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December 11, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-11

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

A New Dance Groove
Check out Daily Arts' coverag.e of-
the Sharmila Mukerice lecture on the
hasics of classic Odissi dlance, straig.ht
out of India. Go online and enjoy...

R TSichg~a


michigandaily.com /arts



DECEMBER 11, 2000 8A

Dungeons & Dragons' a derivvativedisaster

- i-. 4

By Lyle Henretty
Daily Arts Writer
Maybe I should be precluded from passing judgmrent
on "Dungeons & Dragons" ("D & D" as it's known to
fans) because_ I do rnot fit into either demographic for
which the film was intended. I am not a young child,
and as much as I tried to let go
-°-- and enjoy the action/advOnture on
/ a more innocent level, it was just
ll so inept and unenjoyable that I
Dungeons yearned for the simpler films of
& Dragons my youth. Whatever happened to
.Q fun movies like "Tron" and
Grade: D "Cloak and~ Dagger" that came up
at showcase with interesting ways of market-
and Qualty 26 ing to kids without resorting to
mindless violence and cheesy
one-liners? I also have never
% played the roll-playing game on
which the film is based but am
________________ aware of its cult following and the
intense vigor with which people
partake in playing it. An intimate knowledge of the
game may have increased my enjoyment of the film, but

all things considered, this is still ai very bad movie.
Okay, so here's the story, as far as I could gather
Empress Savina (Thiora Birch of "American Beauty")
wants to eliminate class struggle in the magical land of
Izmer. The'upper class, the magic-using Mages, and the
common Commoners don't actually seem to be at war,
they just kind of dislike each other. The Council of
Mages (like your Senate!) is tricked, by evil magic-
MageiPrefion (Jeremy Irons), into ruling to take away
the Empress' scepter, which just happens to control the
golden dragons of lzmer.
Why exactly they want the scepter is somewhat of a
mystery as is hlow Savitia got to be such an unpopular
Empress, with her after-school-special quality mes-
sage. Of course, none of this matters, for this is just
the back story. setting uip the action with "stock young
attractive people who hate each other but have great
sexual tension" (JTustin Whalin and Zoe McLellan)
and everybody's favorite "stock buddy who cracks
wise until he is killed" (Marlon Wayans).
Whalin and Wayans play a couple of Commoner
thieves who decide to steal some magic-stuff from
Mcl-ellan's boss, only to run into the murderous
Damodar (Bruce Payne) who is trying to steal a map
that shows where another scepter is that controls red

dragons (which are, apparently, harder to control).
McLellan runs off with the thieves to find a dragon's
eye stone held by a master thief (Richard O'Brien).
Oh, and did I mention a dwarf (who hates those
damn gnomes!) is along for the ride, and that
Damodar has a two-headed snake in his head and
there's a cute mercenary with Spock ears also after
the scepter that controls the red dragon, and a talk-
ig skeleton, and oh, you get the idea.
Basically, the film is a mess. O'Brien, of "The
Rocky H-orror Picture Show" fame understands this,
and gives the movie a few funny moments in his own
campy way. Payne overacts amusingly, though he
doesn't over do it, as the much put-upon Dramodar.
Birch is embarrassed the most, for she's a pronmising
actress who is forced to say things like "Nothing is
more important than the freedom of my people!"
I also got the feeling someone told Irons that he
would be playing King Lear in a middle school
rewrite. fie is so bad it had to be on purpose. And the
biggest sin the file commits is putting in a handful of
realistic, brutal murders. If not for this I could almost
forgive the filmi and write it off as fluff for the wce
youths. As it stands, I hope they keep director
Courtney Solomon's damn hands off the red scepter

Courtesy 0f University Productions
Jem (BenJamin Klein) and Scout (Taryn Fixel) in a scene from "To Kill a Mockingbird."
'Mockingbird' proves to-
be heartwarming Classic
By Rachel Bachrach narrating apid guidiing the play from
For the Wl be-innig to en~d.
_-- While Ouellett guided thie,-play,
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of' Atticus Finch~ (Anthony von Halle)
America's most read and studied nov- kept the plaiy oliive. Von Hlalle was
els of the 20th Century. To say one extremely convincing and could not
hasn't read it is to say one isn't an have been east any better. His relation-
American. But, for those of you who ship with Scout (TIaryn Fixel) and lenm
have not studied it in-high school or (Benjamin Klein) was. so real istic that
read it for pleasure, seeing the play :'at the end of the play, von Hall had
comes as close~ some audience members in tears. Fixel
as you can get was fun and cute as the rambunctious
r to experiencing and curious Scout.~ FixeR portrayal of
Harper Lee's Scouti4 innocent wasi well ,done, and
To Kill a cfnotional and hard4 to do since She isonly supposed
Mockingbird h'artwarm i n to'be six years. old. It can be a hard task
Power Center noelto portray a child without becoming
this p ast- o foolsh, buta )tieidid wedl with
Dec. 8, 2000 Wclcd, the- good direction.



Music put on
Lee's only
novel and did
so with, pas-
sion. With a

Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Justin Whalen flies into the midst of tumultuous danger in "Dungeons and Dragons."

Food For Thought
The Legacy
VACol. Bui Tin accept~ed the
surrender of' South Vietnam. In
1')') 1 he a rote in The Wash-
ington Post, "The tragic irony
of this situation and conditions
leading to the emod us of the
boait people' is that the
Comnwnrist' ha~ve finkihd whabu
Aitc tin Ilt Urv machi}lne on1[IV
party d ditiW ~~fthe wxvL"Ihev
have c rushed Vietnam ..."
Ad sponsored by:
Gary Lillie & Associates,
www .garylillie.com

* 1002 PONTIAC TR.
0 994-1367

and good direction, the timeless "To
Kill a Mockingbird" came to life just
as well as the acclaimed 1962 movie
starring Gregory Peck. Each actor
brought his/her character to life with
the help of the script, which retained
more of' the original prose than the
movie. Another significant ditference
between the play and movie was the
narration of Scout as an adult.
In the novel, we get Jean Louise
speaking to the reader as she tells us
her stoiy about Boo Radley, Dill and
the crazy. summers of 1935 in
Maycomnb, Alabama. Yet, in the movie,
this is lost. Thankfully, the play recap-
tures this storytelling aspect with
Alexa Ouellett playing the adult Jean
Louise. She does an excellent job of


T"he chatacter of Jemh often gets lost
in the play because he is too old to ask
questions like the inquisitive Scout,
yet too young to really get involved,
with a major plot. Jem is the archetype:
for the older brother and Klein did a,
good job of keeping Jem a major role
throughout the play.
The rest of the cast did a good
job with their characters. Eachff
seemed to really know who their,
character was and how- exactly to
portray them. This can be attributed
to director Kathryn Long: She
knew the central themes of the play
and knew how to block each char-
acter to make these themes evident..
The set was also very realistic, with
the ever-famnous Radley tree and
knothole for, Scout's -enjoyment.
The_ housgs, were apel f ctly plain
and farm-like which established
the time period well. The props
were kept to a minimum, which
helped to keep focus on the charac-
ters - the main point of the play.



Artcarved Representative Suzette Mitchell
will be at the store
12/11 - 12/21 from 11 -4PM



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