Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 27, 1993)
Predictable plot, poor dialogue drown film
“Indian Summer” (Douglas 3,13th
and P streets; East Park 3) is supposed
to inspire nostalgia about youthful
days at summer camp.
It doesn’t. Instead, it subscribes to
every modern movie clichd known to
_The story covers a few days in the
lives of eight former campers who
return as adults to Camp Tamakwa.
The campers return to camp at the
behest of “Uncle Lou” (Alan Arkin)
to celebrate the last week that the
camp will be open. They return to the
same camp they left: males in one
cabin and females in another, clang
ing bell at dawn, swim tests, sailing
and every other typical camp experi
But this time they’re Older, wiser
and carrying a bargeful of baggage,
physical and emotional. Shocked and
dismayed abputTamakwa’s fate, they
try to find ways to save it while trying
to work out all their adult problems,
Two of the former campers are
married—butnot to their camp s weet
hearts. Another has recently been
widowed — her husband was also a
camper. Two others arc successful,
but lonely and frustrated. One is a
hippie and the other is a chauvinistic
But they’re all such good friends.
Blah. Blah. Boring.
“Indian Summer” features an all
star ensemble cast of talented young
actors, including Elizabeth Perkins,
Diane Lane, Julie Warner, Bill Paxton,
Kevin Pollock and Vincent Spano.
Unfortunately, they all arc swim
ming in a murky mess of poor plotting
and pathetic dialogue.
“Indian Summer” would be better
left as a faint memory of youth, along
with braces and bad acne.
— Anne Steyer
A group of friends reminisce in “Indian Summer.” CourtBSy ot Touctwone ptcmres
Split-personality film fails
just like most King efforts
The Dark Half
It’s a conspiracy against Stephen King.
It seems to be a pattern: Every movie (on
television or in the theater) associated with the
words “Stephen King” is destined to become
some moronic piece of drivel.
Think about it. “The Lawnmower Man.”
“Sleepwalkers.” “It.” “Graveyard Shift”
All are movies best forgotten. Coincidence?
It*s no different with “The Dark Half’(Plaza
4,12th and P streets).
Timothy Hutton (still recovering from the
abysmal “The Temp”) stars as Thad Beaumont
— a writer who has taken on the pen name
“George Stark” to produce a series of extremely
violent (and extremely successful) books. 4
Unfortunately, “George” isn’t just a name;
he’s pan of Thad’s personality that shows up to
write the books.
Assuming that King’s book had a similar
premise, it makes one wonder what King was
like when he wrote “The Running Man” under
the pen name “Richard Bachman.”
Anyway, some greedy jerk finds out Thad’s
game and threatens to expose him to the public
tf he doesn’t come up with some money.
Instead, Thad comes forward himself, and
for the People magazine article reluctantly
“buries” Stark in the local graveyard, complete
with headstone and epitaph of “Not A Very
However, it seems that “George” doesn’t
want to die. Suddenly, people associated with
Thad start dropping like flies and (surprise!)
he’s the prime suspect.
George A. Romero (“Night of the Living
Dead”), who directed and adapted the book for
the screen, could have helped out the audience
a little bit. Silling right at two hours in length,
he could have trimmed off about 20 minutes of
this sucker to make the movie drone on for less
Amy Madigan (“Field of Dreams”) shows
up as Thad’s wife, Liz, but her character is
extremely boring and inconsequential.
The best part of the movie is the first half
(which could be called “The Good Half’ for a
sequel) and Hutton is what makes it work. He
has that innocent, boy-next-door look in his
eyes, and gels the most disconcerting look to
him when “George” comes out to play.
Still, you may want to pass on this one.
For a good movie about split personalities
that has some suspense and surprises, go rent
— Gerry BeHz
Movie about mistreated boy
made for adults, not children
This Boy’s Life’
A terrific and true story about a boy’s jour
ney to discover courage and self-confidence
can be found in “This Boy’s Life” (Cinema
Twin, 13th and P streets).
The movie is narrated by Toby (Leonardo
DiCaprio), a young boy growing up in 1957
with his slightly idealistic mother Caroline
(Ellen Barkin), who is fresh out of a divorce.
