The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, April 6, 1983
2Vei Simon returns
with common comedy
roll into Rick's
By George Tanasijevich
a AX DUGAN Returns is Neil Simon's
seventh screenplay and it is the
fifth time he has combined his talents
with produber/director Herbert Ross.
Just as in their previous collaborations,
Simon and Ross have created a
pleasing blend of comedy and drama.
Max Dugan (Jason Robards) is an ex-
con that has spent six years in jail for
various crimes and is still on the run for
some he has not yet been prosecuted
for. One such crime was his ac-
umulation of, $680,000 from a casino
here he was employed. Dugan claims
the money is rightfully his because the
casino cheated him out of $680,000 wor-
th of real estate.
Because Dugan's doctor tells him he
has only five months to live, he decides
to search for his daughter, Nora Mc-
Phee (Marsha Mason), whom he hasn't
seen since he deserted his family 26
years ago. He has hopes of passing his
fortune on to his family and getting to
&now his grandson, Michael (Matthew
roderick), whom he has never met.
There are some obstacles that Dugan
must contend with to accomplish this.
He must win-over lhis understandably
bitter daughter who not only resents
him, but also doesn't approve of the
way her father's fortune was amassed.
Also, Nora is involved in a new roman-
ce with a former University of
Michigan English major-turned-
dedicated-detective, Brian Costello
(Donald Southerland). The thing is,
Costello wouldn't hesitate to turn
Dugan in if he discovered his identity.
I once saw a Neil Simon interview in
which he was asked "What makes
something funny?" Simon had a
one-word response: "Conflict." Con-
sidering this criterion, Max Dugan
Returns is undoubtedly a humorous
film with Nora at the center of all the
conflict. She is a high school English
teacher battling the economy, trying to
raise a fifteen-year-old boy who is
forced into some tense, humorous
:Max Dugan' Returns is basically a
fun film about a contemporary fantasy
that everyone should enjoy experien-
cing. Because Nora will not accept the
cash her father offers her, he is forced
to shower her and Michael with a
seemingly infinite amount of gifts.
If there is a flaw in the screenplay it
is that after the first collection of gifts is
bestowed, the film becomes somewhat
predictable. Every time Nora or
Michael have a need or a desire, the
spectator knows that it won't be long
before Max fulfills it. He even goes so
far as to hire the Chicago White Sox
batting coach to cure Michael's ailing
Marsha Mason (with Jason Robards and Matthew Broderick) keeps an eye on
hubby Neil Simon's new comedy, 'Max Dugan Returns.'
The comedy is both light and serious
(in the Simon tradition) and flows evenly
throughout the entire movie. There is,
however; one point when the humor is too
silly and it's inappropriate for the film.
This occurs when Brian is teaching
Nora to drive a motorcycle and the
lesson turns into a scene reminiscent of
a Walt Disney film - Nora narrowly
avoiding countless collisions.
The success of this film is largely a
result of the character development.
The characters have a sense of
humanity that makes them very ap-
pealing. The audience can identify with
them and the relationships they are in-
volved in. Max Dugan Returns would
disappoint only those eager to see sex
By Jim Dworman
W HEN THE MUTANTS released
their first single, "So American,"
in 1978, things looked bright for the
Ramones-like band from Detroit. Their
song received a fair amount of airplay
on the local radio stations and the band
aquired enough of a following to make it
a steady draw in clubs around the
But after a year near the top of the
Detroit rock scene, the band disap-
Now, five years and two personnel
changes later, the Mutants return to the
scene with a full schedule of club dates
- including one tonight at Rick's - a
diversified sound and an album in the
"We've put together a whole new set
and a whole new image," said bassist
John Amore. "We wanted to get rid of
our old songs, so (new guitarist) Dave
(Uchalik) and I just sat down and wrote
a new set. We've even bought some new
Amore, who along with vocalist Art
Lyzak and lead guitarist Pasadena are
the remaining original Mutants. He
said the band expanded its sound with
the addition of Uchalik and drummer
Jake Vermiglio to replace the fired
Steve Sortar. Its repertoire now in-
cludes more than the chord-laden,
basement band rock of "So American,"
"Piece 0' Shit" and "I Say Yeah,"
trademarks of the original group.
