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October 11, 1995 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-11

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Glimsesof Korea
JE~~~~AI £IIdiu ~u~Gipe
it's an evening of Korean culture, tonight at the Museum of Art (525 S.
State St). 'Glimpses of Korea' starts at 4p.m. and is free; for more
information cal 764-0395.

Page 9
Wednesday,
October 11. 1995

. _

i

Assassins'is no way to kill time
ly Kristen Okosky "Assassins" is the story of Robert the business, but does nothing about it,
or the Daily Rath (wrath, do you catch the subtle spending the majority of the film talk-
"Can't you two just kiss and make characterization?), a disillusioned ing to himself or mumbling at a com-
ip," the film's love interest, Electra, hitman ready to retire from the game. puter screen. Granted, this is enthral-
vhines as the two hitmen try to finish Miguel Bain is the young, up-and-com- ling stuff, but somehow it just doesn't
ach other off. ing killer determined to get rid of him quite manage to engage.
"Of course not," they answer in and claim his number one spot. Both Electra, played by Julianne Moore,
inison, looking directly into the cam- men work for the same mysterious boss is equally annoying. Her character is a
ra. "Then we wouldn't be niillion- and find themselves pitted against each weak take-off on Catwoman from
ires, and you wouldn't have to sit other on a series of jobs. The competi- "Batman." In her spare time, she is a
hrough any more of our pathetic tion culminates when they are assigned shy and recluse, having long, fascinat-
novie." to eliminate the computer-hacking in- ing conversations with her feline friend,
All right, so I'm taking a little bit of formation thief, Electra. Thus, the lives Pearl. She is also a voyeur who, in the
reative license with the second part. of these three characters become inter- tradition of"Sliver," spies on herneigh-
rhis is not their real answer, but it bors with hidden video cameras. While
nay as well be. on the job, she is an unstoppable, tech-
-Assassin1s nological mastermind. That is, until
she meets Rath. One minute, he is
Directed by Richard holding her at gun point. The next, she
Donner; with Sylvester is madly in love. I guess it really has
Staione and Antonio been a long time since she's seen a
Banderas The bad guy is the only interesting
At Briarwood and Showcase character of the bunch. At least he
seems to be good at his job and to
twined and the plot begins to unfold. possess afew rudimentary social skills.
There are several problems with this As the ruthless and crazy Bain, Anto-
film, to put it kindly. First, none of the nio Banderas provides the film with
characters are particularly likable. Our the few moments of real life it has.
supposed "hero," played by Sylvester The film does have a few humorous
Stallone, is a cold-blooded killer, moti- scenes, like when the two assassins
vated only by greed. We learn that he has share a cab ride and must interrupt
even bumped-off his best friend to get to their squabbling to join forces against
ullanne Moore: A declawed catwoman. the top. He says that he wants to get outof a common enemy- the cops. Also,
Walk'with the power of fiiendship
By Paul Spiterl characters take the stage. Botvinnik, a time."
or the Daily Soviet diplomat, exudes all the cyni- Adding the most important element
Exams next week, your next shift at cism and realistic fatalism of a sea- of chemistry to what will surely be an
he coffee shop, the MCAT looming in soned ambassador. Opposite him, intimate performance, the three students
he horizon, interviews. In the hectic Honeyman, a naive and green states- involved in the production have been
nterim years between adolescent high friends for years at the University. Jon
chool and a working career, time be-KE Berry leads the group in this, his
omes a precious commodity in the life directoral debut. (He previously assisted
)f University students. And for anyone WOODS in the direction of MUSKET's "Hair"
who has ever had to choose between where: Arena Theater last year.) Taking the stage will be Ed
elebrating aroommate's 21st birthday Whn: Thursday through Saturday Lewis as Botvinnik and Matthew Witten
ndpassing that testtomorrow morning Tickets: Free, general admission as Honeyman, both second-year BFAs
nows these stresses can affect even the Maws at pm. in the DepartmentofTheaterand Drama.
trongest of friendships. Berry gave this description of the
This weekend's Basement Arts pro- man from America, brims with the for- play's themes: "One of the reasons the
luction of "A Walk in the Woods" malities of his office. Out of these two play needs to be shown is, when you
elebrates the triumphs and explores unlikelyprotagonists,a friendship forms strip away all the differences, you find
he trials of finding friendship in the threatened only by the overwhelming the bonds that are innately human be-
nost difficult circumstances. The play- expectations and pressures of two un- tween the two characters.
vright, Lee Blessing, is also known for easy nations and the responsibilities "What is unique about this play is the
is works "Independence" and "Elee- both men bear. collaboration and heartfelt effort and
nosynary,"though the Tony-nominated While the Cold War backdrop may the relationship between the two char-
A Walk in the Woods" is widely con- seem a bit anachronistic in the New acters, and it is our hope that the audi-
idered his strongest work to date. World Order, director Jon Berry em- ence becomes a part of that."
Taking place during a peace summit phasized the personal aspects of the "A Walk in the Woods" will play in
ometime in the '80s, all the action we play. "It's not so much about the Cold the Frieze Building's Arena Theater
ee happens in the interim hours be- War or the treaty," he said. "It's more this weekend; admission is free. And
ween the formal meetings. Only two about the relationship they build over it's definitely a night to see with a pal.
Keves perfonnance To D ie For'
Hampshire town in which she lives. And,
y Prashant Tamaskar her ability to be sexy and manipulative,
aily Arts Writer yet warmly charming documents great
Recently, a popular term in the movie depth in her acting--something that was
rdustry is "breakthrough performance," To Die For missing in her performancesin films such
eferring to a role that transforms an actor Directed by Gus Van Sant as "Malice" and "Batman Forever." In
ir actress into a marketable superstar. most of her other pictures her characters
klreadythisyear,SandraBullock("While with Nicole Kdman and were sensuous or innocent or manipula-
iou Were Sleeping) and Alicia Joaquin Phoenix tive, but none of these at the same time.
ilverstone"Clueless") have crossed- Briarwood and Showcase Although the other actors in the movie
ver onto this higher level. Next in line are overshadowed by Kidman, they are
hould be Nicole Kidman, who, based on subtler satirization. somewhat impressive in their own right.
er performance in Gus Van Sant's "To All of this is made possible by the fact Joaquin Phoenix is very believable as a
)ie For," is headed towards a very bright that Suzanne's dark side is not revealed naive teenager who falls madly in love
iture. until late in the movie. She is portrayed as with the seductive Suzanne. As Suzanne's
Kidman stars as Suzanne Stone, an hard working and goal-oriented; she husband, Matt Dillon also gives a fine
ambitious weather forecaster obsessed doesn't want to fail in her quest for star- performance. He plays a kind, good-na-

