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April 02, 1991 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-02

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ARTS
Tuesday, April 2,1991

'The Michigan Daily

Page 5

This Career choice not funny

Career
Opportunities
dir. Bryan Gordon
by David Lubliner
I suppose John Hughes is getting
really desperate for ideas. That's the
only excuse I can find for his latest
effort, Career Opportunities. You
figure: he has already trapped five
emotionally disturbed high school-
ers in the library for Saturday morn-
ing detention, made Ferris Bueller
the envy of kids all around the
world ip search of a day off, and left
a cute little blond 10-year-old home
alone for a week. What's next? How
'bout the story of a local nerd who
gets locked inside a Target depart-
ment store for the night with the
town beauty?
Hughes reaches so far this time
that the story doesn't even take
place in Chicago! Instead our hero,
21-year-old Jim Dodge (Frank
Whaley), resides in the fictional
town of Monroe, Illinois (though
the movie was actually filmed in
Georgia). Dodge, who has never been
able to hold down a permanent job,
lands the position of night clean-up
boy at the local Target store.
Whaley is one of the main prob-
lems of the film. Best known for
portraying Tom Cruise's friend in
Born on the Forth of July, and also
recently seen as Robbie Krieger in
The Doors, Whaley is an ineffective
nerd. He lacks any sense of comic
timing and all of his scenes fall
completely flat. Whaley doesn't
possess that same empathetic geeki-
ness of an Anthony Michael Hall,
and he certainly won't inherit the
throne of King Nerd.
The other major flaw of the film
surrounds Whaley's co-star, Jen-
nifer Connelly, who plays the
gorgeous Josie McClellan. Con-

The Michigan Theater continues
its Hong Kong Film Festival
tonight wif h the raucous, adventur-
ous, slapstick Peking Opera Blues.
Set in China in the early 1900s after
the first democratic revolution, the
film tells the stories of three
women, which are intertwined amid
political espionage and the swirling
colors of the Peking opera.
Sheung Hung (Cherie Chung) is
the muddle-headed wife of a newly
deposed general who is trying to re-
trieve a box of jewels she needs to
survive on her own. Tso Wan (Lin
Ching Hsia) is attempting to expose
a conspiracy in which her father has
embroiled himself, while Pat Neil
(Sally Yeh) is attempting to start a
career in the all-male Peking opera.
While many consider Peking

opera to be boring folk art, the
scenes of the operas themselves are
entertaining due to the subtext in
which they are presented. In one,
Neil and Hung suddenly appear on
stage, out of script, in order to avoid
gangsters searching the theater for
them. During another, shady charac-
ters exchange conspiratorial glances
as Wan's father holds a laced dim
sum in front of him, continually
postponing a fatal bite as he laughs
at the opera's antics.
The scene is reminiscent of the
opening to Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom, where Chinese
dancing backdrops Indiana's high-
staked negotiations for a diamond.
In fact, the whirlwind-paced plot
and high adventure of Peking Opera
Blues more resembles the '40s style

of filmmaking that Indiana Jones
imitated than any other modern
Hollywood film.
The film barely slows down to
explain what's to be done next; the
characters either find themselves in
absurdly funny situations (such as
when they must perform split-sec-
ond acrobatics to make four persons
in bed seem like one) or they aro be-
ing chased by one of many hostile
gun-toting gangs. In short, Peking
Opera Blues is pure entertainnient
that doesn't let the audience rest-un-
til the credits roll.
Peking Opera Blues plays to-
night and tomorrow night at 9 p.m.
at the Michigan Theater.
- Brent Edw4rds

I

Bumbling burglar Dermot Mulroney ogles buxom seductress Jennifer
Connelly's jiggling breasts and thinks to himself, "That bitch is fly," in
the latest film from the mind of John Hughes, Career Opportunities.

