As Ross Parsons suns himseltin Devon.Tom Lappin stealsthecomty armchairto round upthe latest releases.
IHUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (PG)Justwhen youthought itwas sateto consignthe ‘coldwarthriller‘ genre to
the archive cupboard. Sean Connery appears as an angst-ridden Soviet submarine commanderwho stealsa high-tec vessel and sailsittowardsthe USA.
This causesthe Americans
no end of worries andhas
the Russians panickingthat he'saboutto give awaythe secretol its silent
propulsion system. The tilm didn‘tgo greatgunsinthe cinema. despite an assured pertormancetrom Connery. only slightly spoiled byhis beingthe only Sovietsub commanderwithadistinct Caledonian liltinthe
accent. (CIC rental) I LEVIATRAN (18)Yes. moreunderwaterthrillsas weary divers discovera Russian ship supposedly
still in service inthe Baltic. Whenthey start goingdown witha strangetropical disease. it becomes obviousthatthere's something nasty coming out otthatthere ship. Thelilm purportsto be aboutwhat
can happen when genetic engineering goes wrong. butwith a directorlike
George ‘Rambo‘ Cosmatos. the message isn‘tallowed
to getinthe way otthegore. Critics were divided
between calling Leviathan a classythriller. anda plotless drag. (CBS rental)
ITEOUlLASUNRlSEttS) More Michelle Pteitter. this time asa restaurateurtorn betweentwo lovers and feeling likeatool. Mel Gibson is one olthelovers. awould-be-retormeo’ drug trafficker. still dabbling in the occasional dodgydeal. Kurt Russell isthe other. head ofthe localdrugs squad. whose activities are somewhathindered bythe lactthat he and Mel are old high school buddies. The sceneis setloranintriguing analysis otpersonal morality and dihicult choices. Unlortunately what we get is more redolentol excerpts tromthe Miami Vice out-takestile.
' 4th coming
highlights of Channel 4‘s autumn schedule.
(‘hannel 4’s autumnal press release. all leaves and russet hues. promises view e rs something more classy in the way of small screen entertainment than the plethora of dismal sitcoms. \ ariety specials and recycled game-showson offer.
lndecd. \lichael (irade’s boys and girls seem to have come up with some admirably challenging material exemplified by their new film season. .-\lthough the Film ( )n Four series has won all the publicity and plaudits. the independent Film and Video Department. led by .-\lan Fountain and his two deputies (aroline Spry and Rod Stoneman. have been quietly supporting a range of independent film—makers. some of them from ( ‘hannel J-l‘unded workshopsaround the country.
Fruits ofthese labours will be hitting yourscrcensthisautumn. with highlights including Women In (lil'U/Ht'tif /’/ut'i's. I’enny \Vooleock‘s amusing and perceptive story ol an Argentinian woman on 'l‘yneside. and /’/u.\ .l/i' Sonn’t/ttllg’. 'l'imothy
Neal's film set in a remote llebridean island airport.
Homegrown drama is supplemented by powerful American imports. Harvey Fierstein (Lu ( ~uge .‘llll‘ Fol/es and Tore/1 Song 'I‘ri/ogy) stars in an adaptation of his :\ll)s—related stage play 'l‘idv ﬁndings. Grown-ups is a caustc black comedy looking at family relationships. written by renowned humourist Jules Feiffer.
()n a lighter note. the critically- slated ‘Hiis ls' David Lander returns with Tony Slattery takingover the Stephen Fry role and changing the title character‘s name to David Harper. .‘yfore guaranteed laughs. albeit of a cheap Sid .lames nature. are promised in a new series of Sticky .l/ontenls Wit/I .lu/iun ('lurv.
(‘hannel 4 also bringsone ofthe most ambitious classical music productions to the small screen with l 'nu .S'trui'ugunzu l)ei .llt’dici. a no—holds-barred reconstruction of Renaissance music and theatre. with superb musicians. costumes. sets and visual effects including flying dragons. gods descending on clouds and a three—headed Lucifer.
Such extravagances could soon become a thing of the past. Channel 4 is undergoing an advertising shake—up at the moment. and when the new broadcasting legislation comes into force. will face harsher commercial pressures. In the meantime. as they say. check press for details. and get in a reasonable stock of\'flS lb’fls.
