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January 06, 1984 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-06

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Page 6

Friday, January 6, 1984

The Michigan Daily




By Dan Desmond
HE HOTTEST trio in show
business today is Smith, Wesson,
and Clint Eastwood. They are the stars
and most exciting characters in Sudden
Impact, the latest episode in the "Dirty
Harry" guide to crime fighting.
Typically, first scene in the film is a
gruesome murder. The first words out
ND INTRODUCING of Harry Callahan's mouth (to a just
freed criminal who was taunting him)
are, "Listen, pal, you're nothing but
F sdogshit to me." With these two
premises the tone of Sudden Impact is
set. In other words, what you have in
THURSDAY,JAstore for you in this film is a brutal,
nasty, potpourri of violence and hateful
Michigan Un npeople. If you are looking for that type
of diversion then Sudden Impact is the
t. 0 .. t :0p*:.
Door ope of :30 ~m- movie to see.
Tickets available for $2" The film begins in San Fransisco
C ashbr.La batts beer special where Harry tests his magnum out on a
few ill-fated thieve's bodies, and also
effectively makes enemies with some
underworld thugs. Harry antagonizes
Fo more Info: La. ,t' his superiors as a result of his lack of
763-1107 'le ethics in these cases. So they send him
- ~ to do some routine investigation on a
man murdered in San Fransisco. The
fe -l ae hiv' ois an as

trail leads him to a town called San
Paulo where the rest of the story un-
In San Paulo, Harry is greeted by a
gift from a friend, a bull-dog he calls
Meathead. He also meets one Jennifer
Spencer (Sondra Locke) an artist who
paints in a kind of "Night Gallery"
style. Though she is behind the series of
murders that are linked with the killing
in San Fransisco, Harry does not find
out until later. In the meantime they
turn what was once probably just
another quiet town into a modern-day
Dodge City.
The movie essentially follows the
"Dirty Harry" formula from Eastwood
being "Harry-on-the-spot" at daring
robberies to our hero finishing off the
psycho killer who does things that would
make Lucifer jealous. There is also a
bevy of practically sub-human
criminals that couldn't possbily have
had mothers. As you can easily guess,
every last one of them ends up in the
There are some new elements in this
"Dirty Harry" episode, however. The
first is that some hitmen (those under-
world thugs) try to kill Harry. This time
Harry is on the other side of the gun. It
temporarily throws him a bit but he
quickly solves the problem with his
buddies, Smith & Wesson.
There is also a psychological portrait
in Sondra Locke's character,
something new for Dirty Harry flicks.
There is something that allows her to
step out of her normal, moral self and
become another person - one that kills.
That something is revenge. After
killing one of her prey she glances into a
mirror which she has to smash because
she could not bear to look at that other,
dark side of herself. This goes just a lit-
tle deeper than you might expect from a
Dirty Harry picture.
Practically all of the credit for this
movie must go to Clint Eastwood. Clint
is looking markedly gaunt, lean and
lethalin Sudden Impact. He is exciting
on screen and in short, makes the
movie. Eastwood also shows some
notable directing skills. The action
scenes are tense and there are some

dusts off his piece

C'mon punk, make my day - or so Dirty Harry would say. Clint Eastwood stars 'Sudden Impact,' the latest violent in-
stallment in the Dirty Harry series. This time the blood and guts are a little too much.


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memorable shots, even though they
may not be overly imaginative. This is
the first time that Clint Eastwood has
assumed the directorial duties for a
Dirty Harry picture, and he surpasses
the average efforts of the previous
three Dirty Harry directors.
Just as Clint Eastwood ignites the
movie, his co-star, Sondra Locke,
almost stalls it. She is so tepid in her
performance that you can't help
remembering that she probably got the
role through nepotism (she's Clint's
mate). I found myself simply an-
ticipating the next scene in which our
hero would appear.
It is getting hard to find a hero
without a .44 these days, though. As a
result, Sudden Impact is extremely
violent. Harry's violence is glorified.
But, there is a great deal of brutal and

possibly unnecessary violence. This
may bother some viewers.
The audience will most likely find
some weak areas. One example of such
is fortuitous subplots that really have
nothing to do with the rest of the-movie.
They are only there for the sake of sup-
plying Harry with some additional
enemies that he can use for target prac-
Nonetheless, the important thing is
that Eastwood-pulls off the "Dirty
Harry" role once again. It seems that it
is Harry Callahan's sheer invincibility
that makes him so exciting. The
character's electricity is enhanced by
Eastwood's raw fierceness, which he
punctuates by his slash-eyed glares, his
vein-lined forehead, and his utterance
of threatening lines like, "Go ahead,
make my day." He blatantly tempts

criminals to challenge him. He is
tougher that anyone who dares confront
him and it seems that audiences love it.
I got just what I expected from Sud-
den Impact. That is, Harry (and
others) blowing away an entire cast of
extras, Harry constantly being 4
reprimanded by his superiors because
of his severity, and the ultimate,
inevitable showdown between Harry
and the demented killer who has deser-
ved Callahan-style justice all along.
There is even an interesting little twist
at the end. Though some may find the
heavy violence exhausting, Sudden Im-
pact is full of action. The movie has its
weak points but it is essentially Clint
Eastwood's charisma and the audacity
of his character that carries the picture
and gives it intensity.

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Babbling Brooks bumbles badly

Electronics Showroom:
1110 S. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (313)662-3201

Main Store:
549 E. University


By Emily Montgomery
M EL BROOKS has another Frank-
enstein on his hands with To Be
Or Not To Be, one of the more disappoin-
ting releases of the Christmas movie
season. Having taken the entire plot
from the 1942 Ernst Lubitsch film of the
same name, Brooks insults audience
members' intelligence with this
tediously long, frightfully repetitive
In his past successes, Young
Frankenstein, Silent Movie, Blazing
Saddles, Brooks managed to restrain
himself to a supporting role by relying
on the humorous talents of Gene Wilder,
Marty Feldman, Dom Deluise and
Harvey Korman to propel the comedy
and the plot. In To Be Or Not To Be
Brooks is the star. While he's busy
giving new meaning to the name
'.Ham"-let, the plot and viewers'
patience grow mighty thin.
To Be Or Not To Be is unique in one
aspect, considering the fact that it was
originally intended as a comedy, which
takes place in Poland during the Nazi
invasion. Brooks stars as Frederick

Bronski, an actor with his own theater
in Poland, who manages to do a variety
of non-theatrical things with the help of
his wife (played by his real-life wife,
Anne Bancroft) and assorted theater
troupe members. Not only do they un-
cover a double agent (Jose Ferrer),
they recover a secret document, and
narrowly escape with their lives. This
plot, however intriguing it may seem, is
dragged down and almost lost com-
pletely amongst the shuffle of Brooks'
sappy, insipid soliloquies, which occur
quite frequently throughout the film.
To Be Or Not To Be is built on im-
probabilities. For example, millions of
Nazis (including high-ranking Gestapo
officers), mistake Brooks for their
beloved leader, but the only resemblan-
ce lies in the 10-cent mustache Brooks
(Bronski) pastes on his face to fool
them. Now really, some things can be
accepted by convention, but this is
going too far. Moe Howard we could
believe, but Mel Brooks, Nein!
The cast has a good many accom-
plished actors in it, yet their talents are
lost to the two-dimensional, stereotyped
nature of the characters they portray.
See QUESTION, Page 7


711 N. University
(near State St.)
Ann Arbor
Classes in ballet,
modern, jazz, tap.

Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks discuss trivial and unfunny matters with
Tim Matheson in 'To Be or Not To Be.' The only question is why is this movie
so dull?

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