Video Round-Up

The Spanish Prisoner (PG) to rent

Financial whizz Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) has developed a market-busting formula for his company but does anyone appreciate his talents? Only, it seems, a quirky personal assistant (Rebecca Pidgeon) and a no-nonsense jet setter, Jimmy Dell (Steve Martin), Joe meets by chance.

David Mamet directs his own screenplay which means the metaphysical undertones of the switch-back plot are indulged to the full. The end result is an OK, sub-Usual Suspects thriller is needlessly complicated by verbose exchanges.

That said, Martin and Pidgeon's performances, both exuding ambiguous menace, ignite the occasional spark of tension.

Antz (PG)

to rent

Pitched as kids entertainment with enough to keep the over-14s awake, Eric Darnell and Tim Johnson's computer-animated feature doesn't quite succeed with either intention. "Z" is a worker ant, appealingly voiced by Woody Allen, who refuses to submit to the will of the commune either in his forbidden love for Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) or his belief in the mythical Insectopia. Z's real problem is his anonymity, and the same failing blights the animation itself. Z and his co-workers are so faithfully rendered, physiologically, you can barely tell them apart. (A Bug's Life by contrast substituted cute for accurate). Still, the prevailing theme of individuality vs conformity is given an engaging spin as Allen gets to reprise his customary neurotic kvetching ("I was the middle child in a family of five million"). Also pleasing are the brown and black hues of his subterranean home: a neat literal touch and a contributory factor, no doubt, in Z's existential crisis. A pity then that, a couple of bravura sequences apart, the film's mature wit is sidelined by its fatuous plot.

A Perfect Murder (18)

to rent

This loose reworking of Dial M For Murder has Michael Douglas as an amoral tycoon (is he anything else these days?) who offers Viggo Mortensen, the lover of his waspish wife Gwyneth Paltrow, $500,000 to kill her, in order that he can claim her inheritance. Though Douglas is the obvious villain, director Andrew Davis's strength is to remain poker-faced about Mortensen's motivations. His character seems to be a conflation of two from Hitchcock's original. It's a liberty but worth it, particularly if you can put up with Paltrow's dim heroine. As Davis's previous film, The Fugitive, there's something to chew on beneath the blockbuster sheen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin teaches Clara to shoot an arrow
doctor who
Arts and Entertainment
Queen Christina left the judges baffled with her audition
X Factor
Arts and Entertainment
The Vienna State Opera
opera
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'
musicLilly Wood and Robin Schulz bag number one single
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories