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February 26, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-26

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W1. r 1er
0 "Hilary and Jackie" continues its run at the Mi
Check out two Academy Award-nominated perfor
film about cellist Jacqueline du Pre and her battl
Hilary and multiple sclerosis. Tonight through Su
p.m. $5.50 for students.
New com(
By Erin Podoisky
Daily Arts Writer
Ben Affleck. Casey Affleck. Janeane Garofalo.
Courtney Love. Jay Mohr. Christina Ricci. Paul
This, boys and girls, is just a sampling of the illus-
ti cast of "200 Cigarettes; an ensemble film
aNut one wild and crazy night (heard this one
before?) that just happens to be New Year's Eve
1981 in New York's already wild and crazy East
Village. These are actors in the
truest sense of the word, people
we've seen doing their job bet-
ter than half of Hollywood.
200 They can be comical or dra-
Ciret matic, flamboyant or understat-
C aetes ed.
They are none of those
things, however, in "200
At Showcase Cigarettes," a poor attempt at
filmmaking that is nothing
more than a good cast gone
wrong. It's a colossal piece of
repellantly unfunny garbage,
and it's painful to think of the
great movie that this bunch of
creative types could have made
together if only they'd realized their mistake before
it was too late and the camera was rolling.
*he only possible explanation for this is that the
prospect of working with each other was so enticing
(or that MTV offered so much money to pull togeth-
er a high-profile, sure-to-bring-in-the-target-demo-
graphic audience that they couldn't refuse) that it
blinded them to the terrible script they were working
from. Call it a form of Hollywood denial, call it
greed, call it whatever you want. Just don't call it a
quality decision.

chigan Theater.
mances in the
e with sister
nday, 7 & 9:30


-shIngs from Daily Arts:
We at Daily Arts wish you a safe and restful Spring Break. Be
sure to come back on March 8 for a review of "Sunset
Boulevard," which begins its three-week stint at the Detroit
Opera House on Tuesday.


February 26, 1999


dy goes up in smoke

, ..

cabbie's (Dave Chappelle) taxi cab and he offers
them advice or a hit off of his joint.
We start out with Kevin (Rudd) and Lucy (Love).
Kevin is in mourning because it is his birthday and
he has just broken up with his girlfriend, Ellie
(Garofalo). This opens the door for he and Lucy to
have many boring, repetitive conversations about
moping on New Year's and sex with each other and
other people. Come to think of it, there aren't really
any non-boring or non-repetitive conversations in
"200 Cigarettes," so just consider it a given that each
mentioned conversation is boring and repetitive.
Val (Ricci) and her best friend Stephie (Gaby
Hoffman) are a couple of Long Island teenagers
with thick accents and a fear of the eastern East
Village. They are stalked by Tom (Casey Affleck)
and Dave (Guillermo Diaz), a couple of Misfits-
looking guys who just want to be loved and make
their drug delivery. Hoffman gives what is far and
away the worst performance in the film, and every
second she is on screen is a second of your life you
will not get back. Consider yourself warned.
There are a host of other plots involving the other
actors, but like the ones already mentioned, they are
overdone and boring to boot. Even Elvis Costello's
cameo falls flat. The technical aspects of the film
are mediocre at best and while the soundtrack
offered some promise since this is an MTV film, it
opens with "I Want Candy" (a song that sounds infi-
nitely better when recast as "I Want Stanley," as
every loyal Detroiter knows) and heads downhill
from there.
If you just can't wait to get your dose of one or all
of the people in "200 Cigarettes," it would be a
much better idea to spend your $7.50 at the video
store stocking up on older but better films. This one
is a dud that ought to be sufficient to embarrass its
players for years to come.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Dave Chapelle lends pot to Angle Featherstone.
The main idea behind "200 Cigarettes" is that
everyone is whiling away the evening waiting for the
hour to be fashionably late enough that it's cool to
show up at Monica's (Martha Plimpton) party, the
bulk of the guest list being made up of her ex-
boyfriends. This is one of those too-many-cast-
members-to-count movies where we bounce back
and forth between each pair or trio of characters
who will ultimately all end up at the same location.
The gimmick this time out is that they all, at some
point during the night, ride in the nameless disco

kodo drums up
excitement at Power

'8 mm' snuffs out Schumacher's career

By Adlin Rosi
Daily Arts Writer
A Taiko drum heard from a dis-
*nce was an old Japanese method
of establishing a community bound-
ary. This past Tuesday night, the
popular Japanese drum troupe,
Kodo, pulled Ann Arbor into its
community as they performed at the
Power Center to a nearly sold-out
Kodo's performance proved that
music can cross all cultural barriers.
'he group's sound is based entirely
ound the traditional Japanese
drums. Flutes and group singing are
rarely included. So Kodo's music is
constructed almost strictly on (by
Western standards) very odd drum
patterns and syncopation. It is a

wonder then, that
Power Center
Feb. 23,1999

with so few
melodies and
without a sin-
gle word spo-
ken in English,
Kodo man-
aged to mysti-
fy the crowd.
The 15
artists took
turns onstage
and collective-
ly performed a
10 song set
and added two
more as

