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December 06, 1995 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-06

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Capitol Theater at Amer's
Capitol Records' cool cat on campus Jeff Hodak is holding a listening
party tonight from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Church Street Amer's. Free
stuff and giveaways from artists like Vic Chestnutt, the Cocteau Twins,
Sparklehorse, the Charlie Hunter Trio and Radiohead will be featured.

Page 9
December 6. 1995

'Bill' wins the final showdown


Bly Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
Every once in a while we have an
enjoyable film that runs virtually unno-
ticed by movie audiences. We get caught
in the age-old judging-a-movie-by-its-
title business and miss some of the
finest works to hit the big screen."Wild
Bill"has slipped into theaters and caught
the attention of few viewers, yet it has
surprisingly managed to create an inter-
esting plot that one cannot help but
Based on the play "Fathers and Sons"
by Thomas Babe, and the novel, "Dead-
wood" by Pete Dexter, it examines the
life of western legend Wild Bill Hickok
(Jeff Bridges) as he travels throughout
the American frontier. His reputation

Wild Bill
Directed by Walter Hill
with JefffBridges and Ellen
At Showcase
follows him into every town as he is
loved by some and hated by others.
This modern Western flick traces
the patters of Bill's life through his
closest compadre Charley Prince
(John Hurt), an Englishman who ac-
companies him on most of his adven-
tures. He recounts the thrill of Bill's
most traumatic experiences.
The background information of the
characters leaves viewers wondering
when the plot really starts. By mid-
way through the flick the meat of the
story detains audiences from taking a
nap in those uncomfortable theater
Bill enters a town in which the bar
reveres him as the ultimate in West-
ern role models. His gun-slinging tal-
ent has him warding off the meanest
of mean and the toughest of tough. He
meets up with another close friend,
Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin), also
his on-and-off lover, who is willing to
fight anyone who dares question the
legend's might. Also joining him is
California Joe (James Gammon), who
can recite any of Bill's feats without
missing a detail.

Enjoying the shots of whiskey in
the town saloon, the friends retell
Bill's most death defying battles with
Indians, rebels and the like. Through
black-and-white flashbacks, audi-
ences relive each account and get a
picture of his life. Each unique show-
down exemplifies Bill's amazing tal-
ent as he fights his way through the
treacherous Old West overcoming any
obstacle in his path.
All the excitement eventually takes
"Wild Bill" has
caugh t the
attention of few
viewers, yet it has
managed to create
an interesting plot
that one cannot
help but enjoy.
a toll on the hero who has seen almost
everything. As time passes, he real-
izes that his vivacious spirit is begin-
ning to decay. He encounters an old
flame's son whose revenge on Bill
and eventually leads him to his death.
When Jack McCall (David Arquette)
comes to town, insists on making Bill
pay for the pain that he caused his
"Wild Bill" occasionally threatens

Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane experience the thrill of pure drinking satisfaction.

boredom, but survives as a half-way
decent film with the help of its multi-
talented cast. Jeff Bridges, barely rec-
ognizable as the wild man himself, con-
tinues to captivate audiences as one of
Hollywood's most popular leading men.
The ever-talented Ellen Barkin provides
the rough and rugged look for the role
of Bill's lover and buddy Calamity Jane,
adding to the serious yet comedic side
of the tale.
Two-time Academy Award nominee

John Hurt as the narrator, Charley
Prince, spices up the flick with his
highly respected talent. The flick also
features appearances by popular enter-
tainment stars like Christina Applegate,
KeithCarradine, Bruce DernandJames
Director Walter Hill is a native of
Western films, especially after receiving
a 1994 Golden Boot Award for his mul-
titude of work in the subject. Along with
Hill, Academy Award winning produc-

ers Richard D. Zanuck and Lili Fini
Zanuck prove that the film hosts great
talent behind the camera as well in front
of it.
"Wild Bill" has all the characteristics of
a great Western - a midday showdowns,
saloon brawls, whiskey shots, cheap
whores, vigorous cowboys and vagrant
drunks - yet, at times all the excitement
borders on dullness. The final result is
fairly pleasing and easily puts this West-
ern on the list of sleeper hits.

Ellen Barkin Is Calamity Jane. Yee-haws

Mia Farrow returns on her own terms

Nt W YORK (AP) - Mia Farrow
isn't too hard to track down in the lobby
of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, where
tuxedo-clad guests mingle under glim-
mering chandeliers. While other women
wobble around in designer dresses, she
seems elegant in a simple wool dress
and cloth purse, sharing a quiet conver-

sation with a distinguished looking man
who just happens to be Vaclav Havel.
"He was most kind and hospitable
when I was in Prague not long ago for a
film festival," Farrow explains after
gracefully halting the Czech president
in midsentence. While Havel waits to
take her out on the town, this famously

shy actress cheerfully endures another
peek into her private life for the sake of
her latest movie, a black comedy called
"It's hilarious. It reads funny," she
says after joining a reporter in a quiet
corner. "I consider it to be a brilliant
script, but also a wonderful part for me
- maybe the best part I've ever had. I
don't know."
Farrow seems radiant, amazingly
youthful for a woman approaching her
50th birthday. Could this be the same
actress who played the somber, book-
ish wife in so many Woody Allen mov-

"It's the first time in my life that I
+ _....have all the things arranged the way I
want them," she says. "I love where I'm
living and how I'm livingandthepeople
I'm living with, of course. I could never
say that before, unequivocally."
In the almost three years since her
1 embarrassingly public breakup with
Allen, Farrow has abandoned Manhat-
. 'tan for a big stone house in Connecti-
cut, appeared in three movies and made
progress on her memoirs.
She's also adopted another child, a
6-year-old Indian boy she and the
other children named Thaddeus Wilk
Farrow, swelling her brood to 12. "It's
not a compulsion to go on having
babies," Farrow says, defensive in
part because Allen, at one of the more
brutal low points of their custody
battles, said she was crazy to adopt so
many children. "It's a matter of con-
science. It has to do with knowledge
and responsibility. It's central to my
life, the word 'responsibility.' It's ap-
propriate ifyou've read any of Vaclav
Havel's work."
Farrow, who had three of her own
children by conductor Andre Previn
and one by Allen, says adopting and
caring for the others helps her sleep at
night in a world where so many chil-
dren are doomed.
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Read the Daily. Daily.

In real life, the penalty for a mistake isn't obvious,1

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