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September 04, 2002 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-04

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 4, 2002

ARTS -

Vin Diesel and director Cohen
make 'XXX' pure stupid fun
By Luke Smith to Xander's marionette throughout all of "XXX," manip-
Daily Arts Editor ulating Cage to follow orders without (gasp) ever know-
ing he's taking orders.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. With "XXX," Diesel plays Xander Cage with a wink and a nod,
director Rob Cohen set out to imitate everything great clearly having fun with the role and laughing his way to
about a James Bond movie, and replace everything that the bank. Anarchy99's leader Yorgi is acted by Marton
is not-so great about one with - yes, Csokas and with a schlocky popcorn flick
extreme sports. Ike "XXX" viewers should simply be happy
Vin Diesel and his shaved pate play Xan- his accent was consistent.
der Cage, extreme sport aficionado, guru of *** Situations become complicated in the film
death defying stunts and a subculture sex when Xander Cage is outed as a secret
symbol (the flick has since turned Diesel XXX agent, after infiltrating deep within Anar-
into 'hunk of the month'). Cage is some- chy99. He employs the cool as ice Yelena, an
what of a rogue, hijacking the car of a Cali- A Quality 16 Anarchy99 member herself (played by fire-
fornia Senator in the film's opening scene. cracker Asia Argento) to help usurp the ter-
The ruddy rebel then drives the auto off a Revolution Studios rorist group.
bridge, parachuting to safety all while film- Writer Rich Wilkes (most notably 1994's
ing the whole fiasco for his website. From the beginning, "Airheads") perfectly steals, borrows, pillages, whatever,
"XXX" is hardly taking itself seriously. Xander Cage is all of the major elements of a spy film. "XXX" is in no
action-packed death-defying stunts, reckless abandon, way shape or form a masterpiece. It is an entertaining
furious libido - an embryonic secret-agent man. summer popcorn flick and better than any of the Pierce
Who better to turn the fast fetus extreme sport-er into a Brosnan Bond flicks. While imitation is the highest form
trained government agent, designed to infiltrate the nar- of flattery, it is more impressive when the imitator sur-
cissistic and self-serving Anarchy99 than Augustus Gib- passes the source (when the most comparative similar is
bons (Samuel L. Jackson). Gibbons plays puppet master recent "007" joints). And "XXX" does just that.

Not Kate Bosworth surfing and not a good movie.
'Blue Crush' has babes, waves,
boards and nothing else good

By Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editor
The trailers made it look promis-
ing. After a two-minute long look
"Blue Crush" should've been a
cheesy camp-culture-flick in the vein
of '80s classic "The Karate Kid."
Surfing, liberated girl power-based
one liners, big honkin' waves, girls in
bikinis and most importantly, P.O.D's
crap-rock masterwork "Alive," the
sum of its parts pointed to a
mediocre storyline aided by a hand-
ful of incredible pipeline-intense
action shots.
Based on Susan Orlean's magazine
article "Surf Girls of Maui," "Blue
Crush" follows a snippet of time in
the life of a previously promising
Bikini Wa
(Braz
CLOSE TO CAMPi
To make an ap
r Lp,

surf-princess Anne Marie (Kate helmed by her ex-boyfriend (think
Bosworth).. Marie's talents on a Johnny, and the rest of Cobra Kai,
board are heralded from the film's but instead of mopeds, their chariots
opening, and a handful of choice are surf-
of flashbacks let view- boards) and the reme-
ers in on her accident in dy to that conflict
the water. Hence, the seems to be love NFL
conflict between nature Pro Bowl QB Matt
and Anne Marie is BLUE CRUSH Tollman (Matthew
established. Bosworth is Davis).
believable (certainly not At Showcase and All of these ingredi-
as a surfer, for her stunt Quality 16 ents are spiced by
double's slickness in Universal Anne Marie's gal-pal
large action sequences Eden (Michelle
is undercut by wobbly- Rodriguez) the closest
legged attempts at light surfing in thing in the film to a menstruating
the film) but a Ralph Macchio she Mr. Miyagi. Eden incessantly hounds
is not. Anne Marie to train. Eden attempts
Anne Marie's physical conflict to live vicariously through Anne
enters when a group of male surfers Marie's skills. A training involving a
jet ski briefly reminds of cinema
training montages on beaches past,
most notably the scrawny form of
Daniel-san at the break of day.
xing " Full Leg Waxing The film climaxes at the Pipeline
Ilian waxing available) tournament, and the outcome is as
Faials predictable as the rest of the story.
Some clues: injury, no Mr. Miyagi
[IS WITH PLENTY OF FREE PARKING- rubdown, more surfing. Some of the
poinlmeae call: 913-5557 visuals here are flatout impressive
posng the question how d they film
Anne 1that?" However, despite the beauty of
these images, nothing tops the sil-
houette of a crane kick.
m'is 61t1 As
NVED TO AWOW
ABOVT CA6EMST9T
WtYGRE&r His lOOK.
Buy a used book and all the important
stuff is already highlighted. We have access to the
largest inventory of textbooks on campus, so you're
sure to find what you need for all your classes. Stop
by for affordably priced books broken in by brainiacs.

Hello this is Asia Argento. May I take your order?
Eastwood ruins 'Blood Work'
with poor acting and directing

By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Editor
It's amazing what you can do with
a Hollywood legend. With just one
verteran actor you can get the most
average script turned into a big budg-
et film. The Hollywood legend is
Clint Eastwood and the movie is
"Blood Work."
Clint Eastwood directs and stars as
Terry McCaleb, a recently retired
FBI profiler who is forced out of law
enforcement by a heart transplant.
Turns out his new heart came from a
victim of a playful serial killer who
McCaleb has been after for years.

I

U

The sister of the victim/donor fidential" script, but it seems here as
(Wanda De Jesus) wants the killer if he wrote "Blood Work," based on
brought to justice, and naturally the the best-selling book of the same
grizzled McCaleb ends name by Michael Con-
up in bed with the * Mnelly, while in a Holly-
woman despite being wood-induced coma.
five times her age. * The acting across the
The plot is an odd BLOOD WORK board is painful; none
combination of a more so than Latino
"Dirty Harry" movie At Showcase and "comedian" Paul
written in the form of a Quality 16 Rodriguez, who can
"Murder, She Wrote" give the most passive
episode, with Eastwood Warner Bras. audience member an
taking the place of the itchy trigger finger.
hard-nosed Angela Lansbury. Angelica Huston, McCaleb's cardiol-
Screenwriter Brian Helgeland won ogist and surrogate mother, an
an Oscar for his brilliant "L.A. Con- always commanding actress as seen
in last year's "The Royal Tenen-
baums," seems lost in the mundane
detective story.
Even more surprising is just how
EXPPOSSdeplorable Eastwood is as both an
actor and director. His performance
rtatioas Terry McCaleb is little more than
Eastwood doing a bad impression of
ecial Rate for Students himself. The man who once ruled
the cinema with "The Good, The
Lowest FARE Around Bad and the Ugly" just cannot direct
actors, and he seems to have lost any
1665 of the skill he so exquisitely showed
us in his masterpiece "Unforgiven."
Don't bother spending money or
even thinking about spending money
on "Blood Work." Jeff Daniels turns
out to be the serial killer, in a plot
"MetroDetroit Hotels, twist so obvious it's ridiculous.
" U of M Hospital & Campuses There, now you really don't need to
see it.

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