Video/ DVD




BANGKOK DANGEROUS (18) 101 min on

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Kong is a cold-hearted assassin who has been deaf and mute since childhood. When his best friend and fellow assassin gets into mob trouble while going after the men who raped his girlfriend. Kong joins the fight. The only trouble is he‘s just fallen love with a nice girl from the local pharmaCy.

This is a typically silly. highly stylised sub- 'Beat' Takeshi actioner from Thailand. Directed by brothers Danny and Oxide Pang (currently preparing for an adaptation of Alex Garland's The Tesseract). this is very watchable but very corny. If nothing else it proves that Thailand. once again (especially after last year‘s Tears of the Black Tiger), has blood pumping through its cinematic veins. (Metro Tartan VHS and DVD rental and retail) (Paul Dale)

DRAMA IRIS (15) 90min 0.

Having expected to use a swathe of tissues during the COurse of this austere British drama. it's a major surprise that Iris left all eyes in the house bone dry. Despite being told over and over that Iris Murdoch was an extraOrdinary person

who lived an extraordinary life. according to this film. all she did was dance a lot. fall don-.11 staircases jaked and. oh, wrote a pile of acclaimed books. And then she slowly lost her Wits due to Alzheimer's.

Certainly. Judi Dench as the dame. and Jim Broadbent as the speCCy flake who stood by her to the bitter end act their stoical socks off. but (n3 is simply too out of focus. (Buena Vista VHS rental)

(Brian Donaldson)


MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (no cert) 68min 0000

Michael Nymaiis Man with a In I Movie Camera '.

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This is a fascmating rev1val. In 1929. DZiga Vertov «who's name translates; roughly as ‘spinning top'i directed an experimental documentary portrait of daily RtiSSian life. Working at the forefront of the avant—garde. he believed In an anti- narrative Cinema that was distinctiver its own form, not something that borrowed from the conventions of theatre Or literature. What's remarkable is that many of his techniques. of montage and juxtaposition. still seem fresh today.

And helping the freshness is a sOundtrack written and recorded by Michael Nyman. 70 years after the original. and bringing a driving. pulsating heart to an innovative film, not to mention an intriguing sooal document. (BF) DVD retail) (Mark Fisher)


Japanese Anime has slowly but Surely been making its mark in the UK. spurred on by the sheer quality of the

(15) 130min no

In the Bedroom’s a real showcase for acting. Hollywood, not much used to the kind of committed performances on display here, blessed the film with Oscar nominations for three of the four leading players at the Academy Awards early this year. The actor Todd Field, who here stays behind the camera for this his feature directing debut, saw his film nominated for Best Picture. No one actually won a golden statuette, most of those went to the awful but designed-for-Oscar glory A Beautiful Mind. Fair or unfair?


Certainly the performances from Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson as the bereaved parents of a much-

loved murdered son (Nick Stahl) and Marisa Tomei as the distraught girlfriend out class those in A Beautiful Mind. Where Russell Crowe in that film was all overplayed nervous ticks (signifying mental illness), In the Bedroom’s leads downplay the emotion. In fact, the murder of the boy by Tomei’s estranged husband (William Mapother) apart, the whole film leads slowly, quietly towards an explosive emotional climax in which the bereaved parents finally crack and take their unbearable grief out on one another.

Likely, it’s down to Field, drawing on his acting experience (Ruby in Paradise, Broken Vessels, Eyes Wide Shut), that the performers keep it low-key. And Field’s script, too, is a slow-burner, leaving much unsaid (but film actors do it all with their eyes anyway, don’t they?) and much unseen.

Despite, or perhaps because of this rigorously non-melodramatic approach In the Bedroom doesn’t pack emotional punch as much as ring true as a piece of mature drama. (Miles Fielder) I Available to rent on VHS and DVD throogh Buena Vista from Mon 22 Jul):

genre classic. Akira. Metropolis is a tale of prejudice and New World orders thinly veiled as anti-robot sentin‘ent. as a Japanese detective and his nephew search for a mad SCientist and the world's most perfect robot in the multi-Ievel City of Metropolis.

That people run into each other round every corner when it's billed as an urban labyrinth seems incongruous. and the number of times characters SLIWIVIng being gunned down is essential to the plot becomes wearisome and frankly unbelievable. Ambitious in scope. but uItiiiiater too convoluted and slow- paced for its own good. (Columbia Tristar VHS and DVD retail) iHenry Northmore)

HORROR THIR‘I 3EN GHOSTS (15) 87min .0.

Right. so there's this mad old dude who collects ghosts for some nefarious scheme of one kind or another. He has them all trapped in this innocent family wander in and all hell breaks loose. Simple, huh?

Yep reality. logic and acting take a backseat as we get some fantastically realised ghosts roaming around a truly bizarre house packed with booby traps and moving walls. Deliciously inventive deaths and precarious predicaments abound. This ain't gonna change yOLir life. but it'll Sure keep y0u entertained for 90 minutes of cheapy. creepy fun. Gloriously

Slow-burning, well acted bereavement drama

gog'. gruesome and goofy. (Columbia Tristar VHS rental)

(Henry Nonhmore)


3000 MILES TO GRACELAND (18) 98min 0..

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‘Elvis has just left the building with 83.2m in cash‘: if only this ultraviolent heist movie could have lived up to its tagline. Thomas Murphy (Kevin Costner) and Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) lead an eclectic band of outlaws in a daring Las Vegas casino robbery dressed as Elvis impersonators. but greed and sexy single mum Cybi: Waingrow (C0urtney Cox) thwart their best-laid plans. A very poor script by Richard Recco and lazy direction by Demian Lichtenstein render a

great. colourful idea pamd.The performances. however. are fine. With Costner in partiCuIar showing what he is capable of as the demonic Murphy. In the hands of filmmakers such as Eastwood. Siegal or Peckinpah this could have been something quite special. Shame. (Warner VHS and DVD rental and retail) (Paul Dale)


Dog Eat Dog Britain takes at shot a gross- out comedy. The reSult is dog shit. (FilmFour VHS and DVD rental) Ghosts Of Mars John Carpenter proves he's lost it with this awful sci- fi thriller. (Columbia Tristar VHS and DVD rental)

Illusion of Blood Sword play and ghostly goings on Eastern style. (Artsmagic DVD retail) Kung Pow: Enter The Fist Straight-to-video martial arts spoof starring the writer of the Nutty Professor. (Fox Pathe VHS and DVD rental)

Phantom of the Opera and Trauma Re-issues from the cellar of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento. (Tartan DVD retail)

18 Jul—1 Aug 2002 THE LIST 1 19