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November 15, 2005 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-15

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Tuesday
November 15, 2005
arts.michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

RTSic

8

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
'My Humps' by the Black Eyed Peas - The pop-rap group wins the
Kelis "Milkshake" award for this annoyingly catchy dance track. I only
wish I could get the Donna Karen line out of my head.
The Cast of 'Happy Endings' - This comedy, now on DVD, boasts
one of the best ensemble casts of the year. Lisa Kudrow delivers the
most un-Pheobe-like performance of her post-"Friends" career, play-
ing a mother blackmailed for abandoning her son. Tom Arnold gives
an unexpectedly touching turn as a lonely widower. Maggie Gyllenhaal
also showcases some pretty good pipes as a seductive lounge singer in
this underrated Dan Roos ("The Opposite of Sex") film.
'Lost' - While ABC's "Desperate Housewives" struggles with an "Ally
McBeal"-esque sophomore jinx, the network's J.J. Abrams-produced hit
remains consistently riveting. Name another show that could kill the
same annoying character twice and still have you craving for answers?
Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine - Paul Thomas Anderson's
ex unleashes an arsenal of gloomy ("Oh Sailor") and
Bjork-lite ("Window") tunes
on her deliciously precociousta
third LP. The long-delayed
album was definitely worth
the wait. But is it wrong that
I hope for another MTV -
awards show meltdown?

"Hey Val, what're doing for dinner tonight?"

'BANG BANG,' YOU'RE DEAD
STARS, DIRECTOR DISCUSS IRREVERENT SATIRE

By Imran Syed
Daily Arts Writer

What do you get when you throw together the writer
of "Lethal Weapon" (Shane Black), an Oscar -nomi-
nated drug offender (Robert Downey Jr.), a promising
talent from "North Country" (Michelle Monaghan)
and the only actor who can claim to have played the
fantastic foursome of Batman, Elvis, Moses and God
(Val Kilmer)? You get a lot of kisses, a few bangs and
finally a film: "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang." Despite the
light-hearted nature of its actors, characters and plot,
they all insist the film is as dark and intriguing as the
detective films of yore.
Black discussed his vision for "Kiss Kiss," optimistic
it will be seen as more than the slapstick-action comedy
he has become famous for: "I'm hoping it's different
from all the other action films that come out today ...
It's sort of the anti-action action movie," he said.
"In real life things are different; even the stumbling
and tripping and all that stuff that occurs during real
violence - we try to do more of that in this movie so
it feels ... like it's more of a character-driven story that
pokes around and immerses you in the world of pulp."
Monaghan jokingly chimed in about the drawbacks

of such a small-budget film. "I guess I had to do all of
my own stunts because we didn't have any money to
hire a stuntwoman," she said. Becoming antsy, Black
jumped in with the benefits of the situation: "Some-
times less money means fewer limitations because
there are fewer people scrutinizing it and you're more
able to take risks. Actors always want to play the trans-
sexual, child rapist, murderer, psychotic guy. And stu-
dios, of course, want the actors to play anything but
that. So actors who love risk tend to make these lower
budget movies."
For their part, Kilmer and Downey Jr. enjoyed
working with each other perhaps a little too much,
alternating hyperbolic sentiments such as: "I've
admired Val ... I've loved Robert ... for a coon's age
... since I don't know when. Since before I spoke
English." They soon digress - albeit reluctantly -
into serious issues, such as Downey Jr.'s Hollywood
shunning. Employing a curious third-person voice,
Downey Jr. said, "I was robbed, Robert. Robert has
always believed that Robert creates Robert's own
reality, Robert." Thankfully, Kilmer "clarified": "He's
vindictive and an angry, angry man now that he's hit-
ting his 40s. No, he couldn't be happier. I know I've
heard Robert say this often of Robert - that he feels

you get the roles that you're supposed to get. Literally,
I don't understand what that means." Neither do we,
Mr. Kilmer.
Getting back to business, the stars then discussed
their fascination with the genre of their film. "I love
noir. When you get into a certain level of being a fan
or devotee in any discipline you start getting into the
more obscure films. This has a lot of tributes to it out
of the detective genre as well and 'Pulp Fiction.' It's
part of the fun of the story," Kilmer said.
Luckily, Downey Jr. stepped in to make sure the
mood didn't get too serious, saying of his character:
"I've been prepping for Harry Lockhart my whole
life, Robert. He's a thief from New York. I'm from
New York. I stole stuff."
Through all the jokes and faux advice (said Kilm-
er to aspiring actors, "Get out while you can. It's a
horrible business and if you have to ask advice, it's
probably not going to work out"), one thing became
clear: This movie is certainly different from anything
we have seen before. "In a way, I hope that people
understand that beneath the satiric level of the film
that there's a genuine, really heartfelt fondness for this
material. That's why I can poke fun at it, because I
love it so much," Black said.

'Everybody Hates Chris'
- Who knew Chris Rock
could produce a show
based on his life that
could be both nostal-
gic and funny? Who's
surprised that the
UPN show has man-
aged to beat "Joey" in
the ratings? I'm not.

Courtesy of Epic

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