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April 02, 2012 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-02

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e

Monday, April 2, 2012 - 5A

was t
umn
sible
pointingt
right tim
we're nea
ing the fi
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Whedon's
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it's becau
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versary -
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But on
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"Buffy" m
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The legacy o'Buffy'
trying to put this col- - Buffy sacrifices herself. Kill- moments come in the "Buffy"
off for as long as pos- ing off a main character in such companion series "Angel."
, but all signs seem to be a glorious fashion takes guts, but The multi-faceted world
toward now being the the "Buffy" writers are as fear- "Buffy" creates is something
e. Maybe it's because less as their superhuman Slayer. current dramas have sought to
r- _ Speaking of death, Whedon accomplish. In an episode of
nal seems to love driving a stake "Parks and Recreation" earlier
en through his viewers' hearts and this season, Ben Wyatt remarked
doesn't hesitate to rack up the that HBO would never can-
's body count. Buffy may have been cel "Game of Thrones": "It's a
able to come back from the dead, crossover hit. It's not just for
aybe but that hardly means the show fantasy enthusiasts, they're tell-
se doesn't take death very seri- ing human stories in a fantasy
just KAYLA ously. There's camp and there's world." Ben's observation is
d UPADHYAYA humor, but "Buffy" is undoubt- spot on, and it has been made
nni- - edly a heart-wrenching show. by countless other TV critics.
Lovers leave, lovers die, friends "Game of Thrones" perfectly
the reason, I think it's drift and every single character fuses compelling narrative with
the right time for me has to face evil in the corporeal exciting genre television. But
bout "Buffy the Vam- demon/monster form as well as that's nothing novel. It may have
r." the everyday, "that's just life" been operating on a significantly
ve somehow managed to form. And every main actor nails smaller budget, but "Buffy" was
ly avoid "Buffy," you're every emotion. Gore and vulgar- capturing human stories in a
wondering what could ity don't faze me, but the second fantasy world long before Robb
cial about it. In a time Willow Rosenberg starts crying, Stark and his beautiful chiseled
ple have become entire- I almost have to look away to face graced our televisions. And
Boned with anything avoid an emotional breakdown. "Game of Thrones" has certainly
spires, it might be hard been influenced by at least one
e a show that incor- of the "Buffy" masterminds -
e fanged beasts and he uff w ould writer Jane Epenson penned "A
ously manages to be the Iy WO Golden Crown."
dard for supernatural win the 'Game "Game of Thrones" is not the
mal" dramas alike. only present show with obvi-
ce upon a time, that of Thrones' ous "Buffy" influences. Look
;ted, and anyone famil- no further than the numerous
he Buffyverse knows showrunners and writers who
world consisting of cite "Buffy" asa direct influence
re than vampires, And of course, I can't give on their work - including Phil
witches and Slayers. "Buffy" the credit it's due with- Collinson of "Doctor Who," Rus-
vas drama and genre out notingthat it's home to the sell T. Davies of"Torchwood"
, and it set the bar for best-written female characters in and Jamie Brittain of "Skins" -
e television. television history. Whedon said and the even longer list of shows
for example, the clever- he conceptualized the show as a that pay homage to the series.
unconventionality of debunking of the Hollywood cli- "Buffy" has made a profound and
he show's best episodes. ch4 of "the little blonde girl who lasting impact on the television
s "Hush," a terrifying goes into a dark alley and gets landscape.
ation of show creator killed in every horror movie," and Awards and ratings be
don's recurring child- he remains a champion of strong damned - a true measure of a
itmare. Beyond simply female characters (which I'm show's value is its legacy, and
ig as a bone-chilling hoping will be evident in "Aveng- there are few shows that don't
Hush" also took a huge ers," since comic-book-based owe thanks to Joss Whedon and
e was no dialogue for movies notoriously mistreat his original team of superheroes.
ately 30 minutes of the women). There are also few television
inly a musical score. Buffy is the obvious example critics who come to mind that
here was "Once More, of a strong (literally!) woman on don't consider "Buffy" one of
ing," the acclaimed and the show, but there's also Wil- their all-time favorite shows or
susical episode that low, who we get to see as a tech- the reason they fell in love with
conventional dialogue nology-savvy, awkward teen in television in the first place. Even
and dance. This wasn't love with her best friend, a new when the show wasn't at its best
seets "Glee." It wasn't witch whose heart is broken by a (ahem, most of seasons six and
or trite, either. The werewolf, a dangerously power- seven), it was still taking chances
'as unabashedly silly at ful witch who loses control, a with bold storytelling and ever-
it's hardly the upbeat, recovering addict, and a loving changing character dynamics.
good ol' time you might friend. There's also Faith - who I feel like I've been beating
in a musical. Whedon's is inextricably bound to Buffy around the bush a bit, soI might
eal and explore the and yet completely mirrors her as well just say it: "Buffy the
and tensions that have - and the ever-hilarious, cyni- Vampire Slayer" was one of the
ding up for several epi- cal Anya, whose breakdown in best things to ever happen to tele-
incredible amount of "The Body" is strikingly honest. vision. One of my favorite televi-
t into making "Once She has lived for more than 1,000 sion critics, Emily Nussbaum,
h Feeling," a spellbind- years, has seen countless deaths, once argued TV didn't become
episode. The result? It and yet still can't cope with the art until the current decade, and I
me of the best television loss of someone she knew. respectfully disagree. Television
of all time. Then there's my beloved became art when Joss Whedon's
en there was that time Cordelia Chase, who proves you brainchild came to life. Televi-
killed off its heroine, don't necessarily have to have sion became art the second Buffy
n One herself. Season magic or super strength on your Summers moved to Sunnydale
le "The Gift" views side toube a champion. She's so and her adventure began.

