Entertainment, rental HHH
Your enjoyment of Rush Hour will depend solely on how you feel about Chris Tucker. Some people split their sides at the mere mention of his name, but for others his mile-a-minute squawk is akin to nails down a blackboard. In Brett Ratner's comedy-thriller Tucker plays a struggling detective assigned to babysit Jackie Chan's Hong Kong cop as he visits New York. Essentially, the plot is the same old stuff - mismatched partners, suitcases of money, flying fists, exploding vehicles - though the combination of Chan and Tucker is a peculiarly winning one and just about keeps things trucking along.
CIC, rental HHH
If it weren't for the excellent cast, Twilight would be your run- of-the-mill noir thriller, but the presence of Gene Hackman, Paul Newman and James Garner (grizzled face, but same lovely voice) makes it possible to ignore the hackneyed script and the inevitability of the plot. Newman - in the time-honoured Philip Marlowe role - plays a fading private detective who agrees to deliver an envelope for Gene Hackman's terminally-ill actor and finds himself surrounded by corpses. The backdrop Frank Lloyd Wright buildings imbue the film with an air of antiquity and make it a diverting homage to bygone days.
Hilary and Jackie (15)
FilmFour, rental HHHH
According to Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, adapted from the recent memoir by Hilary and her brother, Jackie du Pre's career was originally borne out of not wanting to be parted from her flautist sister, but as the extent of her talent became apparent, loneliness and resentment set in on both sides. More startling is the revelation concerning the sexual tangle which Jackie instigated with her sister and brother-in-law. It is Jackie's fanatical desire to upstage that emerges most strongly in Anand Tucker's film, an intense dual portrait which is as upsetting as it is compelling.
Ulee's Gold (15)
VCI, retail HHH
Ulee's (Peter Fonda) hypnotic power over bees forms the central metaphor for Victor Ninez's conservative film, a deft examination of the nature of addiction that extols the virtues of family unity. The cantankerous Ulee's trouble-free life is disrupted when his drug-addled daughter-in- law reveals the existence of a stash of loot, and his son's criminal cohorts turn greedy. Fonda's chilly yet moving performance is the film's only redeeming feature. Ulee's solitary occupation, which takes him deep into the woods to his hives, offers relief from the ailing family and sickly pictures of bonding.