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February 08, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-08

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T DaFriday, February 8, 2013 - 5

0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

"The Godfather Part IV: Oh God, We Look So Old."
Pacino, Walken
and Arkin delight

Friends and family
take centerstage in
'Stand Up Guys'
By CONRAD FOREMAN
Doity Arto Writer
Pacino. Walken. Arkin. Could
you ask for abetter trio? "Stand Up
Guys" features these three Acad-
emy Award-
winning actors B
in the twilight
of their careers, Stand Up
teaming up for Guy
an hour-and-a-
half of actorial AtQuality 16
awesomeness. and Rave
Val (Al Pac-
ino, "The God- Lionsgate
father"), an old
con man, gets out of prison, having
just served 28 years because of an
accidentalkillingduringabotched
job. Doc (Christopher Walken,
"Catch Me If You Can"), Val's
friend and former business part-
ner, is there to welcome Val back
to the world. However, this isn't
the joyful reunion of friends that
it should be. Their old boss orders
Doc to kill Val for allowing his son
to die on the same job that landed

Val in prison. Conflicted, but fear-
ful of the consequences should he
not carry out the job, Doc allows
Val to spend his remaining hours
in whatever way he wants (leading
them to a brothel, a new car and A
LOT of breaking and entering).
During their nighttime adven-
tures, they rescue their old friend
Hirsch (Alan Arkin, "Argo"), now
residingin anursinghome. Hirsch
is eager to escape, asking only that
his friends let him "get another*
hit" of his oxygen tank before
breaking out. Arkin is able to steal
almost every scene he's in, and he
generates many of the laughs for a
movie that is much more of a black
comedythan it's sold as.
The film has its fair share of
deep and serious moments as
well. Hirsch's relationship with
his daughter is featured, with
her reflecting on the valuable les-
sons her father taught her. Doc's
attachment to his granddaughter
becomes central to his character
and the plot. Disconnected from
his daughter, Doc has found his
granddaughter and routinely
interacts withher -unbeknownst
to his daughter. The protection of
friends and family emerges as the
major theme of the film, as most of
the decisions made by the charac-

ters are made in order to protect -
or avenge - somebody important
to them.
Pacino is perfectly suited for
this role, as the character in some
ways reflects his career in act-
ing - the glory days of gunfights
and heists are long gone, but this
washed-up hero of old isn't quite
ready to let them go. Walken is
exactly what he should (and is
expected to) be. He delivers his
lines with his signature deadpan
expression and the most imper-
sonated voice in Hollywood.
There are even a couple of Walken
"OH!" moments, which should all
be treasured and cherished.
"Stand Up Guys" is by no
means perfect. A few of the jokes
fall flat and feel recycled, and
there are some aspects to the
story that are not entirely realis-
tic. But what shortcomings this
film has are overshadowed by
impressive performances by the
three leads and enough funny
moments tokeepup withits semi-
comedic tone. The characters are
believable and the connections
between them feel genuine, as one
would expect from this cast. This
isn't the Oscar-hungry movie that
many people are expecting, but
it's entertaining and rewarding.

BIG MACHINE
"I can't wait for Kanye's new album."
"
Swift and McGraw
team up for country hit

By GIBSON JOHNS
Online Arts Editor
And now, the country duet
you totally forgot you always
wanted! But seriously, ever
since Taylor Swift sang her
debut single "Tim McGraw" to,
well, Tim McGraw back at the
2007 ACM Awards, this duet
needed to happen.
Anyway, it's, about time we
got another epic pop-country
midtempo collaboration, is it
not? I mean, it's been a year
and a half since Brad Pais-
ley and Carrie Underwood
released "Remind Me" and
a little over two since Jason
Aldean and Kelly Clarkson's
"Don't You Want to Stay." It's
the void that we didn't know
we needed filled, y'all. And
Tim and Taylor have hit the
spot in our achy, breaky hearts
with "Highway Don't Care" off
of McGraw's new album Two
Lanes ofFreedom.
The odds of this duet ever
happening, though, seemed to
dissipate in recent years with
McGraw focusing on his acting
career with supporting roles in
"The Blind Side" and "Country
Strong,"
and Swift First seen on
making it
clear that -the filter

