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March 13, 2002 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-13

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 13, 2002



Author of
short tales
reads latest
at Shaman
By Carmen Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
Is hanging a circus elephant a
viable solution for the relief of dis-
contentment and depression? In a
collection of 14 short stories, titled
"What We Won't Do," Brock
Clarke's lower-middle class charac-
ters, suffer mostly from the same
unfulfilled existence sickness that
drives them to starve themselves,
kill houseplants and burn Emily
Dickinson's house down.
The stories, complete with
quirky situations, share a concern
for the hardships of the working-
man. "For me, the working class
characters are always conflicted,
productively so: they're proud of
being working class, and yet they
wish they were something else.
They know what it is to have a job,
and they also know what is not to
want one," Clarke says. Tonight, he

Extra features on 'Training Day'
DVD expand characters, slow pace

By Lyle Henretty
Daily Arts Editor
Denzel Washington is clearly having the time
of his life playing bad-cop to Ethan Hawke's
good in Warner Bros. "Training Day." While both

men were nominated for Academy
Awards (Best Actor and Best Sup-
porting, respectively), any compe-
tent actor could have filled
Hawke's shoes (the nature of a role
that calls more for reacting than
actual acting). Only an actor as
skilled at his craft as Washington
could play the role somewhere
between an "ends-justify-the-
means" cop and a Batman villain
without looking incredibly silly
(Jeremy Irons, take note).

will be reading from his
stories at Shaman
With polished prose,
he successfully uses
satire to address the
complicated people with
whom Clarke believes
many writers are afraid
to deal. Moving quickly

At Sham

ters' frustration with literature. "I
mean, I had read it in high school,
but I was not impressed. All those
hyphens and capital letters and flies
buzzing and death personified did
nothing for me," claims a disillu-
sioned character in "She Loved to
Cook but Not Like This," explain-
ing what drove him to torch Emily
Dickinson's house. "They've been
told that literature can change their
lives which they know not to be the
case. They can't figure out what lit-
erature is suppose to do, which
makes them feel dumb, and they
hate feeling dumb as much as they
hate the literature that makes them
feel this way," says Clarke, who is
now writing a novel
which takes a deeper
look at the problem
CLARKE that literature can
present for some
an Drum people. The first
kshop chapter of his
at 8 p.m. "Arsonist's Guide to
Writers' Homes in
New England" is
based on the short story "She
Loved to Cook but Nof Like This."
Hailing from upstate New York,
Clarke received his Ph.D. in Eng-
lish at the University of Rochester,
and is now an assistant professor of
English and Creative Writing at
Clemson University. He has recent-
ly published his first novel, "The
Ordinary White Boy."
"What We Won't Do" is a reis-
sued collection of short stories pub-
lished in February of this year by
Sarabande Books, ahnonprofituliter-
ary press. These short stories have
previously appeared in publications
such as the New England Review
and American Fiction. The collec-
tion was the winner of the 2000
Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fic-

Movie: ***
Features: ***

Hawke is Jake Hoyt, a cracker-jack patrolman
picked to join an elite squad of undercover nar-
cotics cops lead by Washington's Alonzo Harris.
The film takes place over the course of Hoyt's

first day on the job. Harris gets him high on PCP,
beaten up by a couple of rapists and nearly
gunned down by a troupe of angry Latinos. There
is interesting tension and quiet morality lurking
around every corner as the viewer is asked to
look inside him/herself and decide
whether Alonzo is a monster or just
doing what it takes in a corrupt
GDAY world. That's until the entire story
G A spirals out of control and Alonzo
D looses a dimension and Tom
Berenger shows up with a mullet.
Don't ask.
Director Antione Fuqua proves
more than capable, giving the film
* both a glossy Hollywood feel and
preserving the gritty integrity of its
L.A. setting. While the ending
breaks down, the film is taught enough
throughout to hold interest. David Ayer's script
is cliche-ridden, but his dialogue has a certain
authenticity to it usually lacking in Hollywood
"ghetto" projects.
The new "Training
Day" DVD hits many of
the same ups and downs
as the film itself. The
included "HBO First
Look" documentary is
interesting in its explo-
ration of film-making in
the 'hood. Fuqua deliv-
ers interesting tidbits
about working with,
instead of around, the
L.A. gangs in order to
obtain some of the film's
more uniquely gritty set-
tings. It's also a trip
watching Hawke and
Washington talk about
what a joy it is to work
with musicians-come-
thespians Dr. Dre, Snoop
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Dogg, and Macy Gray.
een time. The deleted scenes are


probably the disc's best features, mainly show-
casing Washington's silver-tongued rouge-
charmer, some making him more human, some
showing him even more monstrous, but all
entirely extraneous..Separate from the actual
movie, they are fine character studies, but they
would have slowed down the clip of the movie,
which would have been cinematic suicide for a
film structured around momentum. Same prob-
lem with the alternate ending, except the two
added minutes are poorly acted and executed.
The standard commentary is fine for those
interested, though most could do without the
Nelly and Pharaoh Monche videos. Fuqua, a for-
mer music video director, does enough for his
musical colleagues by placing them in the films
and it is far from necessary for the requisite
inclusion of sub-par singers to sell soundtracks.


