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December 12, 2001 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-12-12

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Top ten films with
numbers in the title

Bionix, De La Soul; Tommy Boy

By David Kerastas
Daily Arts Writer
Twelve years - practically unheard of in the rap
game. Simply possessing a record deal for that
many years makes a big statement. Yet, since the
milestone Three Feet High and Rising was released
in 1989, the native tongue crew De La Soul has
maintained a steady fan base by providing a con-
stant counterpoint to the sporadic hip-hop trends of
the '90s. Perhaps the most salient aspect of De La's
music is the carefree playfulness they bring to hip-
hop, which combines well with the crew's intelligent
style and positive themes. And while they may have
lost some of the more hardcore heads with their first
installment of Art Official Intelligence, they gained
even more listeners from the popular music sector.
The second installment Bionix contains 18 tracks
of, simply put, quality music. No song will grace the
billboard charts, but I would not have the album

without any of them. Thankfully, De La has cut
down on the cameos. Now, most come from soul
artists - a sad step down from the likes of the
Tribe, the JB's, Common Sense and Mos Def, who
graced the tracks of previous albums.
The album's No. 1 single "Bay Phat" is a hilarious
ode to the natural shape of a woman. Long-time
fans will be pleased with lighthearted party tracks
like "Simply" (which samples, get this, Paul
McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time") and
"Simply Havin'." "Peer Pressure" offers some
advice that should be particularly relevant to stu-
dents here at the University. I especially like Bionix
because, as with all De La albums, it mixes it up
with a variety of song types, spare beats and the
occasional skit. Ultimately, no song is simply a car-
bon copy of another.
Granted, De La has sacrificed much of its Afro
centricity for a more popular sound, and the crew is
now following more trends than it is setting. But the
qualities that initially made De La so great - intel-
ligent, playful rhymes and quality beats - still

remain, proving that hip-hop artists do not carry a
half-decade shelf life.
Grade: B

As the year closes and more and
more top 10 lists figure into issues
of your favorite publications, it
struck us here at Daily Arts that an
arbitrary redux of the
year's/decade's/semester's finest was
arrogant on our part. As it's the last
day of the semester, though, we are
well aware that the brain-power of
most students is akin to Dr. Hunter
S. Thompson after a four-day
cocaine binge. It is out of love for
our readers that we write this simple
article to help you kill time in your
final classes of 2001, full of silly
one-liners and lots of bold typeface.
So, without further adeu, Daily
Arts counts down the top 10 films
with numbers in their titles. To make
it easy on those who have both
finals and 13-page papers on the
plight of Dante contextualized
against the backdrop of Shanty
Towns, the numbers in the film will
correspond to their place on the list.
10. Malcolm X - While there is
no actual "American" 10 in his
name, those of you who remember
elementary school may recall for-
eign "Roman Numerals," of which
10 is signified by pur American let-
ter "X." This Spi l Lee joint stars
Denzel Washington as the Civil
Rights icon, and, against popular
lore, is not actually the 10th film in
a series. When reached for comment
Mr. Lee told the Daily "The number
you have dialed is not available.
Please hang up and try again."
9 112. 9 112 Weeks - In order to
make a quality top 10 film list with
corresponding numbers, this film is
a necessity. How can you resist Kim
Basinger and Mickey Rourke hot
and heavy by the fridge? (Blindfold-
ed, mind you). This film is about as
unrealistic as it gets. I mean, what
relationship based on sex lasts only
9 1/2 weeks? Chocolate syrup isn't
just for ice cream anymore.
9. The Whole Nine Yards -
While there is certainly a nine in the
title of this film, of real interest is
the stellar film presence of actress
Amanda Peet. Star of the critically
acclaimed television series "Jack
and Jill," as well as Academy Award-
nominated moving picture "Saving
Silverman," Peet, regardless of plot
or clothing, shines in an unrestricted
role. As dental assistant-turned-
gangster moll, Peet lets it all hang
out, stripping her character to the
bare-bones. Some may write the
film off as ass-inine, but we feel ...
oh, you get the idea.
8. 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag -
With a studio exec thinking he had
just cemented his place in film his-
tory, Director Tom Schulman was
allowed to make the cinematic
equivalent of having your eye torn
out by an angry puma. With Joe
Pesci starring as a gangster (what,
like Joe would play a male nurse?),
and George Hamilton in a support-
ing role, what could possibly go
wrong? We're embarrassed to even
put this flick on the list, but the only
other "eight" movie we could think
of was "8 Seconds," with Luke Perry
as a rodeo champion. Don't force us
to go on.
7. Six Days, Seven Nights -
There is quite the controversy over
where this fine film should fall, as it
includes two separate numbers. The
Harrison Ford/Anne Heche vehicle
(scooter, if you will) clearly
deserves a mention, as it is the best
stranded-on-an-island flick to sur-
face in years (take that, Hanks).
While the six does come first and
should take precedent, we frankly
thought of a funnier entry for six.
Speaking of ...
6. Leonard Part 6 - Bill Cosby
riding an ostrich, one would think,
would be the highlight of the story-

