16 MONTROSE VOICE/FEBRUARY 13. 1987
New Movies Feature Successful
Suspense, Mundane Morality
Review by Bill O'Rourke
a Black Widow
Black Widow is a very stylish detective
story. It's not a who-done-it. We know
whom right from the beginning. So does
the police woman. Once she notices that
the method is suspiciously the same
between several similar deaths, the only
other link is the mysterious lady.
The detective befriends her to find
out. But that lifestyle is so seductive
that she becomes swept up into it. She
finds she loves the sensuality, the glamour, the passion. And the man who is
slated to be the next victim.
It doesn't look like she can save him.
In fact, she's being systematically
framed for his death. Even should she
be able to escape, will she ever be the
same person again? Will any of us? The
ever-enduring human black widow will.
Catharine (Theresa Russell, center) ensnares Alex (Debra Winger) in a
deadly game when she introduces her to her next victim, a millionaire
named Paul (Sami Frey), in "Black Widow"
We know how she does it. She administers poison in such an ingenious way
that the victims always die while she is
out of town and they are off-screen.
What intrigues the investigator,
played by Debra Winger, and all the rest
of us is why she does it. Not in the way
that is fairly obvious—for the money.
But what is this murderess, played by
Theresa Russell, feeling? What makes
She romances, marries and beds all of
these men before she kills them. She
really does seem to care for them. She
surely has enough money in that Swiss
bank account by now. Yet she feels she
will be doing this for many years to
come. What is so addictive about this
kind of relationship?
It seems like she will be the same
enigma forver. The filmmakers give us
an emotional understanding for her, but
they never make the mistake of trying to
reduce her to words.
Director Bob Rafelson and director of
photography Conrad L. Hall shot a lot
of this film in gorgeous locations—the
mountains around Seattle and the black
sand beaches and erupting volcanoes of
Hawaii. Production designer Gene Callahan had the indoor scenes lit stunningly. All of that style combines well
with the substance of Ronald Bass'
script to give us a true edge-of-the-seat
□ Light of Day
There was once a movie about a young
female rock singer in Cleveland. She
was involved with a young male who
upheld the traditional values in the face
of that city's grinding, redneck poverty.
The movie became a comic send-up of
old invaders from space horror movies.
It was a flop called Howard the Duck.
Now Joan Jett is playing a young
female rock singer from Cleveland in
Light of Day. The only family member
she feels can even begin to understand
her is her younger brother, played by
Michael J. Fox.
Because ofthe trauma of giving birth
out of wedlock, she has developed a live
only for the moment philosophy. So he
is really the only man she has any kind
of an ongoing relationship.
He stands firmly for traditional
values: family and responsibility. He
tries very hard to reconcile her with
their born-again mother (played by
Gena Rowlands). But when his sister
goes too far for even him to forgive, he
kidnaps her son (cute little Billy Sullivan) to give him a proper upbringing.
Because it extols the virtues of people
living in poverty, this movie stays true
to its surrondings. Director Paul
Schrader has relentessly driven to the
heart of lower-middle class mediocrity.
The movie has an overwhelming
The music (and there is a lot of it) is all
really good rock. They're all really down
songs. I didn't even feel emotionally
uplifted or inspired at the meaningful,
happy ending. It was only a return to
dealing steadfastly with a boring life.
I can easily see this movie as a hit
among the art houses. But as a commercial release, I don't think it's going anywhere.
By then, I've been wrong in Cleveland
The Color of Money
Hannah and Her Sisters
Mannequin— A young stockroom clerk
assembles his perfect woman, and she
somehow comes to life.
Over the Top— What is it with arm
wrestling, already? Now it's Sty Stallone's turn.
Winner Take All— Motorcross! Now
that's a much more photogenic sport!
Children of a Lesser God (Belair)
A Place of Weeping (Belair)
Last Tango in Paris (River Oaks, 13)
The Petrified Forest and The Little
Foxes (Rice Media Center, 13). ONO!
Signore e Signori (MFA, 13). ONO!
Michael J. Fox plays Joe Rasnick, a
blue collar worker with dreams of
becoming a musician, in "Light of
The Official Story (Rice Media Center, 14 & 15)—presented for Amnesty
Sedotta e Abbandonata (MFA, Hi-
Seduced and abandoned. ONO!
The Seven Samurai (River Oaks, 15)—
Vedo Nudo (MFA, 15)—I See Nude.
A Night at the Opera (River Oaks,
18)—the Marx Brothers!
Potemkin and Metropolis (Rice Media
Center, 19). ONO!
Lincoln Hawk (Sylvester Stallone) pits his ability and will to win against
"Bull" Hurley (Rick Zumwalt) in a match that will determine the World
Armwrestling Champion in "Over the Top"
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