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April 02, 2003 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-02

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - 11

By Adam A
Daily Arts Wi

How m
a scene w
Bugs Bu
"Who Fra
bit?" Zen
help of S
made a I
1988 tha
effects to
young and
later, "R(
filled spec
A filmn
live side-b
focuses o
Mario Bro
Roger (vo
serves as
vivid work
Jessica Ra
walks that
tion and a
from Baby
laughs and
The DV

Rottenberg an example of what a great DVD release should
Vriter be. The picture is clear and the colors are vivid on
both discs. The first, labeled "family friendly,"
features the full-screen version, while the second
disc, labeled "for the enthusiast," has the wide-
any movies can boast that they feature screen edition.
ith Mickey Mouse cracking jokes with The Dolby Digital sound is available in several
nny? Only one, Robert Zemeckis' languages and multiple commentary tracks, which
amed Roger Rab- are interesting considering the effects and those
meckis, with the involved, are included. The "family friendly" disc
teven Spielberg, Who Framed has the "Roger Rabbit" short cartoons that were
andmark film in Roger featured before a few Disney movies back in the
t brought visual Rabbit? DVD late '80s. Disc two has an hour-long documentary
a new level and behind the making of the film, which thrives
ed audiences both Warner Bros. because of the intricacies of the special effects in
d old. Fifteen years 1988, done without any computer animation.
oger Rabbit" hits DVD in a feature While some DVDs provide a plethora of delet-
cial edition. ed scenes, "Roger Rabbit" features only one, but
noir story set in a 1950s where humans it is a fully done sequence that is interesting, but
by-side with cartoons, "Roger Rabbit" enhances the film with its deletion. Also present is
n the relationship between private running trivia boxes similar to those on the VH1
Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins, "Super show "Pop-up Video."
os.") and the framed titular character "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" still stands as
iced by Charles Fleischer). The plot one of the most visually stunning films of the
a device to enable the ludicrous and past 20 years. The special edition DVD set is a
d of cartoons into a real world setting. great way to watch "Roger Rabbit" and to
abbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner) still understand the incredible work that went into
fine line between reality and anima- making this revolutionary film.

By Brian Stephens
Daily Arts Writer
Brian McKnight's U Turn isn't a
turn at all from his Anytime album
released in 1999. While there are a
few upbeat songs dashed with a
touch of rap and hip-hop flavor, U
Turn is smothered with love ballads,
sultry grooves and spicy lyrics.
Tracks like "U Turn" and "Shoulda,

McKnight's 'U Turn'
overcomes triteness

Coulda, Woulda"
use the hip-hop
and R&B mixing
formula with
near flawless
many of the

U Turn

tracks have the same underlying
theme: love, lust, and heartbreak.
The album partially makes up for
its triteness with McKnight's rich
vocals and mellow beats. The song-
writing in this album, unlike his
previous release, contain strong
imagery backed up with smooth
instrumentals. He effortlessly peels
lyrics like, "Trying to count your

tears would be like standing in the
With so many musical genres
blending into one another, it often
seems like pure, unadultured R&B
is lost to the annals of time. McK-
night successfully captures it in U
Turn and shows the industry what
pure R&B should sound like.
In the end, it boils down to one
question: How do you define good
music? Does it include popping in a
CD, dimming the lights and kicking
back with the ones who you love?
If so, you might want to add U Turn
to your collection.

11 of the characters in Roger's universe,
y Herman to Bennie the Cab, provide
I originality.
D is loaded with extras and stands as

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

courtesy of warner Bros.

Draw your own conclusions.

