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January 22, 1990 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-22

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ARTS
Monday, January 22, 1990

The Michigan Daily

Page 8

Greasy Gere, wary Garcia

Internal Affairs
dir. Michael Figgis
BY JEN BILIK
The latest in a long history of
psychological thrillers, Internal Af-
fairs draws on a tradition of hard-
boiled detective stories and the inter-
play between good and bad.
Although Internal Affairs bears
many similarities to typical good
cop/bad cop action movies, its
strength lies in its delving into the
criminal's psychological manipula-
tion of the detective. Combining
psychodrama with the typical action-
adventure elements of tightly edited
camerawork, good looks, and a vis-
cerally motivated soundtrack, Inter-
nal Affairs takes the genre where
only Michael Mann of Miami Vice
fame has gone before.
Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia), a
cop on his way up the corporate lad-
der, is promoted to the Internal Af-
fairs Division. The I.A.D. investi-
gates corruption from within the po-
lice department itself. Paired with

partner Amy Wallace (Laurie Met-
calf), Avila accidentally begins to
uncover an intricate and complex
network of corruption led by street
cop Dennis Peck (Richard Gere). Av-
ila's Latino heritage both aids and
hinders him; his original name is
Ramon and few of his colleagues
pronounce his last name correctly.
Like a hardcore detective, he is a
combination of ethos and street
smarts. He knows the streets from
his ties to the Mexican community
yet believes in the justice of the sys-
tem. Dennis Peck understands this
system and uses his knowledge to
gain favors and loyalty from his fel-
low cops.
The investigation soon leads to a
competition of masculinity between
Peck and Avila. Peck equates his
masculinity with his many wives
and children, and uses his money to
support his virile habits. He forces
Avila to compete on his dirty level,
and Avila has trouble resisting
Peck's psychological manipulations.
Raymond finds himself sinking to
the same tactics as Peck.
Like Mann's 1986 film Man-

hunter, Internal Affairs successfully
explores the crossing of that thin
blue line between morality and crim-
inal behavior. Andy Garcia plays his
role with his eyes; through most of
the film his jaw is tensely set yet
his eyes seem sad, sensitive, and in-
telligent. His serious portrayal of
Avila provides an intriguing coun-
terpoint to Gere's glib and irreverent
Peck. The film uses its compelling
plot to subtly explore other social
issues. Avila's difficulty in juggling
his Latino heritage with his life in
the anglo world complicates his pro-
fessional performance. The numer-
ous male/female relationships high-
light the extent to which machismo
determines men's romantic conduct.
(The machismo, however, is mostly
Peck's, so the film avoids a typical
Latino stereotype.)
Although Avila's partner Wallace
was no doubt intended to be semi-
revolutionary in her strength and
skill as a cop, the film seems to in-
fer that strong women must adhere
to a "dyke" stereotype. At one point,
Avila refers to Wallace as a "dyke"
in his attempts to defend their pro-

It's a meeting of the crew cuts: Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) and Sergeant Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia) have a
chat in Internal Affairs. You can trust Peck; he's a cop.

fessional relationship to his wife. It
is difficult to say whether this treat-
ment contributes to the film's exam-
ination of gender roles and the fragile
masculine ego, or whether it is a

sexist infraction on the part of the
filmmakers.
Internal Affairs distinguishes it-
self from a bland tradition of shoot
'em/bang 'em cop movies in its
psychological complexity, yet
doesn't seem to fulfill its goals in
its interpretations of the male/female
relationships. Certain elements of
Dennis Peck's character seem im-
plausible. One wonders how exactly

he acquired as much power as he did;
and at the end of the movie the plot
goes a bit too far. In its efforts to
meld action and psychodrama, how-,
ever, Internal Affairs draws on a
rich history and breaks out of the
(unfortunately) ubiquitous mold of
action without substance.
INTERNAL AFFAIRS is playing at"
Briarwood and Showcase

