Now Showing
August 1998

The film that proves size makes no difference after all. As with Independence Day, the human characters are secondary to the thrills and effects lined up by director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin as the oversized lizard rampages through New York. Matthew Broderick and the excellent Jean Reno struggle manfully in their efforts to tackle this out of control monster – that’s the plot, by the way, not Godzilla.

It’s back, and for anyone who never saw this perennial date movie on a big screen it offers the ideal opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. Some may simply enjoy the chance to revisit the young and dimpled John Travolta before his career took a dive and was reborn in a succession of charismatic anti-heroes. Others will go for the air of cheesy nostalgia, urgent sexuality and upbeat optimism of the teenage characters (played by actors at least 10 years older). And, of course, the songs themselves.

The Castle
Delicious Australian comedy, which pits the humble Kerrigan family against the might of a faceless corporation seeking to kick them out, so that the airport adjacent to their property can expand. The film is a sort of Frank Capra meets Les Patterson affair, but its many laughs are unforced and heavily ironic, while the cast play their roles to perfection.

Kurt & Courtney
Nick Broomfield’s documentaries typically tell us as much about him as his subjects and, if nothing else, they prove he is a resourceful chap with a pretty thick skin. Just as well here, as the full weight of Courtney Love’s representatives tried to scupper this look at her life with the late Kurt Cobain. From setting out to make a film about a scruffy-haired suicidal musician from Seattle, extreme circumstances cause Broomfield to turn this attention to far wider issues. Nevermind, eh?

Sling Blade
At long last, a couple of years after its US release, Billy Bob Thornton’s directorial tour-de-force is released here. As the retarded but well meaning Karl Childers, the actor-writer-director (who deservedly picked-up a screenwriting Oscar at the 1997 ceremony) delivers a powerful performance loaded with empathy and contradiction, in a touching story that skilfully examines the boundaries of loyalty.

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