3 Ninjas Knuckle Up

3 Ninjas Knuckle Up

Starring: (III), Victor Wong Slade, Max Elliott Epper, Gary Grant, Stuart Proud Eagle Gunderson, Janie Melissa Holahan, Dennis Hungerford, Michael Jayne, Selina Jayne, Selina Lightning, Crystle
Director: Shin, Sang-ok

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 85 min

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In this movie Rocky, Colt and TumTum must battle an evil wealthy toxic waste dumper in order to save a local Indian tribe and their friend Joe...

8 Seconds

8 Seconds

Starring: Perry, Luke Baldwin, Stephen Rebhorn, James Perry, Luke Geary, Cynthia Rebhorn, James Ashby, Linden Finley, Cameron Finley, Cameron Mayfield, Dustin
Director: Avildsen, John G.

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

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Amazon.com The title refers to the time required by all rodeo cowboys to stay on a bull if they want a judge's score. For them, such a short time can seem like an eternity. The same is true of the beginning of this true story, a country tale of Lane Frost, a real-life, crowd-pleasing bullrider who rose to rodeo fame in the late '80s. The characters seem so irrepressibly good, so unreal, that the film comes out of the chute without a buck or much of a purpose. But Frost's story, and that of his relationship with his wife, Kellie (Cynthia Geary), eventually gains momentum. Luke Perry is an underrated actor, and he balances an "aw-shucks-ness" with an internal spark that makes that salt-of-the-earth stuff not so salty. When the film is finally over and the end credits show home movies and stills of the real-life Frost, you'll wish the ride was just a little longer. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

A Few Good Men (Special Edition)

A Few Good Men (Special Edition)

Starring: Cruise, Tom Nicholson, Jack Cruise, Tom Gooding Jr., Cuba Bowe, David Walsh, J.T. Marshall, James Bacon, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Sutherland, Kiefer
Director: Reiner, Rob

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 138 min

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Amazon.com essential video A U.S. soldier is dead, and military lawyers Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee and Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway want to know who killed him. "You want the truth?" snaps Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson). "You can't handle the truth!" Astonishingly, Jack Nicholson's legendary performance as a military tough guy in A Few Good Men really amounts to a glorified cameo: he's only in a few scenes. But they're killer scenes, and the film has much more to offer. Tom Cruise (Kaffee) shines as a lazy lawyer who rises to the occasion, and Demi Moore (Galloway) gives a command performance. Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh, and Cuba Gooding Jr. (of Jerry Maguire fame) round out the superb cast. Director Rob Reiner poses important questions about the rights of the powerful and the responsibilities of those just following orders in this classic courtroom drama. --Alan Smithee --This text refers to the DVD edition.

A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

Starring: Ledger, Heath Addy, Mark Sossamon, Shannyn Bettany, Paul Fraser, Laura Addy, Mark Tudyk, Alan Bejo, Bérénice Bejo, Bérénice Purefoy, James
Director: Helgeland, Brian

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 132 min

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Amazon.com There's no rule against rock anthems from the 1970s in the soundtrack for a movie about a medieval jousting champion, but if you're going to attempt such jarring anachronisms, you'd better establish acceptable ground rules. Writer-director Brian Helgeland does precisely that in A Knight's Tale and pulls off this trick with such giddy aplomb that you can't help but play along. (Upon witnessing a crowd of peasants at a jousting match, singing and clapping to the beat of Queen's "We Will Rock You," you're either going to love this movie or dismiss it altogether.) Other vintage rock hits will follow, but Helgeland--the Oscar®-winning cowriter of L.A. Confidential--handles this ploy with judicious goodwill, in what is an otherwise honest period piece about a peasant named William (Heath Ledger) who rises by grit and determination to the hallowed status of knighthood. As if the soundtrack weren't audacious enough, Helgeland (recovering from the sour experience of his directorial debut, Payback) casts none other than Geoffrey Chaucer (wonderfully played by Paul Bettany) as William's cohort and match announcer, along with William's pals Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk), and feisty blacksmith Kate (Laura Fraser). Of course there must be a fair maiden, and she is Jocelyn (newcomer Shannyn Sossamon), with whom William falls in love while battling the nefarious Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell) on the European jousting circuit. Add to this an inspiring father-son reunion, Ledger's undeniable charisma, a perfect supporting cast, and enough joyful energy to rejuvenate the film's formulaic plot, and A Knight's Tale becomes that most pleasant of movie surprises--an unlikely winner that rises up, like its hero, to exceed all expectations. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

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

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

Agent Cody Banks

Agent Cody Banks

Starring: Muniz, Frankie Duff, Hilary Harmon, Angie David, Keith Stevenson, Cynthia Vosloo, Arnold Roebuck, Daniel McShane, Ian McShane, Ian Donovan, Martin
Director: Zwart, Harald

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 102 min

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Amazon.com Doing for awkward teens what the Spy Kids movies did for grade-schoolers, Agent Cody Banks is a wish-fulfillment adventure for James Bond wannabes who are still too young to shave. Just in time for puberty's curtain call, Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz stars in the title role as a 15-year-old recruit to the CIA's youth-agent program, who gets what millions of men desire: a face full of Angie Harmon's cleavage. (It's just for laughs; the sexy Law & Order alumnus plays Cody's CIA handler, but you've got to admit this Bond Girl with a boy thing is a bit perverse.) Otherwise, the movie's a low-rent Bond clone from the director of One Night at McCool's, with a pair of twisted villains (Ian McShane, Arnold Vosloo) threatening to unleash stolen "Nanobot" technology that can ruin everyone's day. It's barely fun enough to be worthwhile, but the best gag (at 007's expense) is buried in the soundtrack, when a CIA receptionist announces, "Will the owner of a silver Aston Martin please report to security... you are parked in a handicapped zone." So much for respecting your elders! --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

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

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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)

American Pie - Rated Version

American Pie - Rated Version

Starring: Biggs, Jason Klein, Chris Biggs, Jason Ian Nicholas, Thomas Hannigan, Alyson Levy, Eugene Coolidge, Jennifer Suvari, Mena Suvari, Mena William Scott, Seann
Director: Weitz, Paul

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 95 min

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Amazon.com Anyone who's watched just about any teenage film knows that the greatest evil in this world isn't chemical warfare, ethnic cleansing, or even the nuclear bomb. The worst crime known to man? Why, virginity, of course. As we've learned from countless films--from Summer of '42 to Risky Business--virginity is a criminal burden that one must shed oneself of as quickly as possible. And while many of these films have given the topic a bad name, American Pie quietly sweeps in and gives sex some of its dignity back. Dignity, you may say? How can a film that highlights intercourse with fruit pies, premature ejaculation broadcasted across the Internet, and the gratuitous "gross-out" shots restore the dignity of a genre that's been encumbered with such heavyweights as Porky's and Losin' It? The plot may be typical, with four high school friends swearing to "score" by prom, yet the film rises above the muck with its superior cast, successful and sweet humor, and some actually rather retro values about the meaning and importance of sex. Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Eddie Kaye Thomas make up the odd quartet of pals determined to woo, lie, and beg their way to manhood. The young women they pursue are wary girlfriend Vicky (Tara Reid), choir girl Heather (Mena Suvari), band geek Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), and just about any other female who is willing and able. Natasha Lyonne as Jessica, playing a similar role as in Slums of Beverly Hills, is the general adviser to the crowd (when Vicky tells her "I want it to be the right time, the right place," Jessica responds, "It's not a space shuttle launch, it's sex"). The comedic timing hits the mark--especially in the deliberately awkward scenes between Jim (Biggs) and his father (Eugene Levy). And, of course, lessons are learned in this genuinely funny film, which will probably please the adult crowd even more than it will the teenage one. --Jenny Brown

American Pie 2 Collectors Edition - Full Screen

American Pie 2 Collectors Edition - Full Screen

Starring: Biggs, Jason Scott, Seann William Biggs, Jason Kaye Thomas, Eddie Levy, Eugene Suvari, Mena Lyonne, Natasha Gray, Nick Gray, Nick Elizabeth, Shannon
Director: (II), James B. Rogers

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 113 min (unrated version)

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Amazon.com To the horror of prudes everywhere, American Pie 2 is even funnier than its popular predecessor, pushing the R rating with such unabashed ribaldry that you'll either be appalled or surprised by its defiant celebration of the young-adult male libido. Females will be equally shocked or delighted, because like American Pie this appealing, character-based comedy puts the women in control while offering a front-row view of horny guys in all their dubious glory. Which is to say, American Pie is mostly about sex--or, to be more specific, breasts, genitalia, "potential" lesbianism, blue silicone sex toys, crude methods of seduction, "the rule of three" (just watch the movie), a shower of "champagne," phone sex, tantric sex, and, oh yeah... superglue. In the case of college freshman Jim (Jason Biggs), performance anxiety plagues his upcoming reunion with sexy Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), but his buddies from American Pie have a solution: rent a Lake Michigan beach house for the summer, throw wild parties to lure the local "hotties," and score big-time. Beach Party this ain't: blessed with a complete cast reunion from AP1 (including Eugene Levy as Jim's dad), this sequel is anything but innocent, and with the exception of drugs (which are conspicuously absent), pretty much anything goes. The gags are almost nonstop, and director J.B. Rogers (recovering from his debut debacle Say It Isn't So) handles them with laudable precision, allowing his young cast (particularly Biggs, who epitomizes comedic good sportsmanship) to run with lines that most people wouldn't dare utter aloud. The result is a liberating and eminently good-natured comedy that needn't apologize for its one-track mind. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

American Wedding - Widescreen Extended Party Edition (Unrated)

American Wedding - Widescreen Extended Party Edition (Unrated)

Starring: Biggs, Jason Scott, Seann William William Scott, Seann Rush, Deborah Kaye Thomas, Eddie Allan Kramer, Eric Levy, Eugene Willard, Fred Willard, Fred Cheek, Molly
Director: Dylan, Jesse

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 103 min (unrated version)

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Amazon.com The producers of the American Pie movies pushed their luck with a third slice of their lucrative raunchy comedy franchise, and American Wedding cooked up surprisingly well. It's the sourest serving of Pie, with half of the original cast missing, and there's something undeniably desperate about comedic highlights (involving dog poop, a lusty old lady, two strippers to offset the absence of Shannon Elizabeth, and the ill-advised use of a trimming razor) that arise more from obligation than inspiration, on the assumption that another penile mishap is guaranteed to please. And yet, that's just what this movie does for devoted Pie-munchers: It gives 'em what they want, especially when the notorious Stifler (Seann William Scott) nearly ruins the frantic nuptials of Jim (Jason Biggs) and his band-camping sweetheart Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Eugene Levy and Eddie Kaye Thomas also return for some reliable comic relief, but the one who's laughing most is three-time Pie writer Adam Herz--laughing loudly and often, all the way to the bank. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Animal, The (Special Edition)

Animal, The (Special Edition)

Starring: Schneider, Rob Haskell, Colleen McGinley, John C. Asner, Edward Caton, Michael Lombardi, Louis Torry, Guy Rubin, Bob Rubin, Bob Wilson, Scott
Director: Greenfield, Luke

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 4.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min

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Amazon.com You expect cheap gags from a Rob Schneider movie, and The Animal delivers in the best possible way. Schneider plays Marvin Mange, a schlub of a police file clerk who drives off a cliff and is horribly mangled--only to wake up not only whole, but feeling better than he ever has in his life. He suddenly develops strange powers that lead to him being praised as a super cop. Unfortunately, his powers are the result of a scientist's bizarre experiment--and before long, some side effects start to take over his life. It's hard to put a finger on Schneider's appeal, but he's got something. He can get away with tasteless jokes about bestiality and bodily functions because... well... he's sort of helplessly sympathetic, and somehow this actually makes him funny. --Bret Fetzer

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

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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.

Aristocats, The

Aristocats, The

Starring: Harris, Phil Gabor, Eva Holloway, Sterling Crothers, Scatman Winchell, Paul Hudson, Lord Tim Scotti, Vito Ravenscroft, Thurl Ravenscroft, Thurl English, Liz
Director: Reitherman, Wolfgang

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 78 min

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Amazon.com Duchess and her three kittens are enjoying the high life with their devoted human mistress until the wicked butler Edgar, with his eyes on a big inheritance, decides to dope them and get them out of the picture. How can these fragile creatures cope in the unfamiliar countryside and the meaner streets of Paris? Only by meeting the irrepressible alley cat O'Malley, a rough diamond with romance in his heart. After they get a taste of the wide dangerous world, he guides them home, and Edgar gets his just desserts at the wrong end of a horse. As always, it's really the voices rather than the animation that are the heart of the Disney magic: Phil Harris is brilliant as O'Malley, Eva Gabor as Duchess is... well... Eva Gabor; but perhaps the most memorable turns are by Pat Buttram and George Lindsay, who turn the old hounds Napoleon and Lafayette into a couple of bumbling Southern-fried rednecks. Their scenes with Edgar, and the musical numbers with Scat Cat and his cool-dude band, are classic. Most striking about seeing The Aristocats now is how deeply Disney's style of animation has changed since this was at the cutting edge in 1970. Perhaps the nostalgic, dated feel are just a result of being plonked down in Belle Epoque Paris, but the illustrations are fussier (a pity) and the animation and overall pace much less frenetic (sometimes a relief) than in more recent efforts such as Aladdin. --Richard Farr --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

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.

Arrival/Arrival 2

Arrival/Arrival 2

Starring: Muldoon, Patrick Sibbett, Jane Sarrazin, Michael Blythe, Catherine Scherer, Michael Day, Larry Adams, Steve Michetti, Emidio Michetti, Emidio Nerman, David
Director: Tenney, Kevin

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 3.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

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A computer hacker (Patrick Muldoon) learns of the plot of the backwards-kneed aliens to take over the Earth using their shape-shifting talents.

Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery - New Line Platinum Series

Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery - New Line Platinum Series

Starring: Myers, Mike Hurley, Elizabeth Alaouie, Afifi Nicole Sakelaris, Anastasia Ann Moore, Barbara George, Brian Lee Russell, Carlton Napier, Charles Napier, Charles Bartel, Cheryl
Director: Roach, Jay

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 7.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 min

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Amazon.com If you don't think Austin Powers is one of the funniest movies of the 1990s, maybe you should be packed into a cryogenic time chamber and sent back to the decade whence you came. Perhaps it was the 1960s--the shagadelic decade when London hipster Austin Powers scored with gorgeous chicks as a fashion photographer by day, crime-fighting international man of mystery by night. Yeah, baby, yeah! But when Powers's arch nemesis, Dr. Evil, puts himself into a deep-freeze and travels via time machine to the late 1990s, Powers must follow him and foil Evil's nefarious scheme of global domination. Mike Myers plays dual roles as Powers and Dr. Evil, with Elizabeth Hurley as his present-day sidekick and karate-kicking paramour. A hilarious spoof of '60s spy movies, this colorful comedy actually gets funnier with successive viewings, making it a perfect home video for gloomy days and randy nights. Oh, behave! --Jeff Shannon

Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me - New Line Platinum Series

Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me - New Line Platinum Series

Starring: Myers, Mike Graham, Heather Johnston, Kristen York, Michael Sterling, Mindy Lowe, Rob Wagner, Robert Green, Seth Green, Seth Carides, Gia
Director: Roach, Jay

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 95 min

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Amazon.com "I put the grrr in swinger, baby!" a deliciously randy Austin Powers coos near the beginning of The Spy Who Shagged Me, and if the imagination of Austin creator Mike Myers seems to have sagged a bit, his energy surely hasn't. This friendly, go-for-broke sequel to 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery finds our man Austin heading back to the '60s to keep perennial nemesis Dr. Evil (Myers again) from blowing up the world--and, more importantly, to get back his mojo, that man-juice that turns Austin into irresistible catnip for women, especially American spygirl Felicity Shagwell (a pretty but vacant Heather Graham). The plot may be irreverent and illogical, the jokes may be bad (with characters named Ivana Humpalot and Robin Swallows, née Spitz), and the scenes may run on too long, but it's all delivered sunnily and with tongue firmly in cheek. Myers's true triumph, though, is his turn as the neurotic Dr. Evil, who tends to spout the right cultural reference at exactly the wrong time (referring to his moon base as a "Death Star" with Moon Units Alpha and Zappa--in 1969). Myers teams Dr. Evil with a diminutive clone, Mini-Me (Verne J. Troyer), who soon replaces slacker son Scott Evil (Seth Green) as the apple of the doctor's eye; Myers and Troyer work magic in what could plausibly be one of the year's most affecting (and hysterically funny) love stories. Despite a stellar supporting cast--including a sly Rob Lowe as Robert Wagner's younger self and Mindy Sterling as the forbidding Frau Farbissina--it's basically Myers's show, and he pulls a hat trick by playing a third character, the obese and disgusting Scottish assassin Fat Bastard. Many viewers will reel in disgust at Mr. Bastard's repulsive antics and the scatological bent Myers indulges in, including one showstopper involving coffee and--shudder--a stool sample. Still, Myers's good humor and dead-on cultural references win the day; Austin is one spy who proves he can still shag like a minx. --Mark Englehart

Austin Powers in Goldmember (Infinifilm Widescreen Edition)

Austin Powers in Goldmember (Infinifilm Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Myers, Mike Myers, Mike Caine, Michael York, Michael Sterling, Mindy Wagner, Robert Green, Seth Troyer, Verne Troyer, Verne Mizota, Diane
Director: Roach, Jay

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 min

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Amazon.com Despite symptoms of sequelitis, Austin Powers in Goldmember is must-see lunacy for devoted fans of the shagadelic franchise. Unfortunately, the law of diminishing returns is in full effect: for every big-name cameo and raunchy double-entendre, there's an equal share of redundant shtick, juvenile scatology, and pop-cultural spoofery. All is forgiven when the hilarity level is consistently high, and Mike Myers--returning here as randy Brit spy Austin, his nemesis Dr. Evil, the bloated Scottish henchman Fat Bastard, and new Dutch disco-villain Goldmember--thrives by favoring comedic chaos over coherent plotting. Once they've tossed Austin into the disco fever of 1975 (where he's sent to rescue his father, gamely played by Michael Caine), Myers and director Jay Roach seem vaguely adrift with old and new characters, including Verne Troyer's Mini-Me and pop star Beyoncé Knowles as Pam Grier-ish blaxpo-babe Foxxy Cleopatra. A bit tired, perhaps, but Powers hasn't lost his mojo. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Not surprisingly, deleted scenes and outtakes are the hands-down highlights of Goldmember's abundant Infinifilm features. Mike Myers's throwaway gags are funnier than Pauly Shore's entire career, revealing how a relaxed set encourages a flood of inspired improvisation. The Infinifilm feature is a handy, alternative method of seeing (and hearing) all of the bonus materials in logical sequence, mostly comprising behind-the-scenes featurettes devoted to costumes, special effects, all-star... read more

Balto II - Wolf Quest

Balto II - Wolf Quest

Starring: LaMarche, Maurice Benson, Jodi Chabert, Lacey Carradine, David Hamill, Mark Fleischer, Charles MacNicol, Peter Paulsen, Rob Paulsen, Rob Spore, Melanie
Director: Weinstein, Phil

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 75 min

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Amazon.com As if becoming a new father isn't enough, Balto the half-wolf is puzzled by a recurring nightmare involving a treacherous journey, some threatening characters, and plenty of unanswered questions. Chalk it up to parenthood: nightmare turns into reality when the last of his litter, whom no human will adopt, learns the devastating truth about her mixed heritage and embarks on a dangerous Wolf Quest, with papa Balto hot on her trail. The result is 75 minutes of engrossing action, beautifully integrated songs, well-timed humor, polished animation, and a refreshing tendency to surprise rather than shock. As thoughtfully composed as the original Balto (based on the true story of a heroic Alaskan sled dog), this made-for-video sequel promises to be a deeply satisfying selection for families with 3- to 8-year-olds. --Liane Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Basic

Basic

Starring: John Travlota Connie Nielsen Samuel L Jackson Timothy Daily Harry Connick Jr.
Director:

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating:
Running Time: 99 minutes

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Amazon.com If you thought The Recruit was full of surprises, Basic will spin your head around. Assuming that cleverness is its own reward, this military mystery shares many of The Recruit's strengths and weaknesses, offering multi-layered deception as its dramatic raison d'etre. Copping plenty of machismo attitude befitting a semi-effective thriller from Die Hard director John McTiernan, John Travolta stars as an ex-Army Ranger-turned-DEA agent, recruited by an Army investigator (Connie Nielsen) to solve the fratricide of a reviled Sergeant (Samuel L. Jackson) who was allegedly killed while commanding a Special Forces training mission in the hurricane-swept rainforests of Panama. Two survivors (Giovanni Ribisi in a showboat role, and Brian Van Holt) recall the ill-fated mission as the truth unfolds, Rashomon-style, in a series of repetitive flashbacks. Tricky enough to hold one's attention as it grows increasingly irrelevant, Basic is so enamored of its bogus ingenuity that its ultimate twist is a letdown. A second viewing might prove rewarding, if only to confirm that it all holds together. --Jeff Shannon

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

Starring: Caine, Michael Howard, Trevor Jurgens, Curt Andrews, Harry McShane, Ian More, Kenneth Olivier, Laurence Shaw, Robert Shaw, Robert Howard, Trevor
Director: Hamilton, Guy

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 151 min (original version)

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Amazon.com There's something about this film that's so irresistible, despite its grandiose manipulation. Maybe because it recounts the greatest air battle in history, achieving the greatest aerial battle in film history. Maybe because it has such a terrific cast (Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curt Jurgens, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Patrick, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Robert Shaw, Patrick Wymark, and Edward Fox). Maybe because it's so technically well-made, thanks to the Bond team of producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy Hamilton and the great cinematographer Freddie Young. Or maybe because there is something truly riveting about watching the British kick the Nazis back to Germany. --Bill Desowitz --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Beauty and the Beast (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Beauty and the Beast (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Starring: O'Hara, Paige Benson, Robby White, Richard Orbach, Jerry Stiers, David Ogden Lansbury, Angela Pierce, Bradley Everhart, Rex Everhart, Rex Smith, Hal
Director: Trousdale, Gary

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min (special edition)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video The film that officially signaled Disney's animation renaissance (following The Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Beauty and the Beast remains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father's place, imprisoned in the Beast's gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle teaches the Beast to love. What makes this such a dazzler, besides the amazingly accomplished animation and the winning coterie of supporting characters (the Beast's mansion is overrun by quipping, dancing household items) is the array of beautiful and hilarious songs by composer Alan Menken and the late, lamented lyricist Howard Ashman. (The title song won the 1991 Best Song Oscar, and Menken's score scored a trophy as well.) The downright funniest song is "Gaston," a lout's paean to himself (including the immortal line, "I use antlers in all of my de-co-ra-ting"). "Be Our Guest" is transformed into an inspired Busby Berkeley homage. Since Ashman's passing, animated musicals haven't quite reached the same exhilarating level of wit, sophistication, and pure joy. --David Kronke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features Over a decade after it was made, this Oscar®-winning musical looks better than ever; the remastered film pops off the screen. This DVD debut has a whole disc of extras, but it's the film that matters here. You can see the original version, the special edition--which has a new song sequence, "Human Again," created for its 2001 release in IMAX theaters--and the unique "work-in-progress" edition that played the New York Film Festival and was seen on an earlier laserdisc release. Disney's... read more

Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Starring: Wilson, Owen Hackman, Gene Malik Whitfield, Charles Keith, David Macht, Gabriel de Almeida, Joaquim Krupa, Olek Mashkov, Vladimir Mashkov, Vladimir Podell, Eyal
Director: Moore, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 106 min

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Amazon.com Smart casting and sensible plotting make Behind Enemy Lines an above-average military thriller. Perfectly timed to bolster patriotism, the film is partly set (during a hypothetical "day after tomorrow") on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which was on alert status in the Persian Gulf when this film was released. Proving his versatility as an unconventional movie star, Owen Wilson plays a navy navigator who is shot down over Bosnia during a reconnaissance mission. Pursued by rebel Serbian forces, Wilson must fight for survival while his commanding officer (Gene Hackman) plots a daredevil rescue. After a successful career in TV commercials, Irish director John Moore makes a promising feature debut on Slovakian locations, borrowing a few techniques from Saving Private Ryan while adding impressive flourishes of his own. The gung-ho ending's a foregone conclusion, but it works like a charm after the movie's exciting game of cat and mouse. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Big Fat Liar

Big Fat Liar

Starring: Muniz, Frankie Bynes, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Detmer, Amanda Faison, Donald Oh, Sandra Hornsby, Russell French, Michael Bryan French, Michael Bryan Majors, Lee
Director: Levy, Shawn

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

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Amazon.com Pitting kids against grown-ups has always been a reliable source of comedy, and Big Fat Liar indulges the "smart kid vs. dumb adult" fantasy with infectious enthusiasm. In this case it's Frankie Muniz from TV's Malcolm in the Middle, playing a Michigan eighth-grader whose penchant for lying results in parental scorn when he claims that a Hollywood movie mogul (ace character actor Paul Giamatti) has stolen the kid's hastily written English essay and turned it into his upcoming summer blockbuster. The kid only wants to prove his honesty and recruits his girlfriend (spunky TV star Amanda Bynes) to beat the honcho on his Hollywood turf. Elaborate practical jokes and slapstick gags turn this kid stuff (scripted and produced by two former child stars) into an enjoyable send-up of Hollywood absurdity. When combined with Giamatti's mastery of slow-burning megalomania, the show-biz in-jokes and Home Alone-style anarchy make this a harmless diversion for the young and young-at-heart. --Jeff Shannon

Big Red One, The

Big Red One, The

Starring: Marvin, Lee Hamill, Mark Hamill, Mark Carradine, Robert Ward, Kelly Audran, Stéphane Rauch, Siegfried Marquand, Serge Marquand, Serge Doutey, Alain
Director: Fuller, Samuel

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: Color by Metrocolor. Prints by T

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Amazon.com In Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg depicts the D-day landings with a realism lauded by veterans. The Big Red One depicts the D-day landings, too, and it was made by a veteran. Writer-director Samuel Fuller, who served in the First Infantry Division from North Africa to Czechoslovakia (including the Normandy landings), made a career out of swift, punchy B movies, such as Pickup on South Street and The Naked Kiss. The Big Red One became Fuller's nod to A-movie filmmaking, yet it has the solid, matter-of-fact perspective of the ground-level infantryman. The episodic action ranges all over the European theater, as a tough squad of American GIs (including Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine) follow their hard-bitten sergeant (Lee Marvin, at his best) and try to stay alive. Filmed mostly in Israel, the film delivers on the requisite war-movie conventions and tough-guy humor but also introduces notes of poetry. Fuller's D-day doesn't match the pyrotechnics of Spielberg's version, but it creates power from the simple image of a dead soldier's watch, ticking away in blood-soaked surf. A fine and memorable picture, The Big Red One might have been even greater had it been released in Fuller's full-length cut--someday perhaps a restoration will allow the director's vision to be seen for the first time. --Robert Horton

Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down

Starring: Sexton, Brendan Holt, Brian Van Giovinazzo, Carmine Hofheimer, Charlie Bana, Eric Murciano, Enrique Bremner, Ewen McGregor, Ewan McGregor, Ewan Dancy, Hugh
Director: Scott, Ridley

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 144

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On October 3, 1993, Army Rangers and members of the elite Delta Force participated in a covert operation in Mogadishu, Somalia that went horribly wrong. Sent to abduct two lieutenants of a vicious Somali warlord, the soldiers found themselves surrounded by hostile militia. Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and many men lost their lives. Mark Bowden of the Philadelphia Inquirer told the story of the battle in his exhaustively researched, critically acclaimed book, BLACK HAWK DOWN, and filmmaker Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR) and screenwriter Ken Nolan have done an amazing job of bringing the dramatic story to the screen. Like Bowden's book, the film does not thoroughly examine the context of the conflict, but gives a detailed and intense blow-by-blow account of the fighting. The outstanding ensemble cast includes Josh Hartnett as a competent but nervous Ranger sergeant leading his first mission, Ewan McGregor as a "desk jockey" who excels when sent into combat, Eric Bana (THE INCREDIBLE HULK) as a cocky and enigmatic Delta, and Ron Eldard as a downed Black Hawk pilot. The violence of the film is brutal and nearly constant. Scott unflinchingly captures the chaos and mayhem of battle with tremendous visual finesse. Theatrical Release: DECEMBER 28, 2001 (NY/LA) JANUARY 18, 2002 (EXPANDS)

Blue Crush (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Blue Crush (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Bosworth, Kate Rodriguez, Michelle Davis, Matthew Bosworth, Kate Boorem, Mika Taloa, Chris Alexander, Kala Tejada, Ruben Tejada, Ruben Aquino, Asa
Director: Stockwell, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 105 minutes

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Amazon.com With refreshing energy, Blue Crush is the kind of movie that girls and young women deserve to see more of. It's mostly for them (although nice tans and bikinis will attract the guys), and it rejuvenates the surf-movie tradition by showing real girls with real friendships, coping with absent parents, borderline poverty, rocky romance, and the challenge of raising a kid sister. For young Hawaiian Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), those responsibilities are motivations to excel as a champion-class surfer... if she can overcome the fear of drowning, which she nearly did in a previous wipeout. Supportive friends (Girlfight's Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake) help her reach the climactic competition on Oahu's infamous Bonzai Pipeline, and like Saturday Night Fever, this engaging film uplifts the working class without condescension, riding high toward the joy of achievement. Himself an amateur surfer, director John Stockwell (Crazy/Beautiful) captures the extreme thrill of the sport while respecting the forces of nature and human behavior. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Blue Max, The

Blue Max, The

Starring: Peppard, George Mason, James Schell, Carl Newark, Derek Nesbitt, Derren Towb, Harry Mason, James Kemp, Jeremy Kemp, Jeremy Woodthorpe, Peter
Director: Guillermin, John

Rating: Unrated
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min (FMC Library Print)

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Amazon.com The Blue Max is highly unusual among Hollywood films, not just for being a large-scale drama set during the generally overlooked World War I, but in concentrating on air combat as seen entirely from the German point of view. The story focuses on a lower-class officer, Bruno Stachel (George Peppard), and his obsessive quest to win a Blue Max, a medal awarded for shooting down 20 enemy aircraft. Around this are subplots concerning a propaganda campaign by James Mason's pragmatic general, rivalry with a fellow officer (Jeremy Kemp), and a love affair with a decadent countess (Ursula Andress). As directed by John Guillermin (who later made The Battle of Britain in 1969), the film's main assets are epic production values, great flying scenes, and stunning dogfights. The weak point is the sometimes ponderous character drama, not helped by Peppard, who is too lightweight an actor to convince as the driven antihero. Clearly influenced by Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1958), The Blue Max is a cold, cynical drama offering a visually breathtaking portrait of a stultified society tearing itself apart during the final months of the Great War. --Gary S. Dalkin

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

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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.

