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October 29, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-29

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Monday, October 29, 2012 - SA

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Sprawling'Atlas' succeeds

ballet dreams

adaptation creates
its own genre
Daily Arts Writer
There's something to be said
about 2012 in cinema. While
Hollywood continues to splurge
on big-budget
sequels and
remakes, this Cloud Atlas
year has given
us movies that At Quality 16
are pushing the and Rave
boundaries of
their respective Wamer Bros
"Looper" gave sci-fi films a "HOLD ME, BROTHA!"
much-needed reboot, "Moonrise
Kingdom" proved that there is a The film begins with. Adam
heart to Wes Anderson's imagina- Ewing's (Jim Sturgess, "One
tion, "Cabin in the Woods" edged Day") discovery of a black tribe's
along the boundary of horror and enslavement in the Chatham
comedy without ever turning to Islands during the 19th century
the now-exhausted use of a hand- California gold rush. His rescue
held camera in the making of a of a tribesman, who then tan-
horror film. gles with a ship's doctor (Tom
And then there's "Cloud Atlas," Hanks, "Larry Crowne"), leads
a film that transcends so many to the start of Ewing's movement
genres it has created a category against slavery. "Atlas" then tra-
all for itself. "Atlas" suffers occa- verses another decade, telling the
sionally from the perils of over- story of an unemployed musician
ambition, but its grand scope, in search for inspiration and a pas-
mesmerizing visuals and oft- sionate journalist, Luisa (Halle
noble messages make it one of the Berry, "New Year's Eve"), out to
year's most unforgettable movies. expose a conspiratorial oil execu-

tive (Hugh Grant, "The Pirates!
Band of Misfits"). Nearly two cen-
turies later, Sonmi-451 (Doona
Bae, "The Host"), a genetically
engineered clone, leads a revolu-
tion, like Ewing, against societal
injustice, becoming a goddess to
the people of a post-apocalyptic
world in the distant future.
Because of the visionary per-
spective of its three directors,
Lana Wachowski and her brother
Andy ("The Matrix" trilogy) and
Tom Twyker ("Run Lola Run"),
and the complexity of the book it's
based on, "Atlas" is an innovative
film. The stories told are all differ-

ent and epic in scope, but manage
to find a connectingstring in their
portrayal of society's oppression
of those that are different, regard-
less of time.
It's also, however, a textbook
example of a film that struggles
between imagery and substance,
and it's unclear whether that's an
occupational hazard of trying to
tell six stories that span over 500
years or a crippling shortcoming.
For the most part, the movie suc-
ceeds because of joint direction -
the Wachowskis and Twyker are
able to execute a very "Matrix"-
See CLOUD, Page 6A

thick l
down t
great li
that sh
was ve
my des
So, I sp
the bet
part of
first 10
with a1
cut, wI
was ap
was we
still, I
to brai
I was d
up wit!
So b
This do
me str
onto m
cent pi
from s
begin t
my bo
As a
front o
cally cl
ing the
the 15h
art fort
of agili
the dai

