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January 10, 1992 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-10

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*The Michigan Daily Friday, January 10, 1992 Page 5
RE, NOR Bugsy becomes Beatty

Mack (Kevin Kline) and Simon (Uanny Glover) are merely mouthpieces for Larry Kasdan' t reatment oT issuesS
in Grand Canyon. The film just might be the biggest waste of talent since ... Kasdan's / Love You to Death.
Kasdan s Canyon turns "urban
life into a monumental bomb

dir. Barry Levinson
by Rosanne Freed
It's easy to approach Bugsy, the
period mobster movie, with a sense
of deja vu. Remember the overhyped
Dick Tracy, a movie marketed on
the off-screen relationship of co-
stars Warren Beatty and his amour
du jour, Madonna? At first glance,
Bugsy promises more of the same:
more Beatty, more gangsters, more
girlfriend as femme fatale. Except
this time, there's a damn fine film,
Bugsy is an elegant gangster saga,
a biographical elegy to a manic vi-
sionary- and a long-overdue showcase
for Beatty's fine acting talents. He
teams up with director Barry
Levinson, and together they fashion
Bugsy into a bold blast of energy
and originality, with Beatty's fasci-
nating, ambiguous star performance
creating a memorable screen icon.
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was a
clash of contradictions - part Gats-
by, part Disney, part Al Capone. In
the 1930s and '40s he was a
celebrated crime figure, famous for
streaks of psychotic violence that
earned him the nickname he reviled.
His claim to fame, though, was the
invention of a legal gambling Mecca
for ordinary Joes, Las Vegas.
Bugsy charts the gangster's dark,
doomed course, from his takeover of
the LA rackets and embrace of the
Hollywood glamor set ("Criminal
or Star?" asks the headline of one
newspaper), to his affair with ac-
tress Virginia Hill (Annette Be-
ning), and his self-destructive plan
to build the city of the future in the
Nevada desert. Surrounded by sha-
dows and displaying a lunatic moxie
that pisses off all the wrong people,
Bugsy's unhappy fate is clear from
the start.
Beatty makes the incongruities
funny, but chilling. Bugsy is a con-
trolled madman, a social climber
practicing elocution and correcting
the grammar of street hoods.
Attacking his problems with spur
of the moment intensity, Bugsy's

got the single-minded intensity of a
pit bull.
In one extended scene that shifts
tone as smoothly as a Ferrari shift-
ing gears, Bugsy humiliates a cheat-
ing crony while he tries to resolve a
stormy conflict with girlfriend,
Hill. Beatty handles these moves
with finesse - we hardly notice his
slide from psychopath to lover.
An impressive supporting cast
contributes to the movie's classy
sheen. Bugsy's pals - Harvey Kei-

tel as a brassy henchman, Joe Man-
tegna as movie star George Raft, and
Elliot Gould as a slow-witted and
endearing schlemiel of a hood -
also serve to reveal Bugsy's idio-
syncratic passions.
Ben Kingsley is sympathetic as
Meyer Lansky, Siegel's partner and
brotherly protector. Bugsy's vision
of a casino in the barren Southwest,
a monumental "answer to the
dreams of America," is - to Lansky
See BUGSY, Page 8

Grand Canyon
dir. Lawrence Kasdan
by Aaron Hamburger
"It just doesn't make sense." When a character utters
this line in the new film Grand Canyon, she unwit-
tingly describes the debacle which is Lawrence
Kasdan's latest movie. The fact that it is Kasdan who is
responsible for this mess makes watching the film an
even more painful experience.
University grad Kasdan, the talented screenwriter
of Raiders of the Lost Ark and director of The Big Chill
and The Accidental Tourist, is known for his commit-
ment to projects of merit. Kasdan's versatile range in-
cludes action films, comedy and sensitive dramas.

