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November 04, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, November 4, 2013 - 7A

"That's 'Mr. Solo' to you."
Ambitious'Game'

F
str
S

On
fictio
canon
Orson
Card
consi
filma
Card
has
reluct
at t
bring
novel
big
"End
moral
respe
youth
ance
of its
young
fictio
serio
of ch
ble to
space
WI
say t
win a
gin (
is as
less,
this
name,
job (
ance)

'ilm adaptation intended in Ender's character.
The whole cast of young actors
ays too far from holds their own remarkably in
an adult script and under the
ource material questionable direction of Gavin
Hood ("X-Men Origins: Wol-
By NOAH COHEN verine").
DailyArts Writer However, it feels as though
Hood ought to have read the
.e of the greatest science- book a couple more times
n books in the genre before directing this film and
n, "Ender's Game" by crafting the story's sci-fi boy
n Scott genius. Despite the foolish
had been B lightness with which Hood
dered un- handled the children-forced-
ble. Even Eders into-adulthood motif and the
himself strangely fast pace of the movie
expressed (which should have been a half
stance AtQualityl6 hour longer), the cast is, bet-
rying to andyRav terthan a hardcore fan might
his own Summit expect. The integrity of the
is to the franchise is preserved by the
screen. barest margin.
er's Game" balances its This movie serves as a fierce
l maturity with heavy defense of child-acting. But-
ct for the intelligence of terfield and Hailee Steinfeld
h, and this uncommon bal- ("True Grit"), as Petra, share
puts the book in a class an unusual romantic chemis-
own, in limbo between try: The saccharine undertones
g adult and high science in this retelling, which are pure
n. Both the youth and Hollywood, undermine the
usness of the story's cast severity of the plot but add to
aracters makes it impossi- the ihtrigue of the characters,
manipulate into a normal and so can be forgiven. Even
-age thriller. Bean, who readers pegged as
hy? Well, (spoilers) let's an impossible cast, was por-
he good guys don't just trayed with spunk by Aramis
and celebrate. Ender Wig- Knight ("Crossing Over").
Asa Butterfield, "Hugo") Guided by a grave (read:
empathetic as he is ruth- sexy) Harrison Ford ("42") as
and it kills him to kill. In Colonel Graff, our young heroes
film adaption of the same confront a military atmosphere
, Butterfield does a fine constructed to mold them into
despite his soft appear- merciless tacticians. "Ender's
) of carrying the severity Game" compresses much of

what makes these children
brilliant and dramatizes the
quietly philosophical Ender
into an orchestral conductor of
war, but it effectively addresses
the strange world author Card
makes of Battle School. The
brittle hardness that Ender
develops so quickly is a believ-
able side effect of the tension
that Ford brings to the seqeen
as his superior.
But there isn't enough run-
time to appreciate the scope of
Card's universe. Because of the
film's brevity, one of the more
complex relationships of the
film, the intimacy Ender shares
with his sister, Valentine (Abi-
gail Breslin, "Little Miss Sun-
shine"), comes off as slightly
incestuous. On a positive note,
fans will enjoy Mazer Rack-
ham's (Ben Kingsley, "Iron
Man 3") half-Maori descent.
The true-to-text explanation
of his moko - a face-painting
tradition that connects a war-
rior to his roots - gains a spe-
cial gravity in. the context of
Mazer's present living situa-
tion: Even after having aban-
doned Earth, he is still Maori.
Still, there's no getting
around the fact that this film
is too ambitious and ultimately
fails the book. But the sheer
possibility of "Ender's Game"
finding box-office success is a
raised fist in the air for any fan
who has witnessed a number of
studios struggle to bring this
film to life. The movie is both
an honorable attempt and a
worthwhile ride.

J.K. Rowling is really trying to re-invent herself.
Commitment problems
stall weak ...D.

