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June 12, 2014 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2014-06-12
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6 1 Thursday, June 12, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, June12, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


'Orange'is new and back

'Edge' thrills


Red and Vee have a standoff
Acclaimed Netflix
series returns with
improvement and
For The Daily
"Smart Entertainment" is
the buzzword floating around
"Orange is the New Black",
Netflix's wildly popular original
TV series. It's a case of content

molding to form. By the nature
of Netflix's distribution (all at
once), certain
shows can
maintain their
integrity, but the
best minutely- Orange IS
drawn, complex the New
TV universes
prime time B (
and cable have Sea= Two
given us don't
translate well Netflix
into the binge-
heavy scheme

"Orange is the New Black" was
never expected to be the perfect
meditation on race, oppressive
prison systems and class, but it
still offers up a fairly intelligent
dialogue without sacrificing its
guilty-pleasure roots ... mostly.
In Season One, the structure of
the show often ran up against its
"Smart Entertainment" wall, and
the incredible cast diversity (in
race, sexuality, and body type)
felt like it was wasted on familiar
tropes and stereotypes, like the
sexy Latinas with snappy tongues
or the Black characters who
popped up too often for comic

Daily Arts Writer
What if you had to relive the
exact same day, over and over
again? That
may not seem
too terrible
depending on F
the day. What
if it was the day TOmoW
you died?
In the sci-WarnerB .
fi action film Raveand
"Edge of Quality16
Tomorrow", a
military pro-
moter with no
combat experience named Lt.
Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise, "Mis-
sion: Impossible") finds himself
thrust into a mechanized combat
suit and a suicidal assault against
strange alien forces known as the
Mimics. Caught in a time loop
following his first quick death on
the beaches of France, Cage must
play out this fateful "Groundhog
Day" like scenario in the midst
of a gruesome slaughter. He per-
ishes again and again, only to
reawaken on the day before the
As Cage struggles to survive
each new day, he encounters Spe-
cial Forces soldier Rita Vrataski
(Emily Blunt, "Looper"), a war
hero who experienced a similar
time loop during the sole human
victory at Verdun. Together, they
plan to destroy the alien leader
in a desperate bid to end both the
invasion and Cage's time loop for
good. With each brutal death,
Cage slowly transforms from
hopeless alien bait to flawless
killing machine.
Endlessly repeating the same
day isn't an entirely novel idea.
2011's "Source Code" used a
similar device, and the repeti-
tion could get tiresome quickly.
Watching humans in mechanized
combat suits blast, bombard and
slice up tentacle-waving aliens
does provide an engaging viewing
experience. However, the movie's
massive, explosion packed bat-
tles never stand above the large
pool of action flicks. Luckily, the
action sequences never dominate
the film.
Instead, "Edge of Tomorrow"
shines when showing how Cage
learns to manipulate the events

around him by predicting people's
words and actions. It's almost
like a videogame, with each new
death teaching the player what
not to do before restarting at the
checkpoint. No scenario plays
the same way twice, while the
plot moves at a fast pace to keep
the audience engrossed. Watch-
ing Cage's failed attempts proves
surprisingly humorous even as
repeatedly seeing the bloodied
bodies of his comrades provides
Cage with the incentive to fight
Cruise previously excelled
in sci-fi action in films such as
"Minority Report" or last year's
"Oblivion", and "Edge of Tomor-
row" proves no exception. Blunt.
Cruise and
Blunt balance
wit and
never misses a step as the battle-
hardened badass. Bill Paxton
("Aliens") gives a dead-on target
performance as the no-nonsense,
death-or-glory, duty-bound Mas-
ter Sergeant Farell, adding to
both the laughs and the peculiar
sense of inescapable fate.
With damaged transport
planes falling from the sky like
a burning metal rain and aliens
exploding into glowing goo, the
action in "Edge of Tomorrow"
entertains viewers but never
astounds. Fortunately, while
Cage must use violence to over-
come this alien menace, it's the
film's wit that proves most enjoy-
able. Though learning to over-
come each new death stretches
Cage's endurance to its limits,
the film's quick editing sweeps
audiences along on an effort-
less thrill ride. It may resemble
"Groundhog Day" with a sci-fi
action twist, but this particular
battle for the fate of all man-
kind remains one not quite like
any other, unafraid to explore
the depths of psychological evil
while dealing a fatal blow to the
good guys.

