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March 13, 1995 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-13

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 13, 1995

Goldblum's 'Hideaway' worth hanging out in

By Kirk Miller
Daily Arts Writer
I went into "Hideaway" madly in
love with co-star Alicia Silverstone. I
came out swooning over Jeff
Goldblum.
. It's not that Silverstone, best
known as the MTV video babe that
saved Aerosmith's career, isn't stun-
ningly saliva-inducing as usual. No
one else possesses her shy-yet-sug-
gestively coy smile or her innocent
sexual appeal, both of which she does
quite well. However, my dark movie
theater fantasies were destroyed after
she screamed out the line "Dad, I'm
almost 16!" near the beginning of the
film. After a quick break to wash off

the pedophilic filth accumulating rap-
idly I had to move on to gawking at
other actors.
Goldblum doesn't disappoint,
turning what could have been another
generic hero role into his usual neu-
rotic self. It's not much different than
the eye-darting, hand-twitching, talk-
ing-to-himself caricatures he per-
fected in "The Fly" or "Jurassic Park,"
but here he transforms his neuroses
perfectly into the confines of a dys-
functional family unit.
A year after Hatch Harrison's
(Goldblum) daughter is killed he takes
his family away for a little R&R. On
the drive home a bizarre car accident
(that oddly enough steals directly from
"Jurassic Park") leaves Goldblum
pretty much dead, "pretty much" in
the sense that he floats around in a
cool virtual reality heaven for a few
minutes before being revived through
a miraculous new surgical break-
through.
Unfortunately for Harrison and the
rest of his family (Silverstone and the
equally impressive Christine Lahti),
strange things begin to happen when
he returns, starting with strange vi-
sions of killing young women. Itseems
Harrison went and got his soul en-
twined with that of a teenage serial
killer's who was brought back to life
in the same way. Eventually in an
obvious plot twist the killer decides to
go after Regina (Silverstone) and all
hell breaks loose.
Without giving away the end, it

helps to know where the plot is com-
ing from. "Hideaway" started out as
bestselling author Dean Koontz's first
real chance to break through into
Hollywood. After disastrous tinker-
ing left Corey Haim starring in
Koontz's "Watchers" and a bad CBS
thriller based on his "The Face of
Fear" (Pam Dawber as a mountain
. RMIfEW
Directed by Brett Leonard
with Jeff Goldblum and
Alicia Silverstone
At Showcase
climber), Koontz was even more up-
set with the plot mutations of his
newest baby. Supposedly he walked
out of an advance screening and of-
fered to return all of his cash advance
to get his name off the film.
Nothing could be more untrue.
Although director Brett Leonard has
been guilty of this in the past with
Stephen King's "The Lawnmower
Man," his only real change is a gratu-
itous use of virtual reality. All of the
other Koontz trademarks are kept in-
tact; there's the impossibly good-look-
ing family, the male hero struggling
with his inner demons, a generic evil
villain with no motivation that upsets
the family unit but ends up bonding
them closer, the misuse-of-technol-
ogy-is-wrong moral, and a stupid end-

ing involving spirituality, love, and a
drawn out good vs. evil showdown.
The only crime Leonard is guilty
of is directing all of the non-virtual
reality scenes as dull and gray as
possible; sometimes it was hard to
make out what was going on with all
of that moody lighting. But he does
pull out great performances and ef-
fectively meshes a killer industrial
soundtrack (best scene: Silverstone
suggestively grinding away in an
underground club to the beat of
Godflesh) with cool unnecessary
computer graphics, probably in an
attempt to distract the moviegoer from
things like "plot consistency" and
"character motivation."
And then there's Goldblum. See-
ing him describe his dreams as an
"acid flashback... trippy, bad" or
screaming "Because I've been sucked
into this evil fuck!" while making
indecipherable hand gestures and
mumbling to himself gives a whole
new meaning to eccentric. He alone
overcomes such formidable obstacles
like plot contrivances (why is the
killer hiding in an amusement park?
What's with this Freudian subtext of
Hatch leering at Regina and his dead
nude younger daughter? How did he
get Pearl Jam tickets for Regina on
such short notice?) and a generic
serial killer (Jeremy Sisto) that looks
like Eddie Vedder.
And like Jeff, my love for him is
strange and wiry. I'll hang out at his
"Hideaway" any day, baby.