Unfortunately, Grand Canyon is less a sensitive
drama than it is an insufferable episode of thirtysome-
thing. The contrived plot - what there is of it - cen-
ters on the burgeoning friendship between a white im-
migration lawyer, Mack (Kevin Kline) and a Black tow
truck operator named Simon (Danny Glover), whom
the lawyer believes has saved his life.
Kasdan throws everything but the kitchen sink into
the picture. His screenplay touches briefly on such
widely varying issues as the homeless, crime, racism,
poverty, extra-marital affairs, summer love ... the list
goes on. In one scene alone, we see a marital squabble, a
cut finger, an earthquake, a heart attack and a failed,
bloody attempt at CPR.
The movie tries to show a general feeling of anxiety
and unease in America. There are a lot of bad things go-
See CANYON, Page 8

Warren Beatty stars as Bugsy Siegel, the mobster who created the
Flamingo Hotel and Las Vegas. Warren may not have Richard Grieco's
eyebrows, but hes got more panache.

Danger Danger
Screw It
The cover of this album, depict-
ing a tattooed, denim-outfitted ape
holding a scantily clad bimbo with a
banana, should have been my first
clue. With song titles like "Slipped
Her the Big One," "Everybody
Wants Some," "Horny S.O.B.," and
"Yeah, You Want It!" I guess I

should have known that this Danger
Danger is really horny horny.
After listening to their first al-
bum, Danger Danger, in 1989, I
viewed them as a bubble-gum
"heavy metal" act, following in the
polished footsteps of Bon Jovi and
Warrant. So was I really to know
that my cute, little Danger Danger
was to become big, bad Danger
Danger? Well, regardless of whe-

ther I should have known, it hap-
The Danger Danger of Screw It
demands good humor on some songs,
See RECORDS, Page 8

U- I


Scandinaviant Studies

Film Classics Series
The General
A Buster Keaton feature about the Civil War.
Shown with a Charlie Chaplin short.
Sunday, January 12
Angell Hall Auditorium A
7:00 pm
As part of the "Comedy Semester,"
the Winter 1992 Film Classics Series
will be devoted to classic comedies.
Watch local listings for dates and titles.

Rax7nYtel Rnr mar _ ranr AR1

'Fol&kFesti val
a fundraiser for the Ark
Saturday, January 25, 1992
6:00 pm. * Hill Auditorium
Lyle Lovett . Odetta Livingston Taylor
The Four Bitchin' Babes with Christine Lavin, Julie Gold,
Megon McDonough and Sally Fingerett * Len Chandler * John Gorka
Robert Earl Keen, Jr. * Fred Small " Jan Krist with Paul Murphy 0 and others
Tickets available at: The Michigan Union Ticket Office,
all Ticketmaster outlets, Herb David Guitar Studio.
a, Charge tickets by phone call 763-TKTS |

zaweauna rim Deon ergma~yn-Danu. ,01
No Lab Fee!
Feminist Film Criticism
(featuring Ingrid Bergman films)-Scand. 460-2
The Welfare State and Society in Scandinavia-
Scand. 460-1
* Modern Scandinavian Literature in English from
the GoldeA Age of WWII-Scand. 421
* Architecture and Art of Scandinavia- Scand. 413
Further Information at Checkpoint and Course Guide p. 83
Scandinavian Studies-764-5353
The University of Michigan

The incomparable Isabelle Huppert is astounding.
- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE Magaziner
- vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES
- Michael Wilmington, LOS ANGELES TIMES

Sun. Jan.


Stearns Collection
Virginia Martin Howard Lecture
Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf
"Unlocking the Secrets of Stradivari:
The Renaissance in Modern Violin Making"
School of Music Recital Hall, 2 p.m.
Faculty/Guest/Student Recital
Music of Our Time
Erling Bldndal Bengtsson, cello; Miriam
Bolkosky, cello; Kamran Ince, piano; Paul
Kantor, violin; Fred Ormand, clarinet;
Virginia Weckstrom, piano; Hong-Mei
Xiao, viola
Kamran Ince: Fantasie of a Sudden Turtle
Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du
School of Music Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Fri. Jan.


Collage Concert
School of Music ensembles and soloists,



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