A-Z GUIDE TO FILMS ON RE­LEASE

The Herald - Arts - - Cinema -

As­terix and the Vik­ings( U)

All is well in Gaul. As­terix is play­ing it cool and Obe­lix is eat­ing. Lit­tle do the vil­lagers know that ter­ror is on the way in the shape of the Vik­ings and a surly teenager called Just­forkix. While the an­i­ma­tion is a long way from Pixar stan­dards, the sim­ple story, slap­stick and girl-power hero­ine should en­ter­tain the kids. (2006) On lim­ited re­lease

Barn­yard (PG)

If you can get past the sight of bulls in cod­pieces, there’s a lot of fun to be had from this big-hearted story of a slacker, Har­leyrid­ing cow (Kevin James), who learns the hard way about grow­ing up. (2006) On lim­ited re­lease

Bridge to Ter­abithia (PG)

Kather­ine Pater­son’s novel about two lonely teenagers who cre­ate a mag­i­cal king­dom in their imag­i­na­tions is un­fail­ingly sweet, and this like­able film takes its cue from that. Josh Hutch­er­son is the farmer’s boy bul­lied at school, An­naSophia Robb the kooky new girl who en­cour­ages him to “keep your mind wide open”. (2007) On lim­ited re­lease

Die Hard 4.0 (15)

Praise be: a de­cent ac­tion movie in a sum­mer of soggy se­quels. De­tec­tive John McClane (Bruce Wil­lis) teams up with a young hacker (Justin Long) to shut down a shad­owy net­work of cy­ber-crim­i­nals seiz­ing con­trol of Amer­ica’s com­put­ers. The hacker knows the right but­tons to press; McClane can punch and shoot his way out of a tight spot. The ac­tion is pure fan­tasy – at one point McClane shoots around cor­ners – but the pol­i­tics are in­ter­est­ingly left-field. A blast. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease

Fan­tas­tic Four: Rise of the Sil­ver Surfer (PG)

The fab four – Ioan Gruf­fudd (Mr Fan­tas­tic), Jes­sica Alba (Sue Storm), Chris Evans (The Hu­man Torch) and Michael Chik­lis (The Thing) – roar back to save the world again. Their op­po­nents in­clude the Sil­ver Surfer (Lau­rence Fish­burne). The plot is a mys­tery, and di­rec­tor Tim Story is con­tent to let his very spe­cial ef­fects do the talk­ing. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease

Fire­house Dog (PG)

Golden Door (PG)

Hair­spray (PG)

Be­fore his ac­ci­den­tal sky­dive, Rexxx was a ca­nine movie star. Now, lost and alone in the city, he gets res­cued from a burn­ing build­ing. The fire sta­tion chief asks his son to look af­ter the an­i­mal, but be­cause of a re­cent be­reave­ment there’s only re­sent­ment burn­ing in the kid’s heart. Josh Hutch­er­son (Bridge to Ter­abithia) is on his usual like­able form as the teen who bonds with the ball of fur, but the film be­longs to the dog. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease Char­lotte Gains­bourg stars in this gor­geously ren­dered Ital­ian drama about a poor fam­ily head­ing to Amer­ica in the late nine­teenth cen­tury. Al­though di­rec­tor Emanuele Cri­alese is rep­re­sent­ing ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ences, such as the grim rigours of El­lis Is­land, he does it in a be­witch­ing, of­ten beau­ti­ful and painterly way. (2007) Cameo, Ed­in­burgh; Bel­mont, Aberdeen; Glas­gow Film Theatre Adam Shankman’s mu­si­cal ver­sion of John Wa­ters’s cult clas­sic is a sexed­down, safe af­fair com­pared with the orig­i­nal. Tracy Turn­blad (Nikki Blon­sky) is a teenager try­ing to win a dance com­pe­ti­tion; in her way stand Velma Von Tus­sle (Michelle Pfeif­fer), who wants her own daugh­ter to win, and Tracy’s mother, Edna (John Tra­volta in a dress). Some of the songs are knock­out, but all the war­bling and stomp­ing be­comes ex­haust­ing af­ter a while. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease

Harry Pot­ter and the Or­der of the Phoenix( 12A)

