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April 15, 2003 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-15

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April 15, 2003
mae@michigandaily.cm R~ B

By Joseph Utman
Jan. 21, 2003
There are local celebrities and then there are local
Patrons at Touchdown Caf6 on Saturday night fawned
over prominent members of the University's basketball
team - players celebrating an l11th consecutive victory
that had been recorded earlier that day in Evanston -
interspersed throughout the bar's crowd. Yet these notable
guests were reduced to adoring fans themselves when Ann
Arbor rap group Athletic Mic League took the stage
around midnight. After energetically performing for 45
minutes, the League rejoined the hoi-polloi and all those
left in the crowd - regular bar patrons, basketball players,
and promising rappers alike - were sent into a frenzy by
the evening's final, unexpected performer, Detroit native
The hip-hop megastar appeared in conjunction with the
scheduled performance of his Shady Records proteg6,
Obie Trice. Trice rapped by himself for roughly 30 min-
utes, completing only parts of several songs and taking
time for various salacious, obscenity-laced tangential
interludes. The tone for Trice's performance was set when
he asked people in the crowd if they were drunk and
responded to their cheers of affirmation by acknowledg-
ing his own inebriation.
Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, helped
conclude Trice's set, emerging from Touchdown's off-
stage wings like a white-jacketed phoenix in time for his
verse in the song "Love Me," one which he performs with
Trice on the soundtrack to Mathers' movie 8 Mile. Fol-
lowing a lengthy speech, Mathers performed one more
song before quickly exiting the bar, ignoring overtures
from fans and media.
In an oversized down jacket, his usual white T-shirt and a
white stocking cap adorned with a black headband, Math-
ers paused after his entrance to acknowledge the crowd's
chants of "(expletive) Benzino." The mantra referred to
Eminem's public discord with rapper and entrepreneur Ray
"Benzino" Scott, co-owner of The Source magazine. The
two men have feuded since Scott criticized Eminem's mass
appeal and flippantly disregarded Mathers' success.
Reminding "Michigan" that he was on probation,

'Fellowship of the Ring' sets
a new standard for adventure

Two? Make it three. I'm not driving.

Eminem said, "I ain't touching that man. But Michigan's a
big market," and the music giant implored those in atten-
dance to ignore Scott and his upcoming promotional tour.
Eminem's words were in some part lost on the crowd, a
mass whose members were mostly consumed by the sur-
prise visit from such a noted celebrity. Jon Beyer, LSA
senior, said, "I had heard rumors that (Eminem would be
there), but I wasn't sure. He's a pretty big star, so to see
him in Ann Arbor, in that setting was pretty cool."
The evening's earlier performers, the League, acquitted
themselves nicely, pleasing the crowd with their enthusi-
asm and music. "They were impressive. I liked their beats
and they had good energy," said Beyer. In a contrast
between where AML is and where they would like to be,
Eminem was mobbed by adoring fans while on stage and
afterwards while AML was selling their debut album,
Sweats and Kicks, both before and after their set.
On a night when many stars of varying degrees could be
found in the dark at Touchdown's, none shone brighter than
Michigan's favorite son.

