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January 22, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Tuesday, January 22, 2008- 5A

No Globes?
No problem

Jan. 7, 2008, a serious
announcement was made
to the public. Due to the
ongoing Writers Guild strike, the
26thAnnualGoldenGlobesCeremo-
ny was - cue loud collective intake
of air - not
goingtohappen.
That meant no
red carpet, no
ogling the latest
celebrity fash-"
ion trends and,
perhaps most
disappointing- BRANDON
ly, no flustered, CONRADIS
half-slurred
and entertain-
ingly awkward acceptance speeches
from our favorite, normally poised,
actors. Instead, we were to get a
press conference. One - and here's
the kicker - hosted by the likes of
"Access Hollywood" 's Billy Bush.
Could itgetmuchworse?
Well, life went on. Hollywood
didn't crumble to the ground and
obsessed film lovers without lives
didn't sink into fits of delirium. Or
maybe the latter did occur, but if
that's the case, it's hard for me to
sympathize. It's also at this point
I should interject that I consider
myself a film lover with at least the
resemblance of a life.
The point is this: The whole 2008
Golden Globes fiasco taught us a
lesson. These excessive, politically-
correct and blissfully overindulgent
awards ceremonies have been sti-
fling our conceptions of what good
filmmaking is for far too long. But
as demonstrated by the fact that the
Earth did not fall offits axis because
we didn't get to see Julia Roberts's
million-dollar red carpet dress this
year, they're ultimately negligible.
It seems some good has come
from the writer's strike after all.
In a perfect world, this would be
the first step towards obliterating
the awards show for good. But that
won't happen. Hollywood needs
shows like the Golden Globes and
the Oscars just as a big corporation
needs its annual awards banquet;
they serve as a way for the bigwigs
to shamelessly congratulate them-
selves. I'd like to say it's all harm-
less, but really, it's not. The problem
is viewers actually buy into the idea
that these awards matter. I can't
tell you how many times I've heard
someone say, "Well, I saw 'The Avi-
ator' but I just didn't get it. I must
be missing something; I mean, it
was nominated for an Oscar!" Well,

no, you're not missing anything,
and, yeah, I didn't get it either.
In 1985, the Hong Kong Film
Awards, Hong Kong's equivalent to
theOscars,awardedthefilm"Police
Story" (1985) the prize for Best Pic-
ture. That film was directed by and
starred Jackie Chan. It's another
one of his goofy action comedies -
and it's fantastic. The idea of a Jack-
ie Chan martial arts opus winning
the grand prize at a national awards
ceremony is astonishing to me, not
because the film in question didn't
deserve it, but because the idea of
a film geared toward the "common
denominator" winning an Oscar
is unheard of. Only "deep" films
with heavy messages win awards
in this country. "Robocop" (1987)
was never nominated for anything,
even though it was probably one
of the most scathing, satirical and
brilliantly written films of the '80s.
To their credit, the Golden
Globes actually do give credence
to some of the less serious fare.
For example, "Toy Story 2" won
the award for Best Comedy/Musi-
cal in 2000. But note how they
slyly divide the categories: There's
an award for Best Drama, and an
An Oscar shouldn't
dictate art
award for Best Comedy/Musical.
Combining the two, apparently, is
blasphemy. You can't have "Juno"
nominated in the same category as
"The Great Debaters."
I say we scrap these things all
together. The Golden Globes and
the Oscars have not proven to me
that they should be looked upon as
purveyors of good taste and artistic
enlightenment, especially not when
they're giving dishonest, manipu-
lative junk like "Crash" (2004) the
award for Best Picture, as the Acad-
emy Awards did in 2005. But like it
or not, Hollywood has an indelible
influence on our daily lives. The
way we live and moralize, what
we think is cool or not and how we
dress and talk is all formed through
Hollywood. The last thing we need
now is for it to qualify art for us.
That's what critics are for.
Conradis knows what to wear by
watching Julia Roberts. Give him
fashion tips at brconrad@umich.edu

I guess what they say about guys with big feet actually is true.

