Armageddon (12) 124 mins sir are

The world's about to end as a giant asterOid heads towards us. Who ya gonna call? Why, Bruce Willis and his team of roughneck oil drillers, of course. The best of last summer's blockbusters (which is really saying very little indeed) delivers plenty of action and jaw-dropping visuals, but the storytelling is messy and the one-liners fail to crackle. All of which means the sense of excitement is very much

diminished on the small screen (Buena Vista, also retail £15.99) (AM)

The X-Files: Fight The


(15) 122 mins a e it

Big SCreen treatment of a TV programme, brought back down to Size by renting the Video and watching it on your telly. Fortunately, Fight The Future is Just like a really, really good episode of the series, With more varied locations and more thrilling scenes of destruction Not so much sci-fi blockbuster as tense paranOid thriller, it also features stars Gillian Anderson and 1 David Out hovny at their best. One to be enjoyed by the X-phile and nowce alike 'Fox Pathe) (AM)

Deep Rismg

? (15) 106 mins

Titanic wasn't the only film in 1998 to feature an ocean liner in distress, so

. how come it overshadowed this release, which also boasts giant man- eating sea creatures, an international team of mercenaries, and a dead-pan, ; what-the-fuck-am-l-dOing-in-this performance by Treat Williams? Hmm. On the plus Side, Deep Ris/ng has a

, gore sc0re beyOnd its certificati0n, sOme oddball laughs and a Winning

l action-cOmedy perfOrmance by Famke I Janssen However, all brownie points

I are Wiped out by the worst cliched

é dialogue ever heard since Our hero

' reckoned he had 'a really bad feeling

about this' (Entertainment) (AM)

: The Replacement Killers ' (18) 84 mins a a w

Hong Kong action legend Chow Yun- g Fat makes his English language debut in " Hollywood as a hired killer who refuses , to carry out the Job that Will free him l and his family back home from a debt


to a crime kingpin. The action isn't quite as stylish as in a John Woo movie, but Chow has superior sidekick support in the shape of tough forger Mira Sorvino. If only the relationship between the reluctant assassm and grizzled cop Michael Rooker had been developed (as it would have been 'back home’) then this would have been worth a higher recommendation. (Columbia Tristar) (AM)


(18) 96 mins «a

The cool intelligence and playful wit of Julian Barnes are sadly lacking from this screen adaptation of his novel. Tied to London's suburbia of the late 70s, Christian Bale remembers back to happier, more promising times when he was a schoolboy and while he lived in Paris in 1968. However, these episodes are reduced to flashbacks Within the duller 'middIe-class’ section, and even the cast don't seem enamoured With the material. (Fox Pathe) (AM)


Jackie Brown (15) 148 mins a e e .3.

After finding cult stardom With Reservou Dogs and mainstream audiences With Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino takes a more low-key approach to Elmore Leonard's novel Rum Punch. There's a plot in here somewhere - air hostess Pam Grier is forced to set up gun runner Samuel L Jackson, With various double crosses on the way but a fine cast and leisurely pace shift the emphasis to the characters instead. (Buena Vista

9 {1499) (AM)

The Postman

(15) 170 mins a a

German comedy, Italian Wine and American patriotism never travel well. Kevm Costner's post~apocalyptic epic falls into the last category and, even at home, it was slammed by critics and ignored by audiences. Costner plays a bad actor wandering between isolated communities terrorised by Will Patton's bullying 'army' When he finds a sack of mail, Costner inspires a new generation and brings hope of a new America: the freedom fighter for the let century is Postman Pat Simultaneously utter rubbish, cinematic brilliance and sheer

7 hilarity. (Warner £12.99) (AM)

Get a grip: Sean Connery and Uma Thurman embarrass themselves in The Avengers (Warner, 12. 89 mins, t). Available to rent from Mon 8 Feb.

\ reviews VIDEOS

l Live In Fear ., (PG) 99 mins * * * ~ i 2 High And Low *

(12) 143 mins 4m * a 1:

Tokyo task force: the police are on the case in high And low

Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, who died last year, will live forever on 'Best Film' lists with the likes of The Seven Samurai and Rashomon. M even at his artistic height, Kurosawa made films that proved unpopular with audiences and critics alike. Mo video releases this month prove‘that ' such neglected works deserve reappraisal.

I Live In Fear is one of the director's most heartfelt films. A domineering old man tries to force his family to move to Brazil to escape the nuclear threat hanging over Japan. Audience sympathy becomes a complex issue: the father is a tyrant. but acts in good faith; the family (who want him declared insane) are greedy, but would lose all they have in the move. Criticism should be levelled at Toshiro Mifune’s overly theatrical performance as the old man, which is annoyingly at odds with the naturalistic actors around him.

An 87th Precinct novel by ’Ed McBain proves to be the seed for one of Kurosawa’s bypassed masterpieces - 1963's High And Law. A kidnapper grabs the son of an industrialist‘s chauffeur by mistake, but makes his victim pay the ransom nonetheless; meanwhile, the police net closes in on the criminal. At first, the film dwells on the moral choice facing the rich ' businessman; then it becomes a tense thriller using noir techniques. At its heart, however. is a critique of Japanese society, particularly the ostentatious show of wealth. (Alan Morrison)

& Available now on the Connoisseur label, f 15. 99 each.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (12) 104 mins e at e.-

Along With his immortal Withnail, this is the role Richard E. Grant was born to play He fits snugly into the cravat and britches of sir Percy Blakeney full- time top and scourge of Revolutionary France on the weekends. This BBC costume drama is a swashbuckling triumph Where even the swordplay is sexy and the guips as razor-sharp as the dreaded Madame Guillotine. (CarltOn £12.99 each) (PR)

Wuthering Heights (12) 112 mins HM

Out on the Wily, Windy moor, it's another adaptation of Emily Bronte’s well-trodden tale of dysfunctional passion, shown on lTV last year. Scottish actor Robert Cavanah (Cracker) is compelling as the intense and desperate Heathcliff, while Orla

about a film star who comes to believe that he killed a girl during a drug-and- drink fuelled bender. Matthew Modine raises the film’s merits with a dedicated, soul-bearing performance; Claudia Schiffer carries off her first screen role well enough; but Dennis Hopper seems to be playing nothing more than a parody of himself. (VIC/Feature Film Co £14.99) (AM)

The Wedding Singer (12) 96 mins ****

The film that displaced the 705 in favour of the 80s for nostalgists everywhere stars Adam Sandler as the man who croons the tunes at the nuptial reception. Dumped at the altar himself, he enters into a pit of depression until romance is rekindled by Drew Barrymore's waitress. The

7 fashions and hairstyles are painful, but , the soundtrack will have you singing Brady's Cathy matches his performance 5 along to the likes of Musical Youth and for pride and self-destructive behaViour L Culture Club Whether you want to or in this credible portrayal of the Kurt i not. (Entertainment £14.99) (AM)

and Courtney of their day. Also on release are recent TV versions of Tess REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE: Of The d’Urbervr/Ies and Far From The Alan Morrison, Peter Ross, Fiona Madding Crowd (VCI £12.99 each) Shepherd (F8) The Blackout STAR RATINGS

' *trii ' (18) 86 mins are at ' “WM \L/lgysgablgle Director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) a e «k Wort a shot lays bare the vanity and excesses of it Below average Hollywood in this confused thriller ‘* You've been Wamed

4—l8 Feb 1999 THE llST25