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October 10, 2005 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-10

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 10, 2005 - 9A

Courtesy of DreamWorks

"Do hooks make it more attractive, Jerry?"

Claymation duo makes
cheerful screen debut

Nine Inch
Nails back
to form at
Joe Louis
By Amos Barshad
Daily Arts Writer
CONCERT REVIEW
For broke college students on a steady diet of
smoky bars, a $50 show isn't really an option.
But that's too bad - shows like Nine Inch Nails
at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Saturday pro-
vide the opportunity to mingle
with a harder-edged crowd that Nine Inch
is almost nonexistent in Ann Ni li
Arbor. The leather-clad bunch, s
rocking ripped fishnets with Joe Louis Arena
back tattoos of serpents, but-
terflies and ill-advised Chinese characters - an
older, tougher crowd-filled the seats. To these
people, paying 50 bucks for a ticket means getting
your money's worth, even if that entails dropping
another grand on refreshments. While NIN might
be something of a critical darling, they're evi-
dently still considered "rawk" by a healthy por-
tion of the music-consuming audience.
After the massive critical and commercial suc-
cess of 1994's The Downward Spiral, Reznor
become something of an exalted figure in
rock'n'roll. Then came the fallow years: A five-
year layoff, a lukewarm response to the double-
disc The Fragile and appearances in Marylin
Manson videos all contributed to the slow decline
of Reznor's iconic status. Compounded with the
artistic decline was a personal one - financial
Subversive rea,
By Chris Gaerig cated solely
Daily Arts Writer "reality."

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
Trent Reznor played to a rabid crowd in Detroit Saturday night.

By David R. Eicke
Daily Arts Writer
In "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of
the Were-Rabbit," there exists a strange

phenomenon that
its way into many
claymation ven-
tures: clay coffee.
Because its physi-
cal and chemical
properties can't be
replicated in clay,
attempts at pro-
ducing clay coffee
tends to result in
a brownish, oddly

inexplicably finds
Wallace and
Gromit: The
Curse of the
Were-Rabbit
At the Showcase
and Quality 16
DreamWorks

amorphous substance that produces an
unsavory intestinal-plopping sound. Its
appearance is so bizarre and distracting
that we hereby suggest that the appear-
ance of clay coffee be stricken from the
storyboards and plotlines of all future
claymation films.
But despite an insistence on clay
coffee and Wallace's surplus of teeth,
"The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," the
first feature-length adventure for
the eternally optimistic Wallace and
Gromit duo, is as charming as it is
well-crafted.
The movie requires a certain (Brit-
ish) sense of humor and an apprecia-
tion of semi-stupid punning. Here's the
barometer: "Watch out below! There
might be a huge rabbit dropping."
Admirers of this line may flush with
warmth over the course of the film and
go home as melted puddles of pure
happiness, while those who find it nau-

seating will have long since thrown up
in their popcorn bags. Enjoy this type
of "humour" or not, it cheerfully per-
vades "Curse's" writing like it should
in any true British comedy.
Inventive, bumbling Mr. Wallace
(think Inspector Gadget without the
arrogance) and practical-pup Gromit
own a garden-pest-control business
called Anti-Pesto whose main claim to
fame is its humane treatment of the furry
perps. In other words, they keep all their
captive bunnies in their basement.
Eventually realizing this strat-
egy is highly impractical, Wallace
invents a mind-altering device and
uses it to manipulate the critters'
tastes so that they no longer find
carrots appealing. But a clumsy mis-
take during the initial experiment
leads to the creation of a gargan-
tuan bunny who winds up looting
the town of its vegetables a few days
before its garden festival.
The action builds from there and
erupts in a trumpeting finale concern-
ing a distressed and screaming crazy-
haired maiden, two dogs in airplanes,
a ballistic golden carrot and an angry
mob of elderly vegetable gardeners.
The nutty plot is perfectly paced,
reeled with careful splicing of high and
low action, and like most recent ani-
mated comedies, there's a few instanc-
es of hidden adult humor (a la "Shrek")
that break up the litany of kiddies
jokes. With its gleeful sense of humor
and imaginative artistry, "Wallace and
Gromit's" first venture to the big screen
will assuage both claymation-philes
and tykes too spooked to go to "Tim
Burton's Corpse Bride."