Everclear in top form on
energetic 'Slow Motion'

DVD well represents the West Side'

By Ryan Lewis
Daily Film Editor

By Daniel Yowell
Daily Arts Writer


Art Alexakis has shaped Everclear
into a reliable band - a band that deliv-
ers grunge-tinged modern rock infused
with nostalgia and sentimentality on
every album, not to mention suspicious-
ly familiar-sounding chord progressions
and lots of "ohs" _____________
and "yeahs." But Everclear
no matter how
guilty they are of Slow Motion
recycling songs, Daydream
Everclear has a dis- Capitol Records
tinct sound that, it
would seem, can't be produced by any-
one else. Alexakis' production gets even
slicker and his American culture critique
even more pronounced on their latest,
Slow Motion Daydream.
Don't expect any big surprises after
pressing play. The glossy production,
string arrangements and quirky sound

bytes of American Movie Pt. I make a
return. Almost as an added bonus, songs
like "Blackjack" and "I Want to Die a
Beautiful Death" hark back to the Ever-
clear of four albums ago, fusing gritty,
subversive garage rock with Alexakis'
current, studio-savvy style.
Daydream is just as thematically
cohesive as the American Movie discs,
and it's armed to the teeth with songs
about getting away from it all. This is
the mother of all recurring themes for
Everclear (check out "Santa Monica,"
"Summerland," "I Will Buy You a New
Life"), but it still works like a charm
because Alexakis sells it so well. It's
hard not to believe it when he sings, "I
just want to be / where the sun shines
down / on a beautiful life" because his
earnest tone exudes such a passionate
yearning for just one decent roll of the
dice. Alexakis sings like a stray dog
begging for scraps, admitting that if he
can't have a good life, he'll settle for
going out with a bang ("I don't want to
live forever / I just want to die a beauti-

ful death"). This stuff should probably
sound ridiculous, but somehow, even
after all these records, Art Alexakis still
makes it sound sincere.
The album also succeeds with the
catchy and tongue-in-cheek single,
"Volvo Driving Soccer Mom," which
pokes fun at reformed teenage rebels,
and "TV Show," the unofficial sequel to
"Wonderful," in which Alexakis
dreams, "I wish I could come home / to
a life that looks / like a TV show."
For the most part, Everclear sticks to
what they think works and, incidentally,
it works pretty well. The bright tones
and high energy of Slow Motion Day-
dream show that the Everclear formula
is still holding up nicely.

The finest Broadway musical adap-
tation ever to grace the silver screen
returns to the DVD racks this week in
a deluxe, two-disc special edition box.
"West Side Story"
remains one of the
most successful West Side
reworkings of Story DVD
Shakespeare's MGM
"Romeo and Juli- _
et," and still one
of the finest movie musicals and
films, in general, ever created. Trans-
ported to Manhattan amid the fury of
gang wars between whites and Puerto
Ricans in the 1950s, it garnered 10
Academy Awards in 1962, a record
that stood until "Titanic's" reign over
30 years later.
Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins'
artful, poetic ballet, accompanied by
Leonard Bernstein's unforgettable
score, has been repackaged in an edi-
tion that is almost as memorable as the

film itself. While the restoration avail-
able on the original DVD is the same
format as the special edition, the pic-
ture remains close to perfection with
colors that put "Moulin
Rouge" to shame. A "
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio
transfer compliments the
cinematography with
crisp sound that greatly
enhances viewing quality.
What makes the pack-
age worthwhile, especial-
ly since the transfer is
basically the same, is the
one-hour featurette, origi-
nal intermission music
and other features on disc
two, as well as the accompanying col-
lectible scrapbook. The second disc in
the set includes "West Side Memo-
ries," an unforgettable retrospective
documentary complete with original
recordings by Natalie Wood, inter-
views with cast members and a look
back at the journey from stage to
screen that shows the painstaking
process that the cast and crew endured
for the sake of art. Musical lovers,

"West Side Story" aficionados and
everyone else will enjoy the featurette,
finding letdown only in the fact that it
doesn't go beyond its hour length.
Most impressive in the
entire package is the col-
lectible scrapbook. Con-
tained in the book are the
entire working screen-
play, a reproduction of
the original lobby
brochure, behind-the-
scenes memos and film
reviews dating back to its
Finally, a Special Edi-
tion DVD has been creat-
ed that compliments the
quality and mastery contained in the
original film. "West Side. Story" can
now be enjoyed more than ever on this
anamorphic widescreen format that
provides its fans with almost every-
thing they could ask for, and every-
thing the film deserves.

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






$25,000 IN CASH






(TIME, APRIL 15, 2002 AND FOX NEWS APRIL 4, 2002)


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