Semi/iv the movie starts well. pitching itself somewhere between tribute and send-up of the llanna-Barbera cartoon. The casting is astute. best of all. Matthew Lillard as stoned slacker Shaggy. liy en the computer'- generatcd Scooby himself isn't lacking in charm. But S'conby-lhu) sadly fails to live tip to the promise of its opening reel. Admittedly. the film's bold playpen colours are fun arid there are some clever gags that will score with the show 's pothead following. But the jokes soon wear thin. ('ineworld. lialkirk.
Scrooge (l') .00. (Brian Desmond Hurst. l'K. I951 ) Alistair Sim. (icorgc ('ole. Michael llorder'n. 86min. Probably the best screen adaptation of Charles Dickens's A ('lirislmus ('urnl. Tltc story concerns the overly-prudent businessman libenee/er Scrooge (Sim). who becomes a saint overnight. Btit Dickens was never afraid to tackle the big issues: the threat to children's lives. whether they are privileged or poverty-stricken is one of the tnain themes. Still. none of the darkness gets in the way of a cracking tale. l'Cl. lidinburgh. Scrooged (l’(i) (Richard Donner. LS. 1988) Bill Murray. Karen Allen. Robert Mitclnun. John l-‘orsythe. l0lmin. l'rnpteenth screen version of Dickens‘ A Cliffyliltuy Cum]. with Murray as a rniserly television exec determined to exploit the yuletide schedules for all they are worth. lle learns the error of his ways just in time for a cringe-inducing finale demanding peace on earth and goodwill to all men. Despite lavish effects and a motley constellation of guest stars. this is a fortnula comedy of contemporary cynicism whose uneasily vicious humour seems at odds with the spirit of the original. Alastair Sim. w here are you now'.’ St Bride‘s Centre. lidinburgh. Seven Songs from the Tundra (cert tbc) (Anastasia Lapsui. Markku Lehmuskallio. liinland. I999) 89min. Seven short stories about the land of the .\'encts. lnuit-like people who live in the far north of Rtissia. liilmhousc. lidinburgh.
Slogans (cert tbc) ((ijergi Xhuvani. Albania/l‘rancc. 2001 ) Artur (iorishti. Lui/a Xhuvani. Agirn ()irjaqi. 90min. Set in the late l970s when the lloxhas regime held Albania in an iron grip. S/oerms tells the story of a young biology teacher who leaves the capital city fora school in the mountains. Absurdist comedy with a political bent. lidinburgh l-‘ilm (iuild. lidinburgh.
Snow Dogs (l') .0 (Brian Levant. LS. 2002) Cuba (iooding Jr.. James Coburn. Nichelle Nichols. 99min. This unremarkable Disney comedy follows a Miami-based dentist as he discovers his previously unknown liskimo roots. Though competently made and featuring a reliable lead and cast. it still struggles to raise a decent laugh. .\'ot unwatchable. but nothing special. .\'orth lidinburgh Arts Centre. lidinburgh.
Solas ( l5) 0.. (Benito Zambrano. Spain. 1999) Ana l‘er'ritiridel. Maria (ialiatta. 98min. Caught in a crappy relationship and with her father ill in hospital. Maria (l’ernandel) is also stuck in a menial cleaning job. has her mum ((ialiana) staying over in her cramped Seville apartment and often loses herself in an alcohol induced oblivion. Is this neo- realism squared'.’ '/.ambrano‘s film isn't first and foremost socio-political. but psycho- generational. Meaning. can Maria adjust to the problems of the past concerning her father that recur in the present in relation to her boyfriend'.’ The film's conclusion might seem pat. btit has an apt emotional logic. lidinburgh l'ilm Ciuild. lidinburgh.
Some Like it Hot (l’(i) 0000. (Billy Wilder. l'S. I959) Tony Curtis. Jack Lemrnon. Marilyn Monroe. l20min. Two iriipectiriious ttiale musicians inadvertently witness the St Valentine's Day Massacre and take refuge in l‘lorida with Sweet Sue and her Society Sy'ncopators. an all-female band. Brilliant. brittle. crackcrjack farce with all concerned at a peak in their careers. MacRober't. Stirling.
