Daily News from New York, New York on February 14, 1992 · 1442
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Daily News from New York, New York · 1442

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New York, New York
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Friday, February 14, 1992
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1442
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Friday, February 14, 1992 I - DAILY NEWS 57 EXTRA MOVIES fVtyv&m 'At Patty News Staff Writer ' ' ISnT.Ji R ff 4' -. 4 JLi J - ? 'Jr.' m f I'll w w mi ! It -: 4 W tit !v 1 im t , -t f - " , - f - Basement humor (ad nauseam) rises to occasion By JIM FARBER EXCELLENT: Hey, dudes, Myers & Carvey have made it to the big screen WAYNE'S WORLD. Mike Myers, Dana Carvey. Directed by Penelope Spheens. At area theaters. Running time: 95 rmns. Rated PG-13. AYNE'S WORLD IS A Poi gnant work of tremendous sub tlety and refinement NOT! As all regular viewers of Saturday Night Live know, "Wayne's World" is an attempt to milk an entire movie out of one of the show's more popular skits. Created by the man who plays Wayne (Mike Myers), the skit focuses on a pair of universally recognizable, suburban metal no-brains who, courtesy of that great' mistake known as public access, host their own TV show. Amazingly, the patched-together and padded screen version manages to amuse, if only through the sheer brazenness of its stupidity. It's not every movie that would dare anchor its laughs on a virtual thesaurus of terms for throwing up ("hurl," "spew," "honk," "blow chunks"). ' Almost solely responsible for making such gross-out teenspeak riotous is the amiably airheaded performance of Myers. Sporting an infectious, and inexplicable, grin, he is virtually the only cast member who strikes the necessary balance of charm and mental numbness. Luckily, he seldom leaves the screen. Of course, transplanting the characters to cinema necessitated a bit of riddling. Given the cruel scrutiny afforded by the big screen, Wayne's creators must have known they hadn't a prayer of passing off Myers and his perpetually self-conscious sidekick Garth (Dana Carvey) as actual teens. The pair look more like Bill & Ted's lumpy uncles. To cover their tracks, no small amount of jokes revolve around Wayne's embarrassment over still living at home with his parents (who, wisely, remain unseen). Still, the time frame the characters occupy is, to say the least, warped. Almost all cultural signposts alluded to in the film come not from today's teens but from their '70s equivalents. A long sequence parodies Queen's flouncy "Bohemian Rhapsody," followed by allusions to The Sweet, Bee Gees, Deep Purple, Carl Douglas, Gary Wright, not to mention a long-forgotten Ted Nugent album. Garth is even forced to drive that most unlovable of period vehicles a Pacer. But then, such anachronisms only underscore the movie's cheerful unreality, and widen its appeal. They, likewise, bold-face the timelessness of the teenage wasteland so lovingly depicted by the flick. Certainly, more effort went into re-creating that blank milieu than in simulating a plot What plot there is involves a slimy Chicago TV executive (played with surprising blandness by Rob Lowe), who stumbles upon Wayne's access show and sees in it a way to exploit young consumers. Along the way, there are lots of pleasingly dizzy slang terms ("hock a loogie") and nonsensical asides. "I thought I had mono for a year," blurts Wayne at one point "But it turned out I was just bored." Still, the film's funniest moments come when Wayne reveals his normally well-hidden brilliance. To woo an Asian "babe," our hero learns to speak impeccable Cantonese overnight Like the film itself, this feat proves one thing: Never underestimate the power of a moron. By PHIL ROURA Daily News Assistant Entertainment Editor ASIL, THE SUPERSLEUTII of Disney's 1986 animated feature "The Great Mouse Detec tive," is back but he's appearing under an assumed title. Rereleased today as "The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective," Basil bears an uncanny resemblance to another great snoop, Sherlock Holmes. It should therefore come as no surprise that the Disney people based their tail . . . err, tale, on Eve Titus' children's books, "Basil of Baker Street" The story concerns a young, cute li'l mouse named Olivia Flaversnam, who seeks out the great detective in the hopes of finding her kidnaped father, a toy designer. At first Basil isn't the least bit interested. But when Olivia tells him that pop was plucked by a dastardly bat with a wooden leg, Basil springs into action. It could be none other than his archrival. Professor Ratigan (the voice of Vincent Price). In its original release, Daily News movie'critic Kathleen Carroll called the film "a charming, perky movie" that should "definitely please younger audiences." And Carroll, herself, was quite taken by the film. She gave it three and a half stars. It'll be shown at the Embassy, Sutton, Orpheum, Murray Hill, Village East, Metro, 23d St and Coliseum theaters. 'Secret Friends': It's amnesia and forget it By HARRY HAUN Daily News Staff Wnter SECRET FRIENDS. Alan Bates. Gina BeHman, Frances Barber. Directed by Dennis Potter. At Angelina and Plaza Theaters. Running time: 92 mins. Unrated. QT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE a deathier, more devastating parody of Dennis Potter plot-mangling than the one he does on himself (as director of his own words) in "Secret Friends." The importance of having distance from the script a different pair of eyes that a director affords has never been better argued than it is here with Potter's directorial debut It makes you appreciate all over again the unsung heroes who steered his "Pennies From Heaven" and "The Singing Detective" to distinction as British miniseries. The frenetic, fragmented style that generally accompanies the shattered psyches that Potter chooses to illuminate is imitated here to a fare-thee-well. The usual dizzying rush of quick cuts from real to unreal, from now to then is present along with one of those old rinky-dink vo-de-o-do songs that is cranked up after a particularly violent or disturbing exchange and poured like soothing salve over the cuts in question. Nicholas Russell-Pavier, who makes the real debut of note here, has concocted an instant antique of a title tune and sprinkled it like "High Noon" throughout the film, bringing us back from the brink more than once. "Secret Friends" pretty much keeps its secrets. The film's publicist assured that "it all comes together at the end." 1 ---vt v j, y .... - - , t ' 1 . fa BEDTIME STORY: Alan Bates beds Gina Bellman in "Secret Fnenas." But, by then, who cares? Getting there has been such a cerebrally grueling climb over storytelling stumbling blocks that obscure rather than inform it wears you down. "Strange on a Train" would be a better title. Potter claims his inspiration was the sight of a man, sitting opposite him on a train, breaking down and crying. From this, he has provided Alan Bates with a whole club car to chew up. "Can you tell me," Bates asks the two gentlemen in front of him, "am I, by chance, with you?" It seems Bates, whojs all tics and twitches and glazed-over glares, has mislaid his identity giving Potter license to commit his free-form loboto-my. The poor disarrayed soul, we learn in fits and starts, is a wildflower illustrator with a mental menagerie of "secret friends" (like imaginary mistresses). Potter is so Intent on putting style over substance that he forgets to keep the audience interested. And, when you think how simply amnesia films once unraveled ("Random Harvest," "Mirage," "Spellbound," "Mister Buddwing"), you start resenting Potter's tying knots along the way. r f r -."-imwmi awi

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