The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, November 3, 2008 -SA
By JACK PORTER good, right? And yet Microcastle
Daily Arts Writer and Weird Era Cont.'s familiarity is
- - ~ its greatest shortcoming.
Microcastle, released with bonus Deerhunter is especially deriva-
disc Weird Era Cont., has all the tive here, mechanically turning
hallmarks of an out predictable subgenre pieces.
indie rock mas- Almost everything on the double
terpiece. Esoteric album has been done before and
subgenre styles DeeIiunter done better. That's not to say Deer-
like shoegaze, hunter is ingenuous or commercial.
post-rock and Microcastle Cox is an earnest songwriter who
noise-pop are all /Weird Era deftly paints portraits of depres-
accounted for; the Cont. sion through both his sounds and
lyrics are- insular Kranky lyrics. Despite his talent, the plod-
and the scope of ding, redundant songs lack suffi-
it all is enormous. cient development or originality,
Echoes of influential indie bands falling short of the standards set
are present throughout the discs: by similarly-minded artists like
feedback junkies My Bloody Valen- Pavement or Godspeed You! Black
tine and avant-folk rockers Animal Emperor. In all but a few cases,
Collective inform the affair. Lead Deerhunter's spurned resolutions,
singer Bradford Cox's. vocals are stubborn repetitions and earthy
meek, beaten-down and earnest, noise-jams fail to engage.
inviting listeners to be swept into "Agoraphobia" is an exception of
his bleak inner world. So far, so See DEERHUNTER, Page 8A
ARTS IN BRIEF
b 'Whatchya got in them crates?"
"Porno' is hot, fun
Seth Rogen returns
film that also packs
p plenty of laughs
By SHERI JANKELOVITZ
Daily Arts Writer
"Zack and Miri Make a
Porno" was given the green light
because of its
title alone, and *-*
it sure as hell
has been turn- Zack and
ing people away Midi Make
ever since. Even
the television a Porno
for the film are At Quality6
now only refer- and Showcase
ring to this as Weinstein Co.
and Miri," though anyone who
only sees those versions and
shows up for the first part of the
title will find themselves woe-
fully shocked and confused.
Zack (Seth Rogen, "Knocked
Up") and Miri (Elizabeth Banks,
"W.") have been friends since the
first grade. Apparently unable to
branch out and find new friends,
the two now share an apartment,
even though both can barely
afford to pay the bills. These two
epitomize the phrase "lovable
losers." They even say on the way
to a high school reunion, "We
might be losers in every way, but
at least we're better than those
It's at this high school reunion
that Zack meets Brandon St.
Randy (Justin Long, "Strange
Wilderness"), star of such films
as "Shut Your Mouth or I'm
Going to Have Sex With It,"
who gives him an idea that could
solve all Zack and Miri's finan-
cial blues - they should make a
With the help of their friend
Delaney (the wonderfully under-
rated and hilarious Craig Rob-
inson of TV's "The Office") and
a few extremely willing actors
(including porn star Traci Lords),
the two set about making what
has to be, in the words of Delaney,
"The worst porno I've ever seen."
The porno comes complete with
requisite cheesy music and even
more ridiculous dialogue, such
as: "I can't believe this, I was just
delivering some cream and look
Zack and Miri spend a lot of
time attempting to come up with
a title for their porno that won't
be too dirty or turn people off. So
the real question is, is this film as
dirty as everyone thinks it is?
Well, admittedly, it is graphic.
Jason Mewes of "Jay and Silent
Bob" fame and porn star Katie
Morgan (star of films with names
that are more offensive than you
can even imagine) show just about
everything. The film is tellingly
vulgar, but this is what we've
come to expect from writer/
director Kevin Smith ("Clerks").
The crassness in his writing is
delivered with such nonchalance
- not to mention rapidity - that
it's the perfect accompaniment to
each joke. It doesn't feel like the
dialogue is thrown in for pure
Yet, for all its perversions,
"Zack and Miri" has an earnest
doggedness underneath, though
we may cringe at how it's accom-
plished. Beneath this crude
exterior is a surprisingly sweet
romance between Zack and Miri,
even if there isn't any way some-
one like Seth Rogen could get
someone like Elizabeth Banks in
But the point of the film isn't in
the excessive nudity or profanity.
It's also hilarious, if you can loos-
en up enough to admit it.
It goes without saying that
"Zack and Miri" is obviously not
for everyone. But really, with the
word "porno" in the title, you're
going to get exactly what you
expect. Some of the laughs may
be cheap and dirty, but who cares
when you're this busy laughing at
More Halloween junk
"The Haunting of Molly Hartley"
At Quality 16 and Showcase
These kinds of filmsren dair
predictable, it gets boring to com-
plain about the same thing over and
over: They come out, make a quick
buck and are neverheard from again.
But let's go through the motions
A cheap, predictable horror movie
rating - was probably only released
to rook some teens out of their allow-
ance. It's not "Prom Night" or "Dark-
ness Falls," but it very well could be.
It's "The Haunting of Molly Hartley,"
absurdistending, it's another hunk of
In a nutshell: Molly (Haley Ben-
nett, "College") is about to turn 18,
and she's afraid that an evil force
might take over her body. This being a
shoddy film, the story is padded with
all the "spooky" amenities: sound-
track shocks, things jumping into
frame, whispers, shadows and teen-
age promiscuity - all taking place
against an awkwardly Christian-
themed backdrop. In other words,
this movie sucks.
After 80 minutes of masturbatory
meandering, the resolution comes
with such brazen disrespect to the
restofthe filmthatit's absolutelyawe-
some. Imagine a movie about a girl
who fights her inner demons, only to
do something you'd never expect. No,
that's not a spoiler. It's just ... great.
The ending that is.
n Uao U
"Trust me - this wil eventually get hot."