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January 11, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Friday, January 11, 2008 - 5

Paging the oboe?
Check surgery.

Typical characters rich and c
Cole (Jack
and heavy plotline Departed"), i
tal room, bo
destroy would-be cancer. The
comedy which consist
their familie
By ANNIE LEVENE watching e
DailyArts Writer through me
learn that n
Livinginthe bubble we know than a year
as the University of Michigan, covery engen
many stu- List," an ex
dents prob- by Carter's
ably assume philosophy p
that people when he cle
outside the The Bucket to teach. Th
ages of 18 to mate indulge
25 don't exist. recording of
"The Bucket At Showcase hopes to acco
List," about and Qualityl6 "kicks the bu
two terminal- Warner Bros. Carter, his ro
ly ill retirees, is rich and wi
is a crashing men set off
reminder that this isn't so. Old the things on
people do exist and, darn it, Nicholson
they are people too. two very tale
The film places 2007's ver- Oscars and
sion of "The Odd Couple", poor nations betw
and possibly sedated Carter probably kne
Chambers (Morgan Freeman, signing up fo
"Million Dollar Baby") and Still, they co

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: "Can you hear me now?"; "No seriously, go fish."; "I still can't
believe you said I look fat in this."

rotchety Edward
Nicholson, "The
n the same hospi-
th suffering from
men, after the
elderly bonding,
ts of talking about
s, gin rummy and
ach other suffer
dical treatments,
ieither has more
to live. Such dis-
nders the "Bucket
ercise dreamt up
freshman year
professor on a day
arly had nothing
e list is the ulti-
nce in fantasy - a
all the things one
mplish before one
ucket." Luckily for
ommate, Edward,
illing, and the two
to accomplish all
their list.
and Freeman,
nted actors - four
many other nomi-
ween the two -
w what they were
r with this movie.
uld have put in a

little effort. It often feels like
they're acting-by-numbers,
with both men falling back on
their tried-and-true approach
of fleshing out a character.
Not only does Nicholson go all
crazy-eyed and ranty again,
but his character is also, sur-
prise surprise, a womanizer.
Freeman, unsurprisingly, is
the calmer, more sad-eyed half.
Even when Carter is ticked off
at whatever outrageous thing
Edward has just done, Freeman
barely raises his voice above
Of course, "The Bucket List"
also features the uninspired
device of Freeman narrating
the film. It almost seems like
part of his contract nowadays.
And the supporting perfor-
mances aren't much better.
Sean Hayes's (TV's "Will &
Grace") portrayal as Edward's
assistant and/or slave, Thom-
as, is just a disappointment.
Give the guy golf claps for try-
ing more dramatic fare, but
frankly, a Sean Hayes that isn't
comedic isn't a Sean Hayes
worth seeing.
The film, especially in its

early scenes, has difficulty
deciding between comedy and
tragedy. There's a difference
between a movie that deals
with illness in a less depressing
way and one that makes light
of the actual suffering can-
cer patients go through. Jokes
involving serious matters like
chemotherapy - for instance,
a scene where Edward throws
up his fancy meal because
radiation makes him nauseated
- fall disturbingly flat.
The movie urges us to root
for these two men, but you can't
help feeling that Carter is act-
ing somewhat selfishly when he
abandons his family in order to
drive a fancy car and visit a few
foreign cities. Edward similar-
ly adds to the confusion. As he
dramatically pounds away at a
tightly packaged gourmet din-
ner for one, are we supposed to
laugh or feel bad for the guy?
Often it sits somewhere in the
middle, where it's hard to care
either way, and in the end, all
we're left with is the residue
of sickly sweet, forced life les-
sons and a slight fear of getting

