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November 26, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-26

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November 26, 1996



Howtheact-ion star ruined Christmas

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
How many times is a person allowed
to say the words pointless and stupid in
a film review? Definitely not as many
times as I'd like. This year's holiday sea-
son opens with the movie "Jingle All
* Way," starring Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as two des-
perate fathers in pursuit of the year's
hottest toy, Turbo Man. Unfortunately,
the quality of this
film is about as
real as St. Nick RE
and his magical


er plays Howard
gston, a busy
executive whose


hectic schedule leaves him little time to
spend with his wife (Rita Wilson) and
son, Jamie. In an attempt to make up for
his many broken promises to the boy,
Langston promises Jamie that he will
get him the Turbo Man doll for
Christmas. But because of great cus-
tomer demand for Turbo Man and
Langston's decision to wait until
rstmas Eve to buy it, obtaining the
utterly impossi-
ble for him.
Soon Langston
joins the masses
of people, includ-
ing a psychotic
postal worker
named Myron
(Sinbad), in a
perate search
to track down aA
Turbo Man for
his son before
time runs out.
should have
known that they
were in trouble
when the pre-
views for this Sinbad and Arnold
, seemed.""n this horrible movie
addition, the plot_
takes only seconds to explain - a
father with a history of neglecting his
child promises to get him a toy, but
waits until the last minute. He scours
the town extensively looking for the toy,
before finally proving himself to his

son in a super-cheesy and predictable
fashion. Obviously, there's not a whole
lot involved. Too bad for audiences that
the filmmakers thought they could
stretch out this already lifeless idea into
a feature-length movie. The result is a
film that drags on and on with nothing
worthy to say.
The first obvious mistake that the
makers of "Jingle All the Way" make is
the casting. The two leads,
and Sinbad, have
V IEW about as much
comedic chem-
e All the Way istry as would a
Zero Stars team made up of,
say, Marlon
3riarwood and Showcase Brando and Chris
Rock. (Actually,
the latter team would probably have
been more entertaining.)
Schwarzenegger is out of place the
entire movie; his delivery of lines is
both forced and flat, and he seems con-
stantly uncomfortable. Phil Hartman's
auxiliary character sums it up perfectly
when he tells Langston: "You can't
bench-press your way out of this one."
Sinbad, on the other hand, has
moments when
he is almost
amusing. But
overall, he comes
off irritating, like
an annoying dog
that won't stop
barking. Also, the
talent of Wilson
is shamefully
wasted; she
spends the entire
movie looking as
if she is embar-
rassed for being
associated with
the film.
Even if the
casting had been
more fitting, the
movie would
fight to escape from have still been
horrid. The direc-
tion of Brian
Levant ("The Flintstones") can be
described as amateurish at best. The
screenplay is brimming with cliches
and weak lines, giving the actors little
to work with. Even the editing is notice-
ably bad, giving off the feeling that this

film was rushed through production so
that it could released in time for the hol-
idays. The overall product is a movie
that feels as if it has been thrown
together without much concern for
quality. As a result, "Jingle All the
Way" doesn't make a whole lot of
The lone bright spot of the film may
just be the role of James Belushi as a
mall Santa Claus who deals in black
market toys.-Unfortunately, his role is
incredibly small and it doesn't do much
to help the movie.
And the mystery question is: Exactly
WHO is this
film made
for? It does-
n't seem to be
targeted at adults,
as there is absolutely no
sense of reality in the
movie (in one scene,
a package explodes
in a police offi-
cer's hands in the
same style as a
cartoon). Yet this
movie doesn't seem
to be fit for kids, as it may be
traumatic for some children to
watch Arnold beat the living
daylights out of a few dozen
Santa Clauses. Nevertheless,
the ambiguity of the target
audience is just another rea-
son why people shouldn't
waste their time watching the
"Jingle All the Way" has
the ability to suck the spirit
out of Christmas better
than Scrooge or the Grinch
ever could. Wrapped in bad
acting, bad direction, bad
screenwriting and a bad plot this
movie will have audiences every-
where wishing that they had received
underwear this Christmas, instead of
this film.
This is a movie that will make you
laugh (because the film is so bad), that
will make you cry (because the film is
so bad) and, in the end, it will leave you
with good feelings (because you're so
happy to get out of the theater).
Undoubtedly, the filmmakers associat-
ed with "Jingle All the Way" should get
coal in their stockings for ever making
this film.

