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February 12, 2007 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-12

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3A - Friday, February 12, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

'Hannibal' cash cow
running on empty

By SHERI JANKELOVITZ
For the Daily
"Hannibal Rising" is yet anoth-
er attempt to
nilk the "The
Silence of the
Lambs" fran- Hannibal
hise dry. This .i.n
I ie, ithe focus Risig
is on the origins At Quality16
of Hannibal and Showcase
Lecter, one of MGM
cinema's most
notorious killers. The end result?
Slicer boredom.
Relative unknown Gaspard
Ulliel does his best Anthony Hop-
hins impression as Hannibal, but
lre fails to invoke any of the impla-
able evil that made the character
egendary in the first place. The
ilm chronicles Hannibal's descent
into madness, beginning with him
witnessing the murder of his par-
ents in a dogfight between Ger-
mo and Russian soldiers and his
sister Mischa becoming dinner for
a sadistic German SS wannabe and
his flunkies.
Eight years after this trauma,
Hannibal flees an orphanage to
find his remaining family. He
moves in with his aunt (Gong Li,
"Memoirs of a Geisha"), a Japanese
voman who lost all of her family
in Hiroshima and now spends her
lays dispensing wisdom to Han-
nibal in the form of such lines as
The past is a knife - it can hurt
err," and teaching him the ways of
Ite ninja.
NatRurally, after learning the
.rys of the sword, Hannibal seeks
t destroy the lives of the men

responsible for Mischa's death.
Hannibal is portrayed as the
victim here, a man who kills only
to mend the wounds of his past.
Yes, he's a murderer, but all of his
victims "deserve" to die for being
such horrible war criminals. The
once-complex villain is reduced to
a caricature, a slasher movie killer
lurking in the shadows.
Thomas Harris, the author of
"The Silence of the Lambs," is
responsible for the script, though
you wonder just how much money
he was given to churn out such
laughable product. Heavy-handed
dialogue like "Once a year I polish
his armor with oil of clove" and
"There is no word for what he is
now - except monster" are deliv-
ered with such seriousness that
we appreciate the actors' ability to
keep a straight face.
Should the audience feel sym-
pathy for Lecter or be repulsed by
him? The movie has no answer. Yet
it's hard to feel sympathy for a man
who takes such delight in killing
and eating his victims.
"Hannibal Rising" will neither
scare nor interest the average mov-
iegoer. While "The Silence of the
Lambs" relies on Hannibal's quiet
eeriness as he spends much of the
moviebehindbars,this filmassaults
the audience with gruesome killing
after gruesome killing.
In a time when horror films are
all gore and no plot, the character
of Hannibal has remained a breath
of fresh air for the mere factthathis
past and madness had been unex-
plained until now. And that is what
the filmmakers behind this tragedy
really should have kept in mind.

'Grizzly'
can't fuel
fire at Pi*g
By MATT EMERY
DailyArts Writer
The last time Grizzly Bear made an appear-
ance in Detroit, they called the crowd the "least
attentive" of their entire tour.
The show, at St. Andrews Hall last October,
was slammed on their website. They called out
how loud and restless the
audience was during their Grizzly Bear
opening set.
So when the band rolled Thursday
into The Blind Pig Thurs- At The Blind Pig
day night, it was a bit of sur-
prise that they even ventured back to the Great
Lakes state at all. The question of the night was,
how would they handle a jammed and noisy bar
like The Blind Pig if they hated St. Andrews?
Well, better than expected. Following the
success of their 2006 effort Yellow IHouse,
Grizzly Bear brought to the Pig their reserved
vocal style, crisp lyrics and soft, drifting guitar
rhythms.
The experimental prog-rockers Dirty Projec-
tors kicked things off, appearing literally out of
the crowd from the back of the room with gui-
tars and drumsticks in hand. The lead singer
came out with an alarming parade of screaming
and cackling - he sounded like a man being run
over by a cheese grater.
Although most of the music was danceable
and upbeat, the crowd couldn't have been more
lackluster. A few head bobs and complaints
about the plaid-shirted lead's vocal abilities
flowed through the venue. If Grizzly Bear was
hoping for a less chatty crowd, they picked the
wrong opening act to precede them.

6
0

Although solid in the
studio, 'Grizzly Bear'
shoots par live.
However, the modest Brooklyn group,
dressed in standard indie attire that featured
blue zip-ups, maroon sweaters and collared
shirts - seen earlier sipping herbal tea by their
merchandise table - appeared on stage almost
magically. Lead vocalist Ed Droste even made
the comment, "No dramatic entry. We're just
here."
After guitarist Daniel Rossen spent time
wrapping a pink bandana around his mic to
avoid getting his lips shocked by the electricity,
he spent several moments attempting to quiet
the talkative crowd, giving awkward glances

and crooked smiles to the rest of his bandmates,
signaling there might be trouble ahead.
But for the mostpart, the Pig audience obeyed
only themselves.
The group opened with "Easier," the first
track from their Pitchfork-approved Yellow
House. The song was practically a carbon copy
of the album version, though sadly without the
trademark banjo or extravagant production
flourishes. Yet the band seemed at home playing
a song without all the fluff.
Though many of the night's songs were much
louder than their album counterparts, maybe
in part trying to drown-out the loud crowd
effect, most translated fairly well to the stage.
The more raucous "Lullaby" seamlessly moved
into an outstanding take of "Knife." As one of
the few songs that drew any sort of real emo-
tion from the audience, "Knife" had most of the
crowd harmonizing right along with the band
and elicited a few cheers as the opening guitar
chords echoed through the Pig.
A few tracks didn't have quite the transfer-
ability of others into the mostly-full bar. "Colo-
rado" sounded helpless,with Droste repetitively
chanting, "Colorado, Colorado." Later the song
turned into what sounded like a shitty 311ocean-
side ballad that ached through the increasingly
chatty crowd.
"On a Neck, On a Spit" injected some much-
needed energy into the crowd with sharp lyrics,
louder than expected guitar hysterics and spir-
ited drum work that had the audience swaying
right along, clapping and snapping when Droste
prompted them to.
Finally, there was vitality coming from the
seemingly lifeless band - but then the show
ended. No encore. Just a few simple goodbyes
as ambient music filled the bar and the lights
came up. Most of the crowd seemed confused
by the action, while a good majority just turned
around and left.
And that was it. No grand exit. Justsome sim-
ple indie rockthat impressed some, but left most
heading for the doors.
- Go to michigandaily.com
for more concert photos.

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/ The Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear play The Blind Pig Thursday night.

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