cinema, reunite for this ambitious, epic period drama about China's first emperor, reputedly the most expensive Asian film ever made. The film is packed with stunning images and interesting ideas, but aiming at both epic spectacle and psychological complexity, Chen hits the former more surely than the latter. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Extreme Screen: Everest 8: The Living Sea (U) tit 40 mins each. Although the Iwerks 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.
Fargo (18) ***** (Joel Coen, US, 1996) Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy. 97 mins. Hoping to make some bucks, a car salesman attempts to have his wife kidnapped by hitmen; but quickly blood is spilt. As the pregnant police detective on the case, McDormand provides a warm-hearted centre for the movie, while the absurdist plot and weird local colour gain momentum. It'll be considered a classic, given time. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Fever Pitch (15) *** (David Evans, UK, 2000) Colin Firth, Ruth Gemmell, Neil Pearson. 102 mins. In this adaptation of Nick llornby's novel, Firth plays Paul, a football-obsessed Arsenal fan and English teacher. Paul finds it impossible to sustain both his love of the game and a relationship with a fellow teacher who hates everything that goes with footy. Not as funny as the novel, but entertaining nevertheless. Glasgow: GFI‘.
Final Destination (15) the (James Wong, US, 2000) Devon Sawa, Ali I.arter, 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 gruesomely 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. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Firm (15) *‘kt (Sydney Pollack, US, 1993) Tom Cruise, Jeanne 'l‘ripplehorn, Gene Hackman. 155 mins. John Grisham's best-selling novel undergoes a few changes to become a star-studded, but somewhat overlong thriller, with Cruise well cast and convincing as the young graduate lawyer, seduced by a Iess-than-legal Memphis law firm. However, a uniformly excellent supporting cast can‘t hide the lapses in pace and implausible narrative jumps that are made in the name of compact plotting. Glasgow: GFI'.
Flamenco (U) **A (Carlos Saura, Spain, 2000) Joaquin Cortes, Marlo Maya, Matilde Coral. 100 mins. ()ne of the most thrilling things about watching live Flamenco is the atmosphere. Translate that to the screen and much of the thrill is gone. Luckily for Saura, he had cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Last 'Iiutgo In Paris, Apocalypse Now) on his side. Visually striking throughout, Flu/HUIICU was filmed in a disused railway station bathed in an orange glow, giving rise to sleek silhouettes and shadows. But this homage to the Flamenco art is strictly for hardcore fans. Stirling: MacRobert.
the Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (PG) ** (Brian Levant, US, 2000) Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin. 91 mins. This prequel shows Fred (Addy) and Barney (Baldwin) in their bachelor days when they first court Wilma (Johnston) and Betty (Jane Krakowski). They are abetted in this by a little green alien called Gazoo (Alan Cumming), but are hampered by the rival attentions of Wilma ‘s slimy aristocratic chum Chip Rockefeller (Thomas Gibson). And they all live happily ever after, without a trace of originality, zip or zest. General release.
Gangster N01 (18) iii (Paul McGuigan. UK, 2000) Malcolm McDowell, David 'Ihewlis, Paul Bettany.
103 mins. Mr McDowell is the eponymous Gangster, an abominable, irredeemably evil thug who is prompted to recount his 30- year rise to infamy when old rival Freddie Mays (David Thewlis giving it ‘suave’) is released from prison. From there we flashback to 1968 when young Gangster (Paul Bettany) is hired as muscle for Freddie. Stylish, funny and shocking in (mostly) the right places, McGuigan’s follow-up to The Acid House is reminiscent of late 605 films such as Performance. Glasgow: Odeon. Ghost Dog: The Way Of the Samurai (15) ** (Jim Jarrnusch, US/Japan/Franee/ Germany, 2000) Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman. 116 mins. Jim Jarrnusch's latest foray into nowhere sees Whitaker's New York street urchin as a professional Mob assassin who lives by an ancient Eastern code of honour. But when a hit goes wrong, the mob are after Ghost Dog and gangster friend Louie (Tormey) is caught between loyalties. It's taken the radical auteur an awful long time to miss the particular boat of sending up the mob. Jarmusch should probably stick to making throwaway movies about ageing rockers, Helsinki cabbies and Japanese Elvis fans instead of attempting the grand spiritual narrative. Edinburgh: ABC. Gladiator (15) *** (Ridley Scott, US, 2000) Russell Crowe, Richard Harris, Joaquin Phoenix. 150 mins. Just before dying Caesar Aurelius (Harris) charges General Maximus (Crowe) with cleaning up his beloved, but politically corrupt Rome. Aurelius' son, Commodus (Phoenix), doesn't take kindly to this and has his rival executed. But Maximus survives and, as a gladiator, works his way back to Rome intent on revenge. Parallels must be drawn with Sparlicus and Ben llur; we've not seen a Roman epic in a long time. Scott's is a handsome spectacle and exciting enough, but that's all it is. General release. Gone In 60 Seconds (15) it (Dominic Sena, US, 2000) Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Vinnie Jones. 118 mins. A re-working of 11.8. Halicki's 1974 cult car-chase movie which, despite its flashy paint-job and hip- hop in-car stereo soundtrack, lacks grunt and growl beneath the hood. Forced out of retirement when his kid brother, Kip (Ribisi), crosses some heavy duty criminals, legendary car thief ‘Memphis’ Raines (Cage) must reunite his old crew and steal fifty cars in one night, or kiss his sibling's ass goodbye. The original had too many car chases and not enough plot or characterisation; this has too much plot, too many characters and not enough metal- crunching, tyre-squealing action. Glasgow: UCl. Edinburgh: UCI, UGC Cinemas. Dunfermline: Odeon. Dunoon: Studio Cinema. Galashiels: Pavilion. Paisley: Showcase. Gossip (15) *‘kt (Gregory Poirer, US, 2000) Lena Headey, James Marsden, Norman Reedus. 91 mins. Three college media students (Headey, Marsden and Reedus) try and enliven their dull, privileged lives by spreading juicy gossip about their campus. Harmless college japes turn nasty, though, when an idle rumour leads to a rape charge. Gossip takes the sexual tensions and shifting allegiances of the threesome from Shallow (irate, the bitter college rivalry from Heathers, the neat plot twists and turns from the Scream trilogy to create a fairly decent mystery thriller. Glasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. ()ban: Highland Theatre. Goya In Bordeaux (12) *1“: (Carlos ‘ Saura, Spain, 2000) Francisco Rabal, JosE Coronado, Dafne Fernandez. 102 mins. Goya (Rabal), wracked by fear and by memories and hallucinations, looks over his life through his work. There's the moment he painted a seductive duchess (Maribel Verdu), and then there are difficulties i painting in a political and royal environment where great art was less important than l skilled diplomacy. Working once again with i the great Italian cinematographer Vittorio '3 Storaro, Saura finds a visual correlative for the art: offering a delicate balancing act between psychological exploration and : aesthetic beauty. See review. Edinburgh: i Filmhouse.
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