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February 02, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-02

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The "Jeopardy Online" site begins its second college tour-
nament today. Check out the site that lets you keep up
with those TV trivia whizzes while still in your pajamas.
Play tonight and win fabulous prizes - if you're lucky -at
http:// www.station.sony.com/college jeopardy)

Urije t al tg

Don't miss the debut of Tuesday's new-release sec
tion, a weekly account of what's new in music.
February 2, 1998

Hollywood's dumping ground

Dismal 'Deep' and mediocre 'Measures' lead off long-delayed February films

Ionster movie can't rise above sea level

'Desperate' thriller doesn't measure up

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
Beware of the beast. At least that
seems to be what the makers of "Deep
Rising" were shooting for with their
movie and advertising campaign.
Too bad that the creature of the sea is
little more than a mass of tentacles that
makes a ridiculous squeaking sound
G enevcr it's about to strike.
This critter is very intelligent and
toward the end the heroes figure out that

sengers, who intend to hijack the large
cruise ship. The thieves have someone
shut down the cruise ship, but when
they get there it's a graveyard of human
bodies. Everyone soon realizes that
they're not alone and the task of saving
the day falls to Finnegan.
The cast is mainly made up of
unknowns, excluding Treat Williams,
Famke Janssen ("Goldeneye") and
"Amistad" star Djimon Hounsou.
Williams, has been on the brink of

it has been backing them into
a corner of the ship the entire
time. It also has the smarts to
find its way up a toilet and
suck down a victim in one of
the few passable scenes of
the movie.
Unlike many movie mon-

At Briarwood &

stardom for a few years with
several notable supporting
roles, but his performance
shows he's not yet ready to be
an action star. He never com-
mands attention when he is
on screen, either from the
audience or the other actors.
When he gives the obliga-
tory fire up the troops speech,
he doesn't seem sure of him-
self and leaves the audience
wondering why any character
would follow his lead.
Famke Janssen plays

sters, this one doesn't devour
victims whole. Instead, as4
one character tells the audi-
ence, it takes in the body,
drinks the flesh and then
regurgitates the bones. This
unusual characteristic allows
writer'director Stephen Sommers to
cram the picture with loads of decapitat-
ed bodies, in an attempt to make the
deserted cruise ship seem even spookier.
As bad as Sommers' creation of the
nster is, his writing is even worse.
The dialogue is weak and predictable.
Lines like "There's nothing down here
but you and me" are followed by the
engulfing of the speaker, and when a
character asks "Can it get any worse?"
- surprise - the power goes out.
In addition, the typical conversation
that the characters have throughout the
movie is so basic and uninspiring that
it's a wonder the actors keep a straight
le. The plot is nothing more than a
device to get the characters alone with
the enemy. Finnegan's (Treat Williams)
small vessel is taken over by the pas-


Courtesy of Hollywood Pictures

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
Because of the complexity of its cen-
tral premise, "Desperate Measures" is
one of those films that has an opportu-
nity to set itself apart from standard sus-
pense movies. But the failure to present
the film from an original perspective
prevents it from being anything other
than a forgettable cinematic experience.
Andy Garcia stars as Frank Connor, a
San Francisco police officer whose son,
Matt (Joseph Cross), is dying
of leukemia and is in great #
need of a bone marrow trans-y
plant. Unable to find a com- Des
patible donor, Frank breaks
into the FBI's main computer, Me
which provides him with
Matt's potential savior - A
Peter McCabe (Michael
Keaton), a serial killer serv-
ing a lifetime prison sentence.
After playing mind games s"
with Frank, McCabe agrees
to donate his bone marrow to
Matt, provided a few seem-
ingly benign requests are fulfilled. Lo
and behold, as the prisoner is transferred
to the hospital, the concessions made by
the police assist McCabe in escaping.
A manhunt begins for the brilliant
murderer, who is looming somewhere in
the hospital. The police face the dilem-
ma is whether or not to kill McCabe: If
he perishes, his marrow cannot be used
and Matt will die. Is it worth it to risk
the lives of many police officers and
hospital workers in order to preserve a
little boy's only hope for survival?
This issue is familiar territory for
director Barbet Schroeder, whose cred-
its include other stellar, morally
ambiguous films like "Kiss of Death"
and "Reversal of Fortune." But in
"Desperate Measures" Schroeder is
unable to exhibit the skills that have pre-

t Showcase
q \

viously earned him an Academy Award
nomination. Early on he does a decent
job of framing the film's central dilem-
ma in featuring meetings between Frank
and McCabe.
But after bringing the two characters
together, Schroeder is unsure of exactly
what he wants to do with them. Does he
overtly document the psychological ten-
sion by having McCabe toy with the
hero (a la Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of
the Lambs")? Or, does he strive for the

implicit effect by toning
down McCabe in such a way
that his motivations become
even more questionable?
He does neither, and the
result is a lack of drama
between the characters. In
addition, once McCabe does
escape, the film breaks down
into a typical chase movie,
devoid of any original, inno-
vative sequences. What
should be a three-way game
of cat and mouse between
McCabe, Frank and the

