What would you do if you knew a meteor was heading towards Earth and you only had a few hours to live? Choosing to watch a film about that very subject would probably not be high on your list of priorities, but, with global destruction less imminent, Mimi Leder's powerful drama proves to have emotional as well as physical impact. This is thanks to a character-rich cast, and some quality actors who give life to a nightmare scenario.
The Big Swap
Four couples, all close friends, indulge in a drunken night's partner swapping, and find their relationships are changed forever. So what? Well, this low-budget British movie from first-time writer-director Niall Johnson proves more provocative emotionally than physically in its depiction of the sometimes sensuous, sometimes comical pairings. The cast of unknowns are highly convincing, in a film that has more insightful moments than glib Hollywood entertainment costing ten times as much.
The Wedding Singer
Forget any deep analysis, Adam Sandler's latest offering really works on one level and one level only - it's silly, entertaining, romantic fun. As the improbably bouffanted crooner of the title, he makes his living in the mid '80s providing live entertainment at local weddings. But, when he is dumped at the altar himself, his job turns into a living hell as he dishes out spiteful barbs to his stunned employers. Perhaps comely waitress Drew Barrymore can bring him out of this depression, but she is engaged to wed a ghastly yuppie. How will it all end?
The Little Mermaid
The film that started the revival of Disney's ailing animation division, this free adaptation of a Hans Christian Anderson story has all the familiar ingredients. Feisty heroine, square-jawed-yet-bland hero, cute animal sidekicks, a romance that can never be (or can it?) and a darkly evil character casting a shadow across the whole drama. Add to this the fine animation, and some wonderful songs from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken and you have the welcome return of a charming family film.
Robert Duvall's talent has been his versatility over the years, and he shows it to good effect in this overlong but absorbing drama. Taking the title role in a film he wrote and directed, Duvall plays a supremely self-confident evangelist who reacts violently to his wife's admission of infidelity. Going on the run, and adopting a new identity he seeks to absolve his sin in the eyes of God by doing good works. And though his manner is not to all tastes, he has a powerful conviction and a common touch. But can he achieve all he set out to do before the law catches up with him?