From hot stuff in The Lover to Stone Cold with the 802, The List's menu is

full as we review all of the films Opening in Central Scotland this fortnight.

I The Five Heartbeats( 15) Robert Townsend. the man who brought you the excellent black spoofslant on the film industry HollywoodShuffle, is back after a lengthy gap. This time. it‘s a musical comedy drama. the story of five guys and their ups

and downs in the worlds of

60s R&B, 70s funk and even a dash of 80s gospel. As always. Townsend manages to deflate racism in the entertainment biz with some sharp humour; now he adds some even sharper suits.

l Johnny Suede ( 15) Levi‘s boy and new heart throb Brad Pitt steps out in suede shoes and a quiff that would put Ricky Nelson to shame in a

sure-fire cult hit from Tom

Di Cillo. cameraman on Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise. Hoping to hit the rock‘n‘roll big time. ourJohnny ambles his way among oddball characters and some genuinely weird and witty

i moments. See preview.

1 I Ladybugs (tbe) Rodney

I Dangerfield comedythat appeared out ofnowhcre. and will probably disappear just as quickly. This time the portly funny ; man takes on the jobof

coaching a soccer team of

g thirteen-year-old girls.

; Gregory '3 Girl was never

like this.

IThe Lover(18)

) Jean-Jacques Annaud brings Marguerite Duras‘s autobiographical novel to the big screen. but unfortunately the whole thing still smacks of

I intellectual French

literature. A fifteen-year-old girl has an affair in 1920s Saigon with a Chinaman twice her age. causing unlimited family scandal. The erotic scenes do have a strong sensuality and the leads

7 certainly look the part. but it's still a relentlessly tedious affair in more senses than one. See feature.

I Paradise (12) A young boy is dumped by his pregnant mother for the summer with her best friend. Unfortunately. his appearance only adds to the marital strife of his hosts as they dredge up memories of their own son. who died in infancy. Sensitive adult drama looks great and has some tight. if predictable.

l but may prove too slow for unmarried. childless viewers. Writer-director

g Mary Agnes Donoghue.

who penned Beaches.

handles the parallels between childhood friendship and adult animosity rather well. but it‘s Don Johnson who really shines through as

i the cold husband thawed out by a surrogate son.


{is x- The Playboys: “transports the viewerto anothertime, another place'

While excoriating TV dramas like The Conquest 0i The South Pole and The Grass Arena have established Scot Gillies Mackinnon as very much a British director to watch, this ieature debut shows him handling a wider canvas with no little assurance. In mid-50s Ireland, strong-willed Tara Maguire (Robin Wright) has been

i causing much consternation in a small ; rural community by relusing to name

i the lather at her recently born son, but

I the arrival in town oi a travelling troupe oi actors, The Playboys, brings events even closer to boiling point. Falling tor the ratilsh charms ot leading man Tom l (Aidan (iuinn), she is oiiered the hope oi leaving the coniines oi the village

and escaping the barely welcome attentions oi local policeman Hegarty (Albert Finney). Untortunately, her newtound romance goes down very badly with the sergeant, who's determined to claim the baby boy as his own.

As scripted by Shane Connaughton at My Leit Foot lame, it’s a ialrly lamiliar sort ol tale, and one whose tone veers alarmineg between the twin Celtic polarities at high tragedy and comic rombustlousness, yet somehow The Playboys is one oi those tilms that works so much betterthan by rights it should. Flnney is certainly a powerhouse as the volatile Hegarty, Robin Wright a convincing revelation in a role intended lorAnnette Bening (belore real-lite pregnancy intervened), and Milo O’Shea does the small-time Oirish theatrical ham to perfection. Yet it's the evocation oi the players’ impact on the wee village that genuinely transports the viewer to anothertime, another place. With a poignant overhead shot at the flattened grass on the town green atterthe thesps and their tent have gone, Mackinnon pulls out an image that says more than acres at verbiage, and lingers in the memory long, long atterwards. (TrevorJohnston)

The Playboys (12) (Gillies Mackinnon, UK, 1992) Robin Wright, Albert Finney, Aidan Quinn. 108 mins. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI.



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Left to pay all his dad’s shady gambling debts, Tommy Reilly (Twin Peaks's very own James Marshall) has no option but to take up seen-it-all talent scout Pappy Jack’s (Robert Loggia) oiler oi clamberlng into the boxing ring. However, our hero is soon

- weighing up the iinanclal rewards oi

the illegal light game against the dangers involved in the sort oi slugiest where anything, but anything, goes. As I the latest Great White Hope, Tommy eventually iinds himsell squaring up tor an unavoidable bout against his best buddy Lincoln (Cuba Gooding Jr irom Boyz N The Hood). Yet no matter who wins the contest, the real winner is sure to be corrupt gambling entrepreneur Jimmy Horn (Brian Dennehy). who’s raking in the cash as the blood sprays on the canvas. Oilering every opportunity lor sundry handsome young chaps in shiny shorts to mash the living daylights out oi each

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i Gladiator: ‘handsome young chaps in shiny shorts mash the living daylights out oi each other'


f. #3)}

Rowdy (Roadhouse) Herrington, Gladiator emerges as rather more cheering than your average bash-’em-up, thanks to an eminently watchable supporting cast and a lair old dash oi social conscience. Although, post-LA riots, the iilm‘s initial slew oi crunching black-against-white listicutis does make ior uncomionable viewing, it smartly dispels any accusations oi exploiting racial tensions by pointing the linger at big bad Brian’s money-grabbing promoter as the boxers’ common enemy. And James Marshall certainly leaves Lynchland iar behind with a killer display at ducking 'n' weaving, punching 'n' pouting. (TrevorJohnston)

l Gladiator (15) (Rowdy Herrington, US, 1992) James Marshall, Cuba Gooding Jr, Brian Dennehy. 98 mins. All Odeons. All UCls. Glasgow: Cannon


Stone Cold: “as entertaining as it is oiiensive'

Violence is golden as far as former American footballer Brian Bosworth is concerned. As linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks. he and his blue quasi-Mohawk gave the NFL the kick in the pants that it sorely needed: now he has scored a touchdown with his acting debut. but not without some distinctly unnecessary roughness.

The 1302 is John Stone. the undercover alias of suspended cop Joe Huff. who is snapped up by the FBI to nail a gangof homicidal bikers. Stone by name and stone by physique on screen. Bosworth resembles the proverbial shithouse carved out of granite he wins the confidence ofthe greasy leather-clad nasties by cracking heads and arranging a major drugs deal. Leader ofthe gangis an impressive Lance Henriksen, who. about to pull the trigger on some unfortunate. gets to deliver the immortal line ‘lt's at times like thisl think of my father's last words: “Don‘t son. that gun is loaded“ ‘.

Plot aside and believe me, director Craig R. Baxley (Action Jackson ) gives it a hefty shove into the wings - Stone Cold is a perfect example of mind-numbing violence that is as entertaining as it is offensive. Taking the attitude that ‘it‘s betterto be first in Hell than second in Heaven‘ (eh‘?). the bikers alternately shoot up. blow up and treat their women as iffeminism had never happened. Morally corrupting. I‘m sure; but. hey. when the stunts are this good. I‘ll sneak out during the credits with a guilty conscience. Next week. Ally MeCoist in Die Hard}. (Alan Morrison)

Stone Cold ( 18) (Craig R. Baxley. US. 1992) Brian Bosworth. Lance Henriksen. William Forsythe. 90 mins. All Cannons. All UCls. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton.

thematic developments. The Forge. Central: cannon.

16 Tfiigzfii'éiunc— 2July 1992

other, in the hands oi mayhem-meister