Angus: “teens seen from an adult perspective’


Fired by an excess of hormones. teenager Angus Bethane stumbles clumsily through adolescence. striving for acceptance. Released at the same time as Kids, even the more original elements in this film seem cliched the dream of the underdog. the off-beat family and. for all its

good intentions. Angus is another example of a movie about teens seen from an adult perspective. Mind you. although our hero may not be part of the in-crowd. the film's soundtrack certainly is Ash. Green Day. Weezer. Goo Goo Dolls. etc. (Alan Morrison)

Angus (12) (Patrick Read Johnson, US, I996) George C. Scott, Charlie Talbert, Kathy Bates. 91 mins. From Fri 24. General release.

The New Age: ‘cool understatement’


Although still perhaps best known as the novelist who wrote The Player. Michael Tolkin made an ambitious. ifwildly eccentric directorial debut with 1991 ‘s astrally- challenged The Rapture and now provides a rather more controlled second feature with this cool take on the emptiness of designer LA lives. Reunited for the first time since Cronenberg‘s Naked Lunch. Peter Weller and Judy Davis are admirably cast as the minor-league agent and graphic designer who‘re forced to take a long hard look at themselves when unemployment suddenly stares them in the face. Forced into asking what it is they really want in life. they open an ultra-chic clothes outlet. The Hipocracy. and hope that commercial success will help bridge the yawning divides beginning to appear in their marriage. Tolkin obviously relishes the cool understatement with which he underlines the

hollowness of these two individuals and pretty much everyone else around them. all the while providing a classy World Of lnteriors run-down on the latest in Angelino style. Wheeling on Patrick Bauchau‘s poppycock- spouting new age guru. the film smiles at the Charlatans who exploit the uncertainties of the very rich yet it's clear from Tolkin's approach (and from both The Player and The Rapture on celluloid) that he takes these existential quandaries very seriously indeed. There may be bullshit answers on display here. but it‘s the questions that are important to him. even if he still hasn’t got the filmmaking skills to distil the point succinctly. Absorbing. ironic viewing nonetheless. and the Samuel L. Jackson cameo as a superslick sales manager is well worth the wait. (Trevor Johnston) The New Age (/8) (Michael Tolkin. US. [994) Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Adam West, Patrick Bauchau, Samuel 1. Jackson. 107 mins. Front Fri 24: Edinburgh F ilmhouse. F rom Sun 2: Glasgow Film Theatre.



Shot in just a few days after all concerned had such a good time doing Smoke and reckoned there was more mileage in the material. this funky addendum to Wayne Wang and Paul Auster‘s rather wonderful first collaboration is a rare proposition indeed. True. there's a kind of narrative thread involving cigar store manager Harvey Keitel's tangled love-life. shop

Blue In lhe Face: ‘nothlng less than a party { on screen'

owner Victor Argo‘s' decision to sell the place. and his turbulent relationship with hectoring wife Roseanne. btit what really makes the movie special is all the other stuff thrown in.

The price of a ticket here gets you an affectionate video portrait of Brooklyn and its multifarious residents. plus a whole caboodle of celebrity cameos offering cher'ishable insight and wit: Jim Jarmusch ponders why movie Germans always smoke funny. Lou Reed discusses his design for patented flip-top glasses. Michael J. Fox offers cod comic scientology and Madonna gets to be a singing telegram (she's good at it tool ).

Undoubtedly influenced by funny. pointed Godard cine-essays like Mascu/in Feniinin and Two ()r ’l‘hrec Things I Know :lboul Her. w hat Messrs Wang and Alister have come tip with is nothing less than a party on screen. And although it might look slung together and of-the-iiioinent. the co— directors has e managed a bit of a trick in capturing the improvising cast at their most spontaneous. while at the same time keeping all the scenes snappy enough not to outlast their welcome. You‘ll come out of it with a smile a mile wide and wonder why there aren't more movies like it. (Trevor Johnston)

Blue In The Face (/5) (li'aync ll'ang. US. 1995) Harvey Keitel. Rowan/u . Victor/lrgo. Lou Reed. .lini Jarmusch. Michael J Fox. Madonna. 8‘) ruins. Front Fri [7. Glasgow: (iF'I: Edinburgh: ('ameo.



The action scenes are by far the best thing about this subway heist movie them and charismatic Wesley Snipes. as it’s not one of Woody Harrelson's better efforts. Paired again after White Men Can 't Jump. the two play foster- brother transit cops who work the New York subway. baiting thieves by pretending to be rich drunks and ensuring public safety from any nasties who happen along.

They're great pals until Woody's gambling debts get out of hand and they both fall for the same woman punchy new recruit. Jennifer Lopez. When Woody gives their despising and dangerous boss. Patterson (Robert Blake). cause to fire them both. they finally have a bust-up. Woody decides to rob Patterson‘s heavily guarded money train. which is loaded with

Money Train: ‘never gets going‘

millions in collected fares. and Wesley. relenting. tries to get him back on the

rails before it‘s too late.

Asa buddy film. .lloney Train never gets going lots of patter. btit no gelling. l-larrelson‘s character isn‘t convincing. sympathetic or even enigmatic (whereas there‘s an evil pyromaniac who is interesting but features only briefly). Long in coming. the ‘runaway train‘ climax is very good though. playing with the world‘s biggest train-set lifesi/e and constructed specially in LA with authentic New York salvage. Both actors (lid some of their own stunts too. and if indeed white men can‘t jump. Money Train shows they can at least hang out of very high buildings. ((‘iio MacDonald)

Money Train (/8) (Joseph Ruben. US. 1995) Wesley Snipes. Woody Harrelson. Robert Blake. l0} mins. From Fri [7. General release.


Mr Holland’s Opus: ‘unashamedly sentimental‘

lies! known for Richard I)l't"\'litl\\.\ l't‘c‘t‘lll ()SCIII' nomination. this is a film that may not seem initially to hold much promise. l’or .i start. it's ati unashamedly sentimental tourney through recent ,-\lllt‘l'lC;lll history as seen Illt'titlgll the eyes of one man. a la Forrest (iron/i. But although it could do with a bit of light relief from the occasional teditiiii it sinks into from time to time. Mr l/o/huu/iv Up!“ is not a bad film. and it proves capable of lifting itself with moments of insight and romance.

Dreyfuss, with wigs and air assortment of spectacles. is brave enough to make Glenn Holland v- reluctant former imisician and frustrated composer »- not entirely loveable. He plays him as a man obsessed. who sublimates his prematurely curtailed musical ambitions into lessons he shares with his students to the extent of virtually ignoring his wife and only son.

When that son is found to be deaf tragedy for a man whose music means so tnuch to him -llolland propels himself even deeper into his work: he harbours a dream of writing one meaningful piece of music. but seems destined ney er to complete ll. As If that \yasn't enough to contend \\ itli. he has to face surly pupils and school politics. embodied by the wonderful ()lympia l)ukakis as school principal.

.-\n old fashioned melodrama. .llr Holland'v ()pus is all to easy to deride. btit amongst all the pap. there are moments of keen emotion and lump- in-tlie-thr'oat poignancy. Not a film for the cynic. (Anwar Brett)

.llr Holland‘s ()pm (Hi) ISM/then I/crek. (TS. /‘/‘/."i Richard Urey-tun; (i/enne Head/v. Jav Thomas. [-13 mins. From Fri /7. General release.

3D The List 17-30 May 1996