FILM new releases

Hair apparent: Cameron Diaz models a new brand of gel

There's Something About Mary

(15) 118 mins a” ear-ii.

Take my advice. Go and see There’s Something About Mary without reading any more of this revrew

That’s the problem With comedies. The trailer packages 60 seconds of highlights together, giving a misleading impression of the pace and laughs within the film. The reviews form some kind of consensus, but every rave suggests that a movie is funnier than the latest Presidential scandal, and the dam of disappointment builds to breaking point.

There’s Something About Mary is a rude, crude, scatologrcal exercise in gross excess that certainly had me smiling, occasionally had me giggling

childisth and frequently had me wincing.

The Farrelly brothers, who brooght us Dumb And Dumber and Kingpin, have striven to out-gross themselves Their tale of a poor schmuck (Ben Stiller) who still obsesses about his high school dream girl (Cameron Drazi thirteen years on begins simply enough, as a boy-meets-grrl, boy-Zips- his-trousers-up-a-little-too-quickly-and- has-to-go-to—hospital story,

When Stiller hires a seedy private detective (Matt Dillon) to find her again, the plot rapidly descends into sexual Jealousy, canine Cruelty, masturbation, double-cross, deception and bad music. It's funny, believe me, but you’re better off discovering that for yourself. (Anwar Brett)

General release from Fri 25 Sep

The Land Girls (12) III mins we re

Meanwhile, down on the farm comes a film that reminds us of times passed. Not necessarily good times, of course, as it IS set during the confusion of World War II, but against this dramatic backdrop the human story it describes proves curiously affecting.

Three contrasting young women )0”) the Land Army, only to find themselves knee-deep in rustic accents and bad weather on a remote Dorset farm. Brassy hairdresser Prue (Anna Friel) is desperate to find out if the country air does anything for a man’s libido. Posh young thing Ag (Rachel Weisz) is innocent of such thoughts, while the demure, engaged Stella (Catherine

24 "IE US? 24 Sep—8 Oct I998

' I. 1"}; ', A“\I-z ~ \t And on that farm: Anna Friel, Catherine McCormack and Rachel Weisz

in The Land Girls

McCormack) acts as the audience's touchstone in this pe(‘.u|iar, half-familiar world.

As the girls bond they slowly wm one! their demanding host (Torn Georgeson), and also get to know ills lusty son (Stephen lVldelHICJSil), who enjoys making their acquaintance

The story is even more familiar than the setting, but in the hands of director Davrd Leland the cliches are given a purpose, as its soap opera qualities help lubricate the drama As the contrasts of love and war add to the poignancy of the piece, even these odd flaws and a rambling narrative cannot detract from a movrnr; and charming film. (Anwar Brett)

Selected release from Fri 25 Sep

Divorcmg Jack

(15) 110 mins sea: is

Journalist Dan Starkey (David Thewlis) could be forgiven for thinking he's the last cynic in Belfast. The year is 1999 and the independent state of Northern Ireland is united around slick Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Brinn (Robert Lindsay). The focus is on Starkey and his failing marriage, his boozing and his infidelity with an art student called Margaret (Laura Fraser). Margaret gets murdered and Starkey find himself wanted by the IRA, the UVF and the RUC. Why are they after him and what do Maragaret’s dying words mean? The puzzle extends to all quarters of the new state and ends in treachery and explosions.

Divorcing Jack doesn't sit easily in any particular genre. Based on a Colin Bateman novel, it falls between thriller and political satire. Wittin directed by 29- year-old Davrd Caffrey, the film is also a biting comedy even torture by the IRA is played for laughs. At times Divorcing Jack does strike an inhumane note, but on the whole its CanClSm is Justified by the blackness of the society it depicts -~ and Thewlrs’s excellent Starkey is a moral hero of sorts. (Hannah Fries)

5:592; Selected release from Fri 2 Oct. See feature, page 16.

Last cynic in Belfast: David Thewlis

Life Is All You Get

(18) 115 mins eat--

Life's a not for Jan, who accidentally decks two undercover cops while coming to the rescue of lovely Vera one night. It’s a chance meeting that changes his life. He gets a night in the cells and a trip to the dole queue, while the possibility he might have contracted AIDS from a one-night stand helps him keep his distance from Vera

His father's death helps Jan escape his family to a mock-domestic unit wrth Vera, ageing teddy-boy Buddy, a Greek girl on the run and his already dysfunctional niece. Just another everyday tale of love among the underclasses then.

Except it's not as bleak as it s0unds. While Wolfgang Becker's film pornts up the complexities of coming together in fractured times, it’s leavened by a wry humour and a happy ending

It also features everyone's favourite Scouser Ricky Tomlinson as Buddy, who appears to have been hiding Out in a Hamburg Brerkellar since I960 and has now been dubbed into German. Tomlinson’s presence also points to the film's gritty Ken Loach feel, though the plot twists don't always convince. (Neil Cooper)

555555 Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 2 Oct.

ALSO OPENING W00 “5) 85 mips

ana-Bi (18) 103 mins Extrovert Darlene Bates nicknamed 'Woo’ has been dumped a few too many times on account of her eccentric behaviour, and now fanCies herself as sometlnng of a femme fatale. On a blind date wrth inseCure, meek-mannered lawyer Tim, however, she manages to head out on a chaotic adventure across Manhattan. Do opposites attract? Well, let's Just say that she's not as sassy as her surface would suggest, and he's not totally straight-laced either.

Clearly aimed at an African- American audience and pitched as a screwball comech for the 90s, Woo is probably too steeped in the nuances of black culture to survrve the trip aCross the Atlantic to Scotland. In the lead role, Jada Pinkett Smith is sexy and energetic, but the film overall doesn't give her rot‘rn to irratioetlvre

Takeshr Kitano, mega-star in Japan, returns to the director’s seat for Hana-8i, in which he stars as a cop suffering bouts of gurlt. His wrfe is dying in hospital, his partner has been paralysed during a stakeout and he's so far in debt to the Yaku/a that hes contemplating robbing a bank The title, in Japanese, means ’frreworks', but this film doesn't explode like Takeshi's earlier films, Violent Cop and Sonatine Instead, a more subdued atmosphere floats over a work that skilfully draws together its Visual and emotional plains. Recorrrmended by those in the know (Alan Morrison)

332323 lit/o0 goes on selected release on Fri 25 Sept. Hana-Bi plays Glasgow Film Theatre, Mon 5--Tlit18 Oct.

Takeshi Kitano in Hana-Bi