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November 11, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-11

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'Buffalo' stampedes into A2
The anticipated film version of David Mamet's play "American Buffalo"
hits the big screen at the Michigan Theater this week. The acclaimed
movie stars Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz as two hustlers who
betray their cohort during a heist. It is at the Michigan for a limited
time - through Friday, and tonight's screening is at 9:30. As always,
student tickets are just $5.

Monday
November 11, 1996

iDA

Intelligence heldhostage
ietor on Howard's long-
,;xawaited thriller, 'Ransom,' falters

By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Editor
In "Ransom," Mel Gibson takes an
unbelievable turn as airline tycoon
Tom Mullen, who lives a picture-per-
fect life until some maniacal creep
swipes his beloved son from Central
Park. With the same virile audacity he
used to tackle the bad guys in "Mad
Max" or "Lethal Weapon," Gibson
calls the kidnap- _
pers' bluff, offer-
ing the demand- RE
ed $2 million
ransom as a N
bounty on P
THEIR heads. At Br
That's when

s
Mar

should faintly echo real life) and
"Ransom"'s implied themes never bear
any fruit. Rather, they get tangled r;
in a web of implausibility and
exploitation - of both our wits and
our intelligence. The-movie is a waste-
land of fine actors, clever cinematog-
raphy, a few remarkable action
sequences and a plot that, were it
injected with more sense and fresh-
ness, would cer-
tainly flower into
VIEW a viable, believ-
able thriller.
Ransom " R a n s o m"
** fuses artifioial
rwood and Showcase excitement .and
feeble dramatic
attempts that ulti-
mately fail to add up to a worthwhile
film. There is nothing entertaining
about watching parents Gibson -and
Rene Russo tear their hair out waiting
for the return of their abducted son. Nor
is it fun to see young Sean Mulle
(Brawley Nolte) bound, blindfolde
dehydrated, terrified and repeatedly
told he's going to be killed as he begs
for his mommy,
Now that's a rip-roaring good timel
Adding to "Ransom"'s dearth-of
yuks and charm is the absence of-the
brilliant chemistry Gibson and Russo
previously developed in "Lethal
Weapon 3." And that's too bad. While
See RANSOM, Page 11

the problems
arise. Because no matter how strenu-
ously it aspires to be, "Ransom" is not
a thriller. Nor is it a comedy, nor is it an
action flick, nor is it a deep drama.
The film's major sin is that it only
poses as all of the above. It fails, after
an unnecessarily lengthy running time,
to honestly address some pertinent con-
cerns. Do Gibson and wife Rene Russo
love each other or even care that their
son is gone? Why doesn't Gary Sinise's
psycho-villain just kill Gibson's kid?
And would we really behave as reck-
lessly as Gibson if we were in his
shoes?
Unfortunately, the answer is never
what we expect (given that the film

Mel Gibson goes on TV to make a desperate plea for the return of his son In "Ransom."

Eric Bogosian wakes up, muses on society

By Gabriel Greene
For the Daily
Eric Bogosian is backstage, calmly packing up his
props after Saturday night's show. He has spent the
past 75 minutes tearing an already hoarse voice to
shreds. He looks tired and almost ... mortal. He asks
with a cracking but composed voice: "Did the hoarse-
ness take away from the show?"
Hardly.
In "Wake Up and Smell the
Coffee," Bogosian wouldn't let RE
anything stand in the way of his
message, which is that there is Ei
no message. "I have no more Mi
empathy left," he states at the
beginning of the show. "I have
no ideas to propound ... I want
to make you numb."
Most of the respectable crowd in the Michigan Theater
was well on its way to numbness by the time the intro-
Nductory monologue was through. In it, Bogosian rails
against civilization in America in 1996. "It's anarchy
barely being held together.... (It's) the retarded leading
,the blind." Bogosian takes a short detour and becomes
Forrest Gump: "Life is like a box of chocolates - you
never know what you're going to get.' Back now to him-
self: "I know what I'm gonna get - fucked!"
Bogosian has a perfectly drawn map of his inner
demons in his head, and he hits all the destinations with

