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October 19, 1995 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-19

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The Michigan Daily - Wereac e. - Thursday, October 19, 1995 - 3B

Pullman takes slow road to success

ALEXANDRA TWIN
Public Access
25eDead
Zasve'
Hallucinating in Angell Hall at 4 a.m
amongst the bevy of masochistic,
procrastinating, no-dozin' weirdos,
a.k.a. the student body during mid-
terms, one is reminded of an ancient
Christopher Walken movie (back when
he was still considered "quirky"
instead ofjust flat-out "coo-coo," or
"sanely-challenged," as I believe the
P.C. guards might suggest). It's called
"The Dead Zone," and wacky Walken
plays a guy who has an awful accident
and spends the rest of the movie
walking around looking dazed and/or
stoned (big stretch for Walken) as he is
haunted by weird, late '70s people in
Dorothy Hamill-inspired do's, who
may or may not be dead, but definitely
have a problem with low blood-sugar
levels. Call it art, paranoia, whatever,
but it's happening all over again,
because those half-dead people are
sitting right now in Angell Hall. You
may be one of them.
Snuggle up to one of these alleged
students. He/she/it/we appear to be
Writing a physics or history paper or e-
'iailing some long-lost loser who only
.eceives mail when there is a paper to
be done or perhaps engaging in a tete ai
tte over "Doom,"however, on closer
inspection, it becomes all too clear that
something is not Parclieesi. Maybe it's
the puddle of drool extending from the
oomputant's mouth to the ex-wrapper
of a Taco Bell delicacy smuggled in to
the dead zone. Maybe it's the way, if
you listen closely, you can hear a low,
audible growl emanating from his/her/
t/we's mouth, maybe it's the way if
you stick small bits of chewed-up
pages of Sophocles or Foner in his/her/
yours/mine/ours's ears, we/she/he/yo'
mama don't seem to notice or object. I
don't know, maybe it's just the
alarming fact that one of the walking
dead members of the Angell Hall
graveyard/night shift crew (clearly
Angell does not employ the same dress
code designer as "Espresso Royale")
had vacuumed half of a poor, sleeping-
on-the-floor zombie before noticing his
presence. Whatever the case, there are
plenty of parallels.
As Corey Haim once so eloquently
put it (upon discovering that he was not
only no longer a teen idol, but also no
longer considered "slight" for his age-
range but merely "short and stubby")
"Whuuu?"
You gotta wonder about the
rationalization behind all of this. The
current testing system puts many
students in the unpleasant situation of
being able to slide by on as little work
as possible for 3 to 5 weeks at a time
and then having to swallow a good
portion of the information at the last
minute for the express purpose of
getting a generic letter-grade on a test.
It seems that most people know how to
get around attending every lecture,
doing every reading without jeopardiz-
ing test-performance and occasionally
without truly absorbing the material.
So what exactly is being learned and
what exactly can the generic grade be
said to reflect?
Obviously, very little. Students will
always be expected to prove that
they've absorbed what they've been
taught. It also goes without saying that
the majority of institutions, whether
they be high schools, colleges or ski
resorts will always see a standard exam

as the best means of allowing students
to prove their great sponge-like
qualities. But when you've been tested
on your capacity to retain instead of
your capacity to comprehend, how
much do you remember the next day?
Once the exam's over, I don't want to
think about the material again for as
lgng as possible 'cause I must
subconsciously resent the way I've
been tested: Did you really do the
reading? Yeah, well prove it. Repeat
the following information.
Schools like Antioch, Bard and
even the University's own Residen-
tial College program offer written
evaluations of student's work instead
of standard grades. Other programs
and even some instructors here offer
purely oral interpretive exams, where
you're "tested" in an almost inter-
view-like situation. Both of these
policies seem to be decent alterna-
tives. There has to be some alterna-
tive to the guy who is, I kid you not,

