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February 05, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-05

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, February 5, 1991

Page 5

Lasse comes home after Dog

Once Around
dir. Lasse Hallstrom
by Michael John Wilson
an you come to like an obnox-
wus slimeball? That's the question
on the surface of Once Around, an-
tther Italian-family-ensemble
tragicomedy, kind of like
t/oonstruck without "That's
Amore." Despite a few problems,
the film remains enjoyable, with
thie fine cast moderately suc-
reeding in its comedic and tragic
elements.
Richard Dreyfuss plays Sam
Sharp, the slimeball, and yes, you
o come to like him. When this
condo salesman falls madly in
love with a conservative Catholic
from Boston named Renata Bella
(Holly Hunter), it leads to many
uncomfortable and humorous
situations between Sam and her
ultra-tight family. Despite his
$8 obnoxious "give yourself a round

of applause" routines, it gradually
becomes clear that Sam is truly
sincere in his love for Renata, but
he simply tries too hard.
Dreyfuss succeeds in the
difficult task of simultaneously
appearing repulsive and endearing;
his Sam is a familiar type, the
kind of guy who doesn't know
when to shut up, even though he
means well. Yet the script doesn't
ever provide enough information
about Sam. Our uncertainty at his
motives and his background is
never resolved; we never
completely know and trust Sam,
but instead are kept at a safe
distance.
Another focus of the film, how-
ever, is the family, which includes
Gena Rowlands as the mother,
Danny Aiello as the father, and
Laura San Giacomo (sex, lies, and
videotape) as the sister. Veteran
actress Rowlands is superb as
Marilyn, the loving, understanding
but forceful mother who holds the
family together. When Sam

inappropriately tries to sing a
Lithuanian hymn at a memorial
service for Renata's grandmother,
Marilyn gracefully threatens to kill
him - and you believe her.
But probably the best reason to
see Once Around is Aiello's perfor-
mance as the father, Joe. Sensitive
and emotional, yet tough and
hilariously brash, the script allows
Aiello to present a full range of
real emotion. When Joe yells
"That's it!" in the midst of a
heated argument, he's as angry
and commanding as his Sal in Do
the Right Thing. Yet he's equally
effective when singing, even
crying, at his daughter's wedding
or his mother's memorial service.
Surprisingly, the eyesore of the
film is Hunter. Though the Italian
aspect of the family is
downplayed, their residence in
Boston cannot be ignored due to
their accents. Hunter (as well as
San Giacomo) might have been
believable if it weren't for her
distractingly fake Boston accent,
which conflicts terribly with her
natural Georgian accent. This prob-
lem virtually nullifies her valiant
attempts at the role. At the film's
most emotional moments, we are
distracted and pulled out of the
drama when Hunter says things
like, "He's remahkable and he
thinks I'm remahkable, too."
Once Around is the first Ameri-
can film by Swedish director Lasse
Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog).
Whereas My Life was a small film
about a young boy's coming of
age, here Hallstrom tries to do too
much. The fast-moving,
dramatic/romantic comedy tears
through marriage, birth, death, and
a sort of coming-of-age for Hunter
as well. Yet Hallstrom maintains
his wonderfully natural sense of
small moments with real-life
characters, and the performances
he elicits from Dreyfuss,
Rowlands, and Aiello are
especially on the mark. Sure, there
are glaring problems and the plot
is a bit contrived, but in the end,
one can't help but enjoy these
family moments.
ONCE AROUND is playing at
Showcase.

