FILM .m-

Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.

I Asterix Conquers America (U) (Gerhard Hahn. Germany. 1995) 85 mins. While brewing up a potion. village druid Getafix is captured by the Romans and taken over the sea to America. Immediately Asterix and Obelix set off to save him. coming across a tribe of Indians. stampeding buffalo and other Western adventures. The animation style hasn't changed for years. so you know exactly what to expect. All UCls.

I Baby's Day Out (PG) (Patrick Read Johnson. US. 1994) Joe Mantegna. Lara Flynn Boyle. Brian Haley. 98 mins. Talk about regression! Afler Home Alone and Dennis. writer John Hughes now has a drooling toddler on the loose in the big city after he escapes from his kidnappers. led by man-with-no-shame Mantegna. Saccharine sweet storytelling which diabetics would be well advised to steer clear of. Glasgow: MGM Parkhead.

I Bad 3018(15) (Michael Bay. US. 1995) Martin Lawrence. Will Smith. Tea Leoni. 104 mins. When a criminal mastermind completes a huge drug heist. Leoni is the only witness to the accompanying murder. but she'll only talk to cop Smith. Smith‘s out of the office. so partner Lawrence assumes his identity. and the two buddies with badges have to keep the swapped role stunt up until trial date. Plenty of opportunities for comedy and action are made the most of in this new post-Murphy black cop franchise. Glasgow: Odeon. All UCls.

I Batman Forever (PG) (Joel Schumacher. US. 1995) Val Kilmer. Tommy Lee Jones. Jim Carrey. 122 mins. A lightening of tone has followed the departure of Tim Burton from the director's seat. meaning that this third effort is. in comparison. shallow. noisy and rather by-the- numbers. That said. no one will be asking for their money back. Added to the list of characters this time are Carrey's The Riddler and Jones's Two-Face - villains of truly hissable class and another wannabe vigilante in the shape of orphaned Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell). Just don't expect the same dark forays into the shadows of the human psyche. General release. I Bicycle Thieves (PG) (Vittorio De Sica. Italy. 1948) Lamberto Maggiorani. Enzo Staiola. An unemployed Italian workman has his bicycle stolen. and badly needs it for a new job. so he and his small son search the busy streets of Rome for it. The epitome of Italian neo-realism. with the Roman setting vividly sketched and the performances compellineg natural. so that this unromantic drama takes on an overwheming power. Masterly stuff. Central: MacRobert.

I Bram Stoker's Dracula (18) (Francis Ford Coppola. US. 1992) Gary Oldman. Winona Ryder. Anthony Hopkins. 128 mins. More gothic love story than out-and-out horror. Coppola's version is not the strict Stoker adaptation that many had hoped for. but is a visual feast nonetheless. Oldman taps his own dark. sexy. stormy self to create a powerful but sympathetic monster. while the rest of the cast range from the ineffectual to the overbearing. A rich and substantial vampire movie for our times. Glasgow: GFT.

I Butterfly lies (18) (Michael Winterbottom. UK. 1995) Saskia Reeves. Amanda Plummer. 88 mins. Winterbottom's striking road movie about two lesbian killers is clever. atmospheric and boasts sharp performances. but it lacks empathy at its core. There are tender moments between the two characters. but they're both too wacko for us to share any elements of humanity with them. If only more time had been spent setting



Butterfly Kiss: ‘lack of empathy at the core’

Butterfly Kiss is a striking road movie about two lesbian killers. It’s often clever, the atmosphere is memorable and consistent, and Saskia Reeves and Amanda Plummer give sharp performances. Something big is missing, though, since the film is rarely engrossing and the emotional highpoints are yawnsome. It could be the lack of empathy at the core. Before we have a toe-hold on Miriam’s (Reeves) emotional terrain, she has metamorphosed from a sad

but normal girl into a devoted nut. It is impossible to love anybody who participates in mindless killing, unless either you love them first or you see elements of humanity in them. Butterfly Kiss gives us scant opportunity to care for Reeves’s character, and yet it is structured around her narrative and clearly needs us to feel something for her. Miriam is intended as the intermediary between us and the real wacko, Eunice (Plummer). As it is, we have no access to the chain-wearing bully from hell, and Eunice remains a remote creature, displaying all the trappings of a psychopath with none of the essential normality which even they must have. love, nevertheless, 1s referred to as the missing element in Miriam’s life, and she believes it is all Eunice needs too. Tender moments between the I characters do occur, and tantalisineg suggest a better film. Really, Butterfly 3 Kiss is not far off. It only director i Michael Winterbottom had taken 1 things slower until he was sure the 1 audience were involved in his ; characters. The anonymous landscape 3 of the road stop, and the anomic lives of the women passing on and on, could have been really haunting. (ilannah Fries) - Butterfly Kiss (18) (Michael Winterbottom, UK, 1995) Saskla Reeves, Amanda Plummer. 88 mins. From Fri 18: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Fri 1 Sept: Edinburgh Film/rouse.

things up. then we might have had a very haunting film indeed. See review. Glasgow: GFT.

