The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Rock and Your an
a hard Catch u
A s the semester concludes,
you might have started to
wonder exactly what you'll
do with all that free over break.
p ic~c ePeople will tell you that holidays
are for family, reconnecting with
DICAPRIO'S LATEST TAKES old friends
VIEWERS INTO AFRICA up for another
By IMRAN SYED semester.
Daily Arts Writer People are
It seems Hollywood's eyes have turned to Yeah, sure,
Africa for more than just a quick glance. Long you probably IMRAN
ignored by the industry (and the rest of the should talk SYED
world), the continent has some politics
recently played host to with the old man over eggnog or
several recent Hollywood Blood take the kid sister out to see "Char-
productions ("The Con- Diamond Courtesy of Warner Bros. lotte's Web." Maybe you should
stant Gardener," "The Last "Djimon, those would go perfect on our teeth." even call up the goofy kid with who
King of Scotland," "Catch At the lived down the street - and don't
a Fire," etc.). Edward Showcase and runtime pushes the envelope for a tight thriller, - despite having to yell ferociously far too often rule out getting more sleep. But
Zwick's "Blood Diamond" Quality 16 every minute of the film serves a purpose and - is remarkable. make sure the faux spirit of com-
- with its breathtaking Warner Bros its intense pace never wears thin. Zwick uses DiCaprio's performance actually outshines mercialized holiday cheer doesn't
cinematography, intense breathtaking panoramic views of the East Afri- even his co-star. Gone are the throwaway days limit you to just that.
action sequences and sparkling performances can countryside and James Newton Howard's of "Romeo + Juliet" and "Titanic," and even the The holidays are a perfect (and
- might actually be the best of them all, despite fittingly reactive score to guide the story. somewhat lacking days of "Gangs of New York." with internships and good weather
its earnest message-making. Scene by scene, shot by shot, the film is With Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington dominating summer, perhaps the
A conventional but powerful tale of survival, packed with the tension and action of a clas- aging and Tom Cruise raving about psychology, only) time to catch up on things you
"Blood Diamond" tells the story of Solomon sic thriller, generally leaving its all-important Leo might just be Hollywood's foremost leading always wanted to sample, but never
Vandy (Djimon Hounsou, "Gladiator"), a poor message as a background lesson that's hard to man. He was impeccable in "The Departed," did. Of course, I'm talking about the
fisherman who is separated from his fam- ignore. Periodically it is guilty of falling back and don't be surprised if he nabs a second Oscar countless TV shows you saw com-
ily amid the chaos of Sierra Leone's 1999 civil upon the truth it's based upon, and while these nomination for his gritty, measured and per- mercials for, but never got around
war. Forced to mine diamonds that finance the dangerous lapses into blatant tear-jerking are fectly inflected turn as the tragic soul of Danny to actually watching.
bloody conflict, Solomon bides his time, waiting characteristic of exploitation, "Blood Dia- Archer. (This is all to say nothing of Jennifer Most of the top shows on televi-
for the chance to rescue his family. He is freed mond" treads this line carefully. By the end we Connelly, who is marvelous as a journalist and sion now will soon go (or already
by a mysterious white prospector named Danny get the feeling that the genuine intent here was the moral mouthpiece of the film, even if she have gone) on hiatus for at least the
Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed"), to call attention to the devastation funded by has nothing to do for the majority of the film.) rest of the month, but networks
but only so that he can lead Archer to the rare the conflict diamonds Americans continue to "Blood Diamond" is a tale of deception, are banking on reruns to bring in
pink diamond that he buried somewhere in the buy - a message that is foolish to ignore out of intrigue and mass conspiracy in poor, aban- audiences who may have otherwise
jungle. As the brutal war intensifies around resignation, doned Africa - it's been done before, but the been occupied in September. NBC,
them, it becomes painfully clear that Solomon Even considering the gravity of its subject subject certainly hasn't been exhausted. There for example, has made all episodes
and Danny might have to sacrifice their lives to matter and its first-class aesthetics, the stron- is an undeniable truth to what is depicted here; of its popular new drama "Heroes"
reach their goal. gest asset of "Blood Diamond" is its spectacu- while the war in Sierra Leone is over, child sol- available for free online until new
Zwick's work places "Blood Diamond" more lar performances. Hounsou has been lauded diers, mass murder and starvation still flourish episodes return Jan. 22. The show
in line with his most splendid hits - "Glory," in the past for his work in "Gladiator" and "In upon Africa's forsaken land. In an unremark- was recently named one of the top
"The Last Samurai" - than his abysmal misses America," but this is by far his best work. The able year for film, this is certainly among the 10 TV shows of 2006 by the Ameri-
("The Siege"). Though its two-hour, 18-minute humility and depth he brings to his character best. can Film Institute, a big surprise
considering NBC's talked-up new
drama and critical darling "Studio
S E W60 on the Sunset Strip" was left off
Tenacious D channels rock, slapstick gods a:
tures aenmbe cast of charac-
ters (in the spirit of "Lost," which
By JAKE SMITH Toward the end of the album are often seem too literal to fit a musi- know their audience. No lyric has a is also off the air till February) who
Daily Arts Writer some added speed-metal guitars, cal production. hidden importance or a deep mean- discover their superhuman abili-
banging drum solos and vocals This should be one of the dumb- ing. They're as blatant as B.O. in an ties. The plot's lifeblood is recycled
Tenacious D is the hard- courtesy of Dave Grohl of the Foo est albums ever, but Black and Gass elevator, but that's the way they like from comic-book fare now more
est acoustic rock duo ever. Jack Fighters. Tenacious D's epic battle are surprisingly tactful - and they it. It's why they're successful. than 50 years old, but the show
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 5
presents itself in short, calculated
trances, making it all riveting.
