FILM new releases

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US Marshals (12) 133 mins ***

Tommy Lee Jones reprises his role as relentless US Marshal Samuel Gerard in this half-decent sequel to The Fugitive.

On the run is CIA agent Mark Sherridan (Wesley Snipes), who has been framed for murder. Sherridan is being extradited from Chicago to New York on a con-air flight when one of the convicts tries to assassinate him, causing the plane to crash into the Ohio River. Gerard is also on board and, when both men survive, the chase begins.

With Sherridan's CIA ex-buddy John Royce (Robert Downey Jnr) tagging along, marshal and deputies hound their highly trained quarry through the

Frisky chaser: Tommy Lee Jones in US Marshals


swamps of Tennessee and the streets of New York.

Executive Decision director Stuart Baird concentrates on trumping the action of the original film, the only concession to character being that Gerard allows this hunt to get personal. But Snipes's fugitive is a bit of a superman compared to his predecessor (who had to rely solely on his wits) and this lessens the drama somewhat.

The three principals lend US Marshals some charisma and Irene Jacob adds some glamour, but it’s all rather drawn out, and the biggest nag is trying to accept that someone as bright as Gerard can't see the ending a mile away (John MacKenzie)

I General release from Fri 24 Apr.

Georgia on their minds: John Cusack and Kevin Spacey in Midnight In The Garden Of

Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

(15) 155 mins *‘kt

Never one to shirk a creative challenge, director Clint Eastwood bit off more than even he could chew when he took on author John Berendt’s amiany discursive tale of life in the beautifully preserved Old Southern town of Savannah, Georgia. A piquant gumbo of colourful characters, juicy stories and spicy secrets, Berendt's semi- fictionalised account is elegantly presented by scriptwriter John Lee Hancock, but Eastwood never quite gets the flavours to mingle.

John Cusack plays John Kelso, a New York journalist who, while researching an anodyne story about the lavish Christmas parties given by bon viveur Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey), becomes

28 TIIEIJST 16-30 Apr 1998

Good And Evil

embroiled in a murder case in which the celebrated host is accused of murdering his volatile lover, Billy Hanson (Jude Law). The ensuing trial is an engrossing and revealing affair, exposing the subtle hypocrisies and simmering nastiness that lurk beneath a well-polished social veneer.

Sadly, Eastwood gets side-tracked by sub-plots about transvestite entertainer Lady Chablis, voodoo priestess Minerva, and a tepid love affair between Cusack‘s journo and society girl Mandy Nicholls played by Clint's daughter Alison, who has not inherited his acting genes. Even so, a slew of Johnny Mercer songs sets the tone for a likeable movie that is subtly ingratiating rather than brazenly insistent. (Nigel Floyd)

I Selected release from Fri 77 Apr.

ALSO OPENING Money Talks (PG) 95 mins

If Chris Tucker irritated the hell out of you as the manic MC in The Fifth Element, then don’t expect a more subtle pitch here. But if he’s in danger of becoming the poor man's Eddie Murphy, what of Charlie Sheen, whose nose-dive from Platoon to a string of video no-hopers is nothing short of phenomenal?

The two of them pair up in the feature debut from music video specialist Brett Ratner. Tucker is a con artist who is wrongly accused of planning a prison break and finds himself on the run from a vicious killer and the law. His only hope is Sheen, a headline-grabbing TV newsman who's on the hunt for the scoop-of-the-week.

The pace is fast, the action frantic, the comedy brash. Maybe that's enough to distract your attention from the less-than-quality entertainment you’ve shelled out for. (Alan Morrison)

I Selected release from Fri 24 Apr.

Charlie Sheen in Money Talks

FESTIVAL SCREENING A Simple Formality (15) 108 mins ‘k‘kirt Despite coming between Oscar- winning director Guiseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso and The Starmaker, 3 this performance-led drama from I. .. 1994 failed to find distribution in the . l " UK. Its belated presence at the Italian ,- a” Film Festival proves that, due to , ' Hollywood dominance, what we do aij . (.2. see of European cinema is indeed the, 5 y -

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After an unexplained gunshot in a x . ' J storm, Gerard Depardieu is arrested by policeman Roman Polanski and grilled in an all-night session. Depardieu claims he is a famous writer, Polanski suggests that he‘s really the murderer of the writer in question. An intelligent battle of wits and wills continues between the two men until dawn breaks and the mystery is solved.

With its metaphysical concerns, literate dialogue (in French) and tight, theatrical setting, A Simple Forma/ity is much more like a riveting play by Jean-Paul Sartre than the warm-hearted nostalgia we expect from Tornatore. It’s worth catching purely to see two actors playing off each other brilliantly. (Alan Morrison)

I Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Sat 25 Apr.

Gerard Depardieu in A Simple Formality


The Road To Nhill

(15) 85 mins **

Australia is a place normally associated, via daytime TV, with enough drama to give your granny a heart attack. Not so in the sleepy outback of Nhill, where all life is running on empty. So when four

women from the local bowling team 5%“: v ' are involved in a car accident, the V“ .

clueless community are mobilized into awe.»- : ~_ .3 a flap, ultimately dissolving into paralysis.

While the ambulance gets lost in the outback, the local copper, too busy shagging to respond to the call, makes up his own version of events which threatens to come all too true. Meanwhile the townsfolk fuss over the women with tea and home-grown veggies.

Don't expect a barrage of witty one-liners as the slow burning humour takes on an oddball, farcical edge. Capturing the quirky mentality of the uncommunicative desert dwellers, we are gradually drawn in to their strange, claustrophobic world. But while their inaction forms the basic premise of the film, in the absence of strong dialogue or clear direction, it lapses into a disjointed and meandering yarn. Like watching paint dry. (Claire Prentice)

I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Sun 26 Apr.

The cast of The Road To Nhill