We clear the VHS decks with a round-up oi the video releases heading tor the shops this iortnigbt.


I last Action Hero (15) Arnie Schwarzenegger ill- advisedly indulges in a spot of self-parody in this huge-budget adventure yarn about an all-action hero, whose celluloid antics spill over into the real-world. lts shallowness is only partly redeemed by the self- referential gags. (20:20 Vision)

I The Assassin (l8) Bridget Fonda stars in the Hollywood remake of Nikita. that is as ludicrous as the original. if not quite as exploitative. if only because Bridget doesn’t look quite so good in the skimpy underwear as Anne Parillaud. She’s a somewhat unconvincing junkie persuaded to turn hired killer for the good guys. (Warner)

I Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (18) Straight-to-video for the latest (and last?) instalment in the Friday The Thirteenth saga. (Guild)

I Betrayed By love (15) Seduction and deception are the ingredients for another true story from the Odyssey stable. Patricia Arquette (seen recently in True Romance) stars as a fed-up Kentucky housewife who falls for ruthlessly ambitious FBI agent Steven Weber. When she inconveniently clings on. he resorts to extreme measures to get rid of her. (Odyssey)

I Murder Between Friends (15) (Odyssey)

I With hostile Intent (15) (Fox)

I The Vanishing (15)

Montage (15) (Fox) I Bay Ci Atonement (18) (Guild)

I Equinox (15) (Guild) I The Ilidden 2 (18) (Polygram)

I Body Snatchers (15) (Warner)

I 2% Street (15) (First independent)


I to Brande Boutie (18) Marco Ferreri’s controversial satire from 1973 features Marcello Mastroianni and Philippe Noiret in a raunchy tale of four bored middle-aged men who decide to end it all in a mammoth orgy of sexual, alcoholic and gastronomic indulgence (presumably Oliver Reed wasn’t available at the time). (Arthouse Original £15.99)

I Bye Bye Monkey (18) (Arthouse Original £15.99)

I The Scarecrow (15) A hip. hallucinatory tale of horror starring John Carradine as a cadaverous stranger arriving in a small New Zealand town in the 50s. and being connected with the murder of a young girl. (Arthouse Original £15.99)

‘_ We; 5'1 1’ I Vigil (15) New Zealand

director Vincent Ward’s debut feature is a personal tale of a child growing up on a remote farm. whose life faces upheaval when her adored father is killed in an accident. (Arthouse Original £15.99)

I lilght On Earth (15) Jim Jarmusch’s remarkable portmanteau film of five taxi rides in five different cities is necessarily bitty. but the overall standard is high. as his typically eccentric collection of characters range from broad comedy (Roberto Benigni as a deranged Roman confessing a catalogue of sins involving sheep and vegetables) to quiet intensity (Beatrice Dalle as a blind Parisienne). (Electric £15.99)

I The John Cassavetes Collection: Faces ( 15) (Electric £15.99)

I The John Cassavetes Collection: Shadows (PG) (Electric £15.99)

I Boppelganger (18) (lTC £10.99)

I Daughters (it The Dust (PG) (Connoisseur £12.99)

I Ttouble Bound (l8) (lTC £10.99)

u. rs ' I L’iiomme lie Ma Vie

I Timeslip - The Day iii The Clone (U) (ch £16.99)

I In Too Deep (18) (Medusa £12.99)

I la Fille lie l’Air ( 15) Swift transfer to tape for the French adventure yarn. starring Beatrice Dalle as the intrepid fille of the title. who attempts to rescue her lover from jail by judicious use of a helicopter. A rare example of a true story not released by Odyssey. (Tartan £15.99)

(15) (Tartan £15.99)

I The Blood in A Poet (l8) (Tartan £15.99)

I The Old Woman Who Walked Into The Sea (PG) (Tartan £ 15.99)

I A Few Good Men (15) An overlong legal yarn tackling the subject of bullying in the armed services. Tom Cruise is fine as a cocky young Navy lawyer. coming into conflict with horrendoust over-acting Jack Nicholson. Demi Moore is completely redundant as usual. (Columbia Tristar £12.99)

I A Friend Like Me (U) (Buena Vista £8.99)

I Rapid Fire (18) (Fox £10.99)

I Tiny Toon Big Adventures (U) (Warner £8.99)

I Taz-Tronaut (U) (Warner £8.99)

I Hair (15) (Warner £10.99)

I Class Act (15) (Warner £10.99)

I Superman: The Movie (PG) (Warner £6.99)

I A Cry in The Dark (15) The dingo did it. Or did he? (Warner £6.99)

I The Delinquents(15) Kylie Minogue‘s ill-fated venture onto the big screen gets a budget release. but her attempts at raunchiness are as feeble as they ever were. (Warner £6.99)

