The Mummy (12) 115 mins 3., ,
Who'd have thought that Hollywood could breathe life into one of its least terrifying horror movie creatures from the 1930s? When Boris Karloff's Egyptian priest was embalmed, buried alive, exhumed, resurrected to search for his beloved reincarnated princess and, finally, let loose on the cinema-going public way back in 1932, The Mummy hardly
had the same impact as Frankenstein.
Britain's Hammer Studio attempted a revival in the late 505, but once again failed to capture the public's imagination - a bandaged Christopher Lee was no comparison to his ravenous Count Dracula. Last year, Russell Mulcahy (of Highlander fame) re-imagined the monster as a whirlwind of razor sharp wrappings in Talos The Mummy. The film bombed in the US and was relegated to a video release in the UK.
However, with this newest version of the age-old tale, it looks as though Hollywood has finally cracked its own creation. The Mummy (1999 vintage) has cleaned up at the US box office. The secret of the film's success lies in reinventing the series (there will be sequels) as an Indiana Jones-style adventure. While there are supernatural
John Hannah. Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser in The Mummy
elements a plenty, the closest The Mummy comes to horror are some itchy 'n' scratchy creepy crawly moments: not snakes, not rats, but unpleasant flesh-eating scarabs (beetles to you and me).
The Mummy runs with essentially the same plot as the original Karloff film, sandwiched within an archaeological adventure. Two expeditions - one led by rugged hero Brendan Fraser, luscious librarian Rachel Weisz and comic sidekick John Hannah; the other by expendable Americans - scour 1930s Northern Africa for the fabled City of the Dead. Upon finding it. the treasure hunters become grave robbers, in the process resuscitating the dead priest, who immediately busies himself ravaging the land with apocalyptic plagues. There aren't. however, any bandages on display. Instead, the monster resembles the Terminator skeleton, with rotten flesh replacing shiny metal.
A complete break with its predecessors The Mummy may be, but the film loots plenty of tombs of celluloid kings. King Kong for one, Jason And The Argonauts for another. Even The English Patient is, ahem, plagiarised. Still, the cast gets into the spirit of things and even if the film looses its way after the initial expedition, The Mummy remains an enjoyable boys-own style romp. (Miles Fielder)
a General release from Fri 25 Jun.
Bare-faced cheek or a load of old arse?: The Idiots
r 9 ~14
J to upset everyone who happens to stumble in their path. The group's solidarity is broken up when the father of one arrives to drag her back to her 'normal‘ home life. Meanwhile, the spassers' activity becomes more anarchic and the less stable members seem to be suffering genume threats to their sanity. When her apprenticeship with the group appears to have come to an end, Karen returns to her own family and the tragedy which she has avoided, and it is plain that she has now fallen apart completely.
Like Thomas Vinterberg's familial drama Festen, this film has been made under the Dogma 95 manifesto -
The Idiots (13) 114 mins s; e;
It‘s one thing to find the child Within, but to bring out the mentally impaired in yourself is quite another. In Lars von Trier's follow up to Breaking The Waves, a bunch of 'idiots’ run a little bit amok in their Village, get thrown out of tea-rooms, make whoopee at the swrmming baths and disrupt board meetings But this is no political statement on care in the community in
the Danish heartland; these misfits are as sane as you or I, With a simple aim to test society’s attitudes to the disabled. Which, as you can imagine, makes for pretty uncomfortable and, at times, Wilfully dull viewrng.
Karen (Bodil Jorgensen) is a woman whose vulnerability leads her into the arms of the group, fronted by the manic visionary Stofler (Jens Albinus). They live at his uncle's isolated and vacant home, Whiling their days away by 'spassrng' out and domg their best
glorying in 'amateurish' filmmaking techniques of Jittery hand-held camera and migraine-inducing jump cuts. AppreCiation naturally conquers enjoyment but von Trier's film is the kind of thing that media lecturers have conniption fits over and the public at large will kill to avoid. They would be mad to do so - The Idiots is a challenge well worth taking up.
a Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 2 jul.
new releases FILM
Ro ue Trader (15) 2 mins at wk Mr
Rogue Trader has a sad history. Made back when Nick Leeson was still the
subject of media attention, the film's release was postponed when Leeson, who was serving a prison sentence in Singapore was diagnosed with cancer Medical treatment has improved his condition, but now, at the time of Rogue Traders release, the media and.
inevitably, the public has largely
forgotten who Leeson is
For those who need to know, Nick Leeson was a young man from Watford who complied With Margaret Thatcher's initiative to ’open up' the City of London's finanCial district to all comers. At Barings Merchant Bank's request, Leeson went conquered the Singapore stock
exchange, making millions for them in
All well and good, except Leeson was hopelessly out of his depth. He had the balls to play the market, but eventually he came unstuck, rang up a billion dollar debt and bankrupted one of London's oldest financral institutions, at which pornt he was, as they say, royally fucked over by the 'old boy network’ Leeson got a prison sentence, cancer, was divorced by his Wife and, acc0rding to him, made not one penny
This is the story as presented by writer/director James Dearden, whose script is based on the book by Leeson and Edward Whitley. It’s debatable how biased this version of the events
is, but Dearden's degree of sympathy
for Leeson has enabled him to tell a far more universal story than one simply about the finanCIal world. It's this that
acc0unts for the film's success as a
surprisineg riveting underdog-versus- the-establishment thriller about banking. It’s also about the nation's class system and Thatcherism, neither of which escape well deserved Criticism.
Ewan McGregor (who often seems at his best in a 'straight' role) is convmcing as the Watford bOy done good then bad. It’s jUSI a shame Rogue Trader is receiving as belated a release as Leeson himself is. (Miles Fielder)
I General release from Fri 25 Jul
You're Nicked: Ewan McGregor in Ii Rogue Trader
* tar at it Unmissable
it «t e * very good
it irir Wort a shot
* * Below average
* You've been warned
24 Jun—8 Jul 1999 THE “ST 23