Hatty (Ear HM
‘Flux’ fails on multiple levels
BY TANNER SLAYDEN
ASSISTANT ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Aeon Flux” got a dose of karma
this weekend at the box office.
The futuristic action flick
breaks so many codes of the
entertainment industry that the
heavens delivered retribution,
giving this potential blockbuster
a lackluster opening weekend.
It has only made $13.1 million
as of Monday, a flop that hasn’t
been seen since last summer’s
The transgressions speak for
First offense: “Thou shalt not
ruin an already successful story
The character of the film’s
namesake is already a cult classic.
“Aeon Flux” was an avant garde
cartoon series on MTV during the
early and middle ’9os that hooked
fans with its unique and haunting
take on sex and violence.
But the movie adaptation
takes very little from its critically
It waters down the two main
characters Aeon Flux (Charlize
Theron) and Trevor Goodchild
(Marton Csokas) —and takes out
the foot fetish images.
The violence is still there,
though, and a lot of people die
—but the characters have a PG
-13 sentiment to humanity, which
will drive fans of the cartoon
It also makes for some sterile
dialogue: “You killed my family,
so I came here to kill you.”
Rogue Wave rides into Local 506
Indie psych-poppers silence critics
BY ORR SHTUHL
Thirty-four degrees and rainy.
It’s not something Chapel Hill
sees often, but for those lucky
enough to be at Local 506 last coltj
Monday night, California’s Rogue
Wave provided all the warmth one
could ask for.
The indie-rock quartet primar
ily featured material from its new
album, Descended Like Vultures,
but it also treated an enthusiastic
crowd to favorites from 2004’s Out
of the Shadow.
The band’s latest album had a
decidedly more rock feel, a depar
ture from the psychedelic folk of
Out of the Shadow, which was all
but a solo album for frontman Zach
Rogue. While critics received that
change with mixed feelings, fans
were left to wonder how it would
play into the band’s live perfor
If Chapel Hill had any doubters,
consider them silenced.
Rogue Wave is one of those
bands that defies classification to
the point of rendering genres use
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And unlike the cartoon, Flux
doesn't die in the movie sorry
to ruin the ending.
Second offense: “Thou shalt
not plagiarize or recycle other
The film is about technol
ogy taking over what’s left of an
apocalyptic world, a despotic gov
ernment cloning its brainwashed
citizens and a heroine who was
chosen to set things right.
The whole cloning/dystopia
plot comes straight from “The
Matrix.” And the whole girl hero
thing was solidified by Linda
Hamilton in “Terminator 2:
Judgment Day.” Women can fight
with the best of them people
Stealing material is not only
embarrassing, but it’s old hat.
The whole foot fetish thing
would have been far more inter
Third offense: “Thou shalt
not make a movie not fit for pre
The critics didn’t get a chance
to screen the movie before its
weekend release, which can only
“In the Mix,” “Cry_Wolf” and
“The Fog” are other properties
that the studios refused to let
critics pre-screen —and everyone
knows how those three winners
Fourth offense: “Thou shalt not
make a bad movie just to have a
With Paramount Pictures pre
venting critics from ripping this
less, and it furthered that trait in
concert, treating every song to
an interpretation unique from its
Songs like “Sewn Up” and
“Falcon Settles Me” that twinkle
acoustically on Out of the Shadow
stark electric revamps. But all
night, the reworked songs were
held in context by the constant of
Rogue’s sharp, earnest voice and
his gift for melody.
“Ricking the Heart Out” accent
ed the studio track’s walking bass
line and thumping drums, down
playing its acoustic leanings. In
fact, not a single acoustic guitar
was used throughout the set.
The show’s array of spacey intros,
jangling guitar play and impressive
four-part harmonies the high
light of the show gave the band
a fresh live identity, something like
Simon and Garfunkel backed by
Built to Spill.
Waves of vocals sunkissed
every song, climaxing on “Every
Moment.” The song’s hard rocking
contrasted with its heavenly har
monies, mirrored by four white
K jR '‘r’-;
COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Charlize Theron gets physical and shows some skin in 'Aeon Flux,' a
movie more about backflips and ninja moves than dialogue and plot.
film apart early, it can only be
assumed that “Aeon Flux” had
one purpose: to make the big
Other signs are there, too.
CGI effects and high-flying
action scenes litter the trailer.
Rumor says the award-winning
stars behind the picture were paid
handsomely to join.
The flick takes advantage of
Flux’s strong cult following the
stage lights shining overhead like
divine beams through clouds.
The show’s second half featured
more of Descended Like Vultures,
including the one-two punk and
i ftuMN '
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first scene solidifies that.
And Theron is semi-naked and
leather-clad through most of the
With that type of energy behind
such an abysmal project, disap
pointment is the only outcome.
“Aeon Flux” didn’t succeed, and
some divine power buried the CGI
The lesson to be taken away
from this forgettable fable: People
don’t like being cloned or ripped
Contact theA&E Editor
country influences of “Medicine
Ball,” which segued into a beauti
fully nuanced “You.”
At the end of the night, Rogue
Wave gave everything a crowd can
expect from an engaging concert:
energy, quality and captivating
new takes on songs from its entire
Contact the AdE Editor
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2005
Donkey still reigns
atop game s ladder
BY BEN PITTARD
ASSISTANT ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Despite the advent of the next
generation of portable gaming
consoles, Nintendo continues its
support of the Game Boy Advance
with the latest release of “Donkey
Kong: King of Swing.”
Considering how late the game
has come in the life of the sys
tem, the graphical aspect is hardly
impressive, but it certainly stays
afloat with the rest of the pack.
What really shines about “King
of Swing” is its ingenious style of
Using only the left and right
shoulder buttons of the device, the
player literally swings across dif
ferent sets of knobs laid out across
The gameplay is immediately
satisfying and easy enough to grasp
after floundering through the air
for a few minutes.
The learning curve on the game
is impeccably set as each level slow
ly but surely becomes more chal
lenging than the last, with previous
stages preparing the player for the
increase in difficulty.
However, with only five worlds
(with four stages and a boss each),
the game itself is hardly epic in
scope and scale.
To be fair, that is hardly what the
game is striving for.
The deceptively simple gameplay
combined with creatively designed
levels makes for a game that offers
a pick-up-and-play sensibility as
well as the ability to sustain inter
est through a good marathon gam
The simplicity of the game is
; CHAPEL HILL
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global recognition and
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Visit www.aoldenkey.org to learn more.
Golden Key International Honour Society
Recognition for Success. Keys to the Juture.
DONKEY KONG: KING OF
GAME BOY ADVANCE
exactly what adds to its accessibil
ity. Using an established cast of
characters in anew setting appeals
to both gamers and nongamers
while still being engaging.
It’s easy enough to beat the game
in a week’s worth of solid play
time, but to find the hidden items
and medals throughout the levels
requires a bit more fortitude.
The varying multiplayer and
single-player challenges outside
of the original story mode add to
the game’s replay value. Unlocking
those modes and extras adds extra
time for enjoyment.
However, it’s hard for many to
see the allure of the Game Boy
Advance. Although the new Game
Boy Micro does indeed have the
best screen and picture quality
of any Game Boy system to date
(save the DS), the system is quite
obviously on its way out thanks
to competition from the PSP and
Nintendo’s own next-generation
“King of Swing” is an entirely
enjoyable romp through the jun
gle, desert, tundra and bodies of
water with some of Nintendo’s
most beloved characters, but wan
ing support for a dying system
might turn away gamers looking
for brighter, shinier toys.
Contact theACSE Editor