Big Chief
"Brake Torque/Super Stupid"
45
Big Kiss Music
"Brake Torque" is relentless,
powerful, and body-checking, with a
shitload of bass twangs and slab after
slab of that g-word. Guitarists Mark
Dancey and Phil Durr are, of course,
formidable as hell, but the trump
card is the beat. Drummer Mike
Danner pumps and grooves his time
into the mix admirably. After all,
what's the point in all the distorted
primal screaming that your average
subhumans toss off, if it never
moves you? With bass popper Matt
O'Brien rounding out Big Chief's
rhythm section, this madcap posse
lifts the form to a higher ground, in-
jecting more funk into punk.
The point is, "Brake Torque" is
tough enough to balance out with
the irresistible b-side: a furious,
faithful cover of Funkadelic's "Super
Stupid," from the classic Maggot

Brain LP. The choice to renovate
the tune implies the shoes that this
band might be wearing into the fu-
ture: rock/funk/metal hybrid - psy-
chological infiltainment.
Big Chief is the reckoning of all
your bargain basement grunge
chumps in that they demonstrate to
the demented little worms an impor-
tant message: it still don't mean a
thing if it ain't got that swing. Their
concept of "infiltainment" is much
more subversive than you might
think; this is a visceral band, with a
head and a funky bottom to it. Get
the single while it lasts - it's a col-
lector's item.
-Forrest Green III
Dramarama
Stuck in Wonderamaland
Chameleon
Now this is an album. I don't
just mean 12 songs thrown together
in some semblance of order. No, this
is truly an album. From the title
See RECORDS, page 9

IAN

a, se" A
lev

e4

-' r

Cult of
personality
Detroit's Cobo Arena hosted a
hard rock fest to end all doubts about
the Cult's new reputation as the
greatest heavy metal parody band
since Spinal Tap. Compared to inad-
equate openers Dangerous Toyz and
Bonham, Saturday's Cult set spewed
pure energy and spirit among all the
brothers and sisters worshipping lead
singer Ian Astbury's lizard god and
Billy Duffy's guitar god poses.
Dangerous Toyz proved them-
selves to be another faceless band
riding on their short-lived popularity
on "Dial MTV." Stuck in one
groove, the band pleaded for audience
approval but received little save a
recognition that they were a tight-
sounding band. With no motions but
those that would have worked in
front of a moving film camera, the
band teetered into redundancy as they
remained fairly anticless and motion-
less. Their music couldn't stand
alone.
Bonham reminded everyone that

Led Zeppelin imitators should sticl
to covering Zep tunes and not try to
write boring songs that try to soundI
like them. They droned on with orig'
inal material for 30+ minutes. For
an uncalled-for encore, Jason Bon-
ham returned to say a few words
about his father, the late John
"Bonzo" Bonham, and lead his band;
in an inspired cover of "Black Dog.*.,.
Jason claims there is no way he
could not be influenced by his fathet
and his band; instead he takes a
cheap shot by having a lead singer
who is a Robert Plant look/sound-
alike and lame excuses for a band and
songs to make the Bonham legacy'
live on.
The Cult out-rocked these sorry
excuses for heavy metal in a.
stripped-down, just under two-hour
gig. Drawing from all three of their
major releases, they freed their souls
to start a revolution in the streets,
fuckers. In excellent form, they did
not rely on lasers or synthesizers to
create an image. Astbury's prowling
of the stage had him using his body
See REVIEW, page 9

9 9 -4
CON

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g + Y fclwies ov*y

Is pleased to present...
JAZZ IN JANUARY!

with your host
Pat McGreal
and Student Comedians
TBA
THE vaecu o ulli
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faulty, jLsff~alumnfi, ant
UNIVERSITY thei acompanied gues
CLUB ~
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AND THEN SOME...
ASHLEY'S, 338 S. STATE STREET
THURSDAY, JAN. 25TH, 5-6:30/7-8:30PM
THE MIKE GRACE TRIO

University of Michigan Asian Students' Coalition
presents
An Asian American Art Show Reception
"Asian and American:.
To Strike a Balance"
January 19th 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Michigan Union Art Lounge
Live Entertainment
Asian Refreshments
Display continues though Jan. 31st

WHERE:
WHEN:
WITH:

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