Laissez-Passer ( 12A) «0 (Bertrand Tavernier. I‘rance/(iermany/Spain. 2002) Jacques (iamblin. l)enis l’odalydes. |70min. Set during World War II. with Germany‘s occupation of France. Tavernier follows the paths of assistant director and family man Jean l)ev'aivre ((iamblin) arid womanising scriptvvriter. Jean Aurenche (Podalydes). but the ﬁlm never quite comes together. Yes. there's an interesting contrast here between l)ev'aivre's combo of selling out to the na/is in his career htit ﬁghting them with resistance activity. and .-\urenche's artistic refusal to compromise btit unwillingness to do anything that would put his life at risk. Btit more ﬁctional shaping a more singular vision would have given 'I'avernier's ﬁlm a richer texture. ('ameo. Iidinburgh.
Like Mike (l’(i) 0 (John Schultz. IS. 2002) Lil Bow Wow. .Morris (’hestntit. (‘rispin (ilov‘er. I00min. .-\ half-hearted basketball ('inderella. :\ pair of weathered sneakers bearing the iconic basketball legend's initials. ‘MJ' lead the little orphan ('alvin to feign skills on the court at a Knights basketball game. Recruited for the struggling .\'B:\ team. (‘aIvin leads the team to success. Acting skills here are questionable and depth of character limited. I’nimagiiiative dialogue falls foul within the predictable. cheesy plot. Worse. the basketball sequences are formulaic. while cameo appearances of .\'B.-\ stars and a fairytale ending do not impress. Selected release.
Lilo & Stitch (I') 0.. (Dean l)eblois and ('hris Sanders. IS 2002) Voices of I)aveigh ('hase. ('hris Sanders. Tia ('arrere. 85min. This is all about being bad. It's a Disney cartoon that pits a vvilftil toddler. I.il() (pronounced Lee-low ). against a genetically engineered space creature (Stitch) programmed for maximum mischief. Thus the mawkish route beloved of Disney animators is well and truly blocked. OK. so it's a minor movie a .llonsterzv. Inc. and just because it's got water-colour backdrops doesn‘t make it Dumbo btit what it does. it does with freshness and inventiveness. not to mention gags for the grow n-ups. Selected release. The Little Vampire (1') no (t'ti Iidel. I'K. 2000) Rollo Weeks. Richard Ii. (irant. Jonathan Lipnicki. 05min. Tony (I,ipnicki ). fresh froin the orange groves of (‘alifornia. moves with his family to beautiful Scotland. He quickly becomes the most unpopular kid in his class. btit ﬁnds a playmate when a ten-year-old vampire conveniently falls down his chimney. (‘an Tony join in the quest for the missing amulet and help the fanged Rtidolph and his family become human‘.’ l)espite its Hollywood re- vamp. Angela Sommer-Bodenburg's well- loved novel emerges with its sense of fun intact. However. while this ﬁlm certainly doesn't suck. ultimately. it lacks real bite. ('inevvorld. l-‘alkirk.
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runneri I2;\) 0... (Tony Richardson. I'K. 1962) Michael Redgrave. Tom (’ourtenay. Alec Mc(‘ow en. I l-lmin. Adapted by Alan Sillitoe from his own story. this is a ﬁne example of ()0s British cinema in the
it doesn‘t have the budget or vision of
social realist vein. ('ourtenay excels as the rebellious youth who is send a boy _s reform school after robbing a bakery and pushes himself to turn his life around. (‘(’:\. Glasgow.
The Lord of the Rings: The No Towers ( 12A) 0... (Peter Jackson. l'S/New Zealand. 2002) Iilijah Wood. Viggo Mortensen. Liv Tyler. l7‘)min. The second part of Jackson's ambitious three-part adaptation of JRR Tolkein's epic fantasy adventure might lack the storytelling verve of the ﬁrst ﬁlm. btit in terms of spectacle it takes blockbuster ﬁlmmaking to the next level. (‘ontinuing where The I't’fltllt‘s'llf]? oft/1e Ring left off. without any recap of the story so far. The Two 'Iow't’rs’ follows three separate plotlines: lirodo‘s trek to Modor to destroy the ring. his fellow Hobbits‘ meeting with the Iints (walking. talking trees) and the human/elf/dwarf combo .-\ragon. l.egolas and (iimili‘s part in the siege of the human stronghold Helms Deep by the evil wizard Sauraman's |0.0()()-strong army. The latter provides the hour-long climax to the ﬁlm. and it's an awesome thing to behold. But l’rodo‘s meeting with the rings previous owner. (iollum. also impresses - here's a fully computer animated character that generates as much emotion as any of the living performers. The ﬁlm suffers from being the second act of Tolkein's tale. but for Jackson's three hour ﬁlm vision. there‘s no way around that. (ieneral release.
Love Liza ( 15) .0. (Todd I.uiso. IS. 2003) Philip Seymour Hoffman. Kathy Bates. JI) Walsh. 90min. Wilson Joel's wife. Lila. has just committed stiicide. .-\s he grieves he ﬁnds a suicide note. which his mother-in-law chides him to open. Instead. Wilson hits the road with the I.i/a’s missive burning a hole in his back pocket. In this is a dark. strangely bland trip down Bereavement Boulevard Hoffman is remarkable in the underwritten lead role. Btit. in this ﬁlm which says love hurts and there is no retribution in death. emotional manipulation. excruciatingly. w ins over aesthetics. See review. ('ameo. Iidinburgh.
