VIDEO REVIEWS

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The Independent Culture
Blues Brothers 2000 (PG)

CIC, rental H

John Landis's remake of The Blues Brothers basks in the same facetious humour as its 1980 predecessor, with endless car chases and motorway pile- ups and no discernible plot. The late John Belushi is replaced by John Goodman, seemingly chosen because of his waist measurements rather than charisma. Landis dredges up a starry supply of musicians including the radiant Erykah Badu and the precocious 16-year-old blues singer Jonny Lang. But even the presence of some rabble-rousing songs can't make up for the hackneyed humour in a film that was pretty dated in the 1980s but now seems prehistoric.

City of Angels (12)

Warner, retail HH

Any normal person would be filled with fear when faced with a man in a black overcoat who, without introduction, barges into their office and has unlimited access to their inner thoughts. Not our Meg. One eyeful of Nicolas Cage and she's dusting the china for their first romantic meal. The revelation that he is an angel causes her to rebuke the God who let them meet, rather than call for an ambulance. Brad Silberling, creator of the children's film Casper, does not seem to have adjusted his approach for adults as he leaves questions unanswered and offers a simplistic view of life and death.

The Negotiator (15)

Warner, rental HHH

When Samuel L Jackson's Chicago hostage-crisis fixer finds that he's been framed for his partner's murder he engineers a hostage situation of his own to clear his name. Kevin Spacey plays Chicago's other negotiator, the only guy in town with whom Jackson is willing to play psychological mind-games. Jackson's hostages incorporate the requisite bad guys, a couple of warm-hearted types, a woman and a thicko, so you know what is going to happen from the start. Nevertheless, the chemistry between Spacey and Jackson is just about enough to carry the film, as long as you don't dwell on the plot.

Gang Related (PG)

FilmFour, retail HHHH

James Belushi breathes new life into the corrupt cop routine in Jim Kouf's gangster flick. From his garish array of Hawaiian shirts to his sneering impatience with his colleagues, he exudes sleaziness from every pore. When he accidentally kills an undercover cop, he and his partner (Tupac Shakur in his last role) find themselves in need of a fall guy. As they scour the streets, the implications of their folly are revealed. They finally alight on a vagrant, an ingeniously disguised Denis Quaid, who is persuaded of his guilt and duly sent to trial. A grimly fascinating picture.

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