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At a price tag of well over $100 million, James Cameron’s latest attempt to redefine the visual possibilities of the action genre is thrilling, disappointing and
incoherent burblings anddrips of.
drool from the lower lip — John Hughes’s wandering baby or the return to form of Arnold Schwarzenegger? The List looks at the mainstream films opening in Scotland this week.
I lligh Boot Benny (15) Joe Comerford's portrait of a young delinquent from Belfast. now living in Donegal as a handyman in the local school. tries to work on too many levels of alienation to really achieve any thematic unity. Benny is a very odd ﬁgure. dressed in long coat and high boots. distanced politically, socially and sexually from the community of his upbringing. An affair with a school teacher promises to pull him back into society. but the arrival of British soldiers following the murder of the janitor throws him back a state of unease. Marc O‘Shea. in the lead role. proves that the promise he showed in You, Me & Marley has not gone to waste.
I ll Pltlt Prince A Bit (PG) A separated couple (Anemone and Richard Berry) reunite to face the imminent death from an inoperable brain tumour of their ten-year-old daughter. Her father takes her on a trip to ltaly. and then to the family house in Provence. where the family bond together once more. Former actress Christine Pascal. who has appeared in front of the camera for Bertrand Tavemier and Andrzej Wajda. explores the ways in which domestic tragedies have a positive. healing aspect. while exemplary playing from the cast avoids all of the tear-jerking sentimentality inherent in the material.
I Shaz Kerr Films Three films by Glasgow-born filmmaker Shaz Kerr supplement features at the Glasgow Film Theatre throughout August and into September. A graduate of Calderhead High School and the
5 University of Ulster. the
28-year-old‘s work frequently uses icons of Central Scotland‘s traditionally male- dominated working-class culture. such as the pigeon. the greyhound and the Protestant ()range order. She is currently researching contrasting conceptions of nationalism in Scotland. Germany and America. First to be screened is Dookir. which Kerr co- wrote and co-directed with Philip Crean for The
1 Late Show/The Arts . Council's One Minute ; Television in 1993. It
simulates the complex mechanism of a pigeon‘s eye to give a view of its environment and the wasteland-towerblock domain of its owner. in working-class male culture. the pigeon is a symbol of pride. aspiration and escape. while to some breeders it is a silent and controllable substitute for a female partner. Dookil screens
with Le Petit Prince A Dir f (see listings for details).
in subsequent weeks. Tool will screen with Thirty- Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. and Wave with Public Acress.
, exasperating in almost equal measures, but the least you can say is that the money’s definitely up there on screen. There are explosions here to rock you back in your seat, a frantic setpiece that takes a motorbike and horseman from lobby to penthouse in a snazzy high-rise hotel, a quite unbelievable sequence involving trucks, limos, jets, helicopters and a
Florida causeway bridge, and all that
before Arnie straps himself into a llarrier jump jet for a gobsmacker of a finale.
In terms of sheer what-the-fuck spectacle, there’s no question: True Lies delivers. It’s just that there are serious doubts about almost everything else in the picture and, surely, from a filmmaker as talented as Cameron we ought to expect a little more. While the basic plot device has superspy Arnie masquerading as a computer salesman to keep long- suffering spouse Jamie lee Curtis in the dark as to what he really does late at the office, Carneron’s film seems undecided whether it’s a genuine
attempt to examine family ‘ relationships through the vehicle of an
overblown gung-ho actioner or a
cartoonish exercise in mayhem beyond excess.
If the picture is mere explosive fluff, then why do we need a lengthy mid- section following Arnie’s surveillance operation on the spouse he suspects of adultery? Or if, more ambitiously, we should accept it as something more, why are the iealousies exposed f by this whole central segment so disturbingly puerile and sexist in their implications?
It thefilm’s wholesale destruction is , enjoyably mindless, its set of value judgements will certainly make you pause for thought. (Trevor Johnston) True lies (15) (James Cameron, us, 1994) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie . Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold. 141 mins. From ‘ Fri 12. General release.
‘A genuine attempt to examine family relationships through the vehicle of an overblown gung-ho actioner or a cartoonish exercise in mayhem beyond excess?
BABY’S DAY OUT
After Home Alone and Dennis, it had to . happen. Writer and sometime director John Hughes now has a baby pursued by and outwitting a gang of villains, and if those other llughes films seemed crude, then this unambitious comedy makes them into masterworks of subtlety and invention by comparison. The toddler in question is Baby Bink, beloved son of wealthy couple Laraine and Bennington. When three hopeless, hapless crooks - posing as society portrait photographers — kidnap him, his parents are distraught; but for young Bink, it’s the opportunity to live out the adventure in his favourite book, Baby’s Day Out, which takes him to a variety of sites in the big city.
With usually dependable stars like Joe Mantegna and Joe Pantoliano foregoing their dignity for a fat pay cheque and hamming it up against their apparently helpless little charge, you know you’re in for downmarket, lowest common denominator entertainment.
When the inevitable moralising begins with Bink’s distracted parents, the film moves from predictable but harmless comedy to saccharine-sweet i storytelling which diabetics would be well advised to steer clear of. Be ‘ warned, this film is not for the faint- hearted or easily nauseated. (Anwar Brett)
Baby’s Day Out (PG) (Patrick Bead Johnson, us, 1994) Joe Mantegna, Lara Flynn Boyle, Brian llaley. 98 mins. ' From Frl12. General release.
moralising begins, the film moves from predictable but harmless comedy to saccharine-sweet storytelling which diabetics would be well advised to steer clear of.’
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5 82 The List 12—18 August l994