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March 18, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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The Michigan Daily - Monday March 18, 1996 - 9A

JEnding spoils a good
EP.Kristin fang ~El
'ad Arts Writer
w There's nothing like a movie that Executive


keeps you on the edge of your seat, or
gns that has you wanting to yell at the
,een, rooting for the characters in
their time of woe. When elements like
these combine with a flat ending, how-
er, all you get is a film like "Execu-
In this recent Warner Brothers cre-
atiop, we have all the makings of a
breathtaking thriller. It has terrorists,
bombing and espionage - all thou-
sids of feet above the ground. It cen-
ters. around the hijacking of a 747
headed fdr Washington, D.C. The ter-



Directed by Stuart Baird
with Kurt Russell
and Halle Berry
At Briarwood and Showcase
rorists aboard plan to exchange the 400
passengers for the release of their leader,
who is held captive by the Americans.
The film follows the president's Cri-
sis Management Team through their
fight to restore peace in the friendly
skies. This group struggles with the
problem of handling the highly tem-
peramental terrorists led byNagi Hassan
(David Suchet); Hassan has the ability
to destroy hundreds of Americans both
in the air on the ground.
They are placed in desperate cir-
cumstances where the most obvious
decision is not always the best. The
complicated options allow the movie
to follow an unusual pattern, making
it not as predictable as many intense
stories can be.
Kurt Russell stars as David Grant,
Ph.D., the intelligence expert on inter-

national terrorism. Grant enlightens the
government with his insight on the true
intentions of the enemy; he knows that
one wrong move destroys hundreds.
Grant is one of those civilians/govern-
ment employees who has the brains to
help the government, but appears to
lack the muscle to make any other ef-
Excitement builds in every scene of
the flick. The amazing, yet frightening,
aspects of modern technology are uti-
lized by the government and computer
whiz Cahill (Oliver Platt) to get the
Special Forces aboard the plane. When
only half the team completes the mis-
sion, the men on the ground must rely
on their intuition. The soldiers must
compete, not only with the terrorists,
but with their own government in order
to survive.
Halle Berry is the flight attendant who
somehow has the knowledge to outwit
the terrorists, while providing beverage
service to her passengers. Although her
role is brave and impressive, it is at times
a bit unbelievable. She receives some
comfort from the silent Marla Maples
Trump, who, throughout the entire film,
only nods and smiles, adding a humorous
facet to all the tension.
The might of the government's plan
comes from the Special Forces led by
Lieutenant Colonel Austin Travis (Steven


"It's David Justice, he's coming after us. I'll save you, Halle!"

Seagal). The group, including Rat (John
Leguizamo), Cappy (Joe Morton), Louie
(B.D. Wong) and Baker(Whip Hubley)
aren't just a bunch of soldiers whose
only role is to shoot and get shot; these
guys are strong and stable throughout
the entire flick.'

"Executive Decision" has great ex-
citement. It is amix between "Die Hard"
and "Speed," but, at times, it is a little
too much like both. The plot walks the
line between reality and fantasy, and
the parts that involve imagination re-
quire a great stretch for our minds.

"Executive Decision" has the audience
in great anticipation, as they bite their
nails and grasp the edge of their seats. It is
one trial after another, and the middle
hardly lags a bit. Unfortunately, for this
stellar film, the ending dulls the thrill and
action in the rest of its sequences.

"1 lOve tne NiRA."


Shiny San
ras fires
Up crowd
By Stephanie Love
tFor-the Daily.
The San Francisco Symphony per-
*ormed before a very appreciative audi-
ence Friday night. In fact, the near-sell-
out crowd at Hill Auditorium refused to
let the orchestra stop after the official
program- featuring Aaron Copland's
Symphonic Ode and Symphony No. 5
in C-Sharp Minorby Gustave Mahler-
was over.
Both works spotlighted the
'orchestra's brass, and after the opening
notes of the Symphonic Ode, it was
Ilearly evidenfvhich section would be
running the show. Not only did
Copland's work accentuate the brass,
especially the trumpets and French
horns, but it set the standard for the
caliber of music and enthusiasm this
group displayed. The work also gave
thie rest of the orchestra a chance to
show that they too were nothing to take
San Francisco
.Hill Auditorium
March 15, 1996
,,Music Director Michael Tilson
',,- mas's energy was captured and ear-
-atly reproduced by the orchestra,
sk ing the performance ofthe Copland
the level of any other world-re-
Owyned orchestra. Enjoying the dis-
i7ct style of Copland, the audience's
,husiastic response at intermission
:w a clear indication of the San Fran-
R o Symphony's excellence.
'Z : he presentation of Mahler 5 was
'Yat the audience was waiting for Fri-
y, and, judging from the intensity of
heaudience throughout the perfor-

