FILM new releases
Singin‘ the blues: John Goodman, Dan Aykroyd, Joe Morton and J. Evan Bonifant in
Blues Brothers 2000 (PG)124 mins inns
Eighteen years have passed since Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and Jake Blues (John Belushi) stormed the world with their mission to bring good music back into the souls of the masses. Blues Brothers 2000 picks up the story with Elwood being released from prison unaware that Jake is no longer with us -- or that he has a black ’stepbrother' by his old menIOr Curtis. When he hears the news, he embarks on a crusade to re-form the original band with unexpectedly talented bartender Mighty Mack McTeer (John Goodman) and ten-year-old orphan Buster (J. Evan Bonifant).
For all its inept staging, stilted dialogue and rotten acting (Goodman
Blues Brothers 2000
excepted), this is a pretty enjoyable blues romp. It’s a bit like one of those third-rate vehicles they once made for the likes of Elvis, where the 'storyline’ links a few song-and-dance routines together. Limply realised feats of magic and unimaginative non-sequiturs fail to raise a laugh, but there are enough silly gags and car crashes — and of course, there's the music.
With a range of styles from R & B to gospel to Caribbean, the Blues Brothers 2000 are basically just performing MCs for more on-screen artists than you could shake a mike at — James Brown, Sam Moore, 8.8. King, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Bo Didley, Dr John and many, many more. (John MacKenzie)
I General release from Fri 22 May.
Age before beauty: Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain in Lolita
Lolita (18) 137 mins *ir at
Has Adrian Lyne — the lubricous director of 91/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal — made a sensitive adaptation of a literary classic or a paedophile’s wet dream?
The initial signs are not good: when European academic Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons) first glimpses Lolita (Dominique Swain), she is stretched out on the lawn beneath a garden Sprinkler, her wet cotton dress clinging semi-transparently to her booy. She looks up and flashes a smile at him, revealing a set of braces on her teeth. At a stroke, Lyne establishes Lolita's childishness and turns her into a sex object.
But Lyne is aiming to tell a moral tale,
26 THE “31' 14—28 May 1998
and his film explicitly shows the cost of the illicit relationship that develops between Humbert and Lolita. The sex scenes are handled, by Lyne's standards, with a degree of restraint, but the film nevertheless eroticises Humbert and Lolita's relationship in a way that Nabokov's book, With its teasing, euphemistic prose, does not. Also worrying is the way the film focuses on Humbert at the expense of Lolita — such is lrons' authority at portraying pervy angst. In the end, deSpite a fine performance by (then) fifteen-year-old newcomer Swain, Lolita affords more sympathy to the anguish of the adult abuser rather than the pain of the child victim. (Jason Best) I General release from Fri 75 May.
(18) 89 mins * *ir
A combination of both beautiful and repulsive images, Gummo — from kids scnptwriter Harmony Korine — is a jumbled collage of strange scenes. Because the film is Without a conventional narrative, it’s difficult to appreCiate.
Loaded With humour, Gummo features a host of disparate characters Who reside within a dreary middle-American town. Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) and Tummler (Nick Sutton) are two scrawny boys Who cycle around killing stray cats, While a pair of teenage girls (Chloe SeVigny and Carisa Glucksman) and a solitary kid With pink rabbit ears (Jacob Sewell) crop up randomly throughout. Like a weird scrapbook of sometimes raw, sometimes poetic sketches, Gummo also features every minority group imaginable, lll( luding a black dwarf, a transvestite and a deaf couple
Highly original, Gummo has the trendy feel of a youth generation inoVie, With both hallucinatory and ShO(klﬂg tones to matili Despite a latk of stiuctuie, many of its bizarre images linger in the memory, moving the senses and emotions like poetry. Although the freakshow cast have the potential to shock, Korine portrays these oddballs Quite humaner and Without exploitation Controversial and provocative, While also magical and stylish, Gummo is not necessarily enjoyable, but it is certainly unique. (Beth Williams) I Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 75 May See feature
0n yer bike: Jacob Reynolds and Nick Sutton in Gummo
(PG) 113 mins *
Worse even than a ’2' Grade film is a Lord Lew Grade film (remember Raise The Titanic?) Lord Lew is the Bernard Matthews of mowe producers, and Something To Believe In is choice turkey.
It's a sort of faith romance about two young Americans Whose paths cross While they are on separate pilgrimages to Naples. Maria Pitillo (wasted here) is a Las Vegas blackjack dealer seeking a miracle cure when she discovers she only has Weeks to live; William McNamara is an aspiring pianist travelling to an international competition.
The story, characters and dialogue are so corny they are embarrassing, and John Hough’s limp and lifeless direction doesn't help. Really, it’s the Whole film Which is terminal and needs a miracle.
Tired old Sixpences Robert Wagner, Jill St John and Roddy McDowall do themselves a big favour and get out early, Whereas Tom Conti and Ian Bannen are risible to the end as a pair of Italian priests.
And What a come-down for Maria Schneider A quarter of a century has passed since Brando told her in Last Tango In Paris, 'in ten years time, you'll be playing soccer With your tits'. Worse than that, she's playing in this. Unbelievably bad. (John MacKenzie)
3 Now showing at selected Cinemas.
Liar (18) 102 mins e at
'The truth is out there,’ claim Mulder ‘ and SCully, but it's also inside. Rapid * blinking, faster heartbeat, irregular breathing — you can’t hide these from a lie detector test. With its straps and buckles, the polygraph machine in Liar looks like the modern-day equalent of a Spanish Inquisition torture machine; but even it doesn’t have a 100% record at sorting out facts from deceptive fiction.
Arrogant rich boy Wayland (Tim Roth) is questioned about the murder of a prostitute by cop duo Braxton and Kennesaw (Hollywood’s heaViest of screen heaVies, Chris Penn and Michael Rooker). The power struggle between them shifts continually, as Wayland is revealed to be an epileptic, Braxton a debt-ridden gambler and Kennesaw a cuckolded husband.
Filmmaking tWins Joshua and Jonas Pate try their hardest to keep us guessing Whether or not everyone is what they say they are, but this is no Usual Suspects. The tone is unremittineg misogynistic, the look and structure annoying over- stylised. The acting, however, is excellent. Roth mixes epilepsy and absinthe to become a Jekyll and Hyde figure, Penn hones his slow-Witted act to perfection, and Rooker is at his most intense since Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Terrific performances, but they're in a narrative vacuum. (Alan Morrison)
I Selected release from Fri 75 May
Tim Roth in Liar