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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 220
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 220

San Francisco, California
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San Francisco Arts and Entertainment Listings for the Week of July 4 to 10, 1982 THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S OTHER ANNIE (At the Cinema 21) On 1 Xv i H-r 4 SB 'Secret of NIMH' Mrs. firisby, having gained entrance to the rat leader's chambers, reads from the great magic book in "The Secret of NIMH," now playing at the Stonestown Twin and Spruce Drive-In. stage, "Annie" had ebullience every step of the way. It's more hke flatulence in this overblown, mechanical, big-bucks production with out any grace or charm in its musical numbers. As Annie, Aiieen Quinn is allowed to muc shamelessly and interminably; adults allergic to saccharine wiH find her indigestible.

But Carol Burnett wiH work her way into dyspeptic hearts with her sex-starved, boozy floozy, the ultra-mean mistress of the orphanage. And Albert Finney manages to be funny as the curmudgeon billionaire, Daddy War bucks. They are the only nourishing nuggets in this fallen souffle. John Huston directed. Alas.

J. Stone AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (At the Metro) A felicitously funny col laboration. New York to the core. At Paono is right-on as a harried writer and loving father with five kids; one by his first wife, four by his current wife (Tuesday Weld) and her assorted ex-husbands. He's got play about to go into rehearsal, a limping second act and no director, and his wife takes off with her next prospective husband.

hat a tight touch, but there's a moving undertone of outrage about parents who are cavalier with their children's fives. The kids art absolutely reel in their realistic assessment of the grown-ups. 4 Stona BLAOf RUNNER (At the Coronet) A ontermed, tmpUusi-blesct-fi film (based on Philip K. Dick" mevtng story "Oo Androids Oream of Clear so trapped faney photographic maneuvers thai it's lifeless. Harrison Ford is caricature of thetiardboiisd detective, assigned to run down and gun down rebellious "replicants" genetically engineered people who resent their Have status and short lifespans, ft aM toads up, very very slowly, to a violent showdown between ford and Rutger Heuer, who, as replicant with flash of nobility, has the only food moments In the Wm.

Artist Douglas Trumbull's fascinating vision las Angeles ca. 2020 is mete attv than any the characters. Start CONAN THC BARBARIAN (At the Serramont) Arnold Schwarzenegger, the muscle man, stars in this mythical teas! of a movie, based en pulp magazine tales of the 1930s. He's good as Conan, and the film is technically splendid, especially in the king opening sequences, looking for the heart of this matter, however, we find just another second-rate affair, one with a muddied storyline and characterizations that are woozy and vague. The film Is clobbered by technical effects which steer it far afield of our -emotional involvement.

P. Stck DAS BOOT (At the Bridge) This west German world War movie is first of an a superbly made, spine-tingling adventure, focusing on one crew in one submarine. Director Wolfgang Petersen has rigorously discarded war movie cliches, both American and those of the Nazi regime, to show the very human fears and real courage of Germans who battled for, and lost, supremacy of the seas. His meticulous, suspenseful picture of the boredom and tension of We on a U-boat makes the audience share the almost unbearable claustrophobia and terror of men facing death on the ocean floor and the bitter sense of disparity between Nazi propaganda and the cruel reality of war. Stone OEAO MEN DONT WEAR PLAIO (At the Regency w) At last a funny Steve Martin movie.

A private eye delves into the murder of a millionaire in this spoof of 0s film noir detective films (with footage from the old films woven in). Although the gimmick wears thin, the production holds up remarkably wett PAGE 4 BALL (At the Cento Cedar) An imperfect but often stunning live performance film of Monty Python highlights from two benefit performances in London. John Cteese Graham Chapman, Michael Palm and Terry Jones ably underscored by Peter Cook, Pamela Stephenson and others fmd that rare territory between pure absurdity and the pure essence of things. A half -dozen musical numbers by Peter Townshend, Sting. Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton and Phrl CoUms thread through the variety show format.

lacks the cryptic clarity of the television episodes, but for Monty Python obsessrves all misgivings wiM be swept away when the lads have at their targets. S. Winn SMASH PALACE (At the Four- Star) The owner of 'Smash Palace" an auto repair shop in nowhere. New Zealand, is mad for cars, racing nj i nciyrui, aeven- year-oid tomboy daughter who knows a torque wrench from a spark plug gapper. With masculine obtuseness, he has failed to communicate that he also stiM loves his French wife.

