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September 22, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday,'September 22, 2014 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, Septemher 22, 2014'- 5A


Not'Clerks 2'
'Tusk' both a funny
and horrifying tale

'Is that Mischa Barton??'
'Gotham' brings grit to
comic book adaptation

that o
a ma
into a
the tr
and if
of hum
sion p
a Por
the po
a walr
he can

Vin Smith uses weekly podcast he co-hosts
with his longtime editor Scott
odcast idea to Mosier.
The film follows Wallace
eft feature film Bryton (Jus-tin Long, "Accept-
ed"), an obnoxious, unlikable,
By JACOB RICH but highly successful podcaster.
Daily Arts Writer Sound familiar? Smith fans will
notice familiar trends in Bry-
re is a certain mindset ton's speech patterns; the char-
ne has when he or she acter is highly autobiographical.
into a Bryton, after a chance encoun-
about B ter in a Canadian bar restroom,
n who decides to interview a reclusive
turned Tus naval veteran (Michael Parks,
walrus. At Rave and "Django Unchained") for his
not Qualityl6 popular podcast (yeah, it's
to walk called "The Not-See Party").
"Tusk," a Soon, however, Bryton finds
matter Smodcast himself drugged, cut up and
reviews mutilated, discovering that the
read insane man desires to ... well,
it, expecting "Citizen you probably get it by now.
This is one of those Considering how silly the
s that you can tell from plotis, "Tusk" hasaparticularly
ailer alone whether you clever script. This is light-years
see it or not. Go watch it, funnier and more intelligent
you made it through that than comparable spoof-horror
lousness with your sense movies like the "Scary Movie"
nor intact, "Tusk" will be franchise. The essence of the
your time. Y film's humor is its understated
film is clearly a pas- self-awareness. Breaking the
irject for director Kevin ,fourth wall is such an over-
("Zack and Miri Make used trope in spoof movies
no"), who has finally and "Tusk" thankfully avoids
d the fame threshold to it completely, instead relying
int where he can make on legitimately clever dialogue
elease horror films about and ironic visual flourishes in
ally morphing a man into the vein of the jumpy, cheesy
us and no one can tell him editing of the "Evil Dead" fran-
n't. The much-discussed, chise.
lout plot of "Tusk" origi- When "Tusk" isn't funny, it's
on the Smodcast, Smith's actually kind of terrifying. You

see Justin Long get torn apart
over the course of the movie,
with an appropriate amount
of disturbing screaming and
intense gore. It's tolerable,
because Long's character is so
unlikable, but squeamish view-
ers may find themselves fre-
quently looking away.
Perhaps the film's strang-
est feature is its almost secret
inclusion' of Johnny Depp
("Pirates of the Caribbean")
as alcoholic French-Canadian
investigator Guy Lapointe. You
know and love Depp for his off-
beat performances, but until
you've seen "Tusk," you have
yet to see Depp at his weirdest.
His performance is not even
particularly funny, it's simply,
one of the most bizarre appear-
ances in any film.
"Tusk" is the definition of a
solid "B" movie. Both the over-
all concept and the dialogue are
legitimately clever, and the film
is self-aware enough to make
its low-budget aesthetic negli-
gible. Best of all, besides "Boy-
hood," no other fiLr this year
is as wholly original. If you can
put yourself in the "yes, I am
going to enjoy this really dumb
thing for the next 90 minutes"
mindset, you will have a great
time with "Tusk."

Daily Arts Writer
The atmospheric city of Bruno
Heller's "Gotham" is familiar;
suspended in perpetual smog and
held together
by aspider-web
of back alleys, B+
it practically Gotham
oozes cheap
neon. This is Mondays
the glum dys- at 8 p.m
topian scape FOX
of "Blade Run-
ner" and "Sin
City." It's a
formula, in a sense, but there's
never been a more dazzling shit-
hole on the small screen than in
FOX's new series "Gotham." I'm
a noir-lover, so there's a special
place in my heart for its aesthetic
trappings: the impeccable blonde
who doesn't-seem to have com-
mitments beyond glidingthrough'
her apartment in slinky silk, the
cynical detective with a chip on
his shoulder and a flask in his
pocket, the ubiquitous shots of
Chinatown street markets in the
murky depths of Lower Manhat-
tan - it's all there in the anachro-
nistic, rain-slicked Gotham.
As a prequel to the canonical-
Batman story, Bruce Wayne won't
fly to rescue for a couple decades,
and now it's crumbling under
corruption. "Gotham" starts out
with a minx-y Catwoman (new-
comer Camren Bicondova) lurk-

ing in the shadows of an alley as
Bruce Wayne becomes an orphan.
That scene encapsulates the
extent of my comic book knowl-
edge, and "Gotham" asks for little
more. This isn't a show catered
to fandom, yet knowledgeable
viewers will catch the handful of
unobtrusive winks and nods. It's
also good for the show to imme-
diately get the iconic scene out of
the way; Bruce Wayne's develop-
ment isn't the center of the show
and the adjoining investigation
guides us through a string of
characters that populate Gotham.
Stepping into the aforemen-
tioned central narrative gap is
young Jim Gordon (Ben McK-
enzie, "The O.C."), a fledgling
detective new to inter-depart-
ment politics and corruption,
who gets the Wayne case. His
hardened partner, Harvey Bull-
ock, (Donal Logue, "Sons of
Anarchy") has been in the sys-
tem long enough to not want
the high-profile investigation
on his hands. However, they
meet young Bruce who has some
mature heftpenciled inbybrood-
ing David Mazouz ("Touch").
Sean Pertwee's Alfred Penny-
worth gives a refreshing itera-
tion of the trusty guardian; he
doesn't have Michael Caine's
precise courteousness, a hair
more thuggish than gracious.
Gordon playing the naive
guy un-warped by the crooked
bureaucracy isn't the most con-

vincing; he's a little o' accept-
ing of the alliance between
organized crime and uniformed
enforcement that's revealed in
the pilot. However, the periph-
eral villains who encroach on
law and order are well-acted
and able to pick up the slack. In
particular, Fish Mooney (Jada
Pinkett Smith, "Madagascar")
is a welcome female addition to
the ranks of mob-boss overlords
who populated various Gothams
over the years.'Smith has a
darkly liquid presence, equal
parts menacing and sexy. Her
duplicitous minion, pre-Penguin
Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord
Taylor, "The Walking Dead")
is desperate and creepy, sure to
develop throughout the season.
"Gotham" will be an unusual
brand of procedural occupied by
larger than life characters, which
is an intriguing enough premise
to continue watching. More than
that, sans the large names the
movie franchises have, "Gotham"
still captures the cinematic gloss
that's made superhero movies so
watchable for non-fans. For its
family-friendly 8 p.m. timeslot,
it's a grim hour full of gloom and
gore and rumnblings of the ity's
imminent disintegration. The
"Batman" franchise has always
blurred the edges between the
two institutions, law enforce-
ment and the villains, and the
show carries on this skeptical


Email: da-lydisplay@gmail.com

RELEASE DATE- Monday, September'22, 2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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©2014 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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