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October 26, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 5

Internet to TV's rescue

COURTESY OF ARNER BOS.
"Personwhoneedsanewkitchensayswhat." "What?"C
Unhappily 'Hereafter'

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twood's disaster enjoyed.
But "Hereafter" is so egregiously
n't be saved by over-directed and didactic, it even
manages to make Matt Damon's
Matt Damon ("Green Zone") character unrelat-
able - something few directors
By BEN VERDI have been able to do. While East-
Daily Arts Writer wood has been known, and award-
edby the Academy, for his relatively
eafter" is the worst movie heavy-handed directorial style, this
astwood has ever made. film is an example of what happens
dy a dud, when the man in charge has had so
e worse by much success it becomes impos-
eartbreak- sible for anyone else to tell him that
you can Hereafter he's making a terrible mistake, or
Eastwood that his project is going nowhere.
us") real- At Quality16 The film follows people with
ght he did and Rave near-death experiences who return
job. That Watter Bros. to their normal lives only to find
y, we can out they can still communicate
:ain after with and be influenced by the dead.
ig this film that there was And it's so full of possibilities for
Eastwood didn't oversee interesting dramatic turns and rev-
ide himself, which makes it elations that it almost seems like an
re depressing that the movie accomplishment in itself to turn a
ntially no message at all. story with this plotline into some-
wood has been behind films thing so boring.
profound and successful There are intriguing moments at
forgiven," "Mystic River," the film's outset, but the only poten-
s from Iwo Jima," "Mil- tially meaningful memories you'll
llar Baby" and "Invictus." leave with have to do with the com-
hough he's 80 years old, plexity and pain underneath the
still find themselves capti- tough exterior of Damon's charac-
y his grizzly voice and eter- ter - a tension in male protagonists
asculine aura. Most men in that Eastwood knows how to high-
usiness - actors, directors light no matter how uninteresting
ducers - probably look at the story. Sadly, Damon is only on
od's IMDb page and dream screen one third of the time, and
asting just one ounce of when he isn't you'll find it hard to
undbreaking success he's keep your eyes open.

The people who have had near-
death encounters are conflicted
about their experiences and new-
found abilities in different ways,
with Damon's situation being the
most interesting. He has had this
supernatural talent for most of his
life and has grown to think of it as
more of a curse. When people find
out how serious his spooky abili-
ties are, they routinely run from
him, and he's lived a lonely life
because of it.
Regrettably, Damon's conflicted
relationship with his past, which is
the only mildly entertaining aspect
of the movie's three interwoven
plotlines, doesn't end up teaching
us anything. Nor are we provided
any tangible sense of closure with
the ending. "Hereafter" is like a ter-
rible first draft of "The Sixth Sense"
that lacked direction and purpose
before rewrites.
For an Eastwood movie, it's sur-
prising how little there is to take
away. This film beats us over the
head, forcing us to listen to its mes-
sage for two hours but, once we
finally agree to listen, we're shown
how little the filmmakers actually
had to say with their latest project.
Eastwood no doubt wanted
"Hereafter" to spark questions
about what really happens- to us
when we die, and what it would be
like to talk to our loved ones from
beyond the grave. But all he man-
ages to do is show us that he hasn't
got many interesting opinions left.

elevision isn't easy to
define. When you think
about how the majority
of us watch our shows nowadays,
you realize
TVs often
aren't involved
at all. For bet-
ter or worse, '
television has
migrated to
the Internet,
and there have CAROLYN
been count- KLARECKI
less debates
as to how this
is affecting the industry (some
resulting in apocalyptic predic-
tions). Yet I feel there's an essen-
tial element to the future-of-TV
debate that's being missed by
many pundits. It isn't the move
from TV to Internet, but the
other way around.
Yes, the Internet is making its
way osnto your TV screen and has
been for a while, though with
little success. In 2007, Apple
released Apple TV. It wasn't
cute and tiny and couldn't be
controlled with a touch-screen
or dial, which probably explains
why I don't know anyone who
owns one, but a second-genera-
tion version was released earlier
this month (in true Apple fashion,
it's smaller and with more Gigs).
This little device lets you access
the Apple store, YouTube, Netflix
and Flickr directly from your TV,
which is nice for those who don't
have a magical HDMI cable.
There's speculation that this
re-release of Apple TV is due
in part to Google's latest foray
into the television industry with
Google TV. The project was
announced back in May and will
essentially let you surf the web
with your remote. You can google
things, you can watch TV and
you can google things while you
watch TV. Oh, and it comes with
apps. It seems pretty awesome.
or maybe it would, if the develop-

