Ric's Home DVD List

10 Things I Hate About You
Ledger, Heath, Stiles, Julia, Comedy : General

Amazon.com It's, like, Shakespeare, man! This good-natured and likeable update of The Taming of the Shrew takes the basics of Shakespeare's farce about a surly wench and the man who tries to win her and transfers it to modern-day Padua High School. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is a sullen, forbidding riot grrrl who has a blistering word for everyone; her sunny younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is poised for high school stardom. The problem: overprotective and paranoid Papa Stratford (a dryly funny Larry Miller) won't let Bianca date until boy-hating Kat does, which is to say never. When Bianca's pining suitor Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets wind of this, he hires the mysterious, brooding Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to loosen Kat up. Of course, what starts out as a paying gig turns to true love as Patrick discovers that underneath her brittle exterior, Kat is a regular babe. The script, by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, is sitcom-funny with peppy one-liners and lots of smart teenspeak; however, its cleverness and imagination doesn't really extend beyond its characters' Renaissance names and occasional snippets of real Shakespearean dialogue. What makes the movie energetic and winning is the formula that helped make She's All That such a big hit: two high-wattage stars who look great and can really act. Ledger is a hunk of promise with a quick grin and charming Aussie accent, and Stiles mines Kat's bitterness and anger to depths usually unknown in teen films; her recitation of her English class sonnet (from which the film takes its title) is funny, heartbreaking, and hopelessly romantic. The imperious Allison Janney (Primary Colors) nearly steals the film as a no-nonsense guidance counselor secretly writing a trashy romance novel. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

40 Days and 40 Nights
Shannyn Sossamon, Vinessa Shaw, Comedies

Matt (Josh Hartnett) is having a hard time moving on six months after his relationship with bombshell Nicole (Vinessa Shaw) ended. He finds himself involved in empty physical relationships that are unfulfilling and ultimately send him fleeing. His solution is to give up sex and anything sexual for the 40 days of Lent. Initially, Matt is empowered by his decision--until he meets stunning Erica (Shannyn Sossamon), the girl of his dreams, at the local laundromat. Erica doesn't know about Matt's vow of abstinence, which impacts their budding relationship. To complicate matters more, Matt's co-workers are determined to literally put their two cents in as well by establishing a betting pool about how long Matt can keep his vow. Hartnett is endearing as the clumsy Matt, who desperately wants to do the right thing. Griffin Dunne stars as Matt's sex-starved boss. Also starring Paulo Costanzo and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the film was produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, the team that made NOTTING HILL and BRIDGET JONES' DIARY, and directed by Michael Lehmann (HEATHERS). The city of San Francisco provides a beautiful backdrop to this modern look at love that includes a touch of crude teen-movie humor. -- (Muze Description)1228110 "...40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS gets better as it goes along mostly because of Josh Hartnett, with his hurtin' James Dean stare, does something unexpectedly charming..." -- (Review)1232301 "...Hartnett is the film's star through and through, and he reveals his versatility..." -- (Review)1237797 "...Hartnett is well cast..." -- (Review)1239471 Theatrical release: March 1, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1240800 "...Funny, sexy and silly....Shaw sizzles....[The] song-dominated score is lively..." -- (Review)1241266 "...Hartnett shows here a breezy command of his charming, likable character. It is a reminder of his talent and versatility..." -- (Review)1248635

 

8 Mile
Basinger, Kim, Murphy, Brittany, Dramas

Controversial rapper Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) makes his big screen debut with 8 MILE, a bracing drama directed by the increasingly audacious Curtis Hanson. Set in 1995 in the bleak, urban battle zone of Detroit, the film follows the struggles of a young man who is desperate to make a better life for himself. Jimmy Smith, Jr., better known as Rabbit, is destined for a life of squalor. Living in a cramped trailer with his deadbeat mom (Kim Basinger), Rabbit works in a factory to make ends meet. His only outlet is hip-hop. Possessing a talent for freestyle rapping, Rabbit still hasn't managed to unleash his true potential. But his best friend, Future (Mekhi Phifer), is determined to make that happen. Future forces Rabbit to enter a freestyle battle that he blew the week before, giving him another chance at redemption. Hanson's stellar portrait of lower-class urban disillusionment, shot with uncompromisingly gritty realism by Rodrigo Prieto, proves that the issue is no longer about race, it's about money. Eminem delivers a bold performance as the troubled youngster who is still trying to find his place in a harsh, cruel world. -- (Muze Description)1244804 "...Eminem projects the downbeat sex appeal and scurrilous, dead-eyed yearning of a rap-world James Dean....It's a movie of catchy rebel-underdog power..." -- (Review)1253752 "...Eminem shows real screen presence....8 MILE hits hard and provocatively close to home..." -- (Review)1255484 "...Eminem possesses a furtive instinct as a performer..." -- (Review)1256319 "...8 MILE qualifies as a cinematic event by tapping into the roots of Eminem and the fury and feeling that inform his rap....Eminem wins by a knockout..." -- (Review)1259401 "...The movie is a success on its own terms because the director doesn't condescend to pop music..." -- (Review)1259805 "...The rap sequences are shot and edited with the excitement of a crisply broadcast sporting event..." -- (Review)1259825 "...Eminem is magnetic playing a version of himself....Basinger is entirely credible..." -- (Review)1265719 Theatrical release: November 8, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1265956 "...An illuminating addition to that hall-of-funhouse-mirrors that is Eminem's persona..." -- (Review)1268650

 

A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Dramas

Director Ron Howard delivers his finest effort with his extraordinary film, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2001. Based loosely on Sylvia Nasar's acclaimed biography of mathematician John Forbes Nash, the film is a compelling look at one man's genius, his debilitating mental illness, and the fine line between the two. A BEAUTIFUL MIND begins with Nash (Russell Crowe) at Princeton, where he struggles to think of an original idea, and the stroke of genius that will make him matter. Nash is eccentric, socially awkward, and extremely competitive. Eventually, he finds the inspiration for his innovative and influential work on game theory. He's chosen for a post at MIT, which includes crucial code-breaking work for the US government. There, he meets a beautiful and brilliant student, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly). They marry but their happiness is threatened, as Nash, belatedly diagnosed as schizophrenic, descends into madness. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman cannily condenses Nash's story, and the film manages to dramatize both Nash's mathematical brilliance and his schizophrenia in a compellingly visual manner. Crowe delivers a strong performance, and has real chemistry with Connelly. The two make the film's story about the power of love believable and moving. -- (Muze Description)1219668 "...Mr. Crowe, with his superhuman powers of concentration, shows us a man who dwells almost entirely in an inner world, and he dramatizes that inwardness as if nobody were watching..." -- (Review)1226695 "...[Featuring] dynamic performances and extraordinary actor chemistry..." -- (Review)1226711 "...Director and screenwriter have found a way to convey the sensation of schizophrenia from the inside out....[An] important movie..." -- (Review)1227276 "...[Crowe] rises to the challenge of the role with fearless integrity. He's electrifying..." -- (Review)1227375 "...Consistently engrossing....This serious-minded but lively film is distinguished by an exceptional performance by Russell Crowe..." -- (Review)1228241 "...A BEAUTIFUL MIND's greatest strength is a beautiful performance by Russell Crowe..." -- (Review)1228562 "...From the instant Crowe appears, it's clear this is to be a performance of faultless verisimilitude....Connelly's heart-rending performance is Best Supporting Actress material..." -- (Review)1233514 Theatrical release: December 25, 2001 (Limited) January 4, 2002 (Expanded) -- (Muze Annotation)1235533 "...Crowe brings the character to life....[He] has an uncanny ability to modify his look to fit a role..." -- (Review)1248988

 

A Few Good Men
Nicholson, Jack, Cruise, Tom, Drama

When two marines are charged with murdering a member of their platoon during an unsanctioned disciplinary action in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the armed forces hire a lieutenant they believe is a lightweight defense attorney. Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) prides himself in having successfully plea-bargained every one of his 44 cases and would just as well make this one his 45th. However, ambitious internal affairs officer Lieutenant Commander Jo Ann Galloway (Demi Moore) smells a rat in the form of a hushed-up practice known as Code Red and, furious at Kaffee’s halfhearted efforts, gets hired as the younger cadet’s defender. Aided by Lt. Com. Galloway’s prodding, Lt. Kaffee begins to realize the rottenness of the whole affair and sets to take on the whole Guantanamo Bay marine corps and its codes, a decision that makes inevitable a ferocious head-to-head showdown with an immovable force. Irascible Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson, in one of the most striking performances of his fabled career) heads the Cuban marine base and is on the cusp of appointment to the National Security Council. Jessup embodies both the necessity and the evil in necessary evil and does not take lightly to anyone questioning his or his corps’ methods. Aaron Sorkin's script is adapted from his own gripping award-winning Broadway play and is skillfully brought to the screen by director Rob Reiner. -- (Muze Description)1041907 In Rob Reiner's A FEW GOOD MEN, the military hires a young defense attorney to handle a controversial case. However, when a headstrong lieutenant commander joins the proceedings, the tension dramatically rises. -- (Synopsis)1105718 "...A FEW GOOD MEN has Oscar written all over it....Nicholson is a marvel - fierce, funny and coiled to spring..." -- (Review)1158526 "...A sure-fire hit....Cruise is all confidence and ease..." -- (Review)1161747 "...Jack Nicholson's most caustic performance ever....He's the greatest of MEN's good actors..." -- (Review)1170850 "You want answers?"--Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) "I think I'm entitled."--Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise) "You want answers?"--Col. Jessup "I want the truth!"--Lt. Kaffee "You can't handle the truth!"--Col. Jessup -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1190940 A FEW GOOD MEN received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor--Jack Nicholson. Christopher Guest, an actor known for his comic turns in Rob Reiner's THIS IS SPINAL TAP and THE PRINCESS BRIDE, appears here in a rare dramatic role. -- (Muze Annotation)1190947 "...Cruise is well-cast and effective....Demi Moore is attractive and determined..." -- (Review)1270318 "...Tom Cruise gives the best performance of his career..." -- (Review)1274659

 

A Cinderella Story
Duff, Hilary, Murray, Chad Michael, Comedies

Hilary Duff plays Sam, a good-hearted Cinderella stuck in the fairy-tale-gone-wrong atmosphere of modern-day Los Angeles. Enslaved by an evil, BOTOX-junky step-mom (a hilarious Jennifer Coolidge) Sam is forced to scrub floors at her late father's diner, thus earning the eternal disdain of the snooty popular kids in school. Luckily she has a friend in artsy nerd Carter (Dan Byrd), and a text-message romance with some poetic schoolmate she's never met. She also has a fairy godmother in the sweet diner manager (Regina King), who helps Sam get decked out and disguised for the Halloween dance. At the dance, she discovers her prince is one of the popular kids, Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray). Happily ever after seems like a long shot, though, because Austin is burdened by pressures at school and at home, and Sam can't shake her "diner girl" inferiority complex. This fairy tale comes with plenty of wit, style, and heart. It moves along too fast to be sappy, and broadly razzes the shallowness of popular kids, their stupid parents, and whiny siblings in a way that should balm the unhealed wounds of anyone who's ever been to high school. Byrd makes a winning and somewhat cool nerd, Murray shows princely posture as the tortured poet-quarterback, and Duff firmly establishes herself as a first-rate young actress with luminous major-league screen presence. Theatrical Release Date: July 16, 2004

 

A Soldier's Story
Jr., Howard E. Rollins, Caesar, Adolph, Drama

Amazon.com essential video Director Norman Jewison's (In the Heat of the Night) 1984 adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the ramifications of racism and loyalty through the prism of blacks in the military, revealed through a murder mystery set in the 1940s deep South. Howard E. Rollins (Ragtime) plays a military investigator assigned to the murder of a drill instructor (Adolph Caesar) in charge of a black platoon. Under pressure from his superiors to wrap his investigation up quickly, Rollins instead delves deeply into the relationships between the despised drill instructor and his men, uncovering lies and animosity, and confronting the question of what it means to be black in a white man's world. Rollins is a riveting, stoic, and emotional lead, and Denzel Washington makes an early appearance as a soldier with a deep grudge against the drill instructor and a deep mistrust of Rollins' investigator. A powerfully written story that makes the most of its large and impressive ensemble cast, A Soldier's Story is a deeply affecting and worthwhile film. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

About a Boy
Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Comedies

ABOUT A BOY, directed by Chris and Paul Weitz, stars Hugh Grant as Will Freeman, a proudly self-absorbed 38-year-old Londoner. Living lavishly off the royalties from a hit Christmas song penned by his father, Will excels at nothing except doing nothing, which, in his case, includes shopping for CDs and having his hair "professionally disheveled." When Will makes a guilt-free exit from a brief fling with a single mom, he decides to crash a meeting of S.P.A.T. (Single Parents, Alone Together) in pursuit of more single mothers. This scheme leads to meeting Suzie (Victoria Smurfit) and Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the socially awkward 12-year-old son of her flaky best friend, Fiona (Toni Collette). A series of odd situations leads to Will and Marcus becoming unlikely friends, and gradually both of their lives start to change for the better. However, when Will falls for the lovely Rachel (Rachel Weisz) and attempts to pass Marcus off as his son, things go awry. In order to win the heart of Rachel and make amends with Marcus, Will must finally grow up--and completely embarrass himself in front of hundreds of people. Reveling in its characters' quirks and flaws, ABOUT A BOY is a smart, funny, and fast-paced comedy, meticulously crafted by the Weitz brothers. Grant, in possibly the best performance of his career, wisely covers his patented charm with a shallow facade, and Hoult avoids being too cute or precocious; instead, the two actors develop believable characters that grudgingly warm up to each other. Collette is suitably bizarre as a depressed hippie mother, and Weisz provides excellent support in her relatively small role. However, it's clear from the title that this film is about the boys. And that includes Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) who contributes an outstanding soundtrack that recalls Simon and Garfunkel's work on THE GRADUATE. Given Nick Hornby's excellent source material, ABOUT A BOY could have easily been an enjoyable movie, but in the hands of its talented collaborators, it's a truly exceptional tale. -- (Muze Description)1234484 "...The script contains an arresting mixture of uproarious, tender, and bitingly abrasive moments....This is a captivating film; superlative writing and acting make it soar..." -- (Review)1236060 "...A pleasurable experience..." -- (Review)1238440 "...Thanks to the excellently adapted script, we are shown a group of characters with real emotional depth....The Weitzes have directed the film with great ability..." -- (Review)1238727 "...[The directors] handle the sentimentality of the story with a light, sweet touch....You succumb to the movie's warmth and bonhomie..." -- (Review)1238975 "...ABOUT A BOY is that rare film that's as clever and moving as the book on which it was based....It's a well-written, witty film whose memorable characters grapple with the nature of family, love, friendship and despair..." -- (Review)1238987 "...[The directors] deliver a punchy, smirking script, laced with irreverence. Just as importantly, there's real chemistry between Grant and his young co-star..." -- (Review)1239155 "...Hugh Grant has grown up, holding on to his lightness and witty cynicism....Grant draws on, and deepens, his enjoyable performance as the seducer boss in Bridget Jones' Diary..." -- (Review)1239228 Theatrical release: May 17, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1245095 "...Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in ABOUT A BOY....A comedy of confidence and grace..." -- (Review)1247738

 

About Schmidt
Bates, Kathy, Davis, Hope, Dramas

In Alexander Payne's ABOUT SCHMIDT, Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) is retiring from a long, dedicated tenure at Woodmen of the World Insurance Company. Though he is proud of this achievement, he finds some difficulty adjusting to life without work. To make matters worse, his loving wife Helen (June Squibb) passes away, leaving him all alone. He turns to his daughter, Jeannie (Hope Davis), for support, but she is busy planning her marriage to Randall (Dermot Mulroney), who Warren just can't stand. He decides to sponsor a Tanzanian child, Ndugu, through a program advertised on television, and sends elaborate letters to the 6-year-old boy along with his $22 monthly checks. Meanwhile, he sets off on a soul-searching voyage across the west in his new RV. Nicholson's deadpan voice-over narration, especially in his letters to Ndugu, give ABOUT SCHMIDT a solid balance between comedy and drama. The crux of the film is the daughter's wedding in Denver, where Warren is the guest of Randall's outrageous, new-agey mom (Kathy Bates). Though the funny moments make light of Warren's state in life, the overall feel of the film is a bit sad, and its enigmatic ending will keep viewers guessing what will happen to this uniquely knowable character. Theatrical Release Date: December 13, 2002 (LA/NY)

 

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Sean Young, Jim Carrey, Comedies

Picking up the scent of missing pets, Ace Ventura gumshoes his way through an obstacle course of absurdity in this theatrically successful comedy. -- (Muze Description)1047933 "He's the best there is! (Actually, he's the only one there is.)" -- marketing line for the film -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1096228 Pet detective Ace Ventura may be a clumsy, bumbling fool, but he always gets the job done. His latest assignment: to recover the Miami Dolphins' mascot, a.k.a. Snowflake. Poor little Snowflake has been dolphin-napped -- but luckily, Ace is on the case. -- (Synopsis)1096229 Cathy Morrison was the Animal Coordinator. Rated BBFC 12 by the British Board of Film Classification. Copyright 1994 Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. -- (Muze Annotation)1096231 "...Carrey scores..." -- (Review)1156735 "...This has sure-thing hit written all over it with its winning combo of goofiness and genre send-ups..." -- (Review)1161551 "...Carrey gives one of the most hyperactive performances ever brought to the screen..." -- (Review)1163464 "...Directed with vigor....ACE is briskly paced and graced with Carrey's ceaseless energy and peculiar talents..." -- (Review)1193991 "...[The film] proves perfectly capable of inducing unexpected giggle fits. Carrey's refusal to be anything less than utterly inhuman on screen is heroic in its own brave, nutty, pretty funny terms..." -- (Review)1225846

 

Adaptation
Cage, Nicolas, Streep, Meryl, Comedies

Following up their acclaimed debut, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze are back to metaphysical moviemaking with ADAPTATION. The film stars Nicolas Cage as both Charlie Kaufman himself and his fictionalized identical twin brother, Donald Kaufman. While the boisterous Donald freeloads off of his sibling and works on a serial-killer movie script, Charlie is tormented by both his own army of neuroses and his new project, adapting THE ORCHID THIEF by Susan Orlean into a screenplay. As Charlie struggles to shape the nonfiction novel into a film, he begins writing himself into the story of Orlean (Meryl Streep), a sad-eyed journalist, and her subject, renegade Florida flower expert John Laroche (Chris Cooper). The resulting tale extends far beyond the scope of the book, stretching from Hollywood to New York to...Hollywood four billion years ago. Equally as inventive as BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ADAPTATION revels in its gloriously absurd premise. Kaufman and Jonze skillfully sidestep the pitfalls of such a seemingly self-indulgent project, creating a multilayered film that focuses on the writing process as well as the nature of beauty, the beauty of nature, and dozens of other significant themes. Cage makes a stunning return to pre-Bruckheimer form in the roles of the Kaufman brothers, giving their identical appearances completely different personalities and making them believable to boot. Meanwhile, the consistently excellent Streep and the often underrated Cooper are perfectly matched as Orlean and Laroche. Even the less central roles are played by great actors--Brian Cox, Tilda Swinton, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ron Livingston appear as supporting characters. Careening wildly between the hilarious, the ridiculous, and the poignant, Kaufman and Jonze's ADAPTATION is another fine example of their bravura yet sincere style of cinema. Theatrical Release: DECEMBER 6, 2002

 

Adventures of Indiana Jones, The (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen
Ford, Harrison, Allen, Karen, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com As with Star Wars, the George Lucas-produced Indiana Jones trilogy was not just a plaything for kids but an act of nostalgic affection toward a lost phenomenon: the cliffhanging movie serials of the past. Episodic in structure and with fate hanging in the balance about every 10 minutes, the Jones features tapped into Lucas's extremely profitable Star Wars formula of modernizing the look and feel of an old, but popular, story model. Steven Spielberg directed all three films, which are set in the late 1930s and early '40s: the comic book-like Raiders of the Lost Ark, the spooky, Gunga Din-inspired Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the cautious but entertaining Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Fans and critics disagree over the order of preference, some even finding the middle movie nearly repugnant in its violence. (Pro-Temple of Doom people, on the other hand, believe that film to be the most disarmingly creative and emotionally effective of the trio.) One thing's for sure: Harrison Ford's swaggering, two-fisted, self-effacing performance worked like a charm, and the art of cracking bullwhips was probably never quite the iconic activity it soon became after Raiders. Supporting players and costars were very much a part of the series, too--Karen Allen, Sean Connery (as Indie's dad), Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Denholm Elliot, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies among them. Years have passed since the last film (another is supposedly in the works), but emerging film buffs can have the same fun their predecessors did picking out numerous references to Hollywood classics and B-movies of the past. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features This long-awaited DVD set of the Indiana Jones trilogy is a classy set built for the fan. However, the DVD-extras junky will be disappointed because there's not a bevy of extras: no storyboards, galleries, commentaries, or long-rumored deleted scenes. The three films are the real star here, restored frame by frame and--blessedly--unchanged from their initial release (the first movie has been retitled on the packaging only). Anyone who has grown up with TV airings will be amazed by what they see,... read more

 

Air America (Special Edition)
Gibson, Mel, Jr., Robert Downey, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Air America is one of those movies that could have been great, and now maintains its low-key reputation as a typical Mel Gibson film in the wake of his first two Lethal Weapon hits. Originally conceived as a biting black comedy about the CIA's top-secret smuggling operation in Laos during the Vietnam war, Air America lost most of its political sting when it was transformed into an action comedy for Gibson and costar Robert Downey Jr. The film is entertaining as far as it goes, with a few action sequences that explain where a lot of the budget went. If you're in the mood for some Mel, this one is a little off the beaten path, and still contains a percentage of its original potential. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

 

Airheads
Fraser, Brendan, Buscemi, Steve, Comedy

Amazon.com Spinal Tap it ain't, but Michael Lehmann's good-natured comedy of errors, about a garage band whose unannounced visit to a local radio station escalates into a hostage situation, is pleasant diversion with a fair share of laughs. Brendan Fraser plays the singer-songwriter of the unknown heavy metal band the Lone Rangers, a trio of socially challenged musicians rounded out by dimwitted but sweet bass player Adam Sandler and aging drummer/toy-store employee Steve Buscemi--who just happens to be packing a lifelike toy machine gun from work. Needless to say, the friendly visit is misinterpreted as a hostile takeover, but all the Lone Rangers want is to play their music on the air--and they sabotage themselves again by destroying their own demo tape! Joe Mantegna plays a burned-out deejay who tries to help the muddled metalheads as the media surrounds the building and asks the question on everyone's lips: "How can you be the Lone Rangers if you're always together?" --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Airport Terminal Pack
Lemmon, Jack, , Action & Adventure : General

Description The Academy Award-nominated Airport and the sensational sequels that followed are now together in one high flying collection, the Airport Terminal Pack. Prepare to take off for non-stop thrills and edge-of-your-seat excitement as you fly to extremes with Hollywood's royal jet set, including: Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Jacqueline Bisset, Dean Martin, George Kennedy and many more. Airport The original airplane disaster movie nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture. Airport 1975 A mid-air collision leaves a 747 without a pilot and little hope for survival. Airport '77 A 747 is trapped underwater in the Bermuda Triangle. It's a race against time and the elements to save the passengers and crew! The Concorde: Airport '79 At twice the speed of sound, the Concorde must evade a vicious attack by a traitorous arms smuggler!

 

Aladdin (Spec Ed)
Weinger, Scott, Williams, Robin, Kids & Family : Adventure

Disney brings a whole new world vividly to life once again in this musical story from the Arabian Nights. Aladdin, an eager genie (with the voice of Robin Williams) and a sultan's daughter take a magic carpet ride through a fireworks display of incredible animation. Direct-to-video sequel: "The Return of Jafar." Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Song ("Friend Like Me"). Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Song ("Whole New World"). Theatrical release: November 11, 1992. ALADDIN is the 31st full-length animated feature from Walt Disney Pictures. Shot on Eastman film; Technicolor prints. Other effects credits include Ed Gombert (Story Supervisor); Rasoul Azadani (Layout Supervisor); Kathy Altieri (Background Supervisor); Vera Lanpher (Cleanup Supervisor); Steve Goldberg (Computer Graphics Imagery Supervisor); Dan Hansen (Artistic Coordinator). Other credits include Alice Dewey (Production Manager) and Baker Bloodworth Florida unit production manager. Title design by Burke Mattsson; titles by Buena Vista Optical. Rated BBFC-U by the British Board of Film Classification. In March, 1994, the film's music garnered 5 Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for "Whole New World," sung by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, who themselves won the award for Best Pop Performance by A Duo or Group. For Alen Menken, the composer, had previously won 5 Grammies for his music for Disney's "The Little Mermaid" (1991) and "Beauty and the Beast" (1992). Copyright The Walt Disney Company. This funny, romantic tale about a spunky orphan and a smart princess won the hearts of children and adults alike. Poor Aladdin looks longingly at the Sultan's luxurious castle, and dreams of living inside, but Princess Jasmine wants only to escape that pampered life. Finally, she does run away, only to discover how hard life on the streets can be -- especially when a vendor accuses you of thievery. Aladdin comes to her rescue, and soon the two have fallen in love. But how can a beggar marry the sultan's daughter? His only hope lies in a magic lamp from the Cave of Wonders and a wisecracking genie who can grant wishes. But Jafar, the Sultan's evil advisor, desires that lamp himself, so he can rule the kingdom and possess Jasmine. Soon the handsome young boy and the cruel Jafar are locked in a battle of wits -- and unleashing magic the likes of which no one has seen before.

