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September 26, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-26

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 5A

S The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Wednesday. Septemher 26, 2012 - 5A

Green Day's newest is
offensively inoffensive

Daily Arts Writer
Everyone has an opinion
about Green Day, and most can
be encapsulated in one of two
sentences. The
music snob
answer is usu-
ally something
like "Dookie Green Day
was pretty jUno!
good, but after
American Idiot Reprise
I just can't
take them seriously anymore,"
whereas most pop fans will say
something like "their songs are
fun and easyto listen to, soI don't
care what that cardigan-wearing
douchebag thinks."

'Donnie Darko 2' turned out a lot different than we expected.
A riveting.'Watch'

Ayer's latest LAPD
thriller best since
'Training Day'
DailyArts Writer
David' Ayer makes cop mov-
ies. There's still debate about
whether or not most of them are
any good, but
there's abso-
lutely no ques-
tion that he's End of
made a shit-ton Watch
of them - six
out of the eight At Quality16
movies he has and Rave
written or
directed are Open Road
almost exclu-
sively about the LAPD and the
hell that can be found in South
Central Los Angeles. And after
over a decade of tweaking, it
looks like Ayer has finally come
up with a winning formula. "End
of Watch," Ayer's best film since
"Training Day," without a doubt
follows a pre-composed for-
mula. That might seem like an
off-putting statement, but "End
of Watch" is so gripping, it's a
testament to how well the pre-

arranged structure works.
Unlike most of Ayer's previous
work, this latest film tells a story
dominated completely by clean
.cops. Not a single person is on
the take, and the overwhelming
feeling at every turn of the script
is good vs. evil. Hell, the main
antagonist (Maurice Compte,
TV's "Breaking Bad") is a twisted
dude literally named "Big Evil,"
who takes pleasure in slaughter-
ing unsuspecting cops.
When it comes down to it, one
of the biggest reasons this film
works so well is that it's decided-
ly definedby its characters. There
are no complicated plotlines
hanging over the film and cer-
tainly no unnecessary twists or
turns. Most of the film is two nor-
mal, fun-loving guys in a cruiser
who happen to be amazing cops.
Officers Brian Taylor (Jake
Gyllenhaal, "Source Code") and
Mike Zavala (Michael Pena,
"Crash") are quietly tailing a
suspected drug runner until
they finally pull him over and, to
their surprise, discover wads of
cash and a gold-plated AK-47 in
the back seat. As it happens, the
drug runner is a soldier for the
Mexican cartels, who have finally
begun exporting their brand of
criminal savagery across the bor-

der to the streets of Los Angeles.
Unceremoniously, the two part-
ners are "green-lit" for an execu-
tion and the hunt begins. It's a
simple story that at times suffers
from a lack of originality, but also
one that perfectly complements
the endearing simplicity of the
Perhaps the most off-kilter
decision Ayer makes isto have all
of the action filmed using minia-
ture portable cameras attached
to the actors' uniforms. It's a
choice that ends up giving a fre-
netic, breathless feel to most of
the action sequences. The vio-
lence is intense but its forceful
pace, whichhits you square in the
face is even more nerve-racking.
At times, the gun-mounted cam-
eras make the shooting and kill-
ing feel like it's straight out of a
video game, and perhaps what
Ayer is trying to portray is the
near fantastical quality of it all.
Somewhere in our world, what
we read about in the paper and
pretend to do for entertainment
actually happens. Good guys
put their lives on the line while
scumbags walk away clean. It's
a giant, unforgiving cliche - one
that Ayer, helped by two excellent
performances from Gyllenhaal
and Pena, brings to life.

Punk doesn't age well.


such i
so divi
Day's I
as a pu
hard er
ents, b
and bu
Green I
tive st
with t
ful albu
No lon
for driv
home f
such a