Writer director Roger Donaldson traces the disintegration of their marriage with tense, compelling realism at least until the ambiguous final moment As the husband who goes berserk and the wife who becomes icily irrationally. Bruno Lawrence and Anna Jamison are first-rate The tittle girl (Greer Pobson) is unforgettable J. Stone STAN TREK fl THC WRATH OF KHAN (At the Regency I. Tanforan Park and Spruce Orive tn) This latest adventure is far more satisfying than the first Star Trek movie; more goes on, the plot is dvelier, the characterizations are stronger. Fans of the Starship Enterprise wiH be -ecstatic while others wiM fmd in this production a certain sluggish pace amid rather fine special effects.

The Mm, featuring the farmkar Trekkie tamriy, plus Rtcardo Montaiban as the in. is closer -to what the TV show once was, but net dose enough to send our tittle man on any far flung flights of praise. P. Sf THE THtffC (At the Plaza, Royal and Geneva Orive In) Director John ter has tried very hard Uf to recreate some of the LXs horror of the I1 erigf nal But this is 19(2, and tike everything efse kfe and movies, a simple story is overloaded with technology this case, special effects. The scary original about men trapped with an alien force in the Arctic never really snowed "the thing" unW the very end.

This version is so full of "the thmg" that tt strangles our imagination and becomes a mere exercise ugly, mechanical horrorrfics. Very dumb, very disappointing, P. Stick WASNT THAT A TOM! (At the Surf) Jim Brown's doc umentary is a sptendrd, affectionate tribute to the Weavers, the quar- UrTV tet which skyrocketed iOCA a Single record Night. Irene" and "Tzena. and was dumped off the airwaves two years later, casualties of the entertainent blacklist.

The film concentrates on their preparations for a fareweH concert at Carnegie Hall in 1980 and recalls a bit of the long road traveled together by Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred HeHerman. The dry, witty tone is set by Hays, diabetic and a double amputee, whose refusal to senti-' mentakze or bemoan the past makes this a very moving experience J. Stone Openings CHAN IS MISSING Friday at the Cannery. Sunday Examiner Chronicte adventure many notches above the usuat slam barn crash-crash hot rod mew ft's set in the future when the world tias crumbled. Good guys and bad guys battle it out on the fead for control of what may the last gasoline the realm.

Max. the burnt-eut case at "Mad-Max" (Me) Gibson), helps the good folks who control the last gasokne storage tank transport it across the waotatandand beat back the wHamous -marauders. There's plenty at tension, some humor and elot of polish, but. finally, it isn't any more memorable than your last fill-upatth service station. J.

Stone Ha rRurrs or pass the lurmeret Sadomasochism and revolutionary politics make strange bedfeHews in this sexual to "The Story of joms Hong Kong brothel to prove her slavish love for Sir Stephen (played by a Haggard, perowded Klaus Hinski), who gets firs kefcs watching what goes on. A poor but handsome young Chinese who has fallen in tove with is kicked out -of the -flower House" for tack of cash and turns revolutionary. The avant-garde Japanese director, Shuji Ter-ayama, who Mies to marry Freud and Mar in a veil -of surrealism, buries them both in this excessively solemn, exotic -nonsense i Stone GREASE 2 (At the Serramonte) A rather awful sequel to the mostly awful original. This one returns us to RydeN High School, circa 1961, to witness witless students war bling or wiggkng to a welter of musically whimsical wonderments, while a wispy young woman (Stephanie Prettier) woefully wows a would-be wort (Maxwell Cauifield), who winds up wooing her winmngly by whizzing around on a motorcycle, wildly. P.

Stick GREGORY'S GIRL (At the Gate way) Em Forsyth's first major release from Scotland, starring a delightful teen aged beanpole named Gordon John Sinclair, is a charming study in the sweet awkwardness of adolescence. The film is a touching, humorous story of first tove in which a gangly boy discovers girls, and most particularly the only girl on his soccer team. A real gem made on a budget of J. Stone HANKY PAMKV (At the Serra monte) Gene Wilder and GHda Padner star In this suspense comedy that tends to go on too long and is not exactly a barrel of laughs. It's a mad chase film involving spies and cops and government agents and the insubstantial plot is pleasingly buoyed up by lots of fast action P.

