The Michigan Daily - Wuhewt e. - Thursday, November 9, 1995 - 3t
Bad Boys' ... whafcha gonna do?
eah, yeah, yeah. Every year,
from now until the first New
(esr's resolution is spoken,
lolywood engages in what is
otimonly referred to as "Shame-
es$ Exploitation of American
ypicism." This occurs when the
unanned powers that be churn out
pathetic slew of family- or Santa-
entered films designed to bring
ack the spirit of family together-
ess and make us all feel all warm
nd runny, or at least guilty about
aving a one-parent home.
IWs a time of national bonding. It
a jime when Bob Dole gets'to
ke a nap (which he clearly needs,
sWell as some Metamucil). It's
Isra time when I begin chanting
ngrchist manifestos and generally
iugh at those who choose to buy
itothis schmaltzy, family wushy-
usy nonsense. Mazeltov.
'IAus, (and "thus" is not a word to
e thrown about lightly, such as
heceforth" or "heretofore"),
bem, thus, it is with much great,
slfish, American cynicism that I
m proud to draw attention to the
ew, thoroughly obnoxious "Home
r the Holidays." "A Christmas
arol" it ain't.
The Jodie Foster-directed movie
es, this is the Jodie Foster issue of
Weekend, etc.") re-examines the
nmitigated thrill of Thanksgiving
om an entirely different angle,
amely, that of the Scrooge in all of
s. 1,p it, the central family bicker,
irow food at each other and
enerally express their extreme
ispleasure at having to spend the
ompletely over-played and cheesy
oliday together. It's meant to be a
umorous, light-hearted poke at a
-called great American tradition.
tany critics and righteous Ameri-
ans call it bitter or mean-spirited. I
iink it's cool.
Then again, I also thought that
is summer's supposedly contro-
ersial "Kids" was a lot more fun
rd dead-on than the happy-go-
icky "Clueless," so what do I
now? But the point is, whether or
ot you find "Home for the Holi-
ays" mean-spirited or cynically
:curate, there's no question that it
riously messes with the typical
Meanwhile, perennial good
merican Tom Hanks's upcoming
roy Story," is yet another feel-
ood lesson in family values. It's
What's with all the messages
ing thrown at us this time of
ar? In the summer, do we see a
ew of family-oriented vacation-
emed movies mean to sublimi-
lly tell us to go visit Yellowstone
the Grand Canyon? No, we get a
t of guys in tank-tops cursing and
vatting at each other. In spring, do
e have movies about gardening,
urely a sign of family-bonding)?
o, spring tends to bring all the
ovies that were too awful to
lease in the fall-winter and are
erefore dumped post-Holidays.
So, why this six-week period?
rell, it is a time when you are
illing to spend your hard-earned
eenery on STUFF you will never
e, nor will the person you are
iying it for. It's also a period
hen you have more time on your
nds. So, essentially, you're
dulgent and bored. More impor-
ntly, this is the time of year when
ieryone, even the dog, has a cold.
ou're sick. You're susceptible.
ou're family doesn't look like a
By Joshua Rich
Daily Film Editor
There's a catchy little ditty I'm
sure you will recognize; it goes some-
thing like this: "Bad boys, bad boys.
What'cha gonna do? What'cha gonna
do when they come for you?" And if
you aren't singing it to yourself by
now, then you haven't lived in this
So thought two of the biggest block-
buster producers when they decided to
make the movie that would revive their
sluggish filmmaking career. Their idea
was to take two popular television stars
- the raunchy TV sensation, Martin
Lawrence, and "Fresh Prince" Will
Smith - and place them in a buddy-
cop, "Lethal Weapon"-esque formula
Of course, this isn't such an inven-
tive or original motion picture creation.
But it nevertheless worked for the pro-
duction team of Don Simpson and Jerry
Bruckheimer; the film grossed many
millions of dollars at the box office
earlier this year. And like so many of its
predecessors, "Bad Boys" not only en-
tertains its audience, but also taps into
and feeds off of our adventurous and
politically-conscious, post-Reagan era
After all, Simpson/Bruckheimer are
most famous for bringing us the quint-
essential film of the Cold War,
Reaganomic '80s, "Top Gun" (1986).
We all so identified with Maverick, the
young hot-shot fighter pilot who split
his time between bedding his upwardly-
mobile female instructor and fiercely
competing with some guy called "Ice-
man." What a show!
