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October 15, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-15

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Don't miss your engagement with the men of "Kiss Me, Guido." The
acclaimed comedy from director Tony Vitale premieres tonight at the
Michigan Theater. The film follows the hilarious adventures of a dim-
witted, hunky DeNiro-wannabe as he answers an ad for a GWM,
thinking it means "guy with money." Mich. 7 and 9 p.m.

I

John Denver leaves mor
Los Angeles Times
John Denver was so warmly embrace
America in the 1970s that he was praba
figure in contemporary pop who could si
ting high and convince you he was rifc
beauty of the Rocky Mountains. ',r

:xx

Denver, circa 1976, enjoyed success as a singer, songwriter and actor.

It was, in fact, the relentlessly optim ! r
Denver's songs about homespun values and4
ders of nature that led the singer-songwriterc
beloved and ridiculed.
His "farrr-out" exclamations on TV takshows and
his "Thank God, I'm a Country Bc oy 'si rfi
caused fans to cheer and detractors to grit their teeth.
The tender irony of his life - which ended in a
plane crash Sunday in Calfiornia's Monterey Bay - is
that a man who was often dismissed as calculating and
superficial may eventually be rememberedts a man of
high integrity and idealism.
Denver not only left us a legacy of hit songs but also
a history of personal commitment that echoed the
highest ideals of his music. Even when thesuperstar
days were long behind him, he continuedto work tire-
lessly for such concerns as world hunger and the envi-
ronment.
AP PHOTO He served on the Presidential Commission on'World
and Domestic Hunger and supported the World
Wildlife Fund, and he donated song royalties to
UNICEF. He also co-founded a nonprofit environmen-
tal education center.
Jerry Weintraub, who managed Denver before
becoming a movie producer, saw the superstar poten-
tial of the artist as soon as Denver emerged during the
counter-culture environment of the folk music scene.
"Critics may not like him, but he's going to be the
biggest star in America," he told me the night Denver
opened at West-Hlollywood's Troubadour in 1970. "Of
all the singer-songwriters, he'slhe'dne that people will.
feel comfortable with ... and iflte into their living
rooms."
Weintraub was right on both Counts.
There was a purity and grace ixDenver's best songs,a
including "Follow Me" and "Ba&k Home Again," that
was as cleansing as the mountain air and ocean waves
that he loved.
But there was also a syrupy, sentimental quality to
many of his other songs, and'this ultimately led critics
to brand him as one-dimensional.41e was was dubbed
"Mr. Clean" by those who insisted nobody could be as
upstanding as the sentiments ini hiis songs. And there
were dark moments in Denver's life, including the
E . breakup of his first marriage and.,t o arrests in the '90s
AP PHOTO on charges of drunk driving. Yet, as Weintraub predict-.
ed, the public did accept Denver into their living rooms

-APPk
John Denver, best known for hits like "Take Me Home, Country Roads," performs for fans last sum~mer.~

and their hearts. Thanks to such hits as "Take Me.
Home, Country, Roads,' he became, for a while in the
'70s, the hottest recording artist in America.
Denver never apologized for his upbeat approach.
"'People can pick up the papers or turn on the televi-
sion or go to the movies and see all the crap that is
going on ..., he said in 1978. "It's easy to get caught
up and think that's all there is in the world. I'm trying
to balance it. But that's my inclination. It's not some-
thing I tried to manufacture."
Weintraub hasn't managed Denver since the early

'80s, but he was devastated by the singer's dth.
Asked Monday what he would say to -oither a
Denver fan or a Denver critic, Weintraub e Aed, "I
would say the same thing: Listen to the mu W again
now.
"The thing John used to always say, to Mq-was, 'I
really don't have to do interviews or ,ay, qpything
because my music speaks for me...' And it I.til does.
There was a lot more depth to this man and sV .n
than he ever received credit for. He was sonfene who
believed everything he sang."

Fan Penni Sinclair throws a flower Into Monterey Bay in memory of Denver.

America's least 'Wanted': Wayans vehicle stalls

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
Reeking of unoriginality, "Most
Wanted" is Keenen Ivory Wayans' latest
attempt to prove that he can play with the
big boys and become a major action star.
While Wayans does his best to overcome
a screenplay that uses every cinematic
cliche available,
his efforts most RI
likely won't be
enough to save OM
this project from l
ending up in the
ever-expanding
action-movie
graveyard..
Wayans plays Sergeant James Dunn,
an ex-army . sniper on death row for
killing a commanding officer in self-
defense after disobeying an order (his
superior wanted him to shoot a 10-year-
old messenger boy, and Dunn refused to
do so, leading to a fight that ended with
the shooting).
As Dunn is being transported to a new
jail, his truck is hijacked. He finds him-
self in the hands of Gen. Adam
Woodward (Jon Voight), who is in
charge of a covert, government spon-
sored anti-terrorist killing squad. The
general is willing to spare Dunn's life if
he joins them and takes part in their first
mission, which requires the assassina-
tion of the CEO of a biotechnology firm.
Dunn is asked to pick off the head of
the company during a ceremony he is

a
E'

attending with the first lady. As he is just
about to shoot the target a bullet strikes
the first lady, killing her. Dunn, although
he did not pull the trigger, is spotted, and
a manhunt begins for him. However, a
physician at the ceremony, Dr. Victoria
Constanini (Jill Hennessy) managed to
videotape the whole incident, and has
____________evidence that will
® ~I, exonerate him. of
V I E W course, many people
ist Wanted want to get their
hands on the video.
** Thus, Dunn must
At Showcase find her, get the tape
and in the process
save both of their
lives.
To its credit, "Most Wanted" spends a
fair amount of time trying to give the
audience something to think about by
developing the intricate plot. The prob-
lem is that director David Hogan is not
able to handle the film's screenplay very
well. As a result, the story is muddled
and seems unnecessarily complex and
confusing.
In addition, the film uses far too many
standard action/thriller plot devices.
There is the dubious, top-secret organi-
zation that no one in the government
knows about. There are power struggles
between people at the top. There are
countless conspiracies and cover-ups
taking place, with one man playing the
patsy. And of course, there is the attrac-
tive innocent bystander who has the abil-

I EEKENb s I
I vv
Mart 's
20% off all merchandise
Oct. 15-19, 1997

Meet Dr. Jim Buschmarot"t S Otet e
ThursdayOct.186.

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