FILM / Critical round-up

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The Independent Culture
FALLING DOWN

'Perhaps Falling Down's tensions and insufficiencies are much the same as America's just now. More likely, Schumacher and Douglas, for all their considerable skill, don't quite know what they are doing and clearly haven't bargained for the baying reaction of the film's audiences.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'What price irony when you assign such a project to Joel Schumacher, director of Flatliners and Dying Young? His idea of subtlety is an enormous close-up of a fly enjoying the sweat on Douglas's neck. And Douglas himself must carry some blame: given his star-sized, high- pitched performance, D-Fens was doomed to degenerate before long into just another movie psycho, loose on the streets.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Falling Down shows the state of urban crisis Los Angeles has now reached, and the state of story-telling crisis Hollywood has reached.' Nigel Andrews, FT

MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART

'If a film's value lay solely in its images, then Vincent Ward's Map of the Human Heart would be treasure indeed. Time and again, the New Zealand director . . . casts a visual spell. .' Geoff Brown, Times.

'But its sad story of a love that speaks its name but never reaches fulfilment, though played with utmost sincerity by Jason Scott Lee, has a hard time sustaining so fractured a narrative. This is a talented film that doesn't quite make out.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

JAMON, JAMON

'This is kindergarten Bunuel, and as dull to watch as a manila envelope.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Seldom has a film that spends so much time below the belt seemed so over the top.' Nigel Andrews, FT

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