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February 04, 2004 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-04

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - 11

classic is
full of
By Doug Wernort
Daily TV/New Media Editor
Following in the recent footsteps of
"Sleeping Beauty" and "Beauty and
the Beast," Disney has released yet
another animated classic in a special
edition DVD for- _
mat. Based on the
writings of Lewis Alice in
Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland:
Wonderland" cer- The
tainly lives up to Masterpiece
its predecessors. Edition
Combining a flaw-
less digital Disney
restoration, an
abundance of special features and a
truly imaginative story, the two-disc set
is a must-have for any Disney fan.
The story revolves around Alice
(voiced by Kathryn Beaumont), a
bored and easily confused little girl
"who ventures into a rabbit hole and
proceeds to get lost in a tiny world.
She learns how to use mushrooms to
control her height and meets the
bizarre inhabitants of the land.
Among these are the tea-obsessed
Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the
entertaining Mad Hatter, the mis-
chievious Cheshire Cat and the self-
ish, obnoxious Queen of Hearts
(voiced by Verna Felton). While inter-
acting with these inventive creations,
Alice sings catchy songs -most
notably "The Unbirthday Song"--
has an emotional breakdown and
plays the Queen in a game of croquet.
There is no real progressive story, as
Alice just wanders around from one
place to another with no rhyme or rea-
son. The unresolved conclusion to the
short-sided 75 minute tale may have
worked in 1951, when the film was
originally released, but it may not suf-
fice for today's audiences. Still, kids
will delight in the clever characters and
the feel-good aura the film creates.
Disc two contains the extras that
make this a good buy. "One Hour in
Wonderland," partnered with a half-
hour excerpt from "The Fred Waring
Show" are two fantastic behind-the-
scenes looks at the film and create a
true sense of nostalgia. Original
New DVD,
'Rain Man'
By KatUe .Madw ..e
Daily Arts Writer
With the Academy Awards on the
horizon, now is the perfect time to look
back at the great films that placed an
indelible mark on Hollywood cinema.
Just in time is MGM's special edition
DVD release of the heartwarming classic
"Rain Main."

Winner of Best Picture in 1988, the
tale of egocentric West Coast hustler
Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) and his
newly discovered autistic savant brother,
Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), is an inti-
mate and inspiring
portrait of love i
found in the most Rai Man
unexpected of MGM
places. Hoffman,
who won the Oscar for Best Actor, is
brilliant and charming while Cruise's
unlikable character Charlie convincingly
depicts the struggles and frustrations of
life with Raymond. A strong supporting
cast including Valeria Golino (Susanna,
"Frida") contributes to the film's realistic
and captivating scenes.
Though the special features on this
disc are sparse, a brief original featurette
from 1988 offers several interviews with
cast and crew. Luckily, unlike featurettes
of today, the story is not simply retold
with clips from the film. It is especially
interesting to hear Hoffman's commen-
tary on his experience with real autistic
individuals to prepare for the role.
Also included are three audio com-
mentaries from director Barry Levinson
and screenwriters Barry Marrow and
Ronald Bass. Although interesting sto-
ries are provided, commentary is given
separately, resulting in frequent dead air.
Combining commentators may have
worked better to generate dialogue and
cut down on viewing time.
The picture and sound quality is sur-
prisinglv good for a 16-year-old film,


By Jaya Soni
Daily Arts Writer

trailers, sing-alongs and virtual tea
parties are only a few of the many
bonuses in the set and the hours of
fun will never get old.
Disney has these special edition
sets down to a science. Each one has
been remarkable for not only the
film, but for the total packaging and
assembly of extras that make each
one a classic. "Alice in Wonderland"
continues this trend and is a great
way to brighten any day, even if it is
just your unbirthday.
Movie: ****
Picture/Sound: ****
Features: *****

In 1999, viewers laughed as Matthew
McConaughey ("The Wedding Planner")
starred in "EdTV," a comedic film that
explored the boundless realms of reality televi-
sion when video store clerk Ed had his entire
life filmed. Five years later,
FX network has stolen this
once inconceivable concept Todd TV
and turned it into a reality Wednesdays at
with "Todd TV" 10 p.m.
The premise and appeal of FX
"Todd TV" is its basic
theme. A 30-year-old slacker
signs his life away to the public for seven
weeks. All of his actions are videotaped and,
unlike other reality television shows, he must
act according to viewer voting.
FX made sure to choose a world-class loafer
to fulfill this role. Though Todd holds a com-
munications degree from a New England col-
lege, he lives in southern California chasing his
music career while sluggishly working as a
waiter. His irritable temperament is easily pro-

although portraying the raw and uncut version of
this mess of a man may have been the purpose.
One disadvantage to creating a live show about a
single man is that the camera must focus on him
even when he's boring. The producers will need
to find a way to keep Todd interesting for the
whole hour in future episodes.
Each week viewers have the opportunity to
make a life-altering decision for Todd. Last
week a viewer called in and asked Todd to quit
his waiting job. In compliance with viewers,
Todd quit and fulfilled another request by
becoming a paperboy. Whether the show and
the viewing audience is concerned about the
success of Todd's life is to be determined.
This week viewers can select Todd's new
roommate and job by voting on the FX website.
Viewers can choose for him to live with his
mom or therapist, and for him to work as a
telegram singer or personal assistant to Poison
frontman Bret Michaels.
"Todd TV" will be humorous to those inter-
ested in watching America possibly screw up or
fix up a man's life. Reality TV has reached a
new extreme. Those who may actually care
about Todd can choose to vote cautiously, and
viewers with a more sadistic sense of humor
can vote accordingly.

Courtesy of FX

I do look wiser with a beard.

voked by his overprotective mother, even
though Todd, like many other reality stars, is a
fairly attractive one night stand.
Because this is the first fully filmed life of a
single person for a "reality show," FX has a lot
of learning to do. The first episode seemed like
a rough draft of a possibly more polished show,


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