WALTER GARBER (Denzel Washington) is a dispatcher in the busy transit control centre, monitoring New York’s subway trains. A long, uneventful day turns into a nightmare when criminal mastermind Ryder (John Travolta) and his associates take a carriage full of terrified commuters hostage, demanding a $10m ransom for their release. Walter reluctantly accepts the role of hostage negotiator, conversing with Ryder via the train’s two-way radio system, while police delay paying the ransom.
This is an action-packed remake of the 1974 thriller starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw but it falls back on the slam-bang, slow motion set-pieces that have become director Tony Scott's trademark. The testosterone-fuelled revamp lacks the tension of the original film and, while Washington gives us yet another likeable working man, his transformation into gun-toting action man strains credibility, although not nearly as much as John Travota, who overacts his socks off.
Doctor Who – The Complete Specials (12)
RELIVE all of the excitement of David Tennant's final adventures as the timelord with this five-disc box set which includes The Next Doctor, Planet Of The Dead, The Waters Of Mars and The End Of Time, Parts 1 & 2, which screened over Christmas and New Year and saw the doctor battle against The Master (John Simm) one last time before his eagerly awaited regeneration.
A three-disc Winter Specials DVD box set is also available, comprising just The Waters Of Mars and the emotional two-part finale. Tennant will go down in history as one of the best-loved Doctors, and this boxed set features some of his finest performances, not to mention great storylines and fabulous monsters.
Sorority Row (15)
SORORITY queen bee Jessica and her house sisters decide to teach Garret, the two-timing brother of sorority member Chugs, a lesson by convincing him that he has killed one of their girls by slipping her a date rape drug. In fact, Megan is just pretending to be out cold but the prank turns sour and Megan is killed for real by Garret. Jessica orders they hide the body and the tyre iron, used by Garret to kill her, in a mineshaft but, several months later, the girls receive a chilling picture text, apparently from Megan. One by one, they are stalked by a killer in a black graduation robe, wielding the very same tyre iron.
This is a competent remake of the 1983 slasher The House On Sorority Row, cast in the rigid mould of countless other teens-in-peril thrillers. While the plot slavishly abides by convention, Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger’s script is surprisingly waspish, providing the teenage damsels in distress with some deliciously catty exchanges as they attempt to avoid an early grave.