Detroit Rock City (15) 80 mins i:
In 705 Ohio, four teenagers use their own guitar band to imitate their idols, pouting rock harlequins Kiss, and look forward to an upcoming concert in Detroit by the group. Unfortunately, the tickets fall into the hands of drummer Jam's bible-bashing harridan of a mother, who considers Kiss the devil's work. And when spaced-out guitarist Trip screws up a phone-in competition for free passes, the friends find themselves stranded outside the venue scrabbling around for any half- baked plan to get them into the gig.‘
A hackneyed slice of teen nostalgia, Adam Rifkin’s comedy mistakes period authenticity for humour. The kids talk the talk, the clothes and hairstyles are
Kiss off: Edward Furlong in Detroit Rock City
suitably garish, the enmity between disco and rock is played out (rock wins, of course). But the trials and tribulations of male adolescence on show here are explored no more wittin or affectineg than any high school film set in the present day.
The characters rarely venture far from stereotypes, with Edward Furlong, so much fun in Pecker, particularly wasted as the group's leader, especially in a scene of extreme wish-fulfilment with that queen of the erotic thriller, Shannon Tweed. In the end, as the incessant splay-legged soundtrack testifies, the movie is merely an ego boost for Kiss and their leather-clad ilk. For those about to rock . . . and no one else. (Simon Wardell)
I General release from Fri 22 Oct.
Mad Cows (15) 90 mins **
The title says it all really. Mad Cows adopts a strictly ‘up yours’ attitude to men, babies, the law and being nice, and gives us female heroines who break free as soon as they learn not to trust. Anna Friel plays main protagonist Maddy; she's frankly sweet in some scenes, and even approaches something resembling unhappiness once or twice, but such indications of an inner life are out of place in this film.
Joanna Lumley is much more what it is about. She plays the character she always does now - a middle-aged woman in drag - and embodies the values that writer Kathy Lette champions in her fiction, namely that
Frenzy: Anna Friel in Mad Cows
women are better than men and that being ballsy is better than being sensitive.
Mad Cows wishes to be funny and perhaps even feminist, but fails to be much more than cynical. Its characters are vehicles for hammy acting and the
underlying anger of the whole thing“
can't really be disguised. For those still interested, the plot concerns an Aussie single mum (Friel) and her attempts to make her ex (Greg Wise) take some responsibility for their six-week-old baby. She's supported, if that's the word, by Gillian (Lumley) a woman in search of men's credit cards. They adventure through the prison system, a posh party and a few brawls . . . and the gals come up trumps.
I General release from Fri 29 Oct.
new releases FILM
Run Lola Run
(15) 80 mins think
Young Berlin punk Lola (Franka Potente) has twenty minutes to raise 100,000 marks and deliver the loot to her stupid, but beloved, boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), who's mislayed (duh and doh!) a like amount owed to a bunch of murderous drug dealers. Not an easy task, but writer/director Tom Twyker gives Lola three chances and helps her pound the streets with a thumping, self- composed techno soundtrack.
Using every style trick in the book, including animation, rocket-propelled camera work and a footy kick off (yes, literally) to start the action, Twyker astounds with an adrenaline rush of a movie that leaves other speed—freak pleasing fodder at the starting gate. No sooner has Twyker whizzed through to one possible outcome, than he rewinds and plays out another scenario — twice more. Along the way, there are many ingenious touches, such as the photo-snapping into the future of the lives of innocent bystanders Lola bumps into.
Twyker maintains breakneck speed and super gloss finish, and from beginning to end his feel for pace never falters. His real coup, however, is casting the striking Potente in the lead; with her he pulls off an action flick with great character and driving drama. (Miles Fielder)
I Glasgow GFT; Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 22 Oct. See preview.
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Happiness is a warm gun: Run Lola Run
'The Blair Witch Project
(15) 90 mins *inhHr
Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s terrifying docu-horror movie purports to be an edited version of the film and video footage that Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard and Michael Williams shot in the days before they disappeared in the woods around Burkittsville, Maryland. We see interviews with locals about the legend of the Blair Witch, footage of the three filmmakers getting hopelessly lost, and increasingly hysterical scenes in which they take out their frustration on one another. At night, inside their flimsy tent, they are vulnerable and frightened, slowly losing their grip on reality as they are assailed by eerie scufflings and blood-curdling screams. Then it gets really bad.
Among viewers with two brain cells to rub together, belief in the film's ’reality‘ was short-lived. In fact, the most impressive aspect of The Blair Witch Project is not the immediacy of the raw footage, but the subtle artifice that sustains this illusion of unfiltered reality. While you‘re watching Blair Witch, you are too scared to think; but, on reflection, it is this formal control that make the events and characters so vivid, and which allows the film to play such clever tricks with your mind. (Nigel Floyd)
I Edinburgh: Cameo from Thu 21 Oct. General release from Fri 29 Oct. See feature.
The Winslow Boy (U) 110 mins ****
Having thoroughly dissected tough guy masculinity on stage and screen, it has surprised many that David Mamet should now adapt Terence Rattigan's very British period drama. No one gets bludgeoned with a baseball bat, screwed out of bucks and dimes, or says, ‘Fuck you'. However, in the Winslow household, the characters still talk fast and to the point. Or around it. In Mamet's distinctive staccato fashion. And the dialogue delivery nails you to your seat.
Rattigan's play is based on an event which caught the British public’s imagination in 1912. The boy in question is expelled from naval academy for allegedly stealing a postal order, much to the consternation of his upper middle class family (Nigel Hawthorne, Mamet's Edinburgh-born wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, her brother, Matthew and Gemma Jones). At father's insistance, the Winslows spare every last expense to clear the boy's name, finally employing eminent barrister Sir Robert Morton (Jeremy Northam).
The cast are roundly superb (Northam picked up the acting prize at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival), evincing as much control as their director. Although the proceedings seem a little cold, that's Mamet's way. What astonishes is the sheer style and skill on display. (Miles Fielder)
I General release from Fri 29 Oct. See preview.
Father and son: Nigel Hawthorne and Guy Edwards in The Winslow Boy
21 Oct—4 Nov 1999 TIIE U812!