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November 11, 1996 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-11

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 11, 1996

Murray, elephant connect for
a heart-warming adventure

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
As literally the biggest thing to hit
theaters this week, "Larger Than Life"
will charm audiences with its delightful
tale about the journey of a man and an
elephant.
Bill Murray
stars as Jack RI
Corcoran, a Lar
small-time moti-p
vational speaker
whose long-lost
clown father has At Br
bequeathed him a.
$35,000 debt and a circus elephant. The
only solution for his massive problem is
to sell Vera, the elephant, to either an
animal-rights activist (Janeane
Garofalo) or a circus queen (Linda
Fiorentino) to pay off the debt. For

E
;e
iar

Corcoran, the problem is that the
prospective buyers both live thousands
of miles away in California. Soon a wild
adventure ensues, as Corcoran must get
Vera to California within five days
using any means possible.
As the two lit
the road. the
V I E W comedic expertise
r Than Life of Murray and the
well-trained ele-
phant takes over
the movie.
wood and Showcase Corcoran attempts
to make Vera per-
form various actions even though he has
no idea what the commands for them
are. A frustrated Bill Murray creates
plentiful laughs as he tries to get Vera to
do what he wants. In one scene, when
Corcoran demands that Vera return his

cellular phone, he attaches onto his plea
the phrase "Step on it!" This, of course,
is the equivalent of a Looney Tune say-
ing, "Let me have it!"
The plot is actually a flimsy one that
shouldn't work. But with the magic
touch of director Howard Franklin, the
components of the movie weld together
for an entertaining film. Murray and the
elephant obtain a special kind of chem-
istry on the screen, creating a unique
love story. Vera is a beautiful and mild-
mannered pachyderm who makes quite
the irresistible flirt. Murray plays the
reluctant other, who fiercely resists
until he finally opens his heart.
A major plus about the film is that it
doesn't concentrate on creating laughs. It
focuses more on developing the relation-
ship between the two main characters, and
by doing so, maintains its perspective.
The trek of the twosome across the
nation also allows the introduction of a
variety of places and people. From truck-
stops to small rural villages, each place
provides not only comic relief, but also
insight toward the quirks of the people in
America. The diversity of this country is
captured nicely with texture and emotion.
With a cast of talented actors, the "Best
Performance Award" goes to Matthew
McConaughey, who is almost unrecog-
nizable after playing hunky super-lawyer
Jake Brigance in last summer's block-

Ever Want To Be in TV?
Is Movie-Making Your Passion?
Want to be Styling With Video?
Film/Video 200 Sections 001-004
Winter 1997
The Film/Video Studies Program has openings for
non-majors in a new course which teaches the "How-
to's" of Motion Picture, TV and Video production. FN
200 is a hands-on survey course which introduces
students to the entire production process for Televi-
sion, Motion Pictures and Video. Students make
projects in all three media during the term. The course
is the gateway (pre-requisite) course for more ad-
vanced production courses in the Film/Video Studies
Program. It is also serves to place production meth-
ods within the context of history and theory of these
media. The companion course F/V 230 is an excellent
introduction to the History and Theory of the Movies,
TV and Video. It is also offered Winter '97. If you've
ever wanted to make a movie, direct TV or push the
limits of video as a means of personal expression, this
is the class for you. Sign up on the class list in the
Film/Video Studies office NOW for Winter term 1997.
Section 001 T/TH 10:00-Noon - Instructor Terri Sarris
Section 002 T/TH 1:30-3:30 p.m. - Instructor Terri Sarris
Section 003 M/W 9:00-11:00 a.m. - Instructor Yau Ching
Section 004 M/W 4:00-6:00 p.m. - Instructor Yau Ching
Meeting Place: LSA TV Studio - Argus II Building
Film/Video Studies
2512 Frieze Building
764-0147

"Larger than Life"'s Bill Murray and Tai.
buster hit "A Time To Kill."
McConaughey's character, Tip Tucker,
resembles his slacker character in "Dazed
and Confused" - except here he's five
years older and completely insane.
Tucker is a fast-talking, conspiracy-
obsessed truck driver who Corcoran
tricks into driving him to California.
McConaughey demonstrates his incred-
ible range as an actor by creating an
amazing Jim Carrey-like character with
as much physical comedy as Buster
Keaton. Tucker steals the scenes as he
rants ... and rants ... and rants about
anything and everything. For the most
part, his words are unintelligible, but his
delivery is beyond hilarious. At one
point as Tucker is ranting, the filmmak-

ers mute his voice while country music
plays. The singer croons, "You think
I'm a psycho don'tcha, momma?" You
bet we do, and we love it!
As for the other actors, Bill Murray
delivers another solid performance using
his subtle style, proving once again that
overacting is not a necessity for being
funny. Janeane Garofalo's manly Mo
nicely contrasts Linda Fiorentino's sexy
and ultra-feminine circus queen, and a
cameo by "Ellen"'s Jeremy Piven should
please many sitcom fans.
On the other hand, one small problem
with the movie is its excessiveness. In
one ease, the film tests the limits of'
believability by going extremely out of
its way to develop a scene, only to prove.

the elephant's trust in Corcoran. The
movie also tends to be about as clunky
as Vera's movements in some parts.
Nevertheless, these- minor distractions
do not take away frnom the total appeal
of this film.
"Larger Than Life" may be a movie
built upon fluff, but fortunately, it's
pleasant fluff. It isa lighthearted look at
life in the United States using a mai
and an elephant as a guide. Filled with
charm, humor and plain old fuzzy, good
feelings, "Larger Than Life" is guaran-
teed to do for elephants what "Free
Willy" did for killer whales. But parents
beware: After watching this film, kids
may be wanting more than puppies this
Christmas.

V I

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Race, Ethnicity and Cultural "Difference"
in American Television
Film/Video 365
Winter 1997
This new television studies course examines race,
ethnicity, class, gender and sexual "difference" on
television throughout its history. Students will study
significant debates over identity and representation in
larger culture and as-seen-on-TV through readings,
visual analysis, writing assignments, and class discus-
sion. Screenings will cover a wide range of images
from 1945 to the present, from Amos 'n' Andy, Good
Times and The Cosby Show to The Goldbergs,
Roseanne, and Ellen. Film/Video 365 is a three credit
course which fulfills the LS&A Race and Ethnicity
requirement.
M/W 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Instructor Victoria Johnson
Meeting Place: 1020 Frieze Building
Film/Video Studies
2512 Frieze Building
764-0147

0

10

U -

9

I

w,

Goldman, Sachs & Co.
invites University of Michigan undergraduates to explore the many
opportunities for professional growth within the firm.
Monday, October 21, 1996
Opportunities in the
Investment Banking Division
4:30 p.m., Open House
6:00 p.m., Presentation
The Michigan Union, The Ballroom
Casual Attire
M dyNe 8 9
Oportntesih

m

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