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March 22, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-22

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 22, 2004 - 9A

Jazz legend Ornette
Coleman storms Hill

By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer

By Justin Weiner
Daily Arts Writer

"Dawn of the Dead" is the kind of movie that
makes people thankful for daylight. It's a scary,
bloody zombie movie that will leave audiences dis-

turbed, mortified and unnerved.
Though "Dawn" is a remake of
the sequel to the classic "Night
of the Living Dead," it's sur-
prisingly original and an enjoy-
able ride.
Of course, none of the char-
acters in the movie has too

Dawn of the
At the Quality 16
and Showcase

"Dawn" makes it seem real enough to be scary.
This is accomplished in part by the film's spectac-
ular prologue. Ana (Sarah Polley, "Go"), a nurse at a
Milwaukee hospital, quickly goes from leading a
normal life to fleeing a city engulfed in flames and
ruin. She meets various other survivors, with whom
she takes refuge in the aptly named Crossroads Mall.
Together they struggle to protect themselves from
the unrelenting hoard of zombies attempting to get
into the locked mall.
The tight focus on the mall allows "Dawn" to
work on several levels. The characters' access to
television, as well as their rooftop view, reveals
the devastation and terror in the outside world. At
the same time, the close quarters of the mall pro-
vide a medium that depicts the tension and fear
within the group of survivors. Viewers often won-
der if the humans will kill each other before the
zombies are able to do so.
The zombies, however, are still the main

Courtesy of
in the
mood for
object of horror in this film and are not the
slow, slobbering numbskulls of the past. This
brand of undead moves quickly and ravenously,
not unlike the creatures in Danny Boyle's "28
Days Later." Their bite infects normal humans,
quickly turning friends into rabid beasts.
"Dawn" is a constant barrage of gore and car-
nage with zombie heads repeatedly being shot,
blasted apart and stabbed. Add the bloody zombie
bites, the birth of an undead baby and an acciden-
tal mutilation with a chainsaw, and it becomes
clear that "Dawn" is not for the squeamish. Even
still, the gore does not seem fake; it does not
detract from terror.
While often gritty and disturbing, "Dawn" is
an exciting, hellish ride that will leave audi-
ences desperate for daylight by the time the
credits role. Be sure not to leave too early
though; the originality of "Dawn" does not end
with the credits.

Moments before the lights dimmed,
a white, overweight soundman dressed
in running shorts and a T-shirt took the
stage to make last-minute adjustments.
Just as he was finishing, someone
asked, "Is that him? Is that Ornette
While humorous and very naive,
this uncertainty is telling. While many
who attended Friday night's sold-out
concert at Hill Auditorium had heard
Coleman, many came because they
only had heard of Coleman. And
while a name attracts, the whole sce-
nario is too reminiscent of a concert
in New Jersey that paired pianist Her-
bie Hancock and saxophonist Wayne
Shorter. After just
minutes, the audi-
ence was reduced Ornette
by almost half. The Coleman
fact is, no one Friday, March19th
anticipated hearing At Hill Auditorium
cerebral, complex
interchange between two musicians
with little showmanship. Given that
Hancock and Shorter are no radicals,
what would greet a musician that
decades ago challenged the very con-
cept of music?
Ornette Coleman took the stage to a
standing ovation, dressed in a powder-
blue suit, looking like a leader ready to
preach to his people. Within moments,
Tony Falanga and Greg Cohen sup-
plied frenetic bass while son Denardo
Coleman pounded away on drums.
With the air charged, Coleman entered
on alto saxophone and played a float-
ing melody that dripped in affecting
harmony. The contrast between Cole-
man's fluid lines and the band's
cacophonic spirit helped create the
sound of the evening, a sound invented
by Ornette.
From the first note on, the music
melted into a prolonged meditation.
Each moment was entirely unique,
drawing on Coleman's insistence on
writing new material for every per-
formance. At times Coleman turned
to trumpet (and once a violin), but it
didn't matter. Coleman has the abili-
ty to communicate on a level that
turns any instrument he touches into
a singular voice. When he wasn't
playing, he was attentively studying

much fun. It's probably hard to enjoy yourself when
flesh-eating zombies have taken over the world, rap-
idly infecting humans with their vicious bite.
Although it's a typical plot for a horror flick,

New FOX reality show can't get anyting 'Straight'

Courtsy of hio
Would you like some alto-sax?
the sound around him, enraptured
by the sonic landscape.
The music itself fell within differ-
ent Coleman idioms. There were the
post-bop themes a la 1959's "Bird
Feed," rubato themes similar to
1958's "Lorraine." Nonetheless,
each tune began and ended with a
theme, and what came in between
was entirely undefinable.
After playing intensely for an
hour and a half, Coleman retreated
from the stage, returning moments
later for an encore. The crowd sang
"Happy Birthday" (it was his 74th)
and Coleman thanked his audience
for their energy and proceeded to
philosophize about existence. The
band then burst into an aggressive
blues jam that showcased each
musician individually. The overall
level of musicianship was unbeliev-
able, but Denardo's inspired solo
stood out as a highlight.
At the night's conclusion, the per-
son who'd confused Coleman with
the soundman had a large smile on
his face. And it was easy to tell why,
for attendees had just participated in
something special: a musical hap-
pening that will echo for years, an
evening spent with the one-and-only
Ornette Coleman.

By Doug Wernert
Daily TV/New Media Editor

The basic concept of "Playing It
Straight" isn't a new one: One girl
dates several guys in hopes of finding
the man of her
dreams. "The
Bachelorette" and Playing It
"Average Joe" Straight
have both fol- Fridays at
lowed this simple 8 p.m.
formula and have FOX
found moderate
success. Unfortunately, the FOX net-
work took that idea and added its
usual ridiculous twist. The end result
is a program that serves no worthwhile
purpose on television except to embar-
rass and discourage any viewers who
watch it.

A small-town girl named Jackie
arrives at the Sizzling Saddles ranch
in Nevada with the belief that she is
on a dating show that will have her
going out with 14 studmuffins. She
soon finds out that some of the guys
are not revealing their true personali-
ties and some, in fact, are gay. Not
only that, if she selects a gay guy at
the end of the show, he gets a million
dollars. If she selects a straight guy,
however, the two will split the million.
True love immediately takes a back-
seat to playing a guessing game about
the sexuality of the guys. Jackie, once
again proving that shallow people will
do anything for money, forgoes her
chance at meeting her Prince Charm-
ing, trying instead to select a straight
man and collect her fat paycheck.
The male contestants are not much
better. In addition to some of them con-
cealing their true selves, each one is

determined to project an extremely
macho image in hopes that Jackie will
select him. This becomes clear early as,
upon meeting Jackie for the first time,
the guys gather in the living room and
immediately begin discussing the size
of her chest. Every move the guys make
is scrutinized, whether it is owning a
hairdryer or being forced to stay in the
pink-colored bedroom. In one of the
more awkward moments, two of them
flip a coin to decide who will sleep in a
queen-sized bed, as sleeping in the
same bed together would no-doubt ruin
their machismo.
In a long, drawn-out process at the
end of the first episode, Jackie chooses
two contestants whom she believes are
gay. The eliminated guy reveals his ori-
entation, and everybody gets to see if
Jackie's "gaydar" - a term used exten-
sively in the show - is indeed correct.
Whether it's the awful country-

My homo-sense is tingling.

western theme song or the look on
Jackie's face after she makes a wrong
guess, "Playing It Straight" has noth-
ing of value. There's only one thing to
say to Jackie and =the immature boy-
toys who are playing this pointless
guessing game: Grow up.

r ~1

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