prepared even to try and bring such a

flammable subject to the screen. Glasgow:

Odcon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank It). I My Stepmother is An Alien ( 15) ( Richard Benjamin. US. I988) Dan Aykroyd. Kim Basinger. Alyson Hannigan. 107 mins. Eccentric widowed scientist Dr Steve Mills(Aykroyd) gets hitched to attractive Celeste (Kim Basinger). who just happens to come from another planet. This becomes a source of some concern to his teenage daughterU-lannigan). when dad realises his new partner has never been kissed. and so sets about educating her in the ways ofcarnal knowledge and all that. Unfunny and rather sexist high-concept fluff. with Aykroyd as unfunny as usual. only several stones heavier. Director Benjamin‘s career seems to have suffered a notable slump since the wonderful My Favourite Year. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank It). I The Naked Gun ( 15) (David Zuckcr. US. I988) Leslie Nielsen. Priscilla Presley. Ricardo Montalban. 85 mins. Nielsen gets a crack at a leading comic role as Frank Drebin. a disaster prone LA cop assigned to find the men who shot his colleague ina drugs bust. and protect our dear Queen at the same time. while also finding room for romance with secretary Presley-.The makers of Airplane here operate on a similar principle: keep it fast. keepit marvelloust dumb. and the comic dividends will eventually flow. Watch out fora great beaver gag and comedy cameos from Arafat. Gaddafi. Gorbachev and the Queen. Where else would you get all these elments in the same movie? Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cameo. Central: Regal. I The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey ( PG) 1:, (Vincent Ward. Australia. 1988) Bruce Lyons. Chris Haywood . Hamish McFarlane. 9] mins. See panel. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I One Deadly Summer ( 18) (Jean Becker. France. I983) Isabelle Adjani. I33 mins. In rural France. a town flirt investigates the dark secret of her past and digs up more than she had bargained for. lntcrminable Gallic melodrama which Adjani does little to enliven. Sanitised smut. Glasgow: GFT. I Parade 0i The Planets ( PG ) (Vadim Abdrashitov. USSR. I984) ()leg Borisov. Sergei Nikonenko. 96 mins. A party of territorial army comrades are not required on manoeuvres. but decide to travel across country to the village where they were meant to be anyway. ()n the way they are involved in any number ofstrange and surreal encounters that give the film a mesmerisingly haunting quality whilst further obscuring what the actual point of it all is. Even so. a remarkable piece that ought to be seen. Glasgow: GFT. I La Petite Voleuse The Liale Thief ( 15w (Claude Miller. France. I989) Charlotte Gainsbourg. Didier Bezace. Simon De La Brosse. I It) mins. Provincial France in the Fifties and Janine (Gainsbourg) isan awkward sixteen year-old being brought up by an uncaring aunt. Desperate to enter adult life. she leads a life ofpetty theft and gets involved with a married man. before finding love with a boyish young biker and furthering her criminal record. A familiar adolescent odyssey is given new freshness by the perky performance of the wonderful Ms Gainsbourg. and by director Miller's typically wise and sympathetic approach to all his characters. Adapted from a screenplay written (but never filmed by) the late Francois Truffaut. See feature. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Rain Man ( l5) (Barry Levinson. US. I988) Dustin Hoffman. Tom Cruise. Valeria Golino. ll4 mins. lmpecunious smalltime hustler Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) ends up kidnapping his previously unknown autistic savant brother Raymond (Hoffman). when their late father leaves his $3 million fortune to the latter. However. as the two cross America by road genuine feelings of fraternal

US, 1988) Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly. 110 mins. In 1964, Marlon Brando and David Niven were teamed, with surprising lelicity, as the rough and smooth oi Riveria con men in the engagingly tasteless iarce ‘Bedtime Story’. A remake has been on the cards lor some time and was once mooted as a possible vehicle lor Bowie and Mick Jagger. Now, it has reemerged with the similar oil and water casting of Steve Martin and Michael Calne.

in the perennially sun-drenched locale ol Beaumont-sur-Mer, sauve, sophisticated Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) elegantly separates the rich irom their wealth by pretending to be a deposed prince desperately seeking lunds lor his stricken homeland. The local police chief is on his payroll and all is well with the world until the arrival oi Freddy Benson (Martin).

Brash, vulgar and distinctly small potatoes, Benson manages to pick up a lew bucks or a spare least with heartrending sob stories about his ailing grandmother and has come in search oi the tourist pickings.

Jamieson treats him as an annoying pest but when his best efforts to remove him tall, the men become allies and then deadly rivals as they embark on a simple wager; the lirst man who acquires $50,000 irom the next woman they meet earns exclusive extraction rights to the area, whilst the loser gracelully blows town. When naive, gauche American ‘soap queen’ Janet Colgate (Headly) stumbles across their path war is declared.


$.72 ' ~

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels offers some belly laughs and reasonable amusement throughout but could have been much sharper and lunnier. Caine gives an ellortless display at his now llawless comedy technique and is splendidly dry and droll whilst Martin has some select moments ol pure idiocy. However, neither man is particularly tested by the material on hand and they seem to exist in separate worlds rather than striking sparks irom an oddball chemistry.

Ultimately, the lllm is letdown by not taking itsell seriously and always choosing a lazy or soil option. For iarce to work there has to be a solid foundation of a believable situation that exhibits an internal logic and is played out to its conclusion. Why does “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ cast Anton Rodgers and his Clouseau-like accent as the police chiel when innumerable French actors could have played the part? Why are there time wasting montages at Martin trying to emulate Caine’s cool that do nothing lor the pace or wit of the enterprise? etc.

