; suspense


Washington deceased: Wesley Snipes, Diane lane and Daniel Benzali in

Murder At 1600 (15) 107 mins 1H:

Although it sounds like a reprise of Wesley Snipes’s airline shenanigans in Passenger 57, this presidential thriller the latest in a recent trend that has yet to produce a decent film takes place firmly on the ground. With the tone of a Sunday Sport headline and the credibility of the kind of story you’d find underneath, the film tells of the brutal murder of a pretty secretary in the White House and the profound implications this has for a beleaguered President

A fine cast are largely wasted by what follows, as Washington DC homiCide

Murder At 1600

detective Snipes teams up with White House Secret Service agent Diane Lane in a mystery tale that follows all the expected twists and switchbacks on its way to a predictably overblown conclusion.

Not so much a whodunit then as a ’who cares who done it?’, with Snipes and Lane as the typically ’mismatched' couple, thrown together as partners and forced to get to the bottom of the whole sorry mess. With more red herrings than a defective kipper factory, the sorriest mess of all is the script that has much promise but requires a strong shot of reality and another couple of drafts. (Anwar Brett) I General release from Fri 7 7 Jul.

Unforgettable (15) 120 mins ‘k

After their last association on the brooding, steamy film noir The Last Seduction, director John Dahl and leading lady Linda Fiorentino disappomt severely wrth this turgid effort. Their latest collaboration \NIH raise a laugh more often than it Will engage an audience, who have surely mid to see a suspense yarn. The only on offer comes from wondering when the lack—lustre plot

will get going

Burlt on the decidedly dodgy foundation of a scientific break through that allows an extract of cerebral spinal fluid to be taken from the recently deceased - and thus reveal the last moments seen through their eyes things rapidly spin from the

Drinking to forget: Ray Liott

a and Linda Fiorentino in Unforgettable

incredulous to the inept.

Ray Liotta plays an ace pathologist whose past is overshadowed by the murder of his Wife, a crime that he was accused of, but for which a successful case was never brought. Peter Coyote is the detective pal who 'is there for him', while Fiorentino shuns her recent sex-bomb image to play the boffin who has discovered this revolutionary procedure Well, she wears a white coat (this is characterisation) and she talks about medical ethics (this is performance) all the while acquiescing to Liotta’s reckless attempts to find out who did kill his Wife (this is hopeless)

The disappomtment of such high expectations makes it harder to bear, but it’s a shabby, silly film by anyone's :tandards.(Anwar Brett)

I Selected release from Fri 7 7 Jul See preview

new releases FILM

The Addiction

(18) 82 mins in it *

It may be an age-old theme, but the vampire genre has an appeal as immortal as the bloodsucking creatures on which it is based. It is exciting to learn, therefore, that Abel Ferrara has chosen to make a fang flick for his latest film about moral mayhem.

Exploring the desperate human tendency towards addictive behaviour in the face of a meaningless social existence, The Addiction centres on Kathleen (I Shot Andy Warhol’s Lili Taylor), a New York student of philosophy. Surrounded by countless conflicting philosophical theories - from Heidegger to Neitzche -- Kathleen finds herself abstractly questioning the nature of life’s morality until she is passionately bitten one night by a beautiful, mysterious woman (Annabella Sciorra) and launched into a subversive, bloodthirsty lifestyle, more real than anything she has experienced before.

Shot in black and white, and accompanied by an urban rap soundtrack, The Addiction features stunning performances by both Taylor and Ferrara favourite Christopher Walken as her fellow vampire, Peina. Artistically capturing the energy, power and passrons of addictive behaViour, this thrilling film is a Wild exploration into the meanings of modern life. (Beth Williams)

I Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Fi/inhouse from Fri 7 7 Jul. See preview

Lili Taylor in The Addiction

Kids Return (18)107 mins * t it *

Takeshi Kitano’s new film may not have the post-Godardian technique and steely absurdist Violence that marked his sensational crime thr.llers Violent Cop and Sonatine, but it's a more trenchant, grittier look at the kind of no-hopers that have always made their way through his movres

Two high-school pals, Shinli and Masaru, start out by extorting pocket- money from their classmates but soon drift into the boxing ring and flirt With the malign outskirts of yakuza actiVity all way stations on the road to nowhere in particular. Shot in blue- grey tones With an unobtrusive camera, it's a film that leaves the Viewer to make comparisons between its diverse cast of characters A taxi driver tonforrns to the work ethic for scant reward, while free-spirited advrce comes from a faded fighter obwously nearing self-destruction.

As unromantic as, say, John Huston’s Fat City, its slight lack of narrative momentum is balanced by performantes that ring true all round. Another absorbing mowe from a director who remains essential ‘.‘l(?‘.'i/lll(; (Trevor Johnston) I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 78 Jul.

The young cast square up in Kids Return


The Hammer Story

Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes (Titan £24.99) * i 1r 4r it

It's exactly 40 years since Hammer Films left a lurid trail of blood across the screen With The Curse Of Frankenstein Since then, there have been other books about the studio, but none plunders the vaults with quite the same ghoulish delight as this gorgeously illustrated and thoroughly researched hardback volume Detailed analyses of individual films are put into context by apprtmchable genie essays and overViews, while film stills and rare behind-the-sc enes photographs suggest a happy band of filmmakers havmg a horribly good time But it's the Hit lusion of every original Hammer poster - With their tacky ad-liiies and eye-grabbing Visuals that really makes the book something special Not orin definitive, but great fun too (Alan Morrison)

ll 2.1 ml 190/ THE lIST23