The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 1, 1996 - 11
'Intense plot resuscitates weak 'Extreme'
By Kristin Long diagnosis.
-Daily Arts Writer Until this point in the film, the audience is virtually
A sure sign of a fantastic film is the intensity of its
"plot. With every gasp the audience makes, you know
the suspense is high, and the thought of taking a nap
never crosses your mind. At the end of such a film, you
notice you've bitten your nails so short that a manicure
.s no longer necessary.
In "Extreme Measures," each
moment is as perilous as the RE
next. Hugh Grant and Gene
-Hackman star as two doctors Extrem
who struggle to survive in a cut-
throat profession. They want to At Bri
be successful, yet one happens
to find success in a more deceit-
ful way than the other.
fGrant plays the .ambitious Dr. Guy Luthan, who
finds that some questions in life are answered at one's
own risk. As a physician in the emergency room of
.New York's Gramacy Hospital, he deals with all sorts
EZZf stress. Guy is one of the most highly respected doc-
tors in the ward; having just received a fellowship
Atom New York University, he seems invincible.
Then, the patient of doom is brought into the hospi-
tal. On what might look like a normal evening of trau-
- mas and gunshot wounds, an unusual case enters. The
symptoms are abnormal, and no one knows the cause
f the problem. After many attempts to bring him back
tb life, the unfortunate victim dies without a final
unaware of the details of the story. We don't understand
who this random guy was, and how the pieces all fit
together. The suspense is enormous, and as Guy tries to
understand the mess, we realize that the edge of our
seats is not the most comfortable sitting position.
Amazing doctor that he is,
Guy takes it upon himself to do
V I E W a follow-up on the unknown sit-
uation. He has only the victim's
e Measures medical record and a name the
*** victim disclosed before he col-
rwood and showcase lapsed on the operating table.
As one of the most highly
admired physicians in the coun-
try, Dr. Lawrence Myrick (Hackman) should be able
to help Guy find some answers. His intentions, how-
ever, don't involve revealing too many secrets. The lat-
est medical study, that has stimulated much question,
is his project.
Myrick has the dual role of being a social role
model who leads a corrupt life behind closed doors.
After a while, every move is revolting, and Hackman
has worked his magic again.
For Guy, nothing works in his favor. His determina-
tion is what gets him in the most trouble and puts him
in the unfortunate predicament of protecting his own
life, or risking it in order to unravel the truth. The only
people he can trust are the homeless folks he befriend-
ed at work.
As a result of his investigations, Guy finds his life
practically destroyed. He turns to his colleagues for
help, but no one wants to associate with a success who
threw his life away.
Sarah Jessica Parker plays head nurse Jodie
Trammel, Guy's friend and colleague. Her mediocre
performance does not add much to the film, and her
role is rather trivial.
The serious side of Grant as the ambitious doctor is
a pleasant change from his usual light hearted roles.
Each time he is punished the audience cannot help but
feel badly for him. Grant is convincing as the poor
nice guy who gets the worst part of the deal.
Hackman delivers yet another stellar performance
as the revered Dr. Myrick. His ability to play the most
sinister roles is to be admired. In "Extreme Measures,"
he does not fall below expectations; he makes the
human race look completely gullible while keeping
his reputation intact.
The plot is one which thrives on the unexpected, and
this makes the flick entertaining. While at times the
question "Where is this film going?" enters our minds,
the final result puts it all into one worthwhile feature.
Although parts of the movie fail to maintain the
thrill, it is a rather enjoyable film. The excitement of
each fight and the conspiracy of the medical world
keep the audience in anticipation of some tremendous
resolution. "Extreme Measures" proves that Grant
really can act, and Hackman is always dependable.
Parker and Hugh
from top left) star
in the mediocre
Prince cheats fans with latest unremarkable release
Chaos And Disorder
Prince has released a brand spankin'
new album, and absolutely no one
seems to have noticed. Surely not that
many people are still engrossed in the
O.J. Simpson trial. But save yourself the
headache of becoming thrilled
now. Prince's newest work
By now, everyone
should be familiar
with Prince's desire
to leave Warner
Bros., a label he
feels stifles his cre-
ative juices. The only
thing that kept him from
packing up and moving out
was that pesky little contract.
Prince owed WB one more record,
and they wouldn't take any "Prince's
Greatest Hits" as payment. Thus we
had Prince with the word "slave"
painted on his face in every concert
he performed and bad-mouthing WB
with every chance he got. And now,
he has released one of the worst
albums in the history of the nation
just so he can be free of WB's control.
