grade: A- many words right straight
out of the book, and when
At Showcase o
and QUality 16 it takes from the book oh
this movie does cook. It
cooks when you look how
the cartoon was took and
set designers and costum-
crs took that same look.
Whoville is so perfect and
real that you feel it is real
and you feel the Who's Christmas cheer. All the

Who-actors down in Whoville do a more than
adequate job playing a material obsessed Christ-
mas mob. That's right, the Whos don't under-
stand Christmas in the least, they are obsessed
with lights and presents and succulent roast
This is where Howard (and screenwriters Pete
Seaman and Jeff Price) change the ideas of Dr.
Seuss, now that's hardly nice! In the story we
know the Whos teach the Grinch how to love,
as he watches them from his cave high above.
But now the Whos are as bad as the famous green
one, they don't know they meaning, he thinks
Christmas is dumb. We learn about the Grinch's
childhood psychological scars, and the other chil-
dren who felt no guilt upon thars. Now while
these new back stories might anger a Grinch
purist, it worked quite nicely for this Von over
reviewist. The film adds more depth to the Grinch
of Mt. Crumpet, and it brings him to life with the
blaze of a trumpet.

Speaking of life, what life Jim Can'ey brought,
for the character you thought you knew best,
you did not. Carrey also uses the old Chuck
Jones cartoon as a guide, with a cocked left eye-
brow and a grimace so wide! But the actor, who
showed us before in "The Mask," can act under
makeup - a quite daunting task. He mugs and
he leaps 'til you think him quite mad, but also
reveals that the Grinch is really quite sad. He's
sad and he's mad and he's bad, just a tad, but all
the Grinch needs is the love he never had. He's
a postmodern Grinch. one that wants to fit in.,
but you'd be a little grinchy too, if you'd be
treated the way he had been. Carrey's a marvel.
though this draws him back, for there are scenes
where lie breaks character, sure to draw flack.
Like Robin Williams before him, he ad-libs so
often it has gotten quite rotten, and the director
should have trimmed scenes where the charac-
ter was forgotten. Alas, this is but a minor. I
shouldn't complain, for the audience in the the-

atcr laughed just the same.
The special effects are sure to draw awe, for if
you saw what I saw, I saw awe without flaw. Not
a straight line to be seen, a Seuss world for cer-
tain, a world that would bring a tear to the eye of
Tim Burton. Such detail is taken. even the pen-
cils are crooked, and the houses all look-ed like
Seuss would have made them look-ed.
The only real problem to have with this film.
is a silly sub-plot and another villain! Now, the
Grinch is the anti-hero and Carrey carries the
show, but why the mayor of Whoville is evil, I
don't know. Even the youngest amongLus. throUTgh
this device they will see, it's too make the Grinch
more likeable to you and to me. But why, and
why, and why go to this trouble? I realize that this
may be a small squabble. This bothers me only a
little it does. A perfect Christmas movie. I'm cer-
tain it was. I have one last question, to know the
answer I'm dyin - why is a movie against mate-
rial goods have so many tie-ins."

Courtes .t
Jim Carrey Stars as the one and only Grinch.,

Aronofsky, cast paint
vivid pictures in 'Dream'

;; ;;; I



By Matthew Barrett
Daily Film Editor

Unlike many of the movies that crowd
today's theaters, writer-director Darren Aronof-
sky's "Requiem for a Dream" sticks in your head.
The film's imagery. the stellar performances of
the cast and its jamng realism all contribute to its
staying power. And though
at times the film seems
S slim on story, its visual flair
does its best to compen sate
Requiem for this weakness.
for a Dream "Requiem" explores the
Grade: B lives of four people and
their downward spirals as
At State they become more hooked
on various types of drugs.
At the center is Iranrv
(Jared Leto). a lost and
troubled spirit who resorts
to drug dealing with his
best friend Tyrone (Marlon
Wayans) so that he can make a nice piece of money
to help his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly),
open up a clothing store. Harry's descent into the
throes ofdrug addictionjuxtaposes nicely with his
mother's growing dependence on diet pills as she
tries to slim down for an appearance on a game

While these characters and their stories provide
the heart and soul of the film, they take a backseat
to itsjazzy visual look. "Requiem" is at times very
beautiful to watch as the film gives us vivid pic-
tures ofordinary objects. Whether in the greens of
a tree or the blues ofthe ocean, certain parts of the
movie seem to just take a color and let the camera
soak it up for a few seconds, providing a stark con-
trast to the bleakness that the film conveys in some
of the other more drug-induced moments.
Showing shades of Martin Scorsese, David O.
Russell and Paul Thomas Anderson, Aronofsky
takes visual styles of other directors and puts his
own spin on them. The cutting in "Requiem" is
incessant as Aronofsky hits us with image after
image in tight, well-conceived montages.
Eventually though, the look of the movie begins
to lose some of its luster as Aronofsky and co-
writer -Hubert Selby Jr.(the fi lm was adapted from
his novel) lean a little too much on the visuals
to carry the plot through some dry spells. The
story starts out with a bang, but somewhere in the
Middle seems to lose most of' its momentum.
Aronofsky then yanks us back into the mix with
a disturbing conclusion to the film. These last 20
minutes or so dwell on the horrors of drug addic-
tion, the pain it can cause and the madness that it
can lead to. Here the director crosscuts between
the action ofithe four miain character's lives giving
us a wicked wrap-up which is probably the reason

