1' lLlVl L1
Tap(PG) (Nick Castle Jnr, US, 1989) Gregory Hines, Suzanne Douglas, Sammy Davis Jnr. 111mins. T is for tap; a form of dancing characterised by rhythmical striking of dancer's tapped shoes on a floor. T is for terpsichorean talents which nimble-limbed, tleet-ot-loot star Hines possesses in abundance. T is also tortrite which is sadly what this film turns out to be.
Max Washington (Hines) has just served a prison sentence for robbery. Returning to the old neighbourhood, he waltzes back into the lives of ex-girllriend Amy (Douglas), herson Louis (Savion Glover) and her leisty lather Little Mo (Sammy Davis Jnr.) who still harbours dreams of making tap relevant and accessible to the rock’n‘roll generation.
An ex-con, able to command the best salary that dishwashing can offer, Max faces a lairly unambiguous choice between using his graceful athleticism
as a cat burglar or loregoing the lure of tilthy lucre to concentrate on expressing the dancing traditions that pitter patterthrough his veins. As this is a film devised by Hines and Castle (the son of a choreographer who collaborated with Astaire and Kelly) to celebrate the lives of three generations ol tap dancers, you won’t require more than a solitary guess to ascertain which
. option he chooses.
Tap is a respectable effort to make a dance tilm tor the Eighties in the
manner of the Astaire-Kelly classics. It
displays the same weakness of the
dance numbers being the undoubted highlights and the dramatic interludes
being the tolerated interruptions to the real business at hand.
There are some joyous moments when the elder statesmen ol dance, like Harold Nicholas and Sandman Sims, display their nitty lootwork and the decades melt away or when Hines improvises on the streets of New York to the sounds and rhythms of the city at
night. However, the intervening plot is
tired and tedious and never more than routinely serviceable.
Hines has a genial screen presence and can dance up a storm, Davis Jnr. makes a welcome return to straight roles with a sympathetic supporting performance and one is grateful tor the pedal pyrotechnics and the history lessons but Tap has little to otter a wider audience and is unlikely to provoke soft-shoe shuttles in the aisles or calls tor a hooter‘s revival night at the SECC. (Allan Hunter)
island's voodoo cult comes tip against the my oh etnent ot the local chief of the'l‘on Ton Macoute as part of his search tora mysterious drug w liieh is turning people into/oinbies. (raven. uneasy away frotn lilm Street. manages to fall between two stools here by not quite knowing whether he's making another eltects extravaganza or a liltn of serious anthropological intent. ltdinburgh: Cannon.
I Shame l 15 ) (Steve Jodt'ell. Australia. 1987) Deborra l.ee Furness. Tony Barry. Simone Btichatian. 92 mins. Asta ll-"tirriessl is an independent barrister and a biker. w hose motorcycle breaks dow it while she is travelling throuin the outback. She litith herself in a small tow n w here a conspiracy of silence is covering up the gang-tape of a yotitig girl. Asta takes on her case and becomes locked in a battle with the sheriff and the whole of the tow n‘s male community for recognition of the crime. Powerful companion piece to The Accused w hich manages to create a brooding atmosphere of tnale threat , tidinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Shipbuilders t t ' ) (.lohn Baxter. 17K. 1944 ) (‘liye Brook. Morland ( iraham. .\'e|l Ballanty ne. 9llmtns. With an updated version of (ieorge Blake's 1935 noy elof the ('ly deside shipping depression. Baxter‘sdown-to-earth style found medium-budget respectability . The pride of the working man remains his theme and the ltltn contains tnore than a few touching
scenes. but without \eering lrotn the straight and narrow. Something of a
period piece. tnade at a time w hen
; boosting the island nation's morale w asol
prime importance at British National. but still an eloquent expression of working class life. (ilasgow : (it"li.
I Short Circuit 11 t P( i ) ( Kenneth Johnson. t'S. 1988) Fisher Stevens. Michael McKean.(‘ynthia(iibb. llllmins. lnnocuous sequel to a chartningoriginal
26The List 16- 29 June 1989—
has anthropomorphie android Number 5 trying to tnake it in the big city and coming intoeontact with would-be toyrnakcr McKean. who's interested in the marketing potential ofthe robot's engaging capabilities. Passing character actor .lack Weston supplies the comic book villainry.
(ilztsgtiW : ('annon The Forge
I South Pacifict l5 ) (Joshua Logan, LS. 1958) Rossano Brazzi. Mitzi ( iay nor. .lohn Kerr. Ray Waltson. JuanitaHall. France Nuyen. 171 mins. 'l'hegreat Rodgers and 1 latntnerstein musical brought to the silver screen iii an adequate though tar lrotn outstanding adaptation. The songs are the kitid that you'll find yourself humming for weeks afterwards. lidinburgh: Filmhotise.
