Active Stealth

Active Stealth

Starring: Baldwin, Daniel Williamson, Fred Vennera, Chick Jaenicke, Hannes Vidal, Lisa Robinson, Paul Michael Lala, Joe Funk, Terry Funk, Terry York, Ladd
Director: Ray, Fred Olen

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 2.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Stereo

After Captain Murphy (Baldwin) lost some of his men on his last mission to Mexico to bring back a US Senator...

Air Force One

Air Force One

Starring: Miller, Michael Ray Garrett, Spencer Weintraub, Carl Hall, Philip Baker Latham, Elester Bullock, Donna Levani McManus, Don McManus, Don Morshower, Glenn
Director: Petersen, Wolfgang

Rating: R (MPAA)
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 124

Color Digital Stereo

President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) is one of the most respected leaders in the history of America. When Kazakhstanian separatists commit atrocities on their own people, Marshall authorizes a guerrilla mission to take their leader, General Radek (Jürgen Prochnow), into custody and restore the democratic regime. In his speech afterward, the president vows never to let America hesitate again when dealing with terrorists. However, that's before a group of them, led by the ruthless Korchunov (Gary Oldman) take over his own flight on Air Force One, with his wife and young daughter also on board. President Marshall, a decorated Vietnam veteran, becomes a one-man vigilante force in his efforts to free his family and the other hostages, retake the plane, and thwart the hijackers. Director Wolfgang Petersen's thrilling film is supported by an excellent ensemble cast, which includes William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, and Glenn Close as Kathryn Bennett, the vice president who must hold the Cabinet together in Marshall's absence. En route from Russia to the United States on Air Force One, President James Marshall (Harrison Ford), his wife and daughter, and other passengers are taken hostage by a gang of wild-eyed Kazakhstanian separatist radicals led by the cunning Korchunov (Gary Oldman). Fortunately, this Chief Executive is a decorated Vietnam vet who knows his way around hand-to-hand combat and firearms. Bargain? Never! As the president fights to subdue the hijackers and ground the plane, his Cabinet fights to keep the nation together. Theatrical release: July 25, 1997. The film was shot with the cooperation of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force, the Department of the Army, and the National Guard. The production was allowed to use CNN's actual Los Angeles studio for its mock CNN segments. Director Wolfgang Petersen again uses actor Jurgen Prochnow--the German U-boat captain in his film DAS BOOT--this time as Kazakhstan leader Radek. "Get off my plane."--President Marshall (Harrison Ford) to Korchunov (Gary Oldman)

Antitrust

Antitrust

Starring: Phillippe, Ryan Robbins, Tim Forlani, Claire Robbins, Tim McFerran, Douglas Roundtree, Richard Runyan, Tygh Tso, Yee Jee Tso, Yee Jee Bellamy, Ned
Director: (II), Peter Howitt

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com The term suspension of disbelief was invented for the idea that Ryan Phillippe could be a computer genius. As Milo, a slacker brainiac recruited by smilingly ominous software giant Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) to help build a global communications system, Phillippe still looks like a million bucks. He is also still doing the clenched, pouty grown-up voice that he always uses to show that he means business in this acting stuff (he's nothing if not earnest), and a pair of designer glasses completes the transformation. He's well matched in Antitrust by Claire Forlani, who, in turn, spends time pursing her lips and squinting her dewy eyes as Milo's troubled girlfriend, an artist who proves to be a liability when Milo discovers that Winston is killing off clever competitors like a dot-com fÜhrer. Robbins, looking like David Letterman, seems willing to either take his role dead seriously or goof around a bit, but director Peter Howitt doesn't know how to play any of it (the actor was better used as a grinning madman in another flawed paranoid thriller, the underseen Arlington Road). Without any underlying menace or enough satirical bite to keep it interesting, the whole thing slips by passively in a mindless matinee kind of way until the over-the-top finale. Production designer Catherine Hardwicke has had some big, glossy fun creating Winston's campus and ornate private kingdom, and there's the cheapest of kicks in seeing Robbins's Bill Gates taken down publicly, but the film is definitely junior league. --Steve Wiecking --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

Starring: Quaid, Dennis Woods, James Burns, Edward Foxx, Jamie Diaz, Cameron J, LL Cool Modine, Matthew Ann-Margret Ann-Margret Berkley, Elizabeth
Director: Stone, Oliver

Rating: R (MPAA)
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 157

Color Digital Stereo

Oliver Stone's hard-hitting look at the adrenaline-fueled world of pro football stars Al Pacino as Miama Sharks coach Tony D'Amato. Having just lost his star quarterback, Jack Rooney (Dennis Quaid), he's forced to use the erratic Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) off the bench, hoping he can resuscitate his team, which is floundering on the field and in attendance figures. If not, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), the team's new owner, may be drop-kicking him to a new destination. Oliver Stone delves into his love-hate relationship with pro football in this high-impact film, thriving on the game's adrenaline rush while revealing its ultimate corruption. When legendary Miami Sharks quarterback Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid) is badly injured in a game, coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) is forced to reach deep into his bench for Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). The third-stringer's injury-plagued career and difficulty with maintaining focus make him a dubious commodity at best. But Beamen, aware of what this opportunity could mean, starts playing at a much higher level than ever before, planting championship hopes in the minds of Miami fans. The extraordinary success of Beamen, an athlete whose flamboyance contradicts everything the Lombardi-like D'Amato believes about the game, makes the coach wonder whether his time is passing. To add to his problems, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), a young woman who has inherited ownership of the team from her late father, is pressuring him to win now, and at any cost. Will D'Amato be able to pull the team together for a final run at the championship? The film conveys a vivid sense of the atmosphere of pro football and features a finely modulated performance by Pacino. Theatrical release: December 22, 1999.

