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November 15, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-15

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 15, 2004 - 9A

Brosnan loses a step in After The Sunset'
By Marshall W. Lee
Daily Arts Writer
Is there anything sorrier than an action star past
his prime? Slightly balding and a bit pot-bellied in
his open shirt, ex-Bond Pierce Brosnap shuffles up
to a sun-drenched tiki bar and scoffs at all the col-
orful cocktails. Through a thin, scraggly beard of
gray whiskers, Brosnan orders a Jack Daniels on the
rocks, growling at the bartender: "It doesn't have a
fancy name, but if it was good enough for Frank, it's
Rgood enough for me."f
After making a rather profitable career of playing;
the ecarming, elegant gentleman rogue, it appears
as though Brosnan is desperately trying here to cash

Courtesy of Rogue Pictur4's

Need some wood?

in every last chip of cool, to
drive every fancy sportscar and
chomp every last cigar before
he is forced by fed up filmgo-
ers to retire his pistol for good.
Set among the postcard vistas
of Paradise Island in the Baha-
mas, hacktacular director Brett

After The
Sunset
Showcase and
Quality 16
New Line

Latest 'Chucky' sequel
offers nothing new

_utesy UofNew Line

Ratner's ("Rush Hour 2") "After
the Sunset" allows Brosnan to do just that, and the
actor swaggers his way through this uninspired heist
flick with all the energy he can muster.
The movie opens with Brosnan's Max Burdett, a
jewel thief extraordinaire with enough gadgets to
make 007 jealous, "retiring" to the Caribbean with
his inordinately hot girlfriend and accomplice Lola
(Salma Hayek). Woody Harrelson plays Special
Agent Stan Lloyd, a bumbling Fed who has been
tailing his nemesis Burdett for years and believes
that the old con's relocation to the tropics is little
more than a cover for his next score: the theft of
a rare and valuable diamond on display aboard a
cruise ship docked just off of Nassau. For the next
90 minutes, the two men attempt to outwit each

I used to be James Bond. What happened to me?
other, even if it means crawling into the same bed
and exchanging homophobic banter. The result is a
knowingly preposterous throw-away thriller that is
surprisingly devoid of action and suspense.
The sudden friendship between Max and Stan is a
hard pill to swallow as it undermines the whole tire-
less, dedicated federal agent aesthetic of Harrelson's
character, but Stan and Max's contrived common
ground is positively pitch-perfect when compared
to the thief's inexplicable relationship with Lola.
The total lack of chemistry between Brosnan and
Hayek is vastly overcompensated for with extended
make-out sessions and cringe-worthy innuendo. It
felt at times as though Brosnan was really acting
in an extended Viagra infomercial. Hayek's char-

acter seems uncomfortable and unnatural as Max's
romantic partner and the actress is asked to do little
more than strut and strip - which, in her defense,
she does masterfully.
Dawdling and anti-climactic, "After the Sunset"
is less an original thought than a hodgepodge of
moments and characters thoughtlessly plundered
from other, better films. Ratner and screenwriters
Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg owe a great
deal of debt (and an apology) to several superior
flicks: "Entrapment", "The Big Bounce", "Lethal
Weapon III& IV" and "The Thomas Crown Affair,"
just to name a few. Viewers are suggested to rent
one of those before shelling out $8.50 to see this
tired rehash.

By Ian Dickinson
Daily Arts Writer
MOVIE REVIEW *
The most frustrating thing about
modern horror films is the inability
or unwillingness of filmmakers to be
original. Instead, they reuse ancient

gags and remake
never great in the
tendency contin-
ues in "Seed of
Chucky," the fifth
installment in the
"Child's Play"
series.
In the latest
edition, killer doll

series that were
first place. This
Seed Of
Chucky
Showcase and
Quality 16
Rogue Pictures

Hip-hop, pop genres mesh on 'White People'
p By Forest Casey classic examples of gospel culture stolen - dirty and great, that is. "Thinkin' RZA and white funk band The Mars
Daily Arts Writer by Elvis and The Rolling Stones, white " is undoubtedly the high point on the Volta. Automator's arrangements bring
artists have had few qualms borrowing album. the same familiar giddy joy that it did to

