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December 06, 2006 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-06

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 5A

Why we love to
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At least six of the people in this picture are celebrities. We challenge you to find them all.

Requiem for a dream

DailyArts Writer
Inequality, a nation at war, immigration prob-
lems and an unpopular president - maybe the
world hasn't changed so much since1968. Though
these problems still plague
S us today, they were also the * **
pet issues of presidential
5 candidate Bobby Kennedy Bobby
in the late '60s. Would his At Showcase
presidency have produced a W TC
different world if he hadn't
been assassinated on the campaign trail? Writer/
director Emilio Estevez's "Bobby" is an ode to
that hopeful ideal.
It's an ambitious project. "Bobby" sets up Ken-
nedy as a demi-god, single-handedly able to bring
together the races, stop the Vietnam War and
right all wrongs. Estevez ("The Mighty Ducks")
layers news shots of Vietnam, bombs falling, race
riots, Dr. King's assassination and Kennedy's
campaign between Bobby's speeches, making
him out to be the hope of the nation, a man who
could change the country for the better.
"Bobby" convincingly sets up Kennedy's effect
on the nation by following the lives of ordinary
people visiting, living or working at L.A.'s Ambas-
sador Hotel on the day of the California primary

and his assassination. A too-vast array of A, B
and C-List celebrities filter through the movie,
including Demi Moore ("G. I. Jane") as a boozy
lounge singer, Anthony Hopkins ("Silence of the
Lambs") as the retired door manager and Lind-
say Lohan ("Mean Girls") as a young girl about
to marry a friend to save him from the draft
(Elijah Wood, "Lord of the Rings"). Even teen
stars Joshua Jackson (TV's "Dawson's Creek"),
Nick Cannon ("The Underclassmen") and Shia
LaBeouf ("Holes") appear as idealistic campaign
Despite an overwhelming stream of recogniz-
able talent, each role demands sufficient screen
time and a decent storyline - but the rich cast
is stuck with disjointed subplots that hardly get
resolved. The characters aren't given much to do
and, since many don't get the screen time neces-
sary, they demand little emotional investment.
Despite these setbacks and dialogue limita-
tions, some actors, including William H. Macy
("Edmond") and Helen Hunt ("Twister") bring
substance to their roles, transforming parts of
the movie from its inherent "pet-project" nature
to a slice-of-life experience. Freddy Rodriguez
(TV's "Six Feet Under") plays a busboy involved
in two larger storylines. His racist employer
(Christian Slater, "True Romance") won't let
him off to see the Dodgers' game, so he gives his

tickets to Edward (Laurence Fishbourne, "The
Matrix"), who, in appreciation, draws a crown
on the wall, writing "the once and future king"
- quite a thank-you for free tickets. Though he
and Jose have a strong bond, the words heavy-
handedly allude to the King Arthur legend
- appropriate given the Kennedys' Camelot leg-
acy. One of the movie's most effective moments
is that same wall and quote later splattered with
Kennedy's blood.
The only character uncast is Kennedy him-
self, as Estevez rightly depicts him through stock
footage alone. Though there is a body stand-in
seen walking through doors, Kennedy's face is
only seen from old recordings. Showing a look-a-
like's face would only take away from Kennedy's
unmatchable quality. So when Cannon is called
in for a meeting with the big-name politician,
it's behind a closed door. We don't ever get to see
Bobby's face, but we certainly witness the won-
der and joy on Cannon's as he walks back out.
Even the assassination scene is shot through
Bobby's eyes - the camera moves along the
hands and smiles of his well-wishers, and then,
suddenly, a gun. After all the optimism and
expectation Estevez places on this man's shoul-
ders, the moments that follow the gunshot are
truly gut-wrenching. "Bobby's" audience, like its
characters, feels his death acutely.

