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January 16, 1996 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-16

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 16, 1996

Ca ng'Balto' gets unleashed in theaters

By Kate Brady
Daily Arts Writer
As movies go, Balto probably will not
make your top 10 list this year. That is,
unless you happen to be under the age of
8. Not many older folks will see it -
unless they accompany a small child.
Yet "Balto" does not fail to please its
target audience: When I saw it, the
theater, full of children, was almost
silent. My little sister looked up at me
after it was over and asked if she could
"please see it again." She loved the cute
animals, especially the dogs. She also
thought that the goose was especially
funny. For full enjoyment, I highly rec-
ommend seeing "Balto" with a 6-year-
old.

Balto
Directed by Simon
Wells; with the voices
of Kevin Bacon and
Bridget Fonda
At Briarwood
However, "Balto" does have plenty of
charm, even for audience members a few
years above grade school. Many of the
characters are endearing and funny. In-
cluded among Balto's companions are
two cuddly polarbears who cannot swim,
and a Russian goose. These characters

provide most of the comedy. Also, little
Rosie, the girl that Balto tries to save, and
her dog, the love interest, are sweet.
"Balto," sadly enough, cannot hold
its own as Friday night movie fare. Its
first flaw is that it is not a Disney
release. This is not to say that Disney
only puts out animated movies worth
seeing; still, however, "Balto" lacks the
quality to stand up to recent, popular
movies, such as "The Lion King." The
animation is occasionally distracting;
in some spots, this flick looks like a
cheap Saturday morning cartoon.
"Balto" also lacks originality. Car-
toon lovers who see this movie might
have a strange sense of deja vu. Al-
though the plot, based on a true story of

the rescue of an Alaskan town by a team
of sled dogs, is unique, many of the
characters are not. Balto's rival for love,
another sled dog, is essentially Gaston
from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast,"
reincarnated as a dog. Also, certain
facets of Balto's character seem to come
directly from "The Lion King."
The plot is occasionally trite, but it
rerains interesting and at times even
exciting. The ending is predictable, but
it is nevertheless satisfying. If viewers
can look past its flaws and the inevi-
table cliches, they will uncover a heart-
warming movie.
Warning: "Balto" is not the best movie
of 1995. If you must, wait for the video,
but don't forget to bring a child.

RECORDS a

I I

Continued from Page 9

the slow, R&B mood that dominates
this CD. And don't overlook lesser
known acts like For Real ("Love Will
be Waiting at Home"), Shanna ("How
Could You Call Her Baby") and Sonja
Marie ("And I Gave My Love to You").
All of these women offer some soul-
coaxing doses of that unmistakab'
R&B vibe. "Count on Me," Whitne
duo with CeCe Winans which plays at
the movie's end, is one helluva beauti-
ful song and can not be forgotten when
skimming the album's contents.
The truly beautiful thing about this
CD is that, in creating it, Babyface
didn't overlook R&B's pioneers. They
are featured on this album in full-force,
and onceyou hearsome Aretha Franklin
soul ("It Hurts Like Hell"), a little Patti
LaBelle power ("My Love, S0
Love") and a bit of Chaka Khans
balladeering ("My Funny Valentine"),
you'll know, if you don't already, that
these women have truly earned their
legendary status.
- Eugene Bowen
Various Artists
Lost Treasures and
Hellbound Hot-Rods
Del-Fi Records
With "Lost Treasures" and
"Hellbound Hot-Rods," Del-Fi
Records cements itself as a solid con-
tender with Rhino Records in the war
of the hip re-issue labels. The two
CDs offer an astounding array of for-
gotten songs by forgotten bands from
the days when labels would sign any
group who claimed to play rock 'rl'
roll.
Whether you view these collections
as ironically hip or 'as legitimate
glimpses into the past, there's little doubt
that even the crummiest knock-offbands
on these discs gave their souls to rock
'n' roll, a claim that can be made about
few of the second-rate musicians who
fill today's airwaves. True, sometimes
these songs are laughably bad, but at
least they're bad with feeling.
The most promising of the two c
lections is "Lost Treasures." Along the
same lines as Re-Search's "Incredibly
Strange Music" series, the songs on
"Lost Treasures" must be heard to be
believed.
With song subjects ranging from
thesilly(Nite Hawks' "ChickenGrab-
ber,"an instrumental interspersed with
chicken sounds) to the downright bi-
zarre (The Rockyfellers' "Don't Sit
Down," a tune about a city in wh
people refuse to use chairs), "Lt
Treasures" constantly makes you
question the motivation behind these
recordings.
Stand-outs include The Bedwells'
"Karate," a failed attempt to combine
the popularity of karate movies and
"The Twist" style dance songs, The
Mincys' "The F.B.I.," atsomberdirge
about the early days of the F.B.I. and,
forgiving the slightly racist overtol
Bob Ridgley's "She Was a Mau-Mau
a groovy tune about meeting agirl in the
jungle. Although it probably doesn't
make much difference, the remastering
is impeccable. This disc is a must have
for the curiosity seeker.
Though not as successful, "Hellbound
Hot-Rods" does have its moments. The
disc spotlights six groups from the short
lived "hot-rod exploitation" genre of
music, which, as far as I can tell
basicallyj ust surf music with car sou
laid over the top.
Deuce Coups, De-Fenders and Darts
get the most attention, with six songs
apiece included on the compilation. The
Roadsters, The Venturas and Opus I
also contribute to the fun, with The
Roadsters' "Mag Rims" being a par-
ticular stand-out.

Unfortunately, after the novelty wears
off, many of the songs on "Hellbot
Hot-Rods" simply trot out stale surf
riffs, attempting to come across as new
songs (thanks to the addition of the
aforementioned car noises). Fun once.
annoying after hearing it done 23 times
in a row.
- Jeffrey Dinsmore

Dexter's not his usual self.

the salsa.

You suspect
So you call Dr. Nusblatt, your,
The Cal s5 cI
(Too bad about the CO

family

vet back home.

eap.
nsultation fee.)

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