TcMonday, October 1, 2012 - 5A
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
M atthew Weiner hates experience that it doesn't matter
spoilers. if you know that Buffy's mom
The creator and dies at some point in the series.
showrunner of "Mad Men" is as I knew it, and it didn't preclude
tight-lipped as they come, keep- the episode of her death from
ing details being one of the best episodes of
about his television I've ever seen. I could
show from have read a detailed description
viewers and of Anya's monologue after the
even his cast. death, and it still wouldn't have
Jessica Par6 ruined seeing Emma Caulfield's
didn't even pitch-perfect, heart-wrenching
know if her delivery.
character KAYLA So yeah, you can know that
would make UPADHYAYA a character is going to die. The
it past season way the characters react, the
four. "You camerawork, that subtle move-
feel like you're a member of Seal ment in one of the actors' jaws
Team Six when you're shooting," - no one can spoil these parts
season five newbie Ben Feldman for you. They're the little pieces
said in an interview with the that make the larger puzzle, and
L.A. Times. "We know as much you're only going to see them if
as everyone else, which is abso- you actually watch.
lutely nothing," Vincent Kart- "Mad Men," more than most,
heiser told Details magazine. is a show that doesn't really
But some showrunners have a make sense until you have all the
different philosophy pieces in front of you. So would
Mike Kelley - the mastermind it really kill Weiner to be a little
behind last season's sleeper hit, more giving? Kelley is confi-
"Revenge" - doesn't see spoilers dent enough in hi writing staff
as the bane of television's exis- and actors to know that even if
tence. In fact, he kinda digs them. viewers know a little bit about
At this year's annual televi- what's to come on "Revenge,"
sion conference PaleyFest, they'll still be blown away as it
Kelley generously divulged all unfolds.
details about the final stretch of
"Revenge"'s first season to his
panel audience. You
A cautious Madeleine Stowe c
asks Kelley if she's allowed to r the journey.
explain something her character J
Victoria Grayson is going to do
in an upcoming episode. She's
shocked when he tells her to go I'm not saying that you should
for it, and so am I. Serialized call up all your friends and tell
shows like "Revenge" thrive on them what happens in the eighth
keeping audiences on their toes, episode of season five of "The
so why is Kelley giving so much Wire." Spoilers can suck. I abide
away? by avery strict don't-tweet-
"Part of the fun of this show about-the-episode-until-after-
isn't just the secrets that we it-has-aired-on-the-West-Coast
keep, but the fact that people code. And some shows are defi-
love to see it all play out," Kelley nitely more spoilable than oth-
explains. ers. But don't let a "spoiler alert"
Itend to agree: Spoilers aren't prevent you from readingsa
so bad. In fact, rampant spoil- review, and definitely don't let a
erphobia has gotten quite out of spoiler prevent you from watch-
hand. When trying to convince ing a show.
my friend to start watching We live in a world in which
"Veronica Mars," I accidentally people live-tweet television as
spoiled part of the plot. it's happening, we can look up
"Well now I'm definitely not even the minutest of details
going to watch it," she said. about a show on Wikipedia and
Huh? Can spoilers really ruin sites like the AV Club throw up
an entire show for someone? If episode reviews mere minutes
knowingwhat happens was a after airtime. Hell, we can even
reason to make TV unwatch- get our hands on shooting scripts
able, no one would own DVDs of before episodes air if we really
shows or tune in for "Battlestar want to.
Galactica" marathons on Syfy. These changes aren't ruining
Television is about the sto- the television experience. But
rytelling and the process, not they have created more work for
isolated plot developments. The writers and showrunners. They
things that really matter aren't can no longer rely simply on
even spoilable. Let me explain by the element of surprise to wow
(possibly) spoiling you. viewers.
On "Buffy the Vampire Slay- Spoiler alert: You can still
er," Buffy Summers's mom dies. have stakes without secrecy.
Now if you didn't know this, So Weiner, can you please stop
you are probably really mad at trolling us with those painfully
me. But that's silly, just as it was vague promos?
silly for my friend to swear off
"Veronica Mars" just because I Upadhyaya is spoiling
let one of its secrets slip. everything for everyone. To stop
I can tell you from firsthand her, e-mail kayla email@example.com.'
Sci-fi revived by'Looper'
and action make a
By ADITI MISHRA
Daily Arts Writer
"Looper" makes a movie critic
happy for many reasons. At the top
of the list: a cast and budget sig-
to potentially .* .
tor Rian John- Looper
a household At Quality16
name. Why? and Rave
Let's learn a FilmDistrict
thing or two
er" and cut straight to the chase
- Johnson's action/thriller/
science-fiction tour de force has
more jaw-dropping, what-the-
fuck moments than "Inglourious
Basterds" and this year's "Cabin
in the Woods" combined.
In other words, this movie
is good - really good. Not just
because it's so unpretentious
and to-the-point that the recent
string of mindless superhero
movies seem like they're feeding
us fodder instead of food, but also
because "Looper" leaves people
debating its story in the most
"Inception"-esque way since,
Screenwriters today forget
the Golden Rule of Writing: If
you want the audience's atten-
tion, write a solid introduction for
your script. "Looper" demands
its viewers' undivided attention
right from the get-go. Based ini-
tially in 2040s Kansas, the film
begins with Joe (Joseph Gordon-
Levitt, "The Dark Knight Rises"),
a looper, waiting for his target to
arrive from the future. As Gor-
don-Levitt's voice narrates dur-
"Who's friend-zoned now, Zooey?"
ing the opening sequences, time
travel won't be invented until 30
years later and will be quickly
outlawed, only to be used by the
mob to send targets to the past to
be obliterated. Loopers have only
one rule: Don't let your targets
escape - even if these targets are
their own future selves.
