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The Independent Culture
Godzilla (PG)

Colombia, rental H

Roland Emmerich's box office behemoth sees the 400 foot reptile tramping around Manhattan in search of a nest. Somehow the authorities somehow fail to keep track of him and pass the time playing peek-a-boo in between the skyscrapers. More perplexing is the fact that the monster appears to change in proportion in order to suit the story's needs. Godzilla is large enough to decimate the Empire State building yet sufficiently small to squeeze into the basement of Madison Square Gardens. Matthew Broderick gapes with aplomb since that is all his role allows him to do and Maria Pitillo inspires little confidence as his hackette girlfriend. You long for them to fall under the reptile's feet rather than getting caught between his toes.

The Daytrippers (15)

Fox Pathe, rental HHHH

After finding a poetic love letter in her husband's pocket, the beleaguered Eliza investigates her spouse, Stanley Tucci (above). Her quest turns into an eventful expedition as her parents, her sister Jo and Jo's boyfriend, Carl, enthusiastically volunteer to help. Soon her husband's philandering ways take a back seat as the family's own feuds bob to the surface. Jim simmers silently as his wife blames him for the inadequacy of men, while Jo is driven into a frenzied clinch with a complete stranger as her boyfriend lectures about how the working classes are connected to the earth. With smart performances from the whole cast, Greg Mottola's sharp comedy will ring true to anyone with difficult relations.

Six Days, Seven Nights (12)

Buena Vista, rental HH

Harrison Ford gets to roll around in the sand with a woman half his age in this remarkably tasteless comedy. After an emergency landing on a remote island, Anne Heche's drippy magazine editor finds herself marooned with Ford's grizzled pilot. The inevitable bitching begins but as they embark on the normal desert-island routines of fishing, building tree houses and fighting pirates, they start to flirt preposterously. As Heche gads about in an array of flimsy outfits, Ford challenges his nubile plaything to guess his age. As she coquettishly suggests 50 he smiles and whispers the real figure into her ear. "You still look good," she assures him. "I still am good," comes the reply. It's like watching an aged dad hit on his daughter's school chum.

Mad City (15)

Warner, rental HH

Costa-Gavras takes a prolonged pot-shot at the media in this mediocre thriller. Dustin Hoffman's slimy TV reporter stumbles upon a hostage situation at a museum where ex-employee Sam (John Travolta) has kidnapped a group of schoolchildren in order to get his job back. As the crisis intensifies, Hoffman appoints himself as chief negotiator in order to secure himself the exclusive story. All the characters prove utterly unconvincing - it is hard to believe that a sniper's rifle could miss such a doltish criminal while Hoffman's moment of revelation about the evils of the media is ludicrous. Worst of all is the transformation of Hoffman's aide from simpering trainee to media bitch in a mere two days. It seems a spot of lipstick sure can change a girl.