Monday 16 August 1999
Director: Larry Clark
Starring: James Woods, Melanie Griffith
See The Independent Recommends, right.
West End: Clapham Picture House, Metro, Ritzy Cinema, Virgin Haymarket. Repertory: The Pullman Everyman
DISTURBING BEHAVIOR (15, 84 mins)
Director: David Nutter
Starring: James Marsden, Katie Holmes
A flat spot of high-school horror, David Nutter's Disturbing Behavior (was he given the job because of his name?) has James Marsden's new-kid- in-town trying to stay true to himself in the face of a macabre spot of social engineering. This is a dead-eyed clone of The Stepford Wives and The Faculty.
West End: Virgin Trocadero
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (PG, 101 mins)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker
See The Independent Recommends, right.
West End: Curzon Soho, Richmond Filmhouse, Screen on the Hill
WILD WILD WEST (12, 106 mins)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline
Meet James West (Smith). He's a government agent in a troubled 1860s America; a personal favourite of the president who is charged with heading off a renegade bunch of Confederates. So far, so so. Except that James West is a cocksure black man, and the chief baddy (Kenneth Branagh) scoots around in a motorised wheelchair, and don't look now but there's a giant mechanical spider stomping through Monument Valley on its way to take over the world (or something).
And so on lollops the lobotomised Wild Wild West - a film that reduces the true-life West to a kind of sanitised Disneyland theme-park. Turn left at the box-office, and check out the gen-yoo-wine redneck ball, which ends in a comedy lynching, or the rickety steam-train that's jam-full of James Bond-style gadgetry. And how 'bout those sexy saloon-bar singers with their bulging decolletage (no groping, sir), and that larger'n'life Abe Lincoln, which really explodes. Your master of ceremonies is that cinematic snake-oil salesman, Sonnenfeld. Your acting troupe comprises the cheeky Smith, a peeved-looking Kline, the beautiful Miss Salma Hayek and a pantomimey Branagh (all the way from London, England).
It's tat, of course. It's slipshod, and cynical, and boring, too. So take the kids, and buy the merchandise. No refunds, sir. And move along there, madam. Plenty more suckers behind you, queuing to get in.
West End: ABC Tottenham Court Road, Clapham Picture House, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End. And local cinemas
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