Wednesday, July 10, 1996 - The Michigan Daily - 9
onfused star vehicle
ly Michael Zilberman Moore could be excused, however: the
)aily Arts Writer schizophrenic script requires from her
"Striptease" is one confused star vehi- character both Sandra Bullock's screwball
le. For 2 hours and 2 minutes, it hurtles charm and Elizabeth Berkley's dumb
long unable to decide whether to be a aggression. I can't even see Meryl Streep
lapstick farce, weepy melodrama or a combining these two elements to a more
e story, juggling the episodes of or less plausible effect - much less Demi,
kind before finally blowing up in who, while a good actress in well-chosen
ur faces with a clumsy farcical finale. parts ("Ghost,""Disclosure"), is not exact-
The first element, slapstick comedy, ly famous for her comic sense. Here's one
rsues when out-of-a-job single mother of the pamdoxes of "Striptease": it's noth-
rin Grant (Moore) takes a job at a low- ing ifnot a Demi Moore showcase - and
ent stripjoint called she's been miscast in
The Eager REvIEW it.
leaver." The pur- Striptease Supporting per-
ose (that's where Directed by Andrew sergman formances range
eepy melodrama Withb eim Moore and Burt from so-so to horr-
icks in) is to make tS nd Showcase fying. Burt
agh money to (out ofr> Reynolds, playing
in custody of a rich sleazeball in
er daughter. Why? Because (back to what must be the smallest stretch of his
lapstick) the dad is a sociopath who career, is supposed to be orchestrating
iakes a living stealing wheelchairs. In his big comeback here; instead, dis-
he second act enters a crooked con- pensing such subtle declarations as like
ressman who will stop at nothing (cue "I just loooove naked women!" 'he's
rime story) to get his paws on the enormously annoying and not much
lancer. else. Then again, maybe dirty old men
Neither of these half-baked ideas are just not as funny as they used to be.
vorks particularly well even by itself, but Robert Patrick as Erin's wacko hus-
lvn together by director's the inept band doesn't fare much better.
tnd uncaring hand, they create a mon- Complying with the script demands,
itrous, insulting mess. The helmer, he's both a genuinely dangerous psy-
Andrew Bergman, is clearly more inter- chopath and a cartoonish schlemeil,
sted in movie's look - trippy Miami sometimes in the same scene.
Art Deco - than in keeping the story What few laughs are to be found in
ven relatively coherent. As a result, the whole project are generated by
eflections of neon on Demi's skin sud- Ving Rhames (facing eternal typecast-
lenly feel crucial to the plot. ing since his Marcellus Wallace turn in
Here's where we come to the movie's "Pulp Fiction"). Rhames, playing an
nain selling point/stumbling block: oddly vulnerable bouncer, has more
'pre herself. She has done her home- charm than all the above-mentioned
on dancing, and she looks astonish- actors combined, and his line readings
ngly buff. She also miserably fails to ere- are funky and unpredictable. In fact,
ate any dramatic interest in her character. he's the only reason this movie merits
Demi Moore, here in "indecent Proposal"
its measly 1/2 star.
To get a fuller impression of what
"Striptease" is, you might want to add
to the mix numerous puzzling director-
ial decisions. For example, everyone
familiar with the movie will easily iden-
tify a moment that seems to build up to
a tragic accident - which never hap-
pens. Or, more disturbingly, the strip
club is shown as a tightly-knit commu-
nity of giggly beauties who really enjoy
their work while eatning their PiDs
somewhere offscreen. Heck, they even
have full creative control over song
choices. Erin, for one, is announced by
her full name and dances exclusively to
the Eurythmics, who, surprisingly, lent
half their back catalogue to the movie.
It's even more disturbing, however, to
think that the flaws and implausibilities of
"Striptease" are clearly expected to fly
right over the heads of its target audience.
"Demi Moore's naked in it" is the movie's
real pitch, its unspoken tagline, and it's
excruciatingly sad to see the authors
being so openly oblivious about anything
that surrounds Moore's bust - including
such details as the movie's genre. What
makes "Striptease" horrible - not just
high camp a' la "Showgirls"-- is the fact
that it was, in cold blood, conceived as a
star vehicle where the only parts that mat-
ters are, um, the headlights.
DC punks Jawbox speak
By Victoria Salipande "Our only real intentions (for the
Daily Arts N'nter album) were to be more concise and to
During the recording of their latest be more intense, whether that means
release, the members of the DC punk band more intensely melodic or more
Jawbox were snowed in atla rcording stu- intensely rhythmic or noisy or whatev-
dio during the Blizzard of'96. While most er, as each case may be," said Robbins.
bands would go insane in a similar situa- Following the release of "Jawbox," on
tion, the band seemed to thrive on the CD and cassette, the band plans to release
intensity of those snow-filled days. the album on vinyl on their own Desoto
"We had already Records in August.
been insane for quite Unfortunately, as a
some time,' I N'ITERVIEAT band known for its
explained Jawbox constant touring,
guitarist/vocalist J. JawbOX Desoto will have to
Robbins in an inter- be put on hold while
view with The on the road. "We do
Michigan Daily. "It dream of it (Desoto)
looked like the blizzard was going to keep becoming a bit more of a viable enter-
us away from the studio indefinitely, so prise, eventually," said Robbins of the
our relief at making it to Hoboken at all small label,
won out over the cabin fever." Fans of Jawbox with Internet/WWW
Intensity has always been a part of the access are able to interact with the band
band. Robbins describes the Jawbox through the self-maintained Web site
sound as a "sonic argument on the brink dedicated to Desoto Records and its
of violent agreement, which may lead to bands. When asked about the fan base,
amorous reconciliation" Robbins wittily states, "Actually the fan
While the band's latest release, enti- base in this room is rather too small, and
tIed "Jawbox," is not a complete depar- the fan keeps falling over. A real drag in
ture from 1993s "For Your Own the summer heat. I've heard taping a big
Special Sweetheart," Robbins calls cardboard circle to the bottom helps to
"Jawbox" the band's "most balanced" increase the fan base, but we're out of
recording. For every ballad on the duct tape, so for now I just sweat."
album, there's a straightforward rocker Welcome to the information super-
to counter it, and vice versa. highway
Guzzard grinds Guzzard isn't the thing with which chickens
grind their food. Guzzard Is a hand that grinds
out some guitar-based musilicious aural destruc-
tion that is a couple of years ahead of its time.
Their third full-ength album, "Alienation index
Survey," won't be out until September, but you
can get a taste of things to come when Guzzard
shows up at the Green Room in Ypsilanti on
Tuesday, July 16 with Billy Goat and Melk. Call
482-9774 for info. And If you can't make that,
Guzzard will be at the Shelter on Wednesday the
17th. Call 961-MELT for Info on that show.
- By Ted Watts, Daily Arts Writer
Sydney Brisbane.Melbo e
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