FILM / Critical Round-up

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UNFORGIVEN

'Clint Eastwood's brilliant and harrowing Unforgiven packs all the punch of a good western without indulging in the plot cliches and moral certitudes so often inherent in the genre . . . Despite its bleakness, the film remains richly rewarding, peppered with the sort of memorable one-liners for which Eastwood is famous and ending with a shoot-out that will not disappoint traditionalists. Just don't expect the good guys to ride off into the sunset.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times.

'Time has caught up with The Man With No Name and Dirty Harry. Unforgiven . . . is no shoot- 'em-up special, but a slow, reflective epic about western myth, western reality and the outlaws who live past their prime . . . there is no trace of the smugness that marred Dances with Wolves . . . Eastwood wears the genre like the old pro he is.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'Definitive.' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

'Baseball with a twist: a female twist . . . The scriptwriters for Penny Marshall's film unerringly plump for the corniest devices . . . Then comes the ending. Or rather endings, for in common with many Hollywood scripts, A League of Their Own mercilessly drags its heels. After a rousing match and a sentimental reunion, we return to the present day when surviving team players gather for induction into the baseball Hall of Fame. The glutinous sequence effectively kills the film dead.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'The film works best as a comedy, with especially funny turns by Jon Lovitz as a wise-cracking scout and (Tom) Hanks as the drunken has- been player . . . Director Penny Marshall once again proves herself to possess both a deft hand for light comedy and an unfortunate weakness for sentimentality.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

'One of the few commercial Hollywood movies of the year to be both unpretentiously jolly and unabashedly sentimental.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian.

THE HOURS AND THE TIMES

'Wistful, well-acted drama about an imaginary weekend that John Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein might have spent together in 1963 . . . Writer / director Christopher Munch has created a slow, knowing, often agonised film that has a lot more to do with Bergman than Help]' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

'If the two leading characters were not John Lennon and Brian Epstein, few would surely bear with this drab, hour-long American depiction of sexual frustration.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'If the rest of the 'New Queer' cinema is as perceptive as this, it has a lot in store for us.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Touching, melancholy and thought-provoking.' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph.

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