Notable movies for the week of May 25, 1990 -- Short reviews on recently released titles
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Notable movies for the week of May 25, 1990

The Big Bang (R)
The surprising thing about James Toback’s documentary is how much fun it is. Toback interviews several dozen of his friends and associates on the subjects of sex, love, death, art, anxiety, and the cosmos. The result is a first-rate bull session — one that’s funny, moving, and never bogs down. B+

Bird on a Wire (PG-13)
Even in an era of paint-by-numbers moviemaking, director John Badham has brought off some sort of feat. He has made a film that’s 100 percent generic — it should have been called ROMANTIC ACTION COMEDY. Mel Gibson plays a former ’60s radical who runs into ex-flame Goldie Hawn while on the lam from some government stooges. The movie is nothing but machine-tooled wisecracks and endless car chases. It pummels you with formula, until there’s nothing left to do but give in. D

Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (R)
Despite some imaginative gross-outs and a slew of creative casting turns, this slow, clunky horror-compilation film feels more like a TV show than a movie. It’s not very scary, and there isn’t much contrast among the episodes: They’re about a killer mummy, a killer cat, a killer gremlin, and a killer housewife. So much for subtlety, suggestion, atmosphere. The performers include William Hickey, David Johansen (who proves a terrific straight actor), Deborah Harry, and James Remar. C-

Bird on a Wire
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