problems stemming from a shady business part-
ner led to significant substance abuse problems.
Reznor was quoted in a recent SPIN interview as
saying, about the last several years of his life, "I
was clearly trying to kill myself."
White Teeth, therefore, was the redemption
piece. With the overwhelmingly positive response,
Reznor and Interscope could breathe easy - Nine
Inch Nails proved to be the unit-moving force it
once was. Beginning the set with a thin white
sheet separating them from the crowd, the band
flailed around on stage as silhouettes. The cur-
tain rose, revealing a jacked Reznor in his black
leather pants and cutoff shirt. The band proceed-
ed to move militantly from one song to the next,
Reznor gripping the mic with two hands, one foot
behind the other, looking like someone you do
not want to fuck with.
The band's bombast sounded amazing within this
setting, as it should - the drums hit hard, the key-
boards sounded adequately eerie. The curtain descend-
ed halfway through the set, leading to the band playing

1 ity spoof
to parodying this so-called troversy
the writ

behind a video montage of animals, suburbia's creepi-
er residents and tanks, culminating in a ludicrous clip
of President Bush ballroom dancing.
When the band reappeared, Reznor had made a ward-
robe change and seemed refreshed. The night culminated
with a bang-bang-bang trio of songs. First, Reznor did a
"Hurt" solo on the keyboards, which got the loudest reac-
tion of the night. "The Hand That Feeds" sounded dan-
cier and stronger than on record, and with the first NIN
single, "Head Like A Hole," as the set closer, Reznor
managed to whip the crowd to a fever pitch. The tour-
ing band spent their time smashing guitars to pieces as
Reznor marched off triumphantly.
While Saturday night was popping off on stage,
the atmosphere in the crowd was disappointingly
sterile. The fact is, these kinds of shows reached
a zenith in the'70s, when drugs and free love
were omnipresent; going to the show as much as
an excuse to get wasted as anything else. With
more and more crowd regulation, today's audi-
ence is reduced to paying $8 for a beer, leaving
the quaaludes at home.

arrives on DVD set

For better or worse, reality television
has integrated itself into pop culture.
Shows like "Ameri-
can Idol," "The Real Drawn
World" and "Survi- Together:
vor" have topped the Season l.
Neilson ratings for
the last several years Comedy Central
while homogenizing
most programming. Dave Chappelle took
shots at reality TV on the first season of
his show, and nearly every other sketch
comedy program has had skits mock-
ing the trend. Comedy Central's "Drawn
Together" is one of the few shows dedi-

The animated series draws on the they ar
differences and eccentricities of its away w
diverse cast of stereotypical characters. less ott
The Disney-esque Princess Clara - a objectio
naive member of a bigoted aristocracy celled a
- is constantly at ends with crime- three clh
fighting musician Foxxy Love. Spanky The s
Ham, the porno pop-up mascot, bullies its origi
the outlandishly awkward Wooldoor. jokes ar
Video game hero Xandir has countless kills th
homoerotic adventures with Captain ters sel
Hero. And while '60s sex symbol Toot anyway
struggles with her weight, Pokemon- of this r
type critter Ling Ling attempts to battle ence hys
every monster in a 300-mile radius. The,
The collision of these far-reaching ends episode
of the animated universe creates immense tually p
amounts of racial tension and social con- extrasa

, and it soon becomes evident that
ters of the show are as fearless as
e merciless. The housemates get
ith blasphemy, racism and count-
her offensive jokes. One of the
ons that got "Family Guy" can-
re accepted on "Drawn Together";
leers for cable programming.
how manages to transfer well from
nal broadcast to DVD. All of the
re uncensored, which sometimes
e comedic punch, but the charac-
Jdom go on totally explicit rages
. The frequency (or lack thereof)
makes their on-and-off-again pres-
sterical.
audio commentary on several
es and deleted scenes are vir-
pointless, though not all of the
are worthless. The "Censored/

Uncensored Game," which allows
viewers to guess whether a line was
deemed appropriate for television, will
make jaws drop, and there is also a
karaoke sing-along that would prove a
hilarious drunken activity.
"Drawn Together" is exactly what
everyone has been waiting for: A chance
to see our favorite reality characters liter-
ally shoot, stab and grope each other on
a weekly basis. Others have tried to give
fans this opportunity, but with the time
and human restrictions, they couldn't
quite bring everything we wanted to see
together in such a compact, subversively
funny package.

Show: ***
Picture/Sound: ***
Features: ***I

I* te L The Pentelligent Choice" www.pentelcom

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