Planets extend their orbit

From any angle, Alicia Sliverstone
is a talented actress (and a babe).

'Top Girls' an entertaining, thought-provoking play

By Sheila Wisely
For the Daily
With a title likd "Top Girls," you're
probably thinking this is either a play
about women who have made it to the
top or women who are still girls. Ei-
ther way, you're right.Basement Arts'
production of the last two acts of
Caryl Churchill's play presents prob-
lems that women face in both the
corporate and domestic worlds.
In BFA Theater senior Kazzie
Brown's directorial debut, she does
an excellent job of presenting this
thought-provoking play by showing
both the good and bad aspects of
living in a feminist world. The pro-
duction focuses on some tough ques-
tions that Churchill raises, such as
what the limitations of modern femi-
nism are and whether it empowers the
woman, or gives her permission to
disguise herself as a man.
Although dealing with delicate is-

sues, Brown's production leaves
Churchill's questions open for the view-
ers to contemplate without imposing a
slanted opinion. And despite the seri-
ousness of these issues, they donot take
away from the entertainment value of
Top Girls
Arena Theatre
March 9, 1995
the play.
In fact, the characters are even bet-
ter than the theme itself. The well-
chosen cast brings to life everyone from
a lost teenager to a corporate-ladder-
climbing businesswoman, and from a
disgruntled lower-class mother to sev-
eral young "working girls" with a lot
more than work on their minds.
Through the lives of two sisters,
Marlene (Debbie Keller) and Joyce

(Roxy Font), we see the sacrifices
that women must make in order to
survive. Joyce stays at home in a
small English town to raise Marlene's
child as her own while Marlene trav-
els the world and establishes a suc-
cessful career. The child, Angie (Jenna
Davis), is now in her mid-teens and
has grown to hate her "mother," Joyce.
Having half-figured-out that her idol
Aunt Marlene is her real mother,
Angie decides to run away from home
and go to Marlene in London.
The audience discovers, although
Angie may not, that neither of the sis-
ters has had itaseasy as the otherthinks.
Joyce, unable to have children of her
own, gets to have a family. However,
her husband leaves her, Angie wants to
kill her, and money is more than tight.
Marlene, on the other hand, has trav-
eled to America, made a lot of money,
and earned a big promotion at work. At
the same time, though, she realizes that

it can be lonely at the "Top."
The actors who play these roles -
Keller, Font and Davis - lead a cast
that effortlessly makes these characters
real. Keller's confidence suits her role
perfectly while Font's natural comfort
on stage makes you forget that she's
acting. Davis, who has perhaps the most
difficult job of playing an immature
young girl, tackles it quite well, and Lia
Smith, who plays the minor roles of
Jeanine and Win, steals several scenes
with her delivery of some of the play's
funniest lines.
"Top Girls" is a play that is funny
as well as sad, and entertaining as
well as substantial. As Brown notes,
"to simply label this a 'feminist play'
is to defeat its very purpose." Al-
though the cast is entirely women, I
would not even go as far as reducing
it to simply a "women's play," as
many may think. The issues that it
presents are relevant to everyone, and
it would be impossible not to enjoy
this production, no matter who you
Iare.

