six of the best buys this weekend


1. Bullets Over Broadway (15; Touchstone; Rental). A glorious Dianne Wiest as a flirtatious spouse steals Woody Allen's terrific, spiky comedy.

2. Safe Passage (15; Entertainment; Rental). Winning ensemble playing from Susan Sarandon and the young actors who play the sons gathered about her for a family crisis.

3. Batman Forever (15; Warner; pounds 14.99). Jim Carrey and Val Kilmer are spot-on as super-villain and super-hero. A hoot.

4. Witchfinder General (18; Redemption; pounds 12.99). They don't make 'em like this brutal Vincent Price chiller anymore.

5. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG; Touchstone; pounds 14.99). Imaginative scary-tale to darken your festivities.

6. Exotica (18; Artificial Eye; rental). The lives of a few lonely Canadian souls intertwine in Atom Egoyan's dark thriller.

Bruce Springsteen: 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' (Columbia) Bleak, intense, quiet. Like Nebraska, in fact, but with better songs.

John Coltrane: 'The Heavyweight Champion - Complete Atlantic Recordings' (Rhino/Atlantic) Still the best box-set buy for Christmas. Why? Because this was the best the 20th-century had to offer.

Willie Nelson: 'Just One Love' (Verve) Grizzled groaner in country mode. Sprightly, warm, gentle.

Darkman: 'Worldwide' (Wild Card/Polydor) Brit rapper eschewing American themes in favour of cool naturalism.

Various Artists: 'Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack' (Arista) Whitney in brill album shock. Includes Aretha, Chaka, Mary J, TLC et al, sympathetically handled by bouncing genius Babyface.

Smith & Mighty: 'Bass is Maternal' (Rockers) At last. Thumping dub/jungle rhythms from the lost elders of ye Bristol scene.

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