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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, March 18,1992
Sean Connery doesn't ever play Scots
by Chris Lepley
European brain fever.
It's the only explanation you can
think of when you're sitting in a the-
ater watching Medicine Man or one
of a host of other major miscues by
critically-acclaimed European, par-
ticularly British, actors.
Do the Hollywood higher-ups
actually expect the public to pay
money to see good actors in terrible
films? Yes, but whether or not you
subject yourself to Highlander II is
your own business.
If you're a fan of Sean Connery,
the sexiest 61-year-old Scot in the
film industry, then don't head down
to the nearest Cineplex and choke on
bad Medicine Man. Go to the video
store and bask in the glow of
Connery's stellar performances in
some good movies.
If you think it's mind-boggling
that someone can win the Best Sup-
porting Actor Oscar and then churn
out crap like Highlander II (the best
thing Connery could say about it was
"it's highly entertaining, I think" -
yeah, right), check out The Un-
Connery's performance as Mal-
lone was one among some incredible
moments in that film. Directed by
Brian DePalma, The Untouchables
stars Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness,
with Robert "Every character I play
is an asshole" DeNiro as Al Capone.
This tense and gritty film features
explosive camerawork and non-stop
action. Mallone, a grizzled Irish
(does Connery ever play a Scots-
man?) cop, takes Ness under his
wing and teaches him how to "get
Capone." If the gore in this slick
gangster flick gets to be too much,
just stare at someone's Armani-clad
butt (I suggest Andy Garcia's) until
the shooting stops.
As far as intrigue is concerned,
Connery can play any role, his most
---- - - - - - - -- - - e---
famous being the devil-may-care
007 in a myriad of James Bond films
(the only good Bond films).
From Connery's first appearance
as Bond in Dr. No to his suave exit
from the Bond series, Never Say
Never Again he leaves all other
Bonds, especially the latest incarna-
tion, Mr. Timothy Dalton, in the
Connery has a lot more going for
him than just a cleft chin, and Roger
Moore always seems to think too
much before his snappy comebacks.
Connery's witty rejoinders just roll
off of his tongue. "Do you expect me
to talk?" Connery says as the laser
slices closer and closer to his crotch
in Goldfinger. "No, Mr. Bond, I ex-
pect you to die," says the villain-of-
the-day. No other actor can be so
fearless despite deep-seated castra-
The Hunt for Red October (di-
rected by John McTiernan) is fast-
paced and, along with another
Connery film, The Russia House,
deserves a special place in history as
one of the last Cold War dramas.
Alec Baldwin stars as Jack Ryan (al-
though in the upcoming sequel, Pa-
triot Games, Ryan will be played by
Harrison Ford. Politics, politics...) a
submarine expert who has studied
the career of Connery's character,
When Ramius, a Russian subma-
rine commander, disappears with the
Red October, a state-of-the-art
stealth sub, all hell breaks loose.
Connery gives a subdued perfor-
mance, perfectly suited to the inner
turmoil Ramius deals with. In the
Russian military every emotion and
any hint of treasonous thoughts had
to be hidden, and every word
Ramius utters bears the weight of his
years in an oppressive society.
Though the film is competent, it
occasionally gets confusing, and it's
sometimes hard to empathize with
the thinly-drawn characters. Cou-
ghing up some tears for a character
who will "never get to see Montana"
Connery carved out a chunk of
the summer action movie market
with Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade. Playing the father of In-
diana Jones, Connery hems and
haws and does a good imitation of a
really smart guy (unlike Harrison
Ford as Indiana, who runs around
screaming "Dad!" like a whiny sit-
com brat), even though he takes the
role a bit too lightly.
The Indiana Jones films are in-
tended to be satire, and one of the
first rules of satire is: Don't be too
obvious. Connery tends to break this
rule, especially during the frequent
The casting coup of the century is
an early Connery film, The High-
lander. Fans of schlocky, bargain-
basement science fiction films adore
this movie. Fans of any other kind of
film might giggle at it. The biggest
question (here's where the geniuses
in the casting department come in):
Why does an Englishman play a
Scotsman while a real Scot, Con-
nery, plays a Spaniard?