1Vake ureally, it should be seen as savvy
P business. While the old music
when this may have been more creative,
energetic and authentic, Green
ibum ends Day has struck gold with the
blend of pop-punk that they're
now (in)famous for, and they're
having a good time headlining
strange that a band with corporate concerts and interna-
noffensive music can be tional tours.
sive, but most of the dis- ; Uno!, the new album, is exact-
aents are based on Green ly what you'd expect: a little bit
history. The group began of Springsteen, a little bit of Sex
nk band that played music Pistols, a lotbit of watering down.
nough to piss off your par- In short, the perfect recipe for a
ut cheeky and endearing mediocre top-seller. You could
to win over the younger read a rundown of some of the
raphic. Green Day became songs, but it's really not worth
of the alt-rock airwaves, your time. They made one song
ilt a sizable following of and changed a few chords here
ntled youths. However, and there. The music isn't as
Day leapt from the alterna- insidious as the utter lack of cre-
ations to the mainstream ativity. For 41 minutes and 42
heir monstrously success- seconds, you will be subjected to
amAmericanidiot in 2004. pop-punk that makes Fallout Boy
ger were they a group for sound intricate. Truthfully, you'd
"in the know," but rather be better off listening to Kenny G
vers stuck in traffic coming hold an e-flat for 45 minutes than
rom work. listening to;iUno!
phrase "selling out" has The songs aren't terrible on
negative perception, but their (awn. "Let Yourself Go" and

"Oh Love," stand out as energy-
pumped singles. However, listen-
ing to the entire album will make
your ears bleed. Every song has
the exact same recycled pseudo-
punk riffs. In case you didn't
believe he was punk, Billie Joe
Armstrong swears a lot on some
songs too.
This album will be a' hit,
though. It's hard not to lose faith
when the Billboard 200 crowd
spends their money on garbage
like this. ;Uno! is less exciting
than white bread. More people
fall asleep listening to;1Uno! than
in Stats 250. And rumor has it
that Rip Van Winkle had ;Uns!
playing on his iPod right before
he took his marathon nap.for two
iUno! is one of those rare
moments where something inof-
fensive makes you furious. The
music may not be horrifying, but
the complacency is. To quote
Green Day's own music "it's
something unpredictable, that in
the end is right, I hope you had
the time of your life" making the
shittiest album ofthe year.

Tensions overpower laughs
'in 'Sleepwalk With Me'

'Resort' drowns in plot

For the Daily
Legend of the New York com-
edy scene Mike Birbiglia adapts
his play "Sleepwalk With Me" to
the theaters for
a gut-wrench- ** l
ing compro-
mise between Sleepwalk
angst-induced With Me
comedy and
sincere angst. At the
Playing Matt Michigan
Pandamiglio, an
aspiring comic 1FC
in a relation-
ship circling the drain, Birbiglia
finds humor in the holes of his
life. But as the jokes get better,
the holes get bigger and he finds
himself in need of serious repair.
This is probably an ars poetica for
the real-life comic, whose barely
costumed person and signature
nasally voice, which many will
recall from "This American Life
Live!;" envelopes this movie with
a close-to-home indie feel. But
Birbiglia's welcome narration
cannot shield the audience from
experiencing the pain and uncer-
tainty in the story line.
Co-directed with newcomer
Seth Barrish ("2 Days in New
York") and co-produced by Ira
Glass ("This American Life
Live!"), "Sleepwalk With Me"
tells a story with integrity, from
the mouth of a man whose integ-
rity is constantly in question.
Pandamiglio, the Everyman and
protagonist, is a total ass. There

is a p
from th
in jest1
pen. W
mic re
for ha'
gily at
al, she
to tak
and the
er, all c
atic of
to laug

particular jump-cut away lucidity through which Birbiglia
he narrative to the narrator glints with the same observa-
Pandamiglio reminds us tional brilliance he is famous for.
that we, the audience, are The laughs, however, are far from
sed to be on his side" with the focus of this movie; at least
t to what is about to hap- 80 percent is pure anxiety. The
'e are not. remaining 20 percent is worth it,
re exists a tug-of-war but only to the kind of person able
tn the invitation to make to stomach watching someone's
of problems, and the kar- life tank.
proaches of our anti-hero "Sleepwalk With Me" is deeply
ving done so. When Abby true to life with its handling of the
n Ambrose, "Wanderlust") comedy club scene, being a prod-
to find her boyfriend grog- uct of Birbiglia (and guest star-
tacking a clothes hamper ring comics Wyatt Cenac, Kristen
the impression it is a jack- Schaal, David Wain and Marc
and his family urge him Maron), but Matt's relationship
e the matter seriously; he with Abby stretches credibility.
it off and uses it as joke Abby is too lovely for this movie,
al. As Matt Pandamiglio too supportive. Her perfection
e audience discover togeth- makes it incredible that Matt
omedic taps are symptom- should feel unable to engage her
sickness, and though we romantically. The idea that he
be cured, we must learn would want to break up with her
h even as we attempt to fix seems insane. It's understandable
ves. that Pandamiglio isn't ready for
. the kind of relationship shewants,
but even so, the movie presents
meone took the virtue in the relationship as
entirely Abby's, and one does not
re too many simply break up with that kind of
Arm biens. The polar opposite of a feel-
good movie, "Sleepwalk With Me"
cannot be recommended to any-
one who isn't either a fan of Mike
film narrated by its protag- Birbiglia or Woody Allen, because,
s largely dependent on its while presented asa comedy,there
onist's personality for tex- are too many points that make the
irbiglia's gruff, honest style audience squirm with discomfort.
ipresent, and helps sand the Still, if there were ever consolation
s of the film. Not a comedy, in restless ennui, Birbiglia manag-
a has moments of comedic es to put it there.

