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October 26, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-26

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011- 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

AUmHOR PROFILE
Amurder in maiZe

"Our name is Inigo Montoya. You killed our father. Prepare to die.".
Misfiring 'Musketeers'

By AKSHAY SETH
DailyArts Writer
Every so often a movie comes
along that makes you want to
throw something in frustration.
It's the type of
film that is so *
overwhelmed
by its flaws and The Three
inconsistencies
that no artistic MuSketeerS
merit can shine AtQuality 16
through, just a and Rave
sorry excuse for
entertainment Summit
and an unhap-
py reminder of where the motion
picture industry shouldn't end
up. "The Three Musketeers,"
the most recent film by Paul
W.S. Anderson ("Resident Evil,"
"Death Race," everyone knows
where this is going...) fits square-
ly within that pitiable category of
failure.
The storyline found floating
somewhere in the river of bullshit
thatis thismovie is loosely derived
from the 19th-century novel by
Alexandre Dumas. It recounts the
tale of a trio of King Louis XIII's
personal adventurers as they set
out to defend France from the
calculating Cardinal Richelieu
(Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious
Basterds").
Before beginning their quest,
the musketeers are joined
by would-be swashbuckler
D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman,
"Percy Jackson and the Olym-

pians"
purpos
lent br:
sonalit
life. Th
sion is
sary n
featuri
an awl
equally
betwee
Non
boils
queen'-
which
dinal I
Londor
of an e
ing the
Du
be
dur
royal.'
to star
and Fr
the m
leader,
for him
out. C
already
and ha
of spie
reason

), a character whose sole this entire rigmarole is beyond
e is to add a touch of inso- understanding.
at to the mix of idiotic per- Logical fallacies like this are
ies thatbringthis story to exacerbated by a seemingly nev-
te exact nature of the mis- er-ending stream of senseless
muddled by an unneces- dialogue and sub-par acting. The
umber of plot diversions musketeers, Athos (Matthew
ng flying warships and MacFayden, "Frost/Nixon"),
kward exploration of an Porthos (Ray Stevenson, "Thor")
y uncomfortable romance and Aramis (Luke Evans, "Clash
en the king and queen. of the Titans"), never get a
etheless, it eventually chance to exude that air of heroic
down to recovering the masculinity one would expect
s shiny diamond necklace, from them. Rather, the listlessly
has been planted by Car- frivolous demeanor put on dis-
Richelieu in the Tower of play by the three actors suggests
n in order to incite rumors they're nothing more than side-
xtramarital affair involv- kicks in a movie named after
e queen and an English them. Subsequently, the spotlight
shines bright on Lerman, who
delivers a dulled performance
lexandre that falls in line with the material
he's given. Lerman tries hard, but
mas's classic DArtagnan simply isn't a likable
chracte.
,com es some Like in most large-budget films
that end up being failures, the
nbass movie. weakest component here is the
script. The jokes just aren't funny,
and the one or two parts of the
screenplay meant to be dramatic
The whole point of this is elicit nothing more than a yawn.
t a war between England The fundamental flaw is there's
ance. The Cardinal, being absolutely no measure of depth
sre experienced wartime within the characters or the story,
can then seize the throne leaving nothing for the audience
iself when fighting breaks to truly care about or connect
onsidering the Cardinal to. And without that personal
y controls the entire army connection, this mass of three-
s a formidable collection dimensional stupidity ends up
s within his grasp, the being nothing more than the sum
he needs to go through of its fractured, hollow parts.

Debut novel by
'U' alum is full of
spirited surprises
By ARIELLE SPECINER
Daily Arts Writer
Ann Arbor is typically a peace-
ful town. At the University, stu-
dents converse in the Diag, friends
catch up for a meal on State Street
and squirrels nibble quietly on
some thrown-out snacks. But to
author, '73 alum and U.S. Admin-
istrative Law Judge Debra Gold-
stein, Ann Arbor is the location of
a murder.
Goldstein hosted a book sign-
ing on Monday at Nicola's Books
on Jackson Ave., where she dis-
cussed her journey to becom-
ing a writer and her new book,
"Maze in Blue," concluding with
a question-and-answer section.
A group of 10 men and women
sat in the cozy bookstore listen-
ing to Goldstein, who was char-
ismatic and excited while talking
about how she became a writer.
She explained to the crowd that
this book is ina sense, her dream
- and her dream takes readers
down a road of murder, mystery
and alittle Michigan history.
In "Maze in Blue," her debut
novel, Goldstein and her readers
travel back to a 1970s Ann Arbor,
where protagonist and 'U' senior
Denney Silber's best friend Helen
is suspiciously murdered. Den-
ney feels compelled to solve the
mystery of Helen's death. To add
another dimension, Goldstein
took bits and pieces of the Uni-
versity and planted them into the
story.
"There are a lot of places here
that I thought just lent themselves
to murder or to some whodunit
intrigue," Goldstein said.
Whether the characters are
in Markley's Blagdon Hall or the
Law Quad, or are members of
deactivated local sorority Col-
legiate Sorosis, the University
plays a large role in the mystery
of Helen's murder. The Univer-
sity's many mazes also make their
way into "Maze in Blue," from its
interconnected buildings to the
underground steam tunnels link-
ing together the campus.

