Preview of the year

Welcome to 1997 and 365 more action-packed days and fun-filled nights. We’ve been busy phoning, faxing, researching and yacking and this is the result: a look ahead to the best of 97. From movie mayhem to club culture, we’ve got the juicy bits.

Get out there and pluck your favourite cherries!

The good

Ransom: Mel Glbson and Rene Russo busts some blocks

Starshlp Troopers (Aug)

It could have the combined pull of Independence Day and Jurassic Park if director Paul Verhoeven doesn't get too carried away with the ultra-violence. The plot: giant ants battle with a 23rd century human army for domination of the universe.

The Lost World (Jul) Four years after the carnage in Jurassic Park. there are signs that dinosaurs are loose again. Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dem and Richard Attenborough repn’se their roles in Spielberg’s sequel to the biggest film ever-ever-ever.

A Life less Ordinary (autumn) The writer-director-producer team behind Trainspotting and Shallow Grave get together again with Ewan McGregor for an offbeat romantic comedy about a Scot in America who kidnaps his ex- boss’s daughter (Cameron Diaz) and is pursued by assassins who turn out to be angels.

Romeo And Juliet (Feb) The film that turned America‘s teenagers on to Shakespeare no doubt the sexy presence of Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes helped, but it’s really Baz (Strictly Ballroom) Luhrmann’s brightly coloured. hallucinogenic take on the play that has brought the Bard into the 90s.

8 The List 10-23 Jan 1997

Ransom (7 Feb) In his first starring role since Brave/wart. Mel Gibson plays a tycoon who jumps into action mode when his son is kidnapped and an FBI rescue operation goes awry. Expect this to be the year’s first blockbuster. Showcase Cinemas (April) The boom in west coast cinema screens continues as Showcase Cinemas open a second site in Linwood. near Paisley following their plush and spacious Glasgow East multiplex at Coatbridge in November.

Titanic (Dec) James Cameron turns his hand to a disaster movie with a touch of period romance. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are trapped on the sinking liner. which was shot on a detailed llOft model of the original ship.

Mars Attacks! (28 Feb) ()ne of the

weirdest sci-ft movies this year will be '

Tim Burton’s spoof on 50s invasion movies. as a horde of computer- animated little green men with over- sized brains run amok in America. confounding President Jack Nicholson and. ehm. singer-tumed-action-hero Tom Jones.

Dante’s Peak (Mar) What 'I‘wister did for tomados. this one does for volcanoes. Pierce Brosnan‘s scientist teams up with small town mayor Linda Hamilton to resuce a couple of kids trapped up a mountain that‘s about to blow.

The Slab Boys (summer) John Byrne directs the movie version of his ever- popular play about life in a Paisley factory. shot in Scotland with a cast of newcomers. Other Scottish films to hit the big screen include Stella Does Tricks (summer). with 'I'rainspotting's Kelly Macdonald in her first lead role as a teenage prostitute (see feature); the dark Glaswegian noir The Near Room (Mar); and Regeneration (autumn). Gillies Mackinnon’s take on Pat Barker‘s war novel, starring Jonny Lee Miller. Batman And Robin (Jul) liR‘s George Clooney steps into the batsuit. with Chris O‘Donnell back as Robin and a bit of help coming from Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. Villainy is afoot in the shape of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Mr Freeze and Uma Thurman‘s Poison Ivy.

Jerry Magulre (7 Mar) Tom Cruise plays the charm card as a disgraced sports agent finding a new lease in life when he backs a supposedly second rate athlete.

Poor Things Alasdair Gray's script from his own novel is one of a bunch of new Scottish films beginning production in l997. ()thers worth waiting for include John McGrath's version of Neil Gunn‘s book The Silver Darlings. Simon Donald‘s adaptation of his play The Life OfSnif/‘and Bill Forsyth's as yet untitled new feature. rumoured to star John Gordon Sinclair in a follow-up role to Gregory's Girl.

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Borneo and Juliet: leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes talk Shakespeare

Grace Of My Heart (2| Feb) Allison Anders‘s tale of a woman struggling through the late 50s and 60s to win recognition as a singer-songwriter boasts a star-making performance by llleana Douglas and an Oscar certainty for Best Song in the Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach collaboration ‘God Give Me Strength'.

Hercules (Oct) For the studio‘s 35th animated feature. Disney continues its recent trend of including big name stars in the vocal cast. James Woods and Danny De Vito join the list in a cartoon romp through ancient mythology.

And don’t forget the re-release of the Star Wars Trilogy (Mar); Harrison Ford as an Irish-American cop up against lrish terrorist Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own (April); Robin Wright in a big screen Moll Flanders (9 May); Sylvester Stallone lighting police corruption in Copland (summer); Robert De Niro and Ethan Hawke in a modern-day Great Iz'xpeetations (24 Oct); and Woody Allen's first musical. Everyone Says I Love. You (25 Apr). starring Tim Roth. Drew Barrymore. Goldie Hawn. Julia Roberts and Alan Alda. (Alan Morrison)