Armageddon

Armageddon

Starring: Willis, Bruce Thornton, Billy Bob Affleck, Ben Tyler, Liv Patton, Will Buscemi, Steve Fichtner, William Wilson, Owen Wilson, Owen Stormare, Peter
Director: Bay, Michael

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min (director's cut)

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Amazon.com essential video The latest testosterone-saturated blow-'em-up from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay (The Rock, Bad Boys) continues Hollywood's millennium-fueled fascination with the destruction of our planet. There's no arguing that the successful duo understands what mainstream American audiences want in their blockbuster movies--loads of loud, eye-popping special effects, rapid- fire pacing, and patriotic flag waving. Bay's protagonists--the eight crude, lewd, oversexed (but lovable, of course) oil drillers summoned to save the world from a Texas-sized meteor hurling toward the earth--are not flawless heroes, but common men with whom all can relate. In this huge Western-in-space soap opera, they're American cowboys turned astronauts. Sci-fi buffs will appreciate Bay's fetishizing of technology, even though it's apparent he doesn't understand it as anything more than flashing lights and shiny gadgets. Smartly, the duo also tries to lure the art-house crowd, raiding the local indie acting stable and populating the film with guys like Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson, and Michael Duncan, all adding needed touches of humor and charisma. When Bay applies his sledgehammer aesthetics to the action portions of the film, it's mindless fun; it's only when Armageddon tackles humanity that it becomes truly offensive. Not since Mississippi Burning have racial and cultural stereotypes been substituted for characters so blatantly--African Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Scottish, Samoans, Muslims, French ... if it's not white and American, Bay simplifies it. Or, make that white male America; the film features only three notable females--four if you count the meteor, who's constantly referred to as a "bitch that needs drillin'," but she's a hell of a lot more developed and unpredictable than the other women characters combined. Sure, Bay's film creates some tension and contains some visceral moments, but if he can't create any redeemable characters outside of those in space, what's the point of saving the planet? --Dave McCoy --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Bourne Identity, The (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Bourne Identity, The (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Damon, Matt Potente, Franka Cooper, Chris Owen, Clive Cox, Brian Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adewale Mann, Gabriel Goggins, Walt Goggins, Walt Stiles, Julia
Director: Liman, Doug

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 119 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Freely adapted from Robert Ludlum's 1980 bestseller, The Bourne Identity starts fast and never slows down. The twisting plot revs up in Zurich, where amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), with no memory of his name, profession, or recent activities, recruits a penniless German traveler (Run Lola Run's Franka Potente) to assist in solving the puzzle of his missing identity. While his CIA superior (Chris Cooper) dispatches assassins to kill Bourne and thus cover up his failed mission, Bourne exercises his lethal training to leave a trail of bodies from Switzerland to Paris. Director Doug Liman (Go) infuses Ludlum's intricate plotting with a maverick's eye for character detail, matching breathtaking action with the humorous, thrill-seeking chemistry of Damon and Potente. Previously made as a 1988 TV movie starring Richard Chamberlain, The Bourne Identity benefits from the sharp talent of rising stars, offering intelligent, crowd-pleasing excitement from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle (Special Unrated Widescreen Edition)

Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle (Special Unrated Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Cameron Diaz Drew Barrymore Lucy Liu Bernie Mac Demi Moore
Director:

Rating: Unrated
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 107 minutes

Color Dolby Digital

CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE reunites Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu as they once again wage battle against some formidable opponents. This time around the three angels are on a mission to track down two stolen rings that contain encrypted information relating to the Witness Protection Program. Naturally the girls kick some serious butt, often facing some familiar villains in the shape of a returning Crispin Glover (as the Thin Man) and Justin Theroux (as Seamus O'Grady), a former beau of Barrymore's character. To further spice things up, there is an ex-angel, played by a shapely Demi Moore, who is rather keen on getting her hands on the rings, all adding up to lots of thrills and spills for the girls. Director McG returns from the original movie, this time upping the action ante with a series of spectacular stunts and CGI-assisted tricks. Employing a neverending array of celebrity cameo appearances, McG builds on the momentum of the previous movie and neatly balances the combination of comedy set pieces and action sequences. Cast and crew keep their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks throughout, leading to a not-too-serious romp that is a feast for the eyes. Features Angel-Vision Trivia Track Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam Cameo-Graphy Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel DVD ROM: Sony's exclusive Charlie's Angels® X Online Game FULL THROTTLE JUKEBOX Full Throttle: The Cars of Charlie's Angels Learn why: There's no such thing as a "short shot," only an overworked producer Music Video: PINK featuring WILLIAM ORBIT "Feel Good Time" Rolling with the Punches Scene Selections Telestrator Commentary with Director McG! Turning Angels into Pussycat Dolls Writer's Commentary XXX-Treme Angels

Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels

Starring: Diaz, Cameron Barrymore, Drew Murray, Bill Barrymore, Drew Forsythe, John Curry, Tim Lynch, Kelly Rockwell, Sam Rockwell, Sam Diaz, Cameron
Director: McG

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com For every TV-into-movie success like The Fugitive, there are dozens of uninspired films like The Mod Squad. Happily--and surprisingly--this breezy update of the seminal '70s jiggle show falls into the first category, with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore (who also produced), and Lucy Liu starring as the hair-tossing, fashion-setting, kung fu-fighting trio employed by the mysterious Charlie (voiced by the original Charlie, John Forsythe). When a high-tech programmer (Sam Rockwell) is kidnapped, the angels seek out the suspects, with the daffy Bosley (Bill Murray in a casting coup) in tow. A happy, cornball popcorn flick, Charlie's Angels is played for laughs with plenty of ribbing references to the old TV show as well as modern caper films like Mission: Impossible. McG, a music video director making his feature film debut (usually a death warrant for a movie's integrity), infuses the film with plenty of Matrix-style combat pyrotechnics, and the result is the first successful all-American Hong Kong-style action flick. Plenty of movies boast a New Age feminism that has their stars touting their sexuality while being their own women, but unlike something as obnoxious as Coyote Ugly, Angels succeeds with a positive spin on Girl Power for the new millennium (Diaz especially sizzles in her role of crack super agent/airhead blonde). From the send-up of the TV show's credit sequence to the outtakes over the end credits, Charlie's Angels is a delight. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description They're beautiful, they're brilliant and they work for Charlie. This is a sexy, high-octane update of the popular hit show, Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu), alongside faithful lieutenant Bosley (Bill Murray), must foil an elaborate murder-revenge plot that could not only destroy individual privacy and corporate security worldwide, but spell the end of Charlie and his Angels.