 

Alexander
Jolie, Angelina, Kilmer, Val, Action/Adventure

Director Oliver Stone chalks up an ambitious entry on his biopic resume (past entries include films about Jim Morrison, Richard Nixon, and JFK among others) with this cinematic treatise on the life of the mighty Alexander the Great. Despite his young death at 32, Alexander packed some unimaginable conquests into his limited years by ruling over a huge chunk of the globe. Stone draws on a voice-over narration provided by Anthony Hopkins, whose character is named Ptolemy, to aurally depict some of the battles. Thus, Stone shifts the weight of the film to focus on the personality of Alexander (Colin Farrell), a man who is stricken by overwhelming personal insecurities that come in direct contrast to his bold achievements. Complex dealings with his mother (Angelina Jolie) and father (Val Kilmer) plague him, as does his turbulent relationship with his wife, Roxane (Rosario Dawson). His connection with his best friend, Hephaestion (Jared Leto), is ambiguous, with Stone touching on their vaunted homosexuality via some shared tender moments. As these personal battles are played out, Ptolemy fills the historic gaps in the narrative by charting the incredible conflicts that raged at Alexander's behest. Eventually, Stone lets loose with an epic on-screen battle, which sees Alexander's troops rumble across India in another country-conquering quest. But while his minions struggle, and Alexander demands success, it becomes clear that he is his own worst enemy. With the only real threat to Alexander coming from a tempestuous struggle with his own ego, Stone's summation of the great historical leader paints a picture of an embittered and solitary figure who was able to rule everyone apart from himself. Theatrical Release: November 24, 2004

 

Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece Edition)
Beaumont, Kathryn, Wynn, Ed, Kids & Family : Animation

Amazon.com Imaginatively rendered but slightly chilly, this 1951 Disney adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic is also appropriately surreal. Alice (voiced by Kathryn Beaumont) has all the anticipated experiences: shrinking and growing, meeting the White Rabbit, having tea with the Mad Hatter, etc. Characterization is very strong, and the Disney team worked hard to bring screen personality to Carroll's eccentric creations. For a Disney film, however, it seems more the self-satisfied sum of its inventiveness than a truly engaging experience. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features The first title in Disney's "Masterpiece Series" delivers the 1951 tale in its best home video edition. The restored and remastered print looks better than the original DVD release, with slightly brighter colors and more detail in the dark backgrounds. A center speaker channel has also been added for 5.1 surround. The second disc brings on the bevy of extras, albeit with more historical context than most other Disney discs. Here's the precursor to The Wonderful World of Disney, the hour-long... read more

 

Alice's Restaurant
Guthrie, Arlo, (II), Patricia Quinn,

Amazon.com You can get anything you want there, or so went Arlo Guthrie's song, a lengthy monologue about a Thanksgiving dinner and how its aftermath kept Guthrie out of the Vietnam-era draft. Arthur Penn's movie version, which stars Guthrie, James Broderick, and Pat Quinn, has a shambling, good-natured feel, much like Guthrie's epic tall tale. But as it follows Guthrie's adventures (he gets arrested for improper disposal of Thanksgiving garbage and the arrest renders him unfit for military service, in the draft board's eyes), it also examines the freewheeling nature of relationships in that period--and the toll that freedom took on those relationships. Guthrie is a natural performer, particularly funny during the draft board sequence; but the heart of the film is Quinn and Broderick's troubled marriage. --Marshall Fine

 

All the Pretty Horses
Penélope Cruz, Henry Thomas, Dramas

Billy Bob Thornton's ALL THE PRETTY HORSES is about John Grady Cole (Matt Damon), a young rancher growing up just after WWII. After his mother sells the family ranch, John convinces his best friend, Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas), to accompany him to Mexico, where ranching is still a big part of life. Along the way they meet Jimmy Blevins (Lucas Black), a winningly enthusiastic boy with a volatile nature. Eventually, John and Lacey end up on a huge ranch south of the border, where John falls for the wealthy rancher's daughter (Penélope Cruz). This leads to deadly trouble for the two young men, but John won't be dissuaded from pursuing his new love. Thornton has made a credible modern Western with this film, which gets strong performances from Damon, Cruz, Thomas, and, in a star-making turn, Black as the fiery Blevins. ALL THE PRETTY HORSES is at its best when focusing on the dusty details of the ranchers' hard existence. Barry Markowitz's cinematography and Ted Tally's script (based on Cormac McCarthy's much-loved novel) capture a sweet and melancholy flavor in depicting a way of life that seemed long since lost even while a hardy few were still living it. -- (Muze Description)1184417 Theatrical release: DECEMBER 25, 2000. Leonardo Di Caprio was originally offered the role of John Grady Cole but turned it down. Thornton has said he balked at Miramax's suggestion that he cast Natalie Portman as Alejandra, telling the suits, "Lovely girl. Wonderful actress. She ain't Mexican." Mike Nichols (THE GRADUATE, PRIMARY COLORS) was originally slated to direct the film. Thornton's original cut of the film was four hours long. Ted Tally's screenplay was named the best of 2000 by the National Board of Review. Director of Photography Barry Markowitz, production designer Clark Hunter, and costume designer Doug Hall also worked on Thornton's SLING BLADE and DADDY AND THEM. Executive producer and editor Sally Menke edited Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION. Screenwriter Ted Tally also adapted Thomas Harris's SILENCE OF THE LAMBS for director Jonathan Demme. Lucas Black played Frank Wheatley in Thornton's SLING BLADE. Henry Thomas is best known for playing Elliott in Steven Spielberg's E.T. Country star Marty Stuart, who composed the film's score, has won three Grammy awards, the Mississippi Governor's Award, and the Nashville Mayor's Metronome Award. Ted Tally won Best Screenplay from the National Board of Review. Marty Stuart, Kristin Wilkinson, and Larry Paxton were nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score--Motion Picture. -- (Muze Annotation)1186597 "...[An] indisputably great component is Lucas Black, who is thoroughly authentic..." -- (Review)1187709 "There ain't but one truth. The truth is what happened. It ain't what come out of somebody's mouth."--John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) lets the Captain (Julio Oscar Mechoso) know he won't cooperate by falsely condemning Jimmy Blevins (Lucas Black) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1189986 "...An authenticity that is consistently invigorating thanks to taut, finely-tuned contributions from both cast and crew..." -- (Review)1195840 "...It tells the tale in a straightforward, sincere manner....The emotional effect is profound..." -- (Review)1197137 "...The film is handsomely mounted....Damon is well-cast and does solid work..." -- (Review)1219193 "...An elegiac Western....It's about the mythical idea of heading south on a good horse....What makes its special is how Thornton modulates the material..." -- (Review)1252801

 

All the Right Moves (1983)
Cruise, Tom, Thompson, Lea, Drama : General

Amazon.com Most films about high school football players usually fall into one of two categories: glossy jock romance or locker-room sex farce. This one defies the odds and scores both as decent character study and decidedly unsentimental sports melodrama. It's not only a helluva coming-of-age yarn, but also, like Paul Newman's Slapshot, it's a bracing look at the hopes and dreams of blue-collar survivors. Tom Cruise plays a mill-town football star determined to escape the same traps that ensnared his parents. Craig T. Nelson, in a terrific villain role, is the coach who takes revenge when Cruise's ambitions drift a little too close to home. Michael Chapman, Martin Scorsese's favorite cinematographer, made his directorial debut with this gritty little winner, which benefits from being shot on location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and which is set to a great Jennifer Warnes-Chris Thompson theme song. Lea Thompson and Christopher Penn co-star. In 1983, another Cruise vehicle had even better moves: Risky Business. --Glenn Lovell --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Along Came Polly (Widescreen Edition)
Stiller, Ben, Aniston, Jennifer, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Opposites are forced to attract in Along Came Polly, a dose of featherweight fluff that could've been better and could've been worse--surely no pairing of Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston can be a complete waste of time, right? Faint praise indeed, but fans of these mainstream funny-folk will enjoy this movie as a lazy-weekend distraction. Ben's a newlywed insurance risk-assessment analyst whose wife (Debra Messing, in a throwaway role) betrays him on their honeymoon. His uptight, play-it-safe lifestyle (which includes acute aversion to germs and irritable bowel syndrome) makes him seemingly incompatible with the spontaneous, free-spirited Polly (Aniston), but writer-director John Hamburg (whose writing credits include the previous Stiller hits Meet the Parents and Zoolander) is determined to give them at least the appearance of romantic potential. No such luck. You will, however, get a few laughs from supporting players Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bryan Brown, and Alec Baldwin. --Jeff Shannon

 

Amadeus - Director's Cut
F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Berridge, Dramas

AMADEUS - DIRECTOR'S CUT includes new footage that was not used in the 1984 original, as well as improved sound. In a lavish 18th Century parlor in Austria, an elderly man is found, by his servant, with his throat slashed. The wound is self-inflicted, and the man is the little-known composer Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), contemporary and adversary of the now-famed, but once reviled, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Later. from his cell in an insane asylum, Salieri tells a priest (Herman Meckler) the story of his association with Mozart, confessing that he actually killed the brilliantly gifted but troubled young man. Based on the award-winning play by Peter Shaffer, Milos Forman's riveting, brilliant, Oscar-winning AMADEUS is a fictionalized account of the real-life mysterious death of Mozart. Abraham, in the role that won him the Best Actor Oscar, is the celebrated court composer to Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones)--his confidence and religious dedication shaken when he meets the boorish 26-year-old Mozart as he chases his future wife (Elizabeth Berridge) around a party while making obscene remarks. Furious that this clownish boy can produce such beautiful music, Salieri determines to keep Mozart's talent from lasting recognition and sets himself on a course for Mozart’s destruction that leads to his own as well. Mozart continues to mount beautiful, moving operas (incredibly staged in the film), but becomes obsessed with writing a Requiem as his friends, family, health, and resources waste away, Salieri’s manipulating presence always there. It is hard to imagine anyone--whether they are knowledgeable about classical music or not--who would not be held captive by this superb feast for the eyes and ears, a film whose excellence can be felt in every detail. -- (Muze Description)1234528 "...The changes are harsh and powerful and make a great film deeper, more satisfying and, yes, simply better than before..." -- (Review)1245564

 

America: A Tribute to Heroes
U2, Faith Hill, Musical & Performing Arts

Broadcast 10 days after the horrific attacks against America on September 11, 2000, this concert telethon raised more than $150 million for the victims of that tragic day. This two hour special event not only features impassioned performances from such rock legends as Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Bon Jovi, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, it is also a heartwarming illustration of the love and unity that brought America together in the aftermath of the terrorism. -- (Muze Description)1222059

 

American Graffiti (Drive-In Double Feature)
Clark, Candy, Hopkins, Bo, Comedy : General

The AMERICAN GRAFFITI DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE DVD is absolutely entertaining to watch as only George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola could offer!! This DVD (part of Universal's Franchise Collection of film series made by the studio for affordable prices on DVD) contains the two full-length films AMERICAN GRAFFITI (George Lucas,1973) and its sequel MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI (B.W.L. Norton,1979) and is actually a double-sided disc,one movie on both sides instead of two discs which is mislabeled.First,AMERICAN GRAFFITI is beautifully presented in its original glorious anamorphic widescreen format (2.35.1) along with Dolby Digital Surround Sound and contains the original theatrical trailer and documentary THE MAKING OF AMERICAN GRAFFITI which runs close to 80 mins.Then,MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI is presented in a crisp,clear new anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85.1 to 2.35.1).The second film was shot using different camera processes which explains the differences in aspect ratios.The 1.85.1 ratio was used for some of the Vietnam and non-objectionable scenes while the 2.35.1 Panavision format is used for mostly the innovative split-screen techniques and race sequences which is interesting to watch,but it's not the best sequel.The two films and a eye-catching cover art makes this set a must for any fan of the films and that the first film alone would serve as the inspiration for the classic TV sitcom HAPPY DAYS!!! Thanks to Universal and lets hope that they will make some more Franchise Collection releases like the John Hughes films,and The Mummy as well!!


 

American History X
Ethan Suplee, Avery Brooks, Dramas

DVD Features: Region 1 Encoding Keep Case -- (Muze Annotation)1126677 Edward Norton gives an impassioned performance as Derek Vinyard, a Southern Californian skinhead who must do time after committing a hateful murder. Once in jail, his mind opens and he sees the error of his ways. Upon reentering the real world, he must now turn his attentions to his younger brother Danny, who is swiftly heading down the same path as his brother. Controversy surrounded the film when director Tony Kaye disowned it, claiming that Norton had the film re-edited without Kaye's permission. Norton still got an Oscar Nomination for his intense performance. -- (Muze Description)1126678 "AMERICAN HISTORY X is an explosive, scorched-earth drama in which Edward Norton gives a blistering, brilliant performance..." -- (Review)1153591 "...Edward Norton's Oscar-nominated performance is the film's magnetic centre..." -- (Review)1154793 "...An intense achievement....An excellent cast, the young leads stand out, including a best-yet performance from Furlong..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1156253 "...Norton breaks loose....A triumph of acting....[Kaye] works with flair and verve and control..." -- Rating: B+ -- (Review)1163203 "...AMERICAN HISTORY X has enough fiery acting and provocative bombast to make its impact felt....It has been directed with a mixture of handsome photo-realism and visceral punch..." -- (Review)1201891 "...Genuinely provocative....There's scarcely a false not to the performance of either Furlong or Norton, the latter an almost certain Academy Award nominee..." -- (Review)1212243

 

American Wedding - Widescreen Extended Party Edition (Unrated)
Biggs, Jason, Scott, Seann William, Comedy : General

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.

 

An Officer and a Gentleman
Gere, Richard, Keith, David,

Zack Mayo (Richard Gere) has nothing--the son of an alcoholic, indifferent military father, he's grown up in the Philippines living on top of a brothel. But after college he decides he wants more and, despite his father's mockery, enrolls in the navy's Officer Candidate School to become a jet pilot. His sergeant, brilliantly played by Louis Gossett Jr., makes his life a living hell from day one, but Zack won't quit. The candidates are warned to stay away from the local girls looking for naval husbands, but Zack and his bunkmate, Sid (David Keith), find themselves falling for two friends, Paula (Debra Winger) and Lynette (Lisa Blount), who work at the local paper mill. Zack fights his feelings for Paula, determined to let nothing sway him from his goals. But as the hellish weeks of training go by, Zack begins to see that maybe he can't do it alone--and that what's getting him through are his friends in the ranks, and the girl he's been pushing away. Widely acclaimed at the time of its release, director Taylor Hackford's inspiring film is a romance for the ages.

 

Analyze That
Crystal, Billy, Kudrow, Lisa, Comedies

ANALYZE THAT, the star-studded sequel to 1999's smash comedy hit ANALYZE THIS, reunites neurotic mobster Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) with his former psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). The anxious mob boss is about to finish his prison sentence but he is suffering a nervous breakdown behind bars and the only one who can diagnose his ailments is Sobel. After a string of hysterical tests, the Feds grant Sobel permission to observe Vitti as a patient and, much to the dismay of Sobol's wife Laura (Lisa Kudrow), as a house guest. However, Sobel has problems of his own. He's suffering from a severe identity crisis after the death of his father, and Vitti's presence in his suburban New Jersey home has the psychiatrist acting crazy too. In an effort to straighten Vitti out, Sobel decides that the solution is to find him a real, honest job. Vitti tries his hand at several ill-matched professions, and finally finds his dream job as a technical advisor on a SOPRANOS-like cable television show. Everything is going smoothly until Vitti starts to take the show a little too seriously, calling his former mafia cohorts to the set. A raucous comedic event that uses the chemistry between De Niro and Crystal to great effect, ANALYZE THAT is yet another knee-slapping gem from director Harold Ramis. Theatrical Release Date: December 6, 2002

 

Analyze This
Chazz Palminteri, Joe Viterelli, Comedies

What happens when the worlds of the Mafia and psychiatry collide? This outrageous farce answers that question, as mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) and psychiatrist Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) are forced to work together. When a prominent leader of the New York Mafia suddenly starts having panic attacks, he enlists the help of a New York psychiatrist for a fast cure. The two men suddenly find themselves struggling to understand each other's professional and private lives as they battle the FBI and the impending threat of a Mafia takeover, not to mention an irritable fiancée (Lisa Kudrow) eager to get married. -- (Muze Description)1131899 "...[ANALYZE THIS] has a good, profane edge that's never abrasive..." -- (Review)1154488 "...A sharp, darkly hilarious peek at mobster mentality..." -- (Review)1156219 Mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) is having heart attacks. At least that's what he thinks. When his doctors inform him that he is suffering from anxiety attacks, he is forced to track down a shrink to help him get to the bottom of the problem. Billy Crystal costars as neurotic psychiatrist Ben Sobol, who is manipulated into treating the macho Mafia man, with hysterical results. Just as Ben and eager fiancée (Lisa Kudrow) are about to enter nuptial bliss, they are suddenly faced with a 24-hour responsibility to a mobster who won't take no for an answer. The hilarious hijinks ruin their first wedding and threaten to ruin the relationship as Paul battles his personal demons with the help of the initially unwilling shrink. As the two men's professional and private worlds collide, they are forced to realize their similarities as they join forces to battle the FBI and the impending threat of a Mafia takeover. Director Harold Ramis has crafter an intelligent, witty comedy that shows off the comic instincts of De Niro as never before. -- (Synopsis)1159841 "When I got into family therapy this was not the kind of 'family' I had in mind."--Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) "What is my goal here, to make you a happy, well-adjusted gangster?"--Dr. Ben Sobol -- (Muze Annotation)1159842 "...A funny title, an even funnier premise and inspired odd-couple casting that's enough to prompt laughter just on the basis of the two-shots in its ad campaign. Think of it as an offer you can't refuse..." -- (Review)1202795 "...DeNiro's performance is aptly 'Scorsese-aggressive' while Crystal effectively underplays..." -- (Review)1214501 "...ANALYZE this has Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal to bring richness to the characters....[Crystal] wisely restrains his manic side, and gets into a nice rhythm with De Niro's fearful gangster..." -- (Review)1253451

 

Anchorman:The Legend Of Ron Burgundy
Ferrell, Will, Willard, Fred, Comedies

It's the early 1970s and the local anchorman is not only a source of news but a revered local hero. In San Diego, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), a mustachioed bachelor with a taste for scotch, unparalleled passion for the jazz flute, and a near-telepathic connection with his spirited mutt, Baxter, is that man. Rounding out Ron's testosterone-heavy news team are his close friends--cologne-obsessed man-on-the-street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports reporter Champ Kind (Dave Koechner), and mentally challenged weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell). Their male camaraderie is challenged, though, when producer Ed Harken (Fred Willard), pressured by changing times, brings the first female reporter, ambitious Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), to the team. Ron finds his chauvinistic ideals compromised further when he starts falling in love with her. Fueled by Ferrell's singularly loopy persona, ANCHORMAN joins the long list of comedies which have successfully poked fun at the styles and mores of the '70s. Here, with Ferrell's script and Adam McKay's direction, the character of Ron Burgundy becomes a full-bodied comic creation whose possibilities for laughs aren't nearly exhausted by the end credits. The result is an often hilarious celebration of moustaches, wide neckties, alcohol abuse, and good, old-fashioned sexism. THEATRICAL RELEASE: JULY 9, 2004

 

Antwone Fisher
Richardson, Salli, Luke, Derek, Dramas

The true story of ANTWONE FISHER tracks a remarkable young man on the path to recovery from physical and sexual abuse. Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) is a young Navy sailor who is on verge of getting booted from the military because of his volatile temper when he is ordered to mandatory sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). After a few strained sessions, Fisher navigates through difficult memories of his Cleveland childhood, mostly of life with a vicious foster mother (Novella Nelson) who beats him on a regular basis (and refers to him not by name, but by the n-word) and a foster sister who violates him sexually. Fisher and Davenport form a father-son bond (Fisher even adopts the doctor's wife [Salli Richardson] as a kind of surrogate Mom). And eventually he finds the strength to work through his anger and the courage to forge his first romantic relationship with Cheryl (Joy Bryant). Writer Antwone Fisher, making his screenplay debut, achieves an encouraging view of human nature with this story, and first-time director Washington molds it into a film that ranks with GOOD WILL HUNTING and ORDINARY PEOPLE. Washington demonstrates his ease with actors by drumming up rich emotional intimacy, not without naturally humorous and awkward moments. Vivid, painterly images and the yearning melodies of composer Mychael Danna complete the artistry of the film. Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2002

 

Any Given Sunday
Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Dramas

Oliver Stone's hard-hitting look at the adrenaline-fueled world of pro football stars Al Pacino as Miama Sharks coach Tony D'Amato. Having just lost his star quarterback, Jack Rooney (Dennis Quaid), he's forced to use the erratic Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) off the bench, hoping he can resuscitate his team, which is floundering on the field and in attendance figures. If not, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), the team's new owner, may be drop-kicking him to a new destination. -- (Muze Description)1143184 "...Thunderous excitement..." -- (Review)1153452 "A rambunctious, hyperkinetic, testosterone-and-adrenaline-drenched look at that obsession known as pro football..." -- (Review)1156051 "...As exhausting as it is exciting....Jagged and alive..." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1159394 Oliver Stone delves into his love-hate relationship with pro football in this high-impact film, thriving on the game's adrenaline rush while revealing its ultimate corruption. When legendary Miami Sharks quarterback Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid) is badly injured in a game, coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) is forced to reach deep into his bench for Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). The third-stringer's injury-plagued career and difficulty with maintaining focus make him a dubious commodity at best. But Beamen, aware of what this opportunity could mean, starts playing at a much higher level than ever before, planting championship hopes in the minds of Miami fans. The extraordinary success of Beamen, an athlete whose flamboyance contradicts everything the Lombardi-like D'Amato believes about the game, makes the coach wonder whether his time is passing. To add to his problems, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), a young woman who has inherited ownership of the team from her late father, is pressuring him to win now, and at any cost. Will D'Amato be able to pull the team together for a final run at the championship? The film conveys a vivid sense of the atmosphere of pro football and features a finely modulated performance by Pacino. -- (Synopsis)1159829 Theatrical release: December 22, 1999. -- (Muze Annotation)1159830 "…Stone once again brilliantly captures the intensity of combat…" -- 3 out of 5 stars - A Satisfying Rental -- (Review)1175419 "...Stone brands ANY GIVEN SUNDAY with his trademark extreme close-ups and disorienting handheld camerawork, creating a position for the audience right on the field where it can hear every call and feel every hit..." -- (Review)1210719 "...There are so many basic dramatic truths in its age-vs.-youth/pragmatism-vs. -tradition conflict that any fan of sports movies should be carried along..." -- (Review)1213858 "...Energetic....Stone pours on the razzle-dazzle..." -- (Review)1247523 "...A smart sports movie....The film's dialogue scenes are effective....The dramatic scenes are worth it. Pacino has some nice heart-to-hearts with Quaid and Foxx..." -- (Review)1255545

 

Apocalypse Now
Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Psychodrama

Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic, loosely based on HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad, tells the story of Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a special agent sent into Cambodia to assassinate an errant American colonel (Marlon Brando). Willard is assigned a navy patrol boat operated by Chief (Albert Hall) and three hapless soldiers (Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, and Larry Fishburne). They are escorted on part of their journey by an air cavalry unit led by Lt. Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), a gung-ho commander with a love of Wagner, surfing, and napalm. After witnessing a surreal USO show featuring Playboy playmates and an anarchic battle with the Viet Cong at a bridge, Willard reaches Colonel Kurtz’s compound. A crazed photo journalist and Kurtz groupie (Dennis Hopper) welcomes the crew, and Willard begins to question his orders to "terminate the colonel’s command." The grueling production and Coppola's insistence on authenticity led to vast budget overruns and physical and emotional breakdowns. Considered to be one of the best war movies of all time, APOCALYPSE NOW features incredible performances and beautifully chaotic visuals that make it an absolute must-see. In August 2001, a new version of the film, title APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX, will be released. The new version includes 49 minutes of never-before-seen footage, a Technicolor enhancement, and a six-channel soundtrack. -- (Muze Description)1001120 Francis Ford Coppola's masterful film about the moral madness of the Vietnam War was inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novella, HEART OF DARKNESS. Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent into the Cambodian jungle to "terminate with extreme prejudice" Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has become insane and now runs his own fiefdom. Traveling downriver on a patrol boat, Willard encounters an air cavalry commander, Lt. Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), whose love of war is matched only by his love of surfing. Coppola almost went bankrupt and Sheen suffered a heart attack during the making of the film, but the rigorous shoot paid off in this unforgettable film. -- (Synopsis)1162468 Theatrical release: August 15, 1979. Filmed on location in the Philippines. In August 2001, a new version of the film, title APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX, was released. The new version includes 49 minutes of never-before-seen footage, a Technicolor enhancement, and a six-channel soundtrack. APOCALYPSE NOW was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2000. At the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, Coppola will be screening a new director's cut of the film. He said, "The result is a film that is fifty-three minutes longer, and whose theme emerges more clearly. It is a more disturbing, sometimes funnier and more romantic film whose historical perspective has become more forceful." The film shoot was only supposed to take six weeks but ended up lasting for 16 months because of numerous complications, including a typhoon that wrecked much of the set. APOCALYPSE NOW is number 28 on the American Film Insitute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack during the strenuous shoot. Prior to this, Sheen had a drunken emotional breakdown while filming the improvised hotel room scene. When he shatters the mirror with his hand in that scene, both the glass and the blood are real. Director Francis Ford Coppola had a nervous breakdown during the filming and threatened to commit suicide numerous times. When the film's budget went sorely over budget, Coppola contributed millions of his own fortune, which he had earned by making THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER II. Coppola briefly appears in the film as a newsreel director. Harvey Keitel was originally cast as Willard. He was fired shortly after filming began and was replaced by Martin Sheen. Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Al Pacino were all considered for the role of Kurtz. A Francis Ford Coppola private joke: The name tags on the army shirts of the two men (G.D. Spradlin and Harrison Ford) giving Willard his assassination orders are R. Corman and Colonel G. Lucas, Coppola's two di

 

Associate
Wiest, Dianne, Daly, Tim, Comedies

After being passed up for a promotion, a black, female financial analyst at a prestigious firm quits to set up her own operation. She soon realizes, however, that potential clients only feel comfortable investing with men. Her solution? Create a phony partner and bring Wall Street to its knees. Based on the French film, "L'Associe." Released theatrically in the USA October 25, 1996. Based on the film "L'Associe," which is based on Jenaro Prieto's novel "El Socio." Color by Technicolor. After stock analyst Laurel Ayres loses a promotion to the man she TRAINED, she realizes that one thing is preventing her from moving up the corporate ladder: her gender. Fed-up, Laurel quits the firm and starts her own company. Unfortunately, people still don't take her seriously, so she invents a male associate named Robert S. Cutty, who "offers" sound financial advice through Laurel. As a result, Laurel's company takes off. But soon, EVERYBODY wants to meet the mysterious Robert S. Cutty, from her former employers to a nosy gossip columnist. At wit's end, Laurel, who's Black, decides to don makeup and pose as Cutty -- who's white. Can Laurel pull off this unusual charade? And if so, for how long?

