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May 23, 2013 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-05-23
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Star Trek:
Into Darkness
At Quality 16
and Rave

G rl the back of yo head is ridiculous. PARAMOUNT
'oAbrams goes boldly
'Int Darkness'

To the end credits, "Darkness"
barrels through with unrelenting
adrenaline, pausing for only a few
brief moments and never spin-
ning out of control.
The longest lull comes when
the impossibly resilient Khan
spells out his Why-I'm-Evil story,
an action-flick convention even
novel screenwriters Roberto Orci
and Alex Kurtzman ("Star Trek")
can't avoid. As far as villain ori-
gins go, Khan's is pretty by-the-
numbers, and his motives lack
weight. But it's also a testament
to the film's frenetic energy that
even a brief soliloquy delivered
from the mesmerizing mouth
of Cumberbatch has us wishing
we'd just get back to the phaser-
slinging thrills. Motives matter
less when you're having so much
damn fun.
And "Darkness" knows how to
have fun. Instead of sticking to
the newfangled formula of deeply
emotional journeys and brood-
ing characters - made popular
by recent comic-book adaptations
- "Darkness" is a space adven-
ture ripped from the dreams of
any sci-fi geek. The film never
reaches the darkness its title sug-
gests, neither tonally nor aesthet-
ically. Themes of terrorism and
wartime moral instability trickle
throughout, and between deep
space base-jumping and hand-
to-hand combat with Klingons,
these characters do pause to con-
template mortality: The always
logical, stats-crunching Spock
divulges his feelings on death,
rendering lieutenant and linguis-
tics expert Uhura (Zoe Saldana,
"Avatar") speechless. But even
these pauses aren't dark; they
hum with human honesty and
evoke the large-hearted utopia-
nism that can be traced back to
"The Original Series."
And not only is it fun, it's sexy,
and not just because its cast is.
The visuals awe, even in 2-D, and

cinematographer Daniel Min-
del returns to capture a colorful
world, speckled with enough lens
flare to light even the darkest
corners of the universe, as can
be expected with Abrams at the
helm. And while it's a sexy space
adventure with Michael Bay-level
booms and brawls, it fortunately
lacks the sexed-up overindul-
gence that accompanies big Bay
The closest the film comes to a.
traditional action movie romance
arc is between Kirk and Spock.
Sorry fangirls, that doesn't mean
there's a "Spirk" kiss. But the tra-
jectory of the friendship between
these two men, who couldn't be
more different - Kirk breaks rules
while Spock sticks to the book -
has been steadily built upon, with
Pine and Quinto playing it perfect-
ly from square one. Their back-and-
forth quips are some of the script's
highlights, though it's Simon Pegg
("Paul") as the outspoken, liquor-
slurping Enterprise engineer Scot-
ty who lands the most laughs.
Though it again nails the bal-
ance between nostalgia (Leonard
Nimoy reprises his cameo, and a
Tribble makes a brief, trouble-
less appearance) and reinvention,
stunning the Klingon-speaking
Trekkies and a new generation
of moviegoers alike, "Darkness"
doesn't possess the originality of
Abrams's first "Trek." The sequel
had to fulfill lofty expectations:
For one, it's a follow-up to what
was easily 2009's finest summer
blockbuster, but it's also a quasi-
remake of "The Wrath of Khan," a
fan-favorite film in the franchise.
Taking on such a huge enterprise
was, admittedly, highly illogical.
But Abrams calculates risk like
Kirk: the bolder, the better. And
even with a simple story and more
action than emotion, "Darkness"
boldly goes and does so at warp
speed, leaving you gasping for


'Star Trek' sequel species with caked-on, black-and-
white faces and plenty of spears
impresses with warp- hot on their heels. At cliff's edge,
they jump, plunging into the sea
speed action where the magnificent U.S.S.
Enterprise awaits, bathed in a
By KAYLA UPADHYAYA blue that could rival the coolness
Managing Arts Editor of Pine's piercing eyes. Mean-
while, Spock (Zachary Quinto,
Captain Kirk (Chris Pine, TV's "Heroes") drops into a bub-
"This Means War") and Dr. Bones bling volcano, neutralizes it and
McCoy (Karl Urban, "Red") tear dances with death before Kirk
through the bright red fields of pulls off yet another improbable
a primitive planet, an indigenous rescue mission.

