Moss and trees share common ground
Thyllas Moss, a local poet and a professor in the creative writing
department will be reading some of her poetry at Rackham in the
amphitheatre at 4p.m. The reading is free.
In addition, the Mask Puppet Theatre will perform their show, "The Tree
that cried," the tale of of Ollie Oak tree and his friend Wally the Weasel.
At Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 7p.m. The performance isfree.
- - ---Apnc~mhaF 2.v .wvvQ
The Tie' that rocks the cradle
By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
"The Tie That Binds" begins in the
place where "Natural Born Killers"
left off. "Killers" ended with serial
murderers Woody Harrelson and
Juliette Lewis raising kids from a
Winnebago while on the run. "The
Tie That Binds" is based on the
premise that two serial killers also
live on the road while separated from
The Tie That Binds
Directed by Wesley Strick
with Daryl Hannah and
their only daughter.
Leann and John Netherwood (Daryl
Hannah and Keith Carradine) .take
pictures of people and then kill them
while their little girl Janie (Julia
Devin) waits in the car. The police
eventually capture Janie and she's put
in foster care with Dana and Russell
Clifton (Moira Kelley and Vincent
Spano). Can you possibly guess what
will happen, keeping in mind that this
movie is prominently billed as being
from the producers of"The Hand That
Rocks the Cradle?"
Well, it turns out that little Janie is
troubled. She is afraid of the Tooth
Fairy and takes knives to bed with
her. The director seems troubled
throughout the whole movie, though,
filling it with oblique camera angles
and Janie-level shots. However,
they're completely ineffective.
They're so frequent that the impres-
sion is more that the camera guy was
drunk throughout the filming.
The other characters all have prob-
lems, too. Leann has a fixation with
a Madonna/Baby Jesus picture. Dana
is barren, Russell is having financial
problems and they're both annoy-
ing. And John, well actually John's
just fine. Sure, he takes pictures of
people and then slits their throats,
but he's full of happy, colloquial
wisdom. Like when Leann won't
smile and he says "One little smile,
what does it cost?" to coax a half-
hearted grin out of her. He's pretty
much the most well adjusted person
in the film.
But while John's centeredness
could have been played up for its
irony, ala "NBK," the character is
instead simply trite. All the charac-
ters are bland, although some have
interesting moments. Janie keeps
least doesn't indulge in too many zippy
one-liners. Of course, the movie has
so very little going for it that an occa-
sional "Father knows best" or the like
couldn't really have hurt. I guess you
need some sort of character for it to
think of witticisms.
Still, the movie goes fairly
quickly. It's empty and worthless,
but it isn't boring. The viewer more
or less knows what's going to hap
pen, and can keep entertained an
ticipating the next scene. That's
usually used to build tension in hor.
ror flicks, but the tension is con-
spicuously absent here. Instead, it
helps to while away the time until
you can leave the theater and sneak
into something better. Maybe a
movie that has content that holds
attention instead of such a high level
of predictability that it can be fun to
test your Hollywood savvy.
And you just can't ignore that it's
an issue film, as well. It's a crappy
parental rights movie. Like if the
birth parents in the Baby Jessica
case were Charles Manson and
Squeaky Fromme and the adoptive
parents were Mike and Carol Brady
as yuppies. And while the movie
comes out rooting for the adoptive
parents in this case, it leaves the
impression that the world might be
a better place if both sets of parents
lost. As it stands, it's mostly the
viewer who loses.
"Hey. You took my wallet-sized photo of John Ritter, didn't you? Give it back. Give It back or I'll sick Angus on you."
taking down multiple adults in her six
year old temper tantrums and Russell
does make some surprisingly funny
architecture/decorating jokes. But in
a world with such excesses, no one is
really all that surnrising or entertain-
On the other side, the movie isn't
particularly dramatic, either. The
Netherwoods (oooh, what a spooky
last name) make all the obvious
moves, which isn't really good for a
thriller. Virtually nothing comes as a
surprise. Almost every last formula is
carried out, down to their ultimate
downfall. And that's not really all
that gory itself.
