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February 17, 2014 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-17

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Monday, February 17, 2014 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The bold women
of 'Broad City'

Surf boart. UNIVERSAL
'Endless Love' a familiar
yet endearing adaptation

Cliches abound in Wilde, "The Three Musketeers")
just graduated high school with
Feste's forbidden exceptional marks, exceptional
looks and what seems to be an
love story exceptional future at Brown
University. The only problem is
ByANDREW MCCLURE that she has zero friends. That's
Daily Arts Writer not hyperbole; "zero friends,"
as in some classmate asks her at
One thing's for sure, "Endless commencement to take a group
Love" is a 100-minute-long version picture, just without her in it. That
of what you thought it was going to sort of "zero friends." Instead, she
be: a privileged spent all four years handholding
and virginalC+ with her family, whose eldest son
Ivy-bound belle passed away a few years prior, and
with a bad case Endless Love sticking her nose in textbooks.
ofdickbag daddy Brunch at the country club is
issues falls Quality16 where Jade reveals what she really
despairingly for and Rave 20 wants as a graduation gift. As she
the plain-white- longingly gazes out the window at
tee-to-dinner, Universal the valet dude David(Alex Pettyfer,
working-class "Magic Mike"), he softly meets
tough guy. The non-erect script her eyes, and she says, "I want a
trips over its pseudo-erection of graduation party, with all of my
unneeded subplots, a sappy middle -classmates invited." Tall order
school soundtrack and, really, a for a girl who knows nobody -in
love that seems endless only if you her class. Well, guess what, David
unambiguously define "endless" exercises his social puppeteering
as "eh, er, about two months." and the party's a huge hit. Love
That said, the hilm still holds some sparks between the two teens and
redeeming value in its approach a summer full of quixotic water
and twists. I balloon fights and Abercrombie-
Jade Butterfield (Gabriella like hide-and-seek games in

the woods kicks off Alas, the
dickbag dad (Bruce Greenwood,
"Star Trek") will have none of it!
"You'll be a failure, just like your
father," the dad tells David during
some "important" scene.,
Notwithstanding its outward
shittiness, like -unwarranted
plot decisions and lazy, mawkish
scripting, the movie softens
the histrionic blow via clever
character flaws and moments of
spellbinding effect. But this effect
is both a blessing and a curse -
while it adds layers to a thinly
veiled script, it also complicates
the narrative in a "huh, what
the fudge" fashion. in the end,
though, certain characters, like
the receptive fathers of the two
lovers, provide ace perfornances
as men with dark pasts trying to
make the future a little brighter.
Despite its palpable campiness
and the fact that it cutely released
on Valentine's Day, the "Endless
Love" films of the world still
merit a bookshelf in the library
of romantic sensibilities. Unless
you're asexual, a nihilist or
just think whatever mom and
dad had back in the day was

bullshit, the idyllic romance
titillates us in a way-few films
can - in an existential, ."I know
I probably won't ever have this,
but it's OK to dream" way. These
"shitty roms" matter because
they say what no other film genre
or sensibility has the brass balls
to say: We know you all want
this, so here's Exhibit A. Fuck
naturalism, this stuff might make
you laugh but it also makes you
think about what could have
been and what could be, whether
you're a romantic or a stone-face
pretending not to be a romantic.
Filmmaker Shana Feste
("Country Strong") knows what
she's doing when she decides on
a "feel this way" soundtrack, or
a romantic climax at the airport,
or a punk slugging away at a
punching bag in an unfinished
garage. She understands that it's
"bad"by commercial, middlebrow
standards, but she doesn't
care. Because "Endless Love"
isn't about avoiding derivative
plot placement or sexy lensing,
it's about feeling nostalgia at a
distance from reality - something
supposedly we are too refined or
intellectual to experience.

