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April 12, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-12

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10A - The Michigan Daily- Thursday April 12, 2001
£ a 0
' W uwondeftr D' I jfl luck but out of ran ge

By Andy TaylorFaboe
Daily Arts Writer
"Wonder Boys," one of the most underrated
films of 2000, makes its entrance into the DVD
universe with little fanfare. The disc contains the
same clever and engrossing film that appeared in
theaters, but it offers little
Grade: B Professor Grady Tripp (a
enjoyably scruffy and con-
Wonder stantly disheveled Michael
Boys Douglas) is trying to balance
DVD his failing marriage, his lover
(Frances McDormand), a dis-
Paramount turbed but brilliant student
(Tobey Maguire), a stolen car
and the disposal of a dead dog's body. Throw in an
unfinished and long awaited novel and an almost
comical marijuana habit, and it's no surprise that

Tripp's life is an increasingly more stressful mess.
There is also an excellent supporting cast, includ-
ing hilarious performances by Robert Downey, Jr.
as Tripp's unpredictable and desperate editor, and
Rip Torn as a successful and arrogant writer.
The atmosphere of the film, with its cold, rainy
setting and backdrops of sleepy residential streets
and university buildings, is a unique and evocative
set of images. The amazing soundtrack completes
the almost tangible quality of the movie, including
classic songs by John Lennon, Van Morrison,
Clarence Carter, Buffalo Springfield and a pletho-
ra of Bob Dylan songs, including this year's Oscar
winner "Things Have Changed."
The DVD is decent, but not outstanding. The
film is presented in widescreen (pan and scan is
the tool of Satan), and the picture and sound quali-
ty is excellent. There are some interesting inter-
views with director Curtis Hanson ("L.A.
Confidential") that give some insight into the mak-

ing of the film and the scouting of the locations.
Exploring the city of Pittsburgh on an interac-
tive map, Hanson adds interesting anecdotes and
history to the once booming industrial zone.
From the numerous steel bridges to Carnegie
Mellon University, Hanson shares a geniuine
attraction and knowledge of the city so closely
tied with the lives and the characters of "Wonder
Bob Dylan's music video for "Things Have
Changed" is also on the disc, which is a treat
since Dylan is not a regular on MTV However,
the things that would have made this DVD spec-
tacular are absent; there aren't any deleted scenes
or screen tests, nor does Hanson dish up a com-
mentary track, features that have made other
releases worth the extra money for the DVD.
Nevertheless, the enhanced picture quality and
the fact that it is just a damn good movie makes
"Wonder Boys" a success.

f' o:. 3* F~U*Mi
x.?Z 3 i .3

{ourtesy o Coumbia Pictures
but perky
Daily Arts WMiter
At best, "Charlie's Angels" is a fun
100 minutes, with our three angels,
played by Cameron Diaz (yum), Drew
Barrymore (dumb) and Lucy Liu (Uni-


Pure fun from Arous:
Telepathic killer alien
bran infiltrates So-leWy

Grade: -
Columbia Pictures
scene to the next

versity alum),
whipping bad
guys left and right
in an attempt to
save the world. At
worst, "Charlie's
Angels" is a scat-
tered mishmash of
stories that
bounce from one
with no discernible

By Andy TayloFabe
Daily Arts Writer

Remember back when movies
were simple? Those were the days of
believable characters, family values,
patriotism, and giant, disembodied
brains. Yep, they don't make 'em like

In truth, the film lies somewhere in
between these two extremes. If you
look any deeper than face value, you'll
see nothing. But if you take "Charlie's
Angels" for what it is and ease up on
your snobbery, the flick proves to be an
enjoyable romp with three high-flying
angels, proficient in martial arts and so
much more. Bonus points are also in
order for the inclusion of Bill Murray,
stellar as usual.
The DVD version of Charlie's Angels
.comes packed with plenty of extras. The
commentary track, featuring director
McG, is a nice inclusion but the makers
missed the boat by not having the three
angels rap about the film on a track of
their own. The disc also contains several
short documentaries on different aspects
of the film. The highlight is "Getting
G'd Up" an ode to McG in which Bar-
rymore states "I don't think I could love
a human being as much as I love McG"
Guess that leaves Tom Green in a bit of
Also featured are three deleted
scenes, with the best being a killer game
of Marco Polo between Bill Murray and
Tim Curry. The disc is topped off with
the music video for the Destiny's Child
song "Independent Woman Part IL"
With a sequel already in the works, it
appears that we haven't seen the last of
Charlie or his angels.