Con Air

Con Air

Starring: Cage, Nicolas Cusack, John Cage, Nicolas Featherstone, Angela Kelly, Brendan Ciarfalio, Carl Meaney, Colm Goode, Conrad Goode, Conrad Trejo, Danny
Director: West, Simon

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 115 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Con Air is proof that the slick, absurdly overblown action formula of Hollywood mega-producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun, Days of Thunder, The Rock, Crimson Tide) lives on, even after Simpson's druggy death. (Read Charles Fleming's exposé, High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess, for more about that.) Nicolas Cage, sporting a disconcerting mane of hair, is a wrongly convicted prisoner on a transport plane with a bunch of infamously psychopathic criminals, including head creep Cyrus the Virus (John Malkovich), black militant Diamond Dog (Ving Rhames), and serial killer Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi, making the most of his pallid, rodent-like qualities). Naturally, the convicts take over the plane; meanwhile, on the ground, a U.S. marshal (John Cusack) and a DEA agent (Colm Meaney) try to figure out what to do. As is the postmodern way, the movie displays a self-consciously ironic awareness that its story and characters are really just excuses for a high-tech cinematic thrill ride. Best idea: the filmmakers persuaded the owners of the legendary Sands Hotel in Las Vegas to let them help out with the structure's demolition by crashing their plane into it. --Jim Emerson

Daredevil (Widescreen Edition)

Daredevil (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Affleck, Ben Garner, Jennifer Farrell, Colin Duncan, Michael Clarke Favreau, Jon Terra, Scott Pompeo, Ellen Pantoliano, Joe Pantoliano, Joe Loftin, Lennie
Director: Johnson, Mark Steven

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 103 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Darker than its popular comic-book predecessor Spider-Man, the $80 million extravaganza Daredevil was packaged for maximum global appeal, its juvenile plot beginning when 12-year-old Matt Murdock is accidentally blinded shortly before his father is murdered. Later an adult attorney in New York's Hell's Kitchen, Murdock (Ben Affleck) uses his remaining, superenhanced senses to battle crime as Daredevil, the masked and vengeful "man without fear," pitted against dominant criminal Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and the psychotic Bullseye (Colin Farrell), who can turn almost anything into a deadly projectile. Daredevil is well matched with the dynamic Elektra (Jennifer Garner), but their teaming is as shallow as the movie itself, which is peppered with Marvel trivia and cameo appearances (creator Stan Lee, Clerks director and Daredevil devotee Kevin Smith) and enough computer-assisted stuntwork to give Spidey a run for his money. This is Hollywood product at its most lavishly vacuous; die-hard fans will argue its merits while its red-leathered hero swoops and zooms toward a sequel. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The Daredevil two-DVD set has plenty to please both film and comic fans. The best feature is an hourlong collection of interviews of people who worked on the comic book, from Stan Lee to Frank Miller to Kevin Smith. (Yes, sharp-eyed fans: the Elektra-Bullseye showdown was closely based on Daredevil #181.) On the film side, director-screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson and producer Gary Foster's commentary track provides background info and some fawning over Jennifer Garner, a text commentary... read more

Derailed

Derailed

Starring: Damme, Jean-Claude Van Arana, Tomas Arana, Tomas Harring, Laura Harring, Laura Elena Gibney, Susan Varenberg, Kristopher Van Bishop, John Bishop, John Callie, Dayton
Director: Misiorowski, Bob

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 3.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 89 minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com The ever-limber Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in the entertainingly over-the-top action flick Derailed. The plot has to do with a deadly virus on a runaway train, but that's hardly the point--what makes the movie fly along is the ridiculous yet entirely enjoyable escalation of plot devices: not only is Van Damme on the train to protect a beautiful high-tech thief (Laura Elena Harring, Mulholland Drive), not only is the train hijacked by terrorists, not only is the virus actually released into the train's ventilation system, not only is the engine on fire, but Van Damme's family came on board to surprise him on his birthday and are now being used as pawns by the terrorists. Derailed is also loaded with spectacle: car chases, shootouts, explosions, a train collision, hand-to-hand combat, and Van Damme riding a motorcycle on top of the train--you really couldn't ask for more. Sheer trashy fun. --Bret Fetzer

Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition)

Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition)

Starring: Brosnan, Pierce Berry, Halle Stephens, Toby Pike, Rosamund Yune, Rick Dench, Judi Cleese, John Madsen, Michael Madsen, Michael Tsang, Kenneth
Director: Tamahori, Lee

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 132 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com The 20th James Bond adventure, Die Another Day succeeds on three important fronts: it avoids comparison to Austin Powers by keeping its cheesy humor in check, allows Halle Berry to be sexy and worthy of a spinoff franchise, and keeps pace with the technical wizardry that modern action films demand. Pierce Brosnan's got style and staying power as James Bond, now bearing little resemblance to Ian Fleming's original British super-spy, but able to hold his own at the box office. He's paired with American agent Jinx (Berry) in chasing a genetically altered North Korean villain (Rick Yune) armed with a satellite capable of destroying just about anything. John Cleese and Judi Dench reprise their recurring roles (as "Q" and "M," respectively); they're accompanied by weapons-laden sports cars, a hokey cameo by Madonna (who sings the techno-pulsed theme song), and enough double-entendres to keep Bond-philes adequately shaken and stirred. With clever nods to 007's cinematic legacy, Die Another Day makes you welcome the familiar end-credits promise: James Bond will return. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features James Bond DVDs have in general been pretty loaded, but Die Another Day raises the bar with a two-disc set featuring dynamic DTS 6.1 ES and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound that makes good use of the rear speakers. The first commentary track is by Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike (who plays villain Miranda Frost). They weren't together at the time, so their comments are spliced into one track. Brosnan has a good time watching and is proud of the film but also doesn't take himself too seriously... read more

