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February 07, 1986 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-02-07
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.





v v

F/X manages to be especially effective

intriguing in the sound, but something

By Lisa Borgnes
and Seth Flicker
IT'S EASY to figure out the formula
for this one: the excitement of
Romancing the Stone, the flair of
James Bond, the bloodthirstiness of
Rambo and the mafia element of the,
Godfather. The ingredients are all
there, but F/X manages to have a
style all its own.
Coming at a time when escapism
films are big and mediocrity is even
bigger, F/X provides a fresh depar-
ture from the ordinary adventure
films. Of course, it can't stray too far
from its predecessors. It still has the
obligatory chase scenes, the "hair-
raising" thrills and spills, and the
romantic subplot, but it's a uniquie
storyline combined with original ef-
fects that make the film work.
Rollie Tyler makes a living by
fooling people. He is an FIX expert.
F/X is short for "special effects",
making this film escapism within
escapism. The film exemplifies the
fine art of illusion and reminds us
that,bwith illusion, anything is
The film starts off with an all-too-
obvious illusion, an example of effects
at work. When the blood and gore-
filled opening predictably ends in
"Cut! Cut!", the real movie begins.
Tyler, played by Bryan Brown, has
perfected the art of illusion, perhaps a
bit too well. The government has
caught wind of his talents and wants
Rollie for a special mission. The
Justice Department in charge of WPR
(Witness Protection and Relocation)
is holding a Mafia don, played by
Jerry Orbach, until a court appearan-
ce in which he will testify. To keep the
Mafia off Don DeFranco's tail, Rollie
Tyler is hired to stage a fake
assassination. Tyler is at first
suspicious, but his desire for the
promised $30,000 payoff wins out, and
he accepts. Unfortunately, the plan
ends in chaos.

Dixon's originals. Problem
covers fail to distinguish th
over the originals-particu
versions of Holsapple's "Ne
and "Lonely Is (As
Does)"-rendering them e
useless to the listener, who,
better off to refer to thec
Also, Dixon's material
prisingly) mostly weak MOR
There are some
though-Jones is wonder
tificial-sounding on the
"Rhythm of Shallow Breath
subtle on the pop ballad "Fo
All Over the World" and o
dirgelet "We'll All Be Gone."
tell, there aren't any real d(
record, but the record seem
much of an attempt to water
make salable what could
pop-the subtle twists that'v
many of Dixon's gang's rec
unique. Too bad Jones isn't q
joining their ranks on this re
The Miracle Worke

n is, the
larly the
would be
is (sur-

intriguing in the sound, but something
definitely missing as well.
? and the Mysterians-96
Tears Forever (ROIR Casset-



Bryan Brown (left) is menacing, but not as menacing as 'Rosebud' (center) in the new thriller, 'F/X'.

When illusion turns into reality, andl
Don DeFranco is really killed, Tyler
is baffled. After being hunted by
both the Justice Department (they
don't want any loose ends) and the
N.Y.P.D., ( which results in the ac-
cidental murder of his girlfriend
Ellen,) Rollie is out for revenge. And
putting a special effects expert in a
situation requiring action is like let-
ting a magician loose in an
amusement park.

THE MOVIE is fast-paced and
speeds right along... literally.
The fight and chase scenes are taken
straight from Warner Brothers car-
toons. Every trick in the book is used:
slippery oil spills, multiple disguises,
"dead" bodies, and the old Super Glue
trick. But the silly slapstick can only
go so far. While it is funny when Tyler
fools the Justice Department head
Colonel Mason into picking up an
unloaded machine gun coated with
Super Glue and walking into a police
web, it is not so funny when Mason

(Mason Adams) is shot for not putting
down his weapon. And when an un-
suspecting bodyguard gets killed
when a bright yellow ballon blows up
in his face, the laughs are just not
there. Revenge may be sweet for
Tyler, but the audience is not always
Overall, Bryan Brown was convin-
cing as Rollie Tyler. Despite his
awkwardness of the role, Brown
managed to carry it off with ease.
Being comfortable in his role allowed
the spontaneity of his character to
shine through, where another actor

on a
4u 0
318 5. ashAcyann arbor
7C I 8~8
I m ID j' I'

