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April 06, 2009 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-06

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8A - Monday, April 6, 2009
ADVENTURELAND
From Page 5A
those are outnumbered by many
completely wasted comic oppor-
tunities, like a scene involving the
two of them and some pot cook-
ies. And the most memorable kid,
a jerk named Frigo (Matt Bush,
"One Last Thing...") who takes
great pride in his cock-punches,
isn't given nearly enough screen
time to ascend to McLovin-like
status.
Eisenberg, a poor man's
Michael Cera, tries playing James
as endearingly awkward but is
never able to find the right note to
make the audience care about his
predicament. His fellow actors
similarly fail to connect, perhaps
because every line of dialogue
that comes out of anyone's mouth
is dripping with bored sarcasm
and detachment. Obviously they
all deserve better than this job,
but surely college students must
care about something in life -
even during the summer.
WINTER GLOVES
From Page 5A
English. The album's first single,
"About A Girl," presses through
tense beats with confusing yet
heartfelt verses like "You move
and sip every drop to extract
from the glass / wondering
why God, this anger any way?"
between bouncing verses.
The album is full of happy
dance tracks, but Winter Gloves
is more than just a party-maker
band. While on first listen the
tracks seem all too similar, a
second go-through brings out
the subtleties that make each
melody memorable. The band
lays out unique instrumenta-
tion (especially with its specialty
instrument: the glockenspiel)
and brooding lyrics over synthy
dance beats and buzzing key-
boards. It's hipster hip-shaking
music; it's pensive pop.
about a girl ends on a sweet
note with one of its best tracks,

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

"Adventureland" seems to be
a more personal project for Mot-
tola, and making the characters
college grads instead of high
school grads helps to elevate
the film above the usual sum-
mer-lasting-forever teen movie.
There's an added layer of sadness
in their lives that comes from
Adventures in
bland land.
their simple effort to make the
best out of the dead-end predica-
ment they find themselves in.
But when the characters only
show fleeting glimpses of hap-
piness or excitement, the audi-
ence is going to return the favor.
Like the hats on the rotating
dummies in the park's rigged
throw-a-ball-to-knock-off-the-
hats game, the true potential of
"Adventureland" remains firmly
glued upon its own head, and no
one succeeds in knocking it off.
"Piano 4 Hands." It's relatively
subdued, relying heavily on
lightly plunking piano and soft
vocals to carry the melody, and
accompanied by the occasional
drum clap and xylophone flour-
ish. The song tells the story of
reigniting the spark with a love
interest, using lyrics like, "I can't
recall the last time you and I had
a lazy afternoon / Here we are,
Brooding but
never icy.
young lovers / put two hands on
the black keys / I'll play some-
thing that puts us back together
for good."
Whether causing frenzied
chaos on the dance floor or wield-
ing a fine glockenspiel, Winter
Gloves is easy to love. It's a band
that stands up to the high stan-
dards Montreal bands are held to
and, with about a girl, the band
has proven its musical chops.

4

A white-haired woman, a blue blob, a green sea monster and a cockroach walk into a bar. ouch

