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April 08, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-08

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ft Odytow R(du

Replicants run rampant in A2
"Blade Runner," director Ridley Scott's 1982 classic science-fiction
film, will be returning to Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater for a limited
engagement this week. Harrison Ford stars in this mesmerizing,
technical masterpiece that should not be missed on the big screen.
Today's showing is at 4:15 p.m. Student admission is $5.

April 8, 1996

Year tbis:'Thimal' disappoints

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
Imagine what would have happened
if halfway through the O.J. Simpson
trial, Johnny Cochran or Robert Shapiro
discovered, contrary to their original
beliefs, that their client was guilty of
the-crime he was being charged with.
How would they have reacted? This
ntral question lies at the heart of"Pri-
mal Fear," a clumsy courtroom drama /
psychological thriller directed by Gre-
gory Hoblit. }
When one of Chicago's most revered
archbishops is brutally murdered and a
suspect is arrested, Martin Vail (Rich-
ard Gere a successful defense attor-

Primal Fear

Directed by Gregory Hoblit
with Richard Gere
and Laura Linney
At Briarwood and Showcase
ney, decides to pursue the case and the
spotlight it projects. Although at first
the egotistical Vail does not concern
himselfwith the truth, he develops genu-
ine compassion forhisseeminglyharm-
less client, Aaron Stampler (played
masterfully by Edward Norton), who
was an altar boy in the archbishop's
church choir. Moreover, there appears
to be a lack of motive, as the defendant
had nothing but love and respect for the
slain religious leader who had picked
the homeless Aaron off the streets and
given him a place to live.
However, as the trial moves on and
Vail conducts more ofhis own research,
the evidence begins to pile up against
his client. A motive is revealed when
the lawyer finds out that the perverse
archbishop used to videotape Aaron
and others performing sexual acts. Yet
Vail still can't believe that the soft-
spoken, polite suspect would have been
able to murder anyone.
That is, until the lawyer meets "Roy,"

Aaron's violent alter ego, who proudly
admits to the crime. Vail is left trying to
figure out how to defend a murderer,
while trying to do what is best for the
kind Aaron, all without losing the case
and bruising his ego.
The core of "Primal Fear" deals with
corruption, sex and multiple personali-
ties (what is this: a TV movie?). Al-
though this has been done many times
before, it doesn't seem as if the film-
makers care. What the movie tries to do
is dig deep into the psyche of not only
the suspect, but also the slimy lawyer
defending him (playing such a scum is
not much of a stretch for Richard Gere).
Unfortunately, it does not do this
very well. All we find out about Aaron
is that he was abused as a child, and the
creation of Roy allows the mild man-
nered boy to vent his anger. Come on,
tell us something we don't know.
At least the characterization of Vail
is a bit more complex. Placed in a diffi-
cult situation, his attitudes and actions
oscillate significantly. First, all he cares
about is victory and notoriety. Then, all
he wants to do is help Aaron. Then, he
wants to save Aaron and fix some per-
sonal vendettas while winning. Finally,
he wants justice.
Yet in the end, what prevents the film
from totally bombing is its conclusion.
The completely uncreative, nearly
laughable happenings manage to finally
stumble their way toward the finish.
Then, when it appears that an annoy-

Richard Gere informs young Edward Norton to eat all his fruits and vegetables.

ingly neat ending has been tacked on,
subsequent events add a final twist that
leave eyebrows arched and mouths wide
open. For a brief second there is a sense
of satisfaction that negates anything
else that took place over the previous
two hours.
Still, despite the ending, it is difficult
to overlook the rest of the film. Not that

the production is of very low quality,
rather, it manages to be extremely for-
And it's also hard to ignore the
obvious Simpson trial references. The
media is obsessed with the case, a
knife is the weapon of choice, there
is a televised chase scene, the judge
has many Ito-esque qualities, Vail

could have been based on a dream
team lawyer, and there is even a star-
tling conclusion to the trial. Unfortu-
nately, the one thing "Primal Fear"
does not copy from the Simpson case
that it could really use, is excitement
leading up to the finale. This just goes
to show that occasionally CNN can be
more interesting than a movie.

"How 'bout a little habeas corpus?"

Beat's Ginsberg hits Hill Auditorium in style

She Score
Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
I don't get it. Am I like the only
person who wasn't surprised when
Fugees' sophomore LP was released,
and it was the bomb? It seemed like
everybody was shocked when this trio
released what is, to date, the best-flow-
ing rap album of the year (yes, even
etter than 2PAC's).
Granted, the Fugees' freshman re-
lease, 1994's "Blunted on Reality," was
all right, but it wasn't all that. Yet some
cuts on that album - like "Some Seek
Stardom" and "Giggles" - hinted that
when the Fugees returned, their next
album would be off the hook.
And is it ever. So what if it took them
two years to get their act together. "The
Score" is definitely worth the wait.
4.auryn has axed the weaved-in braids
she sported on the last album in favor of
the short, curly, more natural look.
Homegirl is fine; everyone is talkin'
'bout her. She remains accompanied by
her-two Haitian compadres, Wyclefand
Prakazrel (Pras), and many bemoan this.
I don't get this either. These guys have
always based their political and so-
cially conscious songs on their beliefs
of black unity and support, and their
fans are trying to get them to split up.
* Besides, I don't think the guys are
bad rappers. Listen to the brothas flow
on the title track and on "How Many
Mics." These guys are definitely above
par in what they do. The only thing
Lauryn has over them is her singing
ability. I knew she could blow ever
since I heard herperform "His Eye Is on
the Sparrow" on "Sister Act 2." With
her sweetly sung "Killing Me Softly"
emake, Lauryn continues to show that,
apping or singing, she knows what's
up. She has by now replaced Junior
Mafia's Li'l Kim as the new woman in
rap to watch. But Pras and Wyclef should
most definitely not be overlooked.
One great Fugees change easily heard
on "The Score" is the lack of pot refer-
ences. This was perhaps "Blunted on
Reality"'s biggest weakness. The
Fugees were trying to spit deep lyrics
about important topics while simulta-
*eously putting marijuana on a pedestal

