FILM INDEX continued
South Park: Bigger. Longer & Uncut (15) *** (Trey Parker, 1999, US) Voices of: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes. 80 mins. The premise reeks of the kind of smug self-referentiality you’d expect from hypemeisters Parker and Stone: the influence of a movie starring flatulent Canadians Terrance and Philip ups the little fellas' foulmouthery; their clean-minded parents spearhead a bloody attack upon Canada; a few audacious leaps of credulity later, humanity is at the brink of destruction. Along the way there‘s enough profanity, perversion and scatology to make Bernard Manning blush — plus an alarming foray into hi-tech animation, and a glimpse of Kenny sans hood. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
The Spirit Of St Louis (U) think (Billy Wilder, US, 1957) James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Marc Connelly. 135 mins. The great Stewart plays the man who built his own plane and completed a record-breaking ﬂight across the Atlantic. Based on Lindbergh's memoir, Wilder's film is compelling enough as celebration of American ingenuity, and boasts fine use of Cinemascope. Supported by Plane Crazy (U, Walt Disney, US, 1928, 10mins), the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, inspired by Lindbergh‘s exploits. Part of the Millennium Festival Of Flight. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Story Of Us (15) ** (Rob Reiner, US, 2000) Bruce Willis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rob Reiner. 95 mins. Willis and Pfeiffer's Ben and Katie Jordan are a couple whose relationship has grown stale. After 15 years of marriage, their once attractive quirks have hardened into irritations. Despairing of their future together, they pack their kids off to summer camp and agree to a trial separation. But is there any juice left in the marriage? Maybe, but there's little in this risible romantic comedy. Irvine: Magnum Theatre. Rothesay: Winter Garden. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.
Sullivan's Travels (U) ***** (Preston Sturges, US, 1941) Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake. 91 mins. In equal parts crazy and clever, Sturges' screwball comedy lurches wildly from slapstick comedy to tragedy to social comment and back again. It starts with John L. Sullivan (McCrea), a Hollywood movie mogul who attempts some first hand research of his planned social conscience film, () Brother, Where A rt Thou .7 (which gives its title to the Coen brothers' new film), by taking to the road as a hobo. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Summer Of Sam (18) **** (Spike Lee, US, 1999) John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino. 142 mins. Summer 1977 in New York. Disco is the hottest new sound in the clubs, while the punk rock revolution has crossed the Atlantic. The city is also melting down under a record-breaking heatwave, causing blackouts, looting and riots. Out in the Bronx, however, New Yorkers are concerned about something else: a murder spree by a serial killer dubbed by the media the ‘Son Of Sam'. Lee tackles intolerance once more, and it's his best shot at the subject since Do The Right Thing. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Sunshine (15) *** (lstvan Szabo, Hungary/Germany/Canada/Austria/UK,
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2000) Ralph Fiennes, Jennifer Ehle and William Hurt. 179 mins. Great big pan of goulash of a movie from former European cinema darling Szabo (Mephisto, Colonel Redl). Focusing on lives defined and broken by history and politics, Sunshine tells the stories of three generations of Hungarian Jews living in the 20th century. But it's predictable, clumsy and ultimately manipulative; a modern audience does not need themes of bigotry, family and patriotism so obviously and chronologically underlined. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Swingers (15) **** (Doug Liman, US, 1996) Vince Vaughn, John Favreau, Ron Livingston. 96 mins. A wannabe actor Mike and his pal Trent drive to Vegas to play the tables and pick up some babes. Later, in LA, the boys hang out with their friends, wandering the trendy bars, generally being young, single and without love. Which is just about all there is to Swingers — a heap of talking, the odd homage (Scorsese and Tarantino) and lots of male bonding. A highly watchable, very funny and entertaining piece of low-budget filmmaking. Glasgow: Odeon.
The Talented Mr Ripley (15) ***~k (Anthony Minghella, US/UK, 2000) Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow. 139 mins. Tom Ripley (Damon) befriends then adopts the life of rich kid Dickie Greenleaf (Law). Ripley being an infamous literary murderer, it‘s no surprise how he goes about claiming Dickie's ex pat lifestyle in late 505 Italy, but Minghella‘s film — and Highsmith’s novel — is so much more than a tale of murder; it’s also about lust, love and the interchangeability of identities. Classy all the way. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Campbeltown: Picture House.
Kerrigan's impressive and austere drama, Claire Dolan
Tea With Mussolini (PG) *** (Franco Zeffirelli, Italy/UK, 1999) Cher, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith. 117 mins. Zeffrrelli’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 Horence at the time of II Duce‘s rise to power. This particular brew by Zeffrrelli 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: Cameo.
