expertly calibrated performances. not least from Wilkinson and Spacek. And there's no clear-cut closure or cheap redemption. Sec preview and review. Selected release.
Iron Giant (C) 0... (Brad Bird. I'S. l999) Jennifer Aniston. Harry Conick Jr. Vin Diesel. 86 mins. In this animated film adaptation of Ted llughes‘s classic children's story about a boy who befriends a 50ft. robot from outer space. the action is transported from rural Iingland 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. MacRobert. Stirling.
James And The Giant Peach (1?; 0... (Henry Selick. IS. 19%) Paul Terry. SUsan Sarandon. Simon Callow. 7‘) mins. From the director of Tim Burton '5' T/N' Nightmare Before Christmas comes a wonderfully colourful adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s much-loved novel. Live action tops and tails the story. but for the most part. it's fun times with stop-motion puppets. By turns funny and scary. it stays true to I)ah|'s surreal and whimsical vision. Iiast Kilbride Arts Centre. Iiast Kilbride.
Joan Of Arc ( t5) 0.. (Luc Besson. France. 2000) Milla Jovovich. John Malkovich. Faye Dunaway'. 1-18 mins. The heroine of this would-be international blockbuster is reinvented as the standard bearer of in a valiant endeavour to repel the forces of Anglo-American cultural imperialism. But made with Iinglish dialogue. the film has much in common with the gory spectacle of Brave/lean. 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. ()deon. Iidinburgh. John Carpenter’s Ghosts Of Mars (15) 0.. (John Carpenter. LS. 200]) Natashsa Ilenstridge. Ice Cube. Pam (irier. ()7
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mins. Carpenter transplants the western plot of Rio Bravo. plonking the ‘cowboys' on the red planet where Henstridge's police lieutenant is part of a team charged with collecting Cube‘s criminal from a mining settlement. However. once there. they discover the inhabitants have become murderous zombies. Rarely straying beyond its genre boundaries. (ilioxrs ()fllurs~ is entertaining enough. but Carpenter re-treads familiar ground. making this another of the ailing auteur's lesser work. Magnum Theatre. Irvine.
Kiss Of The Dragon ( 18) 000
(Chris Nahon. I'S/I’rance. 2001 ) Jet Li. Bridget Fonda. Tcheky Karyo. ()8 mins. Li plays a top Shanghai secret agent who arrives in Paris to assist ruthless police boss Tcheky Karyo in nailing a Chinese drugs lord. Naturally. Karyo is the real villain and within minutes Li finds himself framed for murder and on the run. l‘onda tags along as the hooker-who-knows-too-much. How ever. it seems clear that neither she nor Karyo saw the script before being roped in by producer Luc Besson. as their parts are quite risible. In its favour. .\'ahon directs the action. if not the drama. with aplomb. Cameo. Iidinburgh.
A Knight’s Tale (Pm 000 (Brian llelgeland. I'S. 200i l Heath Ledger. Mark Addy. Paul Bettany. I32 mins. After his master dies halfway through a jousting tournament in medieval Iirancc. peasant William Thatcher (Ledger) dons his suit of armour and drags begrudging pals Roland (Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudykl across Europe towards victory. Writer-director llelgeland‘s (LA. Conﬁdential. Pay/melt) film displays a playful sense of humour with its anachronistic soundtrack featuring Queen. David Bowie and other 70s rockers. and amusing allusions to the World Ctip. And unusually it also emphasises character interaction so that the working class heroes are aided by Laura Fraser's widow -turned-blacksmith and Bettany's scene-stealing gambler/poet ‘(ieoff' Chaucer. Cameo. Edinburgh.
L’age d’or ( l8) (Luis Bunuel. I930. Spain) ()3 mins. Bunuel‘s essay on Eros and civilisation in which two lovers are torn apart by the chruch and state. CCA. Glasgow.
The Last Castle ( IS) 00. (Rod Lurie. CS. 2001) Robert Redford. James (iandoliini. l3l mins. Although set in a maximum security military prison. The Lust ('uxtle essentially dramatises the overthrow of a corrupt dictator and regime. Said dictator is the warden. Colonel Winter (Uandolfini). who runs his prison with an iron rule and no respect for its inmates. Redford's newly court-martialed inmate (ieneral Irwin takes issue with this. and so begins a war of wills culminating in an uprising. As a piece of drama. The Lost Castle works efficiently enough. and (iandolﬁni proves there‘s more to him than Tony Soprano. But Redford plays the bland all-American hero yet again in what is ultimately another in America's current crop of patriotic war movies. Selected release. Last Orders ( 15) 00. (Fred Schepisi. CK. 2001) Michael Caine. Bob Hoskins. David Ilemmings. Tom Courtney. Ray Winstone. 108 mins. Jack (Caine). a butcher from Bermondsey. has died. Joined by Jack's son (Winstone). his three best friends (Courtney. llemmings. Iloskins) set off on a road-trip to Margate to scatter the old man's remains. Converting (iraham Swift's remarkable novel of loss. friendship and life's cruel decline into a movie was always going to be something akin to catching salt in the wind. Schepisi has lost the febrile sense that this sad story is built on odd tender moments snatched from eternity. This is. however. a soap opera acted out by a right royal cast. See review. Selected release.
Last Resort ( 15) 000. (Pawel I’awlikowski. CK. 3001 l Dina Kormn. Paddy Considine. 76 mins. In a rundown seaside resort on lingland's south coast that resembles a Siberian concentration camp. refugees seeking shelter in Britain are held at the (iovernment's pleasure. facing interminable imprisonment or eventual deportation. Into
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this shameful xenophobic mess blunders Tanya. a young woman arriving frotn Moscow with her ten-year-old son. This is tough. politicised cinema. reminiscent of waking nightmares Orwell and Kafta. Polish writer-director Pawlikowski effectively draws on his documentary background. while the main players are superb. particularly Considine making only his second appearance after his extraordinary debut in A Room For Romeo Brass. The Lumiere. Edinburgh.
Late August, Early September ( 15) CO. (()livier Assayas. France. WW) Mathieu Amalric. Jeanne Balibar. Jeanne Balibar. l 12 mins. (iabriel. a young writer. is struggling to let go of an old relationship with Jenny at the same time as being apprehensive about committing to a new one with Anne. Meanwhile. his best mate Adrien is dying. Since it deals with the universal theme of change and how people cope with it. this film from Irma I27; director Assayas is highly accessible. It's too long and lacks a gripping plot structure. but as a vehicle for touching deep emotions it works. CCA. (ilasgow.
Legally Blonde ( 12) 000 (Robert Luketic. LS. 200] ) Reese Witherspoon. Luke Wilson. Selma Blair. 97 mins. Legally Blonde is adapted from Amanda Brown's unpublished novel. an anthropological study of the ‘law student species' drawing on her experiences as a blonde attending law school. By contrast. Karen McCullah Lut/ and Kirtsen Smith's (10 'I'liingx~ I Hate About You) screenplay foctises on the ‘clueless' nature of protagonist Iille Woods (Witherspoon). a California babe who finds herself to be a fish out of water when she follows her boyfriend to Harvard. It also resorts to a deeply conventional narrative about honesty and integrity winning the day. ThUs. Legal/v Blomle lacks the bite of other teen satires such as Election. another film starring Witherspoon. but one which lived up to the actor's impressive talents. Cameo. Iidinburgh.
17—31 Jan 2002 THE LIST 29