CorIesy of Artisan
Jennifer Conneley and Jared Leto star in "Requiem for
a Dream."
that the film earned an NC-17 rating and was sub-
sequently released unrated.
In many ways, it's almost as if the plot and its
characters were an aftertiought to Aronofsky as
he seems inuch more interested in giving us visual
eye candy than a story we can latch onto. As a
result, when the characters begin to lose control of
their lives it's not as powerful as it could have been
if we had really felt for these characters.
Somewhere beneath all the drugs and flashy
cutting is a love story between Hflarry and Marion.
two lost souls who seen to find their outlet of
escape in each other "Requiem" would have ben-
efited if nore attention had been given to this rela-
tionship and it would have only made the film that
much more powerful in the end.
"Requiem for a Dream" is worth seeing for its
bold visuals. Now that Aronofsky has proven that
lie can play games with the camera and give us
interesting results, it would be nice to see him
combine his visions with a compelling narrative.

By Gabe Fajuri
Bally Arts Editor
"Why not?"
T1hat's the best reason Less Than Jake's newest
member and trombone player,. J.R.. could offer for
the band's latest tour - opening for Bon Jovi.
This is something the band has wanted to do for
a long time, dead or alive (so to speak).
"We've played with a lot of'punk rock bands, a
lot of ska bands ... this was our opportunity to go
out with a band that we all grew up listening to,"
he said. "This is just the icing on the cake."
The punk/ska outfit f'romi Gainesville. Fla. is
currently criss-crossine the country playing arena .
dates with the legendary New Jersey rockers. On
ofl nights ITJ is playing headlining club shows.
To wit: On Saturday night the dynamic duo plays
the Palace. On Sunday, Less Than Jake rocks

Clutch Cargo's in Pontiac.
Even though the unlikely pairing mnight s.
impossible on paper, J.R. says that LTJ has
to be booed on stage. "Yep; every night it's.
Than Jake, Bon Jovi," lie said. "It rips."
01' course, punk rock blended with a bo
section isn't exactly what Bon Jovi audicec
expect. "I know there are people that hate u&'J.I
said. "I know we get compared to FirehIounta
Ifyou have tickets for the Saturday niight~ is o1
out show, then you're in for a treat. And ify s
the Gainesville boys in their element on Su d
sO much the better. Either way, this is one
that's always out to rock.
J.R. added, "All I know is that we met Jonc
Jovi the other day, and he likes our band. ThA S
that matters."



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Alas, poor Gibson, Branaugh an
Hawke: They did 'Hamlet' well

By Rachel Bachrach
For the Daily

Mel Gibson. Kenneth Branaugh and Ethan H awke:
What do they all have in common besides their rood
looks and acting talent? Each, at one time or another,
has taken on the daunting task of playing Hamlet in a
major motion picture.
If some of you have not had the privilege of seeing
Mel sword fight or Ethan wallow in depression, fear
not because Hamlet is coming to the Mendelssohn The-

Tonight at 8

ater with a new, experimental view
on Shakespeare's timeless classic.
Unlike the conventional method
of casting one person as Hamlet.
director Heidi Powers decided to
cast two actors as the leading char-
acter. "11amlet has ani mner con-
flict and there are many different
sides to that.
"There is the Hamlet that wants
to kill Claudius and the Hamlet
who doesn't want to kill Claudius."
Powers said. In addition to casting
two lead actors; one is female and
the other male. This aspect is really
important to the theme of their

become the matriarchal role. "This is an attempt at
compassionate side of Polonius. but she is also op
imvolved in everyone else's problems.- Powers-s
Horatio is also more compassionate, which goes'h(
with the theme of Hamlet's two conflicting sides.
Serving as a foil for the two Hamlets are Ros
crantz and Guildenstern. the two friends of Hai
hired by Claudius to keep oneye on him. Yet noO
is played by a man and the other a woman.
Likewise, a man and woman are also playing
part of the two Gravediggers. An interestint! 4xa
to the woman gravedigger is that she is "mughttIt' I
compassionate than the other female-turned rejc
Powers said.
Adding to the focus of the inner depths of U'r
and other characters is the set's simplicity. "Fait
is basically marble stairs with platforms and d&idm
because we want to place emphasis on the charaef
Also, the whole cast is wearing black. They val
keep the focus away from thme big, gaudiness ofEl
bethan attire and glorify Shakespeare's words ait
cast's ideas.
One would wonder, then, what time period this
supposed to take place in? Powvers said that, Sh<~i
is not a specific time period because we are tryi
to make it timeless." Sounds like this production
unquestionably appreciative of Shakespeare's beau
ful prose and everlasting themes.
In this sense, the simplicity of the set ardct<
tumes emphasize the actual meaning of Hamletoa
the actors really explore and experiment with a
approach in portraying the characters.
Even if you have seen Mel, Kenneth and Eth
struggle with their inner demons, this producti
of Hamlet is sure to be a different and a moe
depth take on Shakespeare's intentions and wellNo

interpretation. "Regardless of gender, they embodied
the two sides of Hamlet: The irrational, rash side and
the empathetic, compassionate side." By casting two
Hamlets, it gives the audience a new way to look at
the literature, while placing emphasis on the inner
conflict of Hamlet.
Not only is Hairnlet a gender-blind character. but
Polonius (Ophelia's father) and Horatio (Hamlet's best
friend) are also cast as women. Polonitis is usually
seen as the patriarchal figure in the story, but now has


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