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July 03, 2013 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-07-03
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0 T Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
FILIM REVIEW
hite HouseDown lacks grit

Rainbows on parade

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Stepping backwards?

15

By MAYANK MATHUR
Daily Arts Writer
The second film of the year that
focuses on a takeover of the White
House challenges the concepts of
expectation and
reality. Roland C+
Emmerich
("The Day After White
Tomorrow") puts House Down
together his love
for disaster and At Quality16
his penchant for and Rave
spectacle to pro-
duce a very medi- Centropolis
ocre buddy-cop Entertainemnt
action flick that
provides more laughs than gasps

and more exasperated sighs than
genuine thrills.
"White House Down" is particu-
larly confusing to digest because
it thrives on the ingredients that
should havebeen added asagarnish-
ing and does away with the essential
ones that would added more flavor
and originality. It's a pity that Emm-
erich prefers to sacrifice grit and
tension in place of comedy and light-
heartedness in his latest outing, as
one is left wondering of what could
have been instead of appreciating
what has been served. Ultimately
the film does elicit a credible degree
of involvement and excitement from
the audience, but it does so for all the
wrongreasons.

Students of ENGR 390/599
Culture, Wellness, Techolog
Participate on Teams to imagine & create
new apps for better living
contact Prof. Jasprit Singh singh@umich.edu
--.5O

The film follows John Cale - '
(Channing Tatum, "Magic Mike"),
a U.S. Capitol Police officer who
fails to make the grade in his per-'
sonal and professional life as he
gets snubbed by his daughter at
every turn and gets rejected in
his attempt to join the Secret Ser-
vice. Things don't exactly brighten
up when the White House comes
under siege while Cale is on a tour1
of the building with his daugh-
ter. In a not-so-surprising turn of
events, Cale is separated from his
daughter and tasked with protect-
ing President James Sawyer (Jamie
Foxx, "Django Unchained"). Thus
begins Cale's quest to reunite with
his daughter while making sure
that the President survives the
attack.
The movie doesn't have an
extraordinary story to tell, which Everyone loves Tatum.
isn't necessarily a flaw, and the
rapid sequence of events ensures to arouse feelings of tension and
that boredom doesn't rear its ugly anxiety, and this is where the film
head. A series of unexpected turns is dealt its most telling blow.
leaves the audience guessing as The chemistry of the male leads
to why the White House is under further ensures that the film is
attack and who exactly is pulling devoid of any seriousness whatso-
the strings, which allows the film ever as Tatum and Foxx work so
to score a point over its counter- well off each other that they make
part "Olympus Has Fallen" as far the joblook easier than it should be.
as twists are concerned. In an interview with Jimmy Kim-
However, at times, the plot is mel, Jamie Foxx said that he went
too convoluted for its own good from being "a slave to the Presi-
and the plethora of characters - dent," referring to the immediate
especially the villains - do get tir- transition he had to make from
ing. The bad guys aren't scary or "Django Unchained" to "White
intimidatingenough and they don't House Down". However, it doesn't
seem to know exactly why they're seem like he ever stopped being
doing what they're doing. Motives "Django" - he's as badass as he can
constantly change and each time be in his role as captured President
they seem more and more unclear. James Sawyer. When you see the
Though obviously present, the President in his Jordans, pullingup
threat is never credible enough a rocket launcher to the window of

CENTROPOLIS ENTERTAINMENT

an SUV saying "Damn right," you
know something's not right.
Foxx and Tatum
make a mediocre
buddy-cop flick.
That image sums up this movie
in a nutshell: You're entertained by
what you see, but you know that's
not what you're supposed to be
entertained by. It's a very clear line
that Emmerich chooses to blur, and
while it may work at times, there's
no question that a little less of it
would have made the movie a lot
more than it is.

