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March 27, 1990 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-27

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, March 27, 1990
Fear ithe streets of NYC

Blue Steel
dir. Kathryn Bigelow
by Wendy Shanker
Director Kathryn Bigelow's New
York is sleek, dark and dangerous.
Her camera caresses a world of sky-
scraping steel and sparkling lights
with the same sense of impending
danger that a crazed serial killer de-
votes to a .44 Magnum, and with
the die-hard dedication of the police
officer who wants to end the mur-
ders.
With a twist on traditional gender
roles in the suspense-thriller cop
film, Blue Steel, the new film by
Bigelow (Near Dark), is an exercise
in dedication and danger. Jamie Lee
Curtis (Halloween, A Fish Called
Wanda) plays Megan Turner, one of
the newest members of the NYPD.
Ron Silver (Garbo Talks, Enemies:
A Love Story) portrays a commodi-
ties trader with a penchant for mur-
der. After witnessing Curtis shoot a
grocery market thief, Silver realizes
their mutual attraction to the power
of the bullet. Curtis' display of vio-
lence catalyzes Silver's psychotic
tendencies to kill.
With standard guns-and-roses fare,
Bigelow proves that love and vio-
lence cannot mix. The twist is that
the protagonist is not an Uzi-toting
macho stud ready to wipe out crime
like Mr. Clean wipes out bacteria.
Turner is a beautiful woman under
that badge and uniform but, "Ever

since I was a kid," she explains, "I
wanted to shoot people. I like to
slam people's heads up against
walls." Curtis is hardly Hollywood's
typical blond bimbo dripping
makeup and legs everywhere. Yes,
she's a police woman, but her
cropped hair and powerful energy
overshadow any stereotypical female
qualities. There's love and intrigue,
but blood and bullets run this show,
not perfume and pantyhose.
Unfortunately, Silver is physi-
cally wrong for the part; his round,
bearded face doesn't match his mani-
acal demeanor. "You are God, Eu-
gene," he tells himself, pumping on
the Nautilus machine in his apart-
ment. "You are unique, Eugene."
His interpretation is right on the
money with these lines; he just
looks like my Uncle Sheldon saying
it.
Don't expect anything too origi-
nal from this movie. With a cop
named Nick, a silhouetted love scene
and a best friend who's next on the
hit list, Blue Steel isn't exactly ex-
perimental. Bigelow entertains her
audience, she maintains an energetic
pace, and, although the ending is
obvious, the audience doesn't know
how she'll get there. Blue Steel pits
man against woman, woman against
society and society against itself. It
seems like a still photographer sat
behind the camera, piling still after
still in a flow of blue and black,
light and dark, buildings and people.
Although the cover on this book is

RECORDS
Continued from page 7
within the trio setting that we find
Cole on this new CD of previously
unreleased material.
Although no dates are given, it
can be surmised from the personnel
(Cole, Moore and Miller) that the
recordings were made between 1942
and 1947. Nineteen selections are in-
cluded on the CD (nine of which
contain Nat's vocals) and what im-
mediately strikes the listener in all
of them is how well the musicians
mesh within the small group.
Stylistically speaking, it is some-
times difficult to tell who is solo-
ing, and often the improvisations of
Cole and Moore flow together into a
seamless whole. Good examples of
this unity can be found in
"Homeward Bound" and "I Got
Rhythm" - in the latter tune Nat
displays some of his dazzling tech-
nique and trades a few furious one-
measure riffs with Moore to close
out the performance.
And for those of you who are
used to the highly arranged orchestral
accompaniments of Nat's vocals, the
simple but effective backing by the
trio may prove to be a pleasant sur-
prise. An especially fine treatment is
given to "I've Got the World on a
String." Cole's singing is relaxed
and uncluttered here; it is as if he had
more room to breathe without a
large instrumental backing. The
lyrics to a few of the songs are trite
and may sound a little corny by to-
day's standards ("Mabel, Mabel/
sweet and able/ take your elbows off
the table! Go on out and get yourself
a guy"), but Nat's vocals always
seem to carry them through. Besides,
the ditties are often charming, if
only because of their innocence.
Speaking of charming, there is an
instrumental included titled
"Rhumba A La King" (no doubt
written by Nat). It is actually not so
much a rhumba as a mood piece
with casual Latin flavorings. The
ensemble work on this cool number
is excellent and Moore contributes a
thoughtfully subdued guitar solo,
but Nat is the star here. His solo
bewitches as it lazily skips along a
spontaneously created thoroughfare,
pausing here and there for a bell-like
trill or a tiny, skating glissando. The
whole performance is a lesson in the
power of restraint.
Two final notes are necessary.
First, the Echo Jazz label is a small

one and it might be necessary to
order this CD. Secondly, these are
vintage recordings that were neces-
sarily remastered from old phono-
graph discs, and surface noises are
audible on all selections. Certainly
this is a small price to pay for such
fine music. Nat Cole was truly one
of the kings of jazz piano. Oh yeah,
he wasn't a bad singer either.
-Phillip Washington
REVIEW
Continued from page 7
worked on polishing the blocking,
choreography, pit orchestra, box of
fice workers (the performance I wct
to was a half-hour late because of a
latecomers line) and lighting techni-
cians, who did a good deal of damage
to the appearance of the show. There
was very little wrong with it that
another week or two of attention to
details and the script wouldn't have
solved, and this is a pity because
The Best Little Whorehouse in
Texas can be quite a funny show.
-Beth Colquit
LIGHTS
Continued from page 7
These fluctuations are much more
apparent on Tiny Lights' newest re-
lease, hot Chocolate Massage, than
on Prayer for the //alcyon Fear, the
band's debut. While Prayer contains
the blueprints for Tiny Lights'
emergence into the musical under-
world, Massage is the real trip, tak- #
ing listeners beyond the initial folky
realm and whizzing past a wider
range of allusions and delusions. For
those familiar with Croughn's and
Hamilton's sweet sides, it may be a
shock to turn on side two of Mas-
sage and hear Croughn break from a
silly rendition of "Eensy, Weensy
Spider" calling, "Hey, girls! I think
it's about time we had some fun"'
and kick into the funky strains of
"Closer." On this tune she anti
'Hamilton get down to the nitty
gritty in both the voice and instru-
mental arenas with the help of Dave
Dreiwitz's super-'70s bass jamming,
showing-that this band knows where
it's at. After all, when was good
rock 'n' roll acclaimed for not being
shocking?
TINY LIGh TS plays tonight at Club
Heidelberg, with JUICE opening.
Doors open at 9:15 and admission is
$4.

Jamie Lee Curtis packs a big one in the psycho-thriller Blue Steel. The
film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the former painter whose debut
was the critically praised horror flick Near Dark.
artfully designed, the content leaves BLUE STEEL is playing at Briar-
something to be desired. wood and Showcase.

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