BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Total Recall ★★★★
This is as close as Arnold Schwarzenegger has come to real acting – still the superhero slaughtering countless people but exhibiting unusual signs of bewilderment. Mind you, bewilderment might have come naturally to him when faced with dialogue of more than a few words but, in Paul Verhoeven’s complex sci-fi epic, bewilderment is good both for character and plot. Schwarzie, a construction worker on Earth in 2084 and married to Sharon Stone, has confusing memories of another life on the now colonised Mars, where he was involved with Rachel Ticotin in a bloody civil war. But are these real memories or false ones implanted by an agency called Rekall? What is real and what is not? It’s all very violent but it does keep you watching.
The Cruel Sea ★★★★
The battles are not always at sea for traumatised corvette captain Jack Hawkins in this stirring and often moving naval drama. Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliott co-star.
Hot Tub Time Machine ★★★
The always watchable John Cusack and his three pals are transported to 1986 and have to get back to the future, in this crude and rude comedy that leaves no retro-themed gag unturned.
The Matrix Revolutions ★★★
In the red corner: the humans. In every other possible corner, nook and cranny: the machines. The conclusion of the Matrix trilogy is as spectacular as you’d expect.
Betty Blue ★★★★★
The wild pinnacle of the French 1980s phenomenon the “cinema du look” stars Béatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade – he the handyman and would-be writer who’s caught a tiger by the tail.
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