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November 28, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-28

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Ensemble Performance...
Percuiton Ensemble at the U of M
SchobA-of Music, tonight, 8 p.m.,
FREE, Rackham Auditorium.

eAHich n

NOVEMBER 28, 2000 -

michigandaily.com /arts


By Matthw Barrett
Daily !- isn Editor
Who let the dogs out? That would
be Disniey who followed up their
mnediocre live action version of "101
Dalmatians" with an even less

No soup: David on HBO


By Matt Manser
Daily Arts Writer
Do you remembera
when George Steinbre
be on, except it wasn't
Steinbrenner, it was ju
someone's head and a,
from offstage? Do y
that voice? That voice
Larry David, who
"Seinfeld" and wrotes

DaD aMions
Grade: D-
At Showcase
and Quality 16
tions so no pooch

inspired sequel
" 1 0 2
Dalmatians." In
the this install-
ment, we find
Cruella De Vil
(Glenn Close)
cured of her
dog-hating ways
and dedicating
her time to
r e m o d e Ii in g
homes for aban-
doned dogs,
complete with
hairstyling sta-
will ever have to

I .
><r ' 4
s ,
# s

episodes from the
NCurb Your
Sundays at 10 p.m.
s .

E n

Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Glenn Close reprises her Oscar-winning role as Cruella DeVil in "102 Dalmatians."

deal with a mop-top.
While her efforts land Ella, as she
now goes by (Cruella just sounds too
mean), on the cover of a few fashion
magazines, they don't make for



much in terms of story. And so it
doesn't take long, for the Cruella of
old to rear her head and start chasing.
down little puppies again so that she
can catch them and turn them into a
fabulous fur coat, with hood (hence
the extra pup in the film's title).
It's beyond the point to grouse
about why this movie isn't as good as
"The Lion King" or either of the
"Toy Story" films, because there is
nothing here that indicates that "102
Dalmatians" was meant to be
enjoyed by anyone past grade school.
The film and its jokes are too pre-
dictable and outlandish -- the film's
finale revolves around Cruella get-
ting baked in the middle of the cake
by the dogs. The makers also rely on
the cuteness of the dogs for a large
part of the film's humor and never
make much of an effort to give older
viewers a story or even ane occasion-
al laugh.
Everything about this movie just
feels stale and old. The marketing
campaign with dogs falling down
from the sky was ripped off from
"Magnolia" and there is no plague of

puppies in the film. Close phones in
her performance of Cruella, taking
one of the more vicious Disney vil-
lains and changing her into a much
tamer version of the Cruella we
know and love. It also seems that
much more attention was put into De
Vil's costumes than in making her a
character who strikes fear into the
hearts of viewers of any age.
There really wasn't much reason to
expect anything as the film was
directed by Kevin Lima, who helmed
the equally lame "Tarzan." Lima
seems unsure throughout the film
and gives us a weak story that's more
concerned with getting adorable
expressions from the dogs than in
giving us a smart movie that has
something to offer viewers of all
Perhaps the only thing that Lima
does right is resist the urge to sere-
nade us with the Baha Men's anthem
"Who Let the Dogs Out" when the
dogs make their final escape. It's just
a shame that so much time, effort
and money was wasted on a film that
will appeal to so few.

Larry David, the c
"Seinfeld." On "Se
George Costanza ch
based on David, which
after just a few minuti
David has a temper, lies
trouble and is easily dis
seemingly insignifican
ple, in the third episode
golf driving range w
golfer's ball bouncest
Normally David wou
golfer and pick up the
does not because h
By Jim Schiff
Dal arts\Xriter
Ah, ancient Greece. H
and the setting for Impi
Olympus." Following in
x :.gat
Grade: A bler

