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February 19, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-19

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A haunting recount
"Deluge" is a gripping documentary, told through a first-person
narrative, that explores issues of national and personal identity and loss
surrounding the student uprisings that combatted the Ethiopian
monarchy. There will be a guest speaker at this unusual screening.lt
will be held tonight at 7 p.m. in the Chemistry building. Don't miss it.
February.19, 1996

'Gilmore' lands in the sand trap

* Ryan Posly
Daily Arts Writer
Adam Sandier is one funny guy. From
stand-up to "Saturday Night Live" to
his hilarious albums, he has maintained
a superiorlevel ofsilly slapstick mixed
with childish antics and, at his best,
witty songwriting. Most of this con-
verted well to the big screen in such
Happy Gilmore
Directed by Dennis Dugan
with Adam Sandler
At Briarwood and Showcase
films as "Airheads" and "Billy Madi-
son." Unfortunately, Sandier forsakes
* specialties and allows a weak story
to propel his latest movie, "Happy'
Don't get me wrong: "Happy
Gilmore" has its moments. But they all
involve Sandler at his craziest, and he is
substantially more subdued in this film
than I've ever seen him before. While
letting the feel-good story drive the
movieSandler allows himselfonly brief
outbursts of zaniness; it is this repres-

sion of his funniest material that sinks
the movie.
As with "Billy Madison," Sandler
again plays the title character here.
Happy Gilmore is a hockey player who
can't skate but has a wicked slap shot
and a perfect hockey mentality: Maim
anyone who touches "his" puck. De-
pressed becausehe has not made a mi-
nor league hockey team for the 10th
year in a row, Happy is dealt another
blow when he discoviers that his
grandmother's house is being repos-
sessed by the IRS.
After putting his grandmother
(Frances Bay), who raised him after his
father was killed by a flying puck, in a
rest home, Happy chances on golf as a
way to raise the money he needs to get
the house back. He soon realizes that
his slap shot easily converts into a 400-
yard drive, and he joins the PGA Tour.
How's that for high-concept?
Once he's on the golf course, the
meager plot takes an even more con-
ventional approach. Happy's nemesis
becomes an aristocratic, preppie golf
pro with a rampant ego, appropriately
named Shooter McGavin (Christopher
McDonald). Happy's hockey antics
don't go over so well on the gol]fcourse,
and this makes for the funniest mate-
rial, like when a fan laughs at Happy's

unconventional golf swing. Happy
marches right up to him, pulls his shirt
over his head and belts him in the face.
Enter the obligatory love interest
(Julie Bowen). This time, she is the
public relations director of the PGA
Tour, and she is given the job of
keeping Happy in line. This turns out
to be easier than it seems. In fact, as
soon as Happy is told to behave, most
of the comedy is drained right out of
the movie.
Carl Weathers, co-star of such test-
osterone films as "Rocky" and "Preda-
tor," figures prominently in "Happy
Gilmore" as Happy's golf mentor, who
happens to have only one hand. Ben
Stiller also makes a surprise uncredited
appearance as the psychotic director of
the rest home where Happy takes his
grandmother. As it turns out, Stiller
operates a rest home turned sweat shop,
forcing the old women to knit quilts for
his profit. These scenarios may seem
funny at first, but they're utilized far
too frequently, especially whenever the
humor needs a boost - which is more
often than expected.
So we're left with a thin storyline
involving Happy's quest to defeat
Shooter in the PGA Championship, not
just for money or for his grandmother,
but for honor. One of the most surpris-


"What did you say about 'The Price is Right,' comic boy? Take it backs Did you hear me? I said take it back."

ing aspects is that Sandler fills the shoes
of a normal guy just fine. Acting like a
lovable loser with a bad temper, Sandler
plays Happy very naturally, and it's
good to see that he may be more than
just a one-note comic. Unfortunately,
we never really care for any of the
characters, so the attempted feel-good

finale fails to captivate.
Adam Sandler is given the burden
of carrying "Happy Gilmore" with-
out giving himself (he co-wrote it
with Tim Herlihy) the funny material
for which he is so well-known. There
is, for what it's worth, an ample num-
ber of hilarious tidbits, like Kevin

Nealon as a Zen golfer with a meta-
physical attitude, or Bob Barker utter-
ing words never heard on "The Price Is
Right." But fans of Adam Sandler's
most recognized comedy will prob-
ably be sorely disappointed by the time
Happy lives - no pun intended -
happily ever after.

Vibrant, bold soloist enlivens show

Pizzicato Five
The Sound of Music

Unzipped EP
Flip, flamboyant, flashy and fashion-
able, Japan's Pizzicato Five and their
electro-cheesy lounge dance-pop never
go out of style. Only a group that's as
stylish and sure of themselves as
Pizzicato Five is could get away with a
song whose lyrics arejust "catchy catchy
catchy." But that's part of the group's
charm - they're seriously silly and
deeply superficial. They have as much
making fun of music as they have
~king it.
"The Sound of Music" certainly is fun,
almostunrelentingly so. Thealbum opens
with the one-two punch of "We Love
Pizzicato Five," a group of fans singing
the praises of the group, and the piano-
driven "Rock N' Roll" and doesn't look
back. Like fellow fashionable hipsters DJ
Towa Tei and Deee-Lite, Pizzicato Five
mix and match all styles of music for a
*nd that refers to many types ofpop but
ends up sounding precisely Pizzicato.
"Happy Sad" takes'60s soul-rhythm gui-
tars, doo-wop backing vocals and a disco
beat and makes them into an infectious
The first half of "The Sound of Mu-
sic" elaborates on Pizzicato Five's glit-
tery, glamorous dance-pop sound, but
it's on the second half of the album
where the group really starts to experi-
ment. "If I Were A Groupie" pits singer
niya Maki's girlish musing against
samples of real-life groupies reminisc-
ing about their lives. "Good!" mixes
wacky slide guitars, jumpy harpsi-
chords, bubbling keyboards and babble