"Heroes" will be the show people
talk about once the season finales
roll around, so catch up on it while
Speaking of talk, Fox's "24" will
make its long-awaited season pre-
miere in January. But no matter
what dastardly seductive terrorist
plot Jack Bauer will crush in his
sixth season, you can prepare by
watching the first five seasons,
all out on DVD. It's a show that's
important to watch episodes lin-
early and in close proximity, thus
lending itself especially well to
holiday viewing. You might even
consider watching the 24 episodes
of each season in 24 hours - but
only if getting a better feel for what
ass-kicking, federal agent-style, is
something you're into.
Of course, there are many other
shows, old and new, available on
DVD, and there's almost certainly
something for all those who want
some quality TV action to vitalize
their break. Don't think TV shows
can quite do that? Clearly, you've
winter break to
never seen "Arrested Develop-
ment." Yes, now is finally the time
to experience whatyou've never
seen, despite all the talk you've
been hearing. All three spectacular
seasons of "Arrested" are now on
DVD (and they're pretty cheap,
too).. So whether you choose your
holiday DVD venture wisely ("The
Office," "Seinfeld," The West
Wing," "Curb Your Enthusiasm"),
poorly ("The O.C.," "Survivor,"
"Smallville") or conduct your
immersion online via reruns, be
sure to make TV a part of your holi-
days. It'll pass the time nicely and
will add years to your life.
What more could you want for
- Syed will be watching "24" in
24. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Black's oozing for rock against Satan spells out
machismo and in "Beelzeboss (The Final Show-
undaunted down)." If the D wins, then the '
pride as a slay- Tenacious D devil goes back to hell, but if they s p
er of the rock The Pick of lose then Gass becomes his sex
gods vault him Destiny slave. Sad as it sounds, this hilari-
toward com- Epic ous apex is the most complex and
edy and music longest track of the album. arge
genius. Paired again with his portly Many of the tracks are clearly one topping pizza
heterosexual life partner Kyle Gass supposed to play during specific
(and yes, they play off his flatu- scenes in the movie: "Break In-City t o mr e ir
lent surname in the album), the (Storm the Gate)" and "Car Chase
two deliver the score of their new City." These elements still make
adventure movie "Tenacious D: the flow of the album climactic but 734-741-7777
The Pick of Destiny."
The D have struck back as the
dragon masters of their genre, all U Do you advertise with The Michigan Daily Classified or Display departments?
bybattling Satan, the president and Wart to try something new and exc itg?
Benjamin Franklin. Each of the 15 WhnoaloavrieOiewthwwmcgndlyo?
tracks blasts with bravado as they
overflow with old-fashioned rock
and the occasional comic interlude. g ONLINE* ,
Black and Gass kick ass and take
names just for the hell of it.
'Kickapoo" isvintage D, andpro- P * *
vides a mind-bending beginning to
the album with a fusion of two of
the 'bps' most shameful (but sadly Ca yoo onire oout execivetat 7465for thisexciting newoterandotherdeals'!
indulgent) ballad rockers: Meatloaf
and Ronnie James Dio. Black belts
his autobiographic opus to rock
Not just a name for
and then delivers a simple message
to doubters of the D: "Fuck you."
The song's three sections scream
of "Paradise By the Dashboard
Despite the band's novice front,
fGass shows supreme talent by tear-
ing off some Bach, Mozart and
Beethoven riffs in "Classico"- all
while Black counteracts with his
falsetto and some uniquely D lyrics
like "If you think its time to fucking
rock, and fucking roll, out of con-
trol." The old masters are spinning
in their syphilis-laden graves.04
The self-explanatory "The Gov-
ernment Totally Sucks" is coupled
with an "I want Bill Clinton back"
moment in "Dude (I Totally Miss
You)" - a rare moment of melan-
choly for the twp.
One highlight is the retelling
of Tenacious D's "rise to power" d a l
Sin "History," a song that has been
with them since their early days
on HBO and their lone appearance
as guests on "SNL." Hearing about The Mich gan Daily needs
the obstacles they've overcome just ad desg r
to perform proves they're genuine, gners!
no matter how ridiculous. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why officiate Basketball???
, Very flexible scheduling
.e We provide all training - first time officials welcome
, Uniforms provided and yours to keep!
. Earn $7.15 an hour
Meet new friends
Training clinics at
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and January 9th
at the Intramural
/7\ Please contac
The University of Michigan
D epartment of Recreational Sports
REC., Intramural Sports Program
INTRAMU RA L 734-763-3562