Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Absolute Power ( )5) (Clint Eastwood. US. I997) Clint Eastwood. Gene Hackman. Ed Ham's. IZI mins. During a tight and gripping opening twenty minutes of edge- of-the~seat cinema. older-aged art thief Luther Whitney (Eastwood) witnesses a rather compomising bonk-fest while burglarising a mansion one night. then finds himself implicated in a scandal that goes to the top of society. To reveal much more of the plot would be to spoil those spellbinding initial moments which. along with the performances from Glenn and Davis. really are the finest parts of the movie. The rest is something of a let down. See review. General release.
Anaconda ( )5) (Luis Llosa. US. 1997) Jennifer Lopez. Iiric Stoltz. Jon Voight. 90 mins. In the Amazon. a documentary film crew and a mysterious stranger are pitted against a giant snake. which proceeds to pick them off with an admirable appreciation of star billing. The creature is a triumph of special effects in its spectacular killing style. though not especially realistic- Iookiiig. so audiences will either walk out or decide to stay and enjoy the whole ludicrous affair in all its camp glory. (ilasgow: UCI Clydebank. Iidinburgh: UCI. Irvine: WMR. Anna Karenina ( I 2) (Bernard Rose. US. I997) Sean Bean. Sophie Marceau. Alfred Molina. I08 mins. A truly disastrous Tolstoy adaptation. which sets the doomed Karenina love story against the authentic backdrop of imperial Russia. is scuppered by idiotic casting and a turgid attempt at a script. The settings are lavish. 'l‘chaikovsky is trowelled on every time a character so much as coughs. bill the cumulative effect borders on the laughable (ilasgow: (irosvcnor. ()deon Quay. lidinburgh: ()deon. IFCI. (ireenock: Waterfront.
Apocalypse Now! t )8) ti-‘rancis Coppola. US. I980) Martin Sheen. Marlon Brando. Robert Duvall. I53 mins. Vietnam as the Ultimate Trip. We follow I'S Army assassin Sheen downriver and deeper into the Near! ()fl)tti'km’.vv ruled over by Brando‘s mad Colonel Kurtz. Alternater pretentious and visually overpowering (the Valkyries helicopter attack. for example). its grandiloquent folly somehow pierces right to the bone of the conflict. Iidinburgh: Cameo.
Baby’s Day Out (P(i) (Patrick Read Johnson. US. I994) Joe Mantegna. Lara I-‘lynn Boyle. Brian lIaIey. 98 mins. Talk abotit regression? After Home Alone and Dennis. writer John Hughes tiow has a drooling toddler on the loose in the big city after he escapes from his kidnappers. led by man-witIi-no-shame Mantegna. Saccharine sweet storytelling which diabetics would be well advised to steer clear of. Ayr: ()deon. Beautiful Girls (IS) (Ted Demme. US. I996) Matt Dillon. Timothy Hutton. Uma Thurman. I I3 mins. It) a Big Chill-iin scenario. the young men of a small New
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Iingland town have a weekend reunion in order to indulge in some psychological navel-gazing. liven the women of the title can't enliven the proceedings. Iidinburgh: I-‘iImhouse.
Beavis And Butt-head Do America ( I 2) (Mike Judge. US. I997) Mike Judge. SI mins. America's slackest slackers go from the small to the big screen taking their toilet humour with them and causing mayhem across the US in search of a stolen TV and an unlikely opportunity to score. Needless to say things don‘t go as planned and the usual pant-obsessed gags follow. For devotees mainly. (ieneral release.
Big Night (15) (Stanley 'I‘ucci/Campbell Scott. US. I995) Stanley Tucci. Tony Shalhoub. Ian Holm. II() mins. Brothers Primoand Secondo Pilaggi run a New Jersey Italian restaurant that's all btit bankrupt because of Primo's punctilious attitude to his cuisine. so Secondo is persuaded to set tip a ‘big night' for the famous singer Louis Prima. The 50s setting is nicely btit simply detailed. the characterisations stroneg observed. and the dialogue gently humorous. A warm and inviting independent movie that doesn't slip into easy resolutions. See preview and review. (ilasgow: (ii-'I'. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Bill Viola: Landscapes Of The Mind too mins. Viola. one of the world's leading artists working with video and media techniques. currently has an exhibition at Edinburgh‘s Pruitmarket Gallery. which features his latest large scale projections. The Messenger and The Crossing. This retrospective screening brings together his single screen work Deserts ( I995) with three earlier classics — T/ie Reﬂecting Poo/. Choir el-Djerid and Halsu liinia. lidinbtirgh: Filmhouse.
Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut ( l 5) (Ridley Scott. US. I982/92) Harrison Ford. Sean Young. Rutger Hauer. I I6 mins. ()tit go the pseudo-noir narration and the tacked- on happy ending; in comes a more defined sense that Deckard himself may be a replicant. The look and feel remain as powerful. and the acting is superb. A flawed masterpiece is now a restored masterpiece. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Bound (I8) (Larry and Andy Wachowski. US. I996) Jennifer Tilly. (iina (ierson. Joe Pantoliano. 97 mins. [ix-con Corky (Gershon) is seduced by Violet (Tilly) into helping steal $2 million from mob money- Iaunderer Caesar (Pantoliano). but the sting doesn't go smoothly. After a slightly cliched opening. oozing with steamy lesbian sex. the Wachowski’s neo-noir thriller truly comes into its own. Tightly plotted and full of stylish quirks. its story takes unpredictable twists to keep any of the characters holding all the cards at one time. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
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Under guard: John Malkovich gets dangerous in Con Air
Brassed Off ( I 5) (Mark Herman. UK. I996) Iiwan McCiregor. Tara Fitzgerald. Pete Postlethwaite. I05 mins. When the local pit is due to be closed down. it‘s the end of the day for the colliery brass band as well. even though they've got a chance at winning the national competition. Politics are the heart of the story. btit writer-director Harmen has created a film that balances nicely between pithy humour and heartbreaking poignance. I’erformanccs are excellent. particularly Rallykiss-anee/‘s Stephen 'I'ompkinson. I-Idinbtirgh: l-‘ilmliouse,
The Break-In ( l 5) (l’rank Beyer. (iermany. I988) (iotz (ieorge. ()tto Sander. Rolf Hoppe. I I9 mins. Filmmakers from liast and West (iermany combined to make this entertaining crime movie. based on a true story. about various Iow-Iifes in 40s Berlin. Iidinburgh: l:lllllll()ll.\‘c.
