RENTAL Brokedown Palace

(12) 97 mins * t 1:

Two girls (Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale) go to Thailand, meet a good looking guy, and then fall out over said guy. Next thing they’re stopped at customs, arrested for couriering heroin and thrown in jail. Unsurprisingly, at this point the good looking guy is nowhere to be found and the girls are protesting their innocence (with the assistance of Bill Pullman’s ex-pat lawyer) through a corrupt legal system, while being bullied in jail and falling out over everything. The rest of the film follows their plight with nothing new or terribly inspiring happening. (Fox Pathé) (Jane Hamilton)

Fanny & Elvis (15) 107 mins *‘k‘k

There are worse things in life than this vid, surely. A pleasant enough tale of a girl (Kerry Fox) and boy (Ray Winstone) who meet through difficult circumstances and loathe each other for a period of time, before deciding they actually fancy each other and want to shag. it’s full of cliche’s: there’s the independent woman who realises that she only has a year left to breed, the gay best friend, and the dodgy geezer who turns out to be lovely. Hardly brain expanding stuff, but then it’s a romantic comedy, innit? (Metrodome) (Simone Baird)

Fast Food

(18) 95 mins * t it

Ben (Douglas Henshall) has decided to return to his old life and catch up with his mates and win the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Claudia (Emily Woof). But since he left, his mates have fallen into a Trainspotting/Lock Stock-like drug-filled world controlled by Mr Big who also 'Iooks after’ Claudia. Here, desperate attempts at making money are the name of the game. The story evolves through scenes of random violence and madness with blasts of humour which keep you watching; just. (High Fliers) (Jane Hamilton)

A Kind Of Hush (15) 92 mins and:

Stalking the area around King’s Cross, a group of teenagers pose as rent boys

only to mug potential customers. But, as we later learn, they were sexually abused as children and in an attempt to make sense of their past, they take things further, seeking revenge on their former persecutors. Brian Stirner’s low- budget directorial debut is a brave attempt at tackling the disturbing issue of child abuse, but ultimately lacks the edge and quality of similar harder hitting films of the genre. (Metrodome) (Helen Monaghan)

The Love Letter (15) 88 mins ir * *

Bored middle-aged bookstore owner Kate Capshaw finds an anonymous love letter, presumes it's for her and,

i voilal, her and her New England

neighbours’ smalltown existence is shaken up . . . a little. Local fireman Tom Selleck harbours a secret love, while gorgeous twenty-year—old Tom Everett Scott falls in love with his bookstore boss. Aimed squarely at the, ahem, more mature female viewer, who can take heart that somewhere out there is an illicit lustful affair in the making. To be watched with ice cream. (Universal) (Simone Baird)

Mad Cows (1 S) 87 mins *

Maddy (Anna Friel) is an Aussie single mum, Gillian (Joanna Lumley in a re-

1 run of her Ab Fab role) is her down-at- i‘ “99' DOSh pal. Like most other things in

the film, the reasons why are never properly explained. Based on the novel by Kathy Lette and billed as a sassy chick flick, you would be forgiven for expecting a few laughs. However, as the plot unfolds Maddy’s increasingly desperate attempts to get her ex’s attention and Gillian’s increasingly desperate attempts to get some cash together things descend into sub- Benny Hill absurdity. More like sad cows. (Entertainment)

: (Abigail Bremner)

RETAIL Apt Pupil

3 (15) 107 mins *it*

There will have been a five year gap

; between Bryan Singer’s superb modern


film noir, The Usual Suspects, and his high profile comic book super hero movie, The X-Men, when it’s released later this year. In between, Singer filmed this effective adaptation of

Horror Classics, a superb selection of spine tinglers, loosely collected by date (late SOs-late 70s), the majority of which are Hammer classics such as Plague of the Zombies (pictured).(\lllarner £9.99; launch offer £5.99 or two for £10 until Fri 2 Jun)

'100 TIIE US! 27 Apr—ll May 2000

Fight Club

(18)13Qmins *‘k‘k‘k The Sixth Sense (15) 103 mins 1th“:

They don't make 'em like they used to in Hollywood. Not since the 705 when Altman, Coppola, Scorsese et al were revolutionising the industry, have the studios produced great films in abundance. Except in the last year something happened: American Beauty. Being John Malkovich, Erin Brockovich, Fight Club. The Insider. The Sixth Sense

and Three Kings; intelligent. adventurous, original filmmaking like we've

not seen since Reagan came to power.

