STAYING IN / Video: This week's releases

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The Independent Culture
The Pelican Brief (12). A new genre has arisen: the Grisham film, a variation on the thriller, replacing suspense with turgidity. They are getting better (see review of 'The Client' in the main paper) and this one improved on the feebleness of The Firm. Julia Roberts plays a sparky law student who stumbles on a conspiracy to assassinate Supreme Court Judges; Denzel Washington is the journalist who supports her. It's hokum, slowed to snail's pace by Grisham's pedantic plotting.

A Dangerous Woman (18). Debra Winger won a deserved Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a dippy spinster battling with exploitative men and her own frustrated sexual feelings. The film veers wildly, but overall it's a more palatable Forrest Gump.

Striking Distance (18). Erratic serial-killer thriller, with Bruce Willis out of key as a motorboat cop.

OUT NOW: THE FIVE BEST TAPES Jurassic Park (PG). Never mind the characters, watch the dinosaurs.

In the Name of the Father (15). The Guildford Four story as a powerful father-son drama.

Short Cuts (18). Altman's Carver adaptation: a salty compendium of LA stories.

The Age of Innocence (U). Scorsese's gorgeous take on Wharton's tale of suffocation.

Liebelei (U). Max Ophuls's romantic masterpiece, set in 1910 Vienna.