Carla’s Song ( I 5) (Ken I.oach. L'K. I996) Robert Carlyle. ()yanka Cabezas. Scott (ilenn. I27 mins. A more commercially viable outing for l.oach. without a loss of political commitment. Carlyle plays (ilasgwegian btis driver (ieorgc. who gives tip everything to help refugee Carla return to Nicaragua and find her boyfriend. The love story aspect of the first (Scottish) half of the film is its strongest point; the revelations in Central America don't hold surprises nor does the director seetn totally at home with the ‘action‘ elements. Carlyle. however. is excellent — mildly tough and totally charming. Irvine: Magnum.
Cold Comfort Farm (PG) (John Schlesinger. UK. I995) Kate Beckinsale. .Discermng TV drama fans will already have had the chance to see Malcolm Bradbury ‘s adaptation of the Stella (iibbons novel — twice — in the comfort of their own homes. Beckinsale is simply marvellous dahling as the self-assured I93()s heroine
vs ho goes to live with her eccentric country bumpkin relatives after the death of her parents. The performances are idiosyncratic btit never overplayed. Iendingjust the right level of surrealism to the whole fun romp. (ilasgow: (ii-T.
Con Air I I5) (Simon West. US. I997) Nicolas Cage. John Malkovich. John Ctisack. I I2 mins. Sit down. strap yourself in. stick your head into the roar of the jet engine of this noisy. stretch-the-credibiIity movie. Cage plays a manslaughter parolee whose prison plane ride home is hijacked by \ icious convict Malkovich. so he draws on his military training and strong sense of honour to save the innocents in the air from certain death. liven under a constant attack of big bangs. action set-pieces and dry onc- Iiners. the audience can't help btit wrinkle its collective brow at the plots illogical hiccups. See review. (iencral release. Crash t IX) (David Cronenberg. Canada.
I996) James Spader. Holly Hunter. Elias Koteas. I()() mins. Finally passed uncut. (‘raslz is not — as the Daily Mail and local councils would have you believe — a film which will inspire copycat car crashes or copulation amidst the ensuing wreckage. Instead it is a cool. insidioust disturbing study of an evolving human pathology based on eroticised car crashes and techno- fantasies. livery hetero and homosexual permutation is explored as the fixed boundaries of ‘normal' sexuality give way to a creatively ‘perverse' fluidity. Provocative. extreme and intellectually exhilarating. See review. (ilasgow: Odeon Quay (tbc). lidinbtirgh: Cameo.
Cyclo (l8) (Tran Anh Hung. I-‘rance/Vietnam. 1995) Le Van Loc. Tran Nu Yen Khe. Tony Leung Chiu Wai. l29 mins. A teenage pedal-cab driver has his vehicle stolen by a rival gang and. in order to pay back the owner. falls in with a group of criminals. Unlike the director‘s sensitive debut The Scent Of Green Papaya. this is an uncompromising look into a moral abyss that builds to a ferocious plane of violence. lidinbtirgh: l-‘ilmhotise.
Dante's Peak (12) (Roger Donaldson. US. 1997) Pierce Brosnan. Linda Hamilton. Charles Hallahan. I09 mins. A volcanologist (Brosnan). haunted by the past. arrives in an idyllic town and tries to persuade the nice lady mayor (Hamilton) that a dormant volcano is about to erupt. In true Jaws style. the bigwigs don‘t want to cause panic. and a couple of kids are missing up the mountain. Disaster of a huge scale. Daniels Peak works on its special effects level. but the dialogue and characterisation is abysmal. Iidinburgh: Cameo.
Desperado ( 18) (Robert Rodriguez. US. I995) Antonio Banderas. Salma Hayek. Joachim De Almeida. I00 mins. Part sequel. part big budget remake. Desperado delivers all the shoot-outs and explosions denied us in Rodriguez's inventive debut El Mariachi. Banderas smoulders as the revenge-driven guitarist. btit the emphasis is not on plot — delight instead in the glorious action set pieces. The ultimate firearm flamenco. Iidinbtirgh: ()deon.
Donnie Brasco (18) (Mike Newell. US. I997) Al Pacino. Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen. 127 mins. Depp plays a federal agent who gains the confidence of mob tinderling Al Pacino as part of a major surveillance operation in late '70s New York. but their growing bond threatens the forthcoming bust. Through his eyes. we learn the language. rituals. and economic realities of being a made man. The violence and setting might not be new, but the filnmiakers play with genre expectations. (ilasgow: (irosvenor. ()deons. UCI (‘Iydebank lidinhurgh: Odeon. UCI. Ayr: ()deon.