"The Tie That Binds" at the very
Head Over Heels
Little or nothing about Paula Abdul has
changed since the 1988 release ofherdebut
album "Forever Your Girl." She is still
strikingly beautiful (spelled f-o-i-n-e), she
remains a fantastic dancer and she still has
that nauseatingly whiny voice that should
be shot from a cannon into a lagoon never
to resurface. While she's at it, Mr. Cannon
can blow away "Head Over Heels," too.
This CD isn't the beginning of the end for
Ms. Abdul; it'sthefinal confirmationofthe
continuing degenerativeness of her musi-
cal abilities, whatever they may have been
to begin with.
Let's not pretend shock. We all know
that the.only good things about Abdul's
voice are the Sony and Panasonic syn-
thesizers which try their damnedest to
give it a Milli Vanilli-style makeover.
To her credit however, Abdul's onstage
acts and demeanor- strong and power-
ful yet sultry and sexy-appeal to many
and then some. This is why she has
garnered a cache of Grammy, MTV and
Emmy Awards and a whopping sale of
17 million of her previous two albums.
Further, in both of these LP's, a few
musical gems could be found, like "For-
ever Your Girl," "Promise of a New
Day" and "Rush Rush" (even though a
lot of Black folks were pissed that her
hero in the video was Italian).
Such amazingly decent-sounding
singles are absent from "Head Over
Heels." Instead, you have Paula singing
"If I Were Your Girl" and "Cry for Me,"
making you wish that Mariah Carey sang
them instead. And, she has probably
earned the wrath of Hindus worldwide
with her video for "My Love Is for Real"
which basically makes Indians look like
homy, costume party-goers.
"Head Over Heels" is broken beyond
repair mainly because of Abdul's irrepa-
rable voice and some of the most caustic
background music I've ever heard come
from a pop album. Paula should do like
Michael; retire while she still has some
respectability in the music world. But, un-
like Michael, please don't return. Please.
- Eugene Bowen
Backfeed Magnetic Babe
Music critics, or music listeners in gen-
eral, usually like to describe a new group by
group. It often seems like nothing new is
going to come out again, just different ver-
sions (or complete rip-offs) of everything
that we're already listening to. This mindset
isn't always fair to those trying to carve out
a new niche for themselves.
On the other hand, when bands try to
sound like everything that we're already
listening to, it is absolutely appropriate to
make comparisons. Sixteen Deluxe is
exactly this band. They aren't even a
band, actually, just an incredibly dull
combination of Smashing Pumpkins,
Beastie Boys, Live, the Breeders, Mazzy
Star, DinosaurJr. andwhoeverelse might
have a current following. You name
'em, they try to sound like 'em. Sixteen
Deluxe might even have a good song or
two on "Backfeed Magnetic Babe," but
it's lost in a haze of boring guitars, lame
vocals, uninspiredbeats and cookie-cut-
ter production. In fact, about the only
innovative idea for their whole release
was putting the song titles on the front
of the disc instead of the back.
This isn't to say that bands have to be
onginalto be worth listenmgto; orginality
why buy an altema-pop-punk-rock-funk
listen to the real thing, which we probably
own anyways? Maybe by the time Sixteen
Deluxe comes out with their next release,
they'll have gotten it. Ormaybe they'll just
have perfected their sound by listening to
all of the new songs that come out between
now and then. Either way, don't bother
with them yet.
- David Cook
See RECORDS, page 8-
Sixteen Deluxe may someday expand your horizons, baby.
It Comes Down To Soul Coughing
if you're having trouble getting the scum out of your soul, you might want to try a
little Soul Coughing tonight at the Blind Pig. Imbued with a touch of evil in their
jazz and a vocalist who is more of a spoken word type than a rock or rap singer,
they plug away with some high level of effectiveness. You might recall their song
"Down To This," which features samples of the Andrew's Sisters and Howlin' Wolf
and had a video where people keep getting out of the image frame. Anyway, their
stage show features a wicked stand up bass and they constitute a pleasant mid-
week experience. Call 996-8555 for more details.
College Bowl ends today.
Questions? Call 763-1107.
Get your registration form, plus fees, to
the U AC Office, 2105 Michigan Union,
by 5pm. $24/team, $7/individual.
THE VARSITY SPORT OF THE MIND