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September 16, 1999 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-16

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

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Arth investing time with. "I know if I
a on a CD andI go, ' I don't know
ougthis,' I'll put it on a couple more
nes and it will turn into one of my
vorite records. If you like something
stantly, your attention span doesn't
ck with it after a couple of days."
Working with Ross Robinson itself
is an adventure. As Maclaine and
achine Head were put through all
rts of rigors for the sake of getting a

good take down on tape.
"Ross totally takes the typical
approach of a producer, youknow sit-
ting behind a console or whatever, and
turns that upside down, Maclaine said.
He will be in the room with you with
head phones on and doing what he can
to make you play your ass off. I had
two beanie hats on so that my head-
phones wouldn't fall off.
"He would wrap cloth around every-
body's heads like headbands or whatev-
er to keep them on and Rob, Ahrue and
Adam all looked like a bunch of hip-

pies 6k there playing. He wants it to be
like a live show. He's out there some-
times going harder than we are, jump-
ing up and down. Parts of the record
you can hear him yelling and scream-
At one point, the experience almost
escalated into physical assault as
Robinson resorted to projectiles to fuel
Maclaine's energy.
"He threw a water bottle at me one
day," Maclaine said. "I was playing and
it whizzed by me and I was thinking,
'Man! I thought we were friends."'

Get ino tohe Action' with Fox's latest show





u wuw

rd Software

The Paladin and the Amazon do battle In Dlabe 2.
Sequels take over
video game market

By Bradley Goddard
For The Daily
Whoever coined the phrase "if it ain't
broke, don't fix it" didn't work in the
computer game industry. The catch
phrase in this industry seems to be "if it
sold a million copies, make it look,
sound and play slightly better, and then
sell it as a sequel."A number of sequels
will be making their way onto your hard
drive this fall.
Real time strategy (RTS) games have
been a dominant force in the market for
a while now. This season brings the
return of the title that defined a genre,
"Command and Conquer," with its
sequel, "Tiberian Sun" The long await-
ed title should be flying off store
shelves faster than leaves from the
The episode returns to the conflict
between the Global Defense Initiative
and the Brotherhood of Nod. This game
has stuck very close to the original in
terms of game play. You are the com-
mander of an army and have to oversee
the creation and deployment of your
troops, and once built, use them to
crush the opposing general.
The major improvements this time
around come from a 3D3-modeled bat-
tlefield and pseudo 3D units. Smaller,
but no less important improvements
come in the form of a much better Al,
multi-objective missions and full-
motion cut scenes.
Another RTS sequel, scheduled to be
released in October, is "Age of Empires
II" Like its predecessors,the game is
set in the pest. The huge scope of this
game is its most impressive highlight.
Its features 13 different civilizaitons -
all with specialized unites and build-
ings, at least four single player cam-
paigns and huge multiplayer terrains.
The original game, although popular
was limited to only single player play.
Microsoft may have problems in the
legal realm, but they can still put
together a great game.
This past year has seen the transfor-
mation of first person- shooters from
pointless gore fests to more realistic
and intense tactical simulation games.
This subtle evolution of the genre was
brought about by the success of games
like Rainbow Six.. These games take
the first person view, a la Quake, and

