Only the text is left intact in Baz Luhrmann's vibrant adaptation of Shakespeare's enduring love story. In a latter-day Verona Beach festooned with gaudy Catholic iconography and riddled with slick Shakespeare allusions (Out Damned Spot cleaners, Shylock Bank), the Montague/Capulet gangs are distinguished by designer v Vietcong street fashion. The iambic pentameter is barely audible in the midst of hectic CNN reports, scraping rollerblades, ceaseless gunfire and the thud of West Coast hip-hop. But romance tempers the chaos in more tender moments, where stolen glances and furtive hand- holding, accompanied by the warbling tones of Des'ree, are guaranteed to melt the hardest of hearts.
Powder (12) Buena Vista, rental, 14 October
Powder (Sean Patrick Flanery) is the ghostly albino recluse in possession of supernatural powers and an astronomical IQ. After the death of his grandparents, Powder is sent to a children's home where he is weighed down by the cruelty of human nature and struggles to fit in with his peers. Jeff Goldblum assumes his customary role of a wacky scientist and, captivated by the boy's peculiar powers, endeavours to introduce him to the ways of the world. In this strange hybrid of The X Files and The Elephant Man, Powder scratches the surface of some interesting ideas but sadly suffocates them with sentimentality.
The Perez Family (15), Film Four, retail, 13 October, pounds 12.99
On his release from 20 years in a Cuban jail, Juan (Alfred Molina) meets salacious ex-prostitute Dottie (Marisa Tomei) on the boat to Miami. She is mistaken for Juan's wife by immigration officials just at the point that Juan's brother-in-law shows up to bring him home to his real wife, Carmela (Anjelica Huston). Meanwhile, Carmela is coming to terms with the loss of her husband and flirting with a charming FBI agent (Chazz Palminteri). Director Mira Nair creates an engaging blend of romance and comedy out of serious subject matter.Reuse content