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September 26, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-26

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8A - Monday, September 26, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

2, 'Broke Girls' isn't poor

The 'King' is back

Three dimensions
bring Disney classic
to younger viewers
Daily Arts Writer
In 1994, "The Lion King" was
released as Disney's 32nd ani-
mated film. This feature-length
cartoon carried on the rich tradi-
tion of Disney films - of course
characterized by memorable plots
and characters ripped off from
centuries-old sources (see works
by the brothers Grimm, the Bible
and Shakespeare) and harried
parents ushering their screaming
children into a darkened theater,
praying for an hour-long distrac-
tion for their children under the
guise of "family time." In 1994, I
was among these screaming chil-
drenabout to experience a"movie
theater" film for the first time.
Lucky for this no-longer-three-
year-old, "The Lion King" is a
pretty impressive film to call a
first. It's hailed by critics not only
as one of the best animated films
in the history of cinema, but also
one of the best movies of all time.

The critics love the art direction,
the characterization, the overall
message - all of these things and
more. However, five-year-olds
seem to be able to grasp some-
thing that critics just can't - what
makes "The Lion King" great lies
in the simple fact that it's a sensory
overload. It occupies young minds
with a barrage of noise, constant
flurries of activity and most of all,
Pumbaa and his song about farts.
. Ranked number one in the box
office during the first week of its
two-week run, "The Lion King"
has returned to the silver screen
with a rush. And if it wasn't a
sensory overload before, now it's
in 3-D - so hold on to your hats.
Now the stampede will be rush-
ing directly towards the audience
at a breakneck speed, and Rafiki
will lift baby Simba into a sky that
looks downright touchable. One
must pause for a moment, how-
ever, and wonder if some of these
scenes will be a bit much for small
children to handle - imagine
being four and being convinced
that there's actually a giant, blood-
thirsty hyena circling you and
your friends. It's sort of scary.
"The Lion King" is one of the
last hand-drawn greats in the

world of feature-length animat-
ed films. In our day - until "Toy
Story" changed the game - that's
all we had. Gone are the days
when a movie was based entirely
upon the skills of a pen-and-paper
artist, his or her renderings and an
ability to put it all together. These
days, cartoons sometimes feel cold
and foreign - the perfect edges
and lines of computer animation
utterly lack the telltale, comfort-
ing signs of the human touch.
However, computer animation
is to today's children what hand
drawn cartoons were to mine.
What's even better is a mixture of
these two things. And what bet-
ter way to mesh old-school hand-
drawn animation with today's
technology-obsessed culture? Put
it in 3-D.
Anyone can poo-poo the cur-
rent fixation on 3-D as well as
anything classified as bigger,
stronger, faster, better. Of course
we will always believe that our
cartoons were better and that our
childhood was the only way to
have a childhood. The important
thing is the younger generations
will have the opportunity to see
a movie in theaters that for many
of us symbolizes the comfort-

For the Daily
In its latest attempt to pro-
gram for people under the age
of 50, CBS has brought us "2
Broke Girls,"
the story of
an earthy and
jaded waitress 2 Broke Gids
and a billion-
aire's daughter Pilot
fallen on hard Mondaysat
times trying 9:30 p.m.
to make it in CBS
Brooklyn. CBSI
have touted "2 Broke Girls" as
the highest-testing CBS show
ever, and it merits exactly the
judgment you would expect for
a high-testing CBS comedy: It's
not terrible.
Whitney Cummings is the
hottest thing in television this
fall. Not only does she run and
star in "Whitney" over on NBC,
but she's also the co-creator of
this show. Maybe that's why "2
Broke Girls" is so messy _ and
boy, is it ever. Kat Dennings
("Nick and Norah's Infinite
Playlist") is self-described "dead
inside" waitress Max, and Beth
Behrs ("Serial Buddies") plays
Caroline, the daughter of a con-
victed Ponzi artist. The stale
archetypes don't stop there.
There's a douchebag boyfriend,
a gang of stoner buddies and
even an Asian restaurant owner
with comically bad English, all
played about as broadly as pos-
sible. The Madoff reference sets
the bar for cuttipg-edge topical-
ity. There are hipsters! Arcade
Fire is name-dfopped! This is
what your uncle in Saint Cloud
thinks hipsters talk about,
except your uncle in Saint Cloud
doesn't know what hipsters are.
Vaguely racist gags and old-
person's-view of Williams-
burg bohemia aside, though,
there are other issues with the
pilot. When they flop, the over-
wrought clunkers really flop,
viz. "I wear knit hats when it's
cold out - you- wear knit hats
because of Cgldplay." (They.
couldn't have stretched a little
for "I wear knit hats in Decem-
ber, you wear knit hats because
of The Decemberists?") Some
of the jokes are terrible and
strained, and the writers have
very little ear for dialogue. It's
not all bad though. The socialite

Those girls have some big ... sandwiches.