IN em

nelly (The Hot Spot) is actually not
that bad as the local misunderstood
beauty who wants to overcome her
looks as well as her overly
possessive father. However, director
Bryan Gordon rarely lets
Connelly's talent take center
screen; the audience instead is
treated to an array of shots depict-
ing her breasts from a variety of
camera angles.
Connelly spends most of the
movie roller-skating around the
store in her underwear, always
thrusting her cleavage into the cam-
era so that it is prominently cap-
tured. Gordon's camera usually
strays away from her face to empha-
size her breasts every time she
passes by. This sequence sets up
Connelly's most humiliating and
offensive scene, in which she eroti-
cally rides a hobby horse in an effort
to seduce two bumbling hoodlums

who are attempting to rob the store.
This scene, like the rest of the
movie, is demeaning and pathetic,
treating everyone involved in
Career Opportunities, both actors
and audience alike, like total idiots.
John Candy, whose cameos are
really the only certainties left in a
John Hughes film, appears as Target
manager C.D. Marsh, the man re-
sponsible for offering the job to
Dodge. Candy is rather unfunny in
his single scene, but don't blame
him. The script is so awful that even
he can't rise above it. Ultimately,
Career Opportunities doesn't hold
much water as a real film either -
it simply becomes the stringing to-
gether of one montage of scenes
after another. The result is an 83-
minute film devoid of any enter-
tainment value whatsoever.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES is being
shown at Briarwood and Showcase.

Maybe Las
Vegas ...
Before Heaven or Las Vegas de-
scended upon Ann Arbor, there were
three. These members of Galaxie
500 calmly came out onto the stage
Friday night and played a loud,
psychedelic set. Guitarist/vocalist
Dean Wareham's nine or 10 lines of
lyrics, followed by sprawling in-
strumentals, proved to be very help-
ful for zoning out and just enjoying
the music. Their intense, minimalis-
tic sound filled the Michigan
Theater and shook the seats, while
still leaving the audience a bit dazed
as they awaited the coming of the
Coctmau Twins.
And then they came and dazzled
the audience ... kind of.
The Cocteau Twins walked out,

picked up their instruments and
sounded great. The guitars
strummed in rich, deep choruses
which reverberated through the air.
They led music perfectly suited to
Elizabeth Fraser's voice, which is
probably as close a runner-up to
"the voice of God" as you're likely
to find. Her subtle, ever-changing
voice and lyrical style of gibberish
sounded similar to the albums, yet
different enough to give a sponta-
neous, live feel to the vocals. In fact,
it almost sounded like she was
swearing at the audience during one
of their last songs, but maybe my
ears were playing tricks on me.
In addition to the rich music
came a great light show. The flow-
ing textures, shapes and colors were
reminiscent of many of the Twins'
album covers, and they made an al-

ready moody show dream-like.
But even with shimmering vo-
cals and lights, the concert still had
its disappointments. Besides the fact
that they only played for a little
over an hour, both the drums and the
keyboards were pre-recorded, with
the Twins merely performing to; the
tape ("Hey! Were those guitars o~ven
plugged in?"), so how could ,they
not sound great? The other downer
was the general attitude of the band.
They rarely moved, smiled- or
looked into the audience, with all of
them looking like they would
rather be anywhere else but playing
on that stage.
Even with the brilliant rmmsic,
vocals and lights, the .Cocteau
Twins are not a great live band, but
it really didn't seem like they cared.
-Richard Davis

