The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 1, 1996 · Page 29
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 29

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, November 1, 1996
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Page 29
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FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL encoref WHAT'S HOT / D2 EXHIBITS / D2 WHAT'S GOING ON / D4 D Joe Diffie might not be bigger than the Beatles, but the country star is finding that his career's ... •h iju — _^ ^<~**r r \ By DAVID CLOUSTON The Snlirm Journal f ountry music's foundry worker- turned-funnyman has a philosophy about the meteorically popular goofy comedy numbers that have dominated his six years as a recording artist. Lighten up. "I laugh all the way to the bank," said Joe Diffie, chucking during a recent telephone interview. "That's just the way things have been fallin.' I happened to get a song 'John Deere Green' and then came 'Third Rock From the Sun' and Tick- up Man.' "When you have that success, the Nashville writing community starts writing songs in that vein." Diffie is coming to Salina Nov. 9 for show at the Bicentennial Center.Also appearing will be Martina McBride. Diffie toiled for eight years as a worker in Duncan, Okla., iron foundry. He was laid off in 1986 but took that opportunity to try his luck in Nashville as a songwriter. It paid off. Big. One of his tunes, "Love on the Rocks" was recorded by country legend Hank Thompson. Diffie earned a job on the staff of Forest Hills Music and it was only a matter of time before his phenomenal voice began opening doors — first as a sought-after demo singer, and in 1990, as a recording artist for Epic ABOUT THE CONCERT • PERFORMING: Joe Diffie along with Martina McBride. • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9. • TICKETS: $19.50, $22.50 and $24.50. Call toll-free 1-888-826-7469. His first album, "A Thousand Winding Roads," spawned an amazing four No. 1 hits: "If You Want Me To," "If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets," "New Way To Light Up An Old Flame" and "Home." "Home" became the first debut single in country music to simultaneously reach the top spot on the charts of Billboard magazine, Radio & 'Records and the Gavin Report, three of the recording industry's top publications. His newest album, "Life's So Funny," has went gold. It includes the singles "Bigger Than The Beatles," "Whole Lotta Gone" and "Back To The Cave." Now, in between tour dates, Diffie is back in the studio working on a follow-up disc. The as-yet-untitled work will be more country and less humor, he said. "Not that we're bowing to criticism a little," Diffie said. "There are just a lot of people out there who say we'd love to hear you sing more ballads." See DIFFIE, Page D4 T MOVIES He's knocked himself out for comedy Bill Murray says there's a lot of pain involved in getting those big laughs By LUAINE LEE Scripps Howard News Service File photo Bill Murray is starring in a new comedy called "Larger Than Life." NEW YORK — Bill Murray wasn't always funny. He literally knocked himselt silly. Before that, he was an average kid who thought about recess and baseball cards and how to avoid his homework. But one evening at the dinner table everything changed. "I remember doing an impression of Jimmy Cagney with a machine gun and I actually, in physicalizing it, I fell down and hit my head on the table leg," Murray said. "And I hit it really, really hard. But it got a huge laugh at the table from all my brothers and sisters and parents. I got up smiling and saying, 'Thanks, everybody.' I thought it was worth it to get this laugh even though I was in extraordinary pain." It's no different now, says Murray, 46, who is starring in his newest feature, "Larger than Life." "There's a lot of suffering to get it right," he said. Getting it right is important to the comedian who started in Chicago's Second City and worked his way up as the replacement for Chevy Chase on of "Saturday Night Live." Murray, who starred in the money- belching "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day," "Meatballs," and "Stripes," is known for his quick-witted improvisations. And, unlike most, comedians, he's actually funny in person. It never occurred' to' Muf ray~(who enrolled briefly in a pre-med program) to become a comedian until he saw his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, performing at the Second City improv group in his native Chicago. "That was pivotal in that it took me someplace where I could learn something," he said. When he first started, though, it was just for kicks. "Then all of a sudden they offered to pay