with finding her way into the public spot- dom. Suzanne is simply an enterprising tured and unrefined sap, who is ultimately
ight. Although she only works for a tiny young woman trying to play her cards victimized by his gorgeous wife.
cable station in small Little Hope, N. H., right. Moreover, Kidman portrays the Despite lobbying veryhardforthepart,
he knows that she will make it big in protagonist as sexy and charming, while Kidman was initially bypassed until sev-
elevision one day. she appears quite innocent at the same eral other people - including the all-
Suzanne begins shooting a documentary time. Basically, people just cannot say no popular Meg Ryan - turned the offer
aboutthelives ofthree local teens (including to her. down. Yet now that there's significant
Joaquin Phoenix, River's little brother), in The film unfolds in a fairly unique Academy Award buzz about Kidman's
iopesthatthisprojectwillleadhertogreater manner, as a documentary-style flash- outstanding performance, everyone in-
fame. Determined to climb the ladder of back, with numerous interviews of the volved with the film must be pretty happy
success, themanipulative Suzanne uses any main characters. At first, the viewer is that things turned out the way they did.

Sylvester and Antonio keep it real in 'Assassins.'

some ofthe sets are pretty cool. You get
to hear Sly interact with the natives and
brush up on his Spanish skills with
phrases like, "Que Pasa? What hap-
pened to the hotel?" And you also get to
watch people die. That's always a fun
study break.
On the other hand, the biggest fault of
"Assassins"is its length. The film is over

two hours long, and viewers feel every
minute ofit. At one point in the film, Bain
is waiting for Rath to emerge from the
bank, so he can have a clear shot at him.
It takes a long time. He pours water over
his head to stay awake. He glances impa-
tiently at his watch. (Finally, a moment
the audience can completely relate to.)
Isn't there some kind of rule in filmmak-

ing that if you don't have a point, your
film can't run over an hour and a halt?
Shouldn't there be?
And if Antonio Banderas, decked in
beads of sweat and little else, can't carry
afilm, then it's definitely in trouble. Inthe
end, "Assassins" is exactly what you ex-
pect from a Stallone action movie minus
a few critical IQ points.

