Daily Archives: July 1, 1990

Barroco

This feature by the talented Mexican director Paul Leduc (Reed: Insurgent Mexico and Frida) was apparently inspired by more than adapted from Concierto barroco, a novel by the celebrated Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier. A musical pageant without dialogue that recounts the history of Latin America, it includes elements of magical realism and the converging influences (musical and otherwise) of Native Americans, Spanish conquistadores, and African slaves. As in Frida, the impulse to work without dialogue leads to broad strokes and a certain amount of simplicity; there are certainly moments of interest, but often it’s as easy to be lulled by the camera movements, settings, and music as to be captivated by them. The actors and performers include Angela Molina, Francisco Rabal, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, and Van Van (1989). (JR)… Read more »

The Alamo

John Wayne directed and starred in this interminable 1960 western epic (originally 199 minutes, later reduced to 161), which has a much better supporting cast (Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Richard Boone, Carlos Arruza, and Chill Willsnot to mention Frankie Avalon and Pat Wayne) than The Green Berets, his subsequent film as a director. John Ford reportedly lent a hand in the direction, but it’s still a long way to the final attack. (JR)… Read more »

The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane

Director Renny Harlin’s second summer 1990 releaseafter Die Hard 2features notorious hate comedian Andrew Dice Clay as a detective looking into the death of a heavy-metal singer (Motley Crue’s Vince Neil). Stylish trash given Harlin’s usual efficient (if soulless) polish, this makes Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer seem like a feminist; as Gary Giddins has suggested, it’s Jerry Lewis’s Buddy Love from The Nutty Professor without a shred of irony or shading, aimed pretty squarely at sexually insecure male adolescents and no one else. It’s especially doomed by a strained script (by Daniel Waters, James Cappe, and David Arnott) that recalls certain bottom-of-the-barrel Bob Hope vehicles of the 50s in its attempts to be brittle and self-mocking in its humor. (As far as I can tell, there isn’t one laugh in sight.) With Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Morris Day, and Robert Englund, and a music score by Yello. (JR)… Read more »