Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.

Almost Famous ( lSi t t t it ((‘umeron (‘row-c. L'S. 2000i Kate Hudson. Patrick l-‘ugit. Billy ('rtidup. i23 mins. Preview of writer-director ('rowe‘s autobiographical mum of America's 7th rock scene is a view through rose-tinted shades. Here there are no casualties of excessive lilesty les, htit then Alnimr I-umouy isn't an expose of the underbelly of rock ‘n' roll. it's a magical carpet ride that appropriates the most exhilarating elements of the scene and makes of them an enormously satisfy trig. often very funny drama that consistently hits the mark. (‘rowe's very personal film never takes the buy cliched route. nor does it lapse into parody. w hich iii these post-Spinal 'Iitp days. is no mean feat. See feature. liiliiihouse. lidinbtirgh.

Beautiful Creatures t lat * t * (hill litigles. l'K. 2000i Rachel Weisl. Susan Lynch. lain (ilL‘li. 87 “THIS. Scripted by lidinburgh playwright/lilmiiiaker Simon Donald. this edgy. playful tale concerns two gorgeous women Di/Iy Marilyn Monroe look-a-like l’etula (Weis/i and totigli cookie Dorothy (Stisan Lynchi 7 who are hit upon (in more ways than one) by various brutal men. Btit when tempers spiral otit of control. someone gets hurt. at which point l’etula and Dorothy make like Thelma and Louise and take off with blood on their hands and money in their pockets. Slick btit with an unpleasant misogynistic tone. the uneven Beautiful ('reutures doesn‘t come together to be the great modern film noir it would dearly love to he. See l‘totillitic‘s and review. General release. Bedazzled ( l2) tit (llarold Ramis. l'S. 2000i Brendan l‘raser. lili/abeth. 93 mins. An updated riff on the liaust legend. loosely based on Peter ('ook and Dudley Moore's 1967 ctilt favourite. substitutes liraser's nerdy tech support guy for Dud‘s depressed Wimpy chef and Hurley's sexy Satan for (‘ook's droll Devil. hill the set-up is the same: a cautionary tale about making deals with the Devil. Madly in love with the oblivious ()‘(‘onnor. liraser signs away his immortal soul in return fora fat legal contract that grants him seven wishes; bill the catch. as always. is iii the small print. More than enough laughs to sustain its modest running time. (‘ameo. lidinhurgh.

Billy Elliot ( lSi *iriir (Stephen l)aldry. l'k. 2000) Jamie Bell. Julie Walters. Gary Lewis. lll mins. Billy (superb newcomer Bell) finds release from life's daily drudgery. and ultimately self- fulfilment. through ballet dancing. As unlikely a leisure pursuit as that might he fora teenage boy growing tip in the recession-hit Yorkshire of the 80s (and that's the pointi. it becomes young Billy 's ticket otit of hard times. Making his film debut. theatre director l)aldry handles the political backdrop and dramatic foreground with equal assurance. The dance routines provide much of the film's humour and quite overwhelming feelgood factor. Selected release. Bless The Child ( l5) * ((‘huck Russell. L'S. 2000) Kim Basinger. Rufus Sewell. Jimmy Smits. 1 l0 mins. Basinger's respectable career nurse .Maggie is visited alter a long absence by her homeless junkie sister. who swiftly disappears leaving her to bring tip the apparently autistic child. By the time baby (‘ody's six. there's a crowd of satanic cult followers abducting and killing children born on the day of her birth. lnevitably their leader (Sew elll claims (‘ody for some fell purpose to do with the devil. The knee-jerk phobias about the jobless and homeless which lies beneath the text is obvioUs and boring. while the film borrows endlessly and unimaginatively from better. and less immediately political examples of its kind. General release.

Blue Planet (l') An awesome trip around. above and beyond our planet on the [MAX giant screen which prompted the liiixltinermi I’m! to write: ‘lf a picture is worth a thousand words. one image from Blue Planet is worth a zillion'. IMAX Theatre. Glasgow.

