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May 26, 1998 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-05-26

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12 -_ The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, May 26, 1998

'Fear and Loathing'
takes wild drug trip

By Ryan Malkin
For the Daily
Neither the wildest dream imagin-
able nor the most drug crazed binge in
the world can compare to the journey
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" has
in store.
The film stars Johnny Depp asRaoul
Duke (a character based on the author)
aid Benicio Del
Toro as his "p
lawyer in this
film adaptation Fear and
of Hunter S. . .
Thompson's Loathing I
1971 book about Las Vegas
the search for the ik*j
A m e r i c a n at Showcase
Dream. And and tiarwood
what better a
place to search
for he Aenican
Dream than in r?
L a Vegas?
The journey
begins on the road to Vegas. Duke, a
well-known political journalist, is on
his way to cover an event. He is accom-
panied by his lawyer.
Director Terry Gilliam envisions a
grand scale drug frenzy with political
overtones, Thompson's classic tale to
the silver screen. Depp and Toro won-
derfully play their parts, and the effects
and camera work are amazing, though
a bit reminiscent of "Natural Born
"Fear and Loathing" draws the audi-
ence in from the start and doesn't let
them go until the very end.
Not that everyone will love the film.
Conservative folks will probably leave

before the end. (About 10 people left
early when I saw the film, all scowling
as they hurried out).
When viewing a drug film, certain
criteria must bermet for the movie to be
great. First, acid trips must be seen
through the eyes of the tripee, a per-
spective that "Fear and Loathing" pro-
vides. From melting faces to lounging
lizards, the viewer feels almost as if he
or she is taking drugs with the charac-
Great music is another necessity in
drug movies. From "One Toke Over the
Line," a song actually mentioned in the
book, to "White Rabbit," and Dylan's
"Stuck inside of Mobile with the
Memphis Blues Again," the music
plays a close second to the "Titanic"
Rule no. 3 of a great drug movie is
that it should be well-rounded, but to
focused on drugs and drug use. "Fear
and Loathing" passes with flying colors
- red, white and blue that is. Gilliam
overloads us with psychedelic images
in these colors.
One never feels that the excessive-
ness is without purpose, and the politi-
cal backdrop is always in plain view.
From the floating Nixon heads to the
carrying of the American flag, the polit-
ical idioms of the time are incorporated
One notable event in the film is a
cameo appearance by Thompson. It is
easy to miss, so pay close attention
early in the movie.
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is
an entertaining experience. Just keep an
open mind, sit back and enjoy the ride.
What a ride it is. +

Courtesy of Universa City Studios
'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas,' starring Johnny Depp (above) and Benicio Del Toro,
carries everything a good drug film needs - and the soundtrack isn't bad, either
Cd comp4LA lements fil-m

By Ryan Malkin
For the Daily
The task of developing a soundtrack
to accompany the psychedelic, drug-
crazed book and now major motion pic-
ture, "Fear and
Loathing in Las,
Vegas," was not >55y
e a s y . Fear and
Considering the
subject matter, Loathing in
Terry Gilliam Las Vegas
and Ray Cooper 9
did an excellent
job. Virgin Records
The sound-
track combines
dialogue from the
movie with songs the dialogue sets up.
It includes such classics as "She's a
Lady," "For Your Love," "iet
Together" and Dylan's "Stuck inside of

Mobile with the Memphis Blues
Alongside the classic '60s nostalgia
rock are several tracks from an era that
really should not have produced music
at all. Penry Como's "Magic Moments,"
and "Taumy" by Debbie Reynolds are
unwelcome additions to the album.
Without the dialogue and without
seeing the picture or reading the book,
one may wonder why anyone would
have pulled these songs out of the
archives. The dialogue before these
tracks sets them up nicely and justifies
their existence on the album.
Appropriate for this drug-crazed
classic tale, three tracks entitled, "A
Drug Score - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3'
are included, as is Booker T 's "time is
"Fear and Loathing" is a well-round-
ed rock nostalgia trip.

high on
By Jewel Gopwan
DiY Arts Write
Albums are too often merels 13
songs slapped together for a profit
The best albums consciously bal-
ance consistenes and diversity.
Songs fit together like puzzle
pieces make certain albums stand
out from trend-follossin super
groups. The latest release fromn The
Connells is a puzzle with 13 pieces
Separately each piece is beatiful.
and together the albuni is a portrait
of emotion.
Unfortunately thousands of lis-
teners are still not familiar with The
Connells. These listeners don 't
know about the band's timeless
lyrics and musical combinat ions that
hypnotize with sound and commun-
cate with the vocalist's words
The most powerful aspect of "Still
life" is its lyrical content. The title
track best displays the album's com-
plexity. "This still life has its virtues4
because everything in motion
leaves/ or is just left behind."
Each song is emotionally dri en
by its lyrics. Feelings of disappoint-
ment, happiness, encouragement and
stability come
through, giving
the album a
diversity not
considered by The
many bands. Connells
The back Still Life
drop for all the
emotion is the i*
equally ardent
isusicianship TVt Records
of each track.
Lyrics some-
times overpower music. tit in this
case, the two walk iand in hand.
In "Bruised," the guitar itroduc-
tion takes the listener lying, higl
and fat. Briaging them sck down
to earts ar' the otg's lyrics, "Hey
ain't eiaiw! F/ vervtsidv knows
H ow msyvskin sows/ tBlsck atd
But the lyrics don't leave the lis-
tener on the ground. 'The guitars take
listeners baek p into the ir and let
them fly for le rest of the song.
Beautiful lyrics, soft vocals, sweet
melodies and skilled instrumental
work epitomizes almost every son4
on "Still life." But The Connells
attempt to diert from theaalbun's
well-establtshedpopIFrimt. 'The
fourth track, "Curley's Train," is a
country song equipped with plenty
of twang and even some pop
melody. Straying even farther from
the norm, "Queen of Charades" is
practically a waltz. featering Mike
Connsell's startlingly' beeti ful high
Creating a balance between luff
pop and snooty alternative rock, The
Connells offer listeners an album
that can both challenge and satisfy,
just like a puzzle.


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