The very best ol iarce, ‘Some Like It Hot’ tor instance, is like a precision watch where you are never aware ol the vast workings and are encouraged to suspend disbelief throughout. Anyone watching ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ is well aware that it is just some actors pulling laces lor our amusement. There is no mystery, no magic, just prolessionalism. (Allan Hunter)

From Fri 30: Glasgow: Odcon. Edinburgh: Odcon. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, La Scala.

affection well up between them. The 1989 major Oscar winner is a warmhcarted and touching buddy movie that scrupulously avoids sentimentality. and boasts a detailed performance from Hoffman that skilfully elicits both compassion and frustration. Glasgow: Odcon. Edinburgh: Dominion. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank If).

I Raw Deal ( 18) (John Irvin. US. 1986) Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kathryn Harrold. Sam Wannamaker. l()5 mins. Arnie plays a retired FBI agent brought back into service by a hassled chief to sort out a gang of bad-assed muthas intent on wiping out all key witnesses in the case against a Chicago gangleader. Formulaic and plodding potboiler lacking the invention of Terminator orthe self-mockery of Commando. Action man

Arnie is wasted. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

I Scandal ( I8) (Michael Caton-Joncs. UK. 1989) John Ilurt.Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. Ian McKellcn. Bridget Fonda. ll4 mins. Stylish and involving treatment of the I963 Profumoaffair. which looks at the the tangled love lifeof Christine Keeler (Whallcy-Kilmcr) who numbers War Minister John Profumo (McKellcn) and Russian agent Eugene lvanov (Jeroen Krabbe) among hersexual partners. and exposes the establishment‘s hypocritical treatment of her mentor Stephen Ward (Ilurt) when the scandal broke. Assured debut for young Scots director Caton-Jones combines story-telling poise and emotional punch with a knowing sexuality offlip entertainment value. John Ilurt is extremely sympathetic in thisoutstanding

British film. Glasgow: GFT.

I She's Gotta Have lt( l8) (Spike Lee. US. I986) Tracy Camilla Johns. Redmond llicks. Spike Lee. 85 mins. Spirited. sympathetic comedy ofsexual manners. with a snappy script and a fluid technique that marked an auspicious debut for its young. gifted and black

writer director’star. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Signs Of Life ( l5) (Werner llerzog. West Germany. I968) 90 mins. A German soldier wounded during the war spends his recovery period on a Greek island. hallucinating. questioning his existence and generally freaking out. Ilis eventual rebellion is bound for grief.

I Iermg‘s first feature has much ofthe darkness and oppression associated with his later and better known work. A fine evocation ofteutonic misery. Edinburgh: Filmhouse I Skin Deep ( l8) 3*: (Blake Edwards. US. I989) John Rittcr. Alyson Reed. Vincent Gardenia. llllmins. Ritter stars as a rich. alcoholic l lolly'wood writer facing a wealth of personal problems. His wife has finally tired of his constant drinkingand skirt-chasing. and so he ponders his inablity to sustain a long term relationship. Typical Edwards mix of knockabout farce and male-menopausal winching. but we care very little about the central character and the big comic set-piece involving luminous condoms has to mark a new low in tack from a supposedly respected filmmaker. Glasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.

I Soviet Animation For Children A ninety-minute programme of extraordinary children‘s cartoons from the USSR . in Glasgow as part of Roslov-Oit-Don week (see Open). Walt Disney it ain't. Glasgow: (if-T.

I That Sinking Feeling ( PU ) (Bill Forsyth. L'K. I979) Gordon John Sinclair. 89mins. l-‘orsyth's debut feature. remarkable for the paucity of the resources at his disposal. uses a cast front the Glasgow Youth Theatre to tell the story of unemployed youth driven by boredom intoan audacious sink robbery. The easygoing performances and spritely wit still catch the attention. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Things Change (PU) (David Mamet. L'S. I988). Don Amechc. Joe Mantegna. Robert l’rosky. Illilmins. Amcche isan ageing shoeshine man who agrees to take the rap for a murder committed by a Mafia man in return for a large fee. Mantegna is the perfect foil as the incompetent hood 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 Gino is mistaken for a don. spiced up by Mamet's fine ear for dialogue. the Mob turns nasty. Mamet engineers asuitably happy ending for this easy-going comedy and the double-act between the delightfully dcadpan Ameche and hood-with-a-heart Mantegna is almost enough to carry the film on itsown. Central: MacRobert ArtsCentre.

I Thunderbolt and Lightloot( I5) (Michael (‘imino. US. I974) Clint Eastwood.chf Bridges. George Kennedy. I14 mins. Charming drifter Bridges teams up with cx-con and robbery expert Eastwood's old gang to recover the loot stashed away after a previous heist. Nicely handled character action piece with Bridges at his most likeable. trim and compact in itself it gave little indication of the sense ofinflation that was a feature ofCimino‘s latercareer. Glasgow: GEI‘.

I The Top Of His Head ( 15) (Pierre Mettler. Canada. I989) Stephen Ouimette. Presented as part of the Glasgow Jazz Festival's Fred Frith project is this debut feature by noted Canadian cinematographer Mettler. whose narrative following the bizarre relationship between a satellite dish

18 The List 30June- 13July 1989