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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 18, 1998)
‘The Apostle’ takes real look at religion
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ROBERT DUVALL received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his starring
role as the Rev. Euliss “Sonny” Dewey in “The Apostle.” Duvall also wrote,
directed and produced the film, which opens at the Mary Riepma Ross Film
Theater Thursday night.
APOSTLE from page 12
and meets brother Blackwell.
Despite reservations, Blackwell
helps the Apostle find a new
church, called the One Way Road
to Heaven temple. The Apostle
wins over brother Blackwell, influ
ential radio station owner Elmo
(Rick Dial) and a racist southern
“good ole boy” (Billy Bob
Thornton) while building an
impressive congregation. The rest
of the movie would be spoiled if
any more plot twists were
Robert Duvall gives perhaps
his finest performance as
Sonny/the Apostle. Duvall gives
the character dignity and even
restraint, not easy to do when most
of his lines consist of “Praise
God!” and “Hallelujah!” Duvall
proves through his portrayal that
evangelical Christian preachers are
not all cynical, stuck-up money
grabbers (a la Jimmy Sw'aggart or
Jim Bakker). Duvall’s accuracy
and believability probably make
all charismatic Christians want to
stand up and say “Amen!” It is not
surprising Duvall has been nomi
nated for an Academy Award.
As for the other actors, Rick
Dial as Elmo was funny, touching
and real. Billy Bob Thornton, in a
small but integral role as a racist
Talented cast can’t save film
Title: The Man in the Iron Mask
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne,
John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons
Director: Randall Wallace
Grade: C- |
Five Words: Big names offer little quality |
by Jason Hardy
“The Man in the Iron Mask" is
packed with talented actors, beauti
ful scenery, detailed costumes and
Too bad it was all a waste.
The movie slowly moves through
a predictable plot that distorts history
and wastes the cast of exceptional
With big names such as Jeremy
Irons, Gerard Depardieu and John
Malkovich, one expects much more
than this film delivers.
The aforementioned actors,
along with Gabriel Byrne, play The
Four Musketeers, who hatch a plan to
switch the French king (Leonardo
DiCaprio) with his twin brother (also
played by DiCaprio), who has been
wearing an iron mask in solitary con
finement for the past six years.
As the story goes there are a few
interesting side plots, but none of
them are explored enough to offer
any real significance.
While the plot itself was kind of
interesting, it needed to be revamped
to be less predictable and more fast
paced. The few action scenes were
weak and the great swashbuckling
heroics traditionally associated with
the Musketeers just weren’t there.
Another problem was the charac
ters’ accents, or lack thereof.
Dialogue ranged from Depardieu's
almost inaudible French-induced
mumbling to DiCaprio’s clean
The women of the film all spoke
with extremely thick French accents,
while Malkovich delivered almost
every' line with a toothy snarl that lost
meaning halfway through the film.
The movie as a whole had the
same feel as a paper written the
morning it’s due. There was no real
depth to it, and the characters were
introduced but not really elaborated
upon, leaving a lot of shallow people
in a cluttered plot that offers the audi
ence no real attachment.
This is what prevented the big
name talents of this film from
spreading their thespian wings.
While the main actors do a fairly
good job, they don’t do a great job.
And that’s what’s expected when you
pile this many stars into one film.
The end effect is a frustrating two
hours and 15 minutes of wondering
which would be worse, wearing the
iron mask or seeing this movie again.
120 Live’ offers collection of tunes
“MTV 120 Minutes Live”
As far as compilations go, it does
n’t get much better than this.
Sure, the producers of “120 Live”
could have included more songs and
made the album a double disc, but the
14 tracks they have collected from the
more than 100 bands that have per
formed at the “120 Minutes” studios
are admirable ones.
MTV created “120 Minutes”
more than 10 years ago with the
hopes that the show would become a
spotlight for new music and artists,
and thanks to the program’s directors,
producers and loyal viewers, it has
become just that.
Every Sunday night, “120
Minutes” presents two hours of
videos and interviews that normally
never appear during MTV’s prime
time hours, and the Oasis, Weezer
and Verve Pipe live performances on
the album were recorded before any
of these bands had become familiar to
the general public.
“120 Live” documents some of
the most talented musicians in the
The song “Kimberly Austin,” off
of Porno For Pyros’ second album
“Good God’s Urge,” includes original
Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry
Farrell and drummer Stephen
Perkins, the bass of punk rock pio
neer Mike Watt, and former Porno for
Pyros guitar player Peter DeStefano.
Farrell’s singing and songwriting tal
ents always make for great music,
whichever band he decides he’s in.
When Weezer visited the “120”
studios back in ’94 for an interview,
they had just released their self-titled
debut album. The level of success that
followed for the young L.A. band
should have been of no surprise to
anyone, because the performance of
“Undone (The Sweater Song)” on the
set of “120” is incredible.
Old-school British punks, the Sex
Pistols, broke up eight years before
“120” had even became a show on
MTV. But when the band joined
forces again for a reunion tour back in
’96, they played a high energy rendi
tion of “Pretty Vacant,” a song off of
their famous “Never Mind The
Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”
album, for the “ 120” cast and crew.
The song “Crazy Mary” initially
became popular after Pearl Jam covered
it for “Sweet Relief: A Benefit For
Victoria Williams,” an album that
helped Williams raise money for her
medical bills after she was diagnosed
with multiple sclerosis in 1992.
Williams brought along Lou Reed of
the Velvet Underground to sing and play
guitar with her when she appeared on
“ 120” and performed “Crazy Mary.”
The producers of “120 Live” could
not have picked a better way to end the
album then with the melodic and sweet
sounds of Radiohead and their song
“Fake Plastic Trees,” which appears on
their second album “The Bends.”
Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke,
owns one of the most sensational
singing voices in music today, one of
the many reasons why Radiohead’s
shows are frequented by other musi
cians and people inside the industry.
“120 Live” is a must for enthusiasts
of live recordings. The album’s different
musical styles range immensely from
start to finish, from the angst-filled
force of Bad Religion one minute to the
piercing lament of Bjork’s tongue the
next. What more could a music junkie
ask for in a record?
— Jim Zavodny
Southerner, makes you feel as
though you’ve just been to church
and con,yerted yourself. June
Carter Cash and Farrah Fawcett
were believable in small roles.
Miranda Richardson was very
good as Toosie, a separated woman
with whom the Apostle/Sonny falls
“The Apostle” highlights all
the joys of the Pentecostal religion,
from the entertainment value of
the preaching and singing to the
spirituality of the churchgoers and
ministers. Duvall felt so strongly
about this film that he financed it
himself after 10 years of fruitlessly
trying to interest a major studio in
“The Apostle” is realistic,
touching, funny in spots and very
moving in others. It has every
virtue of any good movie, while
treating its subject (charismatic
Christianity in general and the
Pentecostal religion in particular)
with extreme dignity and restraint.
“The Apostle” opens at the
Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater
Thursday. It will continue Friday
through Sunday, and March 26-29.
Screenings are at 6:15 p.m. and
9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and
Fridays; and at 12:45 p.m., 3:30
p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on
Saturdays and Sundays.
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