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March 18, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-18

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'Brazil'
The 1985 Terry Gilliam com-
edy plays tonight. Michigan
Theater. 7 p.m. $8, $6.25 for
students.
michigandaily.com /arts

ftAdji#mBtfft
ARTS

MONDAY
MARCH 18, 2002

5A

'Ice Age' excels
visually, falls
short in plot
By Andy TaylorFabe
Daily Film Editor
"Ice Age" follows the path carved out by "Shrek" and "Mon-
sters, Inc." as well as the "Toy Story" films before them, but
while it has stunning animation and a few brilliant moments of
dialogue, it is lacking in the story department and seems to fall
into the same tired patterns of "odd couple animal teams on a
mission." Without resorting to any hackneyed phrases like
"Shrek on Ice," let it be clear that "Ice Age" isn't doing any-
thing new.
The film takes place during a massive migration south dur-
ing the most recent Ice Age. We immediately meet Manfred the
Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), who is headed north
against the crowd (don't ask). He soon meets another loner,
voiced by John Leguizamo, Sid the Sloth (alliteration rules!), a
buck-toothed, hysterical creature who is so annoying to those
around him that he has been ditched by his family, which has
already migrated. Sid and Manfred come upon a small, helpless
human child, and the pair decides to return the
child to the human "herd" They are joined along
the way by Diego the Sabertooth (Dennis Leary),
who has an ulterior motive for helping them. He *
has been assigned by the treacherous Soto the ICE
Sabertooth (Goran Visnjic) to find the human
baby and bring him back to satisfy Soto's need At ShoN
for revenge against the humans, whose spears Qua
and hunting have ravaged the tiger population. 20th C
Visually, "Ice Age" is almost flawless, for in
addition to the sweeping, glacier-filled land-
scapes and the photo-realistic backgrounds, the animals have
life-like movements that contribute to their personalities as
much as the voices do.
Unfortunately, the plot, unlike the ingenious "Toy Story" or
"Monsters, Inc.," doesn't have the same originality as its com-
puter-animated predecessors. It seems to take bits and pieces of
plots and characters, stitching them together and placing them
in a humorous setting. 1
John Leguizamo, an actor who has already proved his Lon
Chaney-like versatility, is

Murphy cannot save lackluster
'Showtime' from falling flat

By Jenny Je-tes
Daily Arts Writer

w
lit
'ent

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Leguizamo's Sid is a character of Mel Blanc proportions.
the real star in the film. His maniacal portrayal of the frantic,
lisping Sid recalls visions of Sylvester the Cat and Daffy Duck.
Leguizamo is able to craft a convincing character that makes
you forget that it is just a guy in a booth doing a voice over. On
the other hand, Ray Romano was simply miscast
as Manfred. Despite his excellent comic timing
and his sardonic delivery, the main thought that
r * will run through your head is "Why the hell is
AGE that mammoth talking like Ray Romano?" His
shrill, slightly whiny voice lends itself well to
case and certain lines, like when he complains that Sid is
ty 16 "an embarrassment to nature, you know that?"
tury Fox Leary is decent as Diego, but his dialogue does-
n't take advantage of his strengths as a comedi-
an. The other tigers, who include Tenacious D
vocalist Jack Black and Diedrich Bader (the mulleted next door
neighbor in "Office Space") and some angry rhinos, Stephen
Root 'and Cedric the Entertainer, are underused. Far too much
time is spent on the sappy details of the interactions with the
human baby. It's quite a feat to be more Disney than Disney, but
Ice Age surpasses all Pixar releases in its schmaltz index.
However, there are several sequences that make the movie
enjoyable, including a run-in with a militaristic group of Dodos
who, in an attempt to stockpile for the coming Ice Age, have
secured a total of three melons. There is also a running gag,
beginning and finishing the film, about a small squirrel/rat
creature in a constant battle to bury his precious acorn. He is
constantly thwarted in his attempts in Wile E. Coyote style dis-
asters, including the opening sequence, in which his attempts to
lodge the acorn in the glacier cause it to crack, causing the
entire ice age.
As a kids movie, the film is a success, with a good mix of
slapstick, conk-you-on-the-head humor and one-liners. But
despite its excellent cast and a few outstanding moments, the
film fails to work as a whole. Although older viewers will still
enjoy it (parents, you can leave your books and pen lights at
home), "Ice Age" lacks the subtlety and the intelligence that
it deserves.

