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September 04, 1996 - Image 21

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

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 4, 1996 - 21

Costner's 'Tin Cup' hits a hole-in-one
Russo, Marin, Johnson lead a hard-hitting team that can't miss

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
Despite the proven track record of veteran film
director Ron Shelton, it is no exaggeration to say that
a movie about golf is a risky venture. After all,
Shelton's previous successes in the sports-film genre
highlight two sports with much
greater public appeal (baseball in
"Bull Durham" and basketball in RI
"White Men Can't Jump") than
the oft-ridiculed game of golf. 92A,
But, with his breezy comedy
"Tin Cup" the director takes the
sport and creates a universal and
entertaining story.
On a lonely stretch of highway in western Texas
exists a quiet driving range owned by local golf leg-
end Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy (Kevin Costner).
McAvoy has all the skills it takes to be a profession-
al tour player, but he could never master the mental
aspects of the sport. He could never comprehend that
golf is a game of percentages, in which risky play is
rarely rewarded.
One day MacAvoy's comfortable existence is shaken by
the arrival of Dr. Molly Griswald (Rene Russo), a beautiful
psychologist who comes in for golf lessons. He immediate-
ly falls for her, but she is currently involved with tour pro
David Simms (Don Johnson), who just happens to be
McAvoy's long time rival. Inspired by Molly, Tm Cup (with
the psychologist s help, of course) sets out to prove some-
thing to himself and everyone else by qualifying for the U.S.


"Tin Cup"'s allure lies in the amusing interactions
between all of the main characters. Costner and Russo
have a noticeable chemistry which manifests itself
through spontaneous, witty banter reminiscent of old
black and white romantic comedies. At first glance, it
is obvious why the driving range pro is so attracted to
Molly's intelligence - beauty
and energy.
VI EW Not so appamnt early on is the
appeal of Costner's trashy character,
Tin Cup who becomes more likable as his
* ** story unfolds. Although he doesn't
At Showcase have much going for him, we can
still understand why Molly slowly
finds him so hard to resist.
Similarly, the rivalry between McAvoy and Simms
is remarkably genuine. Tin Cup despises the tour pro
not because of his success, but rather because of the
way he plays the game and carries himself. Simms
can't stand Tin Cup because he knows deep down that
the lowly driving range manager is superior in golf
skill and is so well loved despite his shortcomings.
Together, the two men wage a juvenile anything-you-
can-do-I-can-do-it-better war that keeps the both of
them at the top of their game.
Although Russo and Johnson are well cast and
deliver noteworthy performances, the true star of the
film is Kevin Costner. As MacAvoy, he reprises the
type of role that made him extremely popular before
"Waterworld" sank a good deal of his credibility. Few
actors are as skilled as Costner in making a character

with countless shortcomings so appealing. Even when
Tin Cup's stubborn mindset leads to self-destructive
consequences, the audience can't help but feel for
Finally, golf fans will not be disappointed by the
presentation of their beloved sport. Costner, who
learned to play golf on the set of this movie, managed
to take all of the shots that appear on film, although
his swing does pale in comparison to the numerous
professionals who make cameo appearances.
The golf courses featured in "Tin Cup" strongly
resemble those used in major professional champi-
onships, and the atmosphere of the tournaments them-
selves seems authentic. And, of course there is a
goose-bump-creating finale that makes the beauty of
sports so evident. Similarly, by creating a golf film
that duffers and non-duffers alike can enjoy, Ron

e gg ~i x - ggs
"Gosh dam it, Cheech, quit smoking them doobles and
get me my golf clubsl"

"Heh heh heh. Lemme help you with that Rene."


