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December 03, 1986 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-12-03

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ARTS
Wednesday, December 3, 1986

The Michigan Daily
'I

Page 5

Star

Trek IV: Aimless fun

By Eileen Kane
Star Trek went on the air the year
I was born, 1966. Saved from
television oblivion by fan letter-
writing campaigns,Saturday Night
Live tributes,and syndication, Star
Trek can almost be considered an
American institution. In the late
nineteen-sixties, its multi-racial and
multi-national cast was controver-
sial and daring. Today, Star Trek is
Paramount's guarantee for movie
ticket sales.
Although the first Star Trek
movie, Star Trek: The Motion Pict-
ure was not a complete financial
failure, it was a critical disap-
pointment. The second Star Trek
movie, The Wrath Of Khan
avoided the first film's mistaken
reliance on special effects instead of
characterization. Perhaps its suc-
cess comes from its relationship
with the Star Trek TV series. It
was a sequel to the episodeSpace
Seed, and followed in the true spirit

of the television series. Star Trek
III: The Search For Spock was in
desperate search for a plot, and
instead served simply to ressurect
Spock and give Leonard Nimoy his
directing debut.
Nimoy also directs Star Trek IV.
The Yoyage Home. Spock (Leonard
Nimoy) has his brain back, Dr.
McCoy (DeForest Kelley) has his
brain to himself again, and Admiral
Kirk (William Shatner), along with
the crew that mutinied with him in
the last film; Uhura, Sulu,
Checkov, and Scottie, are sent back
to Earth to be court martialed.
They cannot go back to Earth.
An alien probe has come calling
on the whales of Earth, and because
whales are extinct in the 23rd
century and the probe isn't getting
so much as a busy signal, the Earth
is getting trashed. Of couse Kirk
and Co. have the answer - they go
back to San Francisco 1986 to get a
pair of whales to bring to the 23rd
century to answer the probe. Here's
where the movie becomes a co-
medy.

The 23rd century meets the 20th
century and it is funny. Uhura and
Checkov are sent to find a nuclear
reactor in order to trap energy
particles to re-power the ship.
Checkov asks passersby in his
thick Russian accent, "Excuse me,
where are the nuclear wessels."
Upon being captured aboard the
aircraft carrier Enterprise, Checkov
presents his Starfleet ID in hopes it
will solve everything.
It is also at this point that the
film falters. Though Scottie (James
Doohan) is given his moment to
shine by impersonating a professor
in order to obtain a tank for the
whales, Uhura (Nichelle Nichols)
and Sulu (George Takei) are given
virtually nothing to do. Credits
appear for old series characters,
Commander (formerly Nurse) Chap-
ple and (Yoeman) Janice Rand, but
they really have nothing to do.
Catherine Hicks as the whale ex-
pert, Gillian Taylor, is a pleasantly
agressive female, decisive, instead
of dogging Kirk. Unfortunately,
while having to establish the

probe's danger, the time travel and
this new character, Nimoy also has
to resolve the plot elements left
over from Star Trek III. To com-
plete the voyage home, Spock ,
McCoy, and Kirk must be restored
to their former selves.
Though a fun film, Star Trek IV:
The Voyage Home, ends up right
where it all started in 1966. Kirk is
"demoted" to captain and given the
command of a new Enterprise. My
trouble with the film is that no one
and nothing changes.
It is as if all four films tripped
over thcir own and each other's plot
in order to arrive at the most
entertaining and comfortable spot -
the television series. Nimoy's
direction has improved over Star
Trek III. His influence is less
obvious, flowing instead of
clumsy. Star Trek IV: The Voyage
Home is not a "must see," but a
"fun see."
Eileen Kane last reviewed 52
Pick-Up, where she was incorrectly
identified as Eileen Kahn.

Desi Arnaz: Dead at

69

Bragg Art Daily Photo by DEAN RANDAZZO
Billy Bragg gave a dazzling performance to a packed Nectarine Ballroom
on Monday night. Bragg was the highlight of Ann Arbor's version of the
'Secret Policeman's Ball,' a benefit concert which also featured Map Of
The World and Scruffy The Cat. The concert was the only one of it's kind
in America, and raised money for Amnesty International and
AAMISTAD.
Billy can brag about
his Nectarine gig

Los Angeles (AP) --
Television legend Desi Arnaz died
early yesterday of cancer. He was
69. Reports that Arnaz was ser-
iously ill had circulated since 1981,
when he was hospitalized for what
his wife, Edie, said was a flareup of
diverculitis, an inflammation of the
intertinal tract for which he had re-
ceived four operations in 1969 and
1970.
Arnaz was best known to
hundreds of millions of TV viewers
worldwide as the long-suffering
Ricky Ricardo, husband of the
wacky Lucy, on one of TV's most
beloved and longest-running shows,
I Love Lucy. Through their Desilu
company, Arnaz and Miss Ball also

had produced the show - one of
the first television programs to
move its production facilities from
New York to Hollywood.
Arnaz pioneered the three-camera
filming technique that is widespread
today in which three cameras
simultaneously filmed the Lucy
show from different angles, with a
final program combined later.
Arnaz was born Desiderio Alber-
to Arnaz y de Acha III on March 2,
1917, in Santiago, Cuba, as the
son of a politician land-owner. His
familu emigrated to the United
States after the 1933 Cuban revo -
lution, and at age 17, Arnaz sang in
a Miami band.