Stxk because Martin delivers the funny goods with wry ease. Writer-director and co-star Carl Reiner maintains tight and witty touch throughout. Ptttf SUc (JtVA (At the Clay) A black American opera singer, young Parisian mailman who's bonkers about her voice, a sau- cy little Vietnamese frt man, two Asians in shades and lots more become entangled in this devilishly offbeat murder mystery revolving around an international ring of drug smugglers and prostitutes, tn his first feature-length Mm, director Jean-Jacques Bemeix shows a fanciful, tongue-in-cheek talent for spoofing ok) mysteries, creating incongruously beautiful photographic images and mixing aH up with a touch of 2en. Delightfully original. J.

Slant IT. THE IXTRA-TERRESTRIA4. (At the Regency and Spruce Drive In) it's magically wonderful movie. Children and adults love Steven Spielberg's film about a person from outer space, stranded on earth, ft's humorous and marvelous aH the way as a 10-year-old boy assumes responsibility for safety while searching for a way to reunite the creature with his own kind. Judy Storm HREFOX (At the Alhambra.

Alexandria and Sena) Clint Eastwood looks wood-enry bewildered and so does everybody else in this murky, jerky, loose-ended anti-adventure about a jet pilot assigned to steal the Soviet Union's dread new aircraft designed to destroy New York City and Peoria in one fed swoop. Eastwood looks like an automated totem pole, the Russians are portrayed as the Three Stooges and there's more drama, tension and action in a spoonful of cottagechaese than in this painfully drawn-out affair. p. Start Mt 6AF0RCI (At the Tanforart Park) Ha Meedham of -Smokey and the Ban-drt" fame directed this lame, contrived action feature about a "rapid deployment" force that rides missde-shootint motorcycles and dune buggies to an engagement with a presumably Marxist tank force in a developing region of North Africa. Terrible movie, aH in a.

P. Site MCPHISTO (At the Vogue) Klaus Maria Brendauer is extraordinary as an ambitious actor who played out fits MeprMMophe-lean role before, durmg and after the Hitler era. moving from performances Hamburg's left-wing plays to become the close friend of a Nazi general and head of the Prussian State Theater. The Oscar-winning. German language (English subtitles) film, directed by fstvan Szabo, is based on a novel inspired by the real-life actions of the famous German actor-director Gustaf Grundeens.

tt is an astonishing, discomfiting portrait of a type who places success above an else J. Stone POLTERGEIST (At the Northpoint and' Tanforan Park) This fiokey. but entertaining, scare movie by Steven Spielberg (with a few contributions from director Tobe Hooper) will probably ring box office cash registers and keep us up aH night. An average suburban white family is visited by extraordinary forces. The movie shakes and rattles and roHs with special effects to the point of resembling a video game on occasion which is undoubtedly part of the point.

Fortunately Spielberg has maintained a wry sense of humor throughout, and that makes most of this affair rather fun. Could be quite scary for very small kids. P. Stack THE R0A0 WARRIOR (At the iiectric, Alexandria, and Geneva Orive-tn) Australian director George Miller has a smooth, exerting style that sets this fantasy ROCKY Bl (At the Alexandria) Rocky Balboa, the Kalian StaHion (also known as Sylvester Stallone) returns to our neighborhood theaters to deal with the problems of fame and fortune as a world crampon. The champ has married and meMowed, and hfe an easy chair untH an angry black contender.

Clubber Lang, hungry for the crown, forces him Into the ring agam. ApoHo Creed is nearby to help shore up Rocky. This is the stuff of comic books and corny American movies; credible, colorful entertainment, seemingly meat-headed but maybe meatier than we thought. Violence abounds. P.

Start THE SECRET OF NIMH (At the Stonestown and Spruce Drive in) The first fuM-length feature by Don Btuth and his cohorts, who left Dis ney Studios hoping ta revitalize the classic animation style made famous by Walt Disney "Bambi." "Pmocchto" and other films. The result is a first-class production, an excellent old-fashioned entertainment. Loosely based on Robert C. O'Brien's book, "Mrs. Frisy and the Rats of NIMH." it's the story of a widowed mouse's struggle to save her children from destruction.

The film carries us to a wonderful, sometimes scary, underworld of colorful animal characters. Grating cynics need not apply. Stxk.

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