I Beyond Rangoon (12) Sometimes director John Boorman gets itjust right (Deliverance, Hope And Glory). sometimes he‘s way off beam (The Exorcist 2. Zariloz). in The Emerald Forest. he managed to find a happy medium for the adventure and ecological strands, but in Beyond Rangoon the two are badly out of balance.
Patricia Arquette stars as Laura Bowman. an American physician who is travelling through Asia with her sister in order to free herself from the nightmares following the murder of her husband and son. What she finds instead. however. is even more brutal: the lawless military dictatorship of Burma and the mass slaughter carried out there in the late l980s. No longer can she remain just a tourist.
Arquette manages to come through it all with a toughness that‘s credible. but Boorman overdoes the violence done against her and others. The sweeping landscapes have a powerful beauty. but ultimately the political lecturing becomes too much even for such an impressive canvas to bear. See preview.
I The Fox And The Hound (U) Made at the time when Disney were in the doldrums. this animated feature from 1981 suffers from cuteness overload. A widow in a woodland home rears an orphaned fox cub, which becomes best friends with a puppy. even though the world reckons they should be n’aturalenemies. Pretty flowers. big-eyéd animals and layers of sentiment — only the very young will be swayed ,by this recipe.
One of the.“ O . was ﬂoung Tim but
this is~as far away from
From SNP Party Political Broadcasts to King of the Britons? We reckon Arthur maybe would have found the Grail if he’d really come from Fountainbridge. Check out Sean Connery and the other stars of the fortnight as The List reviews the new films Opening in Scotland.
his beguiling imagination as it could possibly be. At least Scotland gets to see it a month before the rest of the country. due to differences in the timing of school holidays.
I Miami Rhapsody ( 15) It's not often that Hollywood manages to pull off a romantic comedy that comes at you consistently from a woman‘s point of view. particularly when the writer-director is male (David Frankel in this case). And while the film's star. Sarah Jessica Parker isn‘t yet in the major league (Honeymoon In Vegas, Striking Distance). she‘s surrounded by a great ensemble cast who add various subtle ﬂavours of their own to the proceedings — Mia Farrow. Antonio Banderas. Kevin Pollak. Paul Mazursky. Gil Bellows. even Naomi Campbell.
The story centres on Gwen. an aspiring comedy writer who peps up her own dialogue with some dry witticisms. whose hesitant decision to settle down and marry her boyfriend Matt (Bellows) proves to be a foolish move when she discovers that all ofher family are having affairs. no matter how smooth their relationships appear on the surface. Mum Nina (Farrow) is linked to male nurse Antonio (Banderas). Dad Vic (Masursky) has been seeing his travel agent on the side for years. brother Jordan (Pollak) is about to leave
his own wife and move in
with the wife of his business partner. Despite
.tthe film‘s take on love and ' romance. the tone isn‘t
necessarily cynical. more open and honest for the 90s. See preview.
24 The List 30 Jun-l3 Jul l995
[Elm— FIRST KNIGHT.
First Knight: ‘everything seems underpowered’
Less sparky than Rob Roy and without
‘ the bone-crunching action set-pieces of
the forthcoming Brave/lean. (ihos!
director Jerry Zucker's rather lame spin
on the Arthurian legend is by some distance the weakest of this summer's costume spectaculars. Sadly. it's one of those movies where everything seems underpowered.
Connery’s King Arthur looks like a man in search of the nearest golf
course; Richard Gore's valiant Lancelot simply looks out of place in his armour and can‘t c0pe with the olde worlde dialogue; while Julia Ormond. as the Guinevere who marries the regal and magnanimous leader of Camelot but remains attracted to the wandering knight's freewheeling ways, simply doesn‘t have the queenly presence to carry a role that‘s obviously been built up to accommodate the young English actress's recent rise in career profile. And alongside Tim Roth or Patrick McGoohan (a deliciously evil King Edward in the Mel Gibson epic). Ben Cross‘s badly rniscast baddie Malagant is a humourless bore who does little to make matters any better.
