Jackie Brown (18) 138 mins t t a:

Quentrn Tarantrno crosses the 70s blaxplortatron genre wrth Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch to make hrs frrst proper grown-up movre. Pam Grrer plays an arr stewardess caught up rn a trrple-crossrng herst about an FBI strng on a gun-runner. The dralogue rs as good as ever, and superb performances are pulled out of the bag by Grrer, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Forster. Watch rt as a sprawlrng character-study rather than a trght whodunnrt, and you'll get yOur Just rewards. (Buena Vrsta)

As Good As It Gets

(15) 133 mins :‘x r r). «I

lack Nrcholson won an Oscar for thrs LrnUSLIal romantrc comedy, and rt’s a role that’s tailor-made for hrs 'loveable rogue’ persona. Mrsanthroprc obsessrve-compulsrve Melvrn lrves alone and unloved rn New York, and only wartress Carol (Helen Hunt) can unlock the key to hrs heart. Some Irnes threaten to trrp from comrc rnsult to graturtously offensrve, but rt’s Nrcholson’s charrsma that keeps everythrng on track. (Columbra Trrstar)


(15) 152 mins ir- ir tr

It's lrkely that Steven Sprelberg erl be remembered thrs year for Saving Private Ryan rather than thrs worthy take on a 19th century slave shrp rebellron and the ground-breakrng trraI that followed. The early sequences are excrtrng and bloody, but the frlm falls apart rn the c0urtroom scenes, whrch are presented rn such a modern manner that rt’s lrke (A. Law rn perrod costume. (CIC)


(15) 124 mins * x:

Although he saw an evrl serral krller executed rn the electrrc charr, homrcrde cop Hobbes (Denzel Washrngton) starts to belreve the murderer rs back on the loose when a strrng of dead bodres appear wrth all-too-famrlrar rnutrlatrons. The thrrller elements work


well, but the supernatural subtext rs srlly and the scares are formularc. Good frnal twrst, though. (Warner)


Lost Highway (18) 128 mins t 1». t a:

Davrd Lynch's frrst frlm rn frve years rs so far out there, rts roads are lard out on a drfferent map. Bill Pullman rs a J87? musrCran freaked out by vrdeotapes shot rnsrde hrs house; at one pornt he transforms rnto car mechanrc Balthazar Getty, who's havrng an affarr wrth gangster's moll Patrrcra Arquette, who also plays Pullman’s ere. Mrnd games wrth the characters, mrnd games wrth the audrence. Don’t expect marnstream Iogrc, JUSI experience the movre, as Lynch drsorrentates us wrth slrdrng focus, werrd nOrses and a scary rntensrty. It’s lrke sufferrng from constant vertrgo. (PolyGram £15.99)

Sex And Zen ll

(18) 93 mins if a r

Sexual vamprres, lusty lords, chastrty belts and a mechanrcal penrs that's as handy as a top-of—the-range Swrss Army knrfe they're all here rn thrs soft-core cornrc romp from Hong Kong. The frlm has bags of style and JUSL enough story to knrt together the Jokes and bedroom shenanrgans, so go for the wrdescreen orrgrnal verSron rn order to get the most from the vrsual gloss. (Hong Kong ClasSrcs, £13.99 wrdescreen subtrtles/f1299 fullscreen dubbed)

Under The Skin

(18) 80 mins -r x 4:

Wrnner of the Mrchael Powell Award for Best Brrtrsh Frlm at the 1997 Edrnburgh International Frlm Festrval, Carrne Adler's portrart of extreme grref has at least one eye on UK crnema's herrtage. The presence of tha Tushrngham harks back to the 60s and the frlm’s socral consoence seems to stem from a tradrtron carrred forward by the Irkes of Ken Loach (whose regular cameraman Barry Ackroyd also contrrbutes here). Samantha Morton excels as a y0ung woman who goes on an rncreasrngly desperate sex brnge

Misplaced affection: Ben Affleck is after the wrong girl (Joey Lauren Adams) in Chasing Amy (Buena Vista, 18, 111 mins, * t it). Available to rent now


reviews VIDEOS

The Phantom Of The Opera

(PG) 90 mins *****

The Chess Player (U) 135 mins *****

The tension builds, the mask is torn away, the horror is revealed but

it’s not Scream. The camera takes us

into the heart of the battle, as men fall all around us but it’s not Saving Private Ryan. More than 70 years ago, movie-goers gasped at these scenes: now film fans can share the same thrills, as two silent classics are released in gorgeously restored formats, with full orchestral scores and hand-tinted frames.