So opens "Star Trek: Into
Darkness," J.J. Abrams's ("Super
8") rip-roaring follow-up to his
2009 stellar success of a "Trek"
reboot. In the first 10 minutes,
a major character nearly dies, a
major character does die, we meet
our unflinching villain Khan
(Benedict Cumberbatch, TV's
"Sherlock"), Kirk's captainship is
taken from him and Spock is reas-
signed. "Darkness" doesn't need
to build momentum; its thrusters
are at full speed from the start.

t's a typical Tuesday night and
the line for Ann Arbor's home of
the damned - Scorekeepers Bar
and Grille - is out
the door. As you
wait in line you
might be wonder-
ing: Am I going
to get in? Are
we in the right
order? Who's here -
tonight? Do I look NATASHA
Ah-ha! There it
is - the last ques-
tion on your mind - do I look good?
As a girl, you know the reality is the
bouncer will only let you in if you're
lookin' fine. Let's be honest, you could
actually be 21 but if you're not dressed
in a short skirt and some scrap of cloth
that you're trying to pass off as a top,
you're not getting in. However, if you're
clad in 4-inch plus heels and a bodycon
dress you could pretty much hand the
bouncer a scrap of notebook paper that
says "I'm 21" and you're as good as gold.
Dress like a slut and the world - or
at least Scorekeepers - is your oyster.
That's the uglytruth. But when exactly
did we learn the Golden Rule: Thou
shalt wear low-cut tops?
Maybe it all started when we were
little girls dressed in tomboyish Gap
t-shirts watching our favorite Disney
princess movie through mascara-less
eyelashes. Now you might be thinking
yeah, okay, Snow White isn't exactly
your typical lady of the night with
her cap sleeves and kitten heels - but
hear me out. As aspiring princesses-in-
training we look to these cartoon idols
for advice on finding our happily ever
after - or at least I did. So maybe Snow
White doesn't seem like your typical
hussy but let's take a look at another
princess, say, Ariel. That girl is wearing
nothing but the cartoon version of the
Victoria's Secret Bombshell bra and -
well that's about it (mermaid tails don't
count). If you're still not convinced -
how about Cinderella? In the beginning
of the movie she's wearing matronly
brown garb - a covert sexist statement
about our domestic role in the house.
And with that blase spinster's outfit,
it's pretty clear that she's not attracting
anyone but birds and mice. Then as if
by magic (insert fairy godmother and
eye rolling) a sparkly low-cut dress and
some gaudy blue eye shadow, she bags
the man of her dreams. Bibbidi-bobbi-
di-boo, you've got yourself a success by
slut-ification story.
understand the implicit demeaning
message that ol Walt was sending us
through our VCRs. But as we've gotten
older the media messages have become

more shamelessly explicit and - quite
frankly - disgusting. Take the 2008
romcom, "The House Bunny", where
Playboy bunny Shelly tries to teach
the frumpy-dump sorority girls of
Zeta Alpha Zeta how to attract frat
boys and save their house. And what
is the holy grail of being a successful
sorority girl? You guessed it! Dressing
like a slut. Shelly expertly advises
them that "dressing sexy is all about
skimplifying. I want you to show skin
in the four major regions. Arms, legs,
belly and cleavage." You heard it from
the Playboy bunny first - showing skin
equals happiness.
You can look at
this as a good or a
bad thing.
So now after you've done some deep
soul-searching on the origins of the
slutty outfit, here you are, back in the
line at Scorekeepers, trying to channel
all your good karma into getting past
the gatekeeper (the bouncer with
a smug Cheshire grin on his face).
Thankfully, even though you look like
you're 12 and your fake ID is a piece
of shit, you remembered to wear that
mesh cut-out Nasty Gal dress you've
been saving for such an occasion.
*Cue the trumpets and angelic
music* You got in!
So, you can choose to look at this
blatant disregard for the law and the
linear relationship between skin expo-
sure and male attention involved as a
really good thing or a really bad thing.
I like to look at it as a damn good
thing because it means that as women
we hold all the cards. There will always
be some men that ogle women and
appreciate them at legs to chest - then
at face value. Some things you just
can't change. Now I'm not saying that
as a girl you should walk around with
a tit hanging out in order to get what
you want - that would be borderline
prostitution. But what I'm saying is
that as strong, beautiful women of the
21st century it's our prerogative when
it comes to how we want others to
perceive us. It's pretty empowering to
feel comfortable with your own body
and dress how you please.
Maybe we really should follow
Beyonce's advice: if you've got it, flaunt
it. So screw boys and let's just dance.
Natasha Ertzbischoff can be
reached at nmertz@umich.edu.

