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September 10, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-10

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9igger, Longer and Uncut
U Cartman and the gang appear at the Michigan Theater. "South
Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" brings the boys back to the big
screen. 11 p.m.

te irm*ga Nig

Monday in Daily Arts:
U Daily Arts reviews recent Bruce Springsteen and Cher per-
formances.
Friday
September 10, 1999

9

Writing helps
By Ed Sholinsky
l)aifly Fim Editor4
It seems as if two rather odd things
have come into style in Hollywood
this past month: Little boys who talk;
to dead people and covers of thec
*lling Stones song "Paint it Black"
(there is a version in the up comingQ
"For Love of the Game").
Even though little Jake Witzky
(Zachary David Cope) regularly
communicates with the dead, like
Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense," "Stir
of Echoes" and "The Sixth Sense"

FW.

'Echoes'

are as different as

Stir of
Echoes
At Briarwood
and Showcase

apples and orang-
utans. "Stir of
Echoes" is sim-
ply a thriller and,
to its credit, the
film never tries
to be anything
more. Rather, it
tells the story of
a young man
blessed with the
ability to com-
municate with
the dead and his
father, Tom
(Kevin Bacon),
who suddenly

Lcceed
beginning.
Koepp's style has greatly devel-
oped since his feature debut "The
Trigger Effect," and he infuses each
shot with a stark beauty that comple-
ments the Chicago neighborhood
that he shot "Stir of Echoes" in. And
it's obvious that this work is impor-
tant to Koepp, as it's his best screen-
play since 1993's "Carlito's Way."
Helping Koepp out is a generally
strong cast. Despite Bacon's insis-
tence of doing his Ray Liotta in
"GoodFellas," which causes him to
ham up some of his scenes, for the
most part he does a fine job in the
role.
Cope and Erbe also turn in solid
performance, with Cope out shining
the rest of the cast a la Haley Joel
Osment in "The Sixth Sense."
Despite certain creative similari-
ties, "Stir of Echoes" and "The Sixth
Sense" aren't even playing the same
game, more or less playing in the
same ballpark. "Stir of Echoes" is a
thriller with a heart, but has no pre-
tensions of great depth or insight.
Instead it's a reworking of the ordi-
nary man in the extraordinary situa-
tion story.
For the most part there's nothing
really wrong with "Stir of Echoes,"
as it doesn't reach to be accepted into
the pantheon of great cinema.
But in the end it feels as if Koepp
might have left one or two too many
plot threads dangling and could
have made the climax a little less
expected. Nevertheless, "Stir of
Echoes" will make you jump where
you're supposed to jump, make you
laugh where you're supposed to
laugh (how many thrillers and hor-
ror films can actually claim that),
and entertains like movies are sup-
posed to do.

gains the ability to do so after his sis-
ter-in-law Lisa (Illeana Douglas)
hypnotizes him.
For Tom, though, this ability is no
gift. Visions of a dead girl and her
murder start to plague Tom, ruining
his marriage to Maggie (Kathryn
Erbe) and hindering him from going
work as he becomes more
obsessed with his visions. Tom's ini-
tial terror is replaced by his compet-
ing desires to find out why the ghost
of Samantha (Jenny Morrison) is vis-
iting him versus his longing to be rid
of the visions.
Though Jake tells his father not to

Courtesy of Artisan Entertainrnent
Kevin Bacon plays a man extremely susceptible to hypnosis in "Stir of Echoes."

Courtesy of Fineine Features
Christian Campbell plays Gabriel, a young writer looking for love in "trick."

be afraid. Tom's visions and
writer/director David Koepp ("The
Trigger Effect") make it clear that
Tom has something to fear in the
human world.
The whole of "Stir of Echoes" is
pretty predictable, but works largely
on the strength of Koepp's writing
and direction. Even if the fact that
Samantha was murdered by one of
the main characters (don't worry,
that's not spoiling anything) is abun-

dantly clear to even the most casual
viewer much quicker than it is to the
character presented with the same
information, is trivial.
Koepp paces the movie with
ferocity missing from most studio
thrillers and develops the characters
and situations enough that the film's
predictability doesn't damage the
work too much. Instead "Stir of
Echoes" just takes audiences where
they knew they were going from the

'Trick'

examines

fledgling love

Courtesy of Sega

"Blue Stinger" is a quirky survival game.

'Sonic Adventure'
shows Sega s best
Sonic Adventure
Sega
Dreamcast
A new console's flagship needs to be a great game to buoy the system;
Sonic Adventure is such a game.
With a massive and beautifully executed world, Sonic Adventure is an
appropriate evolution for Sega's hedgehog franchise. The game has two main
phases; action stages and adventure fields. Adventure fields involve running
around looking for items in one of three main areas. Action stages involve
running around courses really quickly and picking up rings; in other words,
classic Sonic gameplay in at least three dimensions.
The visuals in the game are superb. Sonic leaves footprints in the sand
when running on a beach, and the dolphins jumping over him are surround-
ed by spray. The environments are full of detail and interactive inhabitants.
The game's palette is extremely large based on the system's 128 bits, and it
makes for seamless gamescapes. The Dreamcast's graphic chops are evident
in the breadth and depth of this game.
The storage size of the Dreamcast's GD-ROM medium is evident in the
amount of sub-games on this disc. In addition to the vast action and adven-
ture stages, there are also minigames on the disc. You can snowboard, fish or
play whack a mole with Sonics instead of moles. But the chao-raising
minigames are the best of the bunch. You can hatch eggs in gardens within
the game, give the resulting creatures (called chao-s) animals which they can
emulate and then race the chao-s against each other. You can race your chao-
s with people around the world with the Dreamcast's online capabilities. But
the most magnetic feature is the ability to download a chao into the Virtual
Memory Unit and play the minigame Chao Adventure in the bathroom,
standing on the hood of your car or wherever you want to play it. The virtu-
al pet can fight other chao-s it encounters, and you can feed it to better its
stats. To get fruit to feed it, you must win an addictive little game of con-
centration. Simple and insidious.
On the down side, you can not skip cinema scenes in Sonic Adventure that'
you have watched before, and the music seems bought at some third genera-
tion grunge fire sale. But otherwise, the game is massive, has a wide range
of playing types and boasts the finest visuals of any game like it. Sonic
Adventure will likely be the best selling Dreamcast release title and that only
makes sense; it has something for everyone.
- Ted Watts

