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February 12, 2009 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-12

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a

2B - Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

CALENDAR
The Daly Arts guide to
upcoming events in Ann Arbor
and the surrounding area.
Today 2.12.09
Arts & the Environment Exhi-
bition: Earth
12 p.m.
At the Duderstadt Center (Media Union),
Free
Penny W. Stamps Lecture:
Anne Pasternack, "Public Art
Then & Now"
5 p.m.
At the Michigan Theater
Free
The Show-Off
7:30 p.m.
At the Mendelssohn Theater
$9 to $24 for students
Tomorrow 2.13.09
The Concert Series: Jeff
Parker and Sam Barsh at
Canterbury House
9 pm.
At Canterbury House, 721 E. Huron Street
$10
Concert and Symphony Band
Chamber Winds
8 p.m.
At Waigreen Drama Center
Free
Saturday 2.14.09
Valentine's Day Star Party at
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
7 p.m.
At Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Free for students
Lecture: Inna Naroditskaya
2 p.m.
At Burton Memorial Tower, Room 506
Free
Sunday 2..09
Batsheva Dance Company
8 p.m.
At Hill Auditorium
$18-42, rush tickets available for students
Please send all press releases
and event information to
arts@michigandaily.com.

After the disbanding of Michigan Action
Party, MSA remains irrelevant.
1:1
For Valentine's Day, Michelle Obama
gives Barack the stimulus he really
wanted.
3:1
T.I. attempts to escape from prison by
disguising himself as a calculator.
10,000:1

A notable Ann Arbo rite gives five
answers to a curious question.
u
Macklin Smith
Professor, English Department
What are your five favorite works of
poetry, in five different forms?
Shakespearean Sonnet: "Sonnet 73" ("That time of year thou mayst in me
behold") is an astonishing, perfect poem: everything works together - the
words, the syntax, the figures, the rhythms, the sounds - so that we imagine a
new way of seeing time. Time isn'tchronological or cyclical in 73; it's the subjec-
tive appreciation of the fragile season, day, moment. This is one of my favorite
poems, and I quote or allude to it several times in mybook, "Transplant."
4-beat poem: A tie: "Beowulf" and "Piers Plowman." Both the Old English
and Middle English masterpieces are enduringly entertaining even as they
ask us to consider the vanity of our fondest wishes and bravest actions. These
poems are easy to listen to, and would have been delivered orally, but they are
difficult to study, and were quite obviously studied works.
Long rhyming poem: Another tie: Dante's "Divine Comedy" and Chaucer's
"Canterbury Tales." Despite its title (which refers to thingsworking out rightly,
not to laughs), the former is far more serious, the latter is far funnier. But both
explore the essential issues. These are poems that take a long time to read and
reward every minute. They never get old either. Amazing.
Free verse poet: Several of the anonymous composers (and translators) of
the Psalms from the King James Bible qualify, but perhaps the prize should go
to Walt Whitman. Some of Whitman's poems are horrible, but when he's on,
he's perfect. Among the more recent poets I love are John Ashbery (when he's
on, which is only sometimes) for the way he captures how the mind can get lost
in its own ruminations, and Elizabeth Bishop (who is always on) for the way she
meticulously details the incidence of beauty and mystery in a context of loss.
Hip-hop song: For sheer entertainment, Busta Rhymes, "Woo Hah! Got Yc u
All in Check," but for thematic coherence, prosodic versatility, and "message,"
Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, "Reset."

ONLINE GAMES OF THE WEEK

RAPID WARS
In this cool remake of "Asteroids," you
fly a constantly shooting ship around
the screen blasting strange light forma-
tions before they catch you and sap your
health. Time the collection of power-ups
to maximize their efficacy, and dodge
those damn orange squares.
Find it at:
http://tinyurl.com/be7qqg

SUPER IACKER 2
This game is "Jenga" meets "Snood."
Stack some smiling polygons on top of
each other without letting any them fall
off the screen. It's a challenging exercise
in balance, patience and problem solving.
A single level could take an entire class to
figure out. Happy stacking.
Find it at:
http://tinyurl.com/9fdpr7

