Only The List’s editorial team have more embarrassing dress sense than the Brady Bunch, but we’ll still review their Movie -— and the others opening in Scotland this fortnight.
I A Feast At Midnight (PC) A youngster in a boarding school tnakes friends by treating his classmates to late night gourmet feasts. But stalking the kids in the kitchens (with a neat nod in the direction of Jurassic Park) is a spoilsport teacher nicknamed Raptor (Christopher Lee). An old-fashioned British kids comedy that may remind parents of the old Children’s Film Foundation features that popped up at the local fleapit on Saturday mornings.
I Mad Dogs And Englishmen (18) Lil. Hurley may have made a few films ill the past. but this is the first to be released since she appeared on the cover of every magazine
. imaginable (The People 's Friend too, I wouldn‘t be surprised). Here. she‘s the object ofdesire of messenger boy C. Thomas Howell. Director Henry Cole tries (and fails) to re- create the drugs. booze and sex party feel of a
5 modern decadent London. but it‘s all a terrible. boring mistake. (AM)
I Man Of The House (PG) Hold the front page — a half-decent Chevy Chase film. A man of no obviotts comic ability. Chase has managed to eke out a career of unexpected duration in the movies and seems. from US box office evidence. to have slipped through our clutches again this time.
In this Disney live- action picture. he plays Jack. federal prosecutor and the new man in the life of Farrah Fawcett's Sandy. an attractive divorcee artist living in bliss with her eleven-year- old son Ben (Jonathan Taylor Thomas). Young Ben. however. jealous of his mom‘s new interest. sets out to get rid of this interloper into their cosy twosome.
While acknowledging the existence of single parent families — and we see sortie gentle probing of its effect on this child
the impetus in James
20 The l.tsl 2 IS Jun I‘J‘JS
i ()rr's unambitious film is l firmly towards happy l endings. Through some tnildly amusing scenes of getting to know you in an Indian Guides father and son programme. the two factions cotne together. aided by jolly George Wendt as the white tribe's chief and kindred step- parent. The humour is gentle. fatnily-orientated and patchy. but the filmmakers' understanding of their creations limitations always brings you back from the edge of scorn. To his credit. Chase is fairly restrained for most of the time and lets Wendt and Taylor Thomas (resembling nothing less than a mini Bill Hicks) take centre stage. Although he‘ll never cut it as a straight actor. if Chevy can get enough funny people around him. there may be life in the old comic yet. (Simon Wardell)
' The Brady Bunch is a surprisingly inventive exception to the rule. Director
H’Unli [ the wint 3 hilariotts send-11pm me ..uues and
styles of the original programme and its times.
trapped in a 70s time warp of llares. S ‘groovy chicks' and parental homilies
: KISS or DEATH 1
§ The title. The moody poster. The . atmosphere. You just know that we’re
: second-division crook just out of
. favour for his sleazy cousin Bonnie.
; strange circumstances, his daughter E is cared for by his hostile mother-in- ,
; genre classic. And, more pertinent to
Blue star David Caruso’s movie career. 3 But just as in the 1947 original,
? starring Victor Mature and Richard
I Widmark, the lead is seriously
. outshone by the supporting players.
E31117— THE BRADY BUNCH mow:
Part of a recent. unitnaginative trend of remaking TV comedy fodder like The
Flintstones and The Addams Family for the big screen. this version of 70s series
Betty Thomas and a posse of screenwriters (boasting work experience ranging from Dream ()2: to » nan-M) have thrown respect to ften
The makeshift household of Mike Brady (Gary Cole) and his three sons. with wife Carol (Shelley Long) and her three daughters. is depicted as being
about tittle-tattling. while the rest of Los Angeles struggles in the present. The plot. in which the Bradys have to find 320.000 in back taxes or else their property developer neighbour gets the house. is simple enough not to get in
and admirably straight-faced ‘an often hilarious
the way of the mini-dramas facing each ' l
of the family members as their , performances frotn all concerned. the l send-up of the values anachronistic attitudes. fashion sense film is a joy. even to those unfamiliar ' and styles of the and general good humour conflict with I with the TV series. (iroovy. (Simon original programme the moral. sexual and musical 3 Wardell) and its times’
ambiguities of the 1990s.
With a relentlessly kitch visttal quality perfectly in keeping with its source -- a production designer‘s warped dream ~
The Brady Bane/1 .‘l'lat'ie (l2) (Bel/y
Thomas. US. l‘)‘)5) Shel/e)" Lang. (iary
Cole. .llie/lae/ i’lli'A,(’(ill. ()8 mins. From Fri 2: (ieneral I'e/ease.
back in that familiar pseudo-noirish ' territory with an updated remake of a i
its box office potential, this is the film which marks the re-launch of NYPD
Jimmy Kilmartin (Caruso) is a
prison and soon to be sent back after being caught out doing a misjudged
While inside, Jimmy’s wife dies in
law and the parental promises that they would be looked after from hoodlum Big Junior prove to be hollow. Jimmy swears revenge, and strikes a deal with a D.A. who is as vicious in his tactics as the bad guys he’s supposed to be after. Yet Jimmy agrees to serve up the head of the prime mover behind the city’s criminal activities, Little Junior (I kid you not). The main problem is that Nicholas Cage’s eyeball rolling, hugely enjoyable performance as Little Junior is so much more pleasing than Caruso’s bland characterisation that, while audiences know who they ! should be rooting for, their sympathies ' may be a little confused. Caruso I seems to still be acting in TV mode, ‘
‘Caruso seems to still be acting in TV mode, whereas Cage is definitely geared for the big screen’
makes him (if this is not itself a tautology) a three-dimensional cliche. He is a macho man, a cold-eyed, psychotic and evil sonofabitch, but : having asthma makes him human, and his pat corporate philosophising ‘ makes him interesting. Caruso’s cow eyes and concerned look just cannot compete.
Where the oppressive and shadowy atmosphere of the earlier movie proved a neat adjunct to a claustrophobic plot, this version . operates in a vacuum. Where that film was a violent snog, Kiss Of Death is a limp peck on the cheek — okay as far as it goes without ever really going far enough. (Anwar Brett)
Kiss Of Death (18) (Barbet Schroeder, US, 1995) David Caruso, Nicolas Cage, Samuel l. Jackson. From Fri 9. General release.
whereas Cage is definitely geared for the big screen — his every movement, utterance and quirk of character