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September 03, 2002 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

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v , Y;L 'r


Fall 2002

it , c is , s c r p l f' f a i

'Fellowship of the Ring'
new standard for epic f

sets a


ever needed

to know I learned
from my televis'ion
'iright kiddies, it's time to listen up and pay attention.
I'm only going to say this once. All the learning you'll
vet need isn't going to come from between the pages
of that enormous chemistry book or that little "Guide to
Michigan" you got at Orientation. It isn't going to come from
the classes and parties you're going to attend either. Nope,
I'm talking about that unsuspecting agent that will soon be a
fixture in your dorm room. '
Boys and girls, it's time to make acquaintance with the idiot
box. The lesson plan has changed and television has all the
answers you'll ever need to make it through your next few
years here. We're talking a bona fide mass of untapped intel-
lect at your fingertips. So sit back and relax, while Ms. Cap-
tain Video-in-training tries to teach you a thing or two.
LESSON No. 1: Being a doctor or lawyer is boring. Sure you
might make the big bucks, but is a few measly little dollars
worth a lifetime of monotony? Grow up. College isn't about
your parents' dreams or silly little fascinations you had as a
child. It's a time where you can stretch your proverbial wings
and find something to fit your quirky personality. So for all
the fans of the currently lackluster "E. R." or "The Practice,"
this one's for you. Take a tip from HBO: Weird is in. The
hottest new career to date ... Undertaking. So maybe it isn't
for everyone but making time with the dead is in fashion. Ask
CBS (the supposedly "dead" network catering to millions of
elderly everywhere) if you can breathe life from the dead. The
new top rated drama isn't the former George Clooney vehicle
but "C.S.I.," which is spawning quite a following and a few
more spin-offs (read: "Crossing Jordan" and "C.S.I.:
Of course, if working with the dead doesn't suit you, I'd
suggest another career making its way up the ranks - any
highly-classified position with the CIA. Still a bit out of your
league? A degree in psychology (one of the more populated
of out concentration at the 'U') may turn you into the next Dr.
Melfi. Joining the film and video program may land you a
spot in the next installment of "Project Greenlight," where
you too can experience the pratfalls of Hollyweird. Even
political science and Education are getting their due thanks to
shows like "The West Wing" and "Boston Public." Whatever
you decide just remember your whole life is ahead of you,
and even though you may live your life with a "Greed is
good" outlook now, even the best of them come back home to
start all over again. Ask "Ed."
LESSON No. 2: Finding the love of your life is more fun if
you do it in front of a national audience. Please don't ask me
to explain it, but Reality TV is still going strong thanks to a
bunch of loveless contestant-driven shows. From "Temptation
Island" to this season's hit "The Bachelor" couples are made,
and of course, broken up by very simple means. And people
are flocking to these shows. Personally, I have my own aver-
sion to them, but you'll find that even the most studious of
students can be caught talking about the latest episode of
"The Bachelor 2" during your calculus class. So if you're dat-
ing someone, looking for someone or just plain playing the
field, I'd suggest forgetting about the next frat party and fill
out an application instead. Course, I'd only suggest this for
those who are telegenically enhanced ... or if you have a mil-
lion dollars to spare.
LESSON No. 3: Women are a hot commodity. Before you
say "duh," I'm not talking about the guy-to-girl ratio on cam-
pus or the hoochie pant-wearing girls at the bar. I'm talking
about girls kicking some serious ass. Blasting onto the scene
to join the likes of "Buffy" is the hottest co-ed in town: Ms.
Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner). "Alias" is popularizing a
ton of female-led series that will give male superheroes like
Clark Kent a run for their money. Hell, even Rachel brought
life back to "Friends," literally.
And the new TV goddess to lead the disciples doesn't have
a big, fat "O" in front of her name. Nope, the new TV queen
is a little woman with a big business sense and she comes
from the other side of the Atlantic. Sharon Osbourne is state-
side and she's kicking some f**kin' Yankee ass. Fresh from a
word-of-mouth surprise hit on MTV where she let loose with
a ham and a middle finger before the cameras, Sharon is
upping the ante for a second season and a multi-million dollar
book deal. No one else in history has gotten MTV to kiss the
ass of someone over the age of 30.
LESSON No. 4: Don't believe everything you see on TV
Sure I could turn this into an homage to "Tales from the
Crypt," but I'd prefer to make this my closing statement. Even
the best writers and casts could never prepare you for the ups
and downs you are about to experience for the seemingly
short time you have at this fine institution. If you were dorky
enough to put together a college movie/TV marathon for
yourself, you'll find that frat parties aren't straight out of
"Animal House," people don't usually follow a crush all the
way to college a la "Felicity" and they sure as hell find the
time to go to class unlike most of the characters in these
gawd-awful interpretations.

Television can be a great guide if you choose to let it. It can
also be your best escape for that looming villain graduates
such as myself like to call "real life." In a world where you
can witness history live on TV, both the good and the bad, my
best advice to all of you is to take your ups and downs with
pride, laugh at yourself a lot, get involved in places beyond
your dorm room walls and remember the precious time you
have here. If all else fails, you can always write it better later.

