Robin Hood (12) (Kevin Reynolds, 1991, US) Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Nickman, Christian Slater. 143 mins. The reactions oi American critics to this energetic, special eiiects-laden romp ranged irom slightly sniity to downright dismissive, with particularly scomiul remarks about Costner’s supposedly lacklustre performance and dodgy English accent. True, Costner speaks with a pronounced American accent and looks tired, but having come straight irom Dances With Wolves, this is hardly surprising. Otherwise, their criticisms cannot, by any stretch oi the imagination, be squared with the two hours ol swashbuckling entertainment available here. UK, so Robin returns from the Crusades with a Moorish companion, lands at Dover, and speaks at making Nottingham by nightiali. What did they expect, a history lesson?

With the exception oi the archery

contest, all the iamiliar elements are present and correct, provoking a sense oi deja vu it one has recently suiiered the abysmal John lrvin/Patrick Bergin version. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s Maid Marion is demure without being wimpy, Mike McShane’s FriarTuck is suitably rotund and bibulous, and Costner’s clean-cut Robin is both noble and agile. More disturbing is director Kevin Beynoid's tendency to overplay the genre card by slipping into indiana Jones mode whenever there's an action scene.

Equally dlsorientating is the chronically uneven tone: a sub-plot involving witchcraft seems to have strayed in from a sword and sorcery picture, and Alan Nickman’s hilarious, scene-stealing Sheriti ol Nottingham is

i .f i i

oiten more mental than menacing. Also, as with Dances With Wolves, there is a sense that Costner has a New Age agenda oi his own, signalled by Robin's invented black companion and his Vietnam-like guilt about the religious imperialism oi the Crusades. But these are minor irritations one registers only in retrospect. While Robin is righting wrong, the swords are cianging and the ilaming arrows tiying,

there's scarcer time to catch one's breath. (Nigel Floyd)

From Friday 19 July. Glasgow: Cannon the Forge, Cannon Sauchiehali Street, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon, Dominion, UCI. Central: Allanpark, Caledonian, Cannon. Strathelyde: Cannon, Keibume, Ddeon Ayr. Ddeon Hamilton, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride,WMi1 Film Centre.

desperate steps to avoid her psychopathically violent husband. The delicate not to say socially important subject matter is approached with as much sensitivity and responsibility as can be expected from Hollywood, and the film has done very healthy trade at the US box office, launching director Ruben into the big league after a string of minor hits including The Stepfather and True Believer. Ultimately, though, the film is too light and glossy to be taken seriously as anything other than gripping entertainment. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Edinburgh: UCI.

I The Sound Di Music (U) (Robert Wise. US. 1965) Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Richard Haydn, Eleanor Parker, Peggy Wood. 173 mins. In the late 1930s, vivacious nun Maria (Andrews) introduces the Von Trapp children to the joys of music, and their widowed father (Plummer) to the joys of love as Nazism begins to sweep Austria. One of the great screen musicals, completely uncynical, and boasting a host of memorable songs and charm-sodden moments. And it’s all based on a true story. Edinburgh: Cameo. I The Stepfather ( 18) (Joseph Ruben, US, 1987) Terry O‘Quinn, Shelley Hack,Jill

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Schoelen. 89 mins. O‘Quinn is a deceptively mild-mannered fellow hoping to establish the perfect all-American family. However, he turns out to be asick psycho with a penchant for marrying and dicing vulnerable widows. Taut and humorous with the familiar mastery of Hitchcock always within sight. Glasgow: GF'T.

