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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 36
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 36

Detroit, Michigan
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"EYE-POPPING BASKETBALL ACTION. PUTS THE 'NBA' TO SHAME." -Paul WoiKfor, WBAI mnmnxn THE EDGE OF EXPLOITATION Ballplayer dodges the risks of the street Above The Rim school basketball star who plays in a in "Above the Rim." 2 Rated profanity, some violence 4: Outstanding 2: So-so 3: Worthy effort A bomb work makes the audience sympathetic to his plight, his only real nemesis seems to be himself. Consider: Kyle-Lee's not terribly poor. He's the only child of a single, hard-working mother (Tonya Pinkins). The pressure of getting a college bid makes Kyle-Lee an unpredictable hothead, and greedy too. Plus, he's hanging out with the clownish Buga-loo (Marlon Wayans, formerly of Fox's "In Living fresh out of jail. There's also Shep (Leon), wracked by guilt over the death of a friend who died while playing a rooftop pickup game. He wants to put basketball behind him until he inevitably crosses Kyle-Lee's path. Literally. We also discover that the noble Shep is Birdie's older brother. The two actors share sculpted cheekbones, goatees and expressive eyes that make them eminently watch-able. Shakur, even weighted down with chunky gold chains, is particularly compelling, proving that "Poetic Justice" was no fluke. Leon and Shakur are both fine actors who should be in better movies. The real one to watch is Martin, a fine ballplayer, too, who alternates between the overconfident arro- Duane Martin (left) plays a high neighborhood shootout contest gance of a Baby Jordan (his character's nickname) and the naivete of a frustrated 18-year-old trying to come to grips with where he wants to be in 10 years. He decides during the last stretch of the movie, during the Shootout match held in a downtown park. Kyle-Lee learns how to pass the ball, even playing against Birdie's bad guy bruisers, who don't play anywhere near fair. At this point the questions set in: Where's the ref? Why would a high school coach encourage his starting lineup to play in essentially a street match? What does Kyle-Lee mother do for a living? That last question is most telling 1:50 5:00 7:15 9:40 STARTS TODfflf 2:00 4:40 7:10 9:40 15 1.30 5 30 7 45 9:55 1:00 3:05 5:05 7:30 4: .30 5 '56 30 7:15 8:30 9:15 1:00 3:05 5:05 7:30 9:45 5:40 7:45 9:55 1:00 3:05 5:05 7:30 9:45 I 00 3:05 5 05 770 7 45 9 35 10 1.00 3:05 5:05 7:30 9:45 1:00 3:05 5 05 7:30 9:45 1.30 2 15 5:30 8:15 1 0:45 1 1 20 1 40 4 1 0 6 2 5 8 40 1 0:50 1 2:15 3 0 3 30 -0 40 I I 45 2 is 10 2:45 3:00 5:00 7:15 9:35 I I celebrates Marvin Gaye's life By Anderson Jones Pre Press Staff Wnter idway through "Above the Rim" another basketball movie following in the size 16 footsteps of "Blue Chips" and "The Air Up There" I was struck by an irony. In a throwaway scene, two characters leave a Harlem movie house showcasing a 70s retrospective of films including "Shaft." I wondered if it was a joke. But New Line Cinema, the film company marketing "Rim," is actually that close to being a blaxploitation factory itself scoring with "Menace II Society" certainly, but striking out with junk like "House Party 3." This troublesome point was further driven home by a preview before "Rim" in which a black homeless man becomes the hunted big game "prey" of a group of mostly white "hunters" in another New Line Cinema film. Scary. There's less to fear in the urban parable at hand, however. Written by Barry Cooper Jack and Jeff Pollack, who is also making his directorial debut, "Rim" centers on conflicted New York high school basketball star Kyle-Lee (Duane Martin), who is torn between the allure of drug dealer Birdie and his money-lined pockets and making it on Georgetown's starting team. Troubled rapper Tupac Shakur (who might want to quit his day job) stars as Birdie. Birdie doesn't ask Kyle-Lee to sell drugs, just to play on his team during the climactic Shootout competition. And while Martin's convincing By Gary Graff Free Press Music: Writer Notes from the music beat With the 10th anniversary of Marvin Gaye's death approaching, Motown Records is saying "How Sweet It Is." The company is talking about the music, of course, but rolling out an intensive marketing campaign to commemorate a death does make you wonder. Gaye, one of Motown's most accomplished and