4- j
.4

i" ,
'° "° NN

Dustin Howes
For the Daily
The insects from the planet Brook-
lyn are coming to Ann Arbor, and
should be as digable as ever. Doodle-
bug (Knowledge), Ladybug (Mecca)
and Butterfly (Ish) will alight on Hill
Auditorium this Tuesday with an all
PLANETS
When: ruesday, March 14
Where: Hill Auditorium
Tickets: $12 for students,
$14 .others
Doors open at 8 p~m.
live band producing their jazzy
grooves and bumpin' beats.
The group that brought jazz influ-
enced hip-hop to the attention ofmany
for the first time with "Rebirth of
Slick (Cool Like Dat)", has taken off
the kid gloves with their new album,
Blowout Comb. The second album
incorporates live saxophones, guitars
and acoustic bass among other instru-
ments, thereby smoothing the already
smooth sound of their first album,
"Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time
and Space)." At the same time, the
crew also injected more funk and
straightforward hip-hop into "Blow-
out Comb"-creating a unique blend
oftheir original styles and currentand
past hip-hop trends.
The concert promises to personify
this slammin' mix of past and future
hip-hop as well. Some of the musi-
cians the D.P.'s are touring with play
The Winebottles
Sober
Red Garage Records
Recently, Boulder, Colorado has
received a favorable reputation for
turning out popular 'neo-hippie'
bands. Among these groups lie the
Winebottles, who present their im-
pressive debut album "Sober." Be-
ginning with the first track "Yellow,"
the band displays their pleasant sound
by harmonizing with an upbeat acous-
tic guitar. This eventually gives way
to an even quicker jam with electric
guitar, bass and drums.
Other uptempo songs include
"New Rags" and "Sober" which pro-
vide room for a freestyle-type of play
that is unfortunately somewhat con-
tained on this 17-track album. How-
ever, their desire for improvisation
manages to exert itself through the
use of the harmonica and the bongos.
More mellow tunes such as "Little
Girl" and "Mary in the Blue" show
that the band has not abandoned their
roots in bluegrass music and is still
very much devoted to that genre. The
majority of the record is very pleasing
to the ear and is a solid choice for
background music for almost any so-
cial situation. Imagine acombination
of the groups Jackopierce and the
Samples; add a faster tempo and this
is pretty much what you get out of the
Winebottles.
- Aaron Huppert
Pat Metheny Group

on their album and old school D.J.
Jazzy Joyce (she used to work with
Sweet Tee) is scheduled to perform as
well.
In the transition from first to sec,
ond album, the Planets have expanded
their orbit politically as well as musi-
cally. Their first album gives us a
slice of the inner thoughts of the three
- a reflective, otherworldly look at
their unique characters. Now that the
insects have made a home in Brook-
lyn, theyahave a few observations to
share. While the first album did urge
"the masses to get off their asses an,
fight these fascists" (referring to anti-
choice forces), the new album fo-
cuses a bit more attention on every-
day life in the city and the problems
African-Americans face therein.
If you have not yet heard Digable
Planets however, you do not need to
trifle with the nuances of their poli-
tics. The group is consistently about
super-smooth samples (and now live
instruments) mixed with alwaysV@
make-ya-head-nod rhythms. Their
lyrics are never overbearing, even with
powerful messages, because the Plan-
ets always come off with a style that
flows with the music.
With each nimble step the insects
guide you through their production,
leaving you relaxed, but satisfied that
you have experiencedsomething sub-
stantive. Beatnik and'60s lingo mixeco
with a Bobby Humphrey sample cre-
ate a delicate balance. Consciously
cool, jazzy but grounded, relaxed but
not frivolous, the Planets are in town
- dig it!

jNN~ 4
N N ,N NI

Unfortunately, Metheny's style is
so ingrained in his playing that h
ends up never taking any real musica
risks. His albums - all beautiful -
end up sounding overly formulaic and
produced. Not since "First Circle"
has Metheny done anything even
slightly risque.
So, if you have never heard
Metheny, purchase "We Live Here;"
it is a beautifully crafted album that is
equal to Metheny's great skill. How-
ever, if you own any of his albums'
"We Live Here" will either sound like
an old friend, or an anonymous copy.
-Ben Ewy
Scott Fab
Peasants Dream
RustBelt Records
Ah, the sounds of an earnest folk
singer who's just starting out. Every-
body, meet Scott Fab. His little EPO
appropriately entitled "Peasants
Dream," introduces this singer /
songwriter to the public. Oddly
enough, all six songs have a dark,
brooding feeling to them. Maybe the
guy should be happier, he's recorded
his first CD, But the music clicks.
Each cut features Fab's resonant
acoustic guitar playing and his warm
voice that somehow always seems to b
on the verge of cracking. Together,
these elements create music that warms
the ears, in spite of the gloomy lyrics.
The prime example: "To Pass Upon
Your Sea," arguably the best track. Fab
,,na- hnU_ r-rix ,itn- with Ca.,

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