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October 25, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-25

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Halloween stories are brewing at the Ann Arbor District Library.
in local storytellers, parents and children for a fun, spooky time
Baring traditional stories about Halloween. 7 p.m.

fIkheo £O11u akI

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Check out reviews of the latest albums from Primus and
the Clash.
October 25, 1999


dances in
y Matthew Brrett
laily Arts Writer
Characters ordering a tuna melt and
hen regurgitating it on the sidewalk.
o one removing the cork from a bot-
ewine, only to have it shoot out and
it something in the room. And better yet,
character attempting to open a cab door
Palls the handle off and hits another char-
:ter in the face. No, these aren't
pisodes from the latest Saturday morn-
ig series aimed at the under 5 crowd,
tey're little bits of humor from the new
im ", Three to Tango."
The story consists of a love triangle
involving Oscar
Novak, an archi-
tect (Matthew
Perry), Charles
Three To Newman, a sharky
Tango businessman
No Stars ( D y 1 a n
At Showcase McDermott) and
and Quality 16 his mistress, Amy
Post (Neve
Campbell). While
he is in the process
of considering
whether or not to
hire Oscar for an
important job,
harles asks him to keep an eye on Amy
d make sure that the mistress stays true
her man. Charles feels confident in
ing this, because he, along with almost
'ery other character in the film,
sumes that Oscar is homosexual and
ses little threat to his relationship with

Banderas' directing debut
is more dull than Crazy

Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Neve Campbell and Matthew Perry try to show they're better than TV in "Three To Tango"

Amy. This, however, as we learn early on,
is not the case.
Despite the fact that Oscar seems to
tell everyone in the film that he is
straight, no one believes him. This leads
to some slow times for viewers as we
wait for the dense characters in the movie
to catch on. All the while, Oscar seems to
have the best of both worlds - Amy
feels comfortable telling him things that
she wouldn't tell a heterosexual man and
Charles is content to let Oscar spend as
much time with Amy as he wants.
Oscar's little setup becomes a bit of a
problem when he realizes that he's in love
with Amy and must figure out a way to
convince her that he's sincere.
All three of the lead actors are atro-
cious, with Perry being the worst of the
bunch. Oscar seems like nothing more
than a slight variation of the character
that Perry plays on "Friends," and
throughout the movie and all of the funny
faces that he makes, we feel as if Perry is
performing to the audience rather than
embodying the character. One of Oscar's
few serious moments comes as he sits on

a bed of green grass and contemplates
what to do that afternoon when he'll be
presented with a Gay Man of the Year
award. As Oscar stares into space and
searches his soul, we stare away at our
watches wondering if the film will ever
end and when it does if we'll still have
our souls.
Every movie has to have at least a few
positive things about it, and'in this case
"Three to Tango" has two. One is the
casting of Patrick Van Horn, in a bit
part, his first work of note since
"Swingers,' and the other is the appear-
ance of a mid-90's Michigan football
team on the television set. Other than
that, things are bleak.
"Three to Tango" fails on a variety of
levels. The movie is neither romantic nor
tumorous, and as a result it makes for a
pretty bleak time. It's also a little annoy-
ing to wait for the slow characters in the
film to become hip to the truth about
Oscar's sexuality. By the end, "Three to
Tango" is about as appealing as one of
the tuna melt's featured in the film, and
likely to cause a similar response.

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
These are the facts about "Crazy in
Alabama" as we know them after the
first five minutes:
1. Lucille (Melanie Griffith) has killed
her husband and is toting around his sev-
ered head in a Tupperware container on
her way our to find stardom in
2. Peejoe (Lucas Black), her 13-year-
old nephew, is in love with Lucille.
3. Lucille's brother Dove (David
Morse) is the town of Industry's white
The information that got my attention
and interested me most after this pream-
ble was that narrator Peejoe matter-of-
factly told us that he was in love with his
glamorous, murdering aunt. Oh boy!, I
thought. This is going to be a quirky
incest comedy with a beautiful middle-
aged woman (for
the record,
Griffith, 42, is
playing 34) and a
Crazy in cute, wiry little
Alabama boy! This is going
to be better than
going to watch the
At Showcase local middle
and Quality 16 schoolers play
football! I can't
But wait I did,
and disappointed.
I was, because
"Crazy in Alabama" is instead a painful-
ly obvious tale with far too many diverg-
ing parts. The first hour and a half is
more like flipping between the fiercely
moral "Touched by an Angel" and the
quirky "Ally McBeal" on television. In
one scene, you've got Lucille heading
cross-country, hubby's head in tow, as
she steals cars, gets free meals, acquires
a chauffeur and of course finds stardom
in "Bewitched" (and, oh, the pain of see-
ing one of my favorite old TV shows dis-
graced by association here) five minutes
after checking into the Chateau
Then the film, directed by Antonio
Banderas, switches gears back to
Industry, where Peejoe replaces the fire

