New Films

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
AIR BUD (U)

Director: Charles Martin Smith

Starring: Kevin Zegers

This is a ludicrous tale, entertainingly told, about a young boy who moves to a new town after the death of his father, and befriends a basketball- playing dog. What will snare potential audiences is the catalogue of tricks, beautifully performed by the dog, Buddy. Equally importantly, the film is nicely paced, and enjoyable for both adults and children. Selected local cinemas

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FINBAR (12)

Director: Sue Clayton

Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Just what the world was crying out for - an Irish-Swedish attempt to replicate the laconic comedies of Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. The film begins in social-realism mode with the dissatisfied Finbar (Jonathan Rhys Myers) vanishing from his Irish home, and calling his best friend, Danny, three years later from Sweden. Danny sets off to find Finbar, and his free-wheeling search across Sweden forms the main part of the film, which is characterised by its pointlessness. Rep: Prince Charles

THE GOVERNESS (15)

Director: Sandra Goldbacher

Starring: Minnie Driver, Tom Wilkinson

Minnie Driver gives a performance of entrancing warmth as a young Jewish woman in 1840s London who obtains employment as a governess to a family on the Isle of Skye. She becomes involved with the head of the family (Tom Wilkinson), instigating a tentative affair. This is a film about people possessing those they love, even as they are hiding the truth about themselves. The director, Sandra Goldbacher, however, communicates her ideas in a hackneyed fashion, using the camera as an object of imprisonment, without ever conveying a sense of the emotional depth in her characters. West End: ABC Shaftesbury Avenue, Notting Hill Coronet, Screen on Baker Street, Screen on the Hill, Virgin Haymarket

HALLOWEEN: H20 (18)

Director: Steve Miner

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin

Twenty years after the original Halloween, our resident psychopath returns to terrorise the one that got away - his sister (Jamie Lee Curtis), now the headmistress of a private school. Standard shocks with a glazing of post-modern in-jokes. West End: Elephant & Castle Coronet, Hammersmith Virgin, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End

SMALL SOLDIERS (PG)

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Gregory Smith

Inventive children's adventure about a batch of toy soldiers brought to life by a military microchip. The director, Joe Dante, draws some nice parallels with another of his films, Gremlins. West End: Elephant & Castle Coronet, Empire Leicester Square, Hammersmith Virgin, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero

VELVET GOLDMINE (18)

Director: Todd Haynes

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Toni Collette

Why is Velvet Goldmine the most invigorating and original movie of the year? Well, how long have you got? Todd Haynes's hymn to, and analysis of, glam rock is also a study in the nature of storytelling and myth-making.

Any similarities to Citizen Kane in the story of a journalist investigating the truth about a glam idol are by no means coincidental. Like Welles's film, this is an epic and ceaselessly imaginative work. West End: Curzon Soho, Gate Notting Hill, Odeon Camden Town, Plaza, Renoir, Richmond Filmhouse, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on the Green, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket, Warner Village West End

Comments