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March 11, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-11

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8A - Monday, March 11, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Monday, March 11, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Lifeless'Last Exorcism
Daily Film Editor

"The Last Exorcism Part II"
has blundered what could've been
a well respected horror franchise.
It makes a lame
pass at explor- C-
ing its spiritual
conflicts (part The Last
of what made Exorcism
its predecessor
successful), its Part II
psychological At Quality16
depth is weak and Rave
and its scares
- were it only CBS
possible to call
them run-of-
the-mill horror fare. No, director
Ed Gass-Donnelly's ("Small Town



"I'm ready for cheerleading tryouts!"

"I got this sweater at Salvation Army."
Findi g humanity
i musiCSia s

back t
ing he
birth t
ple lik
of thei
go. So

to H
a co
an or
set by
ing th
one 1
so ear
it wa
I acts
ing ba
you g
- I he
the cr
est it
ting a
the g
a little

It turns out except with a HUGER sound
and a much more outspoken Sam
roCkstars are France who was nothing like the
twee, bell bottom-donned figure
people too who sang about tea and love in
the band's music video for "San
By KATIE STEEN Francisco." France practically
Daily Music Editor towered over the audience, rag-
ing across the stage in a faux-fur
is spring break, I headed ensemble. He'd shift from mani-
lolland, Mich., home to acally cheerful to boisterous and
College and cute store- goofy to intentionally robotic
s with signs that beckon to blatantly pissed off - at one
mers with greetings of point spitting out, "I'm sick of
LKOM!" I was there for this shit!" But no matter what
ncert: Unknown Mortal persona France seemed to put on
estra with Foxygen and at any given moment, I couldn't
pire. I don't know how help but focus more on him than
nd snatched those bands the music at times, wondering,
e another, more populated who the fuck are you really?
igan city, but there I was, on the other hand, Jonathan
ng to Hope College three Rado, the other main man of
away while UMO tweeted Foxygen, seemed to serve as a
minous message that this bashful foil, practically hiding
d be their first non-sold-out under what appeared to be the
art in 10 shows. same wide-brimmed hat used
e opening band, Wampire, in the "San Francisco" video. I
a bunch of scruffy-lookin' caught him scampering by after
s that were well into their the set and couldn't help myself
the time I entered. I can't from blurting out, "Good job!"
mber much about their He looked at me quickly, as if
, but isn't that how it taken aback, nodded and con-
rs goes with an unknown tinued on his way. While I wish
ng band? I was shocked by I could've said more, I began to
quiet the crowd was dur- realize that he probably didn't
heir set - song, polite clap- want me to say more. Because,
eerie, unbreakable silence, now that his band has been
t. caught in a buzz-driven tour
& audience remained with UMO, he's probably show-
throughout the night. At ered with praise all the time.
point, the stringy-haired That, or he's just shy.
pire member asked the Either way, I came to the
d, "So how do you guys like sad conclusion that bands are
nd," which was answered becoming more human to me.
a few laughs and a col- They're not just superstars who
e noise that can best be wear leather and dye their hair
ibed as "ehh." Later, that and make good sounds with
guy thanked us for coming fancy instruments. They also
rly to see them play. I think probably have significant others,
s around this point when and cats, and dogs, and moms
ually began to sweat with and dads who they visit some-
ty. You're doinggreat, open- times when they're not signing
nd! Keep it up! I thought. I "records" or playing at "shows."
feel the awkward tension, The thing is, I tend to get
when stringy-haired guy these ideal images of artists,
* one more question - "Are using what I gather from public-
mys excited for Foxygen?" ity photos, and interviews, and
eard my heart shatter above Facebook pages and maybe even
owd as it cheered the loud- their actual music, but really
had all set. I was commit- none of that scrapes the sur-
concertgoer's cardinal sin: face of understanding who an
athizing with the opening artist really is. Like, who he or
she really, really is. Like, I prob-
en Foxygen came on, and ably don't even know my best
roup was absolutely noth- friends as well as I think I do, so
ke what I had expected. OK, why should I have theseadefini-
le bit like what I expected, live expectations of what I can

expect from an artist?
Well anyway, UMO came on
and confused the hell out ofme. I
saw them in Detroit last summer,
but they were still an opening
band then. Now, as headliners,
it seemed as if the New Zealand-
ers had finally accepted the role
of "Rock Stars." I watched them
traipse to the stage in black
leather getups, and their show
was loud and prominent - cer-
tainly not "unknown."
The night after my Holland
excursion, I saw Australian
psychedelic band Tame Impa-
la perform at St. Andrew's in
Detroit. Seeing them onstage -
Kevin Parker, charismatic and
barefoot; Nick Allbrook, wiry-
haired and weird; and all the
other dudes - they really didn't
seem too different from any
picture or interview I've ever
seen them in. No, they looked
like they stepped right out of a
music video and into Detroit to
play a show.
The show, and the band, was
exactly how I expected them to
be (which reminds me - they
didn't play their song "Expecta-
tions!"). The show was almost
flawless - maybe a little shorter
than I would've liked, but aren't
they always? And, standing out-
side, among smokers with edgy
haircuts and high schoolers
waiting for their rides, I real-
ized I had a decision to make:
Do I wait and meet the band, or
do I go home with dignity and
respect for this band that just
put on a fucking fantastic show.
While I was standing out
there, someone pointed out that
in the second floor window of St.
Andrew's, a figure that appeared
to be Kevin Parker looked down
upon the dwindling crowd out-
side the venue. Wait - he was
literally looking down upon us.
He probably didn't really feel
like dealing with a bunch of fans
who felt like they had the right
to take a picture with him and
upload it onto Facebook and tell
them how "good" their music is.
I mean, what is he even supposed
to say to the thousandth fan that
tells him that Tame Impala is a
good band? "Yeah, I know?"
So, I went home without
meeting them. Musicians are
people too, and I'm getting too
old to be a fan-girl. Concerts are
still fun, though. The end.


