I can report that it enraptured and delighted, and most importantly, made quiet, the houseful of little kids and their nannies with which I watched…
London had never seen anything quite like the brothers Kray, the sadistic twins who ran a protection empire and palled around with cafe society. They became celebrities of a sort. British professional criminals followed a more genteel tradition until the Krays came along in the 1950s and early 1960s. You might have gotten bashed on the head or even, after great provocation, shot dead, but until the Krays, it was unlikely anyone would pull out a sword and redecorate your face.
BELEM, Brazil The speedboat came churning too close to the big barge holding the lights and camera, and everyone could see what was going to happen. The wake slapped against the barge and rocked it, and the tall scaffolding swayed back and forth. And then slowly, with an expensive majesty, the $18,000 light toppled over and sank to the bottom of the Amazon.
Francois Truffaut once said that it was impossible to pay attention to a film shot in the house where you were born because you'd always be noticing that they wallpapered the bedroom. I knew I was in for the same sort of problem in the opening scene of "The Hot Spot" (opening Friday in Chicago). Dennis Hopper's new thriller was made in 1990 but its psychic center is 1957, and Don Johnson, who plays a mysterious stranger from out of town, roars onto the screen in a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk.
It is one of the oddest performances of recent years, an exercise in mannered behavior that has the audience snickering with disbelief before they realize it's all right to laugh because, in a way, it's supposed to be funny. The performance is by Jeremy Irons in "Reversal of Fortune," where he plays Claus von Bulow, a man accused of attempting to murder his wife.
Bill Murray dribbled into the hotel suite and sank the basketball in a chair in the corner. He was wearing your average after-school jock's uniform of jeans, a T-shirt, and designer running shoes, and he said he needed a shave. He disappeared into the bathroom and then stuck his face out again, covered with lather, and asked, "How do you plan to explain your one-star review of 'Scrooged'?"
Between Beverly Hills and the Valley. He came around a curve and saw a car coming straight at him - a driver trying to pass five cars. On one side of Beatty was oncoming traffic. On the other side was a 100-foot drop.
LOS ANGELES -- Helen Mirren remembers that she took a deep breath after she read the screenplay for "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover," and then she thought, "Well, yes, it is a dangerous film. It's deep and complex and we're not skating around any issues. It's on the cutting edge, quite apart from the content -- look at the style of the filmmaking, the artificiality of it, the strangeness of the dialogue. I knew it was dangerous, but I didn't think it was that dangerous. You know, that X-rated thing, because that's a different kind of thing altogether."
The movie is called "Blue Steel," and Jamie Lee Curtis stars in it as a female cop who can't convince her superiors that a psychopath is trying to kill her. But first he wants to scare her. So he materializes out of shadows and from behind parked cars and from darkened stairways, and he toys with her emotions until she's a basket case. Meanwhile, he's murdering other people all over town--and when the cops dig the bullets out of the dead bodies, they all have her name etched on them.
LOS ANGELES -- When Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" begins turning up in video stores in late January, the video industry will be watching the sales figures with intense curiosity. Not because there's any suspense over the film's popularity - it's expected to sell millions of copies. But because this will be an acid test for the controversial practice of "letterboxing."
Where do I start? With his tattooed lady? With how he hugged the mongoloid children to coax performances from them? Perhaps with the elephant's funeral, when the enormous casket went tumbling down the hillside, and the shanty people tore it open to get at the fresh meat inside?