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October 30, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-30

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8- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 30, 1996

'High School High' hits
all-time low for Lovitz

By Kelly Xintaris
Daily Arts 'Writer
"High School High," how do I abhor
thee? Let me count the ways:
1. On the surface, "High School
High" parodies teacher-as-role-model
films like "Dangerous Minds" and
"Stand and Deliver."
After launching a
barrage of weak one- R
liners, the film sud-
denly kicks into a 4 High
blatantly patronizing ,
gear. Predictably, it
copies the "stay ip At I
school" message
taught by the very films it supposedly
trashes. Jon Lovitz plays Richard Clark,
a nerdy history teacher who tries to turn
his Marion Barry High School class of
delinquents into grade-A students
(about five actually graduate).
2. In one fell swoop, "High School
High" wastes the talents and dents the
reputations of its lead actors. Lovitz,
best known for his "Saturday Night
Live" stint as pathological liar Tommy

Flanagan, tries anything and everything
to get a laugh in his idiotic role. You
almost wish Lovitz was forcibly
coerced into starring, but alas, 'tis not
true. Though his "SNI" days are long
gone, it seems that Lovitz was better off
playing Mephistopheles, arguing with

EV IE W
School High
6riarwood and Showcase

-

Judge Wapner on
the "SN L" version
of "The People's
Court."
Even more
unsettling, how-
ever, is watching
veteran actor
Louise Fletcher,
Ratched in Milos

emerge relatively unscathed from this
catastrophe. Carrere has perfected the
love interest role (with Mike Myers in
"Wayne's World"), but enough already.
This time she plays Victoria Chappell, a
perky administrative assistant who goes
after Clark. Whether Carrere will take
on more challenging roles and play
characters with some depth remains to
be seen.
Phifer (Griff McReynolds) proved
himself in Spike Lee's excellent drama
"Clockers," with an arresting perfor-
mance as Strike, a young drug dealer. By
choosing a similar role, except with a
comedic edge, Phifer does a 180-degree
turn. Because Phifer is such a promising
new talent, it's easy to forgive and forget
his role in this debacle.
3. There's a difference between a
relentlessly silly comedy, like
"Airplane!," and an inescapably moron-
ic one, like "High School High."
Producer / co-writer David Zucker
("Naked Gun") and Director Hart
Bochner apparently passed
Hollywood's Tasteless Humor 101 with

who played Nurse

John Lovitz stands by his collection of spitballs in "High School High."

Forman's 1975 masterpiece "One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest" The insipid
script of "High School High" plays off
that memorable role, recasting her as
Principal Doyle, a similarly repressed,
heartless authority figure. The result is
an embarrassment for Fletcher, who is
reduced to exchanging dirty looks and
venomous dialogue with Lovitz.
Only Tia Carrere and Mekhi Phifer

flying colors. During the film, some
people actually walked out in disgust,
while the remaining masochists sat in
silence, probably too stunned to leave.
Too many of the jokes are either outdat-
ed ("The Clapper" and "Flowbee" ref-
erences) or just plain bad (a kidnapped
vice-principal). In one particularly
repulsive moment, Lovitz presumably
mistakes Carrere's cat for her while

fumbling in the dark.
4. To top off the list of glaring flaws,
"High School High" is highly offensive.
The writers have no qualms about tak-
ing shots at minorities, immigrants,
adolescents - you name it. Above all
else, the film insults the audience's
intelligence. If you thought overt nasti-
ness was relegated to B-movie video
shelves, this movie will convince you

otherwise. Movies like "Billy Madison"
and "Kingpin" may also rely on no-
holds-barred humor, but they're nothing
compared to "High School High."
Even the film's 86-minute running
time is not merciful enough to deserve
a whole star. Like a misguided paper
airplane, "High School High" quickld
crashes and burns, only to end up with
the rest of the garbage.

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'Pt AUSTRAIA 0 CANADA 0CHIlE 0 CHINA
S I-'
INFORMATION '
MEETING
' p~bout;c
STUDY ABROAD
TODAY:o
o Wednesday, October 30
z z
Summer Frograms in °
London and Oxford,
a ~ ENGLAND,
and 5
Dublin, IRELAND '°
o
from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ,
in 1408 Mason Hall C
a
For more information, contact:
o The Office of International
~,Programs, G513 Michigan Union, 0
764-4311. ;_
©0z
kAlvl O gNd138f VIS NOgMI C,1AlIVJN(1H oN

Rush leaves permanent waves

By Rick Stachura
For the Daily
"Attention all planets of the Solar
Federation: We have assumed control.

We have assumed control."
If there were any nonbelievers
strength of Rush before the
stepped onto the
Palace stage on
Friday, they were
definitely convert-
ed by the end of the
evening. But if P
you're still unable
to imagine how a
band that's been
true to its own sound for nearlya

in the
band

R E
a/ace o~

a quar-

1-800-KAP-TES

F '°~

ter of a century can be anywhere near
good let this be a warning to you:
They'll only get better. And that's a
scary prospect for the rest of the music
world to consider.
What makes Rush so unique is that
they may have the three most talented
men on the planet on their respective
instruments, and yet they don't let their
individual goals sacrifice the band's
sonic unity.
Looking as polished as ever, Geddy
Lee (vocals, bass and synthesizers) spent
the evening teaching a clinic on how to
play bass faster than Jason Newsted of
Metallica and Les Claypool of Primus
combined. In the meantime, he some-
how nailed all the synthesized songs,

took on Robert Plant's vocal range and
still had the chance to demonstrate the
lift his new Airwalk shoes were giving
him. Enjoying his night to the right side
of Lee, Alex Lifeson (guitars) tore
enough sound out of his Fender
Stratocaster to rival any guitarist who
thinks that amp vol-
ume alone qualifies
VIE W noise as music.
On the other
Rush hand, Neil Peart
f Auburn Hills (percussion) was
Oct. 25, 1996 hardly visible
behind his circular
wall of drums.
Quite content to let his bandmates share
the limelight, he only came out of his
manic drum conversations to occasion-
ally hurl a stick spinning into the air,
only to catch it perfectly on beat.
Rush gently opened the first 90-
minute set with "The Big Money" and a
quick dose of the classic "In the Mood."
After the Petty-like "Half The World"
and the metallic "Driven;" Lifeson lead
his mates into a grippingly slower version
of "Red Barchetta." The instrumental
"Limbo" featured Lee flexing his higher
octaves for a few assorted screams while
"Nobody's Hero" played to the images of
Lifeson's youth behind the band on the
video-screened backdrop. "Freewill"
brought out a Lee-like sound from even
the most conservative fans in the audi-

ence, while "Closer to the Heart"
inspired the most cigarette lighters of the
night to escape from pockets. 'Ihe clim
of the first set was a complete peifo -
mance of"2112,' which was intensified
by Pink Floydian lighting circa "The
Wall" era, alternating between Lee arid
Lifeson as they ran through their vocal
and instrumental roles.
After a 20-minute intermission, Rush
launched the crowd into the second 90-
minute set with "Test for Echo" and
then proceeded to scroll through some
of the best songs in their repertoir
"Roll the Bones" and Lifeson's dance
interpretation of the mid-section rap
sent traces of laughter throughout the
crowd, which led smoothly into Peart's
drum solo. Spinning from tom to snare
to xylophone and back again, Peart
unleashed fireworks while keeping
rhythm with the kick pedal and juggling
his sticks. By this point, the crowd
erupted and Rush responded with 'a
blast of Lifeson's speediest work on t
"Spirit of Radio" and Peart's ms
memorable lyrics on "Tom Sawyer."
After a quick hop from stage, the
band hurried back with the ever-popu-
lar "Yyz." Only Rush could get away
with ending a concert with an instru-
mental. Even though the threesome ran
from view after the song, their echoes
still sounded.
And they haven't stopped.

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