8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 6, 2003
I'm still standing. I'm still strong!
By Christopher Pitoun
Daily Arts Writer
F or those of us who've forgotten that rock'n'roll is supposed to be about having a
good time, the juvenile cast of "School of Rock" is there to remind us how much
fun music can be. And in juvenile, Jack Black is not only included, he is king.
We're on the
Jive and his
"Stick it to the man" is the great catchphrase of
the picture. Black instills that spirit into these prep
school kids as he's trying to teach them to become
rockers. In turn, it's endearing to see the true free-
dom of music foment in these children.
Jack Black looks like he had the time of his life
making this movie. Free to dance around, be loud
and have an army of children to boot must be
quite a trip for any outlandish comedian. More
than anything else, that sense of fun is what res-
onates with the audience. The film's good spirit
and exceptionally positive humor creates a great
mix of jokes that appeal to both kids and adults.
The outrageous parents and rigidity of the school
will strike a particular chord with anyone who
ever attended a private school.
Its willingness to address, if only slightly, inse-
curities that genuinely bother children gives a
depth that many comedies lack. "School of Rock"
shows us how issues such as over-bearing parents
or weight problems can find a channel of expres-
sion in music. Each kid is his or her own genuine
character. Very rarely are children allowed to
develop so freely. More often they end up domi-
nated by the leading adult comedian.
uses old, dry formula
By Mary Hillemeler
Daily Arts Writer
MOVI E REVIEW
Is the mere presence of Academy
Award winner Denzel Washington
enough to carry an entire film?
Apparently someone thought so, and
some uninspired brainstorming and
nine months later "Out of Time" was
born. This almost seems a fair theo-
ry, considering Washington's star-
power and undeniable charisma on
screen. But ultimately Denzel's
charms prove no match for a formu-
Black is deadbeat loser Dewey Finn, whose
roommate's girlfriend (Sarah Silverman) demands
that he start pulling his weight ______
in paying the rent. Recently
kicked out of his band, Dewey School of
answers a call intended for his Rock
roommate, who works as a At the Showcase
substitute teacher. Needing and Quality 16
the cash, he pretends he is the Paramount
sub at the preppy Horace
Green Elementary School. When he arrives at
school the first day, it's clear that the wild ride is
about to begin.
Dewey discovers a pool of talent in his students
when he hears them in music class. This is the
group with which he can form a band to enter in a
local Battle of the Bands contest. Watching very
rigid kids fall under the guise of an individual
who does anything but live by the rules works
phenomenally. He finds a niche for each of these
kids, not only in a band, but also in the organiza-
tion that surrounds it. As each kid's personality
takes shape, they begin commanding more of the
audience's attention and sharing in a larger frac-
tion of the film's humor.
At the same time, Dewey is trying to make sure
that he's not caught by the school's tightly wound
principle Ms. Mullen (Joan Cusack). So this
rugrat band must practice in secret.
laic story and
Wa shin g t on
stars as Matthias
chief of police for
the sleepy town
Out of Time
At the Showcase,
Quality 16 and
'U' student takes his shot
at NB C's 'Fear Factor' fame
of Banyan Key, Fla. With a tendency
to drink on the clock, his decision-
making skills fail to improve as his
affair with the seductive Anne (Sanaa
Lathan, "Love and Basketball")
drags him into a dangerous love tri-
angle that triggers a disastrous chain
When a mysterious fire kills both
Anne and her husband Chris (Dean
Cain, TV's "Lois and Clark") all evi-
dence points to Whitlock, forcing
him to fudge crime scene evidence in
attempts to keep murder charges at
bay. The plot thickens when his soon-
to-be ex-wife Alex Eva Mendes
"Training Dayjoin envestiga
tion as chief detective.
The non-existent chemistry
makes it difficult for one to care
about their deteriorating marriage.
Not to point fingers, but it should be
noted that Denzel has never been one
to take the steam out of a love scene.
Performance on the whole, how-
ever, is not the issue here. An ade-
quate supporting cast takes care of,
business, providing the occasional
comic relief. And Lathan unravels
quite believably, almost managing to
convince us why Whitlock was so
foolish as to become involved in the
The real culprit is writing, which
not only stunts each character's poten-
tial but also manages to obliterate any
semblance of suspense. "Time" bom-
bards its audience with the systematic
details of detective work and a series
of mini-deadlines for Whitlock to
sweat over. This is a formula which
has worked in the past, yet this time is
so lacking in originality and brains
that it leaves its audience apathetic
before it even begins.
The soundtrack seems confused,
often causing one to wonder if they
have mistakenly stumbled upon a
night club, or perhaps the latest Bey-
once flick. These hints of a bubbly
romantic comedy in what should be
suspenseful scenes definitely result
in entertainment, although most like-
ly not of the kind intended.
