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October 16, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-16

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


Music for the masses...
With Kenneth Kiesler con-
ducting, the 'U' Symphony
Orchestra plays a free concert
at Hill Auditorium. 8 p.m.
michigandaily. com/arts

RTS

TUESDAY
OCTOBER 16, 2001

5

'Smallville' fails to
continue 'Man of Steel'
mythological genre

'Iron Monkey

corrupts

the martial arts genre

By Tricia Donelan
Daily Arts Writer

By Jennifer Fogel
Daily Arts Editor
The "Man of Steel" is back. So maybe he
isn't exactly a "man" yet, but Clark Kent is
still faster than a speeding bullet - or at
least the school bus he just missed. Just a
few years short of the reporting tag-team of
"Lois & Clark: The
New Adventures of
Superman," "Small-
ville" features a
Smallville teenage Clark coming
to terms with his super-
The WB natural abilities. Deftly
played by quiet new-
Tonight at 9 p.m. comer, Tom Welling,
Clark manages to
invoke memories of
* past Supermans from
the likes of Christopher
Reeve to Dean Cain.
The bulk of the pilot
episode begins 12 years
ago as a meteor shower rains down on the
quiet sprawl of Smallville, Kansas. Unsus-
pecting townsfolk are unfortunately killed
during the freak event, including the Langs,
parents of Clark's future paramour Lana
(Kristen Kreuk). Riding home to their farm,
the childless Kents (John Schneider and
Annette O'Toole) are involved in a car
wreck 'only to be rescued by a smiling 3-
year-old boy. Believing this an answer to
their prayers, the Kents "keep" the young
boy.
So, now you're thinking ... I know this

story already. I watched the "Superman"
movies! But in a most spectacular fashion,
the creators of "Smallville" decided to add a
little twist. It seems that Clark Kent and his
future nemesis, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosen-
baum, "Urban Legends"), are ... friends ?
While the town lives uncomfortably under
threat from the rich Luthor clan, Clark just
happens to save the spoiled boy's life.
But wait, there's more! Clark and Lex
actually share more of a past than either of
them knows. When Clark "fell to Earth,"
Lex was harmed when the ship came crash-
ing down into a cornfield, causing him to
inexplicably lose all his hair ... so that
explains it!
Granted the entire show relies too heavily
on past premises. Sure there is only one
Superman story, adding a "teenage" twist to
the entire heroic mythology seems quite silly
and definitely does not do it any justice.
Compiling a bevy of "pop" music mixed
with lame teen dialogue has "Smallville"
yearning to fit in with the rest of the teen
dramas on The WB. Interestingly enough,
it's up against djrector David Nutter's other
teenage, sci-fi creation, "Roswell," which
has jumped to UPN.
Even the so-called villains that Clark finds
himself up against are pretty weak. Sure this
is all a learning experience before "The Man
of Steel" hits the big leagues, but disarming
a nerd who seeks revenge on the football
players who played a life altering, practical
joke, just seems like a waste of power. And
hearing Clark whine about not being normal
can only be sentimental so many times.

The re-release of Yuen Woo-Ping's 1993 mar-
tial arts flick, "Iron Monkey," is a blatant attempt
to capitalize off of the Academy Award-winning

Iron
Monkey
Grade: C-
At Showcase
and Qualty 16
-w

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon," to which Woo-
Ping's masterful choreogra-
phy is a brilliant
contribution. However, the
response of the masses to
this monetarily fueled effort
will most likely cease to be
as desirable.
The story orbits govern-
rient corruption (apparent-
ly the Iron Monkey's entire
existence is based upon
putting an end to this disso-
lution, but the knowledge
of exactly what sort of

who selflessly offer to take care of Kei-Ying's
son, Wong Fei-Hung, after he is released from
incarceration due to illness, so his father can con-
tinue to Iron Monkey hunt. Friendships are
intensely bonded as the search continues and the
mysticism surrounding the Iron Monkey is even-
tually disclosed.
In retrospect, maybe the reason for the grade is
the failure in a decent act of capitalization or the
hilarity of Robin Hood-esque plot. Possibly what
did it was the ridiculous dubbing job complete
with a script peppered with exclamatory subtitles
of "Shit!" and "What a bitch!" (Obviously these
are direct translations). It also could have to do
with the fact that the hero of the film leaves his
mark (after kicking ass) with "menacing" pic-
tures of what appears to be a cute and cuddly car-
toon type of monkey. It is unfortunate for the
masterminds behind this strategic re-release that
the gravity defying action sequences are simply
not enough to make the viewing experience of
"Iron Monkey" worthwhile, unless of course,
arrests begin taking place on account of people
resembling monkeys.