Exit Wounds

Exit Wounds

Starring: Seagal, Steven DMX Washington, Isaiah Seagal, Steven Hennessy, Jill White, Michael Jai Washington, Isaiah DMX DMX Gill, Bruce Mc
Director: Bartkowiak, Andrzej

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com One can always count on Steven Seagal to act as the repository of yesterday's action-film clichés, and Exit Wounds is yet another case in point. Seagal plays Detroit cop Orin Boyd, a lone wolf lawman who gets in the middle of his precinct's losing battle against police corruption. Taking on a powerful but crooked cop named Montini (David Vadim)--who is busy making deals with a rich gangster (DMX)--Boyd soon sends fists and feet flying while Tom Arnold provides the comic relief. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak surely had less fun guiding Seagal through slow-motion fight sequences than he did Jet Li in Romeo Must Die, but as compensation he gets to work with the mesmerizing DMX, who looks as though he has leading-man possibilities. Plenty of gratuitous gore, awful cop banter, and miles of cleavage courtesy of Jill Hennessy, who plays Boyd's tough-as-nails boss. --Tom Keogh

Fast and the Furious: 2 Fast 2 Furious

Fast and the Furious: 2 Fast 2 Furious

Starring: Walker, Paul Tyrese Mendes, Eva Ludacris Mendes, Eva Gibson, Tyrese Bridges, Chris Aoki, Devon Aoki, Devon Berry, Thom
Director: Singleton, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Like the high-revving imports and American muscle cars that roar down the streets of its south Florida setting, 2 Fast 2 Furious is tricked out to the max. While Vin Diesel opted for his XXX franchise, this obligatory sequel to The Fast and the Furious benefits from Diesel's absence, allowing returning star Paul Walker to shine while forging a lively partnership with rising star Tyrese, who fulfills his sidekick duties with more vitality than Diesel could ever muster. The Miami/Dade locations are another bonus, lending colorful backdrop to the most dazzling street-racing sequences (both real and digitally composited) ever committed to film. The plot is disposable--former cop Walker and jailbird Tyrese are recruited by the FBI to dethrone a thuggish kingpin (Cole Hauser)--but director John Singleton keeps the adrenalin pumping, enlisting a rainbow coalition of costars (including rapper Ludacris and Chanel supermodel Devon Aoki) to combine a hip-hop vibe with full-blown action while showcasing hot babes, edgy humor, and some of the coolest cars that ever burned rubber. Heed the movie's warning, kids: Let the stuntmen do the driving. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. From the Back Cover The adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that began with The Fast and the Furious takes an explosive new turn in 2 Fast 2 Furious! It's the nitro-fueled answer to the question: how fast do you like it? Now an ex-cop on the run, Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) hooks into outlaw street-racing. When the Feds strong-arm him back, O'Connor's no rules, win-or-die skills are unleashed against an international drug lord. With his velocity-addicted buddy (Tyrese) riding shotgun, and a drop-dead- gorgeous... read more

Fast and the Furious

Fast and the Furious

Starring: Walker, Paul Diesel, Vin Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Yune, Rick Schulze, Matt Strong, Johnny Schulze, Matt Schulze, Matt Rule, Ja
Director: Cohen, Rob

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com A guilty pleasure with excess horsepower, The Fast and the Furious efficiently combines time-honored male fantasies (hot cars, hot women, hot action) into a vacuous plot of crystalline purity. It's trash, but it's fun trash, in which a hotshot Los Angeles cop named Brian (Paul Walker) infiltrates a gang of street racers suspected of fencing stolen goods from hijacked trucks. The gang leader is Dom (Vin Diesel), ex-con and reigning king of the street racers, who lives for those 10 seconds of freedom when his high-performance "rice rocket" (a highly modified Asian import) hurtles toward another quarter-mile victory. Racing is street theater for a lawless youth subculture, and Dom is a star behind the wheel--charismatic, dangerous, and protective toward his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), who's attracted to Brian as the newest member of Dom's car-crazy team. Director Rob Cohen treats this like Roman tragedy for MTV junkies, pushing every scene to adrenaline-pumping extremes; when his camera isn't caressing a spectrum of nitrous oxide-enhanced dream machines, it's ogling countless slim 'n' sexy race babes. The undercover-cop scenario cheaply borrows the split-loyalty theme perfected in Donnie Brasco; a rival Asian gang adds mystery and menace; and digital trickery is cleverly employed to explore the fuel-injected innards of the day-glo racecars. It's about as substantial as a perfume ad, but just as alluring, and for heavy-metal maniacs of any age, Diesel's superblown '69 Charger proves that Detroit muscle never goes out of style. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Additional features There's a refreshing modesty to Rob Cohen's matter-of-fact commentary track, which contains one of the more practical dissections of direction voiced on DVD as it covers a mix of nuts-and-bolts filmmaking and cinematic thrill making. And why not? The Fast and the Furious is a sleek, unapologetic speed-demon buddy film, and the collector's-edition disc gleefully revels in the rush. Skip the "making of" featurette puff piece and cut to the visual-effects montage of the film's opening race:... read more

Great Waldo Pepper, The

Great Waldo Pepper, The

Starring: Redford, Robert Svenson, Bo Brundin, Bo Sarandon, Susan Lewis, Geoffrey Herrmann, Edward Bruns, Philip Cook, Roderick Cook, Roderick Kidder, Margot
Director: Hill, George Roy

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 107 min

Color Stereo

A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed...

Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda

Starring: Lundgren, Dolph Roy, Maxim Paquette, Brigitte Whittall, Ted Houde, Serge Fawcett, Alan McCarty, Francis Standjofski, Harry Standjofski, Harry Apergis, Andreas
Director: Grenier, Marc S.

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 4.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 min

Color Stereo

Former government agent Jason Price (Dolph Lundgren) is now a hit man who makes people "disappear" for top government agencies. His well-oiled, high-tech operation never makes a wrong move. But when a mysterious competitor known as The Cleaner infiltrates his system and begins a killing spree, Jason finds himself caught in a frightening spiral where no one can be trusted.

Italian Job, The (Widescreen Edition)

Italian Job, The (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Wahlberg, Mark Theron, Charlize Sutherland, Donald Statham, Jason Green, Seth Def, Mos Norton, Edward Callegarini, Fausto Callegarini, Fausto Scarpa, Fabio
Director: Gray, F. Gary

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 110 minutes

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Though it bears little resemblance to the original 1969 thriller starring Michael Caine, the 2003 remake of The Italian Job stands on its own as a caper comedy that's well above average. The title's a misnomer--this time it's actually a Los Angeles job--but the action's just as exciting as it propels a breezy tale of honor and dishonor among competing thieves. Inheriting Caine's role as ace heist-planner Charlie Croker, Mark Wahlberg plays straight-man to a well-cast team of accomplices, including Mos Def, Jason Statham, and scene-stealer Seth Green in a variation of the role originally played by Noel Coward. As the daughter of Croker's ill-fated mentor (Donald Sutherland), Charlize Theron is recruited to double-cross a double-crosser (Edward Norton in oily villain mode), and once again, speedily versatile Mini Coopers play a pivotal role in director F. Gary Gray's exhilarating car-chase climax. It's perhaps the greatest product placement in movie history, and just as fun the second time around. --Jeff Shannon

Joy Ride

Joy Ride

Starring: Sobieski, Leelee Walker, Paul Sobieski, Leelee Bowman, Jessica Stone, Stuart Wallace, Basil Leckner, Brian Wickliffe, Mary Wickliffe, Mary Yount, Dell
Director: Dahl, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Joy Ride follows the familiar conventions of road-movie thrillers with enough vitality to make everything old seem new again. A confirmed master of neo-noir suspense, director John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last Seduction) sets a consistent tone of humor and horror as Lewis (Paul Walker) and his black-sheep brother Fuller (Steve Zahn) drive from Salt Lake City to pick up Lewis's friend Venna (Leelee Sobieski) in Boulder, Colorado. En route, they play a practical joke via CB radio, inviting vengeful terror as an unseen trucker (voiced with exquisite menace by Silence of the Lambs villain Ted Levine) pursues them with relentless, homicidal aggression. Inevitable comparisons to Steven Spielberg's Duel fail to appreciate Dahl's unique talent for energizing B-movie formulas while injecting his own brand of rib-tickling excitement. While Zahn deserves extra credit in his first top-billed role, Joy Ride wins a badge of honor for everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

K-19 - The Widowmaker

K-19 - The Widowmaker

Starring: Ford, Harrison Neeson, Liam Anton, George Field, J.J. Ackland, Joss Shrapnel, Lex Sarsgaard, Peter Woodward, Tim Woodward, Tim Shrapnel, Lex
Director: Bigelow, Kathryn

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 140 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Based on an incident that was officially suppressed for 28 years, K-19: The Widowmaker is a fine addition to the "sub-genre" of submarine thrillers. The first major American film about Russian cold war heroes, it re-creates the nightmare endured in 1961 by the crew of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-19, when an exposed reactor core nearly resulted in a nuclear catastrophe. Several crewmen died, and K-19's captain (played by Harrison Ford) had to assert his command when near-mutiny favored his executive officer (Liam Neeson). This escalating tension gives the film its potent dramatic thrust, and both Ford and Neeson deliver intense performances while director Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Strange Days) ably controls a sub full of seething testosterone. It's not as viscerally thrilling as the classic Das Boot or U-571, and some K-19 survivors protested the inclusion of inauthentic drinking scenes, but the movie benefits from grand-scale production values, seamless computer graphics, and a compelling real-life twist. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Last Action Hero

Last Action Hero

Starring: Schwarzenegger, Arnold Quinn, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Rudolph Oaxaca Ruehl, Mercedes Abraham, F. Murray Abraham, Fahrid Murray Carney, Art Carney, Arthur William Matthew Carney, Arthur William Matthew O'Brien, Austin
Director: McTiernan, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 130 minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Jack Slater is an action-film hero played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. An old projectionist (Robert Prosky) hands a magic movie ticket to Jack's biggest preteen fan (Austin O'Brien), and the kid steps right inside the latest Jack Slater film, becoming the actor star's sidekick in gunfights and car chases. But when Jack's nemesis (Charles Dance) gets his hands on the ticket, the fight busts out into the real world and Jack (à la Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear) refuses to believe he's a fictional character. Director John McTiernan churns some nifty scenes out of this setup, although the fiction-to-reality shuffle is not as deft as in, say, Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, and the plot needs the kind of logic and discipline found in that classic when-worlds-collide film Back to the Future. Still, Schwarzenegger has moments of wit and smashing action, and we get a faux-movie trailer advertising an intriguing new shoot-'em-up: "Something's rotten in the State of Denmark--and Hamlet is taking out the trash!"

McLintock!

McLintock!

Starring: Wayne, John O'Hara, Maureen Wayne, Patrick Powers, Stefanie Kruschen, Jack Wills, Chill Carlo, Yvonne De Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke, Jerry Van Cabot, Bruce
Director: McLaglen, Andrew V.

