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November 04, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-04

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Tuesday
November 4, 2003
michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily. com

fRmTSw

5

Exploring reality in
the 'Matrix' trilogy

follow me
.to
freedom!
SOMETHING' s FISHY
'NEMO' DVD VISUALLY STUNNING

By Katie Marie Gates
Daily TV/New Media Editor

"There's more fish in the sea" is not a motto
that goes over well with the characters of "Find-
ing Nemo." They are in search of one unique
clownfish with a gimpy fin, and will brave
sharks, jellyfish and their
greatest fears to find him. Finding Nemo
This splash hit follows the
adventures of an over-protec- Disney
tive father, Marlin (Albert
Brooks), and a forgetful regal blue tang named
Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), as they travel far from
home to find the fishnapped Nemo. The breath-
taking computer animation and hilarious dialogue
allow "Finding Nemo" to transcend the genre of
children's cartoons, making it a delight to watch
for fish of all ages.
After three and a half years of diligent work,
hundreds of takes and thousands of reiterations,

this animated masterpiece is out of the sea and
available on DVD. Fans will be thrilled to get their
fins on the new collector's edition for the crisp
picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The
two-disc set provides a widescreen presentation
with spanish and french subtitles and a full frame
format offering complete spanish and french lan-
guage tracks. Skillfully animated menus are easy
to use, and include the option of turning the TV
screen into a virtual aquarium.
Where the set really gets wet is in its unique
audio commentary by filmmakers Andrew Stan-
ton, Lee Unkrich and Bob Peterson. In addition to
their narration, this two-hour-13-minute segment
includes deleted storyboards and behind-the-
scenes footage interspersed throughout the film.
While interesting to watch, waiting for the DVD
player to move from the film to extras and back
again can become frustrating. An option to watch
the special features separately would have made
for faster viewing.
The second disc provides less serious features,
including an exploration of the coral reef with

court , esy oVisney

Touch It Marlin, It's squishy.

Jean-Michel Cousteau that is continually inter-
rupted by our fishy friends. Along with "Mr. Ray's
Encyclopedia," this disc provides plenty of educa-
tional information about the underwater world
Pixar replicates in detail. For young Nemos, there
is also a read along story segment and a "Fisha-
rades" game.
A refreshing step up from conventional anima-
tion, "Finding Nemo" is a visually stunning fami-
ly favorite to warm hearts and remind us that
when life gets rough all we have to do is just keep
swimming.
Movie: ****I
Picture/Sound: ****
Features: ****

By Justin Weiner
Daily Arts Writer
"Everything that has a beginning
has an end."
The tagline for "The Matrix: Revo-
lutions" refers to the conclusion of the
story of Neo and the war between
humans and machines. This statement,
however, contains deeper implications.
The third "Matrix" movie will also
present the Wachowski Brothers' final
philosophical statement on the nature
of life and reality.
When it was released in 1999, "The
Matrix" asked some very thought-pro-
voking questions. What is the nature of
reality? Is it what we personally sense
and believe, or is it an objective truth?
This did not always seem like such a
difficult question. What we saw and
felt in the world seemed consistent
with truth and reality.
"The Matrix," however, challenged
this belief, because that which one felt
and saw in the matrix was not consis-
tent with what one actually did. For
instance, Neo sees, feels and thinks he
is working a standard nine-to-five job,
but in reality, his entire world is a mere
computer simulation. Reality, accord-
ing to "The Matrix," is thus an objec-
tive state, and it is not always
consistent with our perceptions.
The second installment in the trilo-
gy, "The Matrix: Reloaded," expands
upon the reality theme. It questions
why being outside of the matrix is
preferable to enjoying the computer-
simulated fantasy. The outside or
"real" world is, after all, a harsh place
to live. Food is scarce, and the threat of
death is constant. What is wrong with
allowing yourself to indulge in the fan-
tasy of the matrix and live in the com-
puter generated world?
"Reloaded" offers several explana-
tions to this question. First, the
Wachowski Brothers explore a theme
of independence. Morpheus and the
other revolutionaries take pride in their
freedom from the machines, and their
ability to control their movements in
the matrix.
This goes along with themes of
humanity and life. "Reloaded" demon-
strates that there is an inherent good in
living and being human. This is exem-
plified by Neo's decision to save Trini-
ty at the end of the film. Instead of
sacrificing Trinity and allowing the
human race to subsist in the matrix,
Neo chooses to save her and subject

Q i

i

Influential jamband moe. invades the Michigan

Keanu Reeves, about to sing in the rain.
humans to an uncertain future. One
can mull over the implications of this
action for a long time. Neo's choice
makes it clear, however, that human
life involves much more than simulat-
ed or perceived sensation. There is an
emotional component that makes life
outside of the matrix better than life in
the computer-generated world.
"Revolutions" will conclude the
"Matrix" trilogy this Wednesday. The
Wachowski Brothers describe the film
by saying "Whereas 'Reloaded' is
about life, 'Revolutions' addresses
death." What does this mean? Could
the Wachowski Brothers be planning
an apocalyptic ending to their story?
Despite this statement and the afore-
mentioned tagline, I would not expect
to see a tidy, complete end to the trilo-
gy. If the Wachowski Brothers remain
true to their previous themes, "Revolu-
tions" will portray death as simply
another part of the life cycle. The death
of some characters will probably be
shown in contrast to the continued life
and birth of others.
"The Matrix: Revolutions " hits the-
aters Wednesday. Check out tomor-
row's Daily for Ryan Lewis'review

