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January 02, 1987 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Harrison Ford, River Phoenix and Hilary Gordon in The
Mosquito Coast."

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34

Friday, January 2, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

AWARDED CERTIFICATE
BY GIA IN GRADING
& EVALUATION

Among the flood of year-end
movie releases, I have found
some big disappointments, a
couple of modest
entertainments, and one sur-
prise.
Mosquito Coast (rated; PG)
was one of the disappoint-
ments. I expected a lot. The di-
rector and star, Peter Weir and
Harrison Ford, have individu-
ally and together turned out
lots of high quality work. Their
recent collaboration on Wit-
ness produced an exciting,
satisfying film. In addition, the
novel by Paul Theroux on
which the film is based has
been highly touted.
But his is one of those grand
enterprises that just doesn't
work. Ford's character, start-
ing as a cranky, eccentric
genius and ending s a malevo-
lent madman, is just plain an-
noying throughout.
I know that the movie, like
the novel, is supposed to be
about individualism and the
search for an honest way of life
in a dishonest world. But
somehow that important
theme isn't realized in this
rendition.
Ford comes off like a dis-
agreeable nut, not someone
with whom you want to spend
two hours. Why his wife in the
film, played by Helen Mirren,
wants to spend two minutes
with him is beyond com-
prehension. He drags her and
their four children into a Cen-
tral American jungle to create
a new, simple, pure life for
them. He succeeds briefly, but
then one disaster follows an-
other.
Wifey demurely follows him
into each increasingly insane
situation, calmly gathering
the children around her and
instructing them to "Do as
Daddy says." There is no at-
tempt to flesh out her char-
acter so you have no idea as to

why she follows him so blindly.
Has she been lobotomized?
There's some beautiful
photography, some striking ef-
fects, a lush musical score, and
some highly charged moments.
But, on the whole, this was a
misfire for me.

The Morning After (rated: R)
does, on the other hand, deliver
a decent share of entertain-
ment. This is mainly because of
Jane Fonda's performance. She
really shows her mettle in this
one and proves that she is, in-
deed, one of the top actresses on
the screen today.
Playing an alcoholic, fading
movie actress, Fonda is ter-
rific. She doesn't hold back or
play it safe. She lets all the
character's weaknesses hang
out. She even lets herself be
photographed with a few of the
wrinkles showing!
The other two main char-
acters are well-played by. Jeff
Bridges, who is charming and
likeable as always, and Raul
Julia, who projects just enough
undercurrent to be menacing.
The only thing missing here is
a substantive script. There just
isn't much meat. A good deal of
the "suspense" in this murder
mystery comes from the light-
ing (dim) and the music
(scary).
No, I won't be a spoilsport
and give away the identity of
the murderer. But with so few
principals there aren't a whole
lot of candidates.
My conclusion: thin but fun.
And Fonda is great.

The Color of Money (rated: R)
How can anyone make a dull
movie with stars like Paul
Newman and Tom Cruise?
Well, if you're director Martin
Scorsese I guess it is possible.
Scorsese lays his heavy hand
on this story which is essen-
tially light in nature and
comes up with a somber,

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