Rating: NR
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 127 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara were born to star in "The Taming of the Shrew," and this is the closest they ever got. Wayne plays a cattle baron whose estranged wife (O'Hara) wants a divorce. The film is basically one long, funny brawl between them, ending with a mud pit melee and Wayne publicly spanking O'Hara, which doesn't look quite so politically correct anymore. This is no great shakes--director Andrew V. McLaglen is simply hosting a party here--but it's worth a few chuckles and the stars' broad performances. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Mission Impossible 2

Mission Impossible 2

Starring: Cruise, Tom Scott, Dougray Newton, Thandie Rhames, Ving Roxburgh, Richard Polson, John Gleeson, Brendan Serbedzija, Rade Serbedzija, Rade Purcell, Dominic
Director: Woo, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 123 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Visually stunning, and a likely must for John Woo aficionados, the second Mission: Impossible outing from megastar Tom Cruise suffers from an inconsistent tone and tired plot devices--not only recycled from other films, but repeated throughout the film. Despite remarkable cinematography and awe-inspiring, trademark Woo photography, the movie offers a tepid story from legendary screenwriter-director Robert Towne (Chinatown, Without Limits) and a host of other writers, most uncredited. It is, regrettably, as forgettable as the first big-budget, big box-office MI in 1996, and it's clear (as Towne confirms) that the plot was developed around Woo- and Cruise-written action sequences. The film combines equal elements of romance and action, and is best when it features the stunning allure of Thandie Newton as Nyah, a master thief recruited by the sinewy charms of Ethan Hunt (a fit Cruise). Deeply in love after a passionate night, the couple must then combat MI nemesis (and Nyah's former lover) Sean Ambrose (Ever After's Dougray Scott). Ambrose holds hostage a virus and its cure, and offers them to the highest bidder. Woo's famed mythic filmmaking is far from subtle, with heroic Hunt frequently slow-motion walking through fire, smoke, or other similar devices, replete with a white dove among pigeons to signal his presence. The emphasis on romance is an attempt to develop character and a more human side to superspy Hunt, but still the dreary story proves a distraction from the exciting action sequences. John Polson (as an MI team member) is an Aussie talent to keep an eye on. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible

Starring: Cruise, Tom Voight, Jon Béart, Emmanuelle Czerny, Henry Reno, Jean Rhames, Ving Thomas, Kristin Scott Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Vanessa Iures, Marcel
Director: Palma, Brian De

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 110 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com essential video A flashy, splashy summer-movie blockbuster that's fun and exciting without being mindless? That's the impossible mission accomplished by director Brian De Palma, star-coproducer Tom Cruise, and the crack team of Mission: Impossible. Based on the '60s TV show and an almost impenetrably complex (but nonetheless thrilling) original story by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List), with a screenplay by Koepp and Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo), Mission: Impossible begins with veteran agent Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) and his expert crew embarking on a mission that goes horribly, horribly wrong. But nothing is what it seems. The nail-biting set piece--always a signature of director De Palma (Carrie, The Untouchables)--in which Cruise is lowered from the ceiling to retrieve information from a computer in a high-security vault--is an instant classic. But perhaps even more impressive, at least in retrospect, is a flashback sequence in which two characters attempt to reconstruct a series of events from multiple points of view. It's pretty daring and sophisticated stuff for a big-budget spy movie, but brains were always what put the Mission: Impossible team ahead of the competition, anyway, no? --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Ocean's Eleven (Widescreen Edition)

Ocean's Eleven (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Clooney, George Pitt, Brad Nolan, Paul L. Florence, Carol Galinski, Lori Mac, Bernie Pitt, Brad Gantt, Mark Gantt, Mark Gould, Elliott
Director: Soderbergh, Steven

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video Ocean's Eleven improves on 1960's Rat Pack original with supernova casting, a slickly updated plot, and Steven Soderbergh's graceful touch behind the camera. Soderbergh reportedly relished the opportunity "to make a movie that has no desire except to give pleasure from beginning to end," and he succeeds on those terms, blessed by the casting of George Clooney as Danny Ocean, the title role originated by Frank Sinatra. Fresh out of jail, Ocean masterminds a plot to steal $163 million from the seemingly impervious vault of Las Vegas's Bellagio casino, not just for the money but to win his ex-wife (Julia Roberts) back from the casino's ruthless owner (Andy Garcia). Soderbergh doesn't scrimp on the caper's comically intricate strategy, but he finds greater joy in assembling a stellar team (including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Carl Reiner) and indulging their strengths as actors. The result is a film that's as smooth as a silk suit and just as stylish. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Pandora Project, The

Pandora Project, The

Starring: Baldwin, Daniel Eleniak-Goglia, Erika Tyson, Richard Todd, Tony Yagher, Jeff Jackson, Bo Hegyes, Robert
Director: Wynorski, Jim

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 3.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: Pioneer Laser Entertainment

Color Stereo

Description Pandora: a top secret experimental U.S. military peacekeeping device with the capacity to destroy organic matter while leaving inorganic matter unharmed. When Pandora is stolen by renegade commando Bill Stenwick (Richard Tyson), John Lacy (Daniel Baldwin) is sent to recapture it. Lacy is the smartest, toughest agent from Secret Operations, and he also happens to be Stenwick's former mentor. When these two adversaries face off against each other, the fate of the world hinges on the outcome. DVD includes additional footage. Daniel Baldwin, Erika Eleniak, Richard Tyson

Score, The

Score, The

Starring: DeNiro, Robert Norton, Edward Bassett, Angela Harrold, Jamie Brando, Marlon Harrold, Jamie Niro, Robert De Houde, Serge Houde, Serge Drainville, Martin
Director: Oz, Frank

