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July 07, 2008 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-07-07

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101

Monday, July 7, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

HANCOCK
From Page 9
and negligence with that power.
Ring any bells? Let's just say people
in Afghanistan or Iraq would know
all about that.
While interviewing Smith two
weeks ago, comedian Stephen Col-
bert seemingly unwittingly stum-
bled upon the allegory. It really is an
ingenious concept for a superhero
film, but also one that is lost in mun-
dane, vapid comic book style myth-
making in thefilm's second half.Yet,
through what would otherwise be

an inscrutable mess emerges Smith,
almost superhuman in his ability to
keep things credible and intensely
watchable.
Smith has shown repeatedly over
the years that there is no role he
cannot own, and that his standing
as Hollywood's most popular star
is well-deserved. Even for Smith,
though, it is an extraordinary feat,
to hold together such a flailing,
self-reactive narrative. He, Theron
and Bateman are constantly asked
to achieve the height of perfection,
and each time they manage remark-
able results. Smith and Theron com-
mand each scene with the charm

and poise that have made the Acade-
my take notice on several occasions.
And Bateman, still the best actor
you know nothing about, holds his.
own with the trademark dry, logi-
cal exasperation that anchored TV's
"Arrested Development."
There's plenty to like in "Han-
cock." As reckless blockbusters go,
this is among the more thought-
ful and well-acted. Even so, it is an
undeniable disappointment, a film
that twice sets its eyes on a com-
mendable prize, yet - in a mish-
mash of big-studio pyrotechnics and
stock Hollywood backstory - fails
to complete either attempt.

FOOT FIST
From Page 9
basis, for better or worse. For
such a ridiculous comedy, a large
portion of it feels unabashedly
genuine in its presentation of
America and the people that pop-
ulate it. It's oddly affectionate to
see such an unaffected portrayal
of middle-of-the-road America.
"The Foot Fist Way" has a
lot in common with "Napoleon
Dynamite" as well, in that it's
essentially a string of vignettes
tied together by a bare minimum
of plot. Because of this, the film
feels overlong, and wears out its
welcomebythe one-hour-mark. It
becomes an ordeal by the last10 or
15 minutes, which is odd for a film
that doesn't even clock in at 90.
Butthere'ssomethingoptimistic
about a little low-budget B-movie
that can beat out its Hollywood
competitors. Ferrell's last couple of
"Anchorman"-style comedies have
been stale, so maybe he canusenthis
oddballknock-off as a blueprint for
how to tweak his winningformula
without alienating his audience.

JEWS
From Page 9
Jews. The vintage, pitch-black,
midnighturgencyofprevious Jews
work rears its puzzled face again
on many tracks, and the arrange-
ments throughout owe quite a bit
to Jews precedent, especially the
expanded sonic palette of searing
guitar fills and ornamental piano
wizardry debuted on Tanglewood
Numbers.
The real difference with this
record is in the attitude it subtly
radiates. on the first five Silver
Jews albums, it always sounded
like David Berman had made
them out of self-obligation to
his own talents; he had to make
them because he was capable
of making them. But Lookout
Mountain, Lookout Sea sounds
like an album made by Berman
because he wanted to make it.
And listening to it, it's easy to
share in the enjoyment he must
have felt while recording it.
Read an extended version of
this review at michigandaily.com.

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www.levyarts.com * www.socialistparty-usa.org/natconf2008

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