Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


In DVD world, no out with old


Tales of Earthsea (Gedo Senki)

An odd creature from the birth land of anime, Japan, "Gedo
Senki" is a fantasy adaptation of the Earthsea book series produced by Studio
Ghibli, the famous crew that brought such hits as "Spirited Away," "Princess
Mononoke" and "Howl's Moving Castle" stateside. However, whereas past anime
screen-gems were directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, he was unavailable
for "Gedo Senki," allowing for his son, Gor?, to make his debut.

The result is a
movie resembling the beautiful, powerful works of his father, but with a clear
lack of refinement and direction. The plot takes second seat to the theme, and
as a result the character development is nil. In brief, the film follows a
patricidal runaway prince who learns about life and death from a group of
persecuted witches and wizards. Although the slowness and mystery never pay off
with an actual story, the message regarding the value of life is surprisingly
potent. "Gedo Senki" is an enjoyable watch and a mediocre film, but will not
find a place on your shelf next to other anime masterpieces because it feels
underdone in every department, including animation, score, plot and social
commentary. But hey, his father started off directing "Lupin III" … not exactly
impressive either.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Mulholland Dr.


"Mulholland Dr."
is one of those few movies that are incredibly difficult to describe — partly
because I don't want to expose the twist-ending, but also because it's an
incredibly intricate and confusing film. Writer and director David Lynch ("Blue
Velvet") calculates a world of layers upon layers, with no shortage of
disturbing scenes and mindfucks. The story follows aspiring actress Betty
(Naomi Watts, "King Kong") who helps amnesiac Rita (Laura Harring, "The
Punisher") remember who she is and why she's in danger. However, keep in mind
the warning within the film itself, that everything is an illusion, and nothing
is what it seems.

"Mullholand Dr."
is immensely incomprehensible, yet, at the same time, inexplicably enthralling,
taunting the viewer to fruitlessly try to dilute meaning from a mirage. Lynch
masterfully builds tension and suspense to the threshold and then releases,
letting the "reality" plummet and shatter, while the still struggling viewer
finally begins to grasp the film, its depth and disturbing nature. The slew of
seemingly meaningless symbols and characters converge in a dramatic sequence of
epiphanies, though the connections are never directly explained and much of it
remains enigmatic. Few films will leave you feeling as unintelligent after the
first watch as "Mulholland Dr.,"
but fewer will tempt you as much to watch it a second time.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Fraught with transvestitism, mafia murders and sexual
overtones, "Some Like It Hot" was condemned by the Catholic League and did not
gain Production Code approval. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, it is
a riotous film very much ahead of its time. Set in 1929, musicians Joe (Tony
Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) witness a mafia massacre and subsequently must
jump town. Opportunity arises as they join an all-girl band heading to Florida. However, their
ruse becomes more difficult to sustain when Joe falls for band singer Sugar
(Marilyn Monroe) and Jerry loses himself in the façade and ends up engaged to
his own sugar-daddy. The essence of screwball comedy, "Some Like It Hot" offers
nonstop wit coupled with outrageous scenarios and a juicy serving of the
risqué. It's a film not to be missed.

Curtis and Lemmon play off each other hilariously, often
like a bickering old couple, and Monroe's
presence alone — not to mention her singing — is stunning. It's little wonder
that Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot" is often regarded as the greatest
American comedy. You're a bad person if you don't watch this before you die.

5 out of 5 stars

Black Sheep

Ah, the horror-comedy — it's become a beast of its own in
recent years. Like many recent horror-comedies, "Black Sheep" is a foreign
flick hailing from New
, where genetic experimentation gone
horribly wrong has resulted in killer sheep and were-sheep. Surprisingly,
"Black Sheep" manages to execute such a ridiculous premise with rather
impressive technical finesse, camerawork and score, giving the film a
respectable feel.

Things go amok when Henry returns to the farm he grew up on
to sign away his half of it to his brother, Angus, who has actually invested in
genetic alteration of sheep to create a new breed. Add meddling PETA-esque
nature lovers and the recipe for disaster is complete. The film itself is a
hilarious parody of typical animals-revolting-against-humans clichés, as well
as horror films in general, dishing it up in a jocular, blithe manner. And
seeing sheep launch themselves at people's jugulars never really grows old.
Special effects courtesy of Weta Workshop (who worked on the "Lord of the
Rings" trilogy) are impressive, and the sheep almost manage to be scarier than
they are hilarious. However, "Black Sheep" is hindered by some poor direction
choices by novice Jonathan King that muddle the plot and an over reliance on
crude humor — two flatulence jokes are two too many. The gruesome woolly
blood-fest is a hysterical watch nevertheless, but falls short of its

3.5 out of 5 stars

Also out this week: A lot of crap. Bratty comedy "Bratz: the
Movie"; inane comedy "Mr. Bean's Holiday"; werewolf flick "Skinwalkers"; and
"Who's Your Caddy?" Decent independent releases include "The Namesake"; "Paprika";
and "Waitress."

 Coming out Dec. 4: "Arctic Tale," aka: "Queen Latifa does
'March of the Penguins'"; dramatic romantic comedy "The Nanny Diaries";
swashbuckling fun "Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World's End"; and teen romp "Superbad."

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