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March 17, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-17

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The author, who wrote "The Killer's Game," will
read and sign copies of this new novel. Join
Bonansinga at Borders tonight at 7. Don't miss
out on this exciting and FREE event.

March 17; 1997

edi' returns with stellar
effects, emotional depth


By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
espite the fluid continuity between George Lucas' "Star
sTrilogy," each episode has its own unique flavor that
separates it from the others. "Star Wars" is an innocent, cine-
matic fairy tale about a young idealist who saves a beautiful
princess from the forces of evil. "The Empire Strikes Back"
is a mature, ominous work that compli-
cates the dichotomous world of its prede- R
cessor by focusing on deception and Returi
betrayal. Reu
The last in the long-awaited trilogy, Sp
"jReturn of the Jedi," maintains the des- =
tion of "Empire," without the inher- At 8
t pessimism, touching on themes of
forgiveness and redemption in resolving the conflict.
In addition to these contrasts in style and content, the
movies also differ in their critical approval. Although opin-
ions vary on whether the first or second film is superior, the
consensus is that the finale is the weakest work of the three.
"Jedi" often receives harsh criticism for not being the artistic
equal of its forerunners.
But "Return of the Jedi: Special Edition" has been getting
a raw deal. Granted, the writing and acting are a bit uneven,
and the Ewoks are a cheap marketing gimmick aimed at lur-
igyounger audiences.
However, the movie works on so many different levels that


it serves as the perfect ending to a special cinematic experi-
The film begins when the Empire constructs a new and
improved Death Star. Both Darth Vader and the Emperor per-
sonally oversee completion of the battle station. The source of
the shield protecting the Death Star is located on the moon of
Endor. To destroy the station, the shield must be removed.
After saving the frozen Han Solo
E V I E W (Harrison Ford) from Jabba the Hutt's
,of the Jedi: palace, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill),
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han,
pecial Edition Chewbacca, C-3P0 and R2-D2 volun-
****I teer to lead a band of rebels to Endor to
Briarwood and Showcase take down the shield preserving the
Empire's powerful weapon. Afterward,
General Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) will head a
fleet of ships attacking the battle station.
Luke's presence is felt by Vader and the Emperor, and the
mission is endangered as the Empire prepares for the assault.
Luke decides that he would best serve the rebellion by con-
fronting Vader, trying to convert him from the Dark Side.
Meanwhile, his friends prepare to launch a risky offensive,
which, if unsuccessful, would most likely end the revolt.
"Jedi" is fueled by its remarkable visual effects, for which
it won a special achievement Academy Award. Particularly
exhilarating are the speeder bike scenes in the forests of
Endor, and the spaceship battle, which clearly surpasses the


A battle rages around the Empire's new Death Star in this digitally enhanced scene from "Return of the Jedi: Special Edition"
similar sequence in "Star Wars," both in appearance and in palace is fairly pointless. The enhanced, more menacing
suspense. Sarlace pit and a supplementary celebratory sequence add to
Also vastly improved is the choreography in the lightsaber the film's splendor and excitement.
duels. Luke and Vader look like true experts with their Although "Jedi" is recognized for its visual achievements,
weapons. Clever camera work and expressive music con- it does not receive enough credit for its depth on an emotion-
tribute to the drama of their definitive clash. al level, which gives the movie its heart. Nearly all of the
Along with some sound modifications, "Jedi" also features characters exhibit feelings that lead to inner conflicts. For
a few new scenes. An extended musical number in Jabba's See JEDI, Page SA

'Suburbia' soundtrack showcases big names

Various Artists
Music From the Motion
Picture Suburbia

If it's street credibility you want in a
soundtrack, "Suburbia" is for you.
Featuring four Sonic Youth
tracks, a collaboration
between Elastica and
Pavement's Stephen'
Malkmus, a Beck
tune and contribu-
tions from Girls
Against Boys,
Superchunk, the
Butthole Surfers, and
the Flaming Lips among
others, the hipster quotient
is off the charts.
But big names don't always equal
good songs, especially on compilations
or soundtracks, which often feature left-

