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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 27
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 27

San Francisco, California
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SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER Thursday, September 19, 1991 B-3 'J GLENN RUBENSTEIN Just for the record, the AT THE CONTROLS perb Wagner S.F. Symphony's practice session a concerted effort By Allan Ulrich EXAMINER MUSIC CRITIC THE San Francisco Symphony started its premium-priced recording session warmups at Davies Symphony Hall Wednesday evening. That's rather early in the season, all things considered, but since Music Director Herbert Blomstedt departs for two months after next week's concerts, there's precious little time to waste. The London Decca engineers will be standing by, tape decks poised, as soon as the current concert set is concluded. Recordings, San Francisco style, mean that patrons pay full price to attend rehearsals under the guise of subscription concerts. Thus, the Symphony administration collects in two ways, at the box office and, presumably, at the record store. If the orchestra management folks were the least bit sporting, they'd offer a rebate on the published recordings to ticket holders who remember to keep their stubs. But, as the man said, life isn't fair. So, commercial considerations have dictated this week's extremely conservative and ill-balanced fare. Blomstedt will commit both of Wednesday's featured works Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll" and Schubert's Symphony No. 9 (or, if you're musicologically inclined, No. 8) in Major, D. 944 to disc next week. In a sane world, an orchestra would play a work first, then a company would decide to record it, if the results justified the expense. Yet, the irony of Wednesday's concert was that the Wagner, which Blomstedt has never led here before, sounded positively radiant, It was so popular that Sega now has Joe Montana Football II in release. Other celebrity-endorsed sports titles include: Mario Le-Mieux Hockey, Tommy Lasorda Baseball, Roger Clemens MVP Baseball, John Madden Football, Buster Douglas Boxing, Bo Jackson Baseball, Jordan vs. Byrd Basketball, Jack Nicklaus Golf, Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf, among others. It may be easy to turn just about any sport into a video game, but more important is how well it's done in terms of realism, player, control of the "athletes," strategy and action, the quality of the graphics, ease of play and variety of plan. If you remember the old days of Atari and even Nintendo, what you had basically was a bunch of circles or squares on the screen representing players and the play was choppy. Today, the style is to use cutaways, angles on the plays and great graphics showing players in varying sizes with uniforms in the team's real colors. Today's games allow you to develop strategies and call plays and, in many cases, choose your players and form your own pro team. So many companies produce sports video games, you'd be hard put not to find your favorite player endorsing a game. But here are the best of the best on the market right now: Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf: This is clearly the best golf game ever produced because it doesn't get hung up on being overly technical. Instead, it's easy to use and actually makes what could be a boring game fun and challenging. The graphics are rich in depth of detail and color. Rating: -k-k-k Pat Riley Basketball: When it comes to a pure action-packed, by-the-rules game of basketball, this is still the best. There's lots of close-up action from varying angles and you'll feel like the coach as you plan your plays and call the shots. It's great for competitive action with your friends. Rating: -k-k-k-k Joe Montana Football: There's good reason why this was the top selling video for Sega last year. Sports heroes turn up on video games AT ONE TIME professional athletes were considered big time if they had a line of clothing or equipment to endorse. Now, the new status symbol is having your name above the title on a sports action video game. In the mix of new releases for the 1991 buying season, all the major videogame manufacturers have celebrity sports titles. At this time of the year, with baseball, football, golf and tennis in full swing and hockey and basketball gearing up, these titles are more popular than ever before. Kids