By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Jan. 7, 2002
Although comparisons to "Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer"s Stone" are
inevitable, a more apt parallel to
Peter Jackson's triumphant epic "The
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of
the Ring" is "Star Wars," for both
films are about the ultimate struggle
between good and evil. Although no
movie can perfectly adapt a book,
especially one as painstakingly elab-
orate as J.R.R. Tolkien's three-vol-
ume opus, "Fellowship" comes close,
and stands out as one of the best
films of the year and one of the best
adaptations of all time.
Thousands of years ago, in the
realm of Middle Earth, the dark lord
Sauron forged many rings of power
for the peoples of the world, but he
also made one for himself that con-
trolled all the other rings and gave
him the power to rule the world. The
ring, which holds all the strength
and evil of Sauron, has an intoxicat-
ing power over anyone who tries to
use it. But the ring has been lost for
roughly 3,000 years, until a Hobbit
named Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm)
finds it in a cave in the Misty
Years later, when Sauron discov-
ers that the ring is being kept in the
Shire (the home of the three-foot-
tall hobbits), Gandalf the Grey (Ian
McKellan), a powerful wizard and
friend of Bilbo, decides action must
be taken, entrusting the ring to
Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood),
Bilbo's nephew. Along with fellow
hobbits Sam (Sean Astin), Merry
(Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin
(Billy Boyd), Frodo begins a long
journey to destroy the ring in the
fires of Mount Doom, where the
ring was forged. Frodo and his hob-
bit companions are joined by Gan-
dalf, the Elf Legolas (Orlando
Bloom), Gimli the Dwarf (John
Rhys-Davies), the ranger Strider
(Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir
(Sean Bean), son of the Steward of
Gondor. They have much help along
the way, from all manner of crea-
tures, such as the elves, including
Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Galadriel
(Cate Blanchett), a powerful witch
who resides in the woods.
This film has the rare quality of
being able to completely draw you
in from start to finish. Despite its
near three-hour length, itsis a rivet-
ing narrative that will make you

Courtesy of New line
He doesn't really die. He just falls through the earth ... Or something like that.

Legendary Chan discusses career
By Jeff Dickerson
Oct. 1, 2002m

crave a second viewing. Part of the
reason for this is the intense reality
that is given to the various land-
scapes, from the peaceful and hid-
den Shire to the dark and foul realm
Mordor, the home of Sauron. Every
craggy tree, misty river and winding
mountain road has a vitality to it
that sucks you into this fantasy
world and wraps you up in every
sight, sound and smell.
The action sequences with raging
battles between elves, men and the
slimy and evil Orts are breathtaking,
and the computer graphics used to sim-
ulate both the battle scenes and the fan-
tastic battlefields are almost flawless.
The acting is top notch, with no
weak link. Ian McKellan is perfect as
Gandalf, a kind and wild-haired wiz-
ard who has'a dangerous and power-
ful side that is always close to the
surface but bidden. His face holds
years of distress and hardship as well
as wisdom. He has the ability to
laugh with his eyes, and he is able to
show fear without losing his Merlin-
esque air of mystery and strength..-
Another high point is Christopher
Lee, wh o plays Saruman the White, a
powerful wizard who was once Gan-
dalf's superior but has joined forces
with Sauron in the hopes of increas-
ing his own power. Lee, who is most
famous for his Dracula movies of the
1970s, is unbelievably creepy with
his gaunt face and severe dark eyes

contrasting with his bright white hair
and cloak.
The hobbits provide comic relief
that is blended flawlessly with the
action. Merry's and Pippin's antics,
many of which are not in the original
text, are a welcome addition, and
Sean Astin's fiercely loyal Sam is his
best role since the inhaler-toting
Mikey of "The Goonies."
One of the most difficult under-
takings.in the movie is making all
the actors look like the characters
that they are supposed to be, for
Dwarves are short and stout and
Hobbits are even shorter, yet non-
little people play all of these roles.
A combination of camera tricks and
stand-ins are used to provide this
effect, and only occasionally is it
noticeable. However, you will most
likely miss these flaws, as the film
is fast paced and has no moments
that lack momentum and allow you
to notice imperfections.
One thing that people unfamiliar
with the "Lord of the Rings" books
should know is that the quest to
destroy the ring does not end with this
film. Instead, "The Fellowship of the
Ring" has more of a "The Empire
Strikes Back" type ending, leaving
questions unanswered and fates uncer-
tain. The story will continue with
"The Two Towers" and "The Return of
the King," which will be released in
December of 2002 and 2003.

