Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on June 26, 1981 · 41
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 41

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Friday, June 26, 1981
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41
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4 .5 .t -1 - S-- -4J V V"t a. rr f. T , rn, ,- y- l CWimgoTrtbuna. Friday, June 23, 1531 Sectta. 3 3 Miss Piggy real star of Muppet movie By "Gene Siskef Movie critic THERE'S NOTHING wrong with "The Great Muppet Caper" that the arrival of Miss Piggy can't and doesn't cure. Which is to say that this, the second Muppet movie, is full of mistakes but that Piggy's presence makes one forget what's wrong and simply enjoy. But let's catalog the blunders before praising that porcine pound of foam. First of all, "The Great Muppet Caper" is suffering from a case of the we-know-we're-cute-so-we-can-get-by-with-anything disease. The disease manifests itself in the script that forever interrupts itself with jokes about the movie we're watching. For example, when Hermit's life is threatened early in the film, he jokes to Fozzie that if they're killed "it'll be an awful short movie." Later, Piggy and Kermit discourse on why they're squabbling. "Let's get on with the movie," says one to the other. This sort of stop-the-show routine may be OK on the Johnny Carson show, but one ex-pects more in a movie. At least I do. I expect me screenwriters to try to wnte a seamless show. Anybody can interrupt the action of a movie for gratuitous remarks such as these, but it's a very cheap laugh. THESE REMARKS undercut the magic of films for children and for adults ' and make us feel we're suckers for sitting there and believing the images on the screen. How much fun would it have been a couple of generations ago if Judy Garland had joked with us in the audience about the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz"? Would the movie have been helped if Garland had turned to us and said, "Aren't those shoes something?" The story of "The Great Muppet Caper" is a simple-minded piece of froth about a series of jewelry thefts from the neck, wrists, and fingers of London fashion designer Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg). Inasmuch as all of the jewels are taken off her person as she wears them, one might suspect that the culprit was someone close to her such as her idiotic brother Nicky (Charles Grodin, doing a pale imitation of a Jerry Lewis-type nerd). Assigned to crack the case are Kermit the r j i Action-filled 'For Your Eyes Only is the best yet of Bond and Moore ' 4 TRIBUNE MINI-REVIEW Piggy uvea the show "THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER" ttractad by Jim Hwwon; wrtttwi by Tom Patchatt, Jay Tm Jnry Juhl, and Jaek Ron; photographad by Oawakj Morria; dltad by Ralph Kwnplan; muale by Jo Rapoao; produced by RiiiM I bmp mrtA Crank ft at llaaaukl C . and neighborhood thaatara. Ratad a. THE CAST Udy ""'y Nicky .Diana Rlgg Carla. Oar la. Chartaa Omrili -Erica Craar -Kate Howard Gonzo (from left), Kermit, and Fozzie Bear encounter Robert Morley in The Great va(jra wiiiic u icy uy iu suive seveiai unusual jewel roDDenes. When Piggy is turned, upside down in a dance routine, we gasp at her thick thighs. Let's face it, she's one of the more interesting actresses around. , That's why it hurts so much when the writers of "The Great Muppet Caper" undercut Piggy's reality with gags about the movie. They're stealing from their own illusion for the sake of a single gag. AMONG THE FILM'S pluses is a sensation, al special effects sequence in which Piggy, Kermit, and the rest of the Muppets ride bicycles through what appears to be London's Hyde Park. A bicycle riding sequence featuring only Kermit was a standout bit in the first Muppet movie, and "The Great Muppet Caper" gives us dozens of Muppets riding bicycles. I still don't understand how they do it, and, frankly, I don't want to know. I'm tempted to give "The Great MuBpet Caper" only a 2V-star rating, burlhat wouldn't be fair to my overall response to the film, which is that Piggy is worth the price of admission (especially if you can get into a bargain matinee). But Muppet creator Jim Henson, who directs this film lamely, would do well to re- ' think what he's trying to do with Muppet movies. The first film had some genuinely sweet moments, whereas the second film tries to be flip and clever in overall tone. I think that's the wrong way to go. Films with fanciful characters can afford to offer the strongest emotions possible. The audience wants them and will readily accept them from nonhuraan characters. That's what we look to the Muppet movies for, and this one save for Miss Piggy doesn't deliver them. . Frog and Fozzie Bear, a couple of American newspaper reporters who pose as detectives in London. Helping them oh