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The News Tribune from Tacoma, Washington • 37

The News Tribunei
Tacoma, Washington
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 11 1995 SL3 Misguided Leaming'stoops to cliches 'i nr Lv Ti By Marshall Fine Gannett Suburban Newspapers John Singleton obviously wants everyone to know he thinks deep thoughts about the way the world is and the way it should be Not just that he wants us all to know what they are The res Billboard) What Learning' Where: Narrows Plaza Lincoln Plaza Gateway Center Metro Cinemas Director John Singleton Cast Omar Epps Kristy Swanson Michael Rapaport Ice Cube Jennifer Connelly and Laurence Rshbume Rating Language violence sexual situations nudity Running time: 127 minutes gads: result is the pretentious and laughable a film that offers stale platitudes about brotherhood racism sexism and most of the other isms you can name In its own way the film is as mis- 1 guided as Spike REVIEW similarly 1 heavy-handed That film at least had a topic we hadn't seen before: black-on-black bigotty Learning tries to show what like to be young confused and in college today But its characters might as well wear labels because they aren't developed beyond a single character trait The film is set at the fictional Columbus University a tip-off right there Christopher Columbus being the perennial whipping boy of the politically correct Another overdone visual cue: signs that keep showing up in the background bearing the winds Exit In Jean-Paul play of the same name hell was other people-but he hadn't seen this film Singleton who wrote the Bcript tries to look at the college from the viewpoint of three separate freshmen who all bring their particular brandof naivete: Malik (Omar Epps) a black athlete who thinks his athletic prowess and his race should allow him to glide easily through college There's Kristen (Kristy Swanson) who is raped at her first frat party then flirts with lesbianism And Remy (Mark Rapo-port) an Idaho hayseed so socially inept (and obviously angry) that you know wind up on top of a building with a rifle (which he does) even Director Dl StMMSsCoiunbia Pictures John Slngeton has tried to capture what Mf Is Ifca for colegs students if he didn't hook up with a band of skinhead white supremacists (which he also does) The wisdom is spouted by mentors who are polar opposites Fudge (Ire Cube) the long-time senior who smokes dope and pontificates about the ways the white man keeps the black man down And Prof Maurice Phipps (Laurence Fishbume) who says things like primary purpose at the university level is to learn how to Singleton would like to make points about the dangers women fare on college campuses but cant seem to avoid implying that rape Victims immediately decide to become lesbians He wants to examine the subtleties of racism but seems fixated on white supremacists is shot with proficiency but is so labored in its writing and overwrought in its emotions that it threatens to stray into territory hard to believe it was written and directed by the same person who did the much more spare and evocative The takes great pains to court controversy But all it provokes is inappropriate laughter opinions John movie look at college life has a pumpedup stylized flow exhilarating -at first This is a youth movie recognizably done from a young outlook that takes us part of the way into current campus feelings and attitudes Then something bad happens The movie tries to teach too much ideas No one who sits througi this ambitious and righteous movie can come away unmoved by Singleton's heartfelt call for underkanding and ea08ae MdUMt Moa Fwt WerW StertWegws John Singleton's third feature Learning' tries desperately to exist on a higier plane But the broad strokes of the story and its lack of subtlety weigh this movie down from the start Susan Khv DsMss Morning Nows If at lerth the film proves too facile in portraying convenient stereotypes of cultural at least the picture seeks to convey big New Tacoma multiplex theater will focus on films By Soren Andaman The News Tribune owned and operated the Grand Illusion Theater in University District for more than 15 years Specialty films are the only type the Grand Illusion plays And no stranger to Tacoma either TVrenty years ago I started my movie career in Tacoma with a theater called the Image at 54th and which he built and operated for a year and a half The Antique Sandwich Co occupies the site today He programmed the likes of and and other out-side-the-mainstream titles His new Grand Tacoma Cinema is much bigger than the old Image Bigger also than the Grand Illusion which seats only 95 There are nearly that many seats in the smallest of the three auditoriums in the Grand Tacoma Doyle said Ift that small auditorium that will be open for business cm Friday Doyle hopes to open the two larger auditoriums each with a capacity of 130 people by March 1 March 1 also will mark the opening of his completed lobby concession area which will feature a seating area and espresso service A smaller 'I XX Please seeFBma Page 6 eign-made some of them financed outside the studio system almost all of them Those are the kinds of films he intends to bring to Tacoma likely run such films a couple ofweeks alter they open in Seattle Seattle is still considered the film renter in the Pacific Northwest by distributors and so for the time being at least Seattle theaters will continue to get first dibs on the bulk of specialty movies In bringing that kind of movie to Thcoma Doyle is joining an increasingly crowded field The Rialto Film Guild programmed alternative films since early last year So has the Tacoma Film Society The Blue Mouse has too although it has been showing fewer such films lately Some of the big-chain multiplexes in town also dabble in this kind of programming from time to time Doyle intends to play these kinds of pictures all the time seven days a week That sets him apart from the competition What also sets him apart is that unlike the people who founded the Rialto Film Guild the Tacoma Film Society and the operators of the Blue Mouse Doyle is no newcomer to the field of specialty exhibition t'r I I ll Get ready for a Grand opening That is to say the Grand Tacoma Cinema is set to open Friday a three-screen multiplex but unlike all other multiple-screen movie houses in Tacoma not located in a shopping renter Rather right downtown in the Meriino Art Center at the corner of Sixth and South Fawcett avenues And the movies that will play there will be quite unlike the usual The low-budget highly praised thriller Rock West" will be the opening-week film Before the end of the month the acclaimed three-hour basketball documentary Dreams" will begin an open-ended run This is not your ordinary movie theater And the whole point Hie Grand will be what is known in film exhibition circles as an art house Just call it that when you're around owner Paul Doyle hate to use the term Doyle said He believes it no longer applies because the kind of stratification the term implies Bergman filttrf Up hen Schwarzenegger movies down News Tribune flte1993 Lara Flyim Boyla and Nicolas Caga star In tha fltawwir thriller Rock which will be shown at the Grand Tacoma Cinema's debut there has been breaking down of late at The Look at Pulp They would have been called art films 10 or 20 years Doyle said No more Lately "The along with such eso- teric pictures as The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover' and The Crying have gained increasing acceptance with mainstream audiences Doyle prefers the label 4 or pictures foiy i ii1! i'- rf'st'w.

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