cynical man who learns his own heart when tragic circumstances force him to re- evaluate his feelings for a woman. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Patriot(15) **** (Roland Emmerich, US, 2000) Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger. Jason lsaacs. 160 mins. Swapping his saltire for the stars and stripes, Gibson's revolutionary fervour is back on the boil as he trounces King George's Redcoats during the American War of Independence. The Patriot is epic, action-packed stuff and there's something for everyone: corn and cringeworthy American backslaps, adventure and battle scenes, issues of loyalty and honour, and a strong performance from .Gibson forming the bedrock of it all. General release.
The Perfect Storm (12) it (Wolfgang Petersen, US, 2000) George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. 129 mins. As the director of one of the best maritime movies of all-time, I)as Boot, Petersen was an obvious choice to helm this adaptation of Sebastian Junger‘s riveting factual book about a fishing boat caught up in the most ferocious North Atlantic storm ever recorded. However, in trying to be true to the actual events, Bill Wittliff's pedestrian script suffers from chronic structural flaws, leading to a complete lack of suspense, tension and emotional undertow. if ever a film deserved to sleep with the fishes. then this is it. See review. General release. Pokemon (U) ***** (kids)/** (adults) (Michael llaigney/Kunohiko Yuyama, Japan," US, 2000) 96 mins. Cloned Pokemon (pocket monster) Mewtwo embarks on world dominance and so hero kids, Ash, Brock and Misty. accompanied by their Pokemon, set out to make him see the error of his ways. Cue a great deal of gratuitous fighting and an interlude in which it's explained that fighting is bad ('.’l). The stupor induced by viewing the film strand of the phenomenal Pokemon franchise (computer game, collecting cards, etc.) as an adult, convincingly confirms that it’s a kid thing, good or bad. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. lialkirk: i’l'H Cinema.
Ridicule (18) **** (Patrice Leconte, France, 1996) Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant. 102 mins. A young engineer travels to the court of Louis XVI to secure funding fora drainage project and discovers a cruel society where savage wit can open doors or slam them in your face. \‘erbal duels give the film a literate spark, and the portrait of a decadent world manages to achieve several contemporary parallels. A costume drama with depth beneath the costumes. Edinburgh: Cameo. Rosetta (15) ***** (Luc and Jean- Pierre I)ardenne, Belgium/France, 1999) Emilie Dequenne, Anne Yernaux, l-‘abrizio Rongione. 91 mins. Rosetta (Dequenne) is seventeen and has one wish: to find a job that will enable her to move out of the caravan that she eo-habits with her alcoholic mother (Yernaux). Despite continual disappointments in the job market Rosetta refuses to give up hope and battles on like a bull facing a matador. A marvellous exposition of the continuing importance of cinema in highlighting social barriers and conflict, Rosetta was rewarded with the Cannes Palme d'Or. Edinburgh: i-‘ilmhouse. Saving Grace (15) H (Nigel Cole, UK, 2000) Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson. 9-1 mins. Saddled with crushing debts after the sudden death of her husband, keen horticulturist Grace (Blethyn) transforms the greenhouse of her Cornish mansion into a marijuana plantation with the assistance of her Scottish gardener. Matthew (Ferguson). Already being touted as this year's feelgood British comedy, Saving (irace attempts to recapture the magic of the lialing classics; instead it merely feels out of touch with modern life. Falkirk: l’lii Cinema. Greenock: Waterfront.
Scottish Shorts Award Winners (no eert) (Various, UK, 1097-99) 50 mins approx. Four of the best from the nation's bright young things: Adrian J. McDowell's Who's My Favourite (iirlf’, Ken Aitken's Swimming With The Tiger, Morag McKinnon's Home and Matt Hulse’s Wee Three. Edinburgh: l’ilmhouse.
Shaft (18) **** (Gordon Parks, US, 1971) Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi. 100 mins. Male model Roundtree is the eponymous hero, who‘s job
it is to find and rescue the daughter of black Mafia boss Bumpy Jonas (Gunn). ()n his travels Shaft encounters the local black power movement, a handful of uptight, doughnut-eating cops, and a number shady hitmcn up for what Shaft calls ‘kicking my black ass'. A huge commercial success in the US, Shaft opened the eyes ofAmerican studio bosses to the potential black cinema market, which had relegated black actors to Uncle Tom roles. It may look dated, but it captured a moment in time and did so with style. See review. Edinburgh: Cameo. Snow Falling On Cedars (15) *** (Scott Hicks, US, 2000) Ethan llawke, Rick Yune, Youki Kudoh. 126 mins. Adapted from David Guterson‘s best-selling novel, Hicks' follow-up to Shine turns out to be a solemn, rather uninvolving exploration of memory, racial prejudice and reconciliation, set on remote island off the Pacific Northwest coast circa 1950. Hicks establishes the dank, oppressive atmosphere of an isolated fishing community. Yet the jigsaw-puzzle narrative lacks dramatic focus. lialkirk: 1"I‘H Cinema. Stirling: MacRobert.
