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Water serpent: Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube splash around in Anaconda

Anaconda (15) 90 mins Set in the predictably unfriendly environment of the Amazon, this latest creature feature pits its snaky title character against a documentary film crew and an Ahab-like stranger. Whatever your views on man-eating animals generally, and snakes in particular, you’re likely to be rooting for the huge water-borne reptile over the various idiots that get in its way. Chief among these is Jon Voight as the mysterious Paul Sarone, apparently stranded up the Amazon but in reality determined to capture the fabled giant anaconda alive. In order to do this he must coerce a TV crew led by Eric Stoltz, lovely Jennifer Lopez and gruff Ice Cube into helping him. The snake a

triumph of special effects in its spectacular killing style, though not especially realistic-looking - proceeds to pick them off with an admirable appreciation of star billing.

While the hapless Americans try to stick together in the face of the wily Sarone and the deadly snake, audiences will either walk out or decide to stay and enjoy the whole ludicrous affair in all its camp glory. Voight delivers a remarkable performance that is neither good nor wholly bad, but worth watching just to see what eyeball-rolling nastiness he will get up to next, while the rest of the cast battle cliche after cliche in an increasingly desperate attempt to get to the closing credits. (Anwar Brett) General release from Fri 9 May

cal" -. ' _, Field of dreams: Zdenek Sverak and Andrej Chalimon in Kolya

Kolya (12)105 mins

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by language, nationality, age and blood, but v— a delicate metaphor fOr national healing in the post- Communist Czech Republic - Louka discovers how to care and love across such diVIdeS

For international audiences, this is the story of a middle-aged man's redemption from cynicism a timeless story and indubitably these are the right hands to tell it Kolya, \‘Jlflflef of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is a resonant mix of gentle humOur and weepy emotion, fine performances and brilliant crafting Andre; Chalimon, who plays Kolya, is a treaSure you'll \‘JlSll you COtild take home with you after the film (Hannah Fries)

II Glasgow Filrn Theatre and Edinburgh Ca'rtet.‘ from Fri 9 May See preview

new releases FllM

Liar Liar

(12) 87 mins * ir‘k

After the bewilderineg ill—focused Cable Guy, Jim Carrey delivers a likeable, effective, but decidedly mainstream comedy that's been a sizable hit in the US, probably because it’s such an easy idea to sell.

The comic set-up is blissfully simple. Five-year-old Max's father has missed one too many special occasion through alleged overwork, so when he’s not there to see his son blow out the candles on his cake, a simple birthday wish lays down the gauntlet hey presto, daddy has to stop telling lies for just one day' As poppa’s a lawyer, this is owaust gOing to be something of a challenge, but it's also a very workable springboard for Jim Carrest usual repertoue of play—doh facial tics and energetic slapstick. Heck, he even tries to beat himself up to get out of this one, but all to no avail.

Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac's film milks the situation for as much as it's worth It’s empty-headed fun, but there's a price - much footage of Carrey relating to children, and the dispiriting relegation of the female roles to mumsy- wumsy bland-Out, bitch dominatrix or perOXided bimbo. Stay in your seats for the out-takes selection during the end credits. (Trevor Johnston)

I General release from Fri 2 May

Truth hurts: Jim Carrey

Vertigo (15) 128 mins it t * it 1:

Alfred Hitchcock's name, for some, is synonymous \‘Jllll Norman Bates and the shower scene in Psycho, but it's Vertigo that’s often remembered as his all-time great Great enough, in fact, to” have been recently resust‘itated from the 1958 original material and restored to life on the big screen Opening With Scottie Ferguson's (James Stewart) discovery of his severe fear of heights, we're taken on a dizzying exploration of his obsession g \‘Jllll Madeleine (Kim Novak), the shady lady whose ghostly past ~ ominously unfurls before him An arresting masterpiece that uses bizarre, innovative camera tethnigues, Vertigo has a thr:lling, dream-like quality that gets us breathlessly taught tip in Scottie's l)S\/(l‘.()il)’ll(tll terror Despite its age, the film's intrigue often surpasses the average thrills if a modern fltlll-iilif‘l' Relentless stuff from a dlfO(lOl whose favourite film, allegedly, was {zen/i i'Aiifa Akbar)

:1 Edinburgh Fi/rnhouse from Fri 9 May

ALSO OPENING It Takes Two (PG) 100 mins.

The potentially cloying combination of romantic comedy and orphaned kids :5 strongly to the fore as case worker Diane (Kirstie Alley) and millionaire widower Roger (Steve Guttenberg) are matc'nmade by identical girls. Usmg their mirror-image looks to advantage, parentless tomboy Amanda and lonely heiress Alyssa switch identities in order to orchestrate a meeting between the adults and Create the stable family unit they've both been longing for. And when the lovestruck couple do get together, sparks fly but unfortunately Roger's socialite fiancee Clarice (Jane Sibbett) doesn't like the fairytale ending. On paper, it all sounds very manufactured, With two stars who aren't exactly in the premiere league lt might make for an unchallenging night in front of the Video recorder, but does this lightweight scenario really merit the price of cinema admisSIon7 (Alan f‘.l()fllSOfll

I Limited release from Fri 2 May

Cheers, my dears: Kirstie Alley

2* 18 May 1991’ THELIST 27