that only Cypress Hill hasbeen able to
do. But, I doubt the three have changed
theiropinion about the drug (they looked
blunted as hell when they performed
live on MTV).
Now we have the Fugees bringing us
to a more sober reality about everything
from the government and inner-city
despair ("Family Business") to poverty
and homelessness ("Mista Mista"), and
more so about the fact that too many of
us could care less about it.
The Fugees are the newest hot com-
modity of hip hop. They have produced
a tight album that will definitely perk
up some ears. There ain't enough nice
things to say about this album. It's
phatter than phat; it's doper than dope.
It'll renew your love of the rap art.
- Eugene Bowen
DV8 Records
Drill continues in a fine tradition of
pure, unadulterated bad music; it is a
band that seems to purposely try to
annoy the hell out of you.
They try so hard that I had to give
them half a star for effort alone. But
beyond that, this album is just a joke.
Let's start with lead singer, Lucia
Cirafelli, a sort of patchwork she-Fran-
kenstein of female vocalists. She's kind
enough to show you herpink-and-black
underwear three times in the liner notes,
all while sucking her thumb, wearing
herbest plasticized, black leather outfit
and sporting a bitchy stare that would
put Shannen Doherty to shame. And the
vocals aren't what you would expect;
they're much, much worse. She's a
twisted vocal hybrid of Courtney Love,
Alanis Morisette and Ani DiFranco,
which translates into the kind of grating
whines that could frighten large wood-
land creatures.
As if the vocals weren't obnoxious
enough, they're laid over a mix of
chunky guitar books and a sludge-prone
rhythm section. In other words, the
music is stuck in a sort of '80s glam /
grunge limbo, which is not a pleasant
place to be.
Things get particularly unpleasant
on the single "I Like You." To directly
See RECORDS, Page 8A

By Jacob Kart night's performance at the Hill Audito-
For the Daily rium proved that he is about much more
"Allen Ginsberg is about confused than that. Ginsberg read poems new
mind writing down newspaper head- and old, sang with two different back-
lines from Mars." This line from ing bands and discussed Buddhist teach-
Ginsberg's recentpoem "Is About" cap- ings in a benefit for Jewel Heart, which
tures much of his appeal, but Friday also included a blistering performance

by rock-poet legend Patti Smith.
Smith, introduced by Ginsberg as
"one of the pioneers of spoken poetry
and music," took the stage for the first
half of the show. With a new album
completed last week, a newly pub-
lished book of poems and a massive
tour planned for the near future, she
appears ready for a return to the public
eye from her "meditative cave" of the
'80s. Her act was ragged and unorga-
nized at times, but always inspiring.
Smith was an intimidating presence
on stage, despite her frail figure. She
read several poems with gritty power,
while her musical performances soared.
The dirge-like "Walkin' Blind" from
the "Dead Men Walking" soundtrack
was a highlight of the evening, fol-
lowed by a seeningly improvised poem
with the repeated mantra, "The people
have the power, the power to dream."
Her impassioned beatnik call for em-
powerment was met with wild ap-
plause, and Smith rode this wave of
emotion throughout the rest of the
Smith's newer songs, especially
"Gone Again," written with her late
husband Fred "Sonic" Smith of the
MC5, were delivered with surprising
punk ferocity for an all-acoustic band.
But there was no doubt that the night
really belonged to Allen Ginsberg. With
his already legendary status rising due
to the recent revival of beatnik culture,

Allen Ginsberg
Hill Auditorium
April 5, 1996

Ginsberg seemed determined to be un-
predictable. He read only two short po-
ems from the era of "Howl" and
"Kaddish" (which he had read the previ-
ous two years), preferring to focus on
recent work, including Patti Smith-in-
fluenced pairings of poetry and song.
Ginsberg opened with two Buddhist-
inspired songs in tribute to his spiritual
teacher Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, the
founder of Jewel Heart. He accompa-
nied the soulful "Father Death Blues"
with rudimentary accordion work,
backed by a viola and a stand-up bass. In
a lighter vein was "Do the Meditation
Rock," which managed to poke fun at
Buddhism while describing the medita-
tion process in great detail. The audi-
ence clapped along to Ginsberg's Dylan-
esque vocals and lines like "I fought the
Dharma and the Dharma won."
Rinpoche was then invited on stage to
"submit himself to some American in-
terrogation." Responding to Ginsberg's
teasing demand to know "what kind of
trip you are laying on everybody,"
Rinpoche described the purpose of Jewel
Heart as "to serve and to share the

Allen Ginsberg performed at Hill Auditorium Friday evening.

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