He met Miss Ball when, as a
rumba star, he went to Hollywood
to recreate a Broadway role for Too
Many Girls, in which Miss Ball
starred. In 1951, when CBS decided
to move her radio series, My
Favorite Husband, to television,
Miss Ball insisted that Arnaz be her
co-star. The network wasn't sure
Arnaz would be a hit with the
American public, but the couple
went on a nationwide vaudeville
tour and proved audiences would sit
still to watch a leggy, blue-eyed
comedian and a bandleader with a
heavy accent. They also produced
their own pilot episode, on bor-
rowed money. CBS relented, and I
Love Lucy, with Vivian Vance and
William Frawley as co-stars, was
an immediate success.

The show ran from 1951-1961,
and has since been in worldwide
syndication. The couple developed
Desilu into a major TV production
company that in its prime produced
at least 19 programs.
"He was a great showman, a
great business executive," Miss
Ball told Ladies Home Journal in
1983. "I was very proud of him...I
still am. He built an empire. It was
unfortunate that he also liked to let
things fall apart. But there are a lot
of people like that. They build and
they destroy." The I'Love' Lucy
show was produced by the Desilu
company which went on to pur-
chase RKO studios and produce
other programs; he sold Miss Ball
his share after their divorce for three
million dollars.

By Danny Plotnick
From the Buzzcocks, to Patsy
Cline, to Nicaraguan folk songs, to
7-11's, to sperm doners, Billy
Bragg did it all Monday night at the
Nectarine Ballroom. Is Canada the
51st state? Is England the 51st
state? If it is, does that mean we'll
have a greater voter turnout at the
next, Presidential election, or will
we just have a better chance of
winning the World Cup. Were the
Diggers really called Diggers
because they listened to jazz, and
dug the likes of John Coltrane, and
4o we really need to be careful
-about what we say around rednecks
if we want to make it out of Texas
alive? Maybe yes, maybe no-if
you were lucky enough to be at the
show Monday night you might
h)ave some of the answers to these
question-hell you might even
have the answers to all the
questions. Bragg played songs for
those who lose sleep at night
worrying about the inevitable
Soviet invasion and he played
songs for those who lose sleep at

night worrying about the inevitable
Yuppie invasion (Did you know
that there is only one minority in
Boulder, Colorado-people who
don't own BMWs).
He played songs for the folk
fans, the country fans, the a
cappella fans, the ska fans, the
punk fans, the Jackson 5 fans, and
his fans with Marx and Engels
tattoed across the knuckles of their
hands. Bragg's adoring fans learned
that he buys lots of beer, not to
prove his virility, or to make
technicolor yawns, but to cry in.
They learned that he met James
Brown at Metro Airport, has a soft
spot for Motown, and drove out of
his way to get his picture taken in
front of Hitsville U.S.A. They
also learned that the Youth of
America need to break out of their
apathetic stupor and become more
involved in the democratic process,
and with causes that will help
promote change and help shape or
influence this contry's foreign
policy. And finally, they learned
that Billy Bragg failed all his
exams, because on the day that he
took his exams, he was in love.

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THERES SILL TIME TO PREPARE
CLASSES STARTING
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CALL DAYS, EVENINGS & WEEKENDS
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TEST PREPARATION SPECWIS1YS OCE 1935

r~ S
Records
Kitaro
Tenku
Geffen
I send a message of sound
Towards the sky
Engulfing empty space
Soaring far beyond grasp
Space music of the '80s. A
hybrid outgrowth of psychedelia and
rnuzak, now favored not only by
tofu-eaters and incense burners, but
ilso by yuppies eager to avoid
excesses of noise and jarring power
guitars.
Kitaro belongs to a growing
set of composers whose aim is a
quiet, marketable beauty which
works in the background, unob -
itr,civ i t z~h n irt.,aill, c.,,1rn.-

University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society
presents
The Yeomen of the Guard
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
December 3-6 8:00pm, December 6-7 2:00pm
SPECIAL STUDENT RUSH
Wednesday Only - $2.00 Off any seat
Call Mendelssohn Box Office 763-1085
V T UNIVERSIY OF MICHIGAN HOSPITALS
45L UNTEERS Ii
Venture into High Tech and
add to the Human Touch

frequency and starship whooshes
back down to a simpler mono -
tonous lower register to-and-fro
rhythm.
Ostensibly, Tenku revolves
around images and evocations of
childhood, complete with a child's
voice. Well, maybe.
I own one other Kitaro album,
Silver Cloud , a gift from a brother
several years ago. To be honest,
unless I concentrate hard (almost
antiethical to the music's purpose),
I am hard pressed to know which
oeuvre I am hearing. This doesn't
disturb me, for the effect is the
same; a kind of enlightened
sedation, comforting in its illusion.
of the perpetuity of the stars and
firmament, the mind, heart, and

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