The Limey (18) 85 mins «x

Steven Soderbergh' homage to 605 crime cinema, part Point Blank, part Get Carter

Made on the back of his superb crime caper Out Of Sight, Soderbergh's paen to the 605 existential gangster is a different creature altogether. When tough English ex-con Dave Wilson (Terence Stamp) receives word of the death of his estranged daughter Jenny in Los Angeles, he crosses the Atlantic to extract some old fashioned revenge. By quirk and circumstance he is led to the home of Jenny’s former lover, ex-hippy rock ’n’ roll producer Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda). lnevitably a stand-off between the new ager and the old timer is set in place with hideously violent results.

The Limey is part Point Blank, part Get Carter. Soderbergh obviously set out to make a homage (not least in the casting of his iconic leads) and he almost succeeds except that he occasionally allows things to lapse into parody. Stamp is all mockney swagger and blunt determinism, while Fonda plays it for sniggers as the aged Californian hypocrite fop. Nevertheless, it’s a heady and wonderful combination shot through with a rare cinematic intelligence.

Soderbergh never takes the easy option, always choosing to show the unexpected, overturning audience expectations. His control of his cinematographer is only matched in modern cinema by Eastern masters Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express) and Takeshi Kitano (Kikujiro). Ultimately, however, The Limey is a series of anachronistic action set-pieces (the shoot-out in the warehouse that starts Wilson's search is a superb piece of cod New Wave cinema) tied together with a subplot of personal loss.

Great if derivative fun. (Paul Dale)

Released by Fi/mFour for video rental on Mon 77 Jul

RENTAL Wonderland (18) 104 mins

After mixed directorial beginnings wrth the impressive Welcome To Sarajevo, the lukewarm Jude and the horrid / Want You, Michael Wrnterbottom chose the setting of drab metropolitan life sheltered by London's glittery carnival skies to create his rnaster‘prec e Driven by Michael Nyman's soaring score, the film follows the lives of three sisters flawless trro Shirley Henderson, Gina McKee and Molly Parker as they fight one another and get mucked about by their men Staggering In its beauty iUnrversaIr lBrran Donaldson)

Angela's Ashes (15) 105 mins

British film industry polrtrco Alan Parker returns to what many think he does best and gets back behind the (amer‘a to direct this adaptation of Frank McCourt's phenomenally best-selling

book I\I< Court’s memOrr tells that story of hrs impoverished upbrrngrr’rg in 30s Limerick While not horribly, guarntly ’Orrrsh', the wallowing in the mire of poverty thing rs overplayed But Parker’s film rs saved by unsurprisineg powerful performances from Robert Carler and Emily Watson as lvlcCOLIrt’s parents (Universal) erles Fielder)

The Big Tease

(15) 88 mins

Clutr hing an rnvrtatron to attend the coveted Platinum Scissors Awards in LA, (amp (ilasgow hairdresser Crawford Mar ken/re rCr'arg Ferguson) Jets off to a world of limousines and hotel suites But it soon transpires that he was only rnvrted to watch the awards, and a relentless round of (elebr'rty st hmoo/rng ensues as

Mat ken/re attempts to get himself in the game Riddled with stereotypes rt may be, but The Big Tease rs harmless feel-good fun, a rno( k dominentary that's a (tll above many others in its genre (Warner) rKeIIy Apter) '

Bringing Out The Dead (18) 120 mins * t t

Martin Scorsese returns to the obscene streets of New York after some forays rnto the wrlds of Trbet and the roulette tables of Vegas wrth this look at paramedic Nicolas Cage’s slow descent into madness. And, like De Nrro’s metaphysrcally-troubled cabbre, we get an insight rnto the fraught workings of hrs mind thanks to a sombre vorce- over. Unlike Taxi Driver, however, Bringing Out The Dead is repetitive, feels too long and is one of the few times you could accuse Scorsese of treading water. lBuena Vista)

(Brian Donaldson)

81/2 Women (15) 120 mins ii at *

When mother Emmenthal dies, son Storey goes to the wealthy family’s Geneva mansron to grreve wrth father/husband Philip. They deCrde what’s needed rs sex and so they shag each other yep, father and son do it. Then they set about populating the mansron wrth concubrnes (the 87/) women of the title). Brzarre and pretentious this may be, but Peter Greenaway’s latest rs as satrsfyrngly cerebral and Visually lavrsh as ever and ~ key word very funny. Arty Peter doesn't take himself completely seriously. (Pathe) (Miles Fielder)

Simpatico (15) 106 mins vi a: ir

Jeff Brrdges rs a wealthy race horse breeder and pillar of the Kentucky community. Nick Nolte is a low life drowning himself in booze in Los Angeles. Sharon Stone rs Bridges' unhappy wrfe and Nolte’s ex from 20 years before. Catherine Keener IS the woman who inspires Nolte to get his act together and put right past wrongs. Albert Frnney rs the man wrong was done to. Add that lot up and you get a passable thriller based on a stage play with fine performances all round. (Alliance Atlantis)

(lvlrles Fielder)

Rancid Aluminium

(18) 90 mins *

Rhys lfans rs Peter, a drm-wrtted wrde boy out of his depth in live, love and business. Joseph Fiennes rs his long- term assooate, but even his impenetrable Irish accent can’t drsgurse hrs psychotic tendencres. Add to this mix some Russian gangsters and you have the baSrc ingredients for a Brit- flrck thriller. Basic rs the important word in that last sentence, Patchy dialogue and a frankly ridiculous plot line ensure the action never rises above the level of farce. (Entertainment)

(Abr Bremner)


Crazy In Alabama

(12) 108 mins it 1* 1r

Casting off hrs Latin lover role, Antonio Banderas makes hrs directorial debut in a film starring other half, Melanie Griffith (but don't let that put you off), Crazy In Alabama has two stories in

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Recommended DVD releases Angels Ashes

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Sleepy Hollow

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one: c ppressed housewrfe Lucrlle (Griffith) realises her dreams, \\'I)lI(.‘ her idealistic y0ung nephew battles the raCral persecution of the mid-60s Bander'as' direction rs remarkably good, yet the film drsappornts as the two stories never convrncrngly rntertwrne, while the ending, schrrraltx-saturated, spOrls a very tolerable first time effort (Columbia Trrstar) (Maureen Ellis)


* it at i ii Unmissable

i t t it Very good

a. 1k ir Worth a shot

* 1r Below average

it YOu've been warned

6-20 Jul 2000 THE lIST 117