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May 24, 2010 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2010-05-24

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Monday, May 24, 2010
10 j The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
No happy ending for 'Shrek' series*-

Fairytale story can't
hold 'Forever After'
Daily Arts Writer
Most children's franchises throw
out quality in exchange for fleeting
amusement, but you'd think Dream-
would *****
take qual- Shrek Forever After
ity further
into con- At Quality16 and Rave
sideration DreamWorks Animation
for such a
high-grossing series as the "Shrek"
movies. With the fourth installment,
DreamWorks seems to have dropped
the ball. "Shrek Forever After" is a
fun and enjoyable 90 minutes, but
beyond that it feels more like a direct-
to-video sequel than the culmination
of a successful animated film series.
The first "Shrek" came out nine
years ago, and it was a fresh, welcome
sensation, it reached critical acclaim

and it quickly became Dream-
Works Animation's most successful
franchise to date. The story of an
unusual - meaning large, green and
nonhuman - "prince charming" (not
to be confused with the actual Prince
Charming, a bratty character in the
series) is a valuable tale for children
and adults alike, who are all too often
swayed by 20th century, pretty-faced
Disney animation, where the hero
always looks like Prince Charming
In this fourth theatrical outing,
Shrek (Mike Myers) has settled down
with wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and
triplets Farkle, Fergus and Felicia
into their cozy swamp house. He's
content to pass the days as a family
man, receiving daily visits from best
friend Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and
nodding to the passing tour bus that
points him out as a public attraction.
Shrek becomes wary of the routine,
though, and uncomfortable with his
new softie reputation.
Staying rooted in fairy tales,

"Shrek Forever After" brings in a
classic character to mix things up -
Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn). He
tricks Shrek into making a deal: In
exchange for one day of his life, he
gets to live one more day as a true
ogre, free to roam and terrorize
humans at will.
The jealous Rumpelstiltskin
chooses the most inopportune day -
Shrek's birthday - and takes it away.
And thus commences the "Back to
the Future" existential paradox. How
does Shrek get back to his life if he
was never even born?
On a critical level, "Shrek Forever
After" is like a typical unnecessary
sequel. It returns Shrek to his old
locations and threatens to render
all his previous efforts pointless. It
represents the creators' attempt to
squeeze out one more film without
bothering to progress the story. The
film is a big character arc, and not
much else. Considering the rich-
ness of the personalities and the odd
charm of their world, it's unfortu-

nate that more effort wasn't given to
developing the story as a whole.
On an entertainment level, though,
"Shrek Forever After" has at least a
bit of the original "Shrek" charisma,
even after losingsome of its magic. I
It has the same beautiful ani-
mation style that made each of its
predecessors a popular hit. In true i
DreamWorks fashion, the visual style
is delightfully bright, shiny and real-
istic in its own disfigured way. With
many theaters showing the film in
RealD 3-D, the film capitalizes on
what is quickly becoming an anima-
tion standard. The 3-D is actually
rather well done - that is to say, not
especially gimmicky.
There are also a few brilliant
moments scattered throughout the
film, which, not surprisingly, mostly
involve the Murphy-voiced Don-
key. Even in the most uninspiring
moments, his character is adorably
irreverent, and it's a marvel that his
shtick still feels fresh. And the rest
of the ensemble is also pleasant and
From Page 8
music has definitely had a Detroit
influence on it - all of that came from
one foundation ... It was like a ping-
pong effect: When the ball comes in
their court they put a spin on it, and
when it comes back we have to react
to that spin," said Atkins, describing
the international back-and-forth that
has shaped the evolution of electron-
But while Movement is certainly
a colorful window into this cross-
cultural fugue, it's also a conscious
attempt to counter America's deep-
seated trends of ignorance and seg-
regation. -
"Everything is sliced up into
racial categories in the U.S.," Atkins
explained. "You have the black urban
radio station and then you have the
pop station, you have the rock sta-
tions In Europe, they don't have,
those separate stations. Evergig
is cross-marketed to everybody Our
music got exported, got popular, and
then the white kids started making
that sound in Europe. And then it got

cute, as always.
Overall, the film isn't much of an
addition to the series, save for the
opportunity to see the loveable set of
characters one last time. On a narra-
tive stage, the "Shrek" series leaves
a lot of its potential unrealized and
unexplored. There was clear room
in the franchise for a fourth film, but
with its lack of development, "Shrek
Forever After" isn't it.

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Ann Arbor's Guitar Hero:
Legendary guitar craftsman
Herb David discusses how
his studio came to be.
accepted in the U.S. and (European
producers) exported their records
back to us, so that when they came
back here everybody assumed, 'Oh,
this is a white form of music."'
Atkins is headlining Movement
2010 under the moniker Model 500,
along with fellow Detroit techno
kingpins Richie Hawtin (Plastik-
man) and Kevin Saunderson (Inner
City). Atkins describes the festival as
a "wake-up call" to America - a sonic
and cultural melting pot celebrating
Detroit as the homeland of the trans-
national big bang that is electronic
And according to Huvaere, wheth-
er you're an electronic festival junk-
ie or a first-timer, "you only get a
chance once a year to see one outside
in a park like this ... And the kind of
acts that we bring in are really more
of a high-end, not-able-to-see-them-
very-often type of a thing. For a lot
of then, acts, they're only sing to
be hresns er, and t "or the
festival. So ifyou're interested in the
music and you want to see it ina cool
venue, there isn't anything to really
compare this weekend to."

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