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March 26, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-26

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__ARTS
The Michigan Daily Tuesday, March 26, 1991
Weapon is a perfect waste

Page 5
The Hatfields and
McCoys look tame

The Perfect
Weapon
dir. Mark Disalle
#yJon Rosenthal
The Perfect Weapon moves across
the screen like a sumo wrestler try-
ing ballet. Clumsy and poorly con-
ceived, the movie jerks along with-
out providing even a complete plot
line. How contrived is The Perfect
Weapon? Let me count the ways.
Kempo karate black belt Jeff
Speakman plays Kempo karate black
.elt Jeff Sanders. (It's his first
film, so they probably didn't want
to risk confusing him with a new
name.) The Korean mafia wants
Jeff's friend Kim, played by the sin-
gularly-named Mako, to sell
methamphetamines out of his an-
tiques shop. (Obviously, they heard
he was a dealer and just assumed.)
He refuses and they insist and he re-
uses and they kill him. So, Jeff has
The Meatmen
Crippled Children Suck
Touch and Go
The time was obviously here. The
synchronicity was unmistakable:
ur apartment was robbed over win-
-Oer break and the thieves took most
of stereo; I had flunked my first
class, which was unfortunately the
last class I needed in order to gradu-
ate; the United States was about to
break out those fuel-air doohickeys
in the Persian Gulf; the heat in my
building never quite seemed warm
enough; and yet another woman told
me, "Mike, you're just too damn
Weird." So I broke out the new
Meatmen album.
OK, so there's not such thing as a
new Meatmen album: everything is
almost a decade old (which scares
the crap out of me: "I was barely a
teenager when these guys were
angsting out like this? Sheesh... "),
but boy, does it hit that little mys-
terious spot in all of us (you have
one, too) where there is no political
*onsciousness, where there is no rea-
son and no fairness, where no one
cuires for you and you don't care
buck, where Jesse Helms and Abbie
Hbffman both choke on their food,
where that elementary school pe-
dophile-turned-gym-teacher finally
has that heart attack that you've
bien waiting for, and where Julie
Andrews pierces her nipples, but
wets hepatitis in the process. That
shot called... uh, called... well, you
know what it's called.
The album itself is pretty lame,
mostly cuts from either their origi-
nal demo tapes ("Orgy of One,"
"ve got a Problem" and that clas-
si John Lennon tribute, "One Down
Three to Go") or from their '82 7"

to hunt down the bad guys in order
to avenge his dead friend.
Occasionally the contrived
scenes are matched up with plastic
dialogue. After he chases his
friend's killer down the street, he
stops to catch his breath and four
big guys, who all look like George
Michael on steroids, surround him.
One pulls a knife and delivers one of
filmdoms most original lines:
"Give us your money." Another of
the film's great lines, "You came
into my house to kill me, but you
leave with one of my people. Weird
deal," is delivered by a Korean mob-
ster who completely forgives Jeff
for having invaded his house and
beaten up all his guards.
Paramount hails Jeff as the new
Bruce Lee. He's not. Bruce Lee's
movies never won an Academy
award and they honestly didn't de-
serve one, but they did have a certain
flair that made them entertaining.
Perhaps it was those strange, stran-
gled-cat noises that Bruce used to

make when he fought, or his acro-
batic style, or maybe it was just the
'70s, but his films were campy and
fun. Jeff, well, Jeff just can't cut it.
He takes himself too seriously,
although not seriously enough to
shave. Yes, he strives for that Yassir
Arafat/Don Johnson look.
Director Mark Disalle deserves a
large part of the blame for the prob-
lems in The Perfect Weapon. The
most glaring error in the film is the
inclusion of the love interest that
fails to materialize. The film shows
Jeff training as a child, all the while
exchanging shy glances with one of
the girls in his dojo. He grows. She
grows. Their glances across the dojo
floor become infused with hor-
mones. She disappears. She reappears
at Kim's funeral and this time
glances at Jeff with disgust. She dis-
appears. She reappears for the last
time at the dojo after Jeff has
proved himself, and this time she
glances with approval. They never
speak to each other. It is quite obvi-

ous that at least one or two scenes,
those that would explain all this
glancing, ended up on the cutting
room floor.
The fight scenes do tend to be
well done. When Jeff takes out the
mutant George Michael clones, he
does so in about a second, gyrating
around with his hands and feet flail-
ing. It looks good. If you enjoy
scenes such as these, then this movie
is for you, because there is, on aver-
age, a fight scene every five minutes
throughout the main body of the
film, and that increases to one every
two minutes at the end.
The producers of this film are
obviously trying to cash in on the
present spate of martial-arts films.
It would seem that the best way to
do this would be to make one with
an original script and good produc-
tion values. Obviously, though, this
has yet to occur to them.
THE PERFECT WEAPON is show-
ing at Showcase and Briarwood.

