Totally wired: Natasha Henstridge in Species 2

Species 2 (18) 92 mins :3, '3

’They c0uld fuck the human race into extinction,' warns battle-scarred Colonel Carter Burgess (George Dzundza). He's contemplating a sexual conJoming between Eve (Natasha Henstridge) cloned, half-human tWIn of the original alien shag-beast, Sil and astronaut hero Patrick Ross (Justin Lazard), who has been infected With lust-inducmg alien DNA during the first ever mission to Mars.

But while the colonel and ex-military assassin Press Lennox (tvlichael tvladsen) team up to prevent this doomsday bonk, Ross and his fellow crew members set about impregnating human hosts. Meanwhile, back at the laboratory run by Dr Laura Baker (Marg

Helgenberger), Eve is off the medication, telepathically linked to her alien s0u| mate, and gagging for it X-Fi/es scriptwriter Chris Branc'ito deserves credit for developing, rather than replicating, the original Sil mythology; but despite its attention- grabbing set-up, his script delivers the goods far too early, then quickly runs Out of steam. The remainder of the film is merely a showcase for sfx man Steve Johnson's imaginatively disgusting alien effects sequences Director Peter Medak's modest contribution is to stage the hilariously excesswe alien nastiness with admirable relish, while allowing the pacmg to flag, the plot to fall apart and the tension to evaporate (Nigel Floyd) a General release from Fri 4 Sep

Jumping through hoops: Rosario Dawson and Ray Allen in He Got Game

He Got Game (15) 134 mins a a.

The latest collaboration between Spike Lee and Denzel Washington has produced perhaps their finest film. Washington, a leading man with a character actor's instinct and talent, is excellent as conVict Jake Shuttleworth who is doing time for the accidental manslaughter of his wife some years before.

Meanwhile his son, Jesus, has become the hottest high school basketball prospect in the country, with every major university vying for his Signature. Which is Why Jake is prevailed upon by the state governor to sign Jesus to his alma mater, and receive his mercy in return. But his son, consCious that his father’s demanding

nature has made him what he is but also cost his mother her life is not prepared to listen.

Arguably Spike Lee’s most mature work, He Got Game also speaks to the Widest constituenCy as it poignantly reflects the American Dream a point underscored by the extensive use of Aaron Copland's music rather than becoming bogged down in political and raCial dogma. So while the film touches upon the black experience, the commercialisation of sport, and the jOy given and received by the game of basketball, it is about none of these. Instead it is about relationships, characters and real emotions, making it a rare and powerful cinema experience.

(Anwar Brett) a Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 4 Sep

new releases FILM

The Last Days Of Disco (15) 112 mins Writer-director Whit Stillman has carved out a cinematic niche for himself with his urbane comedies of manners Metropolitan and Barcelona, and his latest is no exception The moreish Chloe SeVigny and Kate Beckinsale play two publishing assistants who frequent a trendy club in early 80s New York, where they and their male yuppie friends worry about relationships, careers and the reactionary subtext of Disney's Lady And The Tramp

lt's glorious stuff In typical Stillman style, the characters cover up their insecurities \.‘.’|Ii’t \‘rcmderfully silly pontific‘ation, and healthy relationships are few and far between Just as Metropolitan's upper-class protagonists bemoaned the demise of the debutante between soirees, so our clubbers here dance the night away, kll()\,“./lng responsibility is Just around the corner

Sevigny and Beckinsale make a fine chalk-and-cheese pairing, With the latter revelling in her queen bitch role, while Stillman regular Chris Eigeman (one of several familiar faces making an appearance) is his usual bumptious self. Add a top-notch disco soundtrack to prowde that cruoal glow of nostalgia, and the film goes with more of a swing than might be expected from such a cultured director (Simon Wardelli 33 Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 4 Sep. See preview

Chloe Sevigny and Robert Sean Leonard in The Last Days Of Disco

The Thief (15) 97 mins

On one level, this film by Russian director Pavel Chukhrai is a simple tale portraying the influence of a thief upon a child, but on another level, it is a sophisticated metaphor illustrating the director’s experience of Russian politics.

It is the story of Sanya (Misha Philipchuk), a six-year-old boy who happily travels across 1950s Russia With his mother, Katya (Ekaterina Rednikova), until she hooks up with Tolyan (Vladrmir lvlashkov), a handsome uniformed gentleman. Sanya takes time to warm to the new man in his life but, almost as soon as he does, Tolyan’s true identity is exposed. It transpires that he is in fact not an officer at all, but a uniformed phoney and a thief, provoking both mother and child to question where exactly their loyalties lie

Although dark and cold in tone, the film is brightened by its gently comic scenes and the stunningly expressive performance of Philipchuk as Sanya. With the characters of Sanya, Katya and Tolyan cleverly constructed to symbolise, repectively, Chukhrai's generation of Russians, the cOuntry and the tyrannical leader, The Thief is a stimulating mowe which is both masterful and movmg.

(Beth Williams) 3333 Edinburgh Fi/rnhous'e from Mon 3] Aug

Mr Nice Guy (15) 95 mins 3 s 3*

Martial arts legend Jackie Chan makes his latest bid for international stardom With another mowe typical of all that is so entertaining in his work. There are the breathless stunts, a protracted Chase, knockabout humour and yet more breathless stunts. So while the air of menace exuded by the mafioso villain is suitably threatening, there are no horse heads in the bed, nor scenes of gratuitocis torture or overt Violence beyond the many moments of hand- to-hand combat that Jackie proves so adept at

The plot is merely a vehicle for the action, and What a sleek, deliCiously pointless vehicle it proves. Jackie plays a celebrity chef unexpectedly drawn into a web of intrigue when he bumps into a pretty investigative jOUfnailSI, who's fleeing a criminal surveillance that has gone Violently wrong. And so the chase begins, not letting up until the final breathless moments of a very pacy, gune extraordinary, totally entertaining adventure.

With the end credits, as always, reserved for some astonishingly painful looking out-takes the message becomes clear see Jackie Chan at work before he gets too old, or breaks his neck. (Anwar Brett)

& Selected release from Fri 28 Aug,

Jackie Chan in Mr Nice Guy

27 Aug—10 Sep 1998 THE LIST 104