Their upcoming album, tenatively
titled We Are the Peasants, contains
what Amore describes as a thunderous,
Lennonesque, "What's Your Religion,"
a '60-ish "Stare at the Wall," and an
"Jim Morrison would have died to
have that song," said Amore, a chemist
Ten other songs, including an "I hate
to say discoish - let's call it danceish,"
"Optimistic" complete the album,
which Amore expects to be released
locally in June. Pasadena, "one of the
most gifted guitarists in all of Sterling
Heights," according to Amore, is
producing the album.
"If it comes out on vinyl like it sounds
on tape, I really think it'll be picked up
(by a national record label)," said
Amore. "We feel the time is right for us
to make millions and millions of
albums. Hell, anyone can get up on
stage. They even let us up there," he
"But seriously, our new material is
much better and I think it's even a bet-
ter band than before. We have more fun
now. So consequently, the audience has
more fun. We're playing more to get
our show together and I think we give a
lot for whatever little money the
While the Mutants' new music
dominates their set, the band still plays
a few of its oldies. Expect to hear "Piz-
za," "Concentra on Camp," and, of
course, "So American," tonight.
L 2 INDIVIDUAL TEATRES
$200 WED aESAT a SUN SHOWS
BEFORE 6:00 PM
5 ACADEMY AWARD
3, NOMINATIONS INC...
THURS 6:50, 9:40
WED 1:10, 3:55,'6:50, 9:40 (R)
A FUN ACTION FILM IN
WED 1:10, 3:10, 5:10, 7:10, 9:10
In the Valley of Minor
Poems by John Woods
Dragon Gate Inc., 88p., $6.00
Curiously enough, television com-
mercials resonate more of the drama
and myth associated with good
Siterature than prime-time program-
ming. Regretably; this is often the case
with the cranky player piano scroll of
modern poetry and the "critical"
reviews that punctuate it. Too often
poetry that fails to intrigue our desires
and fears comes packaged with "blur-
bs" that are more memorable than the
work being hawked.
This is an important point for Mr.
Woods and his In the Valley of Minor
Animals. He is at his best when he
nulls over this state of things and
jousts with latter-day cynicism. Woods
is aware of the modern commercial
imperative where packaging eclipses
substance and the small audience for
poetry is predictably more cynical than
their literary peers.
Woods addresses the impatient and
standardized expectations of his
audience with the self-effacing and
facile tone of the satirist-turned-poet.
is poems are often interrupted by an
anonymous and pedestrian interlocutor
who is more accustomed to blurbs than
the eccentrically minted coinage of
contemporary poetry. This device
would be tedious if Woods did not tran-
scend the teacher-student role with
convincing poetic skill.
His-poetry is enjoyable when he uses
his lyrical gifts to build a common
ground between his memories and the
cynical latter-day presumptions that
Woods is a veteran of over 200 college
readings and workshops. He is also a
recipient of a National Endowment for
the Arts fellowship for 1982. Generally
the Valley poems are like those of many
college-nurtured poets who tend to
avoid the active for the contemplative
In "Aunt Forest 1936" Woods first
scorns banal assumptions of a
Depression era upbringing with the
line, "There are too many model
Depressions," and goes on to create a
convincing portrait of the sights and
sounds of priovincial life before Pearl
Harbor and the poet's cold bath in the
larger world. This portrait is nicely
contrasted with the interjections of a
cynical latter-day youth whose per-
spective makes a telling counter-point.
Woods' imagery is very fine in
places. In "Near Nutter's Mill:"
In the curdled water/The moon
makes small change... The rusty frogs
quiet- at the lame bitch/noses the
cursives/in the leaning grass.