"our"esy" ofWarner Bros.
Someone has a pocket full of Kryptonite. Who?
The show does have its winning points.
Lex's city ways (and dare I say corrupt val-
ues) are a perfect contrast for Clark's small
town mores. Their friendship gives some
personality to an otherwise dull show.
Of course, no "Superman" drama is com-
plete without the threat of Kryptonite. This
time it's in the hands of Clark's secret crush,
Lana, so every 'time he comes within five
feet of her, he collapses. But, for the first
time in "Superman" history, the bad out-
weighs the good.
Bad script, bad dialogue and bad coinci-
dental occurrences, bleed the show of any
true quality. In fact, the makers involved
with the show have a more interesting histo-
ry than our dear Clark. Interesting facts: Not
only has David Nutter created alien drama,
"Roswell," but he also had a hand in 1988's
"Superboy," the college edition of "Super-
man." Additionally, Annette O'Toole who
portrays Martha Kent actually performed the
role of Lana Lang in "Superman Ill."
Holy blue tights fetish!

depravity is unbeknownst to the viewer). Seeing
as he is their primary antagonist, the identity of
the Iron Monkey is actively sought out by the
government. Officials race around town shriek-
ing, "He looks like a monkey. Arrest him!" and
capture innocent civilians (This line is quite stel-
lar. Thus, it was necessary to utilize the ingenuity
of it).
One of the people arrested happens to be the
renowned Kung Fu master, Wong Kai-Ying
(Donnie Yen), and he is subsequently ordered by
the Governor Cheng (James Wong) to take the
burden off of the establishment and seek out their
villain for them. When the governor blackmails
the Kung Fu extraordinaire with the safety of his
son (Sze-Man Tsang), Kei-Ying accepts the mis-
sion.
Dr. Yang (Rongguang Yu) and Miss Orchid
(Jean Wang) are the philanthropists of the film

courtesy of Miramax
If you ask me, he doesn't look like a monkey.

Erickson
exhibits
rhythim,
reflection
By Archana Ravi
For the Daily
Lorene Erickson, a contemporary
poet, playwright and author, will be
presenting her most recent literary
accomplishment, "Bread Upon the
Waters," at Shaman Drum tonight.
This compilation of poems col-

1

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Lorene
Erickson
Shaman Drum
Tonight at 8 p.m.

ANN ARBOR
COLLECTION PROGRAM

lectively expos-
es profound
insights into
familial rela-
tionships
through a
stream, of
rhythmic, deli-
cate words.
The poems
both touch the

reader's heart
and implore
him or her to
relate their own
experiences to
the stories presented in each poem.
In pieces such as "Somalia" and
"Masada," Erickson explores the
universality of strong sentiments,
namely compassion and fortitude,
while maintaining unsentimentali-
ty.
Laura Kaisischke, author of "Fire
and Flower," describes "Bread
Upon the Waters" as "a book of
patient and luminous dreaming.
Lorene Erickson is a poet of the
physical world, with a vision of the
strange beauty beyond it."
The founder of Lotus Press,
Naomi Long Madgett, describes
the book as "contemporary poetry
at its best. Lorene Erickson
weaves language like finely spun
gold and leads the reader into new
depths of awareness an-d under-
standing ... I am grateful for her
gift."
A former Teacher of the Year in
Michigan, Erickson previously
taught English literature and writ-
ing in Michigan public schools and
at Washtenaw Community College.
Along with her poetry, Erickson
enjoys writing plays, short stories
and literary reviews.
Prior to "Bread Upon Waters,"
she wrote two chapbooks titled
"Seasons of Small Purpose" and

Do
Sweep fallen leaves into the
street before 6 a.m. on the
day of collection.
Remove all vehicles from
street parking on the day
of scheduled leaf collection.
Leave one foot of space
between the curb and leaves
for storm water to run into the
gutter. This reduces the risk
of flooding in your area.
Wet the leaves to prevent
blowing, if needed.
Don't
Don't use plastic bags for
leaves--keep them loose.
Don't park cars over dry
leaves in order to avoid
potential fires.
/Don't park on streets with

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*/ GHI

+42001 LEAF COLLECTION SCHEDULE

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