Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 9, 1992
by Michael John Wilson
O RLANDO - Ernie Hudson is
not a great actor. He's appeared in
lousy film after lousy film, from
Penitentiary II to Space Hunter (in
3-D!) to episodes of Gimme a Break.
His latest film, The Hand That
Rocks the Cradle, is certainly no
exception. Even in his most well-
known role as The Black Ghost-
buster, Hudson can hardly be taken,
But when you get to know Hud-
son, all these apparent failures are
put into perspective. He is, if noth-
ing else, successful. Born into a poor
Benton Harbor family, Hudson
went for his dream and got it. He's
not the best at his profession, but
instead of leading a life of quiet
desperation in an office somewhere,
the 45-year-old Hudson can call
himself an actor.
In a recent interview, Hudson de-
scribed some of the illusions he had
to reject before he became an actor.
"When you're about to graduate
from high school, they send you all
these brochures," he says. "The ones
from the Army, Navy and Air Force
were dull and green. But the one
from the Marines had bright colors,
and uniforms that were blue - and
I thought, 'Yeah!'
"The Marines were the nicest
people. They were just so loving and
kind. They put me on a plane, flew
me to San Diego and when I got off
the plane it was a nightmare. They
were nuts. Really, those people are
sick ... After nine weeks, I said,
'Christ, I've got to get out of
What enabled Hudson to leave
the Marines was asthma, an ailment
which coincidentally causes prob-
lems for Annabella Sciorra's char-
acter in The Hand that Rocks the
As a mentally disabled man in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Ernie
Hudson has to pretend to be really scared of evil nanny Rebecca
DeMornay. Go ahead, laugh -but his job's cooler than yours.
But unlike the normal Hol-
lywood talk show babble, Hudson
critiqued how asthma was portrayed
in his movie. "There was one scene
where I thought, 'Wait a minute
now ... she's breathing hard but her
mouth is closed,"' Hudson says.
"When you have asthma, you don't
breathe through your nose. You
want air any way you can get it."
Suddenly remembering his job of
promoting the movie, he adds, "I'm
being critical here - I shouldn't
It's that kind of honesty, along
with an enthusiastic talent for sto-
rytelling, that makes Hudson such
an appealing person. While a plastic
actor like Rebecca DeMornay tells
how moving she thinks the film is,
Hudson describes the most embar-
rassing experiences of his impres-
On the subject of asthma, he
recalls an especially serious attack
brought on by allergies. "I'm
allergic to shellfish," he says. "I
went to a seminar once where the
guy was saying that we are all per-
fect beings. God and the universe
made us all perfect, and it's only our
bringing the negative into the world
that makes us less than the gods we
are. If you believe you are one with
the universe, nothing can hurt you.
And it made sense to me.
"I had always wanted to try
shellfish, but I'd always been fool-
ish enough to believe I was allergic
to it. But I'm not, I'm one with God
and the universe. So I went to dinner
with a girl and ate some shrimp.
Then I felt a tingling start in the
back of my throat ... my eyes
swelled up so badly that my eyelids
couldn't go over the eyes. I was
rushed to the hospital, and almost
Like many people, Hudson went
through a series of such illusions in
his youth before he, in Ralph
Ellison's words, "became his own
father" and went out on his own. He
tried to conform to his mother's
idea of success: "I wanted to be
something, whatever that is, to be
somebody. My mother told me that
you needed a good job. That was the
"So when I got out of the
Marine Corps in 1964, I got married
- 'cause I'm a man - and my wife
got pregnant - 'cause I'm a man -
and I got a good job that paid a lot
of money, where I got to wear a suit
and tie. Now that's a really good job
if you wear a tie every day.
"I had a secretary and a company
car, but I hated it," he remembers.
Having taken some acting classes at
Wayne State which he enjoyed, he
decided to drop everything and be-
See HUDSON, Page 9
Cher is one of the few artists
around who can never sell out. She
doesn't write her own songs or play
any music. She is pop - she knows
it and loves it.
The title track of her most recent
album, Love Hurts, is Boudleaux
Bryant's '60s classic made big in
1976 when it became a Top 10 single
for Nazareth. Still, this leather and
lace laden superstar has a knack for
selecting songs that seem blatantly
autobiographical. And info about
this charismatic figure is what the
public yearns for.
This established, it follows that
almost every track on Love Hurts
follows the formula for a Top 40
Hit - introduction, chorus, agoniz-
ing electric guitar solo, electronic
dressing, fade out. "I'll Never Stop
Loving You" is a perfect example
of this, with cheesy lyrics and all.