I The Cowboys (PG) With John Wayne. which is all you really need to know. (Warner £6.99)

I The light (it The Generals (15) (Columbia Tristar £8.99)

I The Favour, The Watch And The Very Big Fish (15) (Columbia Tristar) I Tales From The narkside (18) (Columbia Tristar)

I Steven King’s Graveyard Shitt ( 18) (Columbia Tristar)

I Fire Tripper (PG) More Manga material to replenish the shop shelves plundered by Manga- maniacs. A tale of time- travel. terror and scantily- clad babes. so no change there. (Manga £8.99)

It’s been creeping up on us for a while now, but this year will see its full testosterone and lager-drenched apotheosis. Forget the Family. 1994 is the year of the Lad. so prepare now for the onslaught of post-post-post feminist backlashes, loads more lumberjack shirts. Beavis And Butt/read and the World Cup.

‘llere is a man for whom the prosaic thud of tungsten tip into Winmau treble twenty is the muse tor a bubbling spring of passionate prose.’

Already putting in a claim as the first lad icon for the New Year is the gloriously Geordie commentator Tony Green on World Championship llarts (BBC2). Here is a man for whom the prosaic thud of tungsten tip into Winmau treble twenty is the muse for a bubbling spring of passionate prose. Not for him the dispassionate ‘Nice darts!’ of Sid Waddell, or the grudging ‘darts!’ of the players themselves. Green greets each throw with a heart- stopping burst of emotion. ‘Phan-tas- ma-gor-ic!‘ he screamed at a 151 check-out (treble twenty, treble seventeen, tops) with the stress on every syllable at the same time. He’s a literary chap too. our Tone. ‘Wye- aaaay,‘ he bellowed in the middle ofa see-saw struggle between one of the seeds and an outsider, ‘this is like going to see Hamlet, and finding out in the last act that Ophelia did it.’

Bathos and machismo battled it out in another laddish offering for the New Year, BBCI ’s All Quiet On The Preston Front. Punning programme titles are usually the sign ofa feeble show, the TV equivalent ofa pubjoker‘s ‘you‘ll like this one’, before they launch into their latest infuriating shaggy dog story. All Quiet. . . offers us the peculiarly uncharismatic figure of Hodge (Colin Buchanan) as its hero. the sort of man who falls in love with Chinese restaurant karaoke singers. and works in a garden centre. He’s obviously intended to be a kind of suburban Everybloke, but ends up a sponge, absorbing all the quirks of the other characters at the expense of his own personality.

The details and backdrops are the best aspect of the series. the depressingly accurate depiction of small-town banality being spot-on. Where it fails is in the male bonding. Hodge and best mate Eric (Paul Haigh) engage in plodding cross-talk that desperately

wants to be The Odd Couple or The Likely lads. but sounds like a lifestyle magazine’s idea of how inadequate provincial types relate to one another. All Quiet. . . at the moment is far too deliberate, it needs a streak of real anarchy to bring it alive.

The lllgh lite (BBC2) needs substantially more than that. This Comic Asides pilot gave us Forbes Masson and Alan Cumming reviving their imitating Victor And Barry skit as airline stewards, camping it up bitchin on the Glasgow—London shuttle. Masson and Cumming’s double-act is a peculiarly introspective affair. looking throughout like a particularly-stretched luvvies’ in-joke. You know they’re having a wonderful time swapping the innuendoes, and who cares what the audience thinks. It‘s the kind ofthing that might go down well after several Cinzanos at an Equity branch party. but for a mass audience it’s cringe- inducing.

Masson especially is treated cruelly by the small—screen. His assortment of reactions are all drawn from the ‘exaggerated grimace’ chapter, emphasising the shoddy slapstick nature ofthe production. It‘s a shame, because the situation is an original and potentially fertile one. The trouble is. campness (here Masson and Cumming‘s only real ammunition) needs centre stage at all times, resulting in the juvenile demotion of all the supporting cast to the butts of the ‘joke’, especially if they are women. Siobhan Redmond had the crassly limited role of a pushy, tarty stewardess, and the other female characters consisted of a drugged-up aristocrat and a Scottish nationalist terrorist loony.

‘Punning programme titles are usually the sign of a feeble show, the TV equivalent of a pub loker’s ‘you’ll like this one’, before they launch into their latest infuriating shaggy dog story.’

That said. there’s obviously some desperate men and women in the comedy commissioning department at the BBC. This was patently a pilot best despatched towards the TV equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. but no: ‘A series based on this programme will be broadcast on BBC2 later this year,’ said the continuity announcer. 1994 is already taking on an ominous tinge. (Tom Lappin)

62m List 14—27 January 1994