Film index

Scooby-Doo (PG) 0. (Raja Gosnell. LS. 2002) Freddie Prinze Jr. Sarah Michelle Gellar. Matthew Lillard. 87min. Smoby the ntovie starts well. pitching itself somewhere between tribute and send-up of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The casting is astute. best of all. Matthew Lillard as stoned slacker Shaggy. Even the computer- generated Scooby himself isn‘t lacking in charm. But Smithy-Duo sadly fails to live up to the promise of its opening reel. Admittedly. the film's bold playpen colours are fun and there are some clever gags that will score with the show's pothead following. But the jokes soon wear thin. General release.

Secret Ballot ( L7 ) 00. ( Babak Payartti. lran/Italy. 2002) Cyrus Abidi. Nassittt Abdi. 105mm. Election day on the remote island of Kish in the Persian Gulf. A sullen soldier (Abidi). stationed to guard against smugglers. is given the duty of escorting the idealistic young female official (Abdi) collecting the votes. Few of the locals. however. seem familiar with the practicalities of filling in a ballot form. Inspired by Mohsen Makhmalbaf‘s short filnt Testing Democracy; Secret Ballot is an amusineg absurdist fable. which observes sonte of the contradictions of introducing democracy. See review. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

Shakti - the Power (PG) (2002) Min tbc. Asian cinema presentation. Odeon At The Quay. Glasgow; L'Cl. Edinburgh.

The Shipping News (15) 00.0 (Lasse Hallstrom. CS. 2002) Kevin Spacey. Julianne Moore. Judi Dench. 1 17min. Annie Proulx‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a depressed middle-aged father who takes his daughter off to his family‘s ancestral home in barren Newfoundland after the unfaithful wife (though love of his life) is killed in a car wreck. is an eccentric black comedy. but also a raw. melancholy yam. What hope. then. for arch sentintentalist Hallstrom not leaving Proulx‘s masterpiece

42 THE LIST 3-17 Oct 2002

floundering? None it would seem. yet against the odds Hallstrém delivers a watertight piece of drama. directed and acted with beautiful restraint. particularly by Spacey who plays the depressed protagonist Quoyle. Arts Centre. East Kilbride.

Signs (12A) 000 (M. Night Shyamalan. CS. 2002) Mel Gibson. Joaquin Phoenix. Rory Culkin. 120mm. Six months after an event which shattered his religious faith. ex-minister Graham Hess (Gibson) awakes in the middle of the night to find his children in the middle of a corn field staring at a giant crop circle. Is it the work of local pranksters or a navigational aid for aliens? The set-up is self-consciously reminiscent of The War of the Worlds. but Shyamalan eschews spectacle in favour of nerve- jangling suspense created out of the most mundane domestic situations. Shyantalan has a Hitchcockian grasp of cinematic technique. keeping audiences in a state of near hysterical anxiety for almost two hours. Sadly. the last five minutes are anti- climactic and the film's denontinationally unspecific religious message is both dubious and wishy-washy. General release. Silence, We’re Rolling (cert tbc) (Youssef Chahine. Egypt/France. 2001) l()0min. Chahine's latest finds himself at his most playful. here mixing musical numbers with romantic. satire and movie parody. It‘s a heady tale of the adventures of a beautiful but vain diva. CCA. Glasgow. Sing-A-Long-A Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (PG) (David Mallet. US. 1999) Donny Osmond. Richard Attenborough. Joan Collins. 76min. Musical retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph. being screened here with audience participation. fun and games. Adam Smith. Kirkcaldy.

Snow Dogs (L') 0. (Brian Levant. US. 2002) Cuba Gooding Jr.. James Coburn. Nichelle Nichols. 99min. This unremarkable Disney comedy follows a

Miami-based dentist as he discovers his previously unknown Eskimo roots. Thotigh competently made and featuring a reliable lead and cast. it still struggles to raise a decent laugh. Not unwatchable. but nothing special. Selected release.

The Spanish Prisoner t )5) 0000 (David Mamet. US. 1998) Campbell Scott. Rebecca Pidgeon. Steve Martin. I l lntin. Mamet's first film as director. House of Games. was a clever. cold study of the art of the confidence trick; his latest covers similar territory. To write anything about the plot would be to give too ntuch away. because. for ntuch of the film's running time. it‘s unclear who is courting who. Cryptic and playful. Mamet's writing. which has been compared to that of Harold Pinter. is perfectly suited to the illusionary nature of the con. The insubstantiality of everything is delicioust maddening. Cameo. Edinburgh.

SpidersMan ( 12A) 0... (Sam Rainti. US. 2002) Tobey Maguire. Kirsten Dunst. l21min. A big budget blockbuster based on a best-selling superhero comic book you’d be right to expect spectacular effects attd bland storytelling in a flashy but ultintately dull film. Go see Attack of the Clones for that particular exercise in bringing in the box office bucks. Spider-Mun. by contrast. is a delightfully unexpected mix of spectacle and engrossing human drama. It's surprising that Rainti. who tttade his name with the highly stylised genre pastiche (The Evil Dead) should focus so ntuch on character. The cast acquit themselves well. although Dafoe hants up the villainy. But Raimi's lead. Tobey Maguire. brings just the right amount of knowing humour to Parker/Spidey. which is emblematic of Rainti's wltole. winning approach to the film. General release.

Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron (L') .0. (Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook. US. 2002) Matt Damon. James Cromwell. Daniel Studi. 84min. Spirit is an animal

fable in which none of the non-human characters speak. We do. however. get inside the heart and head of the movie's eponymous equine hero thanks to narration by Matt Damon (conveying Spirit's thoughts) attd songs by Bryan Adants (ltis feelings). Above all. Spirit. a wild mustang living itt the Old West. yearns to rtut free until a lasso lands him itt the hands of the LS cavalry. While sonte viewers will be roused by Spirit‘s questioning of the LS myth of Manifest Destiny. others will be stirred by the qttality of the animation. which seamlessly integrates traditional hand-drawn animation with computer- getterated images. Selected release.

Spy Kids 2 - the island of Lost Dreams it) see (Roberto Rodriguez. CS. 2002) Alexa Vega. Daryl Sahara. Roberto Rodriguez. (‘arla (iugino. Mitt tbc. Taller attd considerably rttore tenacious. Carmen attd Jtuti (‘ortez are feeling pretty datttn confident after saving their super spy parents front peril iii the first instalment of what will undoubtedly beconte a fantin adventure series. Now serving itt an all new Spy Kids sub-division of the ()SS organisation. the plucky prepubesccnts are all set for their first solo mission - to discover the lost island of Liki Liki where they itttist locate attd destroy a Trattstttooker device capable of shutting down all electricity on earth. Althouglt tltis sequel does not. could ttot ntatclt the origittality of Spy- Kids. it's still great fun to watch. Getteral release.

Stuart Little 2 (ti) .0 (Rob Minkoff. US. 2002) Micltael J. Fox. Geena Davis. Hugh Laurie. 77min. The inevitable money-spinning sequel to the unlikely yartt of a sntall. white mouse adopted by a middle-class New York fantily. A new playmate for Stuart arrives itt the sltape of a small canary. who falls into the passenger seat of ltis toy car as Stuart races tltrouglt the city streets. Stuart invites his new friend back to his ltouse. but an evil falcon is oit