Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
28 Days (15) ** (Betty 'Thomas, US, 2000) Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi. 109 mins. Bullock loses her wholesome image in this comedy drama playing alcoholic celebrity writer Gwen Cummings, a full-on party girl who lands herself in a month‘s court-ordered rehab. Bullock does hit a convincing note of rueful self-awareness, but her new insight seems too easily achieved. 1f the film doesn't exactly plumb the lower depths of its heroine's psyche, at least it refreshingly refuses to give us an upbeat, sentimental ending. General release.
The Adventures Of Elmo In Grouchland (U) *ti (Gary llalvorson, US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa L. Williams, Kevin Clash. 72 mins. The pro-school, educational appeal ofSesome Street's cute furry red stalwart doesn't really transfer to cinema as well as his spiritual cousins, The Muppets. Elmo loses his security blanket down Oscar the Grouch's trashcan. Once inside, he is transported to the hellish Grouchland, where he must retrieve it from the hands of the land’s most abhorrent resident Huxley (Patinkin). Despite sturdy support from all the Street regulars: Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, this is strictly for the littlest family members. General release.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (U) ***** (Michael Curtiz, US, 1938) Errol Flynn, Olivia De llavilland, Basil Rathbone. 102 mins. Sparkling, Oscar-winning excitement as Flynn and his merry men ﬁght the evil Prince and the wicked Rathbone to help the poor and capture the hand of the fair De Havilland. Peerless sword-play and an infectious sense of high spirits. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
After Life (PG) ##ka (Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan, 1998) Takashi Mochizuki, Shiori Satonaka, Satoru Kawashima. 118 mins. The after life of the title is a civil service bureaucracy that people go to when they die. We‘ve seen this before in A Matter OfLife And Death and the films of Frank Capra (which Koreeda acknowledges with the film‘s title in Japan — wonderful Life), but here fiction is interwoven with documentary in the most imaginative way. Glasgow: G T’I'.
American Beauty (18) ***** (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, 'I‘hora Birch. 121 mins. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (Spacey, giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encounter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: Lester quits his job, digs out his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what’s been missing from his life for years: pleasure and happiness. Caustic, touching and hilarious in all the right places — a modern classic. Edinburgh: Cameo. American Psycho (18) *inHr (Mary llarron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. Harron does away with the outward excesses - murder, torture, misogyny — of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel about the previous money- obsessed decade and serves up the essence of the novel in a more palatable form. That doesn‘t mean her ﬁlm is soft; it certainly isn't. But where Ellis pushed his readers away, the director draws the audience in by encouraging us to collude with her satiric standpoint. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Arachnophobia (PG) **** (Frank Marshall, US, 1990) Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman. 110 mins. In rural retreat on the California coast, the Jennings family are unpleasantly surprised when they meet their new neighbours, a particularly venomous breed of spiders, which are to terrorise the village of Canaima, not least through the surgery of arachnaphobic Dr Jennings (Daniels). Produced by Steven Spielberg and billed as
a ‘thrillomedy', this feast of humorous horrors is guaranteed to appeal to sick- minded punters who enjoy either nightmares or close contact with our eight-legged friends. Glasgow: GET.
The Aristocats (U) *ttt (Wolfgang Reitherrnan, US, 1970) With the voices of Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway. 78 mins. A street-wise alley cat woos an upper-class feline against the backdrop of tum-of-the-century Paris. Loads of loveable cats, dogs, mice detectives and human adversaries, alongside some of Disney‘s more under-rated songs. Glasgow: Odeon. Kilmarnock: Odeon.
The Barber Of Siberia (12) iii (Nikita Mikhalkov, UK/Russia, 2000) Julia Ormond, Richard Harris, Oleg Menshikov. 179 mins. Tsarist Russia 1885: American Jane Callahan (Orrnond) meets and falls in love with Andrey Tolstoy (Menshikov in a superb performance), an elegant and sensitive young cadet. Their relationship has personal ramifications on all those around them and eventually tears their worlds apart. Constructed like a historical whodunnit, this is controlled chaos par excellence. The man who directed the sublime Urga and the Chekovian Burn! By The Sun has thrown up a lumbering, awkward but awe-inspiring movie. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Bats (18) iii (Louis Morneau, US, 1999) Bob Gunton. 90 mins. In best monster movie tradition, a shifty scientist injects some test animals — bats of course — with an experimental serum that increases the flying rodent's aggression. When they escape the virus quickly spreads and the locals find themselves under attack from the winged hoard. It’s been done with everything from worms to bunny rabbits, so why not bats? Paisley: Showcase.
Battlefield Earth (12) ** (Roger Christian, US, 2000) John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker. 118 mins. it's 3000 AD. Earth is a wasteland, humankind an endangered species enslaved by a conquering alien race. Science fiction author and scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's post-apocalyptic vision of the future is brought to the screen by star, producer and scientologist Travolta. Between 603 television shows (Star Trek) and 905 blockbusters (Independence Day) we‘ve seen it all before. Dunfcrmline: Odeon. Galashiels: Pavilion. St Andrews: New Picture House. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex. Being John Malkovich (15) ***** (Spike Jonze, US, 2000) John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich. 112 mins. Frustrated puppeteer Craig Schwartz (Cusack) takes a job as a filing clerk and discovers a portal into the actor John Malkovich’s brain. What could have developed into a one-gag ﬁlm, becomes a gender-bending extravaganza with a crazy network of love triangles, which climaxes with a lesbian relationship between two people of the opposite sex. A bewildering number of possibilities are added to the central premise and important questions about personal identity and self- fulfilment are raised. Edinburgh: Cameo, Odeon, Filmhouse. Falkirk: l’l‘ll Cinema. Beyond the Mat (15) *** (Barry W. Blaustein, US, 2000) Mike Foley, Terry Funk, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. 103 mins. A documentary on wrestling is almost a contradiction in terms. since the whole ‘sport' is based on entertainment and the fabrication of reality. Yet director and narrator Blaustein — better known for writing Coming To America and The Nutty Professor — focuses on wrestling heroes at the end of their careers, and concentrates on the idea of people living out dreams rather than the life of a wrestler. In so doing he succeeds in showing the brutal reality behind the pantomime. See review. Selected release.