Daily Arts Writer
During arehearsalfor anorchestra
concert at Hill Auditorium, a beeper
can go off without anyone so much
as batting an eye.
That's because this
is the Life Science Life Science
Orchestra, a full OrcheStra
amateur orches- featuri
tra composed of urn
82 members of 'The Planets"
the University's
biomedical com- omorrow
munity. Esteemed at 8$p.m.
radiologists, nurs- AlHill Auditorium
es, biomedicalF
engineers, medi-
cal school professors and LSA pre-
health students make up just some
of the musicians in the group. The
orchestra is open to virtually anyone
in the health sciences at the Univer-
sity who has a passion and talent for
"There is a sort of understanding
between us. I know when someone
gets up and has to leave rehearsal, it
isn't because they left the oven on,"
Ph.D. candidate in orchestral con-
ducting and director Clinton Smith
said in an interview. "They are most
likely going somewhere to make a
huge difference in someone's life."
Tomorrow, the orchestra will
take the Hill Auditorium stage to
perform Gustov Hoist's "Planets"
Beethoven's Egmont Overture as well
as Edouard Lao's Symphonie Esp-
agnole. In the latter performance,
University alum, Trina Stoneham
will accompany the orchestra on
the violin. Stoneham is currently an
associate research technician in the
Department of Pathology at the Uni-
versity Medical School.
Formed in 2000, the group brings
together a wide range of people vary-
ing in age, talent and profession and
makes the science world at the Univer-
sity a little smaller, inviting members
to collaborate musically to display
their talents in a different context.
"Within the orchestra, members
experience a completely different
dynamic than the one they're used
to," said Kara Gavin, a health system
spokeswoman and French horn player
in the orchestra. "Instead of student or
teacher, nurse or doctor here, it's violin
or oboe."
Radiology Professor Dr. Michael
DiPietro, a bassoon player, explained

that music is something that levels the
playing field for all of the orchestra's
"We're a group of people in the life
sciences from age 20 to 60," he said.
"We can't just play football together.
We're equals at this."
The Life Science Orchestra's musi-
cians work in some of the Univer-
sity's most demanding disciplines,
yet they find time for the orchestra
between studies, medical practices
and research. Certain members have
even come to rehearsal straight from
the operating room.
"Very often I hear from people that
the LSO serves as a release for them; a
place to let go; to let someone else be
in charge," Smith said. "And it can be
quite therapeutic."
While some people might think
of science and art as completely dif-
ferent disciplines, the Life Science
Orchestra proves them wrong. DiPi-
etro explained that the two are actu-
These doctors and
nurses know how
to use their
ally quite intertwined. He believes
that his background in musical per-
formance has aided him tremen-
dously in the medical field, giving
him the confidence to talk in front of
a large group of people. Additionally,
he sees a similarity between the two
disciplines. In each you're working
to better something, whether that's a
person, a theory or a symphony.
"Very often it all comes together
in the last few rehearsals," DiPietro
said. "I joke that this is like students
pulling the course material together
just before the final exam."
Smith finds that the final perfor-
mance always comes together well
because while the group is relaxed, as
health science professionals, they are
"The performances are always a joy
becauseeverything finally fits together
just perfectly - players' senses and
awareness are heightened, and there-
fore, concentrationisthroughtheroof,"
said Smith, the director. "This makes
for really nuanced music making, and
I am free to take risks with them and
know they'll be right there."


'Wire' DVD worth it, if
only for the show
SHOW: *****
"The Wire" - The Complete Fourth Season
HBO Home Video
Season four of "The Wire" might be
the most perfect 13 episodes of television
drama ever produced. In shifting its eyes to
Baltimore's broken school system, HBO's
visual novel turned in its most challeng-
ing and affecting season yet, making a bold
statement about the decay of inner-city
To usher in the recent onset of the show's
fifth and final season, HBO packaged season
four of "The Wire" in a modest, but fitting,
four-disk DVD set. Two half-hour featurettes
and commentaries on six episodes make up
the bulk of the set's extras. They comple-
ment the season by providing insight into the
show's creative process and broader inten-
But the real draw here is the show itself,
which would be worth its asking price on a
worn-out Betamax void of extras. Whether
you missed its original run in the fall of 2006
or you're just looking to revisit a modern-day
classic, the fourth season DVD of "The Wire"
is required viewing for anyone who's ever
lamented the lack of quality programming
on TV.
European dance artist still
won't cut it in the States
Kylie Minogue
For an artist with 10 studio releases and
an ever-evolving career that has already
spanned 20 years, Kylie Minogue is still rela-
tively obscure in the United States. Her 2002
album Fever garnered mild success here while
producing two extremely danceable tracks in
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Love at
First Sight."
Kylie's most recent release, X, goes in many

