Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate. credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Air Force One (IS) (Wolfgang Petersen. US. I997) Harrison Ford. Gary Oldman. Glenn Close. l24 mins. Kazhakstani terrorists hijack the White House‘s private 747. so President James Marshall (Ford) has to put his own life on the line to save the day. There's no attempt to take the piss out of US gung-ho positivism. so instead we have an overextended excuse to show American resourcefulness triumphing once again. The whole ass-whupping jingoism of it all is particularly virulent. General release. An American Werewolf In Paris ( I 8) (Anthony Waller. US. I997) Tom Everett Scott. Julie Delpy. Vince Vieluf. John Landis's I98] movie An American Werewolf In London was an entertaining mix of scares and black comedy. British director Waller managed the same balance in his debut. Mitre Witness. so could be a good replacement — and digital technology promises even better transformations. General release.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (IS) (Jay Roach. US. I997) Mike Myers. Elizabeth Hurley. Michael York. 94 mins. Austin Powers. the Sixties' silliest superspy. is brought out of suspended animation and pitted him against his old nemesis. But the world has moved on three decades. so his un-PC catchphrases and behaviour create a bit of a comic time-clash. Written by and starting Wayneis World's Mike Myers. Austin Powers- has perfect detail. spot-on casting and a hilarious mix of clever pastiche and toilet gags. Edinburgh: UCI. Largs: Barrfields.
Batman 8t Robin (PG) (Joel Schumacher. US. I997) George Clooney. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chris O‘Donnell. 130 mins. Moving even further way from the Gothic melancholy ofTim Burton's first two films. the fourth Barman movie brings in Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and disaffected scientist Dr Freeze (Schwarzenegger). Thurman's scene-stealing performance saves the ﬁlm from total failure. while Clooney does exactly what's required. btit no more. Noisy. empty and without a hint of wit or intelligence. Glasgow: Virgin. Odeon: Edinburgh. Irvine: Magnum.
Bean (PG) (Mel Smith. UK. I997) Rowan Atkinson. Peter MacNicol. Pamela Reed. 97 mins. Bean the movie makes an attempt to broaden the range of Atkinson's tremendously successful TV sight-gag character by sending him off to California to be mistaken for an art expert. Most gags are agreeably daft; several are tiresomer lavatorial; eventually. however. the film upholds family values and true blue American schmaltz. General release.
The Big Heat (l8) (Fritz Lang. US. I953) Glenn Ford. Gloria Grahame. Lee Marvin. 90 mins. Muscular thriller as ex-cop Ford tries to track down his wife’s killer and nab a crime ring with the assistance of Grahame‘s sympathetic moll. Marvin is a blisterineg vicious villain. stubbing out cigarettes on a human ash-tray and scalding Grahame with the contents of a coffee pot. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Big Night (l5) (Stanley Tucci/Campbell Scott. US. I995) Stanley 'I‘ucci. Tony Shalhoub. lan Holm. ll0 mins. Brothers
Pri mo and Secondo Pilaggi run a New Jersey Italian restaurant that's all btit bankrupt because of Primo‘s punctilious attitude to cuisine. so Secondo is persuaded to set up a ‘big night‘ for famous singer Louis Prima. The 50s setting is nicely btit simply detailed. the characterisations strongly observed and the dialogue gently humorous. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Career Girls (IS) (Mike leigli. UK. l997) Katrin Cartlidge. Lynda Steadman. Joe Tucker. 86 mins. Career Girls doesn‘t work within a narrative. but a series of character encounters. playing out in two time-frames. Annie and Hannah meet up fora reunion weekend years after they shared a ﬂat together as students. In the present and in the past. they cross paths — with credibility
28 THE “ST 23 Oct—6 Nov I997
stretched to breaking point — with a past boyfriend. another flatmate. and a schizophrenic fellow student. The emotions and social backdrop ring true where the characters themselves crucially do not. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Casino (I8) (Martin Scorsese. US. I995) Robert De Niro. Sharon Stone. Joe Pesci. I78 mins. Lifetime gambler Ace Rothstein is chosen as the mob‘s man in Vegas. and runs the casinos smoothly until things fall apart during the 70s. Scorsese‘s latest gangster epic has a touch of Greek tragedy about its downfall of a self-made man. but it’s too much in Com/FeI/as' territory to be special. Stone delivers the performance of her career. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Cat Chaser (18) (Abel Ferrara. US. 1989) Peter Weller. Kelly McGillis. Thomas Milian. 102 mins. Elmore Leonard‘s twisting and turning thriller makes it to the big screen in a version he co-scripted. Unlike some previous attempts to filtii his skilfully crafted crime novels. this one makes the transition with some credibility. Weller falls forfemmeﬁimle McGillis and undertakes complex manoeuvres to win her. A strange voice-over helps hold the plot together. as does the score by jazz composer Chick Corea. Edinburgh: Cameo. Chinatown (Roman Polanski. US. I974) Jack Nicholson. Faye Dunaway. John Huston. l3l mins. Private eye Jake Gittes takes on a routine case in I937 LA and ends up uncovering more than he bargained for. Splendid conspiracy thriller with a handsome period look and a quite superlative cast. Despite rumours spread by Nicholson and Polanski. though. the nose- slitting scene was faked. Edinburgh: Cameo. The Cloud-Capped Star (IS) (Ritwik Ghatak. India. I960) 126 mins. Neither a Bollywood extravaganza nor the precise lyricism of Satyajit Ray. Ghatak‘s evocation of a woman's struggle to retain hope in an unjust world is a highly mannered. forcefully emotional melodrama. The purpose isn't simply to describe the daily grind of post-war India. but also the wider effects of modernity on a society already contending with its own primitiveness. Glasgow: GFT.
