In many people‘s books (mine included), the original was the worst film of I991. The satne cast, writer and director are back for this sequel, along with a couple of babies, so it’s not likely to be getting any better is it? The latest problem for

Father Of The Bride Part II: ‘smug’

George Banks (Steve Martin) isn't just that he's

about to become a granddad, it’s that his wife I Nina (Diane Keaton) also discovers she‘s pregnant. More smug mid-life crisis stuff from an actor whose own career is equally confused. (AM)

a Father Of The Bride Part 5 1/ (PG) (Charles Sliver,

I US, 1995) Steve Martin.

Diane Keaton, Martin

Short. [07 mins. From Fri : 2. General release.



Shown to a very positive response at last year's Drambuie Edinburgh Film Festival, Chris Newby's second feature after the medieval meditations of Anchoress is something just that little bit different, and special with it. Basically, your ’odd couple' love story, it's a perfect example of a low- budget movie where the constraint on resources has had no effect in fettering the filmmaker's imagination. Dialogue glitters. the performances charm, the imagery is a cavalcade of the absurd and unexpected. Here. and we should be suitably thankful, is a film we haven't already seen before a squillion times. Very refreshing.

His face half-covered by a dark Madagascar-shaped birthmark (hence the title), John Hannah’s Harry is a young gay fugitive from the London club scene who arrives on the coast in his battered Citroen as if it’s the end. it's there that he meets Bernard Hill's Flint.

i someone else who looks to be running away from their past (there are suggestions of criminality), and at length a relationship of mutual need and affection is born. lt‘s touching to see these two disparate. damaged individuals finding solace ' in one another, but you shouldn‘t expect anything i like the usual set of buddy-pic or romance cliches when Hill's idea of a sensitive moment is to wolf down a mashed-up lightbulb (electrical crisps) and Hannah's grudge against the world makes him a surly individual much given to sitting alone in his bladderwrack—covered 2CV. In the end, Newby’s visual caprice, his tart dialogue, and two wonderful central performances prove unstoppably charming. it may take you a few moments to adjust to the film’s highly personal landscape, but once you get there, prepare to be charmed. (Trevor Johnston) Madagascar Skin (15) (Chris Newby, UK. [995) John Hannah. Bernard Hill. 93 mins. From Fri 2: Edinburgh F ilmhouse. From Fri 23: Glasgow Film Theatre.


It's the star package that every fan has dreamed of but, even if Al Pacino and Robert De Niro hadn’t been teamed in Michael Mann‘s cops-and-robbers tale, in all probability it would still have been a searingly good movie. Amidst all the brouhaha created by this ultimate Method match, it would be criminal if the sheer quality of every performance, from the top down to the tiniest cameo, was overlooked. Heat isn’tjust an ‘event movie': it's an action-packed thriller with its head raised high above the rest ofthe genre by a stand-out screenplay that fully explores its themes and gives impressive depth to its characters.

Pacino plays LAPD robbery/homicide detective Vincent Hanna, a man whose dedication to his job has crippled his home life —- he‘s on his third marriage, and even it is going through an extremely precarious stage. Hanna is impressed with the execution of an armoured car robbery he’s investigating, and knows he's up against a criminal mastermind who's every bit his equal. That man is Neil McCauley (De Niro). a loner who has at least one other meticulously planned heist in preparation. The two men approach each other like chess masters, anticipating moves. countering strategic attacks. Their mutual respect is high, but the rules of this game are clearly defined, and only the winner can walk away alive.

By giving the reclusive McCauley a new girlfriend, we might expect love to

be the anti-hero‘s Achilles’ heel. Mann does not, however, fall back on such an easy or sexist cliché: it is McCauley's strong code of honour that proves his undoing. This balance of power on both sides of the law, common in the Hong Kong genre, has never been so finely dissected in Hollywood. The action set- pieces particularly the street shoot- out after the bank heist are heart- stopping, the domestic conflicts suffered by the main characters gives credibility to them all, and the ending a moment of quiet convergence after the storm is unexpectedly moving. A masterpiece. (Alan Morrison)

Heat (/5) (Michael Mann. US, 1995) Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer.

I 70 mins. From Fri 2. General release.

’an action-packed thriller with its head raised high above the rest of the genre by a stand-out screenplay that fully explores its themes and gives impressive depth to its characters’


Sidney Pollack’s contemporary updating of Billy Wilder’s Sabrina - which boasted the magical, if somewhat unlikely, pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn - adds a touch of 90s cynicism to the original’s old-style fairytale structure, but the combination isn’t a happy one.

Even in 1954, the setting oi a romance

amid the vulgarly rich seemed a

couple oi decades out oi date; today

it’s likely to iniuriate an audience who can’t (and wouldn’t want to) relate to the upper-class assholes on screen. Fortunately, better things come later in the day.

Sabrina (Julia Onnond) is the chauffeur’s dowdy daughter in love with long Island’s most promiscuous playboy, David larrabee (Greg Kinnear); to cure her Iovesickness, she’s sent to Paris where she immediately gets a job with Vogue, ‘iinds herself’, and returns with haircut, confidence and radiant beauty - sophistication seems to be something you can buy for a few francs on the left Bank. David’s sudden interest in her is a threat, not just to his planned marrlage, but also the billion-dollar business deal that goes hand and hand with it, and so Sabrina ls whisked away to the family’s seaside home by David’s older brother, Linus (Harrison Ford). Soon, oi course, this callous Wall Street animal begins to find his hardened heart softening in the presence oi such


Sabrina’s shift from ugly duckling to . social swan ls clumsily pushed 3 through without even a nod at , bellevabllity or character

development, taking the emphasis

' away from her own Cinderella transionnation and onto the changes ; she stimulates in the Larrabee iarnlly. Only towards the end - and entirely i due to the talents of Harrison Ford - i does the film become interesting, as f the sheer callousness oi the rich is

1 (Alan Morrison)

t Sabrina (P6) (Sldney Pollack, US, 1995) Harrison Ford, Julia annond,

Greg KInnear. 127 mins. From Fri 26.

1 General release.

i i attacked in tough, dramatic scenes. i

‘only towards the end does the film become interesting, as the sheer callousness oi the rich is attacked in tough, dramatic scenes’

24 The List 26 Jan-8 Feb l996