I Caspar (PG) (Brad Silberling. US. 1995) Christina Ricci. Bill Pullman. Cathy Moriarty. 100 mins. Everyone’s favourite friendly ghost has been living with his three bad-tempered uncles in an abandoned mansion. When it‘s bequeathed to a money-grabbing heiress who thinks it's filled with hidden treasure guarded by unquiet spirits. Caspar comes into contact with ghost psychologist Pullman's tomboy daughter (Ricci). A very messy amalgam of Glrosthusters effects. Addams Family gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. General release.

I Circle Di Friends ( 15) (Pat O'Connor. L’S/UK. 1994) Chris O'Donnell. Colin Firth. Minnie Driver. 102 mins. A group of friends meet and socialise together as a relief from their college studies in Dublin. with love and disappointment inevitably rearing their heads. A slice of life in 1957 Ireland so parochial it might as well be another planet O'Connor's adaptation of Maeve Binchy‘s novel is faithfully recreated but too lightweight. Glasgow: Odeon. Strathclyde: East Kilbride Arts Centre.

I Congo (12) (Frank Marshall. US. 1994) Dylan Walsh. Laura Linney. Tim Curry. 108 mins. This misbegotten morass of half-baked ideas. crass miscalculation and sheer stupidity is an awful warning to those who thought Michael Crichton (whose source novel is the only ‘star' on offer) could do no wrong. There's a talking gorilla. a ring whose design leads the way to ajungle diamond mine. killer primates and a volcanic earthquake for a finale. but none of it works for a moment. Glasgow: MGM Film Centre.

I The Brow(l8) (Alex Proyas. US. 1994) Brandon Lee. Ernie Hudson. Richelle Davis. 101 mins. Infamous as the film on which martial arts star Bruce Lee‘s son Brandon was killed by a defective stunt gun. this is the most consistent attempt yet to create on film the distinctive feel of the graphic novel. The characterisation and plot development may be slight - a rock star comes back from the dead to wrech revenge on the gang who killed him and his girlfriend - but stylistically. it's a gem. Edinburgh: UCI.

I Crumb (18) (Terry Zwigoff. US. 1994) 119 mins. Comic artist Robert Crumb has remained resolutely part of the counter-culture since he started drawing in the 60s. In this fascinating and

personal film. long-time friend Zwigoff tries to i explain the cartoonist's disturbing output. finding a casual connection between childhood. madness and creativity. but skimming over legitimate concern at his portrayal of women. Glasgow: GF'T.

I Death And The Maiden (18) (Roman Polanski. UK/US/France. 1994) Sigoumey Weaver. Ben Kingsley. Stuart Wilson. 104 mins. A former torture victim believes the man who helped her husband when his car had a flat is the doctor who abused her years before. Polanski thinks he‘s doing a Hitchcockian thriller (which trivialises Ariel Dorfman‘s source material). while Weaver waves a gun around like there‘s something creepy. crawly and extraterrestrial under the bed. Central: MacRobert.

I Die ilard With A Vengeance (15) (John McTiernan. US. 1995) Bruce Willis. Jeremy Irons. Samuel L. Jackson. 128 mins. Basically an extended cat and mouse game. McTieman‘s sequel to his own original has washed-up anti- hero Willis and pissed-off. good-hearted sidekick Samuel L. Jackson dashing across New York City from pay-phone to pay-phone. solving childish riddles in time to deactivate a stash of hidden bombs. Imagine Speed with a hangover. with plenty of comedy. the best buddy pairing in years. but a curious lack of satisfying set pieces. See preview and review. General release.

I Ed Wood (15) (Tim Burton. US. 1994) Johnny Depp. Martin Landau. Patricia Arquette. 123 mins. Burton‘s fondly atmospheric homage to the so-called ‘worst director of all time' is his best film to date. It‘s more than a biopic pastiche. however: the emotional heart of the film is found in the genuinely caring relationship between Wood and the dying. drug-addicted Bela Lugosi (a marvellous Martin Landau). Depp plays Wood as a bundle of energy and innocent romanticism. capturing the spirit of dogged detemiination that makes the subject such an appealing character. Central: MacRobert.

