0 Princess Mononoke (3) 000 (Hayao Miyazaki. Japan. 1997) Voices of Gillian Anderson. Billy Bob Thornton. Minnie Driver. I33 mins. This extraordinari- ly popular .lapaiiese ‘animie' tells the tale of a young warrior on a quest which takes him to a far away forest where the animal gods war with human invaders. The conflict is a pretty straightforward allegory criticising modern day technology's attack on nature. The animation is fluid. the mythos - involv- ing the forest gods' champion. the wolf girl Mononoke — is involving. and the story- telling clear. The dialogue in the English lati- guage script by Neil Gaimen. however. is unsophisticated and awkward. See review. Glasgow Film Theatre. Glasgow; The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
Rat Race ( l2) 0.. (Jerry Xllc‘kc‘f. LS. 2001) John Cleese. Rowan Atkinson. Whoopi Goldberg. l 12 mins. ln Jerry Zucker's madcap comedy. a bunch of money grabbers undertake a crazy race across America to New .Mexico to find a hidden treasure hoard. Cleese is one of the select circle of Las Vegas business men who organises the race as a new means of placing a wager. Don't expect much iii the way of comment on greed and corruptibility. lnstead. Xucker focuses on the laughs. employing the tactic he used with great sticcess on his hit lllllis.'lfI‘/)/(1II(’.' and Naked (fun: the scattergun fire of endless slapstick jokes. General release.
Recess: School’s Out (l’) 00. (Chuck Sheet'l. LS. 200] ) Voices of James Woods. Dabney Coleman. Dan (‘astellaneta 82 mins. Disney plunders its own small screen programming for this feature length version of its cartoon series. Rt't't'ss‘ concerns the adventures of a gang of pre-adolescent kids. whose roll call includes a natural leader. brainy nerd. cute girl. tomboy and. erm. a little boy who sings like a man For the big screen school outing. the gang ptit their mischievous ways to good use when an evil ex-principal of their school. Mr Benedict (Arnold would that be?) hatches a scheme to end summer vacations by causing permanent winter. Selected release.
Rock Star ( 15) 00 (Stephen llerck. L'S. 200l ) Mark Wahlberg. Jennifer Aniston. Jason Flemyng. 105 mins. Ruck Star is based on the life of Tim ‘Ripper’ ()wens. the heavy metal fan who became heavy metal god when his beloved Judas Priest offered him the vocals gig. in the film. Wahlberg's long- haired Pennsylvania rocker Chris Cole is plucked from obscurity by British monsters of rock Steel Dragon. But living his ultimate fantasy goes to Cole's head. Making a film about the rock and roll lifestyle on and off stage atid treating it with so much cheesy sincerity is a bad move. Two words: Spinal 721/). in any event. grafting that old chestnut. the rags-to-riches tale onto the rock milieu and sanitising it of the sex and drugs is as lame as an air guitar solo. General release. Home, Open City (PG) 00.. (Roberto Rosselini. ltaly. I945) Anna Magnani. Aldo Fabri/i. Marcello Pagliero. l0l mins. Rosselini‘s definitive neo-rcalist film was shot iii horrendously difficult circumstances at the end of the war atid provides a compelling picture of the
resistance movement‘s efforts to disrupt the fascist authorities. These days what‘s perhaps most remarkable about the film is its refusal to conform to the then conventional filmic notions of sentimentality and heroism in favour of a hard edge that remains grimly affecting. Edinburgh Film Guild. Edinburgh. Rugrats In Paris: The Movie (t') .0. (Stig Bergqvist. Paul Demeyer. LS. 200] ) Voices of Christine Cavanaugh. Susan Sarandon. Debbie Reynolds. 77 mins. The antics of those diaper-clad under-5s. Tommy, ('huckie. Dil. Phil and Lil. and tormenting big cousin Angelica. make a great kids cartoon. Better than its predecessor. Riigruts In Paris has the gang descending on Euroreptarland (read Eurodisney). where conniving Angelica fixes tip motherless Chuckie and his gullible father. Chas. with the villainous ('oco La Bouche who hates children. To save (‘huckie the kids hijack the giant robotic Reptar and race for Notre Dame to stop the wedding. Lively. well-paced entertainment for younger children. and just smart enough for most adults. Adam Smith Theatre. Kirkcaldy.
Serendipity ( l2) 0.. (Peter Chelsom. LS. 200! ) John (‘usack. Kate Beckinsalc. Molly Shannon. 90 mins. When Jonathan Trager (Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Beckinsale) collide while looking for the perfect pair of gloves for their respective other halves. love is well and truly in the air. Btit the rules of the rom-com dictate that fate should also keep them apart. And so Jonathan and Sara‘s love is frustrated until. when both are on the verge of marrying other people. their seeds of doubt finally flower into all-out. w ide-ey ed adoration. A few fine moments of comedy and decent performances lift it otit of mediocrity and make this a pleasant piece of seasonal fare. General release.
