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February 14, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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arts. michigandaily.com
artsp age@michigandaily.com

8

. . . .................... . . . . . . . .................. . ...... . . . . .. ... .........................

My sloppy valentines

I

it's been a relatively tame Febru-
ary in the celebrity world. Sure,
there was the whole Britney
Spears fiasco. The paparazzi caught
her driving around with her child on
her lap, but was something like that
really a surprise? Any students who
watched their fair share of "Spring-
er-cam" after school (you know who
you are) knows what to
expect from white trash
thrust into the spotlight.
The bigger news,
at least in our area,
revolved around the.
buildup to'America's
tribute to gluttony and
excessive patriotism,
Super Bowl XL. During
a week in which C-list !
stars of WB shows can Pu
be featured as a "celeb- MAI
rity" appearance and
90 percent of people at parties are
flashing their not-so-truthful VIP
bands, plenty of awkward stories
are sure to come around. The best
was courtesy of over-the-hill drum-
mer Tommy Lee.
According to various onlookers,
Lee spent his day insulting Kid
Rock in front of Eminem's entou-
rage. Fed up with his badmouthing
of their fellow Detroiter, they pro-
ceeded to give him a good 'ol beat-
down. And honestly, I can't think of
a better way to welcome visitors to
the Motor City.
While Lee might be well known
for his home videos, he was
upstaged by Lee Tamahori, direc-
tor of the James Bond film "Die
Another Day." Tamahori did his
best Eddie Murphy impression, and
mixed it up a little bit by dressing
up as a woman and approaching an
undercover cop for a little action.
We would say this could ruin his
reputation, but I think "Along Came
a Spider" might have already done
the job.
Brushes with the law are also
becoming a regular part of Scott
Stapp's life after he was arrested
last week for being too drunk before
boarding a plane only months after
getting hammered in a hotel lobby
and challenging members of 311 to
a fight.
The saddest part? Both times he
was only a few drinks away from

JN
TT

alcohol poisoning. So close to final-
ly getting rid of him.
British lead singers take the
notion of celebrity to an even more
absurd level. Pete Doherty, former
frontman of The Libertines, got
himself into trouble again. With
a laundry list of missteps includ-
ing heroin convictions, escaping
from a Thai detox center,
dating Kate Moss and
robbing his bandmate's
apartment, Doherty told
television audiences he
was looking forward to a
"clean life" after stopping
his perpetual ride on the
white horse. Only hours
later, though, Doherty,
the genius that he is, was
[IT arrested in the bathroom
TOO at a soccer match with
a bag of heroin. For any
ladies out there looking for a rock-
star valentine, the way to a man's
heart isn't always through his stom-
ach or his pants: Sometimes, it's
through a vein in his arm.
Sidenote to my people: Don't be
upset about Aishwarya Rai getting
engaged to Abhishek Bachchan. We
had no chance anyway. Get over it.
The more surprising drug-related
announcement came courtesy of
Stephanie Tanner (actress Jodie
Sweetin) who announced that she
had gone to rehab last year for an
addiction to crystal meth. The story
originally came out on a random
Scandinavian website I saw (I have
no clue how I got there), so it may
not have been the most truthful of
child-star-escapade stories. But
her appearance on "Good Morn-
ing America" confirmed that she
had gone after an intervention with
Uncle Jessie, Danny Tanner and
Michelle (both of them).
So let's look at this. Ashley Olsen
snorted too much expensive coke
and Jodie Sweetin likely got crystal
meth blisters. One of them is worth
millions and the other was last seen
as a sorority girl on "Yes, Dear."
It's Hollywood. Drugs make the
person.
- Who the fuck are Aishwarya
Rai and Abhishek Bachchan?
Find out by e-mailing Mattoo
at mattoop@umich.edu.

0

Courtey of Wrner Bos.

"Johnson Family Vacation 2: Scary White People."

