The Relic

(15) 105 mins tank

A monstrous beast With enhanced DNA goes on the rampage in a New York museum the very night that local big-Wigs are gathered in the building A-hal Before you can rip out yOur own innards, there's gore on the floor and scares on the stairs. As a horror movre, it doesn't stray far from formula, although the modern science vs superstition stuff adds a little extra interest. Big on atmosphere (PolyGram)

The Spitfire Grill

(12) 112 mins * ***

Overlooked at the time of its cinema release, this low-key American character piece has a lot going for it, particularly in its creation of three complex female roles spread across the generations. In a role that would have sUited Jodie Foster fifteen years ago, Alison Elliott plays Percy, a young woman recently released from prison

, and trying to set Lip a new life Without her past catching up With her. Small town suspiCion and human warmth are set in conflict in the kind of nicely detailed drama that has the feel (if not qurte the sheer class) of To Ki/IA Mockingbird. (Columbia Tristar)

Killer: A Journal Of

2 Murder

! (18) 87 mins it

3 Arrested for burglary in the 1920s, Carl

i Panzram (James Woods) forms a

Credibility-stretching relationship with a

l woolly liberal prison guard and writes a

; Journal detailing several murders he has committed, making him America's

i first documented serial killer - or is he

I Just seeking attention7 Woods is

I perhaps the sole pOint of interest in this inconsistent DICCC, he brings fire to a film that strives to reach beyond its

l prison scenario to psychological drama, but dulls its VlClOUS Violence With a

nostalgic flashback voice-over (First


l Shadow Conspiracy l (15) 99 mins if!

Charlie Sheen is an actor who has known more turkeys than a supermarket at Christmas and he's in fowl company again A top aclViser to the US President (no, really), he ends up on the run for his life when he uncovers a conspiracy within the White House. Devoid of suspense and with a slapped on music score that’s plain rubbish, this is a waste of Viewing time. Where's Oliver Stone when you need him. (Entertainment)


James Bond Films (PG/12/15) *‘kirtik

No, it’s not enough to watch them again and again on the telly Bond on the box is a cramped affair and, although the entire series is available in the same pan-and-scan forrnat, anyone wanting full-on action should search out the widesc reen editions A special promotion now sees every 007 adventure right up to Goldeneye l/l letterbox format lwrth the exc eption of The Man With The Golden Gun and the ’unofficial' Never Say Never Again) for orin £9 99 each or a bargain two-for-flS Snap them up for Christmas, because the series will be deleted in the spring MAST].

£9 99, two for £15)


(PG) 130 mins * t *

Oh, what a circus Madonna gives it Ialdy, but comes over as one- dimensional Director Alan Parker utilises his big budget for massive crowd scenes, and uses thern over and over until the effect is numbing The Lloyd Webber showstoppers still stand out, but the filler material is embarrassing trapped in a mire of 70s pseudo-funk Only Antonio Banderas emerges With style, as an engaging everyrnan crooner with real screen presence (Entertainment £14 99 fullsc reen,£lS 99 widesc reeni

Truth hurts: Jim Carrey is a lawyer trying not to tell fibs in Liar Liar

(12, mins. * * *). Available to rent from Fri 14 Nov.

reviews VIDEOS

"I s :34,

This Life: Friends. with more drugs and swearing

RETAIL This Life (18)165l153l112 mins *i'i't

Who would have believed that a BBQ show about a bunch of yuppie lawyers sharing a house could become such addictive viewing? Variously hanging out in chambers, swanky wine bars and their spacious South London home, this smart, good-looking and oh-so-successful group of twentysomething solicitors weaselled their way into our hearts, until - horrors! - we thought of the This Life cast as mates.

From mouthy, vodka-swilling man-eater Anna (Daniela Nardini) to arrogant git Miles (Jack Davenport). we tuned in each week to catch up on their agonies and ecstasies. All of which was brought to us by the wonders of an annoyingly shakey camera technique that made NYPD Blue look

positively static.

So if it wasn’t the camera style or the charm of its characters, what was the appeal of BBCZ's ratings dream of a non-soap soap?

Basically, it boils down to a life so exciting the rest of us would like to think we lived it. Working hard, drinking hard, necking copious amounts of drugs, falling in and out of love and bed with each other - our metropolitan mates never entertained a dull moment.

Like Friends with more drugs, swearing and stunningly graphic sex, This Life has a raw reality you'd never catch dead in a soap. Get the first series on video, and remember why Brookie just doesn't compare. (Ellie Carr)

l The first series of This Life (BBC) is available now on three videos priced £14. 99


Century Of Cinema: New Zealand and Australia

(E) 120 mins t t a:

The BFl/Channel 4 series, in win: it a native filrnniaker exarnrnes l‘rs or her country's c.r‘.en:a heritage, -; -';ntin;.'es with a twin Antipodean tl‘.erne Actor Sarn Neill returns hc2rne for the best entry in the series, Critenra Cl Unease, and links the dcweloprnent c:f an identifiable New Zealand flllll culture marked by stolent loriers and a :larkness of tone ‘.'.|ill a shift away from close celonial rule Personal childhood memories shine ill a wittin delivered sc ript Marl Max clirec for George Miller is not as stylish a narratcrr, and 40,000 Years Of Dreaming, his less cohesive take on Australian c :nerria, resembles a T‘.’

'ec ture (A: aclerny [‘35 99'

Pet Shop Boys: Somewhere

(E) 90 mins * * 1r

In June, the Pet Shop Boys c arrie face to face \‘.'|lll West End Girls when they played a residency at London's Savoy Theatre The show is captured here featuing the hits 'Go West', 'lt's A Sin' and 'Being Boring' and it's preceeclecl by a documentary by Annie Ciriffin that's more probing in its fast-c ut guestionrand-answer style than typical prornos When the concert takes over, however, it's in the nature of these things that the live theatric ality is lost and everything becomes as sarney in vrsual terms as the music itself rCiarne Entertainment, L, 90 mins, [12 99)

Le Mépris ' (15) 100 mins tint

The more involved writer Michel Piccoli becomes vzith the making of a feature film, the more his marriage to Brigitte . Bardot unravels as he loses her respect jean-Luc Godard's film falls between

his early New Wave period and his late 60s politic ised material He casts a

weary eye over the battle between art and money producer Jacfk Palance's vulgarisation of The Odyssey against

drrec tor Frit/ Lang’s European vrsion

but as the ever-present translator character on the film-Within-film set ; indicates, the breakdown of communication is everywhere Connoisseur {TB 99)

Two Fat Ladies (E) * t it t

‘Never trust a thin cook,’ says Clarissa Dickson Wright As the owner of Edinburgh's Cooks Bookshop, she should know Here she is wrth fellow culinary eccentric” Jennifer Paterson, speeding about the country in a Triumph Thunderbird and sidec'ar, cooking up a storm With fish, meat and vegetables, with time left over for baking some cakes All six episodes of the debut series of Two Fat Lad/es are collected on a single tape a gourmet dish that mixes cooking skills wrth plenty of laughs (VCI {T3 99)


s t it s t Unmissable , t t t t Very good i t t it Worth a shot s t Below average l it You've been warned

/ 20 Nov 1997 THE LIST 109