add realistic elements like single shot
kills and area specific damage. If you
get. hit in the arm, you can't shoot. If
you get hit in the head, its all over. This
adds greater depth in detail to the game
and makes it more intense.
"Rainbow Six" is a game based on a
Tom Clancy novel by the same name.
Its sequel, "Rainbow Six 2: Rogue
Spear," boasts more pulse pounding,
adreniline laced missions. To make this
game better than the original, Red
Storm Entertainment took all the feed-
back it got from its fans and incorporat-
ed it into the new game.
These improvements include better
character control, allowing the player to
crouch, crawl and kick through doors.
Also included are missions requested
by players, such as the super popular
airline hijack mission. This scenario is
made even more complex due to the
face that there are still passengers on
the plane that must not be harmed.
Of course, the shooter classics like
"Doom" and "Quake' never die - they
just go multiplayer. "Quake III Arena"
is the descendent of a long line of
shooters from ID Software. This futur-
istic multiplayer only first person
shooter will include intelligent. 'bots'
that play against human competitors.
The Al used to control the bots' behav-
ior is so good that it will be difficult to
distinguish the bots from their human
Another title that is spawning a great
deal of buzz is "Diablo 2." This year
seemed to be the comeback of the com-
puter role playing game after many
years of repetitive and boring titles.
This renaissance was largely jump-
started by the success of Baldur's Gate
and the original "Diablo. Although the
"Diablo" games may be considered
"role playing light' they are very fun
and extremely replaysble.
The premise of the sequel is the same
as the original - players run around a
dungeon and hack up monsters for
gold, all while trying to solve quests.
These games offer the occasional
gamer a chance to jump in and play a
quick game without complex rules or a
steep learning curve.
Give yourself plenty of free time
because you'll definitely want to play
these games.

By Erie PodolWky
Daily Arts Writer
"Action" was originally developed fo
handsome pedigree indeed given the
praise currently flowing over such c
lings as "The Sopranos"
and "Oz," not to men-
tion the scathingly bril-
liant backdoor look at
late night television Ac
"The Larry Sanders A
Show," which departed 7*
the airwaves quietly
amidst all the "Seinfeld" Thursdays at 9
hoopla several years
Despite its landing on
network television - and
thank goodness it
washed up on the shores
of FOX as opposed to
the warm fuzzy meadow of CBS -
manages to retain all of the doberman-s
Continued from Page 2B
the words Slut Mobile, then recorded
their unamused responses and his
mother's tight-lipped telephone mes-
sages - and Dave actually laughed. "I
was like, 'Omigod, this is crazy, he likes
my little joke!" Green burbles.
He's been gunning for this ever since
he launched an offbeat Ottawa radio
broadcast and then segued into local
cable in 1994. Neither show paid him
for his 80-hour weeks; Green had to
move in with his favorite targets, Mom
and Dad.
Yet he assured them he'd soon be in
New York or L.A., doing a national
show. "I had this attitude from the
beginning, as unrealistic as it was,"
Green confesses. "Although I'm pretty
self-deprecating, in private with my
friends we always said, 'We're gonna do
this.'... I was setting the bar so high it
would have been completely embar-
rassing to fail. And completely embar-
rassing to quit. I told everyone I was
going to do this."
And he has, using the same talk show
format he honed in Ottawa and the
same sidekicks. His buddy Phil sits in a
window at the rear of the stage, drinks
coffee and laughs. Period. His other pal,
actually named Glenn Humplik, func-
tions primarily as the mortified recipi-
ent of Green's particularly frat-boy
Both are computer industry hotshots,
not comics or actors, who fly in for
Manhattan tapings out of loyalty and
the what-a-hootness of it all.
Between studio segments, there's
video of Green accosting pedestrians
with a bullhorn, of a bandaged Green
falling spectacularly off his crutches as
horrified passersby rush to help. Green
fills his parents' living room with lla-
mas and geese. Green slips into his par-
ents' room at night and deposits a
bloody cow's head on their bed while
intoning, "This is a message from Don
A week after the Slut Mobile prank,
Richard and Mary Jane Green "kind of
laughed, sort of"says their unrepentant
son, who's making them pay for all the
years they nagged him to stop skate-
boarding and get a job. "But they also