over tracks or outtakes that were previ-
ously unreleased - for good reason.
Here, however, the ratio of keepers to
junk is better than 50-50.
The Elastica gals and their Pavement
pal kick things off with a cover of
"Unheard Music," a song originally
recorded by the '80s punk-pop pioneers
X. It's a fun, high-energy beginning.
Unfortunately, two of the
weaker songs on the disc
follow - Sonic Youth's
t q®"Bee-Bee's Song" with
Kim Gordon on lead
vocals and GVSB's
"Bullet Proof
> Cupid." While
they're not the worst
of what's offered here,
these tracks aren't mem-
orable, either.
A guy by the last name of
Hansen, better known to the world as
Beck, is up next with the woozy
"Feather In Your Cap." Featuring a

sleepy-sounding vocal, acoustic guitar
and keyboards. it is far from the hip-
hop raveups "Where It's At" or "Devil's
Haircut," and it more closely resembles
"Odelay"'s "Jackass" or "Nitemare
Hippy Girl" from "Mellow Gold."
U.N.K.L.E., Boss Hog and Skinny
Puppy provide
the next three .
songs, which are he ratio
undoubtedly the
lowlights of the keepers
disc, along with bette a
the Butthole
Surfers' "Human -
The rest of the tracks, however, are
quite good: Superchunk's "Does Your
Hometown Care?", "Hot Day" by the
Flaming Lips and the other three Sonic
Youth contributions. These are
"Sunday," the groovy instrumental
"Tabla In Suburbia" and Thurston
Moore's "Psychic Hearts" (previously
released as the title track to his 1995

solo record).
"Suburbia" director Richard
Linklater (who also was behind the lens
for "Before Sunrise," "Dazed and
Confused" and "Slacker") personally
selected all of the bands for this sound-
track. He's done a good job finding
music that fits
the movie (a


I or
to junk is
an 50-50.

drama about
teen angst -
what did you
expect?) and
that stands


Humor, drama drive
lengthy 'Good Men'

- -- --alone fairly
well. You can
bet he's trying to cash in on the recent
rash of mega-selling soundtracks, and
he's banking on indie appeal to do so.
He's also relying on one other thing
- that "retro" is still cool. The disc
ends on a cheesy note with a golden
oldie from Gene Pitney, "Town Without
Pity." Ask your parents, they'll know it.
-Anders Smith-Lindall

tephanie Love
Day Arts Witer
The Rude Mechanicals are off and
running. The group's performance of
"A Few Good Men" easily captured the
flair of Aaron Sorkin's play.
Perhaps one of the best features of
this production was
the staging. By :; R
performing the R
play in the round,
t production took
n intimate and
realistic dimension
furthered by a
strong cast. Not only was the audience
close to the performers, but the upstag-
ing worked well to draw the audience
into the drama.
The story follows two Marines who
are charged with murder when a pun-
ishment (known as a Code Red) gdes
itg. A fellow Marine, Private
*tiago, is killed, and the defense
lawyers discover a cover-up when they
probe into the case.
Rob O'Brien (Cpl. Dawson) and Jon
Gentry (Pfc. Louden Downey), as the
accused Marines, set the scene from the
beginning. Creating a backdrop that
highlighted the many dimensions of life
as a Marine, their performances were
Equally strong was Allyson Bakaitis
*oanne Galloway, one of the defense

lawyers. At first, the weakness of her
character was somewhat irritating, but
as she gained confidence, Bakaitis' per-
formance shined. Bakaitis was espe-
cially strong in the second act, and Jo's
interaction with defense attorney
Daniel Kaffee (Steve Sielatycki) struck

A Few Good
The U Club
March 14,1997
rare form. The

just the right bal-
ance between
humor and anger.
Sielatycki was
strong in his own
right. Once again,
the second act
showed Kaffee in
dynamics between

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Kaffee and his partner Sam Weinberg
(Adam Weiner) were always amusing,
and the pair worked extremely well
together. Sielatycki's final courtroom
scenes were especially good, and the
tension between Jo and Kaffee was riv-
In contrast, Gary Poux (Lt. Col.
Jessup) provided a frightening variation
of the Marine image. The part was
interpreted well, and Jessup's outright
rude and inappropriate actions were a
perfect contradiction to the civility of
Capt. Markinson (Kristopher Chung).
Chung's role was the only one that
could have been explored to more
depth, and it was surprising that the role
that provides the play's pivotal informa-
See GOOD MEN, Page 8A.


The "Suburbia" soundtrack features four songs from Sonic Youth.

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