The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 27, 1991 · Page 42
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 42

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Friday, September 27, 1991
Page 42
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Friday, September 27, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER MoviesC-11 'King' trips light fantastical IMffl ill 5 fasnE& Movie review 3pMfiiJ ffSSk s The Fisher King jBjrF y f : (R; profanity, adult themes) Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, US42NTERSTATE275 -S'" $ 'J Mercedes Ruehl. Running time: 137 minutes. CINCINNATI (10AM-4PM) f J ' fjr BROWSE, BUY, SELL OR Vpl i ti 3 'W I S I : V" "-" " I TRADE COMICS ETC. V 1 Jl jLUi l; J y" " jt C -,S. MANY DEALERS, 100OS A JlMifff lifflf t tf ) : OF COMICS MANY ACTIVITIES IMrl i 'i s ' ' ' V W'JtWW -, fH v. wWf. .. .... '53s M V z'' Ik V V , LmiilliDSEO s ; ' ";AV" - CSrv J rg - 'fe & Director Gilliam takes some uncommercial risks BY JOE DeCHICK The Cincinnati Enquirer Equally enchanting and exasperating, The Fisher King is what one would expect from a Terry Gilliam-directed whatsit about love, redemption, homeless-ness, the Holy Grail and a flaming Red Knight. The expected, in the universe of Monty Python ex-member Gilliam (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), is the unexpected. And uncategoriza-ble. Call King comic love fantasy. Jeff Bridges has never been better than as Jack, a top-rated Manhattan shock-radio DJ who plunges from grace after a disturbed listener sprays a fern bar with an Uzi. Three years after dropping out of life, Jack's cynicism is intact but that's about it. He's bathing in bourbon and living with stable video store owner Anne Napolitano (Mercedes Ruehl). She wants, but doesn't demand, a commitment; he'd like a refill. What he needs is hope. He finds it, eventually, through his friendship with Parry (Robin Williams), a visionary vagrant who taught medieval history before taking up residence in a boiler room. Their pasts are linked but no fair telling how. Parry is a pistol. When not seeking the Holy Grail or scoping out Lydia (Amanda Plummer) a mousy secretary he's hot for, but fears meeting he's being rolled and roughed up by street kids. And then there are those migraines fueled by infernal visions of hot pursuit by a flamethrower-endowed knight on horseback. Is it a good knight, or a bad knight? And is he delivering love or hate, hope or fear, life or death? Much of King is princely. The dynamics of the Jack-Anne relationship resonate with a raw authenticity. Parry and Lydia and about 1,000 extras trip the light fantastical during a Grand Central Station waltz that's as lyrical as the John Neville-Uma Thur- Fsrter Kng stars Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl. man minuet in Baron. And Tom Waits has one glorious scene as a philosophical street person. If Bridges swipes the film from Williams loony, but that's hardly a stretch Ruehl and Plummer almost commit double larceny. Like Bridges, neither actress has ever glowed brighter on film. Throughout, Gilliam and screenwriter Richard La- Friday, October 4, 1991 8:00 p.m., Millett Hall Shrlver Center Box Office: (513) 529-3200 Open Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2, 3, 4 A-Single Tickets: Adults $9 -Sr. CitChil $7 1 -j Gravenese take ill-advised (read: uncommercial) risks with tone and plotting and pacing. The risks pay dividends mostly. The film is overlong, though not oppressively so. The problem, for less-adventurous moviegoers or those just not in the mood is Gilliam's juggling of fantasy and reality, which is potentially off-putting. But if one meets King halfway, it will light a fire in the heart and point the way to the Holy Grail. GENE- MIKHAIL1 HAGKMAN BARYSHNIKOU "Hackman and Baryshnikov are fun to watch in the first good post-Cold War spy movie Jeff Craig. SIXTY SECOND PREVIEW Gilliam CONTINUED FROM PAGE C-l former professor of medieval history; Anne (Mercedes Ruehl), the video-store owner who loves Jack; and Lydia (Amanda Plummer), the "fair maiden" Parry adores from afar. LaGravenese