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January 05, 2012 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-05

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Best Albums
. JayZ&Kanye
est-Watch the
The ostentatious, Rolly-on-my-arm, Bentleys-and-broads rap - ubiq-
uitous on Watch the Throne - is nothing spectacularly original. But what
separates Jay and Ye from the other McMillionaire clowns is the scope and
vision that propelled them to their Beyonce-shaped winner's circle in the
first place.
Throughout their careers, Ye-Z have succeeded by eschewing rap stereo-
types rather than attachingspace-shuttle-sized engines to the back of them
and blasting that shit into outer space.
Watch the Throne is no different. Ye-Z plant their Yves Saint Laurent flag
everywhere, conquering foes like dubstep, Lex Luger and Frank Ocean with
German shepherd snarls and Genghis Khan cries. And they probably aren't
even tryingthat hard. Jay-Z and Kanye West chum around like old pals on
Watch the Throne, trading verses like Pokemon cards, proving, once and for
all, thatgame truly does recognize game.
- Andrew Eckhous
Best Albums, Page 2B


Best TV Shows
1. Game of Thrones
In its heyday, HBO created programs that transcended genres and
offered something for everyone. With "Game of Thrones," HBO has
worked its magic again, turning George R.R. Martin's fantasy saga into a
refreshingly audacious program with incredible mass appeal.
The show's set in a world where seasons last for years and dragons
used to fly around. But that's largely ignored. Instead, HBO presents a
delightfully dark tale full of political and military intrigue. Armies move
at the behest of lords manipulated by seemingly minor players, such as
Littlefinger and the Imp - Tyrion Lannister - who truly run the show.
Illusions of chivalry and grace are shattered by pragmatism and horror.
Elaborate plots and wry wit are a credit to the writers room. The cin-
ematography and production design are a testament to HBO's attitude of
"Budget? Psh, we can pay for it with Skinemax." And of course, there's
that final, shockingbeheading.
- David Tao
>> Best TV Shows, Page 3B

Best Films

1. Drive
A guy supplements his income by getaway driving for the Los Angeles
underworld and becomes trapped between the mafia and the woman he
loves. It sounds utterly conventional, yet somehow, "Drive" defies expec-
tations, an example of everything Hollywood's missing.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn's masterpiece is more arthouse than
blockbuster, but it isn't the arrogant wish-fulfillment of "Midnight in
Paris," nor is it Terrence Malick's, "I studied philosophy at Harvard"
brand of condescension. Refn takes us back to a time when filmmakers
cared about how their films looked, designing the composition of each
frame, each action set piece, each incredibly choreographed outburst of
white-hot violence, with meticulous detail. With the help of lead actor
Ryan Gosling, who turns in his best performance, Refn's filnmreinvigo-
rates the crime-action genre, breathing new life into a tired field.
- David Tao
Best Movies, Page 2B


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