DOCUMENTARY BIGGIE AND TUPAC
NH- '93" - ‘1 T
Delicious and disturbing documentary
8 September 1996: west coast rapper Tupac Shakur is shot in Las Vegas following the Mike Tyson v Bruce Sheldon fight. 13 September: he dies of his injuries. 9 March 1997: east coast rapper Biggie Smalls is shot dead in Los Angeles at the Peterson Museum. Later on that year Russell Poole, an apple pie, all-American LAPD cop is forced to resign from the force when he files a suit against his employers protesting police corruption. One of the chief investigators in the killing of New York-based Smalls, Poole identified a vicious link of contract killings that went right back to the hideously violent head of Death Row Records, Suge Knight. If he was correct it would mean that both Biggie and Tupac were not killed in some sort of ridiculous coastal gang war, but on the order of Suge Knight in a warped bid to create publicity.
Enter documentary investigator Nick Broomfield and his intrusive boom mic. Broomfield has been doing this sort of thing for quarter of a century now and has made some truly delicious and disturbing documentaries on Courtney Cox, Heidi Fleiss, Eugene Terreblanche, fetishists, Thatcher and skinhead nazis. Before everyone from the insipid Louis Theroux to the (can it be possible?) even more insipid Daisy Donovan decided to jump on this particular bandwagon, Broomfield and his brilliant cinematographer Joan Churchill were creating chilling portraits of the deeply corrupt.
This is up there with his best work. Broomfield and his brave crew repeatedly put themselves in the firing line to get answers. It is a tragic tale of two good friends and gifted artists divided and murdered by a nasty Svengali. This film, however, ultimately belongs to Smalls’ mother, Miss Voletta Wallace, a gentle, urbane, intelligent woman who is determined to find out the truth behind her little boy’s death. (Paul Dale)
I Selected release from Fri 24 May
BIOPIC POLLOCK (18) 122mm on
anyone else has ever Created. are faultless.
But. Pollock tells the stOry of another tortured artist. sketching in Jackson's life from poverty row pre-discovery days through critical success and fame to depression and alcoholism. Nothing new here. then. eh?
No. not at all. There's Pollock sharing a coldwater New York City flat with his brother and sister-in-law. There's Pollock now shacked up with the artist Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden). who attempts to help him through the crippling misery which stops him painting. And there's old. fat Pollock. now living out in the country. past his creative prime. drinking too much. knocking the missus around and screwing yoong women.
No criticism of the performances. nor Harris' even-handed direction, but Barbara Turner and Susan J. EmschWiller's script falls flat. It also requires the audience to be overly sympathetic to a womanising Wife- beater. No. thanks. (Miles Fielder)
I GFT. Glasgow; Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 24 May.
Another tortured artist story
There‘s no dOLibting director and star Ed Harris' commitment to this biopic about the life of one of the pioneers of American abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock. Nor is there any doubt that Harris. surely one of modern America's finest actors. is more than up to the task of playing Pollock (the guys even look alike). And the scenes in which Pollock finds his groove splattering out those enormous oil paintings which still look nothing like
NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE
(15) 89min .0
By marrying 90$ gross-Out humour with 803 brat pack charm. this teen alternative to Scream ends up as a messy hybrid. Remember Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles? Well the kids at John Hughes High — if that's not a bad enough in-joke for you. there is also a Harry Dean Stadium — are not allowed to forget them as scene after scene from the 80s are regurgitated and their cliched characters and scenarios ripped apan.
Ostensibly the film follows Jake Wyler (Chris Evans) as he attempts to win a bet that he can turn the high school weird kid. Janey (Chyler Leigh). into a prom queen. Sound familiar? It's meant to be. Familiar too are Malik (Deon Richmond). the token black guy who walks around spouting ‘damn!’ and ‘that's a whack'. and Areola (Cerina Vincent). who wanders around campus in the buff.
Scream for teens
The only level on which this movie can be enjoyed is by scoring yourself points by rec0gnising references to old movies. Some are obvious. such as the detention scene in The Breakfast Club. others less so. Car number plates and other props give clues. But without a degree in Ally Sheedy's dandruff, watching these jocks. geeks and greasers is not much fun at all. (Kaleem Aftab)
I General release from Fri 24 May
COMEDY SNOW DOGS (PG) 99min .0
Snow Dogs is a run-of-the-mill Disney comedy of the type that has five different writers and yet still struggles to raise a decent laugh. Cuba Gooding Jnr (of 'Show me the money' fame) plays Ted. a Miami dentist who inherits a pack of racmg dogs in Alaska. courtesy of the birth mother he never knew he had. In other words. if the thought of Gooding exclaiming ‘l'm an eskrmo’?‘ and pulling a funny face makes y0u laugh. then this is the movie for yOu.
To be fair. Gooding makes a reliable lead and the film is competently made: it‘s only in the script department that the film falls down. Still. there's good support from the ever-dependable James Coburn as ‘Thunder Jack”. who turns out to be — wait for it — Cuba's long-lost father (are you laughing yet?) as well as a welcome comic turn from Star Trek's Nichelle 'Uhura' Nichols as Cuba's adoptive mother. In addition. attractive love interest Joanna Bacalso gets what is Surely the world's most gratuitous bikini- scene (given the film's sub-zero setting). Not unwatchable. but nothing special. (Matthew Turner)
I General release from Fri 37 May.
Not unwatchable, but . .
CHILDREN'S THUNDERPANTS (PG) 87min .0
At school we used to call it ‘thui'iderbox'. a reference to defecating. 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 VIZ comic. this film's protagonist. eleven-year-old Patrick Smash (played by newcomer Bruce Cook Ill). chuffs like he is Gone With The Wind: this is guffing in epic proportions.
From the moment Patrick breezes into the world. he starts chugging and nothing his long-suffering parents do alleviates the boy's alimentaiy action. It's tougher for Patrick at school. where his quaking quakes alienate him from everybody except Alan (Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame). a boy genius with no sense of smell. Alan supplies his pumping pal with a series of inventions (the true origin of the film's title) which initially make Patrick's life easier. then land him in deep shit and finally save NASA's ass when he pilots a rocket into Space by. yep. squeezing one out.
Even if you find farting funny. you'll only laugh once as the same gag is repeated ad infinitum; if you don't find farting funny. blow this film off.
(Miles Fielder) I General release from Fri 24 May.
Crap kids’ film
2);) Ma); (3 Jun Lr’ti'J.’ THE LIST 23