Bridge Too Far, A

Bridge Too Far, A

Starring: Caine, Michael Connery, Sean Fox, Edward Gould, Elliott Hackman, Gene Caan, James Olivier, Laurence Caine, Michael Caine, Michael O'Neal, Ryan
Director: Attenborough, Richard

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 176 min

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Amazon.com essential video This massive 1977 adaptation by director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) of Cornelius Ryan's novel features an all-star cast in an epic rendering of a daring but ultimately disastrous raid behind enemy lines in Holland during the Second World War. A lengthy and exhaustive look at the mechanics of warfare and the price and futility of war, the film is almost too large for its aims but manages to be both picaresque and affecting, particularly in the performance of James Caan. The impressive cast includes Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery, and Liv Ullmann among others. While not a classic war film, it nevertheless manages to be a consistently interesting and exciting adventure. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Bring It On

Bring It On

Starring: Dunst, Kirsten Dushku, Eliza Bradford, Jesse Union, Gabrielle Kramer, Clare Bilderback, Nicole Joelson, Tsianina Bell, Rini Bell, Rini Ritter, Huntley
Director: Reed, Peyton

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min

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Amazon.com Sunny, happy Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) is the new leader of the Toros, the cheerleading squad of Rancho Carne, an affluent San Diego high school that has lousy football players but one hell of a cheerleading team. National champions, they're the ones who bring in the bodies to the football games with their award-winning moves and sassy grace, and they're poised to take their sixth national cheer title. Torrance's new reign as cheer queen, though, is cut short when she discovers that her snotty, duplicitous forerunner was regularly stealing routines from the East Compton Clovers, the hip-hop influenced cheerleaders of a poor inner city school, and passing them off as the original work of the Toros. Scrambling to come up with a new routine for the Toros--and do the right thing by giving the Clovers their due--Torrance butts heads with the proud and understandably wary Isis (Gabrielle Union), the leader of the Clovers, who wants nothing to do with a rich blond white girl, but does want to get her squad to the championships. Problem is, only one team can take home the national title. Who's it gonna be? An unexpected box-office hit in the late summer of 2000, Bring It On is a smart, snappy teen comedy that bristles with good cheer (literally) and lively, down-to-earth characters. The story may be fairly predictable (who's going to win the big championship?), but director Peyton Reed and screenwriter Jessica Bendinger have fleshed out their characters with formidable strength and provided them with sharp dialogue. Dunst is a radiant comedian, projecting warmth, determination, sincerity, and a sublime airheadedness, and Union is an impressive dancer and counterpart to Dunst, matching her admirably despite her limited onscreen time. An excellent young supporting cast rounds out the film, most notably Eliza Dushku (Faith of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Jesse Bradford (Steven Soderbergh's King of the Hill) as siblings new to Rancho Carne, who become Torrance's best friend and potential new boyfriend, respectively. All in all, a pleasantly surprising and intelligent teen movie. Don't miss the opening sequence, a hilarious send-up of all those high school cheerleading routines you had to sit through at boring pep rallies. --Mark Englehart

Bringing Down The House (Widescreen Edition)

Bringing Down The House (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Martin, Steve Latifah, Queen Levy, Eugene Plowright, Joan Smart, Jean Brown, Kimberly J. Jones, Angus T. Pyle, Missi Pyle, Missi White, Betty
Director: Shankman, Adam

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 105 min

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Amazon.com The pleasingly contrasting comic styles of Queen Latifah and Steve Martin bring some energy to Bringing Down the House, a hopelessly formulaic comedy. Martin plays Peter, an uptight lawyer too obsessed with work to spend quality time with his kids. Into his life comes Queen Latifah as Charlene, an escaped convict who threatens to wreck his relationship with a wealthy but arch-conservative client (Joan Plowright, in high dudgeon) if Peter won't take up her case. Of course, Latifah's exuberant ways enchant his kids and bring out a looser, livelier side of Peter, all in a series of scenes so standard they hardly register. Thank goodness for Eugene Levy; as one of Peter's law partners with a taste for Charlene's bodacious brand of sexy, Levy's ingenious transformation from nebbish to loverman is the movie's secret weapon, stealthily planting comic explosions amidst the modest rice-krispie-crackle of the stale plot. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Caddyshack

Caddyshack

Starring: Chase, Chevy Dangerfield, Rodney Knight, Ted Murray, Bill O'Keefe, Michael Holcomb, Sarah Morgan, Cindy Morgan, Cindy Morgan, Cindy Wilcoxon, Henry
Director: Ramis, Harold

Rating: R
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 minutes

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Amazon.com A no-brainer that has become a low-brow classic, this 1980 comedy makes anarchy the rule of the day, unleashing the antics of Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Chevy Chase. Caddyshack is about the scheme of a vulgar land developer (Dangerfield) who wants to build condominiums on the site of a ritzy country club. Director Harold Ramis (who later reunited with Murray to make Groundhog Day) is content to let the comedy follow a variety of wacky detours, most notably Murray's maniacal war with a gopher that has been digging up the golf course. Dangerfield ultimately steals the show, firing off a battery of one-liners, insults, and tasteless gags. Caddyshack is the kind of movie some people have been known to watch several times a year, reciting every line of dialogue like the followers of a bizarre comedic ritual. --Jeff Shannon

Cannonball Run, The

Cannonball Run, The

Starring: Reynolds, Burt Moore, Roger DeLuise, Dom Bradshaw, Terry Reynolds, Burt Moore, Roger Tillis, Mel Farr, Jamie Farr, Jamie Martin, Dean
Director: Needham, Hal

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 96 minutes

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Amazon.com Like The Gumball Rally (1976) before it, former stuntman Hal Needham's The Cannonball Run was inspired by the same real-life cross-country road race. If The Gumball Rally was the critical favorite, The Cannonball Run was the box-office favorite (spawning the almost-as-successful sequel, Cannonball Run II, a few years later). Aside from top-billed stars Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise (stars of Needham's Smokey and the Bandit series) plus Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. (as horny priests), the movie features many of the same actors (Bert Convy, Jamie Farr) that could be found on a typical '80s episode of The Love Boat (along with the same caliber of writing). But as the tagline notes, "You'll never guess who wins"--and it's true. As in most road-race movies, it's the journey that counts, not the destination. This particular journey includes cool cars (like Adrienne Barbeau's black Lamborghini), crazed bikers (led by Peter "Easy Rider" Fonda), hot martial arts action (from Jackie Chan as a Japanese racecar driver), a conspicuously braless Farrah Fawcett (recipient of a Golden Raspberry nomination for her performance), and possibly the most egregious use of product placement featured in a movie up until that time (one vehicle has "GMC Trucks" noted prominently along the top of the windshield, another has "Hawaiian Tropic" painted on the hood). As with many of the films Jackie Chan has made for Golden Harvest, the Hong Kong-based production company behind The Cannonball Run, wacky outtakes are included during the closing credits. --Kathleen C. Fennessy Description A wide variety of characters participate in an illegal cross-country road race. It's a hilarious comedic chase as the eccentric participants are willing to do anything to win.

Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition)

Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: DiCaprio, Leonardo Hanks, Tom Walken, Christopher Sheen, Martin Baye, Nathalie Adams, Amy Brolin, James Howe, Brian Howe, Brian Eastin, Steve
Director: Spielberg, Steven

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 141 min

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Amazon.com An enormously entertaining (if somewhat shallow) affair from blockbuster director Steven Spielberg. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank Abagnale, Jr., a dazzling young con man who spent four years impersonating an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer--all before he turned 21. All the while he's pursued by a dedicated FBI agent named Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), whose dogged determination stays one step behind Abagnale's spontaneous wits. Both DiCaprio and Hanks turn in enjoyable performances and the movie has a bouncy rhythm that keeps it zipping along. However, it never gets under the surface of Frank's drive to lose himself in other identities, other than a simplistic desire to please his father (Christopher Walken, excellent as always), nor does it explore the complex mechanics of fraud with any depth. By the movie's end, it feels like one of Frank's pilot uniforms--appearance without substance. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Cats & Dogs (Full Screen Edition)

Cats & Dogs (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Goldblum, Jeff Perkins, Elizabeth Pollock, Alexander Margolyes, Miriam Natwick, Myron Chillcott, Doris Robek, Kirsten Turner, Frank C. Turner, Frank C. Barber, Gillian
Director: Guterman, Lawrence

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 87 min

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Amazon.com How can you hate a movie that features ninja Siamese cats wreaking havoc with their kung fu prowess? That's one of the highlights in Cats & Dogs, an effects-laden family film that mystifies cat fanciers by casting dogs as the undisputed heroes in all-out warfare with nefarious felines. Hidden headquarters and high-tech gadgets are featured on both sides of this age-old battle. On the feline side, the longhaired Persian Mr. Tinkles (voice of Sean Hayes) plots to sabotage the efforts of Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum) to discover a cure for human allergies to dogs. On the canine side, stalwart shepherd Butch (voice of Alec Baldwin) trains the mistakenly recruited beagle puppy Lou (voice of Tobey Maguire) to foil Mr. Tinkles's scheme--a mission that begins when Mrs. Brody (Elizabeth Perkins) adopts Lou for her son Scott (Alexander Pollock). Using combinations of live animals, animatronic puppets, and digital wizardry, Cats & Dogs has just enough imagination to match its effects, climaxing with a feline global-domination scheme involving mice sprayed with chemicals that will make all humans allergic to dogs. Goldblum and Perkins gamely play second fiddles to this menagerie of mayhem, and as madcap "realism" gives way to cartoonish fantasy, the movie escalates into utter chaos, burdened by lame jokes but highlighted by a furry supporting cast including a Saluki hound (voice of Susan Sarandon), a shaggy sheepdog (voice of Michael Clarke Duncan), and a Chinese hairless techno-geek named Peek (voice of Joe Pantoliano). Though never as charming as the Babe movies, Cats & Dogs is harmless fun--especially for dog lovers. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Changing Lanes

Changing Lanes

Starring: Affleck, Ben Jackson, Samuel L. Peet, Amanda Cooper, Bradley Baker, Dylan Dundas, Jennie Jenkins, Richard Pollack, Sydney Pollack, Sydney Hurt, William
Director: Michell, Roger

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

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Amazon.com Impeccably crafted and smarter than your average thriller, Changing Lanes proves that revenge is a dish best served cold. A high-powered attorney (Ben Affleck) learns that lesson the hard way after he flees the scene of an accident involving an insurance salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who holds a powerful advantage in his retaliatory strike against the lawyer's arrogant behavior. Affleck has everything to gain if he can retrieve a lost document from Jackson, who has everything to lose (wife, family, savings) when threatened with financial sabotage. To his versatile credit, Notting Hill director Roger Michell never plays the race card in this escalating battle of wills, focusing instead on the percolating resentments of men at opposite ends of the economic scale. As he did in Eyes Wide Shut, actor-director Sydney Pollack chillingly embodies the venal elite in a pivotal supporting role, and Changing Lanes potently illustrates the wisdom of heeding a guilty conscience. --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

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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

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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.

Chasers

Chasers

Starring: Berenger, Tom Eleniak, Erika Eleniak, Erika Glover, Crispin Glave, Matthew Bush, Grand L. Stockwell, Dean Schram, Bitty Schram, Bitty Cassel, Seymour
Director: Hopper, Dennis

Rating: R
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 102 min

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Description A couple of "chasers" (the navy equivalent of mps) retrieve anerrant enlisted woman and get in way over their heads during theeventful trip back to the base.

Cinderella II - Dreams Come True

Cinderella II - Dreams Come True

Starring: Hale, Jennifer MacNeille, Tress Paulsen, Rob Burton, Corey Taylor, Holland Blakeslee, Susan Welker, Frank Barnes, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Christopher Daniel
Director: Kafka, John

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 73 min

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Amazon.com Disney continues to "sequelize" its classic features. With smart foresight, the filmmakers choose to go with three snappy short films to comprise this 73-minute feature with the Fairy Godmother granting wishes to various characters. In the opening short, Cinderella must pursue life as queen. Several feathers are ruffled as she brings her down-home ways to the castle (bring the commoners in and open those darn curtains). In the other tales, one of Cinderella's animal pals receives a chance to see the world quite differently, and finally, Anastasia, Cinderella's formerly evil stepsister, finds love with a little help. As with the other sequels, the look of the film helps bridge the distance between the original and the sequel (here over 50 years) and it comes together seamlessly. Little ones from ages 4 to 9 should be entertained while purists may be a bit aghast. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Description The magical story of Cinderella continues in an all-new movie brimming with irresistible music, lush animation and all your favorite characters from the original Disney classic. When Cinderella and her prince return to the palace from their honeymoon, the new princess suddenly finds herself cast in the role of Royal Hostess. But the traditional rules of the Royal Court don't allow her to entertain in her own warm and wonderful way. With the help of everyone's favorite Fairy Godmother and a band of mischievous mice, Cinderella and her friends find that the only true way to succeed is to be yourself. You'll find dreams really do come true in the enchanting tale of Cinderella II.

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

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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

Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Theory

Starring: Gibson, Mel Roberts, Julia Stewart, Patrick Roberts, Julia Stewart, Patrick Cozart, Cylk Kahan, Stephen Alexander, Terrence Alexander, Terrence Williams, Brian J.
Director: Donner, Richard

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

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Amazon.com essential video What is it about director Richard Donner that Mel Gibson enjoys so much that he's appeared in five of Donner's films? Is it the on-set pranks? Could it be the big-budget perks and $20-million paychecks? Or is it just a well-stocked catering table? Whatever the case, the Lethal Weapon star and director teamed up again, along with fellow superstar Julia Roberts, for this typically glossy, entertaining but ultimately hokey thriller. Gibson plays New York cab driver Jerry Fletcher, whose wacky belief in conspiracies finally hits on a coincidental truth involving an evil figure named Jonas (Patrick Stewart) and a secret program of government-funded mind control. Roberts plays the Justice Department attorney who finally believes in Jerry's paranoid ramblings. With a plot (from LA. Confidential cowriter Brian Helgeland) that's a lot of fun as long as you don't think about it too critically, Conspiracy Theory benefits immeasurably from the charisma of its high-magnitude stars. --Jeff Shannon

Contact

Contact

Starring: Foster, Jodie McConaughey, Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Morse, David Blake, Geoffrey Fichtner, William Chester, Sami McNeil, Timothy McNeil, Timothy Skerritt, Tom
Director: Zemeckis, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min

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Amazon.com essential video The opening and closing moments of Robert (Forrest Gump) Zemeckis's Contact astonish viewers with the sort of breathtaking conceptual imagery one hardly ever sees in movies these day--each is an expression of the heroine's lifelong quest (both spiritual and scientific) to explore the meaning of human existence through contact with extraterrestrial life. The movie begins by soaring far out into space, then returns dizzyingly to earth until all the stars in the heavens condense into the sparkle in one little girl's eye. It ends with that same girl as an adult (Jodie Foster)--her search having taken her to places beyond her imagination--turning her gaze inward and seeing the universe in a handful of sand. Contact traces the journey between those two visual epiphanies. Based on Carl Sagan's novel, Contact is exceptionally thoughtful and provocative for a big-budget Hollywood science fiction picture, with elements that recall everything from 2001 to The Right Stuff. Foster's solid performance (and some really incredible alien hardware) keep viewers interested, even when the story skips and meanders, or when the halo around the golden locks of rising-star-of-a-different-kind Matthew McConaughey (as the pure-Hollywood-hokum love interest) reaches Milky Way-level wattage. Ambitious, ambiguous, pretentious, unpredictable--Contact is all of these things and more. Much of it remains open to speculation and interpretation, but whatever conclusions one eventually draws, Contact deserves recognition as a rare piece of big-budget studio filmmaking on a personal scale. --Jim Emerson

Core, The (Full Screen Edition)

Core, The (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Eckhart, Aaron Swank, Hilary Galletti, Ray Swank, Hilary Karyo, Tchéky Pedde, Eileen Sharma, Rekha Tucci, Stanley Tucci, Stanley Scholte, Tom
Director: Amiel, Jon

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 135 min

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Amazon.com Smarter than Armageddon and equally extreme, The Core is high-tech Hollywood hokum at its finest. It's scientifically ridiculous, but this variant of Fantastic Voyage at least tries to be credible as it plunges deep into the earth's inner core, where a formulaic team of experts pilot an earth-boring ship to jump-start the planet's spinning molten interior, now stalled by a military secret that could seal the fate of all humankind. It's a geophysicist's wet dream that only a fine ensemble cast could rescue from absurdity, and director Jon Amiel (Entrapment, Copycat) draws excellent work (and plenty of humorous interplay) from Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo, and a host of memorable supporting players, especially The New Guy's D.J. Qualls as the world's greatest cyber-nerd. With enough digital F/X disasters to satisfy anyone's apocalyptic fantasies, this is a popcorn thriller with all the bells and whistles that its genre demands. Sit back, pump up the volume, and enjoy the dazzling ride. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Coyote Ugly

Coyote Ugly

Starring: Perabo, Piper Garcia, Adam Goodman, John Bello, Maria Miko, Izabella Banks, Tyra Moynahan, Bridget Lynskey, Melanie Lynskey, Melanie Weston, Michael
Director: (II), David McNally

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 97 min

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Amazon.com As a producer, Jerry Bruckheimer makes movies for guys, mostly action films like Top Gun and Gone in 60 Seconds. The ones he makes that feature women, such as Flashdance and now Coyote Ugly, broaden their appeal with a fondness for "strong women." For Bruckheimer, that means self-determined, attractive women who don't need men to get what they want. Is there anything sexier than that? In Coyote Ugly, the charming young waif Piper Perabo stars as Violet, a New Jersey waitress who moves to New York to make it big as a songwriter. She has absolutely no idea how the music business works, relying instead on her faith in her own abilities. In order to make ends meet, she gets a job in a bar called Coyote Ugly, where the bartenders are scantily clad women who dance on the bar and order around their mostly male clientele. Really, they are strippers who don't have to take off their clothes. In fact, the owner (Maria Bello) orders them to enact the first rule of strip clubs: "Appear available but never be available." Bruckheimer is smart enough to focus on the naive girl instead of the seamier side of the story, following her as she realizes her dream and picks up a disposable but nice man along the way. Further "empowering" the female figures in the film, Zoe (Tyra Banks), the bartender whom Violet is replacing, leaves in order to go to law school. See? They're as smart as they are sexy! Then there's John Goodman, who turns in an absolutely charming performance as Violet's concerned father. This is a sweet and inoffensive film as long as you don't think too much about it. --Andy Spletzer

Crocodile Hunter, The - Collision Course

Crocodile Hunter, The - Collision Course

Starring: (II), Steve Irwin Irwin, Terri Szubanski, Magda Wenham, David Hulme, Lachy Young, Aden Ransom, Kenneth Beahan, Kate Beahan, Kate Vidler, Steven
Director: Stainton, John

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min

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Amazon.com This first movie from the Discovery Channel favorite opens with a plot of international intrigue over a downed satellite, but within four minutes Steve Irwin is belly flopping after a baby croc on the outback floor. Steve and his nerves-of-steel sidekick wife, Terri, are asked to relocate a cattle-chomping crocodile before it's shot by a local rancher. This same reptile happened to swallow the intelligence-gathering device that fell to earth, and so begins the goofball premise of this lark of a movie. The feds believe the Irwins are appropriating their classified info, and the Irwins think they're running from poachers. Quibblers may object to Irwin's frequent interruptions to introduce a bird-eating spider or paw through croc dung, but Crocodile Hunter fans wouldn't have it any other way. This 89-minute film is rated PG for action violence/peril and mild language. But unless you consider "crikey" an obscenity, it's a safe bet for family viewing. (Ages 4 and older) --Kimberly Heinrichs

Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions

Starring: Gellar, Sarah Michelle Phillippe, Ryan Witherspoon, Reese Mabius, Eric Reid, Tara Kurtz, Swoosie Baranski, Christine Phillippe, Ryan Phillippe, Ryan Gellar, Sarah Michelle
Director: Kumble, Roger

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

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Amazon.com This modern-day teen update of Les Liaisons Dangereuses suffered at the hands of both critics and moviegoers thanks to its sumptuous ad campaign, which hyped the film as an arch, highly sexual, faux-serious drama (not unlike the successful, Oscar-nominated Dangerous Liaisons). In fact, this intermittently successful sudser plays like high comedy for its first two-thirds, as its two evil heroes, rich stepsiblings Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), blithely ruin lives and reputations with hearts as black as coal. Kathryn wants revenge on a boyfriend who dumped her, so she befriends his new intended, the gawky Cecile (Selma Blair), and gets Sebastian to deflower the innocent virgin. The meat of the game, though, lies in Sebastian's seduction of good girl Annette (a down-to-earth Reese Witherspoon), who's written a nationally published essay entitled "Why I Choose to Wait." If he fails, Kathryn gets his precious vintage convertible; if he wins, he gets Kathryn--in the sack. When the movie sticks to the merry ruination of Kathryn and Sebastian's pawns, it's highly enjoyable: Gellar in particular is a two-faced manipulator extraordinaire, and Phillippe, usually a black hole, manages some fun as a hipster Eurotrash stud. Most pleasantly surprising of all is Witherspoon, who puts a remarkably self-assured spin on a character usually considered vulnerable and tortured (see Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons). Unfortunately, writer-director Roger Kumble undermines everything he's built up with a false ending that's true to neither the reconceived characters nor the original story--revenge is a dish best served cold, not cooked up with unnecessary plot twists. --Mark Englehart

Cutting Edge, The

Cutting Edge, The

Starring: Sweeney, D.B. Kelly, Moira Dotrice, Roy Kelly, Moira Brown, Dwier Benson, Chris Peeks, Kevin Flatman, Barry Flatman, Barry Sears, Steve
Director: Glaser, Paul Michael

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

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Amazon.com As far as ice-skating movies go (or those that prominently feature the cold-bladed sport), this romantic movie is one of the best, thanks to utterly charming performances by underrated actors D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly. The couple play, respectively, a washed-up hockey player and a prima-donna skater who end up in doubles figure skating together at the Winter Olympics. Of course, the mismatched pair fall in love. In between, there's a lot of verbal sparring, talk of toe picks, and surprisingly skillful directing by Paul Michael Glaser (Kazaam, The Air Up There). Direction here is critical--unlike in Flashdance, where the dancing was done in the shadows, face and feet obviously shot separately--and The Cutting Edge credibly highlights the actors and their professional stand-ins. This is such a fun, sweet story that the facts the film takes liberties with--including the alacrity with which a hockey player takes to Olympic-level figure skating--are easily forgivable. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Daddy Day Care (Special Edition)

Daddy Day Care (Special Edition)

Starring: Murphy, Eddie Garlin, Jeff Zahn, Steve Nealon, Kevin Zahn, Steve Chabert, Lacey Garlin, Jeff Kightlinger, Laura Kightlinger, Laura Krusiec, Michelle
Director: (III), Steve Carr

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

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Amazon.com There are some good laughs to be found in Daddy Day Care, especially if you're a preschooler with energy to burn. This romper-room comedy shamelessly exploits its high concept idea--dropping Eddie Murphy into a seething den of rugrats--but kids will have plenty of vicarious fun as Murphy and his fellow laid-off colleague (Jeff Garlin) battle unemployment by opening a day-care center in Eddie's home. In partial Witches mode, Anjelica Huston hams it up as a day-care competitor bent on closing Eddie down, while doofus extraordinaire Steve Zahn is recruited as a third partner in "Daddy Day Care," trying his best to entertain a pack of hyperactive kids who've stopped taking their Ritalin. Zahn makes a funny Star Trek fan (even when the script contains bogus Trekkie trivia), and Murphy deserves credit for giving his all in a comedy that mostly squanders his talent. Indeed, is Daddy Day Care a comedy or every parent's nightmare? Daring viewers can decide for themselves. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

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

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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

Deeply

Deeply

Starring: Dunst, Kirsten Redgrave, Lynn Brendler, Julia Ford, Trent Carver, Brent Watson, Alberta Donaldson, Peter Rosling, Tara Rosling, Tara Turner, Jessica
Director: Elwood, Sheri

Rating: NR
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 101 min

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A mythic memory play in the vein of The Wicker Man, Deeply is the story of a traumatized teenager, Claire McKay (Julia Brendler)...