their journey is news photographer Gonzo, a weird beast with a big and bent beak. Miss Piggy figures in the action initially as Lady Holiday's private secretary. Later, she and Kermit recognize each other, and their age-old, on-again, off-again romance is on. SO FAR I HAVEN'T had much that's nice to say about "The Great Muppet Caper," so let's say it Miss Piggy. This pig has a fabulous personality, a genuine star quality, and I'm not saying that just to be cute. In fact, I was always suspect of those who joined the Piggy parade, as if her fan club was some sort of fey gag. But this squat little lady is thoroughly appealing. Her body is funny, her emotions are real, and her dialog is sharp. Credit for all of this must go to Piggy's creator and voice, Frank Oz, who also operates Fozzie, Animal, and Sam the Eagle. ' When Piggy appears in a silver bathing suit in a fashion show, we sit up and take notice. IT IS GENERALLY agreed that "From Russia with Love" (1963), the second James Bond film, is the best of the series. Why? Because it is the best thriller of the 12 films in the series. In other words, take away all of its traditional James Bond elements the gadgets and the girls and "From Russia with Love" would still stand up as an exciting motion picture. - Similarly, my principal complaint with the last few Bond films is that they have been nothing more that gadgets and girls stuck on flimsy stories. But all of that changes with "For Your Eyes Only," which at the very least is the best Bond film to star Sean Connery-replacement Roger Moore. This is Moore's fifth Bond film Connery made six, George Lazenby one and it is very good indeed. The story is this: Bond is assigned by the British government to recover a British nuclear submarine activating device that was . lost in an ocean collision. Also seeking the device, through a Greek intermediary, are the Russians. (The Americans and Japanese, who have dominated recent Bond films, are' refreshingly out of the picture.) Joining Bond on his search is a beautiful Greek woman (Carole Bouquet), whose parents are gunned down shortly after they agree to help the British. In one of the film's unintentional gaffes, we see Carole Bouquet grieve over her parents blood-spattered bodies. Then she clutches a Guy Laroche dress from Paris that she had just given her mother. Then we get a tight shot of her enraged eyes, suggesting that her vengeance is more for the destruction of the dress than her parents. . BUT FROM THEN ON. "For Your Eyes Only" moves at a rapid pace. There are chase scenes aplenty with cars, boats, and on moutaintops. The spectacular locations include Corfu, Greece, and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Whereas the previous Bond films starring Roger Moore included parodies of the Bond premise, "For Your Eyes Only" plays things pretty straight. Bond is placed in jeopardy at least a dozen times, and it's always a tight squeeze for him to extricate himself. The opening scene-in which he's trapped in a helicopter on automatic pilot, and the closing scene in which he falls off a cliff, are my favorites. Also missing from this latest Bond film are the Incessant commercial plugs that recently had been TRIBUNE MINI-REVIEW' AA Bond '! "FOR YOUR EVES ONLY" Dtfected by John Glen; acraeopley by Richard Malbeum and Michael WBaorr; anotooraphed by Alan Hum; added by John drover; muale by Bill Contl; production deelan by Pater Lament; produced by Albert R. Broccoli; a United i25? " " CMcaoo, mcCkirg Court, end nsigtiportiood theater. THS CAST Jamoe "-tm Moore "'' Bennett farttti Bouquet tocqueMlcrle Ootgerd r k- T-p-i KrleglerJehn Wy men BCK rteoiey ole MaiweH plaguing the series. Although you can spot plugs for Lotus automobiles and Olira Mark VI skis, that's a far cry from the plug-a-minute record of "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker." By keeping the action hot and heavy, first-time director John Glen also manages to take the pressure off of Roger Moore to live up to the ghost of Sean Connery's Bond. Director Glen, who previously had been a key assistant on the Bond films, uses Moore mostly as glue for his fast-paced story. The action dominates the star, which is a good decision, because if Moore is left alone we can begin to see that he has all the charisma of a chair. . "FOR YOUR EYES ONLY" has a couple of other-features worth noting. Foremost is Carole Bouquet, who is the best thing to happen to wet T-shirts since Jacqueline Bisset. Bouquet also has the best head of hair this side of Crystal Gayle. Trivia fans may recognize Bouquet from her role in Luis Bunuel's last film, "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie." The Bond film producers would do well to consider using her again for the next film in the series. Trivia experts may also note a familiar face missing from this latest Bond film. Gone from the series for the first time is the character of "M," Bond's boss, who was played so well by the late Bernard Lee, who died last year. Gene S Mel Gene Siskel regularly reviews the movie scene at S and 10 p.m. on Channel 2 News. I t). WHEN ARE UE60IN& TO HAVE LUNCH, SIR? T 'QfltMMdrtitiCTaynaic.i.. Inc. LUNCH?! WE'RE ONLY ON I I LOOK AT THAT SHOT... THE 5EC0NP HOLE,MARCIE.' UlASTAJBEMlFUL? 