ment were going at all smoothly.
The TV industry clearly views
the Internet as a huge threat. The
Internet is the really cool cheer-
leader to TV's geeky chess player
and TV feels left in the shadow of
the Internet's spotlight. You can't
really expect TV to be thrilled
about sharing the only thing it
has that the Internet doesn't: the
actual box.
And because of this, the broad-
cast networks are giving Google
one hell of a time at getting this
project up and running. In an
article in Friday's Wall Street
Journal, it was reported that
ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking
their programming that is nor-
mally available on a web browser
from being played on Google TV.
Not being able to watch the best
TV on your TV will definitely
throw a wrench in the plans. It's
also been reported that Hulu
plans on opting out of Google TV,
making the technology pretty
close to worthless.
Why won't the
networks let
Google do them
a solid?
So the TV-versus-Internet
struggle continues. Yes, watching
TV online is awesome and conve-
nient. No, it's not making signifi-
cant money for the TV industry,
which still depends primarily on
advertising sales. Yes, it's single-
handedly causing the cancellation
of great shows. But come on - it's
awesome and convenient! So now
throw in the twist of Internet on
your TV. Yes, maybe TV deserves
(or even needs) a safe haven away
from the web, but this might be
the only way people will use their

television sets, though in all hon-
esty, it's not likely.
I don't know what the net-
works are getting all worked up
over. Google TV doesn't seem
that great to me. It offers noth-
ing new that I can't already do
on the Internet for free. The only
new advantage is not having to
balance my computer on my lap
while watching TV. Nevermind
the fact that keyboards and
mice are way easier to use than
a remote. Though Google has a
Midas touch these days, so who
really knows what will happes?
Even if the technology is suc-
cessful - and again, I honestly
don't know why it would be - the
worst it could do is encourage
people to sit in front of their tele-
vision sets some more and that's
not abad deal for the TV net-
works. Imagine: You just got done
watching a YouTube video of a
dog doing parkour and you get
a hankering to watch "National
Dog Show" re-airings or remem-
ber that promo for "America's Got
Talent" with the zany animal act,
so you minimize your internet
screen and sift through the chan-
nel guide. The Internet could use
its power for good and bring some
life back to that box you only use
for movies and video games.
So at the end of the day, after
all the fence-riding and inner
conflict over the Internet's slow
slaughtering of television and the
undeniable convenience of online
streaming, Google's and Apple's
crazy new schemes remind us
that it's not all about the comput-
er screen anymore. TV is trying
to makea comeback. This whole
TV-Internet rivalry is changing
much too fast to keep predicting
the effects. I, for one, am sick of
the endless debate and will just
settle in for the ride.
Klarecki has a giant app for that.
To buy it from her giant app store,
e-mail her at cklareck@umich.edu.

Avey Tare tears it up on new disc

By DAVID RIVA
DailyArts Writer
An unfortunate consequence of
being part of a musical collective is
that a musician's
solo or side proj-
ects will often
be viewed as a
derivative by- AveyIare
product of his or Down There
her parent band. Paw Tracks
Such is the case
for groups like
Wolf Parade, Broken Social Scene
and The New Pornographers and
their many musical offshoots.
The members of Animal Col-
lective have fallen on both sides
of this paradigm throughout the
band's 10-year existence. Panda
Bear's 2007 release Person Pitch,
for instance, was universally
praised for its innovative fusion of
abstract electronic beats and bar-
bershop harmonies, while Avey
Tare's 2007 collaboration with
his wife on Pullhair Rubeye was
Things are
looking up on
'Down There.'
met with mixed reviews and was
stamped with the insultingly low
rating of 1.0/10 by Pitchfork.
On Down There, Avey Tare
debuts his first proper attempt at
a solo album (he did a split 12" in
2003, but it can only be found in
a physical format). The result is a
* hypnotic underwater journey of
looped drum tracks and aquatic
electronics.
The standout opener "Laugh-
ing Hieroglyphic" wastes no time
establishing Avey Tare's patented
sound of a disjointed beat backed
by a repetitive accordion, which
allows him to burst into a cathar-
tic contemplation about lions,
worms and "getting lost in the big
sound."
"3 Umbrellas" also plays to
many of Avey Tare's strengths

as an alternating organ and xylo-
phone track builds and he evenly
distributes his urgent vocals with
tribal harmonies in the back-
ground. However, the song refuses
to build or crescendo and no layers
are added to the initial track to add
texture. Instead, the song is cut off
by one of the album's most bother-
some features: Random soundclips
are inserted between tracks and
sometimes even in the middle of
songs. Basically, they have no real
purpose.
The album proves to be a bit
top-heavy as songs like "Cemeter-
ies" and "Heather In The Hospital"

suffer from a sleep-inducing down-
tempo vibe and too many random
voiceover injections.
"Oliver Twist" sports a thump-
ing 808 kick beat and contains the
best example of emotional vocal
performance from Avey Tare,
which is one of the album's most
intriguing components. Much of
Animal Collective's material con-
tains inaudible vocals oftentimes
shouted or screamed. On songs like
"Peacebone" and "Grass" frompast
AnCo albums, very little emphasis
is put on actual pure singing. Even
though Avey Tare's vocals are still
See AVEY TARE, Page 6

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