True. there are lots of extras riding around the English and Welsh countryside. but the amazingly shoddy retouching makes the legendary town of Camelot look rather obviously painted on —- so much so. they might have easily renamed it Matte-a-lot. Without the imagination or magical element found in John Boorman‘s lirealihur, without the star chemistry that might engage the emotions and without the sword-clanging mayhem that might quicken the pulse. First Knight takes over two hours to slide into expensive and deeply average tediurn. (Trevor Johnston)
First Knight (PG) (Jerry Zta‘ker. US. 1995) Sean Connery. Richard Gere. Julia Ormond. Ben Cross. Sir John (Iielgud. I32 mins. From Fri 7. General release.
A roadside in urban America brings fourteen-year-old Bonnie and fifteen- year-old Hilary together one morning. Pretty soon, it’s obvious they’re destined to be soul mates. Secrets are swapped. Dares are dared. Petty vandalism and hysterical laughter are the order of the day, which ends with a defenceless old woman dead in a pool of blood, the victim of a frenzied stabbing.
Fun is yet another case history of an apparently senseless crime, a further example of iniquitous youth, one more index of our morally bankrupt society.
. Yet what gives this flawed film its i undoubted power, is its refusal to
offer any easy excuses, with the result that it’s a more distanced, thought- provoking film than, say, Peter Jackson’s all-too-hysterical Heavenly Creatures - where the Kiwi director is
, far too much in love with his subject
and his Steadicam.
In the wake of the brutal murder, the two girls are held in a juvenile detention centre, where a psychologist and a slimy back from Tomorrow magazine fail to get much in the way of co-operation from the pair of them. Moving back and forth to the events leading up to the crime, director Rafal Zielinski builds up a portrait of parental neglect, undetected abuse and simmering frustration. Without turning into the usual bundle of clichés found in the TV movies and tabloid journalism, the film holds up for particular reproach.
While the theatrical origins of James Bosley’s script are sometimes too
readily apparent and Zialinski’s decision to shoot the custodial sequences in grainy hand-held, black- and-white proves rather hackneyed, flame-haired Alicia Witt’s freewheeling psychosis as Bonnie and Renee Humphrey’s adept work as the petulant yet intelligent Hilary provide the tremendous performances that are the key to the film’s impact. This pair are the teenage girls from hell; irritating, evasive, profoundly unknowable yet compellineg real. In this film, the moment of killing is no ecstatic celluloid high, but a chilling glimpse into the abyss. (Trevor Johnston)
Fun (18) (Rafa! Zlallnslrl, (IS/Can, 1994) Alicia Witt, Renee Humphrey, Willlwn 3 Moses. 105 mins. From Fri 30: Edinburgh Fllmhouso. From fire 4: Glasgow Film Theatre.
Friday: ‘Ice Cube’s lighter side’
Having consolidated his gangsta reputation with his first two film roles in Boy: N The Hood and Trespass. rapper lce Cube shows his lighter side in Friday. Playing the most unlikely victim of parental pressure you could imagine. Cube is Craig. a well meaning but temporarily unemployed young man being bullied by the local tough guy. coerced into sharing a joint with his pal Smokey (Chris Tucker) and ordered to get ajob by his bowel-obsessed father. All the while he is trying to shake off his nightmarish girlfriend in favour of the more subtle charms of the sweet Debbie (Nia Long). but more pressing on his mind is paying back drug dealer Big Worm before he and Smokey get smoked. This. you may gather. is different from the typical 'hood movie. but not that different.
A roster of stereotypes from the black new wave have walk-on parts. but the clichés are inverted slightly. twisted and lampooned with the kind of broad humour that is not always as funny as it might be. but keeps plugging away. constantly looking for a laugh. Even the inevitable rap ‘underscore' is strangely upbeat and tuneful. With much to enjoy. Friday falls down on more straightforward technical detail. Pop video director Gary Gray proves he has an eye for image. but a wayward sense of pace. allowing things to sag from time to time.
But lce Cube - co- writer and co-producer in addition to playing the lead — is quietly charismatic as Craig. always the foil for Smokey‘s more outrageous antics. Anyone expecting this particular rap star to come across as all frown and bad attitude will inevitably be disappointed. but those looking for something slightly different from him are in for a pleasant surprise. (Anwar Brett) Friday ( l 5) (Gary G ray. US. 1995) Ice Cube. Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac. 92 mins. F pom Fri 30. General release.