STE]. ,- I

Are Clint ’n’ Kev cinema’s Christmas dream ticket? Find out as The List reviews all the films opening over the next four weeks.

I Carlito’s Way ( l8) Ten years after Scarface. Al Pacino and director Brian De Palma team up again for this 7()s-set noir gangster movie about a former drug-runner. just out of prison. who struggles to come to terms with the new codes of honour on the streets of Spanish Harlem. The period detail is well realised. particularly in Sean Penn's flamboyant Jewish lawyer. complete with receding frizzy perm and red nostrils from his coke habit. As ever. the set pieces are stand-out material. but unlike some of the De Palma's other past efforts. story. character. mood and theme aren't sacrificed for visual style. See feature. I Farewell My Concubine (15) An achineg beautiful account of two Peking Opera actors. whose roles as warrior king and concubine spill over in their real lives. The central tale of unrequited love. filled with the colour and spectacle of the ()pera. is set against the ever-changing backdrop of 20th century Chinese history. blending intimacy with world-sliattering political events. A genuine epic. not only in form and narrative. but in its emotional and artistic depth. See preview. I IP5 ( l5) Two Parisian street kids find themselves out in the countryside when they dump the van they are driving. but meet up with an old man (Yves Montand) who rambles on about a lost love. A generation gap road— movie with more than a touch of the mystical. Il’5 shows Jean-Jacques Beineix relying less on the showy visual style of his past work although the landscape photography is magnificent and stressing instead the emotions of his protagonists. Montand. in his last role. is a dignified. charming presence. I The Professional Golgo 13 ( l8) For the first time.


those folks at Manga Video home of cult. action-packed Japanese animation have brought

one of their titles north of

the border for a one-night- only screening in Glasgow. Edinburgh and

3 Dundee. Wanted by the ' FBI. CIA. the Pentagon

and just about every other

- security force. a hired hit- man (codename Golgo . 13) goes to Sicily to hunt

down a Mafia killer who assassinated a bishop‘s

entire family. but finds out

his prey has intimate links

with his own past. Violent fare that is certainly worth

catching if you liked (the

I admittedly better) Akira.


After the maiestic Unforgiven, Clint’s latest almost inevitably comes as a slight disappointment, but it still contains enough inversions on the routine prison-break drama to lift it firmly above the level of most Hollywood formula fare. Kevin Costner is Butch Hayes, a career criminal who’s just sprung himself from the pen and landed up in the company of seven-year-old Phillip (a reasonath unprecocious T..I. Lowther), taken hostage after an unsavoury incident involving his mother and the fugitive’s soon-dispatched psychotic accomplice. 0n the trail is Clint’s experienced Texas Ranger Red Garnett, helped and alternately hindered by attendant criminologist Sally Gerber (Laura Dern), who’s been assigned by the state governor himself.

So far, so familiar, but John Lee Hancock’s screenplay rings the changes by casting Clint’s law enforcer as a model of grizzled befuddlement and laying most of the narrative onus on the developing relationship between Costner and the 2 boy. The survivor of an unhappy,

é deprived and possibly abused childhood himself, the hard-bitten captor turns his automotive flight from justice into a journey of self-discovery and adventure for his young charge, previously denied many of the fun- filled accoutrements of modern

A Perfect World: ‘awkwardly structured'

childhood by his mother’s strict Jehovah’s Witness religious beliefs. Although not entirely free of special pleading, there’s still enough indication of dark personal demons to give this aspect of the movie a compelling edge. Frankly, we might have done without the twin storyline involving Clint and Dern’s burgeoning mutual respect, but there it is, and the result is an overlong climax necessitated by the need to tie up too many dangling plot strands. Despite neat setpiece moments along the way, this awkwardly structured picture needed tightening to make more of the evident qualities of insight in the writing. Worth seeing nonetheless. (Trevor Johnston) A Perfect World (15) (Clint Eastwood, DS, 1993) Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dem. 138 mins. From

; Sun 26: General release.