I The Englishman Who Went lip A 11111 But Came Down A Mountain (Chris Monger. UK. 1995) Hugh Grant. Tara Fitzgerald. Colm Meaney. 95 mins. Business as usual from Grant in the light comedy department. as he stars as one half of a map-making team which descends on a Welsh village during the First World War and wins unpopularity by declaring the beloved local landmark a hill. not a mountain. The

villagers' subsequent plots and plans have a



distinctly Ealing air about them. but the characterisations (here rather stereotyped and cold) suffer in comparison. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank.

I First Knight (PG) (Jerry Zucker. US. 1995) Richard Gere. Sean Connery. Julia Ormond. 132 mins. Without the action set pieces of other period epics or even the mysticism of Etr'rrliber. this disappointing tale of Lancelot‘s (Gere) love for Guinevere (Onnond) despite her marriage pledge to King Arthur (Connery) is pretty leaden stuff. The matte Camelot landscapes are tacky. Gere is miscast and Ormond can't carry a role that's obviously been beefed up due to her recent rise to stardom. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI. Strathclyde: Odeon East Kilbr'ide. I Forrest Gump ( 12) (Robert Zemeckis. US. 1994) Tom Hanks. Robin Wright. Gary Sinise. 142 mins. Even those with the lowest le can rise to the top in the land of the free. as this picaresque tale sets out to prove. But despite its incurably sweet hero and its fairly standard love story core. Forrest Group has a surprisingly dark- tinted view on recent American history - complete with racism. drug and child abuse. war and political assassination. There are some bitter tasting choices hidden among the soft centres. Central: MacRobert.

I The Fox and the Hound (U) (Frank Thomas. Ollie Johnston. Cliff Nordberg. US. 1981) With the voices of Mickey Rooney. Kurt Russell and Pearl Bailey. 83 mins. Sluggish. unirrraginative Disney cartoon in which an orphaned fox cub and a lovcable hunting hound puppy spend an idyllic childhood together until their traditional roles and enmity are reawakened. Cute in a very familiar fashion. Glasgow: ()deon Parkhead. Edinburgh: Odeon. Strathclyde: L’Cls.

I Free Willy 2 (PG) (Dwight Little. US. 1995) Jason James Richter. Michael Madsen. Jayne Atkinson. When his real mother dies. Jesse (Richter) discovers that he has a half-brother. who then joins him and Jesse's foster parents on an island holiday. Killer whale Willy's also there with his family. as is an oil slick (and. of course. a convenient eco-message). A tad too anodyne and uninventive to reallyjustify its existence. the movie does have its familiar chanrrs. General release.

I Grease (PG) (Randal Klerser. US. 1978) John Travolta. Stockard Channing. Olivia Newton John. 110 mins. The long-running Broadway show arrives on screen dripping with Fifties' nostalgia. cheery tunes. a high camp value and the winsome charms of the plastic Newton-John and the toothy Travolta. A nice collection of old timers enhance the cast. Glasgow: Odeon.

I Jack 8 Sarah (15) (Tim Sullivan. UK. 1995) Richard E. Grant. Samantha Mathis. Judi Dench. 105 mins. When his wife dies shortly after giving birth to a baby daughter. Jack (Grant) at first rejects the child. but is persuaded to take on his responsibilities by his family. In order to keep his job as a City lawyer. he hires Amy (Mathis) as a live-in nanny. and so adds an extra complication to his life. A familiar scenario. helped along by breezy supporting performances. suffers when it takes a turn into melodramatic romance. Glasgow: MGM Film Centre.

C nnon. UK/US. 1995) Sylvester Stallone. Armand Assantc. Diane Lane. It seems that Mega City One‘s toughest lawman. Judge Dredd. has a genetically-mutated clone of a brother. who has just escaped from prison and is bent on destroying the Judge System. the only thing that keeps this post-atomic world in order. Fans may have a feeling of unease about Stallone's casting. but in young director Danny Cannon there's at least someone who understands Dredd's mythology and who proved. with The Young Americans. that he's good on atmosphere if not plot. General release.

I Little Women (U) (Gillian Amrstrong. US. 1994) Winona Ryder. Susan Sarandon. Gabriel Byme. 118 mins. Louisa May Alcott's novel has

charmed readers for generations. despite

weighing down its morals with a mountain of sentimentality. In Hollywood‘s third screen

version. the March girls are still unbelievably good and forgiving. but Armstrong and writer

The List 18-24 Aug 1995 89