hen I was little, I my obsession with buns faded, I
wanted nothing still wore the tights - this time,
more than long, properly, on my legs. I spent
ocks of hair reaching eight years dancing ballet, jazz
o my bellybutton. My and tap, trying to pas de chat
r, the my way onto the dance scene.
istener The love for dance came from
e is, my mother's incessant theater-
ry going. While inSt. Petersburg,
ant of my family would spend every
ires. Friday night at the Mariinsky
ent Theatre, and I'd sit, enthralled
ter with the lithe ballerinas.
my ANNA After crossing the ocean and
years SD jSyA landing in Michigan, dance took
bowl - a front seat in my life thanks to
hich enrollment in a twice-weekly
parently what every dance school. I considered
n-forward six year old myself the Next Big Thing and
earing in France. Luckier religiously practiced my ara-
was in Russia. besques ... for a few minutes a
can immediately see how day.
less my childhood hap- Soon, it became evident I
was. Despite the minor was not made to dance on the
k of having no real hair big stage. Not only was I a head
d into knots and twists, taller than all the girls in my
letermined to play my class, I was also impatient and
e game of ballerina dress- refused to spend more than an
h a proper ballerina bun. hour at the dance school. My
instructor, Shari, almost broke
her ruler slamming it next to my
feet in an attempt to correct my
sloppy toe-pointing. Everything
was bad.
Ballet, as most people imag-
ancesyou. ine it, is pretty. It's pretty, light
and the dancers all look graceful
and effortless. Let me be the
first to tell you: blisters. Blisters,
egan the age of tights. muscle spasms and exhaustion
ark period consisted of are far more realistic.
etching worn ballet tights Dancers begin at an early
y head, letting the inno- age, training at prestigious bal-
nk legs tangle and twine let schools such as the Bolshoi
my back. Every evening, Ballet Academy in Moscow and
it fail, I'd come home the American Ballet Theatre in
chool, plop a handful of New York. They spend hours
erries in my mouth and stretching and conditioning
o choreograph an elabo- their bodies to fit into the mold
clumsy dance, with the of a ballerina. Grooming a little
selling footwear binding girl or boy into a world-class
wl cut. dancer is as difficult as coaching
type of performance the Detroit Pistons to a winning
ballet is performed in season.
f an audience to the The most prestigious title
paniment of music, typi- awarded to a female ballerina
assical. Originating dur- is the Prima Ballerina Assoluta,
Italian Renaissance in first awarded in 1894 by French
i century, it has since ballet master Marius Petipa
e a technically difficult to Pierina Legnani, an Italian
m, demanding a high level dancer for Imperial Russia.
ty and skill on the part of Since Legnani, the title has been
ncers. bestowed ont10 other ballerinas,
e my hair grew out and See SADOVSKAYA, Page 6A

'Chasing Mavericks'wipes out
By MATT EASTON mind and soul in preparation fory
Daily Film Editor the ultimate wave. He's trained
by local legend Frosty Hesson
An alcoholic writer once (Gerard Butler,"300"), who spendsr
proclaimed that only bullfight- the entire film either gazing at Jay
ing, rock climbing and auto rac- surfing from 500 yards away or
ing were true asking him to write essays."

sports, the rest,
merely games.
While his state-
ment surely
raises some
objections, it's
possible to see
his reasoning.
Those sports
embody a con-
flict between
humanity and natu
where success is m
quest instead of po
spiritual componen
death are very muc
(for examples, se
read "Death in the)
There is one ei
sion from this li
"Chasing Maveric
passable argument
inclusion, but sad
the weight of its ov
"Mavericks" is
Moriarity (Jonny
Dies at the End"),

Chasing Little beneath
Maveicks the surface.
At Quality 16 th*ura e
and Rave
Twentieth As the movie progresses, lit-
Century Fox tle conflicts are introduced and
resolved: Jay struggles to ask out
re (or machine), the girl he loves, a stereotypical
easuredby con- bully hits the mirrors off cars,
ints. All possess Jay's mom is lazy and Jay's best
nts, and life and friend, Blonde (Devin Crittenden,
:h daily realities "Disaster Movie"), uses mysteri-
e "Senna" and ous drugs (gasp!). These arcs have
Afternoon"). emotional depth worth exploring,
gregious exclu- but seldom is. One can't shake the
ist - surfing. feeling that the movie is just try-
cks" makes a ing to fill space.
it for surfing's Frosty's character is the sto-
ly sinks under ry's strength. Frosty is truly torn
erloaded plot. between his compulsion toward
a tale of Jay surfing (danger) and a love of his
Weston, "John family. He broods on a paddle-
molding body, board over a deep ocean trench,

. Guess there was more CGI in '300' than we thought.