 

Aviator
Scott, Adam, Dafoe, Willem, Dramas

Martin Scorsese's THE AVIATOR is a lavish spectacle of a motion picture that harkens back to Hollywood's Golden Era in telling the story of Howard Hughes, one of 20th-century America's most pioneering and influential figures. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric billionaire, Scorsese's biopic concentrates on Hughes's life between the 1920s and '40s, when he made some of his most striking contributions to both the film and aviation industries. At only 25 years of age, Hughes directed the most expensive film ever made up to that point, HELL'S ANGELS (1930), which Scorsese gleefully recreates here in all its sprawling, audacious glory. At the same time, he became known as an unabashed playboy, bedding the likes of Jean Harlow (singer Gwen Stefani), Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), and Katherine Hepburn (a brilliant Cate Blanchett). In the mid-'30s, he turned his attention to the aviation industry, where he quickly became a world-renowned celebrity for shattering speed and distance records. He also continued to test the limits of flight technology, building bigger, faster, and stronger aircrafts. All the while, he struggled with an obsessive-compulsive mental disorder that sent him into a full-fledged tailspin after a near-fatal plane crash. The film concludes with Hughes being called to the Senate in '47 to defend himself against nefarious Senator Owen Brewster (Alan Alda), who accused Hughes of taking money from the United States government during wartime. Stunningly photographed by Robert Richardson, Scorsese's nearly three-hour drama features an impassioned performance by DiCaprio, who is also credited as an executive producer. Although she appears in less than a third of the film, Blanchett delivers a performance that cements her status as one of the finest actresses ever to appear on the big screen. IN THEATRES: DECEMBER 17, 2004

 

Badder Santa (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Thornton, Billy Bob, Graham, Lauren, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Instantly qualifying as a perennial cult favorite, Bad Santa is as nasty as it wants to be, and there's something to be said for comedy without compromise. The Coen brothers conceived the basic idea and served as executive producers, but it's director Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) who brings his unique affinity for losers and outcasts to the twisted tale of Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed sexaholic safe-cracker who targets a different department store every holiday season, playing Santa while he cases the joint with his dwarf elf-partner Marcus (Tony Cox). With comedic support from Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, Cloris Leachman, and John Ritter in his final film, Thornton milks the lowbrow laughs with a slovenly lack of sentiment, warming Bad Santa's pickled heart just enough to please a chubby misfit (Brett Kelly, hilariously deadpan) who may or may not be mentally challenged. As dry as an arid martini and blacker than morning-after coffee, Bad Santa is an instant cure for yuletide schmaltz, and if you think this appropriately R-rated comedy is suitable for kids, your parenting skills are no better than Willie's. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Chicago Tribune/Mark Caro "'Bad Santa' is the foulest holiday movie I've ever seen - and the funniest".

 

Band of Brothers
Colin Hanks, Dale Dye, Dramas

This 10-part HBO television miniseries focuses on Easy Company, a group of American soldiers in World War II, tracking their experiences from the beginning of boot camp to the end of the war. Anchored by actors Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston, the series gives detailed attention to their experiences as a group, as well as the way that each of them develops individually. Based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's book of real-life accounts, BAND OF BROTHERS was executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who worked together on SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Hanks also directed one episode, featuring his son, Colin Hanks. -- (Muze Description)1217092 "...If it doesn't put a lump in your throat, you need to have your throat checked..." -- (Review)1266898

 

Barbershop 2 - Back in Business
Cube, Ice, Entertainer, Cedric the, Today's Deals in DVD : Deals Under $20 : review : E-mail a friend about this item : Write a So You'd Like to... guide : Check Pu

Amazon.com Ice Cube triumphantly returns as Calvin Palmer, proud proprietor of a neighborhood barbershop in Barbershop 2. The first Barbershop was a surprise smash; even more surprising is how good this sequel is. The plot isn't much--there's a corporate haircutting chain opening across the street, leading to the usual sentiments about the importance of small businesses and neighborhoods--but the well-conceived characters and the loose, genuine banter give this movie a striking richness of feeling. Barbershop 2 cuts back and forth in time, flashing back to when Eddie (garrulous Cedric the Entertainer), the shop's oldest and most outspoken barber, first came to work for Calvin's father. Glimpses of black history give weight to the modern-day struggles; most impressively, this device doesn't feel forced or cynical. Also returning are Eve, Troy Garity, and Sean Patrick Thomas; Queen Latifah (Bringing Down the House) is a new face on the block. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The DVD extras for Barbershop 2 are much like the movie itself--not especially inspired or surprising, but raffish and likable. None of the handful of deleted scenes seem unjustly left out, but a couple (particularly the ones featuring Cedric the Entertainer) prove entertaining. Of the two audio commentaries, the one by the director and producers falls flat, full of a lot of self-congratulation; the less self-conscious talk from the actors proves more amusing (with Cedric again providing... read more

 

Barbershop
Jazsmin Lewis, Cedric the Entertainer, Comedies

Tim Story's BARBERSHOP is a lighthearted, crowd-pleasing romp that takes place over the course of one day in and around a south side Chicago barbershop. The owner of the struggling establishment, Calvin (Ice Cube), presides over his raucous staff like his father and grandfather did before him. There's the aging, politically incorrect Eddie (a show-stealing Cedric the Entertainer), the pretentious Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas), the ex-con Ricky (Michael Ealy), the fiery Terri (Eve), the white, unappreciated Isaac (Troy Garity), and the poetry-loving Dinka (Leonard Earl Howze). As the local police search for the criminals who stole an ATM from the deli across the street (the hysterically pathetic Anthony Anderson and Lahmard Tate), Calvin contemplates selling the barbershop to a menacing loan shark (Keith David). When it appears that a deal has been made, Calvin realizes the error of his ways and tries to rectify the situation before it's too late. With BARBERSHOP, Ice Cube is well on his way to establishing another cinematic franchise (following in the steps of the FRIDAY series). Using the universally identifiable backdrop of a barbershop, the film bounces between drama and action and comedy with easy assurance. If ever there was a film that deserved a sequel, this is it. -- (Muze Description)1244655 "...BARBERSHOP is a warm, generous comedy....The movie's quiet affirmation of neighborhood values gives it an honest, lived-in glow..." -- (Review)1252667 "...BARBERSHOP is as warm as it is wise, deftly setting off uproarious humor with an underlying seriousness that sneaks up on the viewer....A lively and endearing cast is headed by Ice Cube, in an impressively understated performance..." -- (Review)1252780 "..Genial....[Ice Cube] is the emotional center of the movie..." -- (Review)1252782 "...[A] reassuring, retro uplifter..." -- (Review)1252866 "...Ice Cube is appealing..." -- (Review)1255472 "A rousing celebration of the family-run small business....[The film] provides a springboard for high-voltage comic exchanges that double as wisecrack-coated lessons in community relations..." -- (Review)1256937 "...[Cedric's] comic timing is beautiful....A breakthrough for director Tim Story..." -- (Review)1268656

 

Basic
Travolta, John, Nielsen, Connie, Drama : General

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 --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Basketball Diaries, The
Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Wahlberg, Sports

A member of the top high school basketball team in New York City falls prey to the lure of the streets- more specifically heroin- in this coming-of-age drama. Pre-superstardom Leonardo DiCaprio gives a strong performance in this gritty and interesting, if rather unfaithful, adaptation of writer/poet Jim Carroll's captivating teenage memoirs of being young and streetwise. -- (Muze Description)1060691 Excerpts of Jim Carroll's book "The Basketball Diaries" first appeared in "The Paris Review" in 1970. The book was published in 1978. Jim Carroll's song "People Who Died" was a New Wave hit in the early 1980s. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification. Additional credits: Kathie Hersch (line producer); Diana D. Schmidt (unit production manager); David C. Dean, Robert C. Albertell (assistant directors); David C. Robinson (costume design); Verne Caruso (hairstylist); Joshua Wingett (music editor); Billy Gottlieb (music co-ordinator). -- (Muze Annotation)1113496 Based on the autobiographical journals of poet Jim Carroll, "Basketball Diaries" follows the descent of a Catholic high school student from star basketball player to drug addict. Jim and his friends roam the streets of New York City as goof-offs, petty thieves, and junkies. Expelled from school for using drugs before a game, Jim is also thrown out of his house and takes up street hustling. After a harrowing confrontation with his mother, Jim is found unconscious in the snow by an older basketball buddy who leads him through recovery. -- (Synopsis)1113497 "...DiCaprio is electrifying....A wild ride fueled by profane wit and hallucinatory power..." -- (Review)1157955 "...[The film] pulsates as an early-'60s time capsule..." -- (Review)1168475 "...Energetic....A glimpse of the great actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be." -- (Review)1186371 "...[DiCaprio delivers] a game, highly emotional performance that further confirms previous indications of a major talent..." -- (Review)1194903 "...[DiCaprio is] a stunning natural performer who hides nothing, with the wrenching expressions of a latter-day James Dean..." -- (Review)1207578

 

Bat 21
Hackman, Gene, Glover, Danny, Action & Adventure : General

 

Trapped behind enemy lines. A whole army after him... And only one man can save him. During the Vietnam war, a U.S. observation plane is hit by a V.C. missile. The only survivor of the crew is the Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton, an expert in missile weaponry. Because of his knowledge, it is crucial to rescue him before the Vietcong get their hands on him. It's a very difficult task because the enemy is listening to Hambleton's radio transmissions. And he knows it...

 

 

Batman - The Movie
West, Adam, Ward, Burt, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Holy camp site, Batman! After a fabulously successful season on TV, the campy comic book adventure hit the big screen, complete with painful puns, outrageous supervillains, and fights punctuated with word balloons sporting such onomatopoeic syllables as "Pow!," "Thud!," and "Blammo!" Adam West's wooden Batman is the cowled vigilante alter ego of straight-arrow millionaire Bruce Wayne and Bruce Ward's Robin (a.k.a. Dick Grayson, Bruce's young collegiate protégé) his overeager sidekick in hot pants. Together they battle an unholy alliance of Gotham City's greatest criminals: the Joker (Cesar Romero, whooping up a storm), the Riddler (giggling Frank Gorshin), the Penguin (cackling Burgess Meredith), and the purr-fectly sexy Catwoman (Lee Meriwether slinking in a skin-tight black bodysuit). The criminals are, naturally, out to conquer the world, but with a little help from their unending supply of utility belt devices (bat shark repellent, anyone?), our dynamic duo thwarts their nefarious plans at every turn. Since the TV show ran under 30 minutes an episode (with commercials), the 105-minute film runs a little thin--a little camp goes a long way--but fans of the small-screen show will enjoy the spoofing tone throughout. Leslie H. Martinson directs Lorenzo Semple's screenplay like a big-budget TV episode minus the cliffhanger endings. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Beach, The
Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen, Dramas

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this high-charged tale of survival, based on the popular novel by Alex Garland. He portrays Richard, a traveling American who wants nothing more than to experience life completely. Backpacking in Thailand, he gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a seemingly utopian island that is protected by a weapon-yielding gang. Throw into the mix an affair with a beautiful young French woman (Virginie Ledoyen) and dangerous drug smugglers and the situation becomes even more dangerous. Director Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING, SHALLOW GRAVE) turns up the energy to an almost unbearable level, making for an exhilarating ride. -- (Muze Description)1144168 Richard (DiCaprio) is a typical twenty-something American whose head is filled with an absurd amount of pop-culture and video game references. While travelling in Thailand in order to broaden his horizons and gain some real world experience, he meets Daffy (Carlyle), a crazy Englishman who gives Richard a mysterious map before committing suicide. Apparently the map leads to an idyllic island where the inhabitants live in a natural paradise. Intrigued, Richard convinces two French acquaintances, Francoise and Etienne (Ledoyen and Canet), to journey with him and see if Daffy was right. Upon reaching the island, Richard discovers that it does, in fact, appear to be the dream that Daffy had promised. They meet Sal (Swinton), a strong-willed woman and leader of the group. Sal has made a pact with the weapon-wielding drug dealers who control the island that her group can remain there provided no new bodies arrive. Richard has a brief tryst with Francoise, but she abandons him when she discovers that he has had another sexual encounter while gathering supplies from the mainland. And when two drugged-out Americans show up and crash the party, Richard's newfound Utopia is threatened once and for all. -- (Synopsis)1144173 "...Visually resplendent..." -- (Review)1153401 "...THE BEACH is colorful and exciting....DiCaprio delivers strongly..." -- (Review)1153524 "...Wonderfully lush....[The soundtrack] perfectly complements the photography, and the central performances are spot-on..." -- (Review)1156369 "... [DiCaprio] goes APOCALYPSE NOW Brando, launching the most inspired sequence of this ambling meditation on paradise and innocence lost..." -- (Review)1164676

 

Beautiful Thing
Berry, Glen, Empson, Tameka, Dramas

The offbeat, underachieving denizens of a southeast London apartment building get an emotional wake-up call when two of the neighbors--two teen boys--unexpectedly fall in love. Tenderhearted kitchen-sink realism from Channel Four Films, adapted from the play by Jonathan Harvey. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. The offbeat, underachieving denizens of a southeast London apartment building get an emotional wake-up call when two of the neighbors--two teenage boys--fall in love. Tenderhearted kitchen-sink realism from Channel Four Films, adapted from the play by Jonathan Harvey.

 

 

Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
Wilson, Owen, Hackman, Gene, Action & Adventure : General

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.

 

Believer
Zane, Billy, Russell, Theresa, Dramas

Raised Jewish, Danny (Ryan Gosling) now runs with an anti-Semitic skinhead gang in Queens. Attending a meeting held by prominent self-proclaimed fascist Curtis Zampf (Billy Zane), Danny is noticed when he proposes killing Jews as a solution to society's problems. Danny's words create excitement not only for their racist content, but also for his articulate way of expressing himself and his knowledge of the Jewish faith. Zampf sees potential in Danny and takes him under his wing. Working with the enigmatic extremist, Danny meets the sadomasochistic Carla (Summer Phoenix). Between rough sexual encounters, Danny teaches Carla Hebrew and facts about Judaism. Carla becomes interested in the Jewish faith while Danny becomes disillusioned with his neo-Nazi lifestyle finding it as hypocritical as he found Judaism to be. Haunted by his past and questioning his own beliefs, Danny finds himself a prime suspect in the assassination of a respected Jewish figure. Writer-director Henry Bean scored a success with this American independent focusing more on faith than hatred. THE BELIEVER won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best First Feature at the 2002 Independent Spirit Awards. Theatrical Release: MAY 17, 2002

 

Ben-Hur
Heston, Charlton, Hawkins, Jack, Special Interests : Religion & Spirituality : Christian DVD : Feature Films

Amazon.com essential video Ben-Hur scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards® in 1959 and, unlike some later rivals, richly deserved every single one. This is epic filmmaking on a scale that had not been seen before and is unlikely ever to be seen again. But it's not just running time or a cast of thousands that makes an epic, it's the subject matter, and here the subject--Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and his estrangement from old Roman pal Messala (Stephen Boyd)--is rich, detailed, and sensitively handled. Director William Wyler, who had been a junior assistant on MGM's original silent version back in 1925, never sacrifices the human focus of the story in favor of spectacle, and is aided immeasurably by Miklos Rozsa's majestic musical score, arguably the greatest ever written for a Hollywood picture. At four hours it's a long haul (especially given some of the portentous dialogue), but all in all, Ben-Hur is a great movie, best seen on the biggest screen possible. --Mark Walker Additional features This long-awaited release presents a glorious anamorphic print complete with a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack spread over both sides of a double-sided disc. The music sounds fresher than ever, and both the theatrical overture and entr'acte are included. There's an extensive and enjoyable documentary tracing the history of the story by Lew Wallace through stage productions to the first MGM version in 1925 and then to the 1959 production. Charlton Heston provides an intermittent... read more Description After his boyhood friend Messala's fanatic loyalty to Rome makes him a powerful enemy, Judah Ben-Hur is found guilty of an attempted murder he did not commit. His family is banished and he is enslaved on a warship. Through his ferocity in a raging sea battle, he is able to escape and become a horse trainer. To exact his revenge, Ben-Hur decides to compete against Messala in the Roman chariot races. They race, locked in a battle to the death. Barely surviving, Ben-Hur forsakes the sword for Christ and finally finds redemption. Winner of a record 11 Academy Award, including Best Picture and Actor (Charlton Heston).

 

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Alex Winter, George Carlin, Comedies

The excitement and fun begin when a trio of interplanetary rulers dispatch a cool hipster from the 27th century to send two teenage boys - who should have been studying history instead of playing rock music - on a trip through time and history. -- (Muze Description)1002377 Before meeting Socrates' Bill and Ted read up on his philosophy, " 'The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing.' That's us dude." "Oh. Yeah." -- Bill to Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1106680 Two brain-dead California teenagers, with a combined vocabulary of approximately 75 words, travel back in time to corral various historical figures for a class presentation that just might keep the pair from failing history "most heinously." Napoleon, Socrates, Billy The Kid, Sigmund Freud and Mozart are among those who journey forward in time with the duo in order to give the youth of California eye-witness accounts of the "awesome" pageant that is world history. Most excellent. -- (Synopsis)1106682 Film was followed by a sequel, "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" (1991), and an animated television series. Jane Wiedlin, the actress who plays "Joan of Arc", was formerly a member of "The Go-Go's", an all-woman rock/pop band that enjoyed a measure of success in the 1980s. Shot in Technicolor. -- (Muze Annotation)1106683 "...Delightfully inventive..." -- Rating: A -- (Review)1189035 "...There's a strong and savvy soundtrack....Witlessly appealing..." -- (Review)1193283

 

Billy Elliot
Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Dramas

Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is an 11-year-old boy living in northeast England in the mid-1980s. While his gruff father and brother are taking part in a massive coal miners strike, Billy goes to boxing lessons and furtively plays his dead mother's piano out of loneliness. One day Billy notices a ballet class nearby. Intrigued, he begins practicing and taking lessons from Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), a tough-minded teacher. Billy begins to fall in love with ballet but keeps his lessons a secret from his family, who struggle to put food on the table while the strike drags on. When his father finally learns the truth, a family crisis erupts, and Billy struggles to prove that dancing is more than just a hobby--it's his dream. BILLY ELLIOT is a touching and heartwarming story that avoids clichés by setting the story in the grim mining town of northern England amid economic hardship and sacrifice, showing the joy and release that dancing provides for Billy. Newcomer Jamie Bell, who does all his own dancing in the film, deserves special credit for his performance as Billy. -- (Muze Description)1171886 Theatrical release: October 13, 2000. Filmed on location in Northeast England. The film was originally titled DANCER but was changed to BILLY ELLIOT shortly before its release. Some of BILLY ELLIOT is based on screenwriter Lee Hall's experiences growing up in northeast England at the time of the devastating miners strike in 1984 and 1985. BILLY ELLIOT is the directorial debut of British theatrical director Stephen Daldry. The filmmakers auditioned more than 2,000 boys looking for their Billy. The winner was Jamie Bell, a 12-year-old from Billingham, England, who had also struggled with being a dancer in a small, conservative town. BILLY ELLIOT won Best Picture at the 2000 British Independent Film Awards, which also saw Stephen Daldry take home Best Director, Jamie Bell win Best Newcomer, and Lee Hall grab Best Screenplay. Paul Clinton of cnn.com and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone named BILLY ELLIOT one of the 10 best films of 2000. The National Board of Review named Jamie Bell Outstanding Young Actor for his work in BILLY ELLIOT. The Broadcast Film Critics Association named him Best Child Performer. BILLY ELLIOT was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture--Drama, and Julie Walters was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. -- (Muze Annotation)1171887 "...A heartwarming, toe-tapping delight....Daldry elicits a star-making turn from 14-year-old newcomer Jamie Bell..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1172220 "...Stephen Daldry anchors [the film's] melodramatic formula in tough, heartfelt realism....Jamie Bell [conveys a] convincing mixture of sullenness and innocent charm..." -- (Review)1174062 "...If Dickens had written FLASHDANCE after seeing THE FULL MONTY, it probably would have come out something like this infectious, feel-good bundle of ambition in the face of adversity..." -- 3.5 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1174335 Mrs. Wilkinson: "I've been thinking about the National Ballet School." Billy: "Aren't you a bit old for that, miss?" Mrs. Wilkinson: "Not for me, for you!" -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1175201 "...An inspirational Brit-prole dance fable..." -- (Review)1186194 "...Gracefully executed....The fleet-footed BILLY ELLIOT illustrates how classic storylines, in the right hands, can work over and over again..." -- (Review)1190378 "...Daldry scores a sensational film debut....Bell explodes onscreen in a performance that cuts to the heart..." -- (Review)1198774 "...Jimmy Bell is an engaging Billy, earnest and high-spirited, and a pretty good dancer, too..." -- (Review)1252629

 

