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March 30, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-30

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8A - Monday, March 30, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

fiA - Monday, March 30, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

DHANI
From Page 5A
games in the National Football League, Jones shouldn't
think much of a folksy schwingen tournament. Even
so, the man takes sports very seriously and does all he
can to increase the drama of the game. His warm-up
routine is filmed with close-ups from various angles
and he gives a dramatic narration of what he's thinking
("If I don't do this, no one will") to heighten the audi-
ence's anxiety. His concentration is unfaltering during
play, where he pouts over a penalty call. Dhani Jones is
GOMORRAH
From Page 5A
opening scene, the audience is introduced to Totfl
(Italian newcomer Salvatore Abruzzese), a malleable
young delivery boy who wishes to join the ranks of
the Camorra in hopes of sharing in the organiza-
tion's wealth and power. The film then focuses on
the reprehensible actions of a greedy waste disposal
contractor and his reluctant associate, a tailor who
defects from his Camorra-owned manufacturing job,
a lowly money-carrier and two disillusioned hellions
named Marco (Italian newcomer Marco Macor) and
Ciro (Italian newcomer Ciro Petrone) who idolize the
infamous "Tony Montana."
"Gomorra" is unlike the typical multiple-narra-
tive film in that its five plot threads rarely converge.
Instead, the story is essentially five separate short

quite possibly the only American to have ever argued
with a schwingen official.
The locations are exciting and the sports are fasci-
nating and obscure, but Dhani Jones'slackluster ability
as a TV personality makes "Dhani Tackles the Globe"
a laughable project. A successful host is engaging and
not afraid to make fun of his or her situation. Rather
than taking the games so seriously, Jones should fash-
ion his hosting style after Mike Rowe of Discovery's
"Dirty Jobs," who makes awkward interviews funny.
Maybe Jones will calm down and come into his ele-
ment as the season progresses. But until then, all we
know is that a raging Wolverine and a friendly game of
schwingen don't mix.
films that share only their thematic material (name-
ly the treacherous actions of the Camorra) and the
equally harrowing nature of their conclusions. By the
movie's end, every character has sold his soul out of
greed, fear or betrayal.
The film is an expos6 that brings to the foreground
the cancerous effects of the Camorra in Italy. The
problem is prominent when considering the dan-
gers associated with the film's production - death
threats were made against several people involved in
the production of the film, including Roberto Savia-
no, the author of the book from which the film was
adapted. Additionally, several of the actors featured
in the film were later found to be directly involved
with the Camorra.
In spite of the unadulterated authenticity of
"Gomorra," the limited character development and
lack of plot convergence detract from the film's
entertainment value and consign it to the position of
a fragmented, emotionally aloof docudrama.

0

COURTESY OF ABC FAMILY

All the happy people. Where do they all come from?

Domestic disaster
strikes ABC Family

I

'Roommates' relies
on a mixture of stale
premises and jokes
By BRIGID KILCOIN
Daily Arts Writer
"Roommates" is such a god-
awful show that it makes the rest
of ABC Family's
programming
look deep by
comparison. Roommates
The show
focuses on Mondays
the hijinks at 9 p.m.
and romantic ABC Family
entanglements
of young New
York 20-somethings. The plot
goes like this: Mark (newcomer
Tyler Francavilla), the show's
focal point, bumps into his high-
school sweetheart Katie (fellow
newcomer Dorian Brown) in an
elevator. After Katie mentions
she's looking for a roommate,
Mark uproots his life and moves
all of his things to her apartment
in Brooklyn so he can exist in
closer proximity to her. Along the
way, he encounters her quirky co-
inhabitants and her on-again-off-
again boyfriend.
Everything about "Roommates"

is tired. The show's plot is ripped
off from horrible 1970s sitcoms,
and the dialogue is trite and unre-
alistic. There's a heavy reliance on
comedic misunderstandings inthe
style of "Three's Company," which
is not only unfunny, but actually
irritating to watch.
In one situation, Katie pours
out her heart to Mark about an
unnamed romantic interest she's
uncertain about persuing. Big sur-
prise:Markthinkssheisreferringto
him and tells her to go for it. Shock-
ingly, it turns out she was refer-
ring to an old boyfriend. Purposely
vague conversations in which the
participants walk away with differ-
ent ideas of what just happened are
the backbone of "Roommates" -
each episode would be roughly five
minutes long if the characters just
talked to each other.
Characters in "Roommates" are
shallow and undeveloped; they
also steadfastly avoid the course
of action a normal human might
take. For example, Hope (Tamera
Mowry, "Sister Sister") dresses
for work in a pantsuit and heels to
trick her roommates into thinking
she is a high-powered Hollywood
executive rather than a lowly
barista. The other characters on
the show are similarly uninven-
tive: Hope's boss is a flamboy-
ant gay man who manages to be

a walking embodiment of every
homosexual stereotype. Likewise,
the one-dimensional Katie has no
notable qualities other than being
attractive.
The show's performers are a
ragtag array of alumni from other
lackluster sitcoms and newcomers
including Tony Yalda, who previ-
ously setthe world on fire with his
performance as "American Idol" 's
Sanjaya Look-A-Like in the 2008
film "Meet the Spartans." The
lack of legitimate acting experi-
ence might account for the over-
the-top reactions and constant
high-pitched yelling that pass as
emoting on "Roommates."
As a whole, "Roommates" is for-
gettable at best, bafflingly point-
less at worst. The show's subject
matter - dealing with the stressful
adjustment to adult life after com-
pleting college - could have been
appealing in the right hands, but
the show goes for cheap laughs and
slapstick rather than striving for
comedy that is true to life. "Room-
mates" manages to be a half hour
of television completely devoid of
any original content whatsoever.
While ABC Family has carved a
niche in basic cable by providing
viewers with family-friendly fluff,
"Roommates" is almost aggres-
sively stupid and altogether unap-
pealing.

COURTESY OF FANDANGO-IFC

These underwear are made of kevlar, right?

F __________________________________________________ *

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