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

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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

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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

Dirty Dancing (Collector's Edition)

Dirty Dancing (Collector's Edition)

Starring: Grey, Jennifer Swayze, Patrick Orbach, Jerry Rhodes, Cynthia Weston, Jack Brucker, Jane Bishop, Kelly Price, Lonny Price, Lonny Coles, Charles 'Honi'
Director: Ardolino, Emile

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 100 min

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Amazon.com As with Grease (1978) and Footloose (1984) before it, Dirty Dancing was a cultural phenomenon that now plays more like camp. That very campiness, though, is part of its biggest charm. And if the dancing in the movie doesn't seem particularly "dirty" by today's standards--or 1987's--it does take place in an era (the early '60s) when it would have. Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey, daughter of ageless hoofer Joel Grey) has been vacationing in the Catskills with her family for many years. Uneventfully. One summer, she falls under the sway (as it were) of dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). Baby is a pampered pup, but Johnny is a man of the world. Baby's father, Jake (Law and Order's Jerry Orbach), can't see the basic decency in greaser Johnny that she can. It should come as no surprise to find that Baby, who can be as immature as her name, learns more about love and life--and dancing--from free-spirited Johnny than traditionalist Jake. Dirty Dancing spawned two successful soundtracks, a short-lived TV series, and a stage musical. It may be predictable, but Grey and Swayze have chemistry, charisma, and all the right moves. It's a sometimes silly movie with occasionally mind-boggling dialogue--"No one puts Baby in a corner!"--that nonetheless carries an underlying message about tolerance and is filled with the kind of exuberant spirit that's hard for even the most cynical to resist. Not that they'd ever admit it. --Kathy Fennessy --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Domestic Disturbance

Domestic Disturbance

Starring: Travolta, John Vaughn, Vince Polo, Teri Polo, Teri Vaughn, Vince O'Leary, Matthew Jones, Leland L. O'Leary, Matthew O'Leary, Matthew Floyd, Susan
Director: Becker, Harold

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

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Amazon.com If you focus on the effective casting of John Travolta and Vince Vaughan, Domestic Disturbance may grab your attention as a thriller that hits too close to home. After playing a greasy villain in Swordfish, Travolta ably serves up the good-guy charm as a divorced father who must rescue his teenage son from a murderous new stepfather, played by Vaughan with bad-tempered relish. Director Harold Becker is worthy of better material (like his earlier hit Sea of Love), but he handles this B-movie potboiler with professional flair, particularly in the setup involving an accomplice (the ever-reliable Steve Buscemi) who threatens to destroy Vaughan's small-town respectability. The plot's about as plausible as Britney Spears in a remake of Sophie's Choice, relying heavily on lame-brained cops and vast chasms in logic, but by the time Travolta and Vaughan engage in their inevitable showdown, even childless viewers may feel a twinge of parental instinct. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Dr. Dolittle 2

Dr. Dolittle 2

Starring: Murphy, Eddie Wilson, Kristen Raven-Symone Pratt, Kyla Zane, Lil' Dowse, Denise Y. Avery, James Taylor, Elayn Taylor, Elayn Pollak, Kevin
Director: (III), Steve Carr

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 87 min

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Amazon.com It's only a marginal improvement, but Dr. Dolittle 2 defies the odds by rising above its popular 1998 predecessor (and once again, let's not confuse these movies with the earlier Rex Harrison musical). Eddie Murphy cakewalks through his title role with the confident professionalism of a comedian who knows when to share the spotlight--especially when he's being upstaged by a bunch of animals who steal all the punch lines. And once again the movie's aimed at a preteen audience, so many of those punch lines involve flatulence, bodily functions, and frequent use of the word butt. The difference this time: Dr. Dolittle has settled into his talk-to-the-animals routine; his 16-year-old daughter (Raven-Symone) is getting to be a feisty handful (it turns out she's coping with a hereditary gift); and his lawyer wife (Kristen Wilson) is representing him in a trial against corporate villains who want to clear-cut a local forest. Naturally, the local critter mafia (their Don is a beaver... fugeddaboutit!) want Dolittle to fight for their cause, and this involves the successful mating of an endangered bear and a domesticated circus bear who's forgotten all the bear necessities of life in the wild. The bears are voiced by Lisa Kudrow and Steve Zahn, and they almost steal the show, but the whole menagerie (with digitally animated "talking") is equally amusing. Adults might wish that the filmmakers had tried harder to make a truly memorable sequel, but this is a movie for kids, and they're going to love it without quibbling. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Drumline (Full Screen Edition)

Drumline (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Cannon, Nick Saldana, Zoe Jones, Orlando Roberts, Leonard GQ Weaver, Jason Poitier, Earl Carey, Candace Carey, Candace Gaetan, Miguel A.
Director: III, Charles Stone

Rating: PG-13
Category: Dramas
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

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Amazon.com Once you've seen Drumline, halftime shows will become works of art. This formulaic yet surprisingly captivating movie honors the military precision of college football marching bands, those battalions of eager, sternly disciplined brass sections, drummers, and fly girls who turn halftime shows into well-oiled Vegas variety acts on steroids. Devon (played by Will Smith protégé Nick Cannon) is a cocky Brooklyn kid with a snare-drumming scholarship to (fictional) Atlanta A&T University. He can't read music (he lied on his application) and his attitude sucks, but he's the best natural drummer the college has ever had, so he quickly rises through the marching band ranks. The school year brings Devon the obligatory girlfriend (Zoë Saldana, smart and charming); clashes with his old-school band director (Orlando Jones); and well-earned redemption at the championship marching band showdown. No surprises here, but great chemistry all around, and a fantastic, positive role-model showcase for a musical form that has evolved far beyond the main street parades of Smalltown, U.S.A. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Thomas, Henry Barrymore, Drew MacNaughton, Robert Barrymore, Drew Coyote, Peter Martel, K.C. Frye, Sean Howell, C. Thomas Howell, C. Thomas Swingler, Richard
Director: Spielberg, Steven

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 120 min (extended version)

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Amazon.com essential video Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit about a stranded alien and his loving relationship with a fatherless boy (Henry Thomas) struck a chord with audiences everywhere, and it furthered Spielberg's reputation as a director of equally strong commercial sensibilities and classical leanings. Henry Thomas gives a strong, emotional performance as E.T.'s young friend, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore make a solid impression as his siblings, and Dee Wallace is lively as the kids' mother. The special effects almost look a bit quaint now with all the computer advancements that have occurred since, but they also have more heart behind them than a lot of what we see today. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features Universal pulled a fast one when they placed both the 1982 and 2002 versions of E.T. on this standard DVD release. The result is an excellent two-disc set that contains nearly all of the material on the higher-priced ultimate edition (minus the handsome packaging). On the disc one bonus menu, you must play through the two-minute introduction to see a short on the 2002 premiere of the film that was accompanied by John Williams conducting a live orchestra. There is an option to see the film with... read more

Eagle Has Landed, The

Eagle Has Landed, The

Starring: Caine, Michael Sutherland, Donald Duvall, Robert Quayle, Anthony Pleasence, Donald Marsh, Jean Agutter, Jenny Standing, John Standing, John Hagman, Larry
Director: Sturges, John

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 123 min / USA:131 min (DVD vers

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Amazon.com This 1976 adventure story set in World War II concerns a Nazi plot to kidnap Churchill from his retreat--or murder him if need be. The large, great cast and a director, John Sturges, who's been down this road of ensemble action before (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape) make this project exciting if not as memorable as Sturges's more famous works. The weak ending doesn't help. -- Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Enough

Enough

Starring: Campbell, Billy Lewis, Juliette Wyle, Noah Ward, Fred Lopez, Jennifer Futterman, Dan Cobbs, Bill Maher, Chris Maher, Chris Maher, Christopher
Director: Apted, Michael

Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Category: Drama
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 111

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A diner waitress, Slim (Jennifer Lopez), meets Mitch (Bill Campbell), a handsome rich man who defends her in the diner. They marry and have a child, but Slim's happiness is soon lost when she discovers that her husband has a mistress. When confronted, Mitch becomes abusive and proceeds to lay down controlling laws for Slim. As the abuse grows worse, Slim realizes that fleeing is her only path to freedom. Mitch's determination becomes evident as he tracks Slim down, terrorizes her, and uses the legal system to his advantage, scheduling a custody hearing. Realizing that flight and the law are not her strongest allies, Slim takes intensive combat classes, preparing to meet Mitch one last time, intending to kill him in apparent self defense. ENOUGH wisely spins typical gender roles beyond the training of its protagonist. Slim is aided by a sensitive male admirer (Dan Futterman), who has stamina problems, and her daughter Grace (Tessa Allen), who has admirable basketball skills. When it comes time for the climactic last battle, ENOUGH doesn't get bogged down with politics, sexual or otherwise. Instead, it gleefully delivers an elaborate, bloody, final brawl. Theatrical Release: MAY 24, 2002

Excalibur

Excalibur

Starring: Terry, Nigel Mirren, Helen Clay, Nicholas Lunghi, Cherie Clay, Nicholas Neeson, Liam Swift, Clive Byrne, Gabriel Byrne, Gabriel Boorman, Katrine
Director: Boorman, John

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video This lush retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a dark and engrossing tale. Director John Boorman (Deliverance) masterfully handles the tale of the mythical sword Excalibur, and its passing from the wizard Merlin to the future king of England. Arthur pulls the famed sword from a stone and is destined to be crowned king. As the king embarks on a passionate love affair with Guenevere, an illegitimate son, and Merlin's designs on power, threaten Arthur's reign. The film is visually stunning and unflinching in its scenes of combat and black magic. Featuring an impressive supporting cast, including early work from the likes of Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, Excalibur is an adaptation of the legend both faithful and bold. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

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

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Starring: Brooks, Albert DeGeneres, Ellen Gould, Alexander Dafoe, Willem Garrett, Brad Janney, Allison Pendleton, Austin Root, Stephen Root, Stephen Ranft, Joe
Director: Unkrich, Lee

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 100 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com A delightful undersea world unfolds in Pixar's animated adventure Finding Nemo. When his son Nemo is captured by a scuba-diver, a nervous-nellie clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) sets off into the vast--and astonishingly detailed--ocean to find him. Along the way he hooks up with a scatterbrained blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who's both helpful and a hindrance, sometimes at the same time. Faced with sharks, deep-sea anglers, fields of poisonous jellyfish, sea turtles, pelicans, and much more, Marlin rises above his neuroses in this wonderfully funny and nonstop thrill ride--rarely does more than 10 minutes pass without a sequence destined to become a theme park attraction. Pixar continues its run of impeccable artistic and economic success (their movies include Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc). Also featuring the voices of Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, and Allison Janney. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features It's not that the folks at Pixar are geniuses when it comes to DVDs... well, come to think of it, their fifth DVD set shows these folks are wizards. It's not just that the two discs are packed with watchable extras that hardly reiterate the same information; it's how they are handled--funny, inventive, with a light touch--unlike many PR-driven discs. A good place to start is the filmmakers' jolly commentary track, which branches off into 31 minutes of behind-the-scene stuff, deleted scenes, and... read more

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

Starring: Curtis, Jamie Lee Lohan, Lindsay Harmon, Mark Gould, Harold Murray, Chad Michael Tobolowsky, Stephen Vidal, Christina Malgarini, Ryan Malgarini, Ryan Chao, Rosalind
Director: Waters, Mark S.

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 93 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com In the wonderfully entertaining Freaky Friday, teenager Anna (Lindsay Lohan) and her forty-something psychiatrist mom Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) have sunk into a rut of frustrated bickering--until a magic spell causes them to switch bodies. Suddenly Tess finds herself faced with petty teachers, vicious rivals, and a hunky boy, while Anna has to cope with her mother's neurotic patients as well as her befuddled fiance (Mark Harmon), who doesn't understand why his bride-to-be is suddenly recoiling from his embrace on the eve of their wedding. Both Lohan and Curtis turn in deft, delightful performances, with Curtis showing a surprising flair for physical comedy. The movie even manages to explore serious issues about fractured families, new parents, and adolescent sexuality with honesty and empathy--and without making the story stop dead in its tracks. It's a mother-daughter film that fathers and sons can enjoy just as much. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket

Starring: Modine, Matthew D'Onofrio, Vincent Baldwin, Adam Howard, Arliss Harewood, Dorian O'Ross, Ed Major Howard, Kevyn D'Onofrio, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vincent Jecchinis, Kieron
Director: Kubrick, Stanley

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 8.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com essential video Stanley Kubrick's 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the '80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of the Vietnam War as Platoon and The Deer Hunter. Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London), Full Metal Jacket comes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best. Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future's role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way, Full Metal Jacket is the wholly grim counterpart of 2001. While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death), Full Metal Jacket is a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s' hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence. Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D'Onofrio). Matthew Modine gives a smart and savvy performance as Private Joker, the clowning, military journalist who yearns to get away from the propaganda machine and know firsthand the horrific revelation of the front line. In Full Metal Jacket, depravity and fulfillment go hand in hand, and it's no wonder Kubrick kept his steely distance from the material to make the point. --Tom Keogh DVD features EDITOR'S NOTE: According to a Warner Home Video technician involved in the production of The Stanley Kubrick Collection, Kubrick authorized all aspects of the Collection, from the use of Digital Component Video (or "D-1") masters originally approved in 1989, to the use of minimalist screen menus, chapter stops, and (in the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining on DVD) supplementary materials. Full-screen presentation of The Shining and Full Metal Jacket was also approved by Kubrick, who... read more

GI Jane

GI Jane

Starring: Moore, Demi Mortensen, Viggo David, Angel Bancroft, Anne Max, Arthur Dowd, Billy Moore, Bob Kestner, Boyd Kestner, Boyd Von Bargen, Daniel
Director: Scott, Ridley

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 124 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com It seemed like a pretty good career move, and for the most part it was. Demi Moore will never top any rational list of great actresses, but as her career stalled in the mid-1990s she had enough internal fire and external physicality to be just right for her title role in G.I. Jane. Her character's name isn't Jane--it's Jordan O'Neil--but the fact that she lacks a penis makes her an immediate standout in her elite training squad of Navy SEALs. She's been recruited as the first female SEAL trainee through a series of backroom political maneuvers, and must prove her military staying power against formidable odds--not the least of which is the abuse of a tyrannical master chief (Viggo Mortensen) who puts her through hell to improve her chances of success. Within the limitations of a glossy star vehicle, director Ridley Scott manages to incorporate the women-in-military issue with considerable impact, and Moore--along with her conspicuous breast enhancements and that memorable head-shaving scene--jumps into the role with everything she's got. Not a great movie by any means, but definitely a rousing crowd pleaser, and it's worth watching just to hear Demi shout the words "Suck my ----!!" (rhymes with "chick"). --Jeff Shannon

Good Will Hunting - Collector's Edition

Good Will Hunting - Collector's Edition

Starring: Williams, Robin Damon, Matt Affleck, Ben Skarsgård, Stellan Driver, Minnie Affleck, Casey Hauser, Cole Mighton, John Mighton, John McCauley, Colleen
Director: Sant, Gus Van

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 126 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video Robin Williams won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck nabbed one for Best Original Screenplay, but the feel-good hit Good Will Hunting triumphs because of its gifted director, Gus Van Sant. The unconventional director (My Own Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboy) saves a script marred by vanity and clunky character development by yanking soulful, touching performances out of his entire cast (amazingly, even one by Williams that's relatively schtick-free). Van Sant pulls off the equivalent of what George Cukor accomplished for women's melodrama in the '30s and '40s: He's crafted an intelligent, unabashedly emotional male weepie about men trying to find inner-wisdom. Matt Damon stars as Will Hunting, a closet math genius who ignores his gift in favor of nightly boozing and fighting with South Boston buddies (co-writer Ben Affleck among them). While working as a university janitor, he solves an impossible calculus problem scribbled on a hallway blackboard and reluctantly becomes the prodigy of an arrogant MIT professor (Stellan Skarsgård). Damon only avoids prison by agreeing to see psychiatrists, all of whom he mocks or psychologically destroys until he meets his match in the professor's former childhood friend, played by Williams. Both doctor and patient are haunted by the past, and as mutual respect develops, the healing process begins. The film's beauty lies not with grand climaxes, but with small, quiet moments. Scenes such as Affleck's clumsy pep talk to Damon while they drink beer after work, or any number of therapy session between Williams and Damon offer poignant looks at the awkward ways men show affection and feeling for one another. --Dave McCoy

Grease (Widescreen Edition)

Grease (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Travolta, John Newton-John, Olivia Channing, Stockard Conaway, Jeff Pearl, Barry Tucci, Michael Ward, Kelly Conn, Didi Conn, Didi Manoff, Dinah
Director: Kleiser, Randal

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 110 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s (caused by TV shows like Happy Days and films like American Graffiti), Grease became not only the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later, this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. In this 2002 DVD release, Grease lovers can also now see it in the correct 2:35 to 1 Panavision aspect ratio, and see retrospective interviews with cast members and director Randal Kleiser. All these stylistic touches are essential to the film's success. Without the vibrant colors, unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative. The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever, knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while Olivia Newton-John's portrayal of virgin innocence is the only decent acting she's ever done. And then there's Stockard Channing, spouting sexual double-entendres as Rizzo, the bitchy, raunchy leader of the Pink Ladies, who steals the film from both of its stars. Ignore the sequel at all costs. --Dave McCoy

Grease 2

Grease 2

Starring: Caulfield, Maxwell Pfeiffer, Michelle Luft, Lorna Teefy, Maureen Price, Alison Segall, Pamela Zmed, Adrian Frechette, Peter Frechette, Peter Green, Leif
Director: Birch, Patricia

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 3.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 115 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Too often, sequels to popular films simply rehash the original film; call it the carbon-copy syndrome. Grease 2 suffers from no such malady, having almost nothing to do with the original film. Sure, it focuses on teens at Rydell High, the imaginary school from the first film, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. But other than a few of the teachers, all of the characters are new and so are the songs--and more's the pity. By the time Grease hit the big screen, it already had had almost a decade as a theatrical musical, more than enough time to hone its mock-rock & roll score. But this sequel, which stars among others a then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, and Lorna Luft (Judy Garland's daughter), has music that's neither fish nor fowl, neither rock nor Broadway. Meanwhile, the plot is a reversal of the first film, in which a cool guy fell for a square girl. In this one, the square is newcomer Caulfield, who catches the eye of tough girl Pfeiffer and her Pink Lady gang. The appearance of such pseudo-stars of the '50s, like Tab Hunter, is supposed to lend a nostalgic kick, but let's just say that Grease 2 slides almost instantly into obscurity. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Description The sequel to the 1978 hit movie, GREASE 2 is set in the early 1960’s when a new British student, Michael Carrington (Caulfield), rides into town and joins the ranks at Rydell High. A book nerd who immediately falls for the blonde bombshell leader of the Pink Ladies, Stephanie Zinone (Pfeiffer), Michael finds himself smitten, but out of his element. Knowing that the Pink Ladies are the hippest clique of chicks at Rydell, who only date their equals in coolness - the T-Birds, Michael sets out to turn from a geek to a greaser to see if he can win the gorgeous Stephanie’s heart.

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...

Hamburger Hill

Hamburger Hill

Starring: Barrile, Anthony Boatman, Michael O'Shea, Daniel Swerdlow, Tommy James, Don McDermott, Dylan Nickles, Michael A. O'Reilly, Harry O'Reilly, Harry Quill, Timothy Patrick
Director: Irvin, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 112 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Because it was released less than a year after Oliver Stone's Platoon and within months of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, this exceptionally well-made film about one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War was largely overshadowed and overlooked. It's a pity, because in some respects this is the best of the Vietnam films of the late 1980s, at least in terms of the everyday authenticity it depicts. Stripped clean of dramatically extraneous narrative, the movie opts instead for a straightforward approach to its day-by-day account of one of the war's costliest victories--a deadly siege on Hill 937 in the Ashau Valley, where soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division engaged the enemy over the course of eleven brutal assaults between May 10th and 20th, 1969. The film specifically follows the 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, a mixture of "new guys" and battle-weary "short-timers" who fought against terrifying odds and suffered a 70% casualty rate. From first scene to last, Hamburger Hill traces the rise and fall of their battle experience, from the horror of firefights to the camaraderie of men who've faced death and survived. Racial tensions flare and subside, trusts are established, and courage emerges from unexpected places. Through it all, writer Jim Carabatsos and director John Irvin maintain a purity of focus that pays tribute to the soldier's life without promoting false patriotism or gung-ho theatrics. In addition, the film features a cast full of talented and well-known actors in the early stages of their careers, including Dylan McDermott (from the TV series "The Practice") and Don Cheadle, before gaining fame in Devil in a Blue Dress and Boogie Nights. Color accuracy, image clarity, and the explosive soundtrack have been remarkably preserved in a flawless DVD transfer, lending even greater immediacy to this underrated film. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Happy Gilmore

Happy Gilmore

Starring: Sandler, Adam McDonald, Christopher Bowen, Julie Bay, Frances Weathers, Carl Covert, Allen Smigel, Robert Barker, Bob Barker, Bob Dugan, Dennis
Director: Dugan, Dennis

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 92 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Adam Sandler fans are sure to enjoy this no-brainer comedy, but everyone else is strongly advised to proceed with caution. Before scoring a more enjoyable hit with his 1998 comedy The Wedding Singer, the former Saturday Night Live goofball played Happy Gilmore, a hot-tempered guy whose dreams of hockey stardom elude him. But when he discovers his gift for driving golf balls hundreds of yards, he joins a pro tour to win the prize money needed to rescue his beloved grandma's home from IRS repossession. The trouble is, Happy's not so happy. He's got a temper that frequently flares on the golf course (he even dukes it out with celebrity golfer Bob Barker), but a retired golf pro (Carl Weathers) and a compassionate publicist (Julie Bowen) help him to perfect his putting game and adjust his confrontational attitude. How much you enjoy this lunacy depends on your tolerance for Sandler's loudmouthed schtick and a shocking number of blatant product-placement endorsements, but if you're looking for broad comedy you've come to the right teeoff spot. --Jeff Shannon

Hart's War

Hart's War

Starring: Willis, Bruce Farrell, Colin Hauser, Cole Brandis, Jonathan Roache, Linus Iures, Marcel Landes, Michael Weston, Michael Weston, Michael Worthington, Sam
Director: Hoblit, Gregory

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 125 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Anyone who appreciates subtle tension will enjoy this World War II prison-camp drama, based on John Katzenbach's novel, in which honor, courage, and sacrifice are revealed in unexpected ways. Bruce Willis plays the ranking U.S. prisoner in a Nazi POW camp, joined in December 1944 by a law-student lieutenant (up-and-coming star Colin Farrell) who'd been captured despite his father's powerful military connections. When a black pilot (Terrence Dashon Howard) from the famous Tuskeegee airmen is falsely accused of murdering a fellow prisoner, Farrell tries his case and discovers the real motivation behind Willis's kangaroo court. While combining elements of Stalag 17 and The Great Escape, director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, Frequency) spices this moral dilemma with well-crafted suspense and a rousing dogfight sequence, but the human drama remains muted despite fine, understated performances by Willis, Farrell, and Howard. An escape thriller with an ethical twist, Hart's War works best as a study of heroism under extraordinary circumstances. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

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.

Holes (Widescreen Edition)

Holes (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Weaver, Sigourney Voight, Jon Nelson, Tim Blake LaBeouf, Shia Thomas, Khleo Smith, Jake M. Cotton, Byron Jefferson, Brenden Jefferson, Brenden Kasch, Max
Director: Davis, Andrew

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 117 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Fans of author Louis Sachar's book Holes will be delighted with this scrupulously faithful adaptation. After being wrongly found guilty of stealing a pair of sneakers, Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility in the bed of a long-gone dry Texas lake. There--under the watchful eye of overseer Mr. Sir (a zesty Jon Voight), sneakily mean therapist Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson, O Brother Where Art Thou?), and the cool and cruel Warden (Sigourney Weaver)--Stanley and dozens of other delinquents are forced to dig an endless series of holes that the Warden hopes will lead her to a precious secret left behind by a long-dead female outlaw (Patricia Arquette). Sachar's book is beloved for its vivid characters and suspenseful plot; by sticking close to its source, Holes has become a dynamic, exciting, and surprisingly touching movie. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen Edition)

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Hudson, Kate McConaughey, Matthew Hahn, Kathryn Parisse, Annie Goldberg, Adam Lennon, Thomas Michele, Michael Harlow, Shalom Harlow, Shalom Neuwirth, Bebe
Director: Petrie, Donald

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Kate Hudson twinkles as the heroine of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a magazine writer assigned to date a guy, make all the mistakes girls make that drive guys away (being clingy, talking in baby-talk, etc.), and record the process like a sociological experiment. However, the guy she picks--rangy Matthew McConaughey--is an advertising executive who's just bet that he can make a woman fall in love with him in ten days; if he succeeds, he'll win a huge account that will make his career. The set-up is completely absurd, but the collision of their efforts to woo and repel creates some pretty funny scenes. McConaughey's easy charm and Hudson's lightweight impishness play well together and the plot, though strictly Hollywood formula, chugs along efficiently. At moments Hudson seems to channel her mother, Goldie Hawn, to slightly unnerving effect. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Ice Age

Ice Age

Starring: Leguizamo, John Leary, Denis Leary, Denis Visnjic, Goran Black, Jack Entertainer, Cedric the Root, Stephen Bader, Diedrich Bader, Diedrich Bagley, Lorri
Director: Saldanha, Carlos

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 81 min

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Amazon.com Just as A Bug's Life was a computer-animated comedy inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, the funny and often enthralling Ice Age is a digital re-imagining of the Western Three Godfathers. The heroes of this unofficial remake (set 20,000 years ago, during the titular Paleolithic era) are a taciturn mastodon named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an annoying sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a duplicitous saber-toothed tiger, Diego (Denis Leary). The unlikely team encounters a dying, human mother who relinquishes her chirpy toddler to the care of these critters. Hoping, against all odds, to return the little guy to his migrating tribe, Manfred and his associates need to establish trust among themselves, not an easy thing in a harsh world of predators, prey, and pushy glaciers. Audiences that have become accustomed to the rounded, polished, storybook look of Pixar's house brand of computer animation (Monsters, Inc.) will find the blunt edges and chilly brilliance of Ice Age--evoking the harsh, dangerous environment of a frozen world--a wholly different, and equally pleasing, trip. Recommended for ages 4 and up. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The new short film "Scrat's Missing Adventure: Gone Nutty" showcases the well-timed animation--strongly influenced by Chuck Jones's Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote shorts--that made that frantic little character so effective as a comic foil. It's interesting to compare the Oscar®-winning short "Bunny" with Ice Age. The viewer can see the Blue Sky artists developing the more angular and less detailed look that's become the studio's signature. Like Sid the Sloth, the title character in "Bunny"... read more

In-Laws, The (Widescreen Edition)

In-Laws, The (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Douglas, Michael Brooks, Albert Suchet, David Brooks, Albert Tunney, Robin Reynolds, Ryan Sloane, Lindsay Lee, Drew Lee, Drew Tseng, Chang
Director: Fleming, Andrew

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 minutes

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Amazon.com It won't steal any thunder from the 1979 original, but this breezy remake of The In-Laws offers a few solid laughs. It's blessed by the casting of Albert Brooks as one of two imminent fathers-in-law who embark on the proverbial "wacky misadventure" on the eve of a lavish family wedding. The veteran comedian plays a podiatrist (in the dentist role originated by Alan Arkin) and Michael Douglas (in Peter Falk's role) is a deep-cover agent for the CIA, unbeknownst to Brooks or his daughter, who's about to marry Douglas's son--an event also attended by Douglas's ex-wife (Candice Bergen), who remains spiteful despite her newfound Buddhist enlightenment. As an arms dealer targeted by Douglas's latest covert operation, David Suchet matches Brooks laugh-for-laugh in the movie's funniest scenes, but one drawback can't be avoided: Douglas simply isn't funny. But while the original In-Laws was arguably overrated, this remake, for all its faults, makes for an agreeable rainy-day pastime. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Family matters. Laughing matters. They're all a matter of laugh or death as Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks play opposites thrust together by their children's wedding and by CIA agent Douglas' involvement in an arms-smuggling sting operation, plunging mild-mannered podiatrist Brooks into the world of international intrigue.

Independence Day

Independence Day

Starring: Will Smith Tommy Lee Jones
Director:

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating:
Running Time:

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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

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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

Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius

Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius

Starring: Derryberry, Debi Paulsen, Rob Derryberry, Debi Garcia, Jeffrey Goen, Bob Hart, Mary Lawrence, Carolyn Martin, Andrea Martin, Andrea Paulsen, Rob
Director: Davis, John A.

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min

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Amazon.com Jimmy Neutron, the feature that launches Nickelodeon's attempt to create a new children's franchise, plays like a cross between Rugrats and Dexter's Laboratory in outer space. Accompanied by his cyberdog Goddard, "boy genius" James Isaac Neutron (voiced by Debi Derryberry) invents fantastic devices that work only sporadically and with decidedly mixed results. The communications satellite he makes out of his mother's toaster allows for a race of gooey, egg-shaped aliens to kidnap the adults in Jimmy's town with the intent of sacrificing the parents to their chicken-god. Converting amusement park rides into spaceships, Jimmy saves the day, despite a few false starts and misadventures. Several of the characters feel like slightly older versions of Rugrats: smart-alecky Cindy (Carolyn Lawrence) resembles Angelica; sniffling nerd Carl (Rob Paulsen), Chuckie. The most original member of the cast is Sheen (Jeff Garcia), the maladroit devotee of superhero Ultralord--a very funny spoof of cartoon fandom. The characters look more like plastic toys than human beings. Instead of the thousands of individual hairs on the heads of the realistic figures in Final Fantasy, Jimmy sports a one-piece hairdo that recalls a soft-serve ice cream cone. The animation is weightless and the acting minimal, but the often quirky story carries the limited visuals and will appeal to elementary school kids. Rated G; suitable for ages 6 and older; cartoon violence, minor gross humor. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

John Q. (Infinifilm Edition)

John Q. (Infinifilm Edition)

Starring: Washington, Denzel Duvall, Robert Washington, Denzel Griffin, Eddie Beyer, Troy Duvall, Robert Liotta, Ray Heche, Anne Heche, Anne Suplee, Ethan
Director: Cassavetes, Nick

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 112 minutes

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Amazon.com It's impossible to walk away from John Q. without thinking about the film that could have been. The pathetic state of health care in the U.S. and the desperate behavior it engenders is not only worthy but edgy material; no doubt director Nick Cassavetes (She's So Lovely) and Denzel Washington (as well as Robert Duvall, Ray Liotta, James Woods, and Anne Heche) were drawn to the provocative pitch. The only snag is that John Q. has about as much edge as an after-school special. Washington plays John Quincy Archibald, a hard-working factory worker whose house stands to be repossessed and whose lovely wife (Kimberly Elise) is at her wits' end. When his extremely cute son collapses while rounding the bases in a Little League game, things go from bad to worse. John Q. takes a downtown Chicago emergency room hostage when he learns that the heart transplant his son needs won't be performed because his health care doesn't cover it. The action-drama that ensues--replete with one-liners, stilted debate, inept snipers, and multiple references to O.J. Simpson's white Bronco--is so littered with clichés that the issues, timely ones, get lost in a crescendo of melodrama. --Fionn Meade --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The DVD extras include "Fighting for Care," a documentary featurette, as well as audio commentary from the director, screenwriter, producer, and director of photography. One can also select optional Infinifilm pop-ups that trigger one- to two-minute expansions on the movie. The pop-ups can be simple cast bios, commentary from the actors and directors, screen-test footage, and how-did-they-do-that? setup shots, but many of them are further illustrations of the trials a patient in need of an organ... read more Description Academy Award winner Denzel Washington stars in this powerful drama about a father who takes extreme measures to save his son's life when his insurance company refuses to cover his heart transplant surgery.

