Video Watch

Twenty Four Seven (15), available to rent from Monday

FEW PEOPLE, least of all the much-hyped director himself, would judge this tale of a boxing club in an anonymous Midlands town as anything other than a raw but promising first effort. You can see what Meadows is aiming for - a down-at-heel Nineties morality piece - but the film doesn't look very interested in its cliched plot (the futile attempts of local oddball and boxing coach Darcy - Bob Hoskins - to galvanise the town's wasters). As his shorts demonstrated, Meadows excels at detailing the petty dramas of empty afternoons, and the best scenes here recall that. There are moments of dubious lyricism, but what remains are composed, monochrome images of the would-be pugilists training in their gym or taking a pee-break on a trip to Wales. At other times the film suffers when compared to the masterpiece it obviously has in mind, Raging Bull, but when Meadows drifts from the 0rise and fall of Darcy, it's a relief.

The Man In The Iron Mask (12), available to rent tomorrow

ONE OF Hollywood's most revered traditions is its periodical crack at Alexandre Dumas and, in this respect at least, Randall Wallace's regurgitation of the four musketeers' battle against Louis XIV is irreproachably unfaithful. The accents are suitably wayward: Leonardo DiCaprio, as both the nasty king and his imprisoned twin brother, is shamelessly Californian, while Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne and John Malkovich bring the vocal diversity of a UN peace-keeping force to the musketeers. For the first hour, though, there isn't much swashbuckling to be had. Instead ,the king parties while Paris starves and Wallace labours to emphasise the conflict that divides D'Artagnan, loyal to the king, from Aramis, Porthos and Athos. Things pick up once the musketeers agree to attempt to install the eponymous hero on the throne and your focus shifts from the shamelessly tacky production values to the exploits of Irons and co. Who needs historical accuracy when disposing with it is such good fun?

Best Men (15), available to rent now

WITH HER first feature, Guncrazy, Tamara Davis contributed to the resurrection of one of her stars here, Drew Barrymore, and maybe she felt she could do the same with her odd but effective cast, which includes B-movie veteran Fred Ward and Dean "Superman" Cain.

Once you get over the clot-headed premise of Davis's siege drama - a wedding party gets sucked into a bank heist carried out by one of the guests - there's not a bad film to be found. Where the screenplay does go awry is in making a feature of its derivative nature - it's one thing to endow the ring leader with a knack for Shakespeare, but it tries the patience to then have him witter on about Hamlet to his neglectful father.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
books
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
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.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'