r Songs") latest bends its deprives the formula of the clever
o be forgettable. turns that gave its predecessor a
possessed Nell Sweetzer dash of verisimilitude. And still,
y Bell, "Chasing Shake- convention is not its problem.
"), who we last saw break- We go into this film expecting
r own fingers and giving that we're about to tread a world
o a demon, has taken resi- of half-open doors and building,
at an all-girls home for peo- uncontrollable violence. What we
e her escaping the demons get is a series of mostly uncon-
ir past. Unfortunately, her netted scares, full of tense, wiry
, Abalam, refuses to let strings, traipsing from start to
on enough, the stakes are finish. Gass-Donnelly not only
a massive conspiracy is unwisely leans on convention, he
hed and Nell realizes she also fails convention.
not be able to outrun her And for all the noise it makes,
only a single, tiny hair is ever
raised: Nell has a creepy phone
conversation - that ends with a
t'S not even line of mind-numbing overstate-
ment, a horrible afterthought
scarylatched onto the end of what
could've been a decent sequence.
Such describes the majority of
relative newcomer Damien Cha-
zelle's script. It lacks rhythm and
ad all the parts, all the plot answers to unfinished plotlines.
nics to set in motion a story It doesn't build tension; it deflates
uction versus taking, temp- it, bores us and seemingly makes
and holiness - an admi- every effort possible to destroy
effort. Dropping the first's the believability of all its charac-
footage format, "Part II" ters and their relationships. Take
intends to be a differ- Bell's roommate, Gwen (Julia
ovie. Though this change Garner, "The Perks of the Being
ranted - and doubtlessly a Wallflower"). She has a strange
ome sight for many - it breed of bullying, mugging a smile

It h
of sedL
ent m
is war
a welc

that quivers between sadistic
intent and lunacy. Her presence is
enough to invite curiosity, but her
place in the story is unclear and
ultimately, unnecessary.
Thankfully, Bell offers a bit
more charm than the usual stiff-
lipped robot. Still, you can't help
but feel something phony is at
work when she delivers Chazelle's
whiny lines. It's a shame consider-
ing how remarkable Bell inhabited
that doe-eyed, insular girl in "The
Last Exorcism." She was curious,
naive and optimistic. Here, her
efforts to join larger society and
the subsequent mental turmoil
couldn't convince achild. Herspir-
itual crisis is settled far too easily.
"The Last Exorcism Part II"
originates from solid material
that the poor direction all but
squanders. Questions of feminin-
ity, spirituality, real and unreal
are buried underneath the simple
scares to which Gass-Donnelly
relegates the film. Producer Eli
Roth has made a reputation for
putting out horror flicks that
revitalize the genre. But what we
have here is another unwanted,
unneeded sequel, and an under-
whelming feature showcasing
unrealized ambition, potential


From Page 6A
Apart from another chance
to work with one of his favor-
ite directors, Franco explained
why, among a recent string of
serious portrayals, he decided to
do a more family-fun adventure
"(The Oz books) were some of
the first that I read on my own
for pleasure. In addition, I saw
the role as something I could
have a lot of fun with and be fair-
ly creative," Franco explained.
"He was written as a comedic
character within a fantastical

world, and I found the combi-
nation fairly unusual. I thought
that juxtaposition of two differ-
ent things would result in some-
Franco revealed that his char-
acter isn't simply a male version
of innocent, little Dorothy, but
rather a con man, a charmer, an
adventurer, and even has some
tricks up his sleeve.
"I had to be able to carry
myself as a magician, because
my character, Oscar Diggs,
starts off as a traveling magician
in a circus and we even see a bit
of one of his shows," Franco said.
"So, they hired one of the best
magicians in Las Vegas, Lance
Burton, to come to Detroit, and

I was fortunate enough to have
private lessons with him."
Since a large portion of film-
ing took place in and around
Detroit, it was a sentimental
experience for Raimi, who grew
up in Royal Oak and attended
Michigan State University. So
emotional, in fact, that at the
mention of "The Michigan
Daily" during the conference
call, Raimi asserted his disdain
for Ann Arbor. It stretches far
beyond simply school rivalry.
"Every time I would drop a
girl at the University of Michi-
gan, she left the car with the
same line, 'Sam, I never want
to see you again.' So that city
brings tears to my eyes."

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