Trillian, a thief who was on the ill-fated
cruise ship. Her role is nothing more
than the spunky sidekick who just
wants to be one of the boys. In the
beginning, Trillian had a few interesting
quirks, but they disappear once the wet
T-shirt appears. Hounsou is part of a
large group of foreigners who sabotage
the cruise ship. He fails to stand out
from a group that consists of underde-
veloped characters with bad accents.
Story and character development are
a distant second to special effects, crea-
tures and explosions in this example of
the Hollywood action status quo.
Suspense is non-existent since the audi-
ence can guess who will and won't sur-
vive when they walk into the theater. As
far as movies go, "Deep Rising" is way
below sea level.

police degenerates into standard, dull,
action filmmaking, without the manu-
factured power. ,
The film is not helped by Michael
Keaton, normally a very convincing vil-
lain. Here, he tries too hard to be dis-
turbing and consequently is a caricature:
A more restrained performance would
have amplified the power of the central
dilemma, particularly later in the film,
as Keaton's McCabe is presented more
humanely through his interactions with
little Matt.
With a notable director, a talented
cast, and an intriguing storyline,
"Desperate Measures" has the founda-
tion to be a worthwhile film. But
instead, the movie wastes its potential
and along with it, the viewer's time and

Courtesy of TriStar Pictures Courtesy of TriStar Pictures
Clockwise from top: Something stinks, and it isn't the sea monster. The cast of
"Deep Rising" attempts to rise above its putrid film; Andy Garcia can't escape
"Desperate Measures;" In "Measures," the evil Michael Keaton misses his target.

7th House enjoys McCain's 'Solitude'

Free mini-posters from four little mov

By Amy Barber
Dwiy Arts Writer
ontiac's 7th house was the place to be on Friday night as
Edwin McCain showcased his talent before an enthusiastic
The evening began with a surprisingly enjoyable perfor-
mance by Thanks to Gravity, an up-and-coming band whose
talent lies primarily in the lead singer's
ability not only to sing and play guitar
but also to play violin extraordinarily
Edwin When McCain walked on stage and
McCain broke into an exciting, upbeat opener,
7th House most of the crowd, which consisted
Jan. 30. 1998 almost entirely of fans between the
ages of 25 and 30, was clearly pleased
as everyone danced and sang along.
The rest of the kinetic, sold-out
show mirrored the first song. One
would expect a McCain concert to be
very mellow and low-key like the style
on his albums, which, quite frankly,
can be extremely boring.
It was a pleasant surprise to see how fun McCain's music
*ld be when played so vibrantly.
The band members seemed to be constantly enjoying
themselves, especially during songs when McCain initiated
crowd participation. McCain backed away from the micro-
phone sporadically throughout the show to allow the crowd,
which was rather loud for a relatively small venue, to take
charge of the lead vocals.
In addition to Edwin on acoustic guitar and vocals, the
band included an electric guitarist, bassist, drummer and,
most interestingly, saxophonist.
The band really jammed well together despite the fact that

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ojimon Hounsou
are quite the lookers but their latest
movies aren't exactly all that. Still,
we've got mini-posters from theirs and
other small movies that aren't likely
Stop by thebDily Arts office in the
Student Publications.Building at 420
Maynard St. today after noon and pick
up a free poster from "Great
Expectations," "Deep Rising," "A Life
Less Ordinary" and "Playing God,"
Take one or take all, that is, if you're
brave enough to support these unpop-
ular films.

Edwin McCain rocked out at his 7th House show Friday.
McCain is by no means a superb guitar player.
The electric guitarist stole the show instrumentally with his
amazing accompaniment to McCain's acoustic guitar and
when he wasn't in the spotlight it was usually because of an
admirable saxophone solo.
The set list consisted almost exclusively of tracks from the
band's latest album, "Misguided Roses," until near the end
when older and seemingly more familiar songs were played.
McCain's most famaliar hit, "Solitude," was the last song
played before the encore, and it really lit the place up.
Perhaps the night's biggest highlight occurred halfway
through the encore when the rest of the band left and Edwin
played the last three songs solo. This drastic change in style
to finish off the night was very refreshing.
Edwin's performance Friday was much more fun than I
ever could have guessed, and it resulted in a very happy
crowd. The night was an unquestionable success.

Take a full length exam AND attend a
GRE workshop!

F . iI1~ I

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