Birdcage, The
Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Comedies

In Mike Nichols's hilarious remake of the 1978 French comedy LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, Robin Williams stars as Armand Goldman, a gay cabaret owner who lives in Miami's South Beach with his partner, Albert (Nathan Lane), the club's star performer. Armand and Albert must try in vain to pass as a typical couple when the prospective in-laws of Armand's son, Val (Dan Futterman), come for dinner. While accepting their alternative lifestyle personally, Val demands that they tone it down for his girlfriend's (Calista Flockhart) parents--who happen to be a political couple running on a family values platform. Lane's hilarious attempts to "play it straight" and Hank Azaria's brilliantly flamboyant houseboy, Agador, are the highlights of the film, which also features a beautifully understated Williams as the more "normal" of the pair. Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest are delightfully square as the future in-laws. -- (Muze Description)1070379 Theatrical release: March 8, 1996. -- (Muze Annotation)1093024 "Why, it looks like young men playing leapfrog!... Is it Greek?" -- Louise Keeley (DIANNE WIEST), when she sees the pornographic china that's been set out on Armand and Albert's dinner table. -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1093025 THE BIRDCAGE is director Mike Nichols's remake of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. The comedy features a flamboyant gay couple who must attempt to "straighten up" for their son's prospective in-laws. -- (Synopsis)1093026 "...A nicely restrained Williams lets Nathan Lane as his high-strung diva companion rule the roost in this fluttery, funny [film]..." -- 3 out of 4 stars" -- (Review)1168507 "Enchantingly funny....The beauty of THE BIRD CAGE is that its jokes and its message are one and the same..." -- Rating: A- -- (Review)1178164 "...THE BIRDCAGE is a scream....Performed with matchless aplomb and made with plush professionalism....[The film] serves up pure pleasure..." -- (Review)1196821 "...Robin Williams is the best surprises....He's more restrained than in anything he's done since AWAKENINGS..." -- (Review)1260215

 

Birdy
Modine, Matthew, Cage, Nicolas,

Amazon.com Based on William Wharton's transcendent novel of the same name, this film is about many things: friendship, war, and, of course, birds. The framing device is an effort by a horribly scarred combat soldier (Nicolas Cage) to break through to his best friend, Birdy (Matthew Modine), hospitalized after seemingly being driven mad by fighting in the Vietnam War. Cage then flashes back to their boyhood, where Birdy, a canary aficionado, was considered the school weirdo but managed to be a solid companion nonetheless. Directed by Alan Parker, it works best as a coming-of-age story, but misses the bizarre psychological transferences of the book, in which Birdy imagines himself within the world of canaries he creates in his bedroom at his parents' house. Modine is fine as an out-of-it misfit enraptured by his own little universe. --Marshall Fine

 

Black Hawk Down
Brendan Sexton, Brian Van Holt, Dramas

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. -- (Muze Description)1221416 "...There may be no working director more accomplished at wringing texture out of the color blue than the prodigious and now prolific Mr. Scott..." -- (Review)1226683 "...BLACK HAWK's knockout photography, editing and sound are all state of the art..." -- (Review)1226702 "...A personal best for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a triumph for Scott and a war film of prodigious power. You will be shaken..." -- (Review)1227448 "...[The] images have a raw, vital quality that heightens the urgent, you-are-there quality of the action, and all the equipment, effects and military-related details are superb..." -- (Review)1228249 "...[Made] with immense technical skill and spectacular photography..." -- (Review)1229771 "...Well-made..." -- (Review)1231302 Theatrical Release: DECEMBER 28, 2001 (NY/LA) JANUARY 18, 2002 (EXPANDS) -- (Muze Annotation)1233263 "...Gripping, incisive....An attempt to record as accurately as possible what it was like to be under fire on that mission..." -- (Review)1248693

 

Blow (Infinifilm Edition)
Depp, Johnny, Cruz, Penélope, Drama : General

Amazon.com A briskly paced hybrid of Boogie Nights and Goodfellas, Blow chronicles the three-decade rise and fall of George Jung (Johnny Depp), a normal American kid who makes a personal vow against poverty, builds a marijuana empire in the '60s, multiplies his fortune with the Colombian Medellín cocaine cartel, and blows it all with a series of police busts culminating in one final, long-term jail sentence. "Your dad's a loser," says this absentee father to his estranged but beloved daughter, and he's right: Blow is the story of a nice guy who made wrong choices all his life, almost single-handedly created the American cocaine trade, and got exactly what he deserved. As directed by Ted Demme, the film is vibrantly entertaining, painstakingly authentic... and utterly aimless in terms of overall purpose. We can't sympathize with Jung's meteoric rise to wealth and the wild life, and Demme isn't suggesting that we should idolize a drug dealer. So what, exactly, is the point of Blow? Simply, it seems, to present Jung's story as the epitome of the coke-driven glory days, and to suggest, ever so subtly, that Jung isn't such a bad guy, after all. Anyone curious about his lifestyle will find this film amazing, and there's plenty of humor mixed with the constant threat of violence and paranoid anxiety. Demme has also populated the film with a fantastic supporting cast (although Penélope Cruz grows tiresome as Jung's hedonistic wife), and this is certainly a compelling look at the other side of Traffic. Still, one wishes that Blow had a more viable reason for being; like a wild party, it leaves you with a hangover and a vague feeling of regret. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The third Infinifilm finds another rich topic to showcase the fully loaded DVD line. Foremost is director Ted Demme's captivating interview with the real George Jung (the director also shares his commentary track with his subject). In addition Demme gives us a flippant, behind-the-scenes "Production Diary" and more than a half-hour of better-than-average deleted scenes (a few of which reveal the fate of a major character). The extemporaneous "Character Outtakes" are so good, more filmmakers... read more

 

Blue Lagoon, The
Shields, Brooke, Atkins, Christopher,

Amazon.com The cinematography by Néstor Almendros garnered him an Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, the performance by then child star Brooke Shields garnered her a nomination, too--for a Razzie Award. She won, he didn't. This 1980 remake of a much classier, 1949 British version features Shields and Christopher Atkins as children shipwrecked on a lush tropical island. They grow to maturity and fall in love, with the script paying special attention to their burgeoning sexuality. Should you desire more trite dialogue, there is an even less satisfying sequel, 1991's Return to the Blue Lagoon. --Rochelle O'Gorman

 

 

Bob Hope, The Ultimate Collectiion
Hope, Bob, , Boxed Sets : Classics

Amazon.com The Ultimate Bob Hope Collection features over six hours of highlights from over a half-century of television specials by a true legend in American entertainment. In his staggering 50 years on NBC, Bob Hope created such a formidable mass of comic clips, bloopers, and salutes to troops, that a mere three-DVD set can barely contain them. Still, the collection brings together, for the first time on DVD, timeless sketches with such notable wags as Dean Martin, Phyllis Diller, Johnny Carson, and Jack Benny, and celebrates countless moments of hilarity with some of the biggest stars of the century, including John Wayne, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. While this DVD set is, for the most part, a compilation of previous collections that have aired on NBC over the years, it still delivers the goods, and should prove a beloved addition to the collection of any Hope fan. It's a delight to have one of the most engaging comics of our time, and 50 years of him at that, at our very fingertips. --Karl Wachter Description For the first time on DVD, The Ultimate Bob Hope Collection features highlights from fifty years of The Bob Hope TV Special with bonus extras never before available. This remarkable legacy of laughter is the only video collection authorized by Bob Hope himself. This special collector's edition features rare vintage clips, hilarious outtakes, and a guest list that reads like a virtual who's who of Hollywood legends, Presidents, and stars from every generation. Extras include Bob's first ever radio appearance in 1935, movie shorts from the 1930s, an excerpt from "Memories of World War II," Bob's photo album, and more. Volume 1: 50 Years of Laughter, Parts 1 and 2. Five decades of Bob's favorite memories with the biggest stars and the biggest laughs. Volume 2: Hope for the Holidays; Saulte to the Troops. Every Christmas Bob delivered laughter and hope to TV audiences and American GIs around the world. Volume 3: Celebrity Bloopers; Bob's Special Extras. The funniest outtakes from Bob's personal blooper reel and rare extras from the Hope archive.

 

Bone Collector, The
Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Dramas

Washington is Lincoln Rhyme, a successful police officer and author of crime novels. After a freak accident on the job, Rhyme is left paralyzed from the neck down (except for his index finger). Jolie is Amelia Donaghy, a troubled cop who finds herself caught up in the investigation of a brutal serial killer. With the help of the bed-ridden Rhyme, she enters a dangerous world that threatens to add her to the killer's list. -- (Muze Description)1141788 "...Washington breathes actorly passion into [THE BONE COLLECTOR]..." -- (Review)1160473 "...Latifah steals any scene she's in....Ditto for Luis Guzman..." -- (Review)1209491 "...Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie create characters we really like; there's chemistry when they're together, and they're surrounded by the good energy of supporting players..." -- (Review)1255428

 

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Cruise, Tom, , Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video The second film in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy moves from the brutality of war in Platoon to its equally traumatic aftermath. Based on the memoir of combat veteran Ron Kovic, the film stars Tom Cruise as Kovic, whose gunshot wound in Vietnam left him paralyzed from the chest down. He is deeply embittered by neglect in a veteran's hospital and by the shattering of his patriotic idealism because of the horror and futility of the Vietnam conflict. While painfully and awkwardly adjusting to his disability and a changing definition of masculinity, Kovic joins the burgeoning movement of antiwar protest, culminating in a climactic appearance at the 1976 Democratic national convention. A powerfully intimate portrait that unfolds on an epic scale, Born on the Fourth of July is arguably Stone's best film (if you can forgive its often strident tone), and Cruise's Oscar-nominated role is uncompromising in its depiction of one man's personal anguish and political awakening. --Jeff Shannon

 

Bourne Identity, The
Franka Potente, Clive Owen, Action/Adventure

As THE BOURNE IDENTITY begins, a man who may or may not be Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea and is hauled onto a fishing boat. When the ship's doctor examines the unconscious castaway, he discovers two bullet wounds and an implanted device that displays a Swiss bank account number. With nothing but this code, the amnesiac Bourne travels to Zurich and gains access to a safe-deposit box containing a gun, thousands of dollars in various currencies, and valid passports from numerous countries--each listing a different identity. Within minutes, Bourne is on the run from a seemingly ever-present agency, relying on language and fighting skills he didn't even know he possessed. Offering $20,000 for a ride to Paris, Bourne gains the reluctant help of the nomadic Marie (Franka Potente). Meanwhile, the shadowy organization, headed by a tough-talking bureaucrat (Chris Cooper), sends numerous assassins (including the Professor, played by Clive Owen) after Bourne and Marie. As their situation grows more perilous, the two strangers struggle to find out who Bourne really is and why they are being hunted. Doug Liman's adaptation of Robert Ludlum's best-selling novel is a remarkable exercise in straightforward storytelling, with the director wisely choosing to focus on Bourne and his quest for identity. The fight sequences are thrilling, but never overly glamorized, and the film's pacing is engaging and deliberate. Damon, who displays genuine bewilderment as his character discovers his almost-superhuman abilities, anchors the proceedings with the subtle charm of an unlikely action hero. Potente also shines as Bourne's road companion, a savvy woman who slowly builds an utterly believable relationship with the confused man. Bearing distinct affinity for its European setting and classic Hollywood suspense films, THE BOURNE IDENTITY succeeds as an unusually smart character-driven thriller. -- (Muze Description)1236404 "...Cool RONIN-style car chases ensue....BOURNE earns what passes as hip praise..." -- (Review)1241059 "...A tiptop espionage thriller....Laced with great shocking moments, BOURNE moves along smartly on its own steam, drawing us confidently into its orbit..." -- (Review)1241292 "...Blisteringly fast, BOURNE also has a strong or striking supporting actor around every corner..." -- (Review)1242092 "...Very well done, with skillful action sequences and a great chase scene through Paris streets..." -- (Review)1247918 "...There's much to enjoy here....Liman has real talent....An undertone of humour enriches the action..." -- (Review)1251584 Theatrical release: June 14, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1255245

 

Bourne Supremacy
Urban, Karl, Allen, Joan, Dramas

THEATRICAL RELEASE: JULY 23, 2004 Matt Damon returns as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in this fast-paced follow-up to 2002's THE BOURNE IDENTITY. Forced out of hiding as the result of an attempt on his life, Bourne fulfills his earlier promise to wreak vengeance on his former CIA employers, some of whom may be in league with murderous Russians. Brian Cox and Joan Allen are both great as warring agency chiefs convinced Bourne orchestrated the murder of two of their own in a deal gone bad. Thanks to tense, gritty direction by Paul Greengrass (BLOODY SUNDAY), the plot stays tight, the characters believable, and suspense and thrills flow steady. Moody photography enhances the urban European locations, which--combined with handheld camerawork and fast editing--keeps the action realistic and CGI-free. Vividly capturing the fatalist flavor of Robert Ludlum's original novel, this is "globalism noir" at its finest. Franka Potente and Julia Stiles are back from the original, and the always dependable Marton Csokas shows up as one of Bourne's deadly fellow operatives. A rousing car chase through Moscow may outdo the ones in RONIN and THE FRENCH CONNECTION for visceral speed and length. As the icing on the cake, John Powell provides a menacing, ambient percussive score.

 

Boys Don't Cry
Swank, Hilary, Sevigny, Chloë, Dramas

Peirce's directorial debut tells the gut-wrenching true story of Teena Brandon, a Midwestern female who disguised herself as a man. Relocating to Falls City, Nebraska, from Lincoln, she managed to convince her newfound group of friends that she was Brandon Teena. The film treats these events with a painful objectivism, as Brandon's relationships with her friends John, Tom, Kate, Candace, and Lana unfold toward their inevitably horrific conclusion. A shining example of independent filmmaking at its most impassioned. Hilary Swank appeared in the short film THE AUDITION with her husband, Chad Lowe, who also wrote and directed it.

 

Braveheart
Gibson, Mel, Gleeson, Brendan,

This Academy Award-winning epic, directed by Mel Gibson, tells the saga of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero William Wallace, known to his countrymen as Braveheart. Gibson stars as Wallace, who rallies the Scots against the tyrannical English monarch Edward I after he suffers a personal tragedy at the hands of English soldiers. Willing to fight to the death for Scotland¿s freedom, Wallace assembles an amateur band of warriors whose faith in freedom is stronger than any English army.

 

 

Bringing Down the House
Levy, Eugene, Plowright, Joan, Comedies

Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a divorced workaholic L.A. lawyer trying to forget his ex-wife (Jean Smart). Successful but lonely, Peter falls for an online chat buddy and is eager to meet his dream girl, until he meets the real woman behind the screen name and realizes she is nothing like he thought. Instead of a svelte blonde businesswoman he comes face to face with Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah), a sassy African American ex-con who is eager to infiltrate Peter's stereotypically uptight white suburban world. Charlene wants Peter to defend her and prove she's innocent of a crime that she didn't commit but Peter wants nothing to do with the fast-talking homegirl. However, Peter's geeky best friend Howie (Eugene Levy) feels different and begins to woo the voluptuous diva with "hip" street lingo and hysterically deadpan come-ons. Soon enough, Charlene is shacked up in Peter's palatial estate, throwing wild parties, and opening his eyes to life, love and infectious freedom. Steve Martin and Queen Latifah are a fresh and dynamic comic team in this hysterical spin on the black-white buddy comedy that is a mixture of PRETTY WOMAN and THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR. Theatrical release: March 7, 2003

 

Broken Arrow (1996)
Travolta, John, Slater, Christian, Action & Adventure

Amazon.com John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people... he even smokes! If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original Die Hard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat, Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. We have plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout, and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins. You're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with labored jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (The Killer, Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins's gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action, but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woo later reteamed for Face/Off. --Doug Thomas

 

Brotherhood of the Wolf
Monica Bellucci, Jérémie Rénier, Foreign Films

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF is a wild mix of martial arts, horror, and French period drama. Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan), a charming naturalist and libertine, arrives in Gevaudan with his companion, Mani (Mark Dacascos), a taciturn Mohawk Iroquois Indian with amazing fighting skills. Fronsac has been sent by the king to investigate a mysterious beast that is slaughtering women and children across the countryside. The local gentry include the friendly Marquis Thomas D'Apcher (Jérémie Rénier), Jean-François de Morangias (Vincent Cassel), a one-armed adventurer with a suspicious nature, and his beautiful sister, Marianne (Emilie Dequenne of ROSETTA). Though Fronsac is immediately attracted to Marianne, he still finds time to visit Sylvia (Monica Bellucci), a mysterious prostitute with a penchant for sharp objects. Fronsac and Mani quickly realize that the killer is not a wolf, but something bigger and far more deadly. As they attempt to track the beast, they encounter unexpected resistance from the locals, and find themselves in grave danger. BROTHERHOOD, a huge hit in France, is a uniquely entertaining film, featuring stunning fight scenes, suspense, and campy high drama. Director Christophe Gans captures it all with a visual panache few Hollywood directors can match. -- (Muze Description)1223705 "...Just about as good as action movies get....[A] film that's exciting, smart, sexy and scary..." -- (Review)1227285 "...[The film] whooshes around the room like a newly opened balloon....Mr. Gans is a shrewd filmmaker....He gives the film a luxuriant pictorial beauty..." -- (Review)1228519 "...Stylishly shot and edited, awash in fast-paced jump cuts and whooshing, MATRIX-style sound effects, the eerie story and special effects get pulses racing..." -- (Review)1228529 "...WOLF is a cross-cultural hoot..." -- (Review)1237778 Theatrical release: January 11, 2002 (LIMITED) -- (Muze Annotation)1240951 "...A great-looking, cheerfully preposterous French film....Well-made, over the top, a lot of fun..." -- (Review)1248758

 

Bruce Almighty (Widescreen Edition)
Carrey, Jim, Freeman, Morgan, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Bestowing Jim Carrey with godlike powers is a ripe recipe for comedy, and Bruce Almighty delivers the laughs that Carrey's mainstream fans prefer. The high-concept premise finds Carrey playing Bruce Nolan, a frustrated Buffalo TV reporter, stuck doing puff-pieces while a lesser colleague (the hilarious Steven Carell) gets the anchor job he covets. Bruce demands an explanation from God, who pays him a visit (in the serene form of Morgan Freeman) and lets Bruce take over while he takes a brief vacation. What does a petty, angry guy do when he's God? That's where Carrey has a field day, reuniting with his Ace Ventura and Liar, Liar director, Tom Shadyac, while Jennifer Aniston gamely keeps pace as Bruce's put-upon fiancée. Carrey's actually funnier before he becomes Him, and the movie delivers a sappy, safely diluted notion of faith that lacks the sincerity of the 1977 hit Oh, God! Still, we can be thankful that Carrey took the high road and left Little Nicky to Adam Sandler. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Butterfly Effect, The (Infinifilm Edition)
Kutcher, Ashton, Walters, Melora, Drama : General

Amazon.com Despite box-office dominance during its opening weekend, The Butterfly Effect is better suited to guilty-pleasure viewing at home. When writer-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (who penned Final Destination 2) aren't breaking their own haphazard rules of logic, they're filling this sordid thriller with enough unpleasantness to make eternal damnation seem like an attractive alternative. In a role-reversal from his That '70s Show persona, Ashton Kutcher plays a college-age psychology student who discovers, by re-reading his childhood journals, that he can revisit his past and alter traumatic events, hoping to improve their previously unfortunate outcomes. Instead, this foolhardy experiment in chaos theory (the titular "butterfly effect," popularized by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) results in a variety of nightmarish permutations, each having dire consequences for him and/or his friends. This intriguing premise is explored with a few interesting twists and turns, but with subplots involving child pornography, animal cruelty, and profanely violent children, it's a stretch to call it entertainment. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description A young man struggling to access sublimated childhood memories finds a technique that allows him to travel back to the past. Occupying his childhood body, he is able to change history. But every change he makes has unexpected consequences.

 

Cabaret (1972)
Minnelli, Liza, York, Michael, Musicals & Performing Arts : Ballet & Dance

Amazon.com essential video Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Cabaret would also have taken Best Picture if it hadn't been competing against The Godfather as the most acclaimed film of 1972. (Francis Ford Coppola would have to wait two years before winning Best Director, for The Godfather, Part II.) Brilliantly adapted from the acclaimed stage production, which was in turn inspired by Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories and the play and movie I Am a Camera, this remarkable musical turns the pre-war Berlin of 1931 into a sexually charged haven of decadence. Minnelli commands the screen as nightclub entertainer Sally Bowles, who radiantly goes on with the show as the Nazis rise to power, holding her many male admirers (including Michael York and Helmut Griem) at a distance that keeps her from having to bother with genuinely deep emotions. Joel Grey is the master of ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub who will guarantee a great show night after night as a way of staving off the inevitable effects of war and dictatorship. They're all living in a morally ambiguous vacuum of desperate anxiety, determined to keep up appearances as the real world--the world outside the comfortable sanctuary of the cabaret--prepares for the nightmarish chaos of war. Director-choreographer Fosse achieves a finely tuned combination of devastating drama and ebullient entertainment, and the result is one of the most substantial screen musicals ever made. The dual-layered Special Edition widescreen DVD includes an exclusive 25th-anniversary documentary, Cabaret: A Legend in the Making, a 1972 promotional featurette, a photo gallery, production notes, the theatrical trailer, and more. --Jeff Shannon

 

Calcium Kid, The
Orlando Bloom : Comdey

The film is a mockumentary comedy, in which Bloom plays young milkman Jimmy. He is an amateur boxer who by a bizarre twist of events ends up fighting the world champion in his home town. Special Features: o Biographies o Filmographies o Interactive Menu o Music Video o Photo Gallery o Scene Access o Trailer(s)

 

 

 

 

Cast Away (Single Disc Edition) (2000)
Hanks, Tom, Hunt, Helen, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video Cast Away is a good movie that wants to be much better. While director Robert Zemeckis's earlier film Contact achieved a kind of mainstream spiritual significance, Cast Away falls just short of that goal. That may explain why the film's most emotionally powerful scene involves the loss of an inanimate object, even as it presents a heart-rending dilemma in its very human final act. It's three movies in one, beginning when punctuality-obsessed Federal Express systems engineer Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) departs on Christmas Eve to escort an ill-fated flight of FedEx packages. Following a mid-Pacific plane crash, movie number two chronicles Chuck's four-year survival on a remote island, totally alone save for a Wilson volleyball (aptly named "Wilson") that becomes Chuck's closest "friend." Movie number three leads up to Chuck's rescue and an awkward encounter with his ex-girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt, in a thankless role), for whom Chuck has seemingly risen from the grave. It's fascinating to witness Chuck's emerging survival skills, and Hanks's remarkable physical transformation is matched by his finely tuned performance. With slow, rhythmic camera moves and brilliant use of sound, Zemeckis wisely avoids the postcard prettiness of The Black Stallion and The Blue Lagoon to emphasize the harshness of Chuck's ascetic solitude, and this stylistic restraint allows Cast Away to resonate more than one might expect. Even the final scene--which feels like a crowd-pleasing compromise--offers hope without shoving it down our throats. You may not feel the emotional rush that you're meant to feel, but Cast Away remains a respectable effort. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Casualties of War (1989)
Fox, Michael J., Penn, Sean, Drama : General

Amazon.com Based on a true story, this Brian De Palma film casts Michael J. Fox as a soldier in Vietnam in a squad led by Sean Penn. While on patrol, in the wake of an ambush that has left friends dead, they kidnap and rape a Vietnamese woman--then murder her. But Fox, one of the soldiers who refused to participate in the rape, is so appalled by the killing that he reports it--and finds himself being treated as the villain. Penn is scarily tough as the vindictive soldier and De Palma does a solid job of re-creating the crime, making it a thing of horror. Yet this film never quite connects, despite a strong performance by Fox and a supporting cast that includes John C. Reilly and John Leguizamo. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Catch Me If You Can
Hanks, Tom, Walken, Christopher, Dramas

Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Frank W. Abagnale's autobiography CATCH ME IF YOU CAN follows the cat-and-mouse chase of Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) and FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) as Abagnale travels the world passing forged checks and assuming false identities. Covering the time period from 1963-69, the film leaps from the suburbs of New York to Georgia, Louisiana, Miami, France and the skies of Pan American airlines with Abagnale, who passes himself off as a pilot, doctor, lawyer and socialite, while constantly frustrating Hanratty's attempts to nab the increasingly cunning forger. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN finds Spielberg drawing on the father-son relationship that develops between Abagnale and Hanratty, filling a void left in the lives of each man: Abagnale's strained relationship with his tax-cheat father (Christopher Walken) and Hanratty's never-seen family left behind in the wake of a divorce. As Hanratty pursues Abagnale, their mutual admiration and respect grows, and finally they even come to rely on each other. Theatrical release: December 25, 2002

 

Caveman
Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, Comedies

A comedy set in prehistoric times about a group of outcasts who form a tribe called the "Misfits." The film makes innovative use of pantomime, since the actors do not speak English, but instead speak a primitive language developed for the film. -- (Muze Description)1003789 In this spoof of prehistoric times, a bunch of misfit cavemen who have been ousted from their various tribes band together and form their own. The gang embarks on various misadventures and in the process learns about walking upright, using tools, creating fire -- and the true meaning of friendship. -- (Synopsis)1087777 Color by Technicolor. -- (Muze Annotation)1087778 "...Cheery, playful....Very entertaining..." -- (Review)1181451

 

Changing Lanes (2002)
Affleck, Ben, Jackson, Samuel L., Drama : General

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.

