The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 7
By Matt Ki ..
Daily Arts Writer
Mutants stand united
for loaded 'X2' DVD
"Coldplay: Live 2003" is a slickly
packaged CD/DVD set documenting
the band's triumphant gig at the Hor-
don Pavillion in Sydney, Australia. It
captures Coldplay just as they were
achieving massive success.
As the band walks on stage to the
roar of a sold-out crowd, the energy
is electrifying. The members of the
band seem to be soaking in their
international fame, and this excite-
ment comes through in the songs.
The concert begins with the
pounding rhythms of "Politik."
Chris Martin's voice soars in and
out of falsetto as he pulsates on
stage. He is possessed by his
music, and the audience responds
with great joy to his varied array of
leaps and fist punches. The DVD is
a stellar compilation of the band's
two albums along with the blazing
new track "Moses" and the B-side
"One I Love."
Perhaps the most surprising
moment of the concert is the per-
formance of "See You Soon," a for-
gotten track from Coldplay's first
officialtrelease, The Blue Room EP.
As Martin stands on stage with his
acoustic guitar, a single spotlight
By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Writer
Courtesy of Capitol
Boring is the new black.
The summer of 2003 saw sequel after
unnecessary sequel, but only one proved
to be a worthy successor, "X2." All of
the major players from 2000's "X-Men"
return in this action packed blockbuster.
Unlike most big-budget action films,
"X2" does not try to entertain solely
through special effects. The plot centers
on General Stryker's attempt to destroy
mutantkind on behalf of the govern-
ment. The fight between mutants and
humans has reached a fever pitch and
only an alliance between Magneto and
Xavier can save mutants. Themes of
prejudice and tolerance surface
Where "X-Men" lacked much of the
personality of the comics, "X2" features
a storyline ripped straight from the
comics' pages. Hugh Jackman's portray-
al of Wolverine captures the ferocity of
the most popular mutant while maintain-
ing the compassion that fleshes out the
character. Even Halle Barry's Storm is
not a liability to the action as she was in
the first film; thankfully absent is her
cheesy dialogue. Of the new mutants,
Nightcrawler teleports onto the screen
and easily steals most scenes in which
he is featured.
"X2" has impressive visual effects,
and the picture successfully brings
every explosion to the small screen.
Enhancing the experience is the Dolby
Digital audio track, which features
two commentaries in addition to the
film's standard audio. Featurettes pres-
ent on this set include insights into the
effects used to create Nightcrawler's
teleportation and the staging of the
epic confrontation between Wolverine
and Lady Deathstrike. The extended
scenes do not really add much to a
pretty complete film. The theatrical
and television trailers are also present
in this two-disc set.
Comic book films are the rage in
Hollywood, but there would be no com-
plaints if every film could be as satisfy-
ing as "X2." Though the movie rewards
die-hard fans with cameos and refer-
ences from the rich history of the
comics, it is worth seeing by everyone.
shines upon him, and he delivers a
Other highlights include "Shiver,"
which blasts off into the concert hall
being led by the fast-paced guitar
work of Jonny Buckland, and "Yel-
low," which stands as the concert's
crowning achievement as it com-
bines sing-along appeal with
inspired performances from each of
the band members. "The Scientist"
emerges as a subtle moment of con-
templation amid the sonic tendencies
of the show.
With the exception of an enter-
taining 40-minute tour diary that
complements the concert well, the
DVD is lacking in extra features.
Nevertheless, the package offers a
good glimpse at one of our genera-
tion's defining groups.
Soul musician Al Green returns to his roots
By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer
Dgual mstepece '28 Days' on DVD
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Editor
Never has the digital video format
been so perfectly utilized as in Danny
Boyle's apocalyptic horror tale "28
Days Later." While George Lucas and
Robert Rodriguez are generally recog-
nized as the sermonizing leaders of the
digital age, Boyle ("Trainspotting")
does not choose digital for easier inte-
gration of digital effects but (hold for
applause) actual aesthetics.
Following the breakout of the RAGE
virus, turning on the infected's most
innate killing instincts, the streets of
London and the English countryside are
filled with bloodthirsty zombies. The
hazy intimacy of the camera captures
Jim (Cillian Murphy) walking around
the desolate landmarks flowered with
the catastrophic headlines of London
newspapers. The images seem low-cost,
yet perfect, and an overpowering sound-
track provides half the thrills.
The gloomier, pretentious alternate
ending affixed to the film weeks into its
release is included, along with two addi-
tional stand-in denouements (one a rad-
ically different, demilitarized version
shown only in storyboards). Boyle's
commentary is standard and "The Mak-
ing of ... " tries too hard to prove the
film's social worth. However, Boyle's
caring commentary over a pair of pro-
duction and Polaroid (yes, they still
exist) galleries stands out as the kind of
unique extra a DVD enthusiast can
actually grow excited for.
In 1974, soul music indelibly
changed its course. Al Green, one of
the decade's greatest singers, was vio-
lently confronted by a lover intent on
causing harm. ........_..__
Green, having Al Green
attack, decided it I Can't Stop
was time for Blue Note
change. And so an
era ended, as the musician turned his
attention towards the church and
became an ordained pastor.
Fast forward nearly three decades.
Al Green, having recorded a plethora
of mostly mediocre gospel albums,
decides to record secular music. Re-
enlisting producer Willie Mitchell, the
two recorded in the same vintage stu-
dio where they crafted a sound that
sold over 20 million albums. The
equipment and musicians are left
mostly unchanged which makes the
recording even more of an oddity. This
is an album no one expected to hear.
On their first secular record in nearly
27 years, their signature combination of
luminous vocals, tight grooves, lush
strings, impassioned horns and smooth
backup vocals is resurrected. Although
the music scene has undergone a major
metamorphosis since Al Green last
reigned king of soul, 1 Can't Stop
embarks where the Reverend left off.
The 12 original songs are heartrend-
ing, exuberant and earnest. If this
album wasn't such an anachronism,
some of these tracks could even be
considered Al Green classics. "Rainin'
In My Heart" is a gorgeous lament,
and the title track is an irresistible,
familiar confession. Green's remark-
able falsettos and fervent shouts make
the grooves entirely his own.
It's apparent after repeated listens
that Green has aged. At times his
voice sounds strained, as in the R&B
strut "Play to Win" or the sharp phras-
ing of "You." Yet, this becomes irrele-
vant, as the unease instead adds to his
wide vocal palette.
Green's choice to return to his
roots yields mixed results. His impas-
sioned voice is a welcome change,
but its relevance is debatable. For
now, we should simply feel lucky
enough to once again share in the
soul that is Al Green.
the michigan daily
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