Star Kid (PG) *** (Manny Coto, US, 1997) Joseph Mazzello, Richard Gilliland, Corinne Bohrer. 100 mins. Shy, bullied Spencer (Jurassic Park's Mazzello) discovers an alien Cybersuit with a voice and personality of its own. Climbing inside, he gets back at his school nemesis, but finds himself up against a deadlier foe when he faces intergalactic tough nuts. the Brtmdwarriors. Clearly aimed at pre- adolescent boys who want to fill out their underdog fantasies, Star Kid is a better than average kids movie. Edinburgh: i-‘ilmhouse. The Straight Story (U) ***** (David
Lynch. US, 1999) Richard l-‘arnsworth, Sissy
Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton. 111 mins. Midwestern old timer Alvin Straight is hellbent on re-uniting with his estranged, terminally ill brother so he takes to the road aboard his motorised lawnmower. liarnsworth's lead performance is honest, heart-felt and credible, while Lynch maintains his fascination with the inherent strangeness of smalltowns and lost highways. But, in this sublime snail‘s pace odyssey, modern psychosis is replaced by old time decency. Glasgow: (ii’l'. Strangers On A Train (1’0) *thbk (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1951) Farley Granger, Robert Walker. 101 mins. Hitch’s appropriation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, the conceit for which is two strangers who get chatting aboard a long train journey and both admit to people they would like to kill — one is joking, the other is deadly serious. With it's climax aboard an out-of-control fairground ride and two superb central performances, this is one of Hitchcock‘s best. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
A Streetcar Named Desire (PG) **** (Eliz Kazan, US, 1951) Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter. 122 mins. Brando takes the acting honours and, with this film, set the style for method acting for years to come. Tennessee Williams' steamy sex romp seems a little tame by today standards, but the realism of the drama remains intact and the performances are to be savoured. Glasgow: Gl’l'.
Stuart Little (U) *i* (Rob Minkoff, US, 2000) Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie. 92 mins. Live action with a computer generated talking mouse voiced by Michael J. Fox, Minkoff's adaptation of E.B. White's classic childrens‘ book sees the sweet wee rodent orphan being adopted by affluent Manhattanites the Little family. Stuart‘s problems begin with a new nemesis, the mean-spirited, inappropriately-named family cat Snowbell. The message of the film is clear — little guy discovers the meaning of family, loyalty and friendship — but of more interest to viewers both small and large will be the Tom And Jerry-style antics. General release.
Sweet And Lowdown (PG) ivhHr (Woody Allen, US, 2000) Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Uma 'Ihurman. 95 mins. Penn is simply awesome as 1930s musician Emmet Ray, the self-proclaimed second best guitar player in the world. Respect for the ‘gypsy guitar man' Django Reinhardt is Ray's sole element of humility; he is rude, egomaniacal and utterly selfish and the one who suffers most is the mute Hattie (the splendid Morton). Visually, musically,
dramatically and comedically, Sweet And Lowdown can sit comfortably among Woody Allen's best works. And with the passing of cinematic time, they will surely be reflected upon as his lead pair's finest hour and a half. Edinburgh: Cameo, l-‘ilmhouse.
Tarzan (U) *ttt (Kevin Lima and Chris Buck, US, 1999) Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Nigel Hawthorne. 88 mins. Disney has finally turned its attention to the second most filmed character in Western cinema (Dracula is the first) and has created some astonishing images. Storytelling-wise, Tarzan remains reasonably faithfully to Edgar Rice Burroughs original. Shipwrecked on a tropical island, baby Tarzan looses his human parents to a terrifying tiger and is adopted by an ape clan. All grown up, the Ape Man is reunited with man and womankind when a trophy hunting'anthropological expedition arrives and 'l’arzan meets Jane. Glasgow: ()deon. Motherwell: Moviehouse.
Thomas And The Magic Railroad (U) *‘A’ (Britt Allcroft, UKJUS, 2000) Voices ofAlec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, Michael E. Rodgers. 79 mins. This adaptation of the Reverend Wilbur Awdry books is aimed squarely at under tens. Whilst children will be lapping up the tale of Thomas 'lhe Tank Engine aiding 'lhe Conductor (Baldwin) against the evil Diesel train, accompanying guardians will be wondering what happened to Allcroft's classic series narrated by Ringo Starr. Surely it was never thisjuvenile! General release.
Three To Tango (12) * (Damon Santostefano, US, 2000) Neve Campbell, Matthew Perry, ()liver Platt. 98 mins. Straight architect ()scar (Perry) is mistaken for gay architect Peter (Platt) by his boss, Charles (Dylan McDermott), who is having an affair with free-spirited artist Amy (Campbell). Being the jealous kind, Charles encourages ()scar to hang out with Amy in order to spy on her, but matters are complicated when Oscar and Amy fall in love. This set-up compounds Hollywood stereotyping of gay men as asexual clowns, while preaching about tolerance between the gay and straight communities. Best quickly forgotten. General release.
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The Tigger Movie (U) **** (Jun i-‘alkenstein, US, 2000) 77 mins. Identical in many ways to 1977's The Many Adventures 0] Winnie The Pooh, this new yarn based on A.A. Milne's characters finds Pooh, Piglet, Tigger et al 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, Roo and Eeyore, who needs family"? Edinburgh: Dominion. Galashiels: Pavilion. Largs: Vikingar Cinema. Motherwell: Moviehouse. Paisley: Showcase. Stirling: MacRobert. Topsy-Turvy (l2) inhhtr (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. Edinburgh: Cameo. Toy Story 2 (U) *~k*** (John lgisseter, US, 2000) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jean Cusack. 95 mins. 'lhe new film expands on the original settings and themes: When Woody is not taken to Cowboy Camp by his owner Andy, he begins to question the meaning of his ‘life'. 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. 'lhe 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. Galashiels: Pavilion. Isle ofArran: Brodick Cinema.
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20 Jul—3 Aug 2000 THE LIST 51