 

Cheaper by the Dozen
Martin, Steve, Hunt, Bonnie, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt corral a wild herd of rampaging children in Cheaper by the Dozen, an enjoyable family flick. When Kate Baker (Hunt, Jerry Maguire) gets a book deal for her chronicle of their abundant family life, she also gets drawn into a book tour--leaving Tom (Martin, Bringing Down the House, The Jerk) to run the house and cope with his new, high-pressure job as a football coach. Naturally, chaos erupts, bringing the family to the brink of meltdown. Cheaper by the Dozen is not a great movie or an important movie or even a surprising movie, but it is a warm-hearted crowd-pleaser. The Bakers' family life is a bit idealized and antiseptic, but anyone looking for an escape from their own less-ideal family lives won't mind. Also featuring Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Piper Perabo, and an uncredited Ashton Kutcher. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Christine
Gordon, Keith, Stockwell, John,

Amazon.com She can't (and won't) drive 55.... Stephen King's novel about the twisted love affair between a boy and his car gets transferred to the screen, courtesy of suspense master John Carpenter. Although lacking some of the more outré supernatural elements of the source material, this high-octane cinematic tune-up more than delivers the goods, horror-wise (Christine's midnight rampages will never be forgotten)--as well as being a sly exposé of the random cruelties within the high-school pecking order. Keith Gordon (who has gone on to become a stellar director in his own right, with films such as A Midnight Clear and Mother Night to his credit) gives a wonderfully controlled central performance. Carpenter's atmospheric original score is backed up by a well-chosen collection of rock classics, including George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" (the titular character's all-too-apt theme song). --Andrew Wright

 

Cider House Rules, The
Theron, Charlize, Lindo, Delroy, Dramas

THE CIDER HOUSE RUES, an expertly crafted and intelligent adapation of John Irving's novel, explores themes of disappointment, ideas of moral ambiguity, and, indeed, lessons about life itself, woven into a dramatic story that is neither slow nor sentimental. Tobey Maguire is the immensely likable Homer Wells, a lifelong resident of a Maine orphanage who comes of age during WWII under the auspices of its director, Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine). Larch is pragmatic, progressive, highly intelligent, and loathe to let Homer go out into the world. He sees him as a son, and the only one whose medical training allows for him to take over when he retires from his job as physician, obstetrician, and illegal abortionist. When ingenue Candy (Charlize Theron) and air force adventurer Wally (Paul Rudd), come to Larch for help with an abortion, Homer befriends the couple and, against Larch's wishes, sets off with them to see the world, or at least the rest of Maine. Working at an apple orchard owned by Wally's mother (Kate Nelligan), Homer lives and works with a group of African-American migrant workers, among them the morally ambiguous Mr. Rose Delroy Lindo and his beloved daughter Rose Rose (Erykah Badu in a stunning debut). When Wally goes off to war, and Rose Rose gets into a complex and frightening situation, Homer is faced with serious choices and dilemmas that can only be solved by the wisdom he has learned from Larch. A classic, old-fashioned-style American film that deals directly with sensitive and taboo issues, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is a beautifully acted, carefully paced story full of substance. Lasse Hallstrom directed this elegant version of John Irving’s best-selling novel about Homer Wells, an orphan in 1940s Maine who can’t seem to stay adopted and ends up being raised at an orphanage by the doctor who runs it. Dr. Larch is an expert in the field of gynecology and teaches Homer all he knows. When Homer begins to question the doctor’s ethics, he leaves the orphanage and sets off on a journey to discover what will be most important to him, so beginning his true passage to adulthood in a world of increasingly complex political and social mores. "Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England."--Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) Theatrical release: October 21,1999. Filmed on location in Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts.

 

Clear and Present Danger
Ford, Harrison, Dafoe, Willem,

Amazon.com The third installment in the cinematic incarnation of Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan and the second starring Harrison Ford, this follow-up to Patriot Games is a more complex, rewarding, and bolder film than its predecessor. Ford returns as Ryan, this time embroiled in a failed White House bid to wipe out a Colombian drug cartel and cover up the mess. The script, by Clancy and John Milius (Red Dawn), has an air of true adventure about it as Ryan places himself in harm's way to extract covert soldiers abandoned in a Latin American jungle. There are a couple of remarkable set pieces expertly handled by Patriot Games director Phillip Noyce, especially a shocking scene involving an ambush on Ryan's car in an alley. The supporting cast is superb, including Willem Dafoe as the soldiers' leader, Henry Czerny as Ryan's enemy at the CIA, Joaquim de Almeida as a smooth-talking villain, Ann Magnuson as an unwitting confederate in international crime, and James Earl Jones as Ryan's dying boss. The DVD release has a widescreen presentation, theatrical trailer, closed captioning, optional French soundtrack, and optional Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh

 

Cold Mountain
Law, Jude, Kidman, Nicole, Drama : General

Amazon.com Freely adapted from Charles Frazier's beloved bestseller, Cold Mountain boasts an impeccable pedigree as a respectable Civil War love story, offering everything you'd want from a romantic epic except a resonant emotional core. Everything in this sweeping, Odyssean journey depends on believing in the instant love that ignites during a very brief encounter between genteel, city-bred preacher's daughter Ada (Nicole Kidman) and Confederate soldier Inman (Jude Law), who deserts the battlefield to return, weary and wounded, to Ada's inherited farm in the rural town of Cold Mountain, North Carolina. In an epic (but dramatically tenuous) case of absence making hearts grow fonder, Inman endures a treacherous hike fraught with danger (and populated by supporting players including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and others) while the struggling, inexperienced Ada is aided by the high-spirited Ruby (Renée Zellweger), forming a powerful farming partnership that transforms Ada into a strong, lovelorn survivor. The film's episodic structure slightly weakens its emotional impact, and it's fairly obvious that director Anthony Minghella is striving to repeat the prestigious romanticism of his Oscar®-winning hit The English Patient. For the most part it works, especially in the dynamic performances of Zellweger and Kidman, and the explosive 1864 battle of Petersburg, Virginia, is recreated with violent, percussive intensity. Those who admired Frazier's novel may regret some of the changes made in Minghella's adaptation (the ending is particularly altered), but Cold Mountain remains a high-class example of grand, old-fashioned filmmaking, boosted by star power of the highest order. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Anthony Minghella's film receives a classy two-disc DVD debut. There are lots of extras but better still, it has very little padding. A new 70-minute documentary on the making of the film is smart and interesting, often going after elements we normally don't see, including location scouting, dealing with weather, and the preview audiences. Directors Laura Luchetti and Timothy Bricknell don't pander to MTV-style editing, allowing the talent to speak at length. The 20 minutes of deleted scenes... read more

 

Collateral Damage (2002)
Schwarzenegger, Arnold, Leguizamo, John, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Arnold Schwarzenegger's loyal fans get what they want in this routine but rousing revenge thriller, which pits the aging action star against a Colombian guerrilla terrorist. Schwarzenegger plays a Los Angeles fireman who witnesses the killing of his wife and young son, caused by the terrorist's bombing in a crowded L.A. pavilion. Despite intense scrutiny by FBI and CIA officials, Arnie infiltrates the terrorist's remote jungle compound, enlists the aid of the villain's seemingly trustworthy wife (Francesca Neri), and plots to foil another bombing in Washington, D.C. Director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive) maintains adequate plausibility even when Schwarzenegger's survival grows absurdly unlikely, and lively roles for John Turturro and John Leguizamo add welcomed spice to the movie's impressive display of military ordnance. Despite its formulaic plot and Arnold's advancing seniority, Collateral Damage still manages to pack an entertaining punch. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Collateral
Berg, Peter, Bardem, Javier, Dramas

Jamie Foxx plays Max, a Los Angeles cab driver who has a pretty wild night in this thriller from Michael Mann (HEAT, THE INSIDER). First, Max picks up, flirts with, and gets the number of Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), an attractive District attorney. Next, Vincent (Tom Cruise) climbs into his cab. He is a professional hit man who reserves Max for the night with a whole shopping list of victims he needs to visit. As the night moves forward and the body count rises, Max must wrestle with the question of how to do the right thing while staying alive. Gradually the two men bond in unlikely ways, as each learns survival mechanisms from the other, and it all doubles as a metaphor for morality vs. capitalism. Mark Ruffalo and Peter Berg play cops who eventually get on Max and Vincent's trail, leading to a spectacular action set piece inside a night club. Irma P. Hall (2004's THE LADYKILLERS) gets laughs as Max's hospitalized "momma," and Javier Bardem (BEFORE NIGHT FALLS) is a sinister drug lord. With a capable director like Mann at the wheel, this remains a smooth, enjoyable ride while also being fast, bumpy, and full of twists and turns. The streets of urban, nighttime Los Angeles--captured via a specially modified digital camera--never looked so beautiful or desolate. As typical of the director, the film is both artistic and action-packed; operatically over-the-top while never skimping on the little details. THEATRICAL RELEASE: AUGUST 6, 2004

 

Color Purple, The
Margaret Avery, Danny Glover, Dramas

Steven Spielberg’s masterful adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel stars Whoppi Goldberg, in her impressive screen debut, as Celie, a sharecropper's daughter living in rural Georgia. The film opens in 1909 when Celie is a young girl, a victim of incest, pregnant with her father's child. Ugly and unloved, separated from her children and her sister, Celie's only option is marriage to an abusive, philandering husband (Danny Glover) who treats her little better than a slave. Her life changes forever when her husband brings his mistress, a beautiful blues singer named Shug (Margaret Avery), into the house. THE COLOR PURPLE was also the film debut for Oprah Winfrey, who beautifully plays Celie’s sister-in-law, Sofia. THE COLOR PURPLE was nominated for 11 Academy Awards (including one each for Goldberg, Avery, and Winfrey) but surprisingly won no Oscars, and although the film was nominated for a Best Picture award, Spielberg was snubbed by the academy and was not nominated for Best Director. -- (Muze Description)1004478 Steven Spielberg's gentle film is a masterful adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a southern black girl's rise from tragedy to personal triumph through the course of her lifetime. The acting in the film is superb, including terrific performances by Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, and Adolph Caesar. -- (Synopsis)1119355 Theatrical release: December 18, 1985. The film was shot in North Carolina and Kenya. Writer Alice Walker was very involved with the film version of her novel and made sure that the filmmakers accurately portrayed the family as middle class, not poor. Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey made their screen-acting debuts in the film. The film’s producer and composer, musician Quincy Jones, happened to spot Winfrey on television hosting a local Chicago talk show and considered her perfect for the role of the spunky, outspoken Sofia. Winfrey, as Sofia, is married to Harpo (Willard Pugh). Winfrey has said that she felt destined to play the role--and interestingly enough, Harpo spelled backward is Oprah, adding proof to her theory. -- (Muze Annotation)1119356 "...Remarkably faithful in incident and detail to Alice Walker's original..." -- (Review)1162833 "...Momentum, warmth and staying power....[Goldberg] eventually grows into a tremendously compelling figure..." -- (Review)1176364 "...An intimate story of suffering, endurance and triumph....Distinctive and deeply moving..." -- (Review)1240971

 

Come Undone
Elkaïm, Jérémie, Rideau, Stéphane, Art House & International : General

Two young men, one an experienced hustler and the other an innocent traveler, fall in love during a heated summer in France.

 

 

 

 

Conan - The Complete Quest (Conan The Barbarian/The Destroyer)
Schwarzenegger, Arnold, Jones, Grace, Action & Adventure : General

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constantine
LaBeouf, Shia, Swinton, Tilda, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

With the ability to identify angels and demons as they exist on Earth, Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is tormented and set apart from other people. He is self destructive and angry, yet he does the right thing in protecting the citizens of Los Angeles from the dark forces that surround them. However, when he falls in love with a cop (Rachel Weisz), everything begins to change. THEATRICAL RELEASE: FEBRUARY 18, 2005

 

 

 

Count of Monte Cristo, The (2002)
Caviezel, James, , Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Revenge rarely gets sweeter than it does in The Count of Monte Cristo, a rousing, impeccably crafted adaptation of Alexandre Dumas père's literary classic. Filmed countless times before, the story is revitalized by director Kevin Reynolds (rallying after Waterworld) and screenwriter Jay Wolpert, who wisely avoid the action-movie anachronisms that plagued 2001's dubious Dumas-inspired The Musketeer. Leading a superior cast, Jim Caviezel (Frequency) expresses a delicate balance of obsession and nobility as Dantes, the wrongly accused Frenchman who endures 13 years of prison and torment, then uses a hidden treasure to finance elaborate vengeance on those who wronged him. Memento's Guy Pearce is equally effective as Dantes's betraying nemesis, and Richard Harris tops his Harry Potter wizardry with a humorous turn as Dantes's fellow prisoner and mentor. Filmed on stunning locations in Ireland and Malta, The Count of Monte Cristo easily matches Rob Roy for intelligent swashbuckling entertainment. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Courage Under Fire (1996)
Washington, Denzel, Ryan, Meg, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video A year after a devastating friendly fire incident during the Gulf War, Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is in a Washington, D.C., desk job assigned the rudimentary task of overseeing a Medal of Honor candidate who died in the war. However, the case and soldier in question are a political hot potato--Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) is America's first female soldier to be killed in combat. Serling soon finds discrepancies in the case of a downed Medevac helicopter in the rocky Kuwait territory. What unfolds in flashback are several versions of Walden's tactics (à la Kurosawa's Rashomon) to rescue the soldiers and survive the downing. As with Glory, Director Edward Zwick's cast of unknown and famous faces always comes off as the real article. Walden's crew is especially convincing. Matt Damon as the medic comes off as the giddy scaredy-cat when telling his story to Washington. In battle he's a flawed, humorous soldier. The most surprising work in the movie is done by Lou Diamond Phillips (as the group's gunman), whose career had been headed to straight-to-video oblivion. Then there's Ryan. She has done well with dramatic work in the past (When a Man Loves a Woman, Flesh and Bone) but has never been able to escape the romantic-comedy image. With dyed hair, a light accent, and the dramatics of the situation, Ryan finally has an enduring dramatic film. Even though she has half of Washington's screen time, her brave and ultimately haunting performance makes Courage something special, right down to its curious but rewarding final scene. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

D2: The Mighty Ducks
Estevez, Emilio, Erbe, Kathryn, Comedies

The quack is back, this time invited to the Jr. Goodwill Games to represent the U.S.A. Taking pointers from a street hockey team, they prepare for the toughest challenge of their life. Filmed in Astro color; prints by Technicolor. Second unit camera work by Joel King. Copyright The Walt Disney Company. Rated BBFC U by the British Board of Film Classification. In this sequel to the hit comedy, coach Gordon Bombay gets drawn back into the world of hockey little league when a sporting goods manufacturer agrees to sponsor his young team at the Junior Goodwill Games.

 

 

Daddy Day Care (Special Edition)
Murphy, Eddie, Garlin, Jeff, Comedy : General

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.

 

Dances with Wolves
McDonnell, Mary, Greene, Graham, Westerns : General

In 1865, Civil War hero Lt. John Dunbar asks to be reassigned to the western frontier before it disappears. At his isolated post he develops a relationship with the peaceful Lakota Sioux and a white woman who lives among them, finding greater kinship with them than with his own people. Directorial debut for Kevin Costner. Won Best Picture and Best Director by the National Board of Review. Box office gross was more than $175 million. Filmed in South Dakota. Copyright 1990 Tig Productions, Inc.

 

 

Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Malone, Jena, Culkin, Kieran, Dramas

Set in the rural South in the 1970s in a Catholic school, four pre-teen boys (Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch, Jake Richardson, and Tyler Long) create a comic book called "The Atomic Trinity" to channel their creativity, imagination, and rebellious adolescent angst. They each develop their own superhero and, in doing so, live out fantasy lives through their empowered, unchained alter egos. Their evil adversaries are exaggerated characters designed after their teachers: Sister Assumpta (Jodie Foster) the stark, peg-legged nun; and Father Casey (Vincent D'Onofrio), the shady, chain-smoking priest. The spotlight of the film shines clearly on the handsome Francis (Hirsch) whose crush on his neighbor and schoolmate, Margie Flynn (Jenna Malone), leaves him tongue-tied. Tim (Culkin) is bolder, and so he rewrites a William Blake poem and uses it to bring together secretly dark Margie with wide-eyed Francis. Their relationship flowers into one of the heavier and more mysterious subplots in the film. Margie is instantly written into the comic as a wounded warrior-heroine who enlists the superheroes to help her in her battles against evil. Meanwhile, the boys are busy planning--and occasionally executing--devilish pranks at school, eventually taking things a step too far, to tragic result. Based on the Chris Fuhrman book of the same name, adapted to the screen by writer Jeff Stockwell, THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS from director Peter Care is an edgy, engrossing, teen rebellion flick. Extensive animated sequences share a good amount of screen time with the live action narrative, and a prescient musical score by Marco Beltrami and Joshua Homme provides the perfect accent to the action of the film. Theatrical Release: JUNE 14, 2002 (LIMITED)

 

Days of Thunder (1990)
Cruise, Tom, Kidman, Nicole, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video With Days of Thunder, director Tony Scott tried to do for the Indy 500 what he did for the U.S. Air Force with Top Gun. But without Top Gun's go-go soundtrack and visual feats, Scott merely ends up with a Tom Cruise vehicle that's out of gas. Cruise plays (what else?) a cocky, upstart stock-car racer who faces down ruthless racing opponents. Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Cary Elwes, and Randy Quaid do the laps around this movie's tiresome track with Cruise, while director Scott attempts to propel the action along with his trademark visceral, gritty but glamorous visual style. Days of Thunder is notable, however, as a turning point in Cruise's then one-dimensional career. After this film--having tired even his most devoted fans by playing a bartender, an air force pilot, and a stock-car driver--Cruise was forced to take on real character parts. --Ethan Brown --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Dead Man Walking (1996)
Sarandon, Susan, Penn, Sean, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Superbly adapted and directed by Tim Robbins from the nonfiction book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, this spiritually enlightened drama is too intelligent to traffic in polemics or self-righteous pontifications against the death penalty. But in examining the issue of capital punishment from a humanitarian perspective, the film urges thoughtful reflection on the justifications for legally ending a human life. Although it features a fine supporting cast, the film maintains its sharp focus through flawless lead performances by Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon as the Catholic nun Prejean, and Sean Penn as the death-row killer she struggles to save. Robbins avoids a biased message, letting the movie examine both sides of the issue instead (R. Lee Ermey gives a fine performance as the grief-stricken father of one of Penn's victims). As the drama unfolds and Penn's execution deadline grows near, Dead Man Walking is graced by compelling depths of theme and character, achieving an emotional impact that demands further reflection and removes the stigma of piousness from socially conscious filmmaking. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Dead Poets Society (1989)
Williams, Robin, Leonard, Robert Sean, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Robin Williams stars as an English teacher who doesn't fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches, but whose charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. The script is well meaning but a little trite, though director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) adds layers of emotional depth in scenes of conflict between the kids and adults. (A subplot involving one father's terrible pressure on his son--played by Robert Sean Leonard--to drop his interest in theater reaches heartbreaking proportions.) Williams is given plenty of latitude to work in his brand of improvisational humor, though it is all well-woven into his character's style of instruction. --Tom Keogh

 

Dirty Dancing - Collector's Edition (1987)
Grey, Jennifer, Swayze, Patrick, All Deals

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.

 

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Widescreen) (2002)
Bullock, Sandra, Burstyn, Ellen, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Grab your tissues and send the guys away, because Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is the most pedigreed chick flick since Steel Magnolias. You can tell by the title and the novelish names of the Louisiana ladies from Rebecca Wells's precious bestseller. First there's Sidda (Sandra Bullock), a successful playwright still wrestling with her manipulative mother, Vivi (Ellen Burstyn), after a traumatic upbringing. Then there's longtime friends Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan), Necie (Shirley Knight), and Caro (scene-stealer Maggie Smith), from Vivi's secret club of "Ya-Ya Priestesses," together since childhood and determined to heal the rift between Sidda and her mom. Through an ambitious flashback structure (including Ashley Judd as the younger Vivi), screenwriter and first-time director Callie Khouri (who wrote Thelma & Louise) establishes a rich context for this mother-daughter reunion. There's plenty of humor to temper the drama, which inspires Bullock's best work in years. Definitely worth a look for the curious, but only fans of Wells's fiction will feel any twinge of loyalty. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description New York playwright Sidda Lee Walker is a long way from her Louisiana hometown, but an even greater emotional distance separates her from her mother Vivi. The Ya-Yas - sworn lifelong friends of Vivi - stage an unorthodox "intervention" to bring daughter and mother together in this warm, winning adaptation of Rebecca Well's bestsellers, written for the screen and directed by Thelma & Louise Academy Award winner Callie Khouri.

 

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Sharif, Omar, Christie, Julie, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video David Lean focused all his talent as an epic-maker on Boris Pasternak's sweeping novel about a doctor-poet in revolutionary Russia. The results may sometimes veer toward soap opera, especially with the screen frequently filled with adoring close-ups of Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, but Lean's gift for cramming the screen with spectacle is not to be denied. The streets of Moscow, the snowy steppes of Russia, the house in the country taken over by ice; these are re-created with Lean's unerring sense of grandness. The movie is so lush and so long that it becomes an irresistible wallow, even when logic suffers--like Gone with the Wind before it and Titanic after. Sharif, who achieved stardom in Lean's previous film, Lawrence of Arabia, mostly looks noble, but the supporting cast is spiky: Rod Steiger as a fat-cat monster, Tom Courtenay as a self-righteous revolutionary, and Klaus Kinski and Alec Guinness in smaller roles. Geraldine Chaplin, in her adult debut, plays the doctor's compliant wife. Robert Bolt's screenplay won one of the film's five Oscars®, with another going to perhaps the most immediately recognizable element of the movie: Maurice Jarre's romantic music, with its hugely popular "Lara's Theme" weaving in and out of a swooning score. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Additional features A stunning anamorphic widescreen print is the ideal way to appreciate David Lean's craftsmanship and Dr. Zhivago's glorious, wintry cinematography. Maurice Jarre's "Lara's Theme" and the rest of his patchwork score can be heard in a music-only track, while Omar Sharif is joined by Lean's widow, Sandra, and Rod Steiger for an intermittent commentary. The second bonus disc contains a good hourlong making-of documentary, plus 10 shorter contemporary documentaries giving various insights into... read more

 

Dodgeball:A True Underdog Story
Taylor, Christine, Torn, Rip, Comedies

In DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn team up once again (following STARSKY & HUTCH) for another comic romp. While hilariously satirizing modern-day gym culture, the film also celebrates a sport that has previously been relegated to the elementary school playground. Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) owns the decrepit Average Joe's gym, which has been losing its clients ever since the glitzy Globo Gym opened up across the street. White Goodman (Stiller), Globo Gym's main spokesman, is a preposterously vain egomaniac on the cusp of taking over La Fleur's failing business. La Fleur learns from a beautiful attorney (Christine Taylor) that if he doesn't come up with $50,000 in 30 days, his career running a gym will be over. Potential salvation arrives in the form of a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament, but conquering a sport one hasn't played in several decades isn't such an easy feat. Fortunately for Peter, he finds a coach for his team: the hardheaded, ex-superstar Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn). As Peter and his ragtag team make their way to the championship in Las Vegas, they must contend with White, who has assembled a team of his very own. Rawson Marshall Thurber's debut feature is a highly assured work, which features hilarious cameos from Chuck Norris, Lance Armstrong, David Hasselhoff, and William Shatner.

