Marmaduke (U) ●●●●● (Tom Dey, USA, 2010) Voices of Owen Wilson, George Lopez, William H Macy. 88min. Crude and unfunny adaptation of popular cartoon strip about the adventures of a clumsy Great Dane dog. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. Metropia (E) (Tarik Saleh, Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Finland, 2009) Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Udo Kier. 86min. Feature-length animation about a chaotic world in the future where oil supplies have finally run out and governments are losing control. Part of Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival. Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Megamind 2D (PG) ●●●●● (Tom McGrath, US, 2010) Voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey. 95min. Hot on the heels of 3*Despicable Me comes another animated antihero caper posing the novel question of what would happen if the baddie actually won? Villain Megamind (Ferrell) has vanquished his foe and is bored with ruling Metro City, so he creates a new opponent by endowing a hapless cameraman (Hill) with superpowers. Likeable enough, but short on the laughs. Selected release. Megamind 3D (PG) ●●●●● (Tom McGrath, US, 2010) Voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey. 95min. See above. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. Monsters (Teen Screening) (12A) ●●●●● (Gareth Edwards, UK, 2010) Whitney Able, Scott McNairy. 93min. Young British filmmaker Edwards has pulled off an astonishing feat with his debut feature, relating the story of a near-future Earth that has succumbed to alien invasion and the cynical photojournalist (McNairy) who must escort his boss’s traumatised daugher (Able) home to America through an infected zone. Strikingly original and atmospheric, this is one to watch indeed. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. Morning Glory (12A) ●●●●● (Roger Michell, US, 2010) Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford. 107min. Lightweight comedy from Notting Hill director Michell relating the trials and tribulations of TV producer Becky (McAdams) who hires renegade journo Pomeroy (Ford) to salvage the ratings of a moribund breakfast news programme, much to his chagrin. Formulaic but enjoyable. Ride, Rise, Roar
General release. Morning Glory (12a) ●●●●● (Roger Michell, US, 2010) Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford. 107min. See review, page 42. General release. NT Live: King Lear (E) (Michael Grandage, UK, 2011) Derek Jacobi, Gina McKee, Paul Jesson. 210min. Live screening of the National Theatre and Donmar Warehouse’s co-production of the ultimate Shakespearean tragedy, with Jacobi in the title role. Glasgow Film Theatre.
✽✽ Neds (18) ●●●●● (Peter Mullan, UK/France/Italy, 2010) Martin Bell,
Connor McCarron, Linda Cuthbert. 123min. See feature, page 14 and review, page 43. General release. The Next Three Days (12a) ●●●●● (Paul Haggis, US, 2010) Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks. 122min. Crash writer/director Haggis’ retelling of 2008’s Anything For Her is not his finest work, with a disappointing performance from Crowe as a schoolteacher whose wife is found guilty of murder. The tone is confused and any potentially interesting rough edges are completely ignored, rendering the film remarkably bland. General release. No One Knows About Persian Cats (12A) ●●●●● (Bahman Ghobadi, Iran, 2009) Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad. 106min. Freewheeling mockumentary about the underground Iranian music scene in Tehran featuring real musicians from the director A Time For Drunken Horses and Turtles Can Fly. Moving, funny and worrying – this unique little film deserves to find an audience, plus the soundtrack is a killer. Part of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival. Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh.
✽✽ 127 Hours (15) ●●●●● (Danny Boyle, US, 2010) James Franco,
Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara. 94min. Accomplished and absorbing filmmaking from the team behind Slumdog Millionaire, relating the gripping true story of mountaineer Aron Ralson (Franco), who was forced to amputate his own arm to save his life following a climbing accident. An intense study of human nature and the will to survive. General release. Of Gods and Men (15) ●●●●● (Xavier Beauvois, France, 2010) Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Roschdy Zem. 120min. Real-life inspired story of a group
of Cistercian monks caught up in a civil war in an unnamed African country, who must decide whether to save themselves or sacrifice their lives by remaining faithful to their beleaguered community. Poignant, understated and masterful filmmaking from director Beauvois. Grosvenor, Glasgow; Cameo, Edinburgh. On the Night of the Fire (U) ●●●●● (Brian Desmond Hurst, UK, 1939) Ralph Richardson, Diana Wynyard, Romney Brent. 93min. A petty theft leads a barber on to commit ever more heinous crimes. Part of Projecting the Archive. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (E) ●●●●● (Sophie Fiennes, France/Netherlands/UK, 2010) 105min. Idiosyncratic documentary from Fiennes exploring the work of German installation artist Anselm Kiefer, who has spent the last 20 years constructing a parallel miniature city in a remote and derelict silk factory in the south of France. A demanding but fascinating study into the physical processes of large-scale artistic creation. