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September 30, 1994 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-30

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 5, 1994

'Velocity' running on empty
Sheen's latest film suffers from terminal stupidity

Ever since starring in "Platoon"
and "Wall Street" in the late1980s,
Charlie Sheen's acting career has taken

Terminal Velocity
Directed by Deran Sarafian
~ with Charlie Sheen
and Nastassja
a dive. And it keeps descending. Re-
cently, he has acted in a series of duds,
led by "Men at Work" and "Major
League II." With each new film he
makes, Sheen's promising career seems

to be picking up more speed as it falls.
Which brings us to his latest film,
"Terminal Velocity," in which Sheen
plays hot-shot skydiving instructor
Ditch Brodie - a man always looking
for the ultimate thrill. He finds it in
Chris Morrow, played by Nastassja
Kinski ("Tess"), a beautiful student
who mysteriously dies on herfirst jump.
But, as things usually work in mindless
action movies, Chris was not all that
she seemed. And when Ditch decides
to break into her apartment to learn
more about the enigmatic victim, he is
attacked and threatened by two big
men with knives and blonde ponytails.
From this point, Ditch finds him-
self involved in a confusing turn of
events. He discovers that Chris is not
dead, that she is a KGB agent and that
she is being chased by the Russian
Mafia. The clearly bizarre nature of

Charlie Sheen runs from disaster in his latest bomb, "Terminal Velocity." Too bad he can't run away from his agent.


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October 15
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this film is voiced by Ditch as he re-
peatedly asks what is happening to him
despite never receiving a true or believ-
able answer. Thus, like the lead charac-
ter, the audience is never given a logi-
cal explanation for what transpires.*
Instead, we are bombarded with pre-
dictable action movie commonalties
and an absurd storyline.
Directed by Deran Sarafian, whose
previous credits include the forgettable
Van Damme flick "Death Warrant,"
"Terminal Velocity" lends more to its
audience's sensory demands than in-
tellectual. In fact, excluding the excit-
ing skydiving scenes and the sight of*
the beautiful Kinski, there is very little
interesting about this film.
Unlike comparable action movies
such as "Die Hard," there is little sign
of a plot. No mention of the names of
the bad guys. No look into what really
drives them. And no sense of a relation-
ship or any connection between the
characters. The movie basically runs
from one skydiving scene to another
with an occasional gunfight on theW
But while the action shots on the
ground are banal and silly, those in the
air are quite thrilling. The cinematog-
raphy in this film is fantastic. Aerial
shots of skydivers swooping down to
land on airplane wings and chimneys
mesmerize the viewer, sucking him
into a world of flying daredevils. These
sequences provide a marvelous ne4
action phenomenon that is a refreshing
change from the standard speeding car
chase or shoot-out atop a skyscraper.
Unfortunately, they are the only
true assets to the film; the dialogue is
stupid and the acting tends to be worse.
Sheen plays astandard action film char-
acter - a free-spirited, yet average
man who is drawn into aworld of crime
and violence - with no flair or charm.,
He reads his lines with an unprofes-
sional monotone and spends most of
the film with a dumbfounded look on
his face. The German-born Kinski is
not much better as Sheen's Russian
secret agent love interest. And these
two are supported by a unmemorable
cast of burly, bullying bad guys.
For all of its shortcomings, how-
ever, this movie is neither difficult to
watch, nor offensive. It is just an ordi-
nary action movie with one cleverstunt.
While its skydiving shots are surely
breathtaking, the acting is poor, the
writing is sophomoric, and the action is
very predictable. Though its lead ac-
tors spend the film jumping out of
airplanes and flying through the sky,
"Terminal Velocity" never really gets
off the ground.


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University of Michigan
School of Music
Friday, September 30
Guest Recital: Ellen Rose, viola, and Katherine Collier, piano
The principal violist of the Dallas Symphony plays music of Spain,
including Albeniz, Granados, Sarasate, Ravel, de Falla, and more
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Dance Guest Artist Series: Philippe Saire Company
Tickets: $10, $6 (764-0450)
Mendelssohn Theatre, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 1
Faculty Recital: Andrew Jennings, violin,
and Anton Nel, piano
* Schubert: Duo in A Major
* Shostakovich: Sonata for Violin and Piano
o Saint-Saens: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Monday, October 3
Guest Recital: Katherine Kemler, flute,
and Ann Benjamin, harp
e Bernard Andres: Narthex
" Adrian Schaposchnikov: Sonata for Flute and Harp
- Krumpholtz, Sollberger, and Bach
McIntosh Theatre, 8p.m., free
Composers' Forum
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Tuesday, October 4
University Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Meier, conductor
* Mozart: Symphony No. 35, "Haffner"
+ Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
Hill Auditorium, 8p.m., free
Thursday, October 6
Faculty Recital: Deborah Chodacki, clarinet,
and Anton Nel, piano
Assisted by Fred Ormand, clarinet
" Muczynski: Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, op. 43
" Messiaen: Abime des oiseaux (Quartet for the End of Time)
o Ponchielli and Finzi
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Thursday-Sunday, October 6-9,13-16, 20-23
Life Sentences, by Richard Nelson
Group Theatre of Michigan, directed by John Russell Brown
Trueblood Theatre in the Frieze Building
Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 with any U-M ID; $4 with
any student ID (764-0540)
Sunday, October 30
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Halloween Concerts
Hill Auditorium; performances at 5:00 and 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $6 (main floor, 1st balcony), $4 (2nd balcony)
NOTE: Ticket orders this year will be handled first by mail and

Y 1 f

- -.d I

playing at Briarwood.


Continued from page 9
ing: theGuarneri Quartet,' "it's that we
like to take chances and avoid playing
in a predictable way."
Those performances, whether they
be on compact disc or live, allow ex-
perimentation amongst the Guarneri
Quartet's members, precisely because
they know each other so well. Overall,
however, their sound is extremely rich
in color and tone, setting a ambient
mood that will be memorable for any
audience to witness.
Sunday, the Guarneri Quartet will
perform Haydn's "Quartet in GMajor
Op. 77, No. 1"; Bart6k's "Quartet No
4"; and Debussy's "Quartet in G mi-
The Guarneri String Quartet plays
Sunday at 4 p.m. at Rackham
Auditorium as part of the University
Musical Society's Chamber Arts
Series. Tickets cost $32, $30, $26
and $20. Call 764-2538 for more

2 3 I




Continued from page 9
character. Herein lies the most disturb-
ing part of the film: Alex is an utter
deviant, yet it isbdifficult not to be
slightly charmed by him.
Kubrick and McDowell create a
striking balance between evil and hu-g
mor in the Alex character. As his ac-
tions repulse, his words and facial ex-
pressionsattract.When Alexiseventu-
ally incarcerated and stripped of his
rights, he damn near becomes asympa-
thetic character despite his natural ten-

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