Rating: R (MPAA)
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 124

Color Digital Stereo

Every thief dreams of the big heist that will allow him to leave the business of crime behind. Every thief except Nick (Robert De Niro), a cool, methodical safecracker who never takes on long-shot jobs until his longtime partner, Max (Marlon Brando), offers him the big score--to filch a priceless scepter from the Montreal customs house. Wary about the job, Nick and the hotheaded customs house "insider," Jackie (Edward Norton), begin to dissect the elaborate details of entering the building, avoiding the security measures, blowing the safe, and escaping with the scepter. But as in every thrilling crime caper, plans go awry. Skilled comic director Frank Oz is clearly comfortable working with the best method actors from the past three generations. Brando's Max bursts with joyful cynicism, while De Niro is Brando's perfect foil, so collected that every smile seems like a revelation. Norton's Jackie is far more expressive, but it is Norton's smallest movements--holding a gaze a half beat too long--that hint at the secret motives pulsing beneath his skin. Smooth like the scotch Nick likes to drink, and swirling with tension, THE SCORE provides the real payoff to the audience. Theatrical Release: JULY 13, 2001

Spider-Man (Widescreen Edition)

Spider-Man (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Maguire, Tobey Dunst, Kirsten Dunst, Kirsten Franco, James Robertson, Cliff Harris, Rosemary Simmons, J.K. Manganiello, Joe Manganiello, Joe Nunn, Bill
Director: Raimi, Sam

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 123 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com For devoted fans and nonfans alike, Spider-Man offers nothing less--and nothing more--than what you'd expect from a superhero blockbuster. Having proven his comic-book savvy with the original Darkman, director Sam Raimi brings ample energy and enthusiasm to Spidey's origin story, nicely establishing high-school nebbish Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) as a brainy outcast who reacts with appropriate euphoria--and well-tempered maturity--when a "super-spider" bite transforms him into the amazingly agile, web-shooting Spider-Man. That's all well and good, and so is Kirsten Dunst as Parker's girl-next-door sweetheart. Where Spider-Man falls short is in its hyperactive CGI action sequences, which play like a video game instead of the gravity-defying exploits of a flesh-and-blood superhero. Willem Dafoe is perfectly cast as Spidey's schizoid nemesis, the Green Goblin, and the movie's a lot of fun overall. It's no match for Superman and Batman in bringing a beloved character to the screen, but it places a respectable third. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features When so many DVDs offer making-of featurettes and commentaries, it's a real treat to get something different on the Spider-Man DVD: a 25-minute documentary, "Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century," that examines the history of the Marvel comic book through original art and interviews with co-creator Stan Lee and artists such as John Romita, John Romita Jr., Todd McFarlane, and John Byrne. There is also a comics archive and artists gallery. And if you want info about the movie, you can... read more

Tango and Cash

Tango and Cash

Starring: Stallone, Sylvester Russell, Kurt Hatcher, Teri Palance, Jack James, Brion Hong, James Alaimo, Marc Tan, Philip Tan, Philip Z'Dar, Robert
Director: Konchalovsky, Andrei

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Another action flick from an unlikely source (wildly inconsistent Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky), buddy movie Tango & Cash teams Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell as bullet-dodging cops who get on each others' nerves while uniting against a slimy French drug kingpin (Jack Palance). Violent, profane, and packed with implausibilities, this is one of those big-budget, stunt-laden affairs that gets by on the charisma of its stars, and they almost pull it off. Tango & Cash was Stallone's first attempt to share the spotlight with another hero, and he's casually laid-back in his change-of-pace role (well, OK, it's not that change-of-pace), while Russell is equally enjoyable as Sly's well-coifed sidekick. Ridiculous all the way, this one is entertaining if only as a virtual catalog of action-movie clichés.--Jeff Shannon Description There are buddy cops. And then there are Ray Tango and Gabe Cash (Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell) They're rival L.A. policemen who have one thing in common: each thinks he is the best. And each has the commendations, battle scars and ready supply of hilarious one-liners to prove it. Team them and they're like oil and water. But frame them for a crime and they're like a match and kerosene. Year: 1989 Director: Andrei Konchalovsky Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Jack Palance

Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (Full Screen Edition)

Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Jolie, Angelina Butler, Gerard Hinds, Ciarán Barrie, Chris Taylor, Noah Hounsou, Djimon Schweiger, Til Yam, Simon Yam, Simon Caltagirone, Daniel
Director: Bont, Jan de

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 117 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life is certainly better than its 2001 predecessor, but its appeal is mostly aimed at fans of the video games that inspired both movies. That pretty much leaves you with some fun but familiar action sequences, and the ever-alluring sight of Angelina Jolie (reprising her title role) as she swims, swings, kicks, shoots, flies, jet-skis, motorcycles, and free-falls her way toward saving the world, this time by making sure that a grimacing villain (Ciarán Hinds) doesn't open Pandora's Box (yes, the actual mythological object) and unleash a deadly plague that will "weed out" the global population. Exotic locations add to Jolie's own coolly erotic appeal, but we're left wondering if this franchise has anywhere else to go. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Starring: Angelina Jolie Jon Voight
Director:

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating:
Running Time: 100 minutes

Color Stereo Sound

Description: Theatrical Release: JUNE 16, 2001 Exploring lost empires, finding precious treasures, punishing villians in mortal combat...it's all in a day's work for adventurer Lara Croft (angelina Jolie). But a secret from her father's (Jon Voight) past is about to lead Lara to her greatest challenge: The Triangle of Light, a legendary artifact with the power to alter space and time. Lara must find the Triangle before it falls into the hands of the Illuminati, a secret society bent on world domination. To stop the Illuminati, Lara will have to survive a cross-continental chase filled with unimaginable danger. But for Tomb Raider, danger is the name of the game.

Tombstone (Vista Series)

Tombstone (Vista Series)

Starring: Russell, Kurt Kilmer, Val Biehn, Michael Paxton, Bill Elliott, Sam Russell, Kurt Heston, Charlton Priestley, Jason Priestley, Jason Lang, Stephen
Director: Cosmatos, George P.

