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November 17, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-17

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 17, 1997
'Too Little,' oo Late: Murray's 'Man' falls short'i

By Laura Flyer
Daily Arts Writer
There is something about Bill Murray that
can give any meager movie some charm. When
he acts, it is always with grace and ease, as
though he is ignorant of any filming taking
Funny he should snatch
the lead role in "The Man R
Who Knew Too Little," ( i
which concerns a man
who mistakes an interna- Kn
tional conspiracy for
merely a theatrical perfor- At


Murray plays Wallace Ritchie, who has not
one inkling of an idea how his evening will
turn out when he decides to surprise his broth-
er James (Peter Gallagher) in London.
Much to his chagrin - it being his birthday
and all - Wallace is shuffled out of James'
stuffy, posh home.
James and his wife, it seems, are ashamed of
Wallace's low aspirations in life, namely his
status as a Blockbuster Video salesman, and
refuse to allow his rash and crude conversation
at their elitist dinner party.
So, James arranges for Wallace to take part
in the "Theater of Life," a participatory theatri-
cal performance, like MTV's "The Real
World" but only for three hours.
Coincidentally (ready for this?), the call

from a phone booth he was supposed to receive
from one of the actors turns out to be a phone
call from a government-hired assassin who
intends to destroy the peace accord between
the United Kingdom and Russia, furthering the
Cold War between the two countries.
What has Wallace got-
ten himself into? That is
E V I E W the ultimate question that
he Man Who he never faces. He merely
Too Little assumes that the conspira-
cy is all part of the act, and
**I everyone will essentially
t Briarwood & Showcase step out of character by the
end of the evening.
Wallace jumps from "scene to scene," out-
smarting Russian hitmen and impressing a call
girl with his outright ignorance and sarcasm,
meanwhile getting closer and closer to disrupt-
ing the plan to blow up the British and Russian
He is amazed by everyone's clever and brave
performances, and, at one point, declares that
he cannot wait to meet the actors and actresses
in person after the show.
It is he, however, that is staging the greatest
After Wallace's strange and eventful
evening, one would think that his relationship
with brother James would be patched up by the
end of the movie. Instead, and disappointing-
ly, James grovels at Wallace's feet, confessing

to his unexcitingi life and his wish that he had
lived on the edge the way Wallace does.
The plot is interesting and inventive, and
sustains a certain level of enjoyment. But the
fun of "The Man Who Knew Too Little,"
directed by Jon Amiel, rests on Bill Murray's
lackluster performance - not that it's
Murray's fault.
Somehow, the script just isn't clever enough
to make any lasting impressions. Murray has
ample opportunities to deliver, but falls short
in many scenes.
What's left of his humor in this movie are
some of his more immature lines, reminiscent
of those in "What About Bob'?"
Funny scenes include a ridiculous Russian
dance.scene where he juggles the very bomb
ticking towards destruction and a car chase
with the police as he drives like a maniac ai
is loving every minute of it.
As for the rest of the cast, they ultimately
fade into mediocrity with Murray. Gallagher i<
way overboard in his emotions, as if he were
trying to satirize his own character. Joanne
Whalley (call-girl) is strong and individualistic
in the beginning, but soon becomes uninterest-
ing as she follows Murray around like a puppy
Because there are high expectations for
Murray, let's hope this movie isn't a sign o
downhill trend for him; the Murray I know and
love is out there somewhere.

Bill Murray stars as Wallace Ritchie, the title character in "The Man Who Knew Too Little." The movie
also stars Joanne Whalley as a call girl who knows even less.

Guitarist Sexton floods Ark with folk rhythms

By Ryan Sherriff
For The Daily
Originating from the subways and
street corners of Boston, Martin Sexton
came to Ann Arbor
this weekend. He
wielded his R
acoustic magic for
two consecutive
nights -- a double
treat, and the only
one he is giving for
this leg of his
nationwide tour.
Growing up in Syracuse, N. Y.,
Sexton started his musical career in a
function band that covered mainly '80s
rock at weddings, parties and other
small events in the Syracuse area. He
was a man with big dreams in a small

city with little opportunity to spread
one's original music. His dreams got the
best of him and he headed to Boston in

lartin Sexton
The Ark
Nov. 14 & 15, 1997
working at a cafe

"I wanted to try
my luck at playing
the streets ... and
this was the catalyst
to do that," said
He auditioned
for several bands in
the area while
that soon dispersed

him due to lack of enthusiasm and irre-
"I hated it. I hated mopping floors, I
hated making sandwiches for people."
Thankfully, it was not his calling.
After several stints, including Europop


synthesizer music, Martin borrowed his
friend's guitar, headed to the Harvard
Square area of Cambridge, Mass., and
began to play the streets.
Unsure of exactly when the folk
influence entered him, Sexton can attest
to fact that it bloomed in Boston. The
folkish feel of the street clearly comes
through in his music.
His CD debut, "Black Sheep," has a
live feel to it and consists mainly of
tracks exhibiting only him and his guitar.
Although he claims this is not the only
musical base upon which he will touch,
Sexton has gained much fame and criti-
cal praise from this stripped-down style.
Saturday night, he mesmerized the
crowd at the packed Ark - nothing
new to him. Sexton hit the stage with an
explosion of applause, uttered a few
words of greeting and slid right into his
first song with enthusiastic flair.
Hopping back and forth to the go-
lucky "Freedom of the Road," Sexton
displayed a look of pure joy upon his
face. The music and emotion flowed
through him so naturally; there was not
one contrived gesture or melodramatic
Sexton believes this period of his life
is just the start of his musical mission.
He plans to move upward and onward no
matter what form his music might take.
"l want to change; I want to go with
the flow," he says, talking about the pos-
sibility of more electric-based music in
his future.
He bathes contentedly in his slowly
growing national fame, but has no
reluctance to slip into the mainstream.
Whether he will cruise at his current
level or start to bang out platinum
records, Martin intends to head "wher-
ever the music takes me."
His material is pure, honest and dis-
tinctly his own. Sexton is simply a man
and his guitar, but his larger than life
dreams of influencing as many people

