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February 06, 2001 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-06

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TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 6, 2001

VALENTINE'S DAY MASSAC

Cast of 'Valentine' discusses
holiday, humor and horror

RE
'Valentine' puts new
spin on old genre

By Wilieimina Mauritz
Daily Arts Wnter

There were three distinct themes that were repeated
amongst the cast of the latest horror flick "Valentine"
, during a recent interview with The Nichigan Daily.
First off, everyone was really pumped about working
with director Jamie Blanks ("Urban Legend"). David
y oreanz said that Blanks gives you "the opportunity to
kind of evolve from the story what you want to do with
yur character, it was definitely a great experience."
The second point that kept repeating itself was the
f-act that 'Valentine" is not your average horror film.
Since the blockbuster "Scream" a few years back, hor-
ror movies have become more "spoofy" as Denise
Richards comments, and have a lot more toncue-in-
cheek acting. "Valentine" is steering clear from this
image.
Blanks, a lover of horror films since seeine "'lie
Foe" when he was a child, was careful to not let
Vlentine" become anything short of pure terror. The
cast appreciated Blank's love of film and, as Borean
,tates. Jamie is "somebody who is willing to take
chances and keep his vision alive and not sacrifice
what is needed. lIe was really adamant about his vision
for this film and not having it become the typical slash-
er film. ['Valentine'] is going back to old school clas-
sic horror films."
The third and final recurring theme from the cast
was the idea that love hurts. This happens to be the
taline for "Valentine," and the entire cast seemed to
identify with it. Everyone seemed to comment on the
fact that love and crushes can be wonderful and yet
awful and very hurtful at the same time. So. setting all
. those feelings around the backdrop of a horror l'ilm
was great.
Katherine I-leiel liked to talk about how love hurts.

"I thought it was really kind of fun. very scary and very
true for so many of us ... we've either been the ones
picked on or the one picking on someone and this sort
of shows the very, hopefully, bad and extremely nega-
tive outcome of that kind of' behavior."
For many of the cast "Valentine" gave them the
opportunity to move beyond their typical roles and
play someone a little different. Boreanz, who makes
his feature film debut with "Valentine," had flun work-
inm with his character and "really enjoyed the humor
side.
Roreanz who typically plays a brooding vampire on
the TV show "Angel" appreciated the many parts to his
character Adam. "We get a sense of' personality from
this guy. It was challenging to keep him multi-dimen-
sional rather than stagnant and kind of runnine the
course.
Katherine I leiil also enjoved breaking free from her
role on the W13's "Roswell" She related to her char-
aeter. Shelly. in that they both have serious goals and
they don't put up with "a lot of crap along the way.
I lowever. Katherine said she sometimes found her-
self havine more fun with the horror movie aspect as
opposedl to the real in-depth character study. "I just
really had a good time, m main purpose there was to
make the suspense and the thrill and the terror of it
very real. The character development kind of went by
the wayside."
Marlev Shelton was drawn to "Valentine" right
away. "I've always been attracted to this idea of sus-
pense as an actor and I think its very cinematic and I
wanted to just experiment with how to create that the
power of imagination to convince your senses that
vou're in an adrenalized extreme circumstance sound-
ed challeneing and cool to me.'
Marlev was asked what she thought of' the Iact that
she was competing with herself in the box office being

By Wilhelmina Mauritz
Daily Arts Writcr
1 think we can all look back at our
high school dlays and remember that one
person: the "class herd" if you will. No
matter what this one poor soul did, it

Valentine
Grade: B-
At Showcase
and Quality 16

was never good
enough or "cool"
enough. Sure, he
or she was nice.
In Iact. if you
tried :to actually
think of some-
thing mean or
bad this person
did, you probably
couldn't.
Now, imagine
wxhere all these
people are today.
Some of them are
probably very

Are Denise Richards and Marley Shelton starring in
the film "Valentine!" or are they Wonderbra models?
that her black comi'edy ''Sucar and Spice" only came
out a wxeek belore the release of "Valentine." "I nuess
it's a good problem to hamve. I'm not complaining:.'
I)oin e a movie set around the holiday of' i lent ine's
I)av bronuht hack a lot of' bittersweet memories for
many of the actors. Marley Shelton reminisced about
her worst Vlentine's l)ay \wv'en she was in junior high
school. "I had a hueC crush on this boy and we were
coing to co out on VAlentine's Da. I tho1ht I'd be cute
and make him heart shaped brownies. Ile stood me up.
I was so devastated that I could not bear to throw the
brownies out Yno know you sort of' hane on to the
hope that he is still going to call or sormething? I was
obsessed with these browmiies and like a month went by
and f'inally I tossed them."' Wherever that boy is today,
I'm sure he regrets his decision to stand up Marley!

