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January 18, 2000 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-18

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The Spring Kubrick series continues with "Paths of Glory."
Come see Stanley Kubrick's intense treatment of trench warfare.
"Paths" began the legendary working friendship with the director
and the actor Kirk Douglas. 7 p.m., Michigan Theater

ft "
LlTS

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
A preview of the latest Basement Arts production,
"Betrayal."
Tuesday
January 18, 2000

Artist Carroll fills Pig audience with words, music

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Arts Writer
When he speaks extemporaneously
Jim Carroll's voice is a sputtering motor.
It drones to churn out words and chokes
on 'um's, hurting the potentially sensi-
e ear. Anyone familiar with Carroll's
most well-known work, "The Basketball

Jim Carroll
Blind Pig
Jan.14, 2040

Diaries," under-
stands that an
infamous heroin
addiction in his
younger years
must be the origin
of his rough voice.
Yet when
Carroll reads his
poetry, or short
stories, from the
page, his voice
flows in lucid
motions like a
canoe cutting
across a stream.

Cause."
Carroll's narrative styles on and off
the page differ greatly as he evolves from
a long-winded, raspy-voiced comedian,
reciting a monologue about avoiding the
literary taxi drivers in New York City -
his home town - to a sensual poet
whose words evoke imagery. "Once I
told a girl she had breasts like bleeding
lemons, and she thought that was a beau-
tiful thing to say."
As quickly as he shifts from the raspy,
in-your-face monologue to lucid poetry,
he falls back on the storytelling voice
during his "de-briefing" after the show.
Upstairs, above the Blind Pig he asked
Ann Arbor poet, and close friend, Ken
Mikolowski how the monologue went
over with the crowd - mostly students,
and a few older artists. Carroll described
reactions to this same monologue at
other gigs: "When a heckler doesn't like
my monologue and approaches me, usu-
ally I use Paul Newman's line from 'The
Hustler,' 'Don't mess with me. I don't
rattle, kid.' But this one time in
California, before I got my calm on
stage, I just hollered at the guy, "I'm
gonna kick your ass, man!"
Combined into one act though, his
two different styles open a window into
the fascinating, if not provocative, life

Carroll has led. Growing up in a strong
Irish-Catholic neighborhood, the tall and
lanky Carroll developed tremendous
basketball skills, and he used them to
land a scholarship at posh Trinity High
School. His days as an athlete were
short-lived, however. Carroll fed his
growing heroin addiction by stealing and
hustling gay men, and he recorded all
this in his journal between the ages of 12
and 16, (1962-1966).
These tales later bore fruit when he
published "The Basketball Diaries" in
1978, his most famous book to date.
Most of Jim Carroll's fans know of him
through this work, since it was adapted
into a film in 1995, with star-studded
Leonardo DiCaprio playing the role of
Carroll.
Despite the acclaim and money that
"The Basketball Diaries" have brought
him, the book has also been his Achilles'
heel. Carroll, a different man who suc-
cessfully kicked the heroin addiction
when he moved to Bolinas, Calif in
1974, has written four books since then.
He'd like to think his talent as an artist,
and not the awe people have for the
DiCaprio-Hollywood typecast who bat-
tled the mean streets and came out OK,
make him successful.
"I was a total recluse in California,"

Carroll said as he unwound with two
cups of coffee, cream and sugar, after his
show at the Blind Pig. "I never would
have been able to get away from the
heroin in New York. California was con-
ducive. The highlight was walking my
dog (Jo-mamma) down to the post
office."
"The Basketball Diaries" have also
fallen under intense scrutiny in the last
half-year because people have drawn a
connection between the mass murders in
Columbine, Colorado and the book.
Each of the culprits, Dylan Klebold and
Eric Harris owned a copy of "The
Basketball Diaries," containing a dream
sequence in which Jim strides into his
classroom wearing a trenchcoat and
swinging a shotgun, then proceeds to
massacre the teacher and the other stu-
dents, in slow motion.
Fearing that the book's sales were
on the plunge, (the book was banned
by conservatives in Georgia in
1998), Carroll tried to put the anxi-
ety to rest by appearing on "The
Today Show" and explaining him-
self.
Carroll is, after all, far from a
political man. He is an artist - a
poet, an alternative comedian, a
musician and a great storyteller.

