I The Best Intentions (15) The winner of this year‘s Palme d’Or at Cannes is the autobiographical tale of the complex love affair between the parents of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, who wrote the screenplay. Romance set against Nordic severity in a bygone era, beautifully photographed and flawlessly acted. See preview. I The Butcher's Wife (12) Marina (Demi Moore) is a lonely lass who lives in a lighthouse and spends most of her time wishing for a handsome young man to appear from the sea and whisk her away to a better life. Within days of rotund New York butcher Leo finding himself washed ashore, the pair are back in the Big Apple, well and truly married. Much to hubby‘s consternation, however, Marina starts doling out clairvoyant advice with the pork chops, sorting out the lovelorn local women folk and coming into conflict with neighbourhood shrink (Jeff Daniels).

In some ways it‘s


laudable that post-Ghost Demi Moore should be branching out into rather quirkier fare, but like the flowing blonde locks she sports here, the movie as a whole fails to convince. It aims for the gentle tones of a contemporary fairy tale. but overdoes the whimsicality to a degree that some might enjoy but others will surely find irritating. This particular butcher’s shop carries a caveat emptor sign. (TI)

I Freddie As F.B.D.7. (U) (Jon Acevski, UK, 1992) With the voices of Ben Kingsley, Jenny Agutter, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorn. A French prince turned into a frog becomes F.R.O.7., the toast of the secret service. A quick hop and he‘s over in Britain, trying to find out why top national monuments are disappearing. The first in a planned series of animated features is certainly well cast in the voice department, but the animation reminds you more of the substandard world of Dangermouse than the wonderful world of Disney. General release.

I Pepi, Luci, Bom . . . (18) Pepi (Carmen Maura) is a whizzo advertising exec who’s masterminded a campaign for a pair of panties that not only absorb any little ‘accidents’ but perfume your flatulence and even adapt into a handy sex toy ( !). Luci (Eva Silva) is a mild-mannered housewife who makes an escape from docile domesticity when Pepi introduces her to Bom (Olvida ‘Alaska‘ Gara), spiky-haired chanteuse with the punk outfit Bomitomi, and the unlikely couple strike up a caring sado-masochistic relationship. The only thing standing in the path of everyone’s happiness is the continuing presence of Luci’s violent policeman husband, who’s already raped Pepi after a raid on her stock of marijuana

plants and isn‘t at all pleased that his wife has run off with a pop star. Written while Almodovar still had his day job at the National Telephone Company and made on a barely-existent budget, this first feature is fascinating for the way it contains virtually all the elements that crop up in later, more accomplished works. It’s all here - Carmen Maura, female bonding, Madrid housing estates, and more kinky sexual conduct than you‘d care to shake a stick at. Although there are more than a few patches of tedium on the path to an unexpected resolution Pepi, Luci, Bom . . . is cherishable as the work of a young director who probably thought he‘d never get to do another movie and so dared to put all manner of pervy happenings on screen while he had the chance. The ‘golden shower’ sequence and the


contest you simply will not believe! It’s Almodovar at his wildest, and a must for I Pedrophiles everywhere.

. 35 My Cousin Vinny: ‘howlinglyfunny'


Wahzoo City, Alabama, is about as Deep as the South gets, which isn't altogether great news for New York students Bill and Stan (Messrs Machio and Whitfield) when they’re arrested and charged with the murder of a local storekeeper, a crime they most certainly didn’t commit. Thrown into custody and fearing for their lives, the only thing to do is to fall back on the family, namely Bill’s cousin lawyer Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci), a streetwise Easterner who takes on the

daunting task of acting in their deience. Sighs of relief prove to be premature though, when Vinny turns up with girlfriend Lisa (Marisa Tomei) in low, to announce that he passed his legal exams at the sixth attempt and the forthcoming case is to be his ‘iirst foray into the trial process.’

