100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 06, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-06

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

Monday
March 6, 2006
arts. michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

Ric WttSIgan Baij
LRFS

0

8A

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

i

6

And the winner is ...
THE OsCAR WINNERS, AND HOW THE DAILY FARED

Courtesy of
Warner Bros.
" 'Crash'
won best
picture!? It's
time to kill,
bitches."

WILLIS EXUDES CLASSIC CHARM IN LATEST VEHICLE

By Imran Syed
Daily Arts Writer
As John McClane in 1988's venerable "Diehard,"
Bruce Willis embodied one of the most enduring

action characters in modern
American cinema. But he's
33 no longer, and just can't
sell lines like "Yippee ki-yay,
motherfucker" anymore.
Actors in his position face
a tough choice (see Harrison

16 Blocks
At the Showcase
and Quality 16
Warner Bros.

Ford, who pretends that he's still the whippersnap-
per who fought Nazis in 1981). Willis, however,
harboring no such delusions, embraces his bald-
ing, gray head, creaking joints and ballooning belly
and uses them to create a memorable new brand of
action hero in his latest, "16 Blocks."
OK, time for a small reality check. Though "16
Blocks" is an action thriller, Willis's Jack Moseley
is hardly an action hero. He's the hung-over, sick-
to-his-stomach cop who just wants to go home and
sleep after a long night shift. But wouldn't you know
it, some suit-and-tie hands him paperwork just as
he's leaving the building and orders him to trans-
port a prisoner 16 blocks up the street to a court
hearing. 118 minutes, 16 blocks: one hell of a day.

The prisoner is Eddie Bunker, played brilliantly by
the supremely talented hip-hopper-turned-actor Mos
Def ("The Italian Job"). We're told he's a nobody.
It's just a routine job - but, of course, there's much
more to it than that. Eddie is a key witness in a police
corruption case and, as if New York City's infamous
gridlock wasn't enough, half of the city's police force
is out to stop Jack and Eddie at any cost.
Turning America's most symbolic city into a vil-
lain is a brash yet successful move and gives the
film a sense of complicity that similar fare often
lacks. Sixteen blocks is about a 10-minute drive in
most inhabited places, but in New York, it can be a
nightmare taking up the better part of a day. At its
core, the use of the city's congestion and bustle in
this way is nothing earth shattering - just a mild
variation of the archetypical "dark-forest" theme in
a hero's journey - but applied in this film, it works
to just the right effect, complicating our hero's bur-
den and adding intrigue.
We all love New York, sure, but here, it's a very
real villain.
The leader of the corrupt cops out to stop Jack
and Eddie is David Morse's nauseatingly slick
Frank Nugent. Morse, basically the Ben Wallace
of onscreen law enforcement, has a commanding
presence that's always a force you want on your
side (as Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx
found out in "The Green Mile," "The Negotiator"

and "Bait," respectively). Unfortunately for Jack
and Eddie, he's rotten to the core in this role with a
dozen heavily armed men at his disposal.
Though he's very much over the hill, Wills's
Moseley is a little like the 40-year-old Michael Jor-
dan returning to play for the Wizards: He shows
occasional flashes of former brilliance. One such
occasion makes for the most memorable scene in
the film, one of the more prototypically cool recent
moments in the movies. But Willis's expected
super-cop antics are kept to a minimum, and this
saves the film from going too overboard with Jean-
Claude Van Damme-style pyrotechnics.
Instead, what sells the film - and indeed makes
it funny and almost, almost believable - is the
nonchalant genius that is Mos Def. He's annoying,
he talks too much and most of what he says seems
meaningless, but he plays his character so seam-
lessly that we're almost left stunned.
Still, there's one inescapable, if entirely volun-
tary, conclusion: "16 Blocks" is tense, tight, funny
and wholly entertaining - but only if you let it be.
Hold fast to the knowledge that it's only a movie
and is meant by no means to be a how-to guide
on transferring prisoners or the New York Police
Department. There are loopholes in the plot, and
some may even be glaring to those out to scruti-
nize. My best advice: don't. It's a movie, and it's
better than most.

