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April 22, 1997 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-22

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 22, 1997 -19

A Long, Hot Summer
'Jurassic Park,''Batman' sequels lead pack of potential blockbusters

By Bryan Lark
Daily Film Editor
Ever since "Jaws" attacked the shores
of American cinema in June of 1975,
mmrner has been about one thing and
e thing only - money. Each summer,
big-budget Hollywood spectacles are
expected to show the studios the money
for 15 weeks between Memorial Day
and Labor Day, money that spells relief
for the studios that spend the rest of the
year either churning out crap or vying
for Oscar nominations. This summer is
no different.
With "Volcano" opening on Friday as
the first official summer-event movie and
itanic" taking the title as the most
expensi ve movie ever, 1997 looks to have
one hot summer on its hands. Here's a
prediction of the 11 blockbusters and
other potential hits that will generate the
most heat in the coming months.
"The Lost World: Jurassic Park"
- Following up the all-time interna-
tional box office champ isn't an easy
job, but Steven Spielberg's opus will
McHaes
Navy' fights
lo'sing battle
By Julia Shih
') aily Ats Writer
"McHale's Navy," the newest come-
dy starring Tom Arnold, is funny
beyond belief. No, not "funny ha-ha,"
but "funny, I can't believe I paid to see
this,"
Following in the footsteps of great
comedy spoofs such as "Hot Shots,"
"McHale's Navy" sinks miserably as it
tries to wow audiences with bigger
explosions and even more stupidity.
+ Tom Arnold plays McHale, a retired
Navy guy who spends his days sailing
the high seas, successfully selling con-
traband beer (McHale's Ale) and gener-
ic Ben and Jerry's (McHale's Ice
Cream) to Navy per-
sonnel (McHale's
Navy) on the island
of San Ysidro
(McHale's home).
But when bad guy
im Curry At
MMcHale's arch-
nemesis) takes over the island with the
intent of doing something destructive
on a worldly level (McHale's big prob-
lem), McHale and his cronies have to
shape up and fight back.
After packaging this movie and ship-
ping it out to theaters everywhere, the
filmmakers forgot to include one thing
- a plot.

definitely blow the competition away
with Jeff Goldblum and some new
dinosaurs along for the ride.
"Batman and Robin" -- This is
another no-brainer. High-profile sequels
always mean profit, and it doesn't get
much more high-profile than the abun-

dant talent, sex appeal and Bat-nipples of
George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma
Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Vivica Fox
and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"Men In Black" - With stars like
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and a
director like Barry Sonnenfeld ("Get
Shorty"), this sci-fi satire about two
men in black ridding the Earth of pesky
aliens is brewing up as much good buzz
as it is anticipatory heat. Welcome to
Earth, part deux.
"Titanic" - James Cameron's
$180 million epic starring Bill Paxton,
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio is
already huge; but it needs to be gigantic
to overcome all the odds against it,
namely the problem-plagued produc-
tion and the unsurprising conclusion --
it sinks, people!
"Conspiracy Theory" -- Mel
Gibson and Julia Roberts finally team up
in this self-explanatory romantic come-
dy-thriller about a paranoid cabbie and a
skeptic lawyer. Try to guess which one is
which and/or which one is prettier.

"Speed 2: Cruise Control" -
Ditto that sequel remark. Sandra
Bullock may go down in history as the
highest-grossing female action star ever
as she dumps Keanu overboard for
hunky EMS guy Jason Patric.
"Hercules" - Disney returns to
old, happy, money-making form with
this light-hearted animated spectacle
about a hero and his mythical friends.
1 "Air Force One"- Harrison Ford
plays the president and Glenn Close his
V.P. while Gary Oldman hijacks the
fabled aircraft. This should wield its
executive privileges over the other
hijacking thrillers. Speaking of ...
"ConAir" -- No, not about hair
dryers, it's about prisoners John
Malkovich and Ving Rhames, who
hijack a plane, much to the dismay of
U.S. Marshal John Cusack and about-
to-be-paroled Nicolas Cage.
"Contact" - Aliens phone Jodie
Foster's home, but only Matthew
McConaughey believes her in this Carl
Sagan-written tale also starring Angela

Holy Fourth Batman Movie: George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell play dress-up.

Bassett and James Woods.
"The Fifth Element" - This dark-
horse candidate from Luc Besson is a
futuristic thriller that owes as much to
"Blade Runner" as it does to the Muppets.
This time, Bruce Willis is a paranoid cab-
bie, Chris Tucker his sidekick and
Oldman - again - his nemesis.
Possible sleepers include: "My Best
Friend's Wedding," with a red-headed,

very "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts;
Kurt Russell's "Breakdown," which has
the most riveting trailer in recent mem-
ory; Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick
get obsessive in "Addicted To Love";
Billy Crystal and Robin Wifliams go on
a paternal goose chase in "Father's
Day"; and Martin Lawrence and Tim
Robbins have "Nothing to Lose."
Very hot, indeed.

Julia Roberts saves Mel Gibson in
"Conspiracy Theory."

