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) it (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. If 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. Glasgow: ()deon Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: UGC. Paisley: Showcase. St Andrews: Picture llouse. Wishavv: Arrow Multiplex.
The Adventures Of Elmo In Grouchland (U) *** (Gary Halvorson. US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa 1.. Williams, Kevin Clash. 72 mins.'1‘he pre-school, educational appeal of Sesame Street's cute furry red stalwart doesn't really transfer to cinema as well as his spiritual cousins, 'lhe 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. ()scar, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie. this is strictly for the littlest family members. Glasgow: UGC. Edinburgh: UGC. Dunfcrmline: ()deon. Irvine: Magnum 'Iheatre.
All About My Mother (15) ***** (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins.A1modovar's new film is without a doubt his best to date. When Madrid hospital worker Manuela‘s son is killed in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fulfil her son's last wish to know his father. and goes to Barcelona to find the transvestite she ran away from eighteen years earlier. Renowned for his portrayal of strong women, Almodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Alphaville (15) *‘kin (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1965) Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vernon. 98 mins. Enjoyable mid-60s Godard caper which turns contemporary Paris into Alpha ()0, a chilly city of the future from which such concepts as love and tenderness have been banned. Enter Constantine‘s grizzled gumshoe Lemmy Caution and we're set for an extended and highly idiosyncratic homage to comic strip heroism. Glasgow: GI’I‘. American Beauty (18) *tinhk (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. Kilmarnock: ()deon. American Psycho (18) **** (Mary Harron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. llarron 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. 'lhat 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: ()deon. Stirling: MacRobert.
Angela‘s Ashes (15) *irit (Alan Parker,
54 THELIST 6—20 Jul 2000
UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. Frank MeCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 30s is a publishing phenomenon, loved across the world by those with no connection to the book's three defining elements - Ireland. Catholicism and poverty. Parker can't establish the same level of engagement as McCourt does, but he can train his lens on the faces of his remarkable cast to show a texture of emotions. Sentiment here is a natural ingredient, not a saccharine additive. Stirling: MacRobert.
‘I’he Aristocats (U) *‘kin (Wolfgang Reithcrman, US, 1970) With the voices of Phil Ilarris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway. 78 mins. A street-wise alley cat woos an upper-class feline against the backdrop of turn-of—the-century Paris. Loads of loveable cats, dogs, mice detectives and human adversaries, alongside some of Disney ‘s more under-rated songs. Glasgow: ()deon Quay.
Arsenic And Old Lace (P0) thud (Frank Capra, US, 1942) Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre, Josephine Ilull. Jean Adair. 118 mins. Priceless black comedy has Grant upping the double-take factor when sinister criminals Massey and Lorre come to stay with his two sweet aunts, a double-act who of course are just as murderous themselves. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Asterix And Obelix Take On Caesar (PG) iii (Claude Zidi, France Belgium, 2000) Christian Clavier, Gerard Depardieu, Roberto Benigni. 110 mins. Clavier and Depardieu lead the way as the film's dynamic Gaulish duo, juiced up on their secret super strength-giving potion, dispensing with the Roman army in a slapstick and downright chirpy way. Benigni also pops up as the Roman army crook who plans to overthrow Caesar. Asterit’ can take its place alongside Superman and Batman as one of the successful comic conversion jobs. Falkirk: I’I‘II Cinema. Stirling: MacRobert. Beau Travail (15) *t** (Claire Denis, France, 2000) Denis lavant, Michel Subor. Gregoire Colin. 90 mins. An imaginative reworking of Herman Melville's novella Billy Bur/(l, Sailor, Beau Travail sees writer- director Denis relocating the source material from the 19th century British navy to the present-day French Foreign Legion. ln Marseillc, Sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant) recalls the events that lead to him being forced to leave the corps after being posted to a remote outpost in Djibouti, East Africa. A work filled with beauty, sadness and mystery. Mcsmerising filmmaking. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse 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. Glasgow: ()deon Quay.
La Belle et La Bete (PG) atheist: (Jean Cocteau. France, 1940) Jean Marais, Josettc Day, Marcel Andre. 92 mins. Sombrc, magical and extravagant rendition of the fairytale with Day as Beauty and Marais as her shepherd lover and the Beast. A haunting fantasy. Glasgow: GI’I'.
Beyond the Mat (15) *** (Barry W. Blaustein, US, 2000) Mike Foley, 'l’erry Funk, Jake "l‘he 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 'lemerrca 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. Glasgow: Show case. The Big Heat ( IS‘) ***** (Fritz lang,
It's not merely chickens
who are getting the big sc
treatment. A Monkey's Tale imagines simians with human intelligence in this tale of two tribes going to war
LS, 1953) Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin. 90mins. Muscular thriller as ex-cop Ford tries to track down his wife's killer and nab a crime ring with the assistance of Grahame‘s sympathetic rnoll. Marvin is a blisterineg vicious villain, stubbing out cigarettes on a human ash-tray and scalding Grahame with the contents of a coffee pot. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
Big Momma's House (12) *t* (Raja Gosncll, US, 2000) Martin Iawrence, Nia lxing, Paul Giamatti. 100 mins. Iawdy. what folks will do to make other folks laugh. llere, 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 (lung) and ultimately her criminal boyfriend into a trap. All very lame: perhaps the best recommendation for Big Momma is House is the ripe bluesfsoul. gospel soundtrack. General release.
