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September 26, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, September 26, 2014-- 7A

EVENT PREVIEW
'Night
By REBECCA GODWIN
Daily Arts Writer
Within the University of
Michigan, there are dozens
of singing and performance
groups, from
small student A Grand
a capella Night For*
groups to ,
the large Singing
university 4p.m.
glee clubs. September28th
The SchoolH
of Music, Hill Asditsrism
Theatre $5-$18
& Dance's
upcoming event, "A Grand Night
For Singing," brings together
a number of these groups to
perform in the same concert, a
rare occurrence.
The concert event, which was
started in 2010, is an opportunity
for the campus community to see
some of the variety performers
currently studying in SMTD.
"The goal of this concert
is to present excerpts and
vignettes from each of these
ensembles in order to let the
community see all the singing
possibilities that are happening
on campus," said Professor Jerry
Blackstone, who is the director
of Choral Activities, chair of the

For ginging
conducting department and the director to put something
concert's artistic director. "So together; the same is true for the
they will hear performances opera folks," said Blackstone.
by the Chamber Choir, the "We always want the Campus
University Choir, the Women's Ensemble to be represented and
Glee Club, the Men's Glee Club, within the music school, there
the Orpheus Singers and the are three major choirs which we
Opera Theater. They will hear would like to be represented as
two soloists and they will hear well."
performances by the musical Though not every genre
theatre program. It's a real of music can be heard in the
showcase." concert, an effort was made
to showcase as many different
types of music as possible.
sical wk"Theig program that I'm
M u ic l workn igtnow isquite
groupsuni . varied from musical theatre
pieces to some folk pieces to
some classical pieces as well,"
said Blackstone. "I think there
The concert does not will be a lot of variety of tempos,
highlight all of the singers on variety of languages, variety in
campus, but great care went into the way it looks on stage."
selecting those individuals and For Blackstone, however, he is
groups who will be performing. excited for audience members to
The two soloists, one male and participateinthelast bignumber
one female, were chosen by the of the night: a big sing-a-long to
chair of the voice department Rodgers and Hammerstein's "A
to represent solo singing, while Grand Night For Singing."
the others groups were selected "We always end the concert
to showcase the spectrum of with singing," said Blackstone.
singing that can be found within "Most people know it and enjoy
the school. singing to it and everyone leaves
"We always try to highlight with elevated spirits; it's a
something from the musical wonderful and joyousway to end
theater program, so I ask the the concert."

'You know what was a good movie? "Kangaroo Jack"'
Blac -is frh
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qew minority- ish" has the potential to do the
same for its genre. All told, it's
ocused sitcom one of the best half-hours to
premiere in years.
succeeds What's most surprising
about "Black-ish" is how
By ALEC STERN introspective it is for a comedy
Senior TVEditor series - it goes beyond its
one-note conceit and instead
the last five years, successfully navigates a much
.primetime schedule more thoughtful story. On
rended downward, both the surface, the comedy poses
a the question, "are we Black
ve and A- enough (or only Black-ish)?"
ercial Black-ish Sure, it's funny and edgy
point. and most certainly pushes
ABC broadcast television's (rather
ps the Wednesdays white) envelope, but there's so
┬░rk's at9:30p.m much more to the sitcom than
a cheap logline and a catchy
ious title. In reality, "Black-ish"
ep has been its handling is far more contemplative.
e post-"Modern Family" How does a family maintain
lot. Since the start of a unified racial identity when
ive-time Emmy award each generation's experience
ng comedy, its 9:30 p.m. is so different? How does a
- hsamounted- to a father embrace-change without
ving door of remarkably neglecting his storied past?
ir, "Friends"-inspired And of course, how have white
dies - "Cougar Town," guys Justin Timberlake and
py Endings," "Don't Trust Robin Thicke become the
in Apt. 23," "Super Fun Kings of R&B?
,""Mixology" and others, "Black-ish" also extends
of which worked and outside its box as a family
he first of which is still sitcom, with some of its
ng (albeit on a different strongest scenes playing out
ark). Despite consistent in the workplace. Where
ion and acclaim, "management is diverse, but
ern Family" has yet to senior level management,
w its ratings success and not so much." Where Andre
fortune upon a series becomes his company's first
iy enough to maintain it. black Senior Vice President,
s, until now. only to discover he'll be in
ack-ish" is the sitcom charge of the "Urban" division.
has been waiting for - And where Andre's boss asks
, engaging, relevant and him to bring his "swag" to
-out-loud funny. Starring a presentation. "Just keep it
;ny Anderson ("Guys real," he advises Andre.
Kids") as Andre, a father Such moments will
fears his family has lost undoubtedly elicit a varied
with Black culture, response from the audience,
k-ish" is a diversified ranging from mindless
tion of American family laughter to concern over the
s still sorely lacking on character's seemingly very
cast television. But just realistic treatment. And in
andal" paved the way for anticipation of that,"Black-
t of minority-led dramas ish" cleverly props up two of
its success (such as this its lead characters to represent
"Red Band Society," this dichotomy - one an angel
ire" and "How To Get on Andre's left shoulder, one
With Murder"), "Black- a devil on the other (which is

