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The Independent Culture
The Borrowers (U) Polygram, retail, pounds 15.99 HHHH

John Goodman's stars in Peter Hewitt's fast-moving kiddie flick. Set in a twilight Anglo-American world, where bobbies amble around with sub-machine guns and businessmen still sport tweed suits and big cigars, a family of Borrowers, headed by Jim Broadbent and Celia Imrie, face eviction from their illicit dwelling as the developer brings in the bulldozers to erect a giant factory. The slapstick often borders on the sadistic as the Borrower's children are scorched on light bulbs, chased by drooling dogs, sealed in milk bottles and run over by trucks. There are some searing comic performances, particularly from Mark Williams and John Goodman, and classy cameos from Hugh Laurie and Ruby Wax.

Deep Impact (12) CIC, rental HH

The first few minutes of Deep Impact might lead you to believe that Hollywood has once again displayed prophetic insight into the US president's extra-curricular activities. Tea Leoni's ambitious CNN reporter learns of a White House cover-up revolving around a woman know as Ellie. But just as she prepares to blow the whistle, she discovers that Ellie is in fact "ELE" - an Extinction Level Event - a rock the size of Manhattan is hurtling towards the Earth and a space shuttle crew have been sent to blow it up. As Tea Leoni analyses the coming apocalypse, Americans pack their suitcases and hit the highways as if a national holiday has just been declared. The sooner they're wiped out, the better.

Live Flesh (18) Fox Pathe, rental HHHH

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and West Country crime writer Ruth Rendell may seem unlikely bedfellows, but they are behind this delightfully sleazy melodrama. Live Flesh begins with a prostitute giving birth to baby Victor on a bus in Madrid - the umbilical cord is dealt with by a shoelace and teeth - before we jump 20 years to see Victor trying to take a drug-addled woman on a date. After a scuffle, Victor is sent to prison for accidentally paralysing a policeman. Six years on, a sexually frustrated Victor is let loose on the world to visit revenge upon his oppressors. It is Almodovar's brass that makes this picture such a treat, though the twisty, turny plot leaves a few too many unanswered questions.

Addams Family Reunion (PG) CIC, rental HH

America's most macabre homestead gets a makeover as Tim Curry becomes a disappointing Gomez and a surprisingly satisfactory Daryl Hannah plays his gorgeous spouse, Morticia. This third Hollywood installment of the ghoulish family's antics sees Gomez ordering a family get together after spotting an agency that traces long-lost relatives. Confusion ensues as they get sent to the wrong reunion party and the real relatives arrive at the Addams family mansion. Christina Ricci is sorely missed as the sadistically deadpan Wednesday while her brother, Pugsley, barely gets to say a word. It seems he is just there to look fat. Not a patch on the previous feature films or the television series.

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