Your guide to what's nevi, what's vrorth catching and what to avoid on the VHS front this fortnight.


I Homicide (15)Joe Mantegna stars as Bobby Gold. a cop who is understandably angry when his department regard his Jewishness as being of more importance than his abilities. However. his anger at being seconded to a routine murder turnsto curiosity when he begins to unearth a sinister conspiracy. David Mamet‘s mainstream cop drama takes on an intriguing edge after the

first half-hour and features an excellent performance from Mantegna. (First Independent)

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I Shattered (15) You may very well guess the final twist early on in this suspense thriller, but it remains watchable all the same. Tom Berenger plays Dan Merrick. a property developer who is left somewhat dilapidated and definitely in need of some upgrading after a car crash. Attempting to regain his memory and rebuild his life with the help of wife Judith (Greta Scaechi). Merrick begins to uncover a very sinister past. Nice playing from the principals with support from Bob Hoskins. Corbin Bernsen and Joanne Whalley- Kilmer. (Columbia Tristar) I In The Best Interesth The Children (15) Another of those Odyssey specialities, the bleeding-heart true-life drama. The five children of a mentally unstable mother are fostered by a childless couple and all is

rosy and caring and rather yeuchy. until Mum decides she wants them back. Tug-of-love tearjerking dilemmas ensue. (Odyssey)

IThe Perfect Dride(15) (MCEG Virgin)

I Star Worms ll-Atfaclt Of The Pleasure Pods (15) A terrific title failing to disguise a tacky comedy sci-fi effort. (MCEG Virgin)

Sell through

3"; .7. 1% IWarStory(15) ‘Likea hand-grenade that explodes in your living-room.‘ claimed the New York Dain News. This video collects six separate episodes relating to personal experience in Vietnam. The emphasis is on personal discovery. telling how war brings out the best and worst aspects ofpersonality. rather than tryingto find a wider context for the war. (Odyssey £19.99)

I House 01 Games (15) David Mamet directs Lindsay Crouse as a psychiatrist becoming entangled with gamblers and con-men. She develops an empathy with Mike (Joe Mantegna), but their association leads to a violent finale. A intriguing if overplotted tale with planty of atmosphere. (Connoisseur £12.99)

Things Change

I Things Change (PG) Yes, it’s Mamet week in The List. Mantegna‘s in this one as well, playing the minder to an insignificant shoe-shine man (Don Ameche) paid to become a fall guy for the Mob. The odd pairing head off to the gambling resort of Lake Tahoe where they swiftly find themselves out of their depth. A charming variant on the buddy movie.

I L‘Annee Demiere a Marienbad (U) Alan Resnais‘s fondness for the flashback. misty focus and sharp editing have influenced the likes of Godard and Greenaway. You can see why from this abstract. ridiculously elaborate enigma, roughly concerning a beautiful woman involved in a triangular relationship. 1 went to Marienbad once. Distinctly overrated. (Connoisseur £14.99)

I Heart Condition ( 15) Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington in ‘racist swaps bodies with black dude schtick‘. Avoid. (RCA Columbia £10.99)


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I Hiroshima Mon Amour (PG) More Resnais nouvelle vague stuff. drawing parallels between war-time atrocities and personal loss. all done in his own distinctive style of mixing up time and place with few or no signals. Artistically impressive if morally questionable. (Connoisseur£14.99)

I The Rookie (18) (Warner£10.99)

I American Kickboxer(15) (Warner£10.99)

I American Ninja 4 ( 18) (Warner£10.99)

I Death Warrant ( 18) (Warner£10.99)

I Doctor Who: The Claws Dfoos; The Tomb DfThe Cyberrnen (U) (BBC £10.99 each)

I Spitfire DverAustralia Loads of footage of Spitfires. er, over Australia. One for that

: tweedy old uncle who took


a bit of shrapnel in the last

' show but still likes

warplanes. (Odyssey £10.99)

I Blott On The Landscape (BBC £19.99)

I Official History DfThe Welsh Rugby Union Team (BBC £10.99)

I Official History or The Irish Rugby Union Team (BBC £10.99)

I Merlin (BBC£14.99) I The Package (15) (MCEG Virgin £10.99) I Murderers. Monsters And Madmen Six gruesome documentaries about assorted psychos and serial killers. Titles are Charles Manson, Assassination, Psychos And Mass Murderers, Gangsters, Lady Killers and Hollywood Police Files. Nice for the coffee table. (Screen Entertainment £10.99 each tape)


A selection of television highlights. listed by day. in chronological order. Television Listings compiled by Tom Lappin.


I Blossom (Channel 4) 6—6.30pm. Remember when we all sighed at the thought of American sitcoms set in a bar. a family home with adolescent kids or a publishing house? Cheers. Roseanne and Dream On later. maybe we should reserve judgement before slagging off a series about a fourteen-year-old girl in an otherwise all-male household. If it were British it would be execrable; as it‘s American. it could be brilliant.