3
t

Imagine tuning into your favorite Top-
40 radio station expecting to hear the latest
Jack Johnson single, and because of some
massive meteorological disturbance, the
signals had been crossed with your city's
underground hip-hop station. Instead of a
hostile rap takeover, the music coming out
of your speakers is more of a mixture, like
top 40 filtered through hip-hop's drum
and bass. Those of you without expressive
imaginations need not worry - expert
knob-twiddlers Dan "The Automator"
Nakamura and Prince Paul have com-
pleted an album just like this, and Hand-
some Boy Modeling School call it White
People.
This crossing of signals isn't anything
new. 'From Deborah Harry's interpreta-
tion of hip-hop for"Rapture" to the always

from black music. White People, on the
other hand, takes a different approach,
and winds up with
mixed results.
The pinnacle Handsome
of how the inter- Boy
pretation of white Modeling
music can suc- School
ceed comes with a White People
guest appearance
of the indie-folk Elektra
songstress Cat
Power on the song "I've Been Thinkin'."
A normally stoic and depressed Chan
Marshall sings with a shockingly differ-
ent flavor: "You can slide, slide, slippity-
slide / You can hip- hop, and don't stop /
But I'll never be / On my knees." Hear-
ing someone so previously dedicated to
the soft twang of guitars lend her voice to
a song ruled by drums and bass is dirty

Because White People is such a con-
ceptual and sometimes satirical album,
it's more difficult to criticize the songs
that didn't succeed. As with all satirical
albums, White People needs to be judged
on a different scale. After all, a good spoof
song can still be bad to prove a point: that
the style it is lampooning is itself bad.
That being said, there are decidedly bad
songs on White People.
Unfortunately, The Automator's
playground beats can't support Mike
Patton's terrible falsetto rapping on "Are
You Down With It?," and "Breakdown,"
which features Jack Johnson, sounds like
a simple Jack Johnson song. There's little
evidence of any help from HBMS.
Fortunately, these failures are few and
far between. The more traditional rap
songs seem more natural - especially
"A Day In The Life," which features the

Deltron 3030 and Dr. Octagon's records,
creating something supernatural out of
RZA's standard rhymes. Tim Meadows
even lends the Leon Phelps character from
"The Ladies Man" to the song's close,
talking about how Handsome Boy Mod-
eling School taught him how to wash his
penis, and which fork to use for salad and
"you know, soup or whatever."
As with all of The Automator's records,
White People can sound like a revolution.
There's honestly none more bombastic
and none more willing to take on one
conceptual record after another. It's just
unfortunate when he misses his mark.
White People is no botched experi-
ment. Hearing this blend of such different
musical styles may be shocking to some
listeners, but the conceptual lessons that
Handsome Boy Modeling School tries to
teach are nothing short of courageous.

Chucky (voiced
by Brad Dourif, "Blue Velvet") and
his wife, Tiffany (voiced by Jenni-
fer Tilly, "Bound"), are reanimated
in Hollywood by their long-lost
son, Glen (Billy Boyd, "Lord of the
Rings"). The reunited group hatches
a scheme to enter the bodies of the
real Jennifer Tilly and rapper Red-
man and become a real family, at the
cost of a bit of murder and mayhem.
"Seed of Chucky" is the fifth chap-
ter in a series that's never been worth
watching, which is simply the first of
many indictments against it. Director
Don Mancini, who wrote the previous
four editions, follows the same drab
formula throughout the film. He fol-
lows up some schlocky, unfunny com-
edy with unconvincing and repetitive
violence, while coupling the murders
with cringe-worthy punchlines. This
continues for the film's 90 minute
duration, only interrupted by some
cliche-ridden sexual innuendo.
Beyond the film's content, the way
"Seed of Chucky" is made is insult-

ing to any movie enthusiast. Manci-
ni's camera work is a futile exercise
in cinema verite that rips off Jotm
Cassavettes, wholesale.
It is puzzling that Mancini seeks to
make a somewhat realistic portray1l
of Hollywood with such a cadre of d;
List celebrities. The presence of Red-
man, Tilly, Jason Flemyng ("Lock,
Stock & Two Smoking Barrels) and
a poor Britney Spears look-alike is
only countered by cult director John
Waters, who plays an overzealous
member of the paparazzi. Waters's
performance is legitimately funny,'
but he is sadly killed by a vat of sul-
furic acid within 10 minutes of h'is
opening line
Following Waters's demise, the
film is left toirot. Redman andTilly
attempt comic relief, to no avail,
while Chucky and his wife go on kill-
ing sprees, waiting to enter the bodies
of their future hosts. The crux of the
comedy, though, is Glen's question'
ing of his gender.
Literally half of the jokes in "Seed
of Chucky" revolve around the flet
that the doll doesn't have a penis. For
an R-rated film, viewers would think,
it could get more creative or lewd, but
it ends there.
Everything in the movie is for-
mulaic, from the comedy to the wn'y
characters are killed. The film is '
horror-comedy that is neither fright-'
ening nor funny, and gets less fright-'
ening and less funny as it drags on:-
The film isn't disappointing by any
stretch, because there was so little'
expected of it. If anything, Waters's'
performance is a pleasant surpris'
but "Seed of Chucky" is only worth
watching on basic cable at four in tfre
morning, while drunk and unable to
change the channel.

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