Denzel and Ethan argue over who actually had more scr

'My Guide' shows life r
in the music industry

By Ryan Blay
TV/New Media Editor
It may not be "This is Spinal
Tap," the ultimate guidebook to

half-hour episodes each Thursday.
This keeps with the often frenetic
pace of the show. While one episode
might deal with "the Yoko factor,"
another might delve into the band's
constantly depleted funds to record


Cuts y o f Sarabande Boks
Brock Clarke considers a pasta dinner.

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making a mockumen-
tary about a band with
revolving drummers.
But the WB Network's
new comedy, "My
Guide to Becoming a
Rock Star," is still a
charming show about
the music industry.
Based on the long-
titled British series
"The Young Person's
Guide to Becoming a
Rock Star," "My

Thursdays at 8 &
8:30 p.m.
The WB

a demo and sign with a
record label.
Though the humor
occasionally falls flat,
the charming presence
of Hudson and the cre-
ative idea of the show
does give this freshman
comedy a chance to
succeed. Refining the
idea to focus on the
band members them-
selves is vital to the
future. With a bit of
the network could have

Courtesy or Anchor Bay
Ash and company enjoy their luxury vacation at this coy cabin in "Evil Dead.".
A truly, 'vl'V

By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Editor
"The Evil Dead" is the quintessen-
tial low buget horror movie. Bad act-
ing and cheesy dialogue could have
made the film a typical gore schlock
fest, but with inventive camera work
and clever visual effects, director Sam

Evil Dead."
The most striking feature of the
DVD lies in the meticulous attention to
perfection in the audio and video
departments. Considering the minis-
cule budget of the film, the inclusion
of a 6.1 surround sound is nothing
short of astounding. The print has been
remastered and for the first time shown

Guide" stars Oliver Hudson (brother
of actress Kate Hudson, son of
Goldie Hawn) as 22-year-old Jace
Darnell, frontman for the young
band SlipDog. Hudson is charismat-
ic as Jace, the creator/energy cen-
ter/surprisingly decent singer of the
band. Unfortunately, the rest of the
band, including the large, sleazy
manager often retracts into stereo-
typical backup musicians. There's
the no-nonsense female, reminding
viewers that they're not watching
"Josie and the Pussycats." Then, of
course, there's the constant stream
of new drummers. This definitely
needs to stop to increase the band's
dynamics with one another.
Rather than create hour-long
episodes of the new series, the WB
has instead decided to show two


another cult hit on its hands.

Raimi turned the film
into a cult phenomenon.
20 years later, "The
Evil Dead" and its.two
sequels (1987's "Evil
Dead 2" and 1993's
"Army of Darkness") are
more popular than ever.
To commemerate the 20th
anniversary of "The Evil
Dead," Anchor Bay has
released one of the most
impressive DVDs on the
market today.

Picture/Sound: *****
Movie: ****
Features: ****

in a widescreen format.
Special features
include two commen-
taries, one with director
Raimi and another with
B-movie superhero and
star of "The Evil Dead"
Bruce Campbell. Other
notable features include
trailers, TV spots, talent
files, over 200 stills,
behind the scenes docu-
mentaries and a fea-

To capture the feel of the horror
classic, the DVD is presented in a latex
replica of the "The Book of the Dead"
featured in the movie. To create an
accurate recreation, the makers of the
DVD hired Tom Sullivan, the original
special makeup effects artist for "The

turette on the humble beginnings of
what has become one of the most
beloved film series in recent years.
For die hard fans of "The Evil
Dead," Anchor Bay's 20th anniversary
DVD is the premier edition of the
movie and one of the most impressive
DVDs in recent memory.

Courtesy of the WB
The cast of the WB's "Rock Star."

Screen Actors Guild winners
predict this year's Oscar gold.


By Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editor
The Screen Actors Guild handed out their awards on Sun-
day, and it could prove to be an apt preview of what is to
come at the Academy Awards on March 24. Often, the big-
winners at the Screen Actors Guild can expect to take home
Russell Crowe may have cemented his victory at the
upcoming Academy Awards with his win in the Male Actor in
A Leading Role for his portrayal of Professor John Nash,
who suffers from schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind."
Crowe's acceptance was brief, and he did not read a poem on
stage. He simply thanked the Guild and talked about how
great it was to be an actor. Despite Crowe's short acceptance
speech, the actor still stormed off the stage looking angry as
Halle Berry was a surprise winner in the Female Actor in A
Leading Role category, beating out Judi Dench, Renee Zell-

Female Actor in A Supporting Role went to Helen Mirren
from Robert Altman's "Gosford Park" Mirren beat out Judi
Dench (which makes Dench 0-2 at this year's SAG's), Cate
Blanchett, Dakota Fanning and Cameron Diaz, who was
nominated for her role in Cameron Crowe's "Vanilla Sky."

f. r .



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