which, however, you'll have to
decide for yourself). Andre's
father, Pops, (Laurence
Fishburne, "Hannibal") would
posit that his son has lost touch
with his roots, allowing his
son to play field hockey over
basketball and joining the
"white firm" when he could
have already been CEO of the
Black one. On the other hand,
Fishburne's foil is Andre's
wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis
Ross, "Reed Between the
Lines"), who encourages her
husband to stop dissecting
every little thing, holding it
up to preconceived standard.
Not only are the characters
exceptionally well-cast (can
Fishburne do any wrong?) but
also written with dimension,
elevating the series' ensemble
nature.
But that's not to say "Black-
ish" is perfect (though series
premieres rarely are). The
series is undone by pacing
issues in its final act that dilute
the impact of the episode's big
moments. And despite how
inventive the writers seem to
think it is, the "bro mitzvah"
is slowly turning into one
of entertainment's newest
tropes. However, "Black-ish"
does so much right in its first
offering that these criticisms
are more nit-picky than do they
substantially detract from the.
premiere's success.
In the end, despite what
society might dictate and
despite what the voices in
his head - mainly Pops' and
Rainbow's - might tell him,
Andre is just a father trying
to make the best decisions
for his family. And in that
regard, "Black-ish" is a series
for everyone; the rare "broad"
comedy that doesn't substitute
the wit of its narrative in favor
of drawing in the masses.
Because the best comedies can
be bothsmart and far-reaching,
and "Black-ish" is just that -
never dull nor dumb, universal
in its appeal and ultimately,
the perfect companion for
"Modern Family."

'How are we supposed to pee in these suits?
i Destiny

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By JACOB RICH be extremely fun to shoot, with
Daily Arts Writer headshots and critical hits in
particular creating satisfying
stiny" is a shockingly 'pops' (By the way, how on earth
scale video game, is this game rated T and not M?
ally considering the big it's probably because Bungie
tional kept all of that controversial
cords C "sex" stuff out, protecting our
n Destiny impressionable children by
d by its having them slaughter hundreds
her: P54 of aliens instead).
c New- (reviewed), Unfortunately, the' problem
hise. P$3,XBox isn't what "Destiny" is, it's what
it isnt.
ge. One, XBox This would be an unfair claim
to make in almost any other
tney. 3review. Things should be judged
r Activision by what they are, not what
t plan. they could have been. But since
million-dollar budget. "Destiny" was artificially hyped-
no wonder that gamers up to monolithic proportions, it's
the globe expected huge necessary to explain just how
from "Destiny." Games short it fell fromexpectations.
never receive this level of "Destiny" has an extremely
g - not that much money, poor implementation of
at much forethought and narrative, staggeringly small
ly not those bignames. scope, and worst of all, almost
funny thing is, you can tell zero mission variety. The story
ely where the huge budget is presented in poorly-written,
The graphics, for one thing, uninteresting chunks that fail to
solutely incredible - sci- cohere, due to the majority of the
as have never looked this game's story content being locked
ng in a game, and both away in Bungie's website via
haracters and enemies "grimoire cards" - unlockable
awlessly animated during images that contain paragraphs
lay. Its soundtrack almost of story-related text. Can you
es its graphical brilliance; imagine if "Halo's" lauded story
a keen sense of wonder was portrayed this way? What if
expertly orchestrated by "Halo's" characters rarely talked
ned Halo composersMarty and all you could glean about The
nell and Michael Salvatori. Arbiter or Sgt. Johnson was from
aff credits song waswritten lazily written, aloof-sounding
erformed by the one and text snippets on the internet?
aul McCartney, and yes, it's This feels sad and lazy. Even
me. worse are the cutscenes, with
core gameplay is nearly such laughably bad direction
t. You should be used to and dialogue that even the most
e's brand of extraordinarily philistine movie fan would scoff.
first-person shooting if I would have rather the game had
played any of the "Halo" no story than such a tease of one.
, but it somehow feels even Above all else, though, the lack
now that Bungie's mixed it of mission variety is the game's
hostofdifferentclass-based most vital flaw. It is downright
s and upgradable skills. A insulting how little there is to do
ntricate loot system gives in this game. Each mission plays
e upgrades to your arsenal. out virtually the same way: you
most becoming cliche to begin by landing in the same
at this point, but "Destiny" area of each planet each time.
I feels like a combination Then, you travel between mission
io" and "Borderlands." It's locations either on foot or on
iplayer loot-shooter with a your landspeeder (this traveling
emphasis on combat above gameplay does not evolve in any
e. Enemies are designed to way over the course of the game).

At each mission location, you
fight a group of typically several
waves of enemies, sometimes
with an uninteresting boss at the
end. That's it.
There are only 4 major
explorable planets, albeit each'
with their own unique enemies.
This is the extent of gameplay
evolution in "Destiny." There are
different aliens with different
weak points to kill. The game
doesn't feel big at all. I have no
way of measuring it, but to me the
world of "Destiny" felt about two
thirds the size of "Borderlands
2," one of the game's chief
inspirations.
As I said, the combat is superb,
and your character's combat
options will evolve in meaningful
ways over the course of the
game. But when it's literally the
only thing you do - kill things
in similar fashion over and over
again - the strength of the core
gameplay will only go so far in
keeping you entertained. A good
amount of "Destiny," especially
when played alone, is boring.
There is one shining moment
of creative gameplay variety; one
of the missions on the moon. It
plays differently than any other
mission in the game, and it was
my favorite of them all. Why
weren't there more like it?
"Destiny" also has a
competitive multiplayer mode. It
plays just as well as ifi any "Halo"
game, with a good amount of
well-designed maps, but lacks
both split-screen and any sort of
Forge-style creative mode. There
areno customgametypes. I found
it interesting that your single-
player character is also your
multiplayer avatar (experience
gained in both multiplayer and
the campaign feed the same xp
bar), but other than that, there's
no reason to move on to this
from "Halo;" the multiplayer
in "Destiny" is Bungie's least
complete yet.
"Destiny" is not a bad game,
but it could be so much more
than it is right now. Perhaps
somewhere down the line of
Bungie's purported 10-year
support plan, it will be great. But
until then, your money is better
spent elsewhere.

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