KATE & LEOPOLD (PG) 121 mins 00 Leopold (Hugh Jackman), an English Duke in 1876 New York, is being forced to marry for money. Giving chase to a furtive fellow he finds at a party at his home, the two men finally fall from the Brooklyn Bridge. Switching to 21 st century Manhattan, the man in question, Stuart (Liev Schreiber), has discovered a portal to cross time and has inadvertently taken Leopold back with him. Stuart’s downstairs neighbour happens to be his ex-girlfriend Kate (Meg Ryan), a career-driven ‘metaphor- for-our-times’ ad executive. Cue love interest for Leopold.
What follows is a bizarre, uneven, often tiresome and only occasionally amusing combination of Austin Powers/Les Visiteurs style time-travel humour and fluffy romantic comedy, interspersed with the clumsily delivered message that in modern times we have forgotten all the really important things in life, especially the arts of courtesy and courtship.
It is odd that director James Mangold, who’s films to date (Heavy, CopLand, Girl, Interrupted) can at least be noted for their distinctiveness and a singularity of vision, has decided to ditch this aspect of his work to
take what is an enormous leap back artistically with this ill- conceived and inconsistent studio crowd-pleaser. The only real positive note is another excellent performance from Jackman, who is pretty much the only thing that keeps the interest going and just about saves the
III-conceived studio crowd-pleaser
film (Ryan satisfactorily walks a part she has been asked to play many times).
Kate sums up the 21st century by stating that, as Charles and Lady Di prove, you ‘can’t live a fairytale’. But in 1876, apparently, you can. Yeah, right. (Rod White) I General release from Fri 5 Apr.
SCIENCE FICTION ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (U) 120 mins coco
Steven Spielberg never wanted to tarnish his baby. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. with a sequel. He has. however. for the twentieth anniversary of his fable about a peaceful alien marooned on Earth dusted off the original and re-released it in a new and improved form.
Spielberg's undertaken similar digital tinkering to what George Lucas worked on the first three Star Wars films a few years back. ET's eyes. for example. have been ‘enhanced' to make him appear more alien. There are also never before screened scenes such as ET having a bath. But. perhaps most interesting of all Spielberg’s dicking about with the film, is his decision to excise all the firearms from it. Spielberg always felt bad about American authorities chasing ET. his human friend Elliot and his school mates around armed with guns. Via the miracle of digital technology. Spielberg has replaced the guns with mobile phones.
There's something a bit precious about this kind of cleansing of the film, kind of like how modern day cartoons are sanitised of good old fashioned slapstick violence and become merely bland. The kids can take it. already! Still, as a fantasy adventure for kids and 'adult kids' alike. Ef remains some kind of modern classic. (Miles Fielder)
I General release from Fri' 29 Mar.
Remains some kind of modern classic
(U) 111min COO
Boxing as social phenomena
William Klein's documentary is less about boxing than the social phenomena that surround it. The film focuses upon
three fights in the career of Muhammad Ali, its first hour
talking around the two Liston fights in 1964 and 65, and the cancellation of the originally scheduled rematch of November 64. looking at Ali, his opponent. and the menagerie that surrounded them. The latter half fast forwards to the Rumble in the Jungle. with its attendant media circus. making an oblique commentary on the social and economic changes that had taken place.
The film is fascinating for its moments of inSIght into the lives of these men. as well as its doCumentation of attitudes to them from folk of the day. Acadt-zmics. retired boxers and members of the public both black and white share their Views. revealing not so much the world of boxing. as attitudes prevalent both then and now to It. But while footage of weigh-Ins and Ali's meetings With everyone from president Mabuto to the Beatles are Intriguing. there‘s a lot of padding along the way. and virtually no footage of the fights themselves. (Steve Cramer)
I Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 29 Mar.
(12) 122 mins 00
With it having been eleven years since Scream Of Stone. Werner Herzog's last fiction film, it was inevitable that a lot was going to be expected of /nv/nCib/e. In the intervening period. Herzog concentrated on making documentaries. with efforts such as Wings Of Hope winning him great acclaim. However, arguably Herzog's finest documentary was My Best Fiend. a portrait of his love-hate relationship with long-time collaborator Klaus Kinski. who died eleven years ago.
Set in 19308 Germany. Invincible is the story of a Jewish strongman Zishe Breitbait (Youke Ahola) working for occultist Rasmussen (Tim Roth), a Nazi collaborator. While Kinski's volatile charisma would have been perfect for Rasmussen. instead we get another irritatineg hammy performance from Roth. Equally bad. the lead character. respectably played by former World's Strongest Man Ahola. is unbelievably dull. apart from his inability to say the name ‘Benjamin‘.
Maybe he did it for the money. Kinski's not there. Herzog seems bored by his subject. and his usual flair is strikingly absent. Whatever the reason. Herzog's heart is not in it. and so lnvrnCib/e is anything but.
(Nick Dawson) I Selected release from Fri 29 Mar.
It’s anything but
28 Marl ‘: Apr 2002 THE LIST 25