Crime and punishment: Marc Warren and Joe McFadden in Dad Savage
Dad Savage (13) 104 mins 7% e s»
A herst-gone-wrong thrrller wrth Western overtones, Betsan lvlorrrs Evans’ rmpressrve debut crnema feature tells a dark tale of buried money, murder and tulrp-farmrng rn rural Lrncolnshire, Patrrck Stewart rs the eponymous farmer and country mUSIC fan, who takes on two of hrs son's frrends 10 help In hlS rlliCIt deals. But Vic (Marc Warren) and Bob (Joe McFadden) are looking for a way out of their dull existence and so, when they drscover that Dad has a stash of money hrdden rn the woods, they decrde to steal the loot and realrse therr dreams.
Told rn a serres of flashbacks, the frlm rs at frrst rather confusrng, but the
subsequent twrsts and turns of Steven erliams’ plot are skrlfully handled by the director, Wrth very lrttle dead werght to hold matters up The Western allusrons are an added bonus. Shot rn glowerrng Crnemascope, the rmages hrnt at a prarrre frontrer exrstence, wrth lone homesteads Silhouetted against blank skres and flat horrzons, whrle stetson-wearrng, lrne- dancrng Dad’s erd West talk of famrly and ranch, taps rnto the gun-law theme of many a cowboy prcture.
As the lone star, Stewart’s charrsmatrc presence holds the prece together, but rt rs the frne young cast —- partrcularly the under-rated Kevrn McKrdd, Marc Warren and Helen McCrory (as Bob's sensrble srster) — who make rt buzz rnto tensron-fuelled lrfe (Srmon Wardell)
a Selected release from Fri 5 Jun
The Wedding Singer
(12) 97 mins new at:
For Brrtish audrences. the concept of a weddrng srnger mrght seem a lrttle alren, but thrnk of a semr-tuneful pub singer rn cringerng 80s fashrons, and you’ll have the measure of Adam Sandler‘s latest creatron.
Altogether more human than the cartoonrsh Happy Grlmore, Robbre Hart rs a good-natured man turned rnto a brtter shell of hrs former self after hrs brrde dumps hrm at the altar. Of course hrs rob requrres hrm to be happy at other people’s wedd:ngs, but after a few rncendrary experrences on other couples' happy days, he fears hrs career must be over, and hrs depressrcrrr seems complete.
Hrs wartress frrend Julra (Drew Barrymore) offers some solace,
suggestrng thrs unlrkely 'new man' help organrse her forthcomrng nuptrals as her yuppre grt boyfrrend wants nothrng to do With rt Robbre reluctantly agrees and, what d'ya know, they fall rn love Hardly Surprrsrng perhaps, but the Surprrses and laughs rn thrs broad-brushed comedy romance come out of character and srtuatron, and aren't srmply grafted onto the plot
Packed wrth a sublrme 80s soundtrack, and featurrng some of the most amusrng fashrons srnce Boogie Nights, The Wedding Singer may not be great art but, lrke cheap musrc, rt engages the heart and passes the trme rn a perfectly entertarnrng way. (Anwar Brett) & Selected release from Fri 5 Jun. See feature, page 70
new releases FILM
(18) 90 mins *
’Be careful what you wrsh for,‘ the sayrng goes, 'for that wrsh might come true.’ Well I made my wish and this unrntentionally comical tale of gory excess eventually did end, not a moment too soon.
Opening rn ancient times, the story reveals rts true colours — blood red — early on as a greedy potentate learns the cost of asking a Djinn (or malevolent genie) to make hrs wishes come true. Creatures who exist between worlds, the Djinn are wholly evrl but are compelled to answer the wishes of humankind. They can only be freed when the one who releases them has three wishes granted.
In modern America, an ancrent artefact rs being delrvered for a collector when an accrdent at the quaysrde unleashes long~dormant Dirnn. In human form, thrs leerrng creature resembles a lecherous game show host, rntonrng hrs expositionary statements rn a self-satisfied, Carlsberg lager krnd of voice that also has a hrnt of Donald Sinden about rt.
The drama played out between thrs monster and the wrde-eyed, all-Amerrcan grrl who stands between him and his hellish goal hardly makes for edge-of—the- seat excrtement, although the over-the-top nature of rt all suggests a long and popular vrdeo lrfe. Or is that just wishful thrnking? (Anwar Brett)
3 General release from Fri 29 May
Wishmaster: Diinn's tonic
A Toute Vitesse
(15) 90 mins
Some of the cast of Andre Techine's 1995 comrng-of-age drama Les Roseaux Sauvages reunrte for this look at the nature of frrendshrp and lonelrness. Techrne’s male lead, Gael Morel, directs hrs former co-stars Stephane ereau and Elodre Bouchez, and they all found themselves competing for the Camera D'Or at Cannes rn 1996.
Desprte hrs workrng-class background, Quentin finds that the success of hrs frrst novel is going to his head, as well as placrng strarns on hrs relationshrps wrth lrmmy and Julie. One day, Quentin meets broody, gay Algerian Said, a young man who has walked around with a sense of survivor’s gurlt ever since his closest frrend was killed in a car crash when they were kids. Quentin becomes fascrnated by Sa'id's strange personality, and his friendship wrth Jimmy and Julre takes another surprrsing turn.
The actors respond well to Morel's material and, as drrector, he examrnes the cruel and absurd nature of fate wrth a passronate eye. But at a more mundane level, A Toute Vitesse rs Slmply navel-gazrng for twentysomethrngs, and we know that cinema — partrcularly of a French variety — has been here before. (Alan Morrrson) is? Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Wed 70 8r Thu 7 7 Jun
(15)124 mins it * «kit
The General rs well burlt and hunched over, wrth strands of hair scraped across a bald patch. He walks out of hrs house and gets into hrs car. A man holding a gun runs towards him and shoots at hrm thrcugh the wrndSCreen. So begins the story of one of Ireland's most notorious gangsters, Martrn Cahe" From here, we are taken back through hrs lrfe, whrch starts wrth petty theft and ends up wrth armed robbery, makrng trme for some very grrevous bodrly harm along the way.
John Boorman's frlm is shot entrrely in black and whrte, whrch hardens the edges of the lrrsh landscape by makrng very simple things — lrke whrte sheets hanging out to dry — stark and beautrful against the dark, rndustrral surroundings. The focus of the frlm rs the local community who grew up here together — the General, hrs famrly, his gang and the police.
Brendan Gleeson‘s performance as the almost schrzophrenrc Cahill is compelling. On one hand, he rs a Robrn Hood frgure who shares out the sporls of his theft, and rs loved and adored by two srsters and hrs kids. On the other, he rs vicious, brutal and amoral. As police surverllance around him becomes rncreasingly personal, and as hrs friends are killed or sent to prison one by one, the claustrophobra and panic in his life become unbearable. But you still don't know how to feel about hrm, and that makes for fascrnatrng viewing. (Sophy Bristow)
5 Selected release from Fri 29 May.
Brendan Gleeson and Adrian Dunbar in The General
28 May — rr Jun 1998 THE usrzs