Also Released - Film
Barry Lyndon (PG) 187min ●●●●● Kubrick’s epic adaptation of William Makepeace Thackery’s picaresque novel about the attempts of an Irish upstart to become a member of the English aristocracy in the 18th century re-emerges for re-evaluation on a beautiful, fully restored print. Dismissed by many on its original release as slow, boring and overly concerned with period detail, the film now looks like one of Kubrick’s greatest achievements. It’s a stunning, sumptuous and sustained meditation on man’s ultimate powerlessness. Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 20–Thu 26 Mar.
Knowing (15) 121min ●● Another year, another incredibly silly Nic Cage thriller. This one has him as a maths teacher who discovers that a recently unearthed sheet of paper (with numbers on it) holds predictions of many upcoming disasters. It’s a nice idea that fuses Cage box office success National Treasure and its sequel (without the camp humour though) to something more suggestive and creepy like the exemplary Final Destination horrors. Unfortunately, neither director Alex I, Robot Proyas or the many credited screenwriters are up to the task, and what could have been as sophisticated a dialectic on immovable forces and fate as, say, M Night Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable quickly descends into bad CGI set-ups and portentous, hysterical exchanges. Selected release, from Wed 25 Mar.
The Haunting in Connecticut (15) 102min ●●● Solidly made, watchable horror based, allegedly, on real events in the tradition of The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. When a family moves to a new suburban house, their son becomes a target for the undead. With the requisite number of spooks, chills and jumps this won’t disappoint but you may have forgotten all about it within ten minutes of leaving the cinema. General release, Fri 27 Mar.
Better Things (15) 93min ●●●● The Dardennes brothers meet Mike Leigh in Brit writer/director Duane Hopkins excellent feature debut about drugs and doomed lives in the Cotswolds. This film has already shown in Glasgow but now has a short Edinburgh run before going to DVD. Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Tue 31 Mar–Thu 2 Apr.