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34 THE “31' 30 Nov—14 Dec 2000

FILM INDEX continued

Ghostbusters (PG) tit (Ivan Reitman. US, 1984) Bill Murray. Sigoumey Weaver. Dan Aykroyd. 105 mins. Three wacky unemployed parapsychologists pursue a little private enterprise as exterminators in spook-infested Noo Yawk. Wildly over-rated comedy. ABC. Kirkcaldy.

The Glenn Miller Story (U) **** (Anthony Mann. US. 1954) James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, George Tobias. 116 mins. Stewart is the unfailingly chummy band leader with the relentlessly practical wife, who makes it to the top and then takes one plane ride too many. A must- sce for fans of the big band sound of the late Mr Miller. Grosvenor, Glasgow.

Gods And Monsters (15) when (Bill Condon, UK/US, 1998) Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave. 115 mins. Moving, lovingly crafted film following the last days of English-born filmmaker James Whale, director of the 1931 Frankenstein. In 1957, while in retirement in Hollywood suffering from the side effects of a stroke that causes him to re-live episodes from his past life Whale strikes up a tentative, homoerotic friendship with his handsome gardener. Edinburgh Film Guild at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

Going Off, Big Time (18) iii (Jim Doyle, UK, 2000) Neil Fitzmaurice, Sarah Alexander, Bernard Hill. 86 mins. Another British gangster film, but one that moves the location from London's East End to Liverpool, which highlights the central theme that anybody can become a gangster, where chance and circumstance play a major role. However, this premise implodes with the realisation that criminal Mark Clayton (Fitzmaurice, also the film's writer) is about as threatening as a lullaby baby. Therefore. it's a good thing that the film places a lot of emphasis on the comic element of the lives of these wannabe gangsters. Selected release. The Golden Bowl (12) iii (James Ivory, UK/US, 2000) Nick Nolte, Kate Beckinsale, Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam. mins. The Merchant-Ivory team’s polished adaptation of Henry James's The Golden Bowl pits innocence (Notlc's widowed American billionaire and his daughter, Beckinsale) against experience (Northam's impoverished Italian aristocrat Prince Amerigo and his illicit lover, Maggie's worldly friend, Thurman). Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s script smooths out the teasing, irreducible ambiguity of James's writing. Enough remains, however, of the book’s elegant convolutions of betrayal and guilt, jealousy and suspicion to make this a cut above the average frock flick. Dominion, Edinburgh. Gone In 60 Seconds (15) bk (Dominic Sena, US, 2000) Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Vinnie Jones. 118 mins. A re-working of H.B. 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. Magnum Theatre, Irvine.

The Grinch (PG) *** (Ron Howard, US, 2000) Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor. 105 mins. Surprisingly, The Grinch is the first live action feature to be adapted from the work of the world's best-selling children’s author, Dr Seuss. And beneath sfx magician Rick Baker's green costume Carrey - the world’s highest paid comedian - wrecks glorious havoc on his cloying sweet neighbours, the Whovians of Who- ville. Howard lays the book’s moral Christmas is about family not presents and the sickly - sweet sentiment on pretty thick. Toy Story 2 got the cross generational appeal right; golly gosh Howard's Grinch hasn't. Carrey’s great though. See feature and review. General release.

Hamlet (PG) *ttt (Grigori Kosintsev, USSR, 1964) lnnokenti Smoktunovsky, Mikhail Nazvanov, Elza Radzin-Szolkonis. 150 mins. To mark the 400th anniversary of

Shakespeare's birth. Kosintsev cut the text and produced this muscular and volatile version of the Danish tragedy, which interprets the play as an exercise in the machinations of state politics. FilmhoUse. Edinburgh.

Harriet The Spy (PG) tit (Bronwen Hughes, US. 19%)) Michelle ’l‘rachtenberg. Rosie O'Donnell, Gregory Smith. 102 mins. Precocious schoolgirl Harriet. convinced she has a future as a writer. notes down the minutae of daily life in her journal: but when her classmates discover her criticisms of them. she has to work hard to win back popularity. Trachtenberg gives a fresh, sparky performance, but the teacherly tone won't amuse accompanying grown-ups. Grosvenor, Glasgow.

Harry, He's Here To Help (18) time (Dominik Moll, France, 200(1) Sergi lxipez. laurent Lucas, Mathilde Seigner. Sophie Guillemin. 117 mins. Harassed young manied couple Michel (Lucas) and Claire (Seigner) are en route to renovate their summer holiday home with their three demanding children when Michel bumps into Harry (Lopez), an old school acquaintance. Having invited himself to dinner, Harry reveals his motto - a solution to every problem - and promptly goes to work. Moll's well crafted blend of suspense and mischievous humour, assured pacing and fine set pieces (not to mention an opening credit sequence Saul Bass would be proud of) places the film up there with llighsmith and Hitchcock. Pilmhouse, Edinburgh.

The Hitcher (18) intuit (Robert Mandel, US, 1986) Rutger llauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh. 98 mins. Drowsy driver Howell gets more than he bargained for when he picks up psycho- hitcher llauer in this genuinely edge-of—the- seat suspense thriller. Cameo, Edinburgh. The Hollow Man (18) *** (Paul Verhoevcn, US, 2000) Kevin BaCon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin. 114 mins. Verhoeven takes another foray into adult sci- with this loose adaptation of HG. Welles' The Invisible Man in which Bacon plays an egotistical genius leading a team of scientists involved in govemment/military- sponsored experiments with invisibility. Andrew W. Marlowe's screenplay subscribes to some fascinating Platonic ideas about morality and culpability, which, unfortunately, is abandoned around the half way mark for straightforward action thrills. Still, the special effects are groundbreaking, particularly the scenes in which lab animals, and later Bacon, are injected with a radioactive serum causing them to vanish and reappear in layers: skin, muscle, organs, skeleton. Cameo, Edinburgh.

Hotel Splendide (15) it (Terence Gross, UK, 2000) Daniel Craig, Toni Collete, Stephen Tompkinson. 98 mins. The eponymous crumbling health spa exists on a remote island where its guests endure mud baths, enemas and food boiled free of taste and texture, a strict regime adhered to by Ronald the head chef (Craig), Cora the treatments nurse (Katrin Cartlidge) and Dezmond the general manager (Tompkinson). The surprise re-appearance of Ronald's ex, rival chef Kate (Toni Collete), however, rocks the institution to its foundations. Frustratingly, the aptly-named Gross has all the elements in place for a fine filthy farce about repression and obsolete Empires. But while the drab set design and oddball characterisations work, the narrative meanders and the humour misses the beat at every turn. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

The House Of Mirth (PG) **** (Terence Davies, UK, 2000) Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Anthony LaPaglia. 140 mins. Davies’ superb screen adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, filmed in Glasgow, makes it clear that beneath the well-bred skin of New York society at the turn of the century lurks a remorseless savagery. Socialite Lily Bart (the excellent Anderson) would appear to be a natural survivor, but through a combination of naively, folly and bad timing she is brought low. Davies charts Lily's tragic descent with formal rigour, framing scenes with self- consciously painterly tableaux that evoke the era’s fashionable artists. But, as with his other work, aesthetic control goes hand in glove with a deep compassion. Selected release.