After sparkling supporting stints for Scorsese and the Lethal Weapon crew, Joe Pesci at last gets to carry a movie on his own with this howlingly funny character comedy. Testing can-do Italian-American guile against the old-fashioned Southern gentlllty of Fred Gwynne's curmudgeonly judge, the courtroom scenes would be worth the price of admission in themselves, but Dale Launer’s faultlessly constructed screenplay manages to work the ongoing battle of wills between Vinny and redoutable fiancee Tomei into the highly impressive final reel resolution. The result is a mainstream Hollywood entertainment which, ratherthan just stringing together a series of setpiece gags, actually draws its humour from developing and elaborating on a central comic situation. British director Jonathan (Yes, Minister) Lynn stages it all to perfection, but it’s surely Pesci’s movie: smart as a whip, incandescent with nervy energy, his Vinny Gambini is a classic creation. Thoroughly recommended. (TrevorJohnston)

My Cousin Vinny (15) (Jonathan Lynn, US, 1992) Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Fred Gwynne. Cannons: The Forge, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy, Kilmarnock. Odeons: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr, Hamilton. All UCls. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Central: Allanpark. File: Glenrothes. Strathclyde: Kelburne.


Brian Levant’s directorial debut got off

to a dubious start with Problem Child 2, but as they say, you‘ve got to start somewhere. His latest work, Beethoven, is a surprising blend of domestic, dialogue-based comedy, rubbing paws withslapstick and a modest action-adventure element.

The basic premise is simple: an evil vet (animal doc ratherthan ’Nam variety) and his two moronic assistants kidnap dogs from a pet store for weapons testing. A small St Bernard pup escapes, finding its way into the Newton family home. They all want to adopt the cute little fella (except Pa Newton who claims “we’re fish people, not dog people‘ to no avail). Predictably, once the naming ceremony is over, Beethoven swiftly grows to enormous adult proportions and wreaks havoc chez Newton, showering everybody with saliva and pawprints and creeping into their beds.

The mutt proves himself as intelligent as any human (not difficult in this kind of movie), selflessly saving lives, relationships, careers and dispensing justice in equal proportions to mud. The comic moments rely on the good old dawg-that's-almost-human schtick, and much of the appeal lies in this simplicity alongside the run-of-the-mili plotting, countless visual gags and nice timing,

genuinely uncomfortable at being in close proximityto the beast. His talent for deadpan expression and moments of exaggerated despair lend a charm to the proceedings which might otherwise have mislired. Beethoven is one of the few anthropomorphic stars to have been successful on screen for some time. (Dylan Matthew)

Beethoven (U) (Brian Levant, US, 1992) Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, A Dog. 87 mins. Cannons: The Forge, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy, Kilmamock. All UCls. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Dominion. File: New Picture House. Strathclyde: Ddeon Ayr.


Luc Devereaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) are prototype versions of the Universal Soldier. a top-secret project to create an unstoppable fighting force of humanoid electronic warriors. Ilaving valiantly thwarted a series of terrorist attacks. the experiment begins to go awry when the two UniSols in question start to have flashbacks to previous lives. The duo go AWOL and continue the deadly rivalry that began when they were both serving in Vietnam. As the Mo superhuman foes leave a trail ofdcstruetion across the country. ace TV reporter Veronica Roberts (Ally Walker) is the only person to discover the inside story of their true identity. but she may not survive long enough to be able to do anything about it.

Clearly designed as a break for the big time by the two top-billed he-men. this wonderfully daft sci-fi pulp actioner will probably give Jean-Claude‘s career more ofa boost than dear old Dolph’s. for the Belgian beefcake‘s kick-boxing performance as the ‘good' Unisol proves rather more sympathetic than his Scandinavian eo-star‘s lumbering efforts as the bad egg droid. Virtually every plot element may be filehcd from other movies a better title might be Robocommando Recall but director Emmerich handles the mayhem with zippy aplomb and the gleeful humour is a real saving grace. Ouizzed by the feisty heroine ifhe‘s

from Canada or

somewhere French because of his accent. our man Jean-Claude replies with a deadpan ‘What

, acc-a-sont‘." Ho. ho, ho.

(Trevor Johnston)

Universal Soldier (18) (Roland Emmerich. US. l992)Jean-Claudc Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker. 102 mins. Odeons: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr. All UCIs.

“The List l7—3UJuly 1992