8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 8, 2003
'BECKHAM' WORTH ROOTING FOR
CHADHA COMICALLY BLENDS SPORT AND CULTURE
By Tara Billik
Daily Arts Writer
MOV E REV W
ents' adamant disapproval. Her traditional Indi-
an family believes that Jess' purpose in life con-
sists of two main objectives: learning how to
cook and marrying a nice Indian boy.
Consequently, after Jess is recruited by the
equally talented Juliette (Keira Knightley) to
play for an all-girls team, she packs a snowball
of lies to keep her parents from discovering that
she spends her days on the soccer field.
Meanwhile, her sister's wedding complicates
things further for Jess, as the plans conflict with
her most important game. Nonetheless, this
obligatory Indian-film inclu- ______________
sion sets a delightful stage
for comedic encounters remi-
niscent of "My Big Fat Greek Beckham
Wedding" and adds the lush At the State Theater
visuals of traditional Indian Fox Searchlight
attire to the cinematic palette.
A memorable moment during one of the cele-
brations finds a row of sari-clad Indian women
checking their cell phones at the same time, fur-
ther supporting the film's theme of temporal
and cultural transition.
A particularly entertaining subplot involves
Juliette's wacky mother, a soccer mom boasting
the sentiment, "There's a reason Sporty Spice is
the only one without a boyfriend." She adds a
new misunderstanding to the heap by believing
Juliette and Jess are lesbians because of a cer-
tain argument between the two.
Little does she know the argument arises over
Juliette's jealousy regarding the girls' coach, a
young Irishman, with an attraction for Jess. The
execution of this love triangle, however, seems
the result of a forced romantic thread that
"Bend It" would be better off without.
Most of the charm lies with director Gurinder
Chadha's leading lady. Nagra is both athletic
and feminine. Her skills and sincerity have the
audience cheering for her, both on and off the
field. Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra (Anupam Kher and
Shaheen Khan respectively) are caricatures of
an assimilated youth's conventional Indian par-
ents. Though standing between Jess and her
dream, their stereotypic roles are both loving
Jonathon Rhys-Meyers ("Velvet Goldmine"),
as the attractive male coach, shares his personal
sob story with Jess, desperate for a connection
between the two that just doesn't exist.
The film combines formulas of multiple gen-
res, from the teen comedy to the sports movie,
inviting a wide range of spectators. It features
plenty of enjoyable humor to entertain for the
full two hours. However, though "Bend It Like
Beckham" is disguised as a delightful coming-
of-age comedy, its production reveals an appro-
priate amount of substance as well.
NBC is taking over prime time, even by scare tactics if necessary.
NEWS FROM THE TUBE
By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer
After a brief hiatus, we're back
again for the second edition of the
Daily's TV dish, detailing all the lat-
est in the world of television -
everything from guest stars to
Nielsen ratings. So buckle up, here
we go ...
Goodbye? - In the two weeks
since its move to Friday nights,
NBC's "Ed" has averaged about 11
million viewers, winning its 9 p.m.
timeslot both times. But that may not
be enough. The season finale airs this
Friday at 9 p.m., and it could be the
series finale as well. Watch it, or you
may not be able to next year.
"Stripes" Shift - NBC recently
announced that the White Stripes will
perform on "Late Night with Conan
O'Brien" for a four-night stint, from
April 22 through 25, to promote their
new album Elephant, which hit stores
last Tuesday. Look out, Max Wein-
berg, someone's coming for your job.
'Nightfire' captures the James Bond spirit
boost with their war coverage. After
the first full week of coverage from
Iraq, Fox News Channel was the
highest rated cable network with 5.58
million viewers per night, which
more than doubled its previous
week's average. Not far behind was
CNN with an average of 4.27 million.
In the Works - The fall televi-
sion season is heating up to be a
good one, with a slew of pilots
already in development. Networks
will have a grab-bag to choose from
for their upcoming schedules; with
an "Out of Sight" spin-off on ABC,
a WB remake of "MacGyver" and
separate projects for Tracy Morgan
and Jenny McCarthy already in
Additionally, FOX is adapting
"About a Boy," the 2002 film direct-
ed by Chris and Paul Weitz of
"American Pie" fame, for the small-
screen. Based on the novel by Nick
Hornby, the sitcom will star Patrick
Dempsey as a self-centered thir-
tysomething whose immature
lifestyle changes drastically when he
befriends a 12-year-old boy, accord-
ing to The Hollywood Reporter.
And speaking of those Weitz
brothers, they will be heading 'up
another FOX comedy project: Molly
Shannon's "Cracking Up.''
Elsewhere, Zap2it.com reports
ABC has already given a 13-episode
order to the mob/FBI drama "Lines
of Duty" from film critic-turned-
director Rod Lurie. The drama will
star Leslie Bibb ("Popular") as a
rookie FBI agent and David Paymer
("State and Main") as a mobster,
alternating between the two charac-
ters' perspectives. Might we have
another "Sopranos" on our hands?
By Daniel Yowell
Daily Arts Writer
Electronic Arts' first three forays into the
James Bond universe saw the developers unsure
of what to do with the franchise. On its fourth
attempt, EA seems to have
more direction. "007 Night-
fire" captures the tone and
action of the Bond movies in
an original story with solid
gameplay to boot. While it
does not surpass Rare's
"Goldeneye" as a revolution-
along and look fantastic, as do the in-play graph-
ics. Bond is a perfect likeness of Pierce Brosnan,
complete with trademark one-liners (but without
Brosnan's real voice). 007 must complete a wide
variety of missions with unique objectives, from
high-speed chases in his decked out Aston Martin
to sniper missions to all out, run-and-gun levels.
There is no shortage of weapons, from auto-
matics to guided missiles, or Q-Branch gadgets,
like the wristwatch laser and cell phone grappling
hook. The variety in "Nightfire" keeps the action
fresh and interesting as the game goes on.
"Nightfire" also one-ups its predecessors in the
all-important multiplayer mode. The game fea-
tures a wide variety of well-designed arenas and
multiplayer scenarios, like capture the flag and
assassination or just straight deathmatch. Al bots
with customizable personalities and skill levels
can make multiplayer battles even fiercer. All
that's missing are ongoing player stats, which
would allow friends who compete often to com-
Ratings War - Two episodes of
-% ' "American Idol" were the most
watched shows for the week ending
March 30, Nielsen Media Research
reported last week. Both the Tuesday
and Wednesday editions averaged
just over 19 million viewers apiece.
However, NBC won the week with
Courtesy of EA all three versions of the "Law &
Order" franchise breaking the top 10.
On CBS, "Survivor: The Amazon"
tion with came in at number three. Meanwhile,
to be the ABC continued to air wretched crap
fire" suc- that no one watched.
e entirety Over on the cable front, the news
networks are getting an enormous
ary first-person shooter, "Nightfire" is the next
best thing to being Bond.
The game begins just like a Bond film, with an
action-packed, interactive teaser followed by an
authentic intro sequence with a song by Esthero.
Pre-rendered narrative scenes move the story
EA is now shooting in the right direc
their 007 games. Instead of attempting
next "Goldeneye," the cinematic "Night
ceeds in its own right by representing th
of the Bond experience.
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