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FILM new releases


Gorilla tactics: Brendan Fraser and Ape in George Of The Jungle

George Of The Jungle (U) 91 mins * ‘Hr'k

Say what y0u wrll about the anthropomorphrsatron of Drsney live actron now that they’ve got therr hands on some serrous computer equrpment —- but grven the rrght vehrcle, the result Is both funny and sympathetrc to the anrmal krngdom In the studro's updatrng of the classrc cartoon George Of The Jungle, they’re certarnly travellrng In a Cadrllac The scrrpt Is easrly up wrth the best of modern Drsney‘ knowmg, punchy and replete with a running gag which wrll rrrItate the hell out of you, but keep the krds laughrnc; all the way through to the end.

The plot Is the usual blend of

humour, actron, slapstick, adventure and, of coorse, romance. Drzzy San Franciscan sOCIalrte Ursula (Leslre Mann) rs saved from the Irons by Our hero George (Brendan Fraser) and hrs Ape (v0rced by John Cleese) When her JCBIOUS fiance shoots George, she whlsks hIm away from the bone- crunchrng trees and back to the urban Jungle. But nasty mum (Holland Taylor) and news of Ape's krdnap force the hunky one back home

Complete prffle, of c0urse, but there's enough socral satrre and sly references to keep your attentron, elrcrt the odd chuckle and even grve you reason to see rt wrthout the excuse of a brat In tOW. (Thom Drbdrn) a General release from Frr 5 Dec

Under The Skin (18) 85 mins wt vine

The lure of sex rs hard for frlmmakers to resrst, but rt Is all too easy to fall rnto feedrng the vrewer's self-gratification rather than use to the creatron of sensualrty, In her frrst feature, drrector Carrne Adler has got the balance Just about rrght, even rt her plottrng rs wayward

Srsters Irrs (Samantha Morton) and Rose (Clarre Rushbrook) are devastated when therr mother (tha Tushrngham) dres from a brarn tumour. Whrle Rose has her husband and unborn baby to help her through the com, Iris refuses to grreve, Instead drtchrng her boyfrrend and resortrng to a serres of IncreasIngly hIgh-rrsk sexual encounters

32 THE LIST 5 18 Dec l997

Flat out: Samantha Morton in Under The Skin

whrch alrenate her from both famrly and frrends

Adler allows her three lead actresses to establrsh full and rounded characters wrth remarkable srmplrcrty If she had sustained the effrcrenc‘y and qualrty of the first ten mrnutes, thrs would be a remarkable debut Instead Adler allows her plottrng to reflect Irrs's Increasrng mental turmoII rather more Intenser than It Illustrates It.

That sard, Morton rs hrghly watchable. And what garns the movre an extra star Is the way III whrch lrrs's sensual and out-of-control sexualrty Is conveyed WrthOut resortrng to the sordrd or pornographrc (Thom ledln) a Edinburgh FI/mhouse from Frr 5 Dec Glasgow FI/m Theatre from Frr 72 Dec


It's A Wonderful Life

(U) 129 mins *lrirh‘r

On Its release, Frank Capra's salute to small town values was overlooked at the Oscars and only scraped by at the box offrce Frfty years down the lrne, however, as regarded as a prrme slab of golden age Hollywood, and as much a part of Chrtstmas as Judy Garland's red shoes and Brng Crosby’s yuletrde croonrng

James Stewart plays desparrrng f famrly man George Barley, whose frnancrai troubles lead hrm to the brrnk of su:c:de on Chrrstmas Eye

Oowr‘. comes an angel (Henry

ALSO OPENING Tomorrow Never Dies (12) 119 mins

Flcthtrnrt off the bad guys and ctettrng Into close contact wnh the female of the specres for the erghteenth trrne, James Bond Is back In Tomorrow Never Ores, rnultI-national rnedra pov-rermonger Ellrot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) reckons World War III rs the perfect means to hr ost hrs newspaper and satellrte TV emprre Hrs wrfe arrs played by Terr Hatchet, W s Lors Lane) once had a relatronshIp wrth Bond that was much

more than hrs trademark flrng, so that also compile ates matters Bond's new ally front the East, War LIn (Hong Kong at tror‘. sta'


'\‘. - \

James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life

Iravers) who shows Ba-‘c-v what would have happened to hrs home town If he'd never been born The c;ert£_*rostty of a good- hearted man ultrrnately shrnes‘ through and wrns the day

Stewart clarmed In hrs later years that lt’s A l"r’c)llcferft1/ ere was hrs favourite prece of work, the one that kick-started the actrng bug In hurt after his wartime SQFVICE. Yes It's sentrmental and often corny, but as Stewart hrmself noted, 'the prcture, even though there was a comedy srde to rt and everythrno, was really a very serrous prcture, There was a dark srde to rt ' (Alan Morrrsonl a Glasgow Frlm Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from l-‘rr 5 Dec

Pierce Brosnan is Bond, James Bond

And then there's l~.lrc helle Yeolt)

Prerce Brosnan Is back shakrng hrs martrnr, and perhaps now he can consolidate hrs clarm to berng the best Bond srnce Sean Connery Certarnly, Goldeneye gave the franchrse the boost It needed, Inakrrtc; ar‘. t-SZIrnatecl $350 rnrllron worldwide. On paper, Tomorrow Never Ores has even'tlrrnjr rt needs to do the same the formula of stunts, ourps and gadgets mrxed tarth a storylrne that’s extremely relevant thrs near the end of the llllllOl‘l‘rlllfll a’ATan l.l:)rr:sortl

a: General release from Frr 72 Dec

FILM BOOK Mondo Macabro Pete Tombs (Titan £14.99)

Turkrsh Star Trek7 lrtdct-rtc.>sran gore“ Superman and Sprdertzoman teamrrxt up In Indra7 Just when we'd mam-ded to Get Our heads round the brzarrest Inovres of Endlrsh language crnema, suddenly an entrre world of werrdness Is uncovered In IrrImorar’ Tales, Pete Tarnl)s trawled throuczh European sex and horror, now he casts hrs net wrder and snares swrne \er‘y odd lt)(:kttt<) frsh :nrieed

It stands to reason that sex and vIolenc‘e are the staple Ingredients of every country’s explortatron lern Industry, but Tombs also reckons that It's In thrs area ~ not the crrtrcally lauded arthouse Output that most

Ugan Kiz: Turkey's Batgirl

tellrngly reflects a natron's own fables and socral attrtudes

The wrrtrng style rs detarled, exhaustrve and enthusrastrcj wrthout strayrng Into fanzrne terrrtory One problem, however, Is that unable to have the slightest chance of ever seerng 90% of the frlms covered, as hard to really get a grrp on the context Nevertheless, for sheer drversrty of Ideas and freedom of Imagrnatton, thrs’ c‘ollectron puts Hollywood to shame (Alan Morrison)