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April 04, 2003 - Image 5

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

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April 7, 2003




'Phone Booth' almost
redeems Schumacher

By Zach Mabee
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy of
The Tigers
had a lead.
I know, but
who cares.
Let's just
playing. I
like your

It's easy to have rancor towards
director Joel Schumacher, considering
the fact that he was largely responsible
for the demise of the "Batman" series.
While no cinematic feat will ever be
capable of absolving such sins, his
newest project, "Phone Booth," gives


audiences good
reason to rekindle
their faith in him.
Although his
techniques were
misused in the
films, Schumacher
has a unique talent

Phone Booth
At Showcase,
Quality 16 and
20th Century Fox
for frenetic camera

By Joel M. Hoard
Daily Music Editor
With their latest album, Kill the Moonlight,
receiving critical acclaim and an ever-widening
fan base, Texas rock outfit Spoon hit Detroit's
Magic Stick last Tuesday with fellow indie act
Crooked Fingers.
Before the show, Spoon lead singer/guitarist
Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno took a break
before the show to speak with The Michigan
The Michigan Daily: Kill the Moonlight is
less guitar-based than your previous albums.
What went into the decision to go into that direc-
Britt Daniel: We didn't really have a sit-down
kind of decision-making process. A lot of the
songs started out with more guitars, and then we
changed them, molded them.
TMD: How do you guys look at it when you
go into the studio? Do you have a plan mapped
out when you start recording?
BD: We record at Jim's house, so we know all
about the equipment. But we don't start recording

until we have an idea of where we want songs to
go. And that's not to say that we don't change
things up or decide that we're, going to scratch
that one and completely record another song over
it. But usually we'll have thought it out and
worked on it quite a bit before we go to work.
Jim Eno: We do have the flexibility to try
more things.
TMD: There's been a big garage rock explo-
sion over the last few years and more focus on
rock in general. Do you think that has helped you
out at all?
BD: There a lot of good things that have come
from it. The overall scope - where the center is
- of music is a lot better now than it was four
years ago. Some of these bands I love; some I'm
not too crazy about. But at least we're not talking
about Limp Bizkit and Korn anymore.
JE: And it's great to hear those bands on the
radio, too. We're not on the radio, but it's great to
hear them.
TMD: Where do you guys come from when
you write? On Kill the Moonlight I picked up a
classic rock vibe a little bit.
BD: We're into a lot of classic rock, a lot of
punk rock, folk-rock.

TMD: I've heard you guys often compared to
two acts in particular: Pavement and Elvis
Costello. Is there any secret influence that no one
has picked up on yet?
BD: I don't know ... CCR?
TMD: You were recently featured in Rolling
Stone. Do you think that was because there was
something about that last album that really
caught on with people, or was it just a matter of
BD: I think it was a matter of time. I think all
the records are pretty good.
JE: It's also been pretty gradual, too. We've
been touring our asses off on every record. We
have been seeing more and more people come to
the shows. How many people were here last time
we played?
BD: There were like 15 people. We didn't play
Detroit for a while because of that. We have a
new guy we're working with who said, "Play
Detroit again." And then we sold 260 tickets in
advance, so we're happy.
Visit www.michigandaily.com for a full tran-
scipt of this interview.
- Daily Arts Writers Andrew Gaerig and Scott
Serilla contributed to this article.

work and explosive energy. This energy,
coupled with an innovative plot, makes
"Phone Booth" especially enjoyable.
Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is a suave
entertainment publicist who admittedly
rubs elbows with the most notable
stars; he rises to the top in a business
that deems cunning and chicanery
virtues. He is married to Kelly (Radha
Mitchell), but their busy schedules
often prohibit them from seeing one
another. To enjoy time spent away from
his wife, Stu develops a relationship
with Pamela (Katie Holmes), a young,
aspiring actress.
Stu spends the film's opening 15
minutes cruising the streets of New
York, talking on his cell phone and
establishing himself as bastard extraor-
dinaire. Schumacher uses clever inlay
shots of the people on the receiving end
and establishes an interactive screen that

