FILM / Critical round-up

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HUSBANDS AND WIVES

'This is not about Allen and his troubles; it is about all of us and our troubles . . . No Woody Allen film has had such comedy in its passion . . . it shows that Allen the performer has grown far beyond the schoolboy-in-shock phase of his early career. He is now an adult in shock, wiser and sadder but no less hilarious.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Thanks to sharp writing and some superb ensemble playing Husbands and Wives sucks in the viewer the way few recent Allen films have managed.' Geoff Brown, Times

'As an examination of middle-aged middle-class Manhattan mores, it is well nigh unbeatable.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE

'Ridley Scott on this form is the cinema's great decorative expressionist: a Von Sternberg for our times. He should take a bow too for casting GD as CC. Depardieu's protean grace as a performer - he looks like the Incredible Hulk, he moves like Nijinski, he acts like Olivier - make this Columbus a hero, child and visionary all in one. 1492, if not the last word on Columbus, is definitively the last image.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'But where is the tension? The fireworks come too late into the two-and-a- half hours to lift the narrative from its torpor . . . characterisations accentuate the film's problems. Depardieu's ability to convey passionate commitment goes for little when the script never gets to grips with the explorer's motives, but coasts along with a false, blurred image of a pacifist visionary out of step with his time's cruel temper.' Geoff Brown, Times

PRAGUE

'Ian Sellar admits that he wrote the script without knowing where his story was heading. Unfortunately it shows, for the three main characters rattle round the Czech capital with little of significance to do . . . relatively painless to watch; but it remains a low-calorie Europudding.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Having established a fine mood at the outset - whimsical, floating, sensuous - the film trips up when it tries for larger significance.' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

'Six out of ten for scriptwriter Joss Whedon; one and a half and stay-in-after- class for director Fran Rubel Kuzui.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Why won't that fine actor Donald Sutherland rest quietly until a decent script comes along instead of haunting cinema screens in this kind of teen- dreck?' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph

'A kind of romance, a kind of comedy, a kind of horror story and to say it fails on all three counts would be putting it mildly.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

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