Nine Inch Nails
"Head Like A Hole" (CD
maxi-single)
"Sin" (CD maxi-single)
TyT
1990 saw the rise of Nine Inch
Nails to underground and dance-hall
stardom. NIN spread their bitter yet
danceable message of angst through-
out the country. Frontman Trent
Reznor and company packed thou-
sands into all sorts of concert halls,
and the amazing thing is that all this
success came on the heels of only
their first album, Pretty Hate Ma-
chine. Instead of an all-new album,
Reznor and his cohorts have repack-
aged several old goodies (and in-
cluded a few new ones) into two
CDs of remixes.
The "Head Like A Hole" CD con-
tains new versions of "Head Like A
Hole," "Terrible Lie," and "Down In
It." All of these songs jam in typical
NIN fashion. The drums and bass
pound you in the head, the guitars
scream, and the rasping vocals sing
of a bittersweet life.
A couple of the highlights of this
CD are the "Slate" mix of "Head,"
which is the version that has every-
one screaming at the clubs, and the
"Demo" version of "Down In It,"
which is basically made up of cheesy
drums and - vocals. This makes the
song somewhat of a novelty, but
you can still hear the talent that has
made Nine Inch Nails a dance-floor
favorite.
Another one of the excellent
remixes on the CD is "You Know
Who You Are," an instrumental that
combines elements of "Head Like A
Hole" with totally new instrumenta-
tion. When the song begins, you
can't help but think, "Hey, this
sounds like Hea...," but then the
all-new and improved funky bassline
kicks in and - whoa nelly! Put
down the books and let's dance!
The "Sin" CD is made up of
three remixes of "Sin" and a cover of
the Queen song "Get Down Make
Love." The "Sin" remixes aren't the
best dance remixes ever made, prob-
ably because "Sin" certainly isn't
one of the best songs from the al-
bum. With the exception of the
"Dub" remix, the other versions of

"Sin" are a bit monoton
drawn out. What's done in
utes could have been bette
three or four.
Even with this flaw in'
real prize on this release ist
of "Get Down Make Love."
who has ever seen NIN per
knows that this song is on
best of their set, and not a1
intensity and quality is lo
transfer to CD. For those
curious, it sounds nothing
original Queen tune. In
sounds nothing like any Qu
It's moA

nous and See George sing. See George
six min- play guitar. See George play all the
r done in styles. George Benson's fans have
been marveling at his versatility for
'Sin," the the greater part of 20 years. Few
the cover musicians have shown his ability to
" Anyone succeed commercially and artistically
form live in both jazz and rock venues.
ne of the In recent years, Benson has beep
bit of the moving closer musically to his jazz-
st in the guitar roots, and these efforts have
who are been largely successful, as last year's
like the Wes Montgomery-inspired Tenderly
fact, it would suggest.
een tune. With Big Boss Band, though,
George Benson is making good on a
promise he made to Count Basie
some years back - to record an al-
bum with the late band leader's or-
chestra. The result is an effort that
will not be remembered by either
Benson or the Count Basic Orchestra
as their best ever, but nevertheless,
+ this long-awaited release has its
share of moments.
Frank Foster, the long-time tenor
Ssaxophonist for the Basic Orchestra,
hassumed the role of band leader
and principal arranger since the
, Count's death in 1984, and his ar-
rangements provide a provocative
background for Benson's smooth
voice and guitar lines. The saxo-
CDs will phone lines are especially strong on
the next the record.
any other The only problem with the,ar-
e looking rangements is that they have all tob
:hno-pop often been thrown back into the
mix, in favor of giving Benson's
S. Davis guitar a little more volume. This de-
cision is understandable, considering
that Benson headlines the album,,but
Count the remixing comes at the expense
of the trombone section, whose first-
rate work is often difficult to hear.
See RECORDS, Page 7

Reznor
For fans of NIN, these
definitely fill the gap until
album is released. And fora
fans of dance music who ar
for the intensity that tec
lacks, look no further.
-Richard
George Benson
(featuring the
Basie Orchestra)
Big Boss Band
Warner Brothers

I U

ASKA

ECB

.

Richard Dreyfuss' character, Sam, is obnoxious in Lasse Hallstrom's
new film, Once Around, but so is Holly Hunter's fake Bawston accent

(Watch this space.)

In commemoration of Black History Month
the Department of Communication is proud to
present the photo exhibit,
"O, Write My Name:
American Portraits - Harlem Heroes"
50 photogravures from original negatives by Carl Van Vechten
Center Galleries, Rackham Graduate Studies Building
Monday through Friday, 115 p.m.
now through February 15, 1991

MONEY! MONEY!T
LSA-Student Government is
currently accepting applications for
STUDENT GROUP Funding.
If your group has an event,
activity or any need for funding then
come to 4003 Michigan Union and
pick up a request form.
$ LSA-SG SERVES YOU! $

______________ T I

Ask not what opportunity can do for you,
but ask what you can do to create opportunity.

1-800-288USA-1

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