Boston Kleltout: ‘ycuth alienation, lethargy
and violent crime’
l oosrou KICKOUT
With its classic and current indie-rock soundtrack (Oasis, Joy Division, Stone Roses, The Velvet Underground, Primal Scream), voyeuristic filming of teenage alcohol abuse and narrative concerning young Stevenage lad Phil’s efforts to escape a dead end lifestyle, it’s difficult not to compare Boston Kickout with a recent and popular film set in Edinburgh. This one’s also got an obscure title - refering to some spectacular vandalism.
That it was completed over a year ago suggests the marketing people were waiting to cash in on Trainspotting’s success. Boston Kickout does, however, make some worthy points about youth alienation, lethargy and violent crime in post- Thatcherite Britain.
The catalyst to Phil’s decision to reject the concrete jungle - his romance with Irish cousin Emer
McCourt - is very natural, the performances (particularly emerging new Brit star John Simm) being the most impressive aspect of the film. While the plotting of Paul llills’ semi- autobiographical screenplay is obvious and confusingly bypasses the taboo issue of non-alcoholic drug abuse, much of it rings true. Criticism of the purpose-built concrete towns of the 50s and 60s - sanctuaries for city dwellers that became urban hellholes for the next generation - is insightful. Boston Kickout comes alive when it forgets it’s another movie and concentrates on its social commentary and romance. That said, it’s entertaining to hear a foul southern English yob on the pull shout: ‘Wight, I’m gonna get meself a slappa’ an’ slap ’er.’ (Miles Fielder) Boston Kickout (18) (Paul lIilIs, UK, 1995) John Simm, Finer McCourt, Marc Warren. 105 mins. From Fri 18. Glasgow: Cdeon at the Way. Edinburgh: UCI.
Cruelty casts a shadow over the happy ending in Trevor Nunn’s ﬁne interpretation of the Shakespeare ‘comedy' Twelfth Night. which shows the bard in more serious mood than the sunny frolics of Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. The romantic farce and mistaken identities that grow from the cross-dressing convolutions of the plot provide moments of fun. but the ﬁlm doesn‘t forget the keenly felt pain that inspires the characters' actions.
When their ship sinks off the coast of lllyria. identical twins Viola (Imogen Stubbs) and Sebastian (Steven Mackintosh) each believe the other drowned. Viola disguises herself as a boy called Cesario and becomes the go- between for lllyn'a‘s Duke Orsino (Toby Stephens) in his unsuccessful pursuit of the beautiful Olivia (Helena Bonham Carter). Complications ensue when Olivia falls for Cesario and Cesario falls for Orsino. Meanwhile, in Olivia’s household. her crude uncle Sir Toby Belch (Mel Smith) is about to
unleash a rather vicious joke on pompous steward Malvolio (Nigel Hawthorne).
Nunn brings to the ﬁlm all the intelligence and understanding ofthe verse that you would expect from a former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Dressing Malvolio and his fellow servants in Victorian costumes emphasises the class tensions in that particular sub- plot. but blending period dress with the unspeciﬁed military uniforms anti distinctive Elizabethan language, the ﬁlm seems to lack a speciﬁc time rather than seem timeless.
Each of the cast members ﬁnds subtle shades of personality in their characterisations, adding colour to the autumnal palette of the Cornish landscapes. The casting of Ben Kingsley as Feste is particularly inspired: he brings a weight to the wisdom of the Shakespearean fool. showing up certain ofthe play‘s aristocrats as the buffoons they truly are. (Alan Morrison)
Twelfth Night (U) (Trevor Nunn. UK ,
l 996) Imogen Stubbs. Helena Bonham Carter. Nigel Hawthorne. I35 mins. Front Fri 25. Edinburgh: Film/louse.
Twelfth flight: ’romantlc farce and mlstakn ldentltlés'
a; Chain Reaction: ‘off-th
alps; chase thriller’
Uniting the director of The Fugitive with the star of Speed, Chain Reaction is likely to disappoint fans of both films. A mix ’n’ match, off-the-peg chase thriller, it pits unconventional scientific genius Keanu Reeves against unseen forces who are desperate to prevent him making public his discovery of a cheap, plentiful and clean energy source. The implications would be devastating for the various fossil fuel conglomerates who pull the strings of the world economy, but the malevolent forces pursuing him seem somehow to be more representative of American government agencies.
As in most films of this type, the diffident scientist on the run turns into a sexy hero capable of kicking the asses of those who do it for a
living, but credibility is a luxury that
the filmmakers seem to have jettisoned fairly early on. Indeed, casting Reeves as a genius somehow makes everything else seem so much less improbable. Director Andrew Davis does his best to keep things rattling along, but the fast pacing and occasional action set-piece cannot disguise the flaws in a film apparently rushed out for its American release. Even those coming along to see Keanu in all his glory could feel let down as he spends most of the movie running around in the snow under a mound of shaggy hair and a bulky parka.
In the end, it is left to the likes of Morgan Freeman to provide what little class the film can boast, and his ambiguous character - plus work by Britain’s Brian Cox - prevent Chain Reaction from becoming a total fiasco. But only just. (Anwar Brett) Chain Reaction (12) (Andrew Davis, us, 1996) Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Morgan Freeman. 106 mins. From Fri 25. General release.
) KIDS FANTASY THE oneurunes or PINOCCHIO
Pinocchio: ‘maglcal and slnlster'
Disney‘s original l’ittot‘t'hio was a landmark in feature animation. revolutionising the ﬁlmmaking process in 1940 with its multi-plane camera technique (2-[) animation was given a third dimension with the
illusion of dolly tracking
While The Adventures Of Pinocchio can make no such claim to fame. it does retell the wooden boy myth — displaying a greater ﬁdelity to the original story — using the latest animatronic and computer animation effects to give life to puppets. animals. insects and undersea leviathans. And very impressive does this animated cast look too. particularly Pinocchio himself. who is a delight without being sickenineg cute (that is. until the puppet is transformed into a Macaulay Culkin blond type).
The new ﬁlm beneﬁts from the remainder of its human cast. who turn in a series of appropriately comic caricatures: Martin Landau’s geriatric Geppetto. Bebe Neuwirth's slinky cat thief and Udo Keir's deliciously evil showman Lorenzini. Period detail is as lavish as any of the recent Austen adaptations and the evocation of a fairy tale mood — both magical and sinister — is effective. Unfortunately. this 90s take on the story of a wooden boy making his way in a human world is ultimately undermined by earnest moralising and cloying sentiment. (Miles Fielder)
The Adventures Of Pinocchio (U) (Steve Barron. US. I 996) Martin LUIIt/(Ill, Jonathan lav/or Thomas". Udo Keir. 96
mi ns. Front Fri 1 I. General release.
26 The List l8-3I Oct 1996