o This section aims to provide a review of every film to be seen in central Scotland over the next fortnight. For programme times see individual cinema listings.
(U)- Universal, suitable for all ages. (PG) - Parental Guidance suggested as
Full Metal Jacket (15) (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1987) Matthew Modine, Lee Emery, Dorian Harewood. 109 mins. Thirty years ago Stanley Kubrick co-wrote and directed Paths of Glory, 3 taut, incisive drama set in the trenches during the First World War that has become a classic statement about the horror and intensity oi conflict. Since then his films, from Spartacus to The Shining, have become eagerly-awaited rarities, shrouded in secrecy during production and only unveiled after years of painstaking preparation. A Kubricktilm is, quite literally, an event in itself.
Based on Gustav Hasford's novel, The Short-Timers, Full Metal Jacket follows a group of raw recruits through gradations of hell as they first tackle the dehumanizing brutality of basic training and are subsequently plunged into actual life-and-death combat during the Tet offensive of 1968.
The basic training is a non-stop round of verbal insult and physical exhaustion underthe vigilant sound and fury of gunnery sergeant Hartman, the ultimate bullying martinet determined to stamp out weakness and produce an assembly line of lean, mean, killing machines. Lee Emery, a former Marine Stall
some scenes may be unsuitable for youngerchildren.
(15) - No one underthe age of 15 admitted.
(18)— No one under the age of 18 admitted.
11' —New Release.
0 Amadeus (PG) (Milos Forman. US. 198-1)) Tom Hulce. F. Murray Abraham. 160 mins. A risiblc title fight for a place in posterity between a God-fearing but mediocre talent and a musical genius. Glasgow:
Grosvenor o Astertx The Gaul (U) (France. 1967)
65 mins. Cartoon adventures of the plucky little warrior. Edinburgh: Filmhouse 0 At Close Range ( 15) (James Foley. US. 1985) Sean Penn. Christpher Walken. Millie Perkins. 114 mins. Based on a true incident. this is a downbeat retelling ofa familiar falling out among thieves tale with son in conflict with no-good father. Glasgow: (‘annon Sauchiehall Street. 0 Beverly Hills Cop (15) (Martin Brest. US. 1985) Eddie Murphy. Judge Reinhold. Steven Berkoff. 105 mins. Chicago cop Murphy is out ofhis league but never out of his depth solving a murder casein plush LA. Edinburgthilmhouse 0 Black Widow ( 15) (Bob Rafelson. US. 1987) Theresa Russell. Debra Winger. Sami Frey. Dennis Hopper. 102 mins. (‘hic psychological thriller with Justice Dept. investigator Winger on the track of mass-murderer Russell. Glasgow; SalonStrathclyde; ()deon Ayr 0 Blind Date ( 15) (Blake Edwards.
US. 1987) Bruce Willis. Kim Basinger. Graham Stark. 95 mins. Dumb. excruciatingly contrived archaic screwball farce with Willis as an angst-ridden junior executive who accepts the title blind date when he desperately needs a companion for an important function. see Something Wild and weep at the difference. Yeugh. Glasgow; ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. Lothian: ('annon. Strathclydc: (‘annon (irecnock o The Blues Brothers ( 15) (John Landis. US. 198(1) John Belushi. Dan Aykrowd. (‘arrie Fisher. (‘ab Calloway. 133 mins. Bloated. self-indulgent anarchic comedy adventure Edinburgh; (‘ameo 0 Boy Meets Girl ( 15) (1.eos(‘arax. France. 1084) Denis l.avant. Mireille Perrier. lllllmins. In a moody nocturnal Paris a loner young drifter ( Lavant ) desperately courts a beautiful actress on the run from an old flame.
Impressive debut by the new French wonderlmy. the profound blcakness of the neo-exprcssionist
FULL METAL JACKET
Non-Commissioned Officer and the film’s technical adviser, will make your hair stand on end as the unquestioning military mind; given the task of turning boys into killers he is unrelenting, sadistically relishing his verbal dexterity and campaign against a slow-wilted, fat boy. ‘Did your mother and lather have any children who lived?‘ he demands, and comments on a later pathetic performance; ‘You climb obstacles like old people luck.‘
The one recruit who retains a shred of individuality and earns Hartman’s grudging admiration is Matthew Modine’s Private Joker, who displays personal limits beyond which he will not be pushed. He is shipped out to 'Nam as a reporter for Stars And Stripes wearing a combat helmet emblazoned with the words ‘Born To Kill’ next to his peace badge. However he too is drawn into the heavy lighting of the Tet offensive and in a portracted encounter with a Vietnamese sniper, is forced, inevitably, to come down on the side of the killers and the combatants.
Full Metal Jacket is impressive in many respects but it does present itself as two films within one, with the attention devoted to the basic training preventing the fullest exploration of the combat scenes and vice versa.
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Furthermore, the decision to film in a disused gas station on the Thames does not encourage the suspension of disbelief that would allow the viewer to settle into the conviction that this really is Vietnam; the soil, the cloud formations and the stretegically positioned palm trees all betray this falsehood. Most damaging of all however is the impression that alter all this time Kubrick really has nothing that he wants to say about Vietnam.
The performances are fine, the camerawork is superbly fluid, the strain of black humour frequently funny, the lengthy sniper sequence gripping and heartrending, but elsewhere the material is overly familiarand, perhaps deliberately, lacks a heart and soul. A film to be seen, for sure, but not the classic statement on Vietnam that one might have expected from Kubrick.
The List 21 Aug — 3 Sept 7