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com This Western has become a modest cult favorite since its release in 1993, when the film was met with mixed reviews but the performances of Kurt Russell (as Wyatt Earp) and especially Val Kilmer, for his memorably eccentric performance as the dying gunslinger Doc Holliday, garnered high praise. The movie opens with Wyatt Earp trying to put his violent past behind him, living happily in Tombstone with his brothers and the woman (Dana Delany) who puts his soul at ease. But a murderous gang called the Cowboys has burst on the scene, and Earp can't keep his gun belt off any longer. The plot sounds routine, and in many ways it is, but Western buffs won't mind a bit thanks to a fine cast and some well-handled action on the part of Rambo director George P. Cosmatos, who has yet to make a better film than this. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Training Day

Training Day

Starring: Washington, Denzel Hawke, Ethan Glenn, Scott Washington, Denzel Dr. Dre Berenger, Tom Snoop Dogg Mendes, Eva Mendes, Eva Gray, Macy
Director: Fuqua, Antoine

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video A powerhouse performance by Denzel Washington fuels this brutal urban police drama, in which a rookie narcotics cop learns the hard way that even good cops can go very, very bad. Washington plays veteran detective Alonzo Harris, a self-proclaimed "wolf among wolves," eager to teach his rookie partner Jake (Ethan Hawke) that normal rules don't apply on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Caught in a web of deception, Jake watches with escalating horror as Alonzo uses his badge (and the support of his superiors) to justify a self-righteous policy of corruption. In stark contrast to most of his previous work, Denzel unleashes his dark side with fearlessness and fury, and the result is excellence without compromise. Director Antoine Fuqua (The Replacement Killers) won't score any points for subtlety, but gritty details (including actual L.A. gang members as extras) and Hawke's finely tuned performance are perfectly matched to Washington's frightening volatility. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Twister - DTS

Twister - DTS

Starring: Hunt, Helen Paxton, Bill Ruck, Alan Elwes, Cary Gertz, Jami Smith, Lois Seymour Hoffman, Philip Thomson, Scott Thomson, Scott Grenier, Zach
Director: Bont, Jan de

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 113 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Twister was a mega-million-dollar blockbuster--helmed by a director (Dutchman Jan de Bont) hot off another scorcher hit (Speed)--that flaunted state-of-the-art digital effects and featured a popular leading actress (Helen Hunt) who would win an Academy Award for her next film (As Good As It Gets). But ask anybody who's seen it and they'll tell you who the real star of Twister is: the cow. Not to give anything away, but the cow is one of those inspired little touches (like, say, Bronson Pinchot's career-making cameo in Beverly Hills Cop) that adds a touch of personality to a gigantic Hollywood production. The story is blown out the window after an impressive prologue in which Hunt's character, as a little girl, witnesses her daddy being sucked into a tornado. Basically, Hunt and Bill Paxton are thrill-seeking meteorologists chasing twisters in order to study them (and help warn people of them, of course) with a new technology they've developed. If you thought the Kansas tornado in The Wizard of Oz was every bit as scary as the Wicked Witch of the West, then this may be the movie for you. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Under Siege

Under Siege

Starring: Seagal, Steven Busey, Gary Evans, Troy McKnight, David Hinton, Lee O'Neal, Patrick Busey, Gary Morshower, Glenn Morshower, Glenn Rottger, John
Director: Davis, Andrew

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 6.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min (cut version)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Steven Seagal can consider himself lucky if he ever makes a better movie than this one, which was appropriately dubbed "Die Hard on a battleship" when released in 1992. Seagal handles the heroic duties with his usual wooden efficiency, but the movie's greatest assets are a punchy script and the scene-stealing performances of Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey. The two play leaders of a terrorist group who take over the venerable battleship USS Missouri during its final commissioned voyage. They're crazed psychotics who seize control of the ship's nuclear arsenal, but they don't know that Seagal--as the ship's cook, no less--is a former Navy hero, lurking in the shadows and waiting to spoil their nefarious scheme. Director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive) helms the action with skillful style, and as the cheesecake stripper who proves handy with a hand grenade, Playboy Playmate-turned-actress Erika Eleniak gives Seagal another reason to strut his macho stuff. Under Siege is hormonal hokum for gun-happy viewers, but as action movies go, this one's a definite guilty pleasure. --Jeff Shannon

XXX

XXX

Starring: Jackson, Samuel L. Eve Diesel, Vin Argento, Asia Trejo, Danny Csokas, Marton Everett, Tom Roof, Michael Roof, Michael Everett, Tom
Director: Cohen, Rob

Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Category: Action & Adventure
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 124

Color Digital Stereo

This amped action drama stars Vin Diesel as Xander (aka Triple X), a rebellious extreme sports star with a mission to defy authority and create anarchy. In the dramatic opening scene of the movie, Xander pulls an outrageous serious of stunts with the help of a band of similar-minded jocks, broadcasts the whole event live onto the Internet with a network of strategically placed digital cameras, and then avoids being captured by the squadron of police who pursue him. When Triple X is later taken into custody, Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), a representative from a government agency, hires the chiseled athlete and turns him into a secret agent with a mission to travel to Prague and collapse a dangerous terrorist cell operated by Yorgi (Martin Csokas) and the seductive Yelena (Asia Argento). Triple X is quickly drawn into Yorgi's lair, a stunning chateau situated in the mountains that is equipped with every high-tech modern amenity imaginable, along with a sizeable team of extra-large Slav bodyguards, a laboratory staffed by top scientists, and an always-ready gaggle of gorgeous concubines. Non-stop stunts, pounding hard-core music, elaborate sets, and inventive costumes make this Rob Cohen-directed adrenaline overload a visually exciting, aurally engaging, highly entertaining success. Theatrical Release: August 9, 2002