By Nikhil Chawlas
For the Daily
Under the baton of violinist and
music director Vladimir Spivakov, the
Moscow Virtuosi, a 23-player cham-
ber ensemble, made a stop in Ann
Arbor as part of their seventh North
American tour. The program had a
wide range of music, from Mozart to
Rackham AuditoriumI
Feb. 16, 1996I
Spivakov was the soloist in Mozart's
"Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major."
He used a steady hand in conducting the
ensemble through the elegant introduc-
tion of the first movement. The solo-
ists' playing was a bit stiff in the begin-
ning, although it relaxed with time. The
technically demanding cadenza in this
section, perhaps written by the soloist
himself, wasplayed flawlessly, although
stylistically it was quite different from
the rest of the piece.
Like many of the slow movements in
other concertos, Mozart's composition
in this concerto is quite simple in na-
ture, and it is the task of the soloist to
embellish the piece. Spivakov gave a
very imaginative reading, drawing out
the long notes and using wide vibrato
and subtle pauses for a nice effect. The
orchestra provided a very warm accom-

paniment as well. The slow movement
led straight into the joyfully exuberant
Rondo, where, as the name implies, the
main theme was a regular recurrence
between several intermediate episodes.
The soloist used crisp bows off the
string to accentuate the notes in the
main phrase, while the disciplined play-
ers showed that they were quite ca-
pable of playing without the aid of
their conductor.
For the next piece, Vladimir
Spivakov picked up his baton to con-
duct Strauss' "Sextet For Strings," from
the opera "Capriccio." This free and
fanciful composition brought out the
individual talents of the players in the
ensemble. Equally soloistic was the
"Divertimento for Strings," by the
Hungarian cormposer Bela Bartok. Al-
though a divertimento is presumed to
have a light character, this piece was
written and played in a very serious
and deliberate fashion, with haunting
crescendos and several folk themes.
More enjoyable was another piece
by Bartok, the "Rhapsody Number l"
forviolin and orchestra. Here Spivakov
used bold bow strokes and enticingly
played harmonics to bring out the sub-
lime Hungarian folk rhythms.
The concert ended with several light-
hearted encores, in which the players
of the ensemble showed some humor
that contrasted with the largely serious
program. It was surprising that the
Moscow Virtuosi did not play any
pieces by Russian composers in the
regular program, although they did do
a short encore by Tchaikovsky. The
result was that the ensemble helped

dispel the myth that a given ensemble is'
only adept at playing pieces of their.
native composers.
As a soloist, Vladimir Spivakov came
across as an intellectual artist who pre-
fers a pure and noble way of playing,
compared to the shameless showman-
ship and extrovertedness in much of the
new generation of soloists. Spivakov's
soloistic personality and his more than
adequate conducting skills, coupled with
the disciplined and precise playing of.
the Moscow Virtuosi, made for a won
derful combination.


Decky AexanGer 10 perform
You'll be captivated and amused when Decky Alexander brings her poetic
monologues to the stage tonight as part of the Guild House Writers' Series. The
kick to Alexander's art comes from the fact that her "monologues" often become
dialogues - with Alexander playing all the parts herself. Her one woman act
transforms itself into a complete world of vivid scenes and rich characters. Former
Hopwood Award winner, Poet Akasha Fluegge, also performs her free verse
focusing on the isolation of growing up in rural Michigan's backwoods. The night's
festivities begin at 8:30. Guild House is located at 802 Monroe Street. Admission

London $199'
Paris $229*
Frankfurt $229*
Rome $309*
Athens $349*
Tel Aviv $369*
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waki0de drstrsstan,
"Voted 1995s Best Travel Agency
in Ann Arbor by the
readers of The Michigan Daily."
12205. Uisity Dr~ Ste. 208. AnnArborM148104

is free. Call 913-4574 for more information.

See RECORDS, Page 8A
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Zero ...ABomb en Td. 79
The 1996 Huaren
Cultural Show
Sunday, February 25, 1996
4:00 pm
Power Center

Don't Panic! !
If you think you're pregnant...
call us-we listen, we care.
Any time, any day, 24 hours.
Fully confidential.
Serving Students since 1970.

Michigan Union Board of Representatives is accepting
membership applications from interested students.

Students $4 * Adults $8
For show and ticket information, come to the
Fishbowl at Angell Hall on FEB. 21-23
Tickets will be sold at the door,
but get tickets ahead of time!

Rn*_xrt ' o

Applications are available February 12
at the Campus Information Center in
the Union and at the North Campus
Information Center in the North
Campus Commons.
Applications due February 23 at 5pm.
Return to Tern Petersen,
Room 1310 Michigan Union.
M IRR offers

For n

more information, please call
line Huang: 213-5658

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