October 31, 2001
Men's Soccer Wins at Army,
| October 31, 2001
An up and down season continued for the men’s soccer team last night when the Red booters (5-4-2, 0-3-2 Ivy) emerged victorious in a 2-0 game against Army (3-10-2, 0-4-1) at West Point, N.Y.
The offense proved opportunistic — an adjective that has not always described its play over the last few weeks — managing both goals on just five shots against Black Knight keeper Kevin Larrabee.
Meanwhile, at the defensive end, Cornell struggled uncharacteristically. The Black Knights provided themselves a variety of excellent opportunities against a normally stingy Red ‘D.’ Army managed to get off seven shots at Doug Allen’s goal, forcing the junior netminder to make three saves.
Surprisingly, the pivotal save in the first period wasn’t courtesy of Allen, it was contributed from senior midfielder Matt Eldridge. Eldridge made a sliding stop on a ball headed across the goalline on a shot from forward Mike Linnington.
Sophomore Evan Wiener put the Red on the board in the 38th minute when he redirected a ball with his head past Larrabee. Classmate Ian Pilarski was credited with the assist on the play.
Army continued to press throughout the remainder of the first and most of the second, but the Cornell defense held tough. Army had a variety of opportunities throughout the game on corner kicks, and the Black Knights’ David Yu missed a goal by inches, but no one could get anything by Allen.
Cornell struck again in the 82nd minute, when senior forward Ted Papadopoulos fed the ball to junior Scott Benowicz, who was waiting to bury a shot from close range. The goals were the first of the season for both Benowicz and Wiener.
The victory comes on the heels of a 2-1 loss to Princeton on Saturday. The team has not put together a string of two or more wins or losses since the beginning of the year, when the squad reeled off back-to-back victories at home against Colgate and Adelphi. Unfortunately for Cornell, the losses have tended to be against Ivy teams, while the squad’s non-conference games have garnered much better results. Cornell will try to keep its win percentage above the .500 mark when it faces Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. this Sunday.
Archived article by Charles Persons
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November 1, 2001
Those of us who saw the previews to K-Pax were probably deceived into trusting the voice-overs about this film starring an alien and a psychiatrist. They lead us to expect a movie equal, perhaps, to E.T. in terms of its emotional angst. Well, E.T. this movie is certainly not, yet it does make a graceful attempt at an overall uplifting message. Starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges, it tells the story of Prot (Spacey), a patient in a psychiatric ward at which Dr. Mark Powell (Bridges) is the treating physician. Prot, however, is no ordinary patient, believing himself to be an alien from the planet K- Pax — a claim we are inclined to believe because of Spacey’s sometimes incredible performance. Bridges plays the disbelieving Dr. Powell, who despite his growing closeness to the odd Prot, is still wary of believing his extraordinary story. The growing relationship between the two is as much a focus of the movie as is trying to discover Prot’s hidden emotional trauma, and relievingly so. The scenes of the hypnosis breakthrough in which Bridges tries to regress Prot into the past are so hysterically bad, that it makes you want to smother Prot with a pillow in order to spare Spacey the agony of self- embarassment. Yet the performances of Spacey and Bridges (other than in the above scenes) are understated and sublime, infusing the movie with the brilliant elegance its edgy filmmaking deserves. The scenes in this film are often terse and pleasantly short, with almost no lengthy monologues that one would expect from any film which has a psychiatrist as a leading role. The dialogue is also often witty, and the humor, wry, as Prot tells the baffled Powell, “Your produce alone has been worth the trip,” as he consumes a banana — peel and all. However, despite the lack of lines, the movie often drags along, especially because of those terrible scenes of hypnotic regression. In other words, most of what is revealed to us as part of Prot’s big mystery could have been effectively accomplished in about 10 minutes. This movie is a confusing mix of rather brilliant acting and at times strong direction, with clunky, irrelevant and wasteful scenes of trite emotion. Spacey’s Prot is meant to remind us of the simple beauty of life. Sometimes his performance is enough to make us forget all that is expendable in this movie. Yet in scenes of corny togetherness with the martyrish lunatics of the asylum, Spacey comes across as a kind of E.T. to Bridges’ Elliot. This is very noble of him, but what happened to the self-destructive, expressively vivid actor that gave us the crazy Lester Burnham of American Beauty? Is Prot meant to be a messenger of God, a wounded catatonic, or a lost K- Paxian? The answers are deliberately vague, as is the cinematography. John Mathieson, the cinematographer, gives us the answers through translucent shots of people and lights intercut with subtle painterly images of a mammoth sky scraper. The building somewhat poetically reflects the many ‘scapes of a city where it is easy to lose touch with the unassuming beauty of life. Unexpectedly, the music is edgy and odd, often providing the relief in the scenes which straggle along as Bridges, ever-pensive, takes his umpteenth nap of the day. Bridges’ character is not quite as complex or interesting as Spacey’s, as he is provoked into doubting all his own self-held beliefs. In a strangely familiar format, Bridges, in trying to help the saintly Prot, forgets about his