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The Birmingham Post from Birmingham, West Midlands, England • Page 14
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The Birmingham Post from Birmingham, West Midlands, England • Page 14

Birmingham, West Midlands, England
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14 FRIDAY May 15 1998 The Birmingham Post ARTS ENTERTAINMENT Arts Editor Terry Grimley Tel: 0121 234 5328 Honour is preserved as fears prove unfounded Mike Davies reviews the latest cinema releases Forget the hysteria and see the film: Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain act up a storm in Lolita look no further than the latest from director John McNaughton Here we have Starship Troopers star Denise Richards having Matt Dillon lick champagne off her breasts in a smouldering three way romp with Neve Campbell And Kevin Bacon emerging from the shower to put Boogie Nights' Dirk Diggler to shame But much more to this than just hot flesh flashing Sex certainly provides a driving force to the plot but greed and betrayal that provide most of the knots in this twist-riddled blackly comic thriller Richards is a spoiled rich kid who accuses teacher Dillon of rape Given mum (Theresa Russell) owns half of the elitist Everglades town and that white trash drop-out Campbell comes forward to make the same claim things look good Until scummy but shrewd lawyer Bill Murray blows the case out of the water to reveal the accusations as the vindictiveness of a jealous spumed brat Or are they? Certainly driven cop Bacon think so From this point on double cross turns to quadruple cross and the twists come faster than a Chubby Checker tribute concert and nothing and no one is ever quite what they seem With a glossy look dialogue and deadpan performances firmly tongue in cheek and an inspired end credits sequence that fills in the gaps you see this may not be quite as clever as it thinks it is but not far off DEEP IMPACT CERT 12 121MINS First of the two meteors heading for Earth movies this is pretty much the poor relation In terms of stars and budget Armageddon will have Bruce Willis doing Red Adair in outer space the best this can muster is Morgan Freeman reprising his usual quiet dignity as the American President who has to tell his evening to take part in a roleplay drama However wires are crossed mistaken assumptions are made and he finds himself involved with Joanne Whalley trying to blackmail a Minister and in the middle of a real plot hatched by espionage boss Richard Wilson and his Russian opposite number to reactivate the Cold War They think some kind of superspy while naive Murray naturally assumes all part of the elaborate performance and plays enthusiastically along A deliberate throwback to the blun-derings of Inspector Clouseau crossed with a Hitchcock spy caper it fancies itself as Austin Powers meets The Game And to give it its due for a while it almost succeeds Murray not playing mean streak for once is on his best comic form in years but unfortunately this is a one joke movie and Too Little does not go a long way the whole thing eventually slumping into a plot padded laughter-free zone and embarrassing hamming from Alfred Molina and Geraldine James JUNK MAIL CERT 15 83 MINS SUBTITLED With dodgy personal hygiene and more likely to read your mail or dump it in a hole than deliver it Roy (Robert people that due to an imminent ELE (Extinction Level Event) only a million of them are going to be allowed into the underground bunkers to sit out two years of post impact dust cloud darkness that will wipe out all life on the surface Yet even faced with this news no one seems to be in too much of a panic to seize what little time remains Taxis still stop for fares deadlines are still chased and the good citizens quietly go about their business only the occasional murmur of protest raised in dissent at being consigned to oblivion But then as you might expect from a Spielberg co-production this is essentially a celebration of family bonds and a spiritual hymn to capacity for grace under pressure and self-sacrifice A pity then that the screenplay by Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubin (who with The Rapture My Life and Jacob Ladder to their collective credit have both visited this final scenario