 

Dogma
Affleck, Ben, Fiorentino, Linda, Comedies

Imaginative theology and a bigger-than-usual budget make Kevin Smith's (CHASING AMY, CLERKS) fourth film a kind of post-Catholic fantasy that only a comic-book enthusiast of his caliber could dream up. It concerns banished angels, Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) who, after a few millennia in Wisconsin, discover a loophole in Catholic doctrine that would allow them back into heaven--but prove the fallibility of God and destroy the universe. As they make their way to New Jersey to receive a plenary indulgence, God dispatches a seraphim (Alan Rickman) to recruit lapsed-Catholic Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) to stop the angels. She finds help in muses, prophets (Jay and Silent Bob), and the forgotten 13th apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock). Before long, all hell breaks loose (literally), and God (Alanis Morrisette) has to put in an appearance of her own. Smith's controversial (and very funny) film is powered by his trademark dialogue, ripe with observations on pop culture, religion, and bodily functions. -- (Muze Description)1141769 Irreverent enough to merit a disclaimer at the beginning, DOGMA is nevertheless pro-God and pro-tolerance. The story involves two fallen angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon), who have found a loophole in Catholic dogma that will allow them back into heaven. However, this breach would result in the destruction of the world, so a ragtag group of prophets, scions, and apostles set out to stop them. The success of the film is in the juxtaposition of Smith's trademark acerbic attitude and witty dialogue against the enormous canvas of Christian iconography and apocalyptic conflict. -- (Synopsis)1148975 DOGMA was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. The film was shot on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several groups, including the Catholic League, protested the film. Smith wrote DOGMA before CLERKS, and the credits of the latter include the promise "Jay and Silent Bob will return in DOGMA." Emma Thompson was slated to play the role of God, but had to drop out when she became pregant. Connections between DOGMA and other Kevin Smith films include the character Grant Hicks, who is a cousin to Dante from CLERKS and Gill from MALLRATS. All three characters are played by Brian O'Halloran. Also, a bus company in the film is owned by Rick Derris, a perennial Smith character. "I feel like I'm Han Solo, and you're Chewie, and she's Ben Kenobi, and we're in that f@&%#*-up bar!"--Jay (Jason Mewes), to Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) -- (Muze Annotation)1150514 "...A fiercely ambitious script that never loses its raucous rhythm....Affleck gives his strongest performance to date..." -- (Review)1153484 "...Funny, original....A high-wire act..." -- 3 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1157459 "...Mercilessly funny....[The actors] bring great, understandable enthusiasm to Mr. Smith's smart talk and wild imaginings..." -- (Review)1203690 "...There are kernels of genius here..." -- (Review)1209569 "...There is a keen intellect behind this devoutly defiant fable....Stuffed with cheery irreverence and inspired in equal parts by comic books, sports bar culture and the Bible..." -- (Review)1213831

 

Doors, The (Special Edition) (1991)
Kilmer, Val, Ryan, Meg, Drama

Amazon.com essential video Thanks in large part to its meticulous re-creation of the late 1960s and early 1970s rock scene and the uncannily authentic performance by Val Kilmer as legendary Doors front man Jim Morrison, Oliver Stone's hypnotic film biography is standing the test of time. Capturing the carefree mood of the Age of Aquarius, the film charts the meteoric rise of the Doors on the California club circuit (including a memorable scene showing the creation of the hit "Light My Fire"), and chronicles the band's exploits with hallucinogenics and Morrison's battles against charges of public indecency on stage. Kilmer's performance is hauntingly perfect, and performances by Meg Ryan, Kathleen Quinlan, and Kyle MacLachlan are similarly impressive. The movie doesn't fully probe the depths of Morrison's character, but as a portrait of excess it is vividly true to the spirit of the self-destructive poet known to his fans as "The Lizard King." --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat (Widescreen Edition)
Myers, Mike, Fanning, Dakota, Kids & Family : Characters & Series : Dr. Seuss

Amazon.com The Cat in the Hat is a marketing ploy disguised as a wildly designed movie for hyperactive kids, and it could use a dose of Ritalin. It hardly matters, though, because kids will surely enjoy the rampant romp that occurs when the top-hatted feline convinces young Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer Breslin) to wreak havoc in the home their mother (Kelly Preston) has neatly prepared for an upcoming party. It's all in the name of fun, and while Seuss's classic rhymes are relegated to voice-over narration, director Bo Welch capitalizes on his background as one of Hollywood's most gifted production designers (with credits including Edward Scissorhands and Men in Black), turning the Seussian town of "Anville" into a playful pastiche of pastels. As played by Mike Myers under layers of fur and latex, Dr. Seuss's mischievous Cat is mayhem personified, and the movie suffers from his anything-goes approach to getting a laugh. And though Myers delivers a few laughs while channeling voices from his own comedic repertoire (including "Coffee Talk" maven Linda Richman), a little of this Cat goes a long way, and he nearly wears out his welcome. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Drumline
Saldana, Zoe, Roberts, Leonard, Dramas

Charles Stone III's crowd-pleasing drama spotlights the previously unheralded world of university marching bands--more specifically, the cutthroat world that energizes Southern black campuses. Devon Miles (Nick Cannon) is a Harlem teenager who receives a full scholarship to attend Atlanta A&T University based on his excellent percussion talents. However, making the transition from hip-hop street drumming to the drumline of the school's legendary marching band is more challenging than Miles expected. For one, the band director, Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones), is determined to reclaim the national championship using old-school tactics, even though his traditional beliefs appear to be leaving A&T in the dust. And then there is Sean (Leonard Roberts), the current drum leader, who is threatened by Devon's skills and frustrated by his fierce individuality. These antagonistic forces, as well as the addition of a cheerleading love interest (Zoe Saldana), combine to test Devon's previously unshakeable confidence. As the season builds toward the BET Big Southern Classic and a showdown with rival Morris Brown University, Devon must swallow his pride and learn to be a team player if he wants his band to win the championship. DRUMLINE proves that any subject can make for an invigorating work of entertainment, if handled properly. -- (Muze Description)1242937 "...Bouncy, boisterous and charming....[It] becomes downright thrilling when it shows the bands in action..." -- (Review)1263724 "...Stone makes the drum competition scenes, already inherently photogenic, stirring to watch..." -- (Review)1263734 "...[An] entertaining and enthusiastically told tale….The film has also been smart in picking its lively, likable cast....If rhythm and movement are important to you, this is a film that deserves a spot on your dance card..." -- (Review)1264050 "DRUMLINE does more than capture the excitement of marching bands; it gets their clockwork beauty as well....Funny, sexy and rousing..." -- (Review)1264956 "...Saldana is beautiful and delightful..." -- (Review)1268581 Theatrical Release Date: December 13, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1269569

 

Dumb and Dumber
Daniels, Jeff, Holly, Lauren, Comedies

Two cretins stagger across the American landscape encountering a number of slapstick mishaps while trying to return a large sum of money. -- (Muze Description)1058386 Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels star in the intentionally idiotic road comedy "Dumb and Dumber." In an era of heroic film simpletons (see "Forrest Gump"), Daniels and Carrey sink to a new low with a non-stop barrage of bathroom humor and moronic sight-gags. Traversing the country to return a cash-filled valise to Lauren Holly, the Brothers Dim foil kidnappers, rednecks and cops. Asinine? Absolutely, but it defies anyone not to laugh at its lowbrow hijinks. -- (Review)1078236 When best friends Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne both get fired, Lloyd convinces Harry to travel to Colorado to search for his dream woman, Mary Swanson. Little does Lloyd know that Mary's in Aspen trying to find her kidnapped husband. Soon the two have gotten mixed up in the crime, and their wacky exploits are leading the FBI straight to the crooks. -- (Synopsis)1112948 Prints by Film House. Rated BBFC 12 by the British Board of Film Classification. -- (Muze Annotation)1112949 "...[Daniels's] hangdog goofiness makes a perfect foil for [Carrey's] spasmodically edgy comic style....DUMB AND DUMBER knows much better than to try to make sense..." -- (Review)1164750 "...Carrey turns his face and body into a special effect....I defy anyone not to erupt into giggles..." -- (Review)1185127 "...DUMB AND DUMBER revels in a comedy of confusion..." -- (Review)1215245 "...Carrey is like a more elasticized Jerry Lewis; he may be the most freakishly cartoonish of all the star comedians..." -- (Review)1227117

 

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Olsen, Eric Christian, Richardson, Derek, Comedy : General

Amazon.com A passable comedy for delinquent kids and unambitious teens with time to kill, Dumb and Dumberer does for prequels what Jerry Springer did for daytime television. With only faint connection to the 1994 hit starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, this ill-conceived prequel follows the Carrey/Daniels characters, Lloyd and Harry, as they bungle their way through high school. The principal and his demented lunch lady (Eugene Levy and SNL alumnus Cheri Oteri) have hatched a scheme to embezzle funds intended for students with "special needs," and Harry & Lloyd unwittingly recruit a few "intellectually challenged" classmates to fuel the plot. Veteran TV director Troy Miller prefers to keep the humor low and lowerer: Scatological jokes, puerile double-entendres, and juvenile sight gags ensure that Dumb and Dumberer lives up to its title. As Lloyd and Harry, respectively, Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson deliver a few laughs, but they're stuck in a movie with special needs of its own. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Harry meets Lloyd and assembles a ragtag team for a high school experience unlike any other in this prequel to the hit comedy, Dumb and Dumber.

 

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Widescreen Collector's Edition) (1982)
Thomas, Henry, Barrymore, Drew, Science Fiction & Fantasy : General

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

 

Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
Tom Berenger, Michael Pare, Cult Movies

Amazon.com Perhaps best known for its faux Springsteen soundtrack, the 1983 Eddie and the Cruisers is a rock lover's fantasy run wild. The story finds a reporter (Ellen Barkin) tracking down rumors of an unreleased album by a band whose charismatic leader (Michael Paré) allegedly died years before. As she approaches surviving members--who have since gone on to other things--she gets different points of view on Eddie's life and artistic drive, and the mystery about that album deepens. The trouble with the film is simple: it's impossible to accept. Michael Paré is far from suitable to play a Jersey shore rocker with thematic pretensions toward Rimbaud that go back to the '60s, and the soundtrack by John Cafferty sounds like a hack's rendition of E Street Band magic. An all-around embarrassment. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! (1989)
Paré, Michael, Orsini, Marina, Drama : General

In the sixties, Eddie and the cruisers was the hottest band around. But the tragic death of its lead singer broke the band up. Only Eddie is not dead. He works as a carpenter in Montreal. His love of music forces him to create a new band which will have to struggle with its anonymity.

 

 

 

 

 

Edge of Seventeen (1998)
Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes, Comedy : Teen

Description Set in 1984 in Sandusky, Ohio, "Edge of Seventeen" follows the coming-out of a naive 17-year-old teenager at exactly the moment when gender-bending pop stars like Boy George and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics were flaunting androgynous images. As the youth, played with a heartbreaking sweetness by Chris Stafford, goes through his first rites of gay passage (after being callously used by the slightly older boy who brings him out, he tries to retreat to heterosexuality with his closest female friend) he emerges as a poignant gay everyman. Lea DeLaria is wonderful as his butch lesbian boss at the amusement park restaurant where he meets his first boyfriend.

 

EdTV (DTS)
McConaughey, Matthew, Elfman, Jenna, Comedy

Amazon.com The third entry of 1998-99's cinematic TV trilogy kind of got lost in the shuffle following The Truman Show, an art film masquerading as a blockbuster, and Pleasantville, a heartfelt feel-good movie masquerading as a special-effects extravaganza. EDtv is nothing more than it appears: a scruffy comedy about fame and its discontents. Matthew McConaughey stars as Ed, a white-trash rube who gets his own dawn-to-midnight TV series in which every aspect of his life, no matter how sordid or dull or embarrassing, becomes mass entertainment (it inverts Truman by having the protagonist invite the pervasive cameras). Predictably, fame makes him miserable and, unsurprisingly, he finds a way out of his predicament. Albert Brooks covered this same territory in the funnier Real Life, and it's probably not the best idea for a load of comfy celebs to preach to us about how difficult fame is. But the film is cannily cast, including a number of performers who themselves have fallen victim to stupid media tricks (McConaughey, Ellen DeGeneres as the network executive, Elizabeth Hurley as a vamp hitching her star to Ed's, and Woody Harrelson as Ed's even dumber brother). Structurally, the movie is a mess. It looks as if the filmmakers had the choice between making a fully realized, two-and-a-half-hour-long movie that no one would sit through or one that clocks in under two hours but has a lot of plot holes; they opted for the latter (Hurley's character disappears, practically without comment). Still, there are enough laughs to keep things moving, and as a shaggy dog tale it's decent fun. --David Kronke --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. Description It's the unforgettable story of a nobody...that everybody's watching! Matthew McConaughey and Jenna Elfman star in this hilarious romantic comedy Joel Siegel of Good Morning America calls "Big-Laugh Funny." Ed Pekurny (McConaughey) is just a regular guy who feels he has nothing to lose by agreeing to be a star of a new reality-based TV show. Almost overnight, the program becomes a hit, and suddenly this goofy but engaging video clerk is a national celebrity! Everything's fabulous...until Ed falls head-over-heels for Shari (Elfman), the girlfriend of his brother Ray (Woody Harrelson). Suddenly their most private moments become public entertainment - and the ratings go through the roof - as millions of fans tune in to watch a real soap opera filled with comedy and romance. Superbly directed by Ron Howard and featuring a stellar supporting cast including Elizabeth Hurley, Sally Kirkland, Martin Landau, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Reiner and Dennis Hopper, EDtv is an outrageous look at instant fame, overnight success, and sharing your life with a few million of your closest fans.

 

Edward Scissorhands
Ryder, Winona, Wiest, Dianne, Drama : General

In Tim Burton's EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, a suburban fairy tale with incredibly imaginative sets, an Avon lady, Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest), discovers the half-finished experiment--a man/monster named Edward (Johnny Depp)--of a mad scientist (played magically by Vincent Price) living in the neighborhood's old abandoned castle. The scientist died before replacing the shy man's large shears with real hands. When Peg attempts to bring Edward into her suburban world, to live among her skeptical family (husband Alan Arkin and daughter Winona Ryder) and gossipy neighbors, his hands--dangerous yet capable of creating things of great beauty--make for some awkward, funny, and poignant situations: Edward as a topiary gardener, Edward as a cutting-edge hair stylist. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is a story about tolerance, difference, and creativity as much as it is a story of a young man's coming of age (the young man in question is, of course, a monster). In the ironically surreal world of Edward's suburban community, he must try to find his place in it, and in the world at large. A fairy tale, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is a brilliant story of a man-made experiment: a monster with long shears for hands. Edward lives in the dark and forbidding castle, overlooking a brightly colored suburb, until the Avon lady comes calling one day. Her motherly instincts tell her to take this poor, lonely creature home to live with her family. There, Edward goes through a series of growing experiences, some of them funny, some of them frightening, while trying to find his place in the world. The film opened in New York City and Los Angeles December 7, 1990, and was released nationwide December 14, 1990. Filmed in the Land O'Lakes housing settlement, located north of Tampa, Florida. Forty-four of the fifty houses in this area were painted in pastel shades like pink, green, blue, and yellow to give the "previously subdued neighborhood a timeless, classic suburban look." Huge topiary statues consisting of chicken wire and metal frameworks with plastic greens attached and animal-shaped shrubs, meant to be examples of Edward's work, were later added to their front yards. The character of Edward is said by film critics and historians to be a reflection of how director Tim Burton sees himself. The role of The Inventor was actor Vincent Price's last screen role; he died of lung cancer in Hollywood Hills, California on October 25, 1993 at the age of 82. In a film career than spanned 55 years, he appeared in over 100 films, only a fraction of which were either as villains or sinister protagonists in horror thrillers for which he was famous, such as THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961), THE RAVEN (1963), and THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964), all of which were based on macabre E.A. Poe stories.

 

Eight Men Out (1988)
Cusack, John, , Drama : General

Amazon.com Eliot Asinof's detailed book Eight Men Out illustrates how the system of American sports collapsed in 1919, the year the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. Filmmaker John Sayles worked on his script years before the 1988 film (or before he had the rights to make the film) as a labor of love. Sayles's adaptation proves one can make a historically accurate film in the day and age of artistic license. And what a story. Although many know about the "Black Sox," made famous--again--in the 1989 hit film Field of Dreams, the details of the saga are far less known. The center of Dreams, Shoeless Joe Jackson (portrayed correctly by D.B. Sweeney as illiterate and left-handed in Eight), is not the core of this film; it's ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte (Sayles favorite David Strathairn), who took the money, and third baseman Buck Weaver (John Cusack), who did not. The film fits nicely into Sayles's (Lone Star) strong suit: the ensemble drama. We are introduced to bickering owners, famous crooks, high-minded judges, lowlife gangsters, investigative reporters (played by Studs Terkel and Sayles himself), and, most of all, players who are at the breaking point when it comes to low salaries and degrading rewards. While some may feel the film is not as visceral as it should be, there is a great amount of verisimilitude when watching finely tuned athletes telling their bodies to play poorly--heartbreak on the nation's diamond. Beautifully detailed (like Sayles's previous labor-drama, Matewan), Eight Men Out gives us powerful lessons in which everyone lost: players, gamblers, and especially the fans who love the game. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Elf
Deschanel, Zooey, Steenburgen, Mary, Comedies

Will Ferrell makes yet another memorable splash on the big screen in Jon Favreau's sweet and hilarious Christmas fable. Ferrell is Buddy, an innocent figure who was raised as an elf in the North Pole by his adoptive father, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart). When Buddy discovers that he's actually a human being, he heads to New York City to reunite with his biological father. The trouble is that his dad, Walter (James Caan), is a publishing executive who doesn't have time for anything other than work. Buddy moves in with Walter and his family, and proceeds to teach them a lesson or two about what being a family really means. Meanwhile, he also falls head over heels in love with the incredibly cute department store clerk, Jovie (Zooey Deschanel). By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, the general lack of spirit in the air threatens to ground Santa for the big night. He must rely on Buddy's expertise and overall enthusiasm to ensure that Christmas will be saved once again. Favreau's film is family entertainment at its finest, featuring a performance by Ferrell that is at once innocent, tender, and laugh-out-loud funny. A stellar supporting cast--including Caan, Deschanel, Newhart, and Faizon Love--adds to the film's already overabundant charm. Original Theatrical Release: November 7, 2003

 

Emperor's Club
Hirsch, Emile, Gretsch, Joel, Dramas

At St. Benedict's prep school, the boys are disciplined, mannered, and ready to learn. But when a bad apple enters the classroom of the well-respected Mr. Hundert (Kevin Kline), chaos ensues. Sedgewick Bell (Emile Hirsch, DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS) is a kid with a chip on his shoulder and a powerful senator for a father. He is a shock to the system of Mr. Hundert, whose firm moral standards and unshakeable integrity are genuinely challenged by Sedgewick's eye-rolling, rule-breaking, uncaring insubordination. Determined to change Sedgewick, "mold him," and bring out the strong and true character that he believes to be at the core of every student, Mr. Hundert makes Sedgewick his priority. However, their bond will remain a thorn in Mr. Hundert's side for years thereafter, even beyond his retirement. Based on a short story by Ethan Canin, and directed by Michael Hoffman, THE EMPEROR'S CLUB uses crisp photography and convincing performances to communicate this wholesome tale of honor, morality, and trying to do what's right at all costs. Theatrical release: November 22, 2002

 

Empire of the Sun
Bale, Christian, Malkovich, John, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video Roundly dismissed as one of Steven Spielberg's least successful efforts, this very underrated film poignantly follows the World War II adventures of young Jim (a brilliant Christian Bale), caught in the throes of the fall of China. What if you once had everything and lost it all in an afternoon? What if you were only 12? Bale's transformation, from pampered British ruling-class child to an imprisoned, desperate, nearly feral boy, is nothing short of stunning. Also stunning are exceptional sets, cinematography, and music (the last courtesy of John Williams) that enhance author J.G. Ballard's and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's depiction of another, less familiar casualty of war. In a time when competitors were releasing "comedic," derivative coming-of-age films, Empire of the Sun stands out as an epic in the classic David Lean sense--despite confusion or perceived competition with the equally excellent The Last Emperor (also released in 1987, and also a coming-of-age in a similar setting). It is also a remarkable testament to, yes, the human spirit. And despite its disappointing box-office returns, Empire of the Sun helped to further establish Spielberg as more than a commercial director and set the standard, tone, and look for future efforts Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Enemy at the Gates
Fiennes, Joseph, Law, Jude,

September 1942. The German Army has advanced to the gates of Stalingrad. The Russian Army holds on desperately. It is so poorly equipped that every pair of soldiers is given a single rifle--the second man only gets the weapon when the first is cut down. Trapped in no man's land between the opposing armies, Russian recruit Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) finally acquires a rifle from Political Officer Danilov (Joseph Fiennes). Danilov is astonished when Zaitsev picks off several German officers. On their return to the Russian lines, Danilov writes about Zaitsev's exploits in the army newspaper. Zaitsev is assigned to a sniper unit. He kills more German officers and, thanks to Danilov, becomes a hero. In retaliation, the Germans bring in sharpshooter Major K¿nig (Ed Harris) from Berlin--to hunt Zaitsev. The two snipers engage in a desperate duel, as the appalling Battle of Stalingrad rages. In ENEMY AT THE GATES, director Jean-Jacques Annaud uses a palate of dull greens, blues, and greys to tell the powerful, true story of Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev. The film is distinguished by fine performances from Law, Fiennes, Rachel Weisz as a female soldier, and Bob Hoskins as Nikita Khrushchev--with Harris particularly notable as the chilly, aristocratic K¿nig.

 

Erin Brockovich (2000)
Roberts, Julia, Finney, Albert, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Much will be made of Julia Roberts's wardrobe in Erin Brockovich--a brash parade of daring hemlines and Wonderbra confidence. Roberts is unabashedly sexy in the title role of this fact-based comedy-drama, but she and director Steven Soderbergh are far too intelligent to rely solely on high heels and cleavage. Susannah Grant's brassy screenplay fuels this winning combination of star, director, and material, firing on all pistons with maximum efficiency. With Ed Lachman, his noted cinematographer from The Limey, Soderbergh tackles this A-list project with the fervor of an independent, combining a no-frills look with kinetic panache and the same brisk editorial style he used in the justly celebrated Out of Sight. Broke and desperate, the twice-divorced single mom Erin bosses her way into a clerical job with attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney), who's indebted to Erin after failing to win her traffic-injury case. Erin is soon focused on suspicious connections between a mighty power company, its abuse of toxic chromium, and the poisoned water supply of Hinkley, California, where locals have suffered a legacy of death and disease. Matching the dramatic potency of Norma Rae and Silkwood, Erin Brockovich filters cold facts through warm humanity, especially in Erin's rapport with dying victims and her relationship with George (superbly played by Aaron Eckhart), a Harley-riding neighbor who offers more devotion than Erin's ever known. Surely some of these details have been embellished for dramatic effect, but the factual basis of Erin Brockovich adds a boost of satisfaction, proving that greed, neglect, and corporate arrogance are no match against a passionate crusader. (Trivia note: The real Erin Brockovich appears briefly as a diner waitress.) --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. DVD features A perfect complement to the movie itself, "The Making of Erin Brockovich" introduces viewers to Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry, the real-life inspiration for characters played by Julia Roberts and Albert Finney. In addition to appearing in the documentary, director Steven Soderbergh provides intelligent reasoning (in a separate audio commentary) for the deletion of several interesting but ultimately unnecessary scenes. "Erin Brockovich: A Look at a Real-Life Experience" is equally rewarding,... read more

 

Ernest Goes to Africa
Jim Varney, Linda Kash : Comedy

The title says it all. There's a mix up involving stolen diamonds which Ernest has (naturally) made into a yo-yo and given to his would be girlfriend, Rene. But Rene wants a man of action, and doesn't think that Ernest fits the bill. After the bad guys come looking for the stolen diamonds and kidnap Rene, all of her fantasies come true as Ernest has to go to Africa to rescue her.

 

 

 

Ernest in the Army
Jim Varney, Hayley Tyson, , Comedy

Ernest P. Worrell is now in the military as a soldier. Once he begins, him and his team investigates a dictator who was responsible for the wars in the nearly village. Suddenly, Ernest finds a lost boy and has to keep him safe until his father recovers.

