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September 04, 1996 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-04

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Ule Sicljatim t~g

She keeps going and going ...
Brad Pitt's girlfriend - Gwyneth Paltrow, that is - is alive and well at
the Michigan Theater. She stars in "Emma," you know, that story upon
which last summer's hit, "Clueless," was based. Catch her at 7 and
9:15 p.m. today, or on most other days during the next two weeks.

Wednesday
September 4, 19961

A 'Very Brady'
pop culture trip

Oasis rocks its way,
out of the U.K.

By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Editor
Keep beating that dead horse. Keep
spewing that typical stream of mind-
less, witless humor. Keep treating audi-
ences to an escape from today by seeing
the world through the eyes of yester-
day's sweethearts.
Not that "The Brady Bunch" was
ever the darling of
American comedy.
But that groovy R
old feeling keeps
coming back no A
matter how many
silly scenarios we
find the Brady At Brian
family tumbling
into. And why should the rulers of the
"Brady" empire bury their long-dead
horse when it can still make them
money?
For some strange reason, the original
"Brady Bunch" television show never
escaped the airwaves since its uncere-
monious cancellation in 1974.
Syndication forced the program - an
anachronism even in the '70s when the
bell-bottomed clan posed as something
out of an "Ozzie and Harriet" night-
mare - into the lofty halls of late-20th
century popular culture. (And what a
distinction that is!)
"The Brady Bunch
Movie" resurrected
that ridiculously clue-
less clan, and it became
a surprise hit when it pre-
miered early last year. The
success of
that film -
much the
same as with
its current sequel,
"A Very Brady
Sequel" - was that it
provided a summary
glance at popular "Brady"
themes combined with a
satirical look at how peo-
ple from the "more care-
free" 1970s might view ~
America today.
And while the latest
opus is certainly neither
funnier, nor more origi-

nal than its predecessor, it is very much
the wiser.
The film, which pulls its title from
the "A Very Brady Christmas" TV
movie that appeared in 1990, is a mish-
mash of tidbits from the voluminous
history of Bradydom. The characters,
clothing, sets and language are vintage
"Brady." The cast, an ensemble of dead
ringers for the orig-
inal TV actors, is a
VIEW talented group.
Talented, that is, at
ery Brady what they attempt
Seque to achieve: to imi-
tate and at the same
ood and Showcase time mock the char-
acters from the
Bradys' initial incarnation. The hyper-

E'
V
)rwc

With a new hit on their hands, the Bradys stand proud.

bolic giddiness and good times are rem-
iniscent of the "Brady Bunch Live"
stage show that toured the nation in
recent years.
So what of the plot and themes that
run rampant through "A Very Brady
Sequel?"
By this point, after years of reruns of
the original show, record albums, car-
toons, variety shows, TV movies,
miniseries and feature films, you can't
blame the film's producers for giving us
a storyline that isn't strictly "Brady." It
has something to
do with a .

stolen ancient statue, the arrival of
mother Carol's (Shelley Long) long-lost
husband (who, unlike the deceased real
mother of the boys, was believed to
have divorced Mrs. Brady before the
show ever began, although it was never
explicitly mentioned), and a trip to
Hawaii.
Unlike in "The Brady Bunch Movie,"
none of the plot's main threads have
much to do with the original show. The
dearest "Brady Bunch" connoisseur
will remember that Mrs. Brady had a
husband before Mike (Gary Cole), that
the statue at the center of the film was
an insignificant prop from the family's
TV days, and that the
bunch once took a trip to
Hawaii.
But that same fan will be dis-
appointed,
..f i n di ng
r - few corre-
: lations be-
tween this story
and anything else
Brady. Why go to Hawaii and
not do exactly what the origi-
nal characters did on TV? Why
randomly create this ex-hus-
band character (Tim
Matheson) and stick him in the
middle of the film? Why throw
in gratuitous cameos by Zsa
Zsa Gabor, John Hillerman and
Barbara Eden when they aren'
pertinent?
No doubt director Arlene
Sanford goes a bit overboard in

her portrayal of the Bradys and her use
of past TV icons. The same goes for her
exaggerated employment of themes that
either existed very little in the original
show or not at all. Mike never really
gave little moralistic pep talks like he
does in this film; Jan (Jennifer Elise
Cox) wasn't ALWAYS such a loser and
bridesmaid to her big sister; Greg
(Christopher Daniel Barnes) and
Marcia (Christine Taylor) never had any
sort of implied romance on screen.
Yet, this last thematic glitch does
direct us toward the film's major suc-
cess - the element that really makes it
worth seeing.
In large part, "A Very Brady Sequel"
departs from its "Brady" lineage in
more than just plot and themes. It
reverses the premise that was at the
heart of the first film by turning its
satire onto the viewer. However unreal
or absurd the Bradys may seem, by
looking at the present world through
their eyes we realize just how ridiculous
the America of the '90s really is - peo-
ple have multiple earrings and nose
rings and eyebrow rings; people wear
strange, leathery clothes and wild hair-
dos; people listen to music that sounds
much like fingernails on a chalkboard.
So what's worse, bell-bottoms and
flowery clothing or what seems like a
world resting on the doorstep of purga-
tory?
Go ahead, "Brady Bunch" producers.
Keep beating this dead horse as long as
you wish. Maybe we'll eventually learn
something.
Kurt Russell
eludes super
stud status
NEW YORK (AP) - Kurt Russell
has meant big box-office for years, so
why isn't he usually mentioned in the
same breath as Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks
and Arnold Schwarzenegger?
"I'm not a magazine cover guy"'
Russell told Newsday in an interview
published Sunday. "My opinions aren't
popular and I don't promote myself.
My movies, yes, but not me."
Russell's past three films -
"Executive Decision," "Stargate" and
"Tombstone" - have made more than
$200 million in the United States alone.
But the actor, whose latest film is
"Escape from L.A.," isn't part of the
"in" crowd. He likes boar hunting, lib-
ertarian politics and is a booster of the
National Rifle Association.
Director Jonathan Demme, who
directed Russell in "Swing Shift,"
describes him as an original.
"Who else is out there who can play
dramatic leads, romantic leads and
action heroes?" he said. "If you think
about it, there's no one else like him in
movies right now."

