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October 09, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-09

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8A --The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 9, 2000

ARTS

Walken makes most of new opportunity

By Andy TaylorFabe
For The Daily
It's a rare treat to see Christopher Walken playing a
character who is not a demented psychopath, an evil
supernatural being or - well, you get the idea. And
although he plays a screw-up, his character is thor-
oughly likable and instrumental
in turning a simple heist movie
into a much deeper and more
The satisfying character study.
Opportunist "The Opportunists" is about
Victor Kelly (Walken), a former
Grade: B+ safecracker who has pulled his
At the Michigan life back together after spending
Theater a decade in jail. Kelly has
become a nearly model citizen
who spends time with his
daughter (Vera Farmiga) and
girlfriend (Cyndi Lauper), sup-
ports and visits his aunt in her

nursing home and maintains an auto repair shop
despite constant financial trouble.
Victor is visited by his cousin Michael (Peter
McDonald) from Ireland, who is in town looking for a
place to stay. Victor soon learns that Michael has
grown up hearing impressive but exaggerated stories
about Victor Kelly the "criminal mastermind," and
Michael tries to convince Victor to join up with him for
a job. Michael has been talking to Pat (Donal Logue)
and Jesus (Jose Zuniga), who are armored car security
guards. They present Victor with a job he could do "in
his sleep." At first Victor refuses, but after a string of
financial setbacks, he is forced to accept their proposal.
It's easy to forget what a good actor Christopher
Walken is. Many of his usual characters, though
impressive and frightening, aren't particularly difficult
roles. However, he gives a convincing portrayal of this
essentially good man who is forced into his course of
action by factors beyond his control.
The plot is fairly straightforward, so don't expect to
be thrilled with action sequences or plot twists in the

vein of "The Sting" or "Reservoir Dogs" The film does
have its share of typical heist movie material and it
could have very easily blended in with more forgettable
movies of this genre, but director Myles Connell saves
the film by having it revolve around the man and not
the job. He concentrates on Victor's frustration and his
desperate attempts to salvage his new life.
However, there are a few scenes having to do with
the job that are engaging, including the night before
the job when he stays up practicing cracking the
combination and beating the six minute alarm sys-
tem.
Another commendable aspect of "The Oppor-
tunists" is the way that the ending is handled. The
conclusion of the film is surprising, not in a "Usual
Suspects" coffee mug scene kind of way, but surpris-
ing in its departure from the stereotypical heist
movie endings. The outcome is satisfying not
because of what actually happens, but because it
feels like something fresh instead of a choice
between the usual heist movie endings.
tion to the quartet. Together, they
created a soulful tone-like quality.
In the first movement, the cellist
had his moments of fame, opening
nosphere, with an unforgettable cello melody.
ast to the All four movements were per-
formed with great coherence, and
created a the emotions running through the
e, exactly group were full of energy and
excitement.
d with the Each member pulled together to
A Major, move through the piece and accom-
d pianist plished in reminding the audience
great addi- why we appreciate chamber music.

Courtgsy of Rawkus Entertainment
Mos Def (right, with bodyguard) headlined the Lyricist Lounge Tour on Friday night.
Plagued 'Lounge'
show stila success

By W. Jacari Melton
Daily Arts Writer
Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez.,
Major Figgas and Slum Village. As
the Lyricist Lounge Tour rolled
through Detroit, these were just
some of the names advertised. As it
turned out, only one of the original-
ly scheduled acts showed up. Lucki-
ly, it was the headliner Mos Def.

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TAKACS
Continued from Page 5
created an intense atm
which was quite a contr
Mozart.
The Takacs Quartets
slow, agitated atmospher
what was intended.
The night was finishe
Dvorak's Piano Quintet in
Op. 81. The featured
Andreas Haefliger was ag

Lyricist
Lounge
St. Andrew's Hall
oct.6,2000
crowed paid to

The appearance
of anyone
deemed less
qualified to
rock the mic
probably would
have led to a
mini-riot in the
sold out St.
Andrew's Hall.
When it was
announced that
Mos Def was
next to perform,
it became obvi-
ous whom the
see. The throng

selves to get a closer look at him.
Mos, backed by a band featuring
former P-Funk, Bad Brains an
Sugar Hill Band members, per-
formed material from his solo
album "Black On Both Sides" and
his BlackStar collaboration with
Talib Kweli as well as tracks on a
soon to be released album. High-
lights included his interpretation of
Cam'ron's "What Means The World
To You," which features a sample of
The Police's "Roxanne." Mos also
flipped "Ms. Fatbooty" over Dt
Dre's "Xxplosive."
Essentially, the Lyricist Lounge
concert tried to capture the senti-
ment of Mos' statement. There was
the highly energetic Spontaneous,
the "thugged-out" Outsidaz and D-
12 and Mos Def. These artists and
groups don't necessarily have the
same fan base. Someone in the
crowd could have gone in as a Mos
fan and walked out liking him a
well as Wordsworth. Because of it
ability to expose new or lesser-
known artists, the Lyricist Lounge
was a success. Now if only they
could coordinate their schedules.

gradually pushed toward the stage
as people tried to position them-

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Food For Thought
Manipulation
"No one has this stupid
and criminal idea ofr.
annexing the South."
(Often said by Pham Van
Dong, North Vietnam's
Prime Minister, to
Western visitors, prior to
the fall of Saigon.) Pg. 4
135, A Viet Cong Memoir.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

I

PAID ADVERTISEMENT
HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I'M A DEMOCRAT ORA REPUBLICAN?:
An Open Letter to the Students of the University of Michigan
A young man who is a close friend of our family was recently heard asking this question. Our daughter's answer: "Decide which issues are most important to
you and then vote for the party that more closely supports your position."
With 26.5 million 18-24 year-olds living in the United States, you are in a position to play a major role in this year's election. The presidential race is a close one
in Michigan, and y r Vote can make a difference. Our family has pooled its resources to place this letter in The Michigan Daily because we are concerned
about the outcome of the election this November and we recognize the powerful voting block you represent. The next President of the United States will make
decisions that directly affect your life. He will also appoint at least three Supreme Court Justices who will interpret our laws for the next 30 to 40 years!
EDUCATION
Al Gore supports
* increasing funds available for grants and student loans;
* reducing interest rates on student loans; and
* making college tuition and fees tax deductible up to $10,000 per year.
Bush's education agenda is narrow because his proposed tax cut (which benefits the wealthiest 2%) leaves few resources to invest in education
or to help families afford higher education.
ENVIRONMENT
Al Gore has been a leader on the environment for more than 20 years by
*working to combat global warming;
*increasing funding and use of mass transit; and
*increasing funding for national parks.
Bush has been called "the Polluters' President" by the Sierra Club. Texas rates
*first in the amount of cancer-causing chemicals pumped into the air and water; and
*dead last in the number of children with health insurance.
CIVIL RIGHTS AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Al Gore
*believes all Americans, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or physical ability deserve equal protection under the law; and
*will work to reform welfare, protect civil rights, and protect and defend a woman's right to choose.
Bush

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