Sophiiiie! ( l5) (Michael llofmann. (ierrnany. 2002) Katharina Sclitittlcr. Alexander Beyer. Robert Stadlobet'. 107mm.
Twenty-something and single. Sophie is experiencing emotional turmoil as she tries to decide whether to abort her unborn child. This story follows Sophie on a wild night as she struggles to find a resolution. l‘illlillOUSC. lidinburgh.
Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron (l') 0.. (Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook. LS. 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) and songs by Bryan Adams (his feelings). Above all. Spirit. a wild mustang living it] the ()ld West. yearns to run free until a lasso lands him in the hands of the LS cavalry. While some viewers will be roused by Spirit's questioning of the LS myth of Manifest Destiny. others will be stirred by the quality of the animation. which seamlessly integrates traditional hand-drawn animation with computer- generated images. MacRobert. Stirling. Spy Kids 2 - the Island of Lost Dreams ll.) ... (Roberto Rodriguez. LS. 2002) Alexa Vega. Daryl Sabara. Roberto Rodrigtiel. Carla (iugino. the .Min . Taller and considerably more tenacious. Carmen and Juni Cortex are feeling pretty damn confident after saving their super spy parents from peril in the first instalment of what will undoubtedly become a fatnin adventure series. .\'ow serving in an all new Spy Kids sub-division of the ()SS organisation. the plucky prepubescents are all set for their first solo mission to discover the lost island of l.iki l.iki where they must locate and destroy a 'I‘ransmooker device capable of shutting down all electricity on earth. Although this sequel does not. could not match the originality of Spy Kids. it's still great fun to watch. Selected release.
Star Sisters (l') (Tobias l'ialk. Sweden. 1999) 80min. Modern day fairy tale with three girls born on the same day named Johanna. They grow up not knowing that each other exists until one day they meet. Together they embark upon a risky adventure. MacRobert. Stirling.
Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan (l’(i) (Nicholas Meyer. l'S. I982) William Shatner. Leonard .\'irnoy. Del-‘orest Kelley. Ricardo Montalban. l l-lmin. The Trekkies battle evil rnegalornaniac Montalban in the most enjoyable entry to the series (so far). simply because it sticks closest to the tacky verve of the television original. Cineworld. l‘alkirk.
Star Trek 4: the Voyage Home (PU) (Leonard Nimoy. l'S. I986) William Shatner. Del-‘orest Kelley. Leonard .\'irnoy.
l l9rnin. The crew of the Starship linterprisc beams down to I986 San Francisco to protect the earth from an alien probe and save the whale into the bargain. As daft as it sounds. but essential viewing for corset and toupee aficionados. Cineworld. Falkirk. Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country (PG) (Nicholas .Meyer. 1'8.
199] ) William Shatner. Leonard Nimoy. Del-‘orrest Kelley. James Doohan. l09min. The Usual bunch of old codgers boldly go in search of new plotlines but instead come tip with an intergalactic variation on our own superpower peace talks. Throw in a renegade Klingon or two and the old mutual mistrust and tacky dialogue hits hart) factor eight . . . and rising. Forget the grandiose aspirations and enjoy as a piece of undemanding pantomime. ('ineworld. l'ialkirk.
Star Trek: First Contact ( )2)
0... (Jonathan lirakcs. l'S. l996) Patrick Stewart. Jonathan lirakes. Brent Spiner. I l linin. The eighth and most impressive instalment in the series gives the Nut! (Ir'neruriun crew a chance to be fully centrcstage. A brooding Captain l’icard (Stewart) leads the fight against the half- flesh. half-machine Borg. who are intent on attacking liarth and changing history. (ienuincly scary in parts. with line performances throughout. ('inewor'ld. l‘alkirk.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of
the Clones (PG) 0. (George Lucas. LS. 2002) Natalie Portman. Hayden Christensen. liwan Mc(iregor. l-l3min. A very slight improvement to Iz‘pismle I. Artur/r oft/re Clones suffers froin a bad script and sappy acting. Ten years on. the Republic faces a mounting separatist movement. necessitating the introduction of a clone army to assist the overwhelmed Jedi. Coupling this plot-line. romance blossoms between l’adme Amidala (Portrnan) and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen). lilashy‘ special effects don't salvage this tension-less series of bloated action scenes. Artur/r oft/re Clones will only please the truly besotted fans. MacRobcrt. Stirling.
