Volume 93, Issue 16

Friday, September 24, 1999


ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Weekend Pass

Veda Hille nibbles on humble pie

Smashers work for a fun planet

Type-O gives metal life

Adaptation not pride of Stratford

Chicago maps out its own soundscape

The good, the bad and the just there

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Comix

The good, the bad and the just there



September is back to school month. It is a time of paradox as the cooling winds of fall are tempered by a feeling of opportunity and academic renewal. Life and death dancing together in the infinite embrace of existence.

It is not odd, then, that most menial September conversations revolve around the summer and its good and/or crappy moments. The film world also saw its share of moments which I would like to divide into three categories – good, bad and just there.

Let's start with the bad. There was nothing harder to avoid this summer than the Star Wars hype machine. Lucas did a good job of inflating the movie into a media monster which devoured all competition and self-respect around it. It is unfortunate people forgot the story is meant for kids. Those who saw it with this in mind are exempt from the bad category. The rest of you can stop grinding out excuses for why it was good, because it was okay at best.

The worst thing I had to sit through this summer was Heather Graham's performance in Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me. She looked sensational, but it seemed as though she was reading cue cards. She couldn't have delivered her lines any worse and she clearly got the job based on the strength of her health club membership.

Behind the scenes, the worst business going on, is the continuing feud between Disney mastermind Michael Eisner and his former side-kick Jeffrey Katzenberg. Earlier this year, a court ruled that Disney owes Katzenberg a large sum of money for his roles in hits such as The Lion King. They are currently working on a settlement which should further reveal how industry friendships are only as strong as the greedy egos which fake them.

In the just there category falls Julia Roberts. She's a good actress but an industry pawn – always moving in a straight line. In the race for best reconstructed career after sex scandal, Hugh Grant beats Richard Gere in a photo. Now that would be scandalous. Consolation indifference goes to The Haunting, The Thomas Crown Affair and Tarzan.

On to the good. Easily the most important movie which came out this summer was The Blair Witch Project. It can be conceded that due to its specific indie qualities, the movie can't be repeated. However, it raised some eyebrows as the largest netting movie of all time. Hopefully, this will whet the appetites of ravenous Hollywood execs starving for the next moneymaker.

By far, the best movie of the summer was The Sixth Sense by relative newcomer M. Night Shyamalan. It is the best original screenplay of the year and is an early Oscar favourite. For the uninitiated – The Sixth Sense is certainly scarier than The Blair Witch Project.




To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:
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Copyright The Gazette 1999