The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, July 22, 1999, Summer Edition, Page 8, Image 8

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‘Wood’ a sentimental
look at lives, loves
By Patrick Kelly
Film critic
While the title might suggest oth
erwise, this film is a remarkably sen
timental look at coming of age.
The film centers upon the friend
ship of three young men and their
acceptance of adulthood. The story is
told from the perspective of Mike
(Omar Epps) who reflects on the
changes his life has taken. The cause
for his introspection is the wedding of
one of his best friends, Roland (Taye
Diggs). When Roland is a no-show at
his own wedding it’s up to Mike and
Slim (Richard T. Jones) to bring him
to his senses.
Mike’s recollections are brought
to the screen in a series of flashbacks
to his teenage years in the late 1980’s.
Mike moved to “the Wood”
(Inglewood, CA) from North
Carolina at age 14. A witty, but shy
Mike meets Roland and Slim, two
street smart kids who take Mike
under their collective wing. Through
the course of their friendship the three
will survive fights, robberies and
entanglements with the opposite sex.
Director Rick Famuyiwa’s debut
is a very promising one. The chem
istry between the actors is a strong
asset to the film. Famuyiwa’s use of.
flashback is another strength.
Although the transitions are some
what obvious at times (the use of late
‘80’s R&B coupled with the visual of
The Facts
Title: The Wood'
Stars: Omar Epps, Taye Diggs,
Richard T. Jones
Director:.Rick Famuyiwa
Rating: R (language, sexuality)
Grade: A
Five Words: Growing up without
growing apart
a spinning record) they still carry the
story along and never seem out of
The difference between this film
and other films which make use of
flashbacks is the fact that the present
time is used solely for reflective pur
poses. However, in this film, the char
acters go through a growth process
that lasts the entire film. The three
learn that although marriage would
change their lives it ultimately would
not change their friendship.
The film also deals with the
issues of sexuality in a responsible
fashion. While growing up, the three
learn that sex is more than a conquest.
The film may be explicit at times, but
it is done in a fairly realistic manner.
While “The Wood” may deal
specifically with the African
American culture, the?themes are of
universal interest. The movie deals
with life and love in a comical and
genuinely endearing way.
The Princess and the Pea
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Studio Theatre
third floor Temple Bldg.
12th A R
ncxxrs: 472-2073
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Rock’s latest
CD uneven
in humor
By Sean McCarthy
Staff writer
Chris Rock has already proved to
be one of the most intelligent comedi
ans to emerge from “Saturday Night
Live.” After a string of sub-par
movies (from an ex-SNL alumnus, no
way!), Rock got a chance to show his
talents by releasing “Bring the Pain”
and appearing as a correspondent for
“Politically Incorrect.”
It looked like Rock was ready to
join the ranks of Richard Pryor and
George Carlin. Unfortunately, it
sounds like Rock has listened to a few
too many Death Row records before
making his latest incarnation,
“Bigger and Blacker.”
Far too many unfunny musical
interludes and few too many rants are
just some of the problems on “Bigger
and Blacker.” Prince Paul may have
been a great producer to snag for this
album, but Rock would have done a
far better job producing the album
himself. Maybe then, we wouldn’t
have to deal with the eye-rolling
“Monica Interview” track.
Rock has always been good at
being timely, and he does show
glimpses of his previous hard-edged
genius. His rants about the events in
Littleton, CO., though a tad unorigi
nal, are still very funny.
However, a huge portion of
“Bigger and Blacker” deals with the
scandal. From Jay Leno to Jim Rome,
everyone has given their take of last
year’s longest joke. Rock’s insights
are meant to be fresh, but they just
make ^ou wince, expecting a cigar
acnool shootings, and the most
recent political sex scandals may have
the half life of a summer blockbuster
movie, but jokes about relationships
and racism will always be timeless.
And Rock redeems himself, slightly,
when he sticks to these topics.
On topics like affirmative action,
Rock shows he can still agitate.
“White people say ‘We’re losing
everything, we’re losing everything’,
you ain’t losing s***!,” Rock blasts.
He continues by saying blacks
haven’t “won” anything paranoid
white people think they’ve lost.
If you’re a Chris Rock fan, defi
nitely try to check out this special on
HBO. There, you can have the benefit
of seeing Rock physically act out
some of die best material in “Bigger
& Blacker.”
Unfortunately, the listener is
penalized for buying “Bigger &
Blacker” by having to endure far too
many unfunny musical interludes.
They only serve to break up the flow
Rock tries to establish during his
stand up performances. It’s a bad
decision by an artist who we’ve
become accustomed to avoiding such