The Stars Look Down (PG) ((‘arol Reed. l'K. 1939) Michael Redgrave. Margaret Lockwood. 1 10min. Carol Reed‘s serious. committed film about life in a northern mining community co-scripted by AJ Cronin from his own novel. lidinburgh l‘ilrn (iuild. lidinburgh.
Super Troopers I l5) 0 (Jay Chandrasekhar. CS. 2002) lirik Stolhariske. Jay (‘hamlrasekhan Kevin lleffernan. l00niin. American troupe Broker) Lizard wrote. directed and star in this patchy cornedy which follows five childish but good-hearted Vermont state troopers as they indulge in horseplay at the expense of a variety of bemused motorists and each other. all under the fatherly eye of their chief (Brian Cox. looking rather sorry for himself). Better than another I’m/ice Academy sequel. but not by much. (ieneral release.
Sur Le Bout Des Doigts (On the Tip of her Fingers) ( )5) (Yves Angelo. France. 2002) Marina Hands. .-\nne-Sophie Latour. Martinc Chevalier. 88min. Accompanied by a classical soundtrack. this is an) exploration of a mother's jealousy towards her talented pianist daughter and the father's lack of input into the education of this child prodigy. (il'il‘. (ilasgow. Sweet Sixteen ( 18) 0000 (Ken
Loach. L'K. 2002) Martin ('ompston. WilliamRuane. (iary McCormack. l06min. Cheeky west coast Scotland ned Liam (Compston) is awaiting his mother's release from prison. l’a's not around. so Liam. determined to give his ma a new home and a better life. begins dealing drugs. Loach's no frills working method sits well with screenwriter Paul Laveny‘s straightforward storytelling. which prioritises character development over fancy plotting. In his first screen role (ireenock local Cornpston excels as the tough kid with a tender heart. and it’s his performance which lifts the film. irnbuing it with both warmth and humour and countering the balance between worthy polemic and highly watchable drama. Selected release.
Tadpole and the Whale (1') (Jean- Claude Lord. Canada. 1987) lianny Lau/ier. Denis Forest. 90min. Set in Quebec. Daphne the Tadpole is happiest swimming. She can hear and understand whales and dolphins speaking and lilvar the whale is her best friend. Her heart aches when she realises her family may have to leave the coast. but after an incident when she helps a whale caught in a fishing net. her own human family start to work out a way to stay by the sea. MacRobert. Stirling.
Ten ( 12A) .0... (Abbas Kiarostami. lran. 2002) 94min. What we have here are ten scenes of a beautiful career woman in Tehran driving various people from one place to another. In each instance their conversations become interrogative. or confessional. with the woman simultaneously learning about. and teaching others. aspects of life. Kiarostami films philosophy without negating real life. and films it in such a way that there‘s no intellectual hierarchy. just a number of problems each of us possess but that others can help us to solve. For all the sense of apparent aesthetic informality. Ten is a remarkably fully achieved work. (il’l‘. (ilasgow.
For Christmas my darling husband bought
me a Mim’
am a 1? bar.
NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND SHOPS GIVE THEM SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE ORIGINAL THIS CHRISTMAS
National Gallery 0! Scotland. The Mound Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 1 Queen Street
Scottish NaIIOnal Gallery 01 Modern Art. 75 Bolton] Road Dean Gallery. 73 Belford Road Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 624 6200 . www.nationalgallerieserg
28 Nov--12 Dec 200? THE LIST 31