Don't look for answers here

'
late
mon
"Cloy
interest
thing ab
mind-bl
but in t1
entirely
hype
movie 1
almost
able. F
sites,
MySpac
and
videos h
popping
over t
since J
missed
you mig
Thef
it provi:
person;
on New

ost' director's writers said, "There's no man in a
white lab coat that shows up and
2st film delivers explains everything, it's not that
type of movie." What does this
e of his signature mean? You have to figure it out
yourself
ambiguity Producer J.J. Abrams is no
stranger to the art of mindfuck
By PAUL TASSI (as the creator of "Lost") - possi-
DailyFilm Editor bly the most interesting but least
rewarding show on television. His
erfield" is interesting. Not take on the monster movie has
ing in the sense that any- been described perfectly as "Blair
out the film is particularly Witch" meets "Godzilla." It's all
owing or revolutionary, shot from a jerky handheld camera
he sense that it's almost an' which will periodically make you
new form of media. The want to vomit. At other times, the
for this camera will make your jaw drop as
has been it plants you in the middle of a fire-
unavoid- *** fight between the U.S. Army and a
ake web- giant, um, thing.
. blogs, Cloverfield if you want to know where the
e pages At Showcase monster came from, try Googling
YouTube and Quality16 "Targruato," the fictional corpora-
have been tion that recently posted footage
T up all Paramount of its oil rig being destroyed in the
he place Atlantic Ocean. Want to know what
uly. The thing is, if you happens after the film's over? Stay
all that, it's very possible after the credits, record the garbled
ht hate the movie. sound clip you hear and then play
film's main hurdle is that it backwards. I'm not joking. For a
des no answers: It's a first complete list of all the back-story
account of a monster attack and post-story you could ever ask
York City. As one of the for, read the IMDB.com FAQ cre-

ated for the film.
And now this leads us to the
obligatory part of any "Clover-
field" review: The spoiler alert. All
who want to be completely in the
dark before viewing should skip
the next three paragraphs.
The monster: What the hell
is it? The answer is perhaps the
most disappointing thing about
the movie. It's part praying man-
tis, part lobster, part squid, but
pretty much it's just a big, angry
monster. It's not Godzilla and it's
not a giant lion-esque thing like
some speculated. It's just a mon-
ster - and this fact is immensely
disappointing.
J.J. Abrams is notorious for jar-
ring plot twists, such as the mon-
ster in the first season of "Lost."
The thing bellowed like a dinosaur
and uprooted trees as it moved
through the jungle. What was it?
A giant pillar of smoke. Yeah. And
we're still waiting for an expla-
nation for that one three seasons
later.
The monster in "Cloverfield,"
however, is the equivalent of the
monster in "Lost" turning out to
be an angry elephant or something
equally expected. One attempted
twist on the traditional monster

tale is the little spider-like crea-
tures that live on the thing. They
fall off and chase the remaining
survivors and when they bite you,
you explode half an hour later. It's
all very "Alien," but far less origi-
nal.
Disappointment aside, there are
many redeeming aspects to "Clo-
verfield," and it does adequately
shed a fresh light on the typical
monster flick. It's nice to see the
genre return with a watchable,
enjoyable feature. But the problem
is that it could have been so much
more. There's so much to say about
it, it's hard to keep track of it all. It
really does make you think and try
to figure out every detail. And then
you think maybe it's all an allego-
ry for terrorism. Giant, mindless,
rampaging beast destroys New
York? Think about that. Some of
the scenes even look like they're
taken directly from Sept. 11 news
footage.
My recommendation? Do the
research, look up all the secret
viral videos and backwards
encoded sound clips and you'll
add a whole new dimension to
the fairly straightforward, yet
answerless film. You'll also enjoy
it a lot more.

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rAa' Y

I, :,: , , , : _ , ,

InternshipFair
Tuesday, January 22nd
2-6pm at The Michigan Union
Meet with organizations targeting j#I
UM students
Registration on-site the day of the event
Check-out participating organizations at
www.careercenter.ulmich.edu
Quick Tips
Dress professionally
Bring your resume
Check the fair website for more tips
6eeause...sometimes your passion pursues you!
a, :TheCareerCenter
ww<<.ca-eercenmeramich.edu f Dvsan f StUdeht Affairs

a StudentUniverse.com I

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