Mr. Bungle
Disco Volante
Warner Brothers
Mr. Bungle, the Eureka, Calif. band
fronted by Faith No More's Mike
Patton, has just delivered their sec-
ond album, "Disco Volante." After
their blistering eponymous first al-
bum, Mr. Bungle gained a tenacious
and rabid following because of their
handiness at creating a type of music
that was extremely enjoyable, nasty
and hard to pin down all at the same
time. This was mostly due to compli-
cated song structure and Patton's stu-
,pendous vocalizations of twisted lyr-
ics.
Meet the new Bungle. "Disco
Volante" leads off with "Everyone I
Went to High School With is Dead," a
crunching, monotonous near-chant. The
lyrics are hard to understand, the ele-
ments of the music are hard to discern
and the song seems to possess an en-
ergy that carries it along at a normal
pace. But other than these broad gener-
alized resemblances, the song and the
album bear little resemblance to the
lyrically driven first album.
"Carry Stress in the Jaw" begins
with a sax bit, then evolves into a
fairly boring rock song (for Bungle)
with an occasional sax interlude and
tiresome drum and vocal part. After a
brief pause following that portion of
the song, it continues with an imita-
tion of an old geezer's voice singing
along to a great organ and bass heavy
B-movie tune that bears no relation to
the previous part of the song. A most
unnatural way to construct a song, but
at least the second part redeems the
first.
"Desert Search for Techno Allah"
could potentially be a club hit. It has
some excessively fake-sounding synth
used in a good way to get a sort of
Arabian feel and some entrancing

completely indecipherable vocals
from Patton. This is followed hard
upon by "Violenza Domestica," which
closely resembles score music for an
ethnically Italian movie. Something
sounds like a squeeze box, while sev-
eral breaking sound effects break the
mood of the piece. The song more
deserving of the title is probably "Af-
ter School Special," however. "My
mom is better than your mom and
your dad too. She knows nutrition
well, that's why I'm trim and lean,
because she cooks, she cleans, she
lies, she says - I'm handsome" sets
the domestic tone, while the question
"Why's Dad hit me so hard?" sets the
violence part. The song is probably
the closest the album comesto a single,
and it's not that close. The song "Platy-
pus," which the band has played live
for years, could have been fairly
releasable in its live form, but on the
album descends into more noise acro-
batics than radio or MTV will prob-
ably allow.
"Disco Volante" is full of great
stuff. Like a super psycho soundtrack
of the mind, it layers music, sounds
and changes to a point bordering in-
coherence, but only bordering. It takes
some listening and Patton's throat
could be much more prominent, but
it's well worth the risk you might
take.
- Ted Watts
Lionel Hampton
for the love of music
MoJazz Records
Whatever they may say about not
being able to teach old dogs new tricks,
this rule doesn't apply to jazz legend
Lionel Hampton, even though he is
well into his '90s, which may explain
why he, and other jazz artists of his
time, used the word "cat" in referring to

themselves. "for the love of music" is a
welcome defense against those who
would claim that old school and new
school weren't meant to intermingle as
far as jazz music is concerned.
Including appearances by enough big
name artists to fill a who's who list of
R&B and jazz performers, this Il-cut
release is an excellent portrayal of all
that is beautiful in jazz from the Hamp-
ton/Stevie Wonder duet on the vibes
and harmonica respectively in "Gates
Groove" (written by Wonder) to the
relaxing "Gossamer Wings," written
by Chaka Khan who also sings lead (Is
it just me or is this group fighting to
regain the popularity it had in the early
'80s?) to the greatly Latin American-
influenced "Don't You Worry 'Bout a
Thing" featuring Tito Puente (percus-
sion) and his Latin Jazz Ensemble, also
written by Wonder.
Hampton's ability with the xylophone
is unsurpassed, and his constant use of
this instrument in his CD gives it an
almost revered place at a time when few
modern musicians would even consider
using it. In the upbeat "MoJazz" and the
more laid-back "Flying Home," both
written by Hampton, the vibes offer a
unique sound that people rarely get to
hear enough to truly enjoy and marvel
at.
Complementing much of the instru-
mental acts are various vocal artists like
Diane Reeves ("Take the 'A' Train")
and even Hampton himself singing the
much proclaimed "What a Wonderful
World" with the characteristic gruff-
ness that makes this song unforget-
table. The combination of instrumental
excellence, superb vocal acts and the
intertwining of modern jazz with tradi-
tional jazz sounds have worked together
to produce one of the best jazz albums
of the year.
- Eugene Bowen
See RECORDS, page 12

INSTITUTE FOR STUDY ABROAD

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Plan to attend........
Law Day
Wednesday, October 11, 1995
noon - 4:00pm
Michigan Union
2nd floor
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