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

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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.

K-PAX

K-PAX

Starring: Spacey, Kevin Bridges, Jeff McCormack, Mary Kelly, David Patrick Woodard, Alfre Paul, Aaron Gerety, Peter Weston, Celia Weston, Celia Vilar, Tracy
Director: Softley, Iain

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 1 Minute

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Amazon.com Based on a novel by Gene Brewer, K-PAX works best as an adult drama of self-discovery, blessed by the talents of costars Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. Bridges plays Manhattan psychiatrist Mark Powell, who thinks he's seen it all until he's assigned to analyze Prot (Spacey), a psychiatric patient who claims to be from a distant planet called K-PAX. Powell is convinced that Prot is "a convincing delusional," but his cynicism turns to open-minded fascination as Prot's case reveals a combination of otherworldly insight and all-too-human trauma, prompting an earthbound explanation for Prot's allegedly alien origins. As directed by Ian Softley (Wings of the Dove), this curiously engrossing drama allows Spacey to create a provocative and humorously eccentric enigma, while Bridges superbly conveys his character's compassionate empathy. Their finely shaded performances raise K-PAX above the forced ambiguity of its ending, which is both thought-provoking and vaguely anticlimactic. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Kangaroo Jack (Widescreen Edition)

Kangaroo Jack (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: O'Connell, Jerry Anderson, Anthony Warren, Estella Walken, Christopher Ngoobujjarra, David O'Connell, Jerry Weaving, Hugo Csokas, Marton Csokas, Marton Sellito, Mark
Director: (II), David McNally

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

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Amazon.com Kids will be drawn to Kangaroo Jack because of the playful antics of a computer-generated kangaroo; however, they'll probably be bored stiff as they endure the absurd and over-elaborate plot. Charlie (the charmless Jerry O'Connell) and his best friend Louis (the reasonably amusing Anthony Anderson) run afoul of Charlie's mob boss stepfather. He insists that they deliver $50,000 to a mystery man in the Australian outback--or else. Along the way, these two dimwits put Louis's bright red jacket (which happens to contain the money) on a kangaroo they think they've accidentally killed, which awakens and bounds off. Belabored and nonsensical chases follow, along with the usual realizations about the importance of friendship, etc. Kangaroo Jack has a lot more sexual innuendo and violence than you'd expect, none of which is either funny or thrilling. Christopher Walken and Estella Warren get through their supporting roles largely unscathed. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Stop that 'Roo! The chase is on when two bumbling Brooklyn buddies sent to deliver a $50,000 mob pay envelope cross paths with a hip-hopping prankster of a kangaroo who sprints off with the loot.

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

Lara Croft 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

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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.

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

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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!"

Last of the Dogmen

Last of the Dogmen

Starring: Berenger, Tom Hershey, Barbara Seagull, Barbara Herzstein, Barbara Reevis, Steve Cummins, Gregory Scott Junior, Mark Boone Calahasen, Helen Calahasen, Helen Lavand, Dawn
Director: Murphy, Tab

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 118 minutes

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Amazon.com Despite an irritating, tacked-on voice-over narration that somebody must have thought was necessary to make sense of the story (it wasn't), Last of the Dogmen is actually a very moving and magical film. Tom Berenger plays a Montana bounty hunter who helps an anthropologist (Barbara Hershey) search for the descendants of a Cheyenne tribe who disappeared in the 1870s. What the two find in a remote mountain stretch is an entire community of Cheyenne who have kept themselves cut off from the modern world. A Dances with Wolves parallel emerges as the white outsiders gradually fit in, but Last of the Dogmen stands up just fine without comparison to any other films. As in Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning movie, however, there are ways in which this film captures a similar sense of yearning, mystery, and loss. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Legally Blonde 2 - Red, White & Blonde (Special Edition)

Legally Blonde 2 - Red, White & Blonde (Special Edition)

Starring: Witherspoon, Reese Field, Sally Newhart, Bob McGill, Bruce Witherspoon, Reese Wilson, Luke Coolidge, Jennifer Cauffiel, Jessica Cauffiel, Jessica Barton, J
Director: Herman-Wurmfeld, Charles

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 4.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 95 minutes

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Amazon.com The winning comic finesse of Reese Witherspoon drives Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde. It's astonishing that the sequel could possibly be daffier than the first movie, but Legally Blonde 2 leaves reality behind like an unflattering outfit. Unemployed lawyer Elle Woods (Witherspoon) sets off to our nation's capitol to ban cosmetics testing on animals, after discovering that her beloved chihuahua's own mother is being used as a test subject. Washington, D.C., becomes a testing ground for Elle's mettle, as she grapples with callous committees, backstabbing representatives, and devious aides to get her bill considered by Congress, with some help from her sorority sisters and her hairdresser friend Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind). Witherspoon bursts with charisma and dazzles with sheer performing skill; she's the comic heir to screwball comedienne Carole Lombard--which is high praise. Also featuring Bob Newhart and Sally Field. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde

Starring: Witherspoon, Reese Wilson, Luke Davis, Matthew Blair, Selma Coolidge, Jennifer Larter, Ali Garber, Victor Taylor, Holland Taylor, Holland Perkins, Osgood
Director: Luketic, Robert

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 96 Minutes

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Amazon.com If you've ever doubted how much a star can carry a movie, look no further than Legally Blonde, Robert Luketic's pop fluff about a sorority girl who becomes the reigning brain at Harvard Law School. The film tries way too hard to be pop fluff, but thankfully it also understands the comic glories of Reese Witherspoon. As Elle Woods, the supposedly dimwitted heroine, Witherspoon gives a high-wattage performance that somehow comes across as both lusciously cartoonish and warmly human. It's a radiant comic turn worthy of Marilyn Monroe, and Luketic throws the whole movie at her, even though its intentional kitsch and sledgehammer contrivances don't trust you enough to figure out on your own what might be guilty fun about it. It's a lame movie, essentially, that redeems itself by knowing just enough to keep things sunny and moving right along. The film is content to follow several steps behind the regal Witherspoon, carrying her train. You probably will be, too. --Steve Wiecking --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Like Mike

Like Mike

Starring: Wow, Lil' Bow Lipnicki, Jonathan Lipnicki, Jonathan Song, Brenda Plemons, Jesse Ritter, Julius Glover, Crispin Meara, Anne Meara, Anne Levy, Eugene
Director: Schultz, John

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

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Amazon.com As its title suggests, Like Mike is a rousing wish-fulfillment fantasy for any kid who's ever dreamed of soaring for a game-winning slam dunk like basketball legend Michael Jordan. It's fun but formulaic, beginning when 14-year-old, 4-foot-8 orphan Calvin Cambridge (played by appealing teen rapper Lil' Bow Wow) dons a magical pair of hand-me-down Nikes with the enticing initials "M.J." written inside. Next thing you know, Calvin's the new star of the L.A. Knights, an instant NBA celebrity taking his team to the playoffs alongside favorite teammate Tracy Reynolds (The Best Man's Morris Chestnut), with a bevy of villains (including reliable weirdo Crispin Glover) trying to steal his thunder. With Jerry Maguire's Jonathan Lipnicki as a fellow orphan, and a solid supporting cast including Eugene Levy, Robert Forster, and two dozen NBA stars, Like Mike is schmaltzy and predictable (and, surprisingly, there's no cameo from Jordan himself), but its sweet, good-natured quality will captivate kids from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Lilo & Stitch

Lilo & Stitch

Starring: (III), Chris Sanders Chase, Daveigh Carrere, Tia Stiers, David Ogden McDonald, Kevin Rhames, Ving Caldwell, Zoe Lee, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Scott Hegarty, Susan
Director: DeBlois, Dean

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min / Spain:86 min

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Amazon.com Warm, funny, and imaginative, Lilo & Stitch is the best animated feature the Walt Disney Studios have produced in years. On the planet Turo, mad scientist Jumba Jookiba (voice by David Ogden Stiers) has created a miniature monster programmed for destruction. When the monster escapes to Earth, it's adopted as a pet and named "Stitch" by Lilo (Daveigh Chase), a lonely little Hawaiian girl. Lilo and her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere) have been struggling to stay together since their parents died. Stitch and Lilo share some hilarious adventures, evading welfare officer Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames) and galactic police agents. They learn the timely lesson that a family can be something you're born into--or something you assemble. A warmth and sincerity that recall The Iron Giant and the films of Hiyao Miyazaki make Lilo a delightful fantasy adults and children can truly enjoy together. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Lion King, The (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Lion King, The (Disney Special Platinum Edition)

Starring: Broderick, Matthew Irons, Jeremy Weaver, Jason Williams, Joseph Irons, Jeremy Jones, James Earl Kelly, Moira Dworsky, Sally Dworsky, Sally Williams, Laura
Director: Minkoff, Rob

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 89 min

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Amazon.com essential video Not an ideal choice for younger kids, this hip and violent animated feature from Disney was nevertheless a huge smash in theaters and on video, and it continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed Broadway production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is sabotaged by a rivalrous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking, and the music is more palatable than in many Disney features. But be cautious: this is too intense for the Rugrat crowd. --Tom Keogh How good-looking is the DVD restoration of Disney's popular animated film? Take a look at the serviceable but dull film clips incorporated in the plethora of extras and compare them to the vivid gorgeousness of the film presentation. This "special edition" also adds a 90-second song ("Morning Report") that originated in the lavish stage musical. To Disney's credit, the original theatrical version is also included, both restored and featuring two 5.1 soundtracks: Dolby Digital and a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, which does sound brighter. As with the Disney Platinum line, everything is thrown into the discs, except an outsider's voice (the rah-rahs of Disney grow tiresome at times). The excellent commentary from the directors and producer, originally on the laser disc, is hidden under the audio set-up menu. The second disc is organized by 20-minute-ish "journeys" tackling the elements of story, music, et cetera, including good background on the awkward Shakespearean origins at Disney where it was referred as "Bamlet." The most interesting journey follows the landmark stage production, and the kids should be transfixed by shots of the real African wildlife in the animal journey. Three deleted segments are real curios, including an opening lyric for "Hakuna Matata." Most set-top DVD games are usually pretty thin (DVD-ROM is where it's at), but the Safari game is an exception--the kids should love the roaring animals (in 5.1 Surround, no less). One serious demerit goes to the needless and complicated second navigation system that is listed by continent, but just shows the same features reordered. --Doug Thomas Family Fun, Michael Trotman "A Must-Buy for your family DVD collection."

Little Princess, The

Little Princess, The

Starring: Temple, Shirley Greene, Richard Louise, Anita Hunter, Ian Romero, Cesar Treacher, Arthur Nash, Mary Jason, Sybil Jason, Sybil Jones, Marcia Mae
Director: Lang, Walter

Rating: G
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 91 min

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Amazon.com essential video Shirley Temple stars in this 1939 version of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel about a little, motherless girl left in the care of a girls boarding school by her soldier father, and then made into a servant there when he's missing in action during World War I. The fine tear-jerking film is a good vehicle for the famous moppet, and director Walter Lang (The King and I) makes a memorably lavish production of the Victorian milieu. The final scene, in which our Shirley is helped by one of the most famous women in history, brings down the house. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Longest Day, The

Longest Day, The

Starring: Burton, Richard Wayne, John Mitchum, Robert Anka, Paul Buttons, Red Burton, Richard Wagner, Robert Connery, Sean Connery, Sean Buttons, Red
Director: Annakin, Ken

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 180 min

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Amazon.com The Longest Day is Hollywood's definitive D-day movie. More modern accounts such as Saving Private Ryan are more vividly realistic, but producer Darryl F. Zanuck's epic 1962 account is the only one to attempt the daunting task of covering that fateful day from all perspectives. From the German high command and front-line officers to the French Resistance and all the key Allied participants, the screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative book, is as factually accurate as possible. The endless parade of stars (John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, and Richard Burton, to name a few) makes for an uneasy mix of verisimilitude and Hollywood star-power, however, and the film falls a little flat for too much of its three-hour running time. But the set-piece battles are still spectacular, and if the landings on Omaha Beach lack the graphic gore of Private Ryan they nonetheless show the sheer scale and audacity of the invasion. --Mark Walker

Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)

Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: McKellen, Ian Astin, Sean Baker, Sala Bean, Sean Blanchett, Cate Bloom, Orlando Boyd, Billy Csokas, Marton Csokas, Marton Elsworth, Michael
Director: Jackson, Peter

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 8.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 208 min (special extended editio

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Amazon.com essential video As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, Peter Jackson's ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien's creation, instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178 minutes, it's long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth, the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and humans--led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood)--who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilous journey to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the film is both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and production design while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo's adventure. Ending on a perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation, this wondrous fantasy continues in The Two Towers (2002). --Jeff Shannon DVD features This initial DVD release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring presents the theatrical version of the film with a beautiful picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound that rattles the walls and gives rear speakers a good workout. Extras include almost two hours of making-of programs previously seen on TV or on the Web, but for many fans the most tantalizing feature will be the 10-minute preview of the next film in the series, The Two Towers. You'll see interviews, the realization of... read more Description Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic adventure of good against evil, the power of friendship and individual courage. The saga centers around an unassuming Hobbit named Frodo Baggins who inherits a Ring that would give a dark and powerful lord the power to enslave the world. With a loyal fellowship of elves, dwarves, men and a wizard, Frodo embarks on a heroic quest to destroy the One Ring and pave the way for the emergence of mankind.

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Wood, Elijah McKellen, Ian Tyler, Liv Mortensen, Viggo Astin, Sean Blanchett, Cate Rhys-Davies, John Hill, Bernard Hill, Bernard Boyd, Billy
Director: Jackson, Peter

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 8.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 223 min (special extended editio

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Amazon.com The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a seamless continuation of Peter Jackson's epic fantasy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring of Power with the creature Gollum as their guide. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) join in the defense of the people of Rohan, who are the first target in the eradication of the race of Men by the renegade wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and the dark lord Sauron. Fantastic creatures, astounding visual effects, and a climactic battle at the fortress of Helm's Deep make The Two Towers a worthy successor to The Fellowship of the Ring, grander in scale but retaining the story's emotional intimacy. These two films are perhaps the greatest fantasy films ever made, but they're merely a prelude to the cataclysmic events of The Return of the King. --David Horiuchi DVD features The two-disc theatrical-release DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers closely follows the high standards set by the theatrical-release DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring. It has excellent picture and sound, 90 minutes of making-of programs previously seen on TV or on lordoftherings.net (including the 43-minute "Return to Middle-earth" program shown on the WB Network) that will seem redundant to some people and enlightening to others, a music video, the theatrical trailer, and a preview... read more Description Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship continue their quest to destroy the One Ring and stand against the evil of the dark lord Sauron. The Fellowship has divided and now find themselves taking different paths to defeating Sauron and his allies. Their destinies now lie at two towers - Orthanc Tower in Isengard, where the corrupted wizard Saruman waits and Sauron's fortress at Baraddur, deep within the dark lands of Mordor.

Maid in Manhattan

Maid in Manhattan

Starring:
Director:

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating:
Running Time: 105 minutes

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In the breezy Maid in Manhattan, a maid in a top-flight hotel (Jennifer Lopez, Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner) chances to dress in a guest's clothes just when a handsome political candidate (Ralph Fiennes, Schindler's List, Red Dragon) walks in. Naturally, he's bowled over and pursues her; he's initially drawn to her gorgeous good looks but soon comes to appreciate her honesty and common sense. Of course, she can't let him know that she's only a maid, and various high jinks ensue--it's all pretty formulaic, but lurking in the edges of this glossy, brainless romance are a wealth of sly turns by Natasha Richardson and Amy Sedaris (as callow socialites), Bob Hoskins (as a dignified butler), Stanley Tucci (as Fiennes' exasperated campaign manager), and many less familiar faces. All help to give Maid in Manhattan the life and texture that has been processed out of the main characters.

Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen Edition)

Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Wells, Stuart Fishburne, Laurence Foster, Gloria Gaye, Nona Reeves, Keanu Weaving, Hugo McColm, Matt Bernhardt, Daniel Bernhardt, Daniel Pinkett-Smith, Jada
Director: Wachowski, Andy

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 138 minutes

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Amazon.com Considering the lofty expectations that preceded it, The Matrix Reloaded triumphs where most sequels fail. It would be impossible to match the fresh audacity that made The Matrix a global phenomenon in 1999, but in continuing the exploits of rebellious Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) as they struggle to save the human sanctuary of Zion from invading machines, the codirecting Wachowski brothers have their priorities well in order. They offer the obligatory bigger and better highlights (including the impressive "Burly Brawl" and freeway chase sequences) while remaining focused on cleverly plotting the middle of a brain-teasing trilogy that ends with The Matrix Revolutions. The metaphysical underpinnings can be dismissed or scrutinized, and choosing the latter course (this is, after all, an epic about choice and free will) leads to astonishing repercussions that made Reloaded an explosive hit with critics and hardcore fans alike. As the centerpiece of a multimedia franchise, this dynamic sequel ends with a cliffhanger that virtually guarantees a mind-blowing conclusion. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Go right to the 30-minute feature on the incredible freeway chase. Here you get the inside scoop on how the titanic 12-minute sequence was put together. If you want more in-depth stuff on this physically impressive movie, amazingly it's not here; there's not even a commentary track. Perhaps the Wachowski brothers want to keep their enigmatic aura, or perhaps there's a better DVD coming after the trilogy ends. There is plenty of material on the second disc, but it's just filler, with the actors... read more Description In the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the construct of The Matrix and Neo's pivotal role in the fate of mankind.

Matrix

Matrix

Starring: Reeves, Keanu Fishburne, Laurence Moss, Carrie-Anne Weaving, Hugo Pantoliano, Joe Chong, Marcus Foster, Gloria Arahanga, Julian Arahanga, Julian McClory, Belinda
Director: Wachowski, Larry

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 8.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 136 min

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Amazon.com essential video By following up their debut thriller Bound with the 1999 box-office smash The Matrix, the codirecting Wachowski brothers--Andy and Larry--annihilated any suggestion of a sophomore jinx, crafting one of the most exhilarating sci-fi/action movies of the 1990s. Set in the not too distant future in an insipid, characterless city, we find a young man named Neo (Keanu Reeves). A software techie by day and a computer hacker by night, he sits alone at home by his monitor, waiting for a sign, a signal--from what or whom he doesn't know--until one night, a mysterious woman named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) seeks him out and introduces him to that faceless character he has been waiting for: Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). A messiah of sorts, Morpheus presents Neo with the truth about his world by shedding light on the dark secrets that have troubled him for so long: "You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad." Ultimately, Morpheus illustrates to Neo what the Matrix is--a reality beyond reality that controls all of their lives, in a way that Neo can barely comprehend. Neo thus embarks on an adventure that is both terrifying and enthralling. Pitted against an enemy that transcends human concepts of evil, Morpheus and his team must train Neo to believe that he is the chosen champion of their fight. With mind-boggling, technically innovative special effects and a thought-provoking script that owes a debt of inspiration to the legacy of cyberpunk fiction, this is much more than an out-and-out action yarn; it's a thinking man's journey into the realm of futuristic fantasy, a dreamscape full of eye candy that will satisfy sci-fi, kung fu, action, and adventure fans alike. Although the film is headlined by Reeves and Fishburne--who both turn in fine performances--much of the fun and excitement should be attributed to Moss, who flawlessly mixes vulnerability with immense strength, making other contemporary female heroines look timid by comparison. And if we were going to cast a vote for most dastardly movie villain of 1999, it would have to go to Hugo Weaving, who plays the feckless, semipsychotic Agent Smith with panache and edginess. As the film's box-office profits soared, the Wachowski brothers announced that The Matrix is merely the first chapter in a cinematically dazzling franchise--a chapter that is arguably superior to the other sci-fi smash of 1999 (you know... the one starring Jar Jar Binks). --Jeremy Storey Editor's Note Some DVD players may experience technical difficulties while playing the Matrix DVD. The disc itself is not affected. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.pcfriendly.com/support/title/matrix/

Max Keeble's Big Move

Max Keeble's Big Move

Starring: Linz, Alex D. Miller, Larry Kennedy, Jamie Grey, Zena Peck, Josh Dunn, Nora Carradine, Robert Davis, Clifton Davis, Clifton Fisher, Noel
Director: (III), Tim Hill

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

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Amazon.com Max Keeble's junior high career is off to an inauspicious start: one bully chucks him in a dumpster, another tormenter takes his friends' money, the ice cream truck guy is after him, and the self-serving principal is after everyone who stands in the way of his budget-draining football field plans. But his family's sudden plans to relocate give him the moxie to stand up to his foes in a big way. This kid revenge fantasy results in gags like a squirrel in the principal's pants and a cafeteria-wide food fight. Of course, Max (Alex D. Linz) doesn't move, forcing him to take responsibility for his actions, or this wouldn't be a Disney film. The broad humor is clearly meant for preteens, but crude jokes, bullying, and sexual innuendo (thus the PG rating) make it inappropriate for younger kids, leaving it for the narrow age range of about 8 to 12. --Kimberly Heinrichs

McKenzie Break, The

McKenzie Break, The

Starring: Keith, Brian Griem, Helmut de Goguel, Constantine Allan, Eric Griem, Helmut Janson, Horst Hendry, Ian Watson, Jack Watson, Jack O'Connell, Patrick
Director: Johnson, Lamont

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

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Amazon.com McKenzie is a remote, understaffed POW camp in Scotland, where an assortment of German fliers, U-boat men, and soldiers are being held prisoner. The restive POWs stage a well-orchestrated uprising in which they essentially take over the camp. When word of the prisoners' siege gets back to British military higher-ups, they assign rogue Irish officer Captain Connor (Brian Keith) to get to the bottom of things. The Germans have been receiving orders directly from Berlin that call for 28 of the submariners to escape and return to the Deutschland's U-boat fleet. The Germans are led by SchlÜtter (Helmut Griem), an intelligent, articulate graduate of the Hitler Youth; they have devised an elaborate tunnel and a plot to take them to the Scottish coast, where they will rendezvous with a U-boat to take them back to Germany. The hard-drinking Connor learns of the plan, and stakes his career on letting the Germans escape and tracking them down. Keith is excellent as Connor (though his Irish brogue comes and goes), locked into a three-way battle of wills with the determined SchlÜtter and the stuffy, by-the-book CO of the camp. The movie's pace and suspense swell as Connor's gambit plays out and the Germans make good their escape plans, all set against the breathtaking scenery of rural Scotland. With intelligent, believable characters and tough direction, this is a sorely neglected World War II POW drama that compares well with better-known films such as Stalag 17 and The Great Escape. --Jerry Renshaw

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

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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.

Meatballs

Meatballs

Starring: Murray, Bill Atkin, Harvey Lynch, Kate Banham, Russ DeBell, Kristine Torgov, Sarah Blum, Jack Knight, Keith Knight, Keith Hoffman, Todd
Director: Reitman, Ivan

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 92 Minutes

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Amazon.com Bill Murray plays a hip camp counselor at a summer facility for geeky kids and assorted losers. Murray's brand of ironic comedy feels grafted onto this banal and sentimental 1979 celebration of misfits. The comedian's frequent director, Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), was still finding his sea legs with this one, and he nearly convinced everyone at the time that Murray's film career was never going to happen. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Men in Black (Deluxe Edition)

Men in Black (Deluxe Edition)

Starring: Jones, Tommy Lee Smith, Will Fiorentino, Linda D'Onofrio, Vincent Torn, Rip Shalhoub, Tony Fallon, Siobhan Nussbaum, Mike Nussbaum, Mike Calderón, Sergio
Director: Sonnenfeld, Barry

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min

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Amazon.com essential video This imaginative summer comedy from director Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty) is a lot of fun, largely on the strength of Will Smith's engaging performance as the rookie partner of a secret agent (Tommy Lee Jones) assigned to keep tabs on Earth-dwelling extraterrestrials. There's lots of comedy to spare in this bright film, some of the funniest stuff found in the margins of the major action. (A scene with Smith's character being trounced in the distance by a huge alien while Jones questions a witness is a riot.) The inventiveness never lets up, and the cast--including Vincent D'Onofrio doing frighteningly convincing work as an alien occupying a decaying human--hold up their end splendidly. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Men in Black II (Widescreen Special Edition)

Men in Black II (Widescreen Special Edition)

Starring: Jones, Tommy Lee Smith, Will Cross, David Smith, Will Boyle, Lara Flynn Jones, Tommy Lee Shalhoub, Tony Warburton, Patrick Warburton, Patrick Cross, David
Director: Sonnenfeld, Barry

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 minutes

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Amazon.com More remake than sequel, Men in Black II safely repeats everything that made Men in Black the blockbuster hit of 1997. That's fine if you loved the original's fresh humor, weird aliens, and loopy ingenuity, but as sequels go, it's pure déjà vu. Makeup wizard Rick Baker is the only MIB alumnus who's trying anything new, while director Barry Sonnenfeld and costars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (as alien-fighting agents Jay and Kay, respectively) are on autopilot with an uninspired screenplay. The quest of a multitentacled alien--on Earth in the form of Lara Flynn Boyle--for the light of Zartha requires Jay to deneuralize Kay, whose restored memory contains the key to saving the planet. The tissue-thin premise allows all varieties of special effects--mostly familiar, with some oddly hilarious new stuff tossed in for good measure. Certainly enjoyable as a popcorn distraction, but the MIB magic has worn a bit thin. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The hands-down highlight of MIIB's bonus features is "The Chubb Chubbs," a delightful computer-animated cartoon (briefly shown in theaters with MIIB) that has the awkward distinction of being funnier and more inventive than MIIB. The other features offer an extensive dossier of production details, paying worthy tribute to the ingenuity of MIIB's creative team. Fifteen featurettes cover virtually every stage of production, from conceptual designs (in the DVD-ROM section, along with the complete... read more

Midway (Collector's Edition)

Midway (Collector's Edition)

Starring: Heston, Charlton Fonda, Henry Albert, Edward Ford, Glenn Holbrook, Hal Coburn, James Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Robert Wagner, Robert Wagner, Robert
Director: Smight, Jack

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 132 min

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Amazon.com Six months after the Japanese destroyed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans discovered the Japanese were planning to seize the Naval base at Midway Island--a perfect staging point for invading Hawaii or the mainland. Outnumbered four to one, the Americans won a surprise victory and shattered the backbone of the Japanese Imperial Navy. This 1976 film feels more like a history lesson than a drama, but World War II buffs will appreciate the attention to historical fact (especially the way in which fate and a few bad decisions turned the tide), as well as the generous use of actual battle footage. The all-star cast includes Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Cliff Robertson in cameos and a whole slew of familiar TV faces in supporting roles. Hal Holbrook is fun as an oddball intelligence officer. --Geof Miller --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Millennium

Millennium

Starring: Kristofferson, Kris Ladd, Cheryl Travanti, Daniel J. Joy, Robert Bochner, Lloyd Carver, Brent McIlwraith, David Chaykin, Maury Chaykin, Maury Dane, Lawrence
Director: Anderson, Michael

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

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Amazon.com Time-hoppers from the future, led by Cheryl Ladd, are abducting airline passengers about to crash, and transporting them a millennium hence in order to reseed a future blighted by environmental disaster. This is a dangerous business, plagued by the specter of accidentally creating time paradoxes, which could throw the future out of whack. Unfortunately, they've lost a couple of the stunners they use to subdue troublesome passengers, and these fall into the hands of a curious physicist (Daniel J. Travanti) and an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (Kris Kristofferson). Cheryl Ladd must retrieve these devices before a time paradox wipes out her world, but manages to complicate things by developing a romance with Kristofferson. All of which is very intriguing, having come from the short story, "Air Raid," by science fiction luminary John Varley, who also is credited with the screenplay. The part about airline abductions to save the disastrous future is straight from the original story, and the rest is expanded (you wouldn't say extrapolated) from it. The results are not very happy. About a third of the film is maddeningly wasted by repeating action from a different point of view. Seems natural when there are disparate timelines to deal with, but here nothing is added by the conceit. Only Travanti turns in a creditable performance as the physicist, bent on proving his theories about the future. He seems hungry for discovery, which is one of the things you want from a science fiction story, that sense of awe. But here it's just, "Aw, shucks!" --Jim Gay --This text refers to the DVD 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

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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

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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.

