The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 15, 1997, Page 9, Image 9

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    Not quite 101 new videos to rent this week
By Gerry Beltz
Film Critic
It’s another eclectic week of new releases
— romance, comedy, drama and even some
thing for the kids. Pretty good quality all the
way around, too. This week’s pick-of-the-week
looks at an actor, not a film.
“Emma”—Here’s a story about a cook who
has a hand in everyone else’s stew, but can’t
even handle making Ramen noodles for her
Emma (Gwenyth Paltrow) has a habit of
helping relationships along the path she
chooses ... for better or for worse. However,
when a charming young man (Jeremy Northam,
“The Net”) finds a spot in her heart, she hasn’t
the faintest idea what to do or how to act.
“The Ghost and the Darkness” — Man
hunts animal. Animal hunts man. You say to
mato, I say tomato.
The clean-cut engineer with perfect hair and
teeth (Val Kilmer) must join forces with the
rugged hunter with dazzling eyes (Michael
Douglas) to kill a couple of killer lions.
Oood sound effects, music and cinematic
tension help the film stay above average in qual
ity, but the pacing needs some real work. Kilmer
and Douglas are OK, but nothing spectacular.
“The Associate”—What is it with Whoopi
Goldberg’s movie selections of late? “Theodore
Rex,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” now “The As
sociate.” None of them seems to be panning
out for her whatsoever.
Laurel (Goldberg) works on Wall Street, but
finds out just how many barriers she has to
break through to achieve success.
This flick did play in Lincoln for about a
week or so. No confirmations yet as to whether
anybody went to the film. Still, it has Whoopi,
so there must be something funny for some
body somewhere.
Roll the dice on this one.
“101 Dalmatians” — No, this isn’t the ani
mated version. This is a live-action film with
101 non-computer-generated black-and-white
spotted pups running all over the screen mak
ing the humans look like they have the intelli
Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.
GLEM CLOSE stars as Cmelb DeVil b the Ihre-actlan remake of “101 Dalmations,” a film that will hit video store shelves today.
gence of boiled cabbage.
Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) wants a coat
made out of dalmatian fur, but all of (he pup
pies she has gathered for this purpose escape
with Perdita and Pongo to reunite with their
human owners Roger (Jeff Daniels) and Anita
(Joely Richardson).
Director Stephen Herek (“Mr. Holland’s
Opus”) brings in lots of laughs from beginning
to end, and Close is deliciously perfect as one
of the most memorable screen villains of all
time. Definitely worth the price of rental. 't;
PICK-OF-THE-WEEK—With the recent
release of the incredible “Grosse Pointe Blank,”
this week’s pick-of-the-week focuses not on one
movie, but some of the more memorable mov
ies of one star: John Cusack.
Never one to take normal, middle-of-the
road roles, some of Cusack’s better films in
clude the ultra-romantic “Say Anything” and
great offbeat comedies such as “The Sure
Thing” and “Better Off Dead.”
Cusack has also had his share of dramatic
roles and performed with equal style and qual
ity in movies such as “ITue Colors,” “City Hall”
and “Eight Men Out.”
Check ‘em all out.
Chris Reck
“Bill With the Hew”
Grade: A
Whef he first came to the
nation’s attention on "Saturday
Night Live,” Chris Rock —j like
many groundbreaking comedians
who have started on that show —
was restrained to the point that his
brand of humor suffered.
With the exception of his "Nat
X” character, Rock’s participation
was often limited to supporting
roles in sketches and the occasional
pseudo-monologue on the show’s
news segment.
But now that Rock is free of net
work television’s restraints on lan
guage and content, he is funnier
than ever. And “Roll With the
New” captures Rock’s humor to
near perfection.
