Curly Sue (PG) (John Hughes, US, 1991) James Belushi, Kelly Lynch, Allsan Porter, John Getz. 102 mins. Having just scripted and produced the biggest comedy hit of all-time in Home Alone, John Hughes here unfolds the dusty director's chair that hasn’t seen action since Uncle Buck and instantly proves how much of a creative toll the nineteen movies he's written in the past eight years has taken out of him. Jim Belushi's Bill Dancer is a sort-ol-honest driiter, supporting his cutesy little daughter Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) by finding work wherever he can and coming up with the odd whizzo money-making scam. The pair’s latest routine involves tricking a rich lady in a BMW (namely Kelly Lynch doing her ice queen attorney stint) into believing that she's just run over the lather and subsequently lavishing all concerned with food, money, etc in a fit of guilty generosity. In this case, however, our plucky duo hit the jackpot and end up bedded down in her ultraswish appartment, so beginning the


Curly Sue: 'the worst movie

and i .. - Mr Hughes has ever put his name to.‘ , inexorable process by which the ' loveable poor lolks persuade the i woman in the business suit to lighten 1 up a little, and the wilting superbitch's


belatedly exposed maternal feelings make pop realise that a life on the road is hardly the best upbringing tor a growing young moppet.

Basically, given the set-up in the first twenty minutes, you could write the rest of the script yourself, and any potential emotional involvement is scuppered by the towerineg predictable course of unwinding events. Add to this a George Delerue score that’s as subtle as a plastic bag over your head, the kind of wish-fulfilment ideology that’s not so much populist as simple-minded, plus a leading lady who’s the greatest advert for infant euthanasia since the good ship Lollipop weighed anchor in Peppermint Bay, then the result is by

some distance the worst movie Mr Hughes has ever put his name to. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. (Trevor Johnston)

From 26 Dec: General release.

The Indian Runner (15) (Sean Penn, US, 1991) David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Charles Bronson. 130 mins. Inspired by the Bruce Springsteen song Highway Patrolman, Sean Penn makes his debut as writer and director with a slice of Americana that's as sell-consciously earnest in its soul-searching as its acknowledged source. In this heartland tale of lraternal tensions, David Morse lurrows his brow as respected local cop Joe, while Viggo Mortensen sneers and smoulders as ne'er-do-well Frank, recently returned from military service to the small town he fled in disgrace years previously. Although the sudden death of both parents and lathering a child by his girlfriend look set to make the former tearaway settle down like his elder sibling with a job and a home, as he broods over his drink with tough bartender Caesar (Dennis Hopper, who else?), it soon becomes apparent that Frank's wild years are far from over. Right from the strikingly staged opening sequence ol a car chase amidst the bleakest or frozen landscapes, it’s clear that Penn is no mere thespian egotist like a good many actors llaillng behind the camera, and indeed the main problem it it actually is a problem lacing Indian Runner is that, with so much material pitched at a Llevel ol high emotional intensity,


Indian Runner: ‘heartland tale of lraternal tensions.’

there‘s always the chance it all might become rather wearing tor the viewer.

1 However, with a rapt concentration on

capturing a sense of place and delineating the exact contours of his two main protagonists, opposing yet symbiotic sensibilities, Penn displays a sense of deep involvement that might shame many a more experienced iilmmaker. Provided he has more to otter once he's gotten this

, semi-autobiographical, intensely

charged debut out of his system, then we might look back on Indian Runner as a highly auspicious beginning. (Trevor Johnston)

From 12 Jan: Glasgow Film Theatre.

28 The List 20 December 1991 16January 1992

substantial. Glasgow: GFT.

I The Halrdresser's Husband (15) (Patrice Leconte. France, 1990) Jean Rochefort. Anna Galiena. 90mins. The romantic tale of a young boy who resolves to marry a hairdresser, and in eccentric middle age does just that. According to director Leconte, the film ‘is not autobiographical. although it really ought to have been‘. since the boy‘s resolution is one he himself made. but failed to keep. A witty. sexy and eccentric movie with dark undercurrents from the director of Monsieur Hire. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Highlander (15) (Russell Mulcahy, UK. 1986) Christopher Lambert. Beatie

, Edney. Sean Connery. 111 mins. A i handful of immortals battle through the centuries to win a mythical prize. A

curious mixture of romance in 16th century heather and car chases in present day New York. the film is an inelegant, often ludicrous. but enjoyably daffy adventure. Lambert seems more at home with the contemporary passages and only the ever wonderful Connery has the requisite style for the kitsch Scottish scenes. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I The Hitcher (18) (Robert Mandel. US, 1986) Rutger Hauer. C. Thomas Howell. Jennifer Jason Leigh. 98 mins. Drowsy driver Howell gets more than he bargained for when he picks up psycho-hitcher Hauer in this genuinely edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Home Alone (PG) (Chris Columbus. US, 1990) Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci. Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine ()‘Hara. 103 mins. Peter and Kate McCallister (Heard and O‘Hara) have an eight-year-old brat and wisely albeit accidentally leave him behind in Chicago when they go on holiday to Paris. Left to his own devices young Kevin (Culkin) has to deal with two bungling burglars (Pesci and Stern) who threaten to invade his peaceful haven. Jolly. if sadistic. scare-comedy antics produced by teenflick veteran John Hughes. Edinburgh: Cameo. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank.

