Spider-Man 1 IZAi 0... (Sam Raimi. IS. 2002) 'l‘obey .\Iaguirc. Kirsten l)unst. 12 l min. A big budget blockbuster based on a best-selling superhero comic book you'd be right to expect stx‘ctacular effects and bland storytelling in a flashy but ultimately tltlll lilnt. (io sec Allurk u/ Illl' (‘lnnux lot' that particular exercise in bringing in the box (ill-[CC bucks. Spit/I'r-Jltln. by contrast. is tl delightfully unexpected mi\ ol‘ spectacle and engrossing human drama. lt'x surprising that Raimi. xxho made his name xx ith the highly stylised genre pilSllL‘llL‘ lililu' Itit'l/ Dem/i should locus so much on character. The caxt acquit themselx-es xx ell. although l)al‘oe hams up the x illainy. But Raimi’x lead. Tobey Maguire. brings just the right amount of knoxxing humour to l’arker/Spidey. xx hich ix emblematic ol' Raimi's xx hole. xx inning approach to the liltn. .\lacRobert. Stirling. Spy Kids 2 - The Island of Lost Dreams tl') 00. (Roberto Rodriguel. l'S. 3002i Alexa Vega. Daryl Sabara. Roberto Rodriguel. ('arla (iugino. .\lin tbc. 'l'aller and considerany more tenacious. ('armen and Juni (’orte/ are feeling pretty damn conlident alter xax ing their super spy parents from peril in the lirst instalment of xx hat xxill undoubtedly become a lamin adx'enture series. Noxx xerx ing in an all nexx Spy Kids xttb-tlix'ision ol~ the ()SS organisation. the plucky prepubexccntx are all set for their lit'sl solo mission to

tllscox ct‘ lllL‘ lost ixltlntl ol- l.ikt l.iki xxhcrc they must locate and destroy a 'l'ranxmooker dex'ice capable ol shutting tloxxn all electricity on earth. Although thix sequel does not. could not match the originality ol' Spy Kit/x. it's xtill great fun to xxatch. Ster ('entury. lidinburgh; ('inexxorld. l‘alkirk. Stuart Little ill .0. (Rob .\linkoll. l'S. 2000i Michael J. l-‘o\. (iecna l)axix. Hugh Laurie. 02min. l.ixe action xxilh a computer generated talking motixe xoiced by Michael J. Fox. .\linkol'l"x adaptation of lili. White's classic c‘lttldt'c‘lh' book sees the sxxcet xx ee rodent orphan being adopted by al‘lluent .‘xlanhattanitex the Little lamily. Stuart's problems begin xx ith a nexx nemesis. the mean-spirited. inappropriately -named lamin cat Snoxxbell. The message of the lilm is clear little guy discoxcrx the meaning ol‘ lamily. loyalty and friendship bill of more interest to x iexxerx both small and large xx ill be the 'Iom uml .lt’I'I'\'-sl_\ le antics. Selected release.

Sunshine State l 15» 0000 (John Saylcs. 1K. 200:) lidic l‘alco. Angela Bassett. Timothy llutton. min. The Sunshine State is Florida. The lictional setting of John Say les‘ nexx lilm ix l)elrona Beach. a community upon xx hich change ix being forced. Property dcx clopcrx are buying up land noxx seen as a prime location for building condominiums and goll‘ courxcx lot‘ the incoming rich. Saylex takes a Ctillipltc‘ult'tl \tllijt‘cl hoxx lllllt‘ L‘Unlt‘ttl

ex eryday people hax e ox er change in their lix ex and treats it intelligently. opting not for llaxhy spectacle or cheesy sentiment. btit xx ell-crafted storytelling and solid drama

xx hich he inl'usex xx ith a great deal ol‘ xx ry humour. (il’l‘. (ilaxgoxx.

Sweet Home Alabama l DA» 000 (Andy 'l‘ennant. l'S. 3002i Reese Withcrxpoon. Josh Lucas. (‘andicc Bergen. lllSmin. It's a magical day in Manhattan for Melanie Carmichael. hcr l'ashion designer's career path ix pax'ed and the mayor's son has just proposed marriage. But bclot‘c she can experience the xxx cct smell ol‘ xucccxx. she must lirxt return home to Alabama to dix'orcc her childhood xxx eclhcart. \Vill Melanie go tor a great guy or the right guy '.’ linjoyablc lo xx atch \Vithcrspoon alternately playing bitchy and adorable. and a good supporting cast lends xx eight to the action and the xomexx hat predictable txxixtx. See rcx iexx. (icneral release.

