Emotional astuteness from Raoul Ruiz


JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS (cert tbc) 82min 0..

Looking like a cool. heavin stylised Playstation game set in the 19503 with loud garish colours and atomic gadgets. Jimmy Neutron is the latest fun-packed CGI animated adventure to hit our screens.

Jimmy Isaac Neutron's inventions often cause more problems than they solve. so when he contacts an ultra- intelligent alien life form the boy genius sets off a chain of events that lead to the Yokians imagine an egg with a see-through shell and green yoke kidnapping all of the parents in Retroville. Jimmy and his cliched

19505 retro styling

As is the norm since Toy Story.


In his cinema books Gilles Deleuze writes fascinatingly about what he calls ‘the powers of the false’, where truth dissolves because the links between what is real and what is false are no longer discernible. The prolific Raoul Ruiz (Time Regained) often pushes this indiscernibility to the point of

classmates fat best friend, cigarette- smoking rebel and smart. unobtainable girl have the time of their lives in the absence of parental control. but soon discover that parents have their uses when things go wrong. So Jimmy leads an expedition of school kids into space to rescue their parents.

Jimmy Neutron is packed with pop- references. most notably a send up of The Blair Witch Proiect. but lacks sufficient sophistication to appeal to adults. The 'wow' factor of CGI animation has long Since diminished. (Kaleem Aftabi

I General release from Fri 22 Mar:

incomprehensibility as The Hypothesis Of The Stolen Painting becomes just one of many perspectives on a work of art, while in Three Lives And Only One Death Marcello Mastroianni becomes multiple selves as the plot


Generally Ruiz sets in motion stories that quickly lose their coordinates, and replaces them with virtual worlds; and yet in his latest film the world remains surprisingly grounded. Here Isabelle Huppert plays a wealthy, uptight mum whose son (Nils l-lugon) disowns her as he’s semi-adopted by another woman altogether: Jeanne Balibar’s grieving music tutor, whose

own son died two years previously.

What fascinates Ruiz on this occasion is less virtual worlds than real emotions, with an emotionally rewarding relationship developing between the eccentric Balibar and the isolated Hugon, as all around him lose themselves not in shared emotions but singular aims. There’s Huppert’s obscure work as a sculptor, Hugon’s uncle’s (Charles Berling) womanising,

and his father’s business trips. Here we realise that it’s perhaps as a much a

case of Hugon adopting Balibar as vice versa, with Hugon’s precocity not just a general cleverness, but an emotional astuteness that understands better than the other senior members of his frosty family what he needs.

(Tony McKibbin)

I Fi/mhouse, Edinburgh now; GFT, Glasgow from Fri 29 Mar.


Disney have previously confined sequels to their cartoon classics as straight-to- video merchandise aimed at squeezing more money out of parents with young kids to amuse. The sequels don't share the same production values as the originals and have a limited shelf life that separates them from the main oeuvre. This Peter Pan 2 marks a sad departure from this strategy with a weak effort that taints the memory of the much-loved classic.

Wendy has grown up and now has two children of her own. The oldest. Jane. who witnessing the devastation caused by the blitzkrieg conditions of

32 THE LIST 14—28 Mar 2002

Badly dated sequel

World War II, no longer believes in Peter Pan and stories of 'faith. trust and pixie dust'. That is until the night before she is to be evacuated to the countryside. when Captain Hook kidnaps her mistakenly believing that she is Wendy. In Never Land Jane's lack of faith is challenged and finally overcome in a series of battles with Captain Hook. Such is her transformation she even becomes the first female member of the Lost Boys.

Such magic. however, does not return to the viewer everything abOut the film is dated. from plotting to animation. Disney need to come up with some new ideas to keep the cartoon format fresh. (Kaleem Aftab)

I General release from Fri 22 Mar.

I comic. this film's protagonist. eleven-


Watching Francois Dupeyron's film you have the feeling that World War I had nothing to do with national pride or international peace but simply with the nature of physical deformity. Here the war isn't being fought on the battlefields of Europe. but chiefly in the mind of Adrien (Eric Caravaca) as he comes to terms with facial disfigurement after being severely wounded in the war‘s early days.

This might bring to mind Gillies MacKinnon's equally insular Regeneration. but where MacKinnon achieved a certain depth through utilising memory. suggesting the way war wounds are often psychic scars and that war permeates one's consciousness. in The Officers' Ward the interface isn't between the battlefield and the hospital. but between the hospital and general society. The thrust of the film is the opposite of Mackinnon's because Dupeyron's interest isn't in war memories so much as social anticipation. as he all too frequently plays on scenes of dread manifesting themselves in social shame. One scene has the disfigured nurse's (Isabelle Renauld) brother offering a look of disdainful dismay. '.'-.’llll€ Adrien has at least three scenes laboriously playing up his (lefoi‘iiiity when he confronts social expectation. Well crafted but shallow cinema. iTony IvIcKibbini

Shallow cinema

CHILDREN'S THUNDERPANTS (cert tbc) 95min 0.

At school we used to call it 'thunderbox'. a reference to defecating in big. smelly style. In this crap kids' film the related term. ‘thunderpants'. might refer to the passing of wind only. But like Johnny Fart Pants in VI?

year-old Patrick Smash (played by newcomer Bruce Cook III), chuffs like he is Gone With The Wind and his gutting soon takes on epic proponions.

From the moment Patrick breezes into the world. he starts chugging and nothing his suffering parents do can alleviate the boy's alimentary action. It's tougher for Patrick at school. where his trouser-quakes alienate him from everybody except Alan iPupert Grint of Harry Potter fame). a boy genius with no sense of smell. Alan supplies his pumping pa!

Crap kids’ film

with a series of inventions (the true origin of the film's title‘i which lilllliilh make Patrick's life easier, then land him in deep shit and finally save NASA's z ss whei‘ he both pilots and propels a rocket into space by. yep. squeezing one out.

If you find farting funny you'll laugh as the same gag is repeated ail iiifiiiitiiiii; if

y0u don't find farting funny, blow this film off. (Miles Fielderi I General release from Fri 15 Mar.