And in "Reading By Moonlight",
Woods notes that:
When the luminous cock/spun on
the weather house/ in winds shook
... confuses his image
out of March,/ when cold
springwater mossed the shale
corridors/ in the groins of Nutter's
Hill/.... (the moon) ....looks down
on a million years/ of folly, never
turning/ its face away. Be like that.
though the imagery is successful,
the homily seems casual. One of Woods'
failings is that his imagery tends to
overwhelm his intent.,
"The Day the Artists Left Dayton" is
like many of Woods' wasteland poems,
where the hackneyed imagery of
"...sex stores featuring the
inquisition...," and "Aunt Tillie in
Drag" converge to describe a mean
America where worldly and sinister
forces ride rough-shod over the im-
"In Porlock" is another poem where
all the Powers That Be tend their infer-
nal devices. These two poems are
highly imaginative and enjoyable but
still seem world-shy:
The F-100s stand high and gawky/
in the staging areas.... In Porlock
the laser builds in the fog hazed/
Woods would do better to broaden the
length of his poems to describe the
origin of his cruel world rather than to
play victim to it. Similarly, the fast-
handed impiety of "Having No Ethics
to Speak Of" where the narrator
declares, "I'll swap you two Jesus
cards for that Torah," is coherent
enough but its bitterness is inex-
Fortunately, Mr. Woods has a win-
ning satirical style and does well on the
personal side. In the Valley of Minor
Animals may be recommended for the
directness of its satire where Woods has
found his clearest voice. Woods'
Juvenal-like resentment of social and
cultural dislocation is interesting but at
times confuses his image.
- Steve Bennish
University of Michigan
WOMEN'S GLEE CLUB
Conductor: Rosalie Edwards
April 15 8:00 p.m.
at Rackham Auditorium
Geac IS C OM ING --
NWILLYOU BE READY?
2 9015 0000
SEE THE UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY RESERVE SERVICE
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
Clas Phersson-'Recorder and
S Keyboard' (Bis)
The recorder attained it's final form
in the late middle ages; by the 16th cen-
tury it played an important part in the
music of the late Renaissance. Unfor-
tunately, after 1750 the recorder passed
out of use and interest in it was not
rekindled until the early 20th century.
This new recording was initially in-
teresting because it not only has
Renaissance music but also includes
two premiere recordings of 20th cen-
The strong vote for this album is the
performance of the Baroque music.
Clas Phersson has good insight into the
interpretive style of the High Baroque.
Aside from a few very minor intonation
problems, Phersson and ensembles
play with a sense of spontanaity that
lets the music really come to life. Of
special note is a beautiful solo piece by
Jacob van Eyck.
The two contemporary pieces are
written in a traditional form and style.
The first is by Hans Staeps, and
although not an earth-shaking piece, it
is certainly pleasant to listen to.
Unfortunately this is not true of the
second new work, written by Egil
Hovland. The recorder never gets a
chance to show what it is really capable
of doing except for a few effects, and
the piano is confined to a very mundane
This record comes with high marks
for musicality all around. If you are in-
terested in exposing yourself to
classical chamber music without
listening just to the "greatest hits" of
1725, then give this disc a spin.
-Todd B. Levin
Don't go home empty handed.. .
THEplace to buy
NOW IS THE TIME TO GET
The C. W. Post
More than 1200 undergraduate
and graduate courses, intensive
.5 institutes and workshops,
a Festival of the Arts, (workshops,
master classes, performances)
DAY and EVENING SESSIONS
begin May 16, June 20, 27, July 25, Aug. 1
WEEKEND COLLEGE CLASSES
begin June 25, 26, July 9 & 10
TO GET YOUR COPY,
phone (516) 199-2431 or mail coupon today.
- m mmcummr mm rm sarm
cla Summer nc saeSummer Session OfficeLY .
MSA COMMITTEE POSITIONS 83-84
The following committee positions are open for student representa-
tion. Many more committees will be available for fall placement later.
_ University Budget Priority Committee