Bounce ( 12) Ht (Don Ross. L'K. 2000i Ben Afileck. Gwyneth Paltrow. Johnny Galecki. 106 mins. Adman Buddy (Affieckl. overwhelmed by (‘hristmas spirit. bestows his ticket home on a fellow reveller. However. the plane crashes and Buddy's relief is tempered by responsibility for the dead man's family. Thus follows art incognito check tip on widow Abby (Paltrow i that

inev itany leads to rottlancc. This is one courtship rather less conv tncmg than director Don Roos's previous effort in The Opposite ()1 Set —r gone is the arch dialogue and pop postiiitxlermsiii. lnstead. we have l’altrow truiidling out monologues of absurd banality. The unfeasibly hori/ontal love scene says it all: dull. tedious and plodding. All words that would more accurately describe this filiii w ith a misnomer of a title. See rev iew. General release. Bread And Tulips (no certi (Silvio Soldini. ltaly. 2000i Licia Maglielta. Bruno Ganl. ll‘) mins. Preview of this charming ltaltan comedy in which a housewife unexpectedly finds herself spending a tiiglit in Venice where she meets a suicidal waiter who agrees to put her tip for the night. The Lumiere. lidinburgh.

Casablanca (PU; tithe (Michael (‘urti/. l'S. l9-l2i Humphrey Bogart. Ingrid Bergman. Dooley Wilson. MD iiims. You iiitist remember this . Bogart being impossibly noble. Bergman torn between two lovers. (‘laude Rains playing both ends against the middle. devious Na/is. a fogbotiiid airport. at piano-player tinkling that tune . . . A wonderful hill of beans. Grosvenor. (ilttsgovv.

Cast Away ( l2i *tt (Robert Xemeckis. LS 2000) Tom Hanks. Helen Hunt. ('hristopher North. H} miiis. in this solidly told tale of a modern-day Robinson ('rusoe. llanks' l-‘edlix systems engineer (’huck Noland. a flag-bearer for [S capitalism and can-do kinda guy. is marooned on a deserted island in the Sotitli Pacific after his (‘hristmas live flight crashes during a ferocious storm. .At a stroke. he's stripped of all the accoutrements of modern civilisation and returned to the Stone Age. Btit like Defoe's ltero. (‘htick is an livery man who embodies the values of his age. here: energy. resourcefulness and consummate problem

solv ing. General release.

Charlie's Angels ( Is) their tMcG. t'S. Zoom ('ameron Dial. Drew Barrymore. Lucy Liti. 90 mins. This update of the T\' series has three chief attractions which are so pleasing on the eye it almost gets away w ith everything else: the gorgeous trio of Dial. Barrymore and Liti. the outfits and action sequences. There's nothing believable about these three crime fighters < and that's why girls needn‘t get excited about this being a rare action film lead by women btit the lack of realism is also one of the film's strengths; its thrills and spills have a cartoonish. laws of nature-defying brilliance. ()n the other side of the coin. the plot is pants. the characters are wafer-thin and the jokes aren't half as funny as they ought to be. General release.

Chopper ( [Si * 'k t * (Andrew Dominik. Australia. 2000) liric Bana. Simon Lyndon. David Held. ()3 mins. Based on the life of Mark '(‘hopper' Brandon Read. Australia's self- proclaimed gangster number I. ('Iiopper is a savagely funny voyage through the rationale of a criminal mind. Dominik questions the myth of a man who gained notoriety hy' chopping off his own ears in prison to escape a rival gang. and later removed fingers and toes of others. The considerable explicit violence slides uncomfortably along a mum edge between realism and fantasy and raised a round of critical assaults. .Aiid central to the film is a beguiling performance by top Australian comedian Bana as ('hopper. a mischievous piece of casting that really piles on the irony. Cameo. lidinburgh. Chuck And Buck ( l5) tint (Miguel Arteta. LS. 2000) (‘hris Weitz. Mike. 95 mins. ('huck (Weill) and Buck (White. also scriptwriter) used to suck and ftick each other. when they were kids. As the years pass they drift apart. (‘huck moves to Los Angeles and becomes a successful music industry executive while Buck stays at home with his mother. living in a state of perpetual childhood at 27 years-of-age. Btit the death of Buck's mom brings the boys back together. much to Buck's delight and Chuck's chagrin. You'll find (‘Iiuek Aml Buck either irritating or endearing. btit it's an American indie movie that makes a truth of those much overused adjectives: quirky.

offbeat and oddball. ()deon. Glasgow. Cineworlts ( lb'l (Various. CK. 2000) 90 mins. Finished product commissioned by the short film production initiative. l‘ilms include: Sex And Death. Guardian Angel. The Iiitporrtml Parts Of A True Story". [Am Boy and Exirlore. Gl‘T. Glasgow.

Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean ( Its‘i ***** (Robert Altman. L'S. I982) Karen Black. Sandy Dennis. Cher. I 10 units. The twentieth anniversary reunion of the Disciples ofJames Dean in a small Texas town. brings a host of revelations

about the past. and some clues to the identity of the mysterious stranger who has drifted into town. Brilliantly controlled and acted memory play. flaw lesst translated to the screen by Altman's sensitive craft. lixcellent. Cameo. lidinbtirgh.