546 Packard 927 Maiden Lane
665-6005 995-9101

might have failed.
Diane Verona, as Tyler's actress-
girlfriend, was the victim of a bad
script. It's hard to tell whether you
liked her character or not because her
lines were so pathetically weak. Ad-
mittedly, we gasp when she is killed,
but it's due more to our shock from.
the loud crack of the rifle than any
real sorrow. In the same context,
Martha Gehman as Tyler's assistant
Andy, also fell prey to poor dialogue.
Her airheaded enthusiasm and oc-
casional whining could only go so far.
Brian Dennehy plays Leo McCar-
thy, a tough, honest cop who has an
unfortunate habit of breaking police
rules. When he finds himself in the
middle of the Justice Department's
murder investigation, he is deter-
mined to uncover the-mystery, even if
it means going against the Chief's or-
ders. Dennehy is both crude and flir-
tatious, and this role, like his many
others (Cocoon, Silverado) is played
Although F/X satiates your taste
for adventure, many questions
remain unresolved at the movie's end.
Does Lipton, Colonel Mason's aide,
ever get out of the car trunk?
Whatever happened to Andy after she
was left in the street? And who was
really involved in the whole scandal?
F/X is successful in what it set out
to do - to entertain. It is fast-paced,
all out action with plenty of original
stuntwork. Most of all, though, it
provides a refreshing two hour escape
from reality.

side out (Bomp/Voxx
Good thing about the
Workers that separates the
lot of their fellow garagists-
pass a good punk band wit
having to consider the1
aspect of their music. 0
that's not to say the '60s aspi
place in music today-ra
great when used to creative
Miracle Workers have
precisely the state that they
what inspires them and us
novative ways to write fresh
rock tunes with truly p
sibility-a rare quality in th
garage movement. While Ins
probably no classic, it's
hooky, really listenable
Notable are "That Ain
"Tears," and the title trac
stands out on every play_
tional. Solid (although occa
tad simplistic) musiciansh
clear sound (rather than tf
psychedelic murk) also ma
Out a good listen.
Morlocks-The M(
Emerge (Midnight)
Morlocks vocalist Leight
as if he's been gargling wi
Surely, the Morlocks aree
evillest-sounding garag
titioners around today. Te
fuzztone guitars and Leigh
shee wails make Emerge th
fix for anyone in need of h
guitar noise thrills. Howev4
the thrill of it being the rar
actually deserves to be tur
11, Emerge doesn't satisfy
pretty muchdpredictabler
tracks like "Born Loser'
Don't Take Much," alth
soloing approaches somet
demonic. Like so manygarz
the Morlocks seem too conc
accurate emulation of '60s s
cluding '60s wall-of-sludge]
values) to really take off. 7
to take far too much prid
ability to ape every cor
garage punk style to com
satisfying listen. Definitely

I-ish pop. In 1984, ? and the Mysi
winners, regrouped for three nights inl
fully ar- As progenitors of the Tex-Mex1
bizarre sound, the Mysterians are lar
ing," and contributors to the sound of the
ollow You and remains influential on c,
n Dixon's porary bands like Los Lobos
" Truth to The ROIR recording of the r
ogs on the captures the raunch of
ns like so Mysterians, who sound am4
down and fresh, even 18 years after the o
be vital fact. Besides the ? classic "96' f
e made so Forever includes their greats'
ent works Somebody" and "Can't Get Eni
quite up to You Baby," as well as the
cord. raunchy "Girl You Captivat(
Great sounding-the tape cz
rs-In- the Mysterians in their elemei
bad for a bunch of migrant Mi
(Bomp beanpickers. Not bad at,
anyone to sound this good a
)- years apart. Recommend(
anyone interested in getting
Miracle essence of '60s punk.
m from a
-they can Thee Fourgiven-It
hout even
psych/60s Pretty Down Here (Dio
f course,
ect has no Although Thee Fourgiven ar
ther, it's up of 3/4 of the semi-acclain
ends. The claimed, it's no good reason to
reached them above the rest of the psy
can take herd. It Ain't Pretty is prett
e it in in- predictable grungey garage
-sounding adhering to timeworn riffs
unk sen- tiquated production technique
he current combination of cliched
side Out is construction and tinny sou
a solid, probably bore all but the
record. cultist, who tends to gravitate
't Me", ds accurate reproduction of '60
k. "5:35" on record, which indicate
as excep- adherence to the '60s mediocri
sionally a ding techniques. The point
ip and a Fourgiven do succeed c
he typical negligible: they can ape "S
ke Inside Stone" perfectly well, coming
reasonably winning tracks lik
Reason Why" and "Ain't That
orlocks they have also successfully m
to wear as many anima
necklaces as the Mosquitos, th
band that turned up on one ep
on sounds Gilligan's Island. Side two is
th Drano. the better side, featuring the
one of the sharp tracks "I Sympathiz(
e prac- "Lost in the Beat". But it's no'
n tons of enough to save it It Ain't Pret
ton's ban- falling into the typical
e ultimate emulators' traps: slavish,
eavy duty tunesmithing and dated pre
er, beyond values, resulting in an unsa
e disc that record.
ned up to
y. There's Yard Trauma-Mu

