The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 7
Is 50 CENT BULLET-PROOF ON DEBUT?
DVD highlights success of'Ighy Goes Down'
By Adam Rottenberg lican whom Igby fondly refers to as a fascist. His times feeling more like a drama. The commentary
Daily Arts Writer father (Bill Pullman, "Chill Factor") is in a sani- track provided on the DVD supplies insights into
tarium so Igby's godfather D.H. (Jeff Goldblum, both the director and main actors' views on the
"Igby Goes Down" is the portrait of a disgrun- "Vibes") acts as a surrogate, constantly giving story and making of the film. The disc features
tied youth who embarks on his own to learn about Igby money and fatherly advice. deleted scenes that do not really offer much, and
himself and come to grips with his life. The opening scene features Igby and Oliver suf- demonstrate why they were deleted. Though it is
Writer/director Burr Steers has created a film focating their mother to death. After the initial interesting to hear the director's reasoning behind
GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN,
By Joseph Litman
Daily Arts Writer
No artist without a major-label
release was talked about more than
50 Cent in 2002. His independent
albums and mixtape appearances
enthroned him as king of the hip-
hop underground, his lyricism dis-
tinguished him from many of his
peers and his incessant attacks on
Ja Rule won him many fans. 50 also
made news last year by signing
with Shady Records, uniting him
with Eminem and forging a scary
lyrical tag team. Em's decision,
were it ever doubted, now seems
wise given 50's solid major label
debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin '.
The album's virtues, which are
both abundant and worthy of expla-
nation, must first take a backseat to
this caveat though: Longtime 50
fans will find Tryin' disappointing.
The tight and unrelenting flow that
50 made his signature while
destroying mixtapes in New York is
too infrequently found here. While
there are verses that fans will learn
with a "this-is-vintage-50" satisfac-
tion, like the first rhyme in "Back
Down," there are also many loosely-
constructed flows that seem either a
product of lacking imagination,
deficient beats or desire for airplay.
50, born Curtis Jackson, is mostly
on his game, but it's not hard to hear
when he's not.
Luckily, there is still much to like
about this record. For starters, the
verses with which Jackson comes
correct are impressive and 50 com-
poses rhymes that are witty,
about a young man who is confused
by the life he leads. This modern day
"Catcher in the Rye" succeeds on its IGBsu(
own merit and tells an unusual story DGBY
in a darkly comedic way.D WN
"Igby" is successful because of Picture/Sound
the strength of its ensemble cast, Movie: ***-
specifically Kieran Culkin as the
title character. The young actor, best Features: **I
known for being Macaulay Culkin's MG
younger brother, truly thrives as a
dejected youth looking for direction. Susan Saran-
don ("Twilight") plays Igby's overprotective and
misunderstanding mother easily swayed by her
other son, Oliver (Ryan Phillippe, "Deadly Inva-
sion: The Killer Bee Nightmare"), a young Repub-
shock of the scene, the rest of the
movie is a flashback, leading up to
the murder of Mimi.
GOES The story takes off when Igby runs
DVD away en route to a military school
: **** after being thrown out of numerous
* prep schools. His mother wants him
to have a proper upbringing and be
*1 exactly like his brother. Igby moves
M in with his godfather's mistress
(Amanda Peet, "Body Shots") while
hiding from his old life. His journey later leads him
to fall in love with a college student named Sooki
(Claire Danes, "Brokedown Palace").
"Igby Goes Down" examines life from a differ-
ent perspective than most dark comedies, some-
removing them from the film.
A 15-minute documentary on the making of
the film rounds out the special features (which
also includes the theatrical trailer) and once again
acts as just a basic production documentary of
MGM's DVD release of this independent feature
contains most of the regulars associated with the
big budget releases, which can probably be attrib-
uted to the high profile ensemble cast and critical
acclaim. Culkin's performance steals the movie,
and he deservedly received a Golden Globe nomi-
nation for his efforts this year. While not revolu-
tionary, "Igby' is original. In a sea of copycats and
uninspired films, a truly unique and creative film
like "Igby Goes Down" deserves to be seen.
involved and captivating. This style
is perhaps best heard on the album's
last two songs, "U Not Like Me"
and "Life's on the Line."
Tryin' also benefits from its pro-
duction on the whole. Dr. Dre and
Eminem served as the executive pro-
ducers for this album and their influ-
ence is noticeable; many of the tracks
significantly relying on the keyboard
sounds that have become staples of
the Shady/Aftermath style. On songs
like "What Up Gangsta" and
"Patiently Waiting," 50 spits over
beats that are menacing and contain a
dramatic element often found on
Eminem records. Meanwhile, the
Dre-produced "In Da Club" is a certi-
fied club banger, and "Back Down,"
with its sparse drum rhythm and sim-
ple tones, provides the perfect arena
for Jackson's unilateral battle with
Murder Inc.'s finest thug-singer.
There are, however, beats that fail
spectacularly and the songs bearing
them provide the 18-track record with
its only skip-worthy material. Over-
all, 50's album, while not equal to the
- hype that preceded it, is a fine
entrance into the mainstream for a
RATING: *** '
OTHER PEOPLE'S SONGS
By Graham Kelly
Daily Arts Writer
How do you make a really, really,
extremely bad album? Take a hand-
ful of songs that aren't any good,
remix them in a way that doesn't
increase their appeal in the slightest
and then add a few songs that origi-
nally were good, but that you've
completely screwed up.
Other People 's Songs is a collec-
tion of covers tainted by Erasure's
own electronic flair as an added
kick to the groin. Instead of listing
the highlights, in typical CD review
fashion, I'll detail the low points so
that, in case you ever want to hear
what really, really, extremely bad
music sounds like, you'll know what
tracks to skip to.
First, "Everyday" made me want
to vomit. It screams out, "Hey, I'm
crappy '80s bubble-gum pop!"
"Walking in the Rain" features guest
female vocals which, as is par with
the rest of the album, grind like fin-
gernails on a chalkboard. "True
Love Ways" presents Andy Bell's
worst falsetto. I'll stop there before
I list every track.
Songs have been successfully
redone (especially Bush songs, for
some reason. See "Mouth" from
Deconstructed and "Letting the
Cables Sleep" from Cafd Del Mar,
Vol. 7). But that only works when: a)
the songs are decent to begin with,
and b) the beats, synth and ambient
sounds added are engaging. One
shouldn't feel like he's listening to
the soundtrack of some cheap
amusement park ride about the not-
But maybe I'm-just angry that
Erasure slaughtered the song "Sols-
By Sean Dailey
Daily Arts Writer
Hey guys? Yeah, the Juliana Theory
called. They want their shtick back.
The All-American Rejects are every-
thing the writers of Seventeen Maga-
zine would have you believe about emo:
four good looking guys from an obscure
part of the country playing "emotionally
charged" music that only the most senti-
mental of teenage girls and unstable ex-
punk rockers could appreciate.
Every song off the band's self-titled
debut, originally released independently
on Doghouse Records, follows essen-
tially the same pattern. First, start off
slow so you catch the listener off-guard
when the drums come in and the song
really starts to rock. Now, after the sec-
ond chorus or so, slow it down to a
sappy break with a gut-wrenching piano
solo that elicits the tears of every poser
in the house. Finally, build to that unex-
pected crescendo that leaves them panti-
ng. You thought the song was done at
the break, didn't you? Gotcha!
The All-American Rejects present
nothing new or innovative here. At
the very least, their songs are catchy.
But then again, the same could be
said for Good Charlotte. And God
knows they suck.
RATING: * *
the michigan daily
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