PERlOD DRAMA THE ABDUCTION CLUB
(12) 92min 0
If is the 1700s in a strangely poverty-free. aristocrat-heavy lreland. Byrne (Daniel Lapaine) and Strang (Matthew Rhys) are the ever-so- naughty young men who have to resort to abducting wealthy young women to secure marriage. as their own family's wealth has passed to their elder sibling. When they kidnap the wilful Kennedy sisters they realise they have bitten off more than they can chew and have to go on the run. You can guess the rest.
Smug. corny. badly acted and written with a pre-pubescent grasp of 18th century mores. this is utter codswallop from Stefan Sclmartz. the director of Shooting Fish and Soft Top. Hard Shou/der. (Fox Pathe VHS and DVD rental) (Paul Dale)
EASTERN DUST (18) 127min 0000
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With his 1994 debut. Before the Rain. director Milcho Manchevski made a screen goddess of the late. great British actress Katrin Cartlidge in his native Macedonia. That superb film was a triptych of stories that attempted to address Macedonia's ethnic
conflicts. past and present. With Dust Manchevski returns to scratch this seeping scab with a dark. violent. messy western (or rather. eastern).
The story of two brothers (Joseph Fiennes and David Wenham) caught up in the turn of the last century post-Ottoman Empire tribal chaos. as told to an injured cat burglar by an old lady in modern day New York. This goes right to the heart of questioning subjectivity and myth. Startling and incongruous. Manchevski's film IS touched by the independent spirits of Kusturica and Jodorowsky. Yet. on the surface. it appears more like The Princess Bride directed by Sam Peckinpah in the cradle of his deepest psychosis. (Fox Pathe VHS and DVD rental) (Paul Dale)
HORROR JASON X (18) 88min 0
There is. as the police say at accidents. nothing to see here. Jason Vorhees of Friday the 73th infamy is put into cryogenic suspension after a brief homicidal outburst in the prologue. only to be reanimated four centuries later by a space research vessel. Touches of Alien and its litter of sequels intervene as the one surviving earth victim tries in vain to warn the students. professors. and (for some inexplicable reason) soldiers on board of the danger. They don't listen. so follows the usual uninventive gorefest.
A brief cameo by Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg
94 THE LIST 11) fit; .Jétl‘ 7.00:)
MEN IN BLACK II: BACK IN BLACK
(PG) 84min u
Interchangeable with Men in Black I
Back in the sharp blacks suits they made their names in, Agents Jay and Kay are set on a sequel that you’d hope would have all the thrills and spills of the first film, but only bigger, better, faster and cooler than before. It’s hard to tell if they succeed, though, possibly because Men in Black II is interchangeable, on a par with and essentially the same as the first film.
Again, we meet a Man in Black who’s looking for a partner to help fight intergalactic crime. Only this time it’s Jay (Will Smith), the rookie in the first film, who now, under pressure from Earth’s imminent destruction, is assigned to reactivate his mentor, Kay (Tommy Lee Jones). Kay, having returned to peaceful civilian life, is divorced from his childhood sweetheart/wife and working as a post-master in a quaint country backwater. That is, until Jay turns up and shuffles him off to a ‘deneuralyser’ to reprogram his memories and help save the planet.
Again, an evil, kickass alien turns up on Earth to wreak havoc and mayhem with a view to destroying the enemy planet. Only this time around, it’s not chubby Vincent D’Onofrio (the actor who uttered the title lines of Full Metal Jacket before blowing his brains out), but skinny Lara Flynn Boyle (Twin Peaks) dressed in lingerie and leatherwear.
So again, Men in Black is a roller-coaster comedy-adventure ride. Some
of the jokes are funny, the special effects are sound, the explosions big and it all moves at a fast pace. The only problem is that going through the same
motions, it all feels a bit soulless. (Catherine Bromley)
I Availab/e on VHS and DVD rental and retail through Columbia TriStar from Mon
among the cast of models hoping to become actors raises an eyebrow. but generally. it's a must-not-see. (Entertainment VHS and DVD rental)
DRAMA JOHN G (15) 112min COO
Rushed into cinemas after star Denzel Washington finally won an Oscar for best actOr. in Training Day. John O provides Washington With a platform upon which to showcase his considerable acting skills in the same way a young
Al Pacino got to grandstand in the hostage drama Dog Day Afternoon.
John Q is also a hostage drama. here substituting a hOSpital for a bank and a sick son for a gay lover. Just as robbing a bank to pay for his partner's sex-change op made Pacino‘s amateur crook Sympathetic. so too does foreing a profit- minded hospital to operate on his son‘s heart make us root for Washington‘s blue collar John O. Not as riveting as Dog Day. but very watchable all the same. (Entertainment VHS and DVD retail)
DRAMA NO MAN’S LAND (15) 93min 0000
There‘s a Bosnian and a Serb and they're stuck in a trench. There's another one left for dead on top of a land-mine primed to explode. Each with a wound and each
with a weapon. they've reached a deathly stalemate. lt'll kill them to go and it'll kill them to stay.
As the UN peace keeping force gets tied up in cruelly ab3urd diplomacy. the men are left to sweat out their common hatred and humanity. Danis Tanovik's film is a dark satire on the mess of war in the former Yugoslavia. an action movie without any action. a comedy without any laughs. It's grim. unnerving and all too real. (Associates VHS and DVD retail) (Mark Fisher)
ART DOCUMENTARY THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A MASTERPIECE 8802, Sat 18 Jan, 7.20pm 000.
Edouard Manet's Le De'jeuner sur /'Herbe has baftled. amused and scandalised audiences since its first appearance at the Paris Salon in 1863. The picnic scene of two fully clothed men sat conversing on the grass while a naked female stares directly at the viewer was one of the most controverSial paintings ever made. This was no ordinary picnic.
Charting the history of Manet 's curious painting, this episode of the award-winning series otters fascinating insight into the bourgeois artist‘s life and how this act of rebellion — nudes were always visualised as celestial nymphs — changed the way nudes were painted forever. So
_ influential and intrigumg
was Manet's Le De/euner sur /'Herbe that artists. Monet and Picasso in particular. created several versions. while 808 pOp group Bow Wow Wow sparked yet more controversy when their 14-year-old singer was photographed playing the part of the nude. A great start to what looks set to be another prize- winning series.
MEDICAL DRAMA THE ROYAL Scottish, Sun 19 Jan, 8pm 00.
It was only a matter of time before chiselled young Julian Ovenden from that fizzy drinks ad set in a (fitter) 'French' evening class was granted his own vehicle. And if it happens to be a Spin-off from Sunday