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September 19, 2006 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-19

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 9

'Simpsons' back on DVD
By Michael Passman
Daily Arts Writer u

Child's plav

Matt Groening sure has this DVD
thing down. "The Simpsons" cre-
ator continues
to pump out
season after
season of The
DVD sets and Simpsons:
his obsessive The
Uter-action- Complete
figure-collect- Eighth
ing fanbase Season
continues to Fox
eat them up.
So with
the release of "The Simpsons: The
Complete Eighth Season," Groen-
ing didn't change a thing. The 25-
episode set is in the same format as
the past few DVD releases, but with
Itchy, Scratchy and the late Poochie
involved, the fanboys have no reason
to complain.
Along with Homer's foray into
after-school comedy shorts, season
eight is loaded with other memorable
episodes and characters in what's
probably the last great "Simpsons"
season. Homer starts bootlegging
alcohol in the face of death-by-cata-
pult in "Homer vs. the Eighteenth
Amendment." John Waters guest
stars as Bart's flamboyant role model
in "Homer's Phobia." And Albert
Brooks voices Homer's 007 villain

of a new boss, Hank Scorpio, in
"You Only Move Twice."
As always, every episode has
audio commentary from Groen-
ing and assorted writers, directors,
cast and even the occasional guest
star. The show's commentaries
have become the gold standard for
TV DVDs, and that doesn't change
here. Loyal fans will appreciate
the insight that makes these over-
looked commentaries so worth-
while, although people with lives
may not be so enthusiastic about
the innards of a cartoon. A few
illustrated commentaries, deleted
scenes, promotional spots and a
featurette on a real-life "Simpsons"

house found out the extra features.
Maybe the features and layouts
haven't really changed over the past
few DVD sets but there's no reason
to tamper with perfection. With the
17th season premiering just weeks
ago, it's nice to be able to relive the
days when the show had some heart,
Homer wasn't completely retarded
and Bart was more than a collection
of snarky one-liners, but that's what
its come to.
The show has certainly changed
overthe years - thankfully,Poochie
has not.
Show: ****
Special Features: ****

FOREST CASEY/Daily
Faithful members of the cult of Chuck Klosterman made their way to Borders Books and
Music on East Liberty Street last night for the pop culture writer's book signing, despite
the dreary weather (which Klosterman parlayed into a joke). The music scribe/sportswriter/
current Esquire columnist stopped in Ann Arbor in support of his latest effort,"Klosterman
IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous ideas." Klosterman read an anecdote from
"IV" - the title a tribute to Led Zeppelin - before taking questions from the crowd.

'Shark' bites off too much

By Mark Schultz
Daily Arts Writer
v 1'11E11'1
William Shatner recently used
"Boston Legal" to gain back a
good deal
of the cred- $hark
ibility he lost
from those Thursdays at
Priceline.com 10 p.m.
commercials. CBS
So it's not
surprising that now-obscure James
Woods is trying to do the same
thing with his new show "Shark."
Woods plays Sebastian Stark, a
vicious criminal defense attorney
who has a crisis of conscience and
takes on arelatively innocuous new
job as a prosecutor. Think of him
as an uglier Jerry Maguire, except
Stark certainly retains most of his
former immorality even after his

transformation.
"Shark" isn't attempting any-
thing new. Its basic premise
- that lawyers will bend every
law to win a case, despite their
own ethics - isn't a novel point,
but the appeal of the show lies
in its performances, not its story.
Woods plays the smart-ass Stark
with a perfect balance of grit and
heart, as he fights for a case and
for his daughter's affection with
equal enthusiasm.
Also noteworthy is Jeri Ryan,
who plays District Attorney Jes-
sica Devlin, a tough female role
not new to her or anybody else,
but necessary to give the show a
sense of balance. As Woods's one-
dimensional backup, however,
she seems to have no major role
but to serve as a target for Stark's
razor-sharp wit. She fails to add
any depth to the show, and insight
into the personal lives of latte-sip-

FIASCO
Continued from page 5
of the beats are done by produc-
ers on Lupe's record label, 1st &
15th. The album mainly features
Lupe on his own, except for one
verse featuring executive pro-
ducer Jay-Z and vocals contrib-
uted by Jill Scott, Gemini and
Sarah Green.
His range extends beyond the
usual scope of most MCs. Wit-

ness the touching longing of
a father's love in "He Say She
Say" or the zombified post-life of
a gangster in "The Cool." Still,
the most stunning song on the
album is "American Terrorism,"
where Lupe gives his view on
America's destructive treatment
of minorities, immigrants and
foreign countries. He comes out
blazing from the beginning say-
ing "We came through the storm
/ Nooses on our necks / And a
DAILY ARTS.
WERE SICK.
AHHHHH FALL.

smallpox blanket to keep us
warm / On a 747 on the Pentagon
lawn / Wake up! The alarm clock
is connected to a bomb."
A debut album reaching the
apex of commercial and socially
conscious hip hop, getting the kind
of universal exposure that greats
like Mos Def, Pharaoh Monch and
Talib Kweli deserved, is pretty
damn impressive. Lupe Fiasco has
established himself as an incredibly
bright star. Maybe even a savior.

"Hey, remember me?"
ping secretaries and upstart young
attorneys will not develop in any
good direction.
"Shark" might find a unique
place among law shows if it spends
less time on tired legal stereotypes
and focuses on developing Stark's
personal life. Lawyer shows are as
common as lawyers themselves,
but these days a simple family
show is an unorthodox concept.

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