I StarWars t P( i ) ((ieorge Lucas. t‘S. 1977) Mark Hamill. ('arrie Fisher. Harrison Ford. Alec(ittiness. 121 mins. A long time ago in a galaxy far away. a band of young heroes fight to rescue a princess and say e her planet frotn destruction. Hugely inﬂuential and successful space epic. a modern fairytale w ith laser swords. lidinburgh: (‘arneo.
ITaptl’m (.‘s‘iek Castle. t‘s. lass) (iregory Hines. Sammy l)avianr. Suzanne Douglas. 111 mins. See panel. (ilasgow : (‘annon Sauchiehall Street.
I Teen W01“ 15) (Rod Daniel. l'S. 1985) Michael .1 Fox. James 1 lampton. Stisan tTrsitti. 91mins. Pleasant but bloodless comedy with Fox as a teenager w ho discovers he is also a werewolf. whichdoes wonders for his popularity at school. Turned later into an animated TV series and art utterly uninspired seqtiel but even on his its his! outing the story hasnowhere 10110.Strathclyde: Kelburne.
I Things Change (PU) (David Mamet. L'S. 1988). Don Ameche. Joe Mantegna. Robert Prosky. lllllmins. Atnernche isati
ageing shoeshine man who agrees to take
the rap for a murder committed by a Mafia man in return fora large fee. Mantegna is assigned to look after him before the trial. but breaks the rules to take his charge on a final holiday — to the remote lakeside hotel where top Mafiosi are meeting. After the ensuingly predictable confusion in which (iino is mistaken for a don. spiced tip by- Matnet's fine ear for dialogue. the Mob turns nasty. Mamet engineers a suitably happy ending for this easy-going comedy and the double-act between the delightfully deadpan Ameche and hood-with-a-heart Mantegna is almost enough to carry the film on itsown. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. ITWinsll5)(1vanReitinan.l'S.1988) Danny De Vito. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kelly Preston. (‘hloe Webb. 107 mins. In an effort to create the perfect human (male. natch) scientists impregnate a beautiful woman artist with the sperm of six diversely distinguished men. and the resulting offspring grows tip in an isolated research station to be our man Arnie. However. an unexpected side-effect is runty brother De Vito. and when the two finally meet up many years later. their search to find their mother is the catalyst for an unlikely fatnily relationship. liven if the plot does bear a strong resemblance to Rain Man. this is art amiany silly farce with Schwarzenegger proving quite adept at handling the comedy material. (ilasgow': (‘annon The Forge. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton. A M(' ('lydebank It).
I The Unbearable Lightness of Being ( 18) (Philip Kaufman. t'S. 1987) Daniel Day-l.ewis. Juliette Binoche. Lena ()Iin. 1(y7 mins. Ambitious adaptation of Milan Kundera's elliptical. complex novel about a wornanising ('zech brain surgeon who falls in love for the first time with a doe-like beauty frorn a small spa town. Abandoning his freewheeling former existence. he faces commitment and togetherness at the time of the Prague Spring and Russian invasion of 1968. A dawdling and rather austere narrative is given sortie spice and interest by an overwhelming eroticism. a beautifully judged evocation of Prague and gorgeous photography. otherwise vastly overlong and uninvolving. lidinburgh: Filrnhouse. I The Untouchables (P(i) (Brian Del’alma. l'S. 1987) Kevin Costner. Sean (‘onneryu Robert de Niro. (‘harles Martin Smith. Patricia ('larkson. 1l9rnins. David Mamet's highly entertaining up date ofthe old TV series. liliot Ness learns the hard way how to deal with underworld crime and police corruption in (‘hicagoduring the Prohibition years. An ()scar winning performance from (‘onnery‘ as a seasoned 1rish(‘op with a Scots accent. de Niroalso turns iii a grandiose ('apone. ( ilasgow': (if-'1‘.
I Virgint l8) ((‘atherine Breillat. France. 1988) Delphine Xentout. litienne(‘hicot. ()livier Parniere. 88 mins. Fourteen year-old 1.ili (Zeritout) is on holiday in Biarritz with her family. attempting to dissipate her boredom with a taste ofthe local nightlife. She meets up with seedy lounge lizard type Maurice ((‘hieot). who is out to seduce her. while she remains ambivalent about the loss of her virginity. Uncomfortany realisticbut unexploitative exploration of pubescent sexuality. with our petulant youngheroine tnore in search of affection and self-worth than any physical gratification. (ilasgow: (il’l‘.
