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October 16, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-16

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6A - WednesdayOctober16, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com'+

No trajeci
Arow' S(

Not enough
story or emotional
development to soar
By ALEX INTNER
For the Daily
The goal of some series is
to keep viewers interested by
relying on an ongoing story
arc. For oth-
ers, the goal is -
to tell a single
story each Arrow
week. "Arrow"
tries- to mix Seasontwo
the two, giv- premiere
ing our hero a Wednesdays
villain to beat at8p.m.
each week
while build- CW
ing a ,story
arc over the
course of the season. Its second
season premiere struggles to
mix these elements, and in the
end, the episode-long storyline
prevails while any attempt at
establishing a longer arc falls
by the wayside.
Season one of "Arrow" ended
on a huge cliffhanger, with
the poor area of the city, the
Glades, exploding and Oliver
Queen (Stephen Amell) escap-
ing his role as The Hood. The
season two premiere deals with
the story of the week follow-
ing the explosion. Those who
lost loved ones take revenge on
those who "simply let it hap-
pen," while Amell focuses on
doing a lot of character work
with Queen. The episode shows
the impact of his best friend
Tommy's death and his inabil-
ity to stop the eruption of the
Glades. Queen hates that his
best friend died thinking of
him as a murderer, leading him
to question his identity as The
Hood. His struggle is one of
the more interesting elements
of the premiere, even if there's
no doubt that Oliver doesn't
return to his vigilante life.

Is he aiming at Tom
Some actors
ity to take grey
elevate it to ai
inserting persot
characters and
tion beyond wh
the page. Ame
actor, but het
the material. H
inject some pers
character, whicl
ment from whet
pilot, but his pe
lacks enough en
Aesthetically
figured out h
CW-sized bud,
creating acti
that are not
definitely hav
The creators re
effects rather t
amount of CGI.

Loryfor
Cason two
R
r--
fcm
Hanks?
have the abil- a very gritty, realistic look for
at material and a superhero show, more in the
nother level by style of "Batman Begins"than
nality into their "The Avengers."
bringing emo- The premiere fails to fore-
tat's written on shadow what's going to hap-
1 is a capable pen in the upcoming season.
doesn't elevate The episode ends with Oliver
e has started to reclaiming his identity as The
onality into his Hood, but that only gives clo-
h is an improve- sure to the premiere. As for
re he was in the right now, there isn't a clear arc
rformnance still guiding the story from here.
notion. One of the things "Arrow"
, "Arrow" did very well last season was
tow to use a creating a great story are that
get very well, progresses week-to-week. The
on sequences premiere does not appear to
expensive but do that. It can always happen
e an impact. later, but in order to keep the
ly on practical interest of viewers, a premiere
han using large needs to set up the upcoming
What results is season.
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4

Fun Fact: Wilson makes a cameo in this film.
'Captain Phillips' an act
of historical censorship

q

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ByJOHN BOHN
Daily Community Culture Editor
Those who saw the theatri-
cal trailer to "Captain Phillips"
this summer should remember
the opening: From beyond the
radar screen, a blip material-
izes. Captain Phillips walks
to the deck to see a small skiff
headed toward his ship. He's
under fire! Now the pirates
have taken over the bridge!
When they are allowed to
speak, the pirates tell the crew
over the telecom "in one min-
ute, I will kill your friend."
So scary! So violent! What I
gathered from this trailer was
that "Captain Phillips" would
be the most dehumanizing
and neglectful treatment of
an overwhelmingly complex
political and economic horror
story that Hollywood could
conceive.
Interestingly, the consensus
among critics is that "Captain
Phillips" provides a nuanced
treatment of the pirates, which
may have come as a surprise
for those who, like me, had
no hopes. Indeed, against all
expectation "Captain Phillips"
does provide some background
to the pirates. But before we
jump into this, let me just state
my case clearly: This is a high-
ly distorted representation of
facts. As with every work of
art ever claiming to be "based
on true events," it is a carefully
selected and constructed "re-
presentation" of these events,
which in this case, actually
happened along the Horn of
Africa in April 2009 and not in
the Mediterranean Sea where it
was re-created in early 2012.
So how then is this film care-
fully selected and constructed,
and more immediately, why
should you not go see this film?
True, there is a 10-minute
scene at the beginning of the
film set in a Somali fishing
village that attempts to pro-
vide some explanation as to
the social and economic world
from which the pirates emerge,
one of impoverishment and
desperation. Later on, there is
even a more specific reference

to th
of th
water
the hi
who I
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merci
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lips, I
ship,
than
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thus f
is cle
using
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r
All
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a lotc
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When
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say t
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which
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waste
Th
ship e
givin
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Aft
attem
workE
have
Maer

e corporate exploitation appeals to their union. After
ie sovereign-less Somali hearing this, Phillips writes to
's that initially prompted hiswifebackhomethathehasa
ijacking by Somali fishers, "new crew to get in shape." For
had no chance in compet- what is the proper solution in
with opportunistic com- this unjust scenario? You still
al fisheries. need to do your job - a theme
t this latter fact gets men- that could have been written
d just before Captain Phil- by infamous Nazi bureaucrat
held hostage in a getaway Adolph Eichmann.
calls the pirates "more To add insult to injury, the
fishermen." Based on how film portrays these work-
rates have been portrayed ers as scared, helpless and
ar in the film, the subtext lazy compared to the fear-
ar. The pirates are clearly less Eichmann-cum-Phillips.
the excuse of corporate Turning Phillips into the hero,
itation to justify what is, a choice that a recent CNN
ality, a greedy pursuit of interview with the crew ques-
y. tions, seems to say that what
is valued in our political cli-
mate is a worker who rises to
Capitalist the occasion because, in truth,
there is no one who will protect
CataStrophe you against orarlaceinjustice
after 40 years of union-busting
ewritten as that began with Reagan vs. air
traffic controllers in 1981 and
moral fable. has recently manifested itself
in "Right to work" legislation
passing in Michigan and 23
other states. Stop complaining.
throughout the film, the Do your job. Fittingly, there
ts constantly talk about is no mention of the lawsuit
y. "We're going to make against Maersk.
of money," they say, chas- This is not even to mention the
fter the Maersk Alabama. questionable narrative of Phil-
Captain Phillips offers lips's "self-sacrifice" in handing
$30,000 to not take himself over to the pirates, but
hip, the movie seems to all of that can be found online.
hat for an impoverished Tragically, first-time Somali
Tian, that should totally emigre actor, Barkhad Abdi,
hough! Heck, the pirates who plays the leader of the
director finds necessary pirates, Abduwali Abdukhadir
lude) just got six million Muse, has to navigate this dis-
rs from a previous hijack- torted world with everything
What more do you want? against him. The best he can do
r mind the fact that many is humanize against the grain,
se million-dollar ransoms and he does so incredibly well.
rates demand are actually Tom Hanks, who plays Captain
nds upon corporations to Phillips, was probably the best
up the Somali coastline, choice for the part, and one of
hthey have used as a cheap the few things that director
ing ground for hazardous Paul Greengrass gets right.
. Hanks has been praised for
is act of historical censor- his roles as the (white, male)
ven swings the other way, "everyman." He provides this
g the union workers a bad horrifying rewrite of history
with just what it needs: round-
er the pirates' first failed ed facial features, a pudgy
pt to rob the ship, the frame, twinkling eyes, a com-
ers complain that they pletely non-threatening veneer
been treated wrongly by to a film that asks us to will-
sk and would like to make ingly walk to our own graves.

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JOIN OUR MUSIC, TV/NEW MEDIA, FILM,
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