Di­rec­tor David Yates gives the se­ries a new, thrilling ur­gency, as the fifth in­stal­ment heads into the heart of dark­ness. Harry’s newly ac­quired heft comes in handy when he fights off an at­tack near the sub­ur­ban home he shares with his aunt and un­cle. That De­men­tors should be so bold as to come for him in Lit­tle Whing­ing is a sign that all is not well. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease

Joe Strum­mer: the Fu­ture Is Un­writ­ten (15)

Julien Tem­ple’s biopic of the Clash front­man is re­lated with wit, style and in­ven­tive­ness. Strum­mer’s flaws are not ig­nored but de­spite the can­dour, some ar­eas of his life are hur­ried over. This is a cel­e­bra­tion of a life lived not al­ways wisely but well, and it’s done with love. Bet­ter still, it’s done with re­spect. Plenty of rock’n’roll and no swindle. (2006) Bel­mont, Aberdeen

La Vie en Rose( 12A)

Olivier Da­han’s biopic of Edith Piaf has diva-like qual­i­ties, chief among which is keep­ing the au­di­ence wait­ing. Two hours trudge by be­fore Non, Je Ne Re­grette Rien, al­though there’s plenty to sup on as you wait. While Mar­ion Cotil­lard, ter­rific as Piaf, over-eggs the pud­ding, she re­deems her­self with the big clos­ing num­ber. (2007) Cameo, Ed­in­burgh; Filmhouse, Ed­in­burgh; Bel­mont, Aberdeen

The Lives of Oth­ers (15)

At the heart of The Lives of Oth­ers is the re­la­tion­ship be­tween two men: a Stasi agent named Wiesler (Ul­rich Muhe) and a play­wright, Drey­man (Se­bas­tian Koch). Al­though they will never meet, each will have a pro­found ef­fect on the other’s life. The sense of men­ace is con­stant, the pace ex­hil­a­rat­ing. (2007) Cameo, Ed­in­burgh

Moliere (12A)

Mr Bean’s Hol­i­day (PG)

Ro­main Duris, hand­some dar­ling of 21st-cen­tury French cin­ema, is the very model of 17th-cen­tury grub­bi­ness as Moliere. Pen­ni­less and fac­ing debtors’ jail, the writer is handed an of­fer that’s hard to refuse. In re­turn for a fee, will he help a rich mer­chant have his way with a wo­man? (2006) Filmhouse, Ed­in­burgh The in­tensely an­noy­ing Mr Bean is back. There are some laughs to be had at jour­ney’s end from a cameo by Willem Dafoe as a pre­ten­tious film di­rec­tor, but you’ll need the for­bear­ance of a Zen mas­ter to get there. (2006) On lim­ited re­lease

Private Fears in Pub­lic Places (12A)

Alan Ay­ck­bourn’s 2004 play, about the need for love and the power of de­sire, proves to be uni­ver­sal in the hands of di­rec­tor Alain Res­nais. Each of the film’s six char­ac­ters is wrestling with a fear – of lone­li­ness, of their true selves or of split­ting up. The film con­sists largely of peo­ple hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions in rooms, but there’s never too much of a wait be­fore an ar­rest­ing im­age or a droll line draws the viewer back in. (2007) Glas­gow Film Theatre

The Sev­enth Seal (PG)

Shrek the Third (U)

A true cin­e­matic mas­ter­piece is given a lav­ish, 50th an­niver­sary reis­sue. First view­ing of Bergman’s med­i­ta­tion on life, death and God is cited by ev­ery di­rec­tor of note as a life chang­ing mo­ment. See it and un­der­stand why. (1957) Filmhouse, Ed­in­burgh Shrek is one big in-joke for adults and chil­dren. But it’s wear­ing thin. As it opens, King Harold (John Cleese) is dy­ing, and Shrek (Mike My­ers) is fill­ing in for him. When Shrek hears there is an­other heir, he sets off to find him. Jokes are fast and fu­ri­ous, but laughs are fewer. (2007) On gen­eral re­lease

Tell No One (15)

In Guillaume Canet’s thriller, Fran­cois Cluzet is Dr Alex Beck, whose wife Mar­got (Marie Josée Croze) is mur­dered. Eight years later, two bod­ies are found at the scene of her mur­der. The po­lice, who sus­pected Alex, re­open the case, and the drama be­gins. (2006) Cameo, Ed­in­burgh; Robert Burns Cen­tre, Dum­fries

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