Life on Mars overwhelms Val Kilmer's marooned spaceman in Red Planet; the same might be said of the film's SFX and Kilmer’s acting

In The Mood For Love (PG) *tttt (Wong Kar-Wai. llong Kong, 2000) Maggie Cheung. Tong l.eung. 97 mins. ln Kar-Wai's new film, set in 0le Hong Kong, an adulterous romance is happening elsewhere - between the husband of secretary Cheung and the wife of l.eung's journalist. Kar- Wai's interest lies with the cuckolded. and the way that something even more intense. personal and fortuitous develops out of their shared ‘adulteree' status. With Nat King Cole on the soundtrack, regular Chris Doyle behind the camera and beguiling wardrobe design, Kar-Wai offers a seductive surface texture that's undercut by the director's trademark emphasis of the accidental over the clearly intentional. Subtly stunning filmmaking. Cameo, lidinburgh.

The Iron Giant (U) *hHrk (Brad Bird, US, 1999) Jennifer Aniston, Harry Conick Jr, Vin Diesel. 86 mins. In this animated film adaptation of'l‘ed llughes's classic children's story about a boy who befriends a 50ft. robot from outer space, the action is transported from rural lingland to small- town America in the late 1950s. The resulting film is a fast-moving thrillfest featuring bongo-beating beatniks, a great rockabilly soundtrack and explosive destruction on a grand scale. This being a kids film, through, it‘s violence with a conscience. Gl-‘l‘, Glasgow.

Jingle All The Way (PG) ** (Brian Levant, US, 1996) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman. 90mins. Having failed to learn his lesson with Kindergarten Cop, Arnie tries again for a broad comedy with children in this attempt at a ‘heartwarming' Christmas movie, tackling the Yuletide shopping crowds in search of Minnesota's last remaining Turbo Man toy. Running gags are run into the ground, the slapstick is lumpen and the spurious moral sentiments hypocritical. Still, not a Tellytubby in sight. UCl, Glasgow.

Joan 0f Are (15) *it (Luc Besson, France. 2000) Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway. 148 mins. The heroine of this would-be international blockbuster is reinvented as the standard bearer of in a valiant endeavour to repel the forces ofAnglo-American cultural imperialism. But made with English dialogue, the film has much in common with the gory spectacle of Brave/wart. The uneven opening and closing parts Joan's childhood, and imprisonment and trial cannot efface the impact of the film's central battle scenes nor the image of the armour- clad Joan in the midst of the carnage. Vikingar Cinema, Largs.

Just, Melvin See Rough cuts. Cameo, Edinburgh.

The Justice Game (15) (UK, 1989) Denis Lawson. 130 mins. The Gl’l"s Glasgow Connections series continues with this screening of the seminal 805 television thriller about a Glasgow lawyer. Producer Peter Broughan and writer John Brown make guest appearances to talk about the programme and its relationship to the city. GFT, Glasgow.

Keeping The Faith (12) *itt (Edward Norton, US, 2000) Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman. 129 mins. In this Woody Allen-csquc romantic comedy, Norton's Catholic priest and his rabbi best pal (Stiller) have trouble keeping their faiths when childhood friend Elfman arrives in the Big Apple. In no time at all the trio are falling for each other precipitating a messy love triangle. Making his directing debut, Norton‘s comic touch is light and sure and this threesome perform like a dream, but what distinguishes Keeping The Faith from

other rom-coms is its flip, but never disrespectful attitude, toward religion. Lumiere, lidinburgh.

LA. Confidential (18) ***** (Curtis Hanson, US, 1997) Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger. 135 mins. Adapted from James Ellroy‘s neo-noir novel, the best American film of 1997 evokes a glitzy post-World War 11 Los Angeles underpinned by an all-pervasive, festering corruption. An intricate, drop-dead brilliant plot links bent cops, good cops, Hollywood star lookalike prostitutes and the mob. The dialogue crackles and the actors burn up the screen: one of the few films one would dare mention in the same breath as the definitive Chinatown. ()deon, Ayr.

Lake Placid (15) *tti (Steve Miner, US, 2000) Brendan Gleeson, Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, ()liver Platt. 82 mins. Big monster eating people in a lake in Maine. Local sheriff, game warden, scientist and hunter team up to kill it. Plenty ofextras get munched. Doesn’t sound particularly appetising we‘ve seen it all before in Jaws, Alligator, l’irahna, etc. except Lake Placid has the smartest, funniest dialogue you‘re likely to hear all year: ‘The sooner we catch this thing, Sheriff, the sooner you can get back to sleeping with your sister.’ Goes for cheap belly laughs and gets ‘em every time. ABC, Kirkcaldy.

Little Nicky (12) ** (Steven Brill, US, 2000) Adam Sandler, Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquctte. 95 mins. It's the 10,000th year of Satan's rule as the Prince Of Darkness, but when old Nick decides against turning over his fiery throne to his two eldest sons they bugger off upstairs to New York City and have a go at recreating hell on Earth. And so Nicky must save the day . . . For widely popular Sandler‘s new self-penned film, in which he plays the dorky son of the devil, the startlingly unfunny ‘comedian‘ has managed to secure the services of a half decent cast which includes Harvey Keitel (playing his dad) and the reclusive Quentin Tarantino out of his home cinema to play a blind preacher. General release.

The Little Vampire (U) *tt (Uli Ede], UK, 2000) Rollo Weeks, Richard E. Grant, Jonathan Lipnicki. 95 mins. Tony (Lipnicki), fresh from the orange groves of California, moves with his family to beautiful Scotland. He quickly becomes the most unpopular kid in his class, but finds a playmate when a ten-year-old vampire conveniently falls down his chimney. Can Tony join in the quest for the missing amulet and help the fanged Rudolph and his family become human? Despite its Hollywood re- vamp, Angela Sommer-Bodenburg's well- lovcd novel emerges with its sense of fun intact. However, while this film certainly doesn't suck, ultimately, it lacks real bite. General release.

Live Nude Girls Unite! Sec Rough cuts. Cameo, Edinburgh.

Lost Highway (18) *iitt (David Lynch. US, 1996) Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquctte, Robert Loggia. 135 mins. Further out than even the celluloid version of Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me, Lynch's latest radicalisation of the film noir traditions concerns jazz saxman Pullman, his wife (Arqucttc), a mystery man (Robert Blake), a garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) and a crime kingpin (Loggia) - but in typically Lynchian non-linear plotlines that exist within the logic of dreams. Haunting, provocative, and a genuinely personal undertaking. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

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