His tone is as smooth and vibrant as the
boyish red hair, which he brushes away
from his eyes in mid-speech.
The urban "post-beat" poet captivated
round 200 listeners at the Blind Pig
iday night with a 70-minute perfor-
mance, including a monologue and poet-
ry from his most recent book, "Void of
sloppy
'Nova'
?talls into
By David Victor
For the Daily
didn't go into "Supernova" with
gh expectations. This sci-fi
garbage was directed by Walter Hill
("48 Hours"), although his displea-
sure with the project led him to
remove his name from the film and
replace it with the pseudonym
Thomas Lee (the most common
name used in this situation is Alan
Smithee). I should have followed
Hill's lead and kept myself as far
y from this rehashed and con-
fused film as possible.
In an unnecessarily long exposi-
tion, we meet the crew of a medical
spaceship that floats through the
depths of space, waiting for an emer-
gency. There's the stern doctor
(Angela Bassett), the hothead pilot,
(James Spader), the computer nerd

LUUIS BHUWN/UAILY
Best known for "The Basketball Diaries," poet Jim Carroll performs at the Blind Pig.

,',

Latest 'Ultima' game leads
the way for PC role playing

i

f
Supernova
No Stars
At Briarwood, Quality 16
& Showcase
4, 4

(Wilson Cruz,
who looks like
he was lifted
straight out of
his role in "My
So -Called
Life"), the two
lovers (Lou
D i a m o n' d
Phillips and
Robin Tunney)
and the eccentric
captain (Robert
Forster). They
all seem bored
and/or embit-

Playing "Ulitma IX: Ascension" by
Origin is like reading a game review with
spelling and grammetical mistakes. No
matter how hard the reviewer worked,
how much research he did or how much
time he spent on the review, it will look
thrown together and unpolished.
Before we get to the meat of "U 9,"
let's get the technical problems out of the
way. Minor graphical glitches are in
abundance. Animals and objects stuck in
awkward places (like pants sticking out
of the wall of a room for example)
become the norm, rather than the excep-
tion they are in most 3D games. Next,
watch in amazement as you hit enemies
in the distant with
arrows, and due to
** shotty inconsis-
Ultima IX: tent Al, they stare
Ascension peacefully at a
Orii mountain until
For PC they collapse
dead.
Reviewed But no gamer
for the Daily by should play half
Eduardo Baraf way through a
game only to
reach a point ABSOLUTELY impassi-
ble, because of bad programming, and
have to wait until a patch is released to
fix it, such as the Shamino bug which
occurs when, after being directed to an
essential island in the game to continue
your quest, you find it completely sur-
rounded by an invisible wall halting your
and the games progression. That is inex-
cusable.
Yet, to even experience these glitches
you are going to need nothing less than
the steep system requirements (a 266
P1I, 64Mb Ram, 8X CD-ROM drive,
600MB hard disk space and a 8MB 3D
Card) or, literally, the game won't even
boot up.
However, despite these often glaring
faults, "U9" with its beautiful detailed
environments, deep story, non-player-
characters with realistic personalities
portrayed with outstanding voice acting
(even if at times a little too melodramat-
ic) and faithfulness to its rich Ultima
heritage make it the best, most complete,
RPG ever made. If you take away the
technical problems, no RPG has ever
ISCOREKEEPERSI

come close to recreating a world like this
game does.
In "U9" you, as the Avatar are again
taken from your home Earth and brought
to Bntannia one last time to face the
guardian who once again is laying to
waste the hillsides and the eight virtues.
And in an interesting twist, a huge tapes-
try in the Museum of Britannia painted
by "forces unknown" has already proph-
esied the future. You will defeat the
Guardian and you will ascend to a plane
beyond Britannia never to be seen again.
Essentially you are playing out a fate you
know to be true (assuming you can sur-
vive the glitches), which surprisingly
draws you into the game.
While "U9"'s story is mature, well
presented and deep, it is its concrete
belief system that takes it to the next
level and makes it so engrossing. The
world of Britannia is based on "The
Eight Virtues," Honesty, Compassion,
Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honor,
Spiritualty and Humility. From the out-
set you are presented with these aspects
of life, ingeniously with a sequence that
requires you to answer questions that
conflict them to determine what type of
character (Tinker, Warrior, Mage) you
will be, and for the remainder of the
game your task is to restore them in the
cities of Britannia as you fight against the
Guardian. Yet, while you restore them as

the avatar you must embody them and,
strangely, you (as a person playing a
video game) start to stnve for them.
Without going any deeper into "U9"'s
excellently crafted story, the game pays
tribute to all of it's predecessors, even
allowing you to relive some sequences
from previous adventures, and any
Ultima fan will be more than satisfied
with the loose ends this game ties up and
the ending in general, although some old-
school gamers may be unhappy with the
controversial Lara Croft-like-fighting
and exploring, and at times, linear plot.
"U9" is a mammoth RPG but techni-
cal limitations make it fall short of excel-
lence; still with downloadable patches.
on the way and Origin's promise that
they will replace all registered buyers'
installation discs when all the glitches
are fixed, it's a very good buy for any
gamer into RPGs and an excellent pur-
chase for Ultima fans and high end
users.