cHALET PUBLISHERS
Parts of "Maize in Blue" take place in steam tunnels beneath the University.

"Obviously it's a play on the
color, but ina murder mystery it's
always a maze to solve it," Gold-
stein said.
Goldstein said two different
groups of people are picking up
the book: mystery readers and
alumni. Readers connect to the
general college experience por-
trayed in the story, as well as to
specific sites and locations.
"I drew upon experiences that
I've had," Goldstein said. "I drew
upon experiences that would've
been fun to have. I drew upon
locations and things that you
could do."
While Goldstein - also a one-
time Jeopardy finalist - is now
a novelist, she remains an active
judge, too. She keeps her govern-
ment life separate from her writ-
ing butwants her characters to go
in the same direction she did -
completing their undergraduate
degree at the University and then
going on to practice law.
Though Goldstein enjoys her
time as a judge and law practi-
tioner, she feels legal writing is
stifling.
"I kind of lost my creative abil-
ity, but I didn't think anything
of it," Goldstein said. "But I was

always the one who would write
the skits - like when you're going
to roast somebody or do a corny
thing, I was the skit writer."
Goldstein explained that a skit
she wrote for a group project
helped her career take off. Her
friend's husband commented on
her writing ability and then from
there she went on her innovative
adventure, writing chapters for
her novel, entering essay contests
and even winning one. That essay,
"Maybe I Should Hug You," was
published for More Magazine
online.
"Sometimes somebody just
says the right thing to you and it
changes your attitude," Goldstein
said of her rise.
Goldstein is contracted to the
publishing company Chalet Pub-
lishers to write another book
- a follow-up to "Maze in Blue."
It hasn't been written yet, but
she has a few more tricks up her
sleeve.
"This has been just a fun
release," Goldstein said. "It's been
such a great outlet. And because I
have the other job, I've been able
to not be tied to what a success is,
If it makes money, if it doesn't and
I give it all away, that's fine, too."

Clarkson stays strong

Penny Stamps hosts nonprofit
organization founder Pilloton

By LAURA KAYE
Daily Arts Writer
Consider a student's life with-
out papers to write and tests
to take. That student would
be learning
through visual Emily
and physical Pilloton
activity. This
is the oppor- Tomorrowat
tunity Emily 5:10 p.m.
Pilloton has
devised and The Michigan
implemented Theater
in a rural, Free
impoverished
town in North Carolina.
Last September, Pilloton and
her partner Matthew Miller
started a nonprofit organization
called Studio H. Her vision was
to create a program that would
advance the lives of her students
and their communities. Over the
course of one year, she would
teach high school students
design and construction tech-
niques. After this, they would
put this skill set to the test by
developing their own construc-
tion project for their commu-
nity. Tomorrow, she is making
an appearance in Ann Arbor to
bring her ideas to the stage.
Studio H is located in North
Carolina's Bertie County, where
racial issues plague the commu-
nity. Pilloton emphasizes that
one of the core themes in her
program is having her students
recognize how design can be
made socially relevant.

