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(PG) 140 mins ii

Public Enemy weren't kidding when they said don’t believe the hype. Godzilla is an utterly boring slice of Yank-wank with special effects that have already been seen in Jurassic Park. Rather than develop the upright lizard design of the original Godzilla movies, the filmmakers instead stick a couple of spikey bits on the back of T-Rex for the main monster and repeat Velociraptor viciousness for its offspring. And when a film like Godzilla fails to thrill with its effects, it can only fall flat on its over-sized Hollywood ass.

And so to a plot which contains more holes than the bullet-ridden cast of a Tarantino movie. French nuclear testing in Polynesia has caused a local lizard to mutate into a giant new species with the ability to reproduce asexually. Completely ignoring geographical reality, it leaves home to nest in New York because, of course, only America matters in the movies. While Godzilla crashes about Manhattan with the army shooting ineffectually at his scaly hide, scientist Matthew Broderick, TV reporter wannabe Maria Pitillo and French secret agent Jean Reno try to locate the soon-to-hatch


I'll take Manhattan: Godzilla gets intimate with a skyscraper

Godzilla goes beyond insulting its audience. While any film about a rampaging reptile isn't going to require Ken Loach-style social realism (even if the monster is a single parent), this one glosses over the gaps in its primary school essay script with embarrassing explanations. It’s the kind of story where Broderick discovers the beast is about to breed by using home- testing pregnancy kits - 'the principle‘s the same,’ he claims, blethering on about hormonal imbalance as if he knew how hormones are normally arranged in a 400 ft tall mutant lizard.

On a more uncomfortable level, the audience is expected to cheer along with the back-slapping soldiers when Godzilla finally hits the dust, despite the fact that this creation is clearly established as the military machine's own mistake. With our natural sympathies left bewildered, we can only guess at what immigration metaphor lies behind the 'kill 'em all before they eat our food’ approach to the race of baby lizards born in New York 'send them home before they take our jobs’? Filmmakers this inept, working on this international scale, can't pass everything off as harmless entertainment. (Alan Morrison) its General release from Fri 77 Jul. See feature and prevrew

the museum's one remaining security guard - who staggers out onto the street and into the TV cameras’ glare. The media sense a siege and, With a couple of dozen children stuck in the budding, it's a network story.

Also caught in the museum is regional TV reporter Max Brackett (Dustin Hoffman), who hopes the siege Will make his name when he acts as mediator between Sam and the outside world, The film IS at its most effective here, With Max using years of TV experience to shape family man Sam's media image into something the public Wlll find more palatable. It’s all therapy and recognition to Sam, whoever's showmg an Interest in his

Mad City

(15)114 mins *fl'w‘k

It's we‘arying to think how few Hollywood filmmakers are interested in the way things work or in how people live. A character's home is usually illustrated in a gliding track across a room, with the camera playing host to a lifestyle rather than hinting at a real life. Which is another way of saying Mad City isn’t at all bad. Veteran Greek

281’"! USU-23 Jul 1998

Fight to work: John Travolta in Mad City

political filmmaker Costa-Gavras, With a keen interest in the logistics of a situation and the moral quandaries involved, gives this American studio movie an edge.

John Travolta is suitably vacant and cumbersome as redundant museum security guard Sam. Tooled up, he tries to persuade his former boss (Blythe Danner) to give him his job back and, in a moment of frustration, fires a warning shot which accidentally hits

broken life, and so he thinks nothing of being opened up by the eViscerating networks

This may not be first-class Costa- Gavras «Z and State Of Siege), but it’s top-notch Hollywood filmmaking, made by a director who knows how to manipulate an audience With facts as readily as play With the emotions. There's an inexorable logic on show which has little truck With audience expectation. (Tony McKibbin) a General release from Fri 70 Jul.

DEGREE SHOW Napier University

Edinburgh: Marchmont Road. Run finished 4r it ,4: x

Skipping seamlessly from pub culture and the murky territory of relationships to bereavement and world politics, the fresh crop of graduates from Napier University present life in all its multi- coloured pain and glory

However, there's an element of hit and miss again in the short films on show, though technical expertise is evrdent. Worth a mention is Gorgeous, a qurrky romantic comedy co-produced by Edsel Morrison and Daniel Noy, in which Marvrn buys an endless amount of toothpaste from the local chemist as an excuse to get (lose to his new and apparently obliVious infatuation.

With more than an element of the fantastical, Robin Wynn's Danny And The Clown explores the portrayal of magic in film and Its effect on innocence, While a man betrayed gives us the low-down on seduction, misplaced trust and realisation in Jim Loomis' DeLrRrOus‘

A more serious slice of life is proVided in Andrea Ferrando's E/ Juanc/io, a highly competent (locumentary about a school in Cochabamba, Boliwa which tries to make a difference to Bolivian socIety by working from the ground up, concentrating on the poor, uneducated indigenous masses.

ProVIding a bridge between the film world and Napier’s photography (ourse comes Jason Keith's series of portraits of the rich, famous and ordinary man on the street. With subjects as starry as actors Ewan McGregor and Joe McFadden, Keith demonstrates a mastery of manipulates light, depth and style to convey the essence, actual or perceived, of his subject

Also on the photography side, Sarah Duncan’s Family Ties, deals With the twelve months prior to her father’s death from cancer, and is particularly striking. Duncan combines text and images set in light boxes, and prowdes an honest, pOignant and yet ultimately uplifting diary

While the show as a whole IS a mixed bag, the Napier students deliver some flashes of brilliance which live up to expectations. (Claire Prentice)

Star man: Ewan McGregor by Jason Keith


STAR RATINGS it it it x * Unmissable * r it: it Very good it at * Worth a shot * x Below average xi You've been warned

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