A s of late, Britney S
girl pudenda has been sme
all over the online gossip s
TMZ. What Would Tyler I
Do. Perez Hilton. The Sup
Multiple blogs. I have
seen more photographs
of this specific celebrity
crotch than I have ever
desired to. And, obvi-
ously, now I have to talk
about it.
It seems like the
Daily Arts pop- culture
column series can't go
a calendar year with-
out at least one Britney
Spears-dedicated installm
multiple, superficial news
inches - see Amanda And
brilliant column on Ms. Sp
rapid degeneration (In def
Britney, 9/19/05). I'll admi
her "Greatest Hits" music
collection is one of the few
I've contributed to my apa
ment's entertainmentco
- alongside "Reservoir Do
"Quills," appropriately - b
not so much a staff-collect
of Ms. Spears that brings h
Daily page time and again.
Is it possible not to talk
pop star when she marries
talented dancer-cum-rapp
father of two other childre
pops out two kids of her o
year? Even when she effec
stops touring and making
Of course, that last bit bein
she was once best known f
Well, that and the impossil
best immortalized - along
her optimistic, some woul
ignorant, naiveta - in a Ch
Klosterman interview fort
magazine. Don't forget the
panying by James White p
But the answer to the qu
tion is yes. Sure, Spears is
the best-selling female pop
ists of all time. She has apt
line (featuring the Curious
Fantasy scents) and had, at
point, a promising restaura
cept (NyLa). But she hasn't
actively working on any on
these career or business ve
of late, and those breasts, t
- well, things happen who:
have kids. Why is she still f
Why do we reward her wit
ther attention? Maybe a re
letter to the editor, in resp
to Punit Mattoo's gossip co
last week, (Intoxication, se
divorce, 11/29/06) is right i
ing that Spears fulfills her;
public figure by climbing b
after unceremoniously tun
down (though it remains to
whether it's to any respect
level). But if anything, her:
behavior should have dimi
her dwarf-star-scale celebr
Instead Spears's face and n
body parts are more visible
than ever in the media.
And it's because we love
gossip - but the online gos
just love it more. We go tra
for this stuff, they put it on
devour it, they update som
- it's a vicious, celebrity-fu

pears's cycle.
I've-car- Previously, to get your daily or
, white- weekly gossip dose, it was neces-
ared saryto prowl the supermarket
ites. checkout aisle. Buying tabloids,
Durden my mom always told me, is kind
erficial. of a shameful thing - this as she
slipped a copy of National
Enquirer under USA Today
at Meijer. There's also the
more recent rash of cheap
celebrity weeklies (the
y American version of OK!,
the glorious, 2-cents-a-
copy wonder of InTouch
Weekly), but even these
KIMBERLY are relegated to bathroom
CHOU reading, or maybe avery
quick minute at Borders
ent of while you pretend tobe unable to
paper find some obscure culture maga-
rade's zine (same aisle, opposite shelves).
'ears What's so great about these gossip
ense of sites is that you can peruse them
t that in the sanctity of your own home.
video You can divulge in every sordid
'DVDs detail about famous people you
rt- might have never even heard of
etion Lionel ichie's daughter is dating
gs" and some guy named Brody? Find out
ut it's about it. A cast member of"Entou-
lve love
ter to the
about a Getting all
r(an crotchety - online
n) and
wn in a and elsewhere.
g what rage" might have a coke habit?
or. Look it up. Some of these sites are
ble body updated more frequently than
with newsblogs; it's gossip 24/7. You can
d say look at pictures of Britney Spears's
tuck crotch anytime you want - and no
Esquire one, except maybe your roommate,
accom- will be around to judge you.
hoto- Gossip sites are the new online
pornography. As accessibility
tes- has increased, the subject matter
one of hasn't become less shameful, it's
art- just easier to hide how much you
erfume enjoy it.
and The aforementioned TMZ,
one WWTDD, Perez Hilton, The
tnt con- Superficial. Pink is the New Blog.
'been Hollywood Tuna. IShad to reset
i of my Internet browser homeage *
ntures to a newspaper site when I real-
hose abs ized I spent more time on Gawker
n you (which is one of the lesser offend-
famous? ers, although it also bills itself ass
h fur- media gossip site) than anywhere
cent else. At one point, I couldn't
onse tell you exactly what happened
lumn with Hezbollah this summer,
x and but Brangelina's baby? All about
n say- it. And I can tell you the pros
role as a and cons of the new CondeNast
ack up building's cafeteria. And how over-
bling rated the Meatpacking District
be seen has become. And Lindsay Lohan's
able weekend activities. I felt like I was
recent dying on the inside. Dying.
nished Anyway, maybe it wouldn't be
ity. as awkward for your roommate to
ether walk in on you while you're on the
now D-listed webpage instead of, say,
trashy Then again, exactly why you're
sip sites looking at Britney Spears's crotch
wling shots might be harder to explain.
line, we
e more - Chou, too, wants to go Brazilian.
teled E-mail her at kimberch@umich.edu.