The Daily guessed cor-
rectly in seven of the
eight major categories
we predicted:
BEST PICTURE
Winner: "Crash"
We said: "Brokeback
Mountain"
BEST DIRECTOR
Winner: Ang Lee
We said: Ang Lee
BEST ACTOR
Winner: Philip Seymour
Hoffman
We said: Philip Seymour
'Hoffman
BEST ACTRESS
Winner: Reese Wither-
spoon
We said: Reese Wither-
spoon
BEST SUPPORTING
ACTOR
Winner: George Clooney
We said: George Clooney
BEST SUPPORTING
ACTRESS
Winner: Rachel Weisz
We said: Rachel Weisz
BEST ORIGINAL
SCREENPLAY
Winner: "Crash"
We said: "Crash"
BEST ADAPTED
SCREENPLAY
Winner: "Brokeback
Mountain"
We said: "Brokeback
AP PHOTOS Mountain"

0
0

0

I

I

'Ultra'-thin thriller bottoms out

By Christina Choi
Daily Arts Writer
"Ultraviolet" is the foul, misshapen
lovechild of a union between Japa-

nese animation
and reality that,
hopefully, was a
one-night stand.
An excruciating
90-minute-long
endeavor, the film

Ultraviolet
At the Showcase
and Quality 16
Screen Gems

Get ready for life after Michigan with Real Life 101.
This annual series of free, entertaining seminars is designed just for U-M students
and will help you get ready for some of the big issues you face as you get ready to
graduate. These fun and informative seminars will get you thinking and get you ready!
March 14, 6-7:30 p.m.: Money Management 101 "Good Credit, Bad Debt"
Robert Pavlik, Vice President, MBNA Marketing Systems
This session was so popular last year that we're bringing it back. Designed
specifically for students and recent graduates, "Good Credit, Bad Debt" provides
answers to all of your money management questions and helps you avoid the
financial traps that new grads often face.
March 21, 6-7:30 p.m.: Relocation 101 "The ABCs of No Hassle Moving"
Jeff Abraham, Lindsay Stevens and Geri Rudolph of Stevens Van Lines
What do you mean I needed to reserve the elevator in order to move furniture
into my new apartment? Moving can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to
be in this session tailored to those moving to a new city after graduation. Let
the professionals at Stevens Van Lines show you how to make moving a snap.
March 28, 6-7:30 p.m.: Personal Branding 101
"How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market"
William Ward, Adjunct Professor, Ross School of Business
As the work place becomes more and more competitive, how are you going
to get yourself noticed and rise above the clutter? Come to this personal
branding session to find out. Even with a University of Michigan degree, you
still need to be all that you can be in order to achieve the career (and life)
success you're looking for.

sacrifices continuity for a comic-book
style coupled with what barely passes
for dialogue.
The film unfolds in a futuristic
world where the sole apparent accom-
plishment is the abolition of the hor-
ror caused by, say, fat people wearing
horizontally striped shirts. The set has
an artsy feel, with bright and solid
clothing and walls eerily reminiscent
a Skittles rainbow.
Milla Jovovich ("Resident Evil"),
who plays the aptly named Violet, is
a fearless vampire who risks every-
thing to save a boy named Six (Cam-
eron Bright, "Running Scared").

Six is the ultimate weapon in the
never-ending feud between humans
and vampires, yet his rapidly fading
health may prevent either side from
using him in time.
The film's thin plotline is riddled
with unanswered questions: For
instance, what's the source of Violet's
abnormal strength and agility? How
does she consistently manage to kill
countless men and have them all col-
lapse in a perfect circle around her
perfect superhero poses? More impor-
tantly, is her flawless face really a hid-
den advertisement for Botox?
Violet gives away no secrets, but
this is probably because she rarely has
anything worthwhile to say. Jovov-
ich's attempts to keep Six in line are
constantly thwarted by her lackluster
delivery. Even Six finds her hard to
believe, and it must be tough for the
guards not to burst out laughing when
Violet smoothly declares, "you are all
going to die." But in true Hollywood
style, being able to slice through men
like butter compensates for her lack of
basic verbal ability.
Despite these drawbacks, the film
manages to incorporate some sci-

fi creativity. Disposable paper cell
phones and bracelets that double as
credit cards are just cool enough to
provide a welcome diversion. Still,
the film pushes it a bit too far with the
extravagant measures the evil Daxus
(Nick Chinlund, "The Legend of
Zorro") takes to ensure his protection
from the contagious vampire virus.
Among his precautions include a gun
sealed in aluminum foil and an air fil-
ter that strongly resembles a pair of
silver nose plugs.
Six is also unrealistic, but in a dras-
tically different way. Besides being
discovered in a case that looks like a
giant white lima bean, his dialogue is
the most sophisticated of the film -
odd considering his favorite memory
involves being pushed on the merry-
go-round by a laughing Violet.
That pseudo-maternal moment is
the most bizarre scene of "Ultravio-
let," but not because it occurs right in
the middle of an intense scene of bat-
tle and tragedy. It's then that the film,
much like the audience, appears to
forget its role as a tribute to senseless
action and instead finds itself a com-
edy worthy pf outright laughter.

6
6

I~ ~t.&~ :..4.. ~ W v*Xk> ~LN ~',~9, ~ w~w4fr~ '~w~t-"WOW=-

Find out more by attending an
information session.

A~O~

I

I

0

Back to Top

© 2017 Regents of the University of Michigan