by Diane Frieden
It wasn't until the mid-18th
century that scholars began to
distinguish between the Greek
and Roman cultures instead of
grouping them under the heading
of one ancient civilization. This
distinction arose from the
finding of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, and it spawned a
debate as to which culture had
truly attained perfection and
classicism. It also was the
inspiration for the exhibition
Greece vs. Rome: The Search
for the Classical Spirit , now on
display at the University
Museum of Art.
The Museum has its own
practice program, which enables
students to learn the how-to's of
curating. At the culmination of
the program, they organize their
own exhibitions. Monica Nagler
and Carole Campbell are
students who have combined
their interests in archaeology and
the fine arts with this
controversy to create the current
presentation of ancient art and
artifacts.
Representations of both
cultures are in the exhibition,
with evidence on each side to
prove that it is the most worthy
of classic perfection. The analysis
by James Stuart and Nicholas
Revett of Greek monuments is
the most winning argument on
the side of Greece, illustrating
the aesthetic beauty and scientific
use of their art and architecture.
The printmaker Piranesi
sparked the debate in Roman
favor by depicting its
architecture. However, at the end
of his career, after studying the
Doric architecture of three Greek
temples, he concluded that all of
the ancient cultures must be

observed to have achieved great
architecture. Also included in
the exhibition is work done in
the 18th century that falls under
the synthesis category, using
elements of both civilizations.
Most noticeably in the
museum exhibition is the
synthesis work of Josiah
Wedgwood and Sons, employing
both Greek and Roman classical
designs in their 19th century
ceramic pitcher and candlesticks.
Another pair of candlesticks by
John Carter, these constructed in
silver, copy the Corinthian order
of columns from the 18th
century perspective. While
neither the argument of
superiority nor its outcome may
be of as great importance in the
20th century, Campbell and
Nagler say, it made Western
civilizations aware of the place
that ancient culture has in
present-day art, interior design
and architecture.
Nagler and Campbell agree
that their two favorite pieces are
the Roman wall fragments and
inscriptions dating from the
second century B.C. to the fourth
century A.D., and the copy of the
Portland Vase by Wedgwood.
"They symbolize the beginning
of classicism and the end of the
search," said Campbell. Indeed,
the Portland Vase has a specific
history - originally the frieze
was thought to be of a Roman
lifestyle, but as it switched
hands, it was termed a Greek
piece.
Greece Vs. Rome is a solidly
organized exhibition. The art is
arranged in logical sequence
along both sides of the hall, one
wall for the Greek and the other
for the Roman art, meeting at the
Portland Vase. Artifacts are.
See WAR, Page 8

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what the Meatmen are all about. The boys in Stetsasonic: the world's only hip-hop band, or just a bunch of
-Mike Kuniavsky suckers? You be the judge.

Stetsasonic
Blood, Sweat and No Tears
Tommy Boy
As the Churchillian title indi-
cates, Stetsasonic's latest record at-
tempts to resonate with a mythic
African-American populism. Un-
fortunately, this shot at a trans-
Brooklyn universalism is undercut
by the title track's sucker MC dises
and an obsessive clinging to the
clich6s that they claim to have in-
vented.
The forced rhymes of "Blood,
Sweat and No Tears" like

