video reviews

Romeo And Juliet (12) 115 mins *****

Baz Luhrmann almost single-handedly reinvents cinematic Shakespeare for a hip 90s audience but for all its flashy camerawork, pumping soundtrack and vibrant colour, his version of the romantic tragedy never loses sight of the themes at the core of the play. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes play the teenage lovers as young, reckless and sexy, with the dialogue emerging as fresh as the day Will wet the nib of his quill. (Fox Guild)

Dancehall Queen

(15) 96 mins * he

It doesn't have the grit of The Harder They Come, but this tale of crime- ridden daylife and reggae-filled nightlife on the streets of Jamaica has an infectious quality. Some of the acting is over-emphatic, the patois can be impenetrable and the direction doesn’t always build a natural rhythm, but the strands of the plot come together with a nice pay—off. Street vendor Marcia is the unlikely heroine whose attempt to be the hottest dancer in town provides the means to shake off a lecherous gang boss With designs on her teenage daughter (Island Digital Media)


Paul McCartney - In The World Tonight

(E) 73 mins * a

Old rockers never die, they just start planting trees. What we have here masquerading as a documentary on McCartney the man, the father, the husband is a clear plug for latest album

Missmn: lmpossuble

(PG) 105 mins 1r 1r * x

om Cruise and director Brian De Palma dump pretty much everything connected with the cult 60s series for a spectacular dart across Europe as a solo agent succumbs to paranoia, not knowing who is out to get him or from what side. Amazing effects and a pace that leaves most other blockbusters standing. (CIC £14.99

fullscreen/f l 5.99 widescreen)

The Perez Family

(15) 109 mins * x x

A former landowner (Alfred Molina), jailed for twenty years by Castro, emigrates from Cuba hoping to start again with the faithful wife (Anielica Huston) who has waited for him in America, but confusion at immigration finds him ’married' to life-lovmq Dottie (Marisa Tomei) and accumulating a ’family' of exiles. Not all the plot lines or characters work out in Mira Nair’s romantic drama, but the comedy is subtle and there's a delightful sense of genuine, slow-burning love set against an interesting social backdrop. Molina's restrained performance is excellent. (VCI/Film Four £l499)

Ashes And Diamonds (12) 105 mins it ink *

Andrzej Waida's third examination of the effects of World War I! on Poland (after A Generation and Kanah strikes an exrstentialist mood as young reSIstance fighter Maciek weighs up the benefits of assassinating a Communist party official on the final day of the war. Around him, his

~ countrymen celebrate in ruined

buddings, and his own predicament - killing fellow Poles instead of Germans underlines the sense of Armistice as a false dawn. (Eureka £iS99)

ER: By Popular Demand

video reviews FILM

RENTAL Wax Mask (18) 95 mins *‘k‘k'k

Much blood has flowed under the bridge since Dario Argento last . made a decent film, but in the meantime,.the ltalian horror maestro has been good enough to act as executive producer on several movies that introduce new talents into the arena. The latest is special effects whizz Sergio Stivaletti, who proves to be a director well in control of his craft, as he blends period detail, goretastic set-pieces, tense atrnospherics and even a love story into a remake of the classic House Of Wax.

Argento and fellow shlockmaster Lucio Fulci have a hand in the story, which centres on a series of deaths and their links to the astonishingly life-like models in a creepy wax museum. The proprietor’s new female assistant is shocked to discover that one exhibit is a detailed recreation of her own parents' murder, which puts her life and that of a local journalist under threat. There's something intrinsically unnerving about wax

figures, and Stivaletti heightens the mood with a few stylistic nods towa

Chamber of horrors: reach for the cream in Wax if

rds.‘ j"

his mentor. The result is ltalian gothic horror at its very best. Neither scary nor inventive is Evil Ed (18. 90 mins, tar), a Swedish effdrtin . which a mild-mannered film editor's mind is corrupted by the images he comes across during his daily work. A couple of gross but cool splatter effects perk up interest, but everything around these remote highlights is

,Ieaden, as the actors deliver the stupid script in a thick, pedantic manner.

Continually mouthing famous lines from better movies isn't clever. it only 9 shows the filmmakers are embarrassingly low on ideas. (Alan Morrison) ! Wax Mask and Evil Ed are availab/e to rent from Mon 20 Oct.

party in Union Station. Happy memories for die-hard fans or the perfect starting point for newcomers, this volume shows Just what quality

marriage as an institution is present in less bizarre fashion in The Merchant Of Four Seasons (1 S, 85 mins, *1”), which calmly charts the destruction of

(12) 131 mins * it *‘k

Channel 4 Viewers have voted for their three favourite episodes of the top hospital drama, and they've been gathered on a single video. Dr Greene is sued for malpractice in Everything Old Is New Again, Dr Ross tries to save a drowning boy trapped in a sewer in He// 81 High Water; and an influx of car crash patients halts Di Lewis’s farewell

an ordinary man’s life and spirit by his ’friends’ and family. (Connoisseur £iS99 each)

From The Pole To The


(PG) 99 mins x H

Gianikian and Rico Lucchi’s reworking ,2 of pioneering docuinentarist Luca

Comerio neglected footage goes beyond archive interest, creating New Age filmmaking from Old World stock. The images have been hand-tinted and slowed down, With an ambient

television can achieve. (Warner £12.99) Macross Plus: The Movne ; (PG) 90 mins * t it it

This superior Japanese animated feature really feels like a fully fledged film, With sub-plots, drama, action, flashbacks and character development. Two former childhood friends find themselves as rival test pilots, and are still fighting over the love of a woman who now provrdes the 'personality’ for

Flaming Pie. The tracks are discussed and there’s an overabundance of in- the-studio footage. As light and unchallenging as a tabIOid maga2ine profile (or the man’s recent musical output), it's extremely weak as dOCUmentary filmmaking, but worthwhile for those fans wanting a glimpse into the song-writing process. (PNE £13.99)

Rabbiting on: Bugs Bunny gives Michael Jordan some coaching in Space Jam (U. 84 mins,***). Available to buy from Mon 20 Oct at £12.99.

a virtual reality pop superstar. Thematically, the two main plots draw together to condemn a future technology where the human factor is entirely replaced by machine -- which gives weight to T compelling narrative and virtuoso animation techniques. (Manga £13.99)


(15) 113 mins *‘k'fl’fi'

Fassbinder's 1974 TV film has remained in limbo for decades, but now emerges as a fascinating collision between a melodramatic weepie and a psychological thriller. SpOilt Martha (Margit Carstensen) marries respectable Helmut (Peeping Tom’s Karlheinz BOhm), only to discover that his control over her life is part of his sadistic game plan. The director’s critiCism of bourge0is snobbery and

soundscape score added to form a hypnotic Journey around the world at

the beginning of the 20th century. Animals shot on safari, polar bears downed by bullets in the Arctic, white

men controlling their colonial empires -there's an implicit criticism here that

i'cliiiiaxes as soldiers rush to their deaths

in World War l and the print itself

decays on screen. (Academy £15.99)


at i it *ir Unmissable it i it it Very good I it * tr Worth a shot i a *r Below average i it You’ve been warned

l0 Oct~23 Oct 1997 THE “ST”