By Sarah Schwartz
Daily Arts Writer

On paper, the plot of "Firewall" sounds like the latest
Hollywood money pit driven by marquee names, extrava-
gant explosions and, above all, the cookie-cutter action
screenplay. Witness Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford), a
computer-security specialist, who explodes when Bill Cox
(Paul Bettany, "Master and Commander: The Far Side of
the World") threatens to kill his family if Jack doesn't steal
$100 million from his employer, a prominent bank.
Sure enough, in keeping with the formula, Jack must
outwit a man who seems to predict his every move to sur-
vive the deadly game. But for Ford and Bettany, finding
the realistic component beneath the superficial cliches of
the plot was key to making the film.
In a time when domestic spying continues to make
headlines, the stars wanted to ensure the movie and its
implications hit home.
"We were asking people to believe this could happen
to you," Bettany said. "That's the conceit of how this sort
of thriller works. Your family life could be turned upside
down. How safe is your identity?"
To add to the film's sense of realism, Ford went directly
to the source. "I research all of my roles," he said. "For
this one, I met with a number of banking professionals and
computer-software designers to get a keener idea of the
details of their lives."
Bettany's preferred method to maintain authenticity was
to get into the head of his character. "I tried to look for
what I had in common with the character, and what I had
in common with the character was he wants $100 million,"
Bettany joked. "I wouldn't mind $100 million."

But don't be fooled by Bettany's sense of humor - he
takes his work seriously and wanted to create a believable
character for the movie. "I want to give people a good ride in
the movie. In order to do that, they need to sort of be fooled
into believing that it's sort of real ... I try to produce a villain
grounded in some version of reality," he said.
Ford, an action icon since the late '70s, said he knows
people begin to expect a certain level of entertainment,
and he strives to maintain it.
"The responsibility that is most important to me is that
if people come to see a film because of having had a good
experience with me in another film, I want to make sure
that the new film they're coming to see is as good as I can
make it," Ford said.
While he understands that this can lead to pigeonholing,
he remains realistic about his role as an actor.
"It may be well that people are relating more to what they
take to be my persona, but my persona is a dramatic con-
struction of its own ... An actor has his own intelligence,
imagination and experience to draw upon," Ford said.
As the villain, Bettany knows the limitations an action
film can impose on its stars. "It's clearly a genre movie,
right, so you're playing a villain in a thriller. There are
certain notes that you have to hit because it's genre. There
are traditions and rules," he said.
But those rules don't mean anything goes. "If I sat there
stroking a cat with a scar down my face, I think people
would kind of be alienated, and that's not what you want,"
Bettany said.
"All you can do is satisfy yourself that you've done the
best job you can, that you've brought the material to the
finest focus you can obtain - it's as particular and strong
as you can make it," Ford added.

Tainted love
Daily Arts' obligatory top five ways for dealing with Valentine's Day
n the name of an obscure Catholic martyr, most of our world will be splattered with a variety of paper hearts,
confections and hastily assembled mix-tapes. There are an endless number of trite, trite ways to show your
affection and devotion to your Valentine. Of course, you've known about these since primary school. In the name
of a fresh and personal February 14th, here's a brief list of activities to get you into a mood of romantic bliss.

'Curious George'just for kids

1 Retreat into a world of drugs
Reject love and camp out indoors nursing a bottle of
Gin. Proceed to watch both seasons of HBO's majestic,
drawn-out drug drama "The Wire." Since you can never
watch just one episode of the show and learn anything
(let alone catch the endless metaphors for coke dealing),
you'll have plenty of excuses to avoid the chirpy
couples fluttering outside.
2 Screen poorly chosen films
Buy your sweetheart a slew of awk-
ward movies. Think "Wild Things,"
"Amistad," "Cruel Intentions 3" or "Hap-
piness." Then try and make out with
them during the most stunningly
awkward moment (threesome,
everything about slavery, the
whole movie, child molesta-
tion). You'll look totally sensi-
tive! Even better, take them to
see "Match Point" and showf
them that they'll never be as3
gorgeous as Scarlett Johans-
son or Jonathan Rhys-Myers.

