Home Alone 3 (PG) 95 mins

What started as a straight-forward, cute concept went on to become the highest grosSIng tornedy (If all time when Home Alone was first unleashed on an unsuspecting world in i990. It also made a star out of Macaulay Culkin, a foetal-looking kid with poor enunciation and a penchant for acts of senseless brutality

Culkin is now seventeen, so instead here comes Alex O LGz, last seen as

Michelle Pfeiffer’s kid in One Fine Day and a much hettei ,ittoi' than Ciilkin ever was But sc-ntething is definitely missin; front a fzirn that is hat a patch on the tin-PL slapstick arid reckless Stunting of the onginal

Day for knight: Joanna Lumley and Stephen Moyer in Prince Valient

Prince Valient (PG) 92 mins

A hokey atfe'r :22 at the swim-'0 and

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Kid's play: Alex D. linz in Home Alone 3

Stuck at home With the chickenpox, Alex spies on his well-to-do neighbourhood and discovers a gang of hi-tech international criminals trying to locate a top secret microchip they have sneaked out of a US military establishment and then lost. As they slowly zero in on Alex, he sets up increasingly elaborate and sadistic traps, and this super-intelligent (pah!) gang spend the rest of the rnoVie falling into them.

The main problem is that there is no sense of peril here. At least Joe Pesci looked mean, whereas this gang of dolts are pantomime villains in the extreme, )USI the fag end of a lazy and aimless plot that merely goes through the motions (Anwai Brett)

t! General release from Fri 7 9 Dec

(Katherine Heigl)

Prince Valient is the Sort of film that would make diverting TV viewmg on a wet Sunday afternoon (see l"-./i//ow, ffrull, etc ), wtn its rain-swept locations and round-anil-tun.hle tights, but as a melt, it >tinks ioo rnuch awful dialogue and ripe acting (stand tip Ms Luntfeyl plus anachronisms, such as binoculars and drills for gloves, bring laughs but no respect Bafflingly short cameos from the likes of Chesney wakes, Zach Galligan and Jodie Kidd missed the latter two completely) suggest a worse film that was even l’_)lt(}(:l (Simon Wardell)

3% Selected release from Fri I 9 Dec


new releases FILM

The Myth Of Fingerprints (15) 90 mins 1! it x

Bart Freundlich's debut feature examines what happens when Thanksgivmg celebrations bring the now grown-up children of a family back to the large middle-class home in which they were raised. There are five of them, plus four partners, and Mom and Pop too, which amounts to a lot of old and new conflicts being stirred up in the isolating context of a rural New England Winter,

It's not a pressure cooker atmosphere exactly, The Myth Of Fingerprints avoids climaxes and resolutions, but With this many tensions and hurts bubbling close to the surface, the holiday is not a pleasant affair, None of the children is likely to thank father Hal (Roy Scheider) for bringing them up Without any reassurance or love, and the mother (Blythe Danner) never qune takes their side.

The screenplay examines its characters microscopically, and the film benefits from a fine, subtle cast that also includes Julianne Moore (Safe, The Lost World) and ER’s Noah Wyle. However, the sense that we are watching them from an interested distance and the oddly inexplicable nature of much of their hehaViour means that The Myth Of Fingerprints is never QUite convmcing. (Hannah Fries) at Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 79 Dec See preview

Noah Wyle: in The Myth Of Fingerprints


(18) 87 mins a x:

Wondering what to get granny this Christmas7 A ticket to see Frisk may not he the most prudent of ideas. Not unless she happens to be a big fan of gay porn, torture, murder and necrophilia. For such meaty topics to be so utterly yawn- induting is quite a feat on director Todd Verow’s part.

A young man whose sexual awakening comes Via the harder end of the top shelf grows up to inflict bloody slaughter on a series of lovers that old sex and death analysis tedium The tale is told through the most profoundly banal of dialogue such as 'l'm Supposed to, um, look like, um, Montgomery Clift,’ stock cliches such as bondage, vampiric club scenes, tight white T-shirts and flariid penises rubbing up against the most wooden of acting The feel is of an Andy Warhol out-take dreamt up by an adolescent Davrd Lynch

If this is all that filmmakers are domg to encapsulate the gay experience, it's hardly Surprising that Hollywood still fails to touch the subject With any kind of bargepole Faults on both sides, of course, but there really is no excuse for iisihle stuff like this,

As ‘or gran -- a bottle of gin again, I suppose (Brian Donaldson)

Edinburgh Fr/rnhouse from Fri" 2 lan

ALSO OPENING SpiceWorld: The Movie (PG) 93 mins

'A 90s Hard Day’s Night, With a pinch of Spinal Tap and a little Speed thrown in ' Well, that's how the advance publicity material puts it as the Spice Girls prepare to cash in their pop world credits at the box office The story chronicles the hectic five days in the lead-up to the girls' first live concert at the Royal Albert Hall ~ 3 period in which they’ll encounter parties and paparazzi, dance rehearsals and dOCUmentary film Crews, aliens and an awful lot of celebrities, With Meatloaf, Roger Moore, Barry Humphries, Elton John, Jools Holland, Bob Geldof, Michael Barrymore and Gary Glitter (whoops! Run for the editing scissors for that one') all popping up, you get the sense this could be the big screen Richard E. Grant and the girls in eQUivalent of Noe/’5 House Party. Sp'ceWO'ld Of course, plenty of hit songs are squeezed in ~ old favourites like 'Say You’ll Be There' and 'Wannabe’ and plenty of plugs for the new album too. 'The character I play is guite close to the real me,‘ says Mel 8. Now there's a surprise. (Alan lVlOTflSOHl a General release from Boxing Day.


19 Dec 1997-8 Jan 1998 THE IJS'I’31