contemplating his fear of loss, and
the concurrent emptiness and
fullness of the water - a moment
that taps into "soul surfing."
The problem is, for every scene
of true feeling, there is another
in which Frosty condenses his
religion into buzz-words and self-
help lingo. He tells Jay to observe
the sea, and then, after Jay's arbi-
trary failure, simply "tells him
the answer." There shouldn't be
a SparkNotes for finding yourself
in the ocean, yet, "Mavericks"
almost implies that possibility.
Fear of emptiness, and fear in
general, becomes the major mes-
sage of the script. Jay struggles

to open a letter from his absent
father, both a fear of losing hope
and of what the words inside
might say; Blonde sees Jay moving
forward with his dreams while
he sits flipping pizzas. These are
compelling, complex feelings, but
they end up reduced and resolved
in the simplest of ways. None of
the characters engage in any sig-
nificant manner, so the audience
is left to presume motives - it isn't
subtlety, it's sloppiness.
The editing and direction also
lack cohesiveness. Camera angles
change too quickly, an artifi-
cial attempt to inject energy into

Few snickers in teen flop 'Fun Size'

By NOAH COHEN Wren (Victora Justice, "Vic-
Daily Arts Writer torious") is Just Your Average
Highschooler who happens to
Possibly the weirdest chil- be incredibly gorgeous, her best
dren's movie in existence, "Fun friend (Jane Levy, "Suburga-
Size" is an unredeemably idi- tory") is the Same But Shallower
otic mashup of And Marginally Less Pretty. She
every PG/PG-13 begins the movie as a fangirl of
teen drama Some Idiot Popular Boy (Thomas
of the past Fun Size McDonell, "The Forbidden King-
two decades. dom"). She ends as the girlfriend
One thing it At Quality 16 of her Nerdy Friend Who Genu-
has going for and Rave inely Loves Her (Thomas Mann,
it, though, is "It's Kind of a Funny Story"). This
squeezing so Paramount happens during an Unexpected
hard on its for- Quest to find her Annoying But "BOO!... you whore."
mula, the last few drops are so Uniquely Cool Little Brother,
bizarrely tainted by miscellany Albert, (Jackson Nicoll, "The alized, the boys
that the movie attains a "wait, are Fighter") whom she's assigned to cleanly into Al
they for real?" originality. babysit before her Oppressive But egories. All charac
A Halloween movie whose Well-Meaning Mother (Chelsea minor, somehow
target audience is approximately Handler, "The Chelsea Handler board cutouts of th
no one, "Fun Size" is a surreal, Show") returns home.
shamelessly unironic cultural But the stereotypes don't end
Frankenstein. If you manage to there. The Nerdy Friend, Roo- Cardb
stomach the teenpop absurdity, sevelt, has a Repressed Asian
however, the ending is "Juno"- Best Friend named Peng (Osric chara
esque and actually quite sweet. Chau, "2012") and New-Age Les-
"Fun Size" is much more about bian Mothers. He, Wren and Peng fall f
the feels than the scares. If you're confront bullies, get up to she-
looking for a Halloween movie nanigans that inevitably wreck
guaranteed not to spook you, this Roosevelt's mothers' car and bond
is a fair escape from the creepy through running from the police. As much as you c
tenor of average Halloween enter- Almost every character is movie, any attempt
tainment. It might still creep you pigeonholed into an awkward respectful boys int
out, but not by intent. corner - the girls are too sexu- teen mqvies gets at

separated too nod of approval. Further reasons
pha/Beta cat- to see this movie include a trou-
ters, main and bled but compassionate deskboy
become card- named Fuzzy (Thomas Mid-
emselves. dleditch, "Splinterheads") and a
giant mechanical chicken sodom-
izing a Volvo.
oard This is another one of those
films that probably ought to be
ters pre-gamed for maximum enjoy-
ment. It's an interesting attempt,
[at. but sexually charged "The
Hangover"-style narratives don't
translate well into kid-friendly
Halloween flicks. With its odd-
an hate on this ball content and jerky pace, "Fun
to make nerdy Size" limps into theaters wearing
o the heroes of the mismatched costumes of its
least a cursory predecessors.

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