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December 06, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Uft ift~mi Dat

Midnight Madness!
Ann Arbor breaks into a shopping frenzy today as the downtown retail
district offers bargains galore. Enjoy late night shopping and a general
ly festive atmosphere as this Ann Arbor tradition offers great bargains
for all your holiday shopping needs. For more information on the day's
happenings, call 668-7652.

December 6, 1996





Burton sci-fi thriller takes no prisoners

By Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
A film about Martians invading Earth and making a
mockery of humans is perhaps not one of the most intellec-
tually stimulating plots for most movie-goers. The theme
seems based more on humor than on a well-rounded speci-
men of fine cinema, and the slap-stick story borders on pure
In "Mars Attacks!," however, theR
imbalance is masked by the creative R
genius of its director Tim Burton. When
it comes to creativity, Burton knows 100
how to invent a masterpiece that makes
the other features less prominent; his Oper
latest project is a fine example of his
potential. The film's success lies in the warped, yet enchant-
ing mindset of the director.
"Mars Attacks!" does not have the big plot that involves
immense character development or intense drama; the story,
in fact, does not touch on either. Big-name stars like Jack
Nicholson and Glenn Close play ridiculous roles that stray
from their more profound styles of acting, and the lack of
seriousness fits accordingly with the plot.
Where Burton succeeds in direction, he falters in story
strength. The lack of a realistic plot is one thing, but a little
substance would suffice. Luckily, the film ends before the
story really drags and the theater seats become too uncom-
The models for the story were the alien invasion films and
the Topps "Mars Attacks!" trading cards of the '50s and '60s.
Burton collaborated efforts with screenwriter Jonathan Gems
to produce a film of a "War of the Worlds"-esque style and
tone. While its mediocre attempt hardly breaks the surface,
the shallow mood accompanies the glorified sci-fi style.

ns F

The location of the movie itself takes place in numerous
cities across the country, playing on the mystified American
population that is enchanted by the thought of an alien inva-
sion. In the midst of an interview between".seductive talk
show host Natalie Lake (Sarah Jessica Parker) and the ego-
tistical, alien-expert Professor Donald Kessler (Pierce
Brosnan), Martians intercept the television transmission sig-
nal and send a message to Earthlings of
their forthcoming invasion.
V I E W Jack Nicholson does a decent job as
rs Attacks! president of the United States, James
Dale, who somehow seems to evade the
yk k r more dangerous aspects of the invasion.
Friday, Dec. 13, 1996 Glenn Close is his first lady whose pri-
mary purpose is to look good and give
flaky moral support.
If famous stars were enough to make "Mars Attacks!" a
success, it would be at the top of the list. Accompanying
Nicholson in the Oval Office is Martin Short as the Press
Secretary, Jerry Ross, who is majorly obsessed with a good
appearance. Rod Steiger is General Decker, the fierce arm
man waiting for his chance to destroy the Martians on th
first arrival. His bad-cop attitude is subdued by the peace-
making General Casey (Paul Winfield).
The list continues with Annette Bening as flaky love-
child, attempting to recover from her drinking problem.
Danny DeVito has a brief cameo as a big-time gambler,
but his role hardly has any substantial effect. Even the
ever-cheesy Tom Jones stars as himself in a Vegas casino
"Mars Attacks!" lacks a balance between Burton's imag-
ination with the alien life forms and an artistic plot. T ,
story and the stars are entertaining for the hour and a ha
and thankfully, no longer.

Annette Bening guards lounge lizzard Tom Jones, Vegas' most valuable treasure, in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"


"Mars" stars (left to right): Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close.
Glory Phi God provides an alternate avenue for worship.

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
For whatever reason - right or
wrong - words like "God" and "party"
or "worship" and "fun" don't seem to
go together too well in many a college

student's vocabulary. But ordained min-
ister and University sophomore Keith
Butler II, son of the legendary pastor of
Detroit's Word of Faith International
Christian Center, minister Keith Butler,
is out to change that. He has brought

Glory Phi God, a religious youth orga-
nization which was founded at the
Christian Center and has since then
sprouted to a number of metro Detroit
high schools, to the University.
And now they're having a party, and

it's free. Tonight at the U-Club, from 9
p.m. until the Spirit says otherwise, the
first G Phi G talent show / party will
take place.
"It'll be an opportunity for people to
get to know one
another in fellow-
ship and to worship
together," the G
younger Butler >
University junior Mic
and G Phi G mem-
ber Tesenga Duncan stresses the impor-
tance of events such as this.
"We need more outlets for Christian
events," she said. "We want to show that
we can glorify God and have fun doing


Speical talent show guests include
the female gospel group lntheo (mean-
ing "God in us") and the gospel rap
group, JC Clan. A number of other
performers will also be present includ-
ing members of
the Christian
E VIE W Center and the
Dry Phi God University com-
alent Show munity.
Tonight at 9 p.m. "We'll also have
an Union U-Club, Free a little fashion
show," Butler
noted. "G Phi G has its own clothing
line. So we're going to show some of
that off."
But he and Duncan want everyone to
keep in mind that beneath all the fun is
a serious purpose and message - that

of salvation.
"You can't straddle the fence. You're
either all the way hot or all the way
cold," Duncan said, quoting the elder
Rev. Butler. "You can't be a Christian
on Sundays and Mondays at the G Phi
G meetings, and then the rest of the
week live a life exactly the opposite of
what your Christianity should stAW
Along with free admission, G Phi G
will also be providing free refreshments.
If the Glory Phi God Talent Show
won't satisfy all your spiritual needs,
check out the University Gospel
Chorale's annual free concert. Titled
"Stir Up the Gift," the show will take
place at HillAuditorium on Dec. 14 at S


Recycle the
7ashi pkmns Daily

-Ron Brewingtons


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