*Stone's overlooked tribute new to DVD

By IMRAN SYED Cage, "National Treasure") and Will
Daily Arts Writer Jimeno (Michael Pena, "Crash"). As
officers of the Port Authority Police
Considering the indelibility of Department, they were among the
the material it dealt with and its cel- first responders to the scene and
ebrated direc- - rushed in to rescue those trapped in
tor, "World FILM: the flaming towers. But before they
Trade Center" even make it to the elevator, one
might right- SPECIAL tower - then the other - collapses,
fully be called FEATURES: pinning them under tons of wreck-
one of the most age with almost no hope of rescue.
overlooked McLoughlin and Jimeno spend
films of 2006. World Trade the whole day trapped under the
At its release Center rubble, bones broken, throats
last August, Paramount parched. This suffocating, dark
the film posted berth gives the majority of the film
only modest its setting. As the nation prepares
box-office scores, despite a general- for war, the film still involves itself
ly favorable critical response. Con- in only the struggle of the two police
sidering the sorrow and despair we officers and their families, one very
have come to associate with Ameri- small part of the world that day, but
ca's most tragic day, it isn't a surprise the most important for us to consid-
that many audiences stayed away. er now. In its ironically low-key nar-
But Oliver Stone's ("JFK," "Pla- rative (this from the madman who
toon," "Born on the Fourth of July") gave us the brazen nihilism of "Nat-
film isn't about the unimaginable ural Born Killers"), "World Trade
horror our nation was introduced Center" succeeds in doing what
Wo that day; instead, it's the harrow- perhaps no film about this subject
ing, yet uplifting story of two of just ever will again - creating a lasting,
20 people to be rescued from the heartfelt portrayal of the innocent
wreckage at the World Trade Cen- victims of an act of unqualifiable
ter site - John McLoughlin (Nicolas villainy.

It's qu
and sent
Trade C
never exi
the poli
tor has b
the easy,
these cla
ed in the
A na
edition, a

iet and beautiful, touching production process. The process of
imental. In short, "World recreating the largest pile of rubble
enter" is everything we the world has ever seen is discussed
pected from Stone. Indeed, step by step, as are the origins of
tically outspoken direc- the story. The most noteworthy fea-
teen criticized for "taking turette, "Oliver Stone's New York,"
way out" with this film by isn't about the film's development,
all but the most waning but that of its director. Stone was
of politics. Stone addresses born and raised in New York, and
ims in an interview includ- this featurette provides uncanny
two-disc commemorative insight into the role the city played
in making him depressed and politi-
cally ambivalent early on, and ulti-
tional tragedy, mately, a brash Vietnam vet who
went to film school to become a true
Hugh the eyes cinematic visionary.
Stone also discusses the difficul-
Oliver Stone. ties he endured in working "World
Trade Center" through the restric-
tive studio system, saying that
dmitting that he did mean "United 93" paved the way for his

for the film to be completely apo-
litical. While the director doesn't
shy away from criticizing the Bush
Administration and the Iraq War
(calling it "the wrong war"), he says
those blunders shouldn't dominate
our memory of Sept.11.
Other than Stone's interview,
the commemorative DVD also con-
tains several making-of featurettes,
each detailing different sides of the

film and his film will pave the way
for many others. And the others will
be different from this quiet, unopin-
ionated effort. As we move further
from that still surreal tragedy and
deeper into the disasters engaged
in response, enduring, introspec-
tive films about the aftermath of the
event will soon emerge.
And listening to Stone, it seems he
hasn't yet said his last word, either.

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