What next? Mel Gibson playing the lead in a screen version of John Grisham’s shopping list? Until then The List checks out
The Client and the other new releases this fortnight.
I Being Human (PG) Bill Forsyth's episodic movie. showing for a week in Edinburgh attd later itt Glasgow. has had a very troubled history. Cut by around an hour alter disastrous LIS test screenings. none of the individual stories satisfy in themselves and. collectively. they lead to nothing. Robin Williams stars as live men called Hector. each separated in some way from his family. in Bronze .Age Scotland. Roman North Africa. medieval liurope. l7th century Morocco arid modern-day New York. It's an undeniably llawed lilm. which proves that Forsyth's strength has always been that he spoke to a wide group of people while painting on small canvas: here the scope of the film is huge. but its emotional arrows seem to be aimed narrowly at the hearts of alienated men suffering mid-life crises.
I The Browning Version (15) Anthony Asquith's l‘)5l movie expanded Terence Rattigan's West End one act success. Mike Figgis and screenwriter Ronald Harwood now update the action to the 90s. proving that times may change. bttt iinglish emotional repression is universal. Art intposing Albert liinney is Andrew Crocker-llarris. an unpopular classics master on the eve of retirement from an insular boarding school. An unexpected gift from one pupil opens a well of emotions within him as he tries to deal with his personal failings and his wife's infidelity.
Greta Scacchi manages to
win some sympathy as the i
embittered spouse. Despite wonderful performances from the leads and supporting cast. there's too tnuch of a feeling that - 'I'lte Remains ()fT/lt’ Dav, H()ll'(ll'(/ '3' [for], SlitldOlt‘l(lll(/.\‘. etc — we're just strolling along the satne nicely landscaped paths that we’ve been down several times before. See preview.
l Pulp Fiction (18) Not as tight as Reservoir Dogs. bttt tnore ambitious and tnuch funnier. Quentin Tarantino‘s second feature as director cuts together three crime- world stories (plus prologue and epilogue) featuring hitmen. down- at-heel boxers. seductive femmes and other hardboiled types. Tarantino the writer is as inventive as ever — every now and again. he'll knock you back on your heels as the narrative takes a surreal detour down a madly inventive road. Tarantino the
director lets his cast get on with it — John Travolta. Bruce Willis and Samuel
i l l
L. Jackson are brilliant —
while chopping around the narrative to seriously cool effect. This dog certainly hasn‘t lost his bite. See feature.
I Bapa Nui (12) The Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves combination of Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds come together again. but with the former as producer only. The action couldn‘t be further from Sherwood Forest: Jason Scott Lee (excellent as Bruce Lee in the biopic Dragon) stars as a young prince on Easter lsland. So what exactly were those big stone heads all about? Maybe this mixture of period adventure and National Geographic anthropology can shed a light on this and other mysteries. Like why. with this talent on board. the film died a death at the US box office?
_ er eov eueev
Coming straight in at Number One in
the Top Ten screwy Australian films of all time is Bad Boy Bubby. It’s dark. It’s funny. It’s sexy. And, boy, is it screwed
At the age of 35, Bubby (Nicholas Hope) has spent his whole life incarcerated in a concrete bunker by his bloated, alcoholic Mom (Claire
Benito), who uses him for sex. She has ,
made him believe that poison gas will kill him should he step outside and
Jesus will strike him dead if he should
be naughty while she is out buying
booze. His only friend is a cat, his only l
virtue compassion and his only real talent an ability to mimic and repeat verbatim anything he hears. In best Kaspar Hauser fashion, Bubby is completely naive. When he eventually
escapes his prison, the modern city he finds is not so much strange as totally
alien. Unfettered by any modern
media-created preconceptions, he can
only compare other people to, and judge their actions by, his Mom.
The first part of the film, which explores Bubby’s imprisonment, comes to a head when Pop returns for the
1 first time in Bubby’s life and replaces
him in Mom’s bed. It is harrowing cinema, shot in starkly realistic strip- light tones. But if this disturbs, it is worth waiting for the gloriously comedic adventures of Bubby out in
the real world. Here he discovers pizza, sex, failed rock bands and the
he provides a completely fresh view of
Salvation Army. But most importantly,
; modern life.
Be Heer took the innovative step of
‘ using a different director of
photography for each new situation
i that Bubby encounters. Far from
creating a mish-mash, it gives the film I
a vitality which emphasises Nicholas Hope’s excellent portrayal of the central character. An exceedingly warped and unforgettable cinematic experience. (Thom Dibdin)
Bad Boy Bubby (18) (Ralph de Heer,
, Australia, 1993) Nicholas Hope, Claire
Benito, Ralph Cotterill. 113 mins. From Fri 28: Edinburgh Filmhouse.
‘an exceedingly warped and unforgettable cinematic experience’
Houndly superior to both The Firm and
1 The Pelican Brief (which isn’t saying = much, granted), this latest John
Crisham effort to grind lucrativer off
' the page at least has the benefit of ' Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones to sustain a certain watchability
factor in its story of a frightened
young witness on the run from the FBI and the Mob - each of whom suspect 5 him of withholding vital information
after he stumbled upon the suicide of
a top criminal lawyer.
As played by one Brad Benfro, our
protagonist is a refreshingly
unprecocious kid, who finds help and solace in the office of Reggie Love - tyro lawyer Susan Sarandon - but in their fight for justice and, indeed, mere survival, this unlikely pair still have to contend with slimy prosecutor
Tommy Lee Jones who’s out to crack a major Mafia case and hug the
publicity limelight for his own self-
? serving purposes.
None of this is startlingly original, but the major players do bring a
welcome air of credibility to the proceedings by giving the characters some emotional life. There’s also a
gallery of flavourful support work (Will Patton’s wigged-out cop, J.T. Walsh as a harassed legal henchmen), and ; director Joel Schumacher manages to | up the tension without overdoing the
. . s- "II. x :: l casual violence. It’s no masterpiece, but as a popcorn movie, there’s more here to savour than in most of the airport novel transfers that clog up so . much unnecessary screen time these 1 days. (Trevor Johnston) The Client (15) (Joel Schumacher, US, 1994) Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Henfro. 121 mins. From Fri 1 21: general release. '
‘the major players bring a welcome air of credibility to the
proceedings by giving the characters some emotional life’
18 The List 21 October—3 November 1994