intensifies the atmosphere and prepares
viewers well for the ensuing thrills.
At the time of his usual lunch break,
Stu diverts to an isolated phone booth
in a seedy section of New York. Upon
finishing his daily call to his mistress,
someone calls the phone booth, and out
of sheer curiosity, Stu answers. Kiefer
Sutherland's gritty, intriguing voice
speaks to Stu, telling him that leaving
the phone booth will result in his immi-
nent death.
From said point onward, Stu is
unable to leave the booth. This may
seem a difficult task and a potential
nuisance, but Farrell plays his role
extremely well, and the isolated setting
becomes a great strength.
Stu's moral shortcomings are
revealed in full, as the caller - who is
watching Stu from a sniper's perch -
harangues him about his sins and
crimes against humanity. Stu begins the
film a pretentious shark who cares
nothing for others, but by the conclu-
sion, he is a humbled man seeking to
redeem himself in the eyes of all he has
wronged. Furthermore, the character of
Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker)
experiences a similar relational crisis
and helps viewers to sympathize better
with Stu. These struggles the characters
face are characteristically human and
only deepen the poignancy of this film.
All things said, the technical strength
of "Phone Booth" as a thriller is its
strongest asset. The aforementioned
frenzied camerawork adds greatly to
the confusion, providing the looming
enigma of the sniper's whereabouts and
makes "Phone Booth" function profi-
ciently while striking moral chords
uncommon to its genre.

Realism adds
* human touch
to 'Bebop'
By John Laughlin
Daily Arts Writer
"Cowboy Bebop" is an exciting
adventure set in the future where "cow-
boys," or bounty hunters, seek out the
most wanted criminals. When a suave
Spike Spiegel and his cohorts stumble
upon a case bigger than ever imagined,
the sought prize is no longer money but
the fate of the planet.
Thinking she is on the trail of a devi-
ous hacker, Faye Valentine is witness to a
tanker truck explo- _
sion that leaves
many dead due to Cowboy
an unknown air- Bebop
borne virus. Faye At the Michigan
notices a man in Theater
black but is unable Destination Films
to apprehend the
perpetrator before he vanishes. She
returns to tell others about the incident,
and they separate to try and find clues as
to who this mystery man is and what
exactly happened with the explosion.
Seemingly working apart to perhaps
gain the monetary reward themselves,
the team inevitably acts as a whole with
each member working for the collective
good. The man in black (Vincent) is dis-
covered to be an ex-militia man who
was supposed to be dead. What ensues
is more than just a chase to catch the
villain; it's a race to save the world.
Director Shinichiro Watanabe's deci-
sion to mix in all types of music, from
classical to rock and roll, adds life to a
film colored by ink and action. Anime
has allowed Watanabe's vision free
reign and the silver screen allows for a
tremendous large-scale spectacle.
The timing of the film, with its
internal fictional threat reflecting
today's present scare of bio-chemical
warfare, is an interesting one and the
allusion to a pair of twin towers cannot
be ignored. There is a politic at play
within this film, although not its sole
Wake up. Get coffee.
Change the world.
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full-time community service in the
metro Detroit area
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- Engage & inspire community leaders
- Promote civic engagement

'Love Liza' not deserving of Hoffman as lead

( -*., *} I
Courtesy of Destination Films
Cowabungal But where's Rocksteady?
agenda. There is even a reflexive
moment when characters are shown
watching an old black and white West-
ern in a futuristic drive-thru.
This film is not your average "Satur-
day Morning," but one with very real-
istic characters and emotions. For
those not familiar with the genre of
anime, "Cowboy Bebop" might just be
a great introduction.

