FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

Space Cowboys (PG) 1H: (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 ofTeam Daedalus, an aborted space project in the 50s. 'lhen 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. General release.

Space Jam (U) ht (Joe Pytka. US, 1996) Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny, Wayne Knight. 87 mins. Nasty alien cartoons have captured Bugs Bunny and are going to enslave the Looney Tunes in their amusement park on Moron Mountain, but Bugs has the brainwave of challenging them to a basketball game and enlisting the talents of Michael Jordan for his team. lacking the class of Who Framed Roger Rabbit." and the pace of a real basketball game, Space Jam should divert the kids on Saturday mornings, even though the jokes and effects are tired from over-use. Odeon, Dunfermline.

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 affiuent 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.

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Sweet And Lowdown (PG) ***~k (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/1nd 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. Cameo, Edinburgh.

The Talented Mr Ripley (15) *aHdv

(Anthony Minghella, US,"UK, 2000) Matt Damon. Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow. 139 mins. Tom Ripley (Damon) befriends then adopts the life of rich kid Dickie Greenleaf (Law). Ripley being an infamous literary murderer, it's no surprise how he goes about claiming Dickie‘s ex pat lifestyle in late 505 Italy, but Minghella‘s film - and Highsmith‘s novel —- is so much more than a tale of murder; it's also about lust, love and the interchangeability of identities. Classy all the way. Carlton, Stirling.

A Taste Of Cherry (PG) *vktt (Abbas Kiarostami, lran, 1997) Homayoon lshradi. 99 mins. A middle-aged Iranian drives around the ugly country roads outside Teheran, trying to hire an accomplice to bury him after he commits suicide. Director Kiarostami has no interest in plot or rounded-out characters. By refusing to reveal what lies behind the man's decision to kill himself, the focus falls instead on the decision-making process and ends with the contention that it doesn't matter if this particular individual lives or dies - life goes

on. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

Tra v Trivia

Test your wits & get off your t*~ks.

Thomas And The Magic Railroad (U) H: (Britt Allcroft, UK'US, 2000) Voices of Alec 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




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be lapping up the tale of Thomas The Tank Engine aiding The 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! UCI, Edinburgh.

Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train (15) **** (Patrice Chereau, France, 2000) Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pascal Gregory, Charles Berling. 122 mins. The minor painter, Jean-Baptiste Emmerich, has died. Despite living in Paris, his dying wish is to be buried in Limoges, and so catching the train to the funeral are a mixture of the dead man’s friends, lovers, students and relatives. Chereau's first feature since La Reine Margot is a fiercely intense, yet cathartic melodrama which, with every character suffering some form of a personal crisis, keeps veering off in unexpected directions. Brilliantly shot, Those Who Love Me. . . is also marked by a host of vivid, heartfelt performances. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

The Tigger Movie (U) *itt (Jun Falkenstein, US, 2000) 77 mins. Identical in many ways to 1977‘s The Many-Adventures ()f Winnie The Pooh, this new yarn based on A.A. Milne’s characters finds Pooh, Piglet, Tigger et a1 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 Tigger Family Tree ensues. A happy ending eventually makes its presence felt, because even Tiger is smart enough to recognise that with friends like Pooh, Piglet, R00 and Eeyore, who needs family? Odeon, Ayr, Kilmarnock.

Titan A.E. (12) **** (Don Bluth/Gary Goldman, US, 2000) Voices of Matt Damon, Bill Pulman, Drew Barrymore. 95 mins. Earth hasjust been creamed by the unspeakably evil alien Drej. Humankind's fate rests (literally) in the hands of humble astro-mechanic Cale Tucker (Damon) who is part of the small number of human refugees sprinkled about the universe. A rip- roaring space adventure like they certainly never used to make ‘em, Titan AE. (After Earth) is animation imitating live action, and is markedly post-Armageddon and Independence Day both in look and outlook. ABC, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy.

Titanic (l2) *‘ktt (James Cameron, US, 1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane. 194 mins. Cameron tackles the story of the doomed ocean liner through a touching love story that isn't overwhelmed by the awesome special effects. Rich girl Rose (Winslet) is unhappily engaged to arrogant Cal (Zane) but falls for third-class passenger Jack (DiCaprio): love blossoms as the ship hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic. In all its on-screen glory, Titanic does indeed look like the most expensive film ever made, conveying both the scale of the disaster and the feeling of claustrophobia as the water rises. New Picture House, St Andrews.

