Resuming normal service after the Christmas break. we once again weed outthe best irom the worst otthis iortnight's video releases.

I WINGS OF THE APACHE Tommy Lee Jones as Brad Little. flight trainer to Nicholas Cage. offers some prophetic and pathetic words of wisdom: ‘I joined the army to kick ass. and so did you.‘ And sothey do. Lifeimitating bad movies or what? An appallingly gung-ho script has a task force ofspecial helicopters going in to smoke out some druggies in a Central American country somewhere. It‘s hard to see it as anything other than a remake of Top Gun with more explosions and less cohesion. Miserably miscast. Nicholas Cage for one will want to forget about this film as soon as possible. (Medusa


I TOTAL RECALL Our Arnie is an ordinary Joe Soap. living in the near future. who dreams ofa life on Mars. And what better way to get upthere than via a memory implant the holiday ofa lifetime instantly injected into your head. However. things don‘t go quite according to plan and he begins to recall a previous life he did have on the red planet - as a resistance leader. Naturally. there are those who would rather that he had not come to his senses and so battle commences. Just why he is fighting them he can‘t at first recall. With this unusually complex plot established. Arnie gets down to the real business of beating the tar out of the baddies. which. under Paul Verhoeven’s direction. reflects a gory imagination ofthe first order. An enjoyable romp. with Arnie in top form and all centred round a more complex and original plot than his shenanigans normally get. (Guild Rental)



Scottish drama

Racism, wile-beating, homophobia, alcoholism and the Greenhouse Ellect. They all get a mention in The Weird oi Eddie Kerr, an afternoon play by Robert Paterson to be broadcast soon on Radio 4. But despite this intriguing list, the play is a dull, everyday story at working Glasgow men, centring on Eddie Kerr, a man with two dreadful sisters and one moderately decent one who’s just died.

Reaching a sort oi mid-lite crisis, Eddie worries that people may regard him as little more than a ‘llve-minute-iriend’, but then something ‘weird’ happens-that is something both strange and iateiul, in the Scots sense oi the word. Eddie puts his problems behind him and decides that he doesn’t have all the answers, ‘but l’m learning to like questions’. It's gentle jog-you-along drama, I suppose, but Eddie Kerr’s rebirth didn’t shake my world. (Radio 4, Thurs 7 Feb, 3.02pm)

Glasgow is also the setting tor a lorthcomlng Monday Play, The Wreathed Trellis, by Robert Forrest. In this case, Tom Watson, who played the reborn Eddie Kerr, gets to be Michael Glance, a psychiatrist with a challenge on his hands. Once a leading actor, Tom Beech is now mediocre chat show material, a political showman on the lringes oi Scottish Nationalism. Then, during a live broadcast, Tom suddenly appears to be overtaken by the spirit ot a flowery-speaking 18th century poet. Dirty game, politics.

Glance is enthralled by Tom’s ‘brilliant’ disorder and by what he reckons must be an 18th century vocabulary oi some 10,000 words. Finally he puts the mystery down to the combination oi a breakdown and Tom's attentive reading oi John Keats’ letters during a bout ol love sickness twenty years ago. Tom has, in etlect become Keats. His old rival Mark, on the other hand, is convinced that the whole thing is a sham, a piece ol exhibitionism on Tom’s part. It’s an intriguing idea and Tom’s sad schizophrenia - ‘Are you still there Mr Keats? May I call you John?‘ -wiil move you. i wonder how

many present MPs have had similar experiences. (Radio 4, Mon 4 Feb, ( 7.45pm) (Miranda France)


.s .r.

I BLAZE An intriguing idiosyncratic study of the relationship between a stripper and a politician. based on the memories of real~life performer Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich). Paul Newman is the hard-bitten scandalising Earl K. Long who brings Machiavellian politics and a taste for loose women to the governorship of the

l State of Louisiana. Newman is as good as he ever was and he

On the hop

War, what is it good tor? Not the BBC’s reputation, that’s tor certain. As hostilities began last Wednesday night, the Gult came to mean not only the theatre at operations, but the huge disparity between what was actually happening and what we were being told on our TV sets. And to the BBC’s eternal shame, to get even the vaguest idea at what it was all about, it was the happy-go-Iucky American guys trom Cable News Network you had to turn to.

lTN’s arrangement with CNN gave us ,

the reactions ot the American reporters, John Hoiliman, PeterArnett and Bernard Shaw in the Al-Rashid hotel as the bombs came down on Baghdad. Their excited exclamations ol ‘holy cow’ and ‘Jesus‘, mingled with bravado and reminiscences ot Vietnam are not the sort oi thing you’d get in British coverage, but they brought the message over loud and clear, helped ot course by the sounds at bombing and gunfire (‘l’ll just put the mike out the window so you can hear that,’ said one at the intrepid CNN boys).

Once the BBC had cottoned on to the tact that there was a war going on, and that their man in Baghdad, John Simpson, was incommunlcado, they went smoothly into operation Talking Read. Now, whether you go along with the old adage that truth is the first casualty at war, or whether you charitany believe that the media are merely the victims oi the Ministry at Deience’s determination to make this the most censored war ever, you have to laugh at the BBC's ettrontery. David ‘Serious Expression' Dimbleby introduces a host oi MOO apologists and pensioned-oil military men to discuss and speculate about what might be happening. When he otters us

British newscasters- ieit bobbing in the wake oi CNN‘s coverage.

Sir Michael Armitage, a man who used to be a prolessional concealer oi iacts, as a source oi iniormation, the joke has gone too tar.

it came almost as a reliei to getaway from the endless speculation and jargon ot the ‘experts’ to the pure puppyishness oi the returning American aircrew. One Steve McQueen look-alike talked ot ‘the best fireworks display since the Fourth at July, Baghdad was lit up like a Christmas tree.’ Another compared it to a lootball _ game: ‘You get up there and you start to make your moves, think about the game-plan.’ You can understand why the pilots needed to doll, with teenage imagery, the tact that they were killing people on the ground; but what excuse did the pundits in their comlortable studio have tor their circumlocutions?

BBC interrupted their coverage only twice: once ior Neighbours, and once tor a Neighbours repeat. Jim discovers Lucy is on the pill. Kind oi puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? (Tom Lappin)

dominates the film the way Long did his state. Yet the real scandals of the state administration merit only a walk-on part and by focusing purely on the governor‘s good times with his accommodating stripper this odd biopic

. gives the old rogue a

; kudos he hardly deserves. : (Touchstone Rental)

I INTERNAL AFFAIRS Mike Stormy Monday j Figgis‘sfirsterackofthe Hollywood whip has i Richard Gere asa ' street-hardened LA cop ' under suspicion from the Internal Affairs Department. personified by college kid Andy Garcia and his lesbian err-investigator Laurie Metcalfe. The result is a totiin cop thriller with some interesting undercurrents. all of which new boy Figgis manages to handle with ease. ((‘K‘ Rental)


Chain-smoking. hard-

boozing. coke-fiend

yuppie Michael Keaton

embezzles 592.000 and

I checks intoadependency

clinic after hisone-night pick-up()l)son him.

' Finding the system

over-rigoroiis. he falls for

fellow inmate Kathy

i Baker. and on checking

out he tries to rebuild his shattered life with her. But disaster is still at his heels. . . An excellent performance by one of l lollywood’s most

5 promising leading men is

I the main attraction for what is otherwise a rather meandering. unabsorbing study of the consequences ofaddietion. (Warner Rental)

The List 25 January 7 February 1991 65