The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 03, 1995, Summer, Page 9, Image 9

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Thursday, August 3,1995 Page 9
‘Waterworks big hype, budget shown to be undeserved
Fflin: “Waterworld”
Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis
Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehom
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Rated: PG-13
Grade: 13
Five Words: “Mad Max” meets
“Free Willy”
By Gerry Beltz
Features Editor
Kevin Costner had better be able to
swim, because “Waterworld” isgoing
to sink fast.
Granted, it is riding high right now
as the number one box office draw of
the weekend, but will probably soon
drop like a rock thrown into a pond.
With a budget rumored at anywhere
between $150 to $200 million, one
might think that even Costner might
be able to act or fake a dialect.
It is the future, and extensive glo
bal warming (probably caused by
Costner’s ego) has melted the polar
ice caps, covering the planet with
water. Only through ingenuity and
scavenging has anyone remained al ive.
A mysterious seaman known only
as the Mariner (Costner) comes to the
mighty floating city Atoll with a cargo
of a precious commodity: dirt. He gets
water and other supplies, but is pre
vented from leaving when he is dis
covered to be a mutant with gills and
webbed feet, and is locked in a cage
and sentenced to death.
(It’s nice to see that some good ol’
American values—like prejudice and
fear of anything different—will still
be around in the post-apocolyptic fu
Anyway, when the Deacon^Den
nis Hopper) and his gang of Smokers
(Hydro-Hell’s Angels) attack the Atoll,
the Mariner escapes with Helen
(Jeanne Tripplehom) and the young
Enola (Tina Majorino, “Andre”) to
the high seas.
However, everybody is after Enola,
for tattooed on her back is a mysteri
ous map whidjh supposedly points the
way to the legendary place called Dry
land. *
Great story idea, but bad acting and
Majorino is the actual highlight of
the film, bringing an innocence out of
all this darkness that has taken over
the world.
Hopper is okay as the bad guy, but
has too many one-liners to make him
devious enough to be anything be
yond “okay.” That was the
scriptwriter’s fault, however. Hopper
added his own touch for the Deacon
by suggesting that he shave his head.
Smooth move, Hopper.
Tripplehorn’s role isn’t even worth
mentioning, except for the fact that
her (brief) nude scene wasn’t neces
sary, and the film could have gone
along just fine without it.
Costner’s amphibious man does
have one thing in common with
present-day fish: acting ability. This
man has turned out such great flicks
such as “No Way Out” and “Dances
With Wolves,” and now we watch him
scowl for over two hours?!? Better
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
The Mariner (Kevin Costner) and the vile Deacon (Dennis Hopper) have a face-off in Universal’s
luck next time, Kevin.
When looking at the enormous sets
used for “Waterworld,” it’s not hard
to figure out where a large portion of
that huge budget went, and they are
really neat to see. Between the seen
ery and sets, this is a movie that MUST
be seen on the big-screen for full ap
One interesting note about the fu
ture; make-up and toothpaste must be
a common commodities. Throughout
the entire film, Tripplehorn always
has a perfect face, and everybody has
shiny pearly-whites (even the chain
smoking Deacon).
Just for the production values, go
catch “Waterworld.”
Band takes ‘command’of Omaha
uy Patrick namorecnt
Start fteporter
Conor Oberst is the sort of kid
easily hated by envious rock bands
and journalists.
Bom into a musical family, he
has the cultivated, honed ability to
know what sounds good and what
doesn’t, how to act on stage and
how to converse with bar-goers
twice his age. He grew up listening
to his father’s and brothers’ bands:
Shudder to Think and Weld, and
was adopted into the Omaha bar
scene before he could read.
Now at 15, he’s writing songs
— better than most Lincoln rock
veterans — for his band, Com
mander Venus.
Oberst said, “Everyone helps
write the songs.”
Matt Bowen, Venus’ drummer,
quickly disagreed.
“Conor pretty much writes all
the songs,” said Bowen, a twenty
year-old Lincoln freshman.
“The drums really help,” Conor
protested. “Matt helps out with a
lot of stuff.”
Both Oberst and Bowen grew up in
Saddle Creek, listening to their friends
jam together in early incarnations of
Polecat, Slowdown Virginia and other
prominent Lincoln bands.
“We’d like Commander
Venusfans to be cute girls. ”
Matt Bowen
Drummer, Commander Venus
When Oberst was 12, his peers
encouraged him to start doing solo
shows at Ki 1 Igore’s and the Blue Bam.
A couple of years later, he and Bowen
started Commander Venus with Rob
Nansel, 19,andTimKasher,20.They
now patiently wait for super-stardom.
“I haven’t really thought about
doing anything else besides playing
music,” Conor said, when asked what
he might do after graduating from
Creighton Prep.
“We’d 1 ike to never have to get real
jobs, to have fun. We don’t really care
who likes us,” Conor said. “We
care if our friends, the Saddle Creek
scene, like us.”
“Cute girls,” Bowen said. “We’d
like Commander Venus fans to be
cute girls.”
Commander Venus’s new CD,
“Do you feel at home?” is disgust
ingly good for a first album: more
evidence of the talent available in
the Saddle Creek scene. The mu
sic is sharp and fantastic.
The first two songs, “Pepper
mints” and “Showcase Show
down,” are particularly good: a Pave
ment-sounding catchiness with child
ish vocals ana mature lyrics.
Whi le so many bands are reach
ing for a sappy kiddy-punk sound,
Conor’s lyrics are genuine pangs
of adolescent angst. It’s easy to
imagine they were written by a
“Lord of the Flies” castaway, or
that poor prep-school martyr in
“The Chocolate War.”
“Commander Venus isthe male
version of the love god,” Oberst
said, explaining the band name.
“He’d look like Kevin Bacon,”
Bowen said.
Computers and intrigue
weave captivating “Net”
sy Gerry Bettz .
Features Editor
Another “conspiracy-envelops-in
nocent-bystander’ flick comes to the
big-screen with the release of “The
Box-office star Sandra Bui lock, hot
off her mega-hit “While You Were
Sleeping,” jumps into the lead role of
this mystery-thriller flick.
Bullock plays Angela Bennett, a
reclusive computer hacker who un
knowingly comes into possession of a
disk containing a program planted by
Praetorians, terrorists who use com
puters to create chaos.
Angela gets a taste of this chaos
when her life is erased and replaced
with that of some crazy criminal.
Not only does she have to avoid the
police and bad guys — led by Jack
Devlin (Jeremy Northam) — but she
also has to find a way to get her life
Bullock is quite enjoyable in her
role, but the story is a bit weak; her
role as a recluse isn’t quite fleshed out
enough, but is just enough to get the
Northam isn’t too bad as the bad
guy, but he is very one-dimensional.
However, he does show promise, so
keep an eye out for him.
. Dennis Miller shows upas Angela’s ,
former therapist and lover, and again
proves that some comedians weren’t
destined to act. Some of his lines are
hilarious, and he himself is an abso
lute scream, but how many roles of
“Dennis Miller playing Dennis Miller”
can exist? Not many.
The story itself is a bit weak at
points, and the tempo is tepid at times.
The action and plot go from frantic to
snail’s pace in the blink of an eye, and
it is sometimes hard to figure out what
is going on. But the sequence in die
offices of Angela’s computer com
pany is a real palm-sweater.
However, the movie still works.
The ever-increasing dependence of
society on computers, and our stead
fast belief in the infallibility of comput
ers, is well-shown here by airectorlrwin
Winkler (“Guilty By Suspicion”).
Go get caught in “The Net.”