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November 09, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-09

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- I

8A- Wednesday, November 9, 2411

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom *

FILM REVIEW
Effortless 'Heist' lacks humor

THEATER PREVIEW
Last laugh
for 'Falstaff'

By MATT EASTON
DailyArts Wtier
"Tower Heist" wants to be
relevant, and maybe it is. Occupy
Wall Streeters march, the econ-
omy shakes
anedit seems
as 'though it 7
be time Tower Heist
for ;he little
guto scrape At Quality 16
some cash off and Rave
the ;top dogs. Universal
Tiig99 percent
ash to be given
sogsort of film, or even greater
cJNtural representation of its
members' common causes (how-
ev -ague those causes may be).
Arid "Tower Heist," directed by
BR atner ("X-Men: The Last
Sta "), could be that represen-
taid4n.
n. all accounts, "Heist"
a eag the likely candidate.
R6I uan takes from the poor,
hardworking folks, and a Robin
Hood-like plan emerges to steal
back what was taken. This plot,
while not original, is at least uni- "Yeah ... take it off."
versally appealing. So is this the
anthem of a movement, the call- "Heist" is com;
to-arms for the blue collar? to the gas station.3

cl
th

UNIVERSAL

parable to a trip
It's routine, and

Sti
Br(
the
Note
is more
every s
film bet
movien
kind of
you can
cussiow
in whic
skimmi
moneya

.afterwards, you have the taste of
oil in your mouth.
There is a paradox in this type
er, of movie. Ityearns to be relatable,
)derick: Not so it casts Ben Stiller ("Trop-
ic Thunder"), Eddie Murphy
99 percent. ("Shrek Forever After") and Mat-
thew Broderick ("Bee Movie")
- cheeky talents and honestly
appealing actors in certain ways,
exactly - "Tower Heist" but they're not blue-collar. We
a call to conformity. In know they make millions, they
;ense of the word, the know they make millions and
nds to classic Hollywood it shows in their performances.
manufacturing - it's the That's why Stiller was so effec-
produced movie in which tive in "Tropic Thunder," and it's
hear the roundtable dis- why he doesn't work in "Heist."
s of "creative" directors, In taking on "likeable" actors,
h you can see the actors the movie loses its ability to
ngthe script, sensingeasy connect with the audience. The
snd roles, three become a Hollywood wall

between the audience and the
message of the 99 percent. Casey
Affleck ("Gone Baby Gone") and
Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious")
give the film some believability,
but not nearly enough.
"Heist" reeks of superficiality.
Every frame is shiny. High defi-
nition. The cast and crew may be
shooting in New York City, but
it feels like a backlot. The film
slides away on its own glossy
surface - it could only have been
worse if its makers had opted to
shoot it in 3-D.
And ultimately, "Heist" lacks
effort. That's the very thing it
claims to be fighting against:
Big Hollywood hotshots giving
an innocent audience medio-
cre cookie-cutter flair with the
hopes of making a quick buck.
The people deserve better, that's

why they're asking for it.
In addition to this political and
cultural irrelevance, "Heist" com-
mits the ultimate crime: It isn't
funny. Everything would be fine if
in the end the audience had been
given a few moments of laughter.
They aren't, though, and while it's
possible to trash "Heist" for alack
a depth and forward-thinking
cinema, realistically this isn't the
goal of the picture. The goal is to
be funny, which "Heist" resound-
ingly fails at.
"Tower Heist" could be the
perfect crime. Likeable actors,
an accepting cultural climate
- some cheap popcorn fun. For
its producers, it must have been
thought of as a quick job, get in
and get out. Make the money and
run. And it's a great scam, but
only if America falls for it.

Th
the 1
the
joke,
born
and
laugh
laugh
- sig
laugh
every
of lif
chuck
gle, .
even
laugh
our of
Las
comp
"Falst
Musi
presei
day at
op
can c
tragec
nist
weepi
eleme
upon
by elir
to ap
viewe
Th
depic
bawd:
Sir J
acteri
Falsta
spear
and l
of W