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Paris Nous Appartient (12A) ●●●●● (Jacques Rivette, France, 1960) Betty Schneider, Diani Esposito. 141min. Steeped in a mood of Cold War paranoia, which atmospherically unfolds in a series of Left Bank cafés, basements and cheap hotel rooms. Betty Schneider’s literature student becomes embroiled in the bohemian circle of her elder brother’s friends, one of whom has committed suicide. Labyrinthine plotting and reams of dialogue create a demanding watch, exploring the fluid boundaries between ‘reality’ and artifice. Part of an Introduction to European Cinema course. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Platform (15) ●●●●● (Jia Zhang-ke, China, 2002) Wang Hong-wei, Zhao-tao, Liang Jing-dong. 155min. Shot without the consent of the authorities, this melancholy epic from writer-director Zhang-ke examines the cultural and social changes that swept through China during the 1980s after the death of Chairman Mao. Platform occasionally feels overly detached and elliptical, yet it’s also pleasingly ambivalent towards the impact of historical forces on ordinary lives. Part of the Ricefield Chinese Language Film Festival. CCA, Glasgow. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (U) ●●●●● (Frank Nissen, US, 2005) Voices
These screenings of the inventive new David Byrne concert film directed by filmmaker, designer and author Hillman Curtis will be followed by a live satellite Q&A with Byrne. ■ GFT Glasgow and Cameo, Edinburgh, Thu 20 Jan. 46 THE LIST 20 Jan–3 Feb 2011
of David Ogden Stiers, Jim Cummings. 68min. Another camp adventure from the Hundred Acre Wood. Tigger gets all the best lines again. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Raging Bull (18) ●●●●● (Martin Scorsese, US, 1980) Robert de Niro,
Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci. 129min. Middleweight boxing champ Jake La Motta finds it difficult to sustain his early success and as his career fades he declines into a travesty of his former self. De Niro’s stunning physical presence dominates Scorsese’s savagely bleak study of self- destructive machismo. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Red Balloon (U) ●●●●● (Albert Lamorisse, France, 1955) 34min. A lonely little boy finds a balloon, chases it along the streets, becomes its companion and is eventually lifted off into the skies. A fantastically simple fairy tale. Glasgow Film Theatre. Repo Man (18) ●●●●● (Alex Cox, US, 1984) Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Vonetta McGee. 92min. Cult fave blend of social satire and offhand sci-fi, as naive punk Estevez gets a job repossessing cars and old hand Stanton shows him the ropes. Great stuff. Glasgow Film Theatre. Ride, Rise, Roar (15) ●●●●● (David Hillman Curtis, US, 2009) 150min. See Also Released, page 43. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. Robinson in Ruins (U) ●●●●● (Patrick Keiller, UK, 2010) Voice of Vanessa Redgrave. 101min. Another avant garde filmic meandering on the investigations of Keiller’s mysterious ‘Robinson’. This time he explores politics, the economy, and warfare in the contemporary world. Cameo, Edinburgh. Salt (12A) ●●●●● (Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, US, 2010) Phillip Noyce. 100min. Dubbed ‘Bourne with boobs’ but a mere faded facsimile of that groundbreaking franchise, this chase thriller stars Jolie on proficient, humourless, butt-kicking form as CIA agent/possible Russian mole Evelyn Salt. It’s all competently enough done, but bland in the extreme. Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh. Santa vs The Snowman 3D (PG) (Various, US, 2002) 32min. IMAX big screen presentation telling the story of a lonely snowman who is swept away by the magical wonders of Santa’s village. IMAX Theatre, Glasgow. Santoori (12A) (Dariush Mehrjui, Iran, 2007) Bahram Radan, Golshifteh Farahani, Masoud Rayegany. 106min. Drama about a man whose successful family life and job as a wedding musician disintegrates into a life of addiction on the streets. Part of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival. Brass Monkey, Edinburgh. Scarface (PG) ●●●●● (Howard Hawks, US, 1932) Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft. 90min. The subtitle ‘Shame Of The Nation’ and a tagged on morality ending is evidence that, on its release, Hawks’ fictionalisation of the Al Capone story hit a chord with the campaigners who thought the burst of gangster movies coming out of Hollywood were too violent for their own good. However, this is a fine piece of filmmaking, with a classic plot structure, dark themes and a great look. Part of Hawks season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Season of the Witch (15) ●●●●● (Dominic Sena, US, 2010) Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Christopher Lee. 94min. Broad but mildly entertaining supernatural medieval action adventure in which Cage and Perlman star as knights who must transport a woman/witch to a remote monastery. Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds, Swordfish) directs with all the subtlety of a witchfinder general. General release. Shrek Forever After 2D (PG) ●●●●● (Mike Mitchell, US, 2010) Voices: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz. 93min. A fourth and final instalment, rebooting the flagging franchise with a new alternate-reality twist which sees Shrek escape fatherhood for a one-day return to his bachelor years. A warmed-over sequel that lazily re-configures familiar elements to mildly pleasing effect. Cineworld Parkhead, Glasgow; Cineworld Fountainpark, Edinburgh.