Alien Resurrection (18) 105 mins *1Hr
So how did Ripley and her chest- bursting alien offSpring survive their swan-dive into the fiery furnace? Er, they didn't. Instead, evil boffins have succeeded in cloning both Ripley and the unborn alien gestating inside her from a few drops of her spilled blood.
After the half-formed alien has been surgically removed, it behaves in a predictably sequel-like fashion - escaping captivity, rampaging about the labyrinthine spaceship, and terrorising all on board. As well as the cloned Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), this includes some recently imported human hosts, the motley band of smugglers who unwittineg delivered them, and the scientists who masterminded this alien reproduction project.
It's a shaky premise, though nothing like as dumb as some of the subsequent developments. Despite an inspired development of the series' mother/daughter theme, there are enough gaping plot holes here to fuel several decades worth of pub arguments.
A pick ‘n' mix selection of elements from earlier Alien movies notwithstanding, Delicatessen director Jean-Pierre Jeunet does a half decent job of servicing the franchise, while retaining just enough of his own distinctive, retro-future vision to give it a new paint job. Weaver, too, makes more of her reprised role than it deserves, presenting a creepy, poignant portrait of an angry, half-formed being struggling to make sense of an insane world.
As ever, the physical creature effects are more credible and terrifying than their computer-generated equivalents, with the notable exception of a nail-biting underwater sequence which is so good that the movie never quite recovers from having peaked too early.
Seriously damaging to the series’ hitherto serious tone
Getting to grips: Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder in Alien Resurrection
is the off-kilter jokiness introduced by Jeunet regulars Dominique Pinon and Ron Perlman, whose unfunny one-liners are directed, with a nod and a wink, directly at the audience. Most unforgivably, the emotional impact of the film's most powerful scene — in which Ripley confronts several grotesquely deformed prototype clones of herself — is immediately undercut by not one, but two crass quips from Perlman.
Equally out of place is Winona Ryder, typecast as a would-be soulful android, but unable to achieve even a semblance of human feeling. Worth seeing for the designs and set-pieces, perhaps, but don’t expect too much. (Nigel Floyd)
a: General release from Fri' 28 Nov.
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Nothing To Lose
(15) 98 mins at if: a:
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Odd couple: Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence in Nothing To Lose
of hold-ups, ShOWdOWDS, high—speed chases and redneck crazies. This makes for a madcap buddy/road movie which, although a little formulaic, has some great lines and set pieces. The scene where Nick and T discuss the etiquette of armed robbery is a peach.
Less impressive is the Waltons-Iike sentimentalism as Nick discovers that T is less of a waster than he reckoned. Like, if he was just some two~bit South Central welfare case, then he could just disregard him? Equally problematic is Lawrence’s inability to act scared in genuinely terrifying situations Excuse me, but when you're dangling off a budding, then you shouldn’t be vrisecracking like Will Smith on the 4th of July, Lawrence is a fine comic, but he needs to drop the red nose and
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Okay, so you come home from work early. It’ll be a nice surprise for your wife. You even — and this is a nice romantic touch -— stop to pick up some flowers. But when you get home, she’s in bed . . . with your boss.
What do you do? well, sf you're placid, well-heeled LA ad exec Nick Bean (Tim Robbins) you leave before she notices you, get into your car, drive
mph. Then, when enterprising black guy, Terence T. Paul (tvlaitin Lawrence) demands money at gunpoint, you take him hostage, throw away all your cash and drive to Arizona With scant regard for the rules of the road
This opening premise of Steve Oedekerk's Nothing To Lose is designed to get the unlikely pair into the desert where we examine their developing relationship through a plot
funny specs on occasion
Happily, such Hollywood concessions don’t ruin the overall impression of a movre which has charm and wrt, if not balls. Great supporting roles too, from John C. McGinley and Giancarlo Esposno as grimly charismatic, psychotic ’highway killers’ Rig and Charlie, who bring some much-needed got to the screen. (Peter Ross‘i as Selected release from Fri 27 Nov
new releases FILM
Welcome To Sarajevo (15) 107 mins *‘k‘k‘k
’We’re not here to help, we're here to report,’ snaps British journalist Michael Henderson after an American reporter goes to the aid of a Bosnian felled by a sniper’s bullet in war-torn Sarajevo. Gradually, however, the horror of the conflict in Bosnia breaks down his professional detachment.
Based on the experiences of lTN reporter Michael Nicholson, Welcome To Sarajevo is an angry, polemical film that barely manages to contain its makers’ shame and righteous fury at Western Europe’s complacent response to Bosnia's suffering. This makes at times for distinctly uncomfortable viewing, particularly when director Michael Winterbottom’s cinema verité- style camerawork slides almost imperceptiny into actual newsreel footage of the war. In less committed hands, such a device could be crassly eprOitative, but here the filmmakers’ palpable integrity and commitment shines through.
We share Henderson’s disgust when the mortar bombing of a Sarajevo bread queue is relegated to second spot on the evening TV news back home by the separation of Andrew and Fergie. Determined to ensure that Bosnia’s agony remains in the public eye, Henderson finds his own human interest story - an orphanage near the front line. But his emotional involvement deepens and he ends up deCiding to smuggle ten-year—old Emira back to England.
Welcome To Sarajevo’s conclusion is undeniably feelgood, but the film always stays clear of sentimentality. Winterbottom and his screenwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce, make it clear that Henderson/Nicholson’s personal response to one orphan's plight in no way redeems Bosnia’s tragedy. Stephen Dillane as Henderson is superb, and there is fine support from Woody Harrelson (as a gung~ho Yank whose bravado masks a deep compassion), Kerry Fox and Emily Lloyd. But the film’s true star is Sarajevo, a city whose courage and resilience remained unquenchable. (Jason Best) as Selected release from Fri 27 Nov.
War child: Emira Nusevic in Welcome To Sarajevo
STAR RATINGS at 4: vr * * Unmissable it k r ,+ Very good it it it Worth a shot * * Below average * You've been warned
21 Nov-«4 Dec 1997 THE LIST 2?