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February 22, 1989 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-22

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 22, 1989

True

Believer

Drama will make one out of you

BY TONY SILBER
One of the better films of 1987
was Suspect, in which Cher played
an unconventional attorney defending
a homeless man suspected in the
killing of a Washington, D.C.
woman. The film, half of which be-
came a charged courtroom drama,
exposed many social problems of
law enforcement cover-ups and far-
reaching conspiracies. True Believer
is nearly identical to Suspect in the
type of story and the outcome, and it
works just as effectively.
James Woods (Against All Odds,
Salvador) plays the basic role Cher
played, but with a few twists. He is
Greenwich Village lawyer Eddie
Dodd, a '60s activist turned contro-
versial trial attorney. He is a hero to
drug dealers and pimps because he
gets them acquitted on revelations of
government entrapment and legal
technicalities. He calls himself a
"crusader for civil liberties."
The story in the film involves a
new case Eddie has agreed to take: an'
eight-year-old murder in which he
must prove the innocence of a Ko-
rean man (Yuji Okumoto) sent to
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prison for the killing of a Chinese
man in New York's Chinatown. As
in Suspect, the evidence against his
client is indisputable on the surface,
and Eddie must persevere over the
many legal and physical obstacles
put in his way by those who want to
keep the case closed. He must over-
come a group of neo-nazis, a vicious
and calculating district attorney, and
a group of ex-convicts who operate a
plumbing supply shop, among oth-
ers. The pacing of the film is thus
very quick and thoroughly enticing.
Woods unquestionably makes the
film work. His energetic zeal and
passion for role playing shine
through in this most recent perfor-
mance. But great portrayals are
nothing new for Woods. He has al-
ways been a favorite of critics, and a
few years ago he received a nomina-
tion for Best Actor for his role in
Salvador. Robert Downey, Jr.
(Weird Science, Less Than Zero)
has escaped somewhat from his brat
pack past and turns in a competent
portrayal as Dodd's assistant, Uni-
versity graduate Roger Baron.
Director Joseph Ruben (The-
Stepfather) is a real life University
graduate, and he brings to True Be-
liever an action-drama-thriller lead-
ership and a cunning sense of story
construction. The film emerges as an
exciting, thoughtful, sharp-witted
suspense yarn which culminates in
an excellent trial sequence, denounc-
ing traditional courtroom endings
and offering instead a provocative

Trial attorney Eddie Dodd (James Woods, left) seeks to get client
Shu Kai Kim (Yuji Okumoto, right) on the other side of these bars in
the courtroom drama True Believer.

Human, geometric
featured in exhibit
BY JOHN KIPFMUELLER
TWO Michigan artists, painter Peter Gooch and sculptor Robert Wil-
helm, challenge the notions of "abstract" and "realistic" in a small but in,
teresting show at Gallery One One Eight.
Both artists offer works that are immediately recognizable as abstrac
tions of realistic objects. Wilhelm's sculptures are fiberglass and lead
constructions, averaging three feet in length. Given titles such as
"Torso," or "Appendage," they are representations of human limbs
"Appendage" is competely covered with small strips of pounded lead that
are soldered together like a repaired airplane wing. This work creates im-
ages of broken, but repaired technology, and at the same time it creates a
feeling for the human form.
In contrast, Wilhelm's work "Emerging" is a more organic sculpture,
created by combining a painted fiberglass egg shape with a leaded
shoulder-like form that emerges from the fiberglass. This sculpture, with'
its green, blue and red painted fiberglass and pieced lead surface, creates a
feeling reminiscent of science-fiction horror films. It seems both alive and
threatening; we see the lead section of the sculpture as familiar, and yet
the fiberglass bulb appears alien.
Gooch's works are based not on the human form, but, in the words of
the artist, "on a geometry reminiscent of paving tiles..." "Blue Tile," ond
of the more colorful paintings, looks like someone took blue and olive
paint to rectangular floor tiles. He creates sharp edges between the olive
and blue by surrounding each olive tile with a yellow space, and each
blue tile with a ox-blood space. The olive tiles make up the edges of the
paper, while the blue tiles form the core of the painting. The viewer alsd
becomes aware of the textures in the work; it is acrylic on paper, and a
great part of the rough paper is visible. The paint is unevenly applied in
places.
In "Dancing Backwards," Gooch again relies upon a tile motif, using
tans and browns to create a stone-like surface on the canvas. The edges area
much less defined in this work, and the tiles and stone merge into eachi
other without effort. This blending technique is aided by a few well placed
splashes of red that draw the eye to the center of the canvas, where the
textures meet.
Are Wilhelm's sculptures machines, limbs or organic fiberglass
shapes? Are Gooch's paintings images of tiles, stone or simply paint?
Regardless of how one choses to look at the works, an exploration of all,
of the options makes the works more enjoyable.
The exhibit runs through February 24 at Gallery One One Eight, located
at 118 North Fourth Avenue.

d4
V.

ii

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and realistic conclusion for the pic-
ture.
One thing True Believer does not
suffer from is predictability.
Through the work of leading man
Woods and director Ruben, the story
is provided with a generous supply

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of cliffhangers, action sequences, and
a dramatic atmosphere of gripping
uncertainty. As Dodd, Woods' frus-
tration with the case and hungering
drive for new information consumes
his character and brings him to the
brink of tragedy, but he is saved by
his own twisted brilliance and faith
in justice. True Believer serves up a
winning combination of a great
story and great acting and becomes
the next success story in the new
Suspect genre.
TRUE BELIEVER is now showing
at Showcase Cinemas and State
Theater in Ann Arbor.

'1

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'The Cicago az ette }w
NO.22 FEBRUARY 16, 1929 10CENTS
BILLY FLYNN TO DEFEND ROXIE HART
Billy Flynn, defender items was held at the top bid of $200. The
of Chicago's loveliest Rivera Nightclub last evening netted over
lawbreakers, an- night. Eager fans $3000.
nounced today that he rioted outside the Roxie Hart is
would represent nightclub screaming, being held at Cook
Roxie Hart. Mrs. Hart "Roxie Rocks!" County Jail awaiting
confessed to fatally For our read- her trial.
shooting her lover, ers who missed the
Fred Casely, during a big event, Roxie's
AUCTION quarrel on Valentine's tube of Roaring Red IT'S HAPPENING
HELD TO Day. lipstick sold for $50, I H C G
RAISE MONEY Topay the her fishnet stockings
estimated $5000 in went for a whopping at the Power Center,'
FOR ROXIE'S legal fees, an auction $100, and her lacy March 23-26
DEFENSE! of Roxie's personal lingerie captured the

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