Batteries Not Included (PG) (Matthew Robbins, US, 1987) Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McBae. 106 mins. Grull Frank and dotty Faye are an elderly couple deeply immersed in the past. They own a calé straight out at the Fillies on the ground lloor at a dilapidated block of ﬂats. With the lew remaining tenants who have relused the bribes of local thugs, they are at the end oltheirtether. Demolition is imminent.
Total despair is averted by the timely, nay miraculous, arrival at two angelic spaceships who resemble a cross between a spinning top and a battleship galactica, complete with lacial expressions achieved by llashing lights lor eyes. These tiny mechanical visitors recreate and rebuild anything destroyed, recharging their batteries by conveniently plugging into the mains, and linally succeed in keeping a root overthe motley bunch ol tenants.
Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, employing the elderly cast lrom Cocoon and released in time tor Easter, this throws together many at the ingredients that children at today would expect it not demand- clear-cut delineations ol good and evil in a lantastical story, embellished by hi-tech special eltects. In this case, the
Robert Loggia. 108 mins. The smoothly ingratiating Bridges stands accused ofthc brutal slaying of his wealthy spouse. Close is so convinced of his innocence that she not only defends him but falls hopelessly in love with him. Strathclyde: Haldane Film Society
IThe Jerk ( 15) (Carl Reiner. ITS. 1979) Steve Martin. Bernadette Peters. 94 mins. Martin‘s debut feature is really only for diehard fans as he portrays an ultra-simple country boy made good through an amazingly successful invention. Glasgow; GFT
IJesus (11) (Peter Sykes. US. 1979) Brian Deacon. Niko Nitai. Gadi Roi. 117 mins. Straightforward Biblical biopic of you~know-who. filmed in Israel. Edinburgh; Dominion
I The Journey (PG) (Peter Watkins. Sweden. 1987) Exhaustive and exhausting survey of the impact of the nuclear age on the man in the street. his attitudes and the lack of accurate information at his her disposal. Ten families from around the globe are questioned on their feelings and their knowledge of what is happening.
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
once surelire lormularis all too obviouslythreadbare.
The theme olwell-meaning machines assisting hapless humans is not new and the space lots at Batteries are given too little screen time and do not possess enough individuality. Neither that cute nor lovable, they are unlikely to capture a child's imagination or make an eager toy manufacturer rub his hands in glee.
Although the visual ellects are attractive and occasionally amusing, children are likely to grow restless with the preservationist theme at distraught
often on their doorsteps. Edinburgh; I-‘ilmhouse
I The Last Emperor( 15) (Bernardo Bertolucci. Italy China. 1987)John Lone. Peter O‘Toole. Joan Chen. 162 mins. Peking. 1908. a three year-old boy ascends to the Imperial Throne to become the lord of Ten Thousand Years'. A mere 59 years later. however. he dies a humble gardener in a China that is now the Maoist People's Republic.
Intelligent epic following the self-delusion and re-education of a man shaped by a superseded power structure. A little cold perhaps. but the production and cinematography are of such exquisiteness that one only wishes the film were longer.Glasgow; Grosvenor. ()deon. Edinburgh; ()deon I The Last ol England ( is) a ( Derek Jarman. lfK. 1987) Tilda Swinton. Spencer Leigh. Spring. 91 mins. See panel. Glasgow; Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh Cannon I Lethal Weapon ( 18) ( Richard Donner. LS. 1987) Mel Gibson, Danny Glover. Gary Busey. 109 mins. Gibson is a young
tenants battling big business interests. It is also unsual, considering the genre, to exclude children lrom the story and possibly a mistake to expect adults, particularlythe old couple, to carry the amazementand wonderment necessary to gain real interest and lascination. Certainly Batteries makes passable lormula family entertainment, calculated lor its audience, but it lacks the imagination that made a film like Spielberg‘s own E.T. —the all-time box-oliice champion.
