reviews VIDEOS



(12) 100 mins am

When tremors disrupt building work on the LA subway, emergency expert Tommy Lee Jones and foxy geologist Anne Heche have a hard time convincing city authorities that this is more than a simple 'quake. Characterisation is non-existent, so we don't care when people Get lava- lamped, and, for a movie whose whole point is special effects, they’re far from hot. (Fox Pathe) (PR)

Welcome To Sarajevo (15) 100 mins ***

The scenario of 'journalist in war zone' has been tried out several times before Salvador, Under Fire - but Jude director Michael Winterbottom uses it to score double points. The story of a TV reporter reSCuing an orphan prowdes an emotionally involving plot, while the West is damned for its attitude to the Balkans on a tougher, political level. Fictional drama mixes with news footage to convey the horror of a city under seige, and as individuals we question our complacency. (Film Four) (AM)



(18) mins *ir'k‘k‘k

With characters more dangerous than a pub full of Begbies, Pusher bristles with documentary-like fervour as it mercilessly charts a week in the life of Copenhagen drug dealer, Frank. Kim Bodnia's performance is remarkable: as things go from bad to worse for lowlife Frank, we still feel sympathy for this man whose background and mentality don't allow him to show emotional or physical affection for anyone else. (Metrodome £14.99) (AM)

Star Trek: First Contact (12) 106 mins at at at *

An ailing series suddenly picks up pace as the New Generation crew are allowed to boldly go out on their own. A more brooding mood takes over as Picard and his crew face up to the half- flesh, half-machine Borgs. Genuinely scary in places, this eighth instalment in the series is also notable for its fine

performances, primarily Patrick Stewart as the tormented captain and Alice Krige as the Borg Queen. (CIC fullscreen £14.99/widescreen £15.99) (AM)


(18) 91 mins * s it a:

Add a dash of Midnight Cowboy, stir in some My Own Private Idaho and sprinkle liberally With 90s slackerdOm and you have Johns Scott Silver's wry tale of rent boys working LA’s sticky streets. David Arquette is revelatory as the central hustler, while Lukas Haas has a naive charm as his buddy Donner. Great cameos too from Elliott Gould and John C. McGinIey. (Metrodome £14.99) (PR)

The Addiction

(18) 79 mins at air air

Philosophy and vampirism have occasionally met in horror novels, but never so openly on screen. Director Abel Ferrara is in more cerebral mode than usual, as student LiIi Taylor turns predatory after a bite from Annabella Sciorra. Shot in black and white, with Ferrara's pet theme of redemption coming to the fore - so don't expect the typical scares of a Dracula blood feast. (Fox World Cinema £12.99) (AM)

Sword For Truth

(18) 52 mins *‘kvkat

Under the seemingly peaceful surface of a shogun dynasty lies unrest, especially when a group of renegade ninjas kidnap a princess. A mysterious warrior comes to her aid, slaying human and demonic foes with ease. The Stills and framing - both beautifully done look like book illustrations, while the action sequences couldn’t be more brutal and bloody. (Manga £1 1.99) (AM)


(PG) 101 mins at * air air

In Ingmar Bergman's first scripted film, directed by Alf SIOberg, he proved that spinning a thriller came as easily to him as dragging an audience through bleak metaphysical landscapes of the soul. A week before his finals, a pupil seeks solace in the wilted charms of a prostitute only to find himself embroiled in psychological torture, death and ultimate retribution. Masterly, if morbid. (Eureka £15.99) (BD)


Surely some myth-take: Greek legends get the Disney make-over in Hercules

(Walt Disney. U. 89 mins, ****). On sale from Monday 27 April. priced £17.99.

Fuller figure: Constance Towers in The Naked Kiss

RETAIL Shock Corridor

(15) 96 mins **‘k*

The Naked Kiss

(18) 86 mins M iii

It was the Edinburgh Film Festival who. with a retrospective in 1969, cast a new light on the work of writer-producer—director Sam Fuller. Previously dismissed as B-movie melodramas, his films are now seen as violent. topical tales that frequently rally behind outsiders.

In 1963's Shock Corridor. ambitious reporter Peter Breck is determined to win the Pulizer Prize by solving a murder in a mental hospital. To do so he fakes insanity, but slowly succumbs to the genuine madness around him. Fuller's film is as sensationalist as the story his character is researching, and some of his stylistic techniques are quirkily kitsch. But this isn't just the poor pulp cousin of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest - it's an indictment of a society that pushes people to over-achieve.

The line between art and trash was more confidently trodden the following year in The Naked Kiss. Constance Towers is a prostitute trying to go straight in a small town, until she murders her fiance - the town hero - after she discovers him molesting a child. Such startling material slaps the audience to attention. but Fuller puts softer moments in the mix, creating a film whose tone is as contradictory as its characters. David Lynch surely learnt a thing or two here about exposing the rotten heart of small-town

America. (Alan Morrison)

3 Available to buy on the Tartan Video label from Mon 27 Apr, priced f I 5.99


Sergeant Rutledge

(PG) 107 mins it s: at

In 1960, the civil rights movement in America was gaining steam, and veteran director John Ford reflects this in the story of a black cavalryman on trial for rape. Incidental characters and action scenes in Monument Valley have an authentic Western flavour, but it's Woody Strode as the accused man who gives the film real dignity. The result isn't a liberal classic in the mould of To Kill A Mockingbird, but Ford's intentions were honorable as they also were towards much-maligned Indians in Cheyenne Autumn. Both films are iomed by seventeen others in the Warner Westerns series, which includes The Searchers and the director's cut of The Wild Bunch. (Warner Home Video £9.99 each) (AM)

Will It Snow For Christmas?

(15) 90 mins strum

A cold-hearted Frenchman uses his illegitimate children and their long- Suffering mother almost as slaves On his rural farm, while enJOying a comfortable life With his other family. In a world of hot suns and cold winters, here is a hard truth that the

Waltons never dreamed about. The mother protects her children, and they remain loyal to her: slowly, almost imperceptibly, the film takes shape and discovers its caring s0ul. Somehow its Subtle impact never leaves, even when the screen goes black. (Artificial Eye £15.99) (AM)

North Star

(12) 100 mins * w

A real curiousity a 1943 American movie celebrating Communist valour in World War II. An idyllic Ukrainian farm collective is attacked by NaZis who take blood from children for their wounded, but the Villagers soon fight back. LeWis Milestone's Oscar-nominated film has a couple of harrowmg sequences and a forceful anti-war message, but the schmaltz and propaganda are piled too thick. (Eureka £12.99) (PR)

REVIEWERS TIllS ISSUE: Brian Donaldson, Alan Morrison, Peter Ross

STAR RATINGS it x v: at it Unmissable * k * s. Very good ii a it Worth a shot * 1r Below average * You’ve been warned

16—30 Apr 1998 TIIE LIST 107