directions while aiming generally for the
dance floor. There are several moments on the
album when Kylie's voice is too thin or nasal
to compete with the pumped-up production
("In My Arms"). For the most part, though,
the production wraps infectious rhythms
around Kylie's mid-range croon - Kylie's
sultry, come-hither whisper on "2 Hearts," is
especially powerful.
The production occasionally stretches
outside of Kylie's vocal capabilities, but her
energy and charm almost always make up
for it. This album probably won't make her a
superstar in the U.S., but "Love at First Sight"
should have.
Snoop's demeanor
elevates new reality show on latest
"Snoop Dogg's Father Hood" release
Sundays at10:30 p.m.
Do we really need another reality show like- By ANDREW KAHN
"Run's House" or "Hogan Knows Best"? The Daily Arts Writer
answer is, surprisingly, fo' shizzle. While El's
"Snoop Dogg's Father Hood" shares basic ele- "The whole is greater than the sum
ments with its predecessors, Snoop's cavalier of its parts" is a saying easily applied to
style of parenting sets "Father Hood" apart the solo careers of the three members
from the others. of the LOX: Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and
Snoop Dogg's relaxed personality ensures Styles P. While Jada has achieved the
that "Father Hood" will not be some dramatic most individual success of the trio, his
exploration of the emotional struggles associ- solo albums have still paled in compar-
ated with being both a parent and entertainer. ison to the group's
Appropriately, "Father Hood" is more like a collaborative proj-
sitcom than a credible reality show. Unlike ects. The same goes
traditional conflict-filled reality shows, the for Sheek Louch, y
family is rarely shown fighting. Snoop often and, in this case,
avoids confrontation by either giving in to again for Styles P. Super
his family's demands or shrinking to his own When Styles was Gangster
private area to watch soccer and eat Roscoe's in LOX, he always (Extraordinary
fried chicken. Snoop is also placed in obvious- had difficulty capti- Gentleman)
ly planned situations - like an acupuncture vating listeners for Koch
appointment with a blind doctor - that are the span of an entire
engineered to create laughs, not pluck at the song.Hissolo albums
heartstrings of viewers. tend to follow suit. But he keeps com-
"Father Hood" can survive without the use ing back, this time on his latest Super
of conventional reality TV motifs because it Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman).
offers more than just another celebrity con- Though he'sunquestionably improved,
stantly clashing with his family. Instead, his confident, often aggressive flow
Snoop's family tackles problems together, becomes tiring after 19 tracks. He's not
and the creative oddity of these situations completely one-dimensional --he dis-
makes it a reality sitcom worth watching. plays a contemplative side on "Alone in
DAVE REAP the Street" --but doesn't have enough

"This my stuff."
to fill an entire album.
can't be attributed to Styles, though.
The production is wildly inconsistent
and generally unoriginal. The work of
Hi Tek - whose collaborations with
Talib Kweli made him a hip-hop staple
- on "Let's Go" sounds like a rip-off of
50 Cent's "21 Questions." Simple, high-
pitched pianos appear throughout
and sometimes work. They're a nice
touch on the radio-friendly "Blow Ya
Mind," which features a catchy Swizz
Beatz hook. But often, they don't: the
redundant "In It to Win It," a prime
SuperGangsterisfar fromacomplete
disasterhowever. The aforementioned
"Blow Ya Mind" is smooth, yet also
club-worthy. Styles's unlikely collabo-
ration with Black Thought on "Cause
I'm Black" is a success, while "Gang-
ster, Gangster," with the rest of the
LOX crew, is unsurprisingly one of the
album's best songs. Styles's delivery is
extra hard and inspired when teamed
with his Yonkers boys, as he spits lines
like "You don't get nothin' but gun
shells / I ain't on the bar, Louch pass
me the dumbbells / I'm in war mode,
billion more mode / Body after body so

the story was foretold." Jadakiss and
Sheek's verses are equally enthralling,
hinting that another group collabora-
tion is long overdue - their last being
2000's We Are the Streets.
"Gangster, Gangster" proves that
Styles still can't
hold his own
without his former
delivering an inspired, original verse
is well within Styles's capabilities.
Also, the track shows the strength
of the D-Block boys when they're
all together. The uniqueness of each
rapper, as well as their undeniable
chemistry, makes for songs of higher
quality than when each member tries
to go it alone. But various label con-
flicts, and perhaps a determination to
succeed individually have prevented
the release of another group album.
Judging by the quality of the solo
discs, the trio would inevitably ben-
efit from a reunion. It's about time.

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