Mission To Mars

Mission To Mars

Starring: Sinise, Gary Robbins, Tim Cheadle, Don Nielsen, Connie O'Connell, Jerry Outerbridge, Peter Smith, Kavan Teed, Jill Teed, Jill Delaney, Kim
Director: Palma, Brian De

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 4.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 113 min

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Amazon.com If Brian De Palma directed Mission to Mars for 10-year-olds who've never seen a science fiction film, he can be credited for crafting a marginally successful adventure. Isolated moments in this film serve the highest purpose of its genre, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe in the context of a fascinating future (specifically, the year 2020). But because most of us have seen a lot of science fiction films, it's impossible to ignore this one's derivative plot, cardboard characters, and drearily dumb dialogue. Despite an awesome and painstakingly authentic display of cool technology and dazzling special effects, Mission to Mars is light years away from 2001: A Space Odyssey on the scale of human intelligence. After dispensing with a few space-jockey clichés, the movie focuses on a Mars-bound rescue mission commanded by Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), whose team (Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell) has been sent to retrieve the sole survivor (Don Cheadle) of a tragic Mars landing. During the sequence en route to Mars, De Palma's in his element with two suspenseful scenes (including a dramatic--albeit somewhat silly--space walk) that are technically impressive. But when this Mission gets to Mars, the movie grows increasingly unconvincing, finally arriving at an alien encounter that more closely resembles an astronomical CGI video game. But this is a $75 million Hollywood movie, and no amount of technical wizardry can lift the burden of a juvenile screenplay. Kudos to Sinise, his costars, and the special effects wizards for making the most of hoary material; shame on just about everyone else involved. --Jeff Shannon

Monkeybone - Special Edition

Monkeybone - Special Edition

Starring: Fraser, Brendan Fonda, Bridget Goldberg, Whoopi Turturro, John Esposito, Giancarlo Fraser, Brendan Reubens, Paul Foley, Dave Foley, Dave Odenkirk, Bob
Director: Selick, Henry

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

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Amazon.com Brendan Fraser plays the best-looking cartoonist you'll ever see in Monkeybone. Stu (Fraser) has created an animated character named Monkeybone, who sprang from his repressed sexual anxieties. He's just sold his animated series to a cable channel, and is being bombarded with proposals for toys and other marketing extravaganzas, when he and his girlfriend Julie (Bridget Fonda) get into a car wreck and Stu falls into a coma. But comas are much more complicated than you might expect: Stu finds himself in Down Town, where lives a mixture of other people in comas and figments of these people's imaginations. Naturally, Monkeybone himself is there, and he and Stu quickly start fighting like cats and dogs. When Stu realizes that his sister, due to a pact they once made, is preparing to pull the plug on him, Stu makes a deal with Hypnos, the god of sleep, to help him steal a golden ticket from Death himself (or herself, as Death is played by Whoopi Goldberg). Sound complicated? Well, from there it only gets more ornate. Monkeybone is a bit of a mess, but it's never boring, and every now and then it roars to amazingly dynamic life. Fraser is excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Do the Right Thing), Rose McGowan (Scream), Dave Foley (Brain Candy), and Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan as a gymnast with a broken neck who... well, it's a bit complicated to explain. A crazy quilt of a movie, chock-full of delirious ideas and inspired moments. --Bret Fetzer

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Starring: Goodman, John Crystal, Billy Gibbs, Mary Buscemi, Steve Coburn, James Tilly, Jennifer Peterson, Bob Ratzenberger, John Ratzenberger, John Gerson, Dan
Director: Silverman, David

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 92 min

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Amazon.com The folks at Pixar can do no wrong with Monsters, Inc., the studio's fourth feature film, which stretches the computer animation format in terms of both technical complexity and emotional impact. The giant, blue-furred James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (wonderfully voiced by John Goodman) is a scare-monster extraordinaire in the hidden world of Monstropolis, where the scaring of kids is an imperative in order to keep the entire city running. Beyond the competition to be the best at the business, Sullivan and his assistant, the one-eyed Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl dubbed "Boo," who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley one night. Director Pete Doctor and codirectors David Silverman and Lee Unkrich follow the Pixar (Toy Story) blueprint with an imaginative scenario, fun characters, and ace comic timing. By the last heart-tugging shot, kids may never look at monsters the same, nor artists at what computer animation can do in the hands of magicians. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The all-new animated short "Mike's New Car" is the promoted highlight of the DVD release of Pixar's hilarious film. However, this short--as good as it is--is far from the only new footage here. If you saw Monsters, Inc. early in its theatrical run, you missed the outtakes included here. Bits seen or heard about in the movie--commercials, guided tours, the "Company Play"--are shown uninterrupted and are a delight. The easily navigated extras are broken into two parts. The Monster World should... read more

Mr. Deeds (Special Widescreen Edition)

Mr. Deeds (Special Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Sandler, Adam Ryder, Winona Turturro, John Covert, Allen Gallagher, Peter Harris, Jared Avari, Erick Dante, Peter Dante, Peter Presnell, Harve
Director: Brill, Steven

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 96 min

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Amazon.com Following the flop of Little Nicky, Adam Sandler returned to safe territory in Mr. Deeds... and made Nicky look inspired by comparison. A loose remake of Frank Capra's 1936 classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, this dumbed-down version finds Sandler in the Gary Cooper role, inheriting a vast fortune and a corporate empire, foiling a greedy executive (Peter Gallagher), and winning the heart of an undercover reporter (Winona Ryder) who's been mocking his small-town naiveté in print while falling for his goodhearted sincerity. It's fun enough to satisfy Sandler's loyal fans--and John Turturro's a hoot as Deeds's foot-fetishist butler--but the subtleties of Capra are lost on Sandler, director Steven Brill, and writer Tim Herlihy. While Gary Cooper portrayed a rube who was savvy about big-city cynicism, Sandler's an amiable goofball with a heart of gold and an empty skull. You can admire him, and parts of the movie (including Steve Buscemi's unbilled cameo), but you have to work harder to get there. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Mummy Returns, The (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Mummy Returns, The (Full Screen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Fraser, Brendan Weisz, Rachel Hannah, John Fehr, Oded Vosloo, Arnold Velazquez, Patricia Rock, The Johnson, Dwayne Johnson, Dwayne Velasquez, Patricia
Director: Sommers, Stephen

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

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Amazon.com Proving that bigger is rarely better, The Mummy Returns serves up so much action and so many computer-generated effects that it quickly grows exhausting. In his zeal to establish a lucrative franchise, writer-director Stephen Sommers dispenses with such trivial matters as character development and plot logic, and charges headlong into an almost random buffet of minimum story and maximum mayhem, beginning with a prologue establishing the ominous fate of the Scorpion King (played by World Wrestling Federation star the Rock, in a cameo teaser for his later starring role in--you guessed it--The Scorpion King). Dormant for 5,000 years, under control of the Egyptian god Anubis, the Scorpion King will rise again in 1933, which is where we find The Mummy's returning heroes Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, now married and scouring Egyptian ruins with their 8-year-old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). John Hannah (as Weisz's brother) and Oded Fehr (as mystical warrior Ardeth Bay) also return from The Mummy, and trouble begins when Alex dons the Scorpion King's ancient bracelet, coveted by the evil mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), who's been revived by... oh, but does any of this matter? With a plot so disposable that it's impossible to care about anything that happens, The Mummy Returns is best enjoyed as an intermittently amusing and physically impressive monument of Hollywood machinery, with gorgeous sets that scream for a better showcase, and digital trickery that tops its predecessor in ambition, if not in payoff. By the time our heroes encounter a hoard of ravenous pygmy mummies, you'll probably enjoy this movie in spite of itself. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Additional features Fans of the special edition of the original Mummy will find just as satisfying a treasure room in this sequel DVD. Director Stephen Sommers and executive producer-editor Bob Ducsay are back with an animated play-by-play commentary, complementing the movie with technical tidbits and entertaining production stories. The "Spotlight on Location" featurette is the usual promotional puff piece, but the Visual and Special Effects Formation galleries dig deep into four key effects scenes (including the... read more

Mummy, The (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Mummy, The (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Fraser, Brendan Weisz, Rachel Hannah, John Vosloo, Arnold O'Connor, Kevin J. Fehr, Oded Hyde, Jonathan Avari, Erick Avari, Erick Dunham, Stephen
Director: Sommers, Stephen

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 124 min

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Amazon.com If you're expecting bandaged-wrapped corpses and a lurching Boris Karloff-type villain, then you've come to the wrong movie. But if outrageous effects, a hunky hero, and some hearty laughs are what you're looking for, the 1999 version of The Mummy is spectacularly good fun. Yes, the critics called it "hokey," "cheesy," and "pallid." Well, the critics are unjust. Granted, the plot tends to stray, the acting is a bit of a stretch, and the characters occasionally slip into cliché, but who cares? When that action gets going, hold tight--those two hours just fly by. The premise of the movie isn't that far off from the original. Egyptologist and general mess Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) discovers a map to the lost city of Hamunaptra, and so she hires rogue Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) to lead her there. Once there, Evelyn accidentally unlocks the tomb of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), a man who had been buried alive a couple of millennia ago with flesh-eating bugs as punishment for sleeping with the pharaoh's girlfriend. The ancient mummy is revived, and he is determined to bring his old love back to life, which of course means much mayhem (including the unleashing of the 10 plagues) and human sacrifice. Despite the rather gory premise, this movie is fairly tame in terms of violence; most of the magic and surprise come from the special effects, which are glorious to watch, although Imhotep, before being fully reconstituted, is, as one explorer puts it, rather "juicy." Keep in mind this film is as much comedy as it is adventure--those looking for a straightforward horror pic will be disappointed. But for those who want good old-fashioned eye-candy kind of fun, The Mummy ranks as one of choicest flicks of 1999. --Jenny Brown

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Starring: Vardalos, Nia Corbett, John Constantine, Michael Kazan, Lainie Carides, Gia Constantine, Michael Mandylor, Louis Fatone, Joey Fatone, Joey Gomez, Ian
Director: Zwick, Joel

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

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Amazon.com It's not surprising that My Big Fat Greek Wedding grew more popular over the course of its theatrical release (whereas most blockbusters open big and then drop precipitously)--not only does it have believable situations and engaging characters, but these characters (particularly our romantic heroine, Toula, played by writer and performer Nia Vardalos) look like actual human beings instead of plastic movie stars. The result is the very accessible tale of Greek-American Toula (whose family sees her as over the hill at 30), who falls for a WASPy guy named Ian (John Corbett) and then has to endure the outrage, doubt, and ultimate acceptance of her deeply ethnically centered family. The actors invest their wildly stereotypical portrayals with sincerity and compassion, giving the movie an honest warmth instead of Hollywood schmaltz. But My Big Fat Greek Wedding ultimately succeeds because of Vardalos; her intelligent, down-to-earth presence and charm carry the film. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Toula Portokalos is a quiet, devoted daughter in a big, hectic, crazy Greek family. Working at her father's restaurant, "Dancing Zorba's," she hides behind a mop of mousy brown hair and thick, impenetrable glasses, keeping her family close and the world at a distance. But one day at the restaurant, she finds herself pouring coffee for a man so strikingly good-looking, that he inspires her to change her life - and the way she sees the world - forever. With a new hairdo, wardrobe, contact lenses, and most important of all, a whole new attitude, Toula steps out into the world a new woman, all ready to meet her man. Ian Miller is tall, handsome, but definitely not Greek. And whether he can handle Toula, her parents, her aunts, uncles, cousins and several centuries of Greek culture remains to be seen. But when you see the world through Toula's eyes, anything is possible!

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Full Screen Edition)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Chase, Chevy D'Angelo, Beverly Quaid, Randy Randolph, John Ladd, Diane Ladner, Rose Diane Marshall, E.G. Roberts, Doris Roberts, Doris Lewis, Juliette
Director: Chechik, Jeremiah S.

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 97 minutes

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Amazon.com The third installment of the Griswold family saga is a significant improvement over their previous vacation (National Lampoon's European Vacation). Disaster-prone dad (Chevy Chase) discovers just how dangerous the Christmas season really is, as the Griswolds' old-fashioned holiday celebration turns out to be more "Bah! Humbug!" than Christmas cheer. Chase is right at home with the outrageous slapstick and often cheerfully tasteless humor, and John Hughes's script is stuffed full of classic Christmas movie references, but Randy Quaid practically steals the film as the unemployed relative with his malicious grin and mooching lifestyle. Not exactly a holiday classic and a bit spotty, but this gag-filled comedy is just obnoxious enough for the Scrooge lurking inside everyone. And fear not, a happy ending awaits all. Watch for future star Juliette Lewis as Chase's teenage daughter. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Amazon.com You know exactly what you're getting in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: another goofball, slapstick comedy of chaos and catastrophe with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and family. This time, there's no traveling involved: Clark and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) prepare for a nice Christmas with the kids (played by none other than Juliette Lewis and Roseanne star Johnny Galecki), when their home is invaded by backwoods cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood, along with assorted other crazy... read more

National Lampoon's European Vacation

National Lampoon's European Vacation

Starring: Chase, Chevy D'Angelo, Beverly Chase, Chevy Astin, John Bartel, Paul D'Angelo, Beverly Hill, Dana Szigeti, Cynthia Szigeti, Cynthia Kendall, Kevi
Director: Heckerling, Amy

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: Warner Home Video

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Amazon.com After winning a tour package in a game show, the bickering Griswald family carve a trail of destruction through England (where they knock over Stonehenge), France, Germany, and Italy. Somehow Ellen (Bevery D'Angelo), the mom, gets kidnapped by gangsters, leading to a car chase that reunites the family, despite their differences. It's hard to believe that National Lampoon's European Vacation is only the second of the Vacation movies; it has the exhausted pallor of the last of a long series of sequels, drained of all zest or original ideas. The charmless smirk of Chevy Chase, mechanical in its idiocy, hangs over European Vacation like a death mask. It's hard to believe that this hack was once the funny and sexy hero of Foul Play. D'Angelo keeps her chin up and gives the movie whatever class it may have; she deserves better. --Bret Fetzer Description The Griswalds are on vacation again when they win a deluxe tour of the old world and take on the European continent -- the continent loses.

National Lampoon's Vacation (Full Screen Edition)

National Lampoon's Vacation (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Chase, Chevy D'Angelo, Beverly Coca, Imogene Quaid, Randy Candy, John Hall, Anthony Michael Barron, Dana Doyle-Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Brian Keach, James
Director: Ramis, Harold

Rating: R
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 7.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 minutes

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Amazon.com Vacation paved the way for the John Hughes movie dynasty of the 1980s. Written by Hughes (who would go on to write, direct, and/or produce The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and so on) and directed by Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stuart Saves His Family), the first Vacation movie introduces us to the all-American Griswold family: father Clark (Chevy Chase), mother Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (future Hughes staple Anthony Michael Hall), and daughter Audrey (Dana Barron). They all pile into the car for a cross-country road trip to Walley World, stopping along the way to view the world's biggest ball of twine. John Candy, Imogene Coca, and Randy Quaid (as yokel Cousin Eddie) pop up along the way. The movie was a big hit, and was followed by several sequels--National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation--but this one is still probably the freshest and funniest of the bunch. --Jim Emerson

National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation

National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation

Starring: Chase, Chevy D'Angelo, Beverly Quaid, Randy Brinkley, Christie Shawn, Wallace Flynn, Miriam D'Lyn, Shae Newton, Wayne Newton, Wayne Horn, Roy
Director: Kessler, Stephen

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 minutes

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Amazon.com Check your brain at the door, because it's time once again for a dim-witted visit to Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his happy-go-lucky family, who hit the Vegas strip for this vacation. (The kids who originally played the Griswold children have been replaced.) The Griswold exploits in the casinos are good for a few embarrassed chuckles, especially when Mrs. Griswold (Beverly D'Angelo) gets onstage with Wayne Newton for a truly mind-altering rendition of Minnie Ripperton's ear-piercing 1970s hit "Loving You." And because he scored so many low-brow points as the lame-brained cousin in the original National Lampoon's Vacation, Randy Quaid is back to cause a lot of trouble, while Chevy Chase is reduced to uninspired slapstick and endless puns involving the word damn. In other words, Vegas Vacation is the kind of comedy that can convince you that civilization is doomed. --Jeff Shannon

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

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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.

Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition)

Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition)

Starring: Wilson, Luke Ferrell, Will Vaughn, Vince Piven, Jeremy Pompeo, Ellen Lewis, Juliette Remini, Leah Reeves, Perrey Reeves, Perrey Cuthbert, Elisha
Director: Phillips, Todd

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 91 min / USA:92 min (unrated ve

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Amazon.com When three thirtysomething friends with woman troubles (Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn) decide to form a fraternity, it's supposedly to save Wilson from losing his house, which the nearby college is trying to claim for academic purposes. But really, Ferrell and Vaughn are desperate to return to the reckless, feckless days of beer bongs and hot chicks, and they drag Wilson along with them as they throw themselves into gathering frat pledges of all ages. Old School could have been just another string of bad jokes hanging on a flimsy plot, but the script and the cast have a jovial energy and just enough grounding in reality--at least, up until the obligatory beat-the-system ending, but by that point you'll forgive the excesses of this silly, cheerful, and frequently funny movie. Featuring Jeremy Piven and Juliette Lewis, with cameos by Snoop Dog, Andy Dick, and others. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Old Yeller

Old Yeller

Starring: McGuire, Dorothy Parker, Fess Connors, Chuck Kirk, Tommy McGuire, Dorothy York, Jeff Washburn, Beverly
Director: Stevenson, Robert

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 minutes

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Amazon.com essential video There's nothing hip about this vintage Disney film that begins and ends with a corny song about the "best doggone dog in the West." But that's the beauty of Old Yeller, originally released in 1957. The simple, heart-warming story of a boy who bonds with a feisty stray dog in 1860s Texas is full of 1950s sensibilities: A Donna Reed-style perfect "Momma" (Dorothy McGuire) who knows best, a couple of brothers who quarrel in the best sitcom tradition, and a father (Fess Parker, in a small role) who goes off to provide for his family, leaving his older boy (Tommy Kirk) in charge and his incredibly cute younger one (Kevin Corcoran) to steal as many scenes in the movie as he possibly can. With Old Yeller at his side, Kirk becomes a little man, who in the end must make a decision so heart-breaking that it's one of filmdom's most memorable moments. --Valerie J. Nelson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Outsiders, The

Outsiders, The

Starring: Howell, C. Thomas Dillon, Matt Macchio, Ralph Lowe, Rob Lane, Diane Estevez, Emilio Cruise, Tom Mapother IV, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, Thomas Cruise Garrett, Leif
Director: Coppola, Francis Ford

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

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Amazon.com essential video Director Francis Coppola's adaptation of the popular S.E. Hinton novel about the price of rebellious youth is notable chiefly for the stunning cast of young actors who went on to rich and varied careers. In supporting roles, the film features the likes of Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Waits, among others. The story centers on two rival gangs in the early 1960s Midwest, and the violent turf wars that escalate and tragically claim young lives. C. Thomas Howell plays the central character who yearns to prove himself and be accepted by his older brothers' gang, while at the same time finding his first love and dreaming of a life beyond his dead end existence. Geared toward the teenage crowd, the film nonetheless features some fine direction from Coppola in a story that evokes memories of the classic coming-of-age films of the 1950s. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape 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

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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

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Starring: Affleck, Ben Beckinsale, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Baldwin, Alec Bryniarski, Andrew Kellner, Catherine Gooding Jr., Cuba Aykroyd, Dan Aykroyd, Dan King, Jamie
Director: Bay, Michael

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 184 min (director's cut)

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Amazon.com To call Pearl Harbor a throwback to old-time war movies is something of an understatement. Director Michael Bay's epic take on the bombing that brought the United States into World War II hijacks every war movie situation and cliché (some affectionate, some stale) you've ever seen and gives them a shiny, glossy spin until the whole movie practically gleams. Planes glisten, water sparkles, trees beckon--and Bay's re-creation of the bombing itself, a 30-minute sequence that's tightly choreographed and amazingly photographed, sets the action movie bar up quite a few notches. And in updating the classic war film, Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) use that old plot standby, the love triangle--this time, it's between two pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who find themselves stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during what they thought would be a nice, sunny tour of duty. Then, of course, history intervened. For the first 90 minutes of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale find a nice, appealing chemistry that plays on his strengths as a movie star and hers as a serious actress--he gives her glamour, she gives him smarts. Their truncated romance--the beginning of which is told in flashback so we can get right to the point where he has to leave her to go to England--works, thanks to their charm. They're no Kate and Leo from Titanic (a strategy the film strives hard toward), but they're pretty darn adorable in their own right. Hartnett, as the not entirely unwelcome third wheel, squints bravely but makes only a slight dent in the film. Everyone else in Pearl Harbor--from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brave navy seaman to Jon Voight's able impersonation of FDR--is pretty much a glorified walk-on, taking a backseat to the pyrotechnics and action sequences that keep the three-hour film in fairly constant motion. But when that action does take hold, Pearl Harbor is quite a thrilling ride. --Mark Englehart

Pelican Brief, The

Pelican Brief, The

Starring: Roberts, Julia Washington, Denzel Shepard, Sam Shepard, Sam Rogers, Samuel Shepard Heard, John Goldwyn, Tony Sikking, James B. Sikking, James B. Cronyn, Hume
Director: Pakula, Alan J.

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

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Amazon.com Another John Grisham legal thriller comes to the screen, pairing Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who is known for dark-hued suspense pictures such as Klute, The Parallax View, All the President's Men, and Presumed Innocent. The Pelican Brief isn't up to the level of those films, but it is a perfectly entertaining movie about a law student (Roberts) whose life is endangered when she discovers evidence of a conspiracy behind the killings of two Supreme Court justices. She enlists the help of an investigative reporter (Washington) and the two become fugitives. The charisma and chemistry of the leads goes a long way toward compensating for the story's shortcomings, as does a truly impressive supporting cast that includes Sam Shepard, John Heard, James B. Sikking, Tony Goldwyn, Stanley Tucci, Hume Cronyn, John Lithgow, William Atherton, and Robert Culp. --Jim Emerson

Ping!

Ping!

Starring: Reinhold, Judge Howard, Clint Jones, Shirley Ferrigno, Lou Howard, Rance White, Steve Garcia, Ted Winn, Brooke Winn, Brooke Kushnick, Eric
Director: Baugh, Chris

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 3.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 93 min

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From the Back Cover He's cute, short and a lot smarter than you think! He's PING! A chihuahua with an attitude! Buckle in for hilarious ride as PING! puts all of his puppy power into saving his owner and her fortune from two bumbling crooks (Judge Reinhold: The Santa Clause and Clint Howard: My Dog Skip, The Waterboy)! Will PING! do just about anything to save the day - including hang glide? You bet! Babe meets Home Alone in this action packed adventure that will remind you, it's not about how big you are, but how big your heart is!

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

Starring: Depp, Johnny Rush, Geoffrey Bloom, Orlando Arenberg, Lee Davenport, Jack Saldana, Zoe Knightley, Keira Bloom, Orlando Bloom, Orlando New, Giles
Director: Verbinski, Gore

Rating: PG-13
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

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Amazon.com You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, especially if you've experienced the Disneyland theme-park ride that inspired it. There's a galleon's worth of fun in watching Johnny Depp's androgynous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, a roguish pirate who could pass for the illegitimate spawn of rockers Keith Richards and Chrissie Hynde. Depp gets all the good lines and steals the show, recruiting Orlando Bloom (a blacksmith and expert swordsman) and Keira Knightley (a lovely governor's daughter) on an adventurous quest to recapture the notorious Black Pearl, a ghost ship commandeered by Jack's nemesis Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a mutineer desperate to reverse the curse that left him and his (literally) skeleton crew in a state of eternal, undead damnation. Director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) repeats the redundant mayhem that marred his debut film Mouse Hunt, but with the writers of Shrek he's made Pirates into a special-effects thrill-ride that plays like a Halloween party on the open seas. Aye, matey, we've come a long way since Jason and the Argonauts! --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Like any DVD blockbuster from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the extras are plentiful and often a bit too self-congratulatory (worst offender here is the primary commentary track). The slickly (natch) produced making-of documentary goes through the standard routine; however, the less-flashy "fly on the wall" bits--just showing what happens on set without comment--is more fun, offering effortless insight on the filmmaking process. The best treasure is a nifty interactive history on pirates with... read more

Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes

Starring: Wahlberg, Mark Carter, Helena Bonham Carter, Helena Bonham Kristofferson, Kris Carter, Helena Bonham Roth, Tim Avari, Erick Tagawa, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Cary-Hiroyuki Marie, Lisa
Director: Burton, Tim

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

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Amazon.com Billed as a "reimagining" of the original 1968 film, Tim Burton's extraordinary Planet of the Apes constantly borders on greatness, adhering to the spirit of Pierre Boulle's original novel while exploring fresh and inventive ideas and paying honorable tribute to the '68 sci-fi classic. Burton's gifts for eccentric inspiration and visual ingenuity make this a movie that's as entertaining as it is provocative, beginning with Rick Baker's best-ever ape makeup (hand that man an Oscar®!), and continuing through the surprisingly nuanced performances and breathtaking production design. Add to all this an intelligent screenplay that turns Boulle's speculative reversal--the dominance of apes over humans--into a provocative study of civil rights and civil war. The film finally goes too far with a woefully misguided ending that pays weak homage to the original, but everything preceding that misfire is astonishingly right. While attempting the space-pod retrieval of a chimpanzee test pilot, Major Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) enters a magnetic storm that propels him into the distant future, where he crash-lands on the ape-ruled planet. Among the primitively civilized apes, treatment of enslaved humans is a divisive issue: senator's daughter Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) advocates equality while the ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) promotes extermination. While Davidson ignites a human rebellion, this conflict is explored with admirable depth and emotion, and sharp dialogue allows Burton's exceptional cast to bring remarkable expressiveness to their embattled ape characters, most notably in the comic relief of orangutan slave trader Limbo (played to perfection by Paul Giamatti). Classic lines from the original film are cleverly reversed (including an unbilled cameo for Charlton Heston, in ape regalia as Thade's dying father), and while this tale of interspecies warfare leads to an ironic conclusion that's not altogether satisfying, it still bears the ripe fruit of a timeless what-if idea. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The DVD release of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes is so loaded that the second disc needs six screens to list all of the features--or maybe it's just an excuse to show off the great-looking animated menus. The most interesting features are six substantial documentaries about aspects of the filming, including examinations of how the apes run and a spotlight on Lake Powell, where both this film and the 1968 original were shot. The "enhanced viewing mode" on disc 1 is fun: picture-in-picture... read more

Platoon

Platoon

Starring: Berenger, Tom Dafoe, Willem Sheen, Charlie Whitaker, Forest Quinn, Francesco McGinley, John C. Edson, Richard Dillon, Kevin Dillon, Kevin David, Keith
Director: Stone, Oliver

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 120 min

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Amazon.com essential video Platoon put writer-turned-director Oliver Stone on the Hollywood map; it is still his most acclaimed and effective film, probably because it is based on Stone's firsthand experience as an American soldier in Vietnam. Chris (Charlie Sheen) is an infantryman whose loyalty is tested by two superior officers: Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), a former hippie humanist who really cares about his men (this was a few years before he played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ), and Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), a moody, macho soldier who may have gone over to the dark side. The personalities of the two sergeants correspond to their combat drugs of choice--pot for Elias and booze for Barnes. Stone has become known for his sledgehammer visual style, but in this film it seems perfectly appropriate. His violent and disorienting images have a terrifying immediacy, a you-are-there quality that gives you a sense of how things may have felt to an infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam. Platoon won Oscars for best picture and director. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Pretty Woman (10th Anniversary Edition)

Pretty Woman (10th Anniversary Edition)

Starring: Gere, Richard Roberts, Julia Bellamy, Ralph Alexander, Jason San Giacomo, Laura Hyde-White, Alex Yasbeck, Amy Gere, Richard Gere, Richard Baldwin, Judith
Director: Marshall, Garry

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

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Amazon.com essential video Like a pumpkin that transforms into a carriage, some very shrewd casting (and the charisma of Julia Roberts, in particular) morphed this story of a Hollywood whore into a Disneyfied Cinderella story--and a mainstream megahit. This is the movie that made Roberts a star; the charm of her personality helping tremendously to carry viewers over the rough spots in the script (which was originally a cynical tale about prostitution called 3000--after the amount of money Richard Gere's character pays the prostitute to stay with him for the week). Gere is the silver-haired Wall Street knight who sweeps streetwalker Roberts into a fantasy world of room service at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel and fashion boutique shopping on Rodeo Drive. The supporting cast is also appealing, including Laura San Giacomo as Roberts's hooker pal, Hector Elizondo as the hotel manager, Jason Alexander, Ralph Bellamy, and Hank Azaria. Now, is this something you want your sons and daughters to see? That's entirely up to you. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Princess Diaries, the (Full Screen Edition)

Princess Diaries, the (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Andrews, Julie Hathaway, Anne Elizondo, Hector Matarazzo, Heather Moore, Mandy Goodall, Caroline Schwartzman, Robert Detten, Erik von Detten, Erik von O'Bryan, Sean
Director: Marshall, Garry

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 114 min

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Amazon.com A thoroughly engaging fairy tale that's family friendly without being condescending, The Princess Diaries is your basic Cinderella makeover story given a fresh, affectionate twist courtesy of a game, energetic cast and a screenplay that skirts schmaltz in favor of gentle, effective comedy. Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a frizzy-haired, glasses-wearing 15-year-old girl whose two highest ambitions are to become invisible and to get a few smooches from the slickly attractive school heartthrob. As a girl who can't stand being the center of attention so much that she throws up during debate class, she's stunned and horrified when her coolly continental grandmother (Julie Andrews) shows up and informs her that she's the crown princess of the European principality Genovia. Soon enough, Mia has to undertake "princess lessons" (and a makeover) from her queenly grandmother, and eventually she blossoms into a confident, radiant girl--despite the worries and pressure that her newfound status brings. What makes The Princess Diaries work is director Garry Marshall's guileless, irony-free approach to the material (based on Meg Cabot's novel). In comparison to most snarky, ultra-hip teen comedies, The Princess Diaries is refreshingly and enjoyably square, content to win you over on charm alone and not a slick bag of tricks. Hathaway is a charismatic, appealing role model with a sharp sense of comic timing, and Andrews--who came to stardom as the object of a makeover supreme in My Fair Lady on Broadway--is at her regal best whether teaching Mia the proper royal wave or learning how to eat a corndog. Both leading ladies are complemented by a finely tuned cast, including Hector Elizondo as Genovia's head of security (and romantic counterpart to Andrews), Heather Matarazzo as Mia's best pal, and Robert Schwartzman as the good guy who ultimately wins Mia's heart. All in all, a royal pleasure. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Program

Program

Starring: Caan, James Berry, Halle Epps, Omar Sheffer, Craig Epps, Omar
Director: Ward, David S.

