Beatty. 101 mins. Pretty, smart and sexy cop thriller set in a sweaty, atmospheric New Orleans, where local lieutenant Quaid tries to clear up a series of gangland murders while falling in love with Barkin‘s attorney, in town to investigate police corruption. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I The Big Man ( 18) (David Leland. UK. 1990) Liam Neeson, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, lan Bannen, Billy Connolly. 116 mins. In this screen adaptation of William McIlvanney‘s novel, Liam Neeson turns in a powerful performance as unemployed ex-miner Danny Scoular, who takes up underworld kingpin lan Bannen‘s offer of a potentially lucrative bare-knuckle bout in one last effort to retain his dignity. The momentum towards the ﬁght and the central theme of small town naivety versus big city corruption lend the film a thrust and a scope that the overstressed subplotting; romantic (spouse Whalley-Kilmer‘s secondary affair) and comedic (Connolly and canine), unfortunately tends to nulify. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre. I Bird On A Wire (12) (John Badham, US. 1990) Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn. David Carradine. 107 mins. Formula ﬁlm-making at its most bloated and least inventive has Gibson on the run from a couple of crooked drug-smuggling cops he turned in a few years back and Hawn as the old girlfriend about to blow his cover. Less-than-enthralling chase ﬂick will probably pass a couple of hours if the alternative is having your toenails pulled out. Edinburgh: UCl. Strathclyde: UCl Clydebank. I Black Rain (18) (Ridley Scott. US, 1989) Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura. 125 mins. Not so much the land ofthe Rising Sun as the land ofShiny Surfaces as adman extraordinaire returns to a set not unlike Blade Runner. However, some promising ideas are shunted to the sidelines by Douglas‘s sour and rather uninspiring heroics as the New York cop sent to Osaka to counter a counterfeiting ring. The whole perhaps conﬁrms Scott as a master decorator hired to tart up a very obvious formula. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Dlack Rainbow (15) (Mike Hodges, UK. 1989) Rosanna Arquette, Jason Robards, Tom Hulce. 103 mins. Superior supernatural thriller with Robards and Arquette as a rather dodgy travelling father and daughter medium act trawling America‘s bible belt to fleece gullible punters taken in by their fake messages from beyond. One night however. Arquette accurately predicts the circumstances of a murder. so attracting the unwanted attentions of journalist Tom Hulce and corrupt industrialist John Benncs who‘ll do anything to prevent his secrets from escaping. After the Prayer For The Dying debacle, writer/director Hodges bounces back with a nicely judged shocker that‘s always reliant on characterisation rather than cheap thrills. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Dlade Runner(15)(Rid1ey Scott, US. 1982) Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young. 117 mins. A tough cop tracks down a group of malfunctioning androids in this gritty hi-tech retread of Raymond Chandler. executed with Scott‘s customary visual ﬂair, and with strong performances, especially from Ford and Hauer. But try following the confusing
I Dom On The Fourth 01 July (18) (Oliver Stone, US, 1989) Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Raymond J. Barry, Kyra Sedgwick. 144 mins. Stone‘s Oscar-winning second trip to ‘Nam features Cruise as disabled veteran Ron Kovic, in a biographical depiction of ambition. disillusionment and national betrayal, as the lad grows up, joins up, gets wounded and ﬁnds his country doesn‘t want to know him anymore. Kovic’s plight is rendered symbolic of
Child’s Play 2 (15) (Jhn an;
1990) Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, the voice 01 Brad Douril. 85 mins. Demonic dolls have long been a staple of fantasy cinema, lrom Lionel Barrymore’s vengeance- seeking crone unleashing his creations in Tod Browning's The Devil Doll (1936) to the possessed ventrlloquist’s dummies of Dead of Night and Magic (1978). It should come as no surprise then, that the knife-wielding antics ol the foul-mouthed Chucky should warrant a sequel, even ii the 1988 original tailed to leave much 01 an impression on you or me.
Possessed by the malevolent spirit of the Lake Shore Strangler, the new improved Chucky is designed to reassure corporate America that the Good Guy dolls live up to their name. Whaddaya know, the thing manages to escape and track down innocent little Alex to use his body as a conduit back to human existence. When Alex's loster parents and loved ones start telling underthe blade, no one will believe his stories at a killer doll at large, leaving the severely traumatised youngster to light his own battles.
Director John Lalia begins by
suggesting his intention is to create suspense rather than drown in gore, but belore long he's resorted to the usual bag oi tricks: distorted camera angles, thunderstorms, black one-liners, shamelessly contrived climaxes and varied murders (suliocation, electrocution, throat-slitting etc), all to the accompaniment of thunderously unsubtle music.
