I Judge Dredd ( tSi Those who lt;t\‘c been following the progress or
lawman over the past two decades in 2000;”) w ill be feeling the tingle of excitement. btrt also a little unease. Stallone'.’ The helmet comes ol‘t‘.’ At least in young director Danny Cannon. theres
the character's tttythology
Mega C‘ity' ()ne's toughest
someone who understands
Are those new batsuits snugger than Lynl‘ord Christie‘s lycra shorts? Find out as The List
reviews the new ﬁlms opening
and has pt'o‘. ed. w ith The hiring xllli‘t’l'lt'tl/lﬁ. that he‘s good on atmosphere it" not plot. Talking of which. . . tlies'tory c‘ttltct‘ttts lllctltlis genetically mutated clone or a brother. inst escaped from prison and bent on destroying the Judge System. the only thing llltll keeps this (trisl atomic world Ill order Big
sets. big action.
passage scenario and transposing it into a trriie ol‘ glowing nostalgia. debutant director Paul Warner. together with
and Paul Skemp. use all the right ingredients yet still seem to botch the recipe.
lllt‘CC recently graduated high school
of the summer before reluctantly embracing adulthood. Determined to nrake their mark on the
stage a lake murder outside a local bank. but lind their hoas‘ interferes with a real robbery that is about to take place. .-\s hardened gangsters Florence and l.eon tfylickey Rourke and Stephen Baldw in) see their meticulously prepared heist go up in smoke. things go from had to worse when the boys bundle l.eon. rather than the similarly dressed
car. A trille peered by this. l‘lorence decides to exact his revenge.
The idea of it all works well enough. but where I’ul/ ’lime falls down is in the shoddy execution and the subsequent plot developments that are incongruoust grafted onto the basic narrative. None of the characters inspires much sympathy quite a ﬂaw as you begin to root for the bad guys and wish they would shoot these obnoxious teens and have done with it —- while any depth and
25 The List 14-27 Jul l995
Taking a familiar rites-ol-
screenwriters Stey'e Alden
buddies -— Tim. David and Joe — plan one final prank
community. they decide to
Tim. into the boot of their
Fall Time: “few surprises‘
poignancy rs drowned out by some inadyertently funny moments.
Mickey Rourke playing a character called l-lorence must be .i lnst. but may thing else about his tired and Lily per lortttattce suggests that each tie and mannerism is recycled limit his former glories m the days when he was. almost. a bankable leading man. It's lelit It) Sheryl l.ec's l‘l'it‘l turn as an innocent bank employee to ol'l'er what lew surprises the plot cati tinrster as well as an improbably timed spot ot iumpy purnpy while Baldw in‘s pleasing pei'l'orniance at least otters something original. l5or a study in the passing til c'lltltllltiml l'l'lc‘lltlsltlps. Rob \\'eiss's xlrtiuiiest I’ri'e/ii/s was an inlmilely
better liliii. and the idea or
two gay bank robbers recalls the wonderful [Lie l)ii\' sitter/tour]. I'd/l 'liriie dtiestlil c‘\ en come close to that lilm. proy irig more ‘dog' than anything else.
I'll/l lime r/si Il’iiii/
Wilmer; (IS, 199.“) .llri'ker
Rourke, .Si'e/i/ieri [fit/(In in. ./(l.\'tlll Loni/on. .S‘J irii'rty I’I‘unr Fri 3/. [Jilllft‘t/
; ei'iir'rii/ I'e/eim:
Despite the phenomenal success ol Tim Burton's two prey ious. darkly (iothic
li’iimiiai lllt)\'lL‘.\'. greedy studio esccrrtiyes felt that the Dark Knight needed to lighten in order to broaden his appeal still further. lisit yisionar'y weirdo Burton and leading man Michael Keaton. enter studio-friendly Joel lT/It‘ ('li'eiii) Schuniaclier and handsome rioirentity \'al ls'ilmer. .-\nd in purely commercial terms. the suits were right this shallow, noisy. by ~the~ numbers Batman picture surpassed ey en .lni'iiyyii' I’ll/'A‘s opening weekend bos-ollice llgltt'c’ tttttl looks set it) duplicate this success the world oyer,
.\'or w ill anyone be asking for their money back: director Schtimacher rushes things along at a breakneck pace. Kiliiic~i‘ is lent physical presence by the Bat Suit. and the two new \ illains 7lottttiiy l.ee .lones’s 'l‘wo~ liace and .lim (‘arrcy ‘s 'l he Riddler ~ lit the two chosen actors like a rubber gloye. Barbara l.ing's set designs and John l)_\k‘stra's \isual ellccls are likewise well up to sllllll. What’s still missing is anything original or iny'oly ing by way of a plot. l’layboy Bruce Wayne is still haunted by the murder ol’ his parents. something that lascinates babe psychiatrist ('hase .\leridan (Nicole Kidman) almost as much as getting to grips with his bat- brained. rubber—suited ti/lt'r «go.