The occasional scenes that actually
ring true manage to detract from the
film as they provide glimpses of
what could have been, adding insult
to injury. By the time the "surprise"
ending comes along, the only dead-
line the audience will be interested in
is the race to the credits.
"Out of Time" does not fail on all
counts. It does succeed in highlight-
ing a common misconception of the
thriller; that all the audience requires
is an unnecessarily confusing plot, a
quickly.approaching deal e and a
suitcase full of money. Hopefully,
this movie can find a purpose in
serving as a cautionary tale for future
crime thrillers and single-serving star
By Forest Casey
For the Daily
Of course I'm home. I'm always home. I'm uncool.
Po werful 'ahowny
takes fun out of casin os
By Justin Weiner
For the Daily
Normally, watching a person sit
motionless would not be considered
entertainment, but Philip Seymour
Hoffman ("Almost Famous") makes it
thrilling. Watching him sit at a black-
jack table in "Owning Mahowny" pro-
vides some of the most interesting and
tense moments of the gambling genre.
Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny, a bank
feels like the casino officers monitoring
Mahowny's actions on security cam-
eras. The officers are first amused, then
depressed by Mahowny, yet they cannot
tear their eyes away from him. No mat-
ter how gut wrenching the spectacle
becomes, one cannot help but be fasci-
nated by Mahowny.
Hoffman is not the only actor who
shines in "Owning Mahowny." Minnie
Driver ("Good Will Hunting") turns in
a stellar performance as Mahowny's
girlfriend, Belinda. Her character is
touchingly naive, standing by her
boyfriend despite his actions. Belinda's
unwavering support gives the audience
a reason to hope for Mahowny. His
downward spiral would not be nearly as
captivating without Belinda's efforts to
"Owning Mahowny" is a well-craft-
ed story. Driven by the realism and
depth of its characters, it delivers a
powerful, sad story to audiences. This
film is a sobering, thought provoking
experience. Who would think that
watching a man's stare could make for
such a powerful movie?
MBA student Joshua Schwadron is
spreading his 15 minutes as far as
they will go. With the recent win of
the GQ Man on Campus award,
Schwadron felt that he was easily
qualified for NBC's "Fear Factor"
when auditions for the show came to
After several stages of interviews,
Schwadron was the only contestant
selected from the University, mainly
because he won the GQ award last
winter. He was booked for the season
premiere of "Fear Factor" - a special
two-night contest in Las Vegas prom-
ising stunts more horrible than those
discussed in all of the adolescent tree-
houses in the country. Schwadron,
unafraid of his fleeting fame, spoke
with The Michigan Daily.
The Michigan Daily: Was "Fear
Factor" like boot camp; very hard
but not regrettable?
Joshua Schwadron: I think that
being on "Fear Factor" was the best
experience of my life. It was good to
experience Hollywood, with all of
the publicity, the make-up artists and
the cameras. It's especially signifi-
cant to me because there were 20
cameras recording my experience
and sending it out to 20 million peo-
ple. I'll always be able to have that.
TMD: The competitors on "Fear
Factor" always seem like they are
trying to degrade their opponents,
but Joe Rogan (the host) always
seems so supportive.
JS: Both Joe and I have ... strong
personalities, and they seemed to
clash, so he didn't really support me.
TMD: What were your feelings
after the first stunt?
JS: After I made it through the
first stunt, I was really reassured. I
Courtesy of NBC
Schwadron climbs his way to the top.
was told that the biggest fear is fail-
ing the first stunt and having to go
home. After that, I was pretty confi-
dent and ready to win.
TMD: The spider trick that you
did (tossing a spider into your
mouth) - did you plan that to intini-
idate your opponents?
JS: I did it because there was a
crowd behind me of a thousand peo-
ple. It was the first live stunt that
"Fear Factor" has ever had for their
"gross stunt." Eating it normally
would've been boring, not to intimi-
date but more to please the crowd
The spiders tasted like tree bark
and were huge. They actually bit me,
my mouth was bleeding by the end
of the stunt.
TMD: You said that the piranha-
tank stunt was the hardest thing that
you had ever had to do?
JS: No. I said that the piranha-
tank stunt was hard because I have a
really hard time holding my breath.
There was a height stunt (on the sec-
ond night) that was the hardest stunt.
TMD: How did you feel watching
yourself on TV?
JS: Weird. I thought that I made a
fool of myself a lot of times.
The two-part "Fear Factor"
episode featuring Joshua Schwadron
concludes tonight at 8p.m.
officer with a
problem. Based on
" M a h o w n y "
At the Michigan
Sony Picture ClassicsJ
over $10 million to feed his addiction.
Undoubtedly, Hoffman is the high-
light of "Owning Mahowny." His
intense stare, facial tics and quick,
direct gestures are both depressing and
enthralling. Watching Hoffman, one
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and New Student Edition of The Michigan Daily contained
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