 

 

 

 

Evita
Banderas, Antonio, Pryce, Jonathan, Comedy

Madonna tackles the title role in Alan Parker's ambitious recounting of the brief, amazing life of former Argentine first lady Eva Perón. Presented almost entirely in song and narrated by Antonio Banderas as a fictional everyman, the film charts the alternately revered and reviled Evita's rise from poverty to become a film and radio actress; her relationship with President Juan Perón (Jonathan Pryce); and her tragic death from cancer at age 33. Banderas, a surprisingly moving singer, and the inimitable Madonna, who took voice lessons before filming commenced to expand her vocal range, provide the emotional bedrock for the eminently enjoyable film with their charismatic screen presences. The music, including the Oscar-winning song "You Must Love Me," weaves an entrancing web, and the sets and costumes are awe inspiring. Parker does a fine job of adapting Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical for the big screen. The director's vision shines clearly here: Like PINK FLOYD: THE WALL, EVITA is an enchanting mixture of epic fairy tale and sociopolitical psychodrama. -- (Muze Description)1075496 Limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles December 25, 1996; wider release January 10, 1997. -- (Muze Annotation)1117184 Madonna assays the title role in Alan Parker's ambitious filmed version of the brief, amazing life of former Argentine first Lady Eva Peron. Presented entirely in song, and narrated by Antonio Banderas as a fictional Everyman, the film charts the alternately revered and reviled Evita's rise from poverty to become a film and radio actress, her relationship with President Juan Peron, and her tragic death from cancer at age 33. Winner of three Golden Globe awards, including Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) - Madonna. Academy Award nominations: 4, including Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction. Academy Awards: Best Original Song ("You Must Love Me"). -- (Synopsis)1117185 DVD Features: Region 1 Encoding Special Features: Chapter Search Keep Case -- (Muze Annotation)1126980 "...A stunningly crafted objet d'art that evokes serious viewer admiration....Director Alan Parker has done a dazzling job creating screen images to accompany the wall-to-wall music..." -- (Review)1198258 "...Madonna, who took voice lessons to extend her range, easily masters the musical material. As importantly, she is a convincing Evita..." -- (Review)1257598

 

Falcon and the Snowman, The
Hutton, Timothy, Penn, Sean,

Amazon.com essential video Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn play two young men from wealthy families who sell government secrets to the Russians. Based on the true story of Christopher Boyce (Hutton) and Daulton Lee (Penn), this is sometimes edgy, occasionally humorous, and ultimately heartbreaking. Boyce, whose job it is to guard top-secret government papers, becomes disillusioned with the United States and decides to make a deal with the Soviets. His partner in espionage is propelled by less-ideal reasons for his acts, as Penn plays a grungy drug addict in it for the money. An intelligent script is matched on two counts: by John Schlesinger's tight direction and by provocative performances by both actors. --Rochelle O'Gorman

 

Falling Down (1993)
Douglas, Michael, Duvall, Robert, Drama

Amazon.com This film, about a downsized engineer (Michael Douglas) who goes ballistic, triggered a media avalanche of stories about middle-class white rage when it was released in 1993. In fact, it's nothing more than a manipulative, violent melodrama about one geek's meltdown. Douglas, complete with pocket protector, nerd glasses, crewcut, and short-sleeved white shirt, gets stuck in traffic one day near downtown L.A. and proceeds to just walk away from his car--and then lose it emotionally. Everyone he encounters rubs him the wrong way--and a fine lot of stereotypes they are, from threatening ghetto punks to rude convenience store owners to a creepy white supremacist--and he reacts violently in every case. As he walks across L.A. (now there's a concept), cutting a bloody swath, he's being tracked by a cop on the verge of retirement (Robert Duvall). He also spends time on the phone with his frightened ex-wife (Barbara Hershey). Though Douglas and Duvall give stellar performances, they can't disguise the fact that, as usual, this is another film from director Joel Schumacher that is about surface and sensation, rather than actual substance. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Fat Man and Little Boy
Newman, Paul, Schultz, Dwight, Drama : General

Amazon.com Despite the combined star power in front of and behind the camera, Fat Man and Little Boy is a largely tepid retelling of the history of the Manhattan Project, the atomic testing project that led to the U.S. bombing of Japan during World War II (said bombs were dubbed "Fat Man" and "Little Boy"). The Nevada-based project is headed by General Leslie R. Groves (a testy Paul Newman) and scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Dwight Schultz of the TV series The A-Team), who later regretted his cooperation in the project. The problem with the film lies not with the acting, which includes solid performances by Bonnie Bedelia, Laura Dern, John Cusack, and future U.S. Senator Fred Dalton Thompson, but with the script by director Roland Joffé and Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I and Joffé's The Killing Fields). A subject as morally complex as the creation of a supreme weapon requires a strong and thoughtful script, but Fat Man and Little Boy never gets further than establishing that indeed, atomic power is something to reckon with. Joseph Sargent's 1989 made-for-TV film Day One, with Brian Dennehy as Groves and David Straithairn as Oppenheimer, covers the same story with twice the depth and avoids the pitfall of a romantic subplot (Oppenheimer's dalliance with a communist played by Natasha Richardson), which this film stumbles into. Cusack's doomed scientist is actually a combination of two real-life physicists, Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotkin, who died from radiation poisoning, albeit long after V-J Day. --Paul Gaita --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Finding Forrester (2000)
Connery, Sean, (VI), Rob Brown, Drama : General

Amazon.com Finding Forrester could have been a shallow variant of The Karate Kid, congratulating itself for featuring a 16-year-old black kid from the South Bronx who's a brilliant scholar-athlete. Instead, director Gus Van Sant plays it matter-of-fact and totally real, casting a nonactor (Rob Brown) as Jamal, a basketball player and gifted student whose writing talent is nurtured by a famously reclusive author. William Forrester (Sean Connery) became a literary icon four decades earlier with a Pulitzer-winning novel, then disappeared (like J.D. Salinger) into his dark, book-filled apartment, agoraphobic and withdrawn from publishing, but as passionate as ever about writing. On a dare, Jamal sneaks into Forrester's musty sanctuary, and what might have been a condescending cliché--homeboy rescued by wiser white mentor--turns into an inspiring meeting of minds, with mutual respect and intelligence erasing boundaries of culture and generation. Comparisons to Van Sant's Good Will Hunting are inevitable, but Finding Forrester is more honest and less prone to touchy-feely sentiment, as in the way Jamal and a private-school classmate (Anna Paquin) develop a mutual attraction that remains almost entirely unspoken. The film takes a conventional turn when Jamal must defend his integrity (with Forrester's help) in a writing contest judged by a skeptical teacher (F. Murray Abraham), but this ethical subplot is a credible catalyst for Forrester's most dramatic display of friendship. It's one of many fine moments for Connery and Brown (a screen natural), in a memorable film that transcends issues of race to embrace the joy of learning. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Finding Neverland
Mitchell, Radha, Christie, Julie, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

Most people know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up. Director Marc Forster's (MONSTER'S BALL) FINDING NEVERLAND delves deeper, depicting a fictionalized account of the family and events that inspired the classic tale. At the turn of the 20th Century, Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie's (Johnny Depp) latest play in London has flopped almost as badly as his marriage to stature-seeking Mary (Radha Mitchell). During one of his frequent excursions to the park with his dog, Barrie meets four young boys and their recently widowed mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet). Soon Barrie becomes a frequent playmate to the children, using the boys' imagination to take them on fanciful adventures. He also becomes a friend and confidante to the overwhelmed Sylvia, much to the dismay of her overbearing mother (Julie Christie). Barrie's active imagination and interaction with the family inspires "Peter Pan," a play that celebrates the child in everyone and the importance of believing in fantasies and miracles. A droll and amusing Dustin Hoffman appears as American Charles Frohman, Barrie's producer. The film also features young Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for Barrie's title character. THEATRICAL RELEASE: NOVEMBER 12, 2004

 

Flight of the Intruder, The
Glover, Danny, Dafoe, Willem, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Time has been kind to Flight of the Intruder, a rousing aviation-action adventure that looks better now than it did to critics who panned it in 1991. Perhaps they were expecting a Tom Clancy-ish blockbuster (producer Mace Neufeld oversaw the Jack Ryan franchise), but director John (Conan the Barbarian) Milius had something potentially more substantial in mind. The first 75 minutes are pure Milius: Macho bluster, male bonding among ill-fated pilots and Naval bombardiers, and a Big Wednesday-like passion for dangerous fun. But Milius's favorite topics have sharper teeth here: He's made a scathing anti-Vietnam film that still honors the bravery of soldiers who do their job even when the job itself seems pointless. That's why ace Brad Johnson (why didn't he become a huge star?) and maverick bombardier Willem Dafoe plot a renegade mission, bombing a Hanoi arms depot with their low-altitude A-6 Intruder in the movie's pyrotechnical climax. Fringe benefits abound, including early roles for Tom Sizemore, Ving Rhames, and David Schwimmer in his big-screen debut, three years before Friends and looking like the dweeby grandchild of his Band of Brothers martinet. --Jeff Shannon

 

Fluffer, The
Harry, Deborah, Cunio, Michael, Comedies

When wide-eyed and innocent Sean McGinnis (Michael Cunio) moves to Los Angeles to make it big in the movies, he quickly finds work on the sets of gay pornography films. There he does odd jobs, among them performing as a "fluffer" for a hot porn star called Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney.) A young man still coming to terms with his homosexuality, Sean becomes instantly smitten with Rebel, who is straight and lives with his stripper girlfriend. Even when Sean meets a gay man who shows interest in him, he remains obsessed with the self-absorbed and narcissistic Rebel. As Rebel increasingly abuses drugs and his girlfriend, Sean keeps making excuses for him. But when it becomes evident that the object of his obsession may be involved in a horrific crime, Sean must face reality--and himself. Though set in the world of pornography, THE FLUFFER is primarily about a gay youth's quest to accept himself. Dealing sensitively with the delicate issues of self-hatred and internalized homophobia, THE FLUFFER is both touching and humorous. Appearances by legendary porn star Ron Jeremy, famed transsexual Chi Chi La Rue, and rocker Debbie Harry add to the fun.

 

Fools Rush In
Hayek, Salma, Perry, Matthew, Comedies

After their rash one-night-stand results in an unanticipated pregnancy, two virtual strangers--a stuffy, upwardly mobile white Manhattanite and an intense Chicana artist--impetuously decide to tie the knot Vegas-style. But can they survive the pressures of their worlds-apart backgrounds and fall in love for real? After their rash one-night-stand results in an unanticipated pregnancy, two virtual strangers - a stuffy, upwardly mobile white Manhattanite and an intense Chicana artist - impetuously decide to tie the knot Vegas-style. But can they survive the pressures of their worlds-apart backgrounds and fall in love for real?

 

 

Footloose (1984)
Bacon, Kevin, Singer, Lori, Drama : General

Amazon.com Director Herbert Ross (The Turning Point) pulled a winning movie out of this almost self-consciously archetypal tale of teenage rock rebellion. Kevin Bacon stars as a hip city kid who ends up in a Bible-belt town after his parents divorce. An ill fit for a conservative community where rock is frowned upon and dancing is forbidden, Bacon's character rallies the kids and takes on the establishment. Between a good cast really embracing the drama of Dean Pitchford's screenplay, and Ross's imaginative, highly charged way of shooting the dance numbers, you can get lost in this all-ages confection, and you won't even mind Kenny Loggins's bubbly pop. Bonuses include one of John Lithgow's best performances (a bit reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart), and Christopher Penn (who sure doesn't look the same anymore) as a good-natured hick who learns to boogie. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Forrest Gump (1994)
Hanks, Tom, Sinise, Gary, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video The Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Director Robert Zemeckis, and Best Actor Tom Hanks, this unlikely story of a slow-witted but good-hearted man somehow at the center of the pivotal events of the 20th century is a funny and heartwarming epic. Hanks plays the title character, a shy Southern boy in love with his childhood best friend (Robin Wright) who finds that his ability to run fast takes him places. As an All-Star football player he meets John F. Kennedy; as a soldier in Vietnam he's a war hero; and as a world champion Ping-Pong player he's hailed by Richard Nixon. Becoming a successful shrimp-boat captain, he still yearns for the love of his life, who takes a quite different and much sadder path in life. The visual effects incorporating Hanks into existing newsreel footage is both funny and impressive, but the heart of the film lies in its sweet love story and in the triumphant performance of Hanks as an unassuming soul who savors the most from his life and times. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Four Feathers, The
Clements, John, Richardson, Ralph,

Amazon.com Some movies you just have to love. Oh, they may be well, even beautifully, made; wonderfully cast and stirringly acted; uplifting in theme and noble in motive. That's fine. In fact, that's great. For that, you admire them. But you love them because they are perfect distillations of a mood, of a moment in the history of filmmaking, of a breed of imagination that, like the best of fairy tales, transcends the tides of taste and empire, and certainly of political correctness. Consider The Four Feathers, produced in England in 1939, at Alexander Korda's London Films studios, where a family of Hungarian expatriates aspired to exalt their newly adopted country, its history and traditions, and also to out-Hollywood Hollywood. With this film, they realized both ambitions, in spades. A.E.W. Mason's novel of stiff-upper-lip honor and valor had already been filmed three times (and at least that many remakes have followed, superfluously). This is the only version that matters. On the eve of the British army's departure to reconquer the Sudan, a young lieutenant descended from a long line of military heroes resigns his commission and is tendered a white feather--the symbol of cowardice--by each of three brother officers. From his fiancée's plume he plucks a fourth, then fades out of their lives... to embark, a year later, on a private quest that will carry him down continents and through unimaginable sacrifice to hard-won redemption. John Clements (who never had much of a film career) is excellent as the tormented Harry Faversham. But it's Ralph Richardson, as Harry's romantic rival John Durrance (wonderful names!), you'll cherish--he and that spitting image of the Duke of Wellington, C. Aubrey Smith, whose blustery recollections of the Crimean War strike a satiric yet affectionate keynote. Directed by one Korda brother, Zoltan--who shot spectacular sequences in the Sudan--and exquisitely designed by another, Vincent, The Four Feathers is a Technicolor milestone, and its music score is an early triumph by one of the Kordas's legion of Hungarian-expatriate helpmates, Miklos Rosza. --Richard T. Jameson

 

Frank Zappa Live, Does Humor Belong in Music?
, , Music Video & Concerts : General

Amazon.com For longtime fans and un-Zapped neophytes alike, Does Humor Belong in Music? presents the late, great Frank Zappa at his mischievous best. Unlike the infamously rambling Baby Snakes, this hour-long, digitally remastered 14-song set (culled from FZ's performance at the Pier in New York City on August 26, 1984) is 95% music, punctuated with brief interview clips (including the inane titular question, and Frank's expectedly affirmative response), and featuring one of the tightest bands that Zappa ever assembled. Everybody participates in Zappa's unique parade of musical fusion, street theater, and defiant anti-establishment sarcasm, with Zappa playing masterful conductor when he's not riffing with nimble-fingered fretwork (notably during "Zoot Allures," "Cosmik Debris," and Greg Allman's "Whipping Post," the set's only cover song). His trademark humor extends to all of his bandmates, especially Ray White and Ike Willis (guitars, vocals) and Bobby Martin (keyboards, vocals), and any topic is fair game for Zappa's skewering, frequently explicit lyrics, from pop-culture sellouts and corrupt recording executives ("Tinsel Town Rebellion") to greedy politicians ("Hot Plate Heaven at the Green Hotel"). Each song is performed to perfection while espousing FZ's impassioned philosophy of taking nothing seriously except the music. In that regard, this Zappa Live DVD represents pure genius at work, having fun and taking no prisoners. --Jeff Shannon Description Track Listing: Zoot Allures, Tinsel Town Rebellion, Trouble Every Day, Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel, The Dangerous Kitchen, He’s So Gay, Bobby Brown, Keep It Greasy, Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?, Dinah-Moe Humm, Cosmik Debris, Be In My Video, Dancin’ Fool, Whippin’ Post

 

Freaky Friday
Harris, Barbara, Foster, Jodie, Comedy : General

A mother and daughter find their personalities switched and have to live each other's lives on one strange Friday. Schoolgirl Annabel is hassled by her mother, and Mrs. Andrews is annoyed with her daughter, Annabel. They both think that the other has an easy life. On a normal Friday morning, both complain about each other and wish they could have the easy life of their daughter/mother for just one day and their wishes come true as a bit of magic puts Annabel in Mrs. Andrews' body and vice versa. They both have a Freaky Friday.

 

 

Freaky Friday
Curtis, Jamie Lee, Lohan, Lindsay, Comedy : General

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.

 

Friday After Next
Curry, Don "D.C.", Witherspoon, John, Comedies

It is Christmas Eve for most of the Christian world, but when Craig (Ice Cube) and Day-Day (Mike Epps) are rudely awaken by a burglar in a Santa suit, it is definitely another FRIDAY in the ghetto. The phony Santa gets away with all the cousins' Christmas gifts and their overdue rent money after assaulting Craig with a paltry Christmas tree. Cops are called in and do little more than confiscate Craig and Day-Day's pot stash. Though the cousins may be used to such adversity in the 'hood, they have never before had to think about getting real jobs in order to pay the bills. This third installment in the hip-hop stoner series follows L.A.'s lovable losers through their first day as rent-a-cops at a South Central strip mall. As each problem they encounter becomes more and more ridiculous, screenwriter and star Ice Cube and first-time director Mark Raboy have constructed an irreverent African-American holiday farce. The film builds to a fever pitch at a holiday party where nearly every character in the film shows up for a wild finale. The supporting cast delivers outrageously amusing portraits of ghetto stereotypes while composer John Murphy paces the film by deftly blending hip-hop with traditional film scoring. -- (Muze Description)1257409 "...The score sounds like a house-party mix....FRIDAY AFTER NEXT cranks up an impressive amount of energy..." -- (Review)1261758 "...Hilarious, rowdy....[With] gleeful low-down humor and a raft of uninhibited characters involved in one outrageous predicament after another..." -- (Review)1264097 "...This is all so insane it's actually funny..." -- (Review)1264921 "...[The] project does provide a sizable stage for performers Witherspoon, Curry and, especially, Williams, to strut and show off..." -- (Review)1265730 Theatrical Release Date: November 22, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1267951

 

Friday
Mac, Bernie, Witherspoon, John, Comedies

Thoroughly charming and totally hilarious day-in-the-life comedy in which co-writer Ice Cube plays the stoic Craig opposite Chris Tucker's Smokey, a brilliantly rendered hyperactive marijuana enthusiast. The two twentysomethings, Craig recently wrongly fired and Smokey terminally slacking and scamming, barely make it through one highly eventful day. Eloquent commentary on themes like community, family, friendship, and violence is seamlessly blended with lighter treatments of young romance, bathroom emergencies, nosy neighbors and much more. Casually impeccable performances by the entire cast make this film a standout. Color by Foto-kem. In Dolby SR. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. Soundtrack features: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill, Scarface, Mack 10, 2 Live Crew, E-A-Ski, Threat.

 

From Hell
Paul Rhys, Jason Flemyng, Horror/Suspense

FROM HELL is a gory detective film cloaked in Victorian-era mystique. The movie shows how the serial killer Jack the Ripper stalked the dark streets of 1888 London, slaying prostitutes and crudely dissecting their bodies. Based on the graphic novel written by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, this moody chiller is directed by twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes (MENACE II SOCIETY, AMERICAN PIMP). Johnny Depp stars as Inspector Frederick Abberline, who smokes heavy doses of opium and drowns himself in absinthe to evoke hallucinatory visions that are his clues to catching the Ripper. Heather Graham costars as the prettiest of the floozies, who wins the muted affections of the Inspector. With plenty of atmosphere and spooky effects, FROM HELL borrows scenery, filming tricks, and sequence construction from a host of popular movies, resulting in a visually interesting--if inconsistent--style. Haunting nighttime shots of the London skyline (actually Prague) bleed into shadowy Tim Burton-like prowls through the damp cobblestone streets; aerial camerawork contrasts with crowded ground-level focuses; and the camera peeks around corners and into foggy windows with stealthy curiosity. What may stand out most in viewers minds after the carnage is through, is the exaggerated use of surround sound, which brings a dreadful sense of reality to the film's gore, making FROM HELL all the juicier. -- (Muze Description)1215087 "...The Hughes Brothers' goal here is to make an epic of savagery, and they are brilliant at ambience and details....A conspiracy-theory thriller with brains and a heart..." -- (Review)1221193 "...Sensational and accomplished....A horror film of genuine artistry and excitement. The Hughes brothers work with commanding restraint..." -- (Review)1221589 "...Impressively realized, confirming the Brothers as formidable visual stylists....The shadow-drenched Prague studio sets help sustain a sense of claustrophobia well suited to a tale of endemic corruption..." -- (Review)1232754 "...It's a true auteur movie, perfectly in sync with the brothers' previous output and delivered with a dry, subliminal message..." -- (Review)1233565 "...A rich, atmospheric film....The movie feels dark, clammy and exhilarating -- it's like belonging to a secret club where you can have a lot of fun but might get into trouble..." -- (Review)1249763

 

From Justin To Kelly (Special Edition)
Clarkson, Kelly, Guarini, Justin, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Kelly Clarkson's fresh-faced, small-town-girl charm--the charisma that led her to win the first season of American Idol--is on full display in From Justin to Kelly, a contemporary beach-party movie co-starring her former competition, Justin Guarini. The flimsy plot--Kelly and two gal pals go to the beach for spring break, where one of her friends gets jealous of Kelly and tries to ruin her budding romance with Justin--is just an excuse for glossy pop musical numbers, in which Kelly, Justin, and the rest of the cast exercise their glossy throats with lots of white soul vocal stylings. The best musical numbers suggest a new kind of disco-fueled pop operetta, with everyone singing the story along; you may wish that Kelly and Justin sang their way through the entire movie, never speaking at all. Plenty of skin--from girls and boys--is on display, but the overall tone is squeaky clean. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Fugitive, The (1993)
Ford, Harrison, Jones, Tommy Lee, Action & Adventure : Thrillers

Amazon.com essential video Do you know anyone who hasn't seen this movie? A box-office smash when released in 1993, this spectacular update of the popular 1960s TV series stars Harrison Ford as a surgeon wrongly accused of the murder of his wife. He escapes from a prison transport bus (in one of the most spectacular stunt-action sequences ever filmed) and embarks on a frantic quest for the true killer's identity, while a tenacious U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning role) remains hot on his trail. Director Andrew Davis hit the big time with this expert display of polished style and escalating suspense, but it's the antagonistic chemistry between Jones and Ford that keeps this thriller cooking to the very end. In roles that seem custom-fit to their screen personas, the two stars maintain a sharply human focus to the grand-scale manhunt, and the intelligent screenplay never resorts to convenient escapes or narrative shortcuts. Equally effective as a thriller and a character study, this is a Hollywood blockbuster that truly deserves its ongoing popularity. --Jeff Shannon

 

Full Metal Jacket
Adam Baldwin, R. Lee Ermey, Dramas

In this riveting look at military life during the Vietnam conflict, Stanley Kubrick, who made the powerful antiwar classics PATHS OF GLORY (WWI) and DR. STRANGELOVE (the cold war), once again explores the behavior of men in battle. FULL METAL JACKET, adapted from Gustav Hasford's novel THE SHORT TIMERS, is broken down into two very different parts. The first half of the film focuses on the training of a squad of Marine grunts on Parris Island, and more specifically on the troubled relationship between the brutal drill sergeant (a frightening Lee Ermey) and an oafish misfit (a brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio) who just happens to be a sharpshooter. The first half ends with a devastating, unforgettable scene, leading into the second half, which takes the grunts to Hue City, the climactic battle of the 1968 Tet Offensive and the turning point of the Vietnam War. The story is told through the eyes of Private Joker (Matthew Modine), a cynical aspiring photojournalist who is soon forced to fight for his life and the lives of his fellow recruits. The sniper scene, which takes place amid bombed-out buildings (rather than in the familiar jungles), serves as a microcosm for the Vietnam War--as well as war in general. FULL METAL JACKET is an unrelenting, intelligent, and challenging examination of war told by a master filmmaker. -- (Muze Description)1007967 "Here you are all equally worthless."--Gny. Sgt. Hartman (Lee Ermey) to the new recruits "What is your major malfunction, Pvt. Pyle?"--Gny. Sgt. Hartman to Pvt. Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) "You write 'Born to Kill' on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?!"--Colonel (Bruce Boa) to Pvt. Joker (Matthew Modine) "I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir."--Pvt. Joker's eventual response "We gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over."--Colonel's later comment to Pvt. Joker -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1119409 Based on Gustav Hasford's novel THE SHORT TIMERS, Kubrick's unusual answer to the 1980s spate of Vietnam War films (PLATOON, HAMBURGER HILL, 84 CHARLIE MOPIC, etc.) actually seems like two films in one. The first half focuses on the training of a squad of Marine grunts on Parris Island, and more specifically on the troubled relationship between the brutal drill sergeant (Ermey) and an oafish misfit (a brilliant D'Onofrio) who just happens to be a sharpshooter. Post-training, we follow the grunts to battle of Hue City, the climactic battle of the 1968 Tet Offensive and the turning point of the Vietnam War, seeing mostly through the eyes of a cynical reporter nicknamed Joker (Modine). As a Vietnam War film, Kubrick's is notable for focusing on urban, rather than jungle, battlefields--with snipers hiding behind every bombed-out building. -- (Synopsis)1119410 Although the credits claim that the film was shot "on location and at Pinewood Studios, Iver, Bucks," it has been reported that the film was entirely shot in England, at a military training camp in Bassingbourne and at Enfield and Beckton. The bombed-out buildings were on a site outside of London that was owned by British gas; it had been scheduled for demolition, so Kubrick had it blown up and then used as a set. Lee Ermey served as the technical adviser on the film; Kubrick liked him so much he hired him for the part of Gny. Sgt. Hartman. The film features excellent use of such 1960s classics as "These Boots Are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra, "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen, "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups, and "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones; Kubrick told Rolling Stone magazine, "We were looking for interesting material that played well with a scene. We tried a lot of songs. Sometimes the dynamic range of the music was too great, and we couldn't work in dialogue. The music has to come up under speech at some point, and if all you hear is the bass, it's not going to work in the context of the movie....The choices weren't arbitrary." The name of Sam the Sham's backup group

 

Gangs of New York
Diaz, Cameron, Day-Lewis, Daniel, Dramas

Director Martin Scorsese revisits New York City's notorious past with this dazzling historical drama. A throwback to the epics of yesteryear, GANGS OF NEW YORK is set in the mid-1800s, when the streets of lower Manhattan were teeming with tension and violence. Leonardo DiCaprio is Amsterdam Vallon, the son of a revered gang leader (Liam Neeson). As a youth, Amsterdam witnessed the death of his father at the hands of William "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), the maniacally driven ruler of the city's most powerful gang. Sixteen years later, Amsterdam is finally released from the orphanage that raised him. Determined to avenge his father's death, Amsterdam makes his way back to the volatile Five Points to track down Cutting and exact revenge. As he gradually infiltrates Bill the Butcher's camp and earns the crazed gangster's respect, he must also contend with the tumultuous, but beautiful, Jenny Everdean (Cameron Diaz). Di Caprio and Diaz are impressive in their respective roles, but it is Day-Lewis who steals the show. Resurfacing after a five-year retirement, the Irish actor delivers a performance that is at once cartoonish, electrifying, comical, sincere, and deeply moving. By paying tribute to the early days of New York City in such a grand, spectacular manner, Scorsese also pays tribute to cinema itself. Theatrical release: December 20, 2002 Original Production Year: 2001.