Sweet Sixteen l Int 0000 (Ken l,oach. l‘K. 2003i Martin (‘otnpxtoiL WilliamRuanc. (iary .‘xlc('ormack. ll)(nnin. ('heeky xx cxt coast Scotland ned l.iam ((‘ompxtonl ix axxaiting hix mother'x rcleaxc lrotn prison. l’a'x not around. so Liam. determined to gixc his ma a ncxx home and a better life. bcginx dealing drugs. l,oach'x no l'rillx xxorking method sitx xxell xxilh screenxxriter l’aul I,axerty 'x straighll'orxxard

storytelling. xx hich prioritises character development over l’ancy plotting. In his first screen role (ireenock local (‘ompston excels as the tough kid with a tender heart. and it‘s his performance xx hich lifts the lilm. imbuing it xxilh both xx armth and humour and countering the balance between xx-orthy polemic and highly xx'atchable drama. Selected release.

Talk to Her ( 15) 00000 (Pedro Almodox‘ar. Spain. 3002i Jax'ier ('amara. Dario (irandinetti. Rosario l‘lores‘. Leonor Walling. l 12min. Benigno ((‘amarzn and Marco i(irandinettii are in love with txxo xxomen . . . both of whom are hospitalised in comatose states. Benigno became a nurse so that he could care lull time for his beloved once aspiring ballerina Alicia (Watling). In the hospital room next door Marco \‘itxlls Lydia (Notes). a female bulllighter who was butchered in the ring. ()ut ol‘ these tragic circumstances a friendship l‘orms between the txxo men. Iii/A In Her ix mature Almodoxar: Spain’s most famous lilmmaker on top l'orm. describing complex characters and complicated emotional states in expert storytelling fashion. From the gorgeous photography. design and music to the script and remarkable [k‘rl'ortminces 'Iillk In Her is a llaxx lesx lilm and a treat for cinema lovers. Selected release.

A Taste of Honey l 12A) l'l'ony Richardson. l'K. 19m 1 Dora Bryan. Murray .\lelx in. Rita 'l’ushingham. Robert Stephens. 100mm. Kitchen xink realism about a Sallord girl xx ho gctx pregnant alter leax‘ing hotnc. Adapted from Shelagh l)elaney‘s play. l"ilnthome. lidinburgh.

Ten l 13A) .0... (Abbas Kiaroxtami. Iran. 2002i (Minin. What we have here are ten xcenes ol~ a beautiful career woman in 'l'ehran drix ing x'ai'ioux people from one place to another. In each instance their

conx erxationx become interrogatix‘c. or confessional. xx ith the xxoman ximullaneouxly learning about. and teaching others. aspects ol‘ lil'e. Kiarostatni lilms philosophy xxithout negating real life. and films it in such a xxay that there's no intellectual hierarchy. inst a number of problems each of us possess but that others can hpr us to solxe. For all the sense of apparent aesthetic informality. 'l‘en is a remarkably l'ully achiex'ed xx'ork. (il’l‘. (ilaxgoxx; MacRobert. Stirling.

The Third Man ll’(il 00000 ((‘arol Reed. l'S/l'K. I‘H‘)! Joseph ('otton. Orson Welles. lilein. Set in an unstable post- \\'orld War II Vienna. llolly Martins has been united to the city by his old chum Lime.

xx ho ix mm in the grand-scale drug-dealing business. only to tliscoxcl‘ that he ix dead. lixcx‘Pt. he isn't ol' course. and a multi- layercd cat and mouse scenario is triggered. So. xx hat'x so good about it‘.’ Well. you haxc a stirring /ither score by Anton Karas. the l'errix xx heel and the ‘cuckoo clock' speech yet poxxibly it's greatest triumph is to cram so much xxonder into so little time. liilmhouxe. lidinburgh.

Time of Favor l 12) 00. (Joseph ('edar. Israel. 2002) Aki Ax ni. Asi Dayan. lidan Alterman. llllmin. American-born. Israel-raised xx ritcr/dircctor Joseph (‘edar tries in a small xx ay to redress the anti- Scmitic tendencies of the liberal press with his talc ol' lox‘c. friendship and l'undamentalism. Menachem lAki Ax nil is a respected religious officer in the Israeli army whose career ix being dictated by the messianic Rabbi Melt/er iAsi Dayan. son of .\loxhct. The Rabbi has promised his daughter's hand in marriage to his best pupil l’ini llidan Altcrman). but she has already fallen in loxe xxilh Mcnacheni. Hurt and angry. l’ini decides to carry out the x'iolent dreams of the Rabbi. A not-so-subtlc critique (ill the [error L‘Clls lliall C\ixl xxithin the PLO. (il’l‘. (ilaxgoxx.

Top Hat (Id 0... (Mark Sandrich.

l S. HHS) Fred Astaire. (Singer Rogers. lidxxard lixcrctt llorton. llillmin. A botit ol' mixtaken identity makes Fred and (iinger‘s path to true lox e x ia London and Venice a little more circuitoux than they might have liked. but there are plenty of classic Irving Berlin numbers along the way to help them kccp their spirits up. Splendid slul'l‘. liilinliouxe. lidinburgh.

index Film

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12 Dec 2002—2 Jan 2003 TH! LIST 45