THE GOLDEN CHILD
The Golden Child (PG) (Michael Ritchie, US, 1986) Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Charlotte Lewis. 94 mins. There is one, and only one, truly delighttul moment in The Golden Child. Viathe miracle of modern special-effects, a Pepsi-Cola can ring-pulls itsell, unturls like a flag and relorms into a small tin man that proceeds to lap dance to the strains of Puttin’ On The Ritz. Unlortunately, one tap-dancing can does not make a successful film.
Eddie Murphy has now established himself as an invincible box-office attraction and, in the States, even this parlous nonsense has earned in excess at $60 million. However, in his ascendancy to superstardom, his once abrasiver refreshing, loul-mouthed personality has been smoothed and sanitised for easy mass consumption. In The Golden Child he is now a social worker whose speciality is linding lost children. Once upon a time he would have been expected to broil them.
Murphy is ChandlerJarrell and, unknown to him, he is The Chosen One who is destined to save the world by his protection and service to The Golden Child, a perfect infant born once every thousand generations who is the repository of all goodness and compassion. Unlortunately, the careless little brat has been kidnapped and it is Murphy’s duty to rescue him from the evil clutches oi the Prince ol Darkness, Sardo (Charles Dance). He is reluctantly enlisted by the beautiful Kee Hang (Charlotte Lewis) and is soon
whisked oft to distant Tibet. Them, the plot doesn't so much thicken as visibly congeaL
Murphy's humour has been based on his observations of contemporary life and his infectious disdain lorthe establishment. Director Michael Ritchie, in films like The Candidate and Smile, was once an incisive satirist oi the American way. On paper it's a promising partnership butthey are given nothing to work with except some patently ridiculous mumbo-iumbo mystical adventure that is sexist, racist and pretty mindless as well. Both men operate best from the streets oftheir native land, not from the mountains of Tibet. Murphy looks as if he has been given too much leeway to improvise
and is left floundering around in search of a decent put-down, droning away with its drain-like laugh. As for Charles Dance, one can only assume that he was paid a large sum of money, there can be no other excuse for his thankless participation as the villain of the peace.
There are some pretty nifty special effects to oft-set the intrusive musical score and Charlotte Lewis’s impersonation of a tree. However, let's hope Murphy redeems himsell with the lorthcoming Beverly Hills Cop II. An uncharitable reviewer might call the Golden Child a 24-carat clinker, but there isthis Pepsi-Cola can that. . . (Allan Hunter)
0 Down By Law (15) (Jim Jarmusch, US, 1986) Tom Waits, John Lurie. Robert Benigni. 106 mins. Two abrasive hepcats with woman trouble and a haplessly innocent Italian tourist with a penchant for American poetry in translation are thrown together in a New Orleans prison cell. but miraculously manage to shamble their way out of confinement and across the Louisiana swamps.
A singularly seedy fairytale with luscious monochrome visuals, a script peppered with moments of wayward comic invention. and three lazily charismatic players, this milestone of American film comedy could only fail to be enjoyed by the utterly humourless. Very highly recommended indeed. Glasgow; GFT. Edinburgh; Playhouse
0 Duck Soup (U) (Leo McCarey, US, 1933) The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern. 70 mins. The four Marxes near their anarchic peak with a hysterical satire in which Groucho as Rufus T. Fireﬂy is hired as the dictator of the mythical, postage stamp republic Freedonia and decides to wage war on the neighbouring Sylvania. Harpo and Chico are double agents for the other side. Glasgow; GFI‘
0 Eleni (PG) T3! (Peter Yates, US, 1985) Kate Nelligan, John Malkovich, Ronald Pickup. 117 mins. Investigative journalist Nicolas Cage‘s book of the same title was an account of his efforts to find
those responsible for the death ofhis mother. who was executed by leftists in 1948 during the Greek civil war.