continued from Page 20
Country Joe McDonald
Carry On
Rag Baby Records
Country Joe McDonald really
wowed 'em at Woodstock a long time
X ago. The key words in the previous sen-
*ence are "a long time ago.'
Don't get me wrong - there are a
few good points to his latest release
"Carry On." The a capella folk tune
"What Wondrous Love is This" starts
the album off on a beautiful, spiritual
note. "Hey, this might be pretty good,"
you think.to yourself.
The next song, "Picks and
Lasers," is an eight minute long "sci-
ence fiction war song" about a man
mining ore on Mars who suddenly
Winds himself caught up in an inter-
galactic space war. It's acoustic. It's
a science fiction folk song. If that's
not an oxymoron, it should be. "Hey,
this might be pretty bad," you recon-
Sure, Joe is a master guitar player.
He just has a bit of trouble choosing
words to set to his excellent music.
"Woke up.this morning / Feeling

'round the bed / Looking for my
baby / I found the blues instead," he
sings on "Joe's Blues." And these
lyrics are only second to the line
"Ain't it lonesome when you find
yourself alone?"
Yup, Joe. And doesn't it suck when
you find out your CD sucks?
- Kari Jones
Six Finger Satellite
Sub Pop
Six Finger Satellite, that quintet of
eastern seaboard malcontent rockers,
are back with their Moogs and their
spritely baseball bat to the head deliv-
ery of futuristic rock.
The band has yet to really release
any two things that sound alike. This
album finds the boys somehow resem-
bling the Jesus Lizard more than their
previous outings. Fortunately,
"Paranormalized" is a lot more inter-
esting than the 'Lizard's last album, but
less so than last year's "Severe
Exposure.' I'd say this album is more
trancey, but you'd get entirely the
wrong impression.
The first track, "30 Lashes;" has
the synth feel 6FS's fans have come

to expect, along with the catchy pro-
gressions that make them a more
than worthwhile band. The vocals
are buried under distortion, and it's a
good effect. The final track, "The
Great Depression," is more grinding
and is vocally somewhere between
Alice Cooper and Helios Creed.
Neat, huh?
Several of the songs have strong
reminders of the '80s in them, like "Do
the Suicide" with its nearly new wave
sound and coke and mirrors with its
arty California feel and producer dri-
ven pop synth effect. At the same time,
they seem almost like what hard rock
would be if it had married disco and
had a couple kids and got a job with the
The album has a variety of speeds.
"Last Transmission" is manic,
"Slave Traitor" is more depressive
while "The White Shadow" is
straight ahead rocking (more so than
you'd expect from a song with the
title of a "Nick at Night" show),
with that creepy Halloween type
organ behind it.
If nothing else, the band is excit-
ingly unpredictable. Go ahead and
sample some of their electronic car-
rot sticks of finely plugged in music
thingees. They're more enjoyable
than anything you might find on

many a musical appetizer tray easily
available to you.
- Ted Watts
Throwing Muses
Throwing Music/Rykodisc
Throwing Muses' newest album,
"Limbo;' is also their first on their new
self-owned record label, Throwing
Music. For a record that should be a cel-
ebration of the band's liberation from a
major label that was a major disap-
pointment, it's strangely anticlimactic.
While still a solid, well-written affair, it
lacks the shimmery spark that made the
best moments of the group's last album
"University" so special.
Still, it is a Throwing Muses album,
which means lots of spiky guitars, emo-
tive vocals and off-kilter tempos. The
opening three songs - "Buzz,"
"Ruthie's Knocking" and "Freeloader"
- get "Limbo" off to a propulsive start.
But on the whole, the album suffers
from similar rhythms and progressions;
from song to song, there's little differ-
entiation. "Limbo" is also poorly
sequenced, with most of the louder
songs on the first half, and the slower,

quieter songs sinking to the end of the
album. For the listener, the result isn't
so much limbo as it is deja vu - how
ironic that a band that started out as
wildly mercurial is now edging towards
That said, there are moments worthy
of vintage Throwing Muses on
"Limbo." Along with the first three

tracks, "Tango" and "Serene" add a
subtle edge to the proceedings, "Night
Driving" is a dreamy ballad that lives
up to its name, and "Shark" cranks
along malevolently at the end of the
album. "Limbo" is a Throwing Muses
album, after all. But for that to mean
something so predictably peculiar is
somewhat disappointing.

Throwing Muses think smoking is cool. Just wait until they get cancer and die.

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