J 's the crack of dawn, Sunday
morning (11 a.m.) and I open
my eyes that are still caked
with 10 pounds
of mascara
from Saturday
night. I think to
myself there is _
no way in hell
I'm getting out
of bed. As I start
to drift back to NATASHA
sleep a delicious ERTZBISCHOFF
thought creeps -
into my
psyche: breakfast.
The tantalizing thought of crispy
bacon and fluffy eggs jolts me to
life and I put on lilac shorts, a hot
pink V-neck and a floral headband
for good measure. Then I roust my
roommate out of her hibernation -
and she rips my head off much like
a grizzly bear would - and we set
out to scavenge something fried and
dripping in grease.
On our walk to a quaint mom
n' pop restaurant, Nookies, I spot
something odd - something very
odd. I do a double take and realize
the unfortunate outfit this girl is
wearing isn't a mirage. Her rainbow
suspenders, pleather skater skirt,
10-inch pleather platform shoes and
knee-high rainbow socks are real
(gasp). I grab my roommate and tell
her to check out the life-size Hara-
juku girl.
After I recovered from disbe-
lief at that heinous ensemble, out
of nowhere a whole pack of people
appears wearing these ridiculous,
whimsical rainbow outfits. I feel
faint at the sight and I'm thinking
to myself that I'm either losing it or
there's a full moon out. Then I hear
a boy chanting:
"I'm gay and proud, gay and
proud, GAY AND PROUD!"
Suddenly it hits me and I start to
smile, realizing the cause for all the
tacky rainbow is the Chicago Pride
Parade. So I extend my hand to the
boy that's chanting, high five him
and yell back "HELL YEAH."
For a split second he stares at
me, his face a cocktail of confusion
and elation, and you know what he
said back to me? "Thank you - I
love you."
After we passed all the pride
paraders and returned home, I went
straight for my laptop. I Googled the
Chicago Pride Parade and started
to read a little bit about its history. I
learned this particular parade com-
memorates the rebellion of LGBT
patrons of the Stooewall Inn ioNew
York Gity and that this is the 44th

one. I looked through the picture
gallery and saw people dressed in
the same outfits I had seen earlier,
hugging each other and smiling
with pure happiness washing over
their faces. Seeing that genuine
happiness, I was happy as well, and
hoped the Pride Parade would con-
tinue for another 44 years.
"I'm gay and
proud, GAY AND
PROUD!"
The next day, I still couldn't stop
thinking about that boy. I couldn't
understand why he seemed so
shocked I had high-fived him. He
had actually thanked me and told
me he loved me. Frankly, in the
moment, I hadn't even given the
high-five a second thought before
doing it.
I just didn't really get it - the
rainbow socks, the "Legalize Gay"
American Apparel tanks or the boy's
happiness. But then again, I guess I
didn't really get it because I have
always been allowed to be who I
really am. I guess if someone told me
I couldn't be Natasha, I would wear
a bunch of loud clothing because I
would want people to hear me loud
and clear - I'm me and I don't give
a damn what you think about that.
But then I realized that, in fact, I
was wearing a bunch of loud cloth-
ing. Sure I was only wearing two
instead of all seven colors of the
rainbow, but my lilac shorts and
pink shirt were really serving the
same purpose as those rainbow
socks. They were saying something
about me (in however small of a way)
and I had never given that a second
thought. I had never given a sec-
ond thought to the great privilege
of being able to wear what I want,
be whom I want and to love whom
I want. Finally, the rainbow socks I
had mocked earlier made sense.
Then I realized something else
- gay pride isn't just about being
proud of dudes liking dudes or
chicks liking chicks. It isn't just
clothes - it's about parading about
in your true colors. It's about people
liking themselves and unapologeti-
cally saying to the world "I'm me
andI'mproud."
-Naasha Ermzbischoff can be
reached at nmertz@umich.edu.

