FILM new releases
(15) 112 mins a 2x
From a thrilling opening that features a daring, against-the-odds robbery, this latest Sean Connery vehicle travels uncertainly to an entirely predictable conclusion. it is, for all the Scottish superstar's admirable talents, a rather familiar affair, With ageing stud muffin and former ace cat burglar Robert 'Mac’ MacDougal attracting the attention of sexy insurance investigator Gin Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She is determined to find eVidence connecting him With that Opening sequence robbery, JUSI as he is determined to not have that crime pinned on him it’s all very To Catch A Tit/Cf.
Or rather, we Wish it was. For even sub-standard Hitchcock would be
Scene stealers: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery in Entrapment
better than this, a Wish fulfilment tale that sees Gin fall for Mac and the two of them pursue the most daring robbery in criminal history — a multi- billion dollar theft to take place at the very dawn on the new millennium. With Connery fulfilling the role of producer as well as star, and with the original director Antoine Fuqua havrng departed the project early, Entrapment has the feeling of a damage limitation exercise.
Director Jon Amiel works hard to draw the various strands together, and has a talented cast to help him in this, but cannot sustain suspense in a plot that takes as many chances With logic and credibility as the characters do in pursuit of their ultimate goal.
(Anwar Brett) a General release from Fri 2 Jul.
Guess who‘s coming to dinner: Jacques Villeret in Le Diner De Cons
Le Diner De Cons (15) 80 mins 2% e a Francis Veber is best known for knocked-off domestic comedies that occa3ionally make it internationally — he co-scripted la Cage Aux Fol/es, and wrote and directed both the French and American versions of Les Fugitifs (Three Fugitives). Here he tackles Feydeau-style farce The premise: each Wednesday Pierre (Thierry Lhermitte) and his friends inVite someone for dinner as a plaything for their own amusement Lhermitte's chosen victim on one such night is FrancOis (Jacques Villeret), an accountant whose hobby of making models out of matchsticks proves a source of immediate hilarity to Llieiinitte's upmarket profeSSIonal.
If one finds interesting the idea of a lonely attountant abused for his stupidity before the tables are turned,
24 THE LIST 2-1 Jun—8 Jul 1999
then Verber's film offers much mirth. And at least the tables are turned rather than merely nudged. There’s Lhermitte's hubristic downfall to enioy as his tax dodging deVices are exposed by a government inspector.
But there's a smugness bUiIt into this type of material - we're expected to have the knowmgness of Lhermitte’s lean and carefully dressed bourgeOis, yet also the sensitivity of Villeret when our squat and unkempt fool gets all emotional. The film's strengths, though, he in the performances: Lermitte and Villeret are experts at this kind of thing, while Catherine Frot, Frances Huster and Daniel Prevost eaSily match the leads’ comic timing This is effiCiently filmed theatre.
(Tony MCKibbin) m Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 2 Jul
The Big Hit (18) 91 mins w Pitched somewhere between a sub- John Woo action picture and a frenetic romantic farce, this has straight-to-Video written all over it. Wahlberg exudes a likeable, dopey charm as Mel, a professional hitman for whom a lucrative kidnapping-on- the-side turns sour. The vrctim, wealthy industrialists daughter Keiko (China Chow), turns out to be his day- job boss's godchild. Betrayed by his back-up man, Cisco (Lou Diamond Phillips), Mel finds himself on the wrong end of a lot of firepower. Meanwhile, his personal life is approaching meltdown His fiancee, spoilt ‘JeWish-American Princess' Pam (Christina Applegate), has asked his disapprovmg in-Iaws to visit for the weekend; his money-grabbing mistress, Chantel (Lela Rochon), is
Killing time: Mark Wahlberg in The Big Hit
taking him for everything he’s got; and an over-zealous Video-store clerk is
harassing him about a long overdue tape.
Substituting frenzied pacmg and hyper-kinetic editing for style and panache, Hong Kong filmmaker Che-Kirk Wong flings together a series of ludicrously choreographed set-pieces that defy all the known laws of gravity. Those elements of Ben Ramsey’s screenplay that surVive give a tiny hint of what might have been. The rest is a stupid and pointless exercise in n0isy pyrotechnics. (Nigel Floyd)
1 General release from Fri 25 Jun.
(15) 94 mins at it: xx
Tltere are six hours left until the world ends. Patrick (Don McKellar) has to endure a nostaglic ’Christmas dinner' with his family before he can return to his apartment to spend his final moments alone. His plans change, however, when he is roped into helping distraught Sandra (Sandra Oh) get home to fulfil the suiCide pact she has made With her husband. Patrick’s friend Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) is exhaustively working his way through a list of sexual fantasies, while Sandra's gas company executive husband Duncan (David Cronenberg) calls up all his customers to thank them for their business over the years.
Canadian act0r-Writer-director McKellar’s quiet vrsion of the apocalypse is — like Big Night or The Wedding Banquet — a film that comes apparently out of nowhere, but leaves an unshakable impression on audiences everywhere. There’s no Bruce Willis blasting asteroids here: Last Night is about real people experiencmg real emotions. As their particular brand of anger, grief, wonder or frustration works its way towards a resolution and each character fulfils his or her dream in an against-the-clock scenario, we’re deeply moved by their everyday herOism. it’s a magnificently upbeat, life-affirming film that proves, when it comes to the end of the world, less is indeed more. (Alan Morrison)
II Last Night is on selected release from Fri 2 Jul. See preview.
(15) 90 mins me
It's strange to reView a film which is so speCifically designed to please a target audience. Suffice to say, the producers didn't have Journalists pushing 30 in mind when they made the not of colour, disposable pOp music, and rampant hormonal urges that is Virtual Sexuality. They were gorng for the teenage girl audience, readers of such august publications as Sugar and TV Hits, but it's hard to say whether the finished film Will reach its demographic. Anyone old enough to worry about Standard Grades will find the plot laughable for all the wrong reasons, while their younger counterparts Will find the 15 certificate — an ineVitable consequence of the full frontal nudity and persistently limp knob jOkGS ~ prohibitive.
Hunk male: Rupert Penry Jones in Virtual Sexuality
The cast work hard to convey a sense of fun, but only Laura Fraser and Rupert Penry Jones (his characterisation may find a camp following all of its own) really shine; the others, though charismatic, find it hard to rise above their stereotypes. Clearly this was an attempt to beat the Americans at their own game, but ultimately compared to teen classics such as FerrisBue/ler and Weird Scrence, the makers of Virtual Sexuality are left looking Clueless. (Rob Fraser)
at General release from Fri 2 Jul. See preview.