N EW ME D IA NOT E BOOK
Resurrecting podcasts
from their perceived grave
By KELLY ETZ can't-miss "How Did This Get ment of his live shows - it's not
Daily Arts Writer Made" - dominating the scene. recycled material, and even if it
The only (kind-of-important) was, there's nothing else like a
Lately, when the subject of problem with these little nug- live show.
new media comes up, it seems gets of awesome is that they Maybe I'm a little bit biased
all anyone wants to talk about is make virtually no money. Not as I've acquired a bit of a
the new Twitter IPO or Google exactly a sustainable business (healthy) podcast obsession. If
Glass (which admittedly, model. Sure, there's advertis- podcasting were to go the way
sounds intriguingly futuristic), ing (if I have to hear one more of the tape recorder, I'd really
but I have a special place in my Audible soundbite ...), but most miss Jason Mantzoukas's ("I'm
heart for the humble podcast. podcasts are ultra-niche, mean- not on Twitter, guys") theories
I know what you're think- ing they don't garner significant about movies and learning stuff
ing. This isn't 2005. As Apple downloads. Unfortunately, not I never knew I wanted to know
just keeps rolling out those everyone can be Dan Savage. from Steven Levitt.
upgrades, it's easy to dismiss But is this really an issue? And while I'm on the subject,
podcasting as part of the Dane Sure, money makes the world go I'd be remiss if I didn't plug both
Cook era. There were only round, but with more and more fabulous Andy Zaltzman co-
two iPod generations at that podcasts starting up every day, hosted podcasts - firstly "The
time, and everyone was a bit monetizing may not be the key Bugle" featuring Zaltzman
more naive. But seriously, even to success anymore. Companies and John OliSrer. As the birth-
though the just-a-tiny-bit- like Slate have credited much place of the fuckeulogy and
stuffy New York Times axed of their overall success to pod- everyone's favorite purveyor of
nearly all of its podcasting con- casts - Slate editor David Plotz bullshit, it's a must-listen every
tent in the last few years (fol- acknowledged the less-than- week. Even the Andy-only sub
lowed by many major news and stellar profitability of podcasts, episodes aren't that bad. And
media outlets), podcasts are far while also highlighting the second, "Answer Me This!"
from irrelevant. boost they give to brand recog- with Helen Zaltzman and Olly
Sure, my first listen was nition. Man - an indescribably British
around the time I was rocking a half-hour that answers all the
lime green iPod mini and when questions you never had about
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Get into the what's up with the Queen's
Fire" was still in theaters. But gynecologist and how not to be
podcasting is hardly ancient heads of some attracted to nuns.
news. Apple announced they My point is: Podcasts are
passed the 1-billion-subscribers of your favorite worth your time. For me, it's a
mark earlier this year (much to fulfillment of that oh-so-human
everyone's collective astonish- artists. need to know everything about
ment), and some pretty illustri- everyone - remembers fran-
ous people are just now jumping tically flipping through the
into the podcast game. pages of Teen Beat's 'N Sync
In fact, in the comedy-centric While some lament a discon- interview, dying to know Jus-
arena, there's almost too many nect for comedians between live tin's innermost thoughts and
fabulous .podcasters to choose performances and their pod- desires? Podcasts let you get
from these days, with power- casting cousins, I've found this into somebody's head - they
houses like Marc Maron and the to be patently untrue. Listening are literally speaking right into
overwhelming program lineup to Jim Gaffigan on "The Nerd- your ears - and that's endlessly,
from Earwolf - which hosts the ist" only heightened my enjoy- timelessly, fascinating.

By KARSTEN SMOLINSKI
DailyArts Writer
Much like his main character,
writer and first-time director Stu
Zicherman seems afraid to take
love seriously
in this romantic C+
comedy about
the effects of A.C.O.D
divorce on a
generation of At theMichigan
young Ameri- Film Arcade
cans.
In "A.C.O.D."
- which stands for Adult Chil-
dren of Divorce - restaurant
owner Carter (Adam Scott,
"Parks and Recreation") discov-
ers that as achildhe unknowingly
participated in a study on the psy-
chological effects of divorce. The
original researcher, Dr. Judith
(Jane Lynch, "Glee"), decides to
begin a study on how his parents'
divorce affected his adult life
right as his naive younger broth-
er Trey (Clark Duke, "Hot Tub
Time Machine") decides to get
married to his girlfriend of four
months. When Clark attempts
to get his parents, Hugh (Rich-
ard Jenkins, "Step Brothers")
and Melissa (Catherine O'Hara,
"Where the Wild Things Are"),
to agree to attend the same
wedding, his own carefully con-
trolled life gets shaken up.
A mediocre
'Crazy, Stupid,
Love.'
While the entire cast per-
forms commendably, the sto-
ryline neglects to give it much
emotional depth with which
to work. The film never finds
any strength in the connec-
tions between its main charac-
ters, making their relationships
seem tenuous at best. Amy
Poehler ("Parks and Recre-
ation") and Jessica Alba ("Val-
entine's Day") pop in and out
with minimal character devel-
opment, Carter's parents can't
commit to anything and Trey
comes off as a dumb kid rush-
ing into marriage. Carter him-
self fears committing to his
girlfriend of four years (Mary
Elizabeth Winstead, "Scott Pil-
grim vs. the World"), and their
relationship feels woefully
underdeveloped.
"A.C.O.D." doesn't neces-
sarily come across as cynical
on the subject of love; it just
never ceases treating it like a
farce. This wouldn't present a
problem if the jokes delivered
enough laughs, but the per-

formers struggle against the
limitations of the script here as
well. Genuinely humorous situ-
ations fill the plot, but none of
them manage to elicit anything
more than the lightest chuckle.
Focused mainly on the unique
details of several intricately
entwined relationships and the
unpredictable nature of love,
"A.C.O.D." resembles a less
amusing, less poignant version
of 2011's "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
The movie tries to legitimately
portray the effects of divorce on
adult life, perhaps even hoping
to help people in similar circum-
stances as Dr. Judith suggests
her research will. However, the
plot fails to offer compelling
insight or guidance. When the
credits roll, they frustrate audi-

ence expectations with a clever
ambiguity, but they also leave
many of the film's conflicts unre-
solved.
Carter's improved under-
standing of himself becomes
the storyline's primary resolu-
tion. Undermined by the farcical
treatment of the conflicts Carter
confronts, this personal real-
ization hardly carries enough
emotional weight to make an
impact. Perhaps for those audi-
ence members familiar with the
effects of divorce, this film will
hold more affectation and enter-
tainment. However, for most
audiences, "A.C.O.D." provides
a thoroughly mediocre experi-
ence, not witty enough to suc-
ceed as a comedy and not moving
enough to succeed as a romance.

FREAKY FAST
DELIVERY!.

I

I 02011 JIMMY JOHN'S FRANCHISE. LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. '

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