I Ruby In Paradise (15) A young woman leaves behind the closed life of Tennessee and heads for Panama City in West Florida. where she drifts through work. love and friendship. Cataloguing each development in a diary. she is able to find her own way by examining her decisions and desires on a day to day basis. An optimistic film which may reveal its low-budget. independent roots from time to time. but nevertheless sees actress Ashley Judd in a more fully rounded role than Hollywood could

- i provide. (AM)


Robin Hood: Men In Tights: ‘hobbling along on a comet” llmmef-ltame'

If Mel Brooks has his finger on i cinema’s pulse, then it must be i showing signs of advanced rigor i mortis. Ten years after Star Wars came E Spaceballs; and now two years behind ; Costner and Bergin, along comes his version of the Sherwood Forest : legend. Maybe five years from now * we’ll be treated to Mel Brooks’ ; Dracula. The plot structure is what tradition I demands - Robin, Merry Men, Sheriff, = Maid Marian, King Richard at the 1 Crusades, etc - but the jokes are what i no one deserves. Hobbling along on a 5 comedy zimmer-frame, they squeeze ' more embarrassment than laughs from ' an audience who can only have i themselves to blame for going to a Mel Brooks’ movie in the first place. j We’ve even got characters called - l hey! - Asneeze and Ahchoo, a ioke ! belaboured more often than even a l school panto would dare.

Casting Cary Elwes as Robin was a bad move, as we’ve already seen him do the perfect parody of a swashbuckling hero in The Princess Bride. In fact, there are absolutely no

I new ideas on offer here, just lame rip-

l offs of other genres. One particular

; gag says it all: the camera pans up to

i a window and breaks a pane when it

3 comes too close. Brooks is

i regurgitating his own past: the same

i idea was used in High Anxiety, but

E there it made sense to ridicule a

Hitchcock technique. Here, like so

much of the dialogue, it’s just thrown in for no other reason than to mark

time until the final credits are mercifully allowed to roll. (Alan Morrison)

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (PG) (Mel Brooks, 08, 1993) Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees. 104 mins. From Fri 1 17. General release.

sponsored by BACARDI BLACK


DeSperate Remedies: ‘sense-attack visuals'

Imagine Ernst Lubitsch directing Qaerelle or Peter Greenaway having a go at The Wedding Banquet.

then you might have an

. idea of how this New

3 Zealand-originated queer

melodrama shapes tip.

: ()h-so-hunky Lawrence

3 Hayes (Kevin Smith)

stumbles off the boat from

lingland. complete with

Antipodean accent. into a

vague fin-de-siecle town

i called Hope. only to be

E spotted by the scarlet-

: frocked Dorothea (Jennifer Ward-Lealand). a milliner who's on the

. lookout for likely talent to

i help get rid ofa knotty

problem her sister is an

. opium addict in thrall to the dastardly Fraser (Cliff Curtis).

Shot on dressy and

highly stylised sets

; (‘unprecedented use of

f taffeta' burbles the promo

, material). Desperate Ix’emetlies sets off at a

1 cracking pace. with many

, a quivering nostril.

f heaving chest and curling

upper lip. Plunging headlong into a narrative of betnusingly labyrinthine proportions. you get the general impression that no one is what they seem. everyone has got something to hide. and every faultless coiffure hides a feverishly plotting brain.

Even our heroine Dorothea can‘t emerge with moral credibility intact; but no matter. this is subversion territory and

i will be as meat and drink to all you cultural studies fans. ()1in problem is that the flashy tilted-angle photography and sense-

; attack visuals make for a

'5 style that's a little too busy and reluctant to let

the storyline speak for

, itself. Don‘t go if you‘ve

; got a headache. basically.

(Andrew Pulver)

3 Desperate Remedies (l 5)

l ( Stewart Main/Peter

g Wells. New Yea/and,

l I992) Jenni/er Ward -

I.ealand. Kevin Smith.

i Lisa Chappell. 92 mins..

3 From Sun 2 Jan: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Mon 24 Jan: Edinburgh F i Int/rouse.

28 The List l7 December l‘)‘)3~ l3 January I994