love them but adults like them too, and some adult gamers use these titles to form competitive leagues around their favorite players or teams. Just about any sport translates easily into a video game format. Pros lend their name to sports from kick boxing to race car driving, and there are plenty of titles for the big three: football, baseball and basketball. Sega of America, the San Francisco-based company, has the most sports titles. In fact, a sports title, Joe Montana Football, was Sega's top-selling video game for last year. I. Tommy LaSorda Baseball FREDDY DIES IN 31 1 i was su one of the most satisfying performances he's given over the past few years. But the Schubert, which he has both conducted previously in Davies Hall and recorded with the Dresden Staatskapelle, seemed curiously unsettled and detached. At least, it all sounded reasonable. The new acoustical canopy and the stage set-up, with its prominent risers, remain as they were last week, but the musicians are now sitting further upstage and Blomstedt attended to balances with more discrimination than previously. THE dynamics of the "Siegfried Idyll" were perfectly gauged. "Smaller is better" has been the tendency in performances of this piece in recent years. Blomstedt, however, deployed a rather large complement of players 49, with a third horn added Yet, the unanimity of approach and the suavity of phrasing suggested that we were hearing the finest chamber orchestra on the face of the earth. What the Wagner and Schubert share is a surface allure so irresistible that it often threatens to topple the architecture of the whole. Blomstedt proved masterful in outlining the design of the "Siegfried Idyll." One might easily have imagined Cosima Wagner awakening from a dream on Christmas morning in 1870 to hear the consort of musicians outside her bedroom door softly intoning the opening pages of her husband's inimitable gift. Wednesday, the music seemed to emerge imperceptibly from silence, with the solo flute rising gently out of a discreet carpet of strings. David Krehbiel and his colleagues invested the horn burbles with ideally introspective lyricism. Blomstedt built the performance through attention to texture. He coaxed the violins into some ravishing portamento, a bit schmaltzy maybe, but eminently persuasive in context. And he wove V-i '( I VAN NESS i SUTTER REGENCY I ff THEATRE B85 8T73 i Joe Montana Football: Sega's top selling video is worthy of his name. This plays like an arcade game and is worthy of the name Joe Montana. The close-ups of Montana passing are superb. Rating: Also of note: Mario LeMieux Hockey: This is a long overdue, high quality hockey video game that will be a hit with fans. Rating: a Bill Lambier Combat Basketball: Buyer beware this is not your traditional basketball game: a little violent and not exactly a promo for good sportsmanship. It's "anything goes" with weapons and bombs. But for a change of pace it's a good buy. Rating: -kk-k John Madden Football: John Madden is still a winner, with a great game that lets you get inside the strategy and play-making. This game holds up well. Rating k-kkVt Lakers vs. Celtics: This game still offers a competitive challenge for one-on-one basketball fans. Rating: k-k-k Glenn Rubenstein is a 15-year-old Casa Grande High School student from Peta-luma, and video whiz. At the Controls will appear weekly in the Style section. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf A FILM 1 7' i i i i NEW YORK the thematic material (much of it to reappear later in the opera, into a translucent edifice, suffused with air and the soft light of dawn. A lovely experience. THE Schubert Major suffered momentary lapses of concentration in the opening movement, from which it never recovered. The performance caught Blomstedt in an unusually Dionysiac spirit, but not quite up to structuring the work into a coherent unit The fragmentary approach yielded pleasures on which the conductor can still capitalize. The transitions in the Andante con mo-to, the interludes that disturb the principal march, were sensitively etched, thanks to remarkable interplay between horns and strings. Winds registered potently with only a few passing moments of raucous attacks and sagging intonation. A few more rehearsals, public or private, might do the trick. The concert will be repeated Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. KOFY picks up 'Another World7 EXAMINER STAFF REPORT To make room on its