Contact (PG) (Robert Zemeckis. US. I997) Jodie Foster. Matthew McConaughey. James Woods. l50 mins. Based on the Carl Sagan bestseller. this epic story of man‘s first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence is beset throughout by arrant nonsense and miscalculation. Foster is the researcher specialising in the monitoring of radio waves from the ether who picks tip a communication signal from another planet. Zemeckis has inherently fascinating subject matter throughout. btit shows a truly depressing lack of imagination in bringing it to the screen. General release. Delicatessen (l5) (Jean-Pierre Jeunct/Marc Caro. France. I991) Dominique Pinon. Marie-Laure Dougnac. Jean-Claude Dreyfus. 99 mins. In a sepia wasteland somewhere in the future. a butcher feeds his neighbours with thejuicy joints of his lodgers. Btit when former clown Louison (Pinon) arrives and falls for his daughter. an underground vegetarian resistance group come to the rescue. Hilarious blend of bizarre characters. slapstick and comic tension makes for the first true cult item of the ‘90s. Edinburgh: I-‘ilmhouse. Desperate Remedies (15) (Stewart Main/Peter Wells. New Zealand. 1993) Jennifer Ward-lealand. Kevin Smith. Lisa Chappell. 92 mins. Htiiik stumbles off boat into fin-de-siecle N7. town and is immediately set tipon by a millner who reckons he could wean her opium addict sister from her nasty boyfriend. Melodrama? Stylised taffeta sets‘.’ labyrinthine narrative? You've got the lot here in this in-your-facc exercise in flashy visuals. lidinbtirgh: Filmhottse.
Devil In A Blue Dress ( l5) (Carl Franklin. US. I995) Derich Washington. Jennifer licals. 'l'om Sizcmore. l0? mins. The social realism and detailed atmosphere remain true in Franklin‘s screen translation of Walter Mosley‘s novel. with the added bonus of superb photography and a sensuous performance by Washington. Ilc stars as liasy Rawlins. newly unemployed in post- WW2 LA and trying to earn a buck searching for a mysterious woman. 'lhc
Chandler tradition with a more cynical racial twist. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Dirty Laundry (IS) (US. I996) Jay Thomas. "less Harper. 92 mins. A laundry baron is struggling through his mid-life crisis. in danger of losing his hair and his business. and so he thinks a quick affair is the solution to his crumbling marriage. Meanwhile. his wife believes the same. Glaswegian writer-producer Michael Normand. who wrote Leon The Pig I-‘urnier will discuss the film at the screening on Tue 28 Oct. Glasgow: GFT.
Donnie Brasco (l8) (Mike Newell. US. I997) Al Pacino. Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen. I20 mins. In the late 70s. FBI agent Joe Pistone (Depp) goes undercover in a mafia crackdown. but the friendship he strikes with ageing hitman Lefty Ruggiero (Pacino) will surely lead to a death sentence for one of them. The workings of the gangster world are laid bare in a movie that has moments of tension and violence. btit is essentially driven by character and performance. St Andrews: New Picture House.
Double Indemnity (PG) (Billy Wilder. US. I944) Barbara Stanwyck. Fred McMurray. Edward G. Robinson. 106 mins. Cracking adaptation by Wilder and Raymond Chandler of the James M. Cain novel has insurance man Mthirray attracted by the alluring Stanwyck. who talks him into murdering her spouse. and all goes well until his boss Iidward G. begins to suspect foul play. Sexual chemistry. labyrinthine plotting tart wordplay. it‘s all here. A classic. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Event Horizon ( l8) (Paul Anderson. US/UK. I997) Laurence l-‘ishburne. Sam Neill. Joely Richardson. 9| mins. The crew of a rescue ship discover that hell has been unleashed inside a missing craft that reappears near Neptune. as their deepest fears begin to terrorise them in physical form. Iii-en! llm'i:tm boasts stunning "I‘echno Medieval‘ design; btit tight editing leaves the characterisation and story stripped to within an inch of their lives. Glasgow: City Centre ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. UCI.