I bet he's already cleaned out the stu-
Prince must have really hated WB by
the time "Chaos and Disorder" was
released. I mean, we're talking about a
man who would fire his entire
entourage if he didn't feel they vibed
with him anymore. He was the stereo-
typical temperamental artist, the ulti-
mate embodiment of one unwilling to
compromise his musical perfection. So
for him to just roll out of bed and pack-
age whatever noise he could come up
with as an album just so he
could get away, Prince
must have really hated
the WB family.
I'm not mad at
Prince for what he
did. I feel his pain,
and therefore I am
more than willing to
forgive him this trans-
gression. I'll gladly wait
for him to find a new record
label more in tune with his cre-
ative juices and eventually release his
next album, which he's already
promised will be titled
"Emancipation." (I'll bet ya anything
he's gonna fire the New Power
Generation, too. Maybe he'll replace
'em with the Harriet Tubman Players.)
And when "Emancipation" comes out,
it'll be the bomb.
But as for "Chaos and Disorder,"
wherever you happen to see this LP lay-
ing around, leave it there.
- Eugene Bowen
A G A Z I
THURSDAYS IN THE DAILY
Will she or won't she? ABC-TV
toys with plans to out 'Ellen'
If you're into computer science, data processing, accounting,
auditing, math or law...
Los Angeles Times
Should 4ve really give a hoot whether Ellen Morgan, the
single neurotic played by Ellen DeGeneres in her ABC sit-
,com, "Ellen," discloses that she's a lesbian?
Well ... yes. It's a long season, and we need something
besides O.J. Simpson and Clinton vs. Dole to push our but-
I'm for Ellen Morgan bursting from the closet if only
because Donald Wildmon, big-talking founder of the impo-
-tent American Family Association, says he's against it and
may boycott the show's advertisers. That alone puts me on the
right side of the issue.
If there really is an issue.
ABC's advance PR blurb on Ellen Morgan this season had
her taking a "radical" new path to "self-discovery and
fulfillment." Hmm. But the real buzz began with a TV
rGuide report that she might be coming out as gay this
season and that the series might start dropping hints
4o that effect. Ho-hum. As if a sophisticate like
yours truly would care or be tit-
*me on this, it was
strictly for profes-
sional reasons that I
tuned in the season premiere to see if Ellen would
be, um, getting it on with her curvy best friend,
Paige. Not quite, it turned out. But there were
some of those hints, including a joke about Ellen .
wearing boxer shorts (reportedly the under-
wear of choice for all lesbians) and a
gag that seemed to imply that she
would never have a conventional
family. Yes, prime-time perversi-
"-ty on Wednesday nights.
So naturally I also caught last
week's Episode Two. Downer. No
By this time, though, DeGeneres herself was in New York,
hitting the TV interview circuit with David Letterman, Rosie
.,«. KAA X4EI _ 4+,-0 4
big fan of Casey Kasem."
"I think that's great," O'Donnell said with a straight face,
"because a lot of different networks wouldn't take the risk."
Then DeGeneres delivered an unexpected stunner that
probably had Peoria gasping: "Half of Hollywood is
She was just as vague about Ellen Morgan's sexual orien-
tation with McEwen: "The answer does lie in the CD ... if
you play it backward."
Is the answer that she's ... left-handed? TV Guide says a
future "Ellen" episode takes that self-mocking tack when the
character makes a big revelation to her divorcing parents.
Open to question is what "Ellen" and DeGeneres are going
for here, whether the intent is to test public response and the
extent of the risk in advance of Morgan's actually coming out
as gay, or merely to raise expectations and cause a stir
that will draw more
viewers to "Ellen, a
series facing tough
If the latter is the
main goal, I know one viewer who
has bitten: me.
I had watched the series only rarely
since its inception as "These Friends of
Mine" in 1994, and tuned in this season
only to check out the lesbian angle. My
loss, for the first two episodes - with
Ellen Morgan selling her bookstore to finance
buying a home and then saving the job of a
surly employee about to be fired by a new
manager whose mounted deer head out-
raged her - were extremely funny,
affirming the quality of the show's writ-
ing and DeGeneres as one of television's
most gifted sitcom actresses.
Although the show is publicly mum about it, TV Guide
reports that a "coming out" script is already in the works for
p- k f. . :' -ty '