this evidence, no. Central: Cannon.

I King Ralph (PG) (David 5. Ward. US. 1991 ) John Goodman, Peter O‘ Toole. John Hurt. Camille Coduri, Julian Glover. 96 mins. When the entire Royal Family is unluckily wiped out. Las Vegas pianist Ralph Jones (Goodman) becomes heir to the throne ofBritain. In the struggle to adjust to his elevated lifestyle. King Ralph offends other monarchs. disrupts British industry, delights the tabloid press and falls in love with a commoner. But complications arise when Lord Graves (Hurt) begins plotting his downfall. Unreverential comedy with an enjoyany robust central performance. a pinch of satire on the British ‘Royals‘ cult. and a good few laughs. Edinburgh: UCI.

i Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr, UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.

I LA Sfory(15) (Mick Jackson. US. 1991) i Steve Martin. Victoria Tennant. Richard

E. Grant. Marilu Henner. 95mins. Written by Martin himself. this affectionate satire on the world centre of i hedonism is also a love story in the manner 1 of Manhattan, though without the i intellectual subtlety ofthat homage to I NYC. Martin plays eccentric weatherman Harris K. Telemacher, who sets out to find sanity and true love in a crazy society. Not as funny as it should be. but nonetheless an enjoyable entertainment. See preview, page 32. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road, Cannon The Forge,Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon, UCI. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride. I Law of Desire (18) (Pedro Almodovar, Spain. 101 mins) Eusebio Poncela. Carmen Maura, Antonio Baderas. 101 mins. Notorious filmmaker Pablo moves through a decadent lifestyle ofsensual pleasure, his only real concern for his transsexual brother-turned-sister. However, when he falls for government minister‘s son Antonio. a nightmare of manipulation and deceit is to follow. Flamboyant Spanish iconoclast Almodovar’s exaggerated sexual farrago is interesting as a sort ofoverheated melodrama. though the lack ofnarrative control near the end does let the film down. Glasgow: GFT. I Life Of Brian (15)(Terry Jones, UK. 1979) Graham Chapman. Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin. Eric Idle. 93 mins. The Gospel According to Monty Python offended a whole host of religious dominations upon its initial release. which rather obscured the fact that behind the controversy lay their most sustained I humour to date. A host of very funny setpieces and smart cameos from all the team climaxes in a rather fetching musical crucifixion. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Life Is A Long Ouiet River ( 15) (Etienne Chatiliez. France. 1988) Benoit Maginel, Patrick Gelin. Andre Wilms. 99 mins. Embittered nurse exchanges the offspring of two very different families. Trouble results when she reveals her trick twelve years later. and the richer Le Quesnoys learn they are nurturing one of the sleazy Groseilles and vice versa. Based on the Mark Twain novel Pudd’nhead Wilson. its humour relies on characterisation rather than on the slick sight gags a Hollywood film-maker would wring from it. Maginel and Wilms are outstanding. Glasgow: GFT. I Life Is Sweet ( 15) (Mike Leigh. UK. 1991) Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent. i Jane Horrocks. Claire Skinner.Timothy Spall. David Thewlis. 102 mins. Domestic j cringe-drama again in Leigh‘slatest , offering. which centres on a family with - mismatched twin daughters (Horrocks and Skinner) an inefficient caterer dad (Broadbent) and a generous-spirited mum (Steadman). The drama laced. like all Leigh‘s work, with a bleak. almost cruel humour centres on the sisters' relationship. the father's ill conceived business venture and the new restaurant L-.. . - . _.__- _ 36 The List 17 - 30 May 1991

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Robin Hood (PG) (John lrvin, UK/US, 1991) Patrick Bergin, Uma Thurman, Jeroen Krabbe, Jourgen Prochnow. 104 mins. With breath very much in the hated mode, awaiting Kevin Costner as Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves laterthis summer, along comes the rival, Anglo-Hollywood production to chuck down a gauntlet in the contest for Sherwood Forest’s top celluloid wearer of the green tights and feathered cap of 1991. Fresh from menacing Julia Roberts in Sleeping With The Enemy, can ireland’s Patrick Bergin trounce our Kev over fifteen rounds of movie swashbucklery?

On this showing, probably not, if the truth be known. You’d have to concede that there’s probably more action and excitement concentrated in the Prince Of Thieves trailerthan in this half-hearted and lackadaisical offering. This Robin Hood tries to have it both ways by going for a cartoonish sort of post-Errol Flynn verve while hoping to retain some element oi real characterisation and meaningful subtext, and quite predictably ends up deep in the heart of merrie old nowhereland.

Perhaps co-screenwrlter John McGrath (yes, that John McGralh) had seen Fellow Traveller and thought he’d


have a bash at pumping a well-worn tale lull of obvious political integrity, but the task appears to have defeated him. The plot’s the same as in every other Robin Hood movie to date, except that the English-under-forelgn-yoke element is played up. Thus, we are presented with the immortal exclamation ‘Bloody Normansl’ and

bad guys Krabbe and Prochnow do their

all-purpose Mittel-European accent routine, which proves marginally less threatening than the Disney-animated version from the 70s.

Apart from Jason Lehel’s washed-out cinematography, it’s hard to find much good to say about an adventure movie that has to cut away from Its climactic confrontation to disguise the tedium oi the stunt choreography. Still, spare a thought for poor Patrick and Uma, who mug their way through the year’s Single Most Embarrassing Scene- where she’s garbed up as a young boy and he’s too dumb to notice - with the steadiastness of real troupers. (Trevor Johnston)

From Fri 17 May. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street, Salon. Edinburgh: UCI. Strathclyde: Kelburne, La Scala, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.

