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September 15, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The classic silent drama, "The Crowd," will be showing at the
Michigan Theater tonight. "The Crowd" traces the turbulent relation-
ship of a married couple and their rocky experiences. Directed by
King Vidor, this 1928 classic will feature live organ accompaniment.
The screening will begin at 4:10 p.m. Admission is $5.

September 15, 1997

'Law & Order' surprises at 49th Emmys

By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
A lot of the old, a bit of the new - that's
what viewers of last night's 49th Emmy
Awards witnessed as old favorites "Frasier"
and "NYPD Blue" took home coveted stat-
uettes, while six-time Outstanding Drama
nominee "Law &
Order" shockingly won t"
its first-ever award
against a crowd of heavy
Relocated to CBS, the '
sprawling, three-hour
annual show honoring
television excellence
was hosted by veteran
newsman and recent
network turncoat Bryant Dennis Franz
Celebrated were the achievements of
many, including the ubiquitous Ellen
DeGeneres, who presented the evening's first
award to "Seinfeld"'s Michael Richards as
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Series. DeGeneres, who herself was honored

with an Emmy for writing the much-hyped
episode of her eponymous ABC sit-corn in
which her character declares her homosexu-
ality, was praised all evening for her historic
Among the kudos were those bestowed by
fellow winner Chris Rock who, referring to
the latest slogan for the notoriously stodgy
network on which the awards show aired,
proceeded to quip: "We've now seen two
black men and a lesbian (on this broadcast)
- welcome home, CBS!"
Indeed, freshness was at least part of the
recipe for the program, which saw honors
going to first-time winners "Law & Order,"
Gillian Anderson of Fox's offbeat "The X-
Files" as Outstanding Lead Actress in a
Drama Series, and Kim Delaney as
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama.
Delaney's much-honored show finished
the evening with the most trophies, topping
the performance of rival "ER" which,
despite starting the night with the most
nominations, failed to come up with a sin-
gle award in the prime time broadcast
(awards for technical achievement were

Winners at the 49th Emmys in Pasadena, Calif.

Best drama: "NYPD Blue" (ABC)
Best comedy: "Frasier" (NBC)
Lead actor, drama: Dennis Franz, "NYPD"
Lead actress, drama: Gillian Anderson,
"The X-Files"
Lead actor, comedy: John Lithgow, "3rd
Rock from the Sun"
Lead actress, comedy: Helen Hunt, "Mad
About You"
Supporting actor, drama: Hector Elizondo.
"Chicago Hope"
given earlier in the week).
Also successful were the acclaimed HBO
film "Miss Evers' Boys," which won three
prestigious Emmys including the new
President's Award for "socially worthwhile
programming," and television academy
favorite "Frasier" which now joins "All in the
Family," "Cheers" and "The Dick Van Dyke
Show" as the only sit-corn to win at least four
best comedy awards.
Other repeating victors included Dennis
Franz, who won his third award for lead act-

Supporting actress, drama: Kim Delaney,
"NYPD Blue"
Supporting actor, comedy: Michael
Richards, "Seinfeld"
Supporting actress, comedy: Kristen
Johnston, "3rd Rock from the Sun"
Best TV movie: "Miss Evers' Boys" (HBO)
Best miniseries: "Prime Suspect 5" (PBS)
Best music/variety special: "Chris Rock:
Bring the Pain" (HBO)
President's Award: "Miss Evers' Boys"
ing in a drama, Helen Hunt of "Mad About
You" who took home the lead actress in a
comedy Emmy, and industry fave John
Lithgow, who won his second straight Emmy
as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy
Series for his portrayal of an alien patriarch
in "3rd Rock from the Sun."
Lithgow's "3rd Rock" co-star Kristen
Johnston also won her first award as support-
ing actress in a comedy, on an Emmys show
that was rated TV-PG, good viewing for all

Actress Ellen DeGeneres relishes the Emmy she won for writ-
ing an episode of her self-named ABC sit-com. DeGeneres
was repeatedly in the spotlight at last night's Emmy Awards.

Director Fincher, Douglas
fail to make 'Game' a winner

Rich characters can't
stop 'Night' from falling*

Oy Julia Shih
Daily Film Editor
"The Game" is the new thriller from director David
Fincher that, according to the trailers, promises lots of
action and heart-pounding suspense.
_ Unfortunately for those audience members who are.
expecting some brainless fun, the dark and multi-lay-
ered film will prove to be more of a disappointment
than a triumph.
Fincher ("Seven") tries toR
exploit all the components of a R
psychological thriller.
It is clear that "The Game" is S
the work of a talented director,
with the lush, complex At B

Nicholas dodges bullets; someone breaks into his
house; he discovers that someone is out to steal mil-
lions of dollars from him. But while Nicholas wants
out from this nightmare, he can not escape an entity
that he can't see.
The creepiness that is imperative to the movie
doesn't set in until halfway through the film. The
first third of "The Game" is devoted to showing


an egotistical man

The Game
Briarwood and Showcase

Nicholas is and detailing key
elements of his past.
These scenes are necessary
to the psychological effect of
the movie. Still, though, some
people may feel that it is the
ultimate test of patience.