When it's time for Joe to "close
the loop" by killing his future self
(Bruce Willis, "Moonrise King-
dom"), he finds that his future
self - let's call him Old Joe - has
other plans: To kill the future
mob boss, "Rainmaker," during
his childhood. Young Joe lands
a list of Old Joe's suspects and
decides to wait for him at one of
the marked locations - a farm-
house occupied by Sara (Emily
Blunt, "The Five-Year Engage-
ment") and her ten-year-old son
Cid (Pierce Gagnon, "The Cra-
zies"). Through a series of twists
and turns that bring old Joe face-
to-face with some of his old pals
and girlfriends, we finally realize
which child the Rainmaker really
is - namely, the extraordinary
psychic who can blow people to
scraps with just a scream.
There are loopholes in "Loop-
er." But what time travel movie
doesn't have some? It's an inevi-
table side effect of document-
ing alternative realities. While
debates about how changing
something in the present could
affect the future are sound and
just, they're also inconsequen-
tial to the bigger picture: Time
traveling is merely an underly-
ing contextual theme that allows
Johnson to do some mind-blow-
ing things with this film.
Aside from the plot-gaps, and
a somewhat unfulfilling end that
leaves you mouthing, "Wait, that's
it?," this film is pretty damn excit-
ing. Johnson doesn't dumb down
anything. There's no sympathy in
the way Old Joe hunts down his
kid suspects or Young Joe blows
up every mob worker who gets
in his way. The characters' ruth-
lessness and over-the-top ballsy
actions even occasionally border
on hilarity because Johnson's not
trying to be stylish. This isn't film
noir - this is action at its rawest,
As for Willis, Gordon-Levitt
and Blunt: Needless to say they
live up to their reputations and
make one heck of a bad-ass team.
They play vulnerable people with
guns and guts with phenomenal
talent (like that's a big surprise).
The surprise however comes
from the film's makeup team,
who expertly transform Gordon-
Levitt from his usual hipster-cool
self to a coldblooded killer.
Forget the loopholes and the
ending - "Looper" is a bucket-
load of surprises, gunshots and
blood-spurting gore. It's a place
where battered, graffitied Hon-
das meet flying motorbikes. And
it's probably the best time-travel/
science-fiction film since "The
Martin's humor returns to television
By ANDREW ECKHOUS happen
Daily Arts Writer every q
Demetri Martin has the pedi-
gree of a United States president.
Born in New York City, his father
was a Greek Orthodox priest and
his mother, a nutritionist. He
graduated from Yale in 1995,
and turned down Harvard Law,
instead accepting a full ride
offer from NYU Law.
But that's where the similari-
ties end. After two years, Martin
In a conference call with The
Michigan Daily, Martin said, "I
just dreaded every day. I would
wake up in the morning and not
want to get out of bed."
That's when Martin began his
career as a comedian - and it's
a decision that has proven wise.
When speaking with the
39-year-old Martin, his intelli-
gence is hard to ignore. People
may see him as a smart come-
dian, but he could just as easily,
be labeled an intellectual who
es to ea
is to be funny. He answers ments. Martin's comedy can
luestion slowly and delib- be described as simplistic: He
1. wants everyone to understand
can almost hear the gears and relate to his jokes. He con-
g in his brain as he crafts stantly calls attention to the
e and intelligent respons- ridiculousness of the English
ich query, regardless of its language, but keeps his observa-
He's philosophical in his tional humor accessible.
, and revealingly honest r "When you're, at one of my
elaborating on his experi- shows, you don't need to know
s a comedian, student and who Salvador Dali is to have a
z. good time," Martin explained.
Continuing his relationship
with Comedy Central, Martin's
newest recorded special, "Deme-
tri Martin. Standup Comedian.,"
int n premiered Saturday, Sept. 29.
The show is reminiscent of a
comedy one-man theatrical production,
Y * and that's entirely by design.
It was impossible for him to
perform something outlandish
the uninitiated, one of when he first began.
ri Martin's shows can "I only had five minutes for
unconventional. He tells all of my early shows, so I wasn't
ational one-liners, draws going to be picking up a guitar,"
ist pictures and graphs said Martin.
ells stories with guitar As time went on, though,
glockenspiel accoutre- Martin gained a following and
increased freedom - and Mar-
tin decided he had to take advan-
tage of it. He divided his show
into three parts: observational
humor ("Saying 'I'm sorry' is
the same as saying 'I apologize.'
Except at a funeral."), hand-
drawn charts and graphs ("This
(graph shows) the cuteness of
a girl versus how interested I
am in hearing about how intuiL
tive her cat is") and stories with
During the hour-long con-
ference call, Martin continu-
ously expressed how gracious he
was that he had succeeded as a
comedian. Though he has been
performing for almost 15 years,
it seems he hasn't lost his won-
der - and it's easy to see he still
enjoys himself on stage.
Ninehundred and ninety-nine
times out of 1000, dropping out
of NYU Law to pursue comedy is
probably the wrong choice. With
plicity brand of humor, Demetri
Martin may be the exception.
Presidential Election Forum
PRsenoght iElectionForum The public is cordially invited to attend this
free event sponsored by the Office of Tax Policy
H AResearch at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business,
1't. ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS -- University of Michigan.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: What's at Stake?
This event features commentary
and discussion on health care reform
issues in the presidential campaign
by University of Michigan faculty
and outside experts whose views
span both sides of the political aisle.
October 2, 2012
Thomas Buchmueller: Waldo o. Hildebrand Professor of Risk Management
and Insurance, University of Michigan
David Leonhardt: Washington bureau chief of The New York Times
Katherine Baicker: Professor of Health Economics at the
Harvard School of Public Health
Jonathan Gruber: Professor of Economics at MIT
Time: 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Place: Blau Auditorium
Ross School of Business
University of Michigan