Ah-nold makes
some Christmas
friends In "Jingle
All the Way." He
may need these
new pals after
audiences reject
this awful new ,

Maxi Priest
wows again
on new CD
Maxi Priest
Man With The Fun
Despite Maxi Priest's change from
reggae to a more pop / dance hall flavor,
the quality of his music has not
changed much through the years. This
is evident in Maxi's latest release "Man
With The Fun."
Though not up to the high level of his
earlier work, Priest still delivers a
cent album. While able to
vide the grass root reg-
gae lover's "Message in
a Bottle" and
"Frienenemy," he
also pleases the
dance hall freaks t
with "Heartbreak
Lover" and his hit
single "That Girl."
"Watching the World
Go By" and "Ain't It
Sough" satisfies an audience
t at has enjoyed other Maxi Priest ven-
tures into pop. "Golden Teardrops,"
another highlight, actually stands out
all by itself as arguably the best song on
the disc. This one is sure to please any
music lover.

Ibsen's 'Ghosts' mesmerizes Mendelssohn crowd

Here stands Maxi Priest.
The only real problem with "Man
With The Fun" is its lack of fine reggae
songs. Priest has decided to integrate
his CD to appeal to the listeners of
dance hall and pop. While his disc is
still of high quality, it in no way
compares to his earlier
works' better selection
of pure reggae.
Nevertheless, Maxi
Priest has once again
provided the music
world with another
product that will be
discussed for years to
come. "Man With The
Fun" is a disc that really has
to be listened to several times
before it can be appreciated. Although
Priest has dared to change his music for
greater mass appeal, he is one of the few
artists that can do it just the right way,
satisfying virtually everyone.
- Henry Roberson

By Angela Walker
Daily Arts Writer
The stage is dimly lit. "The sun, the sun ..." says
Osvald Alving (Mark Alhadeff) in a child's voice, as
his mother looks on in horror. Slowly the stage grows
brighter. "The sun, the sun ..." he repeats, staring off
into the distance. The light becomes almost blinding.
At this point Mrs. Alving (Jenny Burleson) cannot
bear it; she is paralyzed by fear.
At last there is darkness in
Mendelssohn Theater, and the R E
silence is broken by resounding
applause, signifying the conclu-
sion of a marvelous perfor- Mend
It was an intense two and one-
half hours for anyone who chose
to attend director Philip Kerr's version of Henrik
Ibsen's "Ghosts" last weekend. More than one main
character in the play was essentially living a lie, creat-
ing a seemingly perfect family that was nowhere near
perfect underneath. The past had been carefully
rewritten, and the audience could only watch as the
"camouflage over the abyss" was slowly torn to
Ibsen wrote about everyday people with real life
problems; he portrayed the family and the world as it
really is. Consequently, none of the characters in
"Ghosts" had much to smile about in the play's final
moments. It was discovered that Regine, played by


Sophina S. Brown, was the product of an illegitimate
affair, and the man she thought was her father had
only married her mother to cover up that crime. To
make matters worse, she had her sights set on Osvald,
who she now knew was her half-brother. Their
deceased father, "The Honorable Captain Alving,"
was found to have been a terrible father and an even
worse husband. And to top it all off, Osvald did not
come home to visit, as he had
said. Instead, he was there to
l I E W stay, unable to work ever again
because of an incurable termi-
Ghosts nal illness.
ssohn Theater The set (designed by Ryan
Palmer) was inventive and per-
Nov. 21, 1996 fectly appropriate. The entire
play took place inside Mrs.
Alving's house. There were two main rooms, one to
the front and one to the back of the stage. They were
separated by the use of a transparent gauzy material
for the walls; thus the audience could see what was
occurring in the back room (the kitchen area) while
action was taking place in the foreground. Another
wall made up the back of the house, in order that the
audience was able to see beyond that, to what was hap-
pening outside. The lavish furnishings and the atten-
tion to detail added an inherent sense of realism to an
otherwise abstract set.
Outstanding performances were given all around,
especially in the portrayals of Osvald and Mrs. Alving.

In one scene, Osvald was depicted as confident and
upbeat, and in the next his condition evolved into a
weak and depressed. Shockingly, at one point"
began destroying his paintings, balling them up and
ripping them right in half. Mrs. Alving, who at t fe
beginning was very formal and distinguished, lt*k
down more and more as the play went on. It wasjt
who had covered everything up in the first placeg
as she began to reveal the truth she let her own mask
dissolve as well. The strength and versatility of these
two actors was what made the story come alive, on
However, it was not an actor or actress that stole the
show. The most impressive part of the performrid
was the lighting (designed by Rob Murphy).
Throughout every scene something unique was d4'g
with the lighting that complemented what was k;e
pening on stage. The highlight came when there was a
fire at the orphanage; the lights created perfectly the
appearance of a blazing fire in the distance. The audi-
ence was plunged into the middle of the trauma, aiid
the lights and sound made one feel as if he or she were
a part of it, as if it were real. :.
Much credit must also given to Kerr. His choic.p
use a modern American translation was wise;t
language was easy to follow, while remaining trugtp
the original text. Kerr has given new life to a classic
play. "Ghosts" was a big success - a play that lef
the plot unresolved and the audience searchingfr

- p ,*,i

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Dialogues among different groups:
- People of Color & White People
- Men & Women



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