not ex
idea of
like. T
But Ila
and Ab
of Com
new "I
and qu
my fav
Abbi J
and Ab
as thei
and or
help of
two be
in New
als in I
TV co
of HB(
third e
to a dy
full of
up a p
sits at
ing Gr
face a
Abbi s
er and
of self
the pil
two of
year. S
in sha:
her if s
Ilana a

wo of television's they dagger each other on the
strongest new female floor.
characters might And every week, Glazer gives
actly fit the conventional a performance that's equal
what a "strong female parts bizarre and brilliant, say-
ter" ing lines in strange cadence
look for little reason other than it's
hey're ' hilarious (I could listen to her
s; rendition of "sa-haand-wich
sha-hop" on a loop forever).
s; And let's face it, Comedy
Central's original program-
5. ming is a pretty dick-centric
na landscape. "Broad City" -
bi along with Amy Schumer's
sedy wonderfully vulgar "Inside
il's UPADHYAYA Amy Schumer" - is changing
road the game. "Broad City" gives
ire us stoner chicks who can get
ig up the comedy scene dirty - sometimes, literally, as
ickly rising to the top of with the most recent episode
orite ladies list. "The Lockout," during which
a and Abbi are the fiery Ilana and Abbi become home-
ns of Ilana Glazer and less after a series of unfortu-
acobson. Real-life Ilana nate events that includes bug
bi are UCB vets who star bombs, a creepy locksmith and
r eponymous characters a very nice immigrant family
iginally developed and armed with Mace. During their
ed "Broad City" as a bout with homelessness, Ilana
ries from 2009 to 2011 eats garbage bagels. Garbage!
bringing it - with the Bagels! It resonated with my
f executive producer Amy friends and me so much that
r - to Comedy Central. we actually screamed when
ional Ilana and Abbi are Lincoln asked her if she was
st friends clawing and indeed eating garbage bagels.
ng their way through life We see dude characters
York City. "Millenni- doing things like this all the
NYC" isn't exactly a new time - on "Bored to Death,"
ncept, but "Broad City" "It's Always Sunny in Phila-
boldly from its very first delphia," "Workaholics" - but
e that it's fresh and self- Ilana and Abbi don't let their
ent. It trashes the realism femaleness confine them to
D's "Girls" in favor of expected or accepted roles.
nish surrealism. In the They certainly aren't the first
pisode, Abbi has to travel female characters to chal-
'stopic island on a boat lenge notions of what women
twins in order to pick can and can't do in comedy:
ackage for her neighbor- "Bridesmaids" was hailed as a
from the UPS warehouse glass-ceiling-crunching raunch
d by a terrifying old fest (though I found this
a named "Garol," who claim hyperbolic and largely
a folding table shovel- unfounded; the real com-
eek yogurt into/on her edy gender norm challenger
nd takes U.S. postal came a year later with Leslye
ery seriously. it's weird, Headland's "Bachelorette.")
humor that "Broad City" But "Broad City" does give us
les with right out the two strong female characters
who aren't role models and
never claim to be - two strong
female characters who appear
at first to embody the Type A
Atypical Shy Girl and the Unpredict-
s t able Party Girl, but who turn
s e h out to be much more complex
and plural than that, especially
when they're together.
while their world is ' Whoever said strong female
rhat dreamlike, Ilana and characters had to be stain free?
eem very, very real. Glaz- "Strong" here should mean
Jacobson harness the well-written, honest, magnetic.
.y with a steadfast sense Ilana and Abbi are all three
-possession. As early as and more, because female
ot, Jacobson whips out characters shouldn't have to fit
the best moments of neatly into little stock boxes.
al comedy I've seen all They should be able to put
he literally slinks away weed in their vaginas or debate
me after someone asks whether they'd rather have
he's a mom and later, Janet Jackson or Michael Buble
ardly maneuvers around go down on them. Also: Gar-
and her dentist/hookup bage bagels.