With the overwhelming success of
"Rush Hour" in the United States in the
fall of 1998, Jackie Chan established
himself as the most popular movie star
in the world. Prior to the release of the
action/comedy co-starring Chris'Iucker,
Chan was a mere cult personality in
America, while in the rest of the world
he was an international superstar. Four
years later, Chan continues to be a mas-
sive draw both here and abroad.
"I think I am successful because I
have international humor and interna-
tional body language," says Chan.
"Because my movies are shown around
the world, I use more body language to
tell the story." Chan's body language is
more than just exaggerated facial
expressions and physical humor. He is I know 37 ways to kill you with this
the martial arts version of Buster
Keaton, risking life and limb for the Tuxedo 2,' now they're talking at
sake of his audience, whether it be 'Shanghai Nights 3,"' Chan said of
jumping on top of a moving hovercraft upcoming features. "One just co
or falling off a building. The star said he after another. I just want to retire so
has broken his nose three times, his day, but they just keep on coming."
ankle once, most of his fingers, both Chan almost always chooses f
cheekbones and his skull,just to name a that will appeal to the mass audie
few. "Everybody thinks 'Jackie you're a especially children. "When I cho
great stunt guy.' No! I'm not a great graph all my action scenes it's very
stunt guy, I just have the guts to try it is ficult," he explains. "Action with
all," he explained. violence, very difficult. The child
"I do the things the people believe I have to laugh." The international st
can do," Chan said of his movie stunts. critical of many Hollywood ac
"I think of other ways to do things. films, in particular those with exce
When I'm planning my own stunts, it's bloodshed. "So many American ac
something I can really do. I don't do movies are about the big machine g
crazy things. I know how far I can go
and how high I can jump." Over the
years the actor has played a wide vari-
ety of behind the scenes roles, from
directing, producing, writing and
His latest film, "The Tuxedo," fol-
lows Chan as a chauffeur who comes in = -
possession of a $2 billion high-tech o
tuxedo. The special effects heavy action
film was a new experience for Chan,
who has starred in more than 100 films
in his extensive career. "I decided I
wanted to learn something about special
effects," Chan said. "I've always been
interested in special effects, but I just
don't have the guts to do it."
Chan has nothing but praise for his r
co-star, the effervescent Jennifer Love
Hewitt. "She is a wonderful girl. She's
just like the female Chris Tucker," he
adds. "After weeks I realized, not only is
she pretty, she can act, she can dance,
she can sing and she can do some acro-
batics"' I: i85$;
While he enjoyed virtually limitless
freedom with his Asian releases, Chan
finds himself with less control in the A BesIT at
Hollywood system. "I had almost half by Currnt(~ zva; n
and half creative control with what I did
in "e Tuxedo," becaunt of the special
effects. Not like in "Shanghai Knights" "Don't miss Tuptim'$ Thai"
when it was about 100 percent." No ..Awt Arbor New
matter how much control he has in his
films, he said "I always choose Jackie
Chan-style movies, I do my own thing." Hours
"Sometimes I think do I need a
break," the star admits. In the last few Tue: 5-9:30 p.m.
years his schedule has been almost non- Wed-Sat: 11 a.m,-9:30 p.n
stop, beginning new projects as others
wind down. "They've mentioned 'Rush Sun 12 Noon - 9 p. m
Hour 4,' then they talk about 'The


f his
ar is
un. I

think how to get rid of the gun."
Despite making action film after SENIORS. WE
action film, the hard working actor WISH YOU THE
has other aspirations for the end of
his career. "I would love to make a BEST IN FINDING
movie like "Rain Man" or "Kramer JOBS AS COOL AS
vs. Kramer," but with my English
how can I do these things?," he THE ONES YOU
reluctantly admits. "I think I can
only do action comedy, but I really HAD HERE -AT
hope one day I can do a whole LEAST ONES
movie without action, only drama
and comedy." Chan continues, "I WHERE YOU CAN
want to get rid of this image. I want GET FREE DV Ds
to be an actor one day. The action
star life is so short."

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