The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 22, 1987 - Page 11
'Project X' reinvents same old
By Sarah Van Tiem
I have a confession to make. I
hate Matthew Broderick. Not
personally; just the characters he
plays. And I can't honestly say that
Project X, a new film produced by
Walter Parkes and Lawrence Lasker,
did a whole heck of a lot to change
my mind. Broderick plays Jimmy
Garrett, a young pilot who gets
himself into trouble for stealing a
plane. Instead of a trip to the
stockade, Jimmy earns a position in
the top Experimental Pilot Training
Program. Sounds like an ample
punishment for stealing millions of
dollars of government property,
right? There's a catch of course.
The experimental pilots just happen
to be chimpanzees.
Jimmy is assigned to take care
of the primates. He becomes
attached to one particular chimp,
Vergil. Vergil knows sign language
and is somehow able to teach it to
Jimmy. Well, one thing leads to
another, and Jimmy soon learns the
horrible truth behind the research
This film is billed as a
"contemporary suspense drama."
Well, it may be contemporary, sort
of a Wild Kingdom meets Top
Gun, but suspenseful it ain't. This
is one of those annoying films that
tries to force you to sit on the edge
of your seat and worry whether or
not the hero will escape his almost
certain doom. In the case of Project
X, this just doesn't work. Although
you may not know all the details,
you just know that Jimmy and his
furry friend will come out okay. As
for drama, we have Broderick. He
plays his usual young, wise-guy,
screw-up character who manages to
scrape through the trouble he gets
himself into with a little intel -
ligence, a little resourcefulness and
a lot of luck.
You may remember Broderick
from Ladyhawke and Ferris
Bueller's Day Off. To avoid
comparison with the other similar
roles he has played, someone came
up with a bright idea, "Why don't
we stick a cigarette in Jimmy's
mouth once in a while?" How
decadent! It's almost as believable
as Mickey Mouse doing a few
Now we get to the best part of
the movie: Vergil. You can't help
but like Vergil. He is cute, lovable,
smart and ten times more
entertaining than any other character
in the movie. Unfortunately, we've
seen this all before in countless
other movies, including all of Walt
So. A contemporary suspense
drama that's contemporary but
neither suspenseful or dramatic. The
only reason you may want to sit on
the edge of your seat is if your rear
end gets sore.
MFA student exhibit sparkles
By Charles Oestreicher
A large, diverse (and perverse)
M.F.A. degree show is currently on
display at the Rackham Gallery of
Art, and although it's probable that
no one reading this has any time to
go see it, I'm going to recommend
Ten artists are featured, and
though the viewer is only provided
a sampling of each one's talents,
the overall effect is satisfying.
The shocking multi-media work
of Brian Schorn bears prominent
i mention. Schorn's diversity and
creative strangeness is apparent in
his photos, paintings and especially
diorama/sculptures, which feature
small, preserved insects and fishes.
The images Schorn presents are
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A 619 PACKARD
PARKING IN FRONT AND sCOS
OF THE STOREI If
violently and sexually
alized, but fascinating no
Keith Ekstam works i
mensions as well,
earthenware rather t
animals. His large th
otherworldly look, as if
inated naturally from
itself. For the most pa
has left the sculptures
which works to their adv
Painters have a stron
in the show as well. Vin
with his large, comples
is one notable exampl
them feature a distorted,
point of view, as if the v
"00* , , ,, ,, ,
sensation - peering down from above.
netheless. Photorealism, in the form of
n three di - Takeshi Yamada, appears as well.
but in Yamada's New York street scenes
han dead capture the gritty aspects of
lough not nightttime Manhattan with a rare
have an authenticity.
they orig - At the opposite end of the
the earth spectrum is Nola Sendejar, a semi-
rt, Ekstam abstract representational painter
unpainted, who composes her pictures with
antage. fields of nearly pure color. Kevin
g presence Brady's work appears more purely
scent Hron, representational, with his most
canvasses, successful work being portraiture
e. Most of (especially good is his self portrait).
precarious Barbara Glik specializes in still-life
iewer were paintings, adding a quiet mood of
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contemplation to intriguing compo -
sitions. Her paintings are smallish
and appear somewhat
monochromatic from a distance, but
closer inspection reveals a wealth of
information and painterly touches.
There is also a photography
specialist in the group, Steffen
Mittelhauser. Mittelhauser photo -
graphs tranquil quarries and
landscapes, leaving them physically
See ART, Page 12
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