me," he said. And it was no big deal to him when he began appearing on the big screen. "I started making cheap movies," he said. "My first movie, 'Meatballs,' the guy said, 'Well, if it's no good it'll never be seen in this country.' I thought, 'Oh, there we go. I can do that.' So there was never any pressure." . He still tries to avoid the pressure- cooker lifestyle. He lives in the countryside in the Hudson Valley, works on his car at the local garage and tries to avoid pressure from others when he's on the set. "No matter how bad it gets, if they're all really nervous about something, I'll say, 'Excuse me' and walk away for five minutes just to decompress a little bit," he said. "I say, 'I'm not gonna get crazy about this. It's just comedy, just a movie. We're not killing people here, not saving lives. It's just what we do for a living.' " THE ASSOCIATE ** ? WW PLAYING IN SALINA i * & **** Excellent *** Good ** Fair « * Poor : '"' From Wire Service Reviews CENTRAL RATED PG-13 Uninspired recycling of the 'Tootsie" formula, Whoopi Goldberg stars as a bright businesswoman who gets discriminated against because she's not a man, so she creates a fictitious man as her invisible partner and gives him all of her best ideas. Some good moments between Goldberg and Dianrie Wiest as her confidant, but the plot is mechanical and when Goldberg finally has to appear publicly as the mysterious man she's created, the effect is more odd.than comic or endearing.. • DEAR GOD * CENTRAL RATED PG Greg Kinnear stars as an L.A. con man who is sentenced to find a job, goes to work in the Dead Letter Office of the post office and gets hooked by pathetic letters addressed to God. Enlisting his co-workers, he tries to answer some of the prayers, in a film that grows increasingly predictable and maudlin until a final courtroom scene that Is filmmaking by the numbers. FIRST WIVES CLUB ** CENTRAL RATED PG Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton star in a . revenge comedy about three wives who are dumped for younger women, and get even. Some well-targeted dialogue (especially by Hawn, as a movie star who fears her looks are fading), but the movie shifts uneasily from the heartfelt to the slapstick, and feels strung together despite Keaton's narration supplying awkward connecting links. HIGH SCHOOL HIGH *J* SUNSET RATED PG-13 The "Naked Gun" approach comes to the genre of urban high school movies and fails. Ripping off everything from "Lean on Me" to "Dangerous Minds," the movie stars Jon Lovitz as a clueless teacher at tough Marion Berry High, who Is befriended by Tia Carrere, as an administrator who still has hopes. Some laughs, yes, but not enough. ' LARGER THAN LIFE *Ji SUNSET RATED PG Bill Murray stars in a dim comedy with a great opening sequence. He's hilarious as a motivational speaker in early scenes, but after the plot clicks in (he inherits an elephant and has to travel cross-country with it) the movie loses comic tension and stars to meander. Funny supporting work by Pat Hingle and Lois Smith as an old camy and his tattooed wife. ROMEO AND JULIET ** MID-STATE RATED PG-13 This punk gang-war update of Shakespeare's tragedy sinks under a heavy weight of trendiness. Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes, in the title roles, lose their way in the dialogue, which tends to be shouted or mushy. Playing the balcony scene in a swimming pool was a big mistake. Only Pete Postlethwaite as the friar and Miriam Margolyes as the nurse seem at home with Shakespeare's lines, what few of them there are. Many scenes play like a reading from "Bartlett's FamtoQuotations," except not all that familiar to the cast. SLEEPERS *** CENTRAL RATED R Four 13-year-olds from the streets of New York are sent to a reformatory, where a sadistic guard (Kevin Bacon) abuses them. Years later, two of the boys kill the guard, and the other two rig the court case against them. Effective on a superficial level, with good performances by Dustin Hoffman as an alcoholic lawyer and Robert De Niro as a neighborhood priest, but the movie's real subject is a homophobic revenge fantasy. * THINNER ** MID-STATE RATED R Based on the Stephen King novel, this movie centers on Robert John Burke, who plays a 300-pound lawyer named Billy Halleck. His attempts to lose weight are quickened when he accidently kills a girl. Her father, the king of the gypsies, seeks revenge by placing a curse on him, Under the spell, Billy loses weight no matter how much he eats. He spends most of the movie trying to get the spell erased before he disappears. SUGGESTIONS? CALL JIM HAAG, ENCORE! EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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