Close-up encounters

'Monsters vs. Aliens' wedding da
into a giant
combines modern captures he
holding fac
technology with a other gove
sters: Dr. C
star-studde dcast Laurie, TV's
Link (Will
By SHERI JANKELOVITZ Developmer
Daily Arts Writer "Knocked 1
erpillar kn
"Monsters vs. Aliens" has been who only sp
surrounded by hype, expectations Earth so
abounding that by the evi
it will help usher har (Rainn
in the re-emer- ***C Office"), wh
gence of 3-D film ination, ant
as a credible art MOnSteS to save the
form. And while ys. Aljens are lessons
the end result is a way: Belie'
film that certain- At Showcase ship is then
ly looks amazing, and Quality16 the world,a
it suffers a bit DreamWorks their differ,
from lack of cre- Unfortun
ativity. Aliens," the
Susan Murphy (Reese Wither- all been don
spoon, "Legally Blonde") was just ter too). "M
an average woman - that is, until retread of D
she was hit by a meteor on her "Shrek" mo
LOPEZ INTERVIEW
From Page 5A
and it's like, 'look at that unfortunate soul,' "
Lopez said. "But he is in many ways happier
than any of us will ever be because he's found
it. He's found true passion in life and it has
carried him through every challenge that has
been thrown in front of him."
Indeed, Ayers has had to overcome many
challenges, beyond just his living conditions.
Despite being a prodigious musician, Ayers is
deeply troubled. He suffers from schizophre-
nia, which factored in his leaving Julliard.
"Every day when he wakes up, it's another
battle to distinguish what's real and what's
imagined," Lopez said. "He sees and hears
things that I don't ... he's angry; he's scared; he
lashes out and he's very ugly and very offen-
sive. But he fights through it and finds his way
to the music every day."
In the screen adaptation, Jamie Foxx will
assume the role of the gifted yet agitated Ayers
while Robert Downey Jr. will play Lopez.
Toward the end of the interview, Lopez coyly
teased, "I won'tgive it away, but I think the last
scene in the movie is one of the most gorgeous,
uplifting scenes I've seen in a movie in a long
time ... I want you to be surprised by it."
If the movie can capture the surprising and
peculiar aspects of this true story, then it cer-
tainly promises to be a heart-warming, memo-
rable experience.

ay, causing her to grow
. After the government
er, she is placed into a
ility along with several
rnment-captured mon-
:ockroach Ph.D. (Hugh
s "House"), The Missing
Arnett, TV's "Arrested
nt"), B.O.B. (Seth Rogen,
Up") and a gigantic cat-
own as Insectosaurus
eaks bug.
on comes under attack
1 alien genius Gallax-
Wilson of TV's "The
ho's bent on world dom-
d it's up to the monsters
day. Of course, there
to be learned along the
ve in yourself, friend-
most important thing in
appreciate everyone for
ences, etc.
nately for "Monsters vs.
action and lessons have
ne before (and done bet-
onsters" comes off as a
reamWork's successful
vies, exceptwith aliens.

And more monsters.
But the film has plenty of spunk
to make up for what it lacks in orig-
inality. In particular, the moments
where the monsters are just hang-
ing out, playing cards and talking
with each other are hilarious. But
when the action scenes arrive,
they're mostly a letdown - the
audience deserves more time to get
to know the monsters.
The risk of using 3-D in almost
any film is the potential of look-
ing campy or resorting to cliche
gags (like throwing pies in its
audience's faces), but that doesn't
happen here. The look of the film
isn't just a concept - it actually
enhances the movie. Everything
looks crisp, and the 3-D really
helps certain scenes pop. One can't
help but be amazed by the tech-
nology displayed here and think
that 3-D films have certainly come
a long way.
"Monsters vs. Aliens" also bene-
fits from having an amazingly star-
studded cast. Any film that can get
Kiefer Sutherland (TV's "24") to

voice a violence-crazed General
and Stephen Colbert to play a bum-
bling Presidentofthe United States
can't be bad. Although it's doubt-
ful that small children know - or
care - who Seth Rogen is, teenage
and adult audiences will certainly
appreciate hearing his signature
laugh coming from a blue pile of
ooze.
An animated movie is truly
successful when it can entertain
audiences of both young and old,
and "Monsters" certainly can.
Children will be blown away by
the eye-catching 3-D effects, and
older audiences can enjoy the sar-
donic, if not entirely sophisticat-
ed, humor.
DreamWorks may not always be
able to hit the ball out of the park
like its main competitor, Pixar. The
company still has a long way to go
before its films really connect with
audiences the way, say, "Wall-E"
does. But that said, "Monsters vs.
Aliens" is an enjoyable and funny
film with the added bonus of being
amazingto look at.

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