Jack White proves he can still rock
New album Lazaretto more apparent. want to listen to old White Stripes
It's likely that how you feel about albums.
has moments of Jack White lines up with how you Jack spends the second half of
feel about rock music in general. To Lazaretto trying to recapture the
both inspiration and oversimplify, he's either the super- timeless feel of classic folk ballads
cool lastbastionof"realness" among withsongs like "WantandAble,"but
a constantly rising tide of electronic the tone just comes off as forced old-
pop music, or he's a behind-the- timeyness. Old folk songs are great
By ADAM THEISEN times Luddite who romanticizes a not just because of how they sound
SeniorArtsEditor Golden Age that was never really but because of the legends and sto-
that golden.White's pop sensibilities ries that come with them. You can't
Despite being a lifelong Jack always seem to be underestimated - -- put a vintage filter on an Instagram
White fan, I did after all, he did a James Bond theme / picture and expect it to feel the same
not expect to like song with Alicia Keys, and every T IRD MANRECORDS as an actual black and white photo-
Lazaretto. Blun- football Saturday at The Big House Jack White with his new blue color scheme graph.
derbuss, his first 100,000 people sing the "Seven It's likely true that Jack White's
true solo effort, NationArmy"hook,whichhe wrote. (though occasionally chauvinis- song "High Ball Stepper" is one of capital-I Important records are
was mostly just Jack White The slinky, accusing piano number tic) coolness. "What gives me the the record's most compelling tracks behind him. White's no savior, and
filled with songs "Would You Fight For My Love?," right?" he asks, "Well these women because of the tantalizing stop-and- The White Stripes didn't turn out to
based around Third Man among others, shows off his ability must be gettin' somethin' 'cause start piano and palpable hard-rock be the second coming of The Rolling
stale blues riffs to write catchy vocal melodies, but they come and see me every night." guitar jamming. Stones, but for those who still listen,
and a few boiler- he keeps his sizeable amount of rock However, White's lack of strength as What I've left out so far is that White still makes some great rock'n'
plate, lovelorn acoustic tracks. Fur- cred (and probably even gains some) a lyricist is a big weak point on the half of the songs on Lazaretto could roll. Lazaretto wouldn't be any bet-
thermore, I spent the week leading by featuring an extensive backing- record. Instead of drawing listeners probably qualify as country music. ter with Meg White on drums. In
up to Lazaretto reading pieces like band that showcases all of the clas- in with metaphors or obscured per- While even the rockers have the fact, it might even be worse: a failed
the one Steven Hyden wrote for sic rock 'n' roll instruments. Guitars, sonal details a la his idol, Bob Dylan, occasional fiddle placed in the mix, attempt to recapture their magic.
Grantland about how Jack needs his pianos, drums and even the bass all White mostly just falls back on old- "Entitlement" appropriates full-on While the "Jack White is back!"
former White Stripes partner back get solos on Lazaretto. school tropes like booze and women. the genre's stereotypical twang, and excitement of the first half wears off
in order to stay relevant. However, Lead-off hitter "Three Women," White also proves on Lazaretto while White has some experience by the dull, burned-out back half,
while The White Stripes needed probably the album's highlight, that he can still shred with the best with lighter folk music (see classics White is anincredible musician with
Meg White, Lazaretto proves Jack shows why Jack is held up and idol- of them. Right in the middle of the like "Hotel Yorba" or "We're Going a strong fanbase, and he certainly
doesn't need anyone else to prove ized as a true rock 'n' roll savior. The seemingly-improvised but also to Be Friends"), the songs that popu- does enough to make them satis-
that he's a fantastic musician capa- full band steps up the garage-rock intense lyrics of the title track, he late the record's second half lack the fled. Any newcomers (are there any
ble of creating electrifying rock. simplicity of White's early days, as casually throws in a killer guitar childlikejoyandenthusiasmthathis new rock fans these days?), though,
However, upon multiple listens, the the track crackles with classic enjoy- solo, a classic Zeppelin-esque burst older music featured and come off should take a long listen through
excitement of the album can wear able blues energy, and White'svocals whose coolness, again, is impos- as weak imitations. Hearing Jack's his back catalog before checking
off, and Jack's shortcomings become show off his incredibly assured sible to deny. Even the instrumental voice sing them will just make you this one out.

