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April 04, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


,pen your 'Eyes'
(Jo tonight to the Michigan Theater to
see Kubrick's final film "Eyes Wide
Shut," starring Nicole Kidman and
Torn Cruise. At 7 p.m.

ARTS

TUESDAY
APRIL 4, 2000

michigandaily.com/larts

tatest cartoon flick a 'Road' paved with mediocrity

By David Victor -'
Daily Arts Writer
I'd like to think that even as a col-
lege student, I can still enjoy kid-ori-
ented movies like "The Road to El
Dorado.
They're goofy
; and usually
light-hearted
The Road t fun. And I'll
El Dorad admit, there are
Grade: C some good jokes
and some funny
At Briarwood. Quality 16 moments. Also,
& Sh'owcase the animation is
enjoyable to
watch. However,
as a (supposed)
adult, glaring
historic fallacies
and sappy songs drag the film down
into mediocrity.
The story centers upon two
Spanish vagabonds, Tulio and
Miguel. They come across a map that
supposedly leads to the legendary

city of El Dorado. After accidentally
stowing aboard the great conquista-
dor Cortez's ship, they find them-
selves on, well, the road to El
Dorado. Joined by various wacky
animal companions, they escape
death at every turn, and hilarity
ensues.
First, the good stuff. The imagery
in this film is top notch. Granted, this
isn't Disney, but Dreamworks SKG,
the company behind "El Dorado,"
has come through as a top animation
house. Character motions are realis-
tic, the scenery is alive and vibrant,
and computer effects seamlessly
enhance the visual presentation. The
jungle scenes looks as humid and
dense as in real life, The designs of
the city of gold evoke a great
Mayan/Aztec/ncan motif never seen
before in popular animation.
Also, the two main characters, Miguel
and Tulio, have a great rapport. Voiced
by Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline
respectively, the two banter back and
forth well, and even though a few jokes
fall flat, overall they are very entertain-

Jungle fever, indeed.
Even though the film contains great
animations and characters, too many
details made this film hard to enjoy,
especially for a college student. First
of all, everyone in the film speaks
the King's English. From Cortez to
the great priest, Tzekel-Kan, no lan-
guage barriers interfere with the
film. Granted, kids don't want to
read subtitles or deal with Aztec
dialects. However, I would have liked
to see the people of El Dorado speak
a native tongue, at least at first. With
culturally bland films like "El
Dorado," it seems as if we're training
a generation to think everyone in the
world has always spoken English.
With the Asian "Mulan," the Greco-
Roman "Hercules," and now, the
South American "El Dorado," it
would be refreshing to see an ani-
mated film with some subtitles for
once.
The plot also lacks punch. With a
title like "The Road to El Dorado,"
one thinks of an adventure in search
of a lost city: Sorry to ruin it for you,

but they find the lost city of gold in
the first twenty minutes of the film.
Who'da thunk the road to El Dorado
would be so short? They are received as
gods by the naive indigenous peoples,
and they spend a lot of time debating
how they should get as much gold as
possible. After some extremely episodic
set pieces, complications arise and they
find themselves making crucial choices
with lives at stake. Yawn. I was kinda
hoping for a "Raiders of the Lost.Ark"
kind of movie, but what I got was more
like "The Temple-of Doom." And don't
get me started on the formulaic, recycled
music we've heard in every animated
film since "The Lion King."
"El Dorado" is a mildly amusing
film, but being old enough to realize
Spaniards don't have British accents,
among other things, made this film
irritating at times. I could also do
without the nauseating Elton John
musical numbers. However, if you can
bring out the kid in you and look past
its shortcomings, you may just enjoy
"El Dorado." Just don't bet a city of
gold on it.

Courtesy of Oreamworks
Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline) stage a duel in "The Road to El Dorado."
ing to watch. native girl voiced by Rosie Perez. From
There is also the noticeable tendency her shapely legs to her pouty lips, Chel is
for animators to draw characters to a strangely sexual presence in this other-
resemble their voice talents. This is most wise tame film. It's no surprise, then,
evident in their rendition of Chel, a that one of the two Spaniards fall for her.

