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October 31, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-31

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 31, 1997

Gere paints himself into
poor, shallow 'Corner'
By Matthew Barrett sold on himself.
Daily Arts Writer The setup is pretty simple. Jack Moore is in China to close
If you're bent on seeing a movie that's about China, but a business deal, and he goes out to celebrate.
aren't down with the Dalai Lama, then "Red Corner" is the At a dance club, he meets a sultry temptress who
movie for you. ends up coming back with him to his hotel room. They
Otherwise, steer clear. have a wonderful night together, but Jack wakes up
Like most other legal thrillers today, it seems that the script with a small problem. She's dead, and he's got half the
of "Red Corner" is loosely based on a legal mad lib. Pick an Chinese Army staring him down. H e's arrested, thrown
interesting setting, defendant and lawyer, and give a few char- in jail, and then the real problems begin.
acters the desire to be morally sound. In one of his first meetings with
The movie is set in China, with Richard R E V I E W government officials, Jack is present-
Gere and Bai Ling in the respective ed with the slogan of the Chinese
roles. Red Corner judicial system, "Leniency for those
"Red Corner" is directed by Jon Avnet who confess; severity for those who
("Fried Green Tomatoes"), and he does ** resist."
little to make the movie suspenseful or At Briarwood and showcase Jack has the immediate "I'm an
original. He has a few interesting shots American" reaction, but soon learns
and sequences mixed into the movie, but overall he does a that his legal thoughts are not appreciated. Along with a
substandard job. court-appointed attorney, Shen Yuelin (Bai Ling), Jack
Richard Gere plays Jack Moore, a smug, American attor- must decide whether or not to confess, knowing that if he
ney, who's in China to close an entertainment deal with a is found guilty, it is almost certain that he will be execut-
Chinese corporation. ed.
Gere isn't able to get much out of the lackluster Shen believes that the best strategy for him is to con-
script, except for a few funny one liners in the court- fess, because she is skeptical about Jack's innocence
room. He is constantly overacting, trying to let the and doesn't want to see him die. Jack feels that the only
audience feel his pain, but he comes woefully short. thing to do is plead not guilty.
Although his character comes from a troubled past, it's Eventually Jack prevails, and they go about trying to
hard to muster up much sympathy for a guy who is so -prove his innocence. The deeper they dig, the more sus-
picious they become about who or what is behind the
murder. But details conic out too late in the plot for the
audience to have any time to guess the killer.
a. slIt is too bad that the only characters we learn much about
are Jack and Shen. They are not very interesting people, and
a better cast of supporting personalities could have done won-
ders for the movie. The two main characters develop a fair
amount as the movie goes on, but it is in a very clich6 and
predictable way.
One of the more interesting sequences in the movie
involves an escaped Jack running through the streets of
China, with the Chinese Army hot in pursuit. This lasts
way too long.
w The f grst few times that Jack runs into someone
or jumps from a rooftop, it's amusing, but the
same thing over and over gets old very quickly.
The sequence has potential to be very exciting and
climactic, but it isn't and is placed in the wrong
part of the movie.
"Red Corner" is not the kind of movie that is going to
put Richard Gere back on the A-list of movie actors. It is
a tedious two hours that is predictable and unrewarding.
Even in bad courtroom dramas, it's hard not to get an
A emotional rush when the outcome is decided. That does-
n't happen here.
Richard Gere's Jack Moore makes a run for it in one of the
more Interesting sequences in "Red Corner."
, tse
1l|90 t . real music. g apl9.
- phone: 663.5800
1140 south university (above goodtime charleys), AA
- mon.-thurs.: 9:00a-10:OOP sundays
Sf ri. & sat.: 9:00,-il:OOp 11:00<-:0Op
B~i ErcheF

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In Low Gere
Above: Yuelin (Bal Ling) begs Jack
(Gere) not to run from the Chinese
authorities in the not-so-thrilling thriller,
"Red Corner."
Left: Deep thoughts by Richard Gere:
'Now, why exactly did I star In this
movie? Looks ike I1backed mysei fin a
seriously unsuccessful corner."