for wh:
to hold
as if th
being f
what t
end oft
rial att
the epi
ger the
the wi
- she':
Max le
of clue
from t

om Maxbabysitsbecomes tionship is traditionally written.
'nal and says, "I need The writing ranges in qual-
d one of the babies now. ity from "not bad" to "I'd rather
me one. No, not that one, listen to the eldritch murmurs
not the good one." It's not of Cthulhu itself." What real-
e writers are incapable of ly keeps the pilot from being
funny, and they have the a total flop, though, are the
ty to improve. actresses. The jaded waitress
schtick can get stale fast, but to
Dennings's credit, she plays the
C S character without being grat-
ing. Behrs has even less to work
with, but her delivery and tim-
m tyo ing mask a lot of deficiencies in
ster-friendly the writing. Their chemistry is
great. Look to the scene where
Ogramming Max awkwardly says goodbye
to Caroline, who clearly needs
a place to stay. That the scene
is charming and entertaining
re's some evidence of instead of cringe-worthy is an
his show can be by the endorsement of the abilities of
the episode. Though Beth the actresses to elevate medio-
is given terrible mate- cre writing.
the beginning, a different Just like "New Girl," its rival
ic emerges by the end of "cute girl adapts to different sur-
isode. Caroline is no Ion- roundings" show, "2 Broke Girls"
Upper East Sider lost in is selling personalties. There
Iderness that is Brooklyn are two here instead of one, and
s shrewd, competent and in the end, Dennings and Behrs
g plans for the future. are given compelling characters
ts down the world-weary to play and have the chops to do
and comes off as slightly alot with them. It's OK for pilots
ed, vulnerable and kind to suck. There's enough here to
less. It's a nice reversal come back for, and for a network
he way this kind of rela- sitcom, that's plenty.

able and untroubled days of early

childhood. Those immortal words
- "Hakuna Matata" - will once
again blare across cinema speak-
ers and reach a whole new age
group of ears and minds with the
concept of taking it easy. The fact
that it is in 3-D is irrelevant - no
matter the way in which are they
are told, classics like "The Lion
King" live forever.

Your opinion S importan to uS
and we would like to hear It.
TheRide is proposing service
Improvements on Route 4, serving
the popular Washtenaw Avenue
corridor. We need your feedback on
how to make It the best It can be.

Nintendo forgetting it's all about games

By SHIN HIEFTJE look so dire all of a sudden? Let's
Daily Arts Writer look at the 3DS first. Many peo-
ple in the industry have specu-
It doesn't feel that long ago lated that the market for iPhone
when Nintendo was on top of the games has become so large that
world. With the Wii and the DS consumers don't want' to buy
becoming huge mainstream hits a dedicated gaming handheld
since they were released, over anymore (like the 3DS). Others
time Nintendo became a seem- think the name 3DS is too simi-
ingly unstoppable titan of the lar to DS, and casual shoppers
industry, raking in massive prof- don't realize that the 3DS has
its over the past half-decade. Just completely new and improved
last year, commercial hits like technology over the regular DS.
"Super Mario Galaxy 2," "Don- And then there's the issue of
key Kong Country Returns" and it being too pricey as well. All
"Just Dance 2" made it look like these are valid criticisms, but
the Wii was still going strong. there's a much simpler expla-
nation to Nintendo's struggles:
games, or more specifically, a
M icrosoft and lack thereof. launched the
Sony starting prematurely, with an overconfi-
dence that the market would buy
to one-up it simply because it was there,
even though there were very
Nintendo. few games worth buying and the
3DS had missing features. Three
months later, in Jtne, it released
"The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of
However, this year has shown Time 3D" and also implemented
that no company is unshakable: an "eShop," a slick marketplace
Nintendo has had a fairly shock- where you can download games
ing reversal of fortune as sales digitally right to your 3DS. If
for its products have been down Nintendo had simply waited and
across the board. With Wii sales launched in June when there
slowly diminishing and the 3DS's was a somewhat substantial
inability to gain traction in the amount of content, it probably
market since its launch in March, would have done much better.
Nintendo's profits have been Still, despite how excellent "Oca-
shrinking fast. The 3DS did so rina of Time: 3D" is, it's only
poorly out of the gate Nintendo one product, and a port at that.
cut the price from $250 to $180 Besides that, there's been little
this August - one of the quick- of note for the 3DS over the last
est price drops in recent memo- several months.
ry. Stockholders in the company The same goes for the Wii.
have been so alarmed that they There's a very simple reason no
suggested that Nintendo should one has been talking about the
think about developing Pokemon platform this year. It's because
for the iPhone, a pipe dream that there's been practically no games
will likely never happen. coming out for it. Can you think
So what's the problem? What of a single major Wii game that
has happened to make Nintendo has come out this year? I actu-



"Ride like the wind, Epona!"
ally don't think there actually
are any. I can't tell if it's because
Nintendo can't convince third-
party publishers to develop big
games, or because Nintendo is
confident the Wii will continue
to sell no matter what. Whatever
the reason, it's bizarre that the
market for Wii games seems to
have disappeared overnight.
Of course, Nintendo does still
have big games coming out this
year for its platforms. "Mario
Kart 7" and "Super Mario 3D
Land" are both marquee titles
for the 3DS, as . are "Kirby's
Return to Dream Land" and
"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward
Sword" for the Wii. But these are
only four games. Compared to
the bevy of high quality games
that have been released for the
Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this year,

the release schedule for Ninten-
do looks anemic. Furthermore,
all of Nintendo's major games
for the fall are made internally
by the company. The big N has a
history of struggling to get third
party publishers to make games
for its platforms, and 2011 is
proof of that.
It would be silly to think Nin-
tendo is down for the count. It's a
veteran company that has made
some risky moves in the past to
achieve great success. But, as
this year has shown, even the
biggest video game companies
will face adversity if they don't
have, well, games. If Nintendo
can't figure out a way to release
quality games on its platforms
more consistently, it'll be hard
pressed to match the level of suc-
cess it has had in the past.


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