I Homicide ( 15) (David Mamet. US. 1991) Joe Mantegna. William H. Macy. Natalija Nogulich. Rebbeca Pidgeon. 102 mins. Dedicated cop Bobby Gold (Mantegna) begins to struggle with his conscience and reflect on his Jewish background when a murder investigation puts him on the track of an anti-Semitic terrorist group and a counter-organisation of Zionist vigilantes. Mamet‘s third film is as much about faith in a lost society as racist tensions in New York. and is certainly head and shoulders above most conventional police procedurals. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I H01 Shots ( 12) (Jim Abrahams. US. 1991) (‘harlie Sheen. (‘ary Elwes. Valeria Golino, Lloyd Bridges. 87 mins. 1n the hands of. say. Tony Scott. this could have been a star-spangled action adventure; in the hands of Jim Abrahams, however. it becomes another A irplurte'f Top Secret spoof that sends up the macho world of fighter pilots. Thankfully the rapid-fire wit and visual gags score as many hits as misses. but post-Gulf War timing and an ad line that bills it as ‘the mother of all movies‘ kick it into a rather dubious satirical league. General release.

I House of Games ( 15) (David Mamet, US. 1987) Lindsay (‘rouse. Joe Mantegna. Lilia Skala. 102 mins. A workaholic psychiatrist. the author of a bestseller on compulsive behaviour. develops an obsession with a group of con men and the scams they perpetrate. Attracted by the vicarious thrill of their games. she is eager to graduate from observer to participant. The movie starts slowly. but becomes a gripping and pleasurable thriller of serpentine twists. hard-boiled (‘handleresque dialogue and surprise double-crosses. A Chinese box of a film. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I The Indian Runner (15) (Sean Penn. US. 1991) David Morse. Viggo Mortensen, Valeria Golino, Dennis Hopper, Patricia

Arquette. 135 mins. See review. Glasgow: GFT.

I Interrogation (18) (Ryszard Bugajski, Poland. 1982) Krystyna Janda, Adama Ferencego. Agneiszka Holland. 116 mins. For many years banned in its native country and withheld from foreign distribution. Bugajski‘s horrifying indictment of the brutal Polish regime of the 50s (and, allegorically. the 80s) is one of the most powerful films to come out of the Eastern Europe in recent years. A young woman (Janda) is imprisoned without explanation and a series of power games between prisoner and interrogator ensue. Bleak and very disturbing, but strongly recommended. Glasgow: GFT. I Jacob's Ladder (18) (Adrian Lyne. US, 1990) Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena. Danny Aiello. 113 mins. Vietnam vet Jacob Singer is seeing some very strange things. like nurses with demons' horns and people with faces straight out of a Francis Bacon painting. As his grip on the reality of his present life begins to slip, he has recurring flashbacks to the night his platoon was wiped out during the war. The director of Fatal Attraction and the writer of Ghost combine to pull off one of the most terrifying, yet ultimately moving, paranoia thrillers of recent years. Edinburgh: Cameo. '

I Jean De Florette (PG) (Claude Berri. France. 1986) Gerard Dcpardieu, Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil. 121 mins. Provence, during the 1920s. Depardieu‘s indomitable hunchback struggles against impossible odds to make a success of his inherited farmland, unaware that his neighbours are plotting to drive him from his land. Beautifully photographed. with flawless performances. this is a towering tribute to the highest aspirations of French storytelling. A BAFTA winner for the film of the year. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Jules E1 Jim (PG) (Francois Truffaut. France, 1961) Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner. Henri Serre. 105 mins. Truffaut‘s early masterpiece. telling the comi-tragic tale of an eternal triangle straddling the First World War. Bohemian, mercurial Parisienne Catherine (Moreau) divides her affections between Jules (Werner) and Jim (Serre). whose deep friendship overrides their rivalry in love and their separation by war. But Truffaut has a salutory fare in store for the threesome. which is both devastating and poetic. Powerful stuff. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I The Land Before Time (U) (Don Bluth, US. 1989) 86 mins. Latest animated feature from Disney graduate Bluth follows the fortunes of orphaned Brontosaurus Littlefoot. who loses his mum to the claws of a nasty Tyrannosaurus Rex before teaming up with a gang of similarly parentless wee dinos to undertake the hazardoth journey across Country to the safety of the Great Valley. Classically drawn and chockful of edifying moral lessons. this is solid entertainment perfectly tailored to the demands of its target audience of very young children. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Last Tango in Paris (18) (Bernardo Bertolucci. France/Italy. 1973) Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider. 130 mins. A young Parisienne meets a middle-aged man with whom she develops an increasingly violent and purely sexual relationship. One of the key films of its decade. Bertolucci‘s powerful drama is a meditation on the expression and communication of personal identity through intense sexual contact. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

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 of sensual 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