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February 08, 1996 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-08

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68 -The Michigan Daily - WUet#' , c. -Thursday, February 8, 1996

Juror' Demi Moore's success mystifies critics
Former Brat Packer moves from 'St. Elmo's' to the Walk of Fame

By Bryan Lark
For the Daily
If someone were to ask you who is
the most popular film actress in Hol-
lywood, what would your response
be? Julia Roberts? Sharon Stone?
Michelle Pfeiffer?
For some unknown reason, some
movie fans will answer Demi Moore.
This response would most likely be
followed by a resounding cry of,
True, Moore has been rewarded
with immense salaries for lending her
"talents" to high-grossing Hollywood
productions like "Ghost," and her
name does carry with it a certain star
power. But what is the cause of all

this popularity?
Well, it is definitely not Moore's
raw acting talent or her ability to carry
a movie. Surprisingly (or not) the over-
whelming majority of Moore's films
have been major flops or have simply
been forgotten.
Moore'sjourney toward Hollywood
stardom began in 1985, when the then-
unknown actress received widespread
critical and audience recognition for
"St. Elmo's Fire."
Bringing together the dubious tal-
ents of Andrew McCarthy and Ally
Sheedy, along with other names
since forgotten, "St. Elmo's Fire"
sparked the legend of the Brat Pack.
Moore, by far the most successful

Brat, fought hard not to be typecast
as the temptress, a task that proved
In the wake of her "St. Elmo's"
success, 1986 brought Moore two
more successful films. The romantic
comedy "About Last Night..." again
teamed Moore with Rob Lowe and
gave her the dubious distinction of
co-starring with Jim Belushi.
Another film, "One Crazy Sum-
mer," cast her as tough musician
Cassandra, who must deal with such
problems as life, work and Bobcat
In 1988, Moore tried her hand at
horror in the Armageddon tale "The
Seventh Sign." The following year
brought another sign of Armageddon
-"We're No Angels" was unleashed
on an unsuspecting world. Moore co-
starred with Sean Penn and Robert
DeNiro, but all three should have dis-
guised themselves and denied any in-
volvement with this atrocious piece
of work.
In 1990, Moore received a new sign,
this time it was one of redemption.
She scored her biggest critical and
commercial hit to date with the super-
natural romance "Ghost."
This film was widely embraced,
but not exactly as a result of Moore's
performance. In fact, Moore's best
scene in the film is when she kissed
Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg, cre-
ating an extremely romantic moment
that paved the way for future Whoopi-
kissers like Ted Danson.
Expecting to be buoyed by previ-
ous success, the only things 1991 pro-
duced for Moore were three motion
pictures that tanked and dimmed her
star. "The Butcher's Wife," "Mortal
Thoughts" and "Nothing But Trouble"
were those unexplained movies. Such
mistakes as these can only be attrib-
uted to temporary insanity on the part
of Moore and her agent.
But "A Few Good Men," featuring
Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, pro-
vided Moore with a prime role that
allowed her to battle both Marines
and sexual tension with Cruise. Her
role in the 1992 film was by far the
best performance of Moore's career.
As one of the only women in the film
(she played a military lawyer), Moore
exuded confidence; even so, her per-
formance was overlooked in favor of

Nicholson's and Cruise's. Still, for
Moore, the film was a good one.
The following two years ce-
mented her status as one of
Hollywood's leading actresses.
First as the object of Robert
Redford's desire in "Indecent Pro-
posal" and then making Michael
Douglas the object of her wrath in
"Disclosure," Moore proved her
screen stamina. These two films
have become beloved by those mov-
iegoers who enjoy inane morality
Last year also provided the public
with proof that Demi is here to stay.
Through the morally adulterous ad-
aptation of "The Scarlet Letter" (co-
starring Gary Oldman) and the faded
memory ofa movie, "Now and Then,"
she still managed to garner an un-
precedented salary for an actress:
$12.5 million for this May's "Strip-
Our trip concludes with Moore's
damsel in distress act in the new so-
called courtroom thriller "The Juror."
The film is a delightfully cheesy mess
that ranks with "Showgirls" as the
most unintentionally amusing film in
recent memory.
In retrospect, there is no disputing
Demi Moore's status as a major star.
She can be seen on almost a daily
basis on "Entertainment Tonight,"
shooting a magazine spread, attend-
ing the latest movie premiere or hold-
ing her children (with husband Bruce
However, Moore's Hollywood high
life is not in question; the cause of her
placement on the Walk of Fame is the
mystery at hand (then again, they
hand out those stars like water at a
marathon - even David Hasselhoff
has one).
What exactly enables Demi Moore
to enjoy the Hollywood lifestyle she
currently relishes? Even after look-
ing back at her career, now spanning
more than a decade, it's mystifying
as to exactly why she has become a
real star.
Perhaps it is that inexplicable qual-
ity that has made stars out of people
like Danny DeVito. It seems as though
this is yet another case for Robert
Stack: Demi Moore's unfathomable
fame, on the next "Unsolved Myster-