One would expect a movie star-
ring Robert De Niro and Eddie
Murphy to be - at least - a mild-
ly entertaining comedy. But after
sitting through "Showtime," the
duo's first big-screen team-up, one
might be surprised that it is indeed
...far worse than any expectations
you might have had.
Describing the plot just makes
this already poor film even worse,
but in a nutshell, after undercover
Detective Mitch Preston (De Niro)
stirs media attention by shooting
the lens of a news camera on
national television, he is of sudden
interest to a local broadcast televi-
sion station, looking to produce a
new reality cop show. Preston is
roped into taking a part in order to
avoid being sued for
$11 million and losing a
his job.
"Showtime' is funny
in the sense that it S
could be a mockery of SHO
all the other failed At Shov
comedies before it. It Qual
has all the ingredients,
and it tends to almost Warn
make fun of itself. For
example, the case Detective Pre-
ston and his rookie cop sidekick
Trey Sellars (Murphy) are working
on involves tracking down a man
who is responsible for dispensing a
very dangerous and illegal type of
gun all over the city, resulting in a
big threat to the city's safety. Not a

very interesting
case for Preston,
Sellars or the
audience sitting
in the theater.
The suspect,
referred to as
Vargas (Pedro
Damian, "Collat-
eral Damage"),
cannot be proven
guilty, therefore
Sellars and Pre-
ston must work
together to catch
him in the act
while also being
followed by cam-
eramen, because,
remember, they
are on national
television.
De Niro was ex

It's Showtimel

:cellent in "Meet

WTIME
wcase and
ity 16
er Bros.
phy, on the

the Parents," but his
comedic performance
here is dismal. It just
does not seem appro-
priate fQr his acting
abilities. With an
already cheesy script,
a mismatch between
the role and the right
actor just makes the
film even worse. Mur-
other hand, does a fair-

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

is artificial and lame and may
remind you of a "Scooby Doo"
type conflict and resolution. The
big stars in the film, including
Rene Russo, just didn't have their
heads straight when deciding to do
this film. Russo, who plays the
producer of the cop show, "Show-
time," doesn't seem to take her part
seriously. Either she just couldn't
master the part or she realized the
lameness of it all, and instead, she
decided to mock the "significance"
of her role by just acting horribly
... Who knows.
This premise is doomed to fail.
It is so shallow and too easily
resolved at the end that even the
several attempts at humor rarely
have any hope.

ly good job with his part, and the
only three amusing moments in the
film are all due to him. At least he
could sometimes be funny.
The main problem with "Show-
time" is a lack of chemistry
between any of the actors. The plot

CBS' 'Baby Bob' marks An all-
time low in the sitcom world

By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor

Courtesy of 20th.Century Fox
The manic Scrat could have his own series.

Exhibit honors strong women

By Christine Lasek
Daily Arts Writer
Through May 5 the Michigan Muse-
um of Art will be showing its "Women
Who Ruled: Queens, Goddesses, Ama-
zons 1500-1600" exhibit. This exhibit
features art from the Renaissance and
Baroque periods, with pieces borrowed
or obtained from 45 major collections
located all over the world. Some of the
pieces, including the headlining picture
of Elizabeth I, were borrowed from a
private collector. Visitors to the exhibit

the pieces are separated by the image
of women that is portrayed, correspon-
ding to the titles of the different sec-
tions of the exhibit. Because of this,
there are several subjects in the art that
reoccur throughout the different sec-
tions. In this way, one is able to see the
different ways a character in history
can be interpreted and illustrated.
An example of this is the story of
Judith and Holofernes, which appears
in the Old Testament of the Roman
Catholic Bible. Judith was a beautiful
widow intent on saving her people

beauty in his etching of Judith. Con-
versely, the female artist Freda Galizia
portrays Judith as a virtuous heroine.
More than anything, the pieces fea-
tured in "Women Who Ruled" portray
the power and importance placed on
aesthetic beauty in women, be it in the
name of virtue or milice. In a way, the
works of art in the exhibit can be
likened to the importance of self-repre-
sentation demonstrated by politicians
and other public figures in the media.