controversial artists, was shot dead by his father on April 1 1984 the day before the singer's 44th birthday. Motown is using the occasion to re-release several Gaye albums, including 1978's "Here My Dear," 1981's "In Our Lifetime" and a remastered version of his landmark 1971 album "What's Going On." That's just the beginning of a full-year celebration that will see the release of more reissues, two boxed sets, a special video, several compilations and albums of previously unre-leased material. Gaye's widow, Jan, and daughter Nona will serve as spokeswomen for the campaign. "Marvin is one of the most important cornerstone artists in our catalog," Motown president Jheryl Busby told Billboard magazine. "He's an integral part of the Motown story. I spent last summer listening to Mar- Pianist Murray Perahia Motown it PJHjl ijBJBi "fllM ilil'll Mi 5:45 7:45 7:50 10:00 gn.iiwium.n. 4 1 4 14 1 I m71 f1 1 Ii 1 1 I IW if 1 Hi 'I'M 1 'ill kwl 8:00 10:00 12:05 2:30 5:15 7:45 9:45 5:30 7:30 9:40 iW-Tri I F7T 1 rM If I rV T-l'J afl t1 2:00 5:30 7:30 10:00 2:00 1:00 3:00 5:00 7:30 9:30 5:25 12:30 2:30 4:30 7:15 9:10 1:30 3:30 1:50 5:40 5:40 7:30 9:35 1:20 3:20 5:20 7:20 9:20 5:30 7:30 9:30 11:50 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 1 0:00 ijtK.vii!;y.ii;i7xii--in:rT.N: irm 1 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12:00 2:00 4:00 6:15 8:1510:15 11 1:00 3:00 5:00 7:00 9:00 11 11:45 1:453:45 6:158.15 10:15 12:00 2.00 4:00 7:00 9:30 1:00 3:15 5:20 7:15 9:20 the women here are little more than window dressing. Unfortunate girlfriends with gold door-knocker earrings are mute throughout. One is a prostitute who can be bought for a few drinks. It's surprising that Cooper hasn't learned from criticism about the very same thing following "New Jack City." And that "Rim's" pulsing sound track moves faster than the movie's action. Films with principally African-American casts shouldn't have to mean hats cocked sideways, baggy jeans around the knees, slithery drug dealers and voiceless women. Not even in service of a fast break. Or buck. is also facing high expectations for his next album which he just finished recording in Madison, Wis. Over the course of two albums and last year's "Unlucky" EP, the Kansas native has become a critic's darling, but Johnston, 33, says he keeps the plaudits at bay when he's making music. "Of course, it's nice to be loved, but I wouldn't say I've had huge, overwhelming success," Johnston says. "I just try to get my own work done rather than reading reviews." Johnston opens for the Cowboy Junkies at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor. Call 668-8397 anytime. Since Signing On two years ago, hard rock station WDZR-FM better known as Z-Rock has proven a sturdy force in the Detroit rock radio wars. Now the station has opened a battlefront in the record stores. It's just released "The Best of Detroit Stuff, Volume 1," a compilation CD that features 15 local rockers among them Kristin Sayer, No Mercy, Reckless Youth and Bludshot. Working with Warren-based Serendipity Entertainment, WDZR hopes to host showcases featuring performers from the CD. "We want to try to get some of these bands out and in front of people, maybe even a couple of national (labels)," says "Detroit Stuff' coproducer Steve Black. Windsor. 1-800-387-9181. ALL CITY DANCE CONCERT, celebration of 50 years of dance instruction by Detroit's public schools, 7 p.m.. Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison. 963-2366 or 494-1575. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE, music by Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, 8 p.m., Varner Recital Hall, Oakland University, Rochester Hills. 377-3103. RYSE TIME, with Michael Brock Darcel Browne, 9 p.m., Flood's Bar and Grill, 731 St. Antoine near Greektown. 963- 1090. DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, conducted by Nee me Jarvi, performs works by Gershwin, Dvorak Bernstein, 8 p.m., Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward. 833-3700. R0LUNC STONES AT THE MAX, film concert, 8 p.m. Detroit Science Center, Omnimax Theatre, 5020 John at Warren. 577-8400. WORLD BEAT NIGHT, presented bv the World Beat Crew, 9 p.m. The Sting, 20231 James Couzens. 