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October 05, 2005 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-05

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 9

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
Fantasia - The American Idol winner revealed she is functionally illit-
erate. No jokes here, how about some props for a woman overcoming
impossible odds and trying make some change? Besides, she'd probably
still smoke Paula Abdul in a spelling bee anyway.
'A History of Violence' - David Cronenberg's latest crime thriller
opened to wide critical acclaim and became the best-reviewed film of
the year. Sure Viggo Mortenson is the star, but this one is definitely not
for fan-boys. Rather, it is a surprisingly insightful commentary on our
culture of violence.
'Saturday Night Live' - NBC's late-night gem began its 31st season
last weekend. Horatio Sanz sat in for new mother Tina Fey on weekend
update and bombed. But Will Forte stole the show once again with a
surprisingly realistic impression of the "Commander in Chief" and the
addition of two talented new cast members promises a memorable sea-
son.

Sex appeal
entertains
despite
bad acing
By Amos Barshad
Daily Arts Writer
In a way, "Into The Blue," starring Paul Walker's
abs and Jessica Alba's ass, is brilliant. What, the
twisted storyline? The cutting-edge editing? The
crisp, involving performances?
No, no - the film avoids com-
petence in such traditional ave- Into the Blue
nues. Instead, "Into The Blue" At the Showcase
scores high marks in general and Quality 16
contrivance. Blame producers MGM
Rick Dallago and Daniel Zevon:
Aware they would have to cram
mannequins into lead roles, they sought out a con-
cept with minimal dialogue for the two to bungle.
Imagine it:
Studio Head: We need a new one for Walker and
Alba, and keep it short on the dialogue.
Screenwriter: OK, check this out - they're men-
tally deficient lovers! No, wait - Alba's deaf, and
they communicate through sign language! OK, now
I've really got it - they're underwater!
Studio Head: Brilliant! Now we can get Alba in
a bikini!
With this as his starting point, director John
Stockwell ("Blue Crush") brings us yet another
hair-raising nautical adventure.
This time, we're in the Bahamas. Walker is Jared
- a failed treasure hunter - and Alba plays Sam
- the reluctant but loyal girlfriend. Jared's lawyer
friend Bryce (Scott Caan, "Boiler Room") rolls into
town with new girlfriend Amanda (Ashley Scott,
"S.W.A.T.") to stake claim on a house and boat won
in a settlement. Before we know it, the guys are

Courtesy of MGM

Adwk

Ashton Kutcher - One of the most talked about Hollywood couples
finally got married last week. Bruce
Willis, still obsessed with doing his
ex-wife one better, is understand-
ably shell-shocked and consider-
ing foregoing Lindsey Lohan and
having that all important conver-
sation with Dakota Fanning's par-4
ents.

Pretty people making out; no need for a plot.
doing 360s on jet-skis and dropping "bro's" like it's
written into Bahamian law as a vocal period.
During a subsequent snorkel trip, the foursome
discover both a sunken drug-smuggling plane filled
to the brim with white gold and the remains of the
Zephyr, a 17th century pirate ship. Hence the dilem-
ma: Should Jared traffic the drugs in order to buy
equipment and fulfill his dream of uncovering a
treasure? Or should he do the right thing?
Like the railroad-car-off-the-edge-of-the-cliff
scene in "Back To The Future III," this is the
point of no return. Viewers willing to accept the
fact that Jared, who has dedicated a majority of
his life to treasure hunting with absolutely no suc-
cess, stumbles upon both a drug dealer's cargo and
an ancient pirate ship in the same day, 100 yards
apart, can continue. Otherwise, exit here - it only
gets worse.
When Bryce goes behind Jared's back to move the

Chris Rock - Stand-up
standout, with his mixture
of vulgarity and insight,
may be the hottest thingf
in entertainment today.
His new sitcom just
opened to rave reviews
,and his last film, "The
Longest Yard" was
recently released on
DVD. With a sequel
to his other summer
blockbuster "Madagas-
car" in the works. Rock
should be set for the next
few years.

cocaine, he inadvertently attempts to sell it back to
its owner, a British guy who says soccer and refers
to the ocean as "The Octopus's Garden."
And it just gets more convoluted: Jared attempts
to retrieve the coke, Sam leaves, Amanda gets eaten
by a shark and no one cares. Then Sam comes back,
a car chase, a shootout, more shark attacks, spears/
axes, chopped-off fingers and a boat chase abound.
There's enough time left over for the underwater
explosion, jazz hands and happy ending.
While Alba tightens her death grip on the "hot-
test-chick-in-the-biz" championship belt, the utter-
ly forgettable "Into The Blue" will do wonders to
wash away that "Sin City" buzz. And while she's
still most likely on her way to the upper echelon of
Hollywood actresses, "Into The Blue" will serve as
a stark reminder of just how bad she can be. As for
Walker, it's sudden-death time; the next hyped-up
debacle might well be his last.

Poor technique mars local director's debut

By Mary Kate Varnau
For the Daily

Courtesy of Paramount

WANTFREE STUFF AND SOMETHING
TO ADD TO YOUR RESUMEI
WRITE FOR ARTS.
420 MAYNARD ST.

It's hard to resist the intimate atmo-
sphere of the ...._ ....__
Michigan Theater Dreammaker
screening room.
When Christina At the Michigan
Morales Hem- Theater
enway person- Sony Pictures Classic
ally introduces her
debut film and her husband thanks the
many community members who have
turned out, viewers want to like the
film. Goodwill can only carry a film so

far though.
Truth be told, the film is not review-
able by professional standards. Hem-
enway's film plays like a longer, more
elaborate version of something you
might see in a second-year film-produc-
tion class.
"Dreammaker" pivots around
Esmerelda, "psychic to the stars," and
her Hollywood clientele. Each charac-
ter is asked what they want most in the
world, and the film weaves a tangled
web of deceit that the characters popu-
late in pursuit of their desires.
Much of Hemenway's camera work
is amateurish, namely several extreme
close-ups of faces that are utterly out

of focus.
The script is passable, but nothing
inspired; there are about a dozen origi-
nal lines and half as many well-crafted
moments. And "Dreammaker" is funny
in a cute kind of way, though the one
laugh-out-loud scene goes on for about
a minute and a half too long.
Then there's one provocative shot (a
comedian screaming in the bathtub),
but even then, the effect of the image
is obscured by Hemenway's poor tech-
nique.
And it's this lack of skill that sinks
the film, most noticeably the atrocious
mic work. When the film cuts from one
angle to another in the same scene, the

buzzing noise in the background notice-
ably changes.
A particularly jarring moment occurs
about 20 minutes into the film: A char-
acter is supposed to pour champagne off
camera, but because of bad microphone
positioning, it sounds less like back-
ground noise and more like he's dump-
ing the bubbly out in buckets.
"Dreammaker" is like your aver-
age high-school play. The filmmaking
technique, the performances - it's
all watchable in a benign, pedestrian
sort of way. The story is kind of cute,
or at least, it won't bore you to tears.
But life is short and "2046" is playing
next door.

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