The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 15, 1994 - 11
Catch the Chain Reaction ...
Tim Robbins and Paul Newman strike a pose in "The Hudsucker Proxy." Nice cigar, Paul.
Hudsucker is refIreshngly brlliant
By MICHAEL THOMPSON
With such hits as "Darkman," "Raising Arizona,"
"Evil Dead," and "Blood Simple," to their credit, it was
:hard not to go into "The Hudsucker Proxy" anything other
than greatness. Sam Raimi is a home grown Michigan
talent, and the Coen Brothers are among the top filmmak-
The Hudsucker Proxy
Written by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen and Sam Raimi; directed
by Joel Coen; with Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer
Jason Leigh and Bruce Campbell.
ers working today.
But then again, perhaps all of this talent could cancel
itself out. What if they went just a little too crazy? What
if the film was too much of an inside joke? What if super
producer Joel Silver gave them too much money to work
with? What if it was just plain bad?
And what about "Crimewave"? That film was the only
other Coen, Raimi collaboration. And the producer took it
away from them. And "Hudsucker" is being produced by
Joel Silver! Oh, no!
Well, have no fear. Although the film is outrageous
and also feels at times like an insidejoke, it's also hilarious
and on the verge of brilliant.
The story begins when Tim Robbins comes to the big
city looking for a job. He walks into the Hudsucker
building the same moment the boss walks out. Only the
boss walked out the window of the 44th floor. So begins
a wacky story of panic, stocks, a proxy and the stupidest
looking, but most brilliant idea for a toy to date. Well, at
least it was brilliant in 1958.
£Raimi and the Coens fill their film with all kinds of
logues in "Barton Fink" are nothing compared to the
bang-bang-bang style of talk in this film. A single para-
graph can refer to the idea man, a Pulitzer, a crossword
puzzle, dinner and whatever else the writers were thinking
about at that moment.
At times the film feels like the three writers were
sitting around saying: "Wouldn't it be funny if..." And as
dangerous as that can be, fortunately what the Coens and
Raimi think is funny, actually is funny. It's different and
weird, but still funny.
Style is a key factor in "The Hudsucker Proxy," and it
would be too easy to say the film is style over substance.
The Coen brothers have already demonstrated with "Barton
Fink" that style can become substance in the right hands.
And it plays out perfectly in this film. If you don't believe
it then wait for their ingenious use of slow motion.
Tim Robbins is the perfect boy genius imbecile. He is
the common man that Barton Fink was so obsessed about.
Robbins pins down the character through silly facial
expressions and a true boyishness that simultaneously we
admire and laugh at the same time.
Paul Newman plays the spirit of evil and seems to be
having a good time. His gravely delivery of "Sure, sure"
is the key sign of evil. And that smile.
Jennifer Jason Leigh almost overdoes her accent, but
fortunately what she's saying is funny enough to overlook
it. After "Single White Female" and "Short Cuts," it's nice
to see her as a tough, take charge woman.
The film, however, is not perfect. The story seems to
go haywire towards the end and there isn't enough Bruce
Campbell. But the humor never stops.
After a Christmas movie glut of depression and doom
films, it's nice to be able to go see an intelligent, witty
movie. And it won't be out forever, unfortunately, so go
By TOM ERLEWINE
One of the advantages of playing
music for a number of years is that
you know your area. Ask Eric
Harabadian. He has played in several
combos and written for local music
publications, including "Jam Rag."
Now, he is focusing his energies on
Chain Reaction, the eclectic rock
combo that he leads with his longtime
friend, guitarist Bob Drozdzewski.
"We've been a band for about
seven years," recalled Harabadian.
"We really kind of put a lot of empha-
sis on finding the right kind of person-
nel and then we put out two or three
recordings. Now we've got something
that's pretty stable - we've had the
same group of guys for about a year
now, whereas in the past it was a
swinging door kind of thing. Basi-
cally, it's been Bob and myself that
have been the mainstays."
In Chain Reaction, not only does
he write all the songs, he sings and
plays guitar, as well as managing the
band. "I started playing when I was
13 or 14," he said. "I wasn't that
serious about it until I was about 20.
Someone approached me at work
about if I wanted to sell my guitar; I
just had this beat-up little acoustic
guitar and I was still playing but noth-
ing really serious. All of a sudden I
had to come to terms with how I really
felt about my instrument and music. I
thought, 'I don't want sell it, I want to
learn to play this thing."'
Over the years, Harabadian has
learned how to play his instrument
well, blending pop, progressive rock,
blues and straightforward rock 'n'
roll into a distinctive mix that can be
heard on their three self-released re-
cordings. "Sonic Motion," a five-song
cassette from 1990, was their first
release and they received some atten-
tion with it. That led to the full-length
tape,"Out of the Ruins."
