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September 03, 2013 - Image 35

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7D

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7D

Best TV Shows Best Albums

Best Films
of 2012

of 2012

of 2012

It's not always obvious what
a show will do after taking as
big a risk as "Game of Thrones"
did in its season one finale. It's
now safe to say that the HBO
fantasy-drama has success-
fully maintained a high level of
excitement and suspense after
killing off the one hope that
Westeros had.
Season two continued the
battle of the Seven Kingdoms,
introducing new players Theon
Greyjoy and Stannis Baratheon
to fight for control against fan
favorites like Robb Stark and

Daenerys Targaryen. In addi-
tion to the new faces, depth was
added to existing characters
Arya Stark and Tyrion Lan-
nister - both impossibly more
badass than before.
Though the landscape seems
sprawling, "Game of Thrones"
kept us afloat among the details
with vivid storytelling and
visuals.
And though it seemed impos-
sible, season two has made us
all hate Joffrey Baratheon more
than ever before.
-RADHIKA MENON

Ocean has fashioned a record
that requires effort for under-
standing - a record that doesn't
get assigned as background noise
to energize a teenager's party
(hence the unvarnished produc-
tion of its tracks to highlight his
lyrical artistry).
And there is a great deal to
highlight on Channel Orange.
Ocean understands that quality
lyricism and sentiment aren't born
from sugarcoated, Shakespearean
poetry transformed into song. The
essence of each track is derived

from reality - Ocean's reality, of
substance over form. Anything,
from his early life to love life, is
fair game.
InOcean'sLosAngeleslife,"the
maids come around too much,
parents ain't around enough."Any
other modern R&B artist would
gloat about how he has the cash
flow for a maid, and she's so fine
from behind.
This is the Frank Ocean differ-
ence.R
-GREGORYHICKS

Few movies were antici-
pated in 2012 the way "Django
Unchained" was. Thankfully,
even fewer movies were able to
deliver on the hype the way
"Django" did. Quentin Taran-
tino is at his best, as the film
features violence galore coupled
with sharp, intelligent dialogue.
The story's compelling, the shots
are beautiful, the characters are
engaging and the soundtrack fits
the film perfectly, even if it is
a little unorthodox (c'mon, the
guy put Rick Ross in a western -
RICK ROSS!).

As promised, the all-star cast
of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz
and Leonardo DiCaprio is phe-
nomenal. Foxx is transformed
into one of the all-time greatest
cinematic badasses by the end
of the film. Waltz is as impres-
sive as he was in "Inglourious
Basterds," and DiCaprio is able
to step out of his normal role and
steal most of his scenes as antag-
onist Calvin Candie. Simply put,
this was a great movie.

-CONRAD FOREMAN

l
f M to 40 '
M I M1 i p-
.,

It's the little things that make
NBC's "Parks and Recreation"
quietly superb: Jean Ralphio, Bert
Macklin's (FBI) guest appearanc-
es, Ron's Tammy terror.
It certainly takes a tremendous
amount of skill, dedication and
heart for a series to so fully shake
off humble beginnings and create
one of the most expertly defined,
lovable ensemble casts to grace
our TVsets inyears.
And the ensemble is what
"Parks" is all about. Where would
Ron be without Leslie's birthday
scavenger hunts and not-so-subtle

matchmaking? Poor Tom would
still be mourning Entertainment
720 without Ben's restrained guid-
ance, Andy and April would be lost
(literally, in Andy's case) without
each other and Garry wouldn't be
Jerrywithouthisexasperatingco-
workers.
Seamlessly blending new
characters, challenges and cam-
paigns, "Parks" is more than a
sitcom. It's a love letter to the
idea that people can make a dif-
ference. And also, bacon.
-KELLYETZ

Beach House is no stranger to
success. The Baltimore duo got
its first taste of indie fame after
releasing Teen Dream in 2010,
a sweet and hazy collection of
songs that gently lulled its lis-
teners and drew in a fan base.
Now, two years later, Bloom is
just as sweet - it's a soft, potent
cultivation of everything Beach
House for which it has already
been known.
Like former hits "Norway" and
"Take Care," tracks like "Myth"
and "Lazuli" are just as quietly

powerful, deeply personal and
haunting: Victoria Legrand's
rich, smoky vocals rise and fall
over hazy guitar chords and key-
board keys, creating a tender,
dreamlike world of oohs, ahhs
and instrumentals.
The album is darker and more
refined than anything the band
has created in the past - it isn't
a reproduction of classic Beach
House sounds and vibes, but liv-
ing proof that the duo itself has
bloomed.
-CHLOE STACHOWIAK

"Argo" is a rollercoaster ride
that you don't want to end.
Even though it's a biopic and
the "What happens?" is no mys-
tery, the captivating question in
this film is: "How the hell did
they pull that off?" Ben Affleck
knocks it out of the park as he
directs and stars in this true
story about CIA agent.Tony
Mendez, who concocts a fake
movie project called "Argo,"
to seek permission for a "loca-
tion scout" in Iran, so he can
smuggle U.S. embassy officials

to safety.
John Goodman and Alan
Arkin are hilarious as a Holly-
wood make-up artist and a pro-
ducer past his prime who help
Tony promote, advertise and
market this faux film.
I laughed, I cried, I gripped
my chair and I thoroughly
enjoyed the dialogue; out of it
came one of the most memorable
phrases of the year. What is it,
you may ask? Go see "Argo" and
you'll know when you hear it.
-CARLYKEYES

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