Michigan Pops Orchestra brings
eclectic tunes to Power Center

By Emily Lambert Park." Ann Arbor made room for pops.
Daily Arts WXriter The next year, the orchestra scraped
Steven Bizub remembers when a together enough money to put on a
friend first pitched him the idea for a March concert featuring opera classics
campus pops orchestra. The proposed and music by John Williams.
orchestra, he recalled, was to be entire- Composed of music and non-music
ly student-run, play a wide variety of majors, the group received support
works and debut from a number of
in the Michigan PREVIFE campus organiza-
TheaterE tions, but its future
"I have to say I Michi an PopS remained uncertain.
thought he had rChestra This summer, to
really lofty aspi- Saturday night at 8 Bizub's elation, the
rations for a Power Center -$5 orchestra became
while," said part of the University
Bizub, now a School of Music senior Activities Committee. With the orches-
and music director of the Michigan tra's funding more secure, Bizub will
Pops Orchestra, which opens its third spend less time lobbying for money and
season this Saturday. "People would more time preparing scores. Joining
come to the Michigan Theater and pay UAC, he noted, also made it possible to
to hear us? I knew what the music scene add a fall concert to the schedule.
was like." Bizub made his conducting debut in
What the Ann Arbor scene was like, front of the Michigan Pops. He has
he explained, was "congested." since conducted other ensembles, but
Rehearsal space was at a premium. feels close to this one and wants to see
Many musicians preferred to play for it flourish. The orchestra now has a con-
pay. The cultured city did not seem to stitution and governing board, and
have room for another performing about a quarter of the players receive
group, compensation.
When the 65-member pops orchestra "It was important for me to make
performed for the first time in the sure some things were definitely in
spring of 1996, "every major hall had place for the organization before I left,"
something going on" Despite this, said Bizub who, along with the orches-
about 1,000 pops lovers turned out at tra's artistic director, will graduate this
the Michigan Theater to hear music May.
from "West Side Story" "Phantom of By the end of this season, the orches-
the Opera," "Batman" and "Jurassic tra will have four concerts to its credit.
The University of Michigan
School of Music
Friday, October 31
Guest Master Class
Lynne Arriale, jazz pianist
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 5p.m.
Guest Master Class
Howard T. Howard, principal French horn, Met Opera
Room 2038, E. V. Moore Bldg., 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 2
Xiang Gao, violin, with members of University orchestras
Allen Tinkham and Adam Glaser, conduetors
Mozart Violin Coneerto #4 in D; Brahms Violin Concerto in D
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 4
University Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor
Anton Nei, guest pianist
" John Adams: The Chairman Dances, a foxtrot for orchestra
" Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto # 3 AMERICAN PREMIERE
" Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, November 5
Harpsichord Recital: students of Edward Parmentier
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
All events are free and wheelchair accessible unless
specified otherwise. The E.V. Moore Bldg. is located
at 1100 Baits Drive, North Campus. (313) 764-0594

It boasts pleased audiences and Ioyal
members, some of whom have played
with the orchestra since its inception.
The players, Bizub said, are pleased
with their success.
"We were quite surprised our lit*I
pops orchestra found its way into the
Pops has a funny reputation in the
classical music world, and one Bizub
thinks a lot about. After attending a
panel discussion with the nation's lead-
ing pops conductors, he discovered that
pops concerts mainly exist to fund clas-
sical concerts. The audiences, he noted,
often differ. At the Michigan Pops' first
concert, many audience members t
him they had never attended an orchT
tra concert before.
"Orchestral music can be very stale,
uncomfortable or boring at times'
Bizub said. "What we really want to do
with the orchestra is showcase orches-
tral music but, by doing that, attract a
wider audience to the concert hall."
Changing people's opinions toward
orchestral music, he said, brings him
"That's what it's about for me:'
Whether pops' audiences develop a
liking for classical is amatter of debate.
But Bizub acknowledged that pops, is
about more than changing opinions. It
is also, he said, about the music - that
audiences like to hear and musicians
like to play.
This weekend's concert promises to
please all parties. The eclectic program
includes music from two HitchcOA.
scores, Beatles tunes along with rec
nizable orchestral classics. Music
Professor Donald Sinta will join on one
piece as a saxophone soloist. l
Posters advertise the concert as hav-
ing "No Theme."
"Themes put the music director in a
box,' Bizub said. "They restrict -and
prsuppose that the pops repe oire can
only stay in one area or genre?'
But pops is as varied as its listen
he said. Think of a record store and
every category there: classical, rock,
soundtracks ... .
"Pops is all of that," Bizub said. "It
draws fromevery bin."

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