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March 25, 1988 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-25
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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FILM

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'D.O.A.'remake

will

keep

you

on ser

Dennis Quaid mixes humor and
seriousness as poisoned prof

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Ben and Nena shriek as mad biker April approaches. Get out of the way Kids!

WE ARE SEEING LESS
AND LESS OF OUR
CUSTOMERS

By Mark Shaiman
You can never trust a film critic.
The Detroit Free Press and The Ann
Arbor News panned D.O.A., so I
wailsed into the film ready to rip it
apart. Yet here I am about to tell you
how much I liked it.
Simply, it is the most suspense-
ful film I've seen in quite a while.
The premise of the film is taken
right from the 1949 film noir classic
of the same name - an innocent
man is poisoned and has only a day
to find his "murderer."
It's a terrific idea, and while this
is almost the only way the remake
resembles the original, the film sur-
prisingly stands on its own. Dennis
Quaid plays Dexter Cornell, an En-
glish professor whose life takes a few
turns for the worst. His top student
takes a swan dive off a building, he
is in the middle of a divorce proceed-
ings, and he passes out in the bed of
college frosh, Meg Ryan.
It's been a bad day, and his hang-
over is even worse since this one is
really "killing" him, and he doesn't
know how it happened. So he sets
out to find his killer. That's about all
I can say, since this is a thriller, and
you would be less than thrilled if I
gave anything away.
Now that you know he has been
poisoned, you can watch the film,
looking for the glass containing the
fatal drink and figure out who did it,
right? Wrong! He drinks from more
glasses than you can keep track of.
And the rest of the film leaves you
just enough in the dark to keep you
on the edge of your seats.
There is a small cast of characters,
and every one has a possible motive.
Not that Dexter is such a bad guy,
PASS
IT
AROUND!.

he's just always in the wrong place
at the wrong time. Actually, he's a
very likable fellow. Although he
knows he is dying, he keeps a good,
though slightly morose, sense of
humor. But hey, wouldn't you? The
comedy and seriousness work well
together, increasing tension by keep-
ing the audience unsure of how to
react,
Not only does the story work, but
it's well filmed. At certain points a
subjective camera is used to show us
the world as Dexter sees it - spin-
ning round. Quick camera motions
produce dizzying effects, wholly ap-
propriate to his condition.
Kathy Huffhines of the Free Press
says "High-tech cinematography,
jazzy camera angles, and cutesy edit-
ing only add confusion," but the
story wraps up neatly in the end
without a bit of confusion. How
much suspense would there be if you
knew all along what was really going
on? And what's wrong with using
the creative characteristics of motion
pictures to enhance the story? We
know this isn't a documentary.
But Kathy and I do agree on one
point. We like Dennis. I'm not say-
ing he should get an Oscar, but he's
truly capable and even good. He fits
the part, able to go from college prof
to private detective, like Harrison
Ford in Raiders. He is able to be se-
rious and comic, separating and
blending the two when necessary.
So what do you do now? Do you
listen to other critics and save a few
bucks, or do you go see it. Who do
you believe? I have only two more
words to say tc ,ou: trust me.

Is Your Car Sick?
Find the right
doctor to fix it
right here in the
CAR PAGE
Every Thursday in
The Michigan Daily
w0

r'

Dennis Quaid plays poisoned prof Dexter Cornell in 'D.O A.'

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PAGE 24

WEEKEND/ AF RCH 5J 1988

Y E EKEN[}IA!, RCH 25,;119§8

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