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October 13, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 13, 2000 - 9

- Nearly perfect ten:

'hest in Show

By Leslie Boxer
Daily Arts Nwater
From the comic tradition of "This is

Best in
Grade: A-
At Showcase

Spinal Tap" and
"Waiting for
G u f f m a n ,"
actor Christopher
Guest brings us
the equally funny
"Best in Show."
Guest's trilogy of
are all sharp
satires that com-
bine improvisa-
tion with wit.
"Best in Show,"
is no exception. It

is the story of the prestigious Mayflower
Dog Show in Philadelphia and the dog
owners/handlers who make it there.
Guest's forte is accentuating the
eccentricities of his characters and let-
ting them become the focus of the films.
"Best in Show" adds to Guest's arsenal
of characters overly doting dog owners.
There is Gerry and Cookie Fleck
(Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara)
and their Norwich terrier, Winkie. The
couple, from Fern City, Florida, loves
their dog so much that they have writ-
ten, "G'd loves a terrier," in honor of his
trip to the big show. Temperamental
Weimaraner owners, Meg and Hamil-
ton Swain (Parker Posey and Michael
Hitchcock), are a bickering catalogue
obsessed yuppie couple that sees a dog
psychiatrist in the opening sequences of

the film.
Other characters include trophy wife
Sherri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge)
who shares a love of soup and conver-
sation/no-conversation with her much
older husband, Leslie. Handling their
two-time Mayflower best-in-show Poo-
dle, Rhapsody in White, is Christie
Cummings (Jane Lynch), a proud pure-
bred lesbian dog handler. In the small
dog category is Shih Tzu Miss Agnes
and her owners, hair dresser Stephan
Vanderhoof (Michael McKean) and his
flamboyant lover Scott (John Michael
Rounding out the competition is
Christopher Guest playing Harlan Pep-
per, owner of a Bloodhound named
Hubert. Pepper, who is a slow talking
Southerner that loves to name different

types of nuts (pine-nut, macadamia nut,
cashew-nut), is a long way from Nigel
Tufnel and Corky St. Clair, yet proves
to be a comic force.
Best in show, however, goes to obnox-
iously inappropriate sportscaster, Buck
Laughlin (Fred Willard), who gives the
play-by-play at the show. He, like most
"Show" cast members, is a veteran of
"Waiting for Guffman" and could not
have done a better job with his character.
He is full of one-liners about the dogs
and their owners that work with Guest
and co-writer Eugene Levy's witty satire.
The film is hilarious. It is pure come-
dy and a very quick hour and a half. I
cannot possibly do justice to the charac-
ters in this brief synopsis so you must
run to the theater to catch "Best in

Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Christopher Guest stars In "Best In Show" as Harlan Pepper. He co-wrote the film.

'C.S.I: delivers nothing more
than standard forensic fare


Katie Den Bleyker
For the Wail
Crime Scene Investigation, "C.S.I."
for short, is CBS's new drama airing in
that wasteland of TV, Friday nights,

Grade: C-
Fridays at 9 p.m.
(Paul Guilfoyle)~.whenosgvghi

from 9-1Opm.
"C. S. I.


revolves around
a department of
forensic investi-
gators in Las
Vegas who ana-
lyze the evidence
of crimes in
order to deter-
mine who the
perpetrators are.
C.S.I. is headed
by the stereotyp-
ical "tough cap-
tain," Jim Brass

new, unwelcome recruit, Holly Gribbs.
Gil Grissom (William Petersen), the
senior forensics officer, supervises the
rest of the officers, including single
mom Catherine Willows (Marg Hel-
genberger, "China Beach"), and dueling
officers Warrick Brown (Gary Dour-
dan) and Nick Stokes (George Eads).
The idea behind "C.S.I." seems to be
for the viewers to solve the crimes
along with the CSI forensics experts as
new evidence is amassed. However, as
any seasoned police officer will tell
you, it is awfully hard to solve a crime
if you're asleep on the job.
The fact that "C.S.I." is so boring
that it is sleep inducing is the show's
main problem. Perhaps this show would
be more interesting to someone with an
interest in forensic science, but to mere
laypeople, most of the show's technical
aspects are too scientific to be entertain-
Because the technical aspects of

forensics dominate the show, "C.S.I."
lacks the drama and tension that is pre-
sent in other shows like "ER." One
thing "C.S.I.".does have in common
with "ER," however, is its grisly nature.
"C.S.I." is a gross-out fest complete
with rotting corpses that should not be
viewed by those with weak stomachs.
Another problem with "C.S.I." are its
cheesy names and dialogue. The head
of CSI (or the "top brass") is conve-
niently named Jim Brass. The show's
only African-American character is
somewhat offensively named Warrick
Brown. The dialogue consists of techni-
cal jargon intermingled with inane
comments on things like video games
and football pools. Not exactly the stuff
of riveting drama.
The bottom line is that "C.S.I.' is like
a TLC special: Somewhat interesting if
the topic (in this case forensic science)
appeals to you. Quite boring if it does

"That's New England School of Law, since
the first day we opened our doors. We
were the only law school ever established
exclusively for women. Today we continue
to open doors for both men and women with
innovative and relevant programs including
the War Crimes Prosecution Project,


(Paul'Guilfoyle), who enjoys giving his
investigators a hard time, especially his
*find its
By Matt Manser
For the Daily
Don't you hate when this happens?
You come back from your house after a
nice jog, only to find your wife mur-
dered by a strange man. You grab the
man by the arm to stop him, but his
prosthetic arm falls off. You're so star-
tled by this event that the man uses his
real arm to reclaim the fake one and
then runs away. Later, the police find no

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Grade: B-
Fridays at 8 p.m.

trace of the arm.
The police also
get word that you
and your wife
had a disagree-
ment as to how
to spend the
major cash she
has locked up in
a trust fund. So

NOVEMBER 2-12, 2000


you're arrested
for murder, and
put on death row.
Then, as luck
would have it, a
freak car acci-
dent occurs while you are being chauf-
feured to prison, and you escape. Now
free, you dedicate all your time to track-
ing down the one-armed man and
avoiding John Q. Law.
Doesn't it suck when that happens?
Okay, maybe this has never happened to
you, but it did happen to David
Jannsen in 1963 and to Harrison Ford
in 1993. Now it's 2000, and it's hap-
pening again. This time it's Tim Daly
("Wings") who plays Dr. Richard
Kimble in a new version of "The
The premise of "The Fugitive" is
quite familiar, whether or not you've
seen the movie or the original TV
series. For those who are unfamiliar,
the first episode (aired Oct. 6)
reminds the audience of the story,
showing Dr. Richard Kimble escaping
from the car accident. Kimble then
winds up on a bus to Cleveland,
0 strangely enough, wearing new
While in Cleveland he visits an
Internet cafe, goes on the net and
types "one armed man" into a search
engine. Believe it or not, Kimble
turns up an article about a different
-; n - v . * S . xri t f fn -


-------UZ w M . Si.f. .U .rm

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