By Joshua Rich
Daily Film Editor
The romantic comedy'
were Sleeping," one of this
gestmoneymakers, is availa
video this week afteronly a
hiatus since the end of its th
In this short time, of cours
larity of star Sandra Bullo
rocketed faster than that t
driving ever did. This filt
greatest sense of the phrase
ing point - or, if you prel
through role - in the she
this actress.
Since last spring, the ge
able Bullock - co-star of
flicks as "Demolition Man
"Speed" (1994) - has c
come the darling of Ameri
ers. She has no doubt usurpe
ofpredecessor Julia Robert
beloved and adored actre
business.
One of the funny things
however, is that while Bullo
been basking in the glow4
fortune, her "While You
ing" co-star, veteran acto
man, has yet to make it r
big.
While we might not re
c to
video Oct.
Jury Duty
The Santa Clause

name, the face will likely be familiar.
Pullman is the actor often found play-
"While You ing the staple ordinary American man
s year's big- who gets misled and abused in so
ableonhome many films. And after surveying
three-month Pullman's remarkable resume, one
eatrical run. will find that most of his earlier roles
e, the popu- do, in fact, all follow in this same
ck has sky- pattern.
bus she was In Wes Craven's "The Serpent and
m is, in the the Rainbow" (1987), "The Acciden-
,atrue turn- tal Tourist" (1988) and Cameron
fer, a break- Crowe's popular 1992 flick "Singles,"
rt career of he consistently portrayed the rela-
tively normal and unassuming
nuinely lov- everyman amidst a cast of outlandish
such action characters. He was a dependable guy;
"(1993) and one who would never tell a lie, one
ertainly be- who would could always be trusted.
can consum- And he played his role well.
edthe throne He was so good, in fact, that he kept
s as the most this recurring signature part alive with
-ss in show similar portrayals in "Sommersby"
(1992), "A League of their Own"
about film, (1992) and Nora Ephron's unoriginal
ckhas surely comedy "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993).
of fame and After this, perhaps his most memo-
were Sleep- rable role - as Meg Ryan's stilted
)r Bill Pull- fiance - Pullman seemed destined to
eally, really play an average guy for the rest of his
career (how boring!).
member the But his turn in 1993's thriller "Mal-
ice," opposite major celebs Nicole
Kidman and Alec Baldwin, proved
that Pullman was making a change.
While he was still a friendly and naive
husband, Pullman's character, for the
24- first time, exhibited a skill and desire
to overcome those against him. No
more would he just sit back with a
pathetic expression on his face saying
something like: "Gee whiz!"
He followed that endeavor with his
most profoundly different and, argu-
ably, the most well-executed perfor-
mance of his career in director John
Dahl's film noir mystery "The Last
Seduction." Playing the sleazy hus-
Family band of con-woman Linda Fiorentino
- who, indeed, also saw the film as a
break from her history of minor roles

in motion pictures - Pullman was
entirely convincing as a doctor-
turned-small-time-drug dealer. He
was refreshingly evil and smarmy, an
indication of the true talent that this
man has yet to fully present.
This year, Pullman has already starred
in two popular movies. He was a kooky
psychiatrist in "Casper" and, of course,
Bullock's crush in "While You were
Sleeping" -itself, an entertaining and
heart-warming film. He has definitely
moved up in the acting world; now
Pullman plays the film's MAIN love
interest, rather than the dreaded "other
man." No more being the proverbial
bridesmaid.
While these latest roles indicate a
slight return to his signature part, this
actor - like his co-star Bullock - is
definitely gaining greater celebrity. And
he didn't even have to kiss Sly Stallone
or deal with that Keanu guy along the
way.

Other recent releases include:

"The Babysitter" - Alicia (that's
Uh-lee-see-uh) Silverstone (that's Sil-
ver-stone) plays a wacky tot caretaker
who just can't seem to shake that
crush on Cary Elwes. But, consider-
ing that you really want to rent this
film (just to see this very young, very
cute Lolita-of-the-1990s) you have to
ask yourself if YOU can ever shake
YOUR big crush on HER. Either way,
shame on you!
"Panther" - Mario Van Peebles
directed this pseudo-historical drama
about the Black Panther movement of
the 1960s. This New Jack director got
it all right ... at least until he depicted
them as a bunch of nice guys who sit
around discussing pacifism, knitting
and watching cartoons about some
pink cat. I know, I know, just a few
minor details.
"The Perez Family" - Marisa

The Cure
Exotica
Sister My Sister
Stuart Saves HisI

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Hello, darling. My name is Bill Pullman. I dropped in "While You Were Sleeping."
Tomei and Angelica Huston try their tiful love apparently dead, good a!'
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