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January 5, 1996     The Message
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January 5, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- On The Record--- Review of Pop/Rock 1995 What are your impressions of pop/rock in 1995? Who was your fa- vorite group or musician? What song was your No. 1 hit of the year? By CHARLIE MARTIN CNS COLUMNIST i feet our individual lives. The flip side of new stars is what I call "LTRs," that is, Long II When it comes to 1995's best that the countdown Shows will pick ballad about addictive love, "Kiss Time Rockers. It was a good year While I liked this cassingle, three other It is interesting to look back over a year's music. At the end of each year I look for changes or pat- terns that seem to be emerging. An overview leads me to suggest that pop/rock pro- duced a more "settled" approach during the past year, with the more established stars and groups doing well. However, new energy in music arose from sev- eral sources. Among the best new recording artists was Blessed Union of Souls. Their debut CD "Home" offered fresh commentary on the challenges facing us today. Off this disc was their big hit "I Be- lieve," a song that addresses interracial dating and the prejudice which often greets it. In a different vein is England's "Take That." I liked their sound on "Back for Good," but I doubt that the group can live up to its claim to be the Bea- tles second coming. I also would place Natalie Merchant in this cat- egory. While well-established as the lead singer for 10,000 Maniacs, her new solo disc "Tiger Lily" fur- ther demonstrates her talent as a writer and musi- cian. Her hit "Carnival" reflects on the exploitation and greed within society, and how these forces af- for these artists and witnessed the I revival of some groups. Thus, Foreigner reappeared from obscurity with their great sound (at least to oldsters like me! ) on "Until the End of Time." And what list of LTRs would be complete with- out Van Halen. They re-emerged with "Can't Stop Loving You." Hardly missing from the music scene but demonstrating continuing success with "Always" and "Something for the Pain" was Bon Jovi. Step- ping away from his personal troubles, Michael Jack- son put out the double CD "History," getting an- other No. 1 with his remake "You Are Not Alone." What might be called rock's mellow side is rep- resented by two very successful groups in 1995. Boyz II Men showed yearlong staying power with hits like "Water Runs Dry" and "Thank You," both off their best-selling "II" disc. Also leading this ro- mantic sound was All-for-One with their chart-top- ping "I Can Love You Like That." While differing in musical style from these groups, I would also place Amy Grant here with her 1995 smash "House of Love." were my favorites. The Cranberries' "Zombie" arose out personal experience with violence in land. The deeper message in this to work for change, to the effects of violence. Second on my list would be "Colors of the Wind," from the tas. The song asks us to recognize creation is connected and thus to see that t is to be found everywhere in our world. As for my favorite song of the year, I : Eagles' "Learn to Be Still" a powerful a life focused solely on activity misses purpose. No matter what our age, we all powerful moments when we can connect God and renew our spirits. May these attitudes -- respect for the: ness of all life and for the need to find in our lives -- guide each one of us as this new year. (Your comments are always welcome. dress: Charlie Martin, RR 3, Box 182, 47635.) At the movies: Current capsule reviews t .... I II THE CATHOLIC I| II COMMUNaCATION III By Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Film and Broadcast- ing. "Cry the Beloved Court. try" (Miramax) Fine adaptation of Alan Paton's novel set in 1946 South Africa, where a black minister (James Earl Jones}, whose son has killed a white man, recon- ciles with the victim's father (Richard Harris) in a story ex- ploring the artifical barriers of racial differences. Director Darrell James Roodt empha- sizes the human dignity of the characters, the equality of all in the sight of God and the in- justice of a society based on racism. Restrained violence and sexual references in a jus- tice context. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A- II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be in- appropriate for children under 13. "Cutthroat Island" (MGM) Rousing 17th-century adven- ture in which a fearless female pirate (Geena Davis) teams with a dashing thief (Matthew Modine) to beat her murderous uncle (Frank Langella) in find- ing a huge cache of pirate trea- sure. Producer-director Renny Harlin's lavish swashbuckler is fast-paced escapist fun as as- sorted blackguards engage in fiery, death-defying stunts on ship and shore. Frequent styl- ized violence and some sexual innuendo. