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September 16, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-16

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Monday
September 16,2002
michigandaily.com
mae@michigandaily.com

UIJEIE iWUadU '
ARTS

5A

'Stealing Harvard' stinks hard

By Ryan Lewis
For the Daily

After "Freddy Got Fingered", it
should be safe to assume that no film
involving Tom Green could be any
worse. It would also seem quite logical
that the addition of once funny "Kids
in the Hall" member Bruce McCul-
loch as director, dry humored Jason
Lee as the main character, and a sup-
porting cast including Dennis Farina
and John C. McGinley would have to
produce at least a decent product. This
is wrong. Green continues to nosedive
from bad to terrible, and everyone else
involved ends up being annoying or
having their talent misused.
With a plot that should leave room
for wonderful slapstick, irony or even
subtle humor, "Stealing Harvard"
poorly attempts to show a middle-
class uncle's struggle to pay for his
niece to go to Harvard. The film opens
with John (Jason Lee, "Almost
Famous") explaining his theory on
fate. We learn his parents died when
he was 18 and he leads a moral life.
He has a beautiful fiance who has a
home business of making gift baskets,
audibly sobs during sex and works for
her overbearing father at a home med-
ical supply company called Homespi-
tal. All of this is conveyed through a
lengthy voiceover montage. John and
his fiance Elaine (Leslie Mann,
"George of the Jungle") have just
raised enough money to wed and buy
a house, but something keeps John
from happiness because it seems that
the money might have to be used else-
where. His niece was accepted into
Harvard and he prom-
ised to pay for it, but a
she only needs about
$30,000 because the
rest has been saved
and earned through STEAl
scholarships. HARV
When he returns
home, Elaine informs At Show
him that she put a bid Qualit
on the dream house Revolu
with the down pay-
ment of the $30,000
they had saved. After calling every
family member he could, drudge up
without success, he has, for some

"ourtesyf C o"umia"ictures

It's not the Tom Green show anymore.
unexplained reason, no choice but to
turn to his friend Duff (Tom Green)
for assistance. Finding Duff working
at his landscaping job after apparently
not having seen him for some time,
they discuss John's options and con-
coct a scheme to rob the home of the
man for whom Duff does landscaping.
Duff still lives at his mother's house
and has the mother-son relationship of
a pubescent teenager. His backhouse
room serves as their "war room," as
they discuss ideas and prepare for the
robbery by dressing in all black and
standing in front of a mirror.
Stealing the money from the home
becomes a foiled plan as the home-
owner catches John sneaking about
and forces him into a position less
funny than out of place and disturbing.
One scheme after another goes awry
because of reasons varying from a

Courtesy of MGM

Darling, won't you go and cut your hair if you think it's gonna make him change.

Ice Cube makes good in first
surprise of fall Barb ershop'

from the days when Green's shock
comedy still seemed funny and fresh.
Not only are his gags no longer funny,
but the fact also remains that he sim-
ply cannot act. Half the film passes by
before he ever looks at the person he
talks to, and too much time is spent
isolating him in scenes that are unmo-
tivated and completely devoid of any-
thing remotely humorous. Jason Lee's
usually funny manner is stricken from
his character as the story makes him
both stiff and boring. Less time is
spent worrying about him fixing his
relationship with Elaine, a secondary
plot without substance, and supporting
his niece than waiting for the two
clueless characters to finally get the
money. John C. McGinley, the notable
supporting actor from great comedies
like "Office Space" and "Nothing to
Lose", is pointlessly subdued in a role
that means as little to the film as the
usually potent gangster nature of Den-
nis Farina.
Both technical errors and meaning-
less conversation plague the film.
Every attempt for comedy causes less
laughter than the one previous. When
the funniest part of the movie is the
relationship between Green and a dog,
more than just humor is missing. For a
movie toted as a comedy, it is more a
laughable one than one, that actually
elicits laughter itself. In the words of
the cameo character by the director
himself, "This is bad. This is really
bad."

By John Laughlin
For the Daily
Every so often, a film comes along that surprises
the viewing public. Springing from the pen of Mark
Brown, writer of "How to be a Player" and the mind
of director Tim Story comes "Barbershop," a hilarious
tale involving the importance of friendship, family

and community.
The film opens with the "smash and grab" of an
ATM by two unknown thieves. The film will return to
this subplot throughout the film for additional comic
relief, but it will also literally serve as a quasi deus ex
machina towards the end. Across the street from the
robbery site is Calvin's
Barbershop. Calvin (Ice
Cube) has been running the
family shop for the last two **AA
years since his father's BARBERSHOP
death, but he has his own
ambition of opening a At Showcase and
recording studio in the Quality 16
hope of finally turning
some kin'd of economic MGM
profit.
As Calvin arrives at his shop in the morning, he
notices the break-in across the street and soon
receives his own bad news -- the bank cannot give
him any more time to pay off his loan. Calvin must
now struggle to save this family treasure.
See 'Barbershop,' Page 8A

LING
JARD

shotgun to a steering
wheel club. Duff and John
always blame the prob-
lems on each other but
forgive each other for no
reason other than Duff
can't stay.mad at John.
Seymour Cassel and Chris
Penn become entangled in
the plot to try and help get
the money, but only pro-
vide more agony for John.
Even Elaine joins the two

case and
ty 16
ution

in hopes of fixing the situation.
The movie is filled with overused
cliches and the tiresome antics leftover

Ice Cube negotiating a new record deal.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
opens the 2002 UMS season

By Chrstine Lasek
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
On Friday, Sept. 20, Hubbard
Street Dance Chicago will be open-
ing UMS' 2002-2003 season with a
weekend of contempo-
rary dance. There will
be three separate per-
formances, with a HUB
varying repertoire fea- STREET
tured each night. CHI
Hubbard Street
Dance Chicago was At the Po
founded in 1977 by Sept. 20 an
veteran dancer and Sept. 2
choreographer Lou $1
Conte. HSDC began University
as an ensemble of four
women, which gave its first public
performance at a senior citizens
home in 1978. It has since grown
into a company comprised of
twenty culturally diverse dancers,
who perform annually for over
130,00 people. The company has
appeared in forty-two states and
fifteen countries, performing at

different festivals and celebrated
dance venues.
During its twenty four year histo-
ry, HSDC has become an innova-
tive force in contemporary dance,

BB)
TI
IC
d 2
2 at
8-$
Mus

combining theatrical jazz, modern
and classical ballet to
create an artistic style
that is all their own.
ARD The company also has
DANCE an esteemed reper-
AGO toire, incorporating
the talents and visions
er Center of such famous chore-
21 at 8 p.m. ographers as Mar-
t 2 p.m. guerite Donlon,
$40 Nacho Duato, Daniel
sical Society Erzalow, Jiri Kylian,
Kevin O'Day, Margo
Sappington and Twyla Tharp. The
company also regularly collabo-
rates with emerging choreogra-
phers, constantly expanding its
repertoire to incorporate new and
innovative ideas in dance.
James F. Vincent, who has an
extensive career as a dancer, ballet
master, teacher and choreographer,

Give us your money, our movie is horrible.

JoiN THE MICHIGAN DAILY
MASS MEETINGS SEPT. 17, 19 AT 8 P.M.
SEPT. 23 AT 9 P.M.

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