The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on January 16, 1987 · 47
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 47

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Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, January 16, 1987
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47
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The Miami Herald s Friday January 16 1987 UJcoIxcnd at the Hovics 5D ‘The Mission’: Lost in V iWHATITHEiCRITICSSAY By BILL COS FORD Herald Movie Critic The Mission heaves and sighs and pulsates ripens before our eyes it’s a jungle feast But behind the fronds and beyond the heroic posturing chaos There’s a Message here — if you don’t get it while the movie’s on wait for the end titles and it’s all explained — but no center nothing to hang onto The director Roland Joffee clearly had control back when he made The Killing Fields which was lean and tight This time he lost his way Rot never sleeps But we do and there are times during The Mission when Mr Nap ' crooks a seductive finger Joffee is re-telling history here and he’s onto a heck of a story But it eludes him keeps ducking back up -the jungle trail and out of sight Sooner or later we tire of the chase It is the mid-18th Century in what is now the area where western Paraguay meets Argentina The Jesuits have helped create a form of jungle socialism among the Indians they have proselytized In the missions the Indians are safe from the Portuguese slavers and their Spanish customers and free to conduct the business of their communes — collective farming musical-instrument making and related crafts the yield from which is shared These Indians aren’t an easy sell — the opening of the film shows a Jesuit martyr strapped to a cross and propelled over Iguassu Falls by one reluctant tribe But dedicated priests like Gabriel (played by Jeremy Irons) prevail Utopia is another way for spelling trouble however and soon politics comes into play The Portuguese and the Spanish who are big slave customers have agreed to repartition the jungle Gabriel’s Indians are in the way Hovio Ilovicw The Mission (PG) CAST: Robert De Niro Jeremy Irons Ray McAnally Aidtn Quinn Cherie Lunghi Ronald Pickup CREDITS: Oirector: Roland Joffee Producers: Fernando Ohio David Puffnam Screenwriter: Robert Bolt Cinematographer: Chris Menges Music: Ejnnfo Morricone A Warner Bros release Running time: 125 minutes Nudity violence about to fall to the nets and the ropes Gabriel is committed to non-violent resistance Mendoza (Robert De Niro) a onetime slaver driven to penitence and eventually life as a Jesuit after killing his brother in a fight over a woman is not so sure When the Portuguese come up the river Mendoza wants to fight The priests are pressured from without riven from within There’s the conflict But odd things happen in the jungle Performances go bad De Niro muddles through his apparently in search of an appropriate accent Irons declaims like an angel — it’s a performance all right but it has nothing to do with the movie’s time and place Events begin to lose their clarity then make no sense at all Repeatedly Gabriel and company are forced to scale the headwall to reach the mission Then a papal envoy and after him the Portuguese military detachment merely sail upriver — the rapids have disappeared The whole film feels bloated as Joffee makes his point makes it again and then returns to it as if for reassurance Chris Menges’ photography (shot in Argentina and Colombia) is stunning how could he miss given the terrain? Against that backdrop however a thing must be epic to stand out and Joffee has delivered only pieces Between them: long pauses vivid scenery the susur-rant jungle the bellowing antagonists back to the vivid scenery Where’s the rest of the movie? Out there somewhere MGM: more than movie history From Herald Staff and Wire Reports Entirely too many people got to thinking that MGM one of the great names in Hollywood history was just that — history The studio had changed ownership so often (three times last year alone) and had abandoned its storied Hollywood lot and the result was talk that MGM was out of the movie business Now MGM wants you to know that just isn’t Hovic Briefs true Though few moviegoers still show much brand loyalty to the studios no one who makes movies can afford to have Hollywood think he’s fading And so a Hollywood press conference was followed by a press-release blizzard and importuning calls to movie critics The word is: Other studios may be slowing down but MGM is back making movies Lots of movies The production budget of MGMUA MGM’s parent company for this year will be $115 million and given that MGM has projected an average film budget of $7 million-$9 million with a ceiling of $13 million that means a good number of projects MGM has 23 movies in various stages of production including Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs (also budgeted well over the “cap”) Moonstruck with Cher and projects for Meryl Streep Robert De Niro and Mia Farrow BILL COSFORD Sequel