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December 04, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-12-04

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D The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I Thursday, December 4, 2008
20 0 8 DAY

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Ihe L)ailyArts
guide to the best
upcoming events
- it's everywhere
you should be this
weekend and why.

Shopping for gifts shouldn't suck. Getting gifts shouldn't either. At Daily Arts, we're here to help. We've compiled a list of the essential gifts
this holiday season - both for your own wish list and as purchases for others - so no one has to waste time or money picking through
useless junk at Wal-Mart. Because these are the things no college student should go without asking for this holiday season.

"THE SOPRANOS"
THE COMPLETE SERIES
Amazon, $254.99
This behemoth - containing
all 86 episodes of the critically
acclaimed HBO series - weighs
in at 10 pounds. The set is so
massive Paulie Walnuts could've
used it to finish off the Russian
in "Pine Barrens." Retailing
at $400 (though you can find
it much cheaper), it's more
expensive than a private room at
the Bada Bing. Still, the die-hard
"Sopranos" fan who gets off on
minor production details - like
the fact that Meadow Soprano's
Lexus, which she had so much
trouble parking in the show's
infamous final scene, actually
had an auto-park feature - will
find the three days of special
features and deleted scenes
the only suitable tribute to a
show defined by its layers and
complexities.
"ROCK BAND 2" FOR
XBOX 360 AND PS3
Best Buy, $59.99-$189.99
If "Rock Band" was last winter's
must-have music video game,
then "Rock Band 2" is this
winter's must-have music
platform. Though not a complete
revamping of last year's game,
"Rock Band 2" is an expansion
of the original in nearly every
way. World tour, online and quick
play have all been bolstered, and
sturdier instruments make an
already appealing package more
attractive. But "2" truly shines
in its depth of content. The game
comes loaded with 84 new songs,
butnearlyallofthetracksfromthe
original game can be ported over
for $4.99, and over 300 more are
available for download. "Guitar
Hero: World Tour" might offer a
flashier drum kit, but "Rock Band
2" turned EA's video game into
a legitimate music platform. If
you're going to pay for music, you
might as well be able to play it.
FOLD-A-WAY CARDIO
STEPPER EXERCISE MACHINE
Brookstone, $199
You glance out the window,
still bleary-eyed, on Saturday
morning, and a cold chill
runs through your body just
imagining that brutal walk to
the gym. Don't let the slush
scare you: The arrival of winter
doesn't have to signal a hiatus
from exercise with this Wall
Street Journal-endorsed stair
stepper from Brookstone. For
college students especially, who
are short on time and low on
space, you can jump on this stair
stepper without sacrificing your
exam schedule and fold it up to
store under the bed when you're
done. It tracks heartbeat, pace
and counts total steps to keep
your fitness routine in check
this season.

"BEST AMERICAN
SHORT STORIES 2008"
Shaman Drum Bookshop, $14
Since 1915, the "Best American"
series has been compiling the
best in short stories. Yes, 1915.
Gathering stories from Harper's,
The New Yorker and The Paris
Review, the Best American series
editors know short stories, and
this year's installment is no
different. After a down year last
year with Stephen King as editor,
"BASS 2008" returns with editor
Salman Rushdie and features
stories from mainstays Alice
Munro and T.C. Boyle, as well as
the outstanding "Wizard of West
Orange" by Steven Millhauser
and beautifully rendered journey
in "The King of Sentences" by
Jonathan Lethem from The New
Yorker. If you're looking for other
winning combinations from the
BA series, check out their best
nonfiction and "Non-Required
Reading," edited by Dave Eggers.
There really isn't a better
collection of writing out there.
"THE OFFICIAL HIGH TIMES
POT SMOKER'S HANDBOOK"
Amazon, $17.95
Has your time at Michigan made
you both a dedicated academic
and a raging pothead? If so, this
exhaustiveguidetoallthingsganja
will help you marry your passions
together with over 200 pages
of the stickiest grass literature
around. Still new to the green?
Learn how to deal with a dealer
or smell-proof your dorm room.
A veteran connoisseur? Try the
recipe for "Cocoberry Ganja Goo
Balls" or read up on the cultural
and legal history of cannabis. Too
high to read? Stare at the vivid
photos of the dankest bud. The
"Handbook" will be your second
best friend - behind only your
bong - in no time. For a resource
so comprehensive, all it's missing
is an index. But really, who cares.
Let's roll another.
GIBSON LES PAUL SUPREME
Gibson.com, $5,190
Jimmy Page played a Gibson Les
Paul. Pete Townshend of the Who
impaled his hand on the whammy
bar of a Les Paul. And Neil Young
even named his Les Paul Old
Black. The guitars' star-studded
users aside, Les Pauls are solid
electric guitars with slim necks
for fast finger working and solid
bodies made of mahogany and
maple woods. While Fender gui-
tars might be the rock guitar your
parentsbuyforyour olderbrother,
a Gibson guitar is the blues guitar
you work 40 hours a week for and
pay for with a debit card when
you're broke and starving. And
who wouldn't want to own the
same kind of guitar Jimmy Page
used for his Led Zeppelin violin
bowsolos?
See GIFT GUIDE, Page 4B

ON STAGE
UMGASS's production of
"Ruddigore (orThe Witch's
Curse)" begins tonight and
runs through the weekend.
The classic Gilbert and
Sullivan comic opera tells
the story of a curse that
forces its victims to com-
mit a crime daily or die a
torturous death. The sing-
ing begins tonight at 8 p.m.
at the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theater. Tickets from $7.