Terdi's comedic tist Arrigo Boito combined scenes
from all of these works for the
assic to show at opera. The action proceeds at
a fast pace as Falstaff employs
e Power Center deceptive tactics to improve his
monetary holdings. He writes
By LAURA KAYE two letters of courtship to afflu-
Daily Arts Writer ent married women in Windsor,
but in the end he is hilariously
e legendary closing line to disgraced by the whole town.
893 opera "Falstaff" - "All The opera proves that a protag-
world's a onist does not have to be a typical
man is Falstaff hero - a rotund, jovial figure can
a joker, win over hearts, too.
he who Tomorrow "What makes him infamous is
s last, at 7:30 p.m., that he indulges in the pleasures
s best" Friday and of life," said Jonathan Lasch, a
nals how Saturday and 8 School of Music, Theatre & Dance
ter evades p.m. and Sun- doctoralstudent who willsingthe
portion day at 2 p.m. title role tomorrow and Saturday.
e. With a In' order to play the portly
le, a gig- Power Center hero, Lasch was fitted with a fat
a roar or From$10 suit. He had to work on how to
a shriek, sit, stand and move in this other
ter brings a reprieve from body. Though the training was
ften mundane world. demanding, he enjoyed the expe-
ughter becomes an essential rience of becoming someone so
onent in Giuseppe Verdi's unlike his actual self.
aff," which the School of "It is freeing because I can do
c, Theatre & Dance will things with my body and voice
nt tomorrow through Sun- that I wouldn't do in another
the Power Center. show," Lasch said.
eras, particularly Verdi's, Lasch said that though his
arry a stigma as dramatic character is morbidly obese,
dies in which the protago- he is very appealing and even
dies and the crowd is left charming, ^and always a source
ing. But in some ways, the of humor. Even as Falstaff is
nt of comedy improves depicted as the town drunk,
the opera-going experience he is greatly admired for being
minatingthe static moments carefree, reckless and notori-
peal to a broader range of ously exuberant. Despite some
rs. of his self-indulgent qualities,
e comedic opera "Falstaff" he brings forth an amusement
is the story of Shakespeare's and excitement to the town that
y and unordinary knight, would not exist without him.
ohn Falstaff, who is char- Verdi's opera questions what it
zed as a foolish, fat drunk. means to laugh, and this perfor-
aff first appeared in Shake- mance highlights how laughter
e's two "Henry IV" plays provides a means to release one's
ater in "The Merry Wives strains in order to revel in the
indsor," and Verdi's libret- pleasures of life.

IT'S A BIRD,
IT'S A PLANE
... ACTUALLY
IT'S A TWITTER
ACCOUNT
Follow us on Twitter
@michdailyarts

0

'The Pelican' is notable for its compelling plot, which is filled with deception and adultery.
'Pelican' flies into Basement Arts

o~ ~\~oun7
4-
A,
Vait unck at shesthefirst.org
and Q9oQow ua( @(s h est h e fi rst to Qeautn more

By DHRUV MADEKA
DailyArts Writer
Fledgling pelicans are seldom
fed by their parents. The new-
est Basement Arts production,
"The Pelican,"
draws a par- Pelican
allel between
this animal Tomorrow and
behavior and Saturday at7
human prob- p.m. and Fri-
lems. The story day at 7 p.m.
focuses on two and11 p.m.
siblings, Gerda
and Frederik, Studione,
whose mother Walgreent
has long forced aCenter
them to believe Free
they are in a
dire financial situation. Poorly
fed and forced to constantly fret
over monetary concerns, the sib-
lings slowly begin unveiling the
lies that define their lives.
The show, written by Swed-
ish playwright August Strind-
berg in 1907, alternates between
humorous and tragic moods.
Riddled with deception, intrigue
and adulterous love, it has been
noted for its compelling plot.
Doron Bloomfield, a senior
in the School of Music, Theatre
& Dance and the play's direc-

tor, believes the dysfunctional something Kendall Chappell,
nature of the family makes the a junior in the School of Art &
show more interesting than a Design, believes is something
generic domestic drama. everybody sees to a lesser extent
"A lot of theater focuses on in their own families.
family and domestic situations," "Everyone has a dysfunctional
Bloomfield said. "But this play family," said Chappell, who plays
shows family members who Margaret the maid. "Everyone
alternately relate to each other goes through the time in theii
like they're strangers and then lives where they think their
like intimate lovers, which is mother is the worst or their
probably an abstracted truth father is the worst. It's very o
about all families." relatable in the sense that (Gerda 19
and Frederik) band together .to
overcome their mother."
Bloomfield also believes"the
Lies and family parsimonious nature of the faid
dysfunction in ily and their concern with the
material is something every col-N
Studio One lege student will eventually have
to deal with, though it may not
this weekend. be to the extent of the issues in
"Pelican."
"They focus on problems of
money, especially heating and
This type of "abstracted electricity costs, and groceries,"
truth" may not be familiar to Bloomfield said. "In the cur-
some students except in pieces of rent economy especially, these
classic literature they may have are issues we all face every-
read, like "Oedipus Rex," that day - or we will soon. As col-
discuss similar traumatic famil- lege students, many of us have
ial issues to the those portrayed been paying bills and rent for a
in "Pelican." while now, and some of us are
The classic idea of a family just beginning to confront these
torn apart by lies and deceit is realities."
4t

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