FILM PREVIEW February
BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH
Pitch Anthony Hopkins breaks the silence returning as the killer cannibal doctor, out of prison and intent on reuniting himself with Agent Starling (now played by Julianne Moore) while avording vengeful vrctim Gary Oldman's murderous
Success The original film was a hit, Hookins' performance has already gone down in cinematic history, Thomas Harris’ second novel was a best seller and director Ridley Scott is top
quality Chianti following Gladiator.
Failure The backlash against cinematic Violence? Nah.
Anthonyﬂ i _s onset with Julianne Moore
Enemy At The Gates
Pitch Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes
Beautiful Creatures Pitch First film from Andrew 'Trainspotting’ Macdonald’s production outfit DNA is a slick Glasgow-set thriller in the Blood Simple mould, starring Rachel Weisz. and Susan Lynch and written by Edinburgh’s own Simon Donald. Success Frorn Shallow Grave to The Beach, Macdonald has displayed a canny knack for producing commercial niovres. Failure Donald’s track record outside theatre isn’t good isee The Life Of Stuff and My Life So Far).
Will Smith and Matt Damon in The Legend Of Dagger Vance
and Rachel Weisz head the cast of the most expensive film ever to be shot in Europe. Frenchman Jean-Jacques Annaud helms the S85 million epic about Germany’s disastrous siege of Stalingrad during World War II in which 250,000 Germans died. Success Money, stars, history, what could go wrong?
Failure Two words: Euro pudding.
Pitch Sly Stallone plays the eponymous tough gangster, now relocated from London and Newcastle to New York and Seattle, where Jack avenges the murder of hrs brother.
Success The cult popularity of the original film should ensure a 'curious’ audience, and in a nice casting touch Michael Caine takes a role in the new film. Failure Trouble IS, Stallone Just don’t have Caine’s clout. And anyway: Sacrilege!
Pitch Britain's socially and politically conscrous filmmaker Ken Loach makes his first film in America, a dramatisation of the plight of immigrant Latino Janitors explorted in Los Angeles. Success Loach is reunited with Paul Laverty, his screenwriter collaborator on the well-received Carla’s Song and My Name Is Joe. Failure Small film + small issues (comparatively speaking): none of the success of recent Loach films.
The Legend Of Bagger Vance
Pitch Matt Damon’s war veteran returns home and learns the secret to life, the universe and eternal happiness thrOugh . . . the perfect golf stroke. Will Smith is the caddy who teaches him. Success Okay, it sounds a bit contrived but With Robert Redford directing and a hot young cast, he may turn out another A River Runs Through It. Failure Yeah, but golf?
Proof Of Life
Pitch Meg Ryan hires hostage negotiator Russell Crowe to free her engineer husband, kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America. Success Following Gladiator and The Insider, Crowe is at his most popular; his much gossiped- about romance with co-star Ryan can’t hurt either.
Failure Can Crowe turn in another performance as brilliantly controlled as The Insider or as physically dynamic as Gladiator?
GEM OF THE MONTH The King Is Alive
Pitch When a bus breaks down in the desert, the passengers bide their time by staging a performance of King Lear. As you do. First American Dogme film with a strong cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Janet McTeer and Scotland’s own David Bradley.
Success Popular one on the international film festival circurt and the Dogme back—to-basics filmmaking manifesto still holds some attraction.
Failure Dogme shaky cam antics plus Shakespeare make for tough-gomg Cinema.