Fight Club might not add up to a great deal - its critique of capitalism and consumerism trails off in an anti~climactic, but very cool. nihilistic ending but the ride is a blast. David Fincher directs his Seven star. Brad Pitt. and America's other most dynamic young actor. Ed Norton, as a tearaway and yuppie. respectively, who form a brutal bare knuckle fighting club aimed at re-asserting their masculinity and re-connecting - literally - with late 20th century life. From there the darkly comic plot spirals into glorious chaos.

Meanwhile. The Sixth Sense rivalled The Blair Witch Project as the scariest film ever. A young boy (the extraordinarily good Haley Joel Osment) has a secret: he sees dead people, constantly. everywhere. and it terrifies him. Cue Bruce Willis' troubled child psychologist who seems to have more success with his new patient than he does holding his failing marriage together. M. Night Shyamalan's superb script suggests much and explains little and he creates riveting drama and real chills with extremely confident


Mo films proving that, when the execs allow the talent creative freedom, Hollywood can make 'em like they used to. (Miles Fielder) I Fight Club (Fox Pathé) is available for video rental from Mon 1 May; The Sixth Sense (Buena Vista) is available for video and DVD rental from Mon 8 May.

Stephen King’s novella, in which a Z Holocaust-obsessed Californian school ' kid (Brad Renfro) discovers a Nazi war

criminal in hiding (Ian McKellen) and the pair embark on a destructive cycle of blackmail and counter blackmail. lts

disturbing subject matter sunk the 1 movie back in 1997. (Columbia Tristar

no RRP) (Miles Fielder) eXistenZ

. (15) 93 mins ir a: x

. David Cronenberg's amusing Twilight

- Zone-like scr-fi adventure proves what

viewers of the cerebral, Visceral Crash,

Scanners and Videodrome may not

; have appreciated; he has a playful

Q touch and a (warped) sense of humour. i Jennifer Jason Leigh’s superstar-

designer has developed a VR game

that plugs into its player’s central nervous system. After a botched

assassination attempt, she and bodyguard Jude Law plug into the

game and that’s the last time they (and us) can distinguish between reality and virtuality. (Alliance Atlantis

fl4.99/£l9.99 on DVD) (Miles Fielder)

. A Simple Plan

(PG) 121 mins it ‘k *

Directed by Sam Raimi, this Winter tale ; is no horror flick, but it does stare straight into the dark side of human

nature. Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton are smalltown brothers who stumble across a bag of cash in the wreckage of a plane. After spending ab0ut two minutes thinking about

i handing it over to the police they opt

to keep it. Their simple plan rapidly

becomes more complicated, leading to

mistrust and, eventually, murder. A bleak if well crafted and nicely acted tale. (Universal no RRP)

(Louisa Pearson)

. Fight Club: Revolutionary

Entrapment (12) 109 mins * «x

A caper mowe With a romantic element, Entrapment fails to snare its audience on both counts; the heists are free of suspense, the pairing of Sean ' Connery's veteran art thief and

Catherine Zeta Jones’ insurance investigator is disentangled from sexual chemistry. The theft of a Rembrandt in New York sets Jones on Connery’s trail, but it’s not long before they partner-up and undertake a millennium night hi- tech, multi-billion dollar robbery from

the world’s tallest building in Kuala Lumpur Forget it and go to Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief. (Fox £14.99/El999

on DVD) (Miles Fielder)

One True Thing (15) 122 mins x ‘k

A Harvard graduate reluctantly returns

to the nest to care for the dying

mother she never liked, only to

unearth some unwelcome revelations about the father she’d always adored. The presence of Hollywood l heavyweights Meryl Streep, William Hurt and Renee Zellweger does nothing to elevate this film from TV movre status, Although to be fair, One True Thing does achieve something quite remarkable; tackling the slow ravages of cancer, bereavement and a daughter's coming of age, Without engaging on any emotional level l whatsoever. No mean feat. (Universal no RRP) (Kelly Apter)


* x it it * Unmissable

it t a * Very 00d 3

it * x Wort a shot I at it Below average

* . You're beemernei. l