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April 12, 1994 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-12

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 12, 1994

'Major League II' comes very close to striking out

THE GRAYS

By SARAH STEWART
Cleveland Indians' fans are in for
a pleasant surprise the first time they
step foot into their new ballpark,

Major League II
Written by R.J. Stewart; directed by
David S. Ward; with Charlie Sheen,
Tom Berenger and Bob Uecker.
Jacob's Field. The atmosphere is
clean, fresh and symbolizes nothing
less than the rebirth of a team that has
had few things to cheer about for 40
'years.
But for fans of "Major League,"
the 1989 film that gave the Indians a
less realistic glimpse of the good life,
just a moment in Jacob's Field would

easily provide more inspiration than
two hours of "Major League II."
For those who missed the first
one, the sequel offers a nearly identi-
cal version of the fictional Indians'
miraculous ability to defy all odds
and surface as unlikely winners. Af-
ter losing in the playoffs the year
before in the original "Major League,"
they are still basically the same mot-
ley crew looking to obtain virtually
the same, very predictable goal.
The so called turning-point in the
Indians' season comes when former
owner and Indians-hater, Rachel
Phelps (Margaret Whiten), buys back
the team from former player, Roger
Dorn (Corbin Bernsen). Her negativ-
ity only encourages victory, and the
winning streak that will bring them
the division title has begun.

This climax of sorts does not im-
ply that things are getting good. Be-
cause the plot of "Major League II"
provides only the minimal level
needed to hold one's attention, its
only hope comes from its diverse set
of characters and an unattainable
amount of luck.
Unfortunately, from the beginning
it is clear that the old characters were
never good enough to be brought back
to life and the new characters are not
sufficient compensation.
When Willie Mays Hayes (Omar
Epps) steps out of his limo the first
day of spring training, there is already
a sense of doom. The audience is
bound to wonder why a film that was
not good enough for Wesley Snipes
should be good enough for them.
Wonder no longer.
Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn
(Charlie Sheen) has lost his raw abil-
ity because of a new girlfriend and a
new straight-laced image. Pedro
Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) has gone
from voodooism to Buddhism and
catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger)
has been "demoted" to coach. The
team is undoubtedly more mild-man-
nered, but they are also more dull than
seems possible.
It is possible that your heart might
pump a little faster when the reincar-

nated 'Wild Thing' takes the field in
the suspense-filled final game. None-
theless, note how slow your heart was
beating prior to this moment.
In respect for the game of base-
ball, "Major League II" does provide
a few laughs, mainly from Randy
Quaid's portrayal of the ultimate fair-
weather-fan. His hypocrisy is best
characterized by his ever-changing
cap which says "No," No Way," "They
Suck," as the team worsens; it finally
reverts back to the Chief Wahoo logo
when an Indians' victory is close.
Bob Uecker makes an extended
cameo appearance as the Indians' ra-
dio announcer, varying his alcohol
consumption along with the ups and
downs of the season. The mediocrity
of the other performances make his
exemplary, although the audience
might find it more plausible if he were
drinking out of frustration with the
film rather than the trials of the fic-
tional Tribe, even if it means drinking
himself into oblivion.
With some luck, the real-life Indi-
ans will find victory in their inaugural
season at Jacob's Field, but if they
want some pointers on success, they
should keep "Major League II" more
than a bat's length away.
MAJOR LEAGUE II is showing at
Briarwood and Showcase.

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If there's anything that doesn't go out of style, it's pop music. You know,
the kind that has mammoth guitar hooks, sweet melodies and sighing
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Star and Badfinger expanded in the '70s with swirling guitars and big
chords; then in the late '70s, Elvis Costello and XTC injected a new punk-
inspired energy to the same old three chords. Now, in the '90s, there are
legions of bands carrying on the same tradition, and the Grays are among
the best of them. The songs on their debut album, "Ro Sham Bo," sound
like great forgotten pop songs, songs that stick in your head for days after I
you've heard them. Take a break from your hard studies and trek on down to
the Blind Pig for their FREE show at 9:30 tonight, with two other ultra-cool
pop bands opening - Sponge and the Vudu Hippies. Pop music doesn't
come any sweeter than this.

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Saturday, April 16th - 7:00 p.m.
Cobblestone Farm
2781 Packard Road
Ann Arbor, MI
313-697-6651 $3,00 Donation
Presented by the New American Wing
A Fourth Way School

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Join your fellow students and American Express
in support of the 10th Annual Hunger Cleanup.
On April 16th, students from your school and local residents will pitch in
together, participating in a nationwide event that assists worthy causes while
helping to improve community life across the nation.
The Hunger Cleanup is a three hour "work-a-thon" where you take part in a
community work project such as painting a shelter, cleaning a playground, or
starting a neighborhood food garden. And the funds you raise in sponsorships
for your work will be distributed by the event's organizer - the National Student
ampaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

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Your school is among 190 participating this year, making Hunger Cleanup the largest one-day community service event in
the country. American Express salutes all the volunteers and is proud to be the sole national sponsor.

Since 1984 .Hnger Cleanums have raised almost a million dollars. with the help of over 70,000 students.

People like you,

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