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January 26, 1995 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-26

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, January 26, 1995 - 3

MelRose Place

'Grace' redeeming, Oldman cool

By FRED RICE
Gary Oldman has rounded out his
career quite nicely with several inter-
esting roles. He has played a roman-
tic vampire, an ill-fated Shakespearian

More MelRose
gor your money
Watchin' the State of the Union
thing ... One of these days it's going
to be "The Crying Game" in the cabi-
net, when they discover Janet Reno is
really a man.
At least Hillary's hair looks better.
I don't know why Clinton is so
happy. Glenn Close gets bigger stand-
ng ovations eight times a week in
'Sunset Boulevard."
You know you've been alone too
long when even Al Gore looks ap-
pealing.
At least he's doing this on a Tues-
day night when there's no good TV
on. Now if he had done this on a
Thursday, or worse, during "Chicago
Hope" on Monday..
"Our country is stronger than it
vas two years ago" my fanny. Notice
how Newt Gingrich didn't exactly
burst into applause at that statement.
Uh-oh, an FDR-"New Deal" ref-
erence - I sense a gimmick ...
Whatever with that "New Cov-
enant"; it's just a new term for
Clinton's old double-talk.
Trim the fat from Congress - yes!
Let's start with Clinton's waistline.
Apologies /desperatepleas ...One
f my New Year's resolutions was to
become a betterperson -to stop being
so snide, especially toward what's-his-
name, our President. Well, I'm never
going to stop insulting Clinton, because
I think he's a buffoon.
But I am going to start recogniz-
ing and applauding those who make
significant contributions to my life,
or rather to my column. I wouldn't
*ave 19 inches of text every week if it
weren't for the generosity of my resi-
dents, fellow Daily staff, Alice Lloyd
staff and random strangers. Now pay
attention because this is the only seri-
ous thing you'll probably ever hear
me say. Recently I spit in the face of
all my contributors when I disgraced
our books editor, Kirk Miller, and his
position. Kirk gave me some hilari-
us material for my last column and I
rewarded him with embarrassment.
For that I am deeply sorry, and re-
quest his and your forgiveness.
The world needs more random
acts of kindness ... Tuesday someone
sent me a five-pack of Total cereal. That
really brightened my day. Now I can
start my morning right. I just wish they
had sent a quart of milk .
Speaking of gifts ... My sincere
hanks to everyone who gave me a
birthday gift. (Thanks Kim, Kev,
Vaeth, Austin.) Especially whoever's
responsible for the shirtless cowboy
on my door. Someone sent me some
lovely balloons, and "P.B." took the
time to create a beautiful pencil sketch
of a dozen roses. And it's not every
RA who receives chocolate-flavored
condoms from his/her residents.
Thanks Adrienne, Ronelle, Karen,
Cho-mama, et al - they were
yummy!) And even if you didn't get
me a birthday gift, it's not too late.
After all, it's not the timing but the
size of the gift that counts.
My thoughts on the O.J. trial..
I'm trying not to pay too much atten-
tion to the trial thing. I'm waiting for
the movie: "Juice Gone Sour: O.J.'s
tory ... starring Will Smith in his
ost challenging role yet, Sarah Jes-

sica-Parker as Nicole Brown-
Simpson, Brian "Kato" Kaelin as him-
self, Tom Cruise as Robert Shapiro,
with a special appearance by Noriyuki
"Pat" Morita as Judge Ito." But seri-
ously, let's get to the real issue here:
Which legal team is better dressed?
Clearly it's the defense. Does Marcia
Clark really expect to get anywhere
with that Ogilvie home perm and poly-
ester Polyanna suit? Dress for suc-
cess, honey. Advantage: Defense.
I just don't get it ... This obses-
sion with Michigan athletics that my
residents seem to have. I don't care
what they say, Dugan Fife's bottom

Gary Oldman plays a complex character in "State of Grace," not a smurf.

