video reviews


The Adventures Of Pinocchio (PG) 96 mins *‘k‘k

There's a darker edge to this live action/computer animation/ animatronics hybrid than Disney's cartoon version of the tale, which increases adult enjoyment at the expense of scenes that might scare younger kids. Martin Landau brings a human touch to puppetmaker and parental wannabe Gepetto, but some of the effects notably the shoddy cricket - simply aren't up to scratch. (PolyGram)

A Time To Kill

(15) 149 mins * r

The cast is strong, the book’s by John Grisham, it’s a courtroom drama - but there’s something not only cliched but patronising and morally dubious hanging around this movie. The stOry centres on the case Surrounding the vigilante actions of Samuel L. Jackson, who shoots the racist white murderers of his daughter. Matthew McConaughey defends, Kevin Spacey prosecutes and director Joel Schumacher turns the whole thing into a series of cheap mini-climaxes. (Warner)


(12) 113 mins rut

In Scotland, they're cloning sheep; in Hollywood, it's Michael Keaton. In an attempt to cope with the demands of his domestic and commercial lives, Doug Kinney (Keaton) gets a science institute to manufacture multiple versions of himself, all of which have different characteristics. The actor returns to his comic best as he struggles, in good Sorceror’s Apprentice fashion, to control the situation he's brought on himself. Easy- going fun. (Columbia)

Swimming With Sharks

(15) 95 mins *‘k‘kt Hollywood's hottest character actor Kevin Spacey, who stole The Usual

‘24 THE LIST 21 Mar—3 Apr 1997

Suspects, dominates this funny but grotesque peek behind the scenes at the movers and shakers of the American film industry. As production executive Buddy Ackerman, he sets up a nightmarish master-and-servant relationship with assistant Guy (Frank Whaley), spewing out a never-ending succession of acidic lines that sting the surface of Guy's skin until the worm decides to turn. A sharp account of Hollywood power games, with batteries fully charged. (Imagine £12.99)

A Summer's Tale

(U) 113 mins ****

The third section of Eric Rohmer’s 'Tales Of The Four Seasons', this delightfully unassuming piece of filmmaking is as refreshing as a dip in the sea. On holiday in Dinard, Gespard digs himself into deeper and deeper romantic complications when he strikes up amorous relationships with both waitress Margot and her friend Solene while waiting on his (not quite) girlfriend Lena. He's drawn to one by friendship, another by looks, the next through some romantic ideal. Rohmer uses sun and sand to capture perfectly the mood of adolescent entanglements. (Artificial Eye £15.99)

The Most De5ired Man (18) 93 mins *

The most successful German film of all time proves yet again that humour doesn’t always travel. Resolutely hetero guy Axel is thrown out by his pregnant girlfriend Dorothy for womanising and finds a new friend and flatmate in gay Norbert. When circumstances lead Dorothy to find a naked Norbert in Axel’s wardrobe, she fears 'the worst’. The film certainly doesn’t laugh with the gay characters and makes no attempt to deal with prejudice or sexism. A strangely dour farce, given what the Australians or French do with similar material. (Tartan £15.99)

Kiss Me Deadly

(PG) 103 mins tart H

From its jarring opening sequence, in which private detective Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) gives a lift to a distraught woman whose sobs accompany the titles, to the startling final sequence, Robert Aldrich’s 1955 classic feels more like a European than

i 3% hes; It's an ill wind: Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt run from an approaching tornado in Twister (PG. CIC. rental, * at)

Gun law: James Spader in Two Days In The Valley

RENTAL Two Days In The Valley (18) 100 mins shunt

While the form may be becoming over-familiar - a noir of interweaving tales which bear little relation to one another at the kick-off, but reach a thoroughly circular conclusion - the trick of guessing who will have the last laugh and fire the final bullet makes Two Days In The Valley riveting in the


A motley set of pairs - including ex-nuptials, vice squad, assassins, once- great screenwriter and nurse - have a dramatic bearing on each other’s lives over 48 hours in San Fernando, leading to blood, bullets and the difficulties caused through fear of dogs. All the influences which moulded Tarantino's art are present in John Herzfeld's comedy-drama, and the moment when James Spader's clinical hitman refuses to allow his dying mall to receive treatment on the grounds of his own self-preservation recalls the

Keitel/Roth dilemma of Reservoir Dogs.

The cast is excellent. with particularly strong performances from Danny Aiello as the killer with a conscience, Glenne Headley as the self-doubting secretary of a slimy art-dealer, and Paul Mazursky's suicidal writer. Witty, sexy, stylish and oddly moving, Two Days In The Valley is an under-rated

wee gem. (Brian Donaldson)

American thriller. Odd angles, unexpected jump cuts, off-centre performances and a bleak narrative suggest the rhythm of a world drenched in violence and paranora. Film noir doesn’t get any blacker. (Warner Elite £9.99)

The Asphalt Jungle

(PG) 110 mins * H *

John Huston’s tight, character-driven diamond heist movie is set apart by its tough acting and realistic directing style. Reservoir Dogs fans should check out the prototype gang fallout movre, whose depiction of crime on all levels of society still packs a punch. The original 1946 version of The Postman Always Rings Twice (PG, 1 1 1, at t *) suggests the most illicit nature of its protagonists' passions rather than shows them, but at times is a little too melodramatic. (Warner Elite £9.99 each)

King Lear

(PG) 137 mins H: *

Ru55ian director Grigori Kozmtsev’s ver5ion of the Shakespeare play keeps close to the text and sustains a sombre mood throughout. Greed and pride are seen as the downfall of all, as the Lear and Gloucester parallel plots draw together to emphasise the treachery and love of children. The black and white photography is superb, as are the performances of Yuri Yavet as Lear and Oleg Dal as The Fool. (Tartan £15.99)

Une Belle Fille Comme Moi

(15) 96 mins ***‘k

Franc0is Truffaut's farclcal comedy could only be described as ’feminist' in that its protagonist uses dishonesty to get the better of inherently dishonest men. We hear the life of Camille (Bernadette Lafont) as she is interwewed by a sociologist, but what we see an exploitative marriage, mass seduction for finanoal gain doesn’t always fit With her words. She's duping her interViewer With a talent that would impress The Usua/ Suspects Keyser Sose. At times Lafont's energy becomes wearing, but she brings zest to a very funny lllle. (Artificial Eye £15.99)

Love On The Run

(15) 93 mins * i

The fifth and final segment of Truffaut’s 'Antome Doinel‘ films is a great disappomtment The character is now in his 30s, divorced and meeting up wrth past lovers. As it relies far too heaVily on flashbacks and is so self- referential, the feeling is that this particular instalment doesn't have much to say itself. In the lead role Jean-Pierre Leaud is as charming as ever, and Truffaut does pay homage to the ideal of lowng women, but the overall impression is of a director marking time. Unfortunately, Truffaut's death meant the story was taken no further. (ArtifiCial Eye £15.99)