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September 14, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-14

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Th ihgnDily Weneda, epeme l,.99 t Pge8

Sour 'Milk' not worth the 'Money'

When, about half-way through
"Milk Money," Melanie Griffith states
"This is bad, very bad," you can't help
but scream out in a sort of Beavis and

W Milk Money
Directed by Richard
Benjamin; with Ed
D/ Harris, Melanie
Butt-head/"Mystery Science Theater"
orgiastic exclamation, "No kidding!"
Fortunately, the movie theater was
almost empty when I offered my snide
aside. This means that the public isn't
falling for this lame, half-hearted cross
between "Pretty Woman" and "Sleep-

less In Seattle."
On paper, this movie must have
sounded like a no-lose proposition to
the execs. Griffith plays V, a big city
hooker with a heart of gold who is only
longing for some love and respect.
Sound familiar? Now, imagine a
middle-aged sweet guy and widower
(Ed Harris of "Glengarry Glen Ross"
and "The Right Stuff') whose son,
Frank, tries to set him up with V, so his
dad can find love once again and he can
have a mom. Sound familiar?
This mix of "Pretty Woman" and
"Sleepless in Seattle" is so fucking
brilliant, the only better idea would be
a "Dirty Dancing"/"Jurassic Park"
combo. Just imagine the profits that
would roll rightin when Patrick Swayze
does the Lambada all night long with
some sexy T-Rex. Throw in the Caped
Crusader flying an X-Wing Fighter
and you've got the biggest blockbuster

since the dawn of time.
So what happened?
First, "Milk Money" begins as an
"ABC After School Special" version
of some trashy "USA Up All Night"
flick in which Frank and two of his
elementary school chums save up a
hundred bucks and venture into the big
city in hopes of finding a naked lady.
They find the slutty, chain-smoking V,
give her the dough, and she takes off
her top for the cute little boys in her
grimy apartment/brothel. Not exactly
the stuff that pre-pubescent wet dreams
are made of.
Second, there is absolutely nochem-
istry between Griffith and Harris. Now,
"Pretty Woman" and "Sleepless in Se-
attle" were not great movies by any
stretch of the imagination, but at least
there was a little flair between the Julia
Roberts/Richard Gere and Meg Ryan/
Tom Hanks team-ups. With Griffith

and Harris, there's only fizzle.
Third, we are "treated" to a ex-
tremely stupid subplot involving V's
pimp, his drug dealing associate (played
disappointingly bad by Malcolm
McDowell of "A Clockwork Orange"
fame), half a million bucks, and an
endangered swampland. Huh?
There are afew (very few) chuckles
in "Milk Money," arguably enough to
save it from total failure. For instance,
Frank takes V to school as a visual aid
in his sex-ed presentation, draws the
female reproductive organs on her
stomach and calls the uterus the "fist-
shaped baby motel." It doesn't sound
like very much now, but then, you
hopefully haven't seen the movie yet.
For the most part, "Milk Money" is the
most laughable attempt of this year.
This is bad, very bad.
MILK MONEY is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase

Hey - wait a minute! Forget Melanie. We want to see Ed Harris' face.

'My Life's' nothing like Generation X

"Realiq) Bies '
the spot, but how cat) y ju
define something that hasn't bothered
to define itself yet? Generation,
schmeneration. At least they give us a

exactly scenic route

of work New York Ccy p iyw nrghs
They have no money, no girlfriends
and no clue. But they're kinda cute and
sweet in that dorky sort of way and
manage to stay pretty close friends with
a young manager/publicist named Sa-
rah (Lisa Gerstein), who tries to throw

3i11 ) .p[ )\iii. JO~ . . ;
York cabby and his bar-tending room
mate, who were trying to make a film,
and actually get money to do it?
While not precisely autobiographi-
cal, "My Life'sin Turnaround" is about
the very real and exasperating attempts

Steve Martin's hair is actually an unnatural Elton John shade of red. But only his hairdresser knows for sure.
ASimle tur rn o your stomach

Steve Martin as the bumbling fa-
ther is lots of fun. Steve Martin as a
singing evangelist worked well. Even
Steve Martin as Cyrano de Bergerac

Martin's new movie, "A Simple
Twist of Fate," should have been a

ing. Martin plays Michael McCann, a
middle school choir director whose

W7A Simple Twist
of Fate
Directed by Gillies
MacKinnon; with
Steve Martin and
Gabriel Byrne
was neat. But Steve Martin as an embit-
tered, middle-aged choir director turned
miser/alcoholic is not okay. Even when
he writes his own lines.

milestone for him
actor, presumably
now in the prime
of his career, fi-
nally tackling his
first writing and
project. Not quite.
Martin's per-
formance is not
the problem.
(Though that red

- a gifted comic

After every scene
change you'll do a
double-take; count on
taking at least 10
seconds to get your

wife is expectin

g a baby. When he
finds out the baby
her and retreats to
a shack in the back
woods of Vir-
ginia, making his
own furniture to
support himself.
He's obsessed
with the gold coins
that he buys from
He drinks himself to