before) should be so lacklustre in both the emotion department and its set pieces and populated by largely uninvolving characters be they reporter Tea Leoni who stumbles on the story and winds up reconciled with her estranged father Elijah Wood as the teen who first spots the comet and tries to save his unselected girlfriend when Skjaerstad) is not exactly answer to Postman Pat A sleazy rude creepy weasel also obsessed with the deaf blonde from the dry-cleaners So when he finds her keys soon making regular furtive trips to spy round her apartment a grubby little habit but it does mean he gets to save her from committing suicide Unfortunately it also gets him caught up with a bagful of loot from an armed robbery she was involved in and the shady characters that go with it leading him to become her somewhat unlikely shabby white knight Combining the sensibilities of the Coens Hitchcock and Aki Kaurismaki director Pal Sletaune fuses a blackly comic thriller with an offbeat unsentimental love story laced with a vein of cruel humour and grim cynicism to first class effect LIVE FLESH CERT 18 99MINS SUBTITLED Subversively transposing Ruth novel to contemporary Spain Pedro Almodovar returns to vintage form but displaying a new maturity that feel the need to parcel everything up with sexual explicitness and garish kitsch melodrama Instead what you get is a densely layered emotionally mature narrative in which interlocked characters and passions provide a solid base to explore his familiar themes of destiny love and guilt Four years after a run-in with two cops following his spat with Elena a rich girl heroin junkie pizza boy Victor emerges from prison looking for revenge In the interim things have changed The girl has cleaned up her act runs a child care centre and is married to one of the cops David (Javier Barden) who paralysed and rendered sexually impotent by a gunshot during the fracas has since become a paraplegic basketball star The other cop the jealous alcoholic Sancho has separated from his abused wife Clara (Angela Molina) Vulnerable and lonely easily seduced into an affair with Victor who in order to torment David also makes overt moves on Elena However as things play out it becomes apparent the events of the fateful night occur quite as assumed and that the bullet fired is still ricocheting through lives With soundtrack cleverly illuminating the psychological complexity and the parallel framing sequences providing a subtle commentary on shift from the politically dark seventies to more optimistic present Ruth Ren-dell should be well chuffed the crisis comes or Robert team of astronauts sent to try and blow it off course All of which sits at odds with director Mimi frantic style so that when the pace slackens off in the middle-section the film so much slump as grind to a full stop The sober subdued approach is a welcome alternative to the usual macho gung ho but unfortunately suspense too is at a minimum As are the special effects when the first fragment strikes and a decidedly unconvincing looking mammoth tidal wave destroys Manhattan in a sequence that (like the kamikaze last ditch attempt to avert total disaster) borrows obviously but stodgily from Independence Day As the new dawn finally breaks the flood subsides and given another chance You have to admire its Biblical allegory but ultimately this is neither particularly deep nor likely to make much of a lasting impact THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE CERT 12 94MINS Arriving in London to visit his brother (Peter Gallagher) at an inopportune moment dim-witted American tourist Bill Murray is bundled off for the POINT -TO- POINT WEST WARWICKSHIRE FOXHOUNDS Upton-upon-Sevem NEWDATE: Saturday 16th May FIRST RACE 2pm 1 4 I I mile I LOLITA CERT 18 137 MINS Given the recent tabloid frenzy you should know the basic story A middle aged man becomes infatuated with a 12 year old Southern girl marries the mother to be close to her and when mum dies in an accident the two take off across America However while Adrian new film version of controversial literary classic may have prompted outraged accusations of glamorising paedophilia the reality is that it does nothing of the sort And despite past proclivities for steamy fare this is an almost chaste affair virtually devoid of nudity and