341-6164. "THE SOUND OF MUSIC," 1 8 p.m., Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd. Ticketmaster or 872-1000. By Janet Josaitis 1:20 3:40 7:20 9:30 1:30 3:30 NO PASSES OR 5:30 7:45 9:50 COUPONS ACCEPTED DRIVE-IN pushing Who bassist John Entwistle to join him, and the production will employ orchestras from each city it visits. The project apparently has the blessing of Who tunesmith Pete Townshend: "I think what Roger's trying to do is not just sing my stuff but also to demonstrate that he can do so in an imaginative and fresh way," Townshend tells Rolling Stone magazine. "I think a lot of people that are close to Roger me included hope that what this will do will free him to go on to other material." Thanks To A Top 10 Hit, a remake of the Tymes' "So Much in Love," expectations are high for the debut album by new group All-4-One. The quartet thought the record was finished until it visited Atlantic Records' New York headquarters and heard "I Swear," the hit by hot country star John Michael Montgomery. "It's a great song, and we all liked it," says All-4-One's Delious Kennedy, 23. "They asked us if we wanted to do it, and we said sure; everybody in the group likes to sing great songs." So All-4-One rushed back into the studio with Grammy-winning producer David Foster to cut the track, and they managed to get it on the album without changing the scheduled April 12 release date. Singer-Songwriter Freedy Johnston LIST! "THE VAST DIFFERENCE," 2 7:30 p.m.. Gem Theatre, 58 E. Columbia. 963-9800. "THE HEIDI CHRONICLES," 2 8 p.m., Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass. 577-2972. "HAIR," 25th Anniversary Celebration, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward. Through Sun. Ticketmaster or 396-7600. "THE NOT MIKADO," 8 p.m., Birmingham Theatre, 21 1 S. Woodward, Birmingham. Through April 24. Ticketmaster or 644-3533. "THE SOUND OF MUSK," 8 p.m., Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd. Ticketmaster or 872-1000. "THE LAST DAYS OF MR. LINCOLN." 2 8 p.m., Meadow Brook Theatre, Oakland University. Rochester Hills. Ticketmaster or 377-3300. Thursday COWBOY 1UNKIES. Freedy Johnston, 7:30 p.m.. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty. Ann Arbor. Ticketmaster or 668-8397. LEMONHEAIS. Flop. 7:30 p.m.. Michigan State University Auditorium, E. Lansing. Ticketmaster or 1-517-336-2000. NATIONAL BALLET Of CANADA CONCERT CROUP. 8 p.m., Chrysler Theatre. Geary International Centre. 201 Riverside Dr. an K4 IK n't ii CWJHBH "iK Critics' darling Freedy Johnston tries to keep praise at bay. vin's catalog, and it's unique to find an artist who shared his inner thoughts so completely with his fans." In Detroit, the annual Gaye celebration will be held with a fund-raiser titled "2648 Grand Celebration" a reference to Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. headquarters. The event is slated for April 30 at the Roostertail, with details to come. Is A Two-Thirds Who Reunion better than no Who reunion at all? Fans may get a chance to decide this summer, when singer Roger Daitrey takes to the road with his "Daitrey Sings Townshend" tribute show which he first staged last month at New York's Carnegie Hall. Daitrey is THE Today PIANIST MURRAY PERAHIA performs works by Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin, 8 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University, Ann Arbor. 764-2538. PIANO SUMMIT, features Henry Feinberg, Skeleton Crew, Michael Krieger, Susan Calloway, Luis Resto, doors open 8 p.m., Magic Bag Theatre Cafe, 22918 Woodward, Ferndale. 544-3030. INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS HOME. FLOWER FURNITURE SHOW, 2-10 p.m. weekdays. Cobo Conference-Exhibition Center. Through call for schedule. 224-1010. INDOOR SUPER FAIR, indoor carnival complete with midway, games, food and exhibits, 4-10 p.m. weekdays. Pontiac Silverdome. Through March call for schedule. 456-1600. COMEDY TEAM MAL0NE N00TCHEEZ, 8:30 p.m., Joey's Comedy Club at Paisano's. 5070 Schaefer, Dearborn. 584-8885. MARK BLACKHEART. country music. 9:30 p.m., Country Ranch, 15328 Dixie Holly. 634-4885. SHARECROPPERS OF SOUL blues jam with local artists. 9 p.m.. Sisko's, 5855 Monroe, Taylor. 278-5340. M055O7r7l7O lM TTr3 005 00775 9 12 551 05 5 05 7 20 9 40 I 10 1 '5 5 1 25 9 30 i 1 II 30 2 1 5 4 15 700 930 12 10 2 15 4 30 7 10 -as iim 1.10 4 20 7 40 10 00 1.3 10 5 20 7 40 9 55 I Sorry No I NO PASSES OR COUPONS ACCEPTED ONLY IN THE FREE PRESS HAnn Landers Iff Miss Manners H'Sonya Friedman EfThe Shearers ONLY $250 A WEEK in the Metropolitan Detroit area. Call 222-6500 for convenient home delivery.

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