Grade: B-
The Brain From
Planet Armus
Image Entertainment

they used to:
"The Brain from
Planet Arous," a
gem from the
1950's atomic age
of science fic-
tion, is pure fun
to watch.
A strange pat-
tern of radiation

is being emitted from Mystery
Mountain (subtle, eh?) in the Cali-
fornia desert. When two scientists go
to investigate, they find Gor, a huge
alien brain with eyes who can com-
municate telepathically and kill any-
one or destroy anything using his
mind. He quickly invades Steve's
(John Agar) body and uses it to infil-
trate human society. To make matters
worse, Gor uses Steve's body to
make aggressive advances on Steve's
girlfriend. (Don't try to figure out
why a giant brain is attracted to a
human female. This is one of the
more logical parts of the film.)
Veteran sci-fi actor Agar
("Revenge of the Creature," "The
Mole People," "Journey to the Sev-
enth Planet") is wonderfully cheesy
and over the top as the possessed sci-
entist, and the other characters are of
the same caliber, considering the
type of film that this is.
The movie is something that

would have been the object of great
ridicule on "Mystery Science The-
ater 3000," but it's actually a y
entertaining film. Considering e
thousands of bad films about giant
ants, lobsters, aliens and space
robots that sprung up during this era,
"The Brain from Planet Arous" is
actually quite good.
The film has some pretty good
cinematography (once again, this is
all relative), and it has a classic
drum and horn suspense soundtrack
that makes you grip your armtests
and cover your eyes at all the :rot
The DVD doesn't have a ldt in
terms of extra material, butt is
impressive enough that they ;were
able to resurrect the movie itself.
There is, however, an original", re-
view that is perfectly representative
of the drive-in, Ed Wood type, cold
war era of science fiction films,
complete with squiggly white s
ties telling the of the "greatest pO r
in the universe."


Opera talent Relyea offers variety in styles, languages

By Charity Atchison
Daily Arts Writer

John Relyea is a man on the up and
up. At 28, his voice is moving him to
the foreground of the opera world.
Relyea has performed with major
symphony companies across the
country, such as the New York Phil-
harmonic, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle
Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in
addition to the Swedish Radio Sym-
phony Orchestra.
Relyea enjoys the opportunity to

act that comes with performing
opera. The role of Figaro has been
one of the most enjoyable for him to
perform. His debut concert with the
New York Philharmonic has also
been a highlight for him. "Perform-
ing offers every artist something dif-
ferent," said Relyea. "Performing is
an opportunity to open up on a spiri-
tual level, to become intimate and
share with the audience.''
A recital sitting is one of the easi-
est ways for an artist to show off
their best talents. Relyea tries to

Saturday at 8 p.m.

choose pieces he enjoys to sing, as
well as keep a range of languages and

After having
performed with
the Swedish
Radio Orchestra
in February, this
performance is
Relyea's recital
debut. He will
be performing a
variety of pieces
f r o m
Jacques Ibert,
Strauss, Schu-
bert and Schu-

Canadian bass-baritone Gary Relyea,
and currently under Jerome Hines.
The opportunity to train with his
father was enjoyable. Sharing perfor-
mance has provided an opportunity
for a good relationship between the
two, and gives Relyea someone in the
business who he can go to for advice.
Relyea tries to stay away from
superstitions before performances,
which are very easy for performers to
fall into. He does however try to eat a
good meal and take in some exercise
on the day of a performance.
For Relyea, the most rewarding
side of performing is knowing what
type of impact he has made on his
audience. He hopes to "affect peoples
lives and hope to enrich them"
through the performance.


mann, as well as others.
He has trained under his father,

Bass-baritone John Relyea wants you to look deeply into his eyes.




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