tered by their lonely space voyage,
and pass their time by either having
sex (in a zero-G chamber, of course)
or being surly with each other.
One of the most laughable aspects
of this film is the ship's robot ser-
vant, which is nothing more than
some skinny actor wearing silver
paint and a mask, and who walks
a nd without bending his knees. I
ct wait for the future if this is
what's in store for us.
The ship receives a distress call
from a mysterious "rogue" planet
five light-years away. The crew
decides to use the ship's "D-Drive"
to get there extra fast. Come on
folks, my Honda Civic has a "D-
Drive" - right on the shifter
between reverse and neutral.
oway, this incredible "D-Drive"
requires them to take off all their

Scary Peter Facinelli battles with Angela
clothes and crawl into special cham-
bers for the trip. Thank god a myste-
rious mist appears inside the ship
and keeps the movie PG-13.
After the travel sequence, which
nearly gave me a seizure with its
pointless flashing lights and images,
the ship is crippled by a debris field.
The captain, for reasons that defy
logic, dies needlessly. That's when
two characters (played by Bassett
and Spader) decide to have sex.
Make sense to you?
The plot thickens when the
stranger sending the distress call
boards the ship, bringing a mysteri-
ous, glowing purple artifact aboard.
Peter Facinelli, who plays the
stranger, resembles Tom Cruise,
which is good, because he has noth-
ing else going for him. He's the only
survivor of a mining expedition,
medical tests show that his body is
undergoing mysterious changes, and
his glowing purple artifact is from
the ninth dimension. In the futuristic
world of "Supernova," this apparent-
ly isn't cause for alarm. It is a good
time, however, to have even more
sex.
If you want to be weirded out, look
no further than Lou Diamond

Courtesy of MGM
Bassett in the awful "Supernovas"
Phillips, naked, getting it on with the
purple thing from the ninth dimen-
sion. Albeit seemingly impossible,
the movie goes downhill from there
on.
Ever see the "Blair Witch
Project?" Remember all that shaky
camera movement? Well, the cre-
ators of "Supernova" must have
spent too much money on robot
makeup, because they apparently
couldn't afford a tripod to shoot
with. The camera is always slowly
moving, tilting, and jiggling, even in
close-ups. The action scenes are
impossible to follow, with mis-
matched cuts and no sense of who is
doing what. The spaceship CGI
effects, I grudgingly admit, are well
done, as are the climactic, conclud-
ing effects involving, you guessed it,
a supernova. But even a cataclysmic,
star-destroying event can't save the
film's ending, a cliched and boring
sequence with the singular intent of
getting Bassett and Spader naked
together one more time.
Astrophysicists believe a supernova
can create black hole. "Supernova" has
indeed created its own black hole - a
dark, empty manifestation that sucks,
big time.

____j

Stadium Seating Gives Y
An Unobstructed View

U
U
U

JaC~n Ho m. yW iagnerC, SE * SO3I
One Mile West of Weber's Inn
ONLY $4.75 Matinees before 6 pm,
Kids, Seniors, & Everyone all day Tuesday
552 aeShows Fri & Sat '=r
o passes or ues ay iscounts
Unlimited Free Drink Refills & .25 Corn Refills

r

ALL SCREENS DIGITAL STEREO
ALL THEATERS STADIUM SEATING
OHURRICANE (R)
1 ,00, 3:55,6:45,930
0GIRL INTERRUPTED (R)
11:10,1:30,4:20,7:00,9:35
0SUPERNOVA (PG-13)
11:30, 1:30,330, 5:30,7:30,9:25
0 NEXT FRIDAY (R)
12:00,2:10, 4:35, 7:oo, 9:05
MAN ON THE MOON (R)
11:50, 2:20, 7:05
d MAGNOLIA (R) 11:55,3:35,7:25
CIDER HOUSE RULES (PG-13)
11:00, 1:30,4:00,6:55,9:30
GALAXY GUEST (PG)
12:50, 2:55, 5:05, 720, 9:25
TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (R)
11:05,1:45. 4:25,7-10, 9:55
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY(R)
I11:30, 2:15, 6-05, 9:15
STUART LITTLE (PG)
11 00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:05, 9:00
BICENTENNIAL MAN (PG)
11:25,1:55, 5-05,7:25, 9:55
ANNA AND THE KING (PG-13)
11:00, 1:45, 430, 7:15, 10:00
DEUCE BIGALOW (R)
155,3:45, 5:40, 7:35, 9:30
GREEN MILE (R)12:00, 4:00, 8:00
TOY STORY 2 (G)

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WANT TO WRITE
FOR DAILY ARTS.?

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