Daily News from New York, New York on August 1, 1986 · 87
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Daily News from New York, New York · 87

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New York, New York
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Friday, August 1, 1986
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87
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Cj A' August 1, 1986 DAILY NEWS - - .r C 21 Howard the Duck is a turkey Rod Stewart may soon sign on as a spokesman for Lincoln-Mercury trucks. Apparently the fact he was stopped for erratic driving last year and got off after explaining that he doesn't drive often enough to feel comfortable behind the wheel doesn't affect his expertise. Billy Joel, whose new album The Bridge" hit the stores this week, WILL be touring this fall, say the people at CBS Records. Stay tuned. Here's a good radio contest: WXRK is having a K-Rock and Roll Record Upgrade. Twice a day the station wiH replace someone's worn-out favorite album. To enter, you have to send in a postcard. And now the home video people start to get down and dirty. Active Home Video, for only $14.95, will sell you "How to Beat a Speeding Ticket." It's a 30-minute program that says what to do from the minute you're flagged down to your day in court. The new Priil Ochs album on Rhino Records, which includes 14 early unreleased cuts, includes liner notes by Sean Perm. Sean indicates he's trying to put together a film of Phil's life, in which he presumably would play the lead. And why not? It's a story that could stand to be done well, and Sean has always been better on-screen than off-screen. Just no jokes about Madonna playing Bob Dylan, please. Ska Rockers Jazz, a show featuring the Skatalites, begins this Sunday and continues on all following Sundays at the Village Gate, Bleecker and Thompson Sts. in the Village. Hours are 8 p.m.-4 a.m., admission is $12, and the show includes live and recorded dance music. DOWNTOWN BEIRUT: 156 First Ave. Put another dime in their jukebox, then admire the work of Nova Sliver and Andre Roszkowiak. LIMELIGHT: 660 Sixth Ave. 9 p.m. $18. To start the evening right, Mid-Summer Soirees Annual White Ball. Then, the cast and crew of "Fame" get together to wrap up the end of their season. THE SAINT: 233 Z. 6th St. 8 p.m. $20. Howard the Duck drops in to celebrate his new movie. The party, will be far from earthbound. RED PARROT: 617 W. 57th St. 10 p.m. $15. The Spinners in concert with special guests Skipworth & Turner and Salt and Pepper MC, SHOUT: 124 W. 43rd St. 9 p.m. $10. Get into the groove with Nehru jackets and Gary Puckett. At midnight, a groovy 3D cult feature film.5.K9rtn .Poke . By KATHLEEN CARROLL Daly News Move Critic ; . 0 HOWARD THE DUCK. Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones. Directed by Millard Huvcfc. At Loews New York Twin, 34th St. Show-place, Mth St. and Astor Plaza. Running time: I hour, 45 minutes. Rated PC. T "TS QUITE A shock when the star of the live-action movie "Howard The Duck," makes his entrance. For one thing, he's terribly short He also has a tendency to waddle. And, despite his wistful Bing Crosby baby blue eyes, any trained bird dog would be able to sniff out the fact that this weary-looking feathered friend in a tight-fitting blazer is a duck. He's actually Howard T. Duck, a wise-quacking water fowl from another just plain ducky planet who originally made a splash as the hero of a Marvel comic book series in the early '70s. It was producer George Lucas who apparently spotted Howard's potential as a movie star and, with Willard Huyck playing the role of director, he concocted this multimillion-dollar vehicle for Howard in the hope of transforming him into a sort of bitingly satiric, duck-billed Woody Allen. Now this idea for a movie might have looked good on a paper napkin. But, let me tell you, it Mondo , is .... IT t f ., 1 'S"' ! A ,( 1 i Jo! j S!tiSfW&SS6? UNFORTUNATELY, they didn't doesn't wash. The movie sinks from the moment poor Howard is rudely ejected from his own planet by a faulty laser beam only to wind up in a dark alley in ugly downtown Cleveland. There he encounters the usual earthlings, four pasty- Macho New 'Choke Canyon' somewhat less than grand COLLINS: bad shave, bad role - T 'x j Mm Hnh ill - . take Howard away faced punkers and an adorable would-be rock star (Lea Thompson), who are fresh from doing the jailhouse rock in a local disco detention center. Howard, who by now is wearing shades, does not impress the clerk at the By HARRY HAUN Da'ly News Entertainment Writer CHOKE CANYON. Stephen Collins, Janet Julian. Directed bv cnucK Bail. At the UA Twin and Eastside Cinema. Runnina time: 1 how, J4 minutes. Rated PC. 1MAY NOT BE man enough to review "Choke Canyon," but I will try Now that Andy McLaglen has hung up his spurs and Hal Needham has gone big budget, there's a need for a good B-movie action director. Enter Chuck Bail with bells on at 12 o'clock high. And if you think Steve McQueen's former double stints on stunts, you have another think coming. There are explosions and helicopter chases all over the place and little else. A storyline seems to be stretched from stunt to stunt, something culled from the cobwebs of old Monogram shoot-'em-ups and given a light nuclear-age rinse: Now, the range baron coveting the homesteader's land is an industrialist who sees said homesteader's spread as a toxic-waste disposal and dumps accordingly. Which riles Our Hero, a young nhvsicist who rides horses and conducts safe-energy ex periments that, somehow, are dependent upon --.the. approaching Halley's Comet local unemployment bureau ' who gives "the little whatever you is" an offer he can't refuse a job bailing out a sauna sex shop. So it goes. The movie keeps - racking up more screen time as Huyck, displaying all the subtlety of a Mack truck, combines continuous explosions and car smashups with crushingly obvious homages to such hit movies as "Carrie" and the original "Alien." This leaden duck movie drives you so daffy that, at one screening, a distinguished colleague stood up and turned to the audience in the manner of a college professor. "Any questions?" he asked. IT SO HAPPENS I do have a few questions for Lucas and company. Why, pray . tell, did it take eight tiny actors to play a duck who has all the animal magnetism of a wet dishrag? Did Thompson know that she had to play a G rated love scene with duck when she signed her contract? Is audience abuse a federal crime? If not, why not? There is only one remedy for the pain inflicted by this loud, overcooked turkey. Just rush out and buy a video of the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup," which will t soothe -r your rattled nerves as well as -mother's chicken soup. Yes, it's a comedy kinda. The pity is we live in a time when the only way to get away with muscular adventures on the screen is with either Stallone overstatement (WHOMPi) or this kind of miserable little snicker which pretends to mock he-man heroics, but only underlines its dearth. Bail, whose comic touch would rival that of any Chica- ' go Bear, tips his heavy hand when he taps Stephen Collins, an un wrinkled Redford, to do the heroics. Some attempt has been made to grizzle up the looks with 5 o'clock shadow (which disappears and reappears with the cowboy hat), but the casting pushes the comedy into a cartoon. SECONDING THAT cartoon notion is big, blocky Bo Svenson in the Jack Palance slot of the villain's troubleshooter. Janet Julian displays spunk- ,r plus as the industrialist's daughter, whom Collins kidnaps to win over to his noble cause. Halley's Comet comes and goes, igniting along the way a big fire-and light show which, like the picture itself, signifies absolutely nothing. "Choke Canyon" opens with a dedication to its aerial coordinator, Richard R. Hol-Iey. One of its participating helicopter pilots is currently a defendant in the "Twilight Zofce." trials f Z'SJllUZ. fSittf- IT I Jill lllilllllll Mil III

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