; opened by a friend (Spall). Enjoyable.

' truthful and surprisingly optimistic.

3 Central: Cannon.

I The Little Mermaid (U) (John Musker

and Ron Clements. US. 1990) With the

voices of Rene Auberjonois. Buddy

. Ilackett. Kenneth Mars. 83 mins. Based

. on a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale.

the latest Disney animated feature may

; not quite rank with the glories ofWalt‘s distant past but displays an impressive

attention to detail. bags of humour and a set oftruly tacky songs. Our bikini-clad heroine might be a little too eager tofulfil

her Barbie-doll destiny, but by and large

L it‘s embarrassingly enjoyable stuff. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.

I A Man Escaped Un Condamne A Mort S'esr Echappe (PG) (Robert Bresson.

France. 1956) Francois Leterrier.Charles

, Le Clainche. Maurice Beerblock. Jacques

I Ertaud. 102 mins. The true story ofa

French Resistance fighter‘s escape from imprisonment by the Gestapo. Recently re-released. Bresson‘s account is both austerer straightforward in its depiction of the story. and sublimer metaphysical in

; its implications of Providence at work. A

l riveting experience. Glasgow: GFT. I Manhunler(18) (Michael Mann. US. 1987) William L. Petersen. Tom Noonan,

Brian Cox. Kim Griest. 119 mins. FBI agent Petersen returns from psychiatric treatment to face another case. using his customary technique for tracking down serial killers by recreating their train of thought. In the past this has proved all too wearing on his own mental state. and when faced with evidence ofa killer who slays whole families every lunar cycle. he finds himself back on the brink. Convincing and disturbing adult thriller

' with effortlessly stylish use ofthe wide

screen. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Man 01 Flowers (18) (Paul Cox, Australia. 1983) Norman Kaye. Alyson Best. Chris Haywood, Sarah Walker. 91 mins. Early opus from Australia‘s leading specialist in lonely sexuality and off-beat relationships. Here. the central character is a middle-aged art collector who employs a model to strip for him. eventually becoming emotionally embroiled in what was intended to be a purely voyeuristic arrangement. Poignant and funny character drama from the man behind Cactus and Golden Braid. Glasgow: GFT. I Marine Matters (U) A programme of two films for the Edinburgh Environmental Film Festival. Slick (26 mins) is a Scottish Eye programme about the Exxon oil disaster; while Mucking Up The Med(52

mins) explains exactly why the Mediterranean isn‘t such a great place to swim these days. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Hlna Menkes Films (18) A double bill for the International A vant-Garde Films season. Magdalena Viraga (1986) is about the spiritual awakening of a prostitute, and employs the poetry of Anne Sexton, Mary Daley and Gertrude Stein to offset the squalor it depicts. The GrearSadness Oonhara (19,84), filmed in Israel and North Africa is about a Jewish American woman‘s failure to find any connection i with her theoretical roots. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I The Meaning Of Life ( 18) (Terry Jones. UK, 1983) John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Eric Idle. 103 mins. Ragbag of occasionally gross Python sketches loosely following this mortal coil from womb to tomb. Watch out for the exploding Mr Creosote. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Miller’s Crossing (18) (Joel Coen, US. 1990) Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden. John Turturro. Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman. 115 mins. The Coen Brothers‘ latest opus is a predictably quirky-but-stylish reworking of genre material in this case the gangster flick. Set in an unnamed East-coast city in the 19305. it centres on the falling-out

between mob-leader Finney and his right-hand man Byrne when both take a shine to the same broad (Harden). It‘s all carried out with the Coen‘s customary aplomb. and even features a fleeting appearance by Evil Dead and Darkman director Sam Raimi. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Central: Cannon.

I Misery (18) (Rob Reiner, US, 1991) Kathy Bates, James Caan. Frances Sternhagen, Richard Farnsworth. Lauren Bacall. 107 mins. Adapted from Stephen King's novel, this psychological chiller centres on a popular author with literary aspirations (Caan) who finds himself trapped, following a nasty car accident. with his ‘number one fan‘ (Bates, who won the Best Actress Oscar for the role). Gradually. he becomes aware of her psychosis, and is forced to bide his time until he can contrive an escape. More than a whiff of Scorsese’s excellent King Of Comedy about this project. but the talents of all concerned are employed to superb effect, to produce a movie of great originality. subtlety and entertainment value. See feature, page 8. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Central: Allanpark, Caledonian. Strathclyde: Kelburne. Odeon Ayr, Odeon Hamilton, La Scala, UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride. WMR Film Centre.

I Moonwalker (U) (Jerry Kramer & Colin Chilvers, US. 1988) Michael Jackson. Sean Lennon. Kellie Parker, Joe Pesci. 100 mins. The Jacko plan for world domination continues with this ragbag of pop videos and archive footage masquerading as a feature film. Criticism is pointless as the kiddies will flock to it anyway, but there‘s a lot to dislike about a movie which exploits their short attention spans. Strathclyde: UCI East Kilbride.

I The Naked Gun (15) (David Zucker. US. 1988) Leslie Nielsen. Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban. 85 mins. Nielsen plays a disaster-prone LA cop assigned to find the men who shot his colleague in a drugs bust, and protect our dear Queen at the same time, while also finding time for romance with secretary Presley. The makers of Airplane here operate on a similar principle: keep it fast, keep it marvellously dumb, and the comic dividends will eventually flow. Watch out for a great beaver gag and comedy cameos from Arafat, Gaddafi and Gorbachev. Central: Cannon.

I A Hightmare 0n Elm Street (18) (Wes Craven, US, 1984) Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon. 91 mins. High-school kids are terrorised by the delightful Freddy (he of the flambe