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September 06, 2011 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-06

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12A - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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12A - Tuesday, September 6, 2011 X rts The Michigan Daily - michigandailytom

From Page 10A
we present and the performanc-
es that take place at the Uni-
versity of Michigan," said Bob
Hoffman, public relations man-
ager at Wharton Center. "One
major reason is the difference in
each respective organization's
mission and leadership. Whar-
ton Center has made the effort
of establishing itself as a major
market for touring Broadway
throughout its history."
Mike Brand, executive direc-
tor of the Wharton Center at
MSU, has used theatrical con-
nections from a stint as vice
president of Clear Channel
Entertainment's theatrical divi-

sion and the Wharton Center's
facilities to establish a home for
touring Broadway shows.
There's also the issue of space.
Unlike the Wharton Center, the
University's facilities are not
organized under one roof and, as
Brand said, they are simply not
big enough "in terms of backstage
space and seating capacity" to put
on these kinds of productions.
And yet, the University did
attract commercial artists for
many years regardless of spatial
difficulties. What happened?
According to Fischer, the 1980s
saw a massive renovation of per-
formance venues in the Detroit
metropolitan area.
"Places like The Palace, the
renovated Fox and the Fisher
Theater had become the better

venues from the artists' stand-
point," Fischer said.
He added, "They can also put
an exclusivity contract on the
artists for within 100 miles of
When touring shows have
visited southeastern Michigan
in recent years, they've tended
toward Detroit, where there's
the money and the will to attain
arena shows. This also means
the Major Events Office has been
denied the opportunity to do
what it does for some time now:
put on big acts.
"Even if we wanted to do them
there would be the question of
these exclusive arrangements,"
Fischer said. "So right now,
they're not happening in Ann

Lethargic 'Guard'

E-mail join.arts@umich.edu for
information on applying.

Comic duo's sparkle
can't guard against
film's misfires
DailyFilm Editor
There's no reason why "The
Guard" shouldn't be an excep-
tional movie. It features the
wry humor of
and newcomer
John Michael The Guard
(brother of Atthe
Martin, who Michigan
directed "In SonyPictures
Bruges"), who Classics
executes a
script full of
razor-sharp wit, straight-faced
racism and tongue-in-cheek ref-
erences to Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Two exceptional actors, Bren-
dan Gleeson ("In Bruges") and
Don Cheadle ("Hotel Rwanda"),
deliver these lines with maxi-
mum effect, playing off of each
other hilariously and giving some
of the best comic performances
of their respective careers. Yet
despite its exceptional pedigree,
the film comes off more than a
little underwhelming.
The film's script follows the cop
drama blueprint that has worked
since "Lethal Weapon" - by-the-
book FBI agent Wendell Everett
(Cheadle), partners with loose
cannon Irish policeman Gerry
Boyle (Gleeson) to arrest three
international drug traffickers and
stop a drug shipment worth a half
a billion dollars from enteringIre-
land. Along the way, they slowly
bond and come to respect one
another as they sort of investigate
the crime, drifting nihilistically
toward an eventual resolution.
From a plot standpoint, there's
not much to see here. Though
the film features cops and crimi-
nals, there's not much casework


Two girls, one cop.
involved, since, as Everett says,
Boyle is "an unconventional
policeman." Instead of the unpre-
dictability of "shoot first, file
paperwork later," Boyle's a giant
idiot who displays mild corrup-
tion, wild irresponsibility and a
pervasive sense of carelessness.
He has a predilection for hookers
and a tendency to drink and do
LSD on duty. It's all a little much
for Everett, a Rhodes Scholar
from a privileged background,
functioning as both a foreigner
out of his element and Boyle's
strait-laced foil.
The give-and-take between
Gleeson and Cheadle is the mov-
ie's greatest strength, helped
along by Gleeson's deadpan,
utterly naive, devoid-of-malice
comedic timing. Though heavy
Irish accents permeate the entire
film, occasionally getting in the
way of the film's humor, questions
about whether Everett grew up
in the projects and preconceived
notions about how "only black
lads" can be drug dealers come
through loud and clear.
These statements (and much,
much more) are all shockingly
racist, yet in Gleeson's hands, they
sound entirely innocent - not
unlike a schoolboy's curious ques-

tions about a controversial topic.
At one point, Everett poignantly
observes that he can't tell wheth-
er Boyle is "really motherfucking
dumb or really motherfucking
smart." In addition to drinking on
the job, the man plays kid's arcade
games regularly and suffers from
milkshake headaches, yet makes
intriguing observations about
their case, piecing together facts
that Everett's Quantico-trained
mind doesn't see. It's impossible
to tell whether Boyle is being
snarky or genuinely airheaded.
Regardless, Gleeson's delivery
and Cheadle's straight-faced reac-
tions are a pleasure to watch.
Unfortunately, the rest of the
film proceeds at a glacial pace.
Boyle's mother is slowly dying in
a nursing home and his regular
visits are perhaps meant to make
Boyle a slightly more sympathet-
ic character, since it's always eas-
ier to like a guy - even a drunk,
racist ditz - when he loves his
mother. These moments, like the
off skits in an episode of "Sat-
urday Night Live," aren't quite
enough to ruin the film but are
enough to severely undermine
the experience, turning "The
Guard" into something much less
than the sum of its parts.


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