Madeleine (Pt i) ooo (David Lean. I'K. I949) Ann Todd. Leslie Banks. IiIi/abeth Sellars. l I-lmin. I.ean‘s wife Ann Todd stars as a woman who ﬁnds herself up against the moral hypocrisy ()f Victorian (ilasgow. Pressurised on all sides by the men around her. she ﬁnds herself in court accused of poisoning her French lover. .-\ strong depiction of a heroine who refuses to become a victim. MacRobert. Stirling.
The Man without a Past (Mies Vailla Mennelsyytta) ( IS) oooo (Aki Kaurismaki. liiiiland/(iermany/I‘rance. 2002) Markkti l’eltola. Kati ()utiiien. 97min. .-\ man is mugged and disappears. only to mysteriously reappear with no recollection of his previous life. He creates a new life for himself amongst the homeless community. and falls in love with one of his soup servers. .-\ comic depiction ()f a man's journey to make sense of himself and the world. this love-story is from one of Finland‘s best-known ﬁlmmakers. (il’l‘. (ilasgow; I’ilmhouse. lidinburgh.
The Master of Disguise (PG) (Perry Adelin Blake. IS 2003) Dana ('arvey. Brent Spinner. Jennifer Iisposito. 80min. The more cynical among tis might suggest former Holiday Inn busboy (‘arvey gets to play a master of disguise because he's mates with Adam Sandler. the executive producer of this ﬁlm. ()n the other hand. perhaps ('arvey was the right comedian to play Pistachio Disguisey. Italian waitcr-cum-man of a thousand faces. ()n the other foot. however. ('arvey 's talent is spread thinner than a watered-down bottle of Bud: he hardly seems capable of pulling off. say. the hat trick of impersonations Peter Sellers accomplished in Dr .S'trunge/ove. let alone conducting a comic run-in with evil mastermind l)evlin Bowman (Spinner). Selected release.
Metropolis (PG) .0... (liriti I.ang adapted by (iiorgio Moroder. (iermany /I'S. l927i (iustav lirolich. Brigitte Helm. llSmin. .»\ re-release on its 75th anniversary of Lang's still stunning (iermau science ﬁction classic. here with digitally restored print and soundtrack which makes this the deﬁnitive version of the ﬁlm. as close to the original I927 release as it‘s possible to get. The images of a futuristic city are as marvellously iconic and inﬂuential as ever. And the story. concerning a revolt in a society which splits the ‘workers' and ‘thinkers'. still speaks volumes today. See review. I‘iliiihouse. Iidinburgh.
Minor Mishaps ( I5) 0.. (.»\mmette K ()lesen. Denmark. 2002) Jorgeii ls'iil. Maria Wtigler Rich. Jannie I‘aurschou. l0-Imin. John has never taken life very seriously. So when he informs his unstable daughter Marianne that her mother has been killed she initially thinks it's yet another jest. Joining these odd- iin balls we also have the return of the prodigal daughter. Iiva. a isolated lesbian artist. an overworked son. and an uncle who lives ottt his life on the sofa. The performances are worthy btit slight. the humour almost too subtle to be witty. .llinor .llishupv is. unfortunately. the most accurately titled ﬁlm of the year. ('ameo. Iidiiihurgh.
Watch it! Final Destination 2 arriving
Monsters, Inc. in oooo (l’cte Doeiei. IS. 2001 ) John (ioodiitan. Billy ('ry stal. Steve Btiscemi. 92mm. The latest ('(il animation from 'Iov Siorv makers l’isai' is set largely in Monstropolis. a city inhabited by the fouIest ol’ beasts. The monsters power their city by sending 'scarcrs' through doors which teleport them into children's rooms. Once there. they pull faces at the kids. producing shrieks of terror. which are bottled back in Monstropolis and Used as a source of energy. It's a neat idea. btit what really lifts the ﬁlm is the sense ()f fun that pervades the \\ little movie. .llultvlt'rv. [He runs as smoothly as a fairground slide. that no one is too big to enjoy. (‘('.-\. (ilasgow.
Morvern Callar I I5) ooooo (Lynne Ramsay. I'K/(Xinada. 2002) Samantha Morton. Kathleen Mcl)crmott. (Putin. Small town hedonist and check-out girl Morvern (‘allai' (Morton) avvakcs one morning to find her boy friend has committed suicide. When she ﬁnds the ﬁnished manuscript of her
boy friend's novel she puts her name on it. sells it to a publisher and goes oit holiday with her best friend I.aiiiia (.\IcI)eriiiotti. Initially. the vacation is little more than a jaunt to “ma. btit ('allar soon ﬁnds her espectations of life change even as her friend remains devout to her shithcel lilc in a dead end town. Ramsey. co-screcnvvriter I.iaiia Dogiiiiii and Morton have done a remarkable iob of transposing this quirky. distant character and her aw kw aid strange journey to the screen. [it an age of saccharine and spice and all things predictable this is surprisingly. brave cerebral lilmniakiiig. .v\rts (‘cttlre. liast Kilbride.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding il’(;)
.0. (Joel /.vvick. IS. 2002) Nia Vardalos. John ('orbet. (ii ('arides. 96min. (ieck) (ii'cek-.'\merican 'I‘oula (Vardalos) is never going to get a man. A heavy girl w ith huge glasses. she is destined to work away her spinslei' life in the lamily 's restaurant. ‘I)ancing /.oi'ba‘s'. IIer family are ready to despair all they want is for her to ﬁnd a nice (ireek boy so she can cook lots of food attd pop otit more little Ztll'llth. Then she ﬁnds a
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34 THE LIST 30 Jan-lfi Fol) 2003