 

Gardens of Stone
Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, Dramas

GARDENS OF STONE is Francis Ford Coppola’s poetic tribute to the men who form the Old Guard, soldiers in charge of burying the dead at Arlington National Cemetery during the war in Vietnam. Clell Hazard (James Caan), an army sergeant who opposes the war because he believes it can't be won, becomes attached to a battle-hungry young soldier, Jackie Willow (D. B. Sweeney). Hazard knows the reality the youth will encounter if he goes to Vietnam, after serving two tours himself. His girlfriend, Washington reporter Samantha Davis (Anjelica Huston), also opposes the war, but for different reasons. Feeling useless in the Old Guard, Hazard requests a transfer to Fort Bragg, where he can help prepare the young soldiers for what they must face in Vietnam. Jackie is reunited with his girlfriend, Rachel (Mary Stuart Masterson), whose father, a retired colonel (played by Masterson’s real-life father, Peter Masterson), sees the war as a commercial opportunity. James Earl Jones is a show-stealer as Goody Nelson, Hazard’s best friend and voice of reason. The film’s scenes of military burials--drills carried out with precision and ritual--are beautiful to watch. -- (Muze Description)1008123 Shot in DeLuxe color. Title design by Colossal Pictures, Inc. and opticals by Cinema Research Corporation. "Special thanks to the Honor Guards and Bands of all Services: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, for their pride and devotion in attending the last call for their fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetery." The film is dedicated to the 3rd U.S. Infantry, the Old Guard of The Army, Ft. Myer, Virginia. -- (Muze Annotation)1117793 James Caan plays Clell Hazard, a sergeant assigned to the Old Guard, soldiers in charge of burying the dead at Arlington National Cemetery in 1968. After serving in Vietnam, he believes the war is not winnable, so when young soldier Jackie Willow (D. B. Sweeney) wants to be sent there, Hazard and friend Goody Nelson (James Earl Jones) try to dissuade him. Hazard’s girlfriend, Samantha (Anjelica Huston), is a liberal Washington reporter who also opposes the war. The military drills that make up the burial ceremonies serve as a bittersweet backdrop to the story. -- (Synopsis)1117794 "...[The] production values are first-rate with longtime collaborator Dean Tavoularis' production design evoking the mood of the times. Jordan Cronenweht's cinematography is dark and suggestive..." -- (Review)1191752 "...A compassionate study....It is a passionate impasse, played out by full, good characters and fine performers....GARDENS OF STONE'S intelligence and its unsimple characters make it a notable attempt to deal with that war..." -- (Review)1236653

 

Garfield The Movie
Wilson, Liz, Meyer, Breckin, Comedies

The long-running, popular comic strip about the fat and lazy cat named Garfield comes to life with this live-action Hollywood comedy. Based on characters created by Jim Davis, the film tells the story of this supremely spoiled pet, who wants the affection of everyone around him, only he wants it on his own terms. Trouble arises one day when, under the influence of the beautiful veterinarian Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Garfield's owner Jon (Breckin Meyer) stuns him by bringing home a cuddly dog, Odie. Jealous at the attention Odie is receiving, Garfield locks Odie out of the house. Odie runs away and when he's kidnapped by the evil television personality Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), Garfield realizes his mistake, and embarks on a brave mission to rescue his new housemate. Bill Murray is a perfect choice to provide the loveable voice behind the computer-animated cat. Director Peter Hewitt keeps the story moving along at a clipped pace, which will ensure that children's attention spans won't be tested. Breezy and charming, GARFIELD is a nostalgic return to the past for older viewers who grew up with the fuzzy feline, and an engaging introduction for younger audiences who are meeting him for the very first time. Theatrical Release: JUNE 11, 2004

 

General's Daughter, The
Travolta, John, Stowe, Madeleine, DVD Military : Murder : Suspense : Thriller

Description: "...Mr. Travolta again carries a film with enjoyable ease..." Description: When the daughter of a well-known and well-respected base commander is raped and murdered, the undercover military investigator (Travolta) assigned to the case discovers a shocking labyrinth of murderous sexual obsession and deceit. Based on the novel by Nelson DeMille. Description: "Watching John Travolta ease into a role is always a pleasure..." Description: "...THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER is a well-made film with a lot of good acting....It is populated by edgy performances..." Description: "...Twisty and compelling....Intriguing mystery, sultry atmosphere, sharp performances, and a number of muscular dramatic scenes..."

 

Get Real
Silverstone, Ben, Gorton, Brad,

Love blooms in this coming-of-age/coming-out film about a British prep student who follows his heart into uncharted territories.

 

 

 

 

Gettysburg
Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Action/Adventure

The TNT original GETTYSBURG is a sweeping production depicting the events that led up to the Battle of Gettysburg and the three-day battle itself, which claimed tens of thousands of lives, turned the tide of the Civil War, and eventually put an end to slavery in the United States. An excellent production illuminating the horrors and heroes of this uniquely idealistic war, the film boasts terrific performances from Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger, and Martin Sheen. The screenplay was based on the best-selling novel THE KILLER ANGELS by Michael Shaara. -- (Muze Description)1046038 Michael Shaara's source novel, THE KILLER ANGELS, earned the Pulitzer Prize. Michael's son Jeff finished the Civil War trilogy with the publication of his GODS AND GENERALS and THE LAST FULL MEASURE. -- (Muze Annotation)1083582 GETTYSBURG captures in vivid detail one of the most famous battles of the Civil War, in which more than 50,000 American lives were lost. Covering three days of brutal military campaigns, the film re-creates the world in which Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Lewis Armistead, and others made their tactical decisions and demonstrated their leadership. Special attention is paid to historical accuracy in costumes, epic battle scenes, and weaponry. The film alternates between Northern and Southern perspectives in order to deliver a full picture of the battle that changed American history. -- (Synopsis)1083583 "...Gere's showy but intense performance is the film's real focus, and it commands attention..." -- (Review)1155450 "...There are real virtues in almost all the performances..." -- (Review)1161690 "...GETTYSBURG succeeds as a motion picture event, and as a recreation of a pivotal chapter of American history..." -- (Review)1193146 "...This is a film that Civil War buffs will find indispensable..." -- (Review)1267567

 

Ghoulies/Ghoulies II
Nance, Jack, Pelikan, Lisa, Horror/Suspense

The GHOULIES are little creatures who crawl from the toilets of America and spread their brand of evil disaster. They romped through four films and this double feature contains the first two in the series. Please see individual titles for further information on the films.

 

 

 

Girl Next Door, The (Unrated Version)
Hirsch, Emile, Cuthbert, Elisha, Comedy : General

Amazon.com While it suffered a nearly unanimous beating from critics, The Girl Next Door attracted more than a few loyal defenders during its brief box-office lifespan. It pales when compared to its teen-comedy role model (the 1983 classic Risky Business), but you've got to admit that any movie about a teenager whose new next-door neighbor is a 19-year-old former porn star has bona fide cult-movie potential. To its credit, this rather schizoid blend of sleaze and comedy boasts an engaging pair of costars in Emile Hirsch (as the smitten, voyeuristic virgin) and 24's Elisha Cuthbert (as his sexy new house-sitting neighbor). And there are some good laughs in a script that takes unexpected turns when we learn that Cuthbert's character is trying to leave her porn-star past behind, to the chagrin of her pimp-like producer (Timothy Olyphant, in a scene-stealing role). Faring somewhat better than he did with the Rob Schneider non-comedy The Animal, director Luke Greenfield clearly recalls the turbulence that goes hand-in-hand with being young, horny, and confused. There's honesty and even (dare we say it?) maturity to be found in this raging-hormone fantasy, even if it's partially buried in a convoluted plot that's appalling or appealing, depending on your tolerance for good-natured prurience. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features The unrated director's cut of The Girl Next Door delivers about half a minute of extra nudity and sexual footage. Without adding anything to the running time of the R-rated theatrical cut, the unrated edition substitutes steamier footage into the film Eli watches while talking to Matt, and removes some digitized bikinis in part of the strip-club scene. (The new cut also has a more threatening scene between Matt and Kelly.) Don't expect to see more of star Elisha Cuthbert, though; she didn't... read more

 

Gladiator
Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, Action/Adventure

Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER, ALIEN) transports Hollywood to second-century Rome in this rousing historical epic that proudly harkens back to such films as BEN-HUR and SPARTACUS. Russell Crowe plays Maximus, a Roman general who leads the troops in conquering Germania for the empire. When an aging Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) tells Maximus that he'd like him to rule Rome once he's gone, a classic confrontation ensues between the brave and charming soldier--who wants to return home to his wife, son, and farm--and the jealous and conniving Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the emperor's only son, who is thirsty for power. Bought as a slave by the profiteering Proximo (Oliver Reed, in his last role), Maximus must kill or be killed in the ring, battling to save not only himself but the future of the very empire that he loves and honors. The film features a terrific battle sequence (that recalls the beginning of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), huge crowd scenes of thousands of people, and even a little romance, albeit mostly taboo. The impeccably choreographed gladiator scenes are violent yet thrilling, flashing by like lightning. GLADIATOR is a glorious spectacle filled with heart and soul. -- (Muze Description)1148681 An epic adventure that calls to mind the big-budget Hollywood films of the past, Ridley Scott's thrilling film is a raucous, engaging, and highly impressive spectacle. Maximus, a well-respected general, is stripped of his rank when the scheming Commodus takes over the Roman Empire in 180 AD. Maximus finds himself fighting for his life in the vicious gladiator arenas, where he uses his fame to spark unrest among the oppressed Roman citizens, firing up Commodus's anger and setting the stage for the ultimate battle. -- (Synopsis)1150685 "At my signal, unleash hell."--Maximus (Russell Crowe) to his troops "Are you not entertained?!"--Maximus to the arena crowd -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1150686 "...Mr. Crowe gives a performance with ball-of-fire intensity..." -- (Review)1152070 "...[The film's] best moments achieve a real grandeur....[Crowe] supplies all the conviction GLADIATOR needs." -- (Review)1152639 "...A classically designed pop spectacle....Triumphantly combined visual dazzle and old-fashioned storytelling..." -- (Review)1153596 Theatrical release: May 5, 2000 (National). Richard Harris accepted the part of Marcus Aurelius after Ridley Scott agreed to shoot his scenes on seven consecutive days. Russell Crowe had a hand in fixing the original script. Although the script is fiction, some of the characters are based on historical fact. Commodus was indeed the son of Marcus Aurelius; he took over after his father's death and fought many times in the Colosseum, although the battles were usually setups. Oliver Reed died shortly before the end of filming; his final scene had to be shot with a body double, with the help of some FORREST GUMP-style computer animation. Derek Jacobi played the emperor Claudius in the 1976 miniseries I, Claudius, which ends approximately 130 years prior to the beginning of GLADIATOR. The majority of the crowd in the Colosseum was computer-generated. The look of the film was based on Jean-Leon Gerome's painting "Thumbs Down," featuring a gladiator scanning the crowd to see if he should kill his fallen opponent. Paul Clinton of cnn.com, Philip French of the Guardian Unlimited (UK), Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, and the National Board of Review named GLADIATOR one of the 10 best films of 2000. GLADIATOR won the 2001 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture--Drama. Russell Crowe was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Drama. Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture--Drama. Ridley Scott was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director--Motion Picture. Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score--Motion Picture. Russell Crowe was named Best Actor by the San Di

 

Glimpse of Hell, A (2001)
James Caan, Robert Sean Leonard, Action & Adventure : General

From the Back Cover A Glimpse of Hell James Caan and Robert Sean Leonard turn in topnotch performances in this true-life story of the events surrounding the fatal explosion aboard the USS Iowa battleship in 1989. Was it an accidenta case of negligenceor a deliberate act of sabotage? When the deaths of 47 sailors on an ill-fated training exercise are blamed on a single despondent crew member, the ship's hardened Captain (Caan) supports the Navy's official position in order to save face. But a skeptical lieutenant (Loenard) with a different theory risks his own reputation - and his career - to discover the truth behind the tragedy.

 

 

Glory
Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Action

GLORY recounts the bravery of a group of Civil War soldiers often overlooked by history--the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, a troop of free black men who fought to help win liberty for their enslaved brothers. Based on the historical novels ONE GALLANT RUSH by Peter Burchand and LAY THIS LAUREL by Lincoln Kirstein and the letters of Robert Gould Shaw, the film follows the youthful Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick) as he takes responsibility for readying these soldiers for battle. Shaw, a privileged young Boston Brahman, finds the job harder than expected because many of the men balk at taking orders from him. Private Trip (Denzel Washington) is especially resistant to Shaw's leadership, but over time the two come to an understanding as they endure the hardships of the war. On July 18, 1863, Shaw volunteers the 54th for the honor of leading the charge against Ft. Wagner, a mission that means almost certain death, with Trip carrying the regiment's colors into battle. This gritty and realistic vision of the horrors of war is a moving and critical examination of a lost piece of history. Beautifully shot and triumphantly acted (by a cast that also includes Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher), director Edward Zwick's film serves as a tribute to the courage and selfless bravery of the black soldiers of the Civil War. -- (Muze Description)1008415 Theatrical release: December 15, 1989. Filmed on various locations in Massachusetts and Georgia. There is a monument to the 54th Infantry in the Boston Commons, sculpted by Augustus Saint-Goudens. Black soldiers, in fact, had a difficult time enlisting in the Northern army, which at first did not welcome them; when the Unionists finally changed their mind, African Americans often responded to the earlier slight by refusing to join. Of the 186,107 black soldiers in the Union army, 37,300 died; many of them were front-line men in the most dangerous positions. Seventy-five years after the Civil War, during World War II, many blacks still fought in segregated regiments. GLORY features the first screen appearance of Andre Braugher. Screenwriter Kevin Jarre has a cameo as a Connecticut soldier. Jane Alexander has a cameo as Shaw's (Matthew Broderick) mother. Donovan Leitch Jr. is the son of musician Donovan. Edward Zwick, the director of GLORY, was the cocreator, with Marshall Herskovitz, of television's THIRTYSOMETHING and ONCE AND AGAIN -- (Muze Annotation)1088292 Director Edward Zwick's GLORY follows the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, a troop of free black men who fought for freedom during the Civil War. When a wealthy white Bostonian takes charge of the unit, he faces the challenge of earning their respect and support as he prepares the soldiers for battle. -- (Synopsis)1088293 "...Spectacular choreography..." -- (Review)1162717 "...Beautifully acted, pageantlike....[The] cast is superior....This is a good, moving, complicated film..." -- (Review)1171795 "...GLORY is an eloquent, heart-tugging Civil War epic....Remarkable as a period piece and for Freddie Francis's vivid cinematography....Splendid..." -- (Review)1231395

 

God Is My Co-Pilot
Morgan, Dennis, Massey, Raymond : Drama

Dennis Morgan stars as fighter pilot Colonel Robert Lee Scott who flies with the Flying Tigers, trying to keep the Burma Road open, while also launching attacks into Hong Kong, trying to strike down the Japanese Navy. Scott believes in himself and in luck, while missionary priest Alan Hale tries to make him see that God's hand can be found all over. Morgan is good in the lead role, and well supported by Hale and many familiar character actors with faces you might remember, even if their names escape you. The film isn't quite as moralistic as the title would suggest, although Morgan's gradual acceptance of God's power is certainly at the heart of the film. I imagine that the image of God taking care of everyone must have been a comfort to audiences at a time when the world had been turned upside down. The film is also filled with some terrific air battles, replete with some bad Japanese trash talking (did Forties' audiences buy this?). I've seen enough Forties war films to expect that, as well as some stiff, corny dialogue between the fliers, and I find that part of the fun of watching these kinds of movies. At only an hour and a half, the film moves along quickly, mixing in enough action with the sentiment to keep me entertained.

 

Gods and Generals
Duvall, Robert, Sorvino, Mira, Dramas

This epic film from writer-director Ron Maxwell chronicles the early events of the American Civil War. It's a prequel to his earlier GETTYSBURG, with some of the same cast, and is part of a planned trilogy. Stephen Lang plays Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the famous (and deeply religious) Confederate general who, along with fellow General Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall), must weigh the mighty consequences of his actions, as each battle costs the lives of thousands of men. Over on the Union side there's Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, who, like Jackson and Lee, is fond of making long, poetic speeches to his troops. Beginning with the start of the war and ending with Jackson's death, the film chronicles the three main battles leading up to Gettysburg, using their actual locations and thousands of actual Civil War re-enactors as extras. Maxwell pays careful attention to authentic period detail as he chronicles the minutiae of the generals' domestic lives in the intervals between the harrowing battle scenes. While a little on the long side, the end result should serve as an invaluable document for history buffs. Mogul Ted Turner was an executive producer and appears in a small role. Theatrical Release Date: February 21, 2003.

 

Gone With the Wind
Rand Brooks, Laura Hope Crews, Dramas

Hot-tempered, self-centered, part-Irish Southern beauty Scarlett O’Hara, played to the teeth by Vivien Leigh, loves the gentlemanly Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). Smug, rebellious, honest blockade-running profiteer Rhett Butler, portrayed gracefully and naturally by Clark Gable, loves Scarlett. Ashley, who is also in love with Scarlett, marries his genteel cousin Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) because he believes that their quiet similarities will create a better marriage than Scarlett’s passion. Meanwhile, sparks fly between Rhett and Scarlett at their first encounter and continue throughout Scarlett’s first two marriages. Scarlett and Rhett finally wed, but Scarlett continues to pine for her beloved Ashley. Set against the Civil War and Southern Reconstruction, this tragic love quadrangle offers the burning of Atlanta and fields of wounded Confederates as part of its lush scenery. Meticulous backdrops, glorious sunsets, numerous silhouettes, and the ultrasaturated Technicolor film create a hyperreal vision. The romantic score is every bit as lush and dramatic as the photography, borrowing folk melodies from the Old South to make the tragic war concrete. Heavy nostalgic tones pervade the often witty dialogue and larger-than-life charms and faults of the leads. GONE WITH THE WIND stands among the greatest epic dramas ever filmed. -- (Muze Description)1008591 Hot-tempered, self-centered, part-Irish Southern beauty Scarlett O’Hara, played to the teeth by Vivien Leigh, loves the gentlemanly Ashley Wilkes. Smug, rebellious, honest blockade-running profiteer Rhett Butler, portrayed gracefully and naturally by Clark Gable, loves Scarlett. Ashley, who is also in love with Scarlett, marries his genteel cousin Melanie because he believes that their quiet similarities will create a better marriage than Scarlett’s passion. Meanwhile, sparks fly between Rhett and Scarlett at their first encounter and continue throughout Scarlett’s first two marriages. Scarlett and Rhett finally wed, but Scarlett continues to pine for her beloved Ashley. Set against the Civil War and Southern Reconstruction, this tragic love quadrangle offers the burning of Atlanta and fields of wounded Confederates as part of its lush scenery. Meticulous backdrops, glorious sunsets, numerous silhouettes, and the ultrasaturated Technicolor film create a hyperreal vision. The romantic score is every bit as lush and dramatic as the photography, borrowing folk melodies from the Old South to make the tragic war concrete. Heavy nostalgic tones pervade the often witty dialogue and larger-than-life charms and faults of the leads. GONE WITH THE WIND stands among the greatest epic dramas ever filmed. -- (Synopsis)1124265 GONE WITH THE WIND is number 4 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. GONE WITH THE WIND was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989. Margaret Mitchell wrote her only novel between 1926 and 1929 and then let it collect dust for six years before showing it to an editor. By the time of the film's release, Mitchell's novel had surpassed 1,500,000 in sales. The novel swept the nation, and everyone, everywhere, was reading it. Selznick paid $50,000 for the rights to the book. Selznick brought in a number of screenwriters in addition to Sidney Howard to help him get a grasp on the material. Among them were Edwin Justin Mayer, John Van Druten, Ben Hecht, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jo Swerling. For the part of Scarlett O'Hara, David O. Selznick issued a national talent search. Scores of famous Hollywood actresses tested for the part. Many southerners (and Americans in general) were upset when Selznick cast Vivien Leigh in the role. The very prospect of an Englishwoman playing the part of an American Southern belle was outrageous. But after the film's release most southerners changed their minds. On the contrary, many said, "Better an English girl than a Yankee." The novel was so well known and loved that MGM conducted national polls to determine who should play the leads. Gable was the clear ch

 

Good Boy!
Shannon, Molly, Aiken, Liam, Comedy : General

Amazon.com A young boy named Owen learns the startling truth about dogs: They're actually from outer space, sent here to rule mankind. A canine agent from the star Sirius (voiced by Matthew Broderick) gets rescued from the pound by Owen (Liam Aiken) and named Hubble. As Hubble desperately tries to train a motley crew of dogs from Owen's neighborhood to behave like conquerors before the Greater Dane arrives and decides the planet's fate, the outer space pooch slowly bonds with Owen and discovers why dogs may have joined forces with humans instead of dominating them. Good Boy! will charm dog lovers in particular, but the movie has enough clever touches to engage most viewers, and it manages a sweet tone without turning cloyingly saccharine. Featuring the voices of Carl Reiner, Brittany Murphy, Delta Burke, Donald Faison, and--of all people--Vanessa Redgrave as the Greater Dane. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Good Bye, Lenin
Brühl, Daniel, Saß, Katrin, Art House & International : By Original Language : German

Amazon.com Contemporary comedies rarely stretch themselves beyond a bickering romantic couple or a bickering couple and a bucket of bodily fluids, which makes the ambition and intelligence of Good bye, Lenin! not simply entertaining but downright refreshing. The movie starts in East Germany before the fall of communism; our hero, Alex (Daniel Bruhl), describes how his mother (Katrin Sass), a true believer in the communist cause, has a heart attack when she sees him being clubbed by police at a protest. She falls into a coma for eight months--during which the Berlin Wall comes down. When she awakens, her fragile health must avoid any shocks, so Alex creates an illusive reality around his bedridden mother to convince her that communism is still alive. Good bye, Lenin! delicately balances wry satire with its rich investment in the lives of Alex, his mother, and other characters around them. Funny, moving, and highly recommended. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Though the DVD extras for Good Bye, Lenin! include a detailed featurette on the digital effects used in the movie (particularly intriguing because they had to be completely invisible--many viewers won't realize there were digital effects until they see this featurette) and a convivial cast commentary with Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sass, and Alexander Beyer, the star of the DVD is director Wolfgang Becker himself. Not only is his commentary rich with historical information and thoughtful notes ... read more

 

Good Morning, Vietnam
Whitaker, Forest, Tran, Tung Thanh, Comedies

Set in 1965; Produced and released in 1987. In GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, which is based on a true story, Cronauer (Robin Williams) is a nonconformist with a wicked sense of humor who is transferred from Crete to Saigon. Outrageous and over the top, Cronauer speaks in accents, creates characters, pokes fun at everyone--including the President--and spins banned rock and roll tunes. While his antics amuse the masses, they also put him in hot water with his superior officers, particularly Lt. Steven Hauk (Bruno Kirby), who would prefer that the radio show be censored, sanitized, and completely noncontroversial. Cronauer takes his show outside the radio station when he starts to teach Vietnamese locals English in an effort to meet pretty, demure Trinh (Chintara Sukapatana). He befriends Trinh's brother, Tuan (Tung Thanh Tran), who becomes an unlikely comrade in uncertain times. Directed by Barry Levinson (DINER, AVALON), the film features a tour-de-force performance from Williams, who improvised much of the comedy used in the radio shows, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. -- (Muze Description)1008604 In 1965, deejay Adrian Cronauer joins the armed forces radio station in Vietnam, where his manic on-air antics entertain the soldiers and infuriate his superiors. His involvement with a