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September 27, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-27

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8- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 27, 1994

The 'Sky' is falling for late Richardson'

"Blue Sky," the last film made by
the recently departed British director

Directed by Tony
Richardson; with

not died. While a tribute in the form of
a posthumous release can be a touch-
ing, source of inspiration, it can also
make you realize whythe work was
not released, well, "humously." Un-
fortunately, this is very much the case
with "Blue Sky."
To be fair, the delayed release was
not the fault of the film. Once upon a
time there was a little movie company
called Orion. It had big ideas, but no
money and soon went bankrupt, leav-
ing 12 films floating about in movie-
land outer space. Slowly, the films
were released by other companies,
but "Blue Sky" stayed on the shelf.
There it sat, aging like (jug) wine.
Four years later and the story seems

dissemination of the family cuts the action


Drawing on the melodramatic war films of the
'40s, with a reversed gender hero, ('Blue Sky')
has the potential of an exciting, if farfetched,
semi-action film. Yet the focus on the



Jessica Lange
and Tommy
Lee Jones

an irrelevant, if well-executed fantasy.
Lieutenant HankMarshall (Tommy
Lee Jones) and his family are stationed
in Hawaii. They've been there for two
years and might have stayed longer, if
not for Marshall's wife, Carly (Jessica
Lange). With a mixture of raw sexual-
ity, out and out bravado and a hint of

Tony Richardson, was supposed to be
released in the fall of 1990. It may
never have come out had Richardson

Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange share a tender moment in "Blue Sky."

"Simplify simplify"
Henry David Thoreau
"Hey, that's not a bad idea"

schizophrenia, Carly is by no means
your typical army wife. She is costing
Marshall his promotions and she is
tearing her family apart.
Forced to move to the dry, resonant
Alabama, they find themselves even
deeper in the well of Carly's sickness
and Hank's denial. "She's crazy ani
he's blind," says their older, cryptic
daughter Alexandra (Amy Locane),
who finds release and much needed
normal-teen rebellion in her secret fling
with another officer's son (Chris
Paralleled with his family's break-
down is Hank's dissolving moral code.
He is pulled into a top secret military
operation called "Blue Sky." It in
volves the release of underground
radiation that will permeate the earth
yet never enter the consciousness of
anyone above. They will be oblivi-
ous, believing themselves to be living
under the same "Blue Sky."
Yet, something goes wrong in the
testing and Hank feels he must do
something. The military panics, tak-
ing action, and now it is Carly who
must find the way out.-4
Drawing on the melodramatic war
films of the '40s, with a reversed
gender hero, the film has the potential
of an exciting, if farfetched, semi-
action film. Yet the focus on the dis-
semination of the family cuts the ac-
tion down. Simultaneously, the focus
on the military detracts from the
family's distress.
The film's ultimate solution is lu
dicrous. To begin with apremise base
around genuine human resources and
to end with a solution that no average
person could have possibly conceived
of is unsatisfying at best.
Jones is his usual stellar self, alter-
nately brusque and tremulous, strug-
gling within a marriage, life and film
that ultimately don't work. Lange is
appropriately frazzled, grappling with
graphic, manic outbursts and sly dis4
plays of sexuality. She is in over her
head but always in control.
Yet, as is frequently the case,
good acting is not enough. Had it
been released in 1990, it still wouldn't
have worked, but at least Richardson
would have been around to defend it.
As it stands, "Blue Sky" is merely a
solid, if resounding question mark.

BLUE SKY splaying at Showcase.



Continued from page 5
current numberone single, "ThirdRock
From The Sun," was a fitting exciting
ending to his 45-minute set. These two
acts would have made a good concert
by themselves, but the main act of the
"Ten Feet Tall Tour" had yet to per-
Travis Tritt came onto the stage
riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle
from beneath his set. The motorcycle
was nothing compared to the rest of
Tritt's stage set; the laser lights and fog
added to the excitement as Tritt con-
tinuously ran about his multi-level set
with two giant, brightly lit "T's" in the
background. (Tritt's movements werel
very impressive considering the skin-
tight leather pants he was wearing.)
The act opened with some of Tritt's
classic hits, as well as some new tunes
from his new CD. And the excitement
continued through his encore when he
performed his renditions of The Eagle's
"Take It Easy" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's
"Sweet Home Alabama." Tritt added a
- little bit of country to these classic rock4
songs, extending his appeal beyond the
realms of the typical Young Country
Tritt's set was not without a boring
interlude, however; he took quite a bit
of time to reflect on the roots of country
music, during which he played acous-
tical renditions of Merle Haggard,
George Jones, and Johnny Cash.
While many fans seemed to enjoy
these oldies, the newer country fans
found them boring, as the show was
already pushing four hours. But, once
Tritt's band rejoined him on stage, any
boredom quickly disappeared as Tritt
continued performing his greatest hits,
concluding with his most popular, "t-

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