cinematography, you won’t ﬁnd a great deal more here. Veteran director Carlos Saura has become something of a Hispanic cultural authority after films like Carmen and Flamenco, and he explores a similar theme in a similar way here, clearing the decks of virtually everything else (plot, characterisation, location) for a passionate celebration of the tango tradition. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Tea With Mussolini (PG) (Franco Zefﬁrelli, Italy/UK, 1999) Cher, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith. 117 mins. Zefﬁrelli's film is partly autobiographical, partly fictitious, and concerns the effect on his own upbringing and education by a group of English ladies living in Florence at the time of ll Duce’s rise to power. This particular brew by Zefferelli and John Mortimer has a melange of flavours and is deftly poured in the most idyllic of settings, yet it seems oddly lacking in zest. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Falkirk: FTH.
10 Things I Hate About You (12) (Oil Junger, US, 1999) Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Heath Ledger. 98 mins. lt could have been horrible. But this high school-set reworking of Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew is not only faithful to its source, but is a funny, charming and enjoyable film in its own right. Purists may be aghast at the hijacking of such a literary jewel, but ﬁlms like this offer easy access to great stories. Edinburgh: Cameo. Irvine: Magnum.
The Third Man (PG) (Carol Reed, US/UK, 1949) Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles. 100 mins. Set in an unstable post-World War 11 Vienna, Holly Martins has been invited to the city by his old chum Lime, who is now in the grand-scale drug-dealing business, only to discover that he is dead. Except, he isn’t of course, and a multi-layered cat and mouse scenario is triggered. So, what’s so good about it? Well, you have a stirring zither score by Anton Karas, the ferris wheel and the ‘cuckoo clock’ speech yet possibly it's greatest triumph is to cram so much wonder into so little time. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The 13th Warrior (15) (John McTiernan,
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US, 1999) Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Omar Sharif. 103 mins. Arab poet, lbn Fahdlan (Banderas), is sent as emissary to the cold lands of the north. There he meets a fiercesome group of Viking warriors, who persuade him to join them on a mission to conquer a deadly foe — the so-called Eaters of the Dead. Banderas overcomes his fears, learns the local lingo, proves himself to his comrades and defeats the seemingly supernatural enemy. It's ridiculous of course, but breathtakingly enjoyable with it. General release.
The Thomas Crown Affair (15) (John McTiernan, US, 1999) Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary. 110 mins. Brosnan takes two steps left of his 007 persona to play millionaire playboy Thomas Crown, who turns to art theft to amuse himself. When he lifts a £100 million Monet from a New York museum, he attracts the attention of Russo’s insurance investigator. During the ensuing cat and mouse game of wits, emotions get the better of the worthy foes and romance soon threatens both their livelihoods. The film's two heist scenes are expertly executed by McTieman, while no less riveting is the interplay between the leads. Only the trite final scene blemishes what is otherwise a fine piece of commercial art. General release.
Toy Story (PG) (John Lasseter, US, 1995) With the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles. 81 mins. It isn't just the state- of—the-art images that distinguish Disney’s first computer-generated animation feature, it's got a cracking adventure story too. A tale of friendship and self-belief combined with an exciting rescue and against-the-clock tension, Toy Story is sprinkled with comic asides. Don't be fooled into thinking these toys are just for the kids. Edinburgh: Odeon. Stirling: Carlton.
The Trench (15) (William Boyd, UK, 1999) Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Danny Dyer. 98 mins. Naivete might be the word. But it cannot capture the innocent ignorance that engulfed the British teenagers who ﬂocked to enlist in World War One. Boyd traces the demolition of this innocence amongst a
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the infamous Battle of the Somme. As the bloody outcome is well established, plot is secondary, and the narrative focuses on character development. The stylisation seems at odds with the bulk of the film. Nevertheless, worthy stuff. See preview and review. Selected release.
Universal Soldier: The Return (PG) (Mic Rodgers, US, 1999) Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Jai White, Heidi Schanz. 100 mins. The Return sees Van Damme reprising his role as Luc Deveraux, the government designed cyborg super soldier. Years after fellow UniSol Dolph Lundgren and everyone else from the first ﬁlm were bumped off, the widowed Deveraux has become a father and is helping the government develop a new breed of soldier. Unfortunately, the soldiers's super computer SETH gets ideas of its own and marks Deveraux for termination. See review. Selected release.
Varsity Blues (15) (Brian Robbins, US, 1999) James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker. 105 mins. Van Der Beck leaves
TV '5 Dawson '5 Creek to play a reluctant sports star in this reasonably uplifting highschool football drama set in small-town Texas. Such is the fervour there surrounding the sport, that the game’s heroes quite literally run the town - most conspicuously veteran coach Bud Kilmer (Voight), whose bullying and cynical practices endanger his own players. See review. Glasgow: Odeon Quay, Showcase Cinema, UCl. Edinburgh: ABC, UCl. Paisley: Showcase.
Volcano (12) (Mick Jackson, US, 1997) Tommy Lee Jones, Ann Heche, Gaby Hoffman. 103 mins. When Los Angelcs is hit by a mighty earthquake, the tremor opens a volcanic cavity and soon a torrent of molten lava is heading downtown. Unlike other recent disaster movies, Volcano doesn’t take itself too seriously and the effects are superb. Jones and Heche deliver far better performances than the script deserves, but Jones is given little opportunity to flash his cool, deadpan wit. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The War Zone (18) (Tim Roth, UK, 1999) Ray Winstone, Lara Belmont, Freddie
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Cunliffe, Tilda Swinton. 99 mins. Very little will prepare audiences for this raw, no- holds-barred adaptation of Alexander Stuart's controversial 1989 novel about incest and child abuse. The performances are roundly excellent and, particularly in the case of Winstone and Belmont. very brave. Roth and his cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey contrast claustrophobic tension within the walls of the family home with the wild elements outside to great effect. Painful, powerful drama. Glasgow: Gl-‘f. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Welcome To The Dollhouse (15) (Todd Solondz, US, 1995) Heather Matarazzo, Brendan Sexton Jr. Matthew Faber. 87 mins. Heather Matarazzo delivers an unforgettable performance as Dawn Wiener - a lonely, softly-spoken child subjected to constant abuse at school and virtually ignored at home. This Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinner presents the world of high school as far closer to the bone than the usual sanitised version, probing an inner world of frustration and anger with scathing humour and understanding. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Wild Wild West (12) (Barry Sonncnfeld, US, 1999) Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh. 106 mins. Based on a cult 60s American television series, this is, in essence, James Bond transferred to 19th century America with secret agents James West (Smith) and Artemus Gordon (Kline) saving America from Dr Arliss Loveless (Branagh), a Southern States villain who’s never forgiven the North for the loss of his legs and his beloved ante bellum South in the Civil War. Like Smith and Sonnenfcld’s Men In Black, Wild Wild West combines comic banter between its leads with an oddball plot and imaginative special effects. Unfortunately, the result is nowhere near as inspired. General release.
Young Mr Pitt (PG) (Carol Reed, UK, 1942) Robert Donat, John Mills, Robert Morley. 118 mins. Biopic account of the Prime Minister's stiff upper lipped conduct becoming during the Napoleonic era, originally conceived as a piece of World War ll moral boosting propaganda. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
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