think too hard about what these same
idols had done to music and how
unusual they were for their era. The
title track is pedestrian, the vocals
generally pretty weak, the
songwriting uninspired. The band
does have a much richer sound than
their cohorts, with lots of guitars and
keyboards. Occasional nice touches
make Must Have Been Something I
Took Last Night somewhat better
than most psych punk records, but not
much. "I'm Invisible" has "96
Tears"-ish cheesy organ, provided by
Rich Coffee of Thee Fourgiven.
"You're My Style" and "Situations"
approach pretty good as far as tune
goes. And "Dreamt in Color" lifts the
riff from the Beatles "I Feel Fine,"
with which few bands could lose. By
far, the most outstanding cut is "I've
Got a Girl," which follows a direction
one could hope the band would follow
in the future... toward a more
developed vocal sound and toward
more solid writing.
-Julie Jurrjens

listening to. You get the idea that you
never hear her real voice. She either
sounds kittenish, hokey, drunk, or like
the gnarliest gutter vixen that side of
the Mississippi.
Her best moments are in "Ban-
dana" - a real cow rustling, cactus
carousing number with a rockin' bass
line - and in "The Slip," one of the
album's best tunes. It's an acoustic
strum-along featuring guitarist Mike
Martt rasping out the lead vocals.
Texacala's accompanying vocals are
reminiscent of Exene on the Knitters'
Speaking of the Knitters, I thought
I'd mention that John Doe produced
the album; and sure enough, once in a
while the Horseheads do sound like X.
And the Horseheads sure know how to
milk a song.
One example is "I'll Quit
Tomorrow." It's a real dandy about
hoppin' on the wagon. The bassist, J.
Gregory Boaz, sings this one and does
a mighty fine job. His scratchy vocals
fit the part in this hokey, yet very
electrical drunk song.
"Spider and the Peach" is a darned
good tune that sounds like it could be
one of those '70s rave-up anthems.
The spoons solo in the middle of it
may be the classiest moment on the
album. "Bartender Sam" and "Jailed
Again" are two knee slappin' and foot
stompin' offerings which make for
two of the better selections on the
Of yeah - best line on the album:
You know I was too drunk when I
met you. Words to live by for sure.
-Danny Plotnick
Gary Burton Quartet -
Real Life Hits (ECM)
A new LP from a new Gary Burton
quartet will always be met by excited
ears. This one is no exception. Some
critics have already called it Burton's

the re
is ci
on pi
out a
is stil
that i
the I
this d

to the Tex and the Horseheads -
Life's So Cool
Ain't (Enigma)
nysus) YO RANCHEROS!! Cow punks
have pulled into town in the form of
e made Tex and The Horseheads, and believe
ned Un- me their cow is better than their
elevate punk. Their new album Life's So Cool
ch-punk is decent, but nothin' to hoot and
y much holler about.
music,. The trashier songs are the weakest.
and an- They're nothing new, nothing you
es. This haven't heard before, and nothing
tune- you'll be dying to hear again.
nd will Lead singer Texacala Jones may be
diehard the band's weak link. Sure she's nice
towar- to have naughty dreams about, but
s ideals that doesn't mean she's worth


* U
expires 2121186 *
not accepted at William /
( rl# 10" Pizza w/1 item St. restaurant, carry-out a
" Tax included and delivery only at /
Z~d Cottage Inn Cafe. /

riffling on
and "It
hough the
hing near
age bands,
erned with
sounds (in-
They seem
le in their
iponent of
e off as a

Something I

Night (Dionysus)
Great name for a band... unfor-
tunately the swellness of the name
reflects in few ways the quality of the
material. Yet another bunch of psych-
punkers miss the point, focusing on
accurate imitation of their idols
(Standells, Music Machine, Electric
Prunes, et al...) without stopping to

Took Last

Come and G

8 Weekend-February 7, 1986


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