‘lt doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. does it'.’ Sport ()n l'it'e‘." John Duncan is musingon the transfer of BBC Radio Sport to the new tangled channel. It‘s a move in which he is participating. as a contributor to a new football show Ito/t Hutton Null/e. which hopes to adopt the same intelligence and wit regularly found in Duncan‘s football magazine When SUNNY/(1) ( 'o/nes. and escape the cliches ey er—present in the media coverage of soccer.
For those ()n/y xi (iuine aficionados saying 'it‘s been done matey“. Ito/i Hutton Run/e has a different approach. although it promises to be equally irreverent about a subject that presents plenty ofsoft targets for satire. lhe programme will be presented by .lames Reeve. from Piccadilly Radio in .‘yfanchester. with contributions by Duncan and the distinctly weird .Xltrincham F(~ mascot Frank Sidebottomﬁlt‘s a mixture of humourand intelligent comment. which will hopefully be fuelled by listeners‘ says Duncan. "I‘he programme is very much a fan‘s—eye y iew . so we want the listeners to help with ideas and features. .\ show of this sort. like a fan/inc. is made by the audiencelt's no good getting in it top production team and trying to create something like that. You have to have some roots.'
Six shows will be made initially (‘on
a really tiny budget' says Duncan) with more to follow it the
r Vb our? Saturday! Cums-‘5
powers—that-be approve. For a trial run. it seems unnecessarily cruel to put the shows out at 9pm on a Friday night. when few self-respecting football fans are at home listening to the radio. but hopefully the programme will take off and earn itself a kinder time-slot in the future. 'l‘he title of the show ( Bob Hatton was a prolific ‘much-travelled' goalscorer ofthe early 7lls) came about by accident. "l‘he producer. Nick Patrick. phoned me up.‘ explains Duncan. ‘and said the show was to be called B()i)f)/('-iltllxlllt1 Run/e but I misheard him and thought Hui) Hutton Ruttle. what a fucking brilliant title. And the name stuck.‘ ()f such accidents. legends are made. ('l’om Lappin) Holt Hutton [full/e .‘ Rut/tr) 5, Fri-(1(1) ()ctoln’r 13. ‘lprn
I THE BEST OF BEN ELTON LIVE(18) Ninety minutes and millions olwordstrom the motorrnouth comic. plenty of it rathernearerthe knucklethan he usedto attempt on Wogan. Elton has been branching out atterwriting most otBBCZ‘s comedy output. completing a novel and a West End play. It‘s as alive stand-up comicthat he reallyexcels. however. Recorded atthe London Astoria. Elton‘s topics cover all the great British institutions. from the Royal Familyto the seaside holiday. with maybe ‘a bitol politics‘ thrown in. (MCEG Virgin Vision £9.99) " menu-cure A Ioaa'MAL-Kovicu . meant: prelim
I DANGEROUS LIAISONS (15)This wonthree Oscars lorBest Costumes. BestArt Direction. and Best Adapted Screenplay. and certainly lookstairly sumptuous. Decadence isthe keyword as the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close)andthe VicomtedeValmonllJohn Malkovich) plotvarious carnal intrigues and betrayals with Michelle Pteiffer's Madame De Tourvel one ottheirpawns. Malkovichis as watchable as ever. although the whole thing can beirritatingly mannered attimes. (Warners £9.99)
Eastwood‘s direction is a far
crylrom his acting roles. In Birdwe haveasensitive and classybiography ol sell-destructivejazzgenius Charlie Parker, addicted to drugs and drink. yettaking the saxophone to new heights otcreative expression. before his death atthe age ot34. ForestWhitakerwonthe BestActoraward atCannes in 1988lorhisportrayalot Parker. and is ably asisted by Diane Venora as his wile Chan. (Warners £9.99)
IWILLOW(PG) Plenty of oohs. aahsand, lorthe adults 1221. as heroic “little person‘ battlesthrough usual sword and sorcery hazards to save cutesy baby from clutches olwicked Jean Marsh. ValKilmer helps outas ratherkinky leather-clad hero. and Joanne 'Grease' Whalley enjoys hersellso much she marriesherco—star(and adoptsahideous transatlantic accentas anyone who saw The Word recently will confirm). The kids mightenjoythis. althoughthere don'tseem to be anyturtles in it. (RCA £9.99)
The List 13 lSUctobei l‘l‘lll81