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October 20, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-20

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October 20, 2004
arts. michigandaily. com

e tSig


... . . ..... ... . ..... .. . . . . .................... -- - - - . . ... . . . . ... . ............ ...........................


Har Mars
act grows
old on
m ei
By Amos Barshad
Daily Arts Writer
Sean Tillman, aka Har Mar Super-
star, had a choice to make. After
2000's self-titled debut and 2002's You
Can Feel Me firmly established his
shtick, Tillman was at a crossroads.
People had always laughed along with
his act - a short, stocky white guy in
ridiculous outfits singing oversexed
funk songs. Of course, the act worked

'Hot Shots'
golf series still
With a cast of colorful characters aid a
range of courses to match, "Hot Shots Golf
Fore!" attempts to bring a refreshing breath
of vitality to the static game of golf While its
atmosphere and rich gameplay achieve this
admirable goal, the quirkiness of the char-
adtets overpowers and
detracts from the over-
all presentation Hot Shots
Initially much of Golf Fore!
"Fore!" is locked,2
unavailable for play SCEA
until the gamer works,
through several match,
es and attains enough points and skills to
unlock these special features .This mate
rial ranges fran the mundane. such as
ground images and outfits, to the>excepdtal
such as new courses, new characters and an
improved selection of clubs. As the game
unfolds, TFore!" presents itself as a tr on
tender in the sports-game genre.
Behind the cartoonish appearance lies a
golf game with realistic ge play, dynamic
camera work and anl immense amount $f
supplemental material, such as the unique
miniature golf mini-game and the par3 cb*
lenge. Online play has even been added to
this installment, allowing golfers to challege
players across the globe ononeiof"Fore! s" If
beautifully rendered l8-hole courss
Despite its dynamic s etationthe
developers seemedtopush t" eop
bit too far. The character's inamevoice
acting is supposed to add an air otgoohess
and bolster his or her personality bet they
become annoying y repetitve, turning the
characters into tiresome soundbies bef '
the gamer has even finished he first rvund
Their antics suc aite E s ctyxng
after she loses a hole - are amnusig atflrst
but grow irritating far too quickly There
fore, the most disappointig part of the game
becomes the characters themselves a huge
part of the experience - which makes o
pleting a round with them a chore rather than
an enjoable endeavo&
Clap Hanz, the developer of tore has
an innovative and colorful approach to the
standard golf game tFore is aurprsgy
deep game, one that can be 4pprmadjedfrom
a different way each time t' picked p, and,
with anabilityf chrats to g n skill wit
experience, aloms fr lets of rlayablily
However, its frustratigqi kp it fro
being a truly enjoyablewexperiene **
...gson Robens

It's all In the hips. It's all in the hips.



because Tillman
seemed to take
himself seriously.
Over the course
of two albums,
it was also diffi-
cult to ignore that
Tillman's voice
wasn't all that bad.

Har Mar
The Handler
Record Collection
After all, he had

By Adam Rottent
Daily Arts Editor

)erg ~ 4 tr

Nothing screams excitement like videogame
golf. But with "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005,"
EA Sports seems to have finally captured the
nuances of the sport and combined them with

written tunes for Jennifer Lopez and
Kelly Osbourne. Could he tone down
the cheeziness and make a truly funky
Maybe, but The Handler isn't it.
From the first song to last, the album
sounds like a collection of tracks left
over from the Justified recording ses-
sion. Tillmann's voice is shown to be
adequate here, but not capable of carry-
ing any true depth of emotion. Only a
few songs on the record can be outright
labeled as jokes, including "D.U.I.,"
Har Mar's poetic and inspired treat-
ment of an issue plaguing millions of
young people across our nation: drunk
dialing. Meanwhile, "Body Request"
sounds like the song that helps the
nerds win the talent show the end of the
"Revenge of the Nerds," it's corny '80s
synth-pop to the core.
Most of the album dabbles in the
"you know I'm being ironic even
though nothing in the music suggests
it" type of humor, which only makes it
more annoying. When so much of your
selling point is the visual aspect, what's
really the purpose of making a record?
Taking that into consideration, criti-
cizing this guy feels a little pointless.
Even though he has toned down the
blatancy of the persona on this record,
Har Mar Superstar is still a joke, albeit
one that's getting progressively stale.
The problem is, and the reason why
he should be up for review, that the
guy doesn't really write jokes, like his
musical-comedian counterparts Tena-
cious D. His music is all a part of the
act and straddling the line between the
ridiculousness of it all and the straight
face he keeps is the essence of the act.
On The Handler, Tillman fails to
pull it off. While the idea of seeing
Har Mar live, gyrating and surely grat-
ing, might still be appealing to some,
there's no need for more recorded out-
put from this guy.

enough entertainment
value to make the mundane
appear electrifying. While
the real Tiger Woods is
mired in a slump, "Tiger
2005" shows no sign of
slowing down.
Players familiar with
"Tiger 2004" will feel
right at home with this
latest installment. Gainers

