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February 09, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-09

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 9, 2004

ARTS

By Vanessa Miller
Daily Arts Writer .j$

Courtesy of Touchstone
I dig your style too, man. You've got that whole cowboy thing going on.
Costner feels at home
on the 'Open Range'

Rarely can a sequel be considered to be as
good as, or even better than, the original. "Bar-
bershop 2: Back in Business" fortunately man-
ages to retain some of its predecessor's glory.
"Barbershop 2" tells the tale surrounding
Calvin (Ice Cube), whose neighborhood barber-
shop becomes threatened by the corporate chain
Nappy Cuts, a supposed black version of Super
Cuts. A battle begins as the
fear of closure weighs down
on Calvin's shoulders and Barbershop
his gang of barbers rallies to 2: Back in
support him against his cor- Business
porate nemesis. At Quality 16 and
Bizarrely enough, "Bar- Showcase
bershop 2" is quite political, MGM
creating a looking glass into
the disappearance of family-owned businesses
due to unavoidable corporate takeovers. First
and foremost, though, this film has a truly
heartwarming message, and its dialogue is
interspersed with great one-liners and chem-
istry between members of the ensemble cast.
With a more
tightly written
script and styl-
ized flashbacks
d e p i c t i n g
Eddie's past,
"Barbershop 2"

01

Courtesy ofMGM

Don't run your fat ass mouth off to me cause I don't give a shit.

IT ABOVE

Kevin Costner took a risk. After a
bad run of critically panned movies
and nearly a decade devoid of any
respectable Westerns, he not only
decided to direct and star in "Open
Range" but to do _.....___.._
so for a summer O R
release. Not the
most welcoming Touchstone
time for a
thoughtful, low-budget, hold-off-on-
the-action throwback to classic
filmmaking - but it was a risk
worth taking.
With a cast that includes Costner,
Robert Duvall and Annette Bening,
"Open Range" details a violent con-
flict that arises between roaming
cowboys and cattle ranchers. Costner
utilizes a subtle style and holds off
on the traditional showdown, focus-
ing instead on the relationships
between characters and gorgeous,
open scenery of Alberta, Canada.
The DVD comes in a two-disc
package with the film and Costner's
commentary in Dolby Digital or
DDS sound that perfectly accompa-
nies the striking images of "Open
Range." More notably, though, the
second disc features an enjoyable
and informative featurette and one
of the most complete start-to-finish
behind-the-scenes features available.
"The Real Open Range" is a 12-
minute documentary, narrated by

improves on the
original and
simultaneously

THE CREW IS BACK IN BUSINESS

because of Cedric the Entertainer's great charac-
terization of Eddie, an elderly man who is always
finding something scandalous, from Osama to
Mariah Carey, to criticize.
What ruined the originality of the first "Bar-
bershop" was the blatant call for a franchise, and
an upcoming spin-off, "Beautyshop," featuring
Queen Latifah, seems laughable based on its
trailer. The innovative purpose behind the origi-
nal seems to now stand as a premise to make
money, which is especially clarified by VH 1's
has a one-hour special devoted to the film. But,
"Barbershop 2" stands its ground, especially
after the lack of comedic magic in recent film
releases. It allows us to be grateful that a sequel
was indeed created.

highlights important moments in Chicago's
black history.
After the cinematic jewel that was "Torque," Ice
Cube sides against showing his badass side in this
film, especially as he tries to make his shop family-
friendly to gain community support. The most inter-
esting moments in the film are when the subplots are

explored, namely when the rapper Eve struts her
stuff again as Gina, the only woman who works at
the shop. Eddie's reason for not having to pay for his
chair is also comically and genuinely exposed, and
the thug Ricky (Michael Ealy) exposes his softer
side as he pursues an education.
The moments inside the shop carry the film

0

Rock group Oblivion brings sight to Blind Pig

Costner, that discusses the freedom
of the open range, the people who
made it famous and the ranching and
barbed wire that brought an end to
that roaming. Better fit for The His-
tory Channel, the feature inspires in
viewers a yearning to know more of
this rich Western history.
"Beyond the Open Range" fol-
lows Costner from the movie's
inception to its conclusion with all
the candid Costner commentary one
could want. Deleted scenes, story-
boards and a music video are also
available, but the true gems leave
you wanting just a bit more than the
two discs offer.

By Elie Perler
For the Daily

On the heels of signing with New
York City independent label
Audiokio, local Ann Arbor grunge-
rock outfit Oblivion showcased their
abilities as a viable and charismatic
stage entity at the Blind Pig last
Thursday. The concert celebrated the
release of their latest effort, The Gar-
den in the Machine, which was per-
formed in its entirety. Opening acts
included local bands Supermodel T
and De Novo.
Throughout De Novo and Super-
model T's cookie-cutter rock set, it

was abundantly clear that a vital com-
ponent was missing from both per-
formances: stage presence. It was
simply nonexistent. Members of both
bands stood com- _
pletely motionless, O
displaying a strik- Oblivion
ing inability to Thursday, Feb.5
emote. Cardboard At the Blind Pig
cutouts of each
band member would have been more
animated. Looking at the audience
through a haze of bar-smoke, not one
head was moving with the rhythm;
like a mirror, both bands saw their
own pathetic attempts to perform
reflected right back at them.
The moment Oblivion took the
stage, the previously dismal and life-

less audience at once revitalized and
exploded into cheer. Lead singer Tres
Crow gyrated in epileptic fits of rage
that fed both the audience and the
other band members. Scott Lauffer's
tight and crisp drumming style pro-
vided the necessary backdrop for gui-
tarists Ben Umanov, Jason Evans and
bassist Nate Zamarron. The small
stage could hardly contain the five
spastic musicians at once. But that
each played and jumped around as if
life depended on it, mutually unhin-
dered by the lack of space. Despite
Oblivion's strong stage presence,
though, only a handful of the 12
album cuts performed elicited a
strong crowd response. The most
memorable song was "Ophelia." With

its catchy opening rhythm guitar riff,
sing-along chorus and tasty guitar
solo, the song showcased the band's
ability at crafting a great melodic
composition. "Petal" was also a viable
crowd pleaser, with a driving opening
guitar riff.
Fittingly, cheering and crowd
response dwindled toward the end
of the set. The otherwise average
brand of hard rock music, while still
concise, gradually lost its appeal. It
seemed as if the audience could no
longer sustain an equivalent energy
level with the band. Yet in the end,
Oblivion's typical rock style suc-
ceeded in manipulating emotions by
harnessing an unforgettable energy
on stage.

Movie: ****
Picture/Sound: ****I
Features: ****

3 U

01

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