as he can with the music he loves helps
him to transcend anything mildly enter-
taining. In the places ventured to on
past tours and the present one he has
left a wake of overwhelming praise and
The amazing thing about Sexton is,
despite how spectacular his music is,
the show he puts on is even better. His
show seems to come from a different
era-out of place in the '90s - mak-
ing it all seem more provocative. His
style timeless, ranging from classical
jazz in "Can't Stop Thinking Bout You"
to exemplary modern folk in "Glory
Sexton played the crowd with the
composure of a seasoned comedian.
There wasn't one awkward moment on
stage, not even when one of his strings
broke. He continued on unphased, not
losing the audience for a second.
The aura that enveloped the room
was indescribable. Sexton made the
perfect connection between performer
and listener.
He travels alone from gig to gig in his
own truck with only his acoustic guitar
and equipment, meeting only his man-
ager in the respective cities and towns.
The venues he covers range from medi-
um to small, but he tends the fill them
all, no matter the size. Although most of
-his shows occur on consecutive nights,
Sexton hardly tires or grows bored from
"I love the phone interviews, check-
ing into hotels, radio interviews ... I
love driving."
The tour is anchored by several large
cities, like Philadelphia, Seattle and
Chicago, but Sexton enjoys hitting the
small music markets just as much.
That's what brings him to places like
Northampton, Mass., Corvallis, Ore.,
and Ann Arbor. Martin says he'd hate to
overlook the valuable fans and critics in
these areas.

With legions of fans, Emily Sailers & Amy Ray are closer to fine than ever before.
Indigo Girls get Closer
to fans at Hl concert.'

writing, camping, reading, hiking, music, canoeing, art
r' jj o, "

For six and a half weeks, during the Spring half term (May and
June), 40 students and 10 staff members live and work together,
reading New England authors and exploring New England's
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program is based on Lake Winnipesaukee beneath New
Hampshire's beautiful mountains.
NELP students earn eight credits in literature and writing.
THURSDAY Nov. 20 - 8 PM
For more information contactJackie Livesay at 764-9505, 761-3468, orjlivesay@umich.edu
tlt &KT SALE ton 9
real music,
scheduled for
ecfo~v- able at
12 OI?. (Live V
release dates subjeCt to Change without notice, sorry.
s-d s0i ad sc Ld red
erelea dates se to ch a ~ange outnte,~ sory.IV

Ifyou thin k you're pregnant..,
cal z-w isen, esage.
Any time, any day, 24 hours.
Fufyl confidEntoaL
Servig Students sinc~e 1970.

By Amy Barber
For the Daily
I have to admit that I was a little
biased going into last week's Indigo
Girls concert. Actually, I am a big
Indigo Girls fan.
OK, actually I
am obsessed with R
Emily Sailers and
Amy Ray to the
point where my
friends are consid-
ering putting me
into therapy.
But being the incredibly obsessed fan
that I am, I have ridiculously high
expectations before each concert,
which could be potentially dangerous.
I have this fear that eventually I will
be extremely disappointed when the
Indigo Girls have a bad night. Thus far
that night has not come, and Friday's
concert at Hill Auditorium was no
exception - it was exceptional.
Near the beginning, the Indigo Girls
played a set of four new songs from
their recent "Shaming of The Sun" CD.
"It's Alright,""Shame on You" and "Get
out the Map" were all played superbly,
almost exact replicas of the album ver-
"Sun"'s "Don't Give that Girl a Gun"
was also sublime. Amy's sincerely emo-
tional performance of the song was felt
throughout Hill.
For many, the highlight of the night
came during the surprising "Romeo
and Juliette," a rarely played older song.
Amy played this guitar solo with so
heart and beauty that some audience
members were brought to tears.
The other solo of the night, Emily's
"Leeds," was impressive as well.
Although it didn't sound quite as won-
derful as the album's piano version,
Emily did an excellent job.
All the old favorites were as extraor-
dinary as ever. Many fans knew all the


words and sang carelessly throughout
each song.
At the end of "Least Complicated,"
all one could hear was an auditorium
full of synchronized voices singing "Na
na na na na na na"
over and over. The
VIE W crowd also took
over for a few ver
Indigo Girls es of "Galileo"W4
Emily and Amy
Jill Auditorium stood back smiling
Nov. 14, 1997 in delight.
"Scooter Boys"
was astounding. It was played straight
through pretty much unsurprisingly
until the end, when the song was
extended for about three minutes.
Amy's addition of strong political lyrics
to this already deeply meaningful song
was outstanding.
Yet another highlight was the inclu-
sion of romantic classics "Power of
Two" and "Love Will Come to You" in
the set. When "Hey Kind Friend" was
played near the end, it, too, was mar-
Amy and Emily's friendliness and
close relationship to their audience is an
important reason why so many fans are
attached to them and their music. The,
spoke on stage to the audience and
each other in such a casual, friendly
way that fans felt a connection to them.
"Closer to Fine" came last, as always.
This time it was played with the assis-
tance of two more musicians, including
opener Sonia Rutstein, the lead singer
of Disappear Fear, who did a fine job
singing one of the verses.
By the time this song was played
there wasn't a single fan not up and
dancing, joining in the sea of voic
singing along.
As the Indigo Girls rose their heav-
enly voices over their adoring fans', my
ridiculously high expectations were met
once again.

- I




wd R W .. , 1


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