RECORDED DELIVERY

A critical guide to the week's videos
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Mulholland Falls (18, above) Polygram, rental, 7 April. Rent-a- mob Michael Madsen, Chazz Palminteri and Chris Penn get to play the cops for once in this flat thriller, but as members of LAPD's Hat Squad (not averse to dispatching bad guys from the Hollywood hill of the title), they're hardly far from typecast territory. The plot revolves around a Marilyn-style dead starlet, with Nick Nolte and John Malkovich among the players working through the conspiracy of sleaze. Unfortunately, big names and great production values can't disguise the fact that director Lee Tamahori's US debut is a very slim volume indeed.

Small Faces (15) Guild, pounds 12.99, retail, on release. Gillies MacKinnon's wonderful semi-autobiographical film follows the fates of brothers Bobby, Alan and Lex, growing up in gangland Glasgow of the late 1960s. Seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Lex (pubescent vulnerability and pugnacity played to perfection by Ian Robertson), its tale of split family loyalties and internecine warfare is lucidly realised through MacKinnon's subtle direction.

Freeway (18) High Fliers, rental, 9 April. The cast tells you all you need to know: Kiefer Sutherland (a psychopathic psychologist), Reese Witherspoon (the motor-mouthed teen who thumbs a lift from him) and Brooke Shields are the B-listers providing the histrionics for this hitch-hike thriller.

The Howling (18) BMG, pounds 5.99, retail, on release. Things get a bit hairy for Dee Wallace's TV reporter in this enjoyable lycanthropic love-in, directed by Joe "Gremlins" Dante and co-scripted by John Sayles. After a nervous breakdown, Wallace goes to a retreat to recover, only to find that her fellow patients are werewolves. Packed with convincingly gory SFX and smart, self-referential gags.

If These Walls Could Talk (15) Medusa, rental, on release. Made-for- TV issue drama looking at abortion from the viewpoint of three women. Demi Moore, Sissy Spacek and Cher are the stars lending their services to a worthy movie which, if not exactly feel-good, is a decent dramatisation of an emotive and highly controversial subject.

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