The Big Gundown (15) *** (Sergio Sollima, ltaly/Spain, 1966) Lee Van Cleef, Thomas Milian. 84 mins. Leone regular Van Cleef’s Texas lawman accepts a bribe from an influential railroad speculator: in return for assistance with his bid to enter politics, Van Cleef must hunt down a Mexican bandit. Thus an extended game of cat and mouse ensues ending in a ﬁnal shoot-out across the border. With music by Ennio Morricone. Glasgow: GET.
Big Momma's House (12) *** (Raja
Gosnell, US, 2000) Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti. 106 mins. Lordy, what folks will do to make other folks laugh. Here, Lawrence's undercover cop dons a latex mask, false breasts and a dress, transforming himself into an overweight old woman. While the real Big Momma‘s on vacation, Lawrence lures her granddaughter (Long) and ultimately her criminal boyfriend into a trap. All very lame; perhaps the best recommendation for Big Momma ’5 House is the ripe blues/soul/gospel soundtrack. See review. General release. The Borrowers (U) *ttt (Peter Hewitt, UK, 1997) John Goodman, Jim Broadbent, Celia lmrie. 86 mins. At a height of only four inches, the Borrowers hide in wall cavities and living beneath the ﬂoorboards of the Lender household. When a nasty lawyer tries to swindle the humans out of their inheritance, families big and small join forces. The design and effects create a strangely familiar, oddly unplaceable world, and children will have little difﬁculty suspending enough disbelief to be spellbound by the magic of the ﬁlm. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Boys Don't Cry (18) ***** (Kimberly Peirce, US, 2000) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard. 114 mins. Writer/director Kimberly Peirce's first feature is based upon the life of Brandon Teena, the transgendered Nebraska girl who lived her life as a male, and whose love affair with a smalltown girl named Lana Tisdel met a bloody end in 1993. Swank is simply astonishing. The credibility of the film rests entirely upon her performance, but it's a burden she shoulders with consummate skill and grace. A humbling example of brave, beautiful, brutal filmmaking. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Filmhouse, Lumiere.
Braveheart (15) *inirir (Mel Gibson, US, 1995) Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau. 177 mins. Mel Gibson‘s long and bloody account of the life of Scottish warrior hero William Wallace boasts some remarkable battle scenes and great performances. Aiming to entertain on a wider scale than the more literate Rob Roy,
See it Hear it
Fri 23 June Sat 24 June (family)
Sino-H-Lono-H Sound of Music
Tickets: Adults £8.50 & £6.50
Braveheart’s Scottish passion is tempered by a few Hollywood moments — touches of sentimentality and ‘dramatic’ historical inaccuracy. Nevertheless, it’s a ﬁne, full- blooded attempt to tap into the spirit that ﬁres Scotland‘s history and heroes. Glasgow: GilmorehillGlZ.
Breathless (A Bout de Soufﬂe) (15) ***** (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1959) Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg. 90 mins. A chic Parisian petty criminal (Beimondo) and his American ex~patriatc girlfriend (Seberg) drift through a world of stolen cars and aimless romance towards an inexorable downbeat ﬁnale. Godard’s debut feature provoked quite a stir in its day for its carefree arrogance with the conventions of ﬁlmic grammar, but today it stands as a casual love letter to the American B-movie crime picture. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Broken Vessels (18) **** (Scott Ziehl, US, 2000) Jason London, Todd Field. 90 mins. Tom (London) moves to Los Angeles to become a paramedic and rid himself of the ghosts of his past, but new partner Jimmy (Field) plies him with enough drugs to keep a Columbian baron occupied for a month. Broken Vessels bears more than a passing resemblance to Scorsese 's Bringing Out The Dead, but Ziehl displays an unrelenting dark comic touch, taking every opportunity to depict the pair as heroes one minute and villains the next as they rail against their seemingly meaningless existence. See review. Selected release. Brothers (18) *‘k (Martin Dunkereton, UK, 2000) Justin Brett, Rebecca Cardinale, Daniel Fredenburgh. 90 mins. A bunch of twentysomething blokes go on holiday to Greece to get pissed and shag. And they do, having more fun all round than viewers of the risible low budget Brit ﬂick are likely too. Still, the photography’s scenic enough and the performances (all too) believable. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay, Showcase. Paisley: Showcase. St Andrews: New Picture House.
Continued over page
ﬂoem Theatre Componu
accompanied on the London Boroooe Sinfooio Tues 4 July at ].l5pm Tickets from £4.00
The Homemade Bonn Show Fri 7 to Sun 9 July
Tickets: Adults £9.00 (£7.00 concessions) Children £7.00
Box Ofﬁce 0131 as soon Groups ﬂlﬂnsaﬂ 61105
22 Jun—61ul 2000 THE LIST 29