talk Comedian Eddie Murphy whose current movie The Golden Child is a box-office hit will star in a sequel to Beverly Hills Cop one of the top money-making films of all time Beverly Hills Cop II will be produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer at Paramount Pictures with Tony Scott (Top Gun) directing Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines will reprise their cop roles in Keep Running a sequel to Running Scared provided they approve of the script Shooting is planned for next spring in Chicago ‘Window’ tries for Hitchcock’s thrilling style By HAL BOEDEKER Herald Staff Writer The Bedroom Window borrows so heavily from Alfred Hitchcock that you expect the late Master of Suspense to drop in for his famous cameo It’s too bad he canT This moderately entertaining thriller could use him Some of the most familiar Hitchcock characters are here: the icy blond beauty the hero wrongly accused of murder the killer whose view of women is twisted Some scenes recall Hitchcock’s best work A crime in a concert hall evokes The Man Who Knew Too Much The central incident in the film — a crime witnessed from a window — proves that The Bedroom Window isn’t far removed from Rear Window Director Curtis Hanson who also wrote the script has studied his Hitchcock well He takes the devices and switches them around to deliver some genuine thrills What he can’t provide is Hitchcock’s class Hitchcock took the lurid and made it fascinating In Hanson’s hands the lurid remains lurid Bedroom Window may remind you of Hitchcock but it's closer in spirit to the teen slasher movies Terry (Steve Guttenberg) is having an affair with Sylvia (Isabelle Huppert) his boss’ wife From his apartment window she sees a man brutally beat Denise (Elizabeth McGovern) Sylvia fears her marriage will end if she tells police what she saw When the suspect is linked to a murder Terry decides to pretend he was the witness His good but misguided deed backfires A shrewd defense attorney (Wallace Shawn) trips him up and Terry becomes the prime suspect Obsessed Terry tries to prove the killer’s guilt Hanson’s best work is the courtroom scene The diminutive and usually meek Wallace Shawn cast against type here part in ‘Bedroom Window’ Hovic Hcvlow The Bedroom Window (R) i Steve Guttenberg Elizabeth McGovern Isabelle Huppert Paul Shenar Carl Lumbly Wallace Shawn CREDITS Director: Curtis Hanson Producer: Martha Schumacher Screenplay: Curtis Hanson Music by Michael Shrieve and Patrick Gieeson Executive producer: Robert Towne De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Running time: 112 minutes Nudity makes a startling impact as the attorney But the director is less successful with the other actors Guttenberg is pleasant and nothing more McGovern is charming except in the final scenes when she has to put on a wig and play the vamp to help catch the killer She’s too smart for this nonsense Worst of all though is Huppert This fine actress who has been so effective in European films walks through her part Her last American film was Heaven’s Gate For her own sake she should stay away from Hollywood ‘PLATOON’ ’Platoon’ is writer director and Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone's account of life and death in an infantry platoon fighting near the Cambodian border in 1967 The Miami Herald (Bill Cosford): “Platoon rings with authenticity shrieks and crackles with it It's not much fun Instead it’s powerful terribly sad a dirge for lost lives lost souls there and here” Los Angeles Times (Sheila Benson): “ Oliver Charlie Sheen: He’s Taylor Stone clearly wants us to the young volunteer who’s at understand what fighting in the center of ‘Patoon that war was like He succeeds with an immediacy that is frightening” The New York Times (Vincent Canby): "Platoon is possibly the best work of any kind about the Vietnam War since Michael Herr's vigorous and hallucinatory book Dispatches" The New Yorker (Pauline Kael): “There are too many scenes where you think ‘It’s a bit much’ The movie crowds you it doesn’t give you room to have an honest emotion" WHATlTHE BOX OFFICE SAYS Here are last weekend's top 10 films followed by their gross last week the number of weeks in release and their total gross: 1 The Golden Child $45 million five weeks $586 million 2 Star Trek IV $41 million seven weeks $872 million 3 ‘Crocodile’ Dundee $32 million 16 weeks $1275 million 4 Little Shop ot Horrors $3 million four weeks $237 million 5 The Morning After $27 million three weeks $166 million 6 Aaaasaination $27 million one week 7 Three Amigoa $23 million five weeks $315 million 8 Heartbreak Ridge $2 million six weeks $381 million 9 Lady and the Tramp $2 million four weeks $234 million 10 Crimea of the Heart $17 million five weeks $139 million ‘Native Son’ adaptation yields an engaging film By BILL COSFORD Herald Movie Critic Richard Wright’s Native Son is widely regarded as the seminal work in black American literature It was the first bestseller by a black writer It was also a bitter polemic much the result of the author's experiences