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Armageddon (12)

available to rent

BRUCE WILLIS and his band of oil drillers set about the destruction of an enormous earth-bound meteor, but don't move to the edge of your seat just yet. Michael Bay's gaudy, exhausting actioner trades in suspense for cartoon guffaws very early on. And the hokier it gets, the more you're prepared to forgive it. The CGI meteor storms are far too convincing. Much better is the design of the meteor itself which the Blue Peter team might have been responsible for.

The crew are one-dimensional, even by Hollywood standards. And the testosterone leaks into the film's deliriously stupid subplot. Willis's character can't face up to the burgeoning sexuality of his daughter, Liv Tyler. How does the screenplay resolve this? It has him shove his big drill down the biggest female on screen, the meteor herself. Boys, as Freud once quipped, will be boys.

Walkabout (12)

available to buy pounds 9.99

REMARKABLY, THIS is the first time that Nic Roeg's masterpiece has been released on video and, nearly 30 years on, its Outback landscape looks more alien than ever. Their father having shot himself, schoolgirl Jenny Agutter and Lucien John, her little brother, wander from oasis to rocky outcrop. A young Aboriginal boy comes across them. He's on a walkabout, his ritual initiation into manhood, and it's the subsequent attention to adolescent sexuality, along with the striking photography, that stands up so well. Roeg's comparisons between sterile Western society and Aboriginal elemental existence, however, don't pack the same punch they once did.

Metropolitan (PG)

available to buy pounds 5.99

IN METROPOLITAN - the 1989 debut of director Whit "The Last Days of Disco" Stillman - the action rarely strays from the pavements and drawing-rooms of Manhattan, but his literate, witty script populates both with young characters as complex and bright as they are gauche and self-deluding. Jane Austen, as repeated references to the writer make clear, is Stillman's touchstone, but he's not heavy-handed about it.His plain direction strikes a tone of razor-sharp yet affectionate satire, a deft balance the cast manage, too.

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