and, happily, near-nudity and obscenities that
are bleeped out so that you and I know they're
r HBO, a there but the FCC can't do a damn thing.
ocean of So to speak.
able dar- Offering a satirical inside look at the behind-
the-scenes world of a Hollywood producer that
civilians only hear about in a whiff of a sex
scandal here or a studio head ouster there,
"Action" stars Jay Mohr as alternating ego-mas-
saging and self-esteem-consuming producer
Peter Dragon. Peter has an ex-wife, a little girl
r** and a first-look deal with the studio that is con-
Fox stantly in jeopardy - or at least, that's what he
:30 p.m. fears.
He cuts the cojones off anybody who gets in
his way, unless they get his first. He parks
wherever he wants, does whatever and
whomever he wants and generally acts like a
first-class prick. In short, he's typical
Hollywood sludge.
Don't believe for a second that he's an exag-
"Action" geration. He exists. You may have even met him
harp bite and been blinded by his oily charm.
don't want me doing it again?'"
It's a brand of nose-thumbing that
combines insurrectionist tendencies
with a twisted interest in repelling the
very audience it attracts. "I love when
people walk away from the show say-
ing, 'What the hell did we just see?
What was that? That was weird,' " he
acknowledges. "Sucking milk from a
cow's udder kind of gets a laugh, but it
also gets a baffled, you-can't-believe-
what-you're-watching scream"
His problem, potentially, is that he
doesn't want to be known as only
bizarre or tasteless. "Is what I did today
shocking?" he says. "No. Silly and
gonzo and goofy, but it's not shocking"
In fact, he regrets that his fur-swaddled
trader extended his middle finger at a
busload of passing tourists on Wall
Street, a gesture that will be edited
Green's unlikely ally in this quest to
be not entirely revolting is MTV, which
works hard to appear hiply unorthodox
but is actually more conservative than
his Canadian outlets. That segment n4
the Canadian version of "The Tom
Green Show" in which Tom and Glenn Sham
made each other vomit? Or the one
where Tom did ... something unpleas-
ant ... with the contents of a condom?S
"No way in hell that'll ever be on tele-
vision" here, says John Miller, the
show's executive producer. "He's chal-
lenging me to rethink what comedy is.
I'm challenging him to use the more
clever part of his comic imagination'
No doubt this will cause some mut-
tering up north. Green's appearance on "Th
a Toronto talk show took on legendary
proportions when he pulled outa stink-
ing, semi-decayed raccoon carcass,
causing the host to rush off the set
while his lapel mike transmitted his
retching. Naturally, therefore, Green's
cult tuned in eagerly to see what their "Th
dauntless hero would do to David
Sillies. Green wants to be David
Letterman; he was entirely well PlaCe y
behaved. "When Letterman called, it
was completely surreal," Green says a ARY
bit dreamily. "If the whole thing ended
tomorrow" - the MTV show, the U
upcoming movies he's got small parts311-3
in, the looming fame - "that was defi-
nitely more than I expected?' - Wem

When he crosses paths with a has-been child
actress-turned-hooker named Wendy Ward
(Illeana Douglas) at the premiere for his new flick
("Slow Torture' "and, yes, the title is literal), some-
thing in Peter gives.
He takes her home. Granted, he has more
nefarious motives than just using her for sex: he
gets her reading scripts and recommending
material for his production company,
Dragonfire Films.
Sleaze or sweetheart? Hollywood may never
know, at least until Peter puts his autobiography
up on the big screen.
Then again, it probably wouldn't make as
much money as his soon-to-be-produced block-
buster, "Beverly Hills Gun Club" (bought for
way more than it was worth because two writers
had the nearly the same name and nobody at
Dragonfire knew the difference).
And so it goes around the Dragonfire offices:
Agents pitch talent (O.J. Simpson), producers
suck off A-isters to get them in their movie
(okay, so not directly, but it sort of happens),

Peter's uncle (Buddy Hackett), ostensibly the
head of security, snores his life away on the
waiting room couch. Somewhere in between, we
can assume, movies get made.
Rounding out the "Action" ensemble are Jack
Plotnick as Peter's sycophantic company presi-
dent, Stuart Glazer, who likes to spend week-
ends at gay beach parties picking up well-oiled
hotties; Jarrad Paul as Adam Rafkin, the lucky
writer whose script is mistakenly purchased by
Dragonfire; and Xanax as Peter's brain candy of
Performances are top-notch across the
board. Executive producers Joel Silver and
Chris Thompson also pepper each episode
with a cameo or two from the likes of Keanu
Two episodes of "Action" play tonight before
it settles into its regular half-hour timeslot.
There's no slow torture here, unless we're talk-
ing about the week wait in between episodes.
Take action and give Peter Dragon the hit he

'Join Weekend.

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