This trauma is echoed in the murder ol‘aerobat l)ick (ii'ayson‘s parents by 'l‘wo-l’ace. an eyent that triggers a
similar \engel'ul obsession and
translorms' him into wannabe superhero side-kick Robin. So while Batman and Robin try to e.\orcise their lamiliar tlcltltills. 'l‘\\tl‘l:ilL'L' lttltl ’l‘hc lsltltllc't
join t‘oi'ces'. using a 'l‘\ like dey ice that
sucks otit the brain way es ol (iothani‘s
inhabitants and channels them into tltc scheming duo’s ey il minds Battered into submission by a
combination ol shouted dialogue.
hammy yillainy. llashy imagery and car blasting esplosions. no audience
could resist the steam roller clliciency
ol this moy ie. But w hen the ride is oy er
and you strip down this supercharged
Batiiioliile. what yotr liiid is not a state-
ol-the—art. hand<built engine. bill a Xeros machine crisp. identical. but somehow lifeless
designed to produce
copies ol the :tllisls‘ originals. (Nigel l'illlytll
Hill/Hill] l'itlt". (I 1/)(1‘) (Jitter, .S'i‘/itiiliit<‘/ii'i; ('5'. /‘/‘/.‘_t lil/ KI/IIIi’I; ('liiis (lib/incl]. l/i’lll/Ilt /.(’(' .loin'y. .lini ('iii‘ri'y; I}: tinny from [it /-/. (ii I.'<'I’it/ l't'/i'tl.\<
submission by a combination of shouted dialogue, hammy villainy, flashy imagery and ear- blasting explosions, no audience could resist the steam- roller efticiency of this movie’
Aging baseball hero Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) is an abusive, racist, misogynist, arrogant bastard. So why can’t his biographer, journalist Al Stump (Robert Wuhl), just walk out on him? Three reasons why not suggest themselves: one, At stays because he’s confused and indecisive; two, Ty is, despite it all, a great individual, or three, strike greatness — chauvinism is impressive.
Cobb’s writer-director Ron Shelton makes Ty as nasty as possible, but never merely an impotent old git. Indeed, Stump’s awed obedience and imitative pistol-waving suggest that the journalist is judged the lesser man. The film asks intelligent questions about the selling of a hero and a writer’s impartiality. Somehow, though, it is never convincingly aware of just how unpleasant its main character and his supremacist philosophy are. It doesn’t condone Cobb, nor sentimentalise him, but, like Stump, finds in his rottenness irresistible evidence of genius. The implication that Ty’s aggressive posturing is equivalent to greatness is rather dumb.
Much comes down to the performance of Tommy Lee Jones, who
l is magnificently loud and dominant.
The film has a vaudevillean energy (just like the turn-of-the-century
; baseball it describes), but, in that
spirit, sensitivity is often upstaged by
noisiness and a tendency towards hemmed-up performances. Jones’s character is only rarely sympathetic,
and Wuhl’s is frequently inexplicable.
; That said, Cobb strides past tourth base with more conviction than most.
Cobb (15) (Ron Shelton, US, 1994) Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl. 128 mins. From Fri 14: Edinburgh Filmhouse. From Fri 28: Glasgow Film Theatre.
‘The tilm asks intelligent questions about the selling of a hero and a writer’s impartiality. Somehow, though, it is never convincingly aware of just how unpleasant its main character is.’