of Netflix Instant Watch. So


Season Two has improved on
this problem, partly by shifting
the lenses away from its white
"Trojan Horse," the-easy-to-
despise privileged Piper (Taylor
Schilling) and spendingmore time
LESE PRK 0LFCOUSE MNA20LF.R with the characters who actually
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Must show valid faculty/student ID. This coupon is not good Li1 mother for the neighborhood kids
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like the island on "Lost," everyone
seems to end up at Lichtfield, so
it's not really a surprise when Vee
walks through the door by the end
;.of the episode (and that she and
Red are old frenemies). The show
rarely goes in an unexpected
See ORANGE, Page 8

Cruise-ing along

Say what you want,
Tom Cruise is an
awesome movie star
Daily Film Editor
Of the 37 screen credits to his
name, Tom Cruise runssignificantly
in 19 of them: 19 glorious, unencum-
bered sprints at varying velocities,
each one with its own definitive
qualities. Take "Mission Impos-
sible IV," where Cruise runs at a
90-degree angle down a building,
or "The Firm," where Cruise gal-
lops at blistering speeds in a suit and
suspenders whilst carrying a brief-
case,or"Collateral,"inwhich Cruise
runs doing his best "Tom Cruise as
the Terminator" impression. With

the release of "Edge of Tomorrow,"
Cruise will go for a run again, and
again, and again. Each charge car-
ries a certain bravura, an aesthetic
quality that translates to an art form:
you want to run like Tom Cruise, you
need to run like Tom Cruise.
But Mr. Thomas Mapother IV
brings something else to his films:
exceptional star power. For the last
30 years, no actor has commanded
the screen quite like him: not Hugh
Jackman, not Brad Pitt, not Leon-
ardo DiCaprio and not George Cloo-
ney. Because each of those actors
can bring toughness or subtlety
or charisma to the table, but none
of them do it with Cruise's brand
of flare. No matter the genre, no
matter how bad the movie ("Rock
of Ages"), you're in for a spectacle
when Cruise steps forward.

It's a brand really, the Tom Cruise
film; his characters tend to have
similar trademark characteristics:
the whisper turned shout, the afore-
mentioned running, the smile and
the dazed stare with mouth agape, a
look that radiates a quiet yet burning
intensity. And every character has
those traits because that's what you
want to see, because Cruise looks so
damn cool doing them.
But still, even in the action films,
his characters are rarely one-dimen-
sional franchise drivers. Ethan Hunt
of "Mission Impossible" is constant-
ly balancing his drive for justice with
his desire to have a personal life, and
you can see the pain in his eyes when
one or both of those goals don't work
out. Vincent of "Collateral," Cruise's
finest, most over-looked role, is a
sleek, philosophizing killer with
scars from his past and an unusual
desire to motivate others into orga-
nizing their own life goals - it's a
complicated role that Cruise bal-
ances perfectly. His smaller, sup-
porting parts from "The Outsiders"

to "Tropic Thunder" are always cap-
And of course there are his
award-caliber performances in
"Born on the Fourth of July," "Mag-
nolia," "Jerry Maguire" and "A Few
Good Men." Those credits combined
with aresume that includes working
with such directors as Steven Spiel-
berg, Michael Mann, Oliver Stone,
Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick
and Paul Thomas Anderson, among
others, yield a successful, notable
and impressive body of work.
Surprisingly, with "Edge of
Tomorrow," many critics are hailing
Cruise for his expansion into new
acting territory as a coward rather
than a hero - at the age of 51, with
more than 30 years of work and with
enough success that'd make a less
motivated actor complacent, Cruise
can still break new ground for him-
Yes, maybe Cruise's ego occasion-
ally writes a check you don't really
want to cash, maybehe seems a little
off every now and again, but the guy

does pretty much always deliver -
these last fewyears, his filmshaven't
been quite up-to-par with most of
his previous works, but Cruise noth-
ing if not resilient.
I don't know if I'd call Cruise
an artist, maybe a performer with W
flashes of artistry, like Sonny &
Cher, but he deserves credit where
credit is due: for changing the action
genre with "Mission Impossible"
and again with "Minority Report,"
for the 80s classics "Risky Business"
(and the joke that is "Top Gun") and
for defining the modern romantic
comedy in "Jerry Maguire," but per-
haps most importantly for providing
audiences with an unparalleled sort
of entertainment for thirty years.
Cruise knows what he is, and 4
the public should know too. He's
a personality, an entertainer and
sometimes even a caricature, and
he's fantastic at what he does. Ever
self-aware, his twitter bio states the
following: actor, producer, running
in movies since 198L Here's to many -
more Cruise - keep on running.

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