I

Poet Levine to speak at Hopwood ceremony

,
Tom Arnold plays wacky action hero McHale in the comedy, "McHale's Navy."

m
iB

What is supposed to pass off as a sto-
ryline is about as skimpy and transpar-
ent as one of the bathing suits show-
cased in McHale's girlie calendar. It is
banal and stupid, sporting the IQ of
Mclale's left pinky.
With no plot to worry about, at least
®_audiences can
,EVIEWfully enjoy all the
gags and light
Hale's Navy slapstick that
might provide a
* snicker or two.
riarwood and Showcase The funniest
scenes in the
movie involve the interaction between
the wacky, dim-witted sailors, including
a secret spy mission where they end up
stealing vodka and a large TV from the
terrorists and a ridiculous bar fight.
The most amusing performance of
the movie goes to David Alan Grier.
who reprises his "In Living Color"
role from "Two Men on (a topic that

allows them to make sly homosexual
remarks)." It is unclear if Grier is
playing his Navy character of Ensign
Parker as gay, wussy or just plain stu-
pid; but he is nevertheless extremely
entertaining.
Ernest Borgnine, who starred in the
television show of the same name from
which this movie is based, plays the
military big-shot Cobra, while French
Stewart ("3rd Rock From the Sun") and
Bruce Campbell contribute funny and
weird performances.
Unfortunately, the movie's big head-
liner, Tom Arnold, seems completely
out of place. Arnold pretends to be an
action hero, jumping out of exploding
boats and dodging bullets.
Whatever possessed the filmmakers
to believe that people would enjoy
"McHale's Navy" (too much McHale's
Ale?) is beyond me, but one thing is
clear. "McHale's Navy" deserves a
deep, watery burial.

By Stephanie Love
Daily Arts Writer
In the opening scene of Puccini's "La
Boheme," the poet Rudolfo burns his
manuscript to combat the frigid
Parisian winter. Poet Philip Levine, the
1997 Hopwood Lecturer, also faced dif-
ficulties when he started writing poetry
at the age of 18, though he was never
forced to use his work as kindling.
Levine, the 1995 Pulitzer Prize win-
ner in poetry, said in an interview with
The Michigan
Daily, "In America,
we don't pay much P N
attehtion to poets,
especially new Hop
poets. Becoming a
writer is something
of a nightmare."
Even in the age
of the book club craze, America's latest
lifestyle trend, good writers still face
rejection from publishers, despite the
public book-buying surge.
But just because books are being sold
doesn't mean yours will be published.
That's where the Hopwood Awards in
Creative Writing come in.
Since 1931, the university has award-
ed prizes for Michigan students produc-
ing the best creative work in drama, fic-
tion. poetry and essays. The prizes
come from the estate of Avery
Hopwood, class of 1905. In 1995-96,
S46.650 was awarded to aspiring writ-
ers, giving them some of the experience
and recognition needed to succeed in
writing.
Brie Tiderington won a 1996

m
'V

Underclassmen Award for fiction. An
LSA sophomore, Tiderington under-
stands the difficulties in getting recog-
nized as a writer.
"Last year, I entered six categories
and didn't win anything. This year, I
just entered fiction and I won,"
Tiderington said.
So persistence does pay off. Good
writing doesn't hurt either.
Levine began publishing his poetry
in 1955 and since then, he has produced
15 books of poetry.
"I began with the
EVIEW ideaof being a fic-
tion writer, but my
Hood Awards character is more
Today at 3:30 suited to poetry -
Rackham Auditorium you can't finish a
Free great novel in a
week," he joked.
"For me, poetry comes first. I have not
written a great deal of fiction, but I
loved writing it. I wrote the fiction
when I couldn't find the poetry in my
fountain pen."
Though Levine himself has not won
a Hopwood, many well-known writers
got their start through the Hopwood
program. Past winners include Marge
Piercy, Arthur Miller, Nancy Willard
and X.J. Kennedy, among others.
"I write because I love writing. It's
important that writing is recognized
within the University. The Hopwoods
are a good way to recognize writers,
and I'm happy that the University sees
me as a writer and recognizes that writ-
ing is still important. That importance is
too often lost," Levine said.

Levine understands the strain that
goes along with any career, but finds
that writers are simply athletes with
pens.
"The hardest thing about writing is
day after day, to go in and shut the door,
be alone, and work. It takes the disci-
pline of an athlete to be able to sit down
and write." said Levine. "Being a
celebrity doesn't produce much of any-
thing, either."
"You will inevitably write badly *at
times," Levine stated. "The ones who
persevere are the ones who accept that
fact. Other people just keep going
blindly. Young people who can come to
terms that they write badly are the ones
who will do well."
The Hopwood program has fostered
many writing careers, and the list of
publications by Hopwood winners gets
longer each year. Take, for example, the
array of publications arranged neatly on
Avery Hopwood's desk. The round
wooden table, which is the focal point
of the Hopwood Room in Angell Hall,
is a striking display of how well Avery
Hopwood's goal to encourage writing
has succeeded.
Tiderington is one example of a stu-
dent who's been influenced by the
Hopwoods. Though she hasn't made
specific plans for the future,
Tiderington knows she'll always have
pen and paper handy.
"I'd like to make money when Ilwrite,
but I really don't know what I'm going
to do. No matter what, I think" I'll
always writy, even if I don't do it'pro-
fessionally,' she noted.

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97
will be announced Tuesday, April 22 3:30 p.m. in the
Rackham Auditorium
Lecture by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet PhilIpLevine
Author of:
Ashes

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