with American racism and much influenced by his passion for communism at the time of its writing (the late 1930s) Wright did not yield to marketplace expediency: His hero Bigger Thomas was twice a murderer and an unrepentant one at that — he saw his power over another’s life as perhaps the only power he had How to bring such a story to the screen which demands if not sweetness and light at least a measure of redemption? Wright himself starred in a film version made in Argentina in 1949 after a Hollywood studio refused to produce it unless the characters were changed to white but he had to blunt the Marxist message Now Jerrold Freedman has made a version that is even more tame — one of the killings has been excised altogether The lesson appears to be that Native Son is still too tough for movies And yet ironically Freedman’s version is a fine film It doesn’t have much to do with Richard Wright but it has its own strengths The core of these is the performances As Bigger the young man whose first job as chauffeur to a family of well-meaning but hopelessly patronizing liberals almost immediately involves him in a desperate effort to cover up the half-accidental death of their daughter Victor Love is immensely sympathetic Again that’s not Movie Review Native Son (PG) Victor Love Elizabeth McGovern Geraldme Page Oprah Winfrey Matt Dillon Akoiua Busia Carroll Baker John McMartin CREDITS Director: Jerrold Freedman Producer: Diane Silver Screenwriter: Richard Wesley Based on the novel by Richard Wriaht Cinematographer: Thomas Burstyn Music: James Mtume A Cinecom Pictures release Running time: 1U minutes Brief vulgar language brief violence in DADE: ByronCarlyle Bakery Centre Sunset at Kendall what Wright intended but Freedman’s version from a screenplay by Richard Wesley depends on a victim and Love makes a strong one In a remarkable performance he moves from rebellious older son at home to bully among his friends on the street to a person thoroughly cowed in the large home of the wealthy Daltons — all while holding the same essential character Elizabeth McGovern and Matt Dillon oddly paired as the rich daughter and her radical boyfriend are an unlikely success Dillon doesn’t look his part for a second but for the first time in years he’s interesting to watch Geraldine Page and Oprah Winfrey have sentimental stock parts (the Irish maid the durable black mother) they work though Winfrey is an awful ham The film is beautifully shot and well composed for all its “Masterpiece Theater” flourishes and though it's no longer a story of rage but one of sorrow it is quite affecting on its own terms It’s Native Son transmogrified and still an arresting film movie(CAPSULES Herald movie reviewers rate movies from zero to lour ' fS AAAA Excellent AAAVi Very Good AAA Good AAV) Worth Seeing AA Fair Poor 0 Worthless Openings THE BEDROOM WINDOW (R) AAW: An Illicit love a ft air between Steve Guttenberg and Isabelle Huppert leads them to murder also stars Elizabeth McGovern Multiple theaters CRITICAL CONDITION (R) (unretriewed): Con man Richard Pryor is mistaken lor a doctor in a comedy about the chaotic aftermath of a power failure m a big city hospital Multiple theaters DO YOU REMEMBER DOLLY BELL? (U) (unreviewed) Emir Kusturlca’s prizewinning coming -of-age comedy in Serbo-Croatian with subtitles In BROWARD: Art Towne FROM BEYOND (R) (unreviewed): Scifi fantasy film of a mad scientist Multiple theaters THE MISSION (PG) A A: Jesuit priests Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro fight lo save an Indian iungle mission In 18th-Century South America Multiple theaters NATIVE SON (PG) AAA: Adaptation of Richard Wright's 1940 novel of a young black man traumatized by racism with Matt DiOon Vlclor Love Elizabeth McGovern Geraldine Page In DADE: ByronCarlyle Bakery Centre Sunset at KandaS NEON MANIACS (unreviewed): Multiple theaters PLATOON (R) AAAW: Brilliant Vietnam film about an exhausted resilient Infantry platoon with Tom Berenger WHtem Dafoe Charlie Sheen (Vulgar language violence and gore) Multiple theaters WANTED: DEAD OR AUVE (R) (unreviewed): Modem-day bounty hunter on the trail of Middle Eastern terrorists Multiple theaters First Run AN AMERICAN TAIL: (G) FeatureJength aramadon about an snnwgrant mouse in New York (Some scenes may be too intense for young children) Multiple theaters EL AMOR BRUJO (PG) : The third in Carlos Seura t film trilogy with flamenco dancer Antonio Gades (Stylized violence sexual situations) In DADE: Arcadia ASSASSINATION (R) A: Charles Bronson is a secret agent assigned to proted the First Lady (Vulgar language violence) Multiple theaters BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (PG-13) AA: Neil Simon's adaptation of his own hit play with Jonathan Silverman and Blythe Danner (Vulgar language) Multiple theaters CACTUS (U) WWW: A love story with moments ot exquisite beauty stars Isabelle Huppert (Nudity) In BROWARD: Art Towne THE COLOR OF MONEY (R) AA: Martin Scorsese's sequel to The Hustler with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in