They set off to Utah to get rich off uranium,
but they end up taking a bus to Seattle, where
she meets a mechanic named Dwight (Robert
On the outside, Toby is pure sugar and
charm, but he (already a rebellious youth)
doesn’t trust Dwight
Has anyone else noticed that the kids in these
types of movies always seem to be smarter and
better judges of character than the adults? Just
Eventually Dwightand Caroline make plans
to lie the knot, but this means Toby has to move
in early with Dwight to get closer to him.
Toby doesn’t even get to his new home
before he finds out that Dwight is less than
desirable as a father figure.
On the drive home, Dwight’s cruel, abusive
and manipulative sides fly out and Toby is a
helpless target. Dwight is determined to get the
kid element out of Toby, and he will use his
“kill or cure” philosophy to do it.
About this lime last year, a movie titled
“Radio Flyer” was released, telling the tale of
two brothers menaced by an abusive stepfather.
The film was excellent, and so is “This
However, the difference here is the stepfa
ther and the way he acts in public and what
makes the character tick are addressed more.
At no point docs the audience feel an iota of
sympathy or respect for Dwight. He’s slime,
pure and simple, and he tries to disguise abuse
as a character builder.
About the only flaw with DeNiro’s character
is his sporadic Irish accent (something like
Kevin Costner somehow losing/forgetting his
accent in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”).
Barkin’s character, however strong it may
be, is not given enough time to fully develop or
become a major force in the film past the first
The real gem in this film is DiCaprio. He’s
a young boy trying to compete and just plain
survive against a stronger, tougher opponent,
his stepfather. He succeeds beautifully and is
worthy of an Oscar nomination as well.
Unfortunately, in the eyes of the all-power
ful academy, he’s just a kid.
Due to lots of vulgar language and various
intense abusive situalionsperpetiated by Dwight
(against most members of the household), the R
rating is appropriate and the film isn’t some
thing to cart the kids to sec.
All parents and soon-to-be parents should
see “This Boy’s Life.”
It may make them think twice before saying,
“An occasional spanking is for the good of the
— Gerry Beltz
Solid acting creates perfect flick
‘Benny & Joon’
Not since “Harold and Maude” has there
been such a whimsical, eccentric and oddly
charming romantic film as “Benny and Joon”
(Edgewood 3,56th Street and Highway 2; The
Lincoln, 11th and P streets).
Aidan Quinn and Mary Stuart Mas ter son are
the title characters: Benny, a mechanic, and his
mentally ill younger sister, Joon.
Benny’s life is consumed with his repair
shop and taking care of Joon — and finding
bo look after her when he’s not around.
__ loses a poker game with Benny’s pals
and in the bargain musltakcan eccentric cousin
off the winner’s hands. That eccentric cousin is
Sam (Johnny Depp), a hip reincarnation of
Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Although
Benny is skeptical at first, Sam becomes tnc
answer to his prayers — he can stay and look
after Joon while Benny’s at work. Ij ,,
Of course, that’s before Sam and Joon fall in
Then things get really complicated, as Benny
must confront his own fear ofliving, loving and
The subplot romance involving Benny and
his would-be girlfriend, actress-tumed-wait
rcss Rulhic (Julianne Moore), is a nice look at
the troubles of a “normal" relationship. Quinn
is understated (and gorgeous) in the best guy
“Benny and Joon" is definitely filled with
idiosyncrasies — Sam's process of grilling
cheese sandwiches, mashing potatoes and clew
ing; Benny's poker games stakes; Joon's oddly
endearing mental lapses.
In fact, Joon's characterization, the glamor
izing of mental illness, is perhaps the only weak
part of the film. But in spile of this, it makes a
point that illness doesn’t necessarily mew in
The acting is solid — Mastcrson plays well
off Depp’s quiet craziness. Theirs is a sweet,
charming romance wrought with whimsy wd
eccentricity — a perfect description for the
Don’t miss “Benny and Joon.”
— Anne Steyer
Powered by Open ONI