The Name of the Rose tops the
list of Connery films. Based on the
Umberto Eco novel, Rose stars
Connery as a medieval monk who is
called in to solve a murder at a
monastery. Along with his trusty
side-kick Christian Slater (this film
sports Slater's only gratuitous butt-
shot to date), Connery wields a
formidable intellect. So formidable
that it gets him in trouble with both
the ignorant medieval slobs and the
Papal higher-ups (namely the Grand
Inquisitor, played by F. Murray
Abraham in a really sinister, slimy
If you ignore the boy-meets-
slutty-peasant-girl sub-plot you can
pay more attention to Connery's wit
and subtle charm. Rose has to be the
most exciting monk movie ever
made (although there are exciting
missionary movies, and I hear nun
movies are planning a comeback).
Connery wins the cameo-of-the-
year award for his two-minute tour-
de-force as Richard the Lionheart in
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. If
you listen closely, he even lisps
slightly. If those two minutes pique
your interest, watch Connery's own
favorite film, The Man Who Would
Connery and his pal Michael
Caine play con men who convince a
primitive but rich developing nation
to crown them as king and god, re-
spectively. Connery and Caine can
ham it up with the best of them, and
it's nice to see these two actors make
a good career decision for once.
Continued from page 5
glance into the spontaneous machi-
nations of Grey's mind ... (shiver).
However, the stellar personnel
accompanying Grey deserve equal O
billing. Jim Sauter's t. sax takes the
forefront on two of the cuts, plowing
aside all predisposed conceptions ot
"nice music." Sauter's years in thet
unabashedly free and dangerous in
large doses Borbetomagus scream
through on these tracks.
Alan Licht joins Grey on "Ha-
ming Angels" for a killer half- com- 7
posed, half-improvised capper, al-
though his guitar style seems con-p
servative and orderly in comparison
to Grey's soul-destroyer approach.
Yet the whole bundle of chaotic
freeness would implode with out
Rashid Ali's rhythmic rationality.
This drummer's jelly belly has
been interacting with extreme im-
provisors since the birth of his girth
with John Coltrane. Ali has als
punched the clock with wowsers like
Pharaoh Sanders, Paul Bley, Sun Ra
and Albert Ayler.
But who is Rudolph Grey?
Frustrated indie rocker or liberated
jazz head? Both Grey's career
roughly began in the late '70s with
the belligerent head-banger jazz of
Red Transistor (1978 R.T. 7" is
available on Thurston Moore's Ec-
static Peace label). Grey's guitar
style made the seemingly innovative *
Moore blush at his own naivete.
While Grey was slashing and bu-
rning established musical territory
with other New Yorkers like John
Zorn, Moore and similar youngsters
were still wetting their underroos.
Grey's sound could be reasonably
compared to the likes of Fred Frith
or an angry Ren Lussier, and dia
metrically opposed to the quiet re-
serve of Derek Bailey.
In sum, those of you who think
Last Exit is too tame, Rudolph
Grey's Mask of Light is for you.
- Chris Wyrod
Continued from page 5
seasoned wisdom here and there for
Nevertheless, Gross is easily
overshadowed by the delightful per-
formance of his on-screen wife,
Aquino. With her flashes of temper
and gritty chutzpah, she simultane-
ouslytmocksand substantiates the
stereotype of the Jewish mother.
Needless to say, whenever Alan
invites Naomi downstairs, he urges
his high-spirited mother to take it
easy - and the results are hilarious. *
Alan & Naomi stands on its own
two feet as a touching testament to
trust, friendship and the psycho
logical casualties of war.
Connery gets to traipse around in all
kinds of cool togas, and the film is
If you think his Highlander-esque
ponytail looks sexy, check out the
virile, long-haired Connery in Time
Bandits, where he plays a mythical
king befriending a boy who's lost in
time. Besides, Bandits was directed
by Terry Gilliam, and his films are
Connery's film career has cer-
tainly run the gamut from laughable
to inspired. Like some other
European actors who blithely follow
Cyrano De Bergerac with Green-
card, and Death Trap with Jaws IV,
Connery has been in some stinkers.
Separate the wheat from the
chaff, and you'll find some of the
most entertaining films made. Just
don't get caught at home fast-for-
warding through Medicine Man II:I
Found The Cure For Male Pattern
Baldness In the Rapidly Depleting
Ozone Layer, But 1 Lost It!
Sean Connery is even sexier as a communist. Here, the like-cheese-I-only-get-better-with-age movie star checks
out the sea life with his nifty stealth submarine periscope. Sigh. He's dreamy.
,c dude. wvz: e,,«,
ALAN & NAOMI is playing at the
Ann Arbor 1 & 2.
SV NAY .
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