Three Kings (15) *~k*** (David 0. Russell, US, 2000) George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube. 114 mins. At the butt end of the Gulf War, four US soldiers who have seen no action whatsoever and don’t even understand what the war is about, follow a treasure map to where Saddam Hussein has hidden stolen Kuwati gold. A masterpiece of inhumanity, Russell's witty script and super sharp direction captures the futility of the situation. This film begs some of the most pertinent political questions ever asked in an American movie — it’s amazing it got passed congress. Edinburgh: Brunton Theatre, Cameo.
The Tigger Movie (U) **** (Jun Falkenstein, US, 2000) 77 mins. Identical in many ways to 1977‘s The ManyAdr-entures OfWinnie The Pooh, this new yarn based on A.A. Milne 's characters ﬁnds Pooh, Piglet, Tigger et a1 still living a charmed life of tea parties and afternoon naps. Only this time, the wee stripy fella‘s decided being one of a kind isn't quite as cool as he'd first thought and so a literal quest for the Tiger Family Tree ensues. A happy ending eventually makes its presence felt, because even Tigger is smart enough to recognise that with friends like Pooh, Piglet, R00 and Eeyore, who needs family? General release.
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (l8) **** (Volker Schlondorff, W, 1979) David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Charles Aznavour. 141 mins. Compelling screen version of the Gunter Grass novel about a young boy who refuses to grow up as the Nazis rise to power in Germany. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Topsy-Turvy (12) *ii* (Mike Leigh, UK, 2000) Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Martin Savage. 159 mins. At the film’s core is the turbulent creative partnership between Victorian opera writer Gilbert (Broadbent) and playboy genius composer Sullivan (Corduner). But preparations for their greatest show, The Mikado, involve a whole cast who give flawless performances. This might be Leigh's first period drama, but it‘s another excellent ensemble piece engaging with his usual preoccupation: people at work, rest and play. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Dunfermline: Carnegie Hall. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Toy Story 2 (U) ***** (John Lasseter, US, 2000) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan
Cusack. 95 mins. The new film expands on the original settings and themes: When Woody is not taken to (.‘owboy Camp by his owner Andy, he begins to question the meaning of his ‘Iife'. When he‘s subsequently stolen by a collector — who plans to sell him to a Japanese toy museum — Buzz and the gang travel across town to rescue their pal. The emotive range of the animated characters is extraordinary; they say that computer generated images will never replace the real thing, but Toy Story 2 makes you wonder. General release.
Up At The Villa (12) ** (Philip Ilaas, UK/US, 2000) Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fox, Sean Penn. 116 mins. Despite Haas pumping new blood into the period drama with the weird AngelsAnd Insects, his adaptation of Somerset Maugham's novella turns out to be a rather static and dull affair. On the plus side Thomas looks gorgeous as Mary Panton, a penniless English widow living off the generosity ofothers in a pre- World War II Florentine villa, torn between her starchy fiance (Fox) and a rakish American playboy (a rniscast Penn). Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Virgin Suicides (15) innit (Sofia Coppola, US, 2000) Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods. 90 mins. American suburbia in the 1970s. When the five beautiful Lisbon sisters begin killing themselves one-by-onc, there 's nothing the local and adoring boys can do but watch, and afterwards carry into their adult lives regret, confusion and loss. Coppola ‘s adaptation ofJeffrey liugenides' novel is shot through with a beautiful, melancholic nostalgia for lost youth. The central mystery is never resolved, and the film remains all the more powerful for it. See feature and review. Glasgow: GI’I‘.
The Whole Nine Yards (15) *** (Jonathan Lynn, 2000) Matthew Perry, Bruce Willis, Rosanna Arquette. 98 mins. A screwball crime comedy that teams lidgety Perry with laid-back Willis. Nicholas Ozeransky (Perry) is a hen-peeked Montreal dentist whose shrewish French-Canadian wife (Arquette) has saddled him with her late father’s debts. Jimmy "I'he 'I'ulip’ 'I‘udeski (Willis) is the affable hit-man who hasjust moved in next door. Not hard to tell what happens next, but the pairing of Willis and Perry works surprisingly well. General release.
Withnail 8: I (15) ***** (Bruce Robinson, UK, 1987) Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths. 107 mins. TWo out-of—work actors surviving 1969 London giro squalor take a break in a picturesque Lake District cottage, where one of them suffers the attentions of the ageing homosexual owner. Entertaining British comedy has a second stab at glory, and it's the bleaker end-of—the-decade elements that have lasted best. Edinburgh: UGC.