like "Fu-Rai-Do," the group show-
cased its versatility in performance.
Another amazing aspect of the
night was the incredible physical
discipline and endurance that mem-
bers of Kodo exhibited. Some of the
drums were played by pounding on
them while sitting on the floor and
setting the upper body at an almost
45 degree angle. Just imagine the
stress on the body, as Kodo songs
run an average of seven minutes!
The night's proceedings were not
limited to merely the drums howev-
er, as heard when Kodo performed
"Yae-No-Furyu." In this number,
the group moved in a dance from
Japan's Obon festival, the festival of
the dead. As mentioned earlier, rare
appearances of flutes and group
singing were showcased as well.
What was also plentiful was
youthful vigor and spirit in the per-
formance. The majority of Kodo
performers were made up of fairly
young looking members who kept
their discipline during the morose
numbers, but were not afraid to let
their hair down and have a good
time during the more upbeat ones.
This was especially so as during one
of the numbers, the Kodo member
playing the cymbals jumped around
and showcased moves worthy of
The group was given a standing
ovation after finishing its 10 song
set. The crowd response was so
overwhelming that Kodo had to
return to the stage twice to humbly
bow to the crowd's approval. A two
song encore was then performed,
which consisted of two irresistible
numbers, "Shake" and "Itsuka
Mata.' "Itsuka Mata" was appropri-
ately a song about wishing well
until someday meeting again.

8 mm
At Birarwood and

(Nicolas Cage)
on a one-man
mission to track
down the dis-
tasteful people
he sees in a
home snuff film
left behind by a
dead industrial
tycoon. A snuff
film, for those of
you who don't
much frequent
the underbelly of
the porn sector
beyond the days

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Nicolas Cge ponders his snuff fn in 8 mm."

of a dreamer and the nights in
between, is a movie that records an
actual murder. Here the victim is a
young runaway lured by promises of
money and fame when she finds that
Los Angeles isn't the city of dreams
she thought it was.
Welles spends a good chunk of the
movie first tracking down the girl's
identity (inexplicably traveling to
Cleveland to do it), then the girl's
mother, then the girl's path across the

country. He makes frequent calls to
his wife (a woefully underused
Catherine Keener) who seems to
spend every waking moment cooing
to their infant daughter. Like most of
the movie, this lengthy expository
sequence drags on and on and
Schumacher subscribes fully to the
"when in doubt, break out the baby"
school of filmmaking.
The movie picks up speed once Tom
reaches Los Angeles and teams up with
porn expert and purveyor Max
California (Joaquin Phoenix), with
whom he bonds over a pile of dirty
magazines. Phoenix handles the role
well, looking a bit like the lead singer
from Prodigy and guiding the naive
Tom through the seedy world of la la
land sex. The two become partners and
we learn that Max is just another victim
of Hollywood dreams gone sour, but at
least we care just a little about him.

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
Joel Schumacher had something to
prove with his latest film, "8mm."
And he proved it, all right - the man
who made the "it only cost $100 mil-
lion, I swear!" box office bomb
"Batman and Robin" proves once and
for all that he should never again be
given a budget over $40 million.
"8mm" is an exercise in lame sensa-
tionalism, revealing little beyond the
less-than-a-revelation that Joel
Schumacher is a hack.
"8mm" follows upwardly mobile
private investigator Tom Welles

"Bring out the gimp!" was originally
intended, Once they are found,
"8mm" disintegrates into a patchwork
of climax after climax (no pun intend-
ed) as it struggles to find solid footing
amidst the faux-shocking aftermath
of the snuff crime and succeeds only
in schooling the audience to expect
the so-called surprises dropped ten-
fold into the movie.
Luckily, each moment that Phoenix
is present is one that is a little less
painful, although the idea that some-
body could steal a scene from Nicolas
Cage should be the first clue that
something is severely wrong with
"8mm." There's little doubt that the
studio got that clue. The film's ending
smacks of studio tinkering - and it
isn't even satisfy'ing, resolving tinker-
ing. Sure, things are resolved, but at
the end of the film we're left to won-
der what exactly the message received
was supposed to be.
The message that should have been
telegraphed loud and clear to every-
one at Columbia Pictures was not to
let Schumacher make this botched
effort at a lurid, seamy thriller. Next
time, instead of making the snuff
film, he should be the star.

Together Max and Tom track down
the evil sex fiends responsible for the
girl's death. There are three of them:
Eddie Poole (James Gandolfini), an
overweight skin flick producer; Dino
Velvet (Peter Stormare), the snuff
film's director and lover of cross-
bows; and a mysterious man-in-black
known only as Machine (Chris
Bauer), about whom the phrase

encore num-
ers. The wide range of drums used
and the different sounds they made
evoked many different moods
throughout the night's performance.
It was amazing to see that the
drums, usually used as a means to
keep the beat of a song, could be so
expressive as a focal instrument.
From playful and upbeat numbers
like "Chonlima" to the darker ones

Jimmy John opened his first store in Charleston,
IL in 1983. Today he has a whole bunch all over
the place, including here.
k Q: HEY, JIMMY JOHNI My job stinks. Who doI
have to kill to get to be one of your gourmet sand-

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