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October 21, 1986 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-21

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 21, 1986

Newman,

Cruise, glitter in a tarnished 'Money'

By ;urt Serbus
First off, Martin Scorsese is
God.I just wanted to get that out of
the way before I dash off the rest of
this review so y'all don't
misinterpret the slight tinge of
disappointment seeping out of my
pen as a sign that The Color Of
Money is a bad or even mediocre
film. True, it's one of the least
explosive and engaging things
Scorsese's done in years, but what
the jell: this guy could probably
filmthe "Owner's and Operator's
Manual" of any major appliance and
still fill it with more electricity and
color than most of the brown

sludge that drains out of Hollywood
these days.
So why aren't I passionately,
irrevocably in love with T he
Color Of Money? You got me.
It seemed like a sure bet at the gate:
Martin Scorsese directing Paul
Newman and the oft-unfairly
maligned Tom Cruise in a twenty-
year later sequel to The Hustler.
The plot certainly holds promise:
Fast Eddie Felsen (Newman) is now
a liquor salesman who thinks he's
at least content being on the
sidelines of the pool-hustling
business until he spots a mirror-
perfect glimpse of his former self in
Vincent Luria (Tom Cruise), a

naive, hyperactive underachiever
who works a cue stick like Lou
Reed used to work a Gretsch
Country Gentleman.
The kid's got one big problem,
though: he plays for fun, not
money, and in the interest of
correcting this shortcoming, Eddie
takes Vince and his shallow,
manipulative girlfriend (Mary
Elizabeth Mastrantonio) on a six-
week tour of the underbelly of
America. En route he teaches Vince
every con game and snow job in the
book, while simultaneously
relearning a love for the game itself
that he thought went sour some
twenty years ago. Needless to say,
by the time the trio hits the big
Nine-Ball Tournament in Atlantic
City, the shoe is firmly on the
other foot, and Eddie realizes he has
created a monster.
The acting certainly isn't what
drags the movie down. Newman's

Fast Eddie is a man who's numbed
himself with wealth to the point
where he can't even feel the old
regrets--until he sees Luria almost
unconciously put away a local
hustler. You can practically see the
first dull spark of life spring into
his eyes at that point, and as the
movie builds, you can practically
see the concept of money recede
further and further into the back of
his mind, eased out of the way by
the concept of winning for the
sheer, malicious hell of it. With
this amazingly perceptive and
subtle performance, Newman adds
yet another unforgettable character
to his pantheon of outcast loners..
It would be a big mistake,
however, to just toss the laurels to
Newman and overlook the
considerable contribution of Tom
Cruise. Vince Luria is more than
just the spark that ignites

Newman's character, and he's more
than just another hot-shot punk to
add to Cruise's own, less reputable
pantheon. Cruise imbues his
character with a perfect mix of
innocence and gung-ho machismo
that makes him, if not real
emotionally complex, than at least
visually fascinating.
Certainly Scorsese's direction is
beyond reproach. Scorsese is the
best in the business when it comes
to combining intense, gritty
realism with flashy, manipulative
camera work, and in The Color
Of Money, he goes all out on
both fronts. Confrontational scenes
between two characters are filmed
more or less straightforwardly,
allowing the actors to carry the
action, but when Scorsese wants to
get things moving--in. a pool hall,
at a tournament, or on the road--he
does. Some of the wild, ballsy

cinematography in this movie was
so great, I had to change my
underwear twice during the
screening (No. That's just a little
joke). Richard Price's script can't be
faulted either--it delivers in a way
that is both commercially and artis-
tically satisfying.
This is where I think I'll quit,
while both me and the movie are
ahead, because this is a movie that
deserves to come out ahead. Maybe
I bad a headache the night I saw it.
Maybe I was mad at having to get
up twice during the screening to
change my underwear (No. That's
just another little joke). All I can
say is that this was a movie where
all the right ingredients came
together beautifully, but someone
forgot to turn the oven all'the way
up. Yeah, that's it. They forgot to
turn the oven all the way up. Yeah.
Sure.

