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The Magic is Back!, 12 May 2002

Getting back to basics with a 21st century flavour never tasted better. Attack of the Clones rises far above The Phantom Menace. Why? A great script, good characters, lots of action and that all powerful force in many Star Wars movies: a sense of wonder. This is truly what Star Wars is all about.

"Spender" (1991)
24 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Hard-hitting Gem from the BBC, 29 April 1999

SPENDER is the kind of gritty, intelligent cop drama that's been missing from North American television screen. The BBC produced series is a positive gem, having run for 3 consecutive seasons, and spawned one film entitled "The French Collection". Starring the excellent and multi-talented Jimmy Nail ("Still Crazy", "Evita"), it has garnered a following in Canada through re-runs on Showcase Television.

The character of Spender is a tough and able cop cleaning up the streets of London with his somewhat unorthodox methods. Following a tragic incident, he's sent home, back to the North-East to his home-town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which had taken him 20-odd years to get out of. Now re-united with old friends and haunting ghosts from his untamed past, the loathing he feels for the city and his new assignment drives his character to push the limits, and test the powers that be that govern his jurisdiction. But once we meet Spender's family - divorced wife Frances and his two young daughters - we witness an unexpected dimension to the character: that of a father and protector of his children, who finds it awkward to work his way back into their lives.

Excellent scripts, hard-hitting drama and action accompany a wealth of talent involved in the making of this quality program. Jimmy Nail not only stars, but pens a few of those scripts. Together with his friend Tony McAnaney (who also co-stars as Keith and writes the music for the series) they combine to produce a unique and often haunting musical score which creates just the right kind of atmosphere for the program. And of course, there's the thick and sexy accents which can only come from the North-East.

Spender is definitely worth a try. If the catchy theme doesn't get to you, the high-drama will!

7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Substance Below the Surface, 24 March 1999

When I decided to see The Rage, it was a spur of the moment deal. I didn't know quite what to expect. Never a fan of horror movies, I went with a curious mind and didn't expect much. However, I got my money's worth by far!

What worked the most for me in the this movie was the degree of sincerity and intelligence portrayed in the script. This wasn't a typical blood 'n guts gore film about some girl who gets her feelings hurt and knocks off the entire student body. There's much more beneath the surface than that.

I would dearly love to see this movie again while it's still playing on the big screen. There's something different about this movie which is a cut above many of the recent teen-scream movies which have come out over the past 2 years. I'm not sure what it is. It might be truer-to-life characterisations, or terrific performance by newcomer Emily Bergl, or the well-written story which unfolds at the perfect pace, and sets you up for the (somewhat) typical finale. I think it's most likely the empathy you feel for Rachel, and the sadness which prevails. And where true love is concerned, like Romeo & Juliet, true lovers can only be together forever in death. That is the definitive nature of happy endings, as illustrated early on in this film.

This movie - however - does not end this way.

The Rage is rated R for mild language, brief sexuality, and - naturally - horror violence and gore. Although there isn't that much throughout the movie, you get your fill at the end. There's not much of that creative blood-letting many horror films delve into, which is a refreshing change.