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December 03, 2002 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-03

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Tuesday
December 3,2002
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

ARTS

9

DOGG GONE WILD

'Extreme Ops' extremely awful

Fa' shizzle, dizzles, it's the big Snoopy D-O-double-gizzle.
Dogg drug free and funkdafied

By Josh Neldus
For the Daily
Apparently movies can inspire. Take
"XXX" for example. This movie is all
about an extreme sports junkie who
captures his thrills on videotape and
saves the world from terrorists.
Now fast-forward to a few months
later, and enter "Extreme Ops." This
movie is all about extreme sports
junkies who capture their thrills on
videotape and save the world from ter-
rorists (Do not attempt to adjust your
newspaper, you are not seeing double;
both movies do have the same plot).
It is possible that writers Michael
Zaidan, Timothy Scott Bogart and
Mark Mullin knew that their plot had
been used before, because they only
leave the last half-hour of the movie to
develop the conflict that evidently will
threaten the world. Rather than expand-
ing this potentially intriguing plot, the
majority of the movie focuses on the
filming of a digital video camera com-
mercial. And since the commercial
couldn't take up enough time for a
whole movie, a terrorist plot was added
just to fill space.
Even if "Extreme Ops" was original,
it would still not be worth seeing. The
intolerable characters have awful dia-
logue, and the less-than-impressive
tricks are done in front of less-than-
believable backgrounds. The crew of
the commercial consists of the high-
strung producer, Jeffrey (Rupert
Graves), the cameraman completely
obsessed with his camera, Will (Devon
Sawa), and the bold and fearless direc-
tor, Ian (Rufus Sewell). Two members
of the cast of the commercial, Kittie
(Jana Pallaske) and Silo (Joe Absolom),
really need to be tamed, while the third,
Chloe (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras),
needs to learn how to loosen up. The
accents of some of the
characters make their a
speech impossible to
understand, although the
characters you can
understand will make EXTRE
you wish you couldn't. At Shove
The one time (yes, one Qual
time) the terrorists' plan
is mentioned you can Para
barely comprehend what
it is, but you are "fortunate" enough to
clearly understand lines such as, get
your barf bags ready, "I can do any-
thing I put my mind to."
The fact that the plot is improperly
balanced might not have been as frus-
trating if the stunts that take up much

SNOOP DOGG
PAID THA COST TO
BE DA BO$$
DOGGY STYLE
CAPITOL RECORDS
By Joseph Utman
Daily Arts Writer
Snoop Dogg was old school
before there was old school, and
certainly before it became the
commercial force that it is now.
His initial partnership with Dr.
Dre was characterized by, among
other aspects, the duo's profound
appreciation for the '70s funk
music popularized by people like
George Clinton. However, Snoop's
Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss, an
album with more funk than almost
any other hip-hop effort recently,
displays a new level of preoccupa-
tion with that foregone era.
After listening to the record, one
gets the sense that were he able to,
Snoopy D-O-double-gizzle would
gleefully spend his days in a blax-
ploitation, Dolemite realm. No
less than nine of the album's 17
tracks are explicitly reminiscent of
the '70s funk and R&B that Snoop
so clearly admires. Whether he is
sampling Parliament on songs like

"Stoplight," emulating the sensual
R&B of a Minnie Riperton on "I
Believe in You," or recreating "wa-
chicka," Isaac Hayes-bass sounds
on "Lollipop," Snoop makes Paid
an eclectic, unique musical ven-
ture.
However, this record is not a
complete anachronism. While
many of the tracks borrow '70s
styles, they present updated ver-
sions of those sounds instead of
completely recreating them. Addi-
tionally, tracks like the smooth
"Bo$$ Playa" are firmly based in
the present and continue the '90s-
era G Funk sound that Snoop
helped pioneer.
The album's best track is "The
One and Only," which is.an appro-
priate song for an album so keenly
aware of music's past. On the
track, while sampling many of his
previous works, Snoop details the
turns that-his career and personal
life have taken. The beat was made
by super producer DJ Premier, a
man whose nasme alone should
account for the song's quality. The
track works so well because the
beat remains interesting without
co-opting the listener's attention,
allowing Snoopy's words to remain
the focus - a DJ Premier trade-
mark.

Courtesy of Paramount

More than words.

Other notable production contri-
butions are made by DJ Hi-Tek
and the now-ubiquitous Neptunes,
who of course lace the track
"Beautiful" with Pharell's signa-
ture falsetto crooning. Snoop also
receives vocal aid from a bevy of
friends, and Nate Dogg reaffirms
his position as hip-hop's most
welcomed guest. Unfortunately,
certain collaborations, like the
atrocious "You Got What I Want,"
don't work and detract from the
album. Yet, Snoop has returned
with a fine effort that will delight
his fans while exposing many to a
different hip-hop sound. Glory B,
da funk's alive.
RATING: *7*'

sit,

of the movie were more impressive or
convincing. It is too easy to tell when
the stunt doubles take over and when
the background becomes a blue-
screen. And many of the tricks per-
formed are not as extreme as the title
of the movie leads you to expect. The
one stunt that had the
potential to save the
movie, a group of skiers
and snowboarders trying
to ouirun an avalanche,
SE OPS has already been done
:ase and before in, you guessed
y 16 it, "XXX."
The part of the plot
>unt that should take up the
bulk of the movie is
poorly developed, possibly due to its
lack of time. The mountaintop resort
where the commercial crew is stay-
ing just happens to be the hideout of
Serbian war criminal Slobodan Pavle
(Klaus Lowitsch), who early on in
the movie faked his own death in a

plane crash. One night while explor-
ing the resort, Will unknowingly
gets Pavle on camera. When the ter-
rorists get word of this, they come to
the conclusion that Will and compa-
ny are CIA agents (of course, who
wouldn't?), and that killing them is
the only option. This leads to a race-
and-chase down the mountain that
doesn't last very long, further short-
ening the time devoted to the "most
important" issue of the movie.
It is a wonder why and how this
movie was ever made. Rufus Sewell
has to hope he is better remembered for
"A Knight's Tale" or "Dark City." Brid-
gette Wilson-Sampras now has to hope
someone remembers she was Miss
Veronica Vaughn in "Billy Madison,"
or that she is married to tennis star
Pete Sampras. And Vin Diesel now has
to hope that nobody thinks that
"Extreme Ops" is in anyway connected
to "XXX or else the sequel will bust
for sure.

Ii ii.

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