By Andy TaylorFabe
Weekend Editor
Although comparisons to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone" are inevitable, a more apt parallel to Peter Jackson's
triumphant epic "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 per-
fectly adapt a book, especially one as painstakingly elaborate
as J.R.R. Tolkien's three-volume opus, "Fellow-
ship" comes close, and stands out as one of the m
best films of the year and one of the best adap-
tations of all tim e. dnn n
Thousands of years ago, in the realm of
Middle Earth, the dark lord Sauron forged LORD
many rings of power for the peoples of the RIN
world, but he also made one for himself that FELLOW
controlled all the other rings and gave him the THE]
power to rule the world. The ring, which holds
all the strength and evil of Sauron, has an New
intoxicating 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 Mountains.
Years later, when Sauron discovers 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 Mon-
aghan) 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 hobbit companions are joined by
Gandalf, 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-

tunes, such as the elves, including Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Gal- and Sean Astin'
adriel (Cate Blanchett), a powerful witch who resides in the best role since t
woods. of "The Goonies
This film has the rare quality of being able to completely One of the m
draw you in from start to finish. Despite its near three-hour takings in the m
length, it is a riveting narrative that will make you crave a t h e
second viewing. Part of the reason for this is the intense actors
reality that is given to the various landscapes, from the look like
peaceful and hidden Shire to the dark and foul realm Mor- the char-


dor, the home of Sauron. Every craggy tree,
misty river and winding mountain road has a
vitality to -if 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
Orcs - are breathtaking, and the computer
graphics used to simulate both the battle
scenes and the fantastic battlefields are almost
The acting is top notch, with no weak link.

Ian McKellan is perfect as Gandalf, a kind and wild-haired
wizard who has a dangerous and powerful side that is always
close to the surface but hidden. His face holds years of dis-
tress and hardship as well as wisdom. He has the ability
to laugh with his eyes, and he is able to show fear with-
out losing his Merlin-esque air of mystery and strength.
Another high point is Christopher Lee, who plays
Saruman the White, a powerful wizard who was once Gan-
dalf's superior but has joined forces with Sauron in the
hopes of increasing 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 flawless-
ly with the action. Merry's and Pippin's antics, many of
which are not in the original text, are a welcome addition,

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 occa-
sionally is it noticeable.
However, you will
most likely miss
these flaws, as the
film is fast paced
and has no
Courtesy of Newline Cinema 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, "Fellowship of
the Ring" has more of a "The Empire Strikes Back"-type
ending, leaving questions unanswered and fates uncertain.
The story will continue with "The Two Towers" and "The
Return of the King," which will be released in December
of 2002 and 2003.

Ann Arbor offers
premier theaters

By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Editor
Entertainment comes in many differ-
ent forms in the Ann Arbor area, but the
most popular among students is the tra-
ditional night at the movies. For Ann
Arbor residents, there are several
options when it comes to seeing a
movie on the big screen.
Showcase cinemas, a national chain
of megaplexes that rival most shopping
malls in size, can be found on Carpen-
ter Road just past Meijer. From central
campus the Showcase is about a 15
minute drive depending on traffic.
Upon entering the Showcase, the first
thing one notices is the sprawling con-
cession area. Not content serving mere-
ly popcorn and candy, Showcase offers
a food court where patrons can order
anything from pasta to pizza.
With 20 screens, Showcase is Ann
Arbor's largest theater. Each screen
features surround sound and stadium

seating, but with an $8.50 ticket, price
(no student discounts), Showcase is
also Ann Arbor's most expensive the-
Ann Arbor's smaller multiplex, the
Goodrich Quality 16 on Jackson Road
is also about a 15 minute drive from
campus. As the name implies, the Qual-
ity 16 has 16 screens, yet smaller than
the daunting screens of Showcase. It is
a favorite among students because it
offers student discounts as well as late
night screenings.
The'Michigan Theater, located on
Liberty Street across from Borders
Books, is Ann Arbor's oldest and most
cherished cinema. Constructed in 1928,
the Michigan Theater was the home of
several vaudeville performances and
silent films accompanied by their
famous organ. More than 70 years later,
big budget Hollywood films and inde-
pendentcinema have replaced the silent
films, but the organ still remains. The


The State Theater in Its prime.

WCBN madio features
eclectic programming

By Will EI-Nachef
Daily Arts Writer
The University's radio station, 88.3 WCBN FM,
is largely unknown. But, WCBN's obscurity isn't
such a bad thing. "We try to present our music in a
way so that we can get as many people to listen to
what we're doing as possible, but there's a funda-
mental problem in playing music that isn't built
into the mega-money business like the formatted
radio stations are," explained James Ilgenfritz, a
former WCBN DJ and School of Music graduate.
There's a lot more going on in the musty base-
ment of theStudent Activities Building than sim-
ple disc jockeying. Several of the WCBN DJs
practice the style of freeform radio - a style of
DJing that most people consider an art or at least
as something art-like. In its simplest definition,
freeform is playing songs of all genres from all
parts of the world in one show. Most of these DJs
don't have adamant playlists and instead impro-
vise, often choosing songs according to how the
previously song inspired them.
"Usually I'll show up with a couple things of

said Ilgenfritz.
"What I try to do is never play the same genre
back to back or more than twice in the show,"
added John Schietinger, an LSA senior and
freeform DJ at WCBN.
Freeform isn't just about variety of music,
though. The DJ's purpose is to reach and display
a deeper understanding of the music.
"It's not just about the songs you're playing; it's
about the meaning of everything you're playing
in the context of the whole world. Whatever
you're playing, you play it from the perspective
of 'it's my job to address the music of all parts of
the world, of all walks of life,' from European
classical music to punk rock to folk music to
West African polyrhythmic drumming. It goes
beyond simple eclecticism - the more you are
able to strive for the ideals that freeform stands
for, you're getting closer to the real true meaning
that lies beneath all music. It's like a mosaic,"
Ilgenfritz said.
A lot of what a freeform DJ does depends on
juxtaposition. An example of this is contrasting
the moods of the songs, like an aggressive song

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