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May 17, 1995 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-05-17

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

2- The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, May 17, 1995
Crimson Tide' awash with suspense

3y Frank C. ke4
)aily Staff Reporter
"Crimson Tide" is a dramatic, action-
idventure starring Oscar-winners Denzel
Washington and Gene Hackman as dedi-
:ated naval officers aboard a submarine
>rdrred to prepare to launch their nuclear
nissiles in a preemptive strike against a
ormer Soviet nuclear-missile base. The
ase is seizedby a rebellious Russian na-
onalist, perhapsnotunliketrue-life Rus-
ian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky,
rho threatens to attack the United States
ind Japan within the hour. Should the
I.S.S. Alabama carry out those orders, it
vould result in a nuclear holocaust.
The acerbic, combat-proven com-
nander, Capt.Frank Ramsey (Hackman),
ind his philosophical, Harvard-educated
.xecutive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter
Washington), face an ethical dilemmain
New World"Disorder."The sub's radio
umv s cv~rMclninsra h t o anv

National Command Center, ambiguous to The arguments, both for and againstan
its content as to whether or not to proceed attack, are very persuasive. Screenwriter
with the launch. Ramsey elects to fire the Michael Schiffer is careful to maintain a
sub's nuclear arsenal before the rebels balance between both sides rather than tak-
do. Hunter wants to delay the launch un- ing the easy way out and possibly setting
til they can receive official confirmation up one character as a straw manor as a soap
from their inoperative communications box for the other. The plot leaves the audi-
gear. He instigates a mutiny when he re- ence to ponder until the end of this sus-
penseful thriller whether any one action is
LE .4W more justifiable than another.
The script,however, does take too long
Crimson Tide to set up the premise and at times patron-
Directed by Tony Scott; izes the audience with itsdetailedexplana-
tions. The dialogue appears sometimes
with Denzel Washington contrived. For example, the supposedly
and Gene Hackman seasoned naval officers explain to each
At Ann Arbor 1 & 2 and Showcase other the destructive nature of their ship or
the enemy objective, but it is more for the
audience's sake than anything else.
fuses to give his assent, which -accord- Also a weak point is the movie's typi-
ing to naval rules - must be given be- cal Hollywood ending when the conflict is
fore the missiles can be launched. The resolved. The military absolves the men of
tension builds and divides the crew into their actions and only scolds them for the
opposiig and armed camps. roles they played. Had the ending not been

so decisive, the impact of the film would
have been more powerful.
The same special effects crews that
simulated the sub's moves in the hit "The
Hunt for Red October" also worked on
"Crimson Tide." Unlike "The Hunt for
Red October,"the movie's plot is aconflict

of ideas rather than a deadly, underwa
chess game. Therefore, 'Crimson Tide
more ofa"thinking mans" film rather th-
a two-hour, explosion-packed movie. TI
possibility of what might happen is mo
frightening than what does happen on ti
screen.

What's new 'Faster Pussyca

By Scott Plagenhoef
Daily Arts Editor
This Friday, the Michigan Theater
unveils the single, greatest film about
hot-rodding go-go dancers in the history
of the medium, "Faster Pussycat! Kill!
Kill!" Russ Meyer, who is undergoing a
bit of a cult revival from sea to shining
sea as of late, including a tribute to his
female stars in the latest "Playboy"
(which is actually self-serving since
many if his stars were culled from that
magazine's pages in the first place) un-
veiled this little beauty 30 years ago and
it became an instant drive-in classic. Fol-
lowing the success of a chance exhibi-
tion in California last year, the film is
slowly and surely being re-exhibited to
rave reviews and excited audiences
throughout the nation.
The invaluable current trend of re-
distribution are each in the case of
films such as "Lawrence of Arabia,"
"Midnight Cowboy," "A Streetcar
Named Desire," and the forthcoming
"The Wild Bunch" in conjunction with
either restoration or an anniversary.
Each are agreed-upon classics. Yet
CA~ii A RIDE ON A JET TO IUKOK
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to commerial Rogts that has helped
*hAmnds of wendudesty st= dos
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for yuFM par.mdm&wsem.
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"Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!," thoug
no award winner, is arguably an eve
more important re-exhibition because i
allows people to discover a film rathe
than revisit one.
Despite the overwhelming, and de
served, popularity of Russ Meyer'
campy classic and Roger Ebert collat
ration, "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,
it is "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" that i
the definitive Meyer film. This is Meye
on his own, both scripting and directing
Meyer without major studio money
Meyer without the Shakespearean-cum
fairy tale ending of "Beyond the Valley
of the Dolls."
Big-busted go-go dancers, led b
Tura Satana, kidnapping, hot rodding
of course fucking, and just sim
causing general chaos. The giri
stumble onto a murder plot, stumble
out of their clothes, and it is all done
with Meyer's trademark tongue in hi.
cheek, his co-stars tongues in each oth
ers cheeks, (the film is being presente<
as a curious selection alongside "Ba
Girls" and "The Sum of Us" in th<
May Gay & Lesbian series) an
Meyer's hand in his pants.
There will plenty of people no
on the joke, not perceiving the Meye
touch, who will disappointed, hope
fully offended, possibly bored. Yet thi
is not a Lorenzo Lamas straight t<
video. Meyer never attempts to shrou
his work in faux dignity. Instead h
makes his films as flashy and campy a
the censors will allow, parading hi
fixation across the screen in tight, low
cut shirts, and his characters into th
most unashamedly ridiculous d'
logue.
Despite the association betwee
Meyer and overwhelmingly larg
breasts, he is not a one-trick pony
Meyer's films do not exclude throug
sexism, they invite through his biatar
realization that he is Neanderthalic i
his sexual attitude. Meyer passes of
his obsessions and his cornball script
as his own punchlines, rather tha
choosing to be someone else's. The e
fore in the end, instead of making
audience cringe with repulsion, h
makes them laugh and its watchability
This is not garbage, this is trash, an
hell yes, there is a difference

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