Sexy Beast ( l8) 0... (Jonathan Gla/cr. l'K. 2000) Ray Winstone. Ben Kingsley. lan McShanc. 88 mins. Wheii retired criminal Gary Dove (Winstone) gets a visit from East End headcase Don Logan (Kingsley ). who’s to persuade Dove to leave his ('osta dcl Sol villa to do one last ‘job' for crime boss Teddy Bass (McShane). the sparks fly. Dove stutters a nervous 'No thanks"; Logan screams ‘Yes. you *t?’. At length. The back and forth between the hard titan who's lost his bottle and the officious little psychopath is nothing short of Pinter- esque. alternately menacing. hilarious and terrifying. Cast against type. the leads are superb. Gla/er rigorously maintains content over style. and the result is a razor sharp drama that's no mere gangster film. The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
Shooters ( l8) .0 (Glenn Durfort. ('olin Teague. l'K. 200l ) Adrian Dunbar. Gerald Butler. loan (iruffudd. 95 iiiitis. Coke head atid gangster J's mate Gilly is released from prison having done time for a crime his friend committed. He needs money that J owes him to go straight. but is persuaded to do one last job. Needless to say. the deal doesn't go as planned. Yep. yet another tale of drugs. guns and rhyming slang. There‘s little in this film to raise the pulse besides a gleeful turn from Butler as a psychopathic Glaswegian. See review. Selected release.
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Shrek (l?) moo (Andrew Adamson. \‘icky Jenson. LS. 2001 ) Voices of Mike Myers. Cameron Diaz. Eddie Murphy. 90 mins. Shirk will have Walt Disney turning in his cryogenic free/e tank. This truly subversive animated film takes pot shots at fairytale mythology. while singling out L'ncle Wall's beloved Snow ll'liitc. Cinderella. l’fltf(‘('/li(). et al. l'nder the guise of a quest to resae a princess from a dragon undertaken by the eponymous green ogre (which kids will love). Shirk also ruthlessly pillages corporate Disney. satirising its theme parks and executives. And who's behind all this‘.’ Producer Jeffrey Kat/enberg of Disney rival studio DreamWorks. also formerly head of. yep. Disney. Selected release.
The Son’s Room (La stanza di tiglio) ( l5) (Nanni Moretti. Italy. 2000) 87 mins. The Lumiere. Edinburgh. ()scar tipped Italian drama about a psychiatrist coming to terms with the death of his son. European preview screening.
Soul Survivors ( 12) 00 (Steve Carpenter. l'S. 200l ) Melissa Sagemiller. Casey Aflleck. Wes Bentley. 85 mins. This techno-gothic tale begins with a fatal car crash involving four American college freshers. Btit who is alive host-crash. what is reality and who can they trust'.’ Such tensions form the crux of this uninspired chiller. where a trip to the dark side becomes tedioust familiar. Borrowing too freely from greats like The Exorcist aitd Currie. Squ Survivors
possesses neither the bravery nor the vision of
these films and so fails to go the whole horror distance. General release.
Spy Kids (L) .00. (Robert Rodriguez. l'S. 200l ) Antonio Banderas. Alan Cumming. Carla Gtigiiio. 87 mins. Like any young children. Carmen and Juli Cortex harbour hopes of madcap adventure. but unlike most children their apparently normal parents are top international super-spies. When they're kidnapped as part of a dastardly plot to destroy the world. cooked tip by kooky mastermind Fegan Floop (Cumming). it falls to the children to save the world. Rife with fantasy. special-effects wizardry and high- octane thrills. Spy Kids is particularly enjoyable because it's the children and not the adults that ultimately save the day. Carlton. Stirling.
Startup.com ( IS) 000 (Christine lledegus. Jehane Noujaim. LS. 200]) l07 mins. Buddies since highschool. Kaleil lsaza Tit/man and Toni Herman pool their entrepreneurial expertise and launch a startup internet company Goonrkscom. Btit having raised millions of dollars iii venture capital. the co-founders find tactical and strategic problems are soon troubling the business. This verite documentary finds an engrossing human interest story in an account of the rise and fall of a high-profile venture. L'sing extensive footage and intimate access to the participants. the filmmakers have constructed a salutary tale of a life-long friendship being jeopardised by the cut-throat world of business. The Lumiere. Edinburgh.
Strictly Sinatra ( 15) .00 (Peter (‘apaldL L'K. 2001) Ian Hart. Brian Cox. Kelly Macdonald. 97 mins. Actor Capaldi turns the camera on his home city. Glasgow. with this entertaining play on the ctilt of Frank Sinatra. Strictly Sinatra songs only is the rule of ltalian-Scot cltib crooner Toni Coco/1a (Hart ). So obsessed with Old Blue Eyes is Toni. he falls iii with Glasgow's gangsters. seduced by crime boss ('hisholm‘s (Cox) tales of his Vegas days. Essentially. this is the story of Faust to which Sinatra's \v'egas mob connections lend themselves very neatly. llart gives a great tragi-comic performance. and despite making his name playing John Lennon twice. for the first time sings on film. MacRobert. Stirling.