Rating: R (MPAA)
Category: Drama
User Rating:
Running Time: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Color Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

From All Movie Guide Eastern State University isn't particularly notable for anything except its football program. Lately, even that hasn't been doing too well, and the athletic staff led by Coach Winters (James Caan) are under considerable pressure by the administration and alumni to bring in a winning season. To do that, he has to recruit some able, promising young players out of high school. It's not too surprising to learn that he will do almost anything to get these kids, and its even less surprising that, as long as they keep producing on the field, he and the college will overlook almost any obnoxious behavior the boys can perpetrate to the limit of their ability. Clarke Fountain

Pure Country

Pure Country

Starring: Strait, George Warren, Lesley Ann Glasser, Isabel Glasser, Isabel Doe, John Calhoun, Rory McClure, Molly McIlvain, James Terry McIlvain, James Terry Walters, Mark
Director: Cain, Christopher

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Color Dolby

Description After 25 chart-topping hits, the singing star becomes a movie star! George Strait makes his film debut in an entertaining look into the heart and soul of country music from Young Guns director Christopher Cain. Superstar Dusty Chandler (Strait) is tired of the smoke, the strobe lights and the overmiked sound of his arena spectaculars. One night, something snaps. "I'm just going to take a little walk," Dusty says as he walks out of the empty hall, ditching his beard, ponytail - and temporarily, his career - to reclaim his down-home country roots. But his manager (Leslie Ann Warren) retaliates: a stand-in (Kyle Chandler) lip-synchs his songs in concert. And a romance with a lovely rancher (Isabel Glasser) is on again, off again like a rodeo cowboy. The simple life can be complex, but it's nothing a revitalized country boy can't handle!

Raid on Rommel

Raid on Rommel

Starring: Burton, Richard Colicos, John De Metz, Danielle Colicos, John Preiss, Wolfgang Alberty, Karl-Otto Cary, Christopher Orchard, John Orchard, John Mullavy, Greg
Director: Hathaway, Henry

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Stereo

Posing as a Nazi officer, an American infiltrates the heavily armed ranks of General Rommel as part of a desperate plan to destroy the heavy German artillery at Tobruk.

Recess - School's Out

Recess - School's Out

Starring: Lawrence, Andrew Collins, Rickey D'Shon Willson, Paul Davis, Jason Johnson, Ashley Mead, Courtland Segall, Pamela Beasley, Allyce Beasley, Allyce Coleman, Dabney
Director: Sheetz, Chuck

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 82 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Disney's Recess: School's Out dipped in and out of theaters faster than fans of the cable TV show could snap their lunch boxes shut--kind of nice for parents whose idea of grown-up detention is sitting through such fly-by-night kiddie features. Now that home screenings are an option, though, plan for the ages 5-and-older set to settle in for reruns. Also plan to get sucked in yourself--if the screwball plot doesn't do it, the soundtrack will. While TJ and Principal Prickly (the latter the unfortunate bearer of the "saggy butt" that becomes this movie's clunkiest running gag) bust in on a crew of fiendish would-be teachers during summer break, slices of vintage grooviness--Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild," Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints," and Robert Goulet's "Green Tambourine" among them--get you cheering along, whether you're 3 or 43. The reason for all the retro funkiness revolves around the chief bad guy, Phil Benedict, a one-time educational visionary and former Prickly schoolmate. Back in the day, Benedict was a radical school revolutionary, but his manifesto for better test scores misfired when it called for a ban on recess, a concept so barbaric it got him canned from a cushy government job. Now, undeterred in his mission to make life miserable for kids, he's hatching a switcheroo scheme that will forever pull the shade on summer and thus summer vacation. Predictably, right at trigger time, TJ, Prickly, and the gang roar in to the rescue. It's an ending that's as pat as any on the TV show, but so what--this is a movie that aims for summer-linen lightness. Just as the Fifth Dimension promise on the soundtrack, it lets the sunshine, as well as a few well-timed chuckles, in. --Tammy La Gorce --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Jim Svejda, KNX/CBS RADIO “A Delightful Family Film. Smart, Funny and Thoroughly Enjoyable!” --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire

Starring: Bale, Christian McConaughey, Matthew Scorupco, Izabella Butler, Gerard Moutter, Scott Kennedy, David Siddig, Alexander Dennehy, Ned Dennehy, Ned Maynard, Terence
Director: Bowman, Rob

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 101 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com The Road Warrior meets Dragonslayer in the briskly entertaining post-apocalyptic action thriller Reign of Fire. Reign of Fire exists primarily to give us a bigger and better dragon than the Vermithrax Pejorative of 1981's classic Dragonslayer, and in that regard, the special effects are mightily impressive; the reptilian fire-breathers are stupendously convincing. While the earlier film offers a richer, more whimsical medieval adventure, Reign of Fire is a fast-moving tale of man versus dragon that takes place in the charred England of 2020, after Earth has been scorched by rapidly multiplying dragons and the aftermath of a futile nuclear counterstrike. Mixing high-tech gadgetry with primitive survivalism, X-Files alumnus Rob Bowman makes the most of his midlevel budget, establishing a lavish castle base for the rugged, adversarial teaming of Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey as dragonslayers on the brink of extinction. With a steady supply of crowd-pleasing highlights, Reign of Fire is a pyrotechnical treat. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Remember the Titans (Widescreen Edition)

Remember the Titans (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Washington, Denzel Patton, Will Harris, Wood Hurst, Ryan Faison, Donald Kirkwood, Craig Suplee, Ethan Pardue, Kip Pardue, Kip Parker, Nicole Ari
Director: Yakin, Boaz

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 113 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com With only one major star (Denzel Washington), an appealing cast of fresh unknowns, and a winning emphasis of substance over self-indulgent style, Boaz Yakin's Remember the Titans is, like Rudy before it, a football movie that will be fondly remembered by anyone who sees it. Set in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971, the fact-based story begins with the integration of black and white students at T. C. Williams High School. This effort to improve race relations is most keenly felt on the school's football team, the Titans, and bigoted tempers flare when a black head coach (Washington) is appointed and his victorious predecessor (Will Patton) reluctantly stays on as his assistant. It's affirmative action at its most potentially volatile, complicated by the mandate that the coach will be fired if he loses a single game in the Titans' 13-game season. The players represent a hotbed of racial tension, but as the team struggles toward unity and gridiron glory, Remember the Titans builds on several subplots and character dynamics to become an inspirational drama of Rocky-like proportions. Yakin--whose debut, Fresh, was one of the best independent films of the 1990s--understands the value of connecting small scenes to form a rich climactic payoff. Likewise, Washington provides a solid dramatic foundation (his coach is obsessively harsh, but for all the right reasons) while giving his younger co-stars ample time in the spotlight. The result is a film that achieves what it celebrates: an enriching sense of unity that's unquestionably genuine. (Ages 9 and older) --Jeff Shannon

Replicant

Replicant

Starring: Damme, Jean-Claude Van Rooker, Michael Dent, Catherine Olson, Brandon James Hyatt, Pam Robison, Ian Gray, Allan Hutson, James Hutson, James McGillion, Paul
Director: Lam, Ringo

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 101 min / Norway:95 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Jean-Claude Van Damme (star of Timecop and Universal Soldier) plays two roles in this surprisingly good action thriller. Replicant also stars Michael Rooker (of Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Replacement Killers) as Jake Riley, a cop who's been tracking a serial killer called "The Torch" (Van Damme). Frustrated, Riley decides to retire--and the National Security Department makes him an offer: they've cloned "The Torch" as part of a program to track down terrorists; they'll turn this replicant (Van Damme again, of course) over to Riley as a sort of test run for the program. The idea is that the replicant will slowly recall the original person's memories and lead the cops to the original. It's ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than the setup for the highly successful Face/Off, and it works just as well as the engine for an effective action flick. What makes Replicant more unusual is that the writers actually put some thought into the relationship between Riley and the replicant, which starts to mirror parent-child relationships in emotionally complex ways. Furthermore, while it's no surprise that Rooker gives a solid performance, it is surprising that Van Damme does just as good a job in both of his roles--he's perfectly creepy as the serial killer and genuinely affecting as the quickly developing replicant, projecting a mixture of innocence and turmoil. Replicant was directed by Hong Kong director Ringo Lam, the man behind Full Contact and City on Fire. He was clearly working on a limited budget, but the movie looks good, moves with lean efficiency, and has some riveting action sequences and good quality effects--the scenes where Van Damme (inevitably!) fights himself are completely convincing. A satisfying movie. --Bret Fetzer

Rock-A-Doodle

Rock-A-Doodle

Starring: Plummer, Christopher Campbell, Glen Deezen, Eddie Duncan, Sandy Ganger, Toby Scott Greene, Ellen Harris, Phil Hoff, Christian Hoff, Christian Lio
Director: Kuenster, Dan

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 77 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Don Bluth's lavish animated musical Rock-A-Doodle was not a success when it was released in 1992. It's not hard to understand why: the film varies wildly in tone and the story makes little sense. In the live-action prologue, a little boy named Edmond learns that the crowing of Chanticleer the rooster did not make the sun rise, as everyone thought. But when a flood threatens his family's farm, Edmond sets off to get Chanticleer to make the sun rise and save the day. (Edmond gets turned into a kitten during this adventure, for no apparent reason other than that cats are easier to animate than humans.) Chanticleer has moved to the city, and although the farm seems to be in the Midwest, the nearest city is clearly supposed to be Las Vegas. Chanticleer is now the King, an Elvis caricature used for an unfunny spoof of showbiz clichés. The animation is quite fluid, and there are lots of brightly colored effects--rainbows, sparkles, sunbeams. But parents will have a hard time explaining the story to their children. --Charles Solomon

Rookie, The (Widescreen Edition)

Rookie, The (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Quaid, Dennis Griffiths, Rachel Hernandez, Jay Grant, Beth Jones, Angus T. Hernandez, Jay Gonzalez, Rick Lindberg, Chad Lindberg, Chad Applegate, Royce D.
Director: Hancock, John Lee

Rating: G
Category: Drama
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Jim Morris, the real-life hero of The Rookie, has an inspirational story all but guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face. Happily, this G-rated Disney drama, based on Morris's published memoir of the same title, is suitable for an all-ages audience. Blessed with an awesome fastball, Morris nursed dreams of pitching for Major League Baseball during his 20s; injuries and bad luck, however, forced him to give up hope and become a teacher and coach. Years later, pressed by students and colleagues to try out for "the Show" one more time, Morris discovered he still had a powerful arm, and he was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Rookie is at its best throughout this first chapter in Morris's midlife adventure, though the rest of the film finds fresh angles on more familiar baseball-movie conventions. Dennis Quaid is soulful and charismatic as Morris, perfect in his depiction of a man both thankful and startled that destiny has given one of the good guys his due. Appropriate for ages 4 and up. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Run Silent, Run Deep

Run Silent, Run Deep

Starring: Gable, Clark Lancaster, Burt Dexter, Brad Rickles, Don Warden, Jack LaRoche, Mary Cravat, Nick Bond, Rudy Bond, Rudy Bond, Rudy
Director: Wise, Robert

Rating: NR
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

Black & White Stereo

Amazon.com A movie's lasting value can often be measured by its influence in the years and decades following its original release, and on that basis Run Silent, Run Deep is certainly a classic of sorts. It remains one of the seminal World War II submarine pictures, and its intelligent script and tautly executed action are clearly echoed in such later submarine dramas as Das Boot and especially Crimson Tide, which borrows liberally from this 1958 film. In one of his best and final roles (he appeared in only four films after this), Clark Gable plays a submarine captain without a command, having been saddled with a desk job after his previous ship was destroyed due to his overzealous pursuit of the enemy in dangerous Japanese waters. He finally gets another boat--this time with a vigilant first officer (Burt Lancaster), who stands poised to assume command if Gable puts his crew in unnecessary danger. The tension and mutual respect between these two principled men is superbly written and directed (Robert Wise was just two years away from his triumph with West Side Story), and the crucial inclusion of a strong supporting cast (including Jack Warden and Don Rickles) enhances the movie's compelling authenticity. Based on a novel by former submarine commander Edward L. Beach, Run Silent, Run Deep is rousing entertainment with the added benefit of paying honorable tribute to the men who navigated through the most frightening and claustrophobic channels of the Pacific theater. --Jeff Shannon

Sandlot, The

Sandlot, The

Starring: Guiry, Tom Vitar, Mike Renna, Patrick Leopardi, Chauncey York, Marty Adams, Brandon Quintin Gelt, Grant Obedzinski, Shane Obedzinski, Shane Leary, Denis
Director: Evans, David M.

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 101 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com When egghead Scotty Smalls moves to town just before the summer vacation of 1962, his first priority is to make friends. He heads to the nearby sandlot only to humiliate himself before the local kids, but star player Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez befriends the awkward boy, teaches him the basics of baseball, and welcomes him to the team. It's a summer filled with camaraderie and fun until Smalls hits his first home run. Problem is, Smalls's home run sends his stepfather's "Babe Ruth" autographed baseball into a neighboring yard that's patrolled by a snarling, slobbering monster called "The Beast." Creativity reigns and hilarity ensues when the boys risk everything to retrieve the ball. A final heroic encounter with "The Beast" and his owner yields some very surprising results. Action, humor, and friendship permeate this 101-minute film appropriate for ages 5 and older. Rated PG due to name-calling and some pubescent behavior. --Tami Horiuchi

Scooby-Doo (Full Screen Edition)

Scooby-Doo (Full Screen Edition)

Starring: Jr., Freddie Prinze Gellar, Sarah Michelle Lillard, Matthew Cardellini, Linda Atkinson, Rowan Fisher, Isla Jr., Miguel A. Núñez Grives, Steven Grives, Steven Bullock, Craig
Director: Gosnell, Raja

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com "I would've gotten away with it if weren't for you meddling kids!" Equal parts remake and spoof, this tongue-in-cheek live-action resurrection finds the old Saturday-morning-cartoon gang reunited to investigate the zombie teens of a haunted amusement park. Frantic action and big-screen special effects stand in for logic, but for a while it makes for a spirited send-up. Freddie Prinze Jr., under a blond hairdo and an ascot, turns Fred into a preening pretty boy, and Sarah Michelle Gellar plays with her own Buffy image as eternal damsel-in-distress Daphne (in magenta mini-dress and maxi-boots, no less), but this show belongs to gangly Matthew Lillard, who is the adenoidal beatnik Shaggy. His loyal-to-the-end friendship with the computer-animated Scooby-Doo is the most convincing relationship in the whole two-dimensional goof. Some of the supernatural nasties may be scary for young kids and the humor careens from winking self-awareness to Scooby doo-doo gags, but otherwise this is as harmless as a Saturday-morning chapter and as substantial as a Scooby snack. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Zoinks! Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close it's doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (FREDDIE PRINZE JR.), Daphne (SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR), Shaggy (MATTHEW LILLARD) and Velma (LINDA CARDELLINI) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot. Concerned that his frightfully popular resort might truly be haunted, Spooky Island owner Emile Mondavarious (ROWAN ATKINSON) tries to reunite those notoriously meddling detectives to solve the mystery before his supernatural secret scares away the college crowds. Scooby and the gang will have to overcome their personal differences and forget everything they think they know about fake ghouls and phony creatures to crack the case, save themselves and possibly...the world! Ruh-roh!

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

Scorpion King, The (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Scorpion King, The (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

Starring: Rock, The Brand, Steven Duncan, Michael Clarke Hu, Kelly Hill, Bernard Heslov, Grant Facinelli, Peter Moeller, Ralf Moeller, Ralf Rees, Roger
Director: Russell, Chuck

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 89 min / Australia:91 min / Co

Color Stereo

Amazon.com There's nothing original in The Scorpion King, but this derivative action franchise gets off to a rousing start by cleverly stealing from a lot of better movies. Capitalizing on his brief cameo in The Mummy Returns, Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. World Wrestling Federation star the Rock) stars as Mathayus, an Akkadian assassin in the age preceding Egyptian pharaohs, who vows to avenge his brother's murder by an undefeated warlord (Steven Brand) prophesied to become the desert-ruling Scorpion King. Their battle for supremacy comprises most of the film's brisk 95-minute running time, punctuated by comic relief from Mathayus's obligatory sidekick (Grant Heslov), romance with a beautiful sorceress (Kelly Hu), and alliance with a massive Nubian (Michael Clarke Duncan) on the eve of their climactic showdown. There's no rhyme or reason to the film's depiction of ancient civilization (the costuming is particularly ludicrous), but the Rock demonstrates adequate action-star potential, and director Chuck Russell (The Mask) wraps it all in a slick, professional package. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Secret of Anastasia, The

Secret of Anastasia, The

Starring: Beach, John DeSimone, Lisa Fernandez, Peter Hammond, Earl Harris, Cynthia Kearney, Barbara Jean Meisle, William Petkoff, Robert Petkoff, Robert Raines, Roger
Director:

Rating: NR
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 minutes

Color Stereo

Description: A young Russian princess obscures her identity from two suitors in order to discern which one is out to destroy her. Special bonus: "Snow White and the Magic Mirror".

See Spot Run

See Spot Run

Starring: Arquette, David Duncan, Michael Clarke Bibb, Leslie Viterelli, Joe Jones, Angus T. Anderson, Anthony Sorvino, Paul Schirripa, Steve Schirripa, Steve Smith, Kavan
Director: Whitesell, John

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com A family film for an era when "family film" means scatological jokes, gratuitous violence, and shapeless storytelling, See Spot Run is about par for the course. Punctuated by many a lowbrow moment (scenes of combustible zebra flatulence, for instance), Spot has trouble staying true to its major story line despite the latter's redeeming qualities. That story concerns an FBI-trained bull mastiff who flees the wrath of a mobster (Paul Sorvino) and ends up in the care of a pooch-averse postman (David Arquette) and the latter's little neighbor (Angus T. Jones). With a nutball like Arquette in the lead (and vigorous support work from comic Anthony Anderson of Me, Myself, and Irene), the antics come fast and furious, including a wild bit of slapstick in which Arquette simultaneously gets his head stuck in a fishbowl and his body densely wrapped in helium-inflated plastic. On the other hand, there's a touching simplicity to the relationship between man and canine, each of whom has been terribly lonely in his own way. Sure, the filmmakers went for some cheap laughs, but there is much else here that is harder-earned. --Tom Keogh Description A mailman takes in a stray dog only to learn that it's an FBI drug-sniffing canine that has escaped from a witness protection program and is now targeted for assassination by a crime boss.

Shag

Shag

Starring: Cates, Phoebe Fonda, Bridget Fonda, Bridget Gish, Annabeth Hannah, Page Rusler, Robert Jr., Tyrone Power Yagher, Jeff Yagher, Jeff Sarelle, Leilani
Director: Barron, Zelda

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com It's not too surprising that Shag flopped on its 1989 release but found a devoted cult following on cable TV and home video. This featherweight comedy looked like a waste of space on the big screen, but it plays very cozily on the tube, where it lends itself to popcorn breaks and pajama parties. (The lousy title must have had something to do with the movie's initial failure, a problem worsened by the film being marketed as Shag: The Movie, a truly dumb idea.) Shag is in the tradition of Spring Break pictures, a thoroughly formulaic stroll through the conventions of the minigenre: beachside romance, a wild party, one tender deflowering, and lots of rock & roll. The time is 1963, as three gal friends trick their soon-to-be-married pal (Phoebe Cates) into one final all-girl fling in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Cates is engaged to a local well-bred stick (Tyrone Power Jr.), but soon she's tempted by a beach boy (Robert Rusler) bound for Yale (mm-hmm). The so-so material is buoyed by lovely Annabeth Gish, as the supposedly pudgy one in the group, and Bridget Fonda, as a prematurely sophisticated sexpot. After a while it's easy enough to relax and enjoy the girls' breezy adventures, which are served up without the soap opera melodrama of the similarly tooled Where the Boys Are. Oh, and Austin Powers notwithstanding, the title refers to the dance, not something else. --Robert Horton

Simply Irresistible

Simply Irresistible

Starring: Gellar, Sarah Michelle Flanery, Sean Patrick Clarkson, Patricia Baker, Dylan Jr., Larry Gilliard Durang, Christopher Buckley, Betty Krupa, Olek Krupa, Olek Draper, Alex
Director: Tarlov, Mark

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 94 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Call it Buffy the Culinary Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who usually runs around staking vampires and fighting demons, turns cute and cuddly as an aspiring chef in this magical-realist comedy that borrows a page--heck, whole chapters--from Like Water for Chocolate. Out at the market one day, Gellar stumbles on both a magical crab and the babelicious Sean Patrick Flanery who, wouldn't you know it, is opening up a posh restaurant at Bendel's department store (actually, the two have been brought together by fairy godfather Christopher Durang). Odd and implausible circumstances give these two cuties more opportunities to moon at each other, and suddenly Gellar's cooking takes off--turns out all her nicey-nice feelings towards Flanery are going into her cooking, with the help of that quiet but powerful little crab. Gellar's almost-closed restaurant starts to thrive, and her desserts begin making everyone horny. A cute premise that never really takes off, Simply Irresistible glides along on Gellar's charisma alone; in her off hours, Buffy certainly can be the lighthearted girl next door, and Gellar works to give some depth to her one-dimensional character. Flanery, though, while appealing at times, plays up his character's commitment-phobia to irritating degrees. Chock full of fairy-tale elements that never really come together (is that crab really necessary?), Irresistible does boast charming performances by Patricia Clarkson and Dylan Baker as Flanery's secretary and boss, respectively. However, it's a little odd to see these two, who scored raves for two serious and harrowing art-house flicks (Clarkson in High Art, Baker in Happiness) doing the light-and-fluffy romantic comedy thing. They're two of the very few ingredients that occasionally make this soufflé of a movie rise; at the end, however, it's flat as a pancake. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit

Starring: Reynolds, Burt Field, Sally Gleason, Jackie Reed, Jerry Henry, Mike McCormick, Pat McCalman, Macon Wise, Alfie Wise, Alfie McCalman, Macon
Director: Needham, Hal

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 96 minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com It's easy to assume this is just another dumb redneck comedy from Burt Reynolds's years of underachievement. But it's not bad as a dumb redneck comedy at all. Directed by career stuntman Hal Needham, Smokey and the Bandit is just a goofy chase starring a bunch of Reynolds's Hollywood cronies. New to the job as film boss, Needham brings a silly but energized sensibility to the production and an action man's need to see things moving. But he also has a distinctive feeling for relationships, and he's good with a joke. Put all that together, and Smokey is, at the very least (and unlike its sequels), a simple and original pleasure. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Snow Dogs

Snow Dogs

Starring: Jr., Cuba Gooding Coburn, James Sisqó Nichols, Nichelle Walsh, M. Emmet Greene, Graham Doyle-Murray, Brian Bacalso, Joanna Bacalso, Joanna Bolton, Michael
Director: Levant, Brian

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Snow Dogs is not a fantasy about talking dogs--it's a heartwarming story about personal growth starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and a sled team of Siberian huskies. When Dr. Ted Brooks, a successful, sun-loving dentist from Miami, receives a summons to the minuscule town of Tolketna, Alaska, his mother is forced to confess that he was adopted. Teddy's desire to quickly return to Miami yields to a burgeoning curiosity about his deceased mother and biological father. Teddy's experiences in Alaska acquaint him firsthand with the wonders of sled dogs, the sport of mushing, human sacrifice, and love. The city slicker's hilarious attempts to mush even culminate in a hero's reception at the finish of the prestigious "Arctic Challenge." Snow Dogs is 99 minutes of breathtaking vistas, amusing comedy, and entertainment suited for the entire family. Rated PG due to the occasional outhouse joke and other mild crude humor. --Tami Horiuchi --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Solaris

Solaris

Starring: Clooney, George McElhone, Natascha Carrillo, Elpidia Clooney, George Banionis, Donatas Dvorzhetsky, Vladislav McElhone, Natascha Faulcon, Kent Faulcon, Kent Davis, Viola
Director: Soderbergh, Steven

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 minutes

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Amazon.com A curious mix of science fiction and metaphysical love story, Solaris centers around Chris Kelvin (George Clooney), a psychologist sent to investigate why a space station orbiting an alien planet has stopped communications. The planet has the power to delve into human psyches and re-create lost loved ones--in Kelvin's case, his dead wife (Natascha McElhone), whom he then wants to bring back to Earth. Director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brockovich) fills almost every shot with faces and bodies, as if to emphasize the human soul rather than outer space as the movie's true subject. Unfortunately, the vagueness of the environment--combined with a script that implies more than it shows--serves to dislocate our ability to engage with the characters, rendering Solaris emotionally inert. Jeremy Davies, as a lingering crew member, brings a hint of humor to the otherwise serious-minded proceedings. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Soldier

Soldier

Starring: Russell, Kurt Lee, Jason Scott Isaacs, Jason Nielsen, Connie Pertwee, Sean Thorne, Jared Thorne, Taylor Bringleson, Mark Bringleson, Mark Dodds, K.K.
Director: Anderson, Paul W.S.

