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January 10, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-10

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily
La terza parte non era

Thursday, January10, 1991

Page 5

bellissima

The Godfather
Part III
dir. Francis Ford
,Coppola
by Mark Binelli
The Godfather Part III has all of the
elements necessary for an excellent
film: lots of Italian people, lots of
Catholic stuff (including the Pope),
lots of graphic violence, a gnocchi-
rolling scene, poisoned cannolis and
for the final act, of course, an
evening at the opera.
But unfortunately, the nail in the
coffin of Francis Ford Coppola's
epic mobster trilogy is for the most
part a bad film that should never
have been made. Coppola has admit-
ted in interviews that initially, he
only agreed to do the project for the
money, and that his editing was
rushed to make a Christmas release.
*These flaws took their toll, as his
heart is obviously not in the dis-
jointed, meandering, almost self-par-
odying result.
Everyone knows the plot by
now. It's 1979, all of the original
- haracters are either dead or really
.old, and da Family is trying to be-
come legit and help out the ailing,
,monolithic, corrupt Vatican bank.
Al Pacino, who seems to have taken
411 of this King Lear stuff much too
seriously, is ridiculous this time
around in his role as Michael Cor-
leone, completely overacting in ev-
ery scene he is in, yet at the same
time looking like he just fell for the
old exploding cigar gag with his
shell-shocked face and spiked gray
hair (although he does look pretty
cool in those dark sunglasses).
The problems with Pacino's
"haracter are not entirely his fault.
Practically every line of dialogue
that he has is completely corny and
overwritten. Michael, an alienated
fratricidal prick at the end of Part II,
is now suddenly a pretty likable per-
son who is seeking redemption for
Front 242
Tragedy For You (CD Maxi-.
Single)
Epic
Does anyone really need seven
bloody mixes of any one song? Heck
ono! If the song is excellent you
might want three mixes, four tops.
But seven? Well, for Front 242's
major label debut they've included
seven mixes of the same song,
"Tragedy For You," on one "Maxi-
Single". They should all gets O's on
their foreheads for overkill.
The basic song (the 7" Vox mix)
is not bad. It's a diversion from
most of the songs on 242's last al-
bum, which was heavily influenced
by house music. They seem to have
returned to the task of creating in-
tense techno/industrial music. The
'strings stab, the synths churn, the
drums pulse at 125 bpm and the
voices are cold and monotone. It's
the 242 that we've come to know,
love and shake our butts to.
But is this song really good
enough to merit the numerous ver-
sions spanning over thirty minutes?
Once again, heck no! The listener is
'given a 12" and 7" Vox mix, a 12"

and 7" Punish Your Machine Mix, a
,,Slo-Mo Mix, an instrumental and
-last but not least the Neurodancer
mix. How are all these, you may
wonder? Who knows? After about 20
minutes of this song they all started
to sound the same.
- What ever happened to including
,different songs on a 12"? Remember
#B-sides? Just barely? Yeah, me too.
.Of course, you can't flip a CD over,
but there should still be some sort of
variety on that one side. Oh well, it
looks like Front 242 has forgotten
this since making it BIG.
This release would have been a
lot better had they cut a few mixes
out and cut the price a buck or two.
Cut the price? Yeah, right.
Richard S. Davis
Gear Daddies
£ Tini'c f;1L Rani

Al Pacino and Diane Keaton look old together in The Godfather Part /Hl. And see that head in between the padre
and Talia Shire? That's famed comedian Don Novello, better known as Father Guido Sarducci. Andy Garcia
broods in the background.

