Rental and retail dvd & video (columbia tristar home video, widescreen)

Big Fish

This one proves Tim Burton's an absolute master. Billy Crudup hears his dying dad (Albert Finney) recount his implausible life story. Ewan McGregor embodies the young Finney as these tall tales are realised with wow-factor wizardry: a giant, a war, a circus—it's Fellini with a colour box. The climax skilfully plays your scepticism off against your dreams, somehow allowing both to win. Small ponds of audience tears ensue.

All The Real Girls

Confused and rather dull boy-loses-girl story which inexplicably got some pant-wetting reviews. The greatly admired David Gordon Green loosely introduces us to the small-town Romeo and younger college girl who fall in love, only for her brother to kick up a rumpus and for her to break hearts. It's all wilfully vague and indecisive, and her infidelity doesn't make sense. Terrence Malick meets Dawson's Creek.

Tears Of The Sun

Gory, sentimental parable about honour and redemption in 'war-torn' Africa, with Bruce Willis' hard-bitten Navy SEALS sacrificing themselves for gorgeous doctor Monica Bellucci and a column of predictably long-suffering refugees. Director Antoine Fuqua—who helmed the terrific Training Day—clearly had higher aspirations, but it's more Wild Geese than Wild Bunch.

Gigli

You'll be—yes—giggly at how truly grim this really is. It's embarrassing watching the ego-addled Ben Affleck straining to show us what a stud he is for pulling J-Lo. The block Jenny's from is clearly made of wood, for her acting is equally dire in a would-be comic thriller from Martin Brest, who even calls in Pacino and Walken for cameos. To no avail.

Bad Boys 2

As most high-minded critics were correct to point out on its cinema release, Bad Boys 2 is crude, noisy, relentlessly violent and often in the worst possible taste. Did they also mention that it's ridiculously entertaining, with hilarious turns from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and that when it comes to putting on this kind of show, director Michael Bay displays an unstinting genius for widescreen mayhem? Probably not.

Hollywood Homicide

A fascinating study in waning star power disguised as a cop movie, disguised as a comedy, this reveals the Harrison Ford screen persona at its most intransigent, here playing a 'big dog' cop who hates rap music and yoga, punches people, solves murders and sleeps with Lena Olin.
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