Das Boot: Director's Cut (15) 207 mins a as is
When the original version of this U- Boat saga floated into International
waters in 1981, such was the knife-
edge brilliance of its not- unsympathetic portrait of a German submarine crew that it secured an amazing six Oscar nominations.
The boat in question is a hunter-killer sub that's unleashed on Allied shipping in the North Atlantic from a captured French base. What is an all too familiar story from dry-as-dust history lessons becomes, in WolfgangPetersen's hands, a Visceral, IWisty action drama that redefined the realism with which such ensemble pieces could be handled
Jurgen Prochnow's captain r~ who,
Take Lee Evans, Nathan Lane, a spooky old house and a very smart mouse and you've got the recipe for an excellent blend of Laurel and Hardy slapstick and black humour,
Lane and Evans are the hapless Smuntz brothers, left a string factory and a deCrepit mansion by their late father (William Hickey), When the brothers discover that the house is worth a fortune, they deCIde to renovate and auction it, The only snag is that the resident rodent is not Willing to be evicted - and the last owner to try was found dead, locked in a trunk in the attic
Send on the subs: Wolfgang Petersen with his Director's Cut
Petersen is careful to stress, shares few of the Nazi ideals of his superiors — is the most visible character, but the real star is the entirely subjective point of view of the whole experience. The boat is everything to the crew, and to the spectator too.
Petersen has gone on to find a Hollywood career with such tension- filled efforts as In The Line Of Fire, but none of them comes close to the overpowering brilliance of this claustrophobic essay. Filmed in such precise detail, it has all the force of a documentary lt’s only redoubled in this 207-minute version which was culled from the million-plus feet of footage Petersen shot with the intention of creating a six-part mini-series for German TV. (Andrew Pulver)
l Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri' 70 Apr.
Peeping Jerry: taking the Mickey in MouseHunt
If you have any preconceptions about MouseHunt, get rid of them — it’s sheer entertainment and has some real belly laughs, Both prinCIpals give terrific comic performances as they blunder through an A—Z of Heath Robins0n schemes, finally hiring pest exterminator extraordinaire, Christopher Walken.
MouseHunt is the first feature from commercials director Gore Verbinski, whose Budweiser 'Frogs’ ads may or may not give you an idea of the flavour here. In any case, both the tone and the pacmg are spot-on, and the sets and special effects are the icmg on the cake. Great script, great playing, great direction, great fun. (John MacKenzie) a General release from Fri 3 Apr
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7 ‘5 Aor 1998 THEUST31