his sins of the past. The first two
films were powerful because they
showed Michael's progression from
an Ivy League war hero to a calculat-
ing killer, and Part III would have
been much more effective if it had'
been set a bit earlier and thus actu-
ally shown us this further develop-
ment of the character.
Andy Garcia as Vincent Cor-
leone, Sonny's illegitimate son, is
really the only reason worth seeing
this film. He resuscitates (and
steals) every scene that he appears in
- in fact, the film would have been
much better if it had centered around
him and an entirely new cast, with
Big Al and the other dinosaurs only
making cameos.
Coppola's sister Talia Shire is
okay as Connie, but his daughter,
Sofia Coppola, is as awful as every-
body says in her role as Michael's

daughter. But at least she looks the
part with her nice Roman nose, and
anyone is better than listening to
Winona whine to daddy for three
hours about how tough it is being a
mafia princess.
Like the originally inappropri-
ately cast Winona Ryder, other ac-
tors and their characters only seem to
be present so that their big names
can be wedged into the credits. What
the hell are George Hamilton and his
out-of-season tan doing here as the
new family lawyer? Or Diane
Keaton, for that matter, whose char-
acter does not even fit into the story
any longer? And the admittedly
lovely Bridget Fonda is introduced to
us as a photojournalist who sleeps
with Vinnie to get close to Michael
only to be dropped from the film
five minutes later.
Which leads to the film's main

weakness, its plot, which is unsatis-
fying and superficial. Gordon Willis'
cinematography remains excellent,
and a few scenes have some sparks
from the originals. The theme of
corruption in the Catholic Church is
interesting, as is the sub-plot
involving rival mobster Joey Zasa
(played well by Joe Mantegna), but
much too often, we're just left
hanging. Coppola simply fails to
resolve (or even address in any
fashion) many of the issues that he
raises. And other plot elements are
just stupid. Oh no! Michael Cor-
leone has fallen into a diabetic coma!
Come on. Is this the Godfather or
Steel Magnolias?
The Godfather Part III is being
shown at Showcase.

Hell High
dir. unknown
Parents
dir. Bob Balaban
Winter Break is traditionally a
time to revel in the joys of having a
dysfunctional family unit. Unfortu-
nately, my family is too well-ad-
justed, so I have to partake' vicari-
ously.
Winter Break also means being
"home" (i.e. what the U calls your
permanent address). To me, with my
"home" being ultrasuburban middle-
American Southfield Michigan, this
means Movie Channels (in my par-
ents' case this means HBO, which
they never watch, and Bravo, which
they never pay for).
Together, these two facts imply
an hassle-free existence of free regu-
lar meals, childhood memories (and
bedsheets) and schlocky film failures
on late night cable.
Unlike the past several Winter
Breaks, this vacation was pretty bar-
ren of the traditional "Friday the
13th" or "Nightmare on Elm Street"
reruns from the previous summer
which have been my regular fare, but
there were several films which I just
had to stay up until 4 a.m. to see.
Remarkably, two of these actually
turned out to be pretty good.
Hell High is basically Heathers
without pseudo-intellectual, narcis-
sistic pretensions. Here the concept
of High School is much more realis-
tic: the teachers hate the students,
the students hate each other and ev-
eryone hates themselves. The
"outcast" clique is not formed of the
people who are excluded from the in-
crowd, but of the people who hate
the in-crowd. The clique is formed of
classic teenage horror film stereo-
types: the psychotic James Dean
wannabe, the nymphomaniac, the
mean fat guy and the alienated ex-
football player.
Their world is also populated by
typical teen movie adults: the stupid
sex-starved football coach, the
beautiful Biology teacher and the
dumb substitute teacher (the only
thing missing are the stupid
parents). The difference is that here
the characters are notthe traditional
caricatures; they start out looking
like them and acting like them, but
eventually everyone diverges from
their traditional roles at completely
surprising times. Half the fun in the
film is watching how there are not
the people you expect.
The plot of the film is initially
straightforward: the outcast clique,
being bored and frustrated with their
lifestyle and outcastedness, decide to
have a little fun at the expense of the
beautiful, cold and mysterious Biol-
ogy teacher. They follow her home
late at night, put on masks and de-
cide to play a vicious practical joke.
The practical joke succeeds but, as
the classic trailers say, "with unex-

