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November 22, 2006 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 5

times three
Daily Arts Writer
In the two-hour series premiere of "Day-
break," the same day replays three times. There
are three identical sunrises,
three Dodgers games with
the same score and three
similar attempts to evade Daybreak
the police. Although the
concept and repeated scenes Wednesdays
may seem like the writers at 9 p.m.
have already run out of fresh ABC
narratives, but instead the
drama is refreshingly intelligent with a com-
plicated plotline full of small, crucial details.
Therein lies the genius of the show.
As the anticipated replacement for the wide-
ly-popular "Lost" during its 12-week break,
the series seems to have adopted many of its
predecessor's winning traits. The serial style,
big-budget production value and mysterious
overtone of "Lost" are highly apparent in its
The show also borrows heavily from the 1993
film "Groundhog Day," in which an unpleasant
day is relived over and over by star Bill Murray.
While "Daybreak" has none of the comedic ele-
ments of that movie, it still owes a great deal in
terms of concept to the hit film.
The show stars Taye Diggs ("How Stella Got
Her Groove Back") as detective Brett Hooper,
framed for the murder of a state district attor-
ney despite a rock-solid alibi. Hooper relives

Robert Altman, 81 was an important figure in American cinema.
lman is dead at81

Television drama: where all fashion styles converge to become one great, vague entity.

the day in which the authorities track him
down in repeated daja vu. But he reacts differ-
ently each time, setting off a new string of cir-
cumstances. Repeating the same scenario with
altered actions allows the viewer to play detec-
tive, noting the differences from the previous
day that might illuminate the truth behind
Hooper's predicament.
Perennially on the cusp of fame, Diggs's
screen presence is ideal for this role. He's com-
manding enough to perform various acts of
heroics and anonymous enough not to distract
from the central drama. He ably balances Wes-
ley Snipes gruff and Heath Ledger vulnerabil-
ity; this will possibly earn Diggs the leading
man respect he deserves. A sturdy cast of sup-
porting actors adds dimension to "Daybreak,"
but Diggs is clearly the foundation on which
the show relies.

To complement the drama's star power and
well-written plotline, the creators applied
blockbuster film production value to the heav-
ily promoted series. Some of the scenes fea-
ture the orange glow of the Mexican vistas in
"Traffic," while others are reminiscent of "The
Fugitive." A wide breadth of settings keeps
the show visually appealing and successfully
abates the squirming of viewers with short
attention spans.
The only glaring issue with the show is how
it will manage to cover only one day without
completely frustrating the fans.
Even if it does transcend this major obstacle,
can "Daybreak" feasibly ever have a second sea-
son? It's up for debate, but the potential longev-
ity of "Lost" was initially questioned due to its
restricted setting, and still, that show remains
intriguing and popular as ever.

Sirius looking for college radio audience

Daily Arts Writer
Most college kids don't turn to
radio as their primary means for
music or entertainment - at least
when they don't have to. Fewer
actually pay for it, and rightfully so.
Unless you're commuting, you're not
spending much time ina car, so pay-
ing for a pricey satellite radio service
probably isn't a necessity. That's the
basic principle driving Sirius Satel-
lite Radio's new Internet-only ser-
vice, which allows people to listen
to a portion of Sirius's programming
without buying new hardware.
"We think that it has great appeal
to the college audience in that many
college students don't have cars, but
they love the wide range of music
channels that we offer," said Steve
Blatter, senior vice president of
music programming at Sirius. At
$12.95 a month (the same fee that

regular satellite listeners pay) and
no need to buy any additional hard-
ware, Sirius is looking to expand its
customer base to non-traditional
radio listeners and introduce cus-
tomers to satellite radio.
As the No. 2 player in the sat-
ellite radio market since it was
formed, Sirius is looking to broaden
its reach and separate itself from
rival XM Satellite Radio. By target-
ing untapped areas of the market,
like college students, Sirius seems
poised to make a run at XM in the
coming years. Currently, Sirius is
acquiring more new members per
month than XM is.
Sirius has taken an approach far
different than XM, appealing to a
younger audience with a greater
focus on edgier content, like Howard
Stern's stations and artist-produced
stations like Eminem's Shade 45.
"A lot of their channels are more
like jukeboxes," Blatter said. "(Sir-

ius has) a lot of celebrity involve-
ment whether it be them producing
channels here, or hosting shows on
a regular basis."
The new Internet service includes
75 ofSirius's stations. Two are run by
Howard Stern -which have become
the service's top draw. Also absent is
the extensive live sports coverage
that regular Sirius users get.
75 satellite
stations at your
fingertips. Sirius?
The real question is whether
previously uninterested consumers
will be won over by Sirius's accessi-
bility. For $9.99 a month, Rhapsody
Online offers a subscription music
service which allows their subscrib-

ers to download and store massive
amounts of music from their library,
on demand. The new Microsoft
Zune Marketplace has a similar sub-
scription-based service for $14.99
a month that allows subscribers
to transfer the music to their Zune
portable player as well. For the mp3-
obsessed college student this maybe
a more appealing option.
Sirius is banking on its unique
offerings which extend beyond sim-
ply music.
"(Sirius has)compelling, engaging
personalities that present this music
to you which makes it a lot more
interestingto learn about newsongs,
and creates that emotional connec-
tion you have when somebody is
speaking to you, versus playing it in
the background," Blatter said.
Only time will tell if premium
radio can persist outside of the aver-
age nine-to-fivers car, but Sirius
seems to think it can.