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 min

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Amazon.com Kurt Russell hits new heights in laconic action heroes with his portrayal of Sergeant Todd, born and bred to be a soldier in a futuristic army. Raised to kill mercilessly, living only for battle, he finds himself at the twilight of his career (and so-called life) when a regiment of genetically enhanced warriors threatens to make his brand of soldiering obsolete. Despite his extensive skills, he is no match for the best of breed of the new order, and he's left for dead on a planet that serves only as a junk heap. There he encounters a ragtag group of castaways, and in his own strange and silent way slowly begins to learn how to be less a killer and more a human. All is disrupted, though, when the genetic regiment arrives on the trash planet and decides to eradicate the local human "trespassers." Though Todd had been overmatched before, this time he has more than ever to fight for--a home, and friends. Soldier is one of those rare sci fi movies that relies more on plot and action than special effects (though the trash planet is effectively wrought). The pace of action in the last half of the film is relentless and exciting, and Russell's portrayal of the old warrior as he warms to human emotions relies more on expression than words--in fact, he barely utters more than a half-dozen lines. --Tod Nelson Description An itinerant warrior in outer space is forced to become a hero when he must defend a band of settlers on a remote planet.

Species II

Species II

Starring: Madsen, Michael Henstridge, Natasha Helgenberger, Marg Williamson, Mykelti Dzundza, George Cromwell, James Lazard, Justin Cyr, Myriam Cyr, Myriam Harris, Baxter
Director: Medak, Peter

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 3.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

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Amazon.com "They could f**k the human race out of existence!" warns Michael Madsen in this inevitable--and inevitably contrived--sequel to 1995's surprise sci-fi hit. He's referring to a celebrated astronaut (Justin Lazard) infected with alien DNA from his history-making Mars landing, and the half-alien Eve (Natasha Henstridge), who was created from alien-human embryo splicing by biochemist Dr. Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger) in an effort to discover the alien species's vulnerabilities on Earth. While the astronaut sows his gruesomely wild oats with doomed women (resulting in a bevy of creepy kids in alien cocoons), Eve goes into heat until she and the astronaut can consummate their procreative lust. Sex and death are served up like money-shots in a porno flick, with an emphasis on gory flesh-regeneration, explosive pregnancies, and slimy-tentacled intercourse. All of which makes this is the kind of derivative schlock that only a true fan could love, but it's boosted to a tolerable level of entertainment by the returning cast (Madsen, Henstridge, and Helgenberger) from the previous film. --Jeff Shannon

Species

Species

Starring: Kingsley, Ben Madsen, Michael Molina, Alfred Whitaker, Forest Madsen, Michael Helgenberger, Marg Molina, Alfred Lund, Jordan Lund, Jordan McKenna, Scott
Director: Donaldson, Roger

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

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Amazon.com There's a kind of perverse marketing genius at work in this cheesy sci-fi hit from 1995 in which scientists create a half-human, half-alien woman named Sil (Natasha Henstridge) who's capable of morphing from a slimy, tentacled creature into a blonde babe with the body of a Playboy centerfold. This makes it easy for Sil to lure gullible guys who are only too willing to indulge her voracious mating urge, realizing too late that sex with Sil is anything but safe. As the body count rises, a handpicked team of specialists tracks the alien's killing spree, but their diverse expertise is barely a match for the ever-morphing Sil. Borrowing elements of the Alien movies (including bizarre alien designs by Swedish artist H.R. Giger) and spicing them up with some tantalizing nudity, Species is a wet dream for creature-feature fans--kind of like watching a sci-fi vampire fantasy while browsing through the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

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

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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

Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Widescreen Edition)

Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Damon, Matt Cromwell, James Studi, Daniel Bernet, Chopper LeBeau, Jeff Rubano, John McGonagle, Richard Levin, Matt Levin, Matt Cait, Robert
Director: Cook, Lorna

Rating: G
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 86 min

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Amazon.com Horse lovers young and old will celebrate this utterly enjoyable and marvelous-looking animated film. The titular stallion runs free in the Cimarron (New Mexico) wilderness until a series of men try to master the proud horse, leading to adventures through a U.S. Cavalry fort, Native American settlements, and a railroad camp. Despite a heavy dose of political correctness and realism (the animals don't talk; we only hear Spirit's internal monologue, voiced by Matt Damon), directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook give their hero many only-in-a-movie moments, including an action sequence rivaling any of Rambo's escapes. The stirring mix of 2-D and 3-D animation is absolutely stunning and aptly fueled by composer Hans Zimmer's synthesized score. The film earns one demerit for '80s rocker Bryan Adams's abundant songs--a different singer could have brought more to the film. Rated G but there is some rough treatment of horses shown, so nix the sensitive preschoolers. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Buscemi, Steve Judge, Mike Trejo, Danny Marin, Cheech Marin, Cheech Osment, Emily
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

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Amazon.com This delightful sequel to Spy Kids demonstrates once again writer-director Robert Rodriguez's remarkable gift for wild invention. Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are now regular operatives for a spy agency, but a couple of rival spy kids are making their lives difficult. When an important gadget gets stolen, Juni gets blamed and loses his job--but Carmen hacks into the agency computer, reinstates him, and sends them off on a high-security mission to a mysterious island to clear the boy's name. The pace is zippy, every situation is crammed with dazzling eye-candy, and the cast is great--Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino return as the kids' parents, Steve Buscemi plays a crackpot scientist, and Ricardo Montalban comes in as the kids' grandfather. Fans of the classic Sinbad adventure movies will particularly enjoy the elaborate creatures that Carmen and Juni battle on the island. Pure fun. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over

Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Montalban, Ricardo Taylor, Holland Stallone, Sylvester Judge, Mike Judge, Mike O'Leary, Matthew
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 4.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 84 min

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Amazon.com The adventures of pint-sized secret agents Juni and Carmen Cortes (Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega) continue. As Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over opens, Juni has left the spy agency and launched a career as a private detective--but when he learns that his sister Carmen has disappeared into a nefarious multi-user computer game, he agrees to go in after her, with the assistance of his grandfather (Ricardo Montalban). Three-dimensional special effects launch us into a topsy-turvy world of battling robots, souped-up motorcycle races, frogs on pogo sticks, surfing on hot lava, and much, much more. The story is even more incoherent than an actual computer game--but the movie storms along, driven by writer/director/editor/everything-else Robert Rodriguez's sheer visual enthusiasm. Featuring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, and everyone else who appeared in the first two Spy Kids movies. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Spy Kids

Spy Kids

Starring: Banderas, Antonio Gugino, Carla Vega, Alexa Sabara, Daryl Cumming, Alan Shalhoub, Tony Hatcher, Teri Marin, Cheech Marin, Cheech Trejo, Danny
Director: Rodriguez, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

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Amazon.com Carmen and Juni Cortez will soon find out that their favorite bedtime story, "The Spies Who Fell in Love," is really the story of their parents. So begins this affable fantasy, a James Bond adventure for wee ones with all the trimmings. When Dad and Mom (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) mess up their first mission after coming out of retirement, their kids must come to the rescue, equipped with some cool gadgets. The Cortez family gets involved in a bizarre plot hatched by a Pee-wee Herman-type entertainer named Fegan Floop (a wonderfully hammy Alan Cumming) that's as giddy as it is ridiculous. Needless to say there is plenty of derring-do concerning long-lost uncles, goofy monsters, double agents, evil robots, look-alikes, and energized chases. Did we mention the gadgets? Although Banderas and Gugino make terrific impressions, the movie is carried (as it should be) by the younger Cortezes, winningly played by Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. Who would have thought an action/horror studio (Dimension) and writer-director Robert Rodriguez had this pleasing family film up their sleeves? Rodriquez (who produced with his wife Elizabeth Avellán) seemed to be mired in cheesy horror films but here breaks out by capitalizing on the talent that gave him instant status with his debut, El Mariachi (1992). Spy Kids has plenty of verve but never swerves into potty humor (OK, there is one good potty joke) or wicked gunplay. All 7-year-olds should have a film as fun as this in their movie-going lives. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Star Trek - The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition)

Star Trek - The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition)

Starring: Shatner Nimoy Kelley, DeForest Takei, George Collins, Stephen Doohan, James Koenig, Walter Khambatta, Persis Khambatta, Persis Kelley, DeForest
Director: Wise, Robert

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

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Amazon.com Back when the first Star Trek feature was released in December 1979, the Trek franchise was still relatively modest, consisting of the original TV series, an animated cartoon series from 1973-74, and a burgeoning fan network around the world. Series creator Gene Roddenberry had conceived a second TV series, but after the success of Star Wars the project was upgraded into this lavish feature film, which reunited the original series cast aboard a beautifully redesigned starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Under the direction of Robert Wise (best known for West Side Story), the film proved to be a mixed blessing for Trek fans, who heatedly debated its merits; but it was, of course, a phenomenal hit. Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) leads his crew into the vast structures surrounding V'Ger, an all-powerful being that is cutting a destructive course through Starfleet space. With his new First Officer (Stephen Collins), the bald and beautiful Lieutenant Ilia (played by the late Persis Khambatta) and his returning veteran crew, Kirk must decipher the secret of V'Ger's true purpose and restore the safety of the galaxy. The story is rather overblown and derivative of plots from the original series, and avid Trekkies greeted the film's bland costumes with derisive laughter. But as a feast for the eyes, this is an adventure worthy of big-screen trekkin'. Douglas Trumbull's visual effects are astonishing, and Jerry Goldmith's score is regarded as one of the prolific composer's very best (with its main theme later used for Star Trek: The Next Generation). And, fortunately for Star Trek fans, the expanded 143-minute version (originally shown for the film's network TV premiere) is generally considered an improvement over the original theatrical release. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features More than simply a "director's cut," this new edition features enhanced, and in some cases completely redone, special effects as well as (for a change of pace) cuts to tighten the dawdling story. It may not fly with purists, but director Robert Wise makes his case in the documentary featurette "Redirecting the Future," which details the changes with scene-by-scene comparisons, and on the commentary track, which he shares with special-effects legends Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra... read more

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

Starring: Nimoy, Leonard Shatner, William Kelley, DeForest Doohan, James Takei, George Koenig, Walter Nichols, Nichelle Wyatt, Jane Wyatt, Jane Lenard, Mark
Director: Nimoy, Leonard

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 136 min (director's cut)

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Amazon.com Widely considered the best movie in the "classic Trek" series of feature films, Star Trek IV returns to one of the favorite themes of the original TV series--time travel--to bring Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov from the 23rd century to present-day San Francisco. In their own time, the Starfleet heroes encounter an alien probe emitting a mysterious message--a message delivered in the song of the now-extinct Earth species of humpback whales. Failure to respond to the probe will result in Earth's destruction, so Kirk and company time-travel to 20th-century Earth--in their captured Klingon starship--to transport a humpback whale to the future in an effort to peacefully communicate with the alien probe. The plot sounds somewhat absurd in description, but as executed by returning director Leonard Nimoy, this turned out to be a crowd-pleasing adventure, filled with humor and lively interaction among the favorite Star Trek characters. Catherine Hicks (from TV's 7th Heaven) plays the 20th-century whale expert who is finally convinced of Kirk's and Spock's benevolent intentions. With ample comedy taken from the clash of future heroes with 20th-century urban realities, Star Trek IV was a box-office smash, satisfying mainstream audiences and hardcore Trek fans alike. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)

Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Neeson, Liam McGregor, Ewan Carson, Silas Daniels, Anthony Blessed, Brian Baker, Kenny Davis, Warwick Stamp, Terence Stamp, Terence Jackson, Samuel L.
Director: Lucas, George

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 133 Minutes

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Amazon.com "I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park. Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics. Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features The spectacular DVD release of Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace--arguably one of the best DVDs ever--will go a long way toward making it up to Star Wars fans who were disappointed by the theatrical release. (But, in case you're wondering, there's no option to delete Jar Jar.) The picture and sound are outstanding, it's loaded with bonuses, and even the menus are action-packed fun. Disc One includes the film with a commentary track by George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, editor Ben... read more Description Feature-Length Audio Commentary The creators of Episode I give you insight into the film like no one else can. Hear from: writer/director George Lucas, Producer Rick McCallum, sound designer and film co-editor Ben Burtt, ILM animation director Rob Coleman and ILM visual effects supervisors John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires. "The Beginning" Making Episode I Documentary Film Culled from over 600 hours of behind-the-scenes footage, this all-new hour-long documentary film takes you inside Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic during the making of The Phantom Menace. Sit in on the film's production process including: pre-production, casting, principal photography, editing, rough-cut reviews, visual effects meetings and other events that few people have had access to before. Exclusive Deleted Scenes and Documentary All-new documentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum and guests discussing the painstaking process every director must go through in determining what scenes make the final cut. View seven exclusive deleted sequences that were created specifically for this DVD and le

Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition)

Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: McGregor, Ewan Portman, Natalie Christensen, Hayden Baker, Kenny Smits, Jimmy Neeson, Liam Oz, Frank Portman, Natalie Portman, Natalie McDiarmid, Ian
Director: Lucas, George

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

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Amazon.com If The Phantom Menace was the setup, then Attack of the Clones is the plot-progressing payoff, and devoted Star Wars fans are sure to be enthralled. Ten years after Episode I, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator, resists the creation of a Republic Army to combat an evil separatist movement. The brooding Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is resentful of his stern Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), tormented by personal loss, and showing his emerging "dark side" while protecting his new love, Amidala, from would-be assassins. Youthful romance and solemn portent foreshadow the events of the original Star Wars as Count Dooku (a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, played by Christopher Lee) forges an alliance with the Dark Lord of the Sith, while lavish set pieces showcase George Lucas's supreme command of all-digital filmmaking. All of this makes Episode II a technological milestone, savaged by some critics as a bloated, storyless spectacle, but still qualifying as a fan-approved precursor to the pivotal events of Episode III. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones is a superior DVD, repeating many of the elements that made its predecessor, Episode I, The Phantom Menace, so good. The picture and sound are spectacular, helped immensely by the fact that the film was shot entirely in digital, making this the first live-action direct digital-to-digital DVD transfer. This version of the film was the one shown in digital-projection theaters; there are subtle differences from the standard theatrical version, such as... read more

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

Starring: Dien, Casper Van Richards, Denise Richards, Denise Busey, Jake Harris, Neil Patrick Brown, Clancy Gilliam, Seth Muldoon, Patrick Muldoon, Patrick McClanahan, Rue
Director: Verhoeven, Paul

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 129

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Amazon.com In the first and finest RoboCop movie, director Paul Verhoeven combined near-future science fiction with a keen sense of social satire--not to mention enough high-velocity violence to satisfy even the most voracious bloodlust. In Starship Troopers, Verhoeven and RoboCop cowriter Ed Neumeier take inspired cues from Robert Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel to create a special-effects extravaganza that functions on multiple levels of entertainment. The film might be called "Melrose Place in Space," with its youthful cast of handsome guys and gorgeous women who look like they've been recruited (and in some cases they were) from the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Viewers might focus on the incredible, graphically intense action sequences (definitely not for children) in which heavily armed forces from Earth go to off-world battle against vast hordes of alien "bugs" bent on planetary conquest. The attacking bugs are marvels of state-of-the-art special-effects technology, and the space battles are nothing short of spectacular. But Starship Troopers is more than a showcase for high-tech hardware and gigantic, flesh-ripping insects. Recalling his childhood in Holland during the Nazi occupation, Verhoeven turns this epic adventure into a scathingly funny satire of fascist propaganda, emphasizing Heinlein's underlying warning against the hazards of military conformity and the sickening realities of war. It's an action-packed joy ride if that's all you're looking for, but Verhoeven has a provocative agenda that makes Starship Troopers as smart as it is exciting. The DVD includes an above-average commentary by the director and Neumeier, several deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes documentary and promotional featurette, cast bios, production notes, and more. --Jeff Shannon DVD features You'll feel really spoiled by the DVD extras here. Five deleted scenes (approximately six minutes) pad out Carmen's love triangle problems, there are impressive screen tests for Denise Richards and Casper Van Dien (three and a half minutes), an eight-minute featurette zips by with key interviews and fact flinging, and a real treat is three scene developments with layers of FX work explained by Verhoeven. But what makes this essential is the director's enthusiastic commentary alongside... read more

Stripes

Stripes

Starring: Murray, Bill Candy, John Oates, Warren Soles, P.J. Candy, John Larroquette, John Young, Sean Wade, Dixie King Wade, Dixie King LeGault, Lance
Director: Reitman, Ivan

Rating: R
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 106 minutes

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Amazon.com Bill Murray was heading toward a career peak on the back of comedies such as this one from 1981, the second film in his ongoing collaboration with director Ivan Reitman (the two went on to make Ghostbusters). Murray plays a chronic loser who joins the army and fails to find a fan for his ironic sensibilities in his by-the-book sergeant (Warren Oates). When push comes to shove, however, the smirking hero takes charge of his ragtag unit and turns them into fighting machines, albeit to the rhythm of hit songs by Manfred Mann and Sly Stone. The film is occasionally funny, but it mostly plays like any one of a dozen underachieving comedies featuring players from Saturday Night Live and SCTV. --Tom Keogh

Stroker Ace

Stroker Ace

Starring: Reynolds, Burt Beatty, Ned Nabors, Jim Anderson, Loni Stevenson, Parker Byner, John Hill, Frank O. Peterson, Cassandra Peterson, Cassandra Stevens, Warren
Director: Needham, Hal

Rating: PG
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 3.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 96 minutes

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Description Burt Reynolds is a champion stock-car driver who races and romances in high-speed good-ol-boy style. Year: 1983 Director: Hal Needham Starring: Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Jim Nabors, Parker Stevenson

Summer Catch

Summer Catch

Starring: Jr., Freddie Prinze Biel, Jessica Biel, Jessica Mann, Gabriel Prinze, Freddie , Jr Valderrama, Wilmer Murphy, Brittany Davison, Bruce Davison, Bruce Valderrama, Wilmer
Director: Tollin, Michael

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 4.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 104 minutes

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Amazon.com Fans of Freddie Prinze Jr. will no doubt enjoy Summer Catch, which features Freddie running through sprinklers on a baseball diamond wearing nothing but an orange thong. Freddie plays Ryan, an aspiring pitcher at baseball camp. Ryan grew up in the New England town that hosts the camp, mowing lawns with his landscaping father, so he's torn between his local friends and his new baseball buddies. Meanwhile, he's being pursued by a rich and beautiful local girl with the odd name of Tenley (Jessica Biel), whose father doesn't approve of her cavorting with the lawn boy. Ryan's an incredibly talented pitcher--everyone agrees, especially his bartending brother who also wanted to play ball but lacked the gift--but he's haunted by fear of failure and the recent loss of his mother. The strong supporting actors (including Matthew Lillard, Brittany Murphy, Brian Dennehy, Fred Ward, and Bruce Davison) do their best, but the script doesn't help. --Bret Fetzer Description A rich girl whose family summers on Cape Cod has a romance with a local boy who hopes to become a major league baseball player.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Starring: Lange, Jessica Harris, Ed Wedgeworth, Ann Clennon, David Staley, James Basaraba, Gary Goodman, John Soles, P.J. Soles, P.J. Kelch, Caitlin
Director: Reisz, Karel

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

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Amazon.com essential video She wasn't a beauty queen, but country-music star Patsy Cline's voice was a thing of wonder: full-bodied, aching and dreamy at the same time. She came by the torchy emotions in her songs honestly, as shown in this biopic directed by Karel Reisz, rising from poor surroundings, literally forcing her talent on the Nashville establishment, all the while trying to survive an abusive marriage to a drinker. Though the script by Robert Getchell is standard Hollywood biography, the movie is more than watchable, thanks to a bone-deep performance by the always astonishing Jessica Lange and the counterpoint by Ed Harris as her loving but unreliable husband. The soundtrack features a basketful of Cline's hits, which Lange convincingly lip-synchs. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Starring: Witherspoon, Reese Lucas, Josh Dempsey, Patrick Place, Mary Kay Smart, Jean Witherspoon, Reese Lynskey, Melanie Embry, Ethan Embry, Ethan Lucas, Josh
Director: Tennant, Andy

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 109 minutes

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Amazon.com As formulaic, utterly inoffensive romantic comedies go, Sweet Home Alabama could be better, and could be worse. It's a variant of Julia Roberts's Something to Talk About, with all the same strengths and weaknesses, and Reese Witherspoon is definitely its saving grace. As an Alabama country girl turned hot New York fashion designer, Witherspoon finds the genuine emotions hidden under a blandly familiar plot, making her character's romantic indecisiveness seem not only credible but disarmingly appealing. She's just agreed to marry the Camelot-bred son (Patrick Dempsey) of New York's no-nonsense mayor (Candice Bergen), but first she has to officially divorce the husband (Josh Lucas) she left behind years earlier... only to discover that their love is stronger than ever. The rest, of course, is a foregone conclusion, but with a sharp supporting cast and a few charming moments, Sweet Home Alabama will satisfy anyone who prefers safe, reassuring entertainment. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Sweetest Thing, The (Unrated Version)

Sweetest Thing, The (Unrated Version)

Starring: Diaz, Cameron Applegate, Christina Jane, Thomas Blair, Selma Posey, Parker Adams, Lillian Ankrom, Herbert W. Anthony, Bryan Anthony, Bryan Asuma, Linda
Director: Kumble, Roger

Rating: Unrated
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 4.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min (unrated version)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Prudes, beware! Despite its tendency to take the comedic low road, The Sweetest Thing is a near-perfect product of the new-millennial Hollywood. That's a backhanded compliment, but as a fun-loving Yankee girl's answer to Bridget Jones's Diary, the mainstream pandering of Nancy Pimental's lucrative screenplay is undeniably effective. On the opening soundtrack, Macy Gray's "Sexual Revolution" is a perfect accompaniment to gyrating guy-dumper Christina (Cameron Diaz), whose fear of commitment is tested when she meets Peter (Thomas Jane) and knows he's Mr. Right. With supportive gal-pals Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair), she plots to snag the guy, and the movie's road-trip detour mines gut-busting gold from gags involving incriminating dress stains, oral sex, rotting food, garish clothing, and the simple joys of old-fashioned romance. Perfectly cast, raucously ribald, and conventionally charming, The Sweetest Thing is a schizophrenic comedy, but its dual personalities are irresistibly in synch. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

T2 - Extreme DVD

T2 - Extreme DVD

Starring: Schwarzenegger, Arnold Hamilton, Linda Furlong, Edward Patrick, Robert Morton, Joe Boen, Earl Merkerson, S. Epatha Guerra, Castulo Guerra, Castulo Goldstein, Jenette
Director: Cameron, James

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 8.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 152 min (director's cut) / USA:1

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video After he pushed the envelope of computer-generated special effects in The Abyss, director James Cameron turned this hotly anticipated sequel to Terminator into a well-written, action-packed showcase for advanced special effects and for one of the most invincible villains ever imagined. Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a legitimate sequel: there's more story to tell about a hulking, leather-clad android (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who arrives from the future to protect a rebellious teenager and future leader (Edward Furlong) from being killed by the tenacious T-1000 robot (Robert Patrick), whose liquid-metal construction makes him seemingly unstoppable. The fate of the future lies in the balance, with Linda Hamilton (who would later marry her director) reprising her role as the rugged woman whose son will change the course of history. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features Because the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition set the standard for feature-packed DVDs when it was released back in 2000, is there a need for an Extreme Edition? The simple answer is yes. The 2003 Extreme Edition features a brand-new, better-looking transfer and an extremely powerful and involving Dolby 5.1 EX soundtrack. (The Ultimate's DTS track might have had a bit more detail, but it had to be sacrificed due to disc space.) The Extreme Edition focuses on the extended version of the film, but... read more Description He said he'd be back. This time experience T2 like never before! Go EXTREME with the best picture and sound ever! ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER returns as the Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now he's one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. LINDA HAMILTON reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John's mother, a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy - the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. Co-written, produced and directed by James Cameron ("The Terminator," "Aliens," "Titanic), this visual tour de force is also a touching story of survival.

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

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines (Widescreen Edition)

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Schwarzenegger, Arnold Stahl, Nick Danes, Claire Stahl, Nick Danes, Claire Loken, Kristanna Famiglietti, Mark Harris, Moira Harris, Moira Lawford, Christopher
Director: Mostow, Jonathan

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com With a reported budget of $172 million, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines starts in high gear and never slows down. The apocalyptic "Judgment Day" of T2 was never prevented, only postponed: John Connor (Nick Stahl, replacing T2's Edward Furlong), now 22 and disconnected from society, is being pursued yet again, this time by the advanced T-X, a sleek "Terminatrix" (coldly expressionless Kristanna Loken) programmed to stop Connor from becoming the savior of humankind. Originally programmed as an assassin, a disadvantaged T-101 cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger, bidding fond farewell to his signature role) arrives from the future to join Connor and his old acquaintance Kate (Claire Danes) in thwarting the T-X's relentless pursuit. The plot presents a logical fulfillment of T2 prophesy, disposing of Connor's mother (Linda Hamilton is sorely missed) while computer-driven machines assume control, launching a nuclear nightmare that Connor must survive. With Breakdown and U-571 serving as worthy rehearsals for this cautionary epic of mass destruction, director Jonathan Mostow wisely avoids any stylistic connection to James Cameron's Terminator classics; instead he's crafted a fun, exciting popcorn thriller, humorous and yet still effectively nihilistic, and comparable to Jurassic Park III in returning the Terminator franchise to its potent B-movie roots. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features There's only one deleted scene in this two-disc DVD set, but it's a doozy. The "Sgt. Candy Scene" is a must-see and, unfortunately, the best thing on the second disc. The rushed HBO documentary shows us far more flash than substance. Better is the Visual Effects Lab that goes more in-depth with four sequences, although you need to wade through a hokey interface for each segment. Making your "own" effects isn't that much fun; you can only choose a few effects that change in two scenes. Anyone... read more Description A decade has passed since John Connor (NICK STAHL) helped prevent Judgment Day and save mankind from mass destruction. Now 25, Connor lives "off the grid" - no home, no credit cards, no cell phone and no job. No record of his existence. No way he can be traced by Skynet - the highly developed network of machines that once tried to kill him and wage war on humanity. Until?out of the shadows of the future steps the T-X (KRISTANNA LOKEN), Skynet's most sophisticated cyborg killing machine yet. Sent back through time to complete the job left unfinished by her predecessor, the T-1000, this machine is as relentless as her human guise is beautiful. Now Connor's only hope for survival is the Terminator (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER), his mysterious former assassin. Together, they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X and forestall the looming threat of Judgment Day?or face the apocalypse and the fall of civilization as we know it.

Terminator, The (Special Edition)

Terminator, The (Special Edition)

Starring: Schwarzenegger, Arnold Biehn, Michael Hamilton, Linda Winfield, Paul Henriksen, Lance Motta, Bess Boen, Earl Rossovich, Rick Rossovich, Rick Schepps, Shawn
Director: Cameron, James

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 7.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com essential video This is the film that cemented Schwarzenegger's spot in the action-brawn firmament, and it was well deserved. He's chilling as the futuristic cyborg who kills without fear, without love, without mercy. James Cameron's story and direction are pared to the bone and all the more creepy. But don't overlook the contributions of Linda Hamilton, who more than holds her own as the Terminator's would-be victim, Sarah Connor--thus creating, along with Sigourney Weaver in Alien, a new generation of rugged, clear-thinking female action stars. It's surprising how well this film holds up, and how its minimalist, malevolent violence is actually way scarier than that of its far more expensive, more effects-laden sequel. --Anne Hurley --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Timecop

Timecop

Starring: Damme, Jean-Claude Van Sara, Mia Silver, Ron Sara, Mia McGill, Bruce Reuben, Gloria Schombing, Jason Lawrence, Scott Lawrence, Scott Woolsey, Brent
Director: Hyams, Peter

Rating: R
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Pay no attention to the fact that Timecop is an insult to intelligent science fiction, and that it gradually succumbs to an acute case of the sillies. It is a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, after all, so check your brain at the door and enjoy this action flick set in the year 2004. Van Damme plays an officer in the Time Enforcement Police, assigned to prevent criminals from traveling to the past with the intent of altering the future. Ron Silver plays the evil politician who plots to retrieve a stockpile of gold from the Civil War to finance his latest campaign. The film is clever to a point, and entertaining if you can ignore the dumb jokes and inconsistencies. Best of all, it's an above-average vehicle for Van Damme (relatively speaking), who gets to kick some villainous butt and share a few scenes with Mia Sara, who plays the Timecop's wife. As Van Damme fans can tell you, this is one of the action star's better movies. --Jeff Shannon

Titan A.E.