Uam Neeson converses with Nazi officer Ralph Fennes In "Schindler's List".
Long films try fans' patience,
movie studios bank accounts

By Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
Does this scenario sound familiar?
We go to catch a flick at the local
cinema, make a nice evening or after-
noon out of the excursion, but the little
trip turns out to last forever. Whatever
happened to "short and sweet?"
Perhaps filmmakers are thinking
that we can't get enough of a good
thing. Well, the fact of life is that all
good things must come to an end,
even the best of movies.
A recent trend in Hollywood pro-
ductions is to make films that are long
and exhaustive. Now, granted, some
flicks are just the right length. Take
"Mr. Holland's Opus," for example.
It lasted for nearly three hours, but the
plot did capture my attention; as a
bonus, the pain in the posterior part of
our body from the theater seats was
barely noticeable.
In the latest Richard Dreyfuss hit,
the extensive plot was required to

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expand on the characters and high-
light the true nature of their rela-
tionships. If the film were any
shorter, the story would have had
loose ends and the plot would have
been immensely thin. It would have
felt rushed and the audience would
hardly have been able to experience
the actors' emotions.
Similarly, in all 172 minutes
"Heat," the parallel plots just-barely
make it under the three-hour mark.
Many complain that in all this time,
superstars Robert DeNiro and Al
Pacino only have a five to six minute
confrontation. To some, this lack of
confrontation keeps the audience in
suspense, but to others the fact that it
took the duo more than 2 1/2 hours to
meet makes the flick unbearable (the
film was a box-office flop).
DeNiro appeared in another exten-
sive film - the action-packed "Ca-
sino." With him and fellow top-qual-
ity actors Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci,
a drawn-out plot is hardly necessary.
The "less is more" theory has great
importance. This gangster flick has a
plethora of unnecessary killings that
have audiences wondering when the
credits will start to roll. Even with t
rough and rugged society of toda
how many times can we watch a mur-
der and really enjoy it?
Not all of the great films of the
recent day need to have a running
time of more than two hours. Another
exception to this problem was when
Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo co-
starred in the thriller "Outbreak." They
managed to discover a problem. and
find a solution in just over two hours:
Perfect timing for people who need#g
use the washroom frequently.
The best thing about movies like
the orangutan comedy "Dunston
Checks In" and slap-stick "Biodome"
is that both were short. Sadly enough,
however, they both had no point.
Do these screenwriters think critics
will take a movie seriously only if it
lasts longer than two hours? Perhaps
- Oscar-winning films like
"Schindler's List" and "Dances w9
Wolves" both lasted 185 minutes.
Maybe the solution lies in making
more comfortable theater seats 'ones
that recline and give audiences the
comforts of home, with the pleasures
of the big screen. Then, theaters would
probably have to raise their prices to
cover refurbishing costs; maybe,
therefore, this idea would not work.
Perhaps the time has come for the-
aters to host intermission again. T
seems like it could be a profitab
move. They could sell more coilces-
sions and then they could make some
of those cute little cartoons with the
singing sodas and popcorn boxes.
This move could also benefit mov-
iegoers. If a film barely holds audi-
ence members' interest, they could
leave at the break without disrupting
anyone else. Or if people desperately
have to go to the bathroom, they cou@
leave without making a ruckus in the
middle of the best part of the flick.
But that wouldn't work either; people
would complain that the intermission
disrupts the whole flow of the film,
ultimately ruining the beauty of the

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