I

.

College life
saiiizedin
H"ynes book
By Shannon O'Sullivan
Daily Aris Wriir
Imagine the f'ishbowl as a meetin
room fi'r religious knights, rather than
the diverse body of students which
pass through it on a daily basis. Or
think of Sate Street as the tow'n society
of Medieval times. James lxfvnes does
so, in his newly released satire on
academia, "The Lecturer's Tale." Set at
a fictional Midwestern university,
many of' the character's commentaries
could possibly be heard all throughout
the realms of Ann Arbor. where most
of the' society is affiliated with Ann
Arbor in one way or another.
With a cast ofcharacters who are all
immediately connected with university
life. Hynes targets the self-importance
of many scholars who are encom-
passed in academic life. Adding to his
comic eflects, Iynes uses the lan-
guage of'literature, focusing on theory.
criticism and critical issues to further
develop the politics of the universitM.

Da Chen speaks on
secrets of his success

successful in every aspect of their lives.
Thev have moved beyond the hell that is
high school. Of course there are others
that have not been so lucky. They have
never been able to ful ly close the door to
their past. No matter what they do, they
are always that "weirdo."
The nc w movie "Valentine" follows
this story through in a "what if"' sce-
nario based on the idea of that one kid
getting revenge. This person gets
revenge by sending freaky Valentine
poems along with maggot filled choco-
lates, attacking people with electric
drills, as well as hunting them doxwn
with a knife in at room filled with frozen
corpses.
The idea behind "Valentine" is great
because it is something everyone can
relate to from both sides of'the story. We
all know the rush one can get from
being powerful and in control yet we.
can also understand the pain of' being
the odd man out, so to speak.
The movie starts at a junior high
Valentine's dance where a geeky kid is
trying to ask a group of popular girls to
dance. They all rudely say no: disgust-
ed that he would even ask. Finally he
finds a girl sitting by herself and asks
her to dance. Tvo seconds later the two
are under the bleachers making out
when suddenlya group of boys discov-
ers the two and begins to make fun of'
them. The girl, feeling ashamed. tells the
boys that the "geek" attacked her and
they grab him and maliciously start

Cuurt,4 ; S1 !lM r s Frs ' LC
Characters such as the Irish impcrson-
ating poet xwho calls himself '"The
Coucan"' and the Columbia professor
who opts not to write a dissertation
bring humor from all angles-litght to
black.
TIie main character. Nelson, truly
bringsrout the satire aspect and the par-
allel idea of misinterpretation also run-
ning through the novel. As Nelson
savs, "There is no exercise of the intel-
lect which is not, in the final analysis,
futile"
"The Lecturer's Tale' is I Ivnes' sec-
ond novel, his first beine, "Publish and
Perish," which was a New York Times
Notable Book of' the Year. I lynes. a
winner of the Universitv's Ilopwood
Award, will be returning to his home-
town ol Ann Arborreading at Shaman
Drum Feb. 6th at 8pm and at Borders
on Feb. 7th at 7pm.

By Lisa Rajt
Dail Y E Oks l.dilo
Call him a renaissance man: Da
Chen plays classical bamboo flute, is
a master calligrapher, holds a deeree
from Columbia
Law School and
ncw has reached
the oal of bein
Da Cha criticall
a c c l a i m e d
A merican x11riter.
Borders Iie came to
th gr 7 pm. this count ry
from his native .
China 15 years
aeo, at the ace of
2. Ile brought
only his Mute,.
S30 and a suit-
cas'e filled vith
hopes and dreams instead of' materi-
al goods. Chen became an invest-
ment banker on Wall Street before
embarking upon a career in vriting
Just one of his many talents.
Obviously, this is a man of taste.
cultivation and superior intellect.
These qualities were not handed to
him, however: Chen's life story is
one of' desolation and hunger in
every sense of the word, vet it has
resulted thus tar in victory. This
uplifting story is recounted in Chen's
memoir, "Colors of the Mountain,"
the story from which he ,vill read
during his appearance at Borders
tonight.
Chen was born on the night before
General Mao's Cultural Revolution,
to parents-who were highly regarded
landlords in the tiny village of
Yellow Stone. The Revolution
robbed them of their reputation and
good name. ho-wever, and the Chen
familv was relecated to a life of
humiIiation, violence and poverty.
A powcrful story of the human

