There’s some lairly good work here in this Winona Ryder drama that only reached cinemas In london before slipping onto video. Scholarship student at an exclusive all-male boarding school, John Baker (Lukas Haas) is under pressure from his ambitious dad, but he’s too restless to otter much in the way of academic application. Winona liyder’s dissolute twentysomething Patty Vare is in a worse state however: the police are at the door trailing a stolen car, and she’s at the morning-after stage hersell.
Horse-riding provides a few hours’ evasion, but a bad tall leaves her prone on the ground, and before long
School for love—milukas llaas and Winona Ryder in Boys
she’s a woozy, unwitting and forbidden guest in llaas’s dorm. From such chance circumstances springs a hesitant, it unlikely attraction that tultils a need in each of them, but might just take some explaining to the outside world.
Opening out James Salter’s short story, writer-director Stacy Cochran (who made My New Bun) proves strongest on the background detail at the boys’ school, where the unfolding girl-in-the-room crisis hits a properly complex note of panic, excitement, embarrassment and yearning. llaas’s mundane adolescent ferment proves less distinctive though, and Winona is so much of a mystery woman we’re never really persuaded by her travails. (Trevor Johnston)
Boys (15) is available to rent on the Polyoram label from Mon 3 Feb.
Watch the skies: lndependence llay takes over the video world
INDEPENDENCE DAY/ FLIPPEB
Earth didn’t stand a chance. They came. they saw. they conquered the box ofﬁce charts. Estimates put the worldwide take for Independence Day (12) at around $700 tnillion. proving that aliens could take on dinosaurs and men in bat suits. Now it’s time for a second wave of attack as shipments of videos hover over Britain‘s cities.
It's a smart marketing move to make the ﬁlm available to buy at the same time as it's on the rental shelves. Available in both fullscreen (£15.99) and widescreen (£16.99) versions. both with Dolby Surround and Hi-ﬁ Stereo sound. the video can‘t hope to
completely capture the in-your-face spectacle of the cinema experience. This might draw attention to some of the ﬂaws in the plot and characterisation. but as old-fashioned. corny. gung-ho entertainment. it really can’t be beat.
1f horrible beasties from another planet prove a bit too scary for younger viewers. then there‘s always the alternative of a cuddly dolphin in Flipper (PG. CIC Video). released on 7 February. The formula of rebellious kid bonding with intelligent animal has been worn thin in recent years. but non- human stars seem to have a way of ﬁnding a chink in the armour of the sternest cynic. (Alan Morrison) Independence Day goes on sale on Mon I 0 Feb. See Competitions page for a chance to win your own copy.
I m love And Shadows (18) In this erratic version of the lsobel Allende novel. Antonio Banderas plays a former psychologist posing as a photographer while working as an under- ground revolutionary. On a magazine assignment. he meets journalist Jennifer Connelly. whose upper-class background has sheltered her from the realities of Chile‘s mid- 70s military regime. Betty Kaplan‘s poor direction completely fails to tap into any of the power suggested by the scenario. and the ﬁlm lacks political or romantic bite. Some of the dubbing is bad. and the cast come over as h0pelessly amateurish with the exception of Banderas — but even he can’t ignite the passion or the politics. (Entertainment)
I Stolen llearts (15) With St Valentine's Day and love in the air. it’s time to look at some new heart-shaped releases. Unfortunately. this attempt at a modern screwball romance doesn‘t quite have the desired effect. Sandra Bullock and her petty thief boyfriend Denis Leary end up in posh Rhode Island where he‘s due to sell a stolen painting. and the couple indulge in the good life although their affair seems to be going awry. The dialogue just isn’t sharp enough. the concept rings as false. but Bullock - ever the screen alchemist — manages to turn mediocrity into something that's at least watchable. (Warner £10.99)
I Bed Of lloses (PG) Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson are the young lovers this time around. and again you might be better ﬁnding real life romance than searching out this uninspired tale. He‘s a ﬂorist. she's an ambitious investment banker whose heart is softened by the anonymous bouquets that keep arriving. Like the ﬂowers. it wilts as time goes by. (Entertainment £12.99)
I Something To Talk About (15) In Thelma & Louise. writer Callie Khoun' gave us two of the strongest Hollywood female roles of the 90s. The female perspective here is less belligerent. but equally strong and insightful. Julia Roberts is at her very best as a woman from a well-off
background who begins to question the social traditions and snobbery that deﬁne her existence. when she catches her husband (Dennis Quaid) having an affair. A warm. often witty portrait of people pushing against the pattern of their lives. with excellent support from Gena Rowlands. Robert Duvall and Kyra Sedgwick. (Warner £10.99)
I A Chinese Ghost Story (18) The breakthrough Hong Kong supernatural movie is released in a sharp widescreen print with subtitles off the image on a lower black band. A rollercoaster of entertaining action. it shifts from comedy to scares to choreographed ﬁghts to romance and back again. as a clumsy monk falls in love with a doomed ghost. This genre blend. coupled with inventive camera movements. makes it a less abrasive Evil Dead of the Orient. (Made In Hong Kong £12.99)
I Dallas (PG) Nope. no oil ranches in sight. Instead. it‘s Gary Cooper in brooding form as a Confederate good guy branded an outlaw and out for revenge. A minor. but
, diverting. western with
some snappy Yankee/Johnny Reb banter. A shift northwards through the States brings us to Montana (PG). We've had cowboys v indians. cattlemen v farmers. but cattle barons v sheep herders? Forgettable stuff with only Errol Flynn‘s charisma to keep it rollin’ along. (Warner Big Picture £5.99 each)
I Geronimo (PG) Before Walter Hill's biopic of a few years back. this interesting ﬁlm attempted to redress the western genre‘s unbalanced portrayal of the redskin. Chuck Connors plays the leader of the last remaining band of Apaches. who start a war with America when they‘re denied their dignity and land rights. It's not simplistic. however: American greed
and hypocrisy is pitted against Geronimo‘s stubborn machismo. 1n Robert Aldrich's Apache (PG). Burt Lancaster takes up the cause as a brave forced to adapt to the white man‘s way. Again. the US civil rigth conscience is stirred. although the ending is compromised. (Warner Big Picture £5.99 each) I [lay Of The Dead ( 18) The claustrophobic tensions between scientists and soldiers in an underground missile silo may not rival the bickering in Night Of The Living Dead. but the closing instalment of George Romero's trilogy does develop certain themes. The ‘Frankenstein’ element - as humans experiment on the zombies to achieve behaviour control — wins unexpected sympathy for the dead guys. who are less maliciously barbaric than the living. Straight in at No l in the gore score. (Arrow £9.99)
I oyclo ( 18) Tran Anh Hung's remarkable. hard- hitting and much overlooked ﬁlm about a Vietnamese boy barely making a living as a bicycle taxi driver is a marked change from his Scent Of Green Papaya. As the boy gets caught up in crime and local gangs. his fall from innocence is rendered with uncompromising brutality. Bleak. but compelling viewing. (Entertainment £12.99)
I ooodtellas (18) A modern classic. Martin Scorsese‘s gangster movie reveals some of the inner workings. the highs and the lows of life with the mob. It‘s available at last in widescreen. as is Alice ooesn’t live llere Anymore (15). in which the director proves he's not jus to be applauded for the boysy stuff. Ellen Burstyn deservedly won an Oscar for her role as a woman realistically confronting self-doubts about her career. her suitability for motherhood and life in general. (Warner Elite Collection £12.99 each)
Antonlo oande and Jennlter Connolly tlnd love and harsh truth in In love And Shadows
The List 7-20 Feb 1997 25