"We
them e
the po
that iss
Pilloto
provide
and bu
commu
sociali
table."
Pilil
moves
forms
employ
system
ical thi
Her me
creativ
risk-tak
Em
sta
gro
"We
tests,".
teachin
teachin
perforn
op the
think t
rest oft
Even
necessa
dents;
During
concen
essenti

use design as a way to get the students were assigned a
xcited and not to focus on small-scale architecture project
verty, obesity and racism where they built chicken coops
so systemic in this place," for those in need of a sustain-
n. "Instead, we want to able food resource. In the spring
e a way to transcend that semester, they worked on the
sild something for the design plan for their final proj-
anity that isn't about the ect, and over the summer they
issues that are so intrac- became the construction crew,
bringing their vision to life.
ton's teaching method Pilloton's project helps the
away from traditional teens move beyond their lives
of learning. Instead of and see another perspective in
ing a fact-based teaching the world through participat-
, she moves toward a crit- ing in a project that could bridge
inking-based curriculum. this racially divided town and
ethod draws attention to benefit its community members.
ity, experimentation and "It was very important to us
king. for our students to understand
that this wasn't just a sculpture
like a piece of art that we were
il Pillot building," Pilloton said. "This is
ruly lPilOtOfl something that was going to be
rted design used by our neighbors and our
rted desgn friends and family. This human
up Studio JH. element of architecture was so
important and I think some-
thing that you don't see in most
shop classes."
could care less about Pilloton said anyone can use
Pilloton said. "We are not his or her skills for a social pur-
g to a test and we are not pose, but in order to make it real-
ig based on quantitative ized one must have a passionate
mance. We want to devel- dedication to the cause.
skills kids will need to "It takes a lot of bravery and
hrough problems for the ability to work outside your com-
their lives." fort zone, but that's a skill that
though tests are not can't be taught in a classroom
arily involved, the stu- or a university," Pilloton said.
are highly challenged. "It's a type of chutzpah, risk-
the fall semester, the taking and being brave enough
tration is on building to try something. You have to be
al skills. This past year, unafraid of failing."

By CHLOE STACHOWIAK
Daily Arts Writer
She's Miss Independent. The
girl who broke away from her
hometown by learning how to fly.
A strong woman
who can't be
held down by
breakups. The Kelly
co-starof "From
Justin to Kelly," CbarkSon
a pathetic yet Stronger
heartwarm-
ing attempt to RCA
make pop stars
into actors. Oh, and she's the first
"American Idol" winner, a small-
town girl whose powerful voice
started a nine-year entertainment
tradition.
In other words, Kelly Clarkson
is unstoppable.
Even with this long list of
achievements, with songs like
"Because of You" and "Since U
Been Gone" winning Grammy
nominations and national atten-
tion, she isn't going to let her
career - or her passionate music
about the opposite sex - grow
stale. The music superhero just
released her fifth album, Stronger,
a production packed with as many
post-breakup ballads and songs
about girl power as ever before.
It's an album that burns with
self-revival and strength, proving
no one can hold the pop princess
down - especially not a man.
Though the twinkling piano
keys and guitar strums of "Mr.
Know It All" begin Stronger on a
modest note, it doesn't take Clark-
son long to unleash the fiery feel-
ings that ripple through the rest
of the album. Her deep, husky
voice breaks up the song's soft-
ness within seconds, bringing it
into edgier territory as she hurls
defensive phrases like "you don't

Kelly Clarkson has a mean Blue Steel.
know a thing about me" and "you lyrics make the album harder
only got yourself to blame" above to swallow. Many of the tracks
the delicate instruments. seethe with cringe-worthy lines,
The female pride and bitter- ranging from the description of a
ness erupt even more as the album glittery "fire that burns like love"
continues. Tracks like "You Love to the more redundant "Mr. Bring
Me" build Clarkson up into a Me Down, you like to bring me
fierce and independent woman by down." One song even compares
tearing down the guys that once a bad relationship to math equa-
stood in her way. The song isn't tions, using the phrases "square
revolutionary in sound or style, root of pride" and "dumb plus
dumb equals you" in the same
embarrassing extended meta-
H arder better phor. Clarkson's intention for
> > moving and emotionally charged
faster Kelly music is evident - it's just diffi-
cult to take all of that seriously.
Still, it's hard to get too down
on Kelly Clarkson. Even with the
as its keyboard and guitar parts questionable lyrics, her music
dully murmur in the background, shines with the same captivating
but her confidence still makes the vocals that won America's heart
track sizzle. Clarkson's bluntness nearly a decade ago. True, Stron-
is irresistible as she insults the ger is melodramatic at times and
men who have done her wrong, some of the music isn't that inter-
letting' the heartless bastards esting, but she's our American
know that while they ended Idol and we're now in this togeth-
things with her,they weren'tgood er. We have no choice but to pat
enough for her anyway. her on the back and listen to her
While it's easy to nod along post-breakup feelings and self-
with Stronger's quick tempo and discoveries, no matter how poorly
raspy, soulful vocals, some of the written they may be.

p

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