Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.

Balto (U) *i* (Simon Wells, US, 1995) With the voices of Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, Bob Hoskins. 78 mins. When the medical supplies to an isolated Alaskan town are threatened by a blizzard, half- husky/half-wolf Balto an outsider because of his mongrel nature comes to the rescue. Impressive action sequences ensure that Amblin's feature-length cartoon gives Disney a run for its money. Stirling: Carlton. Batman (12) that (Tim Burton, US, 1989) Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Bassinger. 120 mins. In which Burton achieves the impossible by creating a product which lives up to possibly the biggest hype job this century. Nicholson is on top form: psychotic, witty and zanier than ever; but the real triumph is Keaton's. With less screen time than the Great Upstager, he produces a performance of memorable subtlety and power, which gives a new credibility to the Bruce Wayne/Batman character, while remaining true to the comic strip. With eerie angular design by Anton Furst, a terrific score by Danny Elfman, a suitably wacky script and a strong supporting cast. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas.

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 genderbending 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: Odeon.

Big Momma's House (12) ink): (Raja Gosnell, US, 2000) Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti. 106 mins. Lawdy, 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 '3 House is the ripe blues/soul/gospel soundtrack. Glasgow: Showcase. Paisley: Showcase.

The Bone Collector (15) tit (Phillip Noyce, US. 1999) Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie. 118 mins. An identikit serial killer movie (see Copycat and Seven) in which Washington's paraplegic forensics expert is confined to his bed, leaving rookie cop Angelina Jolie to be his legs, eyes and cars, trailing cryptic clues left by the killer. Sadly, despite Noyce's efficient direction and a bunch of fine performances, Jeremy lacone‘s script insults the audience’s intelligence. Dumb, derivative and disappointing. Kilmarnock: Odeon.

Boys Don't Cry (18) tttit (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. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Braveheart (15) tutti (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


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Lisa Bonet sings her heart out in John Cusack and Stephen Frears' superb adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, High Fidelity

battle scenes and great performances. Aiming to entertain on a wider scale than the more literate Rob Roy, 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. Falkirk: I’I‘H Cinema.

Bridge On The River Kwai (PG) **** (David Lean, UK, 1957) mins. Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, William Holden. Classic POW saga, in which Alec acts as foreman in the building of a large railway bridge. Lean's extravagant study of British wartime grit is most memorable for Guinness' detailed portrayal of the obsessive Colonel Nicholson, and won a string of Academy Awards. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

A Bug's Life (U) **** (John Lasseter, US, 1998) Voices of: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, David Hyde Pierce, Denis Leary. 95 mins. Made by Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story), A Bug '5 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. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay. Butterfly's Tongue (La Lengua De Las Mariposas) (15) *inkt (Jose Luis Cuerda, Spain, 2000) Manuel Lozano, Fernando l-‘eman Gomez. 95 mins. Set in Galicia, in the period preceding Franco‘s fascist uprising in 1936, Cuerda's film traces the relationship between seven-year-old Moncho (Ixizano) and his benign anarchist- leaning teacher Don Gregorio (veteran Spanish actor Gomez). This is Republican Spain seen through rose-tinted glasses; a harsh and bitter world transformed into a make-believe utopia about to be cruelly crushed by fascism. Glasgow: Gl-‘l'. Chicken Run (U) **** (Nick Park/Peter Lord, UK, 2000) Voices of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson. 85 mins. For their first feature Aardman studios have re-written the WWII P.O.W. experience as an Orwellian satire, albeit with laughs. So, Stalag 17 becomes a battery farm and the camp commandant farmer 'l‘weedy's domineering wife, while in the hutches, Ginger rallies her fellow hens to fly their coop. Though 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.

Erin Brockovich (15) *‘k‘k‘k (Steven Soderbergh, US, 2000) Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart. 133 mins. Unemployed single mother Erin (Roberts) shoehoms her way into a filing clerk position with Finney's California law firm. There she accidentally uncovers a conspiracy to conceal the poisoning of the local community, which leads to the largest direct action lawsuit in American history. This might sound like a cliched John Grisham thriller, but it's based on a true story and Soderbergh's direction and Roberts' performance are faultless together they prove that mainstream American cinema can be something truly great. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Dominion. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Extreme Screen: Everest & The Living Sea (U) it 40 mins each. Although the lwerks experience impresses on a technical level, neither of these films transcend entertainment as lumbering fairground attraction. Everest is a dry-as- sand account of a recent expedition up the big yin. Filmed in the style of a Sunday afternoon docudrama, it also has the dubious honour of rendering a remarkable adventure mundane. A much better bet is the visually wondrous The Living Sea, an ‘edutaining' look at mankind‘s relationship with the sea (with voice-over from Meryl Streep). Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas.

Fantasia 2000 (U) *‘k‘k (Various, US, 2000) Voices of Steve Martin, Bette Midler. Quincy Jones. 75 mins. When Walt Disney first came up with the idea of turning classical music pops into an animated pot pourri, he originally envisioned that Fantasia would continue to be renewed by additional material. Sixty years on, his dream has at last came to fruition with this new collection of musical highlights. The star of the show is the one segment retained from the original, the Dukas ‘Sorcerer‘s Apprentice' set-piece with Mickey Mouse in a pointy wizard's hat and lots of buckets of water. Iargs: Vikingar Cinema. Stirling: MacRobert.

The Filth And The Fury (15) *irt (Julian Temple, UK, 2000) 107 mins. In his second attempt at defining the Sex Pistols story, Temple has adopted a revisionist stance with the intention of dispelling the notion that the group were the stooges of an art school movement masterminded by self-proclaimed svengali Malcolm McLaren. Splicing TV ads and

index FILM

The best films this

X-Men Marvel Comics’ top-selling superhero title comes to the big screen and it’s a cracking sci-fi adventure. See review. General release.

High Fidelity John Cusack and Stephen Frears’ superb adaptation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel about a twentysomething vinyl junkie who puts records before relationships. Selected release.

fime Code Four improvised scenarios, shot simultaneously with digital cameras, projected onto a split screen around which Mike Figgis directs us with the sound mix. Hi- tech innovation. See preview and review. Glasgow: GFT

Chicken Run ’The Great Escape with chickens’ is how Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman have pitched their hilarious feature-length Plasticine romp. General release.

Titan AL Trekking through space as you never seen it before in this blockbuster animated science fiction adventure set in 3028AD after the Earth has died screaming. General release.

Me. Myself, I Rachel Griffiths is the twentysomething career journo who miraculously meets her alternate self, a housewife and mother of two. See review. General release.

The Patriot Mel Gibson’s bashing the Brits again, this time as a veteran reluctantly drawn into America’s War Of Independence. Roland ’/ndependence Day Emmerich directs this epic. General release.

stock footage into interviews with the band and previously unseen live footage, Temple wants us to see the group as a genuine explosion of fury at the state of Britain towards the end of the 1970s. Ultimately, The Filth And The Fury is eye candy that manages to tacitly confirm the McLaren/Westwood aesthetic vision. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.

Final Destination (15) tint (James Wong, US, 2000) Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith. 98 mins. After a premonition Alex (Devon Sawa) manages to save a bunch of his classmates from a plane crash. As the survivors gruesomer pop their clogs one-by-one. it becomes apparent that death is playing catch-up. Disposable horror hokum, but the pace, irreverence and sick, black humour ensure the most entertaining teen slasher since the original Scream. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay, Showcase, UCI. Edinburgh: UCI. Dunfermline: Odeon. East Kilbride: UCI.

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17—24 Aug 2000 THE U8T17