Daily Arts Writer
Writer Aaron Sorkin once
plainly spelled out the difference
between writing for television
and writing for
film: Television
is "all middle."
Where a film Last Resort
can start out
with an explo- Pilot
sive opening Thursdays
and dramatic at 8 p.m.
finale, the sec-
ond act need ABC
only tie the two
together. On TV; it's the burning
questions in between that are
addressed for minutes, hours and
years to come.
And so emerges the problem
with ABC's new drama, "Last
Resort." The premiere episode
is satisfactory, but already feels
overly drawn out in order to sus-
tain the premise.
"Last Resort" focuses on the
crew of the Colorado, a U.S. Navy
submarine in the Indian Ocean.
When the Colorado receives
orders to fire a nuclear mis-
sile on Pakistan, Captain Mar-
cus Chaplin (Andre Braugher,
"Men of a Certain Age") refuses
until the request is confirmed by
the White House. In response,
another U.S. vessel strikes the
Colorado, implicating Pakistan as
perpetrators, igniting a war and
leaving an entire American crew
for dead.
That's certainly enough trau-
ma to maintain a season or more,
but it's complicated in decidedly
unhelpful ways. First, there's the
fact that the Colorado survived
the attack and the entire crew
are now victims of a monumen-
tal conspiracy. Then there's the
super-top-secret technology on
the ship, which none of the crew
seem to be aware of but is known
to its stateside inventor Kylie
Sinclair (Autumn Reeser, "No
Ordinary Family"), who explains
crucial aspects of the technology
while wearing distractingly little
And let's not forget the fact that


"Permission to look astonished, sir."
Chaplin tries to elicit an explana- power, the circumstances grow
tion from the U.S. government by uncomfortable.
actively launching a nuclear mis- When Chaplin assumes com-
sile at Washington, D.C. It lands mand at the end with full confi-
in the countryside, causing no dence that the U.S. government
harm, but the fact remains that will follow his orders, there's
he attackedhis own countryjust to a palpable swelling of ego that
prove apoint. reaches beyond the screen and
out into the audience. As much
as we are predisposed to root for
Nukes should the crew of the Colorado, Chaplin
comes off as power-hungry and
not be used more than slightly crazed.
It's not that "Last Resort"
flipprrantly isn't well-executed, but the show
YV L seems to think rather highly of
itself. Ambition and intelligence
are welcome in today's television
The Colorado resurfaces by climate, but there is such a thing
an exotic island populated by as aiming too high too soon. At
a host of ethnically ambiguous least J.J. Abrams has earned the
individuals, meaning that noth- expectation of people watching
ing about the setting ever feels his over-hyped pilots. But when
authentic. From this remote an ad for "Last Resort" boasts
location, Chaplin broadcasts the slogan "honor in defiance,"
an ultimatum: He demands the it seems like a leap of faith when
truth about the attack while we know so little of the defiant.
threatening to launch the Despite moments of riveting
remaining missiles on anyone drama, "Last Resort" establishes
who even tries to approach the too many narrative goals in its
island. pilot episode. The cast, while
The best thing that can be said composed of respectable actors,
of "Last Resort" is that it brings is too extensive; the premise,
up the age-old question of what while thought-provoking, is "all
justifies violence in the name of middle." The episode ends in a
peace. Chaplin and Co. are stand- state of suspended drama that
ing up for honesty, an undeni- may not withstand the fall pilot
ably noble pursuit, but from the season unless a better crew takes
moment he threatens to use fire- over the helm.

onist i
ture. B
is omn
the file

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