I

SINGLE REVIEWS
CRACK A BOTTLE
EMINEM (FEAT. DR. DRE AND 50 CENT)
Yeah, Shady's back. Back again. You'd think this charade of disappear-
ing for awhile onlyto reassert his relevance by infecting the airwaves with
an offensive single would prove to be a bit trite by now. But to the delight
of millions of his fans, it hasn't. After a witty boxing-style introduction,
a piano-backed loop creates a nice flow that displays Mathers's knack for
crafting vulgar yet intelligent verses and an amusing chorus. Enjoy it now,
before the radio, clubs and frat houses start playing it on repeat.
DAVID RIVA
FORK IN THE ROAD
NEIL YOUNG
Neil Young his always been something of a political loose'cannon,
using his music to spew impassioned rants about issues he cares about
one minute and forgets the next. The rush-released "Fork in the Road,"
in which Neil satirizes America's current economic woes, falls squarely
into this classic tradition. It's amateurish, regressive and embarrassingly
topical. And it rocks. Built on a crack garage riff, it's a tragic comedy of
lines like "There's a bailout coming / but it's not for you" and "We salute
the troops / They're all still there / in a fucking war." When Neil says
"Download this / Sounds like shit," it's difficult to argue with him.
DAVID WATNICK
by eorge Kely
S ardvddo dbounds in
this 1920s (omedy
where a little bit of
bluff qoes dlong wdy
Directed by Philip Kerr
Department of
Theatre & Drama
February 12 at 7:30 PM
February 13 & 14 at 8 PM
February 15 at 2 PM
Mendelssohn Theatre
Tickets $24 & $18
Students $9 w/lD
League Ticket Office
154-l764-255S8
MusicTheatre & Dance
' www.music.umich.edu

0

'BROKEN SWORD: SHADOW OF THE TEMPLARS' (1995), PLAYSTATION

A puzzle game with a sense of humor

By ANDREW LAPIN
Daily Film Editor
Sevenyears before Dan Brown's
"The Da Vinci Code" made the
Knights Templar popular, little-
known British software company
Revolution Studios released a
top-tier mystery adventure game
called "Broken Sword: The Shad-
ow of the Templars." The two
works are so eerily similar that,
were the game to be released right
now for the first time, it would be
run out of town for piggybacking
on a stale formula.
Like "Code," "Broken Sword"
also stars an American in Paris
who finds himself knee-deep in
an international conspiracy to
locate a historic treasure. Like
Robert Langdon, the protagonist
in "Sword," George Stobbart, is
assisted on his journey by a lovely
French woman as he fights to
uncover a secret that's ferocious-
ly guarded by the Knights Tem-
plar. Come to think of it, these
similarities are pretty striking -
maybe Revolution Studios should
join the ever-expanding rank of
authors and theologians who've
filed plagiarism charges against
Mr. Brown.
Despite its disappointing lack

of crazy professors claiming that
Jesus fathered a child, "Broken
Sword" is still worth trying post-
"Code." Like all graphic adven-
ture games, it's heavy on text and
problem-solving logic. The player
takes control of Stobbart right
after he witnesses a bomb blast at
a Parisian cafe in the opening cut
scene..
Stobbart then wanders through
luxury hotels, breaks into muse-
ums ' and meanders through
exotic environments - like an
Irish pub and a street market in
Cairo - in his quest to unravel the
meaning of a mysterious ancient
scroll. Along the way, he picks
up a hand buzzer, a matchbook
and many other similarly random
items which he will later use in an
unconventional fashion to uncov-
er clues.
Players who are familiar with
the point-and-clickgenre through
"Myst" and "Escape from Mon-
key Island" know that the thrill
of such games comes from their
many "a-ha!" moments - those
instances when, after travers-
ing the same area for minutes on
end with no clue what to do, the
player gets an out-of-nowhere
breakthrough and suddenly
knows exactly how to progress.

Most of the puzzles in "Broken "She's like a part of the furni-
Sword" are frustrating to the ture," says the receptionist. "You
point of insanity, but with tough- mean she's been here for a long
er conundrums come more sat- time?" Stobbart asks.
isfying "a-ha!" moments. Still, if "No," comes the reply. "I mean
anyone ever claims to have beaten there isn't a man in this hospital
who hasn't lain down on top of
her."
Long before The American masses may
g r have never heard of the "Broken
'Da Vinci Code,' Sword" franchise, but it's a huge
hit in Europe. The game was a top
there was seller across the pond, and it has
spawned three sequels to date,
'Broken Sword.' the most recent of which was
"The Angel of Death" in 2006.
Its successors have only received
minimal exposure in America,
this game in its entirety without and some versions of the games
even glancing at a walkthrough, were released under different
that's a lie. titles or haven't made it over here
Stobbart encounters several at all. Perhaps it's just as well.
colorful characters during his Judging by the progression of the
traipses through Paris, and they box art, the games have grown
all come equipped with droll, increasingly more morbid and
characteristically un-PC wit: less whimsical.
The game's sharp dialogue is its Still, the original game has
main attraction, so it's a good enjoyed lasting popularity. It was
thing many of the puzzles revolve ported to the Game Boy Advance
around striking up the right con- in 2002, and next month a "Direr-
versations with the right people. tor's Cut" version is coming to
Take a level set in a hospital, Nintendo's Wii and DS systems,
where Stobbart grills a reception- with new puzzles and fleshed-out
ist about the identity of one of the plot details. It should be one of
nurses. the year's essential releases.

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