18 FRIDAY, OCT. 5, 2007 THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
Hey Jude, let
‘The Flying Club Cup’
Reviewed by Adam Clair
COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER | email@example.com
the Beatles be
Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, the Lebanese capital of
Beirut was at the center of the country’s civil war.
Inhabitants fled and the city was razed. Eventually,
though, the war ended, and the
city was rebuilt. Now, it is one
of the jewels of the Middle
Beirut is also the name of
Zach Condon’s band, one that
has had a somewhat different
path. After releasing Gulag
Orkestar in May 2006, the band
quickly became the darling of
‘ cross the Universe’ not worth the trip
the indie community. Condon
The Flying Club Cup recorded the entire album by By Amber Chandler Princeton University, and Lucy alludes to the anti-war activist group
himself in his parent’s house. COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER | firstname.lastname@example.org (Wood) who says goodbye to her mili- known as the Weathermen, and the
This time, on The Flying Club Cup, Condon has tary boyfriend who will be killed soon accidental explosion of their house.
employed the help of his live band, and he recorded it in I just have one thing to say to Julie in the Vietnam War. Lucy’s brother My biggest disappointment lies in
an actual studio — or, more accurately, studios. The Taymor — please, leave the Beatles teams up with Jude at Princeton and the actual editing, which was mostly
album is no less personal. Condon’s voice is low and alone. eventually the three move into a cheesy and unoriginal.
grievous, and in every word you can hear his yearning Across the Universe, directed by New York City apartment together, The opening scene features a
and beyond-his-years worldliness. Taymor and starring Jim Sturgess where they meet up with other char- montage of transparent film clips, all
Though Condon has maintained his intimacy, the and Evan Rachel Wood, had a con- acters who have Beatles-inspired overlapping onto crashing ocean
newest Beirut album is certainly progression for the cept that was simple enough: A film names. waves. Yes, Taymor, I get that your
band. It builds upon previous material and even explores where the characters sing as many The predictability with the Beatles little visual collage is supposed to be
new worlds, eschewing the Eastern European themes of Beatles songs as humanly possible. references begins here. A lesbian foreshadowing a conflict, and yes,
prior work in favor of a reverence for all things French. Since the Beatles had such a huge activist named Prudence is intro- I’m sure everyone else gets it, too.
I have never been to early 20th century France, but impact on society during the ’60s and duced to the gang when she climbs Instead of preparing me for the film,
The Flying Club Cup is exactly how I imagine that peri- ’70s, most would consider them the into their apartment through the as the introduction is supposed to do,
od might sound. Such development is evident even on a ultimate soundtrack for that period bathroom window. Lucy’s brother, I sat there wondering what I had got-
song-by-song basis. You can hear each baroque piece of time. Does it make for a good Max, is seen at some point wielding ten myself into. Regrettably, it didn’t
build on itself as it progresses, gradually adding layer movie, though? Unfortunately, when a hammer. When Jude is drawing a get much better.
after layer. It’s like watching someone paint with water- you throw together extremely cheesy still life from a bowl of fruit, he finds I had also been looking forward to
colors; you might not really know what’s going on at first, editing, corny pop-culture references himself transfixed by an apple. I the more surreal, “musical-type”
but by the end, not only do you see a vivid landscape, but and too many Beatles songs, it turns almost couldn’t take it. scenes, with people dancing in the
you realize it’s a place you really want to visit some time. out to be just another film that, well, Not to say that all of the pop-cul- bowling alley like they show in the
At the same time, you have to realize that it’s a place “had potential.” ture allusions are clichéd — the film previews.
you never really can visit, because it’s about a century in I want to make it clear that I was fictionalizes many prominent figures Those scenes were just another
the past, and at least partially fictional. That hopeless excited about this movie. Very excit- and situations that occurred during letdown, though. They were poorly
longing, though, is captured perfectly in Beirut’s music, ed. So excited that I watched the the era, most of which are interest- integrated into the overall storyline,
and it’s nice to have someone to commiserate with. trailer six or seven times and then ing, and at least comical. which was barely adequate at best.
Grade: B+ practically cried when it didn’t come Sexy Sadie, Jude’s landlord, is For a director who had brought The
to State College until two weeks past seen as a mirror of Janis Joplin, and Lion King to Broadway, I guess I just
its opening date. When I finally sat her boyfriend JoJo becomes a psue- expected more.
down in the theater last weekend do-Hendrix. Bono does a star cameo While I do think the film is worth
BOOK REVIEW with my White Cherry ICEE and as the trippy Dr. Robert, his story watching, it definitely did not live up
large popcorn, I was ready — but not emulating the failed to its hype. The music is fantastic, of
‘How Starbucks Saved My Life’ for the huge disappointment that I
meeting of Timo-
thy Leary and
course; however, because of the
poor quality of all the in-between
Reviewed By Steve Hughes The film begins by intro- Ken Kesey. scenes, Across the Universe
COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER | email@example.com ducing the main charac- The film sadly made a better trailer than
ters: Jude (Sturgess) is a even a film.
Starbucks saved somebody’s life. Liverpool lad who jour- Sorry, Taymor, I needed
At least that is what readers of Michael Gates Gill’s neys over to America in more than just love.
memoir, How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privi- search of his father at Grade: C+
lege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, will be led to
believe after reading the title of the book.
Gill, the son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, grew up
living a life of luxury. His family hung
out with iconic writers, like Ezra
Pound, during his formative years.
