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October 13, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-13

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October 13, 2004
arts. michigandaily.com



. . . . . . . . . . . . ....................................................... . . . . ...

ill RIItIS

i" lE

Jane Campion - This director (with roots in Australia and New
Zealand) has made movies such as "The Piano," "Portrait of a Lady"
and most recently "In the Cut." She is defined by her unique cinematic
style, incorporating the use of color and atmosphere to investigate the
characters and plots of her movies. Her style is beautiful, haunting and
gritty. She's well worth checking out.
Sarah McLachlan's 'Afterglow' - McLachlan's most recent album
is different from her previous ones, with a new sound and different
- though equally beautiful lyrics. Her songs provide as much inspira-
tion and emotion as ever. Her tour is awesome as well; fans will not
be disappointed.

Courtesy of
Comedy Central
Terrence, is
that a penny
stuck up
your ass?


Billy Collins - Our current poet laureate, Collins's poetry is aus-
tere and amazingly insightful. He explores truths about the human
condition with lines that remain in memory long
after the poem is read. His numerous
books of poetry are all excellent and
filled with meaning.


Poetry Slams at the U-Club -
Every other Thursday night, aspir-
ing poets gather to perform original
poetic pieces with emotion and enthu-
siasm. One of the University's
hidden gems, these slams
always guarantee an amazing
show with lots of energy.

By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Editor

Stephen King - Often mis-
labeled as a writer of pulp,
King's numerous novels
(including "Carrie," "The
Shining," "Pet Sematary"
and "Insomnia") are strong.
pieces that investigate the
darker side of human emo-
tions and fears. His intel-
ligent, character-driven
plots and his mesmeriz-
ing prose create stories
of unparalleled horror
and fantasy. He excel-
lently portrays hidden or
unbelievable ideas in real-
istic fiction.

With the release of "Team America: World
Police" Friday, writer/director Matt Stone feels
relieved. "This movie killed us," he said, referring
to his work with partner-in-crime Trey Parker. The
duo, best known for the subversive satire "South
Park," are turning their guns toward Hollywood
again, along with the political world, with their lat-
est release.
"Team America" was inspired by the British
puppet series "Thunderbirds." Stone describes
his inspiration as having "such an interesting
look and feel." It proved to be the catalyst for
new types of humor. "When you decide to do an
R-rated puppet movie, there's just a lot of fertile
ground," joked Stone.
The film features marionette puppets, unfortu-
nately not anatomically correct, and still caused
quite a stir with the censors. "We have sex scenes
with puppets. They are like Barbie and Ken dolls.
We put them in positions and rub them together ...
the (Motion Picture Association of America) had
a problem with some of the positions we picked,"

Stone explained in regards to the controversy. Stone
is no stranger to battles with the MPAA, as the
"South Park" movie was wrangled with restrictions
for its liberal use of language. Stone said, "I think
the MPAA is a pretty broken organization. I don't
think it serves artists very well, and I don't think it
serves parents very well."
But the risqud nature of "Team America" isn't the
only thing that's stirring up controversy. The movie
lampoons major political figures and actors. Stone
doesn't agree with actors making major political
stands. "We definitely tried to satirize what became,
to us, the arrogance of Hollywood celebrities who
can't distinguish the difference between being good
actors and knowing everything about the world that
there is to know."
And Stone doesn't pretend to spread his politi-
cal agenda. "We know about making movies, but I
really don't know anything about politics more than
anything else." In fact, he thinks that it would be a
disservice to follow his ideals. "I don't think anyone
should take their political views from me or Trey,
'cause we're pretty fucked up people. At least we
can admit it. I don't want anybody changing their
mind because of this movie."

Though Stone takes great pride in this film, he
still sees his future in "South Park." The hit car-
toon comedy about foul-mouthed fourth graders is
about to enter its ninth season. " 'South Park' is
so much fun and after doing this movie, that's all
we're going to do for the next year or two," Stone
said. But even though Stone and his partner have
finished the film, they still haven't started the new
season of "South Park."
"We haven't gotten back to work on it yet," he
admitted. Still, he shows no signs of concern
because of the show's incredibly quick production
time. "The creative turnaround is great. It's almost
(got) a live performance feel to it," Stone added,
explaining the show's unique ability to skewer even
the most recent events.
Stone is happy to retreat back into a more normal
work schedule. Even the process of making films
wore on him; "With a movie, you live with a joke
for two or three years and it's not funny anymore.
I much prefer TV right now." However, he can still
joke about the whole thing. "Our biggest regret of
this whole fucking thing is that we came to L.A. to
be in a band and we got side tracked by this stupid
fucking television thing."

Courtesy of Scribner

Rappers wrestle in 'DefJam' sequel

By Evan Mcarvey
Daily Arts Writer

In mournful praise the mythic
hero, W.H. Auden wrote, "Iron-
hearted man-slaying Achilles / Who
would not live long."

