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If you’re looking for a great night out, you can't go far wrong with the following selection…
ANWAR BRETT recommends the best films still on UK release for April 1999
Living in the black-and-white worldPleasantville
A visual treat, and a stimulating parable wrapped up in a cheesy, deceptively simple comedy format. Modern teens Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon get the chance to experience the idyllic life of a wholesome American ’50s tv show, but find when they get there that something is not quite right in this perfect, black and white world. A fine cast includes William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels and the late JT Walsh.

Mel Gibson tinkers with his heroic screen image here, but does not dispense with it completely. Divested of the mythic qualities John Boorman brought to the original, Point Blank, Gibson and director Brian Helgeland have made a protracted and violent – though entertaining – quest movie, with Mel out for revenge on the partner who left him for dead, and the criminal outfit that has snaffled up his ill gotten gains. Gibson’s driven character is like Martin Riggs’s psychotic half-brother.

Waking Ned
Avoiding sentiment, director Kirk Jones makes his screen debut with a delicious black comedy. Ian Bannen and David Kelly are the lifelong friends intent on discovering who in their village has won the lottery jackpot. When they discover that the shock of his good fortune has killed their pal Ned Devine, they set about hatching a plan to make the lottery company think one of them is the lucky prize winner. Funny, dark and winning entertainment.

The Thin Red Line
An epic war film, but not with the clichés and baggage one might expect. A thoughtful exploration of men in war, Terrence Malick’s first film for over two decades is a studied, perhaps naïve but always highly watchable affair, with a handful of eye popping set pieces and some lush photography to recommend it. There is also a superb cast on hand, including Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, George Clooney, John Travolta and Briton Ben Chaplin.

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