"God knows how hard I tried,"
Cher drones, "But it just ain't no
use/ I thought I could shake you
loose/ But I'm still torn up inside."
To call the songs melodramatic
is an understatement. Crashing
drums and tortured guitar chords
punctuate each phrase. This repeats
on a variety of the tracks, including
"Save Up All Your Tears," "A
World Without Heroes," and
"When Lovers Become Strangers."
Yet there are a number of excep-
tions on the album. "Love And Un-
derstanding" sports an electronic
wonderland throughout and an awe-
some string section at the end. Simi-
larly, "When Love Calls Your
Name" is introduced with majestic
piano and acoustic guitar strum-
The duet performed by Cher and
Richard Page, "One Small Step,"
hits on something interesting in the
form of a continual rolling guitar-
drum combination with the lyrics
delivered over it. This concept is
improved upon in "Could've Been
You." A marriage between Cher's
vocals and the guitar is established
that continues with variation
throughout the song and repeats.
But in most cases, even when a
song hits on something unique, it
formulaically climaxes into a corny
chorus which leads to the obliga-
tory electrical guitar solo sprinkled
with synthesized sound effects.
Love Hurts gives you what you ex-
pect and what many people want
"World" is a nice jangly pop sonr
with a nice rhythm, but sounds like
a Prince song - specifically th-
Hindu Love God's cover of
"Raspberry Beret," but Gerard Lan,
gley's vocals aren't as unpolished as
What is evident from the rest of
Beatsongs is that Langley has a mas-
sive Lou Reed fetish. Langley's spo-
ken, hence "beat," style is most
reminiscent of Reed's work with
the Velvet Underground.
Langley's band, however, plays
straightforward Brit pop songs un-
der his "raps." Easy comparisons:
faint Pogues' touches ("Colour
Me"), a harsh Carter USM
("Huh"), a smattering of Beatles,
and country, a tad of dance
sensibility ("Aeroplane Blue,,"
"Jack Leaves/Back Spring"), the
Stone Roses and Chapterhousq
("Cardboard Box"), and TV cop
show themes ("My Hurricane").
Any good? Somewhat interest
ing is more like it, but they do cover
Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble,"-
with Langley doing a David Byrne-
like voice. Amusing? Yes, but Beat-
songs as a whole is only OK. Devel-
opment of a focus in the Blue Aero'
planes' style would definitely equal
improvement on future work.
Decade Of Decadence
Guilty pleasures. We all have
them, especially when it comes to
music. No matter how hard you try,
to deny it, there will always be
those incredibly uncool bands/songs.
that you just can't help but love.
It could be an obsession with.
Debbie Gibson, or an uncontrollable
urge to passionately sing along with
See RECORDS, Page 9.
a cauldron of slightly distinct love
songs, perfect for incessant repeti-
tion on VH-1, and a live recording
of Cher swooning.
The Blue Aeroplanes
The Blue Aeroplanes' track "Yr
Own World" tipped me off.
. .i Beices i
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Continued from page 5
the feature was shot. And once I had
seen that, I thought, 'Well, that
Lurch got to do a lot more than this
Lurch got to do,"' Struycken says.
As a director himself, Struycken
was able to contrast the techniques
of the big names he's worked with.
"Lynch directs in a very indirect
way," Struycken says. "He just cre-
ates this very overpowering mood
on the set, and everyone becomes a
prisoner of that mood, so the whole
crew was kind of in an altered state.
He would just say things like, 'Why
don't you say that as if you were un-
"Barry (Sonnenfeld, director of
The Addams Family) would usually
just make sure we stayed in charac-
ter. Especially with a part like the
Lurch part, where you don't have
any dialogue. The dialogue is usu-
ally what sustains your character
and kind of carries through, and
when you don't have the dialogue,
well, it's easy to kind of get out of
character, so he would say, 'Well,
that's not very Lurch-like.'
"Barry saw (Lurch) as the more
artistic member of the family, as the
poet, as the one who reads books and
paints and the one who plays the or-
Didn't Get What
And, according to Struycken, a
sequel to the holiday hit is already
in the works.
"They were already talking.
about it seriously even before the
movie came out," he says. "The set
is still there, and they're storing all
that stuff, the costumes."
Struycken, who currently lives
in Pasadena, has many other inter-
ests outside of film. He's currently
trying to market an invention that
he originally created for film edit-
ing, a wall organizer that doesn't
need magnets or pins. He also says
that he's "using software to design
interactive environments ... kind of
like virtual reality."
And what about his future as an
"I'd like to do a bit more come
says. "Although I have a very wide
definition of comedy. On the last
convention, somebody asked me,
'What is your favorite comedy?' and
the only thing I could come up with
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