FILM new releases
ALSO OPENING Battlefield Earth (12) 118 mins
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision of the future
The year is 3000 AD. There are no Cities, no countries; Earth is a wasteland. Humankind is an endangered speCies, enslaved by a
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(12) 115 mins imam
Given the buzz on World War II mowe U-57l, you’d think director Jonathan Mostow was the DaVid ering of Hollywood. Yes, he does play fast and loose With history, because the first successful attempt to secure an Enigma coding device from a German U—Boat was achieved by the Royal (not US) Navy. But Mostow’s aim isn’t gritty realism and, to his credit, he does acknowledge the brave acts of the British sailors. Instead, what we have here is a rollicking, old fashioned adventure that’s more in the style of The Guns Of Navarone than Das Boot. From the opening frame, the pace is relentless. Faster than you can say ’all Hans on deck’, a German sub lies crippled in the Atlantic. An American
28 THE “ST 25 May 8 Jun 2000
conquering alien race. Does any of this sound familiar? Post-apocalyptic futures have been envisioned on screen as long ago as the 705 (Planet Of The Apes) and throughout the 80s ( Terminator).
This viSion of the future is that of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard’s, aka founder of America’s quasi-religious Scientology movement, of which Battlefield Earth’s star and producer, John Travolta, is a subscriber. Travolta has cast himself as Terl, security commander of an evil, super- advanced (aren’t they always) giant alien race known as Pyschlos. Terl has grander designs than managing Earth’s enslaved population — he wants to conquer galaxies — so it’s particularly irksome to him that wretched human, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper), should pose a threat to his domination. Jonnie manages this through self- realisation and spiritual enlightenment, after reconnecting with his race’s roots (yep, that old chesnut).
It’s hard to see Battlefield Earth is gomg to impress on a technical level in the wake of the recent slew of sCi-fi blockbusters (Starship Troopers, Independence Day); or what it might say that wasn’t already said in every other episode of Star Trek way back in the 605, twenty years before Hubbard penned his best selling novel. Don’t hold your breath. (Miles Fielder)
I General release from Fri 2 Jun.
More The Guns Of Navarone than Das Boot
crew is sWiftly assembled and, by the halfway pOint, they’ve already got their hands on their Enigma prize. But unexpected Circumstances force a change of plan and an edge-of-seat dash to safety as torpedoes slice through the water.
Matthew McConaughey, looking good in cropped hair and sharp uniforms, comes over like a movie hero from the mould that broke when Mitchum and McQueen hit the dirt. Mostow, as he did With his excellent thriller Breakdown, gets the premise out of the way as soon as possible, then concentrates on delivering excitement. Be sure to see this on a big screen With a top-of-the-range sound system, when the depth charges explode, your very bones Will shake. (Alan Morrison)
General release from Fri 2 Jun.
(U) 75 mins * i: *
When Walt Disney first came up with the idea of turning classical music pops into an animated potpourri, he originally envisioned that Fantasia would continue to be renewed by additional material. Sixty years on, his dream has at last come to fruition with this new collection of musical highlights, initially released on New Year's Day 2000 to large-format IMAX screens around the world.
Now the whole thing has been compacted down into regular 35mm for your local multiplex, but what you get is pretty much what you’d already have expected. The abstract floating triangles of the ’Beethoven Sth’ look pretty banal while Donald Duck, the Noah’s Ark story and Elgar’s ’Pomp And Circumstance March’ make unlikely companiOiis. More impressive are the whales flying to Respighi’s ’Pines Of Rome', the thunderous eco-fable of forest devastation set to Stravinsky’s ’Firebird’, and the very traditional Disney fairytale style in ’The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ (Shostakovich’s ’2nd Piano Concerto’). The music is delivered in thunderous fashion, the assorted star comperes (Steve Martin, Bette Midler etc) try too hard, while the star of the show is the one segment retained from the original, the Dukas ’Sorcei‘er's Apprentice’ set-piece With Mickey Mouse in a pointy Wizard’s hat and lots of buckets of water. (Trevor Johnston)
I General release from Fri 26 May.
\l' They don't make 'em like they used to
Deuce Bigalow, Male
Gi alo (15 88 mins and
Deuce Bigalow is one of thOse strange movies that is better remembered than actually watched. Antoine Laconte (Oded Fehr) is a gigalo who would make Richard Gere weak at the knees. He calls on the services of fish tank cleaner Deuce (Rob Schneider) when his rare lionfish falls ill. Then Laconte leaves his pad in the hands of Deuce when he is called away on vacation . . . bad mistake.
Deuce breaks the fish tank and must raise S6000 before Antome's return Deciding his only hope of raising the cash is to become a gigalo himself, the less than studly Deuce does just that. But visions of the highlife are shattered when the only girls who want to use his services are not at all like former model Lauren Hutton. Instead he takes out a 500 pound woman, an eight foot giant and a girl with Tourette’s f***ing syndrome.
The ensuing Side-splitting moments make no concession to political correctness. Deuce is thrown into a conundrum when he begins to fall for Kate, the only client who seems to be ’normal’, until all is revealed in a hilarious send up of The Crying Game. Sadly, the film fails to sustain these highs and hits a real low point in a gag about a detective with a thin ’attribute’. (Kaleem Aftah)
I General release from Fri 26 May. See preview.
The Girl On The Bridge
(15) 90 mins 1" a 1k
No concession to political correctness
Over the last decade French director Patrice Leconte has proved himself to be a prolific and versatile filmmaker, whose diverse output has included road movies (Tango), thrillers (Monsieur Hire) and costume dramas (Ridicule). His latest feature is this enjoyany playful modern fairytale, which coasts along on the strength of its two lead performances, some witty dialogue and the verve of Leconte’s direction.
Daniel Auteil plays Gabor, a middle-aged knife-thrower, who’s looking for a 'lOW female assistant. Having rescued a suicidal young woman Adele (Vanessa Pdl‘tldlsl from drowning, Gabor Whisks her off to the South of France, where she proves a willing target in his stage act. At last, good fortune appears to be favouring the protagonists, but can their relationship remain on a purely business footing? And if they were to go their separate ways, would Lady Luck still smile on their actions?
The key to the film lies not so much in the plotting but in the chemistry between the always excellent Auteil and a luminous Paradis, who displays a captivating screen presence; indeed the sexual charge to their knife-throwing routine is palpable.
Shot in widescreen in lustrous black and white, and boasting an adventurous score, The Girl On The Bridge may not be the most substantial of concoctions. Yet, like the best of Leconte’s work, it exerts an appealing charm. (Tom Dawson) I Glasgow: GFT,‘ Edinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Fri 26 May.
An enjoyany playful m dern fairytale