Movies

|

• Art Carney and Lily Tomlin give Oscar-level performances in THE LATE SHOW, a wry updating of the sturdy private eye genre. Carney plays an aging gumshoe, battling both the forces of evil and the ravages of time. Tomlin is a tripped-out Hollywood trendie, spouting astrology, mysticism and new wave psychology in equal doses. Not the least of the delights of this movie is the language barrier between Carney's early-day Marlowe and Tomlin's latter-day hippie. The convoluted plot, with multiple murders, double-crosses and unexpected twists, keeps events moving at a brisk pace. Screenwriter and director Robert Benton has done an excellent job of blending two widely disparate lifestyles into a unique relationship. Rated "PG."

• AIRPORT '77 is as exciting as a roller coaster ride, and as shallow as the water in which a hijacked jumbo jet sinks after crashing into the sea off the coast of Florida. An all-star cast is trapped in the plane's pressurized cabin, and its members react in various ways, from the haggard heroics of pilot Jack Lemmon to the neurotic frenzy of Lee Grant. George Kennedy as Joe Petroni, the sole holdover from the other two Airport pictures, has little more than a cameo here. James Stewart is grounded as the millionaire art collector who owns the luxury- appointed 747 jet, and whose daughter and grandson are aboard the sunken aircraft. The visual effects are stunning, especially the crash landing at sea and the Navy's efforts to raise the sunken plane before the passengers die of suffocation or drowning. The plot is strictly disaster-film formula, but Airport 77 is good for a few laughs and a bit of excitement. Rated "PG."

• As an irate reviewer said, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED should have been titled "The Turkey Has Landed." That pretty well sums up this mangled attempt at an historical thriller about a Nazi plot to kidnap Winston Churchill during World War II. The first half of the film unfolds a credible premise and a logical sequence of events. But it all falls apart when the scene shifts from Germany to England. The plot to kidnap Churchill fails long before the film ends. The remainder of the movie is padded with purposeless violence, a jarringly out-of-place low comedy sequence with Larry Hagman as a demented American officer, and a hackneyed and cliched final scene. Donald Sutherland lends some interest as an Irish revolutionary aiding the Germans, but Michael Caine is largely wasted as a semi-good-guy German officer. Jenny Agutter, as Sutherland's instant love interest, manages to look pretty and act stupid in the film's most thankless and ridiculous role. Rated "PG."

Advertisement