I The Jungle Book (U) Mowgli joins the King of the Swingers down in the cartoon jungle as Walt Disney brings his inimitable touch to Rudyard Kipling. A school holidays re-release for the 1967 favourite. which is crammed with memorable characters — Baloo. Bagheera. Shere Khan — and songs. Surely one of the Bare Necessities this Easter.
I Leon The Pig Farmer (l5) Mild-mannered Leon discovers he isn't the offspring of nice Jewish parents. but the result of a botched artificial insemination experiment with a donation from a Yorkshire pig farmer. An ambitious British comedy crammed with hilarious cameo appearances and enough one-liners to pep things up when the non- kosher scenario becomes a bit over-stressed. Winner of the Chaplin
Mel Gibson in cold storage? Every freezer should have one. Here’s The List’s guide to all the new releases opening in Scotland in the next fortnight.
Award at the 1992 Edinburgh international Film Festival. See preview.
I Mr Hanny (PG) American wrestler Hulk Hogan follows up the success of Suburban Cmnmando with more kids fare that this time owes a little to Home Alone. As a former wrestler turned bodyguard. he finds himself looking after the destructive offspring of a famous inventor. Known to have a penchant for booby-trapping their nannies. these troublesome tots make life go with a bang for their new protector. You know the stuff -— he's big and ugly. but has a heart of gold; they‘re small and cute. but are mischief personified. The kids will love it. but the parents won‘t find much to keep themselves amused. (AM)
_ FDHEVEH YDUHG
Forever Young is a film with no shame: romance guaranteed to wet as many knickers as it does Kleenex, with blue- eyed Mel lust oozing gobbets of good ol’ fashioned sex appeal. Life for Test
_ Pilot Daniel (Gibson) is pretty perfect
in 1939. He gets to put B-52s through their paces; his best pal Harry is a brilliant scientist making top secret discoveries by freezing animals and bringing them back to life; his sweetheart Helen is drop-dead gorgeous and he only has to pop the question to make his life complete. So when tragedy befalls Helen, he totally over-reacts and volunteers to be the first human guinea-pig for Harry’s experiments.
As he clambers out of the cryogenic freezing device in 1992, naked as the day he was born, Daniel resembles nothing less than a Woman’s Dwn version of The Terminator - complete with golden botty fur - come forward from the wholesome past to save the crude and vulgar present with his patent brand of winning smiles and manly acts. Alone and somewhat confused, he is befriended by young Hat just in time to provide that male role-model the fatherless boy needs and twang the heart-strings of his mother before setting out to prove
/ Forever Young: ‘the Hollywood weepie machine at its best’ that True Lurve Never Dies.
Escapist twaddle this may be, but it is a shimmering example of the Hollywood weepie machine at its best. Elijah Woods, soon to star opposite Macaulay Dulkin in The Good Son, is perfect as the awestruck lad, and you just know that Jamie Lee Curtis’s embattled single-mum is the sort of woman who ‘knows a gash when she sees one’. Three packs of Kleenex and a box of chaos. (Thom Dibdin)
Forever Young (PG) (Steve Miner, US, 1992) Mel Gibson, Elijah Wood, Jamie Lee Curtis. 102 mins. From Fri 26. General release.
I Labyrinth of Passion (18) Transitional stuff. Almodovar's 1982 feature hangs uncertainly between the ‘anything goes as long as my mates are on screen' shambling sensationalism of Pepi. Luci. Born and the more controlled. still farcical excesses of his later work. in narrative terms. this one‘s certainly labyrinthine. allowing a diverse and deranged cast of Movida miscreants to fumble their way towards happiness via a typical 80s Madrid round of sex and substance abuse. Club chanteuse Sexi (Cecilia Roth). the nympho daughter of an artificial insemination
specialist. falls for the son
and heir of the Middle Eastem potentate of
~. Tyran. He. in turn. has a
thing going with an Arab
: insurgent who is part of a
terrorist gang out to kidnap him. There‘s also a major subplot following Sexi’s efforts in nobbling a female fan‘s aphrodisiac-guzzling incestuous father, while
legendary Spanish sleazo
pop twosome Almodovar and McNamara appear with a couple of numbers — a paean to the wonders of drugs and another little ditty about shagging the rats in the sewer system (!).
