VIDEO REVIEWS

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The Independent Culture
Antz (PG)

Dreamworks, rental HHHH

This animated feature follows the fortunes of a neurotic worker ant known as Z (voiced by Woody Allen) who longs to escape the ant collective and find the mythical land Insectopia. While the computer-generated graphics are impressive, the real beauty of Antz lies in the details: Z getting stuck in the chewing gum on the bottom of a shoe or becoming trapped in a drop of dew. With its social undertones, Antz seems to be aimed more at adults than children, though its witty script is guaranteed to keep everyone entertained, regardless of their age.

Divorcing Jack (15)

Mosaic, rental HH

Set on the eve of elections in an independent Belfast, David Caffrey's directorial debut sees David Thewlis's sozzled hack unwittingly incriminated in the murder of a young girl. Not knowing who killed her, or why, Thewlis goes on the run and finds himself pursued by the IRA, UVF and RUC. Despite an interesting premise, the plot ultimately lets the film down. The question of why Thewlis didn't go straight to the police becomes increasingly pressing as he gads about Belfast in a ludicrous wig, dodging bullets and ranting inanely about politics.

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (18)

CIC, rental HH

Rather like dream-related stories, the details of other people's drug experiences are always pretty boring. Unfortunately, director Terry Gilliam failed to take this into account before embarking upon his film of Hunter S Thompson's cult novel. Fear and Loathing tells how journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his attorney Dr Gonzo drive to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, binging all the way on mescaline, ether, and acid. Gilliam religiously recreates the effects of hallucinatory drugs, but he neglects such basic requirements as character-isation and an intelligible script.

Afterglow (15)

Columbia, retail HH

In Alan Rudolph's seedy drama, Julie Christie and Nick Nolte star as a husband and wife whose marriage is fashioned of painful memories and extramarital affairs. While Nolte seduces Lara Flynn Boyle, Christie flirts with Boyle's yuppie husband, Jonny Lee Miller. The overflow of sexual innuendo is enough to make Are You Being Served? look like serious drama, and the script leaves a lot to be desired. The point of this film completely eluded me, but more perplexing is how any woman, no matter how bored, could find Nolte's wizened features attractive.

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