Black Beauty (L?) *t* (Caroline Thomson, US'UK, 1994) Sean Bean, David 'l‘lievvlis, Peter Cook. 82 mins. The most famous horse in children's literature returns in a faithful screen version by debut director Thomson, whose work as a screenwriter — The Secret (iarrlen, Edward Scissorhamls, The .N'ightmare Before Christmas — taps into a darker current of childhood vision. 'Ihe pace sets off at a gallop, and should intrigue adults as well as younger viewers. Glasgow: GI’I.
Blood For Dracula (18) titt (Patrl Morrissey, Italy France, 1973) Udo Keir, Joe Dallesandro, Maxime McKendry. 103 mins. Delightfully gory and at times extremely funny, Morrissey's distinctive take on the vampire myth has Keir's surprisingly sympathetic bloodsuckcr searching for virgin blood in Italy, but thwarted by Dallesandro's efforts as an over-sexed Marxist gardener. Watch out for Vittorio De Sica and Roman Polanski in cameo roles. Glasgow: GI’I'.
Boys Don't Cry (18) ***** (Kimberly Peirce, US, 3000) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard. 114 mins.
Writer director Kimberly Peirce's first feature is based upon the life of Brandon 'l‘eena, the transgendered Nebraska girl vv ho lived her life as a male, and whose love affair with a smalltown girl named Lana 'I‘isdcl met a bloody end in 1993. Swank is simply astonishing. 'I‘he 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: Gl-‘I‘. Edinburgh: Cameo, Lumiere.
Breathless (A Bout de Souffle) (15) ***** (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1959) Jean-Paul Belrnondo, Jean Seberg. 90 mins. A chic Parisian petty criminal (Belmondo) and his American ex-patriate 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 vv ith the conventions of filmic grammar, but today it stands as a casual love letter to the American B-mov'ie
crime picture. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
A Bug's Life (U) **** (John lasserer, US, 1998) Voices of: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, David Ilyde Pierce, Denis Leary. 95 mins. Made by Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story), A Bug 's Life takes us to Ant Island, where the colony is being oppressed by a gang of menacing grasshoppers. When inventive but clumsy worker ant Flik incurs the wrath of gang leader Hopper, he heads off to find help heavyweight help in the battle against his oppressors. Dunfcrmline: ()deon. Kilmarnock: ()deon.
Chicken Run (U) *an (Nick Park'Peter lxird, UK, 2000) Voices of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson. 85 mins. For their first feature Aardman studios have re-written the WWII P.().W. experience as an ()rwellian satire, albeit with laughs. So, Stalag 17 DCCGmCS a battery farm and the camp commandant farmer 'I‘weedy‘s domineering wife, while in the hutchcs, Ginger rallies her fellow hens to fly their coop. 'Ihough the characters aren't as established as Wallace and Gromit and the feature length running time slows the action, Aardman continue to work real wonders with their familiar Plasticine animation. General release.
Chill Factor (15) *** (Hugh Johnson, US, 2000) Skeet Ulrich, Cuba Gooding Jr. 101 mins. Regular joe Mason (Ulrich) teams up with ice-cream delivery driver Arlo (Gooding Jr) to deliver ‘Iilvis', a highly volatile frozen chemical compound capable of blowing a hole through next week, to a military base. Sounds dumb, but Johnson pulls it off. Despite no great originality in theme and execution, Chill Factor is a thoroughly entertaining action romp that fuses witty repartee of the buddy movie with the race against time white-knuckle ride. Paisley: Showcase.
Chinatown (15) think (Roman Polanski, US, 1974) Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston. 131 mins. Private eye Jake Gittes takes on a routine case in 1937 LA and ends up uncovering more than he bargained for. Splendid conspiracy thriller with a handsome period look and a quite superlative cast. Despite rumours spread by Nicholson and Polanski, though, the nose-slitting scene was faked. Glasgow: GI’I'.
Deception (15) ** (John I-‘rankenheimer, 1.8.2000) Ben Aflleck, Charlize 'I‘lreron, Gary Sinese. 105 mins. Like Frankenheimer's absurdly overrated Roirin, this feels like a film from the mid-(ills, with a 50s ‘B' noir script that's been tricked out with 90s-stylc post-modern irony. Wide screen, deep focus compositions give free rein to the actors, who respond by giving credible performances that are curioust at odds with the arch clever-cleverness of Iihren (Scream 3) Kruger's serpentine screenplay that involves an ex-Con, a white trash woman and a casino heist. Glasgow: ()deon Quay, Showcase. Paisley: Showcase. St Andrews: Picture House.
Double Indemnity (PG) tithe (Billy Wilder, US, 1944) Barbara Stanwyek, Fred McMurray, Iidward G. Robinson. 100 mins. Cracking adaptation by Wilder and Raymond Chandler of the James M. Cain