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I Went Down
(15) 108 mins ****
It's that time of year when reviewers take a stab at their film of the year based on just a month of releases. Well, this reviewer is not about to put his 'reputation’ on the line by insisting that Paddy Breathnach’s comedy-road-thriller is a contender for the plum position but, if the words ’justice’ and ’Irish' are to become anything other than mutually exclusive, then / Went Down will be up there.
Based on a tale by playwright Conor McPherson, who has scripted the film, we follow the story of Git (Peter McDonald), recently out of chokey and set to fall in with Dublin’s finest hoods. The fact that he was incarcerated wrongly and his mob connections are forced upon him gives you an idea of the streak of luck he is enjoying. When he is assigned to Bunny (Brendan Gleeson), a wonderfully sideboarded, heavily lacquered, cowboy-novel-consuming crook, things go downhill quickly and comically.
The film's glories are many, chief among them the interplay of the leads, an eclectic soundtrack which will hopefully aid long-overdue UK commercial success for Revelino and the High Llamas, and the odd moment of slapstick surrealism. A gem. (Brian Donaldson)
I Selected release from Fri 23 Jan.
Brendan Gleeson in I Went Down
(0131) 555 1391
Publicity Distribution Nationwide
l.t‘iI”t‘i s ' l’ustcrs ' Bruchurcs ° I’rngrzimnws ° Magazines
40 THE U81 23 Jan—5 Feb 1998
(12) 98 mins Hm
Combining comic realism with the age old triumph-over-adversity formula, Up ’N’ Under — directed by playwright John Godber - is an uplifting tale with similarities in style and structure to Brassed Off and The Full Monty.
Set in Yorkshire, it follows the mission impossible of Arthur Hoyle (Gary Olsen), a middle-aged rugby ex-professional. After making a rash, pride-driven bet with his old colleague and rival, Reg Welsh (Tony Slattery), he is fuelled into making winners out of the lazy amateur rugby team of his local pub, The Wheatsheaf Arms.
However, the lads have recently suffered a humiliating defeat and Arthur has a 3"” G'°Ve'a"d Samanth‘f’f’WSi" difficult job persuading them not to quit. up N Unde' That is, until he plays his trump card — sexy blonde gym instructor Hazel (Samantha Janus). Shamed into action by her fitness, while captivated by her looks, this bunch of slobs finally allow themselves to be shaped into a team with a chance of winning.
While celebrating the power of a woman to be as athletic as men, Up ’N' Under does nevertheless come close to being sexist, since Janus’s presence comes complete with male-orientated nude shower scene. Nevertheless, however, the male angle of the film is also amusineg self-satirising, giving it appeal for men and women alike (Beth Williams)
I Selected release from Fri 23 Jan.
FILM MUSIC The End Of Violence
Various (Outpost ) at at at Ry Cooder (Outpost) at air air
Separating off ‘songs from the motion picture soundtrack’ and ’score from the motion picture soundtrack’ as individual discs worked extremely well for Romeo And Juliet last year, but the twin-set approach to Wim Wenders's latest, The End Of Violence, isn't quite so effective.
The 'songs’ compilation mixes a country- fried taste — Spain, Roy Orbison, Whiskytown, the Michael Stipe/Vic Chesnutt collaboration ‘Injured Bird’ — with dance beats from DJ Shadow, then throws in a little spice from south of the border in the shape of Los Lobos. Such musical diversity may well reflect the cultural climate of Los Angeles, where the film is set, but does it bring to mind the mood of the movie itself? 'Fraid not.
Ry Cooder's ’score' alternates laid-back cool with tense aural landscapes, getting close to Wenders's portrait of LA, although the music isn’t as distinctive as the plaintive guitar that Cooder provided for the director’s masterwork, Paris, Texas. The main theme, which reCUrs at various points on the album, IS a simple and direct urban blues riff that makes way elsewhere for a softer jazz sound — all mixed by Scotland’s Howie 8. Most of all, though, it's in the abstract electronic wash of a track titled ’Kinko's’ that Cooder taps into the edgy paranoia of the city. (Alan Morrison)
Ry Cooder: what's the score?