sequences and ingenious camera
6 Fincher is an expert at creating a haunting set-
ting; the result is the feeling that Douglas is trapped
in a horrifically warped Fun House. His attempted
manipulation of reality has the potential to make
'The Game" an incredible movie, but the film's
slow, cautious pace, the refusal to adhere to plausi-
tility and the misplacement of audience expecta-
tions condemns it to mediocrity.
Douglas plays millionaire Nicholas Van Orton,
who has spent a lifetime building up his fortune and
his reputation of being a really arrogant jerk.
Douglas has shown great prowess at playing the
victim whose life is shattered ("Fatal
Attraction," "Falling Down"), but his perfor- ,
mance in "The Game" does not come across
as particularly outstanding.
After Nicholas receives a gift certificate to par-
ticipate in a mysterious role-playing game
from his brother (Sean Penn), his life is
turned upside down.
For a man who is used to having
absolute control over
everything, he sud-
denly realizes how lit-
tle he now controls
anything, as he can't
tell where the game
ends and where real life
The game soon turns sinister:

After audiences are well-acquainted with Nicholas'
character, they are finally immersed in the world of
the game.
Fincher does an excellent job showing the psycho-
logical turmoil of the man's participation in the game.
The further Nicholas goes, the more the lines between
reality and the role-playing are blurred. While these
scenes are darkly subversive and interesting, they are
too few and far apart to satisfy the expectations of the
Furthermore, while audiences are prepared to
suspend reality to enjoy this movie, the film
goes beyond unbelievability. It is hard to
imagine that one company can predict
a person's actions so perfectly, or be
able to manipulate a person's entire
surroundings, but this is what hap-
pens to Douglas' character.
This implausibility becomes bla-
tant and is impossible to
ignore, detracting from a
viewer's enjoyment of the
On the upside, Sean Penn
astounds with his perfor-
mance as Nick's under-
achieving brother, and he is
the highlight of "The
The actor further shows
his acting range with unfor-

The Night Crew
John Sandford
You'd figure that anyone who is out
prowling the streets every night looking
for murder and mayhem would have to
be some sort of cold-blooded ghoul.
But for the heroine of John Sandford's
novel, "The Night Crew," this routine is
just an average day on the job.
Sandford, the pseudonym for
Pulitzer-Prize winning
journalist John
Camp, is the
author of count-
less best-sell-'
ing books,
including the
eight books from
his "Prey" series
("Rules of Prey" and
"Shadow Prey") featuring
Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport.
With "The Night Crew," Sandford
introduces a whole new cast of charac-
ters involved in a entirely different kind
of adventure.
"The Night Crew" tells the tale of
Anna Batory, a tough farm girl from
Minnesota who runs the night crew -
a family-like group of video freelancers
that roams the graveyard shift on the
streets looking for good footage to sell
to television networks. Common events
including accidents, crimes, demonstra-
tions and murders keep Anna and her
crew on their toes, and money in their
bank accounts.
The book begins with a night on the
job not too far out of the ordinary, when
the night crew is able to capture a raid
put on by animal activists and later, a
suicide jumper. But after taping the
jumper falling five stories to his death,
one of Anna's cameramen, Jason,
appears strangely affected.
When Jason turns up murdered the

Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas, top) gets drawn
into a mysterious game when his brother Conrad
(Sean Penn, bottom) gives him a gift certificate for
his 48th birthday.
gettable quirkiness and style to stealing the show
from Douglas.
Penn, however, is only in a limited number of
scenes in the movie. But whenever he is on-screen, his
presence is definitely felt and appreciated.
Perhaps "The Game" wouldn't be so disappointing
if it hadn't been promoted as a suspense thriller.
While it has some elements of this genre, it is
more of a darkly psychological drama that dissects
the human psyche.
With an amazing director who knows what he's
doing, "The Game" would be better off being
approached as a masterpiece in human exploration
and the ultimate mindscrew, rather than a anti-cli-
mactic action movie.

next morning and coincidences and
clues linking the suicide with the killing
begin to turn up, things in Anna's life
soon become bizarre. Before she knows
it, Anna is being stalked by an obsessed
psychopath, and her survival depends
on how quickly she can solve the mys-
teries surrounding the deaths close
Sandford is adroit at maintaining a.
quick pace with the novel and providiijg
some occasionally thrilling moments.
The plot often unfolds like a suspense
movie, complete with
ominous shadows
and strange peo-
ple jumping out
of dark corners.
But "The Night
like a madefr-
TV movie, with-S
many things not adding
The rich and intriguing charadters
make up for the novel's lack of Us-
penseful spunk. Each character is care
fully sculpted and uniquely realistic.
Nobody is excessively beautifui or too
Rambo-ish, making the story feel m
Most interesting is Sanford's in-
depth description of life working with a
freelance video crew. The problens
with the police, the difficulty in fining
and getting access to footage as wellas
the complications that arise when deal-
ing with cutthroat television executives
are all told in a fascinating manner-
But even with great characters and
fascinating descriptions of their 4lives,
the contrived suspense of the chasq
the stalker is much too convenient
"The Night Crew" would have bhena
spectacularly exciting documentry-
like drama, but instead, Sandford
choose to turn it into a medioegre
thriller. "The Night Crew" is a fairly
enjoyable read, but after finishing it,
you can't help but think about.,how
much better it could have been. w

U V ~ ~ ~.

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