- Evan McGarvey
band and daughter dying within one year. Totally
puts that little spat you had a week back into per-
spective. Or not.
4 Take solace in other pathetic kids
Take your sweetie to the cheapest, most enriching
place on campus: the Diag. Point out people with hor-
rible fashion sense, horrible music taste and
general artistic beliefs that clash with
your own. Join together in your mutual
distaste for the cultural serfs of the
University. Write about it constantly.
Now you can work for us!
5 Pretend like you care
OK, snark attitude aside,
there are some wonderful
ways to spend your St.
Valentine's Day. Go to
the museum. Read Keats
aloud to your lover. Share
coffee and your feelings
as snow covers all the
pretty buildings. Post
on your LiveJournal.
Update your Facebook
relationship status. Pre-
tend like people care
about your social life.
Go to sleep.

By Sarah Schwartz
Daily Arts Writer
"Curious George" is a kids' movie, completely and
unabashedly - and it should be applauded for that above
all other things. There are no obscure
references or sexual innuendos that Curious
will go over children's heads. The most George
adult-oriented moment in the movie is
when George's image is projected onto At the Showcase
the city, as he "climbs" the Empire and Quality 16
State building and swats at airplanes, Universal
and a lot of kids probably learned the
"King Kong" story over their winter break anyway.
And this is where a children's movie should aim. It's tir-
ing to see "Shrek," "Shark Tale" or even "Hoodwinked"
swimming with so many mature pop-culture allusions that
the children's tale gets lost in the process. It's refreshing
to see "Curious-George," with its lush 2-D animation and
touching tale of an almost father-son relationship, harken-
ing back to classic Disney.
George, or Monkey as he is called the first half of the
movie, meets the Man in the Yellow Hat (Will Ferrell,
"Bewitched"), who is searching for a lost artifact that will
save his museum. Though always finding some part of the
jungle to divert him, George is obviously lonely, so when Ted
(The Man in the Yellow Hat has a name!) shows interest in
him, George follows him back to the city. Once there, George
instigates the usual bouts of mayhem, upsetting the lives of
everyone around him. But we soon find that the destruction
he causes is for the best.
Populating the story are the many supporting characters
that add new layers to George's life. Dick Van Dyke, Drew
Barrymore, Eugene Levy ("American Pie") and David
Cross (TV's "Arrested Development") all lend their voice
talent to George's world. Barrymore stands out as the cute
teacher who flirts with the bumbling Ted. Cross is perfectly
menacing as the villain who plots to sell the museum and
build a parking lot in its place. Ferrell infuses Ted with a

Courtesy of Universal

Awwwwwww, primates!

sense of wonder at every new adventure, helping him gain
confidence and renew his passion for life.
And George is the reason for this change. The playful
monkey is essentially a child figure - curious, who has
trouble being understood (he doesn't talk in this version)
and makes easy mistakes. The filmmakers have trans-
formed Ted from the perfect father figure in the books to a
comic father/friend - a welcome change from the parental
archetypes in many kids' movies - that allows Ted to be
human and sometimes overwhelmed with responsibility.
Though adding names and a more coherent plot, "Curi-
ous George" stays true to the tone and naivete of the books.
It even pays homage to the author, H.A. Rey, by naming the
boat to Africa after him.
These delights aren't comparable to "Shrek" or "Toy
Story," but that's not to be held against "George" This is
purely a children's film and fittingly crafted with all the deli-
cate sweetness only a child can truly appreciate.

3 Put it in perspective
Share a moment of literary
grace with your lover. Buy
them Joan Didion's memoir
"The Year of Magical Think-
ing." It's all about her hus-

Courtesy of Columbia

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Excel Explore. Experience. Empower....
...use yourleadership skills, knowledge and experience
lOin the largest student-run arts and programming organization
on campus

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Now accepting applications for Executive Board positions for 2006-2007

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