Bad filmmaking for bad people

The Unborn
dir. Rodman Flender
by Jon Bilik
and Gregg Flaxman
Never has a film so nauseated, so
revolted, so depressed, so dismayed,
so bored two reviewers, let alone
one. You cannot even comprehend
how bad The Unborn is. Its failure
is unquantifiable; it can't be
explained by a thumbs-down, not
even an empty chair or an eaten
peach. In this movie, mother-to-be
Virginia Marshall (erstwhile good
actress Brooke Adams) strangles
her cat for no apparent reason. After
we hear the crackling feline
vertebrae, Brooke holds up her hands
and they're covered with fur and
ketchup. We can't believe that this
film exists.
Yes, it combines elements of
good movies and has a morally rep-
rehensible subtext about the
Western literary tradition of the
grotesque birth, but who cares about
social values in the face of a film
this bad? We cannot believe this
film even exists. It isn't an insult to
art - this is one case where art has
no relation to anything that might
be on the screen.
In this movie, two new-age les-
bians fight to the death over their
fetus,- because, as the pregnant half
of the couple states, "I just can't
love you both. The baby needs all
my love." Homophobic? Think re-
ferring to pregnant women as
"incubators" is offensive? Never
mind moral content. We assure you:
it offends everybody.
This was the worst film we have
ever seen and quite hopefully the
worst film we will ever see. Can we
tell you how bad it was? "We were
ready to try Voodoo," says the
hopeful father to the eugenicist.
Little did he know he was only bid-
ing his time until getting stabbed in
the eye by his mutant technobaby.
The mother is a paranoid depres-
sive, her mother is unstable - is
this a "Gothic novel"? Can you have
"bad blood"? I bet she's aching for a
mentally disturbed kid after this

horror show. The acting's bad, the
lighting flickers throughout, but it
might've been the projector. It
wasn't even scary or grotesque,
which at least would've satisfied
the worst of the 7-11 loitering
scum. The script is so ludicrous, can
we even explain it to you? No. And
you're never going to see it, so
you'll never know. Curb your cu-
riosity and consider yourself lucky.

on the seediest bathroom wall of
the worst gas station in the worst
neighborhood - with the exception
of the fact that the authors have ac-
tually signed their names to this
defamation. Yes, the psycho-doctor
has dreams of genetically engineer-
ing a master race. More like master
bait, on the part of the producers, to
get people into the theaters to see
this projectile garbage. Ha! How

This movie is the equivalent of the most
repugnant graffiti scrawl on the seediest
bathroom wall of the worst gas station in the
worst neighborhood ---

The Hollow Men
Cresta
Arista
Aaaahh!
Tracks like "Don't Slow Down"
and "The Moons A Balloon" just
might forge a place for the Hollow
Men as one of pop radio's babies, but
that doesn't mean they're bad. After
they've been rotated the billionth
time on O.D. radio, though, we will
probably be ready to slit
somebody's wrists.
The unifying trend on Cresta, the
Hollow Men's third album, is the
recurrence of a bizarre use of syn-
thesizers. There's a funked up com-
puterized-sounding wah-wah on
"November Comes," and the clos-
ing to "Pantera Rosa" is an array of
arcade noises.
These guys aren't just electron-
ics, though. "Louder Than God" and
"Headstruck" exemplify the skill-
ful playing of the band members.

Finally I've found something comes the Hollow Men. They, are
valuable to play other than the recy- proof that a band can use technolog-
cled classics. Just as I began to com- ical advances and still maintain its
pletely doubt that my generation status (and integrity) as musicians.
would ever contribute something This is '90s music.
worthy to the history of music -Kim Yaged
HOW'S THl*T RESUME LOOKING??
IT'LL LOOK A LOT BETTER WITH
Classified Assistant Account Executive
listed under WORK EXPERIENCE.
AVAVAVAVA VA VA AVAVA VA VA VAVA
N4* 4iuji i 94iiP is now accepting
applications for Classified Assistant Account
Executives. Stop by the Student Publications
Building and pick up an application.
Application deadline is Friday, April 12

Have you seen the commercials?
You thought it looked pretty bad,
didn't you. You thought it might
even be funny, it was so bad. Let us
tell you how bad this movie really
was. It was worse than Howard the
Duck. It was worse than It's Alive, a
film which, if we were to interview
the director- (an inflated
anointment, to say the least), he
would point to for inspiration.
This movie is the equivalent of
the most repugnant graffiti scrawl

bad was this movie? Try combining
the intelligence of Ginsu knife mar-
keting techniques with the dialogue
of a Tiffany song with the morals of
a late-night teeny-sex flick with the
cinematic excellence of ultrasound
and you might get close. Whatever
you do, whatever your fetishes, just
don't see this movie. Believe us,
there are better ways to exercise
your constitutional right to poor
taste.
THE UNBORN is being shown at
Showcase.

.a
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