Complicity ( lSi *tt (Gavin Millar. l'ls. l‘N‘Ji Jonny Lee Miller. Keeley llavves. Brian Cox. 100 mins. Journalist (‘ameron (Jonny Lee Milleri is. at first glance. a regular young lidinburgh-based professional. The police. however. have fingered him as a serial killer. gutlty of some of the most gruesome murders Scotland has ever witnessed. Those familiar with laiii Banks's novels will recognise the trademark darkness. Millar. who is directed The Crow Road. has turned the book into all ambitious movie. and an adult one. The Lumiere. lidmburgh.

Coyote Ugly ( 13» M (David .\lc.\'.tlly. t'S. Zillllll Maria Bello. Piper Pernbo. John (ioodiiian. 101 mins. l’restiiiiably the htgli concept pitch for this latest slice of wish fulfilment was 'l"/u.ylultmee meets ('ot'kttul‘. The title refers to a .\'ew York drinking spot. w here the drop-dead gorgeous (femalel bartenders dance suggestively on the bar and pour shots down the ctistomers' throats. The latest recrtiit to this 'lively ' environment is young Violet (l’eraboi. a girl from New Jersey who dreams of making it in the Big Apple as a singer- songwriter. Ignore the claims that this is a tale of female empowerment: the film is a tease. titillating its male viewers with its images of iiiidriff-baring babes in halter tops and tight leather trousers. before retreating behind its 12 certificate. l.'(i(‘ Cinemas. lidinburgh.

The Criminal ( l5) *i'i' (Julian Simpson. LR. 2000) Steven Mackintosh. Bernard llill. liddie lI/ard. The strength of Julian Simpson's promising debut feature. a contemporary urban thriller with film iioir overtones. lies primarily iii the confident writing. as exemplified by its daring opening scene in which Mackintosh's musician is seduced. bedded and finally arrested for her murder. Later released. Mackintoin wanders the streets in search of clues. shadowed by jaded detective Hill. A secretive organisation called Shackleton is mentioned by a shady figure in a peep-show. bttt as the bodies pile tip.

index FILM

Mackintosh loses illt‘ pliti completely Sc‘lc‘c‘lc‘tl release

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon l til

t *tt* (Ang Lee. ('hma'l'S. 2000i Michelle Yeoh. (‘how Yun-l‘at. [hang /.ty i. (‘hang t'hen. l20 mins. Jane Austen meets Bruce Lee in Ang ‘Serive.-tnt1Seusi}ii/(tv' Lee's astonishing martial arts period drama In a ticttoiialised version ot early l‘ith century ('hma. a world of heroic warriors and deep philosophical \alties. Lee seamlessly tnterw eav es the stories of two sets of lov ers. and a rev eiige tale with a feminist twist The fight scenes are groundbreaking. as choreographed by expert Yuen Wo l’mg At once breathtaking and beautiful. ('mut lune/tee: ‘s also a cinematic landmark its fusion of the best elements from Last and West cinema has created something wholly new Selected release

The Damned ll’(il Ht (Joseph l.osey. t'is'. tool I Macdonald (‘ai'ey. Shirley Anne liield. .-\le\ander Knox. ST mms lixtremely strange Losey otitiiig begins as a youthful love story set amongst early sixties hiker gangs. btit moves to a my steriotis cliff-face cave w here a dedicated scientist keeps a group of radioactive children sealed off from the outside worlds corruption l’oiiipotis and conlused sci-ft drama. which manages to salvage a few genuinely perverse moments from a w eii‘d mishmasli lidiiihurgh l‘ilm Guild at l‘iliiihouse. lidinburgh.

Dancer In The Dark ( lSi t t it t (Luis volt Trier. l)enmark/Sweden/(iermany/l5i‘ance. 2000i Blork. (‘atherme Denuevc. David Morse I37 mins. llav mg founded the Dogme school of back-to-basics filmmaking. von Trier's now turned his back on it with this digitally -shot homage to the Hollywood musical. Set in (i0s America. it's the story of ('Iech itiiiiiigrant , Selma (played by Bjork. w hose extraordinary performance takes nattiralism to its exti‘eiiiei. a single mother whose only escape from her dreary factory work life are her daydreaiiis which transport her into a Hollywood-sly lc musical. As with Breaking The llill't'L the drama revolves around a naive yotmg woman who becomes the victim of circumstance. and the ensuing protracted tragedy gives the film astonishing emotional clout. Selected release.

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