True, the film has brevity on its side plus the bonus of an ending that appears to close the door on numero three, but the amount oi inherent menace in a 2lt 4in doll is minimal and the proceedings grow ever more risible as plucky Chucky runs amok, grappling with man-size adults and kidnapping simperlng teenagers. Maybe it’s all some massively droll satire on American consumerism run rampant and the rise of Cabbage Patch kids, but I doubt it. (George Bailey)
From Frill Jan. Glasgow: Cannon, The Forge, Cannon, Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon, UCI. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
plot first time around. Edinburgh: Cameo.
state-of-the-nation dismay, and Cruise brings an unprecendented degree of integrity to the part, giving easily his best performance to date. Stone’s usual lack of subtlety is offset here by Kovic‘s own involvement in making the movie. Strathclyde: Haldane Film Society. I The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (U) (Raymond Jafelicc. US, 1987) With the voices of Bob Dermer, Eva Almos, Dan Hennessey. 72 mins. The Princess of Wonderland has mysteriously disappeared just days before she is to be crowned Queen. Understandably perturbed, the White Rabbit skips to Care-A-Lot to enlist the assistance of the Care Bears. Charming and imaginative, if rather sickly. Strathclyde: UCI East Kilbride. I Child’s Play 2 (15) (John Laﬁa. US. 1990) Alex Vincent. Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, Christine Elise, the voice of Brad Dourif. 85 mins. See review. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon, UCl. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, UCI Clydebank, UCI East
I Cinema Paradiso (PG) (Giuseppe Tornatore, ltaly/France,l988) Phillipe Noiret, Jacques Perrin , Salvatore Cascio. 123 mins. Tornatore's vision ofhis movie-mad childhood is a wonderful love letter to the cinema itself. Told largely in ﬂashback. it traces the young Salvatore‘s infatuation with his village cinema, and his growing friendship with its projectionist (played to perfection by Noiret). Essentially, it‘s Tornatore‘s lament forthe joyous movie-going experience ofhis youth and a recognition of the price we pay for our maturity. 1990 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Edinburgh University Film Society.
I Citizen Kane (PG) (Orson Welles. US. 1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten. Agnes Moorehead. 119 mins. Stunningly successful biographical mosaic centring on a Hearst-like media tycoon. Welles‘ first ﬁlm remains scintillating viewing for its sheer technical verve, narrative conﬁdence and spellbinding performances. The best film ever made? Who‘s arguing? Edinburgh University
Film Society. ICome See The Paradise (15) (Alan Parker, US, 1990) Dennis Quaid.Tamlyn Tomita, Sab Shimono, Shizuko Hoshi, Stan Egi. 133 mins. See review. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCl. I The Comfort 01 Strangers ( 18) (Paul Schrader. US. 1990) Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, Christopher Walken, Helen Mirren. 105 mins. lan McEwan’s short novel of sexual power games and the perception-warping possibilities of culture shock isinherently hard to ﬁlm. Schrader and his excellent cast give it their best shot, the Venetian locations and sets are luscious and Harold Pinter‘s screenplay is surprisingly faithful. But the narrative tension and pace on which the novel relies are conspicuously absent. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Les Cousins (15) (Claude Chabrol. France, 1959) Jean-Claude Brialy. Gerard Blain, Juliette Mayniei. 110 mins. Major early success for Chabrol (winner ofthe Best Film prize at Berlin) is a droll and cynical look at Parisian student life. Blain is the country cousin who comes to study at the Sorbonne. Brialy the cool townie who barely seems to study but ends up with scholastic and romantic success. Edinburgh Film Guild. I Cyrano de Bergerac (U) (Jean-Paul Rappeneau. France, 1990) Gerard Depardieu, Jacques Weber. Anne Brochet. Vincent Perez. 135 mins. See review. Glasgow: GF'T. Edinburgh; Filmhouse. I Dance Films A short season of films and videos on a century ofterpsichorean endeavour. Programme 1, Body Crazy. comprises ten short films which chart extreme uses of the human physique. from Thomas Edison‘s uncensored footage of the famous Fatima‘s belly dance ( 1893), through to the quaintly titled British piece. Flora Faddy Furry Dance Day from 1989. Programme 2, Slinky Tricks covers dance-inspired animation. and includes work by the late Norman McLaren, the Scot who revolutionised Canadian animation. and Dave Fleischer‘sSnow While, which stars the delectable Betty Boop and predates the Disney version by four years. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I The Duelllsts (PG) (Ridley Scott, UK. 1977) Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel. Albert Finney. 101mins.Duringthe Napoleonic era a young Hussar is obliged to fight a duel with a fellow officer but the matter does not rest there as his implacable opponent turns the matter into a compulsive vendetta that continues through four separate encounters over the next two decades. Scott‘s first feature isa competent version ofJoscph Conrad's The Duel with a strong supporting cast and almost absurdly beautiful photography that established his reputation as a man who overwhelms content with style. Edinburgh Film Guild. I Easy Rider(18) (Dennis Hopper, US. 1969) Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper. Jack Nicholson. 94 mins. Artless, archetypal road movie in which two dope-loving bikers travel the highways and by-ways of America. Dated cult attraction with Nicholson stealing the show as a boozy lawyer persuaded to join up for the trip. Glasgow: GFT. I Elglli and 8 Hall (Federico Fellini, italy, 1963) Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee. 138 mins. Showing in a pristine new 35mm print. Many regard this moody magnum opus as the Italian maestro's ﬁnest hour. Following a scenario not unlike the one that faced Fellini himself when he was under pressure to come up with a sequel to the massive international success of La Dolce Vita, Mastroianni plays a ﬁlm-maker plagued by intellectual insecurity and Catholic guilt as a weird selection of actresses, ﬁnanciers, writers and hucksters dog his every move. As ever with Fellini , it‘s all about spectacle rather than ideas, but the show is a sparkling one.
24 The List 11- 24 January 1991