. Newton's first law states that for
every action, there is an equal and
opposite reaction. This may explain
why, after Fox's brilliant new show,
"24," viewers are treated to the horren-
douswaste of time that is CBS' "Baby
Bob." Bob is that little
talking baby from a
series of commercials
that ran last year. Imag- (NO c
ine the shock when his
parents find out this six- BAB
month-old can talk. On
second thought, don't. Mondays
They're shocked. End of
story. C
Besides his parents
and Bob's babysitter,
nobody can ever know about Bob's
unique nature. Otherwise, Bob might
be exploited (how, by making an awful
show out of him?) Bob is shocked to
find that other babies don't share his
skill. This no doubt will provide
numerous chances for wacky comedy
in future episodes.
Why this formulaic concept merits a
television series is anyone's guess. It's
already been done with "Look Who's
Talking" and "Baby Talk." The idea
behind it is so bad, that even with the
finest cast and writers, the show would
be mediocre at best. But the execution
makes this series easily the worst of the
new year. The dialogue is awful, it has
no redeeming value, and while it does-
n't offend on a personal level, it should
offend any viewer on an artistic level.
The actor voicing the baby may still
have a shot at a career, so he shall only
be referred to as Ken Hudson C., or

K.H. Campbell, either way. Joely Fish-
er ("Ellen") and Adam Arkin ("Chica-
go Hope") portray Bob's wowed
parents. She's a stay-at-home mom
who wants to work. He's a public rela-
tions man. This is as deep as they can
get. Holland Taylor ("Legally Blonde")
and Elliott Gould ("M.A.S.H.,"
Ocean's 11"), after recently making
some excellent career
moves, effectively kill
their careers by opting to
CARS) round out this support
cast as Bob's crotchety
BOB grandparents.
If you watch the show
8:30 p.m. and don't feel the urge
to cry "make it stop" or
s drink lots of alcohol,
then it would be a great
surprise. "Bob" is
depressipg in the sense that even see-
ing promos for the show will bring
back painful memories of sitting

through the pilot episode.
After CBS' recent success with
"Everyone Loves Raymond," "CSI"
and other breakthrough programs, the
network has definitely taken more than
a baby step backward with this show.

ST
Y
at
CB

Courtesy of CBS
What the hell were we thinking?

will have the privilege of
viewing works of art that
the public rarely has a
chance to see.
fhe over 100 pieces in
the exhibit are split into
five major categories,
with each section con-
taining a mixture of oils
on canvas, engravings,
books containing illus-
trations known as "gal-
leries of strong women"
and different artifacts,

WOMEN WHO
RULED: QUEINS,
GODDESSES,
AMAZONS 1500-
1600
Michigan Museum of
Art
Through May 5
$8, free for students

from the invading Assyr-
ian army. She sneaked
into the enemy army's
camp, and was invited
into the tent of
Holofernes, the Assyrian
general. Holofernes
intends to seduce Judith,
but fell into a drunken
slumber, and while he
slept, Judith decapitated
him.. This image of
Judith was portrayed in
several sections of the

The Office of New Student Programs
is now recruiting

often in bronze. The five categories are
differentiated by how the piece portrays
women and they are titled: "Wives and
Mothers," "The Virgin Queen," "Seduc-
tresses and Other Dangerous Women,"
"Heroines and Warriors" and "God-
desses.' The pieces in each exhibit draw
inspiration from several different
sources, including history, Greek
mythology and biblical text;.
The different ways of portraying and
understanding women's roles were
especially important during the Renais-
sance and Baroque periods. The years
of 1500 to 1650 were times of great
political upheaval that resulted in sev-
eral women being put in places of
power. This caused a lot of controversy
at the time, in regards to what the prop-
er role for women was. This uncertain-
ty is reflected in the pieces displayed in
the exhibit. Some imagery used in the
pieces promotes the traditional role of
women (that of wife, mother, virgin
and widow), which is a role determined
by the women's relationship to their
men. Yet, there are other works that

exhibit and her role in the story was
interpreted in different ways. There
were some artists, such as Giovanni
Battista di Jacopo, who attempted to
portray the deadly power of a woman's

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