Another nauseating instalment of cinema‘s equivalent to the great plague. Though a very slight improvement on The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones still has all the charm of a blocked colostomy bag on a first date.

Set ten years after Episode I, the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos. A separatist movement encompassing hundreds of planets with powerful corporate alliances poses a new threat to the galaxy that even the Jedi cannot stem. An assassination attempt on Senator (no longer Queen) Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) alerts the Republic to this new threat, and so trainee Jedi Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect the woman he has grown to love. Meanwhile, Anakin's tutor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), gets to play intergalactic detective, following a trail of clues left by the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). In desperation Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) assumes sole control of the Republic and orders an army of clones to assist the Jedi.

Whatever. The plot doesn't really matter; it’s all just wallfiller. The suspense of this prequel to the first three films is by necessity zero: you know what is going to happen so it‘s jigsaw puzzle assembly time. Worse, George Lucas is at the helm again: producing, directing and co—writing the script. This is only Lucas’ fifth film as director and he‘s still a sloppy and careless filmmaker who manages to render the most impressive set pieces insipid.

THE MAJESTIC (PG) 152mm 0.0

Lacks Capra-esque screwball zest

rt: ‘."e US f2()".f3llltlil()lt. A: '."-i: ixitset. lio'~.'re\.’er. the film's :,".'..‘:g)::.".st coaldnt be further reii‘oved ' \ those va'ues. JIII" Carreys shallow. s-:,- '7 seemtg Hollyx'rood writer. Peter Aer. eton. :s on the verge of the big time. ' ‘a.'l£lf3lll)tl(:kllltg B-II‘OVIC‘. The Sand r” mares O." The Sahara. has lust opened double biil with The African Queen .itt': his g:rtfriend is a hot young starlet. 7"-:;'I "emeszs strikes. He tht‘.'v.'lliill()lI,/' falls ' ,i.’ the era's Communist ‘.".’Ii(2ll-lttiltlf$ t'l ; :; ordered to appear before the :i’. .i.e tln Aiiiericari Activities 'r‘iitee. but instead. he takes fright , we», nignt in his Mercedes; ‘.’."‘.‘(:". Int}. drunkenly crashes his car ends. up .I‘. a rzver.

iii.- .'.‘ttf;:"i(;‘.‘) LII) in the small town of

Bloated action scenes and tedious exposition

At film school Lucas, along with anyone else who took film studies, learnt about Gregor Propp’s theories on fairytale storytelling. Propp laid out ideas of good and evil, rescue and redemption and corrupted family ties that motivate all fairytales and make them stimulating to children and adults alike. While his contemporaries (Coppola, Spielberg) used Propp’s writing as a starting block for creative story structure, Lucas seems forever stuck on page one. Come his fifth sci-fi fairytale, Lucas has long since been repeating himself.

If you are, however, a fan, or you’ve simply been numbed into submission by the all-consuming hype machine, you are probably going to go and see this nonsense anyway. So here’s a list of meagre delights on offer. McGregor bears the weight of the film - trying not to look too embarrassed working with an awful script where his younger co-stars are simply sappy. The special effects are flashy, but only impressive if you like hanging around software technology shows. Morrison and Christopher Lee (as separatist movement leader Count Dooku) do passable impressions of B-movie bad guys. Only the lightsabre fight between Dooku and the undeniably cute Yoda is truly impressive. And it is fantastic, injecting some much needed farce to the fate of the Force.

And that’s it, really. One bloated action scene follows another, tied together by tedious plot exposition that would put a glass eye to sleep. Designed to indulge platform game players and kids who found The Lord Of The Rings 3 bit too dark and taxing, Attack Of The Clones will only please the truly besotted fans. (Paul Dale)

I General release. Out now.

Landau‘i, owner of the town's decrepit (:inema. the MitIGSlIC. and then. more hesite‘intly. by Luke's former fzancee. Adele iLaiirie Holdeni. What ‘.'.’lll happen when he regains his memory 2’

In Me. Myself a Irene. Carrey played the two sides of a spl t personality. Without recourse to ltllilXEI- faced gurning. he does sori‘ething siii‘ilar here. 2 s selfish. apolitical Peter gradually takes on the attributes of the “(FDIC Iuke. It's a subtle pertorii‘ance. full of careful nuances. but Darabont's llllt‘. doesn't really do it Justice.

Darabont is seeking to recapture the spirit of Frank ()apra's populist tilins ( t the late ittis and early -t()s. \.'."Illl ()ari'ey as a latter-day James Sl(}‘.'.’£tll or (.‘iaiy Cooper. Nothing wrong ‘.‘.’Ill‘- that.

i ' :' u- r: i '- ' 1 : . :r.'.~;on. minus his memory. But the although The /‘/i'a/estic's ESItI‘I)I(? ii‘inded i: '- w ;" ' x 1...".r‘stolk ‘i'id E3()II‘(ElltIII(I uncannily idealism sits less happily in the mom i Tami .ai aiioat the {tII‘IIOES'EtC stranger. politically ambivalent McCarthy period. i‘ " ' . ' " " :' ’L ;.i :l he be ii‘edal ‘.'/|llIIIIl(J hero I uke But a note serious tailing s the it"i‘s " " I. -4-. .‘rho went missing Il‘. th: war"? sluggish pace. [)arabont inai, sl‘aie Eie'c'e :o'g. ’eter finds l1iii‘self Capra's dewy-eyed optin‘isni. but he ,7" ' ' I -’-' " ..:;:astically (:IY‘l)l£t(Z€)tl by the town. lacks his screwball /est. itl; sov‘ Besti

" .'. I like}; father. I-Iariy ilvtartiii

I General release from ("l (’4 Mai.

Rough cuts

Lights, camera, action . . .

THE LONDON LESBIAN 8. Gay Film Festival on tour previews its forthcoming programme With a screening of Bruce Weber's Chop Suey at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday 2 June. Weber‘s film is a photographic portrait of 16-year-old Minnesota wrestler Peter Johnson. which kaleidoscopes in everyone from lesbian jazz singer Frances Pay to Robert Mitchum singin' the blues. See full festival preview in Gay next issue.


at the Cameo Cinema, which previews Halle Berry’s historic Oscar- winning turn (she’s the first African—American woman winner) in the southern States racism ’n’ romance drama, Monster’s Ball, on Wednesday 5 June. A few days earlier, on Saturday 1 June, the Cameo holds an auction of film memorabilia on behalf of Edinburgh Media Base, the local filmmaking and training facility. Merchandise on sale includes signed Star Wars posters and props from Aliens. Finally, the Cameo hosts an allnighter of 805 ‘classics’ - Footloose, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink and Top Gun - on Saturday 25 May. Some would say this is a good thing. Others . . .

80$ allnighter at the Cameo

()VITH IN (‘zl ASVEGAS (EM/\(I runs a filmmaking masterclass on Saturday 8 June Witli guest speaker Saul Met/stem. director of the really very good and locally iiiade / are Night Shopping. Ihe class is aimed at novice and slightly more experienced filiiiinakms. and more events are intended

to follow.

;‘.3 May '5 old" THE LIST 21