The Week in Review

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The Independent Culture



A gnarled Clint Eastwood tries his luck with the ladies as he plays Steve Everett, a lecherous reporter who offers his services to the case of Isaiah Washington's condemned murderer, as well as his editor's wife.

"While Eastwood is dependable, he's also miscast," decided Anthony Quinn, adding: "True Crime isn't a disgrace, but it is faintly ridiculous, and that's something Clint Eastwood should never be." "That he gets away with it at all is down to his ever-dependable laconic charm, and not to any irony lurking in the script," remarked The Times. "Another fine, typically intelligent thriller that's unusually perceptive about human emotions," beamed Time Out. "It isn't Unforgiven, but it's still unmissable," trilled the Financial Times. "Despite the film's obvious flaws, Eastwood is as good as anything he's given us," intoned The Guardian.

If Eastwood's pursuit of young women isn't embarrassing enough, the cliched plot will make you squirm in your seat.

True Crime is on general release, certificate 15






Old grievances come to the surface as a pair of thirtysomething ex-lovers fight over their old flat in a new play by Richard Zajdlic, best known as one of the writers of the television drama series This Life.

"A twisty, soapy plot, which sets up a series of increasingly contrived confrontations," noted David Benedict, adding: "Moment to moment, the actors find ways for these things to work, but viewed as a whole, they're just papering over the structural cracks." "Zajdlic contributes little to this painful terrain, although the bickering rings true," decided the Evening Standard. "Zajdlic rakes over the embers of dying-but-not-quite- dead love with lethal precision," stated The Daily Telegraph. "It progresses engagingly - Zajdlic teases audience expectation and toys with echoes of Look Back In Anger," revealed Time Out.

The build-up of doubts in Zajdlic's plot are exacerbated by the play's production, leaving us feeling unconvinced.

Dogs Barking is at the Bush Theatre, London W12 until 5 June. Bookings and enquiries, 0181-743 3388



Translating as "Long Live Love", The Pretenders' first studio album in five years sees singer Chrissie Hynde berating icons of prefabricated pop, chastising adoring fans and extolling the virtues of the biker lifestyle.

"Viva El Amour is as elegant and accomplished an album as we have any right to expect from Chrissie Hynde at this point in her career," wrote Andy Gill. "Contemptuous, glamorous and utterly unrepentent, Hynde bestrides the songs on Viva El Amour with a presence that Sharleen Spiteri of Texas could not muster in her dreams," gushed The Times, while the Daily Mail sang: "The album's highlights capture the Pretenders at their best, hinting at the glories of their previous hits." "A record that wants to puncture the blandness of mainstream rock, and takes refuge in the same blandness," grumbled Time Out.

Hynde is still on acidic form as she condemns contemporary music while navigating her way through a variety of genres.

Viva El Amour (WEA) will be available in record shops on Monday