Titan A.E.

Starring:
Director: Bluth, Don

Rating: PG
Category: Kids & Family
User Rating:
Running Time: 94

Color DigitalSound

Spectacular animation, combining two- and three-dimensional techniques with stunning special effects, is TITAN A.E.'s mark of distinction. Directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (ANASTASIA) make their first foray into science fiction with this film, which is the first U.S.-produced animated science fiction film in more than 20 years. The story is a classic bildungsroman, following the journey of Cale, a young man who holds the destiny of humankind in his hand--literally. Opening with the stunning destruction of earth as seen from space, the film launches the audience into a seamlessly imagined universe in which the alien Drej have turned humans into homeless ¿gr¿ searching desperately for a new world. Cale (voiced by Matt Damon) is haunted by the legacy of his father, who abandoned him but created the spaceship Titan, which holds the key to the new home of humankind. With the plan for Titan imprinted in his hand, Cale is swept from a life of lonely drudgery devoid of female companionship into the colorful crew of mysterious Captain Korso (voiced by Bill Pullman). On the Valkyrie ship, Cale enjoys Korso¿s crew, including the kind, beautiful, and expert woman pilot Akima (voiced by Drew Barrymore) along with a strange but fascinating band of aliens.

Titanic

Titanic

Starring: DiCaprio, Leonardo Winslet, Kate Zane, Billy Bates, Kathy Paxton, Bill Stuart, Gloria Fisher, Frances Hill, Bernard Hill, Bernard Warner, David
Director: Cameron, James

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 194 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com essential video When the theatrical release of James Cameron's Titanic was delayed from July to December of 1997, media pundits speculated that Cameron's $200 million disaster epic would cause the director's downfall, signal the end of the blockbuster era, and sink Paramount Studios as quickly as the ill-fated luxury liner had sunk on that fateful night of April 14, 1912. Some studio executives were confident, others horrified, but the clarity of hindsight turned Cameron into an Oscar-winning genius, a shrewd businessman, and one of the most successful directors in the history of motion pictures. Titanic would surpass the $1 billion mark in global box-office receipts (largely due to multiple viewings, the majority by teenage girls), win 11 Academy Awards including best picture and director, produce the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time, and make a global superstar of Leonardo DiCaprio. A bona fide pop-cultural phenomenon, the film has all the ingredients of a blockbuster (romance, passion, luxury, grand scale, a snidely villain, and an epic, life-threatening crisis), but Cameron's alchemy of these ingredients proved more popular than anyone could have predicted. His stroke of genius was to combine absolute authenticity with a pair of fictional lovers whose tragic fate would draw viewers into the heart-wrenching reality of the Titanic disaster. As starving artist Jack Dawson and soon-to-be-married socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater, DiCaprio and Kate Winslet won the hearts of viewers around the world, and their brief but never-forgotten love affair provides the humanity that Cameron needed to turn Titanic into an emotional experience. Present-day framing scenes (featuring Gloria Stuart as the 101-year-old Rose) add additional resonance to the story, and although some viewers proved vehemently immune to Cameron's manipulations, few can deny the production's impressive achievements. Although some of the computer-generated visual effects look artificial, others--such as the sunset silhouette of Titanic during its first evening at sea, or the climactic splitting of the ship's sinking hull--are state-of-the-art marvels. In terms of sets and costumes alone, the film is never less than astounding. More than anything else, however, the film's overwhelming popularity speaks for itself. Titanic is an event film and a monument to Cameron's risk-taking audacity, blending the tragic irony of the Titanic disaster with just enough narrative invention to give the historical event its fullest and most timeless dramatic impact. Titanic is an epic love story on par with Gone with the Wind, and like that earlier box-office phenomenon, it's a film for the ages. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape 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.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Starring: Balsam, Martin Robards, Jason Robards, Jason Balsam, Martin Yamamura, Sô Tono, Eijirô Cotten, Joseph Senda, Koreya Senda, Koreya Tamura, Takahiro
Director: Fleischer, Richard

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 144 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com "Sir, there's a large formation of planes coming in from the north, 140 miles, 3 degrees east." "Yeah? Don't worry about it." This is just one of the many mishaps chronicled in Tora! Tora! Tora! The epic film shows the bombing of Pearl Harbor from both sides in the historic first American-Japanese coproduction: American director Richard Fleischer oversaw the complicated production (the Japanese sequences were directed by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, after Akira Kurosawa withdrew from the film), wrestling a sprawling story with dozens of characters into a manageable, fairly easy-to-follow film. The first half maps out the collapse of diplomacy between the nations and the military blunders that left naval and air forces sitting ducks for the impending attack, while the second half is an amazing re-creation of the devastating battle. While Tora! Tora! Tora! lacks the strong central characters that anchor the best war movies, the real star of the film is the climactic 30-minute battle, a massive feat of cinematic engineering that expertly conveys the surprise, the chaos, and the immense destruction of the only attack by a foreign power on American soil since the Revolutionary War. The special effects won a well-deserved Oscar, but the film was shut out of every other category by, ironically, the other epic war picture of the year, Patton. --Sean Axmaker --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.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Starring: Ward, Fred Gross, Michael Gartin, Christopher Shaver, Helen Tubert, Marcelo Hernandez, Marco Rosario, José Ramón Jr., Thomas Rosales Jr., Thomas Rosales
Director: Wilson, S.S.

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com When a remote Mexican oilfield comes down with a nasty case of Graboids (for the uninitiated: giant carnivorous worms with tunneling abilities that put Bugs Bunny to shame), it's up to those veteran monster exterminators Burt and Earl (Michael Gross and the wonderful Fred Ward, reprising their roles from the first film) to save the day--and accumulate some much-needed payola in the process. But this time, the slimy critters may have a few new tricks up their...um, sleeves. Although denied a chance to appear in theaters, this unjustly neglected sequel delivers the same winning mixture of cornpone and gore that made the original Tremors a cult classic. A hoot-and-a-half for horror and SF fans, with some genuine scares and a welcome sense of humor. --Andrew Wright --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Tremors 3 - Back to Perfection

Tremors 3 - Back to Perfection

Starring: Gross, Michael Richards, Ariana Stewart, Charlotte Jacoby, Bobby Livingston, Barry Christian, Shawn Chuang, Susan Genaro, Tony Genaro, Tony Rieck, Billy
Director: Maddock, Brent

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 104 Minutes

Color Dolby

Description: Burt Gummer has been away from home too long. Upon returning to Perfection, Nevada, he realizes that the town of terror has been turned into a tourist trap exploiting the town's reputation as the home of giant killer sand worms. When a simulated attack becomes the real thing, Gummer dons combat gear, loads of ammo and weaponry, and his Atlanta Hawks cap to go back into battle against the very creatures that originally drove him away. Not only does he have to deal with Graboids mutating into the frightening Shrieker monsters, but this time a new, possibly indestructible worm mutation is threatening. Michael Gross reprises his role as the gruff Gummer. Description: Burt Gummer returns home to Perfection, Nevada, to find the Graboids have returned! This time, they're mutating - and not just into the nightmarish Shriekers - but into something FAR more lethal and virtually indestructable!

Tremors

Tremors

Starring: Bacon, Kevin Ward, Fred Carter, Finn Gross, Michael McEntire, Reba Jayne, Robert Stewart, Charlotte Genaro, Tony Genaro, Tony Marcus, Richard
Director: Underwood, Ron

Rating: PG-13
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Who would have guessed that this clever, fast-paced creature feature from 1990 would become a beloved miniclassic worthy of its own Collector's Edition DVD? Tremors didn't actually break any new ground (even though its tunneling worm monsters certainly did), but it revved up the classic monster-movie formulas of the 1950s with such energetic enthusiasm and humor that it made everything old seem new again. It's also got a cast full of enjoyable actors who clearly had a lot of fun making the film, and director Ron Underwood strikes just the right balance of comedy and terror as a band of small-town rednecks battles a lot of really nasty-looking giant worms. The special effects are great, the one-liners fly fast and furious between heroes Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward (and yes, that's country star Reba McEntire packin' awesome firepower), and it's all done with the kind of flair one rarely associates with goofy monster flicks like this. Followed by a direct-to-video sequel (Tremors: Aftershocks), this horror thriller was given the deluxe treatment for its DVD release. Bonus features include an original "making-of" documentary, previously unseen video showing the creation of the worm-creatures, outtakes from the film, the original ending not shown in theaters, theatrical trailers, and a gallery of production photographs. If you're a fan, consider this a must-have disc! --Jeff Shannon

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.

U-571 - Collector's Edition

U-571 - Collector's Edition

Starring: McConaughey, Matthew Paxton, Bill Keitel, Harvey Jovi, Jon Bon Keith, David Kretschmann, Thomas Weber, Jake Noseworthy, Jack Noseworthy, Jack Estes, Will
Director: Mostow, Jonathan

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

Color DTS Surround Sound

Amazon.com Taut and gripping, U-571 follows the exploits of a fictional team of World War II U.S. submariners who undertake a secret mission to capture a German Enigma machine to decode German documents. Writer-director Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown) tells an intense, economical tale, reminiscent of the best classic war films, while infusing it with modern sentiments. Spring 1942: A crew of young submarine sailors are on a much-needed 48-hour liberty when they're suddenly called together and engaged in an expedition. At the helm are Lieutenant Commander Mike Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), Lieutenant Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey), and Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel). Other pivotal crew members include Tyler's Annapolis pal Lieutenant Pete Emmett (Jon Bon Jovi, proving his acting mettle) and Lieutenant Hirsch (Jake Weber), who, along with Marine Major Coonan (David Keith), organizes the mission. As much of the movie takes place in a submarine during WWII, there are inevitable comparisons with the technical masterpiece Das Boot, but Mostow's masterfully shot tale can hold its own. McConaughey's Tyler is believably earnest as he comes to grips with the reality, tragedy, and consequence of being in command. While this explosion-filled film consistently maintains its tense pace (as did the underrated Breakdown), it also presents with surprising restraint a genuine human story--and the remarkable journey of an unexpected hero. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

Varsity Blues

Varsity Blues

Starring: Beek, James Van Der Voight, Jon Voight, Jon Walker, Paul Lester, Ron Caan, Scott Lineback, Richard Larter, Ali Larter, Ali Swinton, Eliel
Director: Robbins, Brian

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 100 min

Color Stereo

Amazon.com This MTV-produced drama only looks like an adaptation of H.G. Bissinger's expert dissertation of the church of high school football, Friday Night Lights. The energetic, breezy movie has none of the seriousness of Bissinger's book except on its basic level: in West Texas, high school football is life. Into this world comes Jonathan "Mox" Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a brainy, uncharacteristic jock who sits on the sideline reading Slaughterhouse Five until the West Caanan High School Coyotes All-Texas QB goes down with an injury. Suddenly the spotlight and the tyrannical ways of coach Bud Kilmer (another ace evil turn by Jon Voight) are on Mox and the light is white-hot. There have been several films that show tough, honest kids doing their best against the worst of small-town coaches (Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves, for one) but Varsity Blues, in its glossy style, takes a more curious turn: studying what happens when celebrity comes to the well-adjusted high schooler. Mox starts seeing the rewards of stardom: a six-pack under the counter, acceptance in school, even easy sex from the girl who goes after the starting quarterback (Ali Larter). Will Mox win the big game? Will he bend to the wills of his coach? Will he stay with his old girlfriend? The questions are easy enough to answer, but the film has an ace up its sleeve: Van Der Beek has the stuff to carry the movie. Fans of TV's Dawson's Creek will see a slightly grittier dreamboat here, and Van Der Beek's care with the role makes the most ludicrous parts--including a trip to a strip club--manage a certain aura. --Doug Thomas

View From The Top

View From The Top

Starring: Applegate, Christina Bergen, Candice Lowe, Rob Paltrow, Gwyneth Ruffalo, Mark Preston, Kelly Lowe, Rob Slater, Christian Slater, Christian Tobolowsky, Stephen
Director: Barreto, Bruno

Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 87

Color Mono

This breezy comedy from director Bruno Barreto (FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER) stars Gwyneth Paltrow as Donna, a young woman who dreams of escape from her rural Nevada home town. Her life changes when she sees Sally Weston (Candice Bergen) on TV talking about her book, "My Life in the Sky," and her fabulous career traveling the world as a flight attendant. Soon, the plucky Donna has a job at a small Nevada airline that caters to gamblers and drunks and, along with fellow trainees Sherry (Kelly Preston) and Christine (Christina Applegate), dreams of working the international routes on a large airline. That opportunity arises when Royalty Airlines holds a job fair where the girls are drilled by Mike Myers' hilarious former airline attendant, John Whitney. Soon, Donna and Christine find themselves in training at Royalty's home base with the manic Whitney where the ambitious Donna makes it clear that she's headed for the international routes by acing all of Whitney's tests. However, Donna finds that success doesn't come without its pitfalls when she ends up stationed in Cleveland where she strikes up a romance while still dreaming about jetting around Europe as a first class flight attendant. Theatrical release: March 21, 2003

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / Fantastic Voyage

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / Fantastic Voyage

Starring: Pidgeon, Walter Welch, Raquel Pleasence, Donald Fontaine, Joan Burfield, Joan Eden, Barbara Lorre, Peter Avalon, Frankie Avalon, Frankie O'Brien, Edmond
Director: Allen, Irwin

Rating: PG
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 3 Hours 27 Minutes

Color Stereo

Amazon.com Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea gets a dose of On the Beach in Irwin Allen's visually impressive but scientifically silly Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. While the Seaview, the world's most advanced experimental submarine, maneuvers under the North Pole, the Van Allen radiation belt catches fire, giving the concept "global warming" an entirely new dimension. As the Earth broils in temperatures approaching 170 degrees F, Walter Pidgeon's maniacally driven Admiral Nelson hijacks the Seaview and plays tag with the world's combined naval forces on a race to the South Pacific, where he plans to extinguish the interstellar fire with a well-placed nuclear missile. But first he has to fight a mutinous crew, an alarmingly effective saboteur, not one but two giant squid attacks, and a host of design flaws that nearly cripple the mission (note to Nelson: think backup generators). Barbara Eden shimmies to Frankie Avalon's trumpet solos in the most formfitting naval uniform you've ever seen, fish-loving Peter Lorre plays in the shark tank, gloomy religious fanatic Michael Ansara preaches Armageddon, and Joan Fontaine looks very uncomfortable playing an armchair psychoanalyst. It's all pretty absurd, but Allen pumps it up with larger-than-life spectacle and lovely miniature work. --Sean Axmaker Fantastic Voyage 2001: A Space Odyssey took the world on a mind-bending trip to outer space, but Fantastic Voyage is the original psychedelic inner-space adventure. When a brilliant scientist falls into a coma with an inoperable blood clot in the brain, a surgical team embarks on a top-secret journey to the center of the mind in a high-tech military submarine shrunk to microbial dimensions. Stephen Boyd stars as a colorless commander sent to keep an eye on things (though his eyes stay mostly on shapely medical assistant Raquel Welch), while Donald Pleasance is suitably twitchy as the claustrophobic medical consultant. The science is shaky at best, but the imaginative spectacle is marvelous: scuba-diving surgeons battle white blood cells, tap the lungs to replenish the oxygen supply, and shoot the aorta like daredevil surfers. The film took home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Director Richard Fleischer, who turned Disney's 1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea into one of the most riveting submarine adventures of all time, creates a picture so taut with cold-war tensions and cloak-and-dagger secrecy that niggling scientific contradictions (such as, how do miniaturized humans breathe full-sized air molecules?) seem moot. --Sean Axmaker

Waking Up In Reno

Waking Up In Reno

Starring: Swayze, Patrick Thornton, Billy Bob Richardson, Natasha Theron, Charlize Briscoe, Brent Federman, Wayne Orlando, Tony Chapman, Kelsey Chapman, Kelsey Ross, Chelcie
Director: Brady, Jordan

Rating: R (MPAA)
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 91

Color Digitally Mastered

Billy Bob Thornton, Natasha Richardson, Charlize Theron, and Patrick Swayze star in this redneck road trip comedy that is a twisted mixture of the 1969 wife-swapping classic BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE and 1997's VEGAS VACATION. Lonnie Earl (Thornton) is a self-centered Little Rock, Arkansas car dealer who is married to Darlene (Richardson). Lonnie is looking for a little excitement, so together with his dimwitted best friend Roy (Swayze) and Roy's wife Candy (Theron), the foursome decide to make a trip to Reno, Nevada for a monster truck extravaganza. They grab a fully loaded S.U.V. from Lonnie's lot, fill up the cooler with Pabst Blue Ribbon, and hit the road. However, what initially begins as a fun-loving good time for the seemingly happy married couples quickly takes a turn for the worse. While newlyweds Candy and Roy are desperately trying to get pregnant, it occurs to the group that Candy might already be pregnant--with Lonnie's baby. Together Thornton, Swayze, Richardson, and Theron are riotously funny in this down-home comedy made all the more poignant with its big hair, snakeskin boots, and backwater accents. Theatrical release: October 25, 2002 (LIMITED)

Waterboy, The

Waterboy, The

Starring: Sandler, Adam Bates, Kathy Balk, Fairuza Winkler, Henry Reed, Jerry Jr., Larry Gilliard Clark, Blake Dante, Peter Dante, Peter Whiting, Al
Director: Coraci, Frank

Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy
User Rating: 5.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 90 min

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Amazon.com Adam Sandler vaulted into the $20-million-salary stratosphere with this, his second $100-million hit in 1998--a movie that further shows just how deeply embedded he is in the Jerry Lewis tradition of idiot comedy. He plays Bobby Boucher, a backwoods Cajun and a mentally challenged individual with a fixation on water: specifically, on serving the coolest, most refreshing H2O available to the college football team he has served since he was an adolescent. But when he's fired from his position, he takes up a similar job with a lowlier college team coached by neurotic Henry Winkler. One day at practice, Bobby loses his temper and delivers a bone-shaking tackle to the starting quarterback; before he can say, "blackened crawdads," he's the star of the team and leading it to a bowl game. But it's all against the wishes of his overprotective mother (Kathy Bates), who wants to keep her Bobby to herself--and that includes keeping him away from the floozy girlfriend (Fairuza Balk) who's sweet on him. There are two kinds of people in this world: People who find Sandler funny and people who view him as a neon-lit symbol of the decline of popular taste. You know who you are and, based on that, you can decide whether this is a movie for you. --Marshall Fine

We Were Soldiers

We Were Soldiers

Starring: Gibson, Mel Pepper, Barry Klein, Chris Kinnear, Greg Russell, Keri Stowe, Madeleine Elliott, Sam Duong, Don Duong, Don Bagnell, Robert
Director: Wallace, Randall

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 140 min / Germany:126 min (cut)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Based on the book by Lt. Col. Harold Moore (ret.) and journalist Joseph Galloway, We Were Soldiers offers a dignified reminder that the Vietnam War yielded its own crop of American heroes. Departing from Hollywood's typically cynical treatment of the war, writer-director Randall Wallace focuses on the first engagement of American soldiers with the North Vietnamese enemy in November 1965. Moore (played with colorful nuance by Mel Gibson) and nearly 400 inexperienced troopers from the U.S. Air Cavalry were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army soldiers, and the film re-creates this brutal firefight with graphic authenticity, while telling the parallel story of grieving army wives back home. While UPI reporter Galloway (Barry Pepper) risks his life to chronicle the battle, Wallace offers a balanced (though somewhat fictionalized) perspective while eliciting laudable performances from an excellent cast. Like the best World War II dramas of the 1940s, We Were Soldiers pays tribute to brave men while avoiding the pitfalls of propaganda. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Whale Rider

Whale Rider

Starring: Castle-Hughes, Keisha Paratene, Rawiri Haughton, Vicky Curtis, Cliff Roa, Grant Taumaunu, Mana Clarke, Rawinia Emile, Taungaroa Emile, Taungaroa Wharekawa, Mabel
Director: Caro, Niki

Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Category: Drama
User Rating: 8.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 105

Color Mono

New Zealand's Maori culture is the focus of WHALE RIDER, the powerful coming-of-age tale of Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), a 13-year-old girl who feels destined to become leader and chief to her tribe although that role has always been reserved for males. In part, the role is her birthright, as her twin brother died in childbirth, and she survived. However, her grandfather, Koro (Rawiri Paratene), who is the current chief, stands firmly in the way of Pai's dream. He is extremely traditional and is superstitious that even Pai's curiosity in learning to be chief could upset the ancestors (who are the whales themselves). Pai's grandmother, Flowers (Vicky Haughton), defies Koro to support Pai, and her uncle, Rawiri (Grant Roa), trains her in the chants and battle techniques she needs. The rest is intuition, and Pai has loads of it--enough to communicate with the ancestors, and call them to her for help and guidance. Weaving family life, cultural tradition, and an ancient myth into a contemporary story, WHALE RIDER is a tender tale. As Pai, first-time actress Castle-Hughes is a small but impressive warrior, perfectly balancing kid naivety with adult bravery. The traditional costumes, language, chants, and personality of the Maori people come through well, while the tale is clearly a modern fiction, based on a novel by Witi Ihimaera. Beautiful and dramatic New Zealand landscapes and dreamy underwater whale photography cement the formula of the film and add to its magic. Theatrical Release: JUNE 6, 2003 (LA/NY)

What a Girl Wants (Widescreen Edition)

What a Girl Wants (Widescreen Edition)

Starring: Bynes, Amanda Firth, Colin Preston, Kelly Atkins, Eileen Pryce, Jonathan Firth, Colin Preston, Kelly Chancellor, Anna Chancellor, Anna Harper, Tom
Director: Gordon, Dennie

Rating: PG
Category: Drama
User Rating: 5.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Fresh-faced Nickelodeon starlet Amanda Bynes stars in What a Girl Wants as Daphne, a 17-year-old girl in New York City who's spent her life pining for her absent father, a British lord named Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth) whom her mother (Kelly Preston) met during wilder days in Morocco. Tired of waiting for him to come to her, she decides to head to London where Dashwood is launching his political career--which could be derailed by her fun-loving, free-spirited attitude. Will her father choose the daughter he's never known or a position in Parliament? The plot of What a Girl Wants is ridiculously contrived, but the movie rides on the chemistry between Bynes and Firth. When, under Daphne's influence, Dashwood tries to break out of his stuffy shell and rediscover his inner rebel, the movie really starts to have fun. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Coming-of-Age Comedy. Daphne (Amanda Bynes), a spirited young American girl, travels to London in search of her long-lost father (Colin Firth), an influential aristocratic politician. As Daphne attempts to prove that love can conquer all, her impulsive behavior creates an uproar in high society, where her unique style threatens to undermine the relationship she has waited her whole life to experience.

When Trumpets Fade

When Trumpets Fade

Starring: Whaley, Frank Eldard, Ron Yoakam, Dwight Donovan, Jeffrey Donovan, Martin Futterman, Dan Petrarca, Steven Yoakam, Dwight Yoakam, Dwight Olyphant, Timothy
Director: Irvin, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 95 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com First broadcast on HBO in June of 1998--shortly before the theatrical release of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan--this World War II drama offers an equally intimate and devastating study of combat and its tragic aftermath. Set in Germany during the closing days of the war, the film uses a little-known episode of U.S. military history--the bloody battle of the Hurtigen Forest--as the backdrop for the story of a battle-weary private (Ron Eldard) who is the only surviving member of his platoon. Despite his request for dismissal on the grounds of mental disability and shell-shock, he is considered a promising soldier by his superiors, promoted to sergeant, and assigned to command a fresh platoon of young, inexperienced soldiers. The cycle of war continues, and the film ends as it began--with one soldier carrying a mortally wounded comrade from a scene of devastating loss. A veteran of several war films, director John Irvin emphasizes the gritty, physically exhausting realities of combat with keen attention to detail on location in Hungary. This film is decidedly downbeat (don't look for any Spielbergian uplift here), but its depiction of warfare is undeniably powerful, earning praise for Irvin and HBO for tackling such an uncompromising project. --Jeff Shannon

White Squall

White Squall

Starring: Bridges, Jeff Goodall, Caroline Savage, John Goodall, Caroline Savage, John Sisto, Jeremy Phillippe, Ryan Lascher, David Lascher, David Marsden, Jason
Director: Scott, Ridley

Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

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Amazon.com essential video It's a pity this oceangoing adventure wasn't fully appreciated during its theatrical release in 1996, if only because its climactic storm sequence (hence the movie's title) was awesome on the big screen and inevitably less impressive on video. Mixed reviews also curtailed its box-office potential, but as you might expect from Ridley Scott--the director of Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise--this is a beautifully photographed movie that will thrill anyone who is drawn to the romance and danger of the open sea. The story is a rite-of-passage adventure for a group of high school boys who spend their senior year as the crew-in-training on the Albatross, a sailing vessel skippered by an experienced sailor and schoolmaster (Jeff Bridges) who teaches hard lessons of teamwork and individual responsibility. As they sail to the tip of South America and back, the young men face many challenges that will shape their character, in addition to the carnal pleasures of shore leave in exotic ports of call. It's a traditional story, and Scott doesn't bring anything particularly new to this sailboat variation of Dead Poets Society and Scent of a Woman. But as a coming-of-age drama White Squall is professionally crafted and filled with vital energy, featuring a talented cast of newcomers (led by Scott Wolf of TV's Party of Five) who rise to the demands of this rousing and life-changing adventure. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Wild Things

Wild Things

Starring: Dillon, Matt Bacon, Kevin Campbell, Neve Richards, Denise Rubin-Vega, Daphne Murray, Bill Russell, Theresa Wagner, Robert Wagner, Robert Perry, Jeff
Director: McNaughton, John

Rating: R
Category: Drama
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

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Amazon.com Wild Things is the kind of lurid, trashy thriller that you'll either dive into with unabashed pleasure or turn away from in prudish disgust; it's entirely your choice, but we suggest the former option since it's obviously much more fun. The plot's so convoluted it's hardly worth describing, except to say that it's set in humid Florida and involves a respected high school teacher (Matt Dillon--yes, Matt Dillon as a teacher!) who is faced with accusations of rape by a student (Denise Richards, from Starship Troopers) who had been giving him the kind of attention most people would consider improper for such a "nice" young lady. Another student (Neve Campbell) raises a similar charge against the teacher, and that's when a police officer (Kevin Bacon) begins to investigate the allegations. Just when you think the movie's gone overboard with its shameless sex and absurdly twisted plot, in drops Bill Murray as an unscrupulous lawyer (of course) to spice things up with insurance scams and welcomed comic relief. As directed by John McNaughton (who has a way of making just the right moves with this kind of film noir melodrama), Wild Things is a bona fide guilty pleasure--the kind of movie you may be ashamed to enjoy, but what the heck, you'll enjoy it anyway. --Jeff Shannon

Windtalkers

Windtalkers

Starring: Cage, Nicolas Beach, Adam Stormare, Peter Emmerich, Noah Ruffalo, Mark Holt, Brian Van Henderson, Martin Willie, Roger Willie, Roger Slater, Christian
Director: Woo, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min (director's cut)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Having earned Hollywood's respect with blockbusters like Face/Off and Mission: Impossible 2, Hong Kong action master John Woo lends his signature style to serious World War II action in Windtalkers. Recognizing the long-forgotten contribution of Navajo "code talkers," whose use of an unbreakable Navajo-language radio code was instrumental in defeating the Japanese, the film serves as an admirable tribute to those Native American heroes. Unfortunately, it falls short of importance with its standard-issue story about a battle-scarred sergeant (Nicolas Cage) assigned to protect a code-talker (Adam Beach, from Smoke Signals), with unspoken orders to kill him if Japanese capture is imminent. This allows for an involving drama of hard-won friendship, but cardboard supporting characters suffer in the shadow of nonstop action that's as repetitious as it is technically impressive. Windtalkers is best appreciated as a more substantial vehicle for Woo's trademark ballet of bullets. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Wing and a Prayer

Wing and a Prayer

Starring: Don Ameche Dana Andrews
Director: Henry Hathaway

Rating: NR
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 minutes

Black & White Dolby Digital

An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their individual worries and concerns, but become increasingly frustrated at their avoidance of combat, for reasons unknown to them. But in the end, all get their chance to fight.

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