Elizabeth. 88 mins. Poking fun at the whole teen slasher movie phenomenon, the plot follows the ﬁrst Scream movie (originally to be titled, yup, Scary Movie): A masked murderer stalks and murders high school kids in a self-consciously ironic manner. It parodies The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist and anything else that gets in the way, and the surprising thing is it actually works with the gags coming thick and fast. Big Stoopid Fun. General release. Scottish Shorts - Paula Macgee (18) iii (Paula Macgec, UK, 1997—99) Julie Graham, David Hayman. 90 mins approx. Writer/director Macgec doesn't shy away from difﬁcult subject matter. Here, she confronts conventional notions of sex and death with two ﬁlms, Cling/Hm and Bodyshtfters. The ﬁrst ﬁlm concerns an unusual and compassionate friendship between a minister and his house cleaner, while the second examines the impact a stillborn baby has on the life of a young woman. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Scream 2 (18) *** (Wes Craven, US, 1998) Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Leiv Schrciber. 120 mins. Two years after the Woodsboro murders, Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is now a college student, trying to piece her life back together. But when an audience member is slashed to death during the premiere of horror movie Stab, the nightmare begins again. The ﬁlm fails to fully integrate the many in-jokey references to horror sequel conventions, but it's still streets ahead of what passes for horror nowadays. Edinburgh: Cameo. Scream 3(18) **** (Wes Craven, US, 2000) Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette. 118 mins. The third instalment of the horror ﬁlm parody expands the by now familiarjokey ﬁlm references to satirise the industry that spawned the inspirational Halloween and Friday The I3th series. The victims this time round are the cast of ﬁlm- within-the-ﬁlm, Stab 3, the ﬁnal instalment of the exploitative dramatisation of the Woodsboro murders, which were the subject of the ﬁrst ﬁlm. An endless stream of amusing cameos and ﬁlm references makes Scream 3 as entertaining as the ﬁrst ﬁlm. That said, it's funnier than it is scary. Edinburgh: Cameo. Screenworlts 2000 (15) (Various, UK, 2000) ()0 mins. See Rough cuts. Glasgow: GFT. Shaft (15) *** (John Singleton, US, 2000) Samuel L Jackson, Jeffery Wright, Richard Roundtree. 100 mins. Despite what the title may suggest this is neither a remake nor a sequel; its more of a 29 years on here's what happenin’. Jackson runs the show as ‘young' John Shaft, nephew of the eponymous 70s private dick played once again by Roundtree. It's a pretty good action movie with some snappy dialogue and a few nifty set pieces, but this Shaft wavers towards a rather unsatisfying end. Singleton (Boyz ‘N' The Hood) was quite clearly a victim of studio bigwig interference (Jesus, it's Shaft and there's no shagging!) and because of that it's a disappointment. General release. Shanghai Noon (12) iii ('l‘om Dey, US, 2000) Jackie Chan, Lucy l.iu, Owen Wilson. 110 mins. The ﬂimsy plot of this ‘East meets Western’ is merely an excuse for gags and set-pieces, with Chan cast as Chon Wang, a 19th century Imperial Guard who travels to the States to rescue abducted princess Pei Pei (Liu) from the villainous Lo Fong. 'lhings don't go smoothly, however, and Chong ﬁnds himself teaming up with an incompetent yet affable criminal, Roy ()‘Bannon (Wilson). Filmed in widescreen, Shanghai Noon affectionately sends up the characters and conventions of numerous Westerns, while the ever-smiling Chan's martial arts stunts are still a joy to behold. General release. Small Soldiers (PC) at (Joe Dante, US, 1998) Kirsten Dunst, Gregory Smith, Denis Leary. 110 mins. Dante plunders his anarchic live action cartoon tale, Gremlins, substituting toys for little devils and adding state-of-the-art computerised effects. Unfortunately, Small Soldiers displays none of the sadistic mischief, nor the knowing Capra-esque whimsy of its antecedent. Sanitised, bland and banal. Glasgow: (irosvenor.
Snatch (18) ** (Guy Ritchie, UK, 2000) Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Torro, Vinnie Jones. 102 mins. Ritchie insists that Snatch is not a sequel to Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. And he is right; it’s practically a remake. There's the same swaggering facetiousness, the same juvenile obsession with underworld villains, and the same cod- Cockney accents. Ritchie's penchant for baroque plotting is also in evidence, although Lock Stock's mildly confusing denouement was crystal clear compared to the opening ofSnatch. The acting is a notch up from the ﬁrst ﬁlm, while some of the gags and situations are genuinely funny. General release.
Space Cowboys (PG) ** (Clint Eastwood, US, 2000) Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland. 130 mins. The first halfof Space Cowboys could be called Four Grumpy Old Men, as we're introduced gradually to each ageing member of Team Daedalus, an aborted space project in the 505. Then halfway through the ﬁlm Eastwood flicks a switch and it becomes Apollo 13, except full of old folks. And a million times more daft. The ﬁrst part works better. Let's face it, this acting combo has got a few miles on the clock, but not even this cast can salvage much respect from this lame duck of a ﬁlm. See review. General release.
Strangers On A Train (PG) ****~k (Alfred llitchcock, US, 1951) Farley Granger, Robert Walker. 101 mins. Ilitch‘s appropriation of Patricia ilighsmith’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. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
Stuart Little (U) *** (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 EB. 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.’1he 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 AndJerry-style antics. General release.
Sullivan's Travels (U) ***** (Preston Sturges, US, 19-11) Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake. 91 mins. In equal parts crazy and clever, Sturges' screwball comedy lurches wildly from slapstick comedy to tragedy to social comment and back again. It starts with John L. Sullivan (McCrea), a Hollywood movie mogul who attempts some ﬁrst hand research of his planned social conscience ﬁlm, () Brother, Where Art Thou? (which gives its title to the Coen brothers' new ﬁlm), by taking to the road as a hobo. Glasgow: GF'T. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Sweet And Lowdown (PG) **** (Woody Allen, US, 2000) Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Uma Thurman. 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: Lumiere.
Taxi Driver(l8) baits: (Martin Scorsese, US, 1976) Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster. 114 mins. An alienated taxi driver in New York is so repelled by the squalor and the moral decay
, around him that he is driven to terrible violence. ()ne of the key ﬁlms of the seventies with the Scorsese-De Niro
partnership at its peak. Edinburgh: Cameo.
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