1 JUST LIKE A PLATE OF FRENCH FRIES, SIR.. T GET-AWAY-GUIDE GET-AWAY-GUIDE DttfuMoD'Cbafeaa jouise Resort Bold. Escape the city heat) noise and pollution in "Chateau Country". $6a50weehendinclde$: luxury accommodations 2 breakfasts for 2 2 tickets to Second City dinner for 2 sauna, steambath, swimming pools tennis, racquetball (for nominal fee) nearby golf and horseback riding 'per person (plus tan and Up), based on double occupancy Reservations recommendedCall GA 6-8000. Ask about our weekday "mini vacation" packase. GET-AWAY-GUIDE GET-AWAY-GUIDE GET-AWAY-GUIDE The $39 Weekend Wonder. The wonder is how ;-'r05.you can havelso much Flb jO fun for just $39. That's the cost of an overnight stay tor the two of you at Stouffer's Oakbrook Inn. Swim in our rooftop pool. Enjoy the delightful Horizons rooftop restaurant and lounge. Browse through the exclusive Oak Brook shopping .mall next door. Sightsee on the Magnificent Mile, only 20 minutes away. You can even bring the kids. They stay in your room at no extra charge, lakeadvatv tage of The Weekend Wonder any Friday throuqh Sunday. suDiecno avaiiaoimy. unoi , applicable for groups) 2100 Spring Road. Call 654-2800. SCHOOL GUIDE SCHOOL GUIDE DINING OUT' DINING OUT JWEEIYHTER EARLY BIRD DINNER SPECIALS $6.95 Four-Course Dinners with a Glass of Corvo Wine Nightly 5 pm to 7 pm 1028 N RUSH ' CHICAGO, ILL Reservations 787-5552 Information $6.95 Sample Menu $6.95 Spinach Salad Broiled Sirloin Strip Steak with Bearnalse Sauce Au Gratln Potatoes Cauliflower Polonaise Strawberries Romanoff DEA COMPUTER PROGRAMMER ... in just 6 months WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO I NEED? To ba a Computer Programmer, you need highly ipecialtzad training in computer language!. WHERE CAN I GET THIS TRAINING? . At the Bryman School wa prapor you to (tap into your Computar Programming Goraar in juit 6 monthi. You laarn commercial programming ... so your skills can ba applied in almost any buiineii setting. And you moster major programming languages COBOl, , BASIC and RPG II. And Bryman helps you in other ways too FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS IMPLOTMINT ASSISTANCE POR AU GRADUATES GET INTO COMPUTER PROGRAMMING . . . 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Indiana 46490. 20 I mile, south of Indiana Toll Road I aalt 92 (Interaute 1040). (219) 773-4 18. Dtllr 104, I Re.leur.nt I I t, Sun. 114. J '- . 1 ; 1 ii 1 racquetball tennis squash handball swimming exercisefitness centers running tracks much more Metro Club has added 3 clubs to our roster of exceptional sports, recreation and (itness facilities: Combined Fitness Centre in Northbrook, Presidents' Center Sports Club in northwest Chicago, ana mgniana rat Hacquet Club in Highland Park. To celebrate, we're waiving the one-time $50 metro club Combined Fitness Centre-Nautilus, raquetball, Indoor track 707 Skokie Highway, Northbrook 60062 272-8910 Presidents' Center Sports Club racquetball, exercisefitness, indoor pool 8600 Bryn Mawr. Chicago 60631 693-6500 initiation fee. Come into the location nearest you today and make Metro Club your place for fun and recreation. Your membership at one club entitles you to use me taciiities at an is Metro Club locations. But hurry, this special offer expires June 28, 1981. Highland Park Racquet Club indooroutdoor tennis, indoor pool 2930 Skokie Highway, Highland Park 60035 433-4020 Arlington Heights Court House Arlington Heights 398-4656 Downtown Court Club Chicago 644-4860 Edens Court House Chicago 286-6700 Mid-Town Court House Chicago 787-8400 Mid-Town Tennis Club Chicago 235-2300 Evanston Court Club Evanston 866-9656 Holiday Tennis Club Harvey 596-1510 Nordic Hills Racquet Club Itasca 773-3855 Glass Court Club Lombard 629-3390 Northbrook Court House Northbrook 498-3626 Oak Park Court House Oak Park 848-5200 Olympian Court Club Olympia Fields 748-6223 Schaumburg Court House Schaumburg 882-4636 Woodlleld Lake Sports Club Schaumburg 684-0600 Skokie Court House Skokie 677-4100 DINING OUT DINING OUT Find your next auto in the biggest shopping center in print Chicago Tribune classified pages. 0 WWD1W CHAMPAGNE Bitmcii SERVED 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM $11.00 a Magnificent view from the 1971 floor of the mayfair regent hotel j 181-east i ake shore drive reservations: 951-2864 MAJOR CREIItT CARI1S A(TEPTFJf VALET PARKIW; 3l DINING OUT DINING OUT j. inrtn. 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