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A- III-- adults. The Motion Pic- ture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "Dracula: Dead and Lov- ing It" (Castle Rock) Slack spoof of Bela Lugosi's 1931 "Dracula," with Leslie Nielsen hamming it up as the title Transylvanian vampire whose bloody night-time antics in 1893 England are stymied by a quirky metaphysician (Mel Brooks). Also directed by Brooks, the familiar vampire tale is laced with slapstick comedy and verbal gags but the uneven humor seldom re- lieves the tedium of the tongue-in-cheek melodramat- ics. Comic gory effects and sex- ual innuendo. The U.S. Catholic Conference classifica- tion is A-III -- adults. The Mo- tion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 w parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be in- appropriate for children under 13. "Grumpier Old Men" (Warner Bros.) Genial sequel in which the bickering of fishing buddies (Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) is escalated by a voluptuous newcomer (Sophia Loren) who dares to turn their favorite bait shop into an Ital- ian restaurant. While slim on storyline, director Howard Deutch's romantic comedy de- icts a half-dozen seniors as spirited citizens still open to starting loving relationships. Some vulgar expressions and sexual innuendo. The U.S. Catholic Conference classifica- tion is A-III -- adults. The Mo- tion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be in- appropriate for children under 13. "Lamerica" (New Yorker) Eager to make a fortune in post-communist Albania, an Italian con man (Enrico Lo Verso) sets up a phony scheme involving a confused old man (Carmelo Di Mazzarelli) who spent 50 years as a political prisoner, then becomes ashamed of exploiting the el- derly man's simple love and trust. Director Gianni Amelio's moving human drama strikes a universal chord both in its small-scale story of the two men and in the larger picture of impoverished Albanians des- perate for a better life abroad. Subtitles. Occasional rough language. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A- Ii -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Pic- ture Association of America. "Nixon" (Hollywood) Overlong, meandering view of the tortured, contradictory personality of Richard M. Nixon (Anthony Hopkins), whose checkered political ca- reer comes to an end in the dis- grace of the Watergate cover- up. Director Oliver Stone's interpretation of Nixon's char- acter is a work of historical fic- tion, combining facts and con- jecture in a narrative which pays homage to "Citizen Kane" by seeking the key to the man in his experiences as a boy. De- I MILLER & MILLER "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" 424-9274 I II I I I vious political machinations, sexual references, much pro- fanity and some rough lan- guage. The U.S. Catholic Con- ference classification is A- III adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Richard III" (United Artists) Wildly imaginative updating of Shakespeare's play to 1930s Britain, where civil war brings a new monarch to the throne coveted by his duplicitous brother, the Duke of Glouces- ter (Inn McKellan), who sets out to gain it through murder. Directed by Richard Loncraine, the result places Shakespeare's Elizabethan language and me- dieval subjects in a 20th-cen- tury context of fascist move- ments and absolute dictatorships that give fresh significance to the play's portrait of an auto- cratic villain. Stylized violence and sexual references. The U.S. Catholic Conference clas- sification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- re- stricted. "Sudden Death" (Univer- sal) Formula thriller pitting a fire inspector (Jean-Claude Van Damme) against a corrupt government agent (Powers Boothe) who will blow up a crowded sports arena unless he gets a $1.7 billion payoff. Di- rected by Peter Hyams, the narrative generates little sus- pense as people are killed with CARRIAGE INN FAMILY RESTAURANT PARTIES SERVED FAMILY STYLE 1-800-293-2559 dreary regularity dictably heroic cessive violence fleeting nudity ant rough language' Catholic tion is O The Motion Picture of America rating stricted. "12 Monkeys"' Convoluted 2035 when the a 1997 killer learn the cause by sending a criminal (Bruce time to 1996 trist (Madeleine in tracking the gang of the title Pitt). Directed : Gilliam, the tive gets lost in and nasty turns scure what is esS story of a youth  own death as a Some nasty viole situations and The U.S. classification is with reservationS" Picture rating is R The Decorating 21 East Washington, IN Business: 254-7794 SEAFOOD 10:30 AM MON. CAL 103 Gibson