first-rate performances (Vulgar language brie! nudity) In BROWARD: Mercede CRIMES OF THE HEART (PG-13) : Film adaptation of Beh Henley's play about a reunion of three sisters from the South with Sissy Spacek Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton Multiple theaters CROCODILE DUNDEE (PG-13) A A: Implausible comedy about an appealing croc hunter from the Australian outback who lands in Manhattan (Vulgar language violence) Multiple theaters DANCING IN THE DARK (PG-13) AA: Melodrama of a ported housewife whose marriage and sanity are destroyed by her husband's infidelity (Implicit sex) In BROWARD: Art Towne DEADTIME STORIES (R) (unreviewed): Hor-rorfantasycomic interpretation of famous folk tales In DADE: Atlas FIREWALKER (PG) AW: An awkward slow-moving film in which Chuck Norris and Louis Gossett Jr search for Aztec gold (Vulgar language violence) In DADE: Hialeah Holiday Marina GOLDEN CHILD (PG-13) : Eddie Murphy as a private detective on the trail of a child guru kidnapped by terrorists (Vulgar language brief nudity sexual innuendo violence) Multiple theaters HEARTBREAK RIDGE (R) A: Combat veteran Clint Eastwood leads a platoon Into action during the Korean war co-stars Marsha Mason (Vulgar language violence and nude photographs) Multiple theaters JUMPIN' JACK FLASH (R) AAV: Fast-movmg comedy built around Whoopi Goldberg as a daffy woman who picks up CIA secrets on her computer and becomes Involved with spies (Considerable Richard Pryor and Lucius Houghton star in ‘Critical Condition’ opening today vulgar language brief violence) In DADE: Atlas in BROWARD: Cinema 'n' Drafthouse KING KONG LIVES (PG-13) A: The giant ape and producer Dino deLaurentiis team up for a second try at the classic film story (Vulgar language brief nudity violence and gore) Multiple theaters LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (PG-13) AAA: Steve Martin Rick Morants Vince Gardenia star in this story of a man-eating plant (Vulgar language) Multiple theaters THE MORNING AFTER (R) A AW: Jane Fonda plays an alcoholic actress framed for murder with Jeff Bridges and Raul Julia: directed by Sidney Lumet (Vulgar language sexual situations violence and gore) Multiple theaters MOSQUITO COAST (PG) : Harrison Ford escapes from contemporary society with his family to a jungle utopia directed by Peter Wew (Witness) (Violence) Multiple theaters NO MERCY (R) A: A Chicago cop tracks his partner's killer a Lou si ana mobster with Richard Gere and Kim Basinger (Violence and profanity) Multiple theaters OTELLO (PG) A A A W: Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Verdi's opera: stars Plaado Domingo and Katia Ricciarelli (Stylized violence) In DADE: Cinematheque in BROWARD: Manor Art PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (PG-13) AAV: Francis Coppola's exquisite mystery of middle-aged woman Kathleen Turner who is transported back in time to her high school days (Vulgar language sexual situations) Multiple theaters SID AND NANCY (R) AAA: Romance between two self-destructive young punks: S'd Vicious one-time member of the Sex Pistols and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen performance gems (Vulgar language nudity violence adult themes) In DADE: Riviera SOUL MAN (PG-13) AA: C Thomas Howell plays a white student who passes himself off as black to get into Harvard Law on scholarship (Vulgar language sexual situations) Multiple theaters STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (PG) A A ’A: A sequel and a whale of a cosmic tale again directed by Spock (Leonard Nimoy) (Vulgar language) Multiple theaters THREE AMIGOS (PG-13) AAW: Chevy Chase Steve Martin and Marlin Short are three silent-era actors who must now face a real life villain (Vulgar language violence) Multiple theaters TOP GUN (PG) AA: Tom Cruise is an arrogant Navy officer pilot with Kelly McGillis as his astrophysicist lady (Vulgar language brief sexual situations) Multiple theaters WISDOM (R) AAW: A mildly dopey unemployed college graduate (Emilio Estevez) plays a modern-day Robin Hood written directed by Estevez (Vulgar language sexual situations violence ) Multiple theaters Recommended Returns THE COLOR PURPLE (PG-13) AAA Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's novel about the struggles of black women In the South (Vulgar language adult themes) Multiple theaters THE NAME OF THE ROSE (R) AAAVi: Murder m the monastery from Umberto Eco's bestseller (Nudity implicit sex violence In BROWARD: Deerfield in PALM BEACH: Movies of Lake Worth SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT (R) AAA Comedy of the sexes in a much praised independent fkm by Spike Lee (Nudity some profanity) In DADE: Grove Art Revivals LADY AND THE TRAMP (G): The classic Disney animated Mm Multiple theaters TWENTIETH CENTURY (U) AAAW: Howard Hawks' 1934 screwball comedy m which egomama-cal Broadway producer John Barrymore makes shopgirl Carole Lombard a star matchless senot by Ben Hecht and Charles MecArthur from their play In DADE: Colony Theater

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