ert Altman, a five-time Academy
Award nominee for best director
whose vast, eclectic filmography
ranged from the dark war comedy
"M-A-S-H" to the Hollywood farce
"The Player" to the British murder
mystery "Gosford Park," has died of
complications from cancer. He was
He died Monday at Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center, surrounded by his
wife and children.
While he was famous for his out-
spokenness, which caused him to
fall in and out of favor in Hollywood
over his nearly six decades in the
industryhe was perhaps evenbetter
known for his influential method of
assembling large casts and weaving
in and out of their story lines, using
mung tracking shots and intention-
ally having dialogue overlap.
His most recent example of this
technique, this year's "A Prairie
Home Companion," starred such
varied performers as Lily Tomlin
and Lindsay Lohan.
"Mr. Altman loved making mov-
ies. He loved the chaos of shooting
and the sociability of the crew and
actors - he adored actors - and he
loved the editing room and he espe-
cially loved sitting in a screening
room and watching the thing over
and over with other people," Keil-
lor, who also wrote and co-starred
in the film, told The AP. "He didn't
care for the money end'of things,
he didn't mind doing publicity, but
when he was working he was in
Altman received best-direc-
tor Oscar nominations for "M-A-
S-H," "Nashville," "The Player,"
"Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park."
No director ever got more nomina-
tions without winning a competi-
tive Oscar, though four other men -
Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese,

Clarence Brown and King Vidor
tied with Altman at five.
Despite his longevity and the
many big-name stars who've
appeared in his films, Altman
famously bucked the studio system
and was often critical of its execu-
tives. One ofhisbest-received films,
the insiderish "The Player," follows
the travails of a studio executive
being blackmailed by a writer.
But amid all those critical hits
were several commercial duds
including "The Gingerbread Man"
in 1998, "Cookie's Fortune" in 1999
and "Dr. T & the Women" in 2000.
His reputation for arrogance and
hard drinking _ a habit he eventu-
ally gave up _ hindered his efforts
to raise money for his idiosyncratic
Julian Fellowes, the Oscar-win-
ning screenwriter of 2001's "Gus-
ford Park," called the director "a
force of nature."
"A lifelong rebel, he managed
to make the movie industry do his
bidding, and there are very, very
few people who can claim that. He
altered both my career and my per-
ceptions, vastly for the better, and
no matter how long I live, I will die
grateful to him."
Born Feb. 20, 1925, Altman hung
out in his teen years at the jazz
clubs of Kansas City, Mo., where his
father was an insurance salesman.
Married three times, Altman
is survived by 'his wife, Kathryn
Reed Altman, and six children. He
also had 12 grandchildren and five
Although Altman was known for
his independent streak, he was also
a generous-spirited man, said Sally
Kirkland, who appeared as herself
in "The Player."
people," she said, "very warm, very
approachable, so down-to-earth."

'Call of Duty 3' too close to predecessor

DailyArts Writer
With their latest WWII Nazi kill-fest install-
ment, "Call of Duty 3," Activision has crafted
another solid first-person
shooterfor the Xbox 360. ._
Setin 1944 Paris, thegame
transfers between various all of
Allied forces trying to retake Duty 3
Paris from the Nazis. The Xbox 360
story is not a particularly Activision
memorable one, which hin-
ders the overall experience. The "Call of Duty"
franchise has patented itself on top-notch pre-
sentation and complete immersion through com-
pelling storylines and polished cut-scenes.
Visually the game is spectacular. The soldier
and gun models are highly detailed and shine
on an HDTV. Although the environments aren't
as impressive as the player models, they don't
detract from the experience. The player anima-
tions have greatly improved since "Call of Duty

2," which makes for satisfying Nazi slaying.
The game feels similar to "Call of Duty 2,"
which launched with the Xbox 360 last Novem-
ber. And even though that game is one of the best
Xbox 360 games to date, "Call of Duty 3" is ulti-
mately too similar to its predecessor to a memo-
rable game.
What is my motivation
(for killing Nazis)?

ending up in New Orleans may be enough for
someone to spring for amodestlyupdated "Mad-
den," but in "Call of Duty," they're still Nazis. A
more accurate title would be "Call of Duty 2.5."
A few subtle changes have been added, includ-
ing drivable vehicles and additions to the weap-
on repertoire. The vehicles allow for a few new
gameplay scenarios which help to liven up the
sometimes repetitive shoot-em-up formula.
The game's multiplayer mode has made the
greatest strides in the last year. Multiplayer on
previous editions wasn't an appropriate comple-
ment to the far-better single-player campaign.
For "Call of Duty 3," multiplayer on Xbox Live
has been expanded to 25 player matches and is a
perfect compliment to the campaign mode.
Even though the franchise hasn't shown much
growth between titles, the "Call of Duty" fran-
chise and "Call of Duty 3" remain near the top
of the military shooter genre. One can only hope
that they'll put some more development time into
the inevitable "Call of Duty 4," as the franchise is
too engaging to let it stagnate.

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