By Aaron Rennie
Daily Arts Writer
Oasis' popularity in the United
Kingdom is almost unfathomable.
Since the release of their first single,
"Supersonic," in early 1994, Oasis has
become the biggest pop phenomenon
since The Beatles and the largest live
act since the heyday of Led Zeppelin.
There are seven Oasis cover bands at
the moment in Great Britain, as well as
thousands of young men copying lead
singer Liam Gallagher's style of dress
and rather unkempt, hair-over-ears 'do.
Furthermore, if Oasis' songwriter and
lead guitarist Noel Gallagher says he
likes a band, like Ocean Colour Scene,
then the group suddenly gets played by
British radio stations and is written up by
the press, a term
the New Musical
Express deems RE
"N o e I r o c k ."
While one might
wonder why
Oasis has become
even more suc-
cessful than semi-
nal British '80s groups like The Police,
The Smiths and The Stone Roses -or
deserving '90s bands like Radiohead
and James- they have a few qualities
that set them apart from the pack: Their
catchy, tightly crafted yet rocking songs,
which appeal to both working-class and
middle-class music fans, something that
can't be said about fellow countrymen.
Blur or Pulp; Liam Gallagher's sex
appeal and much-improved voice; and
the band's willingness to tour relentless-
ly, which brought the band to the Metro
Oetroit area for the fourth time in a year
and a half last Friday night.
After under-appreciated sets by the
Manic Street Preachers and the
Screaming Trees, Oasis sauntered onto
the stage to a hero's welcome at the
only two-thirds-full Palace at Auburn
Hills. After a rather tentative opening of
"Acquiesce" a fantastic b-side to
"Some Might Say" that Noel Gallagher
regrets not releasing as a single, Oasis
burst into "Supersonic;" during which
rhythm guitarist Paul "Bonehead"
Arthurs and apparently-stoned bassist
Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan seemed to
click with the more pronounced playing
of Noel and drummer Alan White.
The band's momentum continued
through "Hello""Some Might Say"and
"Roll With It,"pausing only momentari-
ly for Noel to tune his Gibson between
songs and for Liam to drink some water.
This professional attitude on stage is a
welcome change at Oasis concerts, as
Liam was notorious for getting liquored
up during shows and coming to blows
with Noel and Bonehead. As a result, the
vocals were exceptional -especially
since he didn't sing at their MTV
Unplugged taping in London or at the
first show of the current U.S. tour in
Chicago due to a bout of laryngitis-
and Noel's guitar tone could be deci-

m
E

phered at the Palace, a venue whose
acoustics are not exactly ideal.
Oasis hurried a bit through "Slide
Away" before introducing a new song,
"It's Getting Better, Man" which will
supposedly be released as the band's
next single in January. The tune was
beautiful, with Liam singing about
"going to the river of love" and "finding
my way home." Following a long guitar
solo, Noel repeated the chorus a few
times, holding his own against Liam's
more dynamic voice.
The brothers Gallagher dueted nicely
on the title song of their second album,
"(What's The Story) Morning Glory,"
the fourth-best-selling album in UK his-
tory. Breezing through "Cigarettes and
Alcohol:' Oasis unveiled their second
new song, called
"My Big Mouth.
V IE W Heavier than any-
thing on
Oasis "Morning Glory,
The Palace the nevertheless
August 30, 1996 quite melodic
tune -which is
supposedly about
last year's Blur/Oasis feud- mixed
funny lines like "trusting my mouth" and
"sleeping with the NME" with the more
romantic lyrics of "I've never been to
heaven/But you assume I know the way."
Oasis played an extended version of
"Champagne Supernova" prior to Noel's
solo acoustic mini-set. Despite lacking
Liam's charisma and ability to draw
thousands of teenage girls to the show,
Noel elicited the biggest cheers of the*
night. After a fine segue from
"Whatever" into The Beatles' "Octopus'
Garden" and a tender rendition of "Cast
No Shadow" Noel caused near pande-
monium when he strummed the first
chords of "Wonderwall," provoking the
crowd to chant along to every word.
Still, despite a splendid performance
with Noel singing their current U.S. hit,
"Don't Look Back In Anger," Liam was
definitely the star of the band live.
Much more mobile when not singing
than in previous concerts, Liam waved
his arms like a gorilla, mocked the ram-
pant display of gum-chewing by the
teenyboppers, challenged the relatively
few meatheads in the crowd to fight,
and simply looked darn cool when he
did his various rock star poses.
"Live Forever" showcased Liam's
vocal prowess before Oasis deconstruct-
ed The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus.
Once again, all eyes were on Liam, as he
wandered from the stage left to the stage
right speakers, sat down and placed his
ears against them. Finally, he waved and
bowed to his fans. As the one hour and
45 minute show terminated, Oasis' five
members thanked the crowd and proud-
ly walked off the stage, confident that
the next time they'll be back they quite
likely will be as huge in thJe heartland as
U2 and R.E.M., their only true competi-
tion for the mythical title of "bigges*
band in the world."

I

Oasis is your Wonderwail.

1Tl 1

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