14

The Fourteenth Annual
Hayward Keniston Lecture
"In theend was the word"
ERNST PULGRAM
Emeritus, University of Michigan
Thursday, October 23, 1986, 4:10 p.m.
Rackham Amphitheater
Reception following in the East Conference Room, Rackham

Records
Rodney Crowell
STREET LANGUAGE
Columbia
This is a very disappointing
album. Rodney Crowell's
reputation as one of the more gifted
songwriters to emerge from mid
'70s Nashville led me to high

expectations for this record. What
one gets, however is a record that
was unsatisfactory on most counts.
"Let Freedom Ring" is fairly
typical of the rockers, a big, brassy
enterprise that strains under the
weight of A.O.R. excess. Sadder
still are ballads like "When I'm
Free Again," a syrupy mess of

8th ANNUAL GEORGE G. CAMERON LECTURE
The Department of Near Eastern Studies presents

Ake

W Sjoberg

Clark Research Professor of Sumerology, University of Pennsylvania

MESOPOTAMLAN EDUCATION:

over-wrought sentiment, or "Pass
Like a Mask," with lyrics just this
side of the self-help shelf delivered
with the emote switch on heavy.
It"ts ironic that the best song on
this LP is the only one Crowell
didn't have a hand ;in writing, John
Hiatt's "She Loves the Jerk."'
Someone with a reputation as a
songwriter shouldn't leave himself'
open to such a comment, nor
should a member of the Cash/Carter
clan (he's married to Rosanne Cash)
be satisfied with this album.
Jeff Stanzler
Albion Country
Band
BATTLE OF THE FIELD
Carthage
This is an album with a history:
The Albion Country Band started as
the collective name given by
Shirley Collins to the sesion
players on her 1971 No Roses
album. Ashley Hutchings (a
founding member of both Steeleye
Span and Fairport Convention) then
picked up the mantle, envisioning a
group that would add electric
instrumentation to English country
dance music. The Albions were
plagued with the same personnel
fluctuations that haunted Fairport
Convention and, by the time this
record was finished in 1973, Island
Records refused to release it because
there was no band to tour on its
behalf. It was finally released in
1976 on a budget subsidiary of
Island.
In case you're wondering, the
album is a delight, featuring such
stalwarts as Martin Carthy,
accordion/concertina wizard John
Kirkpatrick, and Simon Nicol of
Fairport Convention. The
prominence of the oboe (played by

Sam Harris) and Kirkpatrick's
concertina underpinnings help
distinguish the sound, a formal,
even regal counterpoint to the more
raucous sounds of the Irish dance
music that Hutchings felt was
getting all the attention at the time.
This record was a spearhead to the
English Countray Dance revival
that has created a sensation in
British Folk circles recently- it is
also an unquestionable gem on its
own merits.
- JeStanzler
Chainlink Fence
POSITIVE
Throbbing Lobster
Positive, the new 6 song mini
LP, by Chainlink Fence, is an
uncommon blend ,of intellectual+
lyrics with glossy ' pop music.
Chainlink Fence sounds like a cross
between Wham! and the Bangles.
Singer Billy Barrett's voice sounds
exactly like Wham!'s George
Michael. The other band members
ooh and ah through every song,;
giving them that Bangles sound.
On the other side of things, -the'
lyrics are really intense. On the title
track, Barrett croons, We've been
spending the rent, every last cent, we
could have a war, there'[s a world to
be fed, what the hell are you
watching it for? He sounds so happy
about it though, that it makes one
want to laugh.
All the songs are about pensive,
serious issues like breaking up in
"The Goodbye Game," and death in
"Lisa." Yet they are all done with an
upbeat tempo and apparently smiling
faces. Chainlink Fence has either
got to ease up on the lyrics, or
toughen up the sound of the music. v
-Pam Brougher

New Light on the World's Oldest Schools
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22,1986
RACKHAM AMPHIHETRE
4:00 psm.
Reception follows in Rackham Assembly Hall

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