'RoboCop' reboot makes a case for itself

DailyArts Writer
This year's least-desired
remake, "RoboCop," is both
underpinned and undermined
by its decision
to do away B-
with the dark
and campy RoboCop
touches of the
1987 Paul Ver- Quality 6
hoeven origi- and Rave 20
nal. Director Columbia
Josa Padilha
("Elite Squad:
The Enemy Within") makes his
RoboCop sleek. He replaces the
original's jointed movements
with agility and realism. He
neuters it of ultraviolence. He
adds in naturalism, CGI instead
of claymation. It was wise on
Padhila's part to understand
the impossibility of imitating
Verhoeven. Here is a remake
admirable in its efforts, com-
petent, oftentimes cerebral and
talky, sometimes even great.
But for the most part, it lacks a
style strong enough to warrant
resurrecting a classic, whose
unique character had made it so
"RoboCop" is, of course, the
futuristic story of a Detroit
cop named Alex Murphy (Joel
Kinnaman, "The Girl with the
Dragon Tattoo") who is killed
by gangsters and brought back
to life through technology.
Omnicorp, a multinational
corporation, creates an
armored suit to which they
fuse what's left of his body
and consciousness, a suit that
will be a powerful weapon for
the police and a political tool
for Omnicorp's monetary gain.
Murphy must fight crime-
ridden Detroit and he must
fight for his own humanity and
bring justice to the guilty.

Lincoln (played by
up comedian Hannibal
, who steals the show
much every week) as

Upadhyaya is enjoying some
garbage bagels. To join her,
email kaylau@umich.edu.


Checking errthang like I'm on parole.
For a relatively straightfor-
ward plot, "RoboCop" loses its
way in Joshua Zetumer's script
(his first). Fastidious conversa-
tions account for huge amounts
of the 118-minute runtime;
often the film feels much longer.
The political and philosophi-
cal scope of their conversations,
wisely disguised in the form of
corporate politics, is commend-
able, tackling everything from
invasion of privacy to existen-
tialism to the military industrial
complex. As much as I enjoyed
watching Samuel L. Jackson's Pat
Novak, a caricaturized conserva-
tive TV pundit, which reminds
audiences of this prolific actor's
comedic talent just as "Django
Unchained" had, "RoboCop"
plays out more like the cable
culture it skewers so deliciously.
Its messages, repeated time and
time again, leave little room for
interpretation. Said simply: This
movie is too cerebral for its own
good. Thankfully, there is plenty

of wry humor to balance out the
weighty musings of its players.
But Padhila and Zetumer add
such sentiment and longing to
this story. Their most effective
scene comes when Murphy asks
Dr. Dennett Norton, played by
Gary Oldman ("Lawless") with
warmth and earnest idealism,
to remove his suit so that he can
see his body. The result is stun-
ning and horrific: Piece by piece,
machines pull the suit apart to
reveal a glass jar of gore and ver-
tebrae, swelling lungs, a severed
hand. "Holy Christ," Murphy
says. "Holy Christ, there's noth-
ing left." Later, behind closed
doors, the men who control
Murphy - he's only a product
of Omnicorp - discuss among
themselves his humanity; Ray-
mond Sellars, CEO of Omnicorp,
(Michael Keeton, "The Other
Guys")' reaches the conclusion
that this is only a machine who
thinks he's Alex. (Again, this is a
long, long conversation.)

Philosophy aside, as an action
film, the theatrics and gymnastic
gunplay lack the bite, the
intensity you've been waiting for.
And coming from the director of
the very R-rated "Elite Squad"
series, we expect more.
All in all, this film has some
moments of true vision. Action
takes a backseat to its palpable
angst and philosophizing,
which is as much a virtue as it
is a downfall, since its messages
are done with little eloquence.
"RoboCop" wants satire, action,
intellectualism and humor.
Not all these elements blend as
seamlessly as they always could.
Still, you can't help but leave
the theater feeling that there
is real talent behind this film,
that Zetumer will one day write
a great film, that Padhila will
direct a massive blockbuster,
that Kinnaman, with his
rugged face, full of confidence
and pain, will go on to star in
similar movie cop roles.

Peace. Love.
Improved GPA.
Free Introductory Lecture on the Transcendental Meditation
program founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Attend a Free Introductory Talk
The TM technique is a really easy way to expand your mind,
reduce stress, and get the most out of life.
Not to mention school.

Monday, Feb. 17th 7pm
Tappan Room
Michigan Union

Wednesday, Feb. 19th 7pm
2002 Hogback Road
Suite 8, Ann Arbor

Conac Luri Jcos.at 73.66.5589or jacos*t or

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