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December 09, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-09

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Monday
December 9, 2002
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

RTS

5A

Analyze That'
a more than
worthy sequel
By enyJltes.

SciFi thrills with Taken'

Filmmaker Harold Ramis ("Caddyshack"
"Groundhog Day") has directed some of the
greatest comedies of the last twenty-five years,
and although "Analyze That" may not be near
the very top of his list, the film still stands as a
successful attempt to bring back the laughs and
quirkiness laden in his previous "Analyze This."
Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) and his ex-
patient Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) are reunited
when Paul makes a phone call from prison and
pleads with Dr. Ben to please meet with him
and help get him out. Despite Ben's reluctance,
he concedes and soon finds himself doing all
sorts of tests on Paul to determine his mental Throw Bob
condition. After the vigorous process of psy-
chological testing, Paul is diagnosed with tem- ing to his
porary psychosis. Ben is then shocked to learn are. fruitle
that a head FBI agent, who is still scrutinizing against ti
Paul's mobster activities, places Paul in the fed- skillful kil
eral custody of Ben upon Paul's release. Now it is the in(
Dr. Ben and Paul are once again "stuck" with very diff(
one another, and moreover, Paul has tricked involved ii
Ben and everyone else by merely pretending to greater ris
be crazy. his life 1
Crystal and DeNiro have mastered their roles involved it
to the finest detail, and it is this ability that lion in go]
makes for the well-timed and evenly paced Meanw
humor. The interactions between Ben and Paul and a sor
show how one just can't "get through" to Paul, role; howe-
yet Paul notices the unhealthy habits that Ben familiarc
has of his own. For example, Paul
points out that Ben has to cut down a
on the pills he has compulsively
been taking whenever he feels AN sre
stressed. -
It is Paul's unsuccessful attempts ANALYZE THAT
to readjust to society and change At Showcase and
his ways that generates most of the Quality 16
humor. In one particular sequence,
Paul is shown trying his hand at Wamer Bros.
various jobs, including a car sales-
man, a jewelry salesman and a restaurant host. first one v
Ironically, he is then offered a job as a technical the sequel
consultant on a new mob television show, where did raises
he will be checking the accuracy and reality of the film is
the actors' behavior. Of course, this job comes able to pro
the easiest to him. whether it
Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Sobol is consumed with Story" tun
having to "baby-sit" Paul because it is his insanity, of
responsibility to prevent the boss from return- into a stri

By Jaya Soni
Daily Arts Writer
Steven Spielberg extends his mas-
tered craft of sci-fi production to the
SciFi Channel in the new 10-episode
mini- series "Taken". The excellent
series is a 50-year portrait of alien
abduction, reproduction and discus-
sion that intertwines three American
families: The Crawfords, the Keys
and the Clarkes.
"Taken" involves a complex cast of
16 characters that encompasses the
extraordinary experiences of the three
families. Each two-hour episode builds
onto an overall plot of alien infiltration
on Earth and depicts the generational
problems associated with the legacies
passed down from rela-
tives -- characters por- a
trayed in previous
episodes. Character Ad
recognition and associa-
tion from one episode to TA
another can be difficult Monda
as many of the main Friday;
characters resemble one
another, even between S
family lines. However,
prior knowledge of previous episodes is
unnecessary as new characters are
introduced and well-developed each
night and the overall plot is conveyed
within the introduction to each episode.
The premiere episode, titled
"Beyond the Skies," introduces the uni-
versal saga in 1944 when World War II
fighter pilot Russell Keys (Steve Bur-
ton, "General Hospital") is shot down
over Germany. Though Keys appears to
be fatally wounded, resulting in the
plane's downward spiral, a pulsating
stream of blue lights appears from the
sky to enclose the craft. Upon returning
home as a war hero, Keys claims to
have forgotten his escape from the
plane and the three day journey back to
his troop. Although Keys is wary of his
suspected alien encounter, he has
noticed a change within himself. Keys
continues throughout the series to be
haunted by mysterious images of alien
encounters and cannot explain whether
these are simply nightmares or actual
occurrences. Russell Keys establishes
the family curse of alien abduction as
his son and grandson also experience
similar traumatic encounters.
The Crawford legacy begins in 1947
on the.Roswell Base of New Mexico, as

kK
y
at
ci

a reckless and malicious Capt. Owen
Crawford (Joel Gretsch, "The Legend
of Bagger Vance") attempts to climb the
ranks through a serious of conniving
acts. Owen is determined to outdo the
colonel and steal the recent alien crash
sight project, originally titled "Project
Mogul". Crawford uses his masculine
charm to entice an ex-girlfriend, a wit-
ness of the crash, for a scrap of foreign
metal she found at the sight. Once
retrieving the perfect piece of bribery,
Captain Crawford murders her brutally
with a blunt object and marries the
Colonel's daughter so that he may gain
power over "Project Mogul Crawford's
offspring and subsequent generations
continue to pursue alien encounters
with the same malevolent attitude as
their predecessors and
are the catalysts for con-
flict within each episode.
*7k Though the Clarke
family originated in a
EN small farming communi-
through ty in Texas, the results of
9 p.m. their actions may have
the foremost impact on
Fi human civilization. After
the alien spaceship
crashed in New Mexico, researchers
found only four of the five aliens. The
fifth alien mutated into John (Eric
Close, "Now and Again"), a devilishly
handsome middle-age man sent to
impregnate Sally Clarke (Catherine
Dent, "The Majestic"). The reproduc-
tion of their short-lived infatuation
produces three generations of gifted
humans. Introduced in remaining
episodes, the most gifted of genera-
tions is Allie Keys - a culmination of
powers from the Keys and Clarke lega-
cy and great granddaughter to both
Russell Keys and alien John.
Steven Spielberg uses computer-
generated images to enhance the close
encounters and the imagination of
Allie Keys. The visual effects of the
aliens are reminiscent of a Spielberg
motion picture and prove to be as
equally effective for television pro-
gramming. Though the plot is com-
plex and extends four generations, it
attempts to delve into deeper content
of family interaction and relations of
American culture within the last fifty
years. However, don't be mistaken,
Steven Spielberg's "Taken" is science
fiction, and impeccably intended for
such an audience.

h I
U U

LAZARD

Will be holding ir
yst positions in its
On
Thursday, Janua
Office of Career I

Juniors interested in interviewing with us
should submit resumes and cover letters through M-Track
by January 1 S

i

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