Rupert Julian’s 1925 version of The

Phantom Of The Opera could teach Andrew Lloyd Webber a thing or two about spectacle. Lon Chaney lurks in the shadows of some stunningly theatrical sets, bringing sympathy to the bad guy and reminding us it’s human cruelty that creates monsters who then act

Not just a pretty face: Lon Chaney in The Phantom Of The Opera

monstrously. This video release contains scenes shot using an early Technicolor process: when the phantom strides into the ball wearing his Red Death costume, his scarlet cloak sends a shiver down the spine.

French director Raymond Bernard's 1926 film The Chess Player revels in a cinematic grandeur rarely equalled. A Polish patriot is hidden inside a chess- playing automaton and taken to the court of Catherine The Great. Elsewhere, parties swing on a lavish scale and 1500 cavalrymen lead the charge in the battle scenes. Spectacle serves the story, however, and the fast cutting between episodes makes this one of the most exciting of all

silents. (Alan Morrison)

:1 The Phantom Of The Opera and The Chess Player are available now on BF/

Video, priced £ 75.99.

when her mother dres; but whrle her emotrons come over as realrstrc, the reactrons of those around her do not. (BFI, £15.99)

Bad Day At Black Rock (PG) 81 mins * at w x:

Thrs terrrfrc, tough Irttle mystery wrth a Irberal consCrence deserves wrder recognrtion. One-armed Spencer Tracy recerves the 'y0u’re not from around here' treatment rn a mrddIe-of- nowhere town when he stops off to frnd a Japanese rmmrgrant who has

drsappeared. The suspense rs as sweat-

rnducrng as the desert sun. Other new trtles rn a serres that truly deserves to be called 'classrc' rnclude Now Voyager, White Heat and Woman In The Window. (MGM Vrntage Classrcs £9.99 each)

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: Collectors' Edition (PG) 132 mins * * rt fir

After the orrgrnal versron and the ’SpeCraI Edrtron', wrth rts extended sequence rn the alren craft, thrs 'Collector's Edrtron’ rs perhaps an encounter too many. Steven Sprelberg himself has re-edrted the movre, and rt comes rn a nrce srlver pack wrth a frfteen-mrnute 'Makrng Of’ rntervrew. The pacrng rs trghter, and the drrector's chrld-lrke wonder at alren contact rs as rnfectrous as ever. Story and vrsual effects are a brt cramped rn fullscreen format so, as ever, the wrdescreen verSron rs recommended. (Columbra Tr‘rstar £14.99)

Bent (18) 116 mins r r,"

The crnerna versron of Martin Sherman's play never drsowns rts theatrrcal roots. Sets are used expressronrstrcally rather than realrstrcally, so a drsused power-statron outsrde Glasgow can happrly double as a 19305 Ber'lrn nrghtcjlub. Clrve Owen rs too passionless as the concentratron camp prrsoner who hrdes hrs homosexualrty untrl the quret rnfluence of fellow gay Lotharre Bluteau awakens hrs conscrence and drgnrty. (VCI/Frlm Four £14.99)

Wild Man Blues

(12) 106 mins '1

Here’s Woody Allen, sprttrng out grouchy one-Irners, showrng a lack of patrence Wrth those around hrm. Thrs trme rt's not a (mrldly) frctronai versron of the man, however, but the real thrng. Barbara Kopple’s documentary of Woody's Jazz tour of Europe rs revealrng, even rf rt rs an authorised account The enthusrastrc Drxreland rntrSrc. rs fun, and we certarnly get plenty of trme to watch Woody and Soon-Yr as a couple. (VCI/Featur'e Frlm Co £14.99)



1* I. r. s. w Unmrssable

a t A a Very good

it v Worth a shot

a r. Below average

w You’ve been warned

it) 2.1 See ‘998 THE lIST 91