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Scream 2 (18) 120 mins *‘kir

The challenge facing director Wes Craven and scriptwriter Kevin Williamson in creating this follow-up to their scary, post-modern slasher movie was how to amid the inevitable fate of horror sequels: that of being more of the same but never quite as good. To some extent they have avoided these pitfalls by moving the action forward in time, shifting the location and concentrating on the haunted victims rather than on the killer(s).

Two years after the Woodsboro murders, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is now a college student, trying to piece her life back together with the help of a new boyfriend, her old pal Randy and a sympathetic roommate. But when an audience

Twice as scary: Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox in Scream 2


member is slashed to death during the premiere of horror movie Stab, the nightmare begins again. Tabloid TV reporter Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox), whose book about the Woodsboro murders was the inspiration for Stab, turns up again, together with creepy, attention-seeking ex-con Cotton Weary (Leiv Schreiber). Sid freaks out big-time, as well she might.

Despite the many in-jokey references to horror sequel conventions, the failure to integrate these more fully leads to a degree of sameness, if not predictability. That aside, this is streets ahead of what passes for horror nowadays, its smart scares and knowing humour suggesting that even the inevitable Scream 3 may be worth waiting for. (Nigel Floyd)

3 General release from Fri 7 May.


Split personality: Gwyneth Paltrow and John Ilannah in Sliding Doors

Sliding Doors (15) 99 mins tart Gwyneth Paltrow stars as Helen, the mousy-haired PR executive who gets fired and seeks solace in the arms of handsome Irish boyfriend Gerry (John Lynch). Gwyneth Paltrow also stars as Helen, the blonde PR woman who runs her own company and dates handsome Scot, James (John Hannah). The key to this apparently confusing state of affairs is the sliding door of a London tube: one Helen gets on, the other one misses the train . . and thus her life goes in two completely different directions.

Sliding Doors is the entertaining directorial debut from actor Peter

Howrtt (best known for TV’s Bread). Its seemingly philosophical theme is given a warm, witty interpretation by the cast and Howitt's screenplay is full of sharply observed comedy. It’s fun to watch, but the root of the film’s vision is morally uncompromising. The faithless Gerry is the object of ridicule, and Helen's happiness with James is a clear thumbs up for monogamy and good humour.

A bit of a simplistic analysis perhaps, but Sliding Doors is ingenious in the name of entertainment first and foremost, and it does pack a punch as a reminder that we only get one shot at life. (Hannah Fries)

I General release from Fri I May.

new releases FILM

ALSO OPENING Mr Magoo (PG) 87 mins

Oh, I know it's an easy pun to make, but Walt Disney Pictures have been rather short-sighted in choosing this cartoon character as the inspiration for a live action comedy starring Leslie Nielsen.

When a priceless stolen gem falls into the hands of bumbling millionaire Quincy Magoo, the robbers try all sorts of plots to get it back. Our seemingly indestructable hero, however, keeps on emerging unscathed and unwitting as chaos ensues around him.

Director Stanley Tong has been

behind the action of three recent Jackie Chan flicks, and he’s obviously been brought in because Mr Magoo relies on broad physical slapstick for its comedy

rather than verbal jokes.

The American critics slaughtered the film ’an atrocity’ (Boston Phoenix), ’an insult to the intelligence of the entire human race’ (USA Today), 'corny, inept script' (San Fransisco Chronicle). Respected critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun- Times called it 'transcendently bad', and if you don't know what that means, he elaborates: 'It soars above ordinary badness as the eagle outreaches the fly. There is not a laugh in it. Not one.’ I think that's all you need to know. (Alan Morrison)

I General release from Fri I May.

RE-RELEASE Out Of The Past

(PG) 97 mins ink tr

Known in some circles as Build My Gallows High, this is the film that almost single-handedly defined the post-WW2 film noir genre. Shadows encroach on every frame, the hard-bitten hero can't escape his fate, the woman he falls for is a self-serving siren, and the dialogue is tight and sharp in the manner of

Hammett and Chandler.

Robert Mitchum plays an investigator hired by Kirk Douglas to find girlfriend Jane Greer, who shot him and ran off with his money. When Mitch tracks her down in Acapulco, romance blooms until double-crosses and murder end the day. All this comes in flashback, as Mitchum recounts his past to new dame Virginia Huston: and now he's on the way to meet Douglas again, and to slowly discover that he's being placed in a very tight fitting frame.

Director Jacques Tourneur (best known for Cat People) maintains an atmosphere of broody fatalism, reinforcing the mood with dramatic shadows that snuff out all hope of light. Mitchum provides a weighty presence and an almost expressionless face, while Douglas, smiling like a shark, is deliciously dangerous.

It’s impossible to think of Hollywood turning out something so beautifully bleak today: 1984's remake, Against All Odds was entertaining in itself, but not in the

same class. (Alan Morrison)

I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Mon 4-Thu 7 May.

My Son The Fanatic

(15) 87 mins it * i: it:

The father-son relationship, that most fragile of bonds, has rarely been depicted in more topsy-turvy fashion than in Hanif Kureishi's screen adaptation of his own short story. Parvez, played by the wonderful Om Puri (of City Of Joy and innumerable Indian flicks) is a put-upon but indomitable Bradford taxi driver who arrives home after another fourteen hour shift in the hope of unwinding with a glass of malt and a shot of Louis Armstrong. Instead he finds his wife and son conspiring, and the ensuing battle pits whisky and the

0m Puri in My Son The Fanatic

great Sachmo against the Koran and a Pakistan-imported Mullah who giggles at cartoon times. The mother of all domestic jihads, if you please.

My Son The Fanatic deals in family, fidelity, and faith, not to mention a bit of the proverbial how’s yer father. Those expecting another rock ’n' roll rites of passage tale a la Buddha Of Suburbia may be disappointed, but here is an absorbing account of conflicting moralities and generational tensions in a confused and

confusing fin de siec/e Britain.

Seven years after the release of London Kills Me, Kureishi elected not to direct this one himself. Good call. This is his best cinematic endeavour since My

Beautiful Launderette. (Rodger Evans)

l Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from Fri I May.

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