8 Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Hey, do you think they'll notice that even with a production budget of $300 million, our super awesome CGI background consists of cheap photo studio wallpaper?
An empty treasure chest
By DEREK BARBER
Daily Arts Writer
Dinosaur Jr. - the prognostica-
tors of prog-punk-pop - will be
at the Blind Pig for a special two-
night stand Sunday and Monday
Following 2005's triumphant
the original late-
trio - guitarist/ Junior
singer J Mascis,
bassist Lou Bar- June 3and 4
low and drum- $20
mer Murph 9:30 p.m.
- the band Blind Pig
record Beyond earlier this year. It's
the first "real" Dinosaur Jr. album
in nearly twenty years.
Dinosaur Jr. formed in Amherst,
Mass. in t983 and is widely con-
sidered one of indie-rock's most
influential and loudest bands.
Its distinctive sound - an aural
assault of blaring, distorted guitar
paired with claustrophobic vocals
- could be described as the miss-
ing link between Black Sabbath
and The Buzzcocks.
Before its enigmatic split, Dino-
saur Jr. released three highly-
acclaimed albums including 1987's
You're Living All Over Me and
1988's Bug. While incomparable to
the sheer volume of its live perfor-
mances, the albums reveal a deeper
sort of understanding for the men
behind the dinosaur.
Dinosaur Jr. is famous for always
burying strong melodies beneath a
thick topsoil of sound. No matter
how dense the onslaught of guitar,
percussive bass and drums is, the
seeds of melody spring to the ear
of people willingto listen carefully.
As long as they can still hear any-
thing at all, of course.
The nature of Dinosaur Jr.'s
unique sound is as mysterious as
the infamous tension between its
original members. In 1989, follow-
ing a tour in support of Bug, Mascis
and Barlow were at serious odds.
When Barlow was unceremoni-
See BARBER, Page 12
en Captain Jack A labyrinthine, near three-hour
affair of incomprehensible (and
1't keep "Pirates" no longer charming) pirate lingo,
sequel afloat unnecessarily pompous speeches
and grandstands and more than a
By IMRAN SYED couple of unresolved double-cross-
Editor in Chief es, "At World's End" tests the love
of even the most loyal of fans. Our
eems unfair that a month beloved pirate Captain Jack Spar-
cwith the latest editions ofthe row (Johnny Depp) is dead, but his
most lucrative ongoing movie friends(?) Elizabeth Swann (Keira
should Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando
s so worn Bloom) and Captain Barbosa (Geof-
ded. But *frey Rush), among others, embark
ider-man on a dangerous journey to bring
ound dis- Pirates him back from the dead.
tment, of the As Sparrow is the lovably loose
hrek the nut that's holding this whole ship
despair. Caribbean: together, they succeed in finding
finally, At World's him, but then it gets even worse.
irates of End The high-strung buzz killers over
Caribbe- at the East India Trading Com-
World's At the Showcase pany have brought more than just
we find a and Quality16 nifty British accents to overrun
ng, over- Disney the pirates this time: They're ready
mixture for an all-out stand to defeat the
verything marauders for good.
good and bad about Disney's Our heroes also face trouble
ted franchise, and indeed, from the Chinese pirate Sao Feng
r blockbusters in general. (Chow Yun-Fat, "Anna and the
King") - exactly what he's huffing
about is never made clear. Finally,
still in the mix is the be-tentacled
villain of the sea Davy Jones (Bill
Nighy) and the mysterious oracle
Tia (Naomie Harris) who turns out
to be a bigger character than we
might have guessed.
The pirates must unite to fight
back - most logically meaning a
meeting of pirate lords from the
world over. Stereotypes and flagrant
ethnocentrism aside, more pande-
monium results and the outcome of
the meeting is hardly ideal (Keira
lease). An uncalled-for (even if well-
done) Keith Richards cameo later
we reach the climax of the last two
films in the series. Alas, it is what we
all feared - a special-effects mas-
terpiece awash in senseless action,
sophomoric attempts at humor and a
thorough discrediting of everything
we grew to love about this series
when it began four years ago.
But if "At World's End" floats
despite the considerable deadweight
it carries, it does so for the same rea-
son the first film in the series was a
classic and the sub-par second film
was largely forgiven: Depp's mar-
velous creation, Jack Sparrow.
Lost amid exotic locales and a
rapidly ballooning plot for the bet-
ter part of "Dead Man's Chest,"
Sparrow's shtick wore out. But in
this film we're back to the endear-
ingly erratic, completely bonkers
Jack Sparrow we loved in the first
film. He has even learned a few new
tricks and as you're befuddled by a
forever unraveling plot, Captain
Jack is there to supply a "machete
for your intellectual thicket."
While "At World's End" is mar-
ginally more entertaining than
"Dead Man's Chest," predictably,
neither comes close to matching
the achievement of the first film
in terms of artistry or enjoyment.
Whereas "Dead Man's Chest" could
receive a pass because it was but
building up to "At World's End," it's
clear now that the accidental genius
that was the first film has yet to be
understood by the very people who
made it. Lucky for them, they'll
have several more sequels to try and
figure it out.