American Psycho (18) 98 mins * t it t
_ 1’» ii _
Mary Harron has made a very satirical version of the novel
Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho must be one of the most controversial books of recent years with its misogynistic, bored and excessively violent protagonist Patrick Bateman. Christian Bale takes on the Bateman role, an ﬁber-yuppie who works in mergers and acquisitions and spends his spare time indulging in his favourite hobby, ’murders and executions'. However, when he kills colleague Paul Allen (Jared Leto) things start to come unstuck and Bateman is pushed even further over the edge, especially after being quizzed by a private detective (Willem Dafoe).
Director Mary Harron has made a very satirical version of the novel, with some instances of mistaken identity taking on the feel of Shakespearean farce with a darker edge. Essentially, this is a comedy but of the pitch black kind, and this works in its favour, as a literal translation of the book onto screen would have too easily slid into cheap slasher movie territory. Set in the 805, it revels in the era’s preoccupation with money and brand names; just check out the first ever scene of business card envy captured on camera. The film is shot from Bateman's perspective and Christian Bale dominates every scene, putting in an excellent performance as a detached, yet manic, psychopath with delusions of Godhood.
Harron also raises the question of whether any of this is real or just an element of Bateman’s madness, or do yuppies just not give a shit about what other people are up to as long as they've got nice clothes?
l Available to rent on Mon 29 Oct through Entertainment.
Erin Brockovich (15) 125 mins t irir *
Despite dabbling in three emotionally fertile areas — children, Sickness and
justice — Erin Brockovich manages to segue past sentiment into fairly
' straightforward storytelling, In just over two hours, we learn about the largest direct action laWSUit in American history, and the Single mother who made it happen. Armed With a barrel- load of chutzpah and grayity-defying breasts, our herOine (played admirably by Julia Roberts and a hard-working bra) goes head-to-head With the corporate giants who have been p0isoning a small town’s water source, and Wins. Hurrah! (Columbia Tristar; £19.99 on DVD) (Kelly Apter)
Brothers (18) 96 mins it it
Many would agree that the 10y of Human Traffic was that it had no
. conSCience. This film sadly has.
Although replicating the camaraderie
118 THE lIST 5—19 Oct 2000
f and hedonism of the aforementioned film, Brothers sets out to establish the deeper, more spiritual subtext to the
story of seven lads going mad for it in
Greece. Led on by karma-obseSSive ’Mystic Matey', the lads gradually work through their ihdiVidual 'issues' and struggle to find inner peace and, as they do, you rapidly lose interest. (Visual Entertainment)
RETAIL Ride With The Devil
(15)135 mins air * it t ir
Set in 1861 amid the bitterness and Violence of the American CiVil War, two childhood friends, lake (Toby Maguire) and Jack (Skeet Ulrich)10in a band of Southern rebels, raiding the North’s Union soldiers along the Kansas/ Missomi border. Director Ang Lee examines how, in this no-man’S land between North and South, the protagonists fight not for 'the cause’ but for their friends and family in this utterly compelling war epic. Featuring
a masterful performance from Magurre, the film is also outstanding in its Sam Peckinpah-style gritty Violence. (Entertainment £12.99)
Run Lola Run
(15) 76 mins fr t tr *
Hollywood action flicks never get it right. No matter how fast-movmg, they can’t sustain the pace and end up falling flat. Not so Tom Twyker’s adrenalin-fuelled German thriller in which a young Berlin punk (Franke Potente) is given twenty minutes to raise 100,000 Deutschmarks in order to save her dumb boyfriend from VICIOUS drug dealers. So Lola sprints across the City to save her lover a total of three times as Twyker gives us different versions of the events. Imaginative, energised, super-fast fun. (Columbia Tristar £12.99; £19.99 on DVD) (Miles Fielder)
(18) 112 mins H w ir
Taking Michael Caine’s London hood Jack Carter off the streets of the capital and relocating him to Newcastle was a stroke of genius which adds a grimy, regional touch to this crime thriller. Hunting the murderer of his brother, Carter stumbles upon a pornographic film starring his niece. Subsequent snooping sees his own life threatened as he becomes embrOiled in the local crime scene. AS dark as any present day thriller, this may have dated Visually Since 1971, but stylistically it COntinues to please. (Warner £12.99, £19.99 on DVD) (Mark Robertson)
(15) 100 mins vi tr e x'
Scratch the surface of any town and you'll find unusual characters lurking underneath. Go round the entire coastline of Britain and chances are, you'll unearth qwte a few more Take a film crew, camper van, yOur 90-year- old grandmother and y0ur seven-year- old terminally disabled daughter With you, and y0u've got the makings of something really quite SpeCial. Pulling together interViews With local townspeople, archive news footage and t0uching moments between his two female relatives, Andrew Kotting has created a wee gem of a film. (BFI £15.99) (Kelly Apter)
A Bout De Souffle (15) 90 mins it ﬁr v»
It’s hailed as a classic, so check Out this re-release for that reason if no other. Jean-Luc Godard’s feature heralded the beginning of the French ’new wave', Where hand-held cameras, Jump cuts and filmic realism came to the f0re. Chain-smoking car thief Jean- Paul Belmondo is on the run from the police in Paris, but finds time to romantically pursue crop-haired American Jean Seberg. Sure it’s got great style, but in terms of characterisation and narrative, it won’t leave you out of breath. (Optimum £12.99, £19.99 on DVD)
reviews VIDEO/ DVD
Underworld - Everything i? Everything l:
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3 Erin Brockovich
(12) 101 mins it it *
Martha Fiennes’ film of Pushkin's novel seems to interpret the term epic as Simply 'long’. Ralph Fiennes' title character is a Petersburg roue enjoying a S010urn in the RuSSian COLintrySide at his inherited estate. He meets Liv Tyler, Whose amorous advances are given the big KB. Later, he repents the decision and it all gets terribly agonising. The film is saved by its finale, which tells us much about love's tendency, like the bailiffs, to arrive unbidden, and at the worst possible time. (Entertainment £12 99) (Steve Cramer)
STAR RATINGS "
vi * s t * Unmissable
* as i * Very good
is t i Worth a shot
a ir Below average
w You’ve been warned