Soon after, this type of plot cre-
ation became a phenomenon, a way of
making movies that was repeated
again and again in such later flicks as
Simpson/Bruckheimer's other Tom
Cruise vehicle, "Days of Thunder"
(1990). Here, of course, we get the
same basic characters involved in the
same basic escapades, within the same
basic story. This time, however, it's
all on wheels.
But, despite their repetitive, rebel-
lious-handsome-guy movie plot schtick,
Simpson/Bruckheimer are, in fact, quite
far from becoming caricatures of them-
selves (a la Joel Silver, presently of
"Fair Game" fame).
We tend to forget that they also
brought us two comic gems in the con-
servative '80s, namely, "Beverly Hills
Cop" (1984) and "Beverly Hills Cop 2"
(1987). In these films, Eddie Murphy
goes so far as to mock the anal-retentive
whine of a white police officer or the
stuck-up bravado of a European art
gallery owner. He noticeably contrasts
with the hot-dogging Cruise who zips
around in his jet or stock car.
Since the late-'80s, however - and,
perhaps since America has leaned back
towards the left and abandoned the ego-
tistic and materialistic morals of that
decade - this super duo has been in a
slump. With the insufferable "Days of
Thunder" came about five years of ob-
scurity, in which time, no doubt, the
two were forced to re-evaluate their
Hence, in 1995, we have three in-
stallments from the Simpson/
Bruckheimer cache of action-oriented
flicks, as led by the banal yet surpris-
ingly amusing "Bad Boys" (new on
home video this week). The two also
teamed-up to bring us the Michelle
Pfeiffer vehicle "Dangerous Minds,"
thus reviving the "Lean on Me"/"Stand
and Deliver" big-smart-man-teaches-
little-poor-hoodlum mode of film
themes. Yet this time the feel-good film
rests on more of a social everyone-can-
They also produced one of the year's
most exciting action-dramas, "Crim-
son Tide," reminding us that even
though the Cold War is over, our big-
gest enemy remains within ourselves.
Furthermore, we may realize that no
matter what happens, Simpson/
Bruckheimer can still put out an excel-
lent flick that will spark our adrenaline
pumps as much as it tickles our minds.
For such additional stimulation, we need
only wait until next week, when "Crim-
son Tide" appears on our friendly local
"Hey, you hoodlum back there! Oh, wait, 'Dangerous Minds' is a feel good movie."
video store shelves. Until then, how-
ever, "Bad Boys" will certainly suffice.
Other recent releases include:
"A Great Day in Harlem" - This
fascinating documentary examines the
various personalities captured in a his-
toric 1958 Esquire magazine photo-
graph of prolific jazz musicians. A true
"Mad Love" - Really, though,
what's the point of this movie? All you
really have to do is just turn on MTV
and watch "The Real World," or some-
"Miracle on 34th Street" - All the
pomp, magic and yule tide cheer of the
holiday season without the Burl.
"My Family/Mi Familia" - Jimmy
Smits makes the big leap back to the
silver screen after starring in such clas-
sic bombs as "Old Gringo" and
"Switch." Get this man an agent!
On video next
Free Willy 2: The
Drew Barrymore soars Into video stores this week In "Mad Love."
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No cover $1 Cover * 21+ on 11/22
Not just anyone can be responsible for territory not you're a leader of Marines. It's a career that's
like this. Then again, not just anyone can be one filled with unlimited opportunities, pride and
of us. But if you're exceptionally smart, tough e honor. If you want a career that's a world apart
and determined, then Officer Candidates School from the ordinary, see if you've got what it
(OCS) will be the place you can prove whether or rmerkm A TdaArmin takes to lead in this company
College Night Ann Arbor's Biggest
Outrageous contests! Modern RockHAPPY BRTHDAY MARNES
Tons of giveaways! Dance Parties -r... NPYBRHAMRNS
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,FRIDAYNovember 9th, from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM, handing out more information on
SMarine Corps Officer Programs. For faster action, call 1-800-892-7318. Semper Fi!
oPaanett alM r ' oEi-11 11
UNIVERSITY Y O F I CFH I G A N
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2PE RF O&MANCES !
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136th ANNUAL FALL CONCFRT
Jerry Blackstone, Director