ON SCREEN
If you've only seen Aaron
Eckhart in "The Dark
Knight," then you're miss-
ing out on a pretty impres-
sive body of work. Near the
top of the list is "Thank You
For Smoking," an adapta-
tion of the acclaimed novel
in which Eckhart plays pro-
fessional tobacco lobbyist
and charmer Nick Naylor.
8 p.m. Friday at the Natural
Spience Auditorium. Free.

"FIFA SOCCER 09" FOR XBOX 360 THE DARTH VADER TOASTER
Best Buy, $59.99 Starwarsshop.com, $54.99

Iftherewaseveranydoubtwhowaskinginthesoccer
video game world, let all doubters be smacked in the
face by a Wayne Rooney strike: "FIFA Soccer 09" is
the best soccer game ever made. "FIFA 09" makes
the beautiful game come to life like never before.
Playingit is easy; masteringit can take months. With
new custom tactics and a redesigned "Be A Pro"
mode, "FIFA 09" actually makes it feel like you're on.
the field at Stamford Bridge or Emirates. Speed has
never mattered more. Pissed that Cristiano Ronaldo
could still be caught by a defenseman from Barnsley?
No longer. But don't expect the defensive A.I. to be
weaker than Jell-O. Putting the ball in the back of
the net is tough, but all the build up to a perfectly
placed header feels perfectly in place at Emirates
Stadium. "FIFA 09" is the closest you'll ever get to
playing soccer in Europe, minus the hookers and
lingerie models.

If you like "Star Wars" and fresh toast in the
morning, which everyone should, then you owe
it to yourself to pick up the most evil toaster
known to man this holiday season. The Darth
Vader Toaster burns an astonishingly accurate
portrait of everyone's favorite heavy-breathing
father figure onto each slice of bread it toasts.
Its sleek, black design fits both the dark-side
aesthetic and any kitchen decor, and it includes
all the features you expect from a modern toaster
(apparently there's more than one). With the
unfortunate Star Wars prequels having tarnished
the Vader name, this toast venture could be just
the reputation boost he needs. If not, it should
at least be a delicious boost for "Star Wars" fans
everywhere. This holiday season, Sith Lords are
part of a complete, balanced way to start your
d ay.

ON DISPLAY
This Saturday is Dinosaur
Discovery Day at the UM
Exhibit Museum of Natural
History. It'll be fun for the kid in
everyone with plenty of dino-
saur arts and crafts, but also
will inform its visitors about
dinosaurs and the science of
paleontology. There will even
be a fossil dig for honing one's
paleontology skills.Theexhibit
is open 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DANNY BOYLE

By BLAKE GOBLE with "Slumdog Millionaire." not just rehearsed responses.
DailyFilm Editor The film tells the story of Jamal Boyle has reason to be chipper.
Malik (newcomer DevPatel), and his He's having the time of his life right
Danny Boyle has the optimistic upbringing in the slums of Mumbai. now. After a career of being essen-
energy of a freshman, unaffected Jamal grows up longing for his long tially a stark Vincente Minnelli, he
by the chaos surrounding him. On lost sweetheart and also gets a shot can finally add "awards bait" to his
a Tuesday night, he screened his at India's version of "Who Wants to list of accomplishments. "Slumdog
new movie, "Slumdog Millionaire," Be a Millionaire." A story of love, Millionaire" is alreadybeing pegged
to a rabid crowd, only to affably and fate and game shows, Boyle may as a potential Best Picture nominee.
enthusiastically answer every ques- have found his first mainstream hit. Boyle credits screenwriter Simon
tion following. The next morninghe A simple and modern kind of fairy Beaufoy ("The Full- Monty") for
had to film a local news promo, do tale, it marks a surprising foray into piquing his interest.
a telephone interview and have an optimism. "I didn't read the novel ("Q & A"
in-person talk with three Michigan But before we can talk about by Vikas Swarup), I read the screen-
press members. I had the good for- his new work and his angst-rid- play," Boyle said. "I loved the fact
tune tobe one of them. den legacy, a perky Boyle asks in that the spine of the screenplay was
In a sit-down last month in Bir- his Manchester accent: "You get a a love story, which doesn't exist in
mingham, Mich., Boyle -the vision- drink? Anything to drink? You all the novel. I would have never have
ary behind "Trainspotting" and "28 all right?" done the novel, had I read the novel
Days Later..." - opened up about This is an interview that doesn't first."
his work. He discussed his love for feel like an interview. Shutting off a Never mincing words, Boyle is
India, the way he makes films and heating system and downing a cof- incredibly excited about this project.
how he achieved his personal best fee, he's game for conversation - See DANNY BOYLE, Page 3B

IN CONCERT
Considering the futility of
the supposed main attrac-
tion, the Michigan March-
ing Band often stole the
show at Michigan Stadium
on football Saturdays this
fall. Under the direction of
Scott Boerma, the world-
renowned Marching Band
puts a cap on their season
with the annual Crisler
Arena Concert. 12:30 p.m.
Sunday. Tickets are $10.

COURTESY OF20TH CENTURY FOX

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