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March 29, 1994 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-29

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8- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 29, 1994

Story and comedy scarce in 'Tess'

By ALEXANDRA TWIN
How can I put it?I want to be fair... I ... It was
...Ithad some... butit... and then thatpart ... and
... well, oh, but a critic shouldn't ... I ... It ... but
Nicolas ... Francis's nephew and ... meant well,
I'm sure, but ... I ... OH MY GOD THIS FILM IS
SO ANNOYING!
I'm sorry. It's just that it's been so long since
Guarding Tess
Written by Peter Torokvei and Hugh Wilson;
directed by Hugh Wilson; with Nicolas Cage and
Shirley Maclaine.
I've had to be physically restrained (during a
movie). I sat through "Iron Will." I sat through
"Rudy." I even sat through "Howard the Duck."
Twice. But this, this film demands that you stand
up, shake your fist and rage at the great God of
Western cinema, Why?
Why do films about Secret service agents
protecting crabby, old, ex-presidents' wives get
made, when there are about two million writers
who probably have something vaguely interesting

to say and they can't find work? Why does Shirley
Maclaine so frequently play someone crabby? Is
Shirley Maclaine crabby? Who's the marketing
genius who still hasn't figured out that Nicolas
Cage cannot play the straight man? He needs to be
sucking blood or spitting out insults or it just
doesn't work.
Furthermore, how come whenever there's a
character in a film or book or play whom nobody
likes, they always suddenly get attacked or develop
some sort of incurable disease, thereby leaving
them incapacitated and the audience feeling so
guilty about not initially liking them that they now
feel obligated to make up for it by rooting for them
for the duration of the film? Finally, why didn't I
take "Lightning Jack" and run when I had the
chance?
"Guarding Tess" is aboutjust that. It's literally
about a man who is ... guarding Tess. That's the
whole plot. There are occasional mishaps,
kidnappings, arguments and other genuinely stupid
attempts at the semblance of a story, but basically
you're in for two long hours of watching Cage
desperately trying to get Maclaine to just sit down
and shut ur.

Tess's hubby was once the president; Doug's
a Secret Service Agent protecting her since his
death. She's a bit rebellious; he always plays by
the rules. She wants to hide from the world; he
wants to be where there's action. She wants to
forget; he wants to discover. She likes him; he
hates her. I hate them both.
There's almost nothing funny in this pathetic
comedy. Nothing is more infuriating than watching
the actors scramble with the farfetched and oh-so-
original gags, like Tess being rudely awakened
from a sound sleep in the middle of an opera or
Nicolas Cage talking to the president on the toilet.
Clearly, there's something very wrong when the
best scene involves anyone, let alone Nicolas
Cage, sitting on the toilet.
If you're really in the mood to punish yourself
or if you possess an unsuspecting little sibling
whose life-long feelings of betrayal and resentment
you've been hoping to split with your parents,
then this may be the film for you. If not, drag the
little dork to "Lightning Jack." At least Crocodile
Dundee's in that one.
GUARDING TESS is playing at Briarwood and

Tonight, Ann Arbor will be serenaded by the voices which make up the
Arts Chorale, directed by Jonathan Hirsch. Performing at 8 p.m. at Hill
Auditorium, the choir is made up of men and women, mostly undergraduate
and non-music majors. There are, however, graduated students and
community members which take part.
"I really think that the whole thing should go well," explained Hirsch..
The performance is divided into two parts with two separate themes. The
first set of songs are German, including pieces by composers Shubert and
Brahms. The second theme is of folk songs. "I think that the audience will@
really like the concluding piece - a ho-down song called 'Cindy,"' Hirsch
said.
Hee haw.
Time to Hip-Hop
University musicology graduate student Kyra Gaunt will be presenting
a lecture titled, "An Analysis of Hip-Hop Sampling: A Multiplicity of
Heterogeneous Sound in Time, Space,.and Memory" today at 12 p.m.
Promoted by the University Center for Afroamerican and African Studies,
the lecture will take place at the Robert Hayden Lounge at 111 West
Engineering. The event is free and participants are encouraged to bring a bag *
lunch.
Boomin' Bass
In the mood for some baritone, baby? Local bass-baritone Blane Shaw
will be putting on a free performance at the Michigan Union Pendleton
Room today at 1 p.m. Call 764-7544 for more info. Music to soothe your day.

Live 93
Island
On "Live 93," the band that put
the "sphere" in "atmosphere" attempts
to communicate the spirit of their
much-hyped live performances,
something which few American fans
have been able to experience. This

double CD set takes the best and most
unusual moments from various live
performances in places such as the
Glastonbury music festival,
Copenhagen and Tokyo, and
combines them into a two-and-a-half
hour ambient marathon.
Most of the 12 tracks on "Live 93"
are much longer versions of familiar

Orb favorites, such as "Perpetual
Dawn," "Assassin" and, of course,
"A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating
Brain that Rules from the Centre of
the Ultraworld," but it's clear that
The Orb has floated into these live
performances armed with enough
mixing desks,.bizarre tape loops and
spontaneous effects to make each track

live and breathe in a way that is vastly
different from what fans may be
familiar with.
Nearly every track is an
improvement from its original version.
"Little Fluffy Clouds," for example,
is pumped up with room-shaking bass
levels, and the vocal samples are
applied with a bit more discretion.

Other tracks, such as the breathtaking
vibraphone piece, "Star 6 & 789," as
well as "O. O. B. E." and "Blue
Room," are taken in entirely new
directions by new drum programming
and layers of synthesizers.
The two new tracks on the album
are fascinating , as well; the knob-
twiddling induced psychedelia of
"Plateau" opens the album with an air
ofmysteriousness, and "Valley" kicks
off the second disc with some of the

purest and most unusual ambien*
sounds around.
While most electronic music
seems to feel at home in studios or
clubs, this album proves that The
Orb's music needs an open space to
reach out in every possible direction.
"Live 93" may not completely recreate
the entire live experience, but it
succeeds in showcasing at least some
of these new directions.
- Andy Dola*

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