I Warlockt 15) 1'": (Steve Miner. VS. 1988) Richard F. (irant. Julian Sands. l.ori Singer. 1le mins. See panel. (ilasgow: (‘annon The Forge. (’annon Sauchiehall Street. Salon. lidinburgh: ('annon. (‘entralz Allanpark. (‘aledoniarLCannon. Regal. Strathclyde: ('annon. KelburnC. ()deon Ayr.
I Watcherst 18) 2’: (John Hess. ( ‘anada. 1988) (‘orey 1 Iain. Lala. Michael lronside. 92 mins. Following a government laboratory explosion. at
telepathic labrador and a deadly '( )utside
Experimental Combat Mammal' or ‘Oxcom' escape into the local farming community. The dog befriends teen hero Travis (l laim) who spends the rest ofthe movie trying to protect it and his nearest and dearest from the ‘()xcom’. and from the National Security officers who are keen to repossess their talented household pets.
A competent horrorIsttspcnsc job. with special effects by David Millerof Thriller fame. (‘rood points include a particularly unpleasant killing creature and another sizeable notch in the meteoric career of 17-year-o1dHaim. Strathclyde: AMC ('lydebank ll).
I White Mischielt 18) (Mike Radford. UK [78. 1987) (ireta Scacchi.('harles Dance. Joss Ackland. 107 mins. Kenya. 1941 . Sir Jock Delves Broughton shoots his wife‘s lover. Lord Errol. and is acquitted by the colonial court. Resolutely dreary African sexual shenanigans. which manages to make what sounds like quite intriguing source material into a cold and lumpy pudding of a movie. Strathclyde: Paisley Arts (‘cntre. I Who Framed Roger Rabbit? ( P( i) (Robert Zemcckis. US. 1988) Bob lloskins. Joanna ('assidy. (‘hristopher Lloyd. 92 mins. l.os Angeles. I949.and side by side with the human population live the Toons. the cartoon characters working in the movie business. Animated .star Roger Rabbit is worried about his wife Jessica's faithfulness and hires private dick Iiddie \"aliant (Bob 1 loskins) to keep tabs on her. btit uncoversa conspiracy that threatens the very future ol”l‘oontown itself. An amazing technical achievement for the credibility with which the cartoons interact with the human cast (‘cnlrulg (TUITION. I Without A Clue ( P( i ) (Thom liberhardt. [TS. 1988) Michael ('aine. Ben Kingsley. JeffreyJones. Paul Freeman. lll7mins. Reversal of the ('onan Doyle tradition has Kingsleys Dr Watson as the smart Alec while (‘aine's Sherlock Holmes is actually an unemployed actor hired to maintain Watson‘s position as a responsible member of the medical profession. The plot concerns Moriartys theft ofthe Treasury's f; 5 notes. but the film really revolves around the spirited interplay between the two stars. ()ld-fashioned fun. (‘entralz Allanpark. I Women Do The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown ( l5) ‘5‘: (Pedro Almodovar. Spain. 1988) (‘armen Maura. Antonio Banderas. Jtilietta Serrano. 89mins. See panel and feature. Iidinburgh: Filrnhouse. I Working Girl ( 15) (Mike Nichols. th. 1988) Melanie Griffith. Harrison Ford. Sigourney Weaver. Joan (‘usack. 114 mins. Bitchy boss (Weaver) teaches her secretary ((iriffith) the art of self-confidence so much so that when the exec gets laid tip the working girl takes her place. tackles the financial world head-on and romances Harrison Ford into the bargain. Supremer entertaining escapist ﬂuff that takes the old Frank (‘apra routine and gives it a contemporary sheen. The cast have a tremendous time notably Miss ( iriffith. who even gets away with lines like ‘l've got a head for businessand a bod for sin‘. (ilasgow: (‘annon (‘larkston Road. ()deon. lidinburgh: Dominion. I Young Guns( l8) ((‘hristophcr ('ain. US. 1988) Iimilio listevcz. ('harlie Sheen. Kiefer Sutherland. 1.ou Diamond Philips. 117 mins. ()ne William Bonney aka Billy The Kid ( Fstevcz) becomes a member ofa gang of hired bodyguards working for an linglish rancher (Terence Stamp). but when their boss is ambushed at the behest of a rival (Jack Palance) it's not long before a bloody gang war erupts.
This ambitious stab at breathing life into the Western's bullet-ridden corpse gains much frotn the bankable casting ofits brat-pack stars. but the overall impression is that they have more fun playingat cowboys than the viewer has watching them. Strathclyde: AM(‘(‘lydebank lll.