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
"Trick," is a lighthearted love
story that examines two males
falling in love over the course of a
crazy night in New York City. Much
of the film's charm comes from its
laid-back demeanor regarding the
relationship - it conveys that what's
happening to the characters is monu-
mental without actually spelling it
out.
When we first meet Gabriel
(Christian Campbell), he's a wired
writer, who
seems to have
quite a bit of
trouble express-
trick ing himself and
his feelings.
Most of his time
is spent in an
At the Michigan office, working
Theater on his musical
or with his best
friend Katherine
(Tori Spelling).
And so,
despite the fact
that he's on the
prowl for a partner, Gabriel always
seems to end up selling himself
short.
All of this changes when he
comes across Mark (John Paul
Pitoc), a go-go boy who caught his
eye earlier that night in the subway.
The laid back and easygoing Mark
provides the perfect contrast to the
rigid Gabriel, and the two quickly
hit it off. So Gabriel invites Mark
back to his apartment for a little
peace and quiet. The pair are then

greeted by Katherine (she's using
Gabriel's computer to print out 150
copies of her resumes) and, a few
minutes later, by Gabriel's room-
mate. And so the two set off for a
night in the city, all in search of a
private room.
The film's biggest surprise comes
in its cast, none of whom, save
Spelling, are very recognizable to
audiences. Campbell (the brother of
actress Neve Campbell) is on target
as the frustrated Gabriel, slowly let-
ting the character's feelings come to
the surface through the course of the
film.
Spelling is also a bit of a surprise,
turning in an over-the-top and enthu-
siastic performance as an aspiring
actress.
A nice touch by those behind the
film, is the fact that drag queen Miss
Coco Peru is a dead ringer for
Spelling.
Unlike many of today's movies,
"Trick" gives its characters the time
to grow and change before our eyes.
The Gabriel that we see at the end of
the film is much different than the
one at the beginning, and the
changes are a slow progression,
rather than an instant shift.
The same can be said for almost
every significant character in the
story. This is a tribute to first-time
film director Jim Fall who avoids the
cliches and ends up giving us a legit-
imate look at a relationship.
"Trick" is well-written and acted,
and although it's rarely laugh-out-
loud funny, it provides an interesting
look at a relationship in its fledgling
stage.

Stinger' captivates

Blue Stinger
Activision
Dreamcast
In spite of the name, Blue Stinger
is not a flight simulator, it is a sur-
vival horror. Its main advantage over
t Dreameast's incarnation of a
Resident Evil game 'is that Blue
Stinger is available now.
Strangely, the power of the
Dreamcast works against the figures
in the game.
The characters are well depicted
but yet smooth and cartoon-like,
which works against the theme.
When there is less processing power,
figures are more angular, and look as
tLugh they could be attacked by
*hbie-like creatures.
The world, however, is more real
looking than any other game of this
genre. Most of these games take
place at night, to help hide the back-
grounds.

Blue Stinger takes you to the
beach on a sunny day and asks you to
take a look.
The game also has an admirable
quirkiness. One level involves a mar-
ketplace decked out for Christmas
shopping, and involves constant irri-
tating Christmas muzak and huge
video walls of Santa and his bikini-
clad elf.
To access certain parts of the game
you need to collect happy comic
stickers from vending machines in a
grocery store.
It almost seems like survival hor-
ror for kids, except there are poorly
voice acted profanity that is com-
pletely out of the context. That and
all the zombie killing.
The story is reasonably good and
the game is fairly interesting. Blue
Stinger is enough to tide gamers over
until something bigger and scarier
comes along.
- Ted Watts'

High Holiday Services
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Tickets are required and can be purchased in advance at
Hillel or by phone. Students will receive a ticket free of
charge by showing a valid UM ID. Tickets can be picked up
at Hillel anytime before the Holidays or in the Fishbowl Sep.
9 and 10.

I

l

Rosh Hashanah

Services

MARTHA COOK BUILDING
HAs A FEW VACANCIES FOR
IMMEDIATE 0CCUPANCY

Conservative Orthodox Reform
Fri., Sep. 10 7:35pm* 7:35pm 7:35pn
Sat., Sep. 11 9:00am* 9:00am 10:00an
7:35pm 7:25pm
Sun., Sep. 12 9:00am 9:00am
7:35pm
*These two Conservative services are at the Power Center
(121 Fletcher St.) All other services are at Hillel.

m
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Tashlich
un. .en 12

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