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SECRETS IS TOPS; Bittersweet slice of family traumas.

Secrets And Lies (15, pounds 14.99)

Downtrodden Brenda Blethyn is astonished to find she has a grown-up black daughter (Marianne Jean-Baptiste).

The sudden reappearance of her offspring could send neurotic Brenda over the edge or be the making of her.

British writer-director Mike Leigh's superb exploration of the pain and joys of families is both heart-rending and heart-warming.

Welcome To Planet Earth (18, VP, rental)

A YOUNG boarding-house owner is only too happy to take in a family headed by George (Cheers) Wendt. Their beautiful daughter may have something to do with it.

But these tourists are truly from out of town. Hailing from another planet entirely, they form themselves into a bloodthirsty vigilante group. B- movie supremo Roger Corman is back on form with this amusing and cheeky film.

Gold In The Streets (15, VP, rental)

THIS attempt to make a gritty, more realistic Irish-American version of Friends never really takes off. Ian Hart, Louise Lombard and Jared Harris are among a group of pals trying to make it while living illegally in the Big Apple.

Little happens and none of the characters strike any spark, although they compete to see who can talk the hind leg off a donkey. Ridicule

(15, rental & pounds 15.99)

IN pre-Revolution France, nobles vie for position at court by finding ever more wicked ways to insult each other.

One who's trying to get his fever-ridden swamps drained has to play the game. And, poor chap, it involves him bedding beauty Fanny Ardant.

This foreign language film - in the same vein as Dangerous Liaisons - is a treat .

Vegas Vacation

(PG, VP, rental)

THE grisly Griswolds head for the bright lights of Las Vegas, where greed and the attentions of Wayne Newton wreak havoc. The best efforts of Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Randy Quaid can't inject much life into this dreary movie by numbers.

Foxfire (18, VP, rental)

FOUR troubled schoolgirls find their lives changed irrevocably when drifter Angelina Jolie arrives in town. Pleasantly watchable but with few surprises.

Friends (12, 12 & PG)

THESE three videos, comprising the second half of Series Two, showcase Friends at its pinnacle - fresh, saucy, incisive and so funny.

Ross and Rachel get it together, Joey's soap character gets into trouble, Pheobe gets chicken pox and Monica and Richard break up. Charlie Sheen, Julia Roberts and even Jean-Claude Van Damme also pop up.

The Teletubbies (Uc, pounds 9.99)

OUT of Teletubbyland come the first two videos. In Here Come The Teletubbies and Dance With The Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po strut their stuff, Noo-Noo the vacuum cleaner hoovers up and Tubby Toast goes everywhere.

Put your Magic Roundabout and Clangers videos away - they just can't compete in the weirdness stakes.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Rose, Simon
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 2, 1997
Previous Article:Michael raises his Game for a pounds 28m divorce; Smash-hit saves his year from disaster.
Next Article:Still watching Spielberg's space; CLASSIC; MOVIES.

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