By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Editor
From the self-loathing outsider Scotty in "Boogie
Nights" tb the uncool l'ock 'writer/nientor Leiter
Bangs in "Almost Famous," Philip Seymour Hoff-
man oftenappears in the small-
est but most memorable of
roles. However, Hoffman never Love Liza
felt the weight of an entire film At Madstone
on his shoulders until Todd Sony Pictures
Louiso's "Love Liza," a gloomy Classics
but only adequate look into a
husband's unique grief featuring Hoffman as the
leading man.
For his feature film debut, Louiso (better known
as the Jazz-loving nanny in "Jerry Maguire") imme-
diately received some help in casting the ultra-tal-
ented second fiddle Hoffman as mourning web

designer Wilson Joel and in landing Kathy Bates to
play Mary Ann, the mother of Wilson's passed wife
Liza. While Hoffman is never much more than nor-
mal Hoffman, just in bigger doses, Bates' grieving
mother is a turn on the typical Bates role of the
imposing, blunt-talking divorcee. k
Wilson avoidscomng to grips with ius wife's sui-
cide, constantly eyeing but never opening the note
she left for him under his pillow. In typical but sus-
penseful fashion, ithe note drives the story..It teasesa
Wilson and the audience by its tendency to disap-
pear and serving as a reminder of the wife Wilson
can't survive without. Quiet, scared Mary Ann
refuses to rush Wilson in his bereavement. Dropping
by the house to offer support, she instead finds an
unconscious Wilson, high from huffing gas. This
new addiction grants Wilson relief from this recent
life of depression, deprived of any real salvation or
comfort save for the fume-formed joy of his other
new hobby/distraction, radio control planes.
Philips's brother Gordy Hoffman scripted the film

and received screenwriting honors at last year's Sun-
dance Film Festival.
Yet, despite the inventive storyline and a prevailing
depressing tone to its credit, Hoffman's screenplay too
often repeats the same ideas. It frequently relies on the
sole power of an anguished Wilson's silence, which,
while powerful a'ndabsorbing in its own right, cannot
make for an entire film. "Love Liza" successfully cap-
tures real human emotion, but in the end retreads
familiar lndie filmmaking plot-twists and a customary'
conclusion imparting a symbolic resolution while
remaining unfinished and open-ended.
After the closing credits, one might have mixed
feelings on Hoffman as a leading man. One may
wish to thank him for keeping the redundant
events from growing boring and detached, but
there's also the possibility that "Love Liza" would
not have been made had he not signed on. Here's
hoping this was not Hoffman's last chance for top
billing and that next time P.T. Anderson is the
writer/director in charge.

Attention: Pre-Med/Pre-Nursing Students
Excellent opportunity to work with doctors in a camp
infirmary setting, as a Camp Health Officer.We
will pay for the short certification course.
Enjoy working in a beautiful Northern
Michigan setting.


$2.00 off
Any Purchase of $15 or More

,San 374s

Must mention Coupon When Ordering
Coupons May Not Be Combined With Any
Expires 4/30/03

Other offer.

$12.49 +Tax OSalf 711'
Any Two Dinner Combinations
Must mention Coupon When Ordering
Coupons May Not Be Combined With Any Other Offer.
Expires 4/30/03

02/03 spring season

$10 Rush Tickets on
the day of the perfo
Friday before a wee
the UMS Ticket Offic
Michigan League.
Bach Collegi
J.S. Bach's
St. Matthew
Masaaki Suzukic
Wed 4/9 7:30 p
St. Francis of As
Matthias Go
Eric Schneider pi

sale 10 am-5 pm
ormance or the
kend event at
ce, located in the

50% Rush Tickets on sale
beginning 90 minutes before
the event at the performance
hall Box Office.

um Japan
) m
sisi Catholic

Take a study break during
this Lenten season to enjoy
Bach's musical and dramatic
interpretation of the events
of Passion week as recounted
in the New Testament Gospel
according to St. Matthew,
performed here by Bach Col-
legium Japan.

erne baritone

The chosen pupil of lieder
legend Dietrich Fischer-Dies-
kau, Matthias Goerne returns

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