"Stompin' MC's like a pesky ro-
dent/ Outsellin' 'em all like
Bazooka does Trident" are not a vic-
torious reclamation of the hip-hop
throne like LL Cool J's "Mama Said
Knock You Out," but a sadly re-
gressive grasp at the glory days.
Despite the efforts of Prince Paul's
"To Whom It May Concern" to
create an "and the band played on"
epic of Grand Funk Railroad pro-
portions by basing the groove on
Three Dog Night's "Joy to the
World," the song only serves to
strengthen the historic, not epochal,

glorification of "the world's only
hip-hop band."
By the time you get around to the
dreadful collaboration with the
Force M.D.'s ("Do You Remember
This") and "Walkin' in the Rain,"
it becomes obvious that the trans-
Diaspora community that they envi-
sion includes women only because
they need someone to party with.
And when they re-mix "Free South
Africa," you realize why they're
grasping to the old days when they
were the world's only hip-hop band.
- Peter Shapiro

Sweet talkin'
hippies sing
the blues
They're not pretty, but they
probably aren't trying to be. A
friend of mine, when exposed to a
photo of Blues Traveler, cringed and
said, "They're so ugly!" Their looks,
however, have absolutely no bearing
on whether or not they can jam for a
few hours, as they proved at Rick's
on Thursday night when they played
the funky music that their fans like
to dance to.
The band includes a few of rock's
more creative musicians. Guitarist
Chan Kinchla, playing a plain red
strat affected only by a cry-baby,
was continually impressive. It was
not an excessive, Van Halen-like
flashiness, but rather something
which relied on how Kinchla felt
the music. On many occasions he
banged harmonics out of his guitar's
neck instead of relying on standard

strumming, completely changing.
the direction of the tunes. Other
times, when Kinchla was just play-
ing chords, he made great use of his
hair, not caring if the fans in the
front were wearing raincoats or not.
They did not play as many covers
as they usually do, with the excep-
tion of the Stones' "Miss You" and
the finale, which singer John Popper
introduced the last number as-
"something from the '60s... the-
1860s, that is," before easing into a
See WEEKEND, Page V
ANN AROR
THEATERS1 & 2.-5TH AVE. AT LIBERTY
761.9700
Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (PG-13)
Cyrano De
Bergerac(PG)
5g..
FJPrCe 4/11/91cor
RPRESENT THIS COUPON WITH
PRHASED TICKET THRU

Although set in a California
city, the documentary Berkeley in
the '60s is a tightly orchestrated
movie highlighting the events,
moods and tones that radically
changed the morals and. life of
Americans. "(Using Berkeley as an
example) is the best microcosm to
look at all the country in the '60s,"
*says director Mark Kitchell. "We
used the events (in Berkeley) to talk
about the issues."
Highly praised for its directing
and content, Berkeley in the '60s
could possibly be the most widely
viewed documentary today. "We've
been seen by over 100,000 people al-
ready, and we haven't even been on
television yet," says Kitchell.
Documentaries are not usually
mainstream material. The public
views them as boring, something
made for historical purposes or to

view on an educational public
broadcasting station. For many peo-
ple, history is not supposed to be en-
tertaining, but rather intellectual.
But Berkeley in the '60s is both.
It's narrated by individuals who
took part in the movements, some
leaders and some followers. They
chronicle the movie by describing
their part in the events, starting
with the Free Speech Movement in
the early '60s and moving to the
overtaking of a school parking lot
to create the People's Park in the
late '60s.
Each event is described in detail,
but from a very human perspective.
Historical events, captured on film
clips that Kitchell spent .10 years
archiving, are interspersed with the.
feelings of the participants. "Good
documentaries are about real people
and real lives," says Kitchell. "The

events in the '60s succeeded in rais-
ing questions more than finding an-
swers." It shows how the Free
Speech Movement, relatively tame
compared to the later Anti-War
Movement, "was a success - it
gave people a sense of accomplish-
ment," Kitchell says.
Berkeley may have been a hot
spot of activism in the '60s, but it'

wasn't the only one. "There was
Madison, Ann Arbor, Gainsville,
Florida," says Kitchell. "Didn't
you have SDS (Students for a
Democratic Society) in Ann
Arbor?"
Berkeley in the '60s is being
shown this week at the Michigan ~
Theater through April 1.
- Mary Beth Barber

i __-

U U

m

The Second Annual
Pre-Med
Students'
Symposium
"A Kaleidoscope of Information:
From Education to Application"
Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Francis Collins, M.D.

#I

ATTENTION GRADUATE
STUDENTS!!!

Symposium
Topics
Medical School Preparation

Saturday, April 6, 1991
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
North Campus Commons
Information and registration forms
available at

,8.00PM
Wednesday
March 27

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1.

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