Gill’s background and social status
led him to his alma mater, Yale Uni-
versity. He put his education to use
with a job at the J. Walter Thompson
advertising agency until he was fired,
in Gill’s words, for being too old. With
no regular job and no way out of his
situation, Gill accepted a job offer
Courtesy of amazon.com from a Starbucks manager — a move
he says changed his life.
Although many sections of the book are cute, the reader
can’t help but wonder which planet Gill lived on for the
first 64 years of his life. Gill describes his day-to-day expe-
riences at Starbucks as if they were the most fascinating
moments in history, helping to make the mundane fantas-
tic. Gill’s experiences as a barista at Starbucks are no dif-
ferent than a college student’s experiences working at the
same store, minus the generational difference and the Ivy
League education. Gill’s book is titled How Starbucks
Saved My Life. Isn’t he just promoting Starbucks for free,
rather than telling the inspiring story of how a man
turned his life around?
Despite all of this criticism, the memoir is an entertain-
ing and feel-good read, if meandering.
‘The Game Plan’ generic, predictable
Gill’s memoir is a perfect book to read if you are looking Reviewed by Dustin Pangonis
for inspiration. And it is only the price of about five lattes. COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes a great performance can
save a weak script, but The Game Plan is
so flawed that even Dwayne “The Rock”
ALBUM REVIEW Johnson’s boundless charisma can get
mediocrity from a script that threatened
‘Let’s Stay Friends’ to hit rock bottom.
The Disney film, which actually beat out
Reviewed By Jillian Raines heavily-hyped war film The Kingdom at
COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER | email@example.com the box office, finds big-time quarterback
Joe Kingman (Johnson) saddled with a
Les Savy Fav’s new album, Let’s Stay Friends, is a young daughter, Peyton (Madison Pettis),
demonstration of the band’s maturity and ability to take he never knew existed during playoff time.
risks, as well as proof that no matter what, it is always Will the pro Kingman make rookie mis-
going to rock. takes while raising his daughter? Will the
Formed in 1995, Les Savy Fav has dominated the indie- precocious eight-year-old spout off one-lin-
rock music scene for years. ers too witty for someone twice her age?
With the release of Let’s Stay Will he win the championship, only to
Friends, the band members learn Peyton is more important than any
seem to be shouting to the trophy? I think we can all smell what The
world that they can’t stop their Game Plan is cookin’.
creative juices. The fun comes (in theory) not from the
The album radiates with Tim stock plot line, but from the details. John-
Courtesy of rottentomatoes
Harrington’s intense vocals. son shines as Kingman, an egomaniac
The rest of the members do not who considers himself the most electrify- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s perfomance doesn’t save The Game Plan.
disappoint as they equally ing man in sports. His apartment is a
match Harrington’s intensity in shrine to his vanity: A wall-size portrait (The Closer) and Roselyn Sanchez (With- man who offers advice, a growling hulk
Let’s Stay Friends songs like “Equestrian” and adorns his living room, and he spends his out a Trace). who ends up being gentle and playing with
“Slugs In The Shrubs.” time watching old SportsCenter inter- Sedgwick is the closest thing the film Peyton and Cooper (Hayes MacArthur), a
But Les Savy Fav doesn’t stop with creating songs as views with himself and mouthing his lines. has to a villain, Kingman’s agent who clueless airhead.
good as we’d all hope they would be. Each track presents All of this could be very funny, but is cares more about scoring him a $25 mil- Some of Cooper’s dumb moments are
a little something different and new. dulled by Disney’s blandness. Great prem- lion ad campaign with a burger company too predictable even for Disney Channel
The band gets contemplative with the slower, melodic ises — like Kingman being forced to par- than about his daughter. Her villainous sitcoms. His subtler stupidity, though, gets
measures that never get dull in “Brace Yourself.” The ticipate as an enchanted tree in his activity is never more than her calling some of the film’s genuine laughs, such as
album combines the band’s passionate nature in many dif- daughter’s ballet — get chuckles but Peyton a pest, and her only punishment is when a dramatic slow-motion shot of the
ferent styles. In “Comes & Goes,” the band produces an never take off. losing the money when Kingman kisses team marching across the field is broken
almost drumless, softer-sounding number that expresses Smaller moments, such as when he his daughter after the big win instead of by him inexplicably dropping his helmet
the same passion, in a different way from “Rage In The sings an Elvis song (quite well, in fact) to plugging the fast food chain. and tripping over his own feet.
Plague Age.” The album is a strong, solid production with Peyton, do a better job of showing John- Sanchez plays Peyton’s ballet instructor Toward the end, I was restless enough
points of both pure craziness and flowing, melodic son’s charisma. The former pro wrestler and is also a needless, quasi-love interest to check my watch only a minute before
moments. has had most of his acting success in for Kingman. The sole purpose of the the credits rolled, but little kids passing
Let’s Stay Friends is constantly surprising. It is a great action films, but he’s likable enough to romance is to give Johnson someone to me on my way out were already quoting
addition to the band’s already established list of successful branch out into other genres. The Game smack a PG-rated kiss on at the end, the movie. The Game Plan might keep
albums. Each and every song highlights not only the Plan is just a poor vehicle. though the chemistry hints that their pair- the little kids and grandmas happy, but for
band’s effort to make truly good music, but also their suc- Stock characters drift aimlessly through ing deserved a better film. those between middle school and middle
cess at doing just that. the movie, in particular wasting the time Kingman’s teammates play generic age, it’s just passable family film drivel.
Grade: A of two television actresses, Kyra Sedgwick roles as well: There’s a dedicated family Grade: C-