Titus (18) *t* (Julie Taymor, US, 2000) Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming. 162 mins. In this appropriately

f gruesome adaptation of Shakespeare 's

bloodiest play, Titus Andronieus, Roman general Titus (Hopkins) returns home after conquering the Goths. But when playboy Emperor Saturninus (Cumming) takes the surviving Goth queen, Tamora (Lange), as his wife a series of tragic events are set in motion which wrecks havoc on the Andronicus lineage. Visually, the film looks great, though it tips crude cinematic snooks

at everything from Romeo And Juliet to The

.‘llatrLr. Hopkins is brilliant and there's

strong support from all of the cast to make

this an absorbing, if derivative three hour ride. See preview and review. Gl’l’, Glasgow; E-‘ilmhouse. Edinburgh.

Tom's Midnight Garden (PG) * (Willard Carroll, UK. 2000) Anthony Way. Greta

Seacchi, James Wilby. 107 mins. Based on Philippa Pearce's 1959 novel, this adaptation is a mix of Back To The Future and Narnia. An old grandfather clock that chimes thirteen times at midnight is Tom's passport to the 19th century, where he befriends orphan girl Hattie. The storyline is exciting enough. but with acting more wooden than the trees in the garden, Joan

Plowright‘s five minute cameo is the film's only saving grace. See review. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

Topsy-Turvy (12) **~k* (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. Grosvenor, Glasgow.

Toy Story (PG) *‘ki‘k (John Lasseter, US, 1995) With the voices ofTom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles. 81 mins. It isn't just the state-of-thc-art images that distinguish Disney's first computer- generated animation feature, it's got a cracking adventure story too. A tale of friendship and self-beliefcombined with an exciting rescue and against-the-clock tension, Toy Story is sprinkled with comic asides. Don‘t be fooled into thinking these toys are just for the kids. ABC, Edinburgh. The Virgin Suicides (15) *Hrvk (Sofia Coppola, US, 2000) Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods. 96 mins. American suburbia in the 1970s. When the five beautiful Lisbon sisters begin killing themselves one-by-one, there‘s nothing the local and adoring boys can do but watch, and afterwards carry into their adult lives regret, confusion and loss. Coppola's adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel is shot through with a beautiful, melancholic nostalgia for lost youth. The central mystery is never resolved, and the film remains all the more powerful for it. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

Water Drops On Burning Rocks (18) **** (Francois Ozon, France, France, 2000) Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi. Anna Thomson. 86 mins. Postmodern French provocateur Ozon adapts Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s unperformed play. Giraudeau’s middle-aged manipulative satyr, Leopold, seduces the youthful Zidi before moving onto his girlfriend. All the usual Fassbinderian musical chairs, then, as people play games with others' emotions. And yet, when the performers break into dance, and offer their pert butts in close up, we feel the presence of an altogether different, more exuberant talent at work. A kind of manic depressive meeting of two minds. See review. GET, Glasgow.

When The Cat’s Away (15) tutti (Cedric Klapish, France, 1996) Garancc Clavel, Oliver Py. Zinedine Soualem. 95 mins. The magic of Paris is captured perfectly in this sparkling, unpretentious movie which is deep in emotion, but light in touch. When her feline friend goes missing, Chloe (Clavel) gathers together her neighbours to search for the errant moggy, and discovers more about life on the way. A low key joy. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

When We Were Kings (U) *ttt (Leon Gast, US, 1996) Muhammad Ali, George Forman, Norman Mailer. 84 mins. An Oscar winner in the Best Documentary category, this splendid account of the historic ‘Rumble In The Jungle' boxing match between Ali and Forman gets beyond the punches thrown in the ring to convey the sense of black pride being born. Amazingly dramatic. GET, Glasgow. X-Men (12) **** (Bryan Singer, US. 2000) Patrick Stewart. Ian McKellen, Hugh

Jackman. 104 mins. This adaptation of the popular Marvel Comic sees super-powered mutants outlawed in America of the near

future. Magneto (McKellen). the master of

magnetism and Holocaust survivor, will not stop at mass murder to protect his own kind; Professor Xavier (Stewart). a telepath. seeks

peaceful co-existence with humankind. To

further their ends the P21) old foes employ rival teams of mutants in a deadly game of chess. It's a difficult balance. satisfying the fans without alienating those unfamiliar with the comic book. X—Men pulls it off with speedy pacing, imaginatively staged action set pieces and a smart script full of witty dialogue and a message about race prejudice that's not overplayed. General release.