she'd r
ster an
make a
I'm co
ued S
tion aE
proved
in thos
the da
these
r
d
wit
seeme
Wel
and, m
er. "H
a hear
drivin,
ure ou
relatio
remin
playsc
be me
aroun
song-c
shades
less,
moves

ather dress up like a hip- big, electric guitar-backed cho-
id dabble in dubstep than ruses while Swift and McGraw's
country record. Not that vocalsmeld together to create a
mplaining - Red contin- track that is pure modern coun-
wift's impressive evolu- try perfection.
s an artist and McGraw Complete with a guitar solo
i his multifaceted talent from fellow country power
se films - but I did miss player Keith Urban, "Highway"
ys when a duet between 's destined to give McGraw and
two country superstars Swift yet another hit on the
country charts and has some
potential crossover appeal.
Sure, the track's message that
a highway doesn't care about
ealizes her a person as much as the singer
does could delve into ridicu-
luet dream lousness, but McGraw and
Swift's performances here pre-
:h 'Highway' vent that from happening. And
besides, isn't that what makes
country so likeable? Country
music embraces its inane meta-
d possible. phors and tells stories that hit
I, the day has arrived home.
aan, did those two deliv- After all, that is what made
ighway Don't Care" tells Taylor Swift so famous in the
tbreaking story of a guy first place, right? Her story-
g around trying to fig- telling? You have to love seeing
t what he did wrong in a Swift, even for just a moment,
nship when a song that return to her roots in this duet
ds him of the girl he lost with McGraw, the man she
sn the radio. It could just titled a song after seven years
but the whole driving- ago and sang to at an awards
d-when-an-important- show with just a guitar.
omes-on theme gave me - The original version of this
of "Our Song." Regard- article was published online on
"Highway" seamlessly The Filter, the Daily Arts blog, on
from its soft verses to its Feb. 7.

"Shout out to 'Gossip Girl.' Dats my ish
" Drake hits creative'Bottom'
with monotonous single

By RAY MALO does h
DailyArts Writer Tha
lacks a

Drake's back, a week earlier
than previously announced, with
"Started From The Bottom," the
first single from his yet-untitled
upcoming album. Its hypnotic
instrumental suggests a slight
departure from 2011's Take Care,
his mostly excellent sophomore
LP, and perhaps a shift more
towards the dystopic sonic uni-
verse his friend and collabora-
tor The Weeknd has built on his
own records. Heavy on the 808s,
repetitive, atonal piano line,
really chill. But it's simply not a
matchwithwhat he'stryingto do
vocally.
Drake has three distinct vocal
styles: hang back and just spit
monotone, fast-forward, qua-
druple-time articulations and,
of course, the infamous rap-
sing. The latter two are what set
him apart. Drake gets in trouble
W when he relies too copiously on
the mono- .
tone, First seen on
which is
what he -the filter

form in
Bros, e
awkwa
they ca
selves
ni**a (
which
like,
TIME
We
th
ove
Dral
is chal
at no
I feel
to this
swagge
not ex'
I love

ere. is the story here? Oh, you argued
t doesn't mean this song with your mom? Shit, that's rock
ppeal. It's going to trans- bottom, homie. I can't believe
nto a monster in the club. you made it big after arguing
specially, will get in close, with your mom and having your
ird rap circles, act like uncle call you.
in relate and censor them- I won't spend much more time
every time Drake says critiquing this track, because I
I see the irony, thank you), truly don't believe Drake applied
happens on this track, much creativity toward making
SO MANY GODDAMN it. "Started From The Bottom"
S. tries to establish a backstory
straight out of a Horatio Alger
youth novel. That's fine. There's
'11 e he ring a lazy Degrassi joke in there
11 be hearing somewhere. l mean, it's indis-
is over and putable that Aubrey Graham's
version of the bottom is high-,
r in the clubs er up than say, Biggie Small's
"Juicy," but whatever. He start-
.n no time. ed from a bottom, and now?
He's here. He's penned some
"Hell Ya Fucking Right" memo-
rable songs and flashed some
ke is at his finest when he lyrical brilliance. And yeah, he's
lenging his listeners, and worked his ass off to get here.
point during this song do Just don't get complacent on us
challenged. He's gotten now, Jimmy.
level by backing up his - The original version of this
er with genuine ability, article was published online on
pressing hardships. Look, The Filter, the Daily Arts blog, on
storyteller raps, but what Feb. 7.

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