I Tales olGold(BBC1)7.30—8pm. A new series (pretty short. presumably) about Britain‘s Olympic heroes. narrated by Kenneth Branagh. of all people. Tonight features good old Steve Ovett and some Tory MP who frequently used to beat him. I Have I Got News For You (BBCZ) 10—10.30pm. Ever felt like throttlingthe programme planners? One of the best comedy programmes on TV put in direct competition with Roseanne, probably the best. Tonight‘s guests are Tony Slattery and John Wells. so expect plenty of innuendo.

I Roseanne (Channel 4) 10- 10.30pm. The aforementioned best comedy show. even though the decision to make Darlene into a manic depressive is surely misguided. Tonight‘s episode continues to chart the adventures of the Conners in Vegas.

I Clive Anderson Talks Back (Channel 4) 1030—1 1 . 10pm. The man-gerbil returns for another series of wit and one-upmanship. Never been as good since Slattery went on to bigger things.

I Made in the USA (Channel 4) 11.10—11.55pm. Basically Manhattan Cable gone country-wide and zoning in on all of those local American TV stations staffed by in-bred farmers' boys. Presented by Laurie Pike need we say more? Can we say more? The show also wins this week‘s award for the most inane press release: ‘Tonight‘s programme visits Dallas. the home of Dallas.‘


I Dragnet (BBCI ) 6.55—8.40pm. A surprisingly watchable spoof on the old TV cop show starring Dan Aykroyd asJoe Friday and Tom Hanks as his side-kick. Not, however. as funny as the video ofthe theme tune by the Art Of Noise.

I TV Heaven 1966: George And The Dragon (Channel 4) 8.05—8.55pm. Well dodgy ‘My mother-in-law's-so-fat‘ type of humour featuring eve ryone‘s favourite dead Arthur Smith-lookalike. Sid James. Peggy Mount is the eponymous dragon. I Rhythms of the World (BBCZ) 9.30—10.25pm. Tonight featuring the use of video in world music.

I TV Heaven 1966: Danger Afan (Channel 4) 10—11.05pm. A couple of years before

' to help to get their case across.

The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan starred as secret agent John Drake in this serious-Bond thriller series. Worth watching if only for the fact that itshowed what a dearth of ideas McGoohan had with respect to characterisation.

I Critters (eocr) item—12.25am. Coasting in effortlessly on the back of the success of Gremlins and Ghoulies is this 1986 comedy-shocker. It's meant to be an adult version of the former film but. ironically. is less horrific and certainly not as funny. I Court TV: America on Trial ((‘hanncl 4) 11.05pm—12.l(lam. For those who have watched this series and felt that it prm ed British society's superiority over America. tonight's instalment may cause some word-s“ allowing. The case of four policeman beating up a motorist after a traffic offence has disturbing resonances after a similar incident recently triedon this side of the pond.

I Dim Sum (Channel 4) 12. 10-1 .45am. Ridiculously late screening time for Wayne Wang‘s highly acclaimed comedy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown.


I Flipper (Channel 4) 11.30am—noon. The humans try to impress a congresswoman who visits Coral Key Park to see whether it deserves government money. But we all know who‘s going to win her heart don‘t we? Has the enticing possibility of seeinga major political figure (fictional. admittedly) in a swimsuit. Can you imagine Virginia Bottomley doing the same for the Brighton Dolphinarium?

I Masterchef(BBC1)4.50—5.25pm. More mouth-watering delicacies from the amateurs. judged by the professionals and talked about by the nauseating.

I Fragile Earth: Game Wars (Channel 4) 7—8pm. The locals of Loehaber reckon they‘ve every right to go and bag a good venison steak every so often. The landowners. not surprisingly. disagree and have hired ex-SAS men to patrol the land

I Don't Tell Father (BBCI ) 7.45—8. 15pm. Tony Britten and Susan Hampshire in a show penned by Roy Clarke? You‘re hardly thinking ‘tune in the video‘ are you?

I Hard Nevis (Channel 4) 8—8.30pm. A new series of the current affairs show. Sec preview.

I Jeeves and Wooster (Scottish) 9.05—10.05pm. Fry and Laurie doing what they do best not being themselves.

I Assignment: Unfortunate Incidents (BBCZ) 9. 15 10.15pm. Anothcrol’thosc pious Western documentaries dredging up what complete bastards the Japanese \s ere during the war. isn't it strange that we never see films about the British atrocities in India. New Zealand. Africa. etc. etc.

I A Sense of History (Channel 4) 9.30—10pm. Mike Leigh directs his old pal. Jim Broadbent in this spoofdocumentary. See preview.

I Mastermind (BBCl) 10—1().30pm. One of the specialist topics this week is ‘The Life and Reign of Genghis Khan.‘ Maybe we should just let that contestant win,eh Magnus?

I A Month In The Country (Channel 4) 10—11.45pm. Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh look pretty and wear plenty of baggy white shirts in a film adored by the types who loved A Room With a View. This is of considerably more substance. though. and Branagh has never been better.

The List 24 April 7 Ma} 1992 59