Ex-Ann Arbor poet returns home

By Jacob Kart
For the Daily
Lawrence Joseph is a professor oflaw at St. John's Univer-
sity and an award-winning poet. As you might expect,
Joseph's vast legal knowledge tends to work its way into his
poetry, but he seems tired of the association. He describes
law and poetry as "separate endeavors," each involving "a



different way of
When Joseph
read from his most
recent work, "Be-
fore our Eyes," as
well as 1988's
"Curriculum Vitae"
and 1983's "Shout-
ing At No One" last
Thursday at the

received the Hopwood Award for Poetry and attended Cam-
bridge University on a Powers Fellowship. "Ann Arbor is
where I first began to think of myself as a poet," Joseph told
the assembled crowd of students, teachers and friends.
Joseph's grandparents were Lebanese and Syrian Catholic
immigrants. His older work focuses on the political and
religious conflicts he faced growing up as an Arab American
in Detroit, here in Ann Arbor and in his present home in New
York. But with "Before Our Eyes," he has taken a more
meditative stance, described in the final line of the book's
title poem- "For the time being let's just keep to what's
before our eyes." And Joseph's eyes take in the world in
minute details of color, emotion and introspection. "I try to
bring the pressures of reality into the poem," Joseph said, and
reality is ever-present in his work - a captivating descrip-
tion of a sunrise could easily be followed by a sudden internal
discourse on the world economy.
"I like to bring in the range of language in society," he said.
Joseph himself is not immune to the magnifying glass of his
poetry, as poems such as "Some Sort of Chronicler I Am"
examine his own faults with self-deprecating clarity.
Joseph read his poetry in a friendly, conversational and
sometimes sardonic style, always engaging the audience. He
emphasized the importance of the text itself, saying "I like
See JOSEPH, Page 1OA

March 14, 1996

Rackham Amphitheater, it was clear that he has no difficulty
reconciling his two professions.
Lawrence Goldstein, editor of the Michigan Quarterly
Review and organizer of the University's visiting writers
series, describes Joseph as "one of the University of
Michigan's premier success stories." Joseph attended the
University in the late '60s and early '70s, first as an under-
graduate and then as a Law student. As an undergraduate, he

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas led the San Francisco symphony at Hill.

mance and the response after the last
chord, no one was disappointed. As
impressive as the instrumentalists,
Michael Tilson Thomas' performance
was nothing less than amazing, as he
conducted the entire symphony, one
hour and 15 minutes of music, from
Once again, the caliber of playing
was exceptional, and the emotional
quality produced by the Symphony's
interpretation kept the audience capti-
vated. As before, the trumpet section
shined, producing an incredible display
of virtuosity, but the rest of the brass,
especially the French horns, were also
just as effective.
This concert was definitely a brass
player's dream, but the strings and
woodwinds were equally as impres-
sive in their own right. Without the
stunning performance of the entire of
the orchestra, the impact of the brass
would not have been nearly as effec-
Mahler spoke of his work with some

uncertainty, remarking, "What is the
public to make of this chaos?" when
referring to the intense harmonic con-
struction of the symphony and the com-
plexity of the relationship between sec-
tions of the orchestra. But the San Fran-
cisco Symphony had no problems con-
verting Mahler's "chaos" into some-
thing extraordinary.
By the finale, the audience was well
aware of the quality and talent embod-
ied by these performers. In fact, the
orchestra was so well-received that af-
ternearly five full minutes of deafening
applause and rowdy cheers, the stand-
ing audience got what they wanted, an
encore and a chance to see the Sym-
phony display yet another side, equally
as impressive as its interpretation of the
20th century works.
There is no question that the brass
section's performance was stellar, un-
matched by almost anything that Hill has
seen this year, and thisperformance, paired
with the artistry of the entire orchestra,
placed this concert in a class by itself.

* ecture Notes 3
* ours$Pckt
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