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February 05, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-05

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I Thursday, February 5, 2009

weekend
essentials
Feb. 5 to Feb. 8
MUSIC
Noble Beast, Andrew
Bird's latest effort, is an
absolute essential for
surviving the cabin fever
that unfailingly consumes
Michigan winters. Bird
gets so far inside his own
head on this album that
he'll drag listeners out of
their own. It's enough to
distract even the most
stressed of students. So
bring out the Bose, turn
on the Bird and forget
that it's February; the
friendly combination of
violin, guitar and whimsi-
cal vocals is a perfect
blanket for the cold.
CONCERT
There are only a few
chances to experience
a new artist when that
person is commonplace
- pretty soon, you're
just another fan from
the multitude. Tenor
Laurence Brownlee's
visit this weekend is one
of those rare chances.
He has been called "the
most impressive addition
to the American tenor
roster in many years"
by the San Francisco
Chronicle, and his con-
cert at Hill this Saturday
should be appropriately
memorable. 8 p.m. Tick-
ets starting at $10.

the can't-miss films of last year. So without further ado, who wants to see a magic trick?

1. "THE DARK KNIGHT"
Hindsight's a valuable thing, and there's a reason we all saw this 11 times. So
much has been said about Christopher Nolan's revisionist spectacle, but in short,
"The Dark Knight" is perfect. Perfect in its mix of art and entertainment; perfect
in its mass appeal and longevity. An operatic costume tragedy, it's a money-mak-
er with guts and brains. It was easily the greatest film experience of 2008. Forget
the Oscars. In time, this film will receive the honors it really deserves.
BLAKE GOBLE

To quote Harvey Milk himself, "You gotta give 'em hope" - and this film cer-
tainly takes that to heart. An absorbing look into the life of openly gay politician
Harvey Milk, "Milk" is the perfect mix of humor, inspiration and strength. In
the center of it all is the wonderfully human performance by Sean Penn. Years
from now, audiences will still feel this film's poignant message of tolerance and,
yes, hope.
SHERI JANKELOVITZ

ONLINE
Those with access to a
television or computer
know that Christian Bale
recently went apeshit -
yet again - on the set of
"Terminator Salvation."
What's different this time
around, though, is that
his rampage has been
made into ... a song. It's
called "Bale Out" and
is composed by L.A.
mixologist RevoLucian.
Sure, it won't win any
Grammys, but it's well
worth two minutes and
48 seconds of your time.
Available on MySpace.

5. "THE CURIOUS CASE
OF BENJAMIN BUTTON"

Telling the story of a young man from the slums and his quest to win
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire," "Slumdog Millionaire" is sometimes a
human drama, other times a romance and at all times completely magical. It
beautifully details pain, suffering and, above all, the strength of the human
spirit. A film that will leave you wanting to dance out of the theater, "Slum-
dog" is without a doubt one of the best films of the year. And that's the final
answer.
SHERI JANKELOVITZ

It speaks to the quality of the film when its 166-minute running time seems to
just fly by. "Benjamin Button" combines stunning CGI effects, solid acting and
an intriguing fantasy storyato create one ofthis year's best-produced films. While
it's Pitt's film to carry, a strong supporting cast, including Taraji P. Henson as
Button's adoptive mother, keeps the audience engaged and the film enchanting.
ANNIE LEVENE

3. "WALL-E"

The term "movie magic" has been abducted by Disney (a subsidiary of Buy n
Large) as a corporate catchphrase. So it's playing into the palm of their Mickey
Mouse hand to declare this Pixar's sci-fi robot romance as such. Yet what other
possible response could one have to seeing the world's most adorable trash com-
pactor escape a demolished Earth, sail into the outer reaches of the galaxy on
the back of a spaceship that holds his true love and outstretch his arm to brush
Saturn's rings? Very well: Magical it is.
ANDREW LAPIN

6. "GRAN TORINO"
Like "The Searchers" for 2008, Clint Eastwood handed in his most aware
and oddly affable performance with this contemporary "mid-western." Seldom
has an old curmudgeon been this likeable. A morality tale about traditional
values fighting with progressive redemption, Eastwood puts everything he
has learned over the course of his career into this film. It may be his last per-
formance, and if that's true, he has made his departure even harder with this
movie. A crowd-pleaser with a message, as long as you stay off his lawn.
BLAKE GOBLE

MOVIES
Guy Ritchie's "RockN-
Rolla" came and went
in theaters last fall with
barely a blip on the radar.
Now that it's on DVD,
fans of high-octane heist
flicks can finally see what
they've been missing. The
coolness of the cast is off
the charts: Gerard Butler
as a thug named One
Two, Thandie Newton
as the smokin' hot babe
Stella and Tom Wilkenson
as a snarling, scenery-
chewing crime overlord.
If you liked "Snatch,"
then snatch this one up.

See BEST FILMS 2008, Page 4B

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