On "Seinfeld," George Costanza
almost got married, until Larry
David wrote the episode where
on "Seinfeld" George's fianc6 died from licking.
nner used to poisonous envelopes. However, on
really George a "Curb," Larry David is happily mar-
st the back of ried. Cheryl Hines plays his wife,
voice coming named Cheryl. The other main char-
ou remember acter is David's agent Jeff, played by
belonged to comedian Jeff Garlin ("Mad About
co-created You"). Okay, so there's not a lot of
several of the creativity with the characters'
st seven sea- names, but that can happen when
ns. Now Larry characters are essentially playing
d his themselves. Many of David's celebri-
ein brenner- ty friends have also appeared on the
iue voice is in show as themselves, including
nt of the cam- Richard Lewis, Kathy Griffin, Ted
, as he stars Courtesy oHBO Danson and Mary Steenburgen. Julia
his own Larry David flies solo in HBO's "Curb." Louis-Dreyfus will appear on a
ies, "Curb golfer's hat with bolo string (strap future episode. But in spite of ,Il.
o u r around the chin) too distracting. As these guests, David is clearly the
th usi asm," David said, "I see certain items, and focus of the show, and he's so good
ich airs I recoil in horror." you have to wonder why he wasn't in
ndays at 10 Like on "Seinfeld," these tiny front of a camera sooner.
HBO. events come back to haunt the pro- So far my only complaint about
arry David tagonist. In this case, it's when David the show is that the dialogue is most-
ys - you gets lost on the way to a party. By ly improvised. Larry David comes up
essed it - coincidence, he finds the golfer on with the basic storyline, then the
o-creator of the road, who just happens to be actors just make up their own words.4
infeld," the going to the same party. David says As an aspiring television writer, this
aracter was he couldn't bend over to pick up the offends me. He could have asked me
is quit- clear golfer's ball because of a sore back, to write for "Curb," but he never
es of "Curb." and asks the golfer if he can follow even called me. Oh well. It's hard to,
s to get out of him to the party. The golfer then asks complain when the improvised dia-
tracted by the if David should be going to this logue is so good, like in this scene,
t. For exam- party, with his bad back and all. when Larry is trying to make up with,
David is at a David says his back is fine now, so Cheryl after he did something stupid.
ahen another the golfer says, "then maybe you "Larry, please, it's fine," Cheryl
towards him. should bend over and kiss my ass, says. "I don't know what you want
ld help the and then maybe next time you'll me to say right now."
ball, but he remember to pick up a fucking ball." Larry says, "How about 'Honey, I
e finds the (Did I mention it's on HBO ?) forgive you, would you like to have:'
te abled mountain on
sci-fi/fantasy game release
from the player, as far as ensuring the well being of your city:
but nothing so excessive that it becomes daunting. While
industry and trade are crucial, your citizens won't be satisfied
Mme of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, without cultural venues.
ressions Games' "Zeus: Master of Therefore, it becomes necessary to provide theaters, tern-
the tradition of "Caesar 111" and pies, drama schools, gymnasiums, universities and podiums
araoh," "Zeus" takes city-building for the humanities-conscious denizens of your domain. There
ics to a whole new level. An original is an option to have the computer automatically control your
id of new buildings, diplomacy, com- military, so you can concentrate on city building. Probably the

* *
Courtesy of Walt )isney Pictures
Who let -the dogs out?


Zeus: Master
of Olympus
For PC
impressions Games
"Zeus," similar to

merce, culture
and humor make.
"Zeus" a worthy
addition to your
hard drive.
The basic
premise of
other games in the




genre, is that the player is an emperor
who controls a metropolis (in this case,
the Greek empire). You can play in
"open sandbox mode," which allows
you to start from scratch with a giant
plot of land. "Zeus" also includes
mythology-based adventures, which
require you to complete Hercules'
Labors or fight in the Peloponnesian
War. The whole game stays true to

. .j 4
rb Qv jt

most interesting feature of "Zeus" is
the sanctuaries you can build to dif-
ferent gods. For exaniple, the "Arbor
of Athena" provides a grove of olive
trees, stronger soldiers, and protec-
tion from invaders.
The game's graphics are extreme-
ly bright and colorful, especially in
comparison to the dreary browns and
reds of "Pharaoh." Occasionally, the
authentic Greek-style font is difficult
to read in menu bars, but it doesn't
hinder the game significantly. The
game's musical score is usually
eegant and stately, and fluctuates in
tone based on how well you're doing.
If you're under attack, the soothing
synthesizer will come to a crushing

invests for the long term,

it's mce to



Greek legends, providing a brief story- Part of the game word in
line at the beginning of each episode.
Though most of the missions are quite challenging, they lay a
greater historical foundation than most city-building games.
A great deal of attention must have been paid to the inter-
face, as it is vastly improved from previous Impressions efforts.
A blue sidebar on the right side of the screen displays conve-
nient tabs for organizing structure types. You can also switch
between the main city, industry, health, population and unrest
tabs to know which parts of your city need improvement.
Avenues of customizability are in abundance: you can play
with or without enemy attacks, natural disasters, and at any dif-
ficulty level.
Game play is absolutely top-notch. "Zeus" demands a lot

Courtesy of Impressions Games halt while the seven-headed hydra
"Zeus: Master of Olympus. sucks the life out of your city.
Another feature lacking in previous games, but noticeably
present in "Zeus," is comic relief. You can right click on any
character to view their opinions on the city as they speak in a
variety of accents. When selecting water bearers Abbots and
Costellos, they exclaim, "I guess I don't mind living here. it's
better than a finger in the eye!" As emperor, your citizens are
never afraid to give you lip service, in good times or bad.
A cardboard foldout ships with the game, displaying the
geography of the Greek World and instructions on how to
acquire different buildings. The manual reads like a storybook,
full of humor and detailed descriptions. But these are merely
added bonuses to a game that is truly a gift from the Gods.


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