Sluggishly paced and relentlessly tawdry. this is mainly of interest as a period piece orjust a marker post in the development of the Almodovar phenomenon. You can see him trying out ideas and plot devices — a last-minute dash to the airport. a significant pubescent ﬂashback — he would subsequently perfect in Women on the Verge and High Heels. Not the place for a would- be Pedrophile to start though. (Trevor Johnston)
THE . .
About a decade ago, the presence of Eddie Murphy in a movie signalled danger and unpredictability; now, over-fed on fat fees, he’s as soft and unimaginatlve as the scripts that support him. Trading Places and 48 Hours worked because there was a sharp sense of culture clash when his streetwise types were slapped into upmarket situations. Here, he’s a con man In Congress — no distinctive character, just Eddie being Eddie with those rolling eyes and ear-to-ear grin. The edge has gone.
When Florida congressman Jeff Johnson dies while doing some overtime with his secretary (only one of a lamentable string of sexual harassment (ibes we’re supposed to giggle at), scam artist Thomas Jefferson Johnson adapts his name and gets elected to Washington on the recognition factor alone. Soon he discovers that Capitol Hill is more a Blsto factory than a mere gravy train, and he sets about feathering his nest
(,3! _ my . " do. ". 4 ' . The Distinguished Gentleman: ‘iust Eddie being Eddie”
at the expense of any notion of ethics.
But a guilty conscience comes
stalking with typical Hollywood unsubtlety in the shape of a shaven- headed child cancer sufferer, and the distinguished member for Florida finds himself at odds with greedy politicians and the industrial bigwigs who prop them up.
There’s a nugget of a movie here somewhere, but it’s rolled over by a star vehicle with Murphy at the steering wheel. Worse still to think that British director Jonathan Lynn has taken the sell-out path from real political satire in Yes, Minister to this uninspired rubbish. The trailers and posters may guarantee a fun time, but there’s as much truth in that as your average election promise. (Alan Morrison)
The Distinguished Gentleman (15) (Johnathan Lynn, US, 1992) Eddie Murphy, Lane Smith, Sheryl Lee Halph. 112 mins. From Fri 26. General release.
HEIR i .
Splitting Heirs: ‘sorry effort' Big bosoms. Mistaken identity. Manure. Naked people hiding in wardrobes. Repeatedly failed murder attempts. National and ethnic stereotypes. More big bosoms. What‘s remarkable about Eric Idle's screenplay for this latest entrant to the Britcom movie hall of shame is the sheer number of would—be surefire comic ingredients it piles on top of each other without so much as raising a laugh.
The basic plot kernel is
I K iml Hearts and ' Coroners rewritten for
idiots. Scripter/star ldle plays Tommy Patel. a humble city broker who discovers that he indeed is the lost Duke of Bournemouth. heir to a huge estate currently occupied by imposter Henry Maitland (Rick Moranis). an already wealthy American iycoon who also happens to be the head of poor Tom‘s financial firm. lirgo. with the sinister complicity of a legal vulture and romantic complications galore involving a man- hungry duchess and a poutsome shag interest (Catherine Zeta Jones). the bungling Patel tries to bump off the obstacles in his way to the Bournemouth title. Produced by the ex- Pythons production company Prominent Features, this sorry effort shows how pitiful good old British seaside
I postcard saucy humour can turn out when it‘s
done badly. And here. it is done badly. Like a movie in a persistent vegetative state. it just lies there and lies there despite over-frantic efforts by all concerned to pump some life into it. (Trevor Johnston) Splitting Heirs (/5) (Robert Young. UK/US. 1993) Erie Idle. Rick Moranis. Catherine Zeta Jones. 90 mins. From Fri 2. General release. 4
15 The List 26 March—8 April l993