Retail dvd (20th century fox home entertainment, widescreen)

A rock'n'roll movie without sex and drugs? Tom Hanks' directorial debut is an anachronism and proud of it. This tale of 1960s teen-pop sensation The Wonders (as in "one-hit") is breezy and good-natured, with Steve Zahn providing most of the laughs. The title tune by The Knack's Adam Schlesinger gets heavy rotation; thankfully it's a Beatle-esque beauty.

Guilty By Suspicion

Veteran producer Irwin Winkler's 1990 directorial debut, recreating the paranoid climate that enveloped early-'50s Hollywood during the anti-communist witch-hunts. Robert De Niro is the fictitious RKO director watching lives, morals and ethics come apart under the strain. A clear-eyed and heartfelt history lesson, with a Martin Scorsese cameo that's a barely disguised portrait of blacklist exile Joseph Losey.

The Transporter

Luc Besson oversaw this brain-batteringly stoopid collision between hopped-up, old-school kung-fu flick and Lock Stockish Brit gangster movie. Jason Statham just about gets his mouth around some sub-Tarantino dialogue as an ex-special forces getaway driver caught up in bad business involving a slave ring in Nice. Risible.

The Funeral The Addiction

Abel Ferrara made these almost simultaneously in '95, and they're especially intense even for him. The more successfully operatic first (Chris Walken, Chris Penn, Vincent Gallo) follows a family of '30s gangsters on a revenge mission; the second's a gory monochrome vampire flick starring Lili Taylor (and Walken again). Nietzschean, neurotic.

Ma Femme Est Une Actrice

A labour of love—or perhaps of jealousy—for writer/director Yvan Attal, who stars in this French farce as a journalist convinced his movie-star wife's having an affair with Terence Stamp. She's Charlotte Gainsbourg, Attal's real-life wife, so maybe it's all good therapy for him. For the rest of us, it's lively for half an hour, then the frisson fades.

X-Men 1.5

Bryan Singer's faithful take on Marvel's merry mutants is probably the best superhero movie to date, due primarily to Hugh Jackman's grumpy Wolverine, Anna Paquin's fragile Rogue, a couple of class-act Shakespearean luvvies (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen), some great SFX and David Hayter's fine script. Roll on the sequel!


Made in 1990 but in a Serpico-style '70s tradition, Sidney Lumet's Q&A pits Nick Nolte's corrupt Irish-American cop against Timothy Hutton's idealistic assistant DA. Quality old-school fare, marred only by over-emphasis on a sub-plot involving Armand Assante's gang boss and Nolte's odd moustache and high-heeled shoes.

Waking Life

Richard Linklater takes the po-faced monologues of Slacker up a level with this extraordinary, state-of-the-art, animated dream trip. The endless navel-gazing and philosophising (Are we alive? Are we imagining everything? There's not gonna be a car chase in this, is there?) are undeniably wearing, but you have to admire the only sentient Texan's ambition and nerve. DVD EXTRAS: None. (CR)

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