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Melanie Griffith wants to be a Hollywood starlet in "Crazy in Alabama."

in his belly for Aunt Lucille with segre-
gation activism, standing up for his black
contemporaries when they try to swim in
the city pool. By the end of the film,
Peejoe has shaken hands with Martin
Luther King, Jr., gotten his picture on the
front of Look magazine and witnessed a
murder that can put the bigoted, racist
town sheriff (Meat Loaf, who shed his
"Fight Club" bitch tits for the role)
behind bars for good. Uncle Dove keeps
telling Peejoe to leave well enough alone
and mind his own business, masking his
own integration leanings, but eventually
helps Peejoe in his quest for revealing
the truth to Industry.
So there we are, switching back and
forth between these two equally pathetic
movies rolled into one, when Lucille is
arrested for her husband's murder. She's
okay with this, though, because she's
achieved her goal of making it big in
Hollywood (and, golly gee, she even did
it without sleeping her way to the top,
because things were just this easy back
in 1965). Lucille is hauled back to
Industry and put on trial, where she
weeps before the judge about the abuses
her husband piled upon her during their
years of marriage. For example, evil
mean husband made her wait until half-
time when her water broke to take her to
the hospital. The nerve! The humanity!
It's sad to think of screenwriter Mark

Childress, who adapted his own novel,
sitting at his desk trying desperately to
think of a harsh-yet-funny cruelty to
assign to Lucille's husband. There he
sits, trying so hard to make it all work:
the Tupperware, the halftime trick,
Lucille's seven children who are all
named after movie stars like Marion. I
suspect that it did work in novel form;
tales filled with eccentricities like this
often do. But it's hard to translate amus-
ingly odd plot points in a novel that is so
good because of those points to a medi-
um in which hijinks tends to be all
("There's Something about Mary") or
nothing ("Schindler's List").
It's even sadder to walk out of
"Crazy in Alabama" and think about
how its heart is in the right place.
Maybe scores of housewives across the
country will follow Lucille's example
and chase their dreams to the West
coast with their husband's heads by
their sides. Or maybe all, let's see, zero
remaining segregated swimming pools
will finally be made multicolored. Of
course, there's the slim chance that this
movie will do none of those things and
we won't be subjected to the sequel,
"Crazy in Ala-Bam!-A," starring
Emeril Lagasse, who will use the sev-
ered head in a delicious chunky meat
But I can dream, right?

Wipeout 3'offers
uan racing, techno _:.



"Wipeout 3" is based on the theo-
that it's fun to zip around cyber-
nk tracks in brightly colored
ernal female "back massagers" to
techno soundtrack. And what do
u know, it's a sound theory.
Psygnosis is skilled at providing
t tic racing games, and
i out 3" is their latest offering.
eed, weapons and skillful enemies
the elements assembled in this
ort, and it's entertaining to have
deal with these variables.
Steering's a more complicated
tter; the roads twist more than
ubby Checker reincarnated as a

lemon wedge in a glass of iced tea.
Add to that the softness of the steer-
ing controls and you have to learn
how to use your independent left and
right air brakes or you will be
stomped on by the rockets shooting
from your opponents.
On the down side there are only a
handful of courses, and most of the
variation comes from making the
courses faster and your opponents
more aggressive. For a game where
the tracks aren't all that long to
begin with, this can be extremely
Sure, it lets you learn where
you're going pretty well, but that
gets old after awhile. The lion's
share of the entertainment comes
from avoiding getting destroyed and
destroying your confreres in new

and interesting ways, but it would be
nice to do that on more tracks.
The game is full of nice neon col-
ors, pointing you towards speed ups
and weapons. The fonts within the
informational screens are nicely
shaped. The whole package
bespeaks an eye towards design. Too
bad the design doesn't apply to more
environments. Well, you take as
much as you can get.
- Ted Watts


The E-way to share your
Christmas list and other gift
ideas with family and friends!
Enerto W odayat:~
Please join
Dr. Ellen Zimmermann
Asst Professor of
Gastroenterology, U of M
fn.r.te .nf..-l Acm.a-

Don't anlic!!
If you think your pregnant...
call us-we isten, we care.
Any time, any day, 24 hours.
Pally confidential.
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