widower whose grief has turned him virtually psychotic. Now intent on cleaning the streets of scum regardless of the personal hazards he is almost as dangerous as the bad guys. Edinburgh; Cameo. ()deon. Glasgow: Grosvenor I Little Shop ol Horrors ( PG 1 (Frank Oz. L'S. 198(1) Rick Moranis. Ellen Greene. Steve Martin. 94 mins. Brash. breezy. big scale musical comedy about a nerd and his unusual friend Audrey II. a likeable plant with a man-size appetite. Glasgow; GI’I‘. Edinburgh; Cameo IMad Max(l8)(George Miller. ; Australia. 1979) Mel Gibson.Joanne Samuel. Steve Bisley. 93 mins. former police officer Gibson signs himself back on the force to avenge the death by bikersof his wife and child. Violent stuff with death-defying stuntwork. Edinburgh; ()deon IThe Man With Two Brains(15)((‘arl Reiner.lfS.1983)Steve Martin. Kathleen Turner. David Warner. 93 mins. [any Martin-Reiner romp in which the great man plays a brilliant brain surgeon Delirioust delightful. Glasgow; GFT‘.
Edinburgh; Cameo ~ I I Masques ( 15) ‘2 (Claude Chabrol. l France. 1987) Philippe Noiret. Robin Renucci. Bernadette Lafont. 1(1tlmins.A TV gameshow host invites a young novelist to his country mansion to work on his biography. but the scribe uncovers some uncomfortable facts about the star's life and his treatment of hisinvalid daughter. 5 Another instalment of typically sardonic Chabrolian detection. Edinburgh; 3 Filmhouse l I Maurice (15) (James Ivory. UK. 1987) I James Wilby. Rupert Graves. I Iugh Grant. 141) mins. Overlong but ' impeccably crafted screen version ofthc l E.M. Forster novel in which a young ' Edwardian man painfully comes to terms 1 with his homosexuality in the face of i widespread ignorance. bigotry and the ' pressures of class to conform Glasgow: Grosvenor I Missing(15) (CoastaGavras. US. 1981) Jack Lemmon. Sissy Spacek. John Shea. 122 mins. Based on the experiences of Ed Ilorman in Chile. this powerful and astute entertainment features one of l.emmon's best performances when he plays an unthinkineg patriotic American father Edinburgh; Iiilmhouse I Mona Lisa ( 18) (Neil Jordan. 11K. 199%) Bob Iloskins. Cathy Tyson. Michael Caine. 104 mins. Iloskins givesthe performance of a lifetime as the old-fashioned. ex-con with a battered heart. suddenly involved with a gangland London ofseedy scams Strathclvde; ()deon Ayr ' , I The Mosquito Coast ( PG) (Peter Weir. i L's. 198(i)11arrisonFord. IlelenMirren. I River Phoenix. 119 mins. A black-edged l reworking of the Swiss Family Robinson 1 as Ford's know-it-all inventor forsakes the decline of Western civilisation forthe l junglesof South America. Edinburgh: I Edinburgh Film Guild l I My Sweet Little Village (PG) :5: (Jiri Menzel. Czechoslovakia. 1985)Janos i Ban. Rudolf IIrusinsky. 1()()mins. Vignette of rural Czechoslovak life involving the misadventures ofaburly ' truck driver and his simple-minded but i good-natured young assistant. Relentlesst charming stuff from a l veteran film-maker. with a ramshackle plot the ﬂimsiest of excuses for gathering together a chorus ofcomic country bumpkins Edinburgh; Filmhouse ’ I A Night on the Town (PG) (Christopher Columbus. [IS 1987) Elisabeth Shue. Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan. 96 mins. A pleasant but unremarkable teen variant on the yuppie-in-peril genre. Strathclyde; ()deon Ayr I No Way Out ( 15) (Roger Donaldson. LS. 1987) Kevin Costner. Sean Young. Gene IIackman. 114 mins. Resourcefulnaval hero Costner. now a liaison officer between Secretary of Defense IIackman
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The List 18—31 March 198813