half of my
junior year
During the
past three or
so months
I've surfed
the other
side of the
in Lagos,

dismissively stared right back
at Mona in The Louvre in Paris,
inadvertently offended a man of
the cloth in Italy and recreated
my favorite scenes from the film
"In Bruges," well, in Bruges.
And all that was just one week.
Like all good things, those
antics eventually ended and I
returned home, trading gela-
to for frozen Go-Gurts, lav-
ish Italian first, second and
third courses for Chipotle and
renaissance art for Adult Swim.
The end to my time abroad hap-
pened to coincide with the end
of winter semester and as my
Facebook newsfeed overflowed
with the laments of graduat-
ing seniors, I dwelled on the
juxtaposition of the two expe-
riences. What about Michigan
had influenced these seniors
so profoundly? Had I missed
out on that by studying abroad?
And if so, had my time abroad
changed me?
After dwelling on the
question and a quick phone
call to my mom asking why
Facebook statuses affected
me so much (she said maybe it
was that time of the month, I
told her wrong kid), I arrived
at a simple - if not peculiar
- solution: that Michigan
Difference we always speak so
highly of - which permeates
through all our daily activities
like Doritos Locos Tacos
through the colon of a frat star
- is built upon a foundational
acceptance of what I call "the
weirdness." Furthermore, it
was because of the ways I had

his past semester I
traveled to Florence,
Italy to spend the latter

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Weirdly different



accepted this weirdness as
a student that despite living
halfway across the world from
Ann Arbor, it still played a
significant role in shaping my
time abroad.
Now this weirdness is impos-
sible to precisely define. The
weirdness exists between
acceptance and dismissal - the
figurative hand that quite lit-
erally pushes your envelope.
The weirdness comes in any
shape, form or goo and includes
the strange meat I continually
accepted from a tattooed Italian
man in the sandwich shop next
door to my apartment in Flor-
ence to the occurrences at a typi-
cal poetry slam in Kerrytown.
Yet, this weirdness need not
deviate from the mainstream.
If the aforementioned activities
fail to strike you as peculiar then
a dabble into the weirdness may
entail actually washing your
hands after you go the bathroom
or attempting to stop trying so
hard to not look like you're not
trying to look cool, you damn
hipster. The point is weirdness
has no boundaries - it's a con-
tinual enigma and is simply that
which pushes you beyond your
comfort zone and forces you in
reflection to note "well shit, that
certainly was weird."
A continual cultivation of
the weirdness is necessary to
truly absorb any experience.
As any Wolverine can tell you,
the Michigan Difference is not
easily summarized - if at all.
It involves the prestige of our
school, but also going to class
blackout drunk on St. Patrick's
Day and confusing an under-
classman for a leprechaun. Foot-
ball pre-parties are a factor and
so is our work-hard, play-hard
attitude - name me one stu-
dent who hasn't had a professor
yet who so completely rocked
their intellectual foundation in
a good way, and I'll show you a
Michigan State student.
Our Michigan Difference
is defined by its inability to be
defined, existing upon a founda-
tion that celebrates any personal
endeavor, embracing the weird-

ness clad in gear from The M Den
with No Thai on its breath. The
best times I've had at Michigan
have been when I stepped out
of the confines of any defining
adjectives, attending non-Greek
life, Greek life and even Resi-
dential College parties, listening
to readings in the auditorium of
the University Art Museum or
getting to know the entirely too
old patrons of Scorekeepers Bar
and Grill.
The Michigan
Difference is in
the weirdness.
This acceptance of the
weirdness stayed with me
when I studied abroad, allow-
ing me to truly dive into a dif-
ferent culture uninhibited by
any fear of the unknown. I felt
bad for my peers who refused to
leave America behind - instead
constantly searching for Wi-Fi
while trying to pass Nutella
off as an excursion into foreign
cuisine. Because of the lessons
Ann Arbor taught me, I was
truly able to leave it behind.
I know I may sound like an
abomination hybrid of a car
commercial and Jim Carrey from
"Yes Man," telling you to grab
life by the horns and buy a Dodge
Ram - but the point is, that's
exactly what I want. Minus the
Dodge Ram part. For everyone,
from those who just graduated,
to those now completing
another chapter in their career
as a lifelong Wolverine, to those
just beginning their maize and
blue diary that I totally don't
have hidden under my bed - I
hope you never forget to always
carry with you that undeniable
and insatiable desire for the
weirdness that defines our
Michigan difference.
BenGloger can be reached
at bgloger@umich.edu.


- I

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