pected results."
Basically a film about random
violence, the film is unfortunately
not as well made as its intellectual
predecessors, A Clockwork Orange,
the aforementioned Heathers or
Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Nevertheless, it's pretty interesting
overall, with some great ideas
(there's this scene where the fat guy
is sitting crosslegged lamenting his
situation, while the psychopath -
who got him "into this" - is play-
ing with a rag doll; the fat guy sighs
and says "my mother told me there's
be days like this').
I don't know if this is good or
not, but it seems that David Lynch
and his cynical/satirical sense of the
50s is spreading. Parents is one of
the products of this infestation.
Though not quite as original some
of Lynch's characterizations, it's si-
multaneously much more consistent
and at times, more chilling.
The film's about a subject that
lots of people have tackled: that the
repressed, plastic 50s veneer, for all
its seeming happiness, was a
coverup for the horrors that were re-
ally going on. From Rebel Without
a Cause to Twin Peaks we can see
this attitude, but here it's much
more chilling and much more direct.
From The Father's line about how
"they just don't know what kind of a
future there is in defoliants!" to The
Mother's conversation with The
Boy's elementary school social
worker,
"What do Michael and his father
do together?"
"Oh, many things!"
"What things?"
"Oh....I really couldn't say....All
kinds of things!"
there's a constant sense of forbod-
ing, a constant sense of "this is a
living hell, but I can't pinpoint ex-
actly why." The "why" turns out to
be one of these primal childhood
fears: that The Boy's parents are not
at all who they say they are and that
his whole life they've been deceiving
him and leading him into a horrible
lifestyle - their own.
The film's only real. problem is
that it seems way too much like
someone (probably the director,
Baladen) was dancing around the im-
age of David Lynch. From the
bleached-out photography (a sort-of
counter to Lynch's intense colors) to
the comic-horror dialogue to the
Freudian overtones to the score by
Angelo Badalamenti the film really
wants to be a Lynch film. Unfortu-
nately, the places where it's most
Lynch-like are also the least effec-
tive. Fortunately, though, Randy
Quaid's performance as The Father is
a wonderfully condescending deadpan
and there's a ton of such great dia-
logue as:
See VIDEO, Page 7

As they hail from Minnesota, a
comparison to more famous exports
seems necessary: the Daddies are
most reminiscent of Trip
Shakespeare without the flash or the
attitude, much more earthy. The
band is also reminiscent of Buddy
Holly, John Fogerty's Centerfield
LP, Bob Seger and, in a down home
sense, John Cougar Mellencamp.
But they can't be pigeon-holed as
copi'es of any of these more famous
artists. The Gear Daddies seem more
honest, with their sometimes shuf-
fling rhythms, mostly nasal vocals
and always straightforward lyrics.

"Sonic Boom" is a ballad, using
a country-like voice, harmonica and
acoustic guitar to sadly express lone-
liness. "No one home except for
me/... got no money/ nothing to do/
stare at the ceiling/ sonic boom/ ...
lying in bed as the hours drift away."
The Gear Daddies seem to really feel
their words; the whole tone of
Billy's Live Bait reflects genuine
emotion. When they sing lines such
as "I know I'm not the one" in
"Color of Her Eyes," I want to
believe their passion.
Most of the songs are down, the
kind of thing written while depressed

and able to constructively channel
the energy. "Goodbye Marie" says,
"Well I heard a rumor you were leav-
ing town" with slide guitar accom-
panying - the idea that things are
bad, but at least there is this song I
wrote about it.
The Gear Daddies are very middle
American; when they sing "I was
married in the town where I was
born" in "One Voice," they raise
their credibility factor to a level of
frankness and sincerity.
They have a sense of humor, too.
The last song on this CD, not listed
See RECORDS, Page 7

I.

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But, if your plans include pur-
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TI Financial Investment
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It's a business major's
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asily handle
problems.

,0

>.

the problem-solving variables at
once. You can check your work,
1 . a *1

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:..ri :.
. .. <_

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