schedule for the new daily 4 p.m. Maury Povich talk show, KRON-TV (Channel 4) dumped "Another-World," its 1 p.m. long-time soap. KRON said it received more than 7,000 calls within three days protesting the discontinuance. As a result, KOFY-TV (Channel 20) bought the rights to "Another World," and you can keep up with the action starting Monday at 11 a.m. KOFY is fast becoming NBC's second San Francisco affiliate, having picked up NBC's Saturday morning cartoons (7 to 11 a.m.) several months ago when KRON decided to discontinue them in favor of news coverage. mm CINEPLEX ODEON Im PLAZA DALY CITY T58-38403 DOLBYShowa Today at 7:00 and 9:30 PM. Barg Mat Before 6:00 PM. THROUGHOUT THE BAY AREA ibUUI t31 ST QfD TIMES. Vincent Canbv: UNQUALIFIED WINNER." JohnTurturro John Goodman BARTON NOW PLAYING TK2 4TH WEEK I NO PASSE8 I FREDDYVISION Century plaza 8 SSF-742 9 200 St. FRANCIS THEATRE MalWISlll- 362-4822 Todsy; 1:15,3:30,5:45, Xi Today: 12:00, 3:10, Co-Hit: 1:35,4:45 Only. DOLPH BRANDON lIaa1ABUK18 THEATRES POST AT FILLMORI IN JAPANTOWN Hl-tWO IHI MAT STAEIT AN FRANCISCO, CA S4I1S EXCLUSIVE SAN FRANCISCO ENGAGEMENT SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. NOW PLAYING lj 20 23 17 3 II 4 07 84 1 ns 61 I I 10 is 7 30 fTtt 1 nun in 1 1" jjgMiLa. UNITED ARTISTS Galaxy THEATRE SutlefVan Ness47J 8700 UNITED ARTISTS Stonestown 19MWmslM-2218l8? THX, SR DOLBYToday: 6.30,8304 NoVIPS. i 2:30, 4:30, 6:30, 1 30, NoVIPS. A comedy about makin' it! DOLBYShows Daily 12:15, 2:45, 5:15, 8:00 10:20 PM. Barg Mat 1st Hr Avail Seat. AND AT SELECT THEATRES TvL Kir i'st 4-" xi -4 1'f "fi eeK-' 1 "SMART, FAST-MOVING MARTIAL ARTS ACTION-ADVENTURE." Kevin Thomas, LOS ANGELES TIMES LUNDGREN LEE BY JOEL COEN ETHAN COEN nuwoiinnvniTHaTiiimi 1 Presented in THX DOLBY STEREO Monday thru Thursday at 1:50,4:40, 7:30 it 10:30 PM 'owyn Ctnpiif Smooth -Mt Haocotk and He Empire cinema sbweiiPomi-ssi-zsas Shows Tomorrow: 1:15.3:15,5:15, 7:15 BAY AREA THEATRES AND DRIVE-INS San Joes Capitol Drtvs-ln MARIN COUNTY Novolo Rowland Plaza SANTA ROSA Santa Ran latende NORTH COUNTIES Fmrriold-SofanaMa. Nops CmcdofM PETALUMA Pelaluma Petaluma Qrwmai lilt Samutl Gc D3id V. PicktrWfIG Prorfuction Film bf tfil Schultz 'Llifill'UIIGEr Twrtnct If Carson Uh Amnirtlf JtolrtMtr JafetapM ffitlansWrn fctitita WW BROS MARK LESTER MARTIN E. CAAN pwcuctw i MAI L. LESTER DOLPH tiiPM. m.iiu IAI III DOrtnCOirtf wi WilUiMlln.lUrr, Featuring Husk ty-. SlickUfck TtrnSii3tor X-HewKirK-Nice mum MARK LESTERwMAR'IN nwiwuioi lift -SHOWDOWN IN One's a warrior. One's a wise guy. They're two LA. cops going after a gang of Japanese drug lords. Feet first. ro LUNDGREN BRANDON LEE "SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKW" fTtnUCW fl lltTl Til ImBC BDITTI tfTDCCT WAN mm MARK LESTER Tomorrow 12:30, 2:15, 4:00,6:00, 8:00, 9:55 PM. SHEC THEATRiS AND DRIVHNSi Oakland, Century Emeryville, UA Emery Bay Berkeley, UA Berkeley Pinole, Centu7 Pittsburg, Brenden 8 Martinez, Contra Costa Plaza OR DISCOUNT TICKETS ACCEPT6DI SOSFDS STARTS TOMORROW Century plazas SSF.J429J00 AMC KaBUKIB Pott-Fillmore '931-9800 UNITED ARTISTS UNITED ARTISTS w.PORTAl AT VICENTtU ff THE MOVIES ff EMPIRE COIMA 094-1CW5 I CINEMA 61-253 I I ALEXANDRIA THEATRE T5J-510OI Tomorrow 12:30, 2t30 4:30, 6:00, :00, 10:00 PM. -SPECIAL ENGAGEMtNT-Tomorrow: 11:35.2:15,4:30. 7:40 10.20PM. No Passu. Shows Tomorrow: 12:20,2:35,4:50 720 DOUYTomerrow li30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, rwiS8aBSlMwniifiitinriiMWwyr1rinnriieSlr ALSO STARTS TOMORROW AT THESE PENINSULA Redwood City, UA Redwood Son Mateo, GCC Fashion Is. SAN JOSE San Jose, Century 23 Berryesso, Cenh7 10 Mln. View, CentiKy 10 San Jose, Capitol MARIN COUNTY Novolo, Rowland EAST BAY Hayward, GCC Fremont, Cinedome Dublin, Dublin ALSO STARTS TOMORROW AT THESE SELECT DALY CITY Daly City Gorwvo Drtw-ln EAST BAY Emoryvtlu) United Artlsh Emsryfioy Martins Contra Carta Hayward Fsitlvd Onsmos San Ramon Crow Canyon Oakland Contvry Complss Plnols Contwy 9 Froment Onoaoms 8 East Oakland Calteum Driw-ln lrn City Umon AnttocS Metro PENINSULA Redwood City So. San rrandsco BvHlngams Bvrkngam san Jose Milpltai AMC San Jms-Century Mountain View 01 PI020 Southland City DrhM Csntury Part 12 Century Plata 8 Drtwj-fn Mlkxtai lOTWr 23 Centoy 10 Starts Tomorrow HTS 0f sWvfl 1S-752 4400 EXCLUSIVE SAN FRANCISCO ENGAGEMENT DOLBY STEREOTomorrow: 12:00, 2:30. 5:00, 7:304 No VIPS. -K ISPtCIAL ENGAGEMENT NO PASSES

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