I Tatie Danielle (15) (Etienne Chatiliez, France, 1990) Tsilla Chelton, Catherine Jacob, Isabelle Nanty. 110 mins. The apparently charming old dear with her dog Garde-a-vous and her beleagured housekeeper Odile proves to be farfrom charming, particularly after her relations decide to move her with them to Paris. Once there, her malicious ways grind their innate bourgeois decency to powder. until she meets her nemesis . . . It allsounds rather enjoyable, and Chelton‘s performance in the title role is a joyous creation, but a sadly predictable and underwrought structure take the bite out of a promising-looking satire from the director of Life Is A Long QuietRiver. , Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Thelma a Louise (15) (Ridley Scott, US, 1991) Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen. 129 mins. See feature. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Edinburgh: Cannon, UCI. Central:

Cannon. Strathelyde: Cannon, Odeon

Ayr, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride. I Too Not To Handle (15) (Jerry Rees,

I USA, 1991) Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin,

Robert Loggia, Elisabeth Shue. 117 mins. The steamy, headline-grabbing relationship between stars Basinger and

; Baldwin {rules out between set and

screen, and coupled with a heavy-handed and basically unfunny script from the normally reliable Neil Simon, the result is a 40s-style musical turkey. Tepid rather than too hot. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Strathelyde: La Scala, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride. I Total Recall (18) (Paul Verhoeven, US, 1990) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside. 109 mins. In Verhoeven's hugely expensive rollereoaster of violence , Arnie plays a construction worker whose vacational fantasy (implanted by Rekall Incorporated) is to pitch him into a netherworld of assassins and femmes fatales before unleashing the full truth about his nightmares of life on Mars. The crazy Dutchman’s Martian chronicle, teeming with sicko incident, is powered along by bursts of gee-ain‘t-this-fun—brutality, but scores points for the playful ingenuity of the plotting, and Arnie looks like he‘s enjoying himself. Edinburgh: Cameo. I 2M Motels (PG) (Frank Zappa, US, 1972) Frank Zappa, the Mothers of Invention, the London Symphony Orchestra. 111 mins. America's leading doctor of scatology takes you on a trip through the wild, weird and woman-infested world of a rock 'n’ roll tour at the height of hippiedom. Tune up, turn on and drop yer troosers with the mustachioed maestro. Edinburgh: Cameo. I White Fang (PG) (Randal Kleiser, US, 1990) Klaus Maria Brandauer, Ethan Hawke, Jed the dog, Bart the bear. 109 mins. Jack London’s classic adventure yarn set in the cold wastes of the Klondike, brought to the screen again by Disney‘s Touchstone subsidiary. A satisfying version with a strong cast and excellent use of bleak Alaskan locations. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Strathelyde: Odeon Ayr. I White Palace (18) (Luis Mandoki, US, 1990) Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Kathy Bates, Jason Alexander. 102 mins. Comedy-romance which begins a St Louis diner, where Jewish yuppie Spader (familiar but successful casting) meets older fast-food waitress Sarandon. An unlikely, cross-class affair ensues, which allows Mandoki not only to indulge in a predictable but stickily en joyable love story, but also provides the backdrop for observant, witty satire on the largely ignored US class system. Glasgow: GFT. I Wild At Heart (18) (David Lynch, US. 1990) Nicholas Cage, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Willem Dafoe. 127 mins. Lynch's much-hyped Cannes prize-winner turns out to be weird and wondrous in its own way, if not quite as cohesive as the earlier Blue Velvet. Cage and Dern are the energetic young lovers on the run, pursued by ultrastrange hitman Dafoe on a sometimes comic, sometimes disturbing, trail towards the ultimate rendezvous with Elvis and the Wizard of Oz. Aside from lovingly detailing the pernicious influence of pop kitsch upon our very consciousness however, the movie isn’t really about anything, even ifit is a helluva trip. Glasgow: GFI'. I A World Without Plty Un Monde Sans Pitie (15) (Eric Rochant, France, 1990) Hippolyte Girardot, Mireille Perrier, Yvan Attai, Jean Marie Rollin. 88 mins. Parisian comedy-romance, of a genre no-one but the French has ever taken very seriously. It‘s a pleasing, fluffy bundle of amour fou nonetheless, as the affair between Streetwise Hippo (Girardot in a lifelike role presumably written for him) and rive droite square Nathalie (Perrier) works out its star-crossed but entertaining course against the city‘s uniquely colourful and funny social backdrop. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

26The List 12—25Juiy 1991