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Jessica mellor Column: Video - New Releases: Best of the rest..

SAFE MEN (15)

Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn star as a hopeless singing double-act who get mistaken for skilled safe crackers by a Jewish mobster's right-hand man. The bumbling buddies have to prove themselves if they want to keep their limbs intact and they have some memorable scrapes. RENTAL

A straight-to-video job with a largely unknown cast is not always a safe bet but this cute comedy more than delivers the goods. The simple but satisfying story, deft dialogue and great performances make it fresh and very funny.

NOOSE (18)

Bobby (Denis Leary) is a toughie with a heart who's caught up in the violence of his Boston community. He's part of the Irish-American Mafia run by the fearsome Jackie (Colm Meaney) but when his cousin comes over from Ireland Bobby is forced to change his ways. RENTAL

I do like a bit of Dennis Leary - funny comedian, cute guy - but while he gives his all to this thriller with a conscience the rest of the cast don't have the same conviction. This is pleasing enough but won't leave a lasting impression.

MERLIN (PG)

A cast that boasts Sam Neill, Sir John Gielgud and Miranda Richardson - to name but a few - take us on a rollicking ride through a world where magic, wizards and spells are commonplace. It could only be Avalon and this is the epic story of Merlin the wizard. RETAIL pounds 14.99

Made-for-TV movies don't usually inspire confidence but this glitzy production breaks all the rules. Richardson is perfectly cast as the husky- voiced evil Queen of Darkness, Mab, and Helena Bonham Carter is an excellent Morgan Le Fay.

STARSKY & HUTCH (PG) VOLUMES 1-3

This is the first time the adventures of these '70s icons have been available on video and because everyone's harping back to the days when all things were funky, I suppose it was a good time to release them. RETAIL pounds 10.99 PER VOLUME

I was a mad fan of the cardi-wearing detective duo and although Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul look dated they still make a dynamic team. Their car chases are cool and supergrass Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas) is still the main man.

THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF THE WISHING CHAIR (U)

Cartoon brother and sister team Peter and Mollie bring Enid Blyton's fantastic stories alive in this great value video. Small children will love the tales which transport them to wonderful worlds such as The Land Of Dreams. RETAIL pounds 12.99

Parents may find these short stories a bore after a while but they have a charm that youngsters find irresistible. With 13 episodes on one video they will keep kids happy for hours and are the perfect alternative to an Easter egg.

DVD Recommendations..

THIS IS SPINAL TAP (15, pounds 15.99)

If you've never seen this hilarious spoof rockumentary you haven't lived. It follows the exploits of rockers Spinal Tap on a disastrous American tour. Michael McKean plays spiritual lead singer and founding member David St Hubbins, while Christopher Guest is lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, this is a quote from Nigel (left) about why most of their audience are young boys, "Females see us on stage with tight trousers... we've got armadillos in our trousers.... it's really quite frightening, the size, and they run screaming..." Pure genius.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Mellor, Jessica
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 2, 1999
Words:562
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Next Article:Video - New Releases: Jessica Mellor Column: DULL COMEDY'S LOST THE PLOT; There's Something About Mary (15, rental).


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