The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, September 24, 1986
By Kurt Serb us
Short Circuit is a pretty decent
"feel good" comedy that was
released this May and is making
the rounds again, apparently by
popular demand. Sure, it's one of
those formula movies--push-
button laughs, push-button tears,
emotions about as real as the
film's big star. But, gosh darn it,
if you check your cynicism at the
door, Short Circuit isn't a bad way
to kill an hour and a half.
The aforementioned "big star"
is E.T.--I mean, Number Five, a
state-of-the-art war robot that gets
struck by lightning and for some
reason comes to life and goes
wandering about rural Ore gon
with the wide-eyed wonder of a
small child. Yeah, you guessed it,
he's really, really cute, though not
as cute as Ally Sheedy, who plays
a little boy named Eliot--no, I
mean a snack truck driver
named Stephanie who befriends
the naive automation. He is,
however, cuter than Steve
Guttenberg, who plays the totally
extraneous role of Number Five's
creator, and who tries so
desperately hard to be cute he
looks like he might get a dimple
hernia. Guttenberg and Sheedy
have to team up to save Number
Five from destruction at the
hands of the dreaded System, in
this case represented by a
corporate security force led by G.
W. Bailey, who played Sgt. Rizzo
on MASH (subtlety is not this
movie's strong point). Do you
think they'll succeed? Do you
think they'll fall in love (hint:
they hate each other at first sight)?
Do you think it really matters?
Of course not. What matters is
the fun to be had en route to the
painfully obvious conclusion,
and Short Circuit delivers just
enough of that to make it
worthwhile. Some of the fun is
courtesy of Number Five, who
connects with a good laugh about
half the times he opens his voice
banks. Some of the fun is even
provided by Ally Sheedy, who
seems to have dropped her San
Fernando Dizbag act and puts in
a mature, appealing per -
formance. Most of the fun,
however, is provided by Fisher
Stevens, who plays Guttenberg's
Indian sidekick, and who
connects with a good laugh about
every time he opens his voice
banks. Sure, it's an old schtick--
the little foreign guy constantly
mixing-up phrases and comi-
cally mispronouncing words--but
this guy is seriously hilarious. If
director John Badham is really
on the ball, he'll make his next
movie about this Indian guy wan-
dering about rural Oregon with
the wide-eyed wonder of a small
child, being chased by a corporate
security force led by Sgt. Rizzo. If
he does, let's hope Steve
Guttenberg isn't in it, because
Steve accounts for none of the fun
in Short Circuit. He's not cute,
he's not funny, he can't act, and
he's only in this movie because he
was in Cocoon. I sure hope he goes
back to whatever it was he was
doing before Police Academy.
Guttenberg aside, however,
Short Circuit is pretty good flick.
It's got that little Indian guy, it's
got a robot, it's got a lot of things
blowing up, and it's back by
popular demand, so someone out
there must love it. Plus, if you
check your cynicism at the door, it
might just make you feel glad to
be alive. I know I do.
Tbe ictyigan Dailv
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
DEPARTMENTAL CO-OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
By Hal Lindsey
Hal Lindsey, author of The
v Late Great Planet Earth,
proclaims the end is near in his
latest book Combat Faith. The
book begins with a dramatic
(true) anecdote about Christians
persecuted by the KGB in the
Soviet Union. He sees 'the
incident as the "beginning of the
Tribulation (a seven-year period
of world wide catastrophe that im-
mediately precedes the Second
Coming of Christ)." The premise
'of the book is that such a situation
requires special preparation,
extraordinary training. In short,
one will need "combat faith."
Early on, Lindsey lambasts
academia and supposed Bible
scholars for assaulting the Bible's
inerrancy. Satan is at work here.
Next, "the occult is part of a
coordinated conspiracy that is
determined to bring about a one-
world religion, and the true
Christian is the greatest obstacle
of that goal." Everything from
diets to communism is discussed
as possible vehicles for the
In order to make it through
these tough times, Lindsey
suggests we look to history in the
Bible. He concentrates on faith as
related to ancient prophets,
mainly Moses. When one
understands the history, he gains
access to "the weapons of our
warfare" (a.k.a. tools of combat).
To survive one must: pray,
totally depend on the Holy Spirit,
have fellowship with God, accept
truth of the new self through
scripture and use Christ-
confidence, not self-confidence.
Once armed, the Christian will
not be defeated.
The rhetoric is as extreme as
Lindsey's content. While the
book is filled with pertinent
scripture passages, his
interpretations seem distorted.
He often rambles in simplistic
pop prose. For example, "There is
a time to pray, and there is a time
to simply believe that what you
have prayed has already been
granted and to act upon it. It was
at this point that Moses moved into
the experince of combat faith.
Don't leave home without it!" At
other times Lindsey seems par-
anoid. He claims if a student at a
university believes in the
historical truths of Christianity
"he is in for withering ridicule
and low grades."
The book is fine for someone
who is devotedly familiar with
television evangelists, T.V.
language and scare tactics
Lindsey may stir response in
those eager souls. However, for
skeptics, scholars and middle-of-
the-roaders, pick up a diffe'ent
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