I

no stops at rest areas along the way. He can be anyone;
he can be the people you work with, people you live with.
And as much as you may want to deny it, he can be you.
The next stop is Jesus. Bogosian plays him like a
befuddled college kid, bummed out by his dad's punish-
ment. "This is what God does to his own kid!" Bogosian
screams. "I sincerely doubt that (God cares about you)."
A brief interlude arrived when an unimpressed audience
member ("You're no Dennis
Miller, I'll tell you that!").
E y E W Bogosian makes a U-turn and
V, E ~suddenly he's a yuppie stranded at
Ac Bogosian an airport, glibly flashing his
ichiganTheater American Express Gold Card and
clinging desperately to his cellu-
Nov. 9, 1996 lar phone. The peak of his day is
when he spots "Klaus" Van
Damme coming out of a bathroom, even though he can't
remember a single movie he's been in.
The characters come fast and furious, but Bogosian
pin-balls from presence to presence with astounding
energy and ease, stalking the stage like a caged lion.
Now he's a spiritual guru, revealing the secret to
change your life - namely, knowing that "you are
nothing.' Next up is a holdover from "Pounding Nails
in the Floor With My Forehead," Red, the drug-dealer
who lives with two dogs ("Harley" and "Davidson"),
his girlfriend Rainbow ("She's a stripper so she thinks
she's better than other people"), and a wonderful phi-

losophy: "There's nothing wrong with making money,
as long as you don't waste it," Red says as he cuts a
long line of cocaine for his customer.
Bogosian hangs a sharp left for a brief trip as a clue-
less actor auditioning for a movie. Suddenly, Bogosian
is playing an artist named Eric Bogosian. He giddily
envisions the Mt. Olympus of fame that he so earnestly
wants to ascend, where Kevin Costner and Oliver Stone
play volleyball, while Michael Bolton and Kenny G jam
nearby. "(There's) a ladder from the lowliest beggar in
Calcutta all the way up to Quentin Tarantino," he says.
"When I make it, we'll sit around and talk about me."
Finally, Bogosian concludes with another revisited
monologue from "Pounding Nails," the unrelentingly
hysterical "Blow Me," ending with Bogosian on the
floor, covering his ears.
Bogosian constantly keeps the audience on the ropes;
Saturday's crowd was at once laughing at his perfect-
down-to-the-molecule personas, yet shocked when he
got too real. Ahead of time, some were astutely warned
that the performance "is not recommended for younger
or more serious sensitive audience members."
Bogosian won't ever think of backing down,
though; when he gives you characters, he gives you
everything inside of them. Far beyond bad and good,
Bogosian gives you silly, sadistic, petty and pathetic.
And brutal honesty. Even when hampered by hoarse-
ness, this steaming show packs all the wallop of a dou-
ble espresso, waking you up to what's out there.

Eric Bogoslan performed at the Michigan Theater on Saturday.

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RECYCLE THE DAILY

"7"

Dialogue of Violence- Cinema in WWII's Pacific Theater
FilmNideo 455
Asian Studies 490
Winter 1997
This course will explore the relationship of WWII's Pacific
Theater to moving image media in two movements. First,
a comparative history of Hollywood and Japanese film-
making during the war explores issues of race, national-
ity, propaganda, and violence. The second half of the
course continues to analyze these problems by turning to
post-1945 attempts to remember, critique, and com-
memorate (or forget) WWII in media as disparate as
television, video art, and the internet.
Dialogue of Violence will screen propaganda by Frank
Capra, Kurosawa Akira, John Ford, Bruce Conner,
Imamura Shohei and others to ask questions like:,
" What's Fordian about John Ford's contribution to the
war effort: Sex Hygiene?
" Do nations have their own, distinct languages of vio-
lence?

Not everyone can get into our outfit. But if you've got what it
takes to become a United States Marine Officer, you could get

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