"We still get comments from
people about that one," Harabadian
proudly said. "I'm really happy with
it. I'd like to record another full al-
bum at some point, maybe put a full
album out on CD. We're in the pro-
cess of putting some songs together
for a new cassette we want to put out
this summer." The new tape will fea-
ture several songs from their new
Harabadian doesn't feel threatened
by another writer in the group and
intends to continue writing consis-
tently. "I try to write at least a few
times a week," he said. "It depends
what kind of mood I'm in or what
kind of concept I'm going for. Some
songs come real easy, some are more
of a developmental kind of thing. I
find a lot of times at work ideas come
to me. I've often thought about taking
a mini tape recorder with me just so I
can transcribe some ideas."
Like any band making its start,
Chain Reaction has played a variety
of clubs and bars; "We've played
some smaller places and we've played
some bigger type rooms, too,"
Harabadian explained. They have
faced a number of crowds and their
set list reflects their diverse tastes.
"Although I sort of consider us
sort of an alternative band, we seem
to go over pretty well with hard rock
crowds too," he said. "I'd say about a
quarter of our total show is covers.
We're trying to add some newer stuff.
We're adding that Cracker tune,
'Low,' and U2 and some other mate-
rial. But we've done the Pretenders,
Smithereens, some Iggy & the
Stooges; we've done everything from
punk to like classic rock to some
R&B-ish kind of stuff to blues to our
And what does Chain Reaction's
material sound like? "It's commer-
cial yet alternative; in a way, it's sort
of like an alternative to the alterna-
tive. A lot of times these days people,
89X and stuff like that, when they use
the label 'alternative,' what they're
labeling a lot of times is everything
from Alice in Chains to Pearl Jam to
the Breeders to Beck."
Since he has been covering the
local music scene for several years,
Harabadian has a good grasp of the
Detroit-metro scene. "(There's) a lot
of talent. I think it needs to be devel-
oped and promoted more," he said.
Although it's tough getting his
band off of the ground, Harabadian
would never abandon music alto-
gether. "I never thought about that,"
he said, "because I love music too
much. I've been playing music for a
good 20 years or so, so I wouldn't
want to stop. If it wasn't with Chain
Reaction, I'd try to be doing some
sort of creative project because I re-
ally enjoy music."
CHAiN REACTION will openfor
the Happy Accidents tonight at
Cross Street Station in Ypsilanti;
call the Station at 485-5050.
Eastern Michigan University
E ar th D ay 1 9 94
April 19, 1994
McKenny Union Ballroom
Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an organization
dedicated to preventing the illegal slaughter of endangered sea life,
Watson is internationally renowned for his daring, innovative and
aggressive approach to the field of wildlife conservation.
Sponsored by Student Government and your facilities fee.
For more information. contact the Office of Camus Life at 487-3045.
machine-gunned paced dialogue. Jack
1TH HUDNU ER PROXY is showine at .Showcase.
Continued from page 9
Straight World." There is pure pop,
too, in the form of "Miss World" and
"Softer, Softest," as well as harshly
melodic punk/metal as heard in "She
Walks On Me" and " Gutless." But
the best tracks on the album defy
simple classication, melding delicate
melodies and ethereal effects with a
harsh, metallic sound. "Plump" is an
a ++++ - ----.+ rv vi .[![\ /. 6. . . .p tt ULYV~tG
astonishing mix of raging vocals and
guitars and floating, haunting
melodicism, while "Doll Parts" show-
cases Love's emotive range against
an acoustic backdrop, and "Rock Star"
is an anthemic putdown of
Washington's Riot Grrrl scene.
There are scads of influences au-
dible on the album, from "Pod"-era
Breeders to Chryssie Hynde to glam
metal to Nirvana, but they are com-
bined in a way that is different than
anything else on the market right now
and the album is more than the sum of
its parts anyway. If any good comes
out of her tragic loss, it will be that it
showcases her strength as a performer
as well as a loving wife and mother.
"Live Through This" is a must-
listen for anyone interested in women
in rock as well as for nearly any Nir-
vana fan. That Cobain did not live to
see his wife's musical triumph is infi-
nitely sad, but hopefully Love and her
band will"Live Through This."
- Heather Phares
LS& A COMMENCEMENT INFORMATION
0 op i
I..................... . .. ... . -----,
COLOR*... .R i
The extra that
make a personalized calendar
" enlarge your favorite photo
I make your own personal greeting cards :
: copy your art for your portfolio
. add color to your graphs: :
April 30, 1994
MICHIGAN STADIUM (Rain or Shine)
Students will receive 10 tickets
place from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.,
25 through Thursday, April 28.
----- ---------- ---- ------ ----------- ---- ----- - - - ---------
350 SOUTH THAYER
(Corner of North University and Thayer)
WITH JAY CRAMER." MARIANNE DOYLE." GREG GERSTNER . TONY GREENLAW
** Please remember that all students must wear academic dress
participate in Commencement.