courtesy of Columbia Pictures
teller/comedian's vast career. Cos
himself told people to stay away
from this superhero spoof. At a taut
85 minutes, the film comes in about
two hours too long, and may be one
of the worst films ever made. That
said, we would rather watch solely
this movie for the rest of our lives
than have to see anything else with
Chris Klein.
5. Rocky V - Sylvester Stallone
("Rhinestone," "Oscar," "Stop or My
Mom Will Shoot,") decided that the
only way to follow up an Academy
Award-winning movie is to make
four of the worst sequels in film his-
tory. Seriously, this makes "Look
Who's Talking Now" look like
"Metropolis." It makes you long for
the good ole' days of "Over the Top"
and "Judge Dredd." Yet elitism
aside, the fifth installment of the
popular series was a hit with the
fans, and that's all that really mat-
ters, isn't it?
4. Fortress - Christopher Lam-
bert and Kurtwood Smith are truly
the Hope and Crosby of futuristic
prison movies set against the back-
drop of an America that prosecutes
people who try to flee to Mexico in
order to escape a new law prohibit-
ing them from having more than one
child. While there is no actual num-
ber, the first syllable is clearly a
homonym for one (well, four). Now
that this masterpiece of modern sci-
fi is out on DVD, you have no excuse
but to enter "The Fortress."
3.14. it - Mathematics and the
term "taut, suspenseful thriller" usu-
ally have about as much in common
as corn-on-the-cob and the Spanish
Inquisition (with the possible excep-
tion of "Euclid the Barbarian"). Dar-
ren Aronofsky's ("Requiem For a
Dream") first feature is so good'that
we had to squeeze it in here between
two "real" numbers.
3. Three Fugitives - As if Mar-
tin Short, Nick Nolte and sheer hilar-
ity were not enough, there is a cute
little tyke to make this the warmest
comedy in years. Barring, of course,
every other comedy that has ever
been released by a major motion pic-
ture studio. Oh, but there is that
scene where Nolte has his nether-
regions sniffed by a dog! Get it?
Dogs like to sniff balls! At least the
little girl doesn't talk. Child actors,
in general, should not be allowed to.
2. It Takes Two - Mary Kate
and Ashley Olsen stretch their onion-
flake thin acting ability (they don't
even play sisters!) as two girls who
bring Steve Guttenburg and Kirstie
Alley together (a capital offense in
some countries). The girls hone their
skills by smiling and making sur-
prised faces while hijinks ensue. The
girls prove that they are the most
precocious two-some to ever grace
the silver screen. Macauley Culkin is
waiting somewhere over the rainbow.
1. The One - Identical Jet Lis
are almost as good as identical Jean-
Claude Van Dammes, Jackie Chans
or Hayley Mills. Does the same guy
write all of these? Do people actually
think "Hey, twice the action, that
kicks ass?" So "The One" is not par-
ticularly original, but it certainly has
a number in the title that corresponds
to our number on the list, and it has
got some trippy Buddhist ideology
and more kicks than you can shake a
stick at.

4

41

On Fire, Black 47; Gadfly
By Gina Pensiero
Daily Arts Writer
Ska mixed with bagpipes
isn't dead!
Uh ... yeah. And it's not
just the annoying Dropkick
Murphys either.
New York-based Black 47
do an excellent job at it,
infusing ska with traditional
Irish immigrant sound and
spirit on their live album On
Fire.
Somehow they manage to

combine just enough upbeat humor
.with a political message so they
balance each other out. They
describe themselves as "drinking
music for thinking people." This
album is just a ridiculous amount of
fun. It literally makes you happy. It
makes you want to jump around and
be Irish too.
Instrumentally, the band is pretty
crazy. They have a killer horn sec-
tion and the bagpipes add a nice
element.
Additionally, there is an incredi-
ble amount of energy captured. It
might be appropriate to say the
band almost comes off as somewhat

rowdy.
A few highlight tracks include
"Czechoslovakia," in which lead
singer Larry Kirwan sings about a
Czech girl who "wants to come to
America and be a capitalist like
me!" and "Rockin' the Bronx,"
where some elementary rap is
attempted.
Seriously, all I want to do "is be
rockin' the Bronx," too.
This album is a nice buy if you're
looking for something light and
amusing, but not mindless. Long
live the Irish.
Grade: B+T
i _
AIY ARTS
EISHESYOU A
> OD::: O

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