Face (I8) (Antonia Bird. UK. 1997) Robert Carlyle. Ray Winstone. Stephen Waddington. l00 mins. Think The Long (imitl Friday. think Ger Curler. Ray (Carlyle) and his gatig of [East [End criminals pull off an armed robbery. btit when the loot goes missing. it becomes obvious they have been stitched tip by one of their own. I‘tlt't‘ tackles the spectre of the 'lhatcher years within the framework of a crime thriller. and the results are hit and miss. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Showcase. Iidinbtirgh: UCI. Iiast Kilbride: UCI.
The Falcon Takes Over (PG) (Irving Reiss. US. I943) George Sanders. Lynn Bari. Ward Bond. 65 mins. Regarded as one of the best in the series. the story finds the Falcon mixed tip in a familiar world of killers and ft'llllllt’xA/(lltllt’s. Based on Raymond Chandler's l’ureit'ell My Lovely. the witty script moves at a cracking pace. Edinburgh: Cameo.
52 Pick Up ( I8) (John I-‘rankcnheimer. US. I986) Roy Scheider. Ann-Margaret. John Glover. l l-l iiiitis. This decent enough screen version of Iilmore Leonard‘s novel
Corpse with laughter: the dead arise in An American Werewolf In Paris
shifts the action to LA where a married man's affair sets him up for blackmail and. subsequently. as a murder suspect. Excellent performances give life to the rich characters. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Fools Rush In (I2) (Andy Tennant. US. I997) Matthew Perry. Salma Hayek. Jon Tenney. I09 mins. Mexican chalk (Hayek) meets all-American cheese (Perry) in this romantic comedy which attempts to convince us that love can triumph over polar differences. The film's failing is that these differences are so coarsely depicted — multi- racial relationships become crazy caricatures and howling cliches. Some magnificent shots of canyons. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. UCI Clydebank. Edinburgh: UCI. East Kilbride: UCI.
Free Willy 3: The Rescue (U) (Sam Pillsbury. US. I997) Jason James Richter. August Schellenberg. Annie Corley. 86 mins. Boy and killer whale team up again to drive home an environmental message for the 90s when Willy the orca and family are threatened by the hunters on a whaling boat. Better than its bland predecessor. Free Willy .i develops the usual formula. and benefits from moulding the character of the main antagonist as an old-style hunter rather than the corporate villains of previous instalments. General release.
From Dusk Till Dawn ( l 8) (Robert Rodriguez. US. I996) George Clooney. Harvey Keitel. Quentin Tarantino. I08 mins. For its first third. this Tarantino-scripted movie is a suspenseful kidnap thriller as two killers on the run (Clooney and Tarantino) hole up with three hostages in a Mexican strip club. Then the tone changes into an sfx-heavy vampire western as the clientele spring fangs. Repetition abounds in a messy. tedious affair that's neither scary nor funny. Edinburgh: ABC City Centre.
The Full Monty ( l5) (Peter Cattaneo. UK. I997) Robert Carlyle. Tom Wilkinson. Mark Addy. 92 mins. Carlyle plays Gary. an unemployed Sheffield steclworker who. along with an odd mix of former colleagues. decides to go one better than the Chippendale troupes that fill the local halls. Cattaneo's laugh-out-loud film comes from the same tradition as BI'(I.\‘.\‘(‘(/ Off. mixing comedy with a strong social conscience and showing unemployment as an emasculating experience. General release.
Gallipoli (Peter Weir. Australia. I98 I) Mark Lee. Mel Gibson. Bill Hunter. lll mins. Epic account of the horriﬁc massacre of ANZAC troops on the Turkish beach-head at Gallipoli during the First World War was coolly received on its initial release. but achieved a certain emotional truth to ﬂesh out its action sequences. The relationship between Lee and Gibson as two buddies who join tip is convincing. and stays the right side of sentimental. Willi A Debt Of Honour. a documentary on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Iidinbtirgh: Filnihouse.
The Game (l5) (David Fincher. US. I997) Michael Douglas. Sean Penn. Deborah Kara Unger. 128 mins. Fincher's follow-up to Seven is a psychological thriller with more twists than a helter-skelter. Douglas plays a lonely investment banker whose wastrel brother presents him with a gift certificate for a shadowy company that tailors