By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer
While numerous bands have
impressed psychedelic rock fans
with lengthy improvisations, few
bands have influenced the jam band
scene as much as moe. since form-
ing in 1991. Hardly any bands have
been able to launch jams from with-
in a framework of
such high-quality
songs as moe. has moe.
over the course of Tonight at 6:304p.m.
its career. At the Michigan
When asked Theater
what has been the clear Channel
highlight of his
band's last year, moe.
guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Al
Schnier paused for a moment before
offering a response. In the past year
moe. released Wormwood, their
most acclaimed record to date,
appeared at the Bonnaroo Festival
and opened multiple dates for the
Dead, Dave Matthews Band and
Robert Plant. Many musicians would
take this opportunity to flaunt any
one of these major accomplish-
ments, but the modest and friendly
Schnier was sincere when he said
that the band's own moe.down festi-
val in Upstate New York was his per-
sonal highlight: "It's the one time
when we get together with all of our
fans and really just have a great
weekend together."

verse this year has been the release
of its fifth studio outing,
Wormwood. Recreating a musical
experience in the studio as reward-
ing as a live show has eluded jam
bands to date.
With Wormwood, moe. has created
what is widely regarded as one of
the best studio albums in jam band
history. As Schnier explains, it took
a creative approach that combined
the energy of the live setting with
the capabilities of the studio to pro-
duce the desired result: "We record-
ed all of the songs during our
summer tour last year and used some
of those live tracks as the foundation
for our studio album."
When moe. is finished performing
at the Michigan Theater tonight fans
can purchase and receive the show
on CD immediately at the venue as
part of the InstantLive program.
This is the first full tour that Clear
Channel's new technology has been
available and Schnier is excited by
the opportunity to offer fans the
instant gratification of each night's
live recording.
"The possibilities for live music
distribution are changing dramati-
cally and are quite exciting," claims
Schnier, "We've been able to work
together (with InstantLive) as a team
to get this thing done, and hopefully,
at the end of the day, we put out
something that fans are really psy-
ched about."

Courtesy of Fat Boy Records

He who smelt it dealt it.

This year marked the fourth
moe.down, and perhaps the greatest
gift the band could have given back
to its loyal fanbase - besides six
sets of moe. - were appearances by
alternative acts the Flaming Lips and
They Might Be Giants. In fact,
Schnier himself has been credited
with introducing the Flaming Lips
into the jam band scene where they
have found a new and appreciative
fan base.

"Our fans don't seem to have a
limited spectrum of the music they
listen to. They're open to quality
music of many different genres," he
said. "I'm a big fan of the Flaming
Lips and I had the opportunity to sit
down with (Lips frontman) Wayne
Coyne and explain that I thought our
fans would be really receptive to
what they do."
Perhaps Schnier and moe.'s great-
est contribution to the jam band uni-

. Chutes a more fulfilling
album than Shins' debut

Van Morrison's latest crosses genres

By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

For the adventurous music fan,
reconciling plain ole indie rock can
be troublesome. Most facets of
underground music can be easily
defended: Alt-country contains the
irrefutable substance of Americana,

n't really get it. So it goes for the
Shins, a band with little to offer to
elitists and everything to offer to
music fans.
Drawing rave reviews and boat-
loads of fans for their 2001 debut,
Oh Inverted World, the Shins took a
two-year break, cramming even
more pressure into the brief 34-
minute running time of Chutes Too
Narrow. Pulling cues from folk,
country and, most notably, power-
pop, the Shins' melodicism is
unmarred by elaborate arrangements
or obtuse songwriting. Rather, the
twists and turns come from subtle
songcraft and clever wordplay, leav-
ine truly accessible music that can

By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer
M scREVIEW ***I
Few artists have paralleled the eclectic career of
singer/songwriter Van Morrison. Morrison is the rare
example of an artist who, as a result of early pop success,
was able to shape his creative development. Morrison did

noise enthusiasts
find sanctuary
amid claims of
experimentalism,
dance-punk
acolytes can
eream "L ihra-

The Shins
Chutes Too
Narrow
Sub Pop

arrangements give the album vari-
ety: Check the electricity of "So
Says I" or the lilting country of
"Gone for Good." The tongue-twist-
ing "Fighting in a Sack" and the
rambunctious "Turn A Square" are
both flawlessly executed. Elsewhere,
"Kissing the Lipless" and "Young
Pilgrims" prove that Mercer's voice
needs little to accentuate his stellar

what he wanted, when he wanted.
While at times a blessing, this artistic
freedom created many a failure. Mor-
rison's newest release, What's Wrong
With This Picture, is not one of them.
Released on the legendary jazz
label Blue Note, What's Wrong is
essentially a blues album. This is a

Van Morrison
What's Wrong
With This
Picture?
Blue Note

fortunate genre choice, for over the course of the album
it becomes clear that this is Van Morrison, and this is
what he does best.
What's Wrong features Morrison leading a full band

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