Peter Yates‘ film jettisons most of the painstaking detail which made the book so effective. leaving us with a rather simplistic tale ofone woman‘s fight against commie nasties, with Nelligan overplaying to the hilt and Malkovich an unprepossessing man with a mission. Glasgow; Salon 0 Farewell to the Ark (18) (Shuji Terayama.Japan, 1984) Mayumi Ogawa. Yoshio Harada. 127 mins. Director Terayama died shortly after filming was completed and his associates assembled the completed work. Closely related to his stage production of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude. this is an epic and elegaic tale of a remote and eccentric rural community holding on to its bizarre customs in the face of the 20th century. Part of a special Terayama weekend. See Panel. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Friends and Husbands (15) ' (Margarethe Von Trotta, W. Germany. 1982) Hanna Schygulla, Angela Winkler. 106 mins. A chance meeting between a lecturer and a painter leads to a sympathetic. understanding friendship between the two women that is unfavourably compared with the insecure, narcissistic competitiveness of their respective spouses and the company they keep. Another finely observed
and painfully recognisable drama of human relationships. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
O The Golden Child (PG) it (Michael Ritchie, US, 1986) Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Charlotte Lewis. 94 mins. See Caption Review. Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; ABC. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock, ABC Kilmarnock, Odeon Ayr
o The Grey Fox (PG) (Phillip Borsos, Canada, 1982) Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs, 91 mins. Flavourful account of the life and crimes of stagecoach bandit Bill Miner who re-emerged into the 20th century after 33 years in San Quentin and easily adapted by robbing trains. Nicely-judged turn-of-the-century western with former stuntman Richard Farnsworth comfortably holding centre stage as the charmingly roguish Miner. Edinburgh; EUFS
O Gung Ho (PG) (Ron Howard, US, 1986) Michael Keaton, Gedde Watanabe, George Wendt. 111 mins. When the workers of a New England car plant are tossed on the scrap heap of Reagan’s America, union organiser Keaton ﬂies to Tokyo and persuades Assan Motors to take over the running of the factory.
Thin, predictable culture clash comedy that marks another downward movement in the progressively disappointing career of actor turned director Howard.
Glasgow; ABC Clarkston Road, ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; Dominion. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock,
ABC Kilmarnock, Kelburne. Odeon Hamilton
0 Heartbreak Ridge ( 15) (Clint Eastwood, US, 1986) Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill. 130mins. Rough. tough Marine gunnery sergeant Eastwood whips a bunch of raw recruits into shape and tries to rekindle the affection of his ex-wife as he faces up to impending retirement. Then he’s asked to invade Grenada . . . Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street, Cinema, Grosvenor. Edinburgh; ABC. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; Kelburne. Odeon Hamilton, Rialto O Heartburn (15) (Mike Nichols, US, 1986) Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels. 110 mins. Essentially a rather superficial and lightweight satirical portrait of a contemporary American marriage this is extremely pleasurable viewing thanks to the star teaming. Maternal Meryl suffers mightily and Jack still has the
' wickedest eyebrows in the West.
Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; ABC
0 High Noon (U) (Fred Zinnemann, US, 1952) Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges. 85 mins. Sheriff Cooper. on the point of riding into the sunset with bride Kelly, chooses to stay and defend his community against four murderous gunmen. No one will assist him so he stands alone.
Lean, taut, spring-coiled Western with a grimly resolute ‘Coop' on Oscar-winning form, the insistent title song and Zinnemann‘s masterful direction combining to produce a classic. Edinburgh; EUFS
o Intolerance (U) (D. W. Griffith, US, 1916) Lillian Gish. Mae Marsh, Bessie Love. 186 mins. Griffith’s dauntingly ambitious silent epic, sub-titled ‘Love’s Struggle Through the Ages', delivers a sentimental, moralising sermon on man’s inhumanity to man by breathtakingly interlocking four stories of intolerance from Biblical times to the present day. A commercial failure seventy years ago, the dazzling editing technique and monumental Babylonian sets still impress. Edinburgh; EUFS 0 Legal Eagles (PG) (Ivan Reitman, US, 1986) Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Terence Stamp. 116 mins. Over-plotted and somewhat bland romantic comedy-thriller embroiling dishy assistant DA Redford in a case of art fraud. Edinburgh; Dominion O Labyrinth (U) (Jim Henson, UK, 1986) Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie. 101 mins.
Occasionally inventive and fairly charming family film. Edinburgh; Odeon o The Legend ol the Suram Fortress (U) (Sergo Paradjanov, USSR, 1985) 87 mins. The film imagines a mythical Georgia of indeterminate date where the national defences are useless because the walls of the Suram fortress collapse every time they reach a certain height. It is left to a willing martyr who will allow himself to be bricked into the
8 The List 23 Jan — 5 Feb