beating him up.
I wish they would have spent a little
more time on the introduction of
"Valentine." The description I just rgave
was shown in about a one minute-time
period, even though it was a very pi4'otal
scene and referenced numerous ines
throughout the rest of the movie.
Thirteen years later the group ofpop-
ular girls consisting of Kate, Paige and
Dorothy (Marley Shelton, [) ,e
Richards, and Kate Capshaw' daughter
Jessica, respectively) are all conver ient-
lv living near each other and stilrbest
buds. After the death of one of' their
close friends, the girls start receiving dis-
turbing valentines and other mysterious
packages. They all seem to sense that
their lives are in danger yet continbe to
trust evervone around them, no tatter
how mysterious they may be.
"Valentine" was most assuredly letter
than a lot of'the horror movies thatle
come out in the past year. With the killer
wcaring a freaky cupid mask that was
reminiscent of classic films such as
"lalloween" and "Friday the 13th"
There were also a variety of out-ohf-the-
ordinary death scenes: it is not everyday
you get to see someone being shot to
death with a bow and arrow.
Ilowever "Valentine" did have some
major downfalls. For one, it was nol l-
ly all that scary, which I find some- at
of a prerequisite for horror movies.
There were a f'ev suspenseful scenes and
some shocks that made me jump. lout for
the most part I wvas unimpressed.z
As wxith a lot of' horror nmovke , thle
acting in "Valentine" was far from'capti-
vating. Except for Marley Shelton, the
girls were quite one dimensional and
boring. Denise Richards in particular
seemed as though she was hopirg her
looks alone would get her througl*is
movie and yet she wasn't even too attrac-
tive in any ofher scenes. Someone)'eeds
to tell both her and Freddie Primze Jr. that
a big toothy grin of a smile is not the
same thing as acting.
Overall "Valentine" did not leave me
too disappointed. Part of that may have
been because of the interesting way in
which the movie ends. A word ofadvice
though, if'you're planning on seem is
movie with your date on Valentine's Ov
in hopes that you'll be able to nuzzle
together during the real scary pcenes,
might I recommend perhaps staying at
home and renting an old classic instead.

condi ion, "Colors of the Mountain''
is almost a how-to guide for obtain-
ing victory aeainst the greatest odds.
NIusic played an integral role in this
victory, providinu solace for Chen
and a way to rise from the ashes of'
povert y. Chen even considered a
career playing either the violin or
bamboo f lute. but chose instead to
attend the prestigious 'Beijing
Language Institute to studv the
Ic nlish language. This was the key
that opened tihe door, to the rest of the
world, including the United States.
where Chen noxx makes his home
wx ith his wife and young children.
C hen's stop in Ann Arbor is an
cent not likely to be reproduced in
the near future: Ann Arbor is one city
of just I I that this busy author will
be stopping in during his book sign-
ing tour, which will include a ham-
boo flute perf ormance at each venue.
Chen also xvil be showcasing his
skill at calligraphy, crafhing unique
sheets ofh parchment for each
attendee at the reading. Don't miss
this rare event.

y::7 ate:.
A. ft,.Ljoo

courtsyv ofiuiversityv Musda ty
This fabulous foursome brought new vitality to the classics Sunday at Rackham.
Brentano uartet
captivates audience

Undergraduate and
Graduate Courses
Programs for
International Students
Programs for
High School Students

L5 a j

Da Chen will be playing the bamboo
flute at his book signing tonight.

By Shannon O'Sullivan
Daily Arts Writer
Beethoven's nysterious "Immortal
13eloxed," Antonie Brentano, to whom
Beethoven wrote his famous love con-

fession, inspired no

Summer Abroad
Online Courses

Join the
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for
CAREER ADVENTURES

a -, ,

0
r-°
sG
i.

wo

F.

Brentano
String
Quartet
Rackham Auditorium
February 4, 2001

t only the name of
the Brentano
Quartet, but the
beginning of
Beethoven's mae-
ical harmonic
notes.
From stunning
appearances at the
Royal Festival in
London. to
Frankfuit, Rome,
and Milan, the

abrupt moves of an adagio. Althotwbie
repertoire of the program looked likhe
typical works to be performed by a quar-
tet with pieces from Wourinen, Mozart
and Stravinsky, the Brentano's enbrgetic
spontaneity brought a fresh new Vitality
to these classic pieces.
The four artists, playing with rohbantic
and classical poise, also moved harmon-
ically together along with the music.
With dramatic shifts and unexpesd
pauses not only in the tone produ >n
but in the fluidity of the scholars'rhyth-
mic bodies, the Brentano clearly creates
four distinct characters, yet they com-
bine as though performing a dance.
Known for their stylistic elegance and
technical brilliance, the Brentano has
received three major musical awvards,

" Hundreds of courses

-

I

I

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