COMEDY DRAMA GIRL 6
With the exception of Nola Darling. the heroine in his debut movie She's Gotta Have It. Spike Lee's strength has not been his depiction of female characters. Things are looking tip. however. with the arrival of Girl 6. although that‘s more down to a star-making performance by Theresa Randle than Lee‘s attempt to empower the modern woman by taking her on a journey of self-discovery as a phone sex operator. Tired of the fact that every audition ends with a request to take off her top. the hard-up Randle takes ajob talking dirty on a pay call line. It‘s clear that the men around her aren‘t much help — her agent (good cameo from John Turturro) is a sleaze. her ex-husband (Isaiah Washington) is a kleptomaniac. and her upstairs neighbour (Lee in front of the camera) offers snippets of advice but fulﬁls no clear role. The biggest inﬂuence on her.
x 4‘ I Girl 6: ‘star-making performance’
and the person who gives her the support to dive inside herself and work out her true identity. is her boss in the phone sex office (Jenifer Lewis). Lee's direction of the story is badly paced. and for fairly long periods the film is simply boring. There's also a smugness to some of the catneos and in-jokes — Naomi Campbell as a fellow phone sex girl wearing the T-shirt 'Models Suck‘. Halle Berry as herself paying a visit to a hospitalised girl whose story Randle follows on the TV news (to what therapeutic end. l‘m not sure). a series of TV show spoofs featuring Randle's character (already done to better effect in Natural Born Killers). Lee touches on interesting areas. but his storytelling is so sloppy that. from beginning to end. Girl 6 is never as funny or sexy as it should be. Put this one on hold. (Alan Morrison) Girl 6 (/8) (Spike Lee, US, I 996) Theresa Ratu/le, Isaiah ll’as/tittgtott, Spike Lee.
I 07 mitts. Front Fri 2/. Edinburgh: Cameo.
THREE COLOURS TRILOGY
Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s masterly trio of colour- coded movies have already been grouped together for pleasant arthouse afternoons. but this is the first time the collection has had a general big screen run since the director‘s untimely death.
The starting points were the ideals of the French Revolution - liberty. equality and fraternity — but what emerges.
particularly when seen in a single sitting. are
‘ touchingly human tales
that get to the essence of the new Europe. Such is the overwhelming sense of forgiveness and reconciliation. that there's no place for mourning. (Alan Morrison)
Three Colours Trilogy ( l 5) ( K r:vszto/' K iesloii'ski. F ram 'e/Polatul/ .S‘witzerlatul, 1993/94) Juliette Bittor‘he. Julie Delpv, thigttieir Zantaehowski. Itette Jaeolt, Jean-Louis 'I‘rintigtiattt. 98/92/99 mitts. Front Fri I4. Edinburgh: Cameo.
COURTROOM THRILLER THE JUROR
Single mother Demi Moore gets called up forjury duty on a big Maﬁa murder trial. Flippantly taking the responsibility on board to spice up her life. things soon turn serious when she is blackmailed into voting ‘not guilty' by Alec Baldwin’s mob hitman. So can she eventually turn the tables on him and live happily ever after”?
In the mould of Guilty By .S'uspu‘ion. The Pelican Brief. The Firm. The Client and I’t'itnal Fear. atnong others. The Juror is another exercise in Hollywood formula movie-making. Coming so late in this particular formula's (counroom/drama/ psychological thriller) cycle. all its elements are. by now. so cliched that it feels as though the filmmakers are merely going through the motions one more time. Every twist and turn in the plot can be second guessed. so a good performance here. a well staged set- piecc there. goes largely unnoticed.
The lone point of interest in The Juror lies in Baldwin‘s villain. Despite the well worn love and empathy-for-his- victim relationship with Moore. Baldwin manages. against all odds. to bring some depth to the character. In creating a touchineg sad portrait of an unloved guy. half geek/half psycho. the characterisation has the appeal of the popular ﬂawed heroes of the Die Hard/Speed action movies. That said.
it‘s sad (and not touchineg so) that Hollywood has yet to deem the film‘s wider formula flaws to be defunct. (Miles Fielder)
The Juror ( /8) (Brian (ii/)son. US. I996) Demi Moore. Alec Baldwin. Joseph G()l'(l()ll-l.(’l‘lll. //8 tttitts. Front Fri [4. General release.
Every twit and turn in the plot can be second guessed
ACTION THRILLER THE ROCK
Dedicated to the memory of co- producer Don Simpson, who finally snorted himself out of existence a few months back, this latest blockbuster is very much in line with the string of loud, Saturday night action pics from Top Gun to Days 0! Thunder and Crimson Tide that had seen his partnership with Jerry Bruckheimer change the face of Hollywood populism over the last decade and a half.
Like their previous extravaganzas, The neck builds on an easily saleable plot concept, in which psychotic us army commander Ed Harris takes over the prison island Alcatraz and demands compensation for the families of special ops fatalities - or he’ll decimate San Francisco in a poison gas attack. Out to stop him are goofball chemical weapons expert Nicolas Cage and one-time 8A8 agent Sean Connery, who may be of pensionable age but still has crucial knowledge as the only man ever to have escaped from ‘the rock’ as the prison is nicknamed.
Cage isn’t there to do the straight-up Tom Cruise stuff, so he merely takes the piss out of the genre’s conventions of absurd heroism, while you’d be wrong if you thought three decades was enough for Connery to put Bond behind him. Ed Harris tries to do some real acting, but all the performers are defeated by Michael Bay’s hyped-up MTV-ster direction, which seems unwilling to let any shot run longer than five seconds. and
sometimes gets so excited with its own fast-cutting it obscures what’s going on. Elsewhere: big explosions, state-of-the-art car chase, sadistic ends for the baddies, and a very, very overbearing score. Brain removal is recommended for full enjoyment. (Trevor Johnston)
The Rock (15) (Michael Bay, US, 1995) Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris. 135 mins. From Fri 21. General release.
‘Bay’s hyped-up MTV-style direction seems unwilling to
let any shot run longer than five seconds’
28 The List l4-27 Jun I996