Sweet Smell Oi Success ( 15)”... (Alexander Mackendrick. l'S. l957) Burt Lancaster. Tony Curtis. Susan Harrison. 96 mins. Clifford ()dets and Ernest Lehman scripted this brilliant study of the destructive effect of power. Sweet Smell ()fStu‘ccss tells the story of Sidney Falco (Curtis). a slimy publicist worming his way to the top via venomous newspaper columnist J. J. llunseclser (Lancaster). The two leads are brilliantly cast against type. James Wong llowe's photography of Broadway at night is
as evocative as film noir ever got. while Elmer Bernstein‘s crime jazz score (with contributions from the Chico Hamilton Quintet) completes the impression of a filthy. corrupt city. Arid astonishingly. the whole film was pulled together by Scotsman Alexander .‘vlackendrick. who until this time was best known for whimsical Ealitig comedies. The Lumiere. Edinburgh.
This Is Spinal Tap ( IS) .0000 (Rob Reiner. L'S. I983) Christopher Guest. Michael McKean. Harry Shearer. R.J. Parnell. Ed Begley Jr. 82 mins. Certainly the most ingenious. accurate and funny of all spoof rockumentaries. with wonderfully spontaneous dialogue. convincing fly-on-the- wall camera work. self-penned heavy metal parodies. and of course the amp that goes to l l. The Filmhouse. Edinburgh. Thunderbirds Are Go (ti) 0... (Gerry Anderson. l'K. 1966) Scott. Virgil. Alan Brains. Lady Penelope et al. 90 mins. The first and wittiest of the Thunderbird spin- off movies. The 2 1 st century version of the Shadows more than makes up for what is otherwise little more than the dragging otit of one of the TV episodes. A must for all Gerry Anderson fans. Adam Smith Theatre. Kirkcaldy.
Un Chien Andalou ( l8) (Luis Bunucl. France. I928) Simone Mareuil. Pierre Batcheff. Jaime Miravilles. Salvador Dali. Luis Bunucl. sundry dead donkeys. 17 mins. Classic Spanish surrealism. with famous eyeball-slitting scene and a great deal of bizarre imagery of obscure meaning. C(‘A. Glasgow.
Va Savoir (PG) 0... (Jacques Rivettc. France. 200l ) Jeanne Balibar. Sergio ('astellitto. Jacques Bonnaffe. lS-l mins. A graceful and charming comedy of manners from veteran French New Wave director Rivette. l’u .S'ui-oi'r's backstage theatre setting and the parallels between art and life might seem predictable. yet the filmmaker magically guides the viewer through the French capital. always alert to the romantic possibilities that connect his characters. And the casual mastery of Rivette's direction. which effortlessly weaves together the varioUs plot strands. is matched by some sparkling ensemble performances. The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
Vanilla Sky ( (5) .00 (Cameron Crowe. CS. 2001 ) Tom Cruise. Penelope Cruz. Cameron Diaz. 136 mins. Cruise's gleaming smile and rippling abs are ptit to formidable narcissistic use in his portrayal of David Ames. a handsome arid fabulously wealthy Manhattan playboy. Over the course of one evening. he falls iii love with Spanish dancer Sofia (Cruz). thereby incurring the morbid jealousy of girlfriend Julie (Dial). and his dreamlife becomes a nightmare. Crowe's remake of the Spanish psychological thriller Open Your Eyes (Abra Lox ()jus) might be retitled ‘Being Tom Cruise'. for it brazenly blurs the boundaries between fictional character and real-life actor to become an inquiry into contemporary movie stardom. See review. General release.
Velvet Goldmine ( 18) «so (Todd Haynes. L'S. I998) Jonathan Ryhs-Meyers. Ewan McGregor. Eddie luard. 123 mins. L'sing the very British glam phenomenon. the young American director examines more universal themes: sexuality. identity. non- conformity. There's much fun to be had watching the charismatic performances in this ‘long player" which demands (and deserves) to be appreciated with a keen ear and eye. The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
0 Vertigo (PG) com (Alfred Hitchcock. LS. 1958) James Stewart. Kim Novak. Barbara Bel Geddes. 128 mins. Detective Stewart. a man with a fear of heights. falls in love with a woman who apparently commits suicide. When he meets her double. he becomes obsessed with the possibility that she is still alive. Extraordinary plotting in this undervalued Hitchcock study of romantic mania. with Stewart memorably cast against type as the distinctly on-the-edge cop. The Bernard llerrmann score is simultaneously ltisli and disturbing. The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
La Ville est Tranquille ( 18) 0000 (Robert Guediguian. France. 200] ) Ariane Ascaride. Jean-Pierre Darroussin. l32 mins.