The album, which was released
on the new Dreamworks label, con
tains lengthy clips from his HBO
special “Bring the Pain” as well as
several comedy sketches featuring
other comedians — most notably
former MTV comedy host Mario
Rock’s gift for social commen
tary is thinly veiled by his penchant
for obscene language and irrever
ent jokes, but it still shines through
as Rock provides his own insight
on subjects ranging from
motnogamy to public education to
O J. Simpson (who happens to be
one of Rock’s favorite targets).
Unlike Eddie Murphy (another
Courtesy photo
CHRIS ROCK, atom* cart mwkm ft— “Satmtay M|M Lit*," It
ilMMi S<l>Vr ffl W0 ^ 8 W|Wb"
“SNL” alumnus who excelled in
the stand-up field), Rock’s social
conscience outweighs his desire
simply to shoot for lighter, and it
is primarily this approach that
makes Rock’s stand-up comedy
both a hilarious and enlightening
The comedy sketches on this al
bum tend to be a hit-and-miss
proposition, with only a handful of
memorable clips (especially “OJ.
and O’Jays” and “Luther
But overall, “Roll With the
New” is a worthy addition for
Rock’s most avid fans and a hilari
ous point-of-entry for the uniniti
—Jeff total
Author Michael Dorns
found dead at age 52
Michael Dorris, who told the story of
his adopted son's battle with fetal al
cohol syndrome in his award-winning
book “The Broken Cord," has died
after ah apparent suicide. He was 52.
Dorris was found deadin a motel
room Friday, Fred Wiljc, owner of the
Brick Tbwear Motor ton, said he used
a plastic bag to suffocate himself.
/ Police lx. Paul Morphy confirmed
the cause ofdeathwas suffocation. He
said police in Brattleboro, Vt., took a
missing-person report on Dorris on
Friday morning from someone who
. said he might be suicidal. ■
Dorris checked into the motel un
uei on assumea name ana iaKea ms
address and license {date number. He
left a suicide note addressed to whom
ever found him, telling them whom
to contact, Murphy said.
Dorris and author Louise Erdrich,
with whom he wrote the 1991 best
selling novel “The Gown of Colum
bus,” were divorcing.
Dorris, who held degrees from
Georgetown and Yale universities, had
been on leave as an English professor
at Dartmouth College. As an anthro
pology professor, he founded the
college's Native American Studies
Department in 1972 and headed it
until 1985.
hi 1971, Dorris, who was of part
American Indian descent, became one
of the first bachelors allowed to adopt
a*child. He later adopted two more
children, and had three more children
after his 1981 marriage to Erdrich,
.author of “Love Medicine” and other
acclaimed novels about Indians.
His adopted son Reynold Abel,
whom he called “Adam” in his book,
was bom on a Sioux reservation to a
woman who eventually died of alco
hol poisoning. ' *
“The Broken Cord,” published in
1989, detailed his son’s struggles with
incurable mental handicaps caused by
his birth mother’s drinking. The book
helped spread understanding of the
problem of fetal alcohol syndrome and
won a National Book Critics Circle
award in the nonfiction category.
In a 1989 Associated Press inter
view, Dorris said that even as a young
adult, Abel, as his sun was called, lived
in a group home and had to be re
minded to bathe, change his clothes,
even eat. * -
r- 1 • ' *■’"
Writing the book* hosaid, did not
prove “cathartic. One of the problems
with this book is that it does not have
an ending.
“It keeps going on. It’s like con
stantly opening doors into a dark
Abel died after being struck by a
car in 1991. More heartbreak was in
store for Dorris in 1995iWfcen another
adopted son, Jeffrey^stood trial on
charges he used threat^ to try to get
Dorris and his wife to give him
$15,000 and publish i manuscript he
wrote. Jeffrey Dorris was acquitted of
one charge and a second -was dis
missed when jurors deadlocked.
Doris’ other works include “Na
tive Americans: 500 Years After ” “A
Guide to Research in Native Ameri
can Studies" and the novel “A Yellow
Raft in Blue Water.” His latest novel,
“Cloud Chamber,” was recently pub