own life but is reminded of the importance of his family by Prot, who himself is meant to be the healer of all. The crazy lunatics in this film are meant, ironically enough, to be the beacons of sanity that remind us of the amazing simplicity of life. A consistent directive in this film, it is a message which is well-intentioned and perhaps welcome in times like these. If this reminds anyone though, of something, it would be of the One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest tradition of romanticizing the insane as charming quirks and misfits. K-pax could be labeled a mystical psychological drama on the connection that binds us all, and the inherent beauty of life on earth. Overall, the movie is movingly simple and slow, and has a positive, uplifting message which, though corny, is much welcomed in this time of crisis. The amusing dialogue and interesting ending make this film work, but anyone going in to see this film should not do so with the over-rated adulations of the trailer in mind.Archived article by Tara Kilachand
November 1, 2001
In my opinion, amidst all the junk on television today, Geico has some of the wittiest writers working on their commercials. The new ad with a mischievous squirrel causing a car to crash and then exchanging a high five with his approving buddy is pure genius. Then there’s that one with the gecko (not Geico) who is constantly receiving phone calls from people looking for Geico. I’d venture to guess that the three local nu-metal musicians known collectively as JMJ can relate to the frustrated lizard. They’ve been getting calls around the clock from eager juggling muppets trying to find a new pair of jeans. Never a band to disappoint, the three cohorts in JMJ always kindly inform the muppets that although they do not manufacture jeans designed for muppets that juggle, they do make some dang powerful rock and roll! Pushing the analogy even further beyond its limit, I can’t help but imagine what JMJ would look like if they actually were a pair of jeans. Certainly worn and with a hint of nostalgia, they’d have been at their share of Black Sabbath and Metallica shows. At the same time, however, they possess something undeniably new. The power trio, less than 10 months-old, have been wowing crowds with their brand of heavy rock and metal at venues like Cortland’s The Third Rail and Ithaca’s The Haunt. The delivery of singer/bassist Jim Scott is a unique balance between inspired, calm melodicism and an emotional, sometimes aggressive, verbal attack reminiscent of Chris Cornell’s Temple of the Dog days. Mark Alamond demonstrates six-string pyrotechnics at one second, and atmospheric jangle at the next, illustrating the influence of old-school metal alongside the newer sounds of bands like Staind and Linkin Park. Meanwhile, a steady and ground-shaking bottom end is maintained by Scott. Assertively refusing to take a backseat, drummer John Nigro beats his toms and cymbals to death. Nigro, once described as “the world’s happiest drummer” due to his consistent Cheshire grin, rounds out the diversity of influences with Zeppelin, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead. What is most impressive here is the sonic range flaunted by the trio. Their five-song demo is a testament to this talent for songwriting, a duty shared collectively by the three rockers. “Zombie” is a combination of metal aesthetics with an angst-fueled grunge feel. I would even go so far as to say that “Tomorrow” has a vague Pixies influence. As it turns out, Scott is heavily inspired by Frank Black’s work. The band has even worked “Gauge Away” into their live sets. Believe it or not, they segue from the Pixies’ classic into the King of Pop’s “Billy Jean.” If the image of Frank Black and Michael Jackson standing back to back is not extreme enough, the band describes their own sound with the rhetorical question, “What if Neil Diamond got into an accident with Metallica?” No, you may not hear Scott belting out “Sweet Caroline” at JMJ’s next show, but the contrast between his melodic approach and the obvious presence of the metal idiom does create an unexpected and accessible sound. The band’s aim is to produce a “different form of heavy rock/metal.” With plans to eventually incorporate samples and MIDI technology into their repertoire and possibly an increased affinity for the heavier sound of bands like Disturbed, their evolution is far from complete. Even the 13 originals now in their grab bag have undergone serious makeovers, with haunting intros and startling breaks thrown in for good measure. Recognizing the see-saw between the technicality of music for musicians and the accessibility of music for the crowds, Nigro, Alamond, and Scott have tended to lean toward the former end. However, the mature sound they have crafted happens to also be surprisingly appealing. The trio is adept in the dynamics of tension and release, leading to some exciting song structures. Also of note is the band’s lyricism. In the poignant narrative on a father’s mortality, “Dad,” Scott sings “Facing your memories will never fade/ Never Fade until my dying day/ Until we meet again/ Carry on now, carry on now, carry on now/ My closest friend.” Brand new songs like “Fish Head” and “Terminal Illness” are evidence of the band’s rapid maturation, executed live as if these three have been playing together for well over 9 months. The band will be playing at The Haunt on November 9, along with other unposted shows, before taking a short sabbatical, during which they plan to stock up on new equipment and book more gigs at The Haunt and Binghamton’s New Cheers Pub. They are also hoping to cut their first full-length album this winter. UPCOMING SHOWS: Friday, November 9 @ the Haunt, opening for Dog Day Sunrise and special guest.Archived article by Ben Kupstas