sex scenes also resolutely shot through with an old-fashioned morality Humbert Humbert realises damned in destroying innocence and is tormented by guilt as much as he is driven by his desires Nor (unlike the shadowy figure of perverted playwright Quilty who eventually lures Lolita from him) is he simply some dirty old man His fixation with pubescent girls is firmly rooted in a genuine arrested development tragedy of his own adolescence Irons brings his assured flair for self-destructive obsessives to the haunted Humbert while Dominique Swain does an equally superb job both as the coquettish but confused Lolita and the burn-out casualty Humbert rediscovers some years later This is an intelligent faithful reading suffused with a heady sense of the atmosphere of a post war America also losing its innocence Disturbing certainly but the worst thing you can say is that a bit dramatically dull The only thing sensationalist about it is the media coverage WILD THINGS CERT 18 111MINS Those who want steamy sex should SINF0NIA OF BIRMINGHAM "PneAenttr WORLD HUB! OF THE BAWD EARL CELLO tONfIRTO Conductor Andreiv Constantine Cello Soloist Alexander Chaushian other work by Dvorak Mendelssohn and Schubert at the ADRIAN BOULT HALL on 17th May at 730pm Tickets £7 (£5 concessions Tel: 0121 453 2898 For Reservations ALEXANDRA THEATRE THUR 28 -SAT 30 MAY 1998 Thur Sat Eves 730pm S3H BOX OFFICE 0121 643 1231 TICKETS NORTH CREDIT CARD HOTLINE 0121 433 3773 SUBJECT TO BOOKING FEE PER TICKET Action and drama: Deep Impact is a flabby apocalypse special effects fiasco above while right Live Flesh the latest from Almodovar is a much more successful treatment of a Ruth Rendell story ANGLING SHOOTING Tomorrow To" Let" acre course fishing lake from Hagley available for syndicate or club I Fax for details I I 01562 700693 I The Number One It's not just a slogan I uf amr hh CfVIEflMMMCHI sit in! Switch on to Channel 4 Teletext page 637 for all your leisure ideas Tele text on ChM pL37 BUXTON festival 16-26 July 1998 artist In residence THOMAS ALLEN in recital and masterclasses La finta semplice MOZART a new Buxton Festival production Eugene Onegin TCHAIKOVSKY Clonter Opera's highly praised chamber version 1 concerts recitals choirs talks walks jazz and Fringe Brochure from 01298 70395 wwwpythagorascombuxton The Birmingham Post Plan your week's entertainment with our comprehensive Whafs On guide PLUS Simon Evans profiles Art Garfunkel APPLICANTS REQUIRED FOR FASHION MODELLING CHIC MODEL AGENCY Male Female all age groups above 6 months ie toddlers teenagers 20's plus smart outsize middle aged ladies Excellent rates can be paid to successful applicants SELECTION INTERVIEWS ON Sunday 1 7th May 1 998 Speech times at 11am 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm and 5pm (please try to be prompt) at the Grand Hotel Colmore Row Birmingham (City Centre) Photographer available No appointment necessary jVlkhndrerujndeMoJbeaccompame jf VIRGIN CINEMAS r--i a i a 1 DEEP IMPACT (12) (200 530 SatSun Only) 1230 310 610 820 900 Late Show Sat: 1 1 20 THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE (12) 100 340 630 900 SCREAM 2 (18) 1200 300 600 850 Late Show Sat: 1 1 40 US MARSHALLS (15) (1200 250 Not SatSun) 605 905 JACKIE BROWN (15) (155 Not SatSun) 520 830 MOUSEHUNT (PG) 1210 220 FLUBBER (U) SatSun Only: 1200 200 THE RAINMAKER (15) (1220 400 Not SunSun) WILD THINGS (12) 1250 340 610 910 Late Show Sat: 1 1 50 SLIDING DOORS (15) 120 410 710 930 Late Show Sat: 1200 BREAKDOWN (15) 110 430 700 920 MARTHA MEETS FRANK DANIEL AND LAWRENCE (15) 130 440 710 930 TITANIC (12) 1200 350 800 AS GOOD AS IT GETS (15) (540 Not True) 845 ANASTASIA (U) (100 300 SatSun Only) KIDS CLUB SATSUN AT 1000AM FLIPPER (U) ALSO SHOWING TUE AT 430 PREMIER SCREEN PRESENT A TIOMS DEEP IMPACT (12) (200 Not TueWed) 530 820 (PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PREMIER SCREEN IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO OVER 18 ONLY) Great Park Rubery Advance Booking Programme Information 0870 907 0726 30p booking fee per ticket Enjoy a drink and a bite at our Cafe Bar Pick up the soundtrack at The Movie Store Bite off more than you can chew at Scoop Go Due to liceminq ieou Programmes from Friday 15th May to Thursday 21st May I.

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