12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, August 14, 1996
'Escape from L.A.' snakes i
By Ted Watts Angeles, which became an island in
wily Arts Writer2000. Los Angeles is essentially a
Sequels are like metaphors: lots of wretched hive of scum
them show up in and villainy, even
movie reviews. in the movie.
Kurt Russell ,, AUnfortunately, the
reprises the role of Escape from L.A. President's daughter
Snake Plissken I rted vy (o penter (A. J. Langer) has
from the cult AB a nshowcase taken the control
favorite "Escape * (out ofttie) device for a dooms-
from New York" in day machine to the
the new movie "Escape from LA." island for her revolutionary cybermate
Don't worry, the first movie gets refer- Cuervo Jones (George Corraface) to use
enced some, but you didn't need to see against the United States. Just like in
it to understand the new one. New York, it's up to Snake to save the day.
It's 2013 and the United States has The movie is largely a way to showcase
been declared a morally pure country. the weird and wild future, from the gadgets
Anyone not morally pure is sent to Los that the USPD provides to Snake to the
post-apocalyptic Los Angeles set, where
you can surf down major streets and the
Los Angeles Coliseum is a place of sport
atrocities. And despite how the ads on TV
look, it's done pretty well. But whereas
John Carpenter's New York was dark and
shady, his Los Angeles is more brightly lit.
The plastic soul of California is integral to
the look of the movie, and it's pulled off
Also in keeping with the California
theme, characters are intensely shallow in
the movie, but this is more of a flaw in the
writing than part of the intent. Several are
cloned from characters in the first film,
head Los Angeles cop Malloy (Stacy
Keach) as the most blatant example. Lustre's
Secondary characters die left and right, or
suddenly drop in minutes before they dis- By Heather Phai
appear again for the entire movie. There Daily Arts Writer
isn't even much development of Snake Despite the i
other than surface characteristics. and their self-tit
Everyone seems to recognize him, and by-the-books ri
that's good for a chuckle, but along with his While there's n
constantly requests for cigarettes, that's just the unrelievedn
about the deepest insight into the character warmed-over Co
we get. He's just running around with a ripoffs is worset
very hoarse voice, a mission and absolute- are somewhat re
ly no investment from the audience. The album is mostly
character with the most development is , "Lustre" is fil
Map to the Stars Eddie (Steve Buscemi), rock and '90s m
and he is an empty Hollywood agent-type. ness. This timele
Oh well. cent: A record li
Essentially, the movie is just fL.A.sh. the Who, Hiske
It's a moderately well done toss-off play an instrume
action flick with some neat cameos The main pro
(Bruce Cambell, Peter Fonda). It's better them. Is there a
than a kick in the teeth, but if you have Otherwise, if yo
a choice, see the original instead.
COMEDY 'Cause it ain't a
Continued from Page 10 bitches in a Hyut
diggers need toc
damn selves. Take black women run- get you what yo
ning up to 'Waiting to Exhale' like it don't ask for it
was a documentary. I knew things were refrigerator, just
wrong with that movie, 'cause you warm Kool-Aid
don't burn no nigga's clothes or burn No doubt
his car when he does you wrong. Underwood w-
'Cause yo' new nigga can wear them Comedy Jam"
clothes and drive that car. was as hype as
"And I can't believe women were left the stage,
complaining about the Million Man that they had1
March going, 'well why can't we go?' worth.
mediocre modern rock
ntruiging name, Lustre
led debut turn out to be Lustre
ff-heavy modern rock. Lustre
othing truly awful here, A&M
mediocrity of the band's **(out of five)
llective Soul and Sponge
than tiresome. Though the nods to bands like Sugar and the Who
freshing, as on "Lustre"'s opening track, "Musta Been Cool," the
an excersise in taking a long time to get nowhere.
led with a weird sense of deja vu: The group's mix of '70s hard-
odern rock cliches gives its music a vague, disturbing timelesse-
essness, however, is a long way from classic. Instead, it's compla-
ke Lustre's suggests that if you listen to the "right" music (Nirvana,
r Du and countless '70s classic rock bands in this case) and can
nt competently, you too can have a major label record deal.
blem with Lustre is that there's no real discernable problem with
cure for competent mediocrity? For the band's sake, let's hope so.
u lack Lustre, you're not missing much.
iinn m a three ' A I
Snake ftflu 15u Wt) nangson WI Tr a lue trougnutust mu eetsur Uo sn ein
"Escape from LA."
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Continued from Page 10
dream. The jokes are invariably unfun(
ny and unclever.
Taken together, the cardboard chamc-
ters and corny humor are enough to ruin
"Going Down." However, it gets worse.
Much worse. The story goes nowhere.
The heroine starts out looking for a
means to support herself and fulfill her
desire to act. Along the way, the plot and
characterization becomes muddled.
Nothing is resolved, certainly, but neithc
is anything really confrontec.
Bennington is as shallow a major char-
acter as the others are minor characters.
There is no development or exploration
of the labyrinth of her psyche (or at least,
the psyche one would imagine a girl her
age, thrown into a life of such problems
and quirky developments, to possess).
Instead, she merely flits around through
trauma after trauma. The only way we
know she even notices her surroundings
is that she sometimes breaks out in ran
dom spurts of tears or nausea.
This may be the worst part of the novel.
If Bennington finds herself in a sad situa-
tion, the author seems to automatically
turn on "the tears" or "the vomiting." In
both cases, it has the feel of an automatic,
ineffectual device that exacerbates Belle's
absolute ineptitude as a psychologist of
her characters and as a novelist. She
makes no impact on the emotions or con-
science of the reader at all. Her novel h
more in common with a marathon of bad
television comedies than anything resem-
bling art. Perhaps her next attempt at
novel-writing will be more fecund, but
this first one is easy to dismiss as vacuous
and utterly unimportant.