Opening with a snazzy shot of cascading snow complete
with a shaky camera technique, "The Mountain" immediately
establishes itself as a groundbreaking experience. However, the
sweeping montage that follows, set to Blink182's "Miss You"
and featuring slow-motion shots of characters staring thought-

So goes the fate
of the warrior.
And like the fallen
icons of Greece,
our modern rap
icons do battle in
"Def Jam: Fight for
New York."
In the sequel to

Def Jam:
Fight for
New York
PS2, Xbox and

of charisma through the screen.
Best described as a fighting/wres-
tling hybrid, "Def Jam" has fully
licensed rappers fighting across all five
boroughs of the Big Apple. Train sta-
tions, strip clubs, construction sites and
burning factories are all suitable ven-
ues for the street-fighting, trash-talking
thugs of Def Jam. Each character uses
one of five fighting styles: martial arts,
wrestling, submission, kickboxing and
street fighting. Each rapper's charac-
ter mirrors their persona so while the
wiry Ludacris favors kickboxing, the
always excitable Sticky Fingaz prefers
the undisciplined ways of street fight-
ing. With each artist providing their
own voice and likeness to the game,
the realism will be enough to please
any hip-hop fan.
While the variety of fighting venues
and gimmicks (light your opponent on
fire, toss them in front of a subway car)
is delightful, the true core of the game
is the borderline epic story mode. Even

with lack of branching story paths, all the
drama, double crossing and romance of a
gangster film comes across just as brutal
and unforgettable as "Mean Streets."
Of course since it wouldn't be enough
to play as your rapper of choice, Def
Jam offers one of the most suitable and
deep create-a-character modes seen in
a fighting game. From obvious traits
like height, weight and fighting style, to
more unique stylized elements like what
kind of iced-out chain and watch your
digital avatar desires, "Fight for New
York" makes the player the hero.
All the energy that the game provides
does wane as one replays the story mode
and see the limited extent of the grap-
pling system. It's impossible to replicate
the excitement of the first few days with
the game but the excellent graphics,
superb use of the license and the bold,
iconic feel of the characters and their
mannerisms make "Def Jam" echo in
the gamers mind like so many .other
glorious battles.

We make mountains out of molehills.

fully at snow-covered slopes, forever
obliterates this initial impression.
From that moment forth, "The Moun-
tain" becomes what every other WB
show is eventually reduced to - a
primetime soap opera. The show fea-
tures a dysfunctional family, an inher-
ited ski lodge and potential hardships
down the road. In addition to highlight-

at 9 p.m.

ing a variety of extreme sports, "The Mountain" attempts to
combine the X-Games with "The O.C.," somehow failing to
reach this goal.
That's not to say "The Mountain" is without any redeem-
ing attributes. First and foremost is the sex factor. Male audi-
ences may initially be disappointed in "The Mountain" due
to its cold setting, which doesn't allow for much bikini action.
The sex scenes that eventually unfold, however, are steamy
enough to keep any male viewer's eyes glued to the screen.
Female viewers will also not be disappointed. The cast of
"The Mountain" features many a studly male and at least one
bare, muscled chest.
The storyline is also strong enough to keep audiences inter-
ested. Featuring a high-stakes plot about control of the ski resort
after which the show is named, "The Mountain" mixes intrigue

and deception with on-slope antics. In the premiere, the resort is
left to the previous owner's grandson, causing strife among the
Carver family, many of whom feel they are better qualified to run
the slopes. As if family drama wasn't enough, a rival company
attempts to capitalize on the shift in management with a buy-out.
After some fights, a dance and a couple snowboarding shots, the
show finally reaches its climax at a board meeting between the
rival company and the new owners. True to traditional TV form,
the Carvers hold out, thus providing the audience with more
snow-filled episodes.
Where "The Mountain" falls short is in the writing. While
the show makes an attempt at quality interaction between
characters, the dialogue and rapport between them just doesn't
feel as real as in other shows. Often there are moments where
something funny should be said, but nothing is. This is prob-
ably because the characters appear too serious to crack any
kind of joke, and the creators seem to take the show too seri-
ously. Without this sense of humor, which allows the dramat-
ic points to feel that much more dramatic, "The Mountain"
feels a bit stiff and dry.
Given room to lighten up, however, this show could rank
among the best of the goofy evening dramas. But as it stands
right now, "The Mountain" is mildly entertaining. It's worth
watching if you catch it on TV.


Electronic Arts's
wildly successful "Def Jam Vendetta,"
"Def Jam: Fight For New York," allows
the player to assume the persona of one
of more than 40 rap superstars and relat-
ed personalities in a brawler so bold, so
visceral that its personality sends ripples


Earn your MPA in Environmental
Science and Policy


The Master of Public Administration Program
in Environmental Science and Policy
combines Columbia University's hands-on
approach to teaching public policy and
administration with pioneering thinking
about the environment. This twelve-month
program takes place at Columbia
University's New York campuses.



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