Tiger Woods
PGA Tour
PS2, Xbox and
EA Sports
no longer use the

user to feel more attuned to the actual sport,
as the motion of the stick mimics the motion
of the club.
The game mechanics are worth noting
because of the depth and fun found in the many
modes of play. Golf fans will notice that they
can play a variety of styles of the sport - like
match play, skins or best ball - as well as by
standard rules. These alternate forms of golf
are best saved for multiplayer, since most rely
heavily on the response of the opponent.
PGA Tour mode is akin to the dynasty mode
found in EA Sports' other marquee titles.
In PGA Tour, players take a created golfer
through the ranks of the PGA, earning money
to unlock legends, new apparel and more
The big enhancement to "Tiger 2005" is
"Tigerproofing." This entails a degree of cus-
tomization in which the gamer can now make
the courses tougher by adding obstacles ud
decreasing the sizes of fairways and greens.
The only way to earn the ability to Tigerproof
a course is through the PGA tour mode.

Although the gameplay itself is nearly flaw-
less, the roster leaves a lot to be desired. While
players would expect a full assortment of pros,
what is available is a disappointing array of
just 15 players. And beyond Tiger himself and
Vijay Singh, most of the big names - Ernie
Els and Phil Mickelson, for example - are
nowhere to be found. The golfers present,
however, are near-perfect renderings of the
actual players.
The inclusion of real courses adds to the
authenticity and realism of "Tiger 2005." From
Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, many of the hall-
mark settings from the professional tour are
replicated flawlessly. And with Tigerproofing,
the courses can change and become significant-
ly harder for more advanced gamers.
As a simulation of professional golf, few
titles can match "Tiger 2005" in either game-
play or sheer options. It features tons of replay-
ability via its unlockable content, deep PGA
Tour mode and competitive multiplayer. Even
though the roster leads a lot to be desired, this
is still the best golf game on the market.

tried and true system of timing button presses
on power meters. Instead, players use the ana-
log stick in a fashion similar to the "Golden
Tee" arcade series. This addition enables the

Gere,J-Lo misstep in 'Dance' remake

By Zach Borden
Daily Arts Writer
What an October it's been so far. In
just a matter of days, moviegoers have
been blessed with not one, but two hor-
rid English-language remakes. The
disastrous "Taxi" (inspired by a popular
franchise from France) went way off the

road for many film-
goers, and now,
Miramax's "Shall
We Dance?" can't
keep time.
Based on the
charming 1996
Japanese film of the
same name, Rich-

Shall We
At Showcase
and Quality 16

ballroom dancing lessons at the studio.
The dancing actually satisfies the fam-
ily man, but his curiosity about Paulina,
who gives private lessons, remains. As
John hides what he's doing from his
family, his wife Beverly (Susan Saran-
don) becomes suspicious that he may
be having an affair. John's life and
new hobby seemingly intertwine, mak-
ing his life more complex than he was
Surprisingly, the new version of
"Shall We Dance?" stays pretty true to
the original when it comes to the plot,
but much of the context is lost. What
made the Japanese version so fascinat-
ing is that it offered commentary on how
Japanese society views intimacy, and
how it was shameful for a man to dance
in that society. The remake obviously
can't offer the same cultural views, and
it does not offer anything that can really
compensate for it. Each film achieves
drastically different emotional impacts.
Director Peter Chelsom, best known
for helming Miramax's fluffy romance
"Serendipity," creates a pretty uneven

mess. The film is often weighed down
by unnecessary moments that are
supposed to be inspiring but turn out
insipid, and he drenches the film in cli-
che melodrama (the Paulina flashback
sequences are overly corny). Some of
the blame should also be placed on
screenwriter Audrey Wells, who sup-
plies the cheesy lines and stretches out
the plot too much.
Most odd is that for a movie in which
dancing is integral to the overall story,
the dance sequences are mainly unin-
teresting. The editing during these
scenes is sloppy, and camera move-
ment is static - it's hard for the audi-
ence to really get a sense of the action
and the passion coming alive on the
dance floor.
Gere comes across as likable and
affable, but for the most part he sleep-
walks through the movie. When it
comes to Jennifer Lopez, it is hard to
tell what is worse: her flat, one-dimen-
sional character or her stale dialogue
that sounds as if is being read off cue
cards. Susan Sarandon is more-than-

ard Gere plays John Clark - a bored
and unhappy lawyer going through
some kind of mid-life crisis. While on
the train one night, he passes a dance
studio and sees the lonely Paulina (Jen-
nifer Lopez) looking out into the mist.
Intrigued, John decides to sign up for

I'm sorry I'm so old, it's genetics.
decent as Gere's wife, and Stanley Tucci
provides some of the film's few laughs
as an eccentric, closeted dancer.
There is nothing wrong with reinter-
preting or retelling certain stories, but
comparisons with what came before

are inevitable. If this Americanized
version of "Shall We Dance?" has
anything to teach - along with many
other high-profile remakes in recent
years - it's that it is always better to
stick with the original.

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