Fun Capeom
"Marvel vs. Capcom" came out on the Dreamcast
awhile back; oddly enough, the Playstation port is
superior. In spite of being on vastly inferior hardware,
this version of the game plays more smoothly and is
somehow more enjoyable than its Dreamcast counter-
part.
The game is the newest home version of Capcom's
line of Marvel Comics related 2-D fighters. The com-
batants are cel animated, just like they have been since
"Street Fighter 2" came out. But "Marvel vs. Capcom"
is a far cry from the antiquated but beloved "Street
Fighter" series; well, maybe not a
far cry, but at least a new and less
Grade: B+ played out variation on the theme.
Mrvde: B+. With a partner system that
Marvel vs. allows you to switch between two
Capcom playable characters and a special
For Playstation character mode that allows you to
Capcom get some automated help from
Reviewed ,y some other, different, famous
Daily Arts Writer characters. From Captain America
Ted Watts and Megaman to U.S. Agent and
Roll, the breadth of characters is
impressive. The backgrounds are also wildly varied
and lushly layered. No less should be expected from
Capcom's well trained 2-D production team.
The question remains; why is the Playstation version
of the game better than the Dreamcast version? It
might be due to the two extra buttons on the

'Outside' DVD lacks extras

Despite the efforts of advertisers to
make us believe otherwise, "Outside
Providence" is not the next "There's
Something About Mary." "Outside
Providence" is based on a novel by Peter
Farrelly, who along with his brother
Bobby worked on the film's screenplay
(the pair also co-wrote and co-directed
"Mary") but the
similarities stop
Grade: C there.
Rather than
outside unusual hair oint-

on he has eyes for Jane (Amy Smart), the
hottest girl in school who's, according to
the guys, way out of his league. Tim pur-
sues Jane with everything he's got and
eventually catches her eye. The relation-
ship between the two is the most endear-
ing aspect of the film - Tim lays it all
on the line for a girl he wants rather than
just admiring her from afar.
"Outside Providence" was recently
released on DVD in a very curious man-
ner. The DVD version of the film, has
absolutely no extra features included on
it, which is a little puzzling considering
the fact that outtakes from the movie
were included on the VHS version.
Funny, but I thought one of the main
points behind DVD was to have more
room to be able to include special fea-
tures on the disc. On its own, "Outside
Providence" is a funny and entertaining
movie with some heart behind it. The
lack of extras included on the DVD ver-
sion make it a better rental than a pur-
chase though.

a
Playstation controller, eliminating the need for
unwieldy button mashing on the normal Dreamcast
controller. That advantage might disappear with the
use of arcade sticks, but it's hard to say without an
actual test.
Either version of the game is worthwhile; where else
can you take control of cool blue Megaman and beat
the snot out of ugly old Wolverine:? Like SNK's King
of Fighters furballs that have come out for years,
Capcom's own clusterfuck endeavors keep on coming
out and meeting high expectations. There's always a
worry that the franchise might get boring; but then
that's why discs like "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" get
made. And of course, it's only a matter of time until
the publisher's Resident Evil line gets pulled in, too.
Until then, "Marvel vs. Capcom 2" is in arcades.

Providence
For OVD
Miramax
Reviewed by
Daily Film Editor
Matt Barrett

ments and electro-
cuted dogs, the
story here follows
Tim (Shawn
Hatosy), a kid
from the wrong
side of the tracks

Courtesy of Muiramax
Alec Baldwin in "Outside Providence."
speak in a funny voice in addition to not
moving his upper lip. Old Man Dunphy
is packed with pearls of wisdom includ-
ing that a prep school is "to prepare you
for not getting your neck broke by me"
Tim sticks out like a sore thumb at his
new school, but through perseverance
and a roll with the punches attitude, he
starts making things work. From early

who gets sent to an ultra-exclusive prep
school after running into a parked cop
car. Alec Baldwin plays Tim's father, Old
Man Dunphy, in a role that is somewhat
of a stretch for the actor because he must

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v

Telluride Lecture
The Great Disruption
Social Consequences of an Information Society
Francis Fukuyama, Hirst Professor of Public Policy,

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