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October 17, 2007 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-10-17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 9A

ARTS IN BRIEF
FILM
A decent 'Season'
for the kids
"The Final Season"
At Quality 16 and Showcase
Yari Film Group
Every once in a while a movie
comes around that reminds us
why we love the great American
game of baseball. "The Final Sea-
son" isn't quite that movie, but its
efforts are commendable.
The film begins slowly in the
template of a classic sports movie.
There's uplifting theme music
(prettymuchstolenfrom"D2:The
Mighty Ducks") and a montage of
small-town America - the plains,
cows and, of course, baseball. The
19-time state champion Norway
Tigers are joined by new coach
Kent Stock (Sean Astin, "Rudy")
in tandem with the struggle to
keep the school frombeingclosed
down because of money. Sure
enough, the ruling dictates that
the school will close, ushering in
the team's "final season." Creative
title, I know.
The movie isn't original or
particularly well made, but that's
hardly the point. The film thrives
on its sense of community. And
it's almost unfair to have Astin
headline. Despite the guy's lazy
and unconvincing acting, having
played Rudy, he's the entertain-
ment icon of inspiration.
Stereotypical and quaint, "The
Final Season" doesn't quite do it
like "The Sandlot" or even "Rook-
ie of the Year," but its hometown
nostalgia and sentimentality
make it almost worthwhile.
NOAHDEAN STAHL
MUSIC
'Whateva' it is, it's
simply awful
Federation
It's Whateva
Reprise
Federation's It's Whateva is a
mess even at first look: The album
cover boasts middle-finger wav-
ing and a front man with early
*NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick
pineapple hair. The sound var-
ies, at times a mixture of death-
metal screaming and rap to bad
R&B and hip hop. Super-violent,
testosterone-heavy lyrics charac-
terize the songs. Consider "Break
Your Face": "I do drugs and I tear
down shows / It's the life of a rap
star / I got hos." Similar lyrical
profundity can be found in "Col-
lege Girl," with the clever pairing
of "college" and "knowledge."
Hilarious skits could have
saved face for Federation but
instead yield only audio clips of
someone holding in a joint hit and
opening a beer can.
Federation leaves the machis-
mo and drugs in "When I Was Yo
Man" to bring up a sensitive sub-
ject: the loss of one's ho. Its fail-
ure climaxes with the utterance
of "Damn, miss dat pussy."
KAREN STACEVICH

FILM
A bouquet of
mainstream
'Flowers'
Sean Hayes
Flowering Spade
Ambient Egg
For the uninitiated, San Fran-
cisco acoustic artist Sean Hayes is
best summed up by the unkempt
hair ofthe Diag harmonica player
with only a fraction of his casual
charm. Listening to Hayes's lat-
est attempt, Flowering Spade, you
might feel transplanted inside
a Banana Republic, J. Crew or
Starbucks. Hayes's music pur-
veys an innocuous consumerist
calm without the messy com-
plications of profundity. This is
best construed through Hayes's
voice, itself having a sort of soft
amorphous texture, eschewing
range for subdued vibrato on "All
for Love."
While Hayes lets the guitar do
most of the talking, the mahogany
isn't saying much - simple, repet-
itive melodies perfect for sipping
iced tea. "Cool Hand" and "Sufi-
drop" bring a banjo into the fray,
the latter the most challenging of
the album for the addition of dou-
ble-dubbing and a clap-track.
Hayes's occassionally inane
lyrics are better left in the back-
ground. He unironically pro-
claims "he has a flowering spade
growing out of his chest full of
magic and healing." Study away
to the magic-filled Spade, but be
wary of its banal wizardry. He
comes to The Blind Pig Nov. 1.
JERRY GORDINIER

DAISIES
From page 5A
have to use it. Indeed, as an adult,
Ned applies his magic touch
mostly to withered fruit for his
piemaking operation. That is,
until detective Emerson Cod (Chi
McBride, "Boston Public") discov-
ers Ned's ability and realizes his
temporary powers of rejuvenation
are perfect for resuscitating mur-
der victims just long enough to
ask them their killer's name.
Things get messy, though,
when one of Ned's first "subjects"
happens to be Charlotte "Chuck"
Charles (Anna Friel), with whom
Ned shared his first kiss. And
since our boy has no apparent
penchant for necrophilia, he has
no choice but to let his first love
live. of course, Chuck can't touch
Ned, which should make for an
interesting courtship.
Elements of bizarre surrealism
in "Daisies" shouldn't be surpris-
ing - the director of the first epi-
sode was Barry Sonnenfeld, and
he paints "Daisies" with the same

COURTESY OF ABC

So. Precious. (And he can bring the dead back to life !)

COLODNER
From page 5A
Since the University does not
fund it, UMS needs to be savvy
to survive at such a spectacular
scale.
With economic incentives
for students (a low-income,
fairly racially diverse crowd)
already in place, I wondered if
the student attendance UMS
had already reached was the de
facto limit. Was UMS somehow
at capacity?
Billmann described the non-
economicwaysUMSencourages
student attendance - marketing
through Facebook and related
e-mail groups, for instance. She
believes there are more students
who might become interested in
UMS events, but she isn't sure
what button they need pushed.
While UMS has hammered
out its economic parameters
under such constraints as scar-
city of time and money and the
choice between featuring a
household name versus a debut

performer, the University's
students have not stepped up.
Students require a sense of
urgency and attentiveness to
the unequaled opportunities
here. Their time in college is
scarce, and UMS offers such
potent excellence within the
constraints of eight months,
three venues and one campus,
that to attend should be a regu-
lar occasion.
For all their understanding
of supply and demand, of effi-
ciency and of how to make the
most for your money, Univer-
sity students had yet to apply
their hard-woneducation to one
promising field.
A word to the wise: When
you can see a performer who
spends her time in the pursuit
of excellence for a loth the price
you could in any other city, in a
building constructed on the ide-
als for which a public university
stands, that seat is your home-
work.
- E-mail Colodner at
abigabor@umich.edu.

dreamlike Burton-esque quali-
ties as his movies "Men in Black"
and "The Addams Family." From
exuberant waitress Olive Snook
(Kristin Chenoweth, "RV"), who
wears flower-print dresses that
match her wallpaper, to Lily
(Swoosie Kurtz, "Huff"), Chuck's
eye-patched agoraphobic aunt,
the characters in "Daisies" don't
quite live in the same world we do.
Even Chuck - the most relatively
normal cast member - seems
totally unfazed by the factshe was

brought back from the dead by a
man she hasn't seen in 20 years.
These strange characters,
combined with witty deadpan by
McBride and enough murder mys-
tery to satisfy "CSI" fans, are the
reason "Daisies" is ABC's most
impressive new offering this fall.
By combining the best elements of
two genres that usually draw few
of the same viewers, the show has
created a wholly original synthe-
sis that doesn't look or feel like
anything else on television.

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