Hom
Entertainment
Center
character, and two musical geniuses.
The first time was in "Sid and Nancy"
(1986) as the memorable punk icon,
Sid Vicious. Now you can see him as
Beethoven in the new "Immortal Be-
loved." And last year you might have
seen his brief appearance as a nasty
gangster in "True Romance."
But he played an even better crimi-
nal in an aptly titled film, "State of
Grace" (1990).
This lesser known entry of
Oldman's repertoire places him in a
central role of an Irish gangster in
Hell's Kitchen. His old buddy, played
by Sean Penn, returns to the old neigh-
borhood, hoping to work for the crime
boss, played by Ed Harris. What nei-
ther Oldman nor Harris knows is that
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Penn is actually an undercover cop
who has come to eliminate their orga-
nization.
The title "State of Grace" refers to
a redemption theme laced throughout
this engaging story of love, loyalty,
and betrayal. And, of course, a lot of
gun violence. But it also best de-
scribes Oldman's manic yet sympa-
thetic performance as he flips be-
tween a sweet and caring sibling and
an enraged sociopath.
His enraged firecracker scenes
border on wretched excess, leading
many to consider his style a good
example of overacting. Just take a
look at this past fall's "The Profes-
sional." His over-the-top histrionics
as a corrupt police detective were
more comical than terrifying.

Pitfall: The Mayan
Adventure
Activision
Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Super NES
In 1982, Activision revolutionized
the video game industry with their
vine swinging and alligator jumping
Atari 2600 classic "Pitfall!" 13 years
and 16-megs later, Activision has
sprung itself back with "Pitfall: The
Mayan Adventure," creating a new
sequel and a breakthrough game.
After starting the video game craze
in the early '80s, "Pitfall!" sold mil-
lions of copies, becoming a staple of
many of our childhoods. Activision
and original designer David Crane
have now created a new adventure for
the son of the original Pitfall Harry.
This time out, Harry Jr. has to trek
through the snake-filledjungles, dodg-
ing numerous possessed foes to res-
cue his father from the evil Mayan
powers that hold him captive.
After creating the side view game
format for the original and making it
the most common form in video
games, it took an enormous effort to
change the industry in the same way
for the new chapter of "Pitfall!" In
"Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure," the
game revamps the three-tree jungle

But he tames these reactions in
"State of Grace." The angry animal
only erupts in appropriately crucial
moments.
Penn's character is at the center of
an ugly mess. Meeting his old friends
saps him of the strength necessary to
incriminate them. He is a self-pro-
claimed Judas. Penn plays out the
confusion and torn loyalties splen-
didly. Ed Harris also churns out a
terrific job as the crime boss and
Oldman's brother. His desire for
power and money lead him to coldly
destroy just about everything, as the
tragic finale shows. He does it all
without ever looking scathed.
STATE OF GRACE is available at
Liberty Street Video and Campus
Video.

from the original, into a spectacularly
animated and intense forest of amaz-
ing enemies and graphics.
The new game is much more im-
pressive than the original. This time
out, Harry Jr. has got a slew of weap-
ons and boogies through the jungle,
even bungeejumping and skateboard-
ing at times. The soundtrack also adds
to the game, with drums and authentic
sounds from the rain forests of Costa
Rica and Central America.
Not convinced that the new is su-
perior to the old? Then give it a try!
The original Atari 2600 "Pitfall!" is
hidden in the game, and is an exact
replica of the 1982 version.
"Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure"
pays an excellent tribute to the origi-
nal, while blowing the Atari alliga-
tors right out of the water. The game
fails to slip into the quicksand, and
gives the scorpion a swift kick in the
head, letting him know that Pitfall
Harry is back.
HINTS: To go directly to the Atari
2600 version of "Pitfall!" on Sega
Genesis, go to the title screen and
push down once, then push "A" 26
times. Then push down again. This
should take you to the original ver-
sion that is hidden in the game.
-Brian A. Gnatt

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