ast week wasn't a step and House of Representatives
forward for America. overwhelmingly voted in favor
Instead, it repre- of using the old data.
sents a stark In his dissenting opinion of
and steely the Court's ruling on DOMA,
reminder of Justice Antonin Scalia argued
the incredible the court had no power to
lengths still to "invalidate (the) democratically
come in guar- adopted legislation," complete-
anteeing all ly ignoring his vote a day ear-
citizens their lier against the congressionally
constitution- reauthorized YE A. Additionally,
ally promised BEN Justice Roberts stated that this
equality. GLOGER decision doesn't gut the VRA, as
Follow- Section 5 is still enforceable so
ing the long as Congress creates a new,
Supreme Court's nullification updated formula.
of the Defense of Marriage It appears that Roberts and
Act, supporters of equality Scalia hope to have their cake
and basic human decency cel- and eat it too. (Although it
ebrated in fabulous form atop the appears as if Scalia has gone for
stairs outside. seconds.) A new formula does
Meanwhile, political lead- invite discussion for ways of
ers in Texas were racing to pass ensuring more equitable repre-
voter identification laws, redis- sentation. Yet, Congress can't
tricted maps and restrictions to even pass gas after eating Chi-
early voting that had previously potle, let alone a vital stipula-
been rejected by the Depart- tion of the most important piece
ment of Justice for being too of civil rights legislation.
racially discriminatory. In practice, Section 4's use
Twenty-four hours before and relevance has only increased
the Supreme Court struck down over time, as Justice Ruth Bader
DOMA, it had already ruled Ginsburg pointed out in her dis-
against Section 4 of the 1965 senting opinion. Furthermore, a
Voting Rights Act. Section 4 2006 study by our very own Uni-
provides a formula for deter- versity's Law Prof. Ellen Katz
mining which states and juris- found that while areas covered
dictions are bound by Section 5, by the now defunct Section 4
which requires them to receive accounted for only a quarter of
federal preclearance from the the country's population, they
DoJ for any changes to their vot- represented more than half of
ing processes. all successful Section 2 litigation
Without this formula, the brought between 1982 and 2004
legislation is unable to monitor (Section 2 provides a nationwide
racially discriminatory areas. stipulation to not engage in vot-
Now, these areas - with prov- ing practices that discriminate.)
en discriminatory histories - Typical challenges include an
can implement legislation that attempt by the all-white Board of
intentionally disenfranchises Aldermen of Kilmichael, Missis-
minority voters. sippi to cancel town elections in
In his written statement, 2001 after an unexpected amount
Chief Justice John Roberts of African Americans announced
sided with Shelby County, Ala- their candidacy. The DoJ said
bama, stating that Section 4's uh-uh and the town elected its
formula is a relic of the past that first black mayor. Similarly, in
has run its course. 2004, Waller County, Texas tried
Indeed, the only thing outdat- to reduce access to early voting
ed in this decision is Roberts' con- near a historically black universi-
tinued disregard for anyone who ty after its attempts to prosecute
isn't white and hopes to enjoy two black students running for
their constitutional right to vote. office had failed.
It's true that Section 4 of the What's that saying again? If it
VRA uses data from 1972. How- ain't broken ... break it yourself?
ever, Congress has updated the None , of these blatant
act four times, most recently attempts at racial discrimina-
in 2006 when after 21 hearings tion should come as any sur-
and the collection of over 15,000 prise, as these are areas that
pages of evidence the Senate routinely failed- to prove they

were done with that whole rac-
ism thing. The VRA stipulates
that if any jurisdiction goes 10
years without racially discrimi-
nating, they are removed from
Section 5. Towns in a number of
states did just that, thus remov-
ing themselves from the burden
of preclearance.
If it ain't
broken... break
it yourself?
All any of the bounded juris-
dictions had to do was simply
stop discriminating to remove
themselves. However, that
would have first required them
to stop being racist. But no mat-
ter - our country's highest judi-
cial court was more than willing
to embrace them.
Instead, this decision shifts
the burden from the states to
individuals, who must now chal-
lenge each discriminatory act
through costly court processes
after the fact.
Which brings us back to
the rainbows.
The exuberance outside the
Supreme Court following the
DOMA decision was a color-
ful affair, filled with kisses
and cheers.
Still, try as I might, I couldn't
bring myself to smile. I had
already seen Roberts' know-
ing wink a day earlier, his feint
before the inevitable right hook.
Don't misinterpret his vote
against DOMA. He is a calcu-
lating man, meticulously aware
that the ruling still leaves same-
sex marriage legality at the dis-
cretion of the state, particularly
those who have actively worked
toward restricting votes within
their communities.
The effects of the VRA are
far-reaching and profound. Rob-
erts doesn't expect Congress
to revitalize the legislation by
creating an updated formula
through which the federal gov-
ernment can monitor racially
discriminatory areas.
Here's to hoping they rip the
cake right out of Scalia's hands.
-Ben Gloger can be reached
at bgloger@umich.edu.

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