FILM / Video rental

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
JACK THE BEAR (Fox Video 15 94mins). Danny De Vito is a horror show host and widower in this coming-of-age Californian Gothic: his son must learn to cope with loss, De Vito must cope with adulthood. The tone is short story sensitive, and there are jarring good vs evil elements - from puppy love to child molestation - yet this lingers in the memory; it has the tart moodiness of a troubled adolescent.

SPLITTING HEIRS (CIC 15 84mins). Ghastly 'comedy' with Eric Idle as the rightful heir to a dukedom, thwarted by sly pretender cousin Rick Moranis (never worse). Too much mugging, not enough wit.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S LOADED WEAPON 1 (Guild 15 89mins). Ham-stuffed action flick spoof. Rounds up the usual suspects: Basic Instinct (the best joke), the Lethal Weapon series (which had parody built in) and Silence of the Lambs. It squeaks by.

DR GIGGLES (CIC 18 91mins). It opens well: the viewer takes a computer-generated journey through a murder victim's adrenalin-charged veins. Then it's your standard sub-Freddy punster villain (LA Law's Larry Drake) on the rampage, using a variety of medical instruments to dispatch the leering local teens - gory. The script reader should have asked for a second opinion.

SCENT OF A WOMAN (Universal 15 150mins). Oscar-winning Al Pacino struts his stuff as a blind, uncouth ex-army hero with a yen for suicide, a fact unknown to his paid companion, Chris O'Donnell, as they embark on a New York trip. Often on the verge of being about the modern world's disenchantment with fossilised military macho, the film eventually lapses into sentiment so cheap Cilla Black would be revolted. But it's excitingly acted, and O'Donnell is a ripe talent.

FOREVER YOUNG (Warner 15 97mins). Frozen buns anyone? PilotMel Gibson can't deal with his girlfriend's death and is put on ice till he's over the trauma. He's misplaced for a few decades and thaws out to find his gal's alive and wrinkled. Male weepie - a contradiction in terms - aims for tears, but the screenplay has a cold core that even the glow of true love can't melt.

ARMY OF DARKNESS (Guild 18 85mins). Relaxed, tacky second sequel lands Bruce Campbell in the demon 'n' skeleton-ridden Middle Ages. A six-pack hit.

Comments