1/" ‘J/ E 'a‘ f. " ELLA ENCHANTED (PG) 95min .0

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llla is a nice girl, one part Hutru'r/el. two parts Crnderella; she trues rrr a irragrcal tlrftflltnfll village '.'.rrth her l‘lllfll,’ lllt ther and Aunt Mandy rly/lrnrrrr: [)rr‘.’err. lhe only trouble rs that l Ila recer‘xed a vrsrt from her deranged fairy godrrrother l ucrrrrla rVrvacra /\ l oxr when she was rust a baby and now she can't trelp berng overly obedrerrt to y-rhoever orders her. All of which causes problems when a new steprrrother (Joanna lurrrleyl and a couple of nasty stepsrsters turn up wrth the express intention of meeting pretty boy Prrnce Char (Hugh Dancyl

lhrs lrkeable confection of light l’y'lhonesgue humour (the presence of rrc Idle as the storyteller rs a big porrrter here). grddy musical cover songs and mrld kung fu set preces starts wrth some arch Jokes about the fairytale genre conventron. but things gurckly dissolve rnto gurrrrrrg farce. lhe marn rngredrents of Carl Carson levrne's roaring good read of a book are. however, left pretty much urrtarnrshed by this adaptation, for which we should be grateful. US frlrn cr'rtrc Roger Ebert thought this was one of the best children's films of the year. lhe man rs clearly insane but he may have just been bewrtched by that Hathaway girl's sorcery. (Paul Dale) I Genera/ re/ease from Fri 77 Dec.

ooct JMl N lAl tv BRIGHT LEAVES (PG) 107min 0000

Down rn North Carolina the bright green leaves of the tobacco plant

coy or the fallow frelds. Free assocratrng confessronal tlocumentar‘ran Ross McElwee. a natrve of the state who now lry'es in the north. sometimes dreams of those leaves. So when hrs cousin pornts out that he thrnks the 1950 Gary Cooper frlm Bright Leaf was drrectly based on. the lrfe and trmes of McElwee's great grandfather Ross. who created the Bull Durham brand of Cigarettes before berng steamrollered by rrval tobacconrsts the Duke clan. McElwee sees an excuse to return to the south and make a frlm journal of the

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a Joyous, enthralling stroll wrtl‘. eccentrrcs. addrcts of the .‘xeeqf and the ly/lr‘l'lwee clan all tied together by Mel Inn/eos chocolate srlk \.r)r<:eo‘.<-r. A rrrovrng, suprrre. karmic fog of a which deserves success among both fans of the eccentrrc and more marnstrearrr audrences. lPaul Daler

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Danrel Handler's delightfully horrrble books for chrldren get the blockbuster makeover. rn the frrst of what wrll presumably be three frlms grven that A Series of Unfortunate Events cornprrses the frrst three of a predicted thirteen novellas. Robert Gordon's screenplay combrnes The Bad Beginning rn whrch the three Baudelarre krds rplay'ed by Emily Brov.nrng. Lrarn Artken and Kara and Shelby Hoffman. who shares ga ga dutres as the unfeasrbly rntellrgent baby Sunny‘r lose therr home and parents rn an arson attack conducted by nefarrous Count Olaf rer Carrey ». who's after the brats' rnherrtance: The Rents/e Roam in which the krds are adopted by therr snake-loung eccentrrc Uncle Monty :Brlly Connole only to lose hrm to Olaf's master of drsgurse; and The tide ‘.'./'to‘o'.'. - drtto Meryl Streep's dotty Aunt Josephine - with Gordon shifting the theatrrcal forced marriage eno’rng of the frrst book to the close the trim. The Gothrc retro design. and the macabre nature of the unfortunate eyents engrneered oy Olaf the

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Great actor. director, producer and composer TOMMY CHONG (pictured right) talks about his early music life. working with Cheech Marin and going to prison under the Bush administration.

‘I was a musician - rhythm & blues - I started 2 years before the Rolling Stones, in about 1954/55. I had my own band, a very good band, I was with Motown for a long time. I played with Jimmy Hendrix at a gig in London, had a hit record - ‘Does your Momma know about me?’. Quite a few people recorded that record- Jermaine Jackson and Diana Ross among them it’s a song about a black guy asking his girlfriend ‘does your momma know about me’. Then the lead singer quit the group so the band split up. I headed back to Vancouver where I had a nightclub with my brother. I was gonna form another band but I got interested in acting and formed an improvisational acting group called The Cityworks. Cheech was looking for a job and l was looking for a straight man because I already had an improvisational partner. So he joined as a straight man. When that group broke up Cheech and l were the only two who wanted to go on so we stayed together and made history.

‘Cheech and I didn’t have too many arguments on set - because with improvisation even the arguments are funny. One of the first scenes we ever worked on together still I think remains one of our best and it came from a real incident that happened between us - l was inside an air- conditioned room and Cheech is outside in heat stroke weather and I wouldn’t let him in. He’d knock and be like ‘man it’s me’ and every time he knocked I would pretend like it was the first time and he’d go ‘it's me man!’ It drove him nuts and he was pissed when I let him in. It’s very funny. That’s how we work. The backbone of any good movie is conflict.

‘I just did nine months in jail for being a stoner in the movies. They raided my house at 5.30 in the morning. Wearing swat helmets & jackets, automatic weapons and helicopters to take down my collection of bong and water pipes.

They put my character in jail and unfortunately I had to go with him. It was amazing, this Bush administration were looking for weapons of mass destruction and I got nine months for shipping a bong across a state line. I don’t even smoke pot anymore - I haven’t for 2 years now.’ (Interview by Paul Dale)

I The Cheech and Chong Co/lectrorr (Universal; rs out now on DVD. Tommy Chong's new film Secret Agent 420 wr/I be out rn 2005.

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