(15) 158 mins t * tr l 9';


American historical (re)written large

Former Braveheart Mel Gibson gives the English another good kicking in this American War of Independence epic. This time round Mel's under the direction of Roland Emmerich, who made his name with another flag- waving blockbuster, Independence Day. Writer Robert Rodat comes fresh(ish) from the gung-ho World War II antics of Saving Private Ryan. Their Patriot is riddled with historical inaccuracies. Most implausible is the fact that Gibson's Colonel Benjamin Martin, a Southern States plantation owner, has no slaves. He's a good man, see, given up his military ways since warring with the French and losing his wife, now devoted to raising his children alone. So when mad King George's Redcoats go to war with the settlers over taxation and land ownership, Martin refuses to fight. However, you can count on the English to produce some really callous military men. When Jason Isaacs' class ladder-climbing officer off-handedly murders Martin's young son and takes his eldest (Heath Ledger) away to be hanged, he unwittingly unleashes the soldier in the Colonel. Thereafter, Martin and his ragtag militia take on His Majesty's mighty army in savage

bouts of guerrilla warfare.

All the clichés are present and correct, from educated but emasculated villains to simple strong heroes and their fawning women. Thing is, The Patriot works extremely well as sheer spectacle and old-fashioned storytelling. No one criticises Ben Hur, The Longest Day and all those other Hollywood epics from yesteryear for their rewriting of history, it's only in these ‘enlightened' post-PC days that we do this.

Some will take this seriously, though: Ronnie Reagan believed Rambo; The Patriot might turn out to be George W Bush's foreign policy manifesto.

(Miles Fielder)

I Available to rent on Columbia Tristar from Mon 8 Jan.

RENTAL It's The Rage

(15) 95 mins Jr a: 1%

Seven interconnecting stories of people whose fates are destined by ownership of a gun. It’s a didactic, preachy anti- NRA film, which comes on a little like a John Sayles (City Of Hope, Lone Star) film written by Sixth formers. Nevertheless, its humane heart is in the right place, and it deserves to be seen for some great turns from the ensemble cast including Gary Sinise, Robert Forster and Joan Allen. They are the kind of stellar performances that w0uld transcend any material. (Columbia Tristar, £19.99 on DVD)

(Paul Dale)

Jesus' Son (18) 107 mins a: t it t

A rambling tale set in 70s America

following the misadventures of a young drug addict known simply as Fuck Head (Billy Crudup). These revolve

around his complicated relationship With girlfriend Samantha Morton, and Fuck Head‘s attempts to get high and subsequently to stay clean, The acting is of a very high standard and includes cameos from the likes of Dennis Hopper, Holly Hunter, Denis Leary and Jack Black. POignant along the same lines as Drugstore Cowboy, but With enough humour to offset the blackness. (High Fliers)

(Henry Northmore)

The Last September (12) 99 mins ir

Set in Ireland in the 19205, this film revolves around the lives of a well-to- do family and the fighting between the armed forces and the Irish underground army. L0is (Keely Hawes) who has a life full of tennis, boys and falling in love is wooed by the dashing Major Gerald Coldhurst. Unfortunately for him she has her Sights set on the head of the terrorist gang, unfortunately for us this troubled

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romance drags slo\.‘.'\, along until the end of the film Nice cast though, including Maggie Smith, Michael Cnambon and Fiona Snavc (Metro Tartani (Jane Hamiltoir

28 Days (15) 100 mins

There's nothing better than settling down to watch a video \'.‘liil a glass of \‘.‘|l)(‘, only Sandra Bulloc k's latest attempt at a challenging role may make yoci think twice Bullock gives a solid performance as the Out-of-control writer sentenced to 28 days in rehab, where she receives guidance from her cOunsellor, an underused Steve Buscemi Heart-warming, wrth a fair number of gags, this is addiction Hollywood-style, and seeing Bullock sans-make-up is about as close to the harsh realities of substance abuse as the film ventures (Columbia Tristar‘) (Maureen Ellis)

RETAIL Dogma (15) 122 mins

KeVin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) can't direct to save his life, but he can wnte hilarious dialogue This piss—take of religious dogma stirred up a hornet's nest \vith American Bible-bashers Two fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) figure out a way to return to heaven, but unbeknownst to these clivme clufuses this metaphysical loophole in creation wrll end the world Jokes include a clickless angel, a forgotten black apostle and a shit demon, and Jay and Silent Bob get to try and fuck God, played as a ditzy elf by Alanis Morrisette (FilinFour/VCI {149911999 on DVD) (Miles Fielder) Kikujiro

(12) 121 mins

’Beat' Takeshi Kitano’s sweet-natured tale of one boy's search for his mother, accompanied by his iieigthur's thuggish failed gangster of a husband (Kitano), during the summer holidays. Basically, it’s a deconstruction of John Cassavettes' wonderful crime drama Gloria, but Kitano shows a lightness of touch and warmth one would not have expected in View of his prevrous work (the Violent, offbeat Sonatine andHaiia 8/). Perhaps it's the result of Kitano's near fatal motorcycle acCident prior to shooting, Whatever the reason, it's qwte lovely. (Pathe £15.99) (Paul Dale)

Random Hearts

(15) 127 mins 7- w

The Wife of Sgt Dutch Van Den Broeck (Harrison Ford) is haying an affair With the husband of congresswoman Kay Chandler (Kristin Scott Thomas) that is until their plane crashes and they get found Out. Dutch goes on a rather dull misSion to come to terms With this d0uble disaster, acting at random and trying to enlist Kay’s help. Needless to say there is the expected bit of romance as the unlikely lovers sort their heads, their hearts and their JObS out. (Columbia £13 99) (Jane Hamilton)



Angel Heart The Beach

Moonraker For Your Eyes Only

The Patriot

Three to Tango

Maybe Baby

' Estoies a‘t. . , Wightrinses. St emana- "1;: i

we: edits“. Kirstin! :7 . 5.:

Up In Smoke (18) 120 mins 1r tr it

An on-the-road concert mowe starring hip hop’s biggest, most controversial names; the Don (Dr Dre), the Don's unruly muse (Snoop Dogg), the veteran superstar (Ice Cube) and the young pretender (Eminem), Filmed during their eponymous US t0ur last summer, the quartet take turns to churn out hits to hysterical response from fans, Worth watching for the ridiculous stage sets alone, this is an oddly fascmating rockumentary The least interesting part IS the musrc the linking skits and chats are very revealing. (Eagle Rock £12.99; £19.99 on DVD)

(Mark Robertson)


t t t it t Unmissable

t r t r Very 00d

1: t t Wort a shot

* t Below average

1 You’ve been warned

SJan—18lan 2001 THE LIST 101