put his own spin to the story, which is evidenced when Gilliam tries to describe who precisely is the title character. '7t's nicely ambivalent, isn't it?" Gilliam said. "It's more Jeff than Robin, but it isn't solely Jeff. I think the element of the king with the land going barren around him is really what the Jack character is all about. He's barren in his soul, and the land is infertile. On the other hand, Jeff ultimately has to be the fool. "So it's all mixed. I like it that way. That's the whole point of myths: They're not simple, pat things. They all resonate. We, as a modern society, seem to have lost respect for them, lost belief in those stories. But they still apply." Ruehl, who recently won a Tony for her performance in the Neil altruism, is particularly relevant for our times. "It's definitely a '90s film, not an '80s film," agreed Ruehl. "People keep bringing up The Doctor and Regarding Henry (two other films about redemption)," Gilliam said. "They think it's a bandwagon, but it's not. Writers write about the state of the society they're living. "It just happens that the '80s philosophy, the materialist, careerist approach, hasn't produced the results people were dreaming of. I do think people have really lost their way." One guide to getting back on the proper path, Gilliam added, is through myth. "Most of the modern thinking about the way the brain works (involves) pattern recognition," he said. "All the old myths are patterns. We can begin to make sense of our lives if we look at those patterns and apply them. "We've just chosen so many wrong ones." Simon play Lost in Yonkers, understands that well. "I never really realized as a young woman of 20 what the depth and the resonance of that story was," she said. Today, she understands it to be about "gaining compassion through suffering. "Understanding the suffering of another human being I think that's what this film is about." Ruehl saw much of herself in her character. Gilliam, in contrast, saw much of himself in both the major male characters. "I'm aware of the two sides," he said. "I use one side to check the other. I'm aware of my desire to succeed and very suspicious of it at the same time. "That's one of the reasons for staying in England, far away from (Hollywood). I fear my ability to succumb to temptation. Here, everybody believes the same thing, and it shifts every year. As soon as I start to enjoy it out here, I run back as fast as I have." Both Gilliam and LaGravenese find it self-evident that the fisher king myth, with its message of COMPANY BUSINESS METRO-GOLDWYN-MASTER presents a STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE production aNICHOLAS MEYER film nmm GENE HACKMAN MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV "COMPANY BUSINESS" "MICHAEL KAMEN iti'.LNAL StnDTRACK AVAILABUON hTRADA ti rWWOTOWNSO) AU UCT5 RESERVED HTK 275 EAST trkountyi-5 NORTHGATE FLORENCE sin uoNTcuii Buo iiwopiwrropiu 9727 couum mi. TusHonncivuin. 831 8900 7714544 l 385-5585 II 515-8000 STARTS TODAY! 1:30,7:30, 1:40.3 40,5:40, 1:20.3:30,5:35, 1:35.3:35,5:35, 9:30 8:00,10:10,11:55 8:00,10:05,12:10 7:45,9:45,11:45 HBff W1M1I1I 14 "'PARADISE' IS THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR AND PROBABLY THE MOST TOUCHING AMERICAN MOVIE IN A LONG TIME. IT'S A MASTERPIECE.' This is Don Johnson like you've never seen him before. He and Melanie Griffith will win your heart.0 They are perfect together in this gentle, touching and special movie. A UCADTrCIT UTMMCDI IT'S A ior v 1 I -CBS RADIO llmSveida 2 - NBC -TV LOS ANGELES Dtvid Sherhan 1 - WOR-TV NEW YORK Pat Collms 4 - THE MOVIE MINUTE, toannt Ljncfield - ABC-TV. LOS ANGELES Gary Franklin flV-l tM'. ,: ',!;( .".."JVW;. i .- lit Paradise LOiWS KENWOOD TOWNE CENTRE norTkSate 585-5585 uxwt TRI-C0UNTYI-5 iisooptiNcrroNPiu 771-4544 iowt FLORENCE TMSROtdtaMHUID 535 8400 lOfWS 275 EAST M74MONTaliaiVD. 831-8900 r mm mm 351-5235 J BQ6-34g-BB6B J Shown with THE DOCTOR' 11402:50 5:107:50 10:00 2:007:50 10:00 1:50 5:20 7:309:40 11:50 2:10 4:45 7:30 9:40 11:50 2:104:40 7:55 10:05 12:05

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