My Life's in
Directed by Eric Schaeffer
and Donal Lardner Ward;
with Eric Schaeffer
1 + and Donal
letter. But how about the so-called gen-
eration before? You know, that weird
group that your older brother's older
girlfriend belongs to. Those 30-year
old, perpetual in-between stage people,
that Generation Whatever. Slackers
they may not claim to be, but if "My
Life's in Turnaround," the new, deftly
amusing footnote from two wanna-be
filmmakers of the who what genera-
tion is any indication of what's to come,
there may be a whole lot less out there
than we realized.
But don't dwell on that. Think of
the film as one of those Harry met
Sally/New York City/Endless Sum-
mer/Longer Unemployment/Land-
locked Road Trip of the Spirit type
things. But with a twist. Are you begin-
ning to get the gist of it? No? Well,
neither do the filmmakers, but they
sure take us on one hell of a vivid, if not
6 Feet Deep
Gee Street
If there was ever an appropriate
name for a group ... A few members of
Stetsasonic, the influential group which
brought hip-hop the super producer
Prince Paul (De La Soul, Third Bass,
Big Daddy Kane), and Rza (Wu-Tang
Clan) have gotten together to bring
their careers back from the dead. It is
also another pound a dirt on the grave
of classic hip-hop; Stet is gone.
As for the album? Prince Paul hooks
up something nice, and scary. The al-
bum is an adventure into a horror movie
mood. The samples areminor and dark,
there is blood splattered on the CD, and
there is lots of talk about death. An
attempt to mix a positive message into
the musical brew, apparently to pro-
vide a break from the psychotic nature
of the themes, only exacerbates the
eerie atmosphere. I thought only heavy
metal guys played disturbed, death-
obsessed roles.
Indeed, it feels as if they went too
far, perhaps farther than they them-

whatever's left) and become a film-
maker, of course.
"Get us meetings. We're filmmak-
ers now." Jason tells a befuddled Sarah.
Trouble is, they have no story, no stars
and no experience. The irony of it all is
that neither did Schaeffer and Ward.
Written, directed and starring all-
around, first-timers Schaeffer and Ward
as guys remarkably similar to the real
life Schaeffer and Ward, "My Life's in
Turnaround" is something of an
anomaly, to say the least. How likely
would you say it was that some New

them a bone ev-
ery now andthen.
Trouble is, noth-
ing ever comes
back and the
amount of time
before "quirky
and low-mainte-
nance" becomes
"psycho and
homeless" is run-
ning out.Sowhat
do you do when
you're at the end
of your rope and
Why, throw it all
away (or

Slightly off-beat star
cameos, a groovin'
soundtrack and some
post-credit moments to
rival the one at the end
of "Ferris Bueller's Day
Off" gives the film that
oh-so-distinctly hip yet
slightly eccentric

of these two
wackos to get a
film, any film,
made. What's
amazing is that i
actually worked.
Even more im-
pressive is the
fact that the
film- simple,
direct and low
low budget- is
easily as enter-
taining and argu-
ably a lot more
original than al-
most anything
out there now.

Slightly off-beat star cameos, a
groovin' soundtrack and some post-
credit moments to rival the one at the
end of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off,"
gives the film that oh-so-distinctly hip
yet slightly eccentric edge. But don't
worry, there are few pretensions, the
film rarely bothers to acknowledg
how cool it is. In fact, it probably
hadn't even noticed. It's pretty non-
chalant about the whole thing, actu-
ally. "X." "Y." Whatever.
playing at the Michigan Theater.

hair has got to go.) As usual, he throws
himself into the role, providing some
wonderful, "Parenthood"-esque come-
dic moments. But even he can't hold
this film together.
The build-up, the premise and the
climax are all cheatingly disappoint-

an antique shop.

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sleep every night.
One night he is robbed by a man
whose brother is a politician paying off
the mother of his illegitimate child -
the politician, not the brother- but the
brother winds up dead somehow. The
mother decides to take the little girl to
see Daddy (Gabriel Byrne), who is at
his victory party but she never makes it
and winds up dead too. Oh, did I men-
tion that the mother is a drug-addict.
Anyway, by some twist of fate - title
reference! -McCann winds up adopt-
ing the girl, but once she grows up, her
rich, natural father wants her back.
Supposedly this story is based on
the classic novel "Silas Marner." What-
ever with that. It's just damn confus-
ing. After every scene change you'll do
a double-take; count on taking at least
10 seconds to get your bearings. And
the buildup - all the business about
the mother, the politician and his fam-
ily - comprises a good 75 percent of
See FATE, Page 10

selves intended. It is successful in that
you think they really are a little psy-
chotic; but then you remember that less
then five years ago they made an entire
song about a girl named Suzie.
It is certainly a new age in hip-hop
and Gravediggaz are one reflection of
the evolving music. Change is vital to
keeping hip-hop vibrant. But is this the
difference hip-hop needs or is it dig-
ging its own grave?
- Dustin Howes

in spirit).
One thing which makes "From
Years to Hours" so admirable is that,
like Chapman, Curtis sings about things
which she knows firsthand, unlike oth-
ers who sing about important issues of
human suffering simply to make them-
selves seem concerned.
As an ex-social worker, Curtis was
more than capable of producing "Hol
in the Bucket," which mocks the
idiocrasy of the government's welfare
system, which, while offering some
public assistance, doesn't help people
to help themselves. She also did a
beautiful job with "Night so Still,"
which she wrote while on furlough
from her social workjob. It powerfully
represents the feelings of those who's
once comfortable lifestyles were shat-
tered by lay-offs and furloughs.
The most touching song on "From
Years to Hours" is "Grandmother's
Name." In it, Curtis chronicles the
years she spent watching her grand-
mother - the woman whom she was

From Years to Hours
Mongoose Records
Picture Tracy Chapman in your
mind. Got her? Good. Now, picture her
Once you're done, the woman
you're picturing will be none other than
Catie Curtis. Granted, there are some
differences between the two women -
the melanin thing is but an obvious one.
Nevertheless, the subjects of Curtis'
songs are so similar to Chapman's,
they'll almost seem like sisters (at least

See RECORDS, Page 9




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