'Titans'trips, falls
Greek epic can't
escape poorly
wrTit ten scr ipt

By MATT EASTON
Daily Film Editor
There's a certain advantage an
action film has over films of other
genres: If it's bad, it becomes
funny. Com-
pare that to the ***
purgatory of an
awful comedy Wrath of
or a muddling the Titans
drama, and it's
apparent why, At Quality 16
when a film like and Rave
"Wrath of the
Titans" most- Warner Bros.
ly misses the
mark, it still ends up being a rela-
tivelyenjoyable experience.
Sam Worthington ("Man on
a Ledge") stars as Perseus, the
reluctant hero of humanity who
is pushed into a quest to save
his father Zeus (Liam Neeson,
"The Grey") from the clutches of
Hades (Ralph Fiennes, "Coriola-
nus"), who is attempting to raise
the big baddie Kronos from his
imprisonment in Tartarus. Per-
seus is joined by a ragtag group,
including half-god Agenor (Toby
Kebbell, "War Horse") and war-
rior queen Andromeda (Rosa-
mund Pike, "The Big Year").
The story may be of question-
able Greek mythological origins,
but it has potential. The first
combat sequence, in which Per-
seus battles a Chimera, is pulse-
pounding, and it's admittedly
fun to watch Worthington put
monsters in headlocks and be
thrown about likea ragdoll. Sadly,
the action doesn't maintain, and
"Wrath" decides to focus more on
the anticipation before the fight-
ing. It doesn't work - it's more
fun to see Worthington go WWE

"Katniss learned everything she knows from me."

on creatures from hell than to see
his "range" of scared expressions.
Stone-faced Worthington is an
enigma. In scenes with his son,
Helius (newcomer John Bell), he
reminds you why his most famous
role relied on CGI emoting. But in
the moments of physical expres-
sion, he excels. Perseus, after
being thrown from the shoulders
of a Chimera, rolls on the ground
like a dad with back pain, his face
showing that it really hurts. Also,
he stays down almost a little too
long (five seconds or so), making
viewers appreciate that being a
hero isn't easy work. It's a little
funny and over-the-top, but it
feels realistic.
Surprisingly, the supporting
acting is also admirable (con-
sidering this is certainly a film
one could phone in). Choosing
Rosamund Pike to play Androm-
eda was an interesting choice,
because she isn't obviously hot
- which is a good thing. She is
more queen than model, grunting
instead of posing. Her face also
possesses a natural intelligence,
not the sort of dead-eyed Megan
Fox-ness that seems standard in
certain action films.

Fiennes and Neeson are, pre-
dictably, the true forces of the
film. Neeson (who is literally in
every movie, but no one cares
because he is so cool) is a fatherly
Zeus, delivering wisdom and
warnings in his graveled voice.
Also, it's exhilarating to watch
him saunter across battlefields,
force lightning-ing every vil-
lain in his peripheral vision. As
Hades, Fiennes delivers his lines
with such conviction - using
eyes that turn from hatred to
fear in a split-second - that you
almost forget the script.
As for the script - the horror,
the horror - no amount of act-
ing chops can save this flimsy
excuse for writing and dialogue.
In the first scene with all the
gods, they say "brother" more
times than a frat house on Friday
night (or Hulk Hogan every day
of his life). Worthington, before
he goes off to fight the final bat-
tle, declares he won't be giving
a big speech. It's meant to con-
vey that he is just a man of few
words, but it seems more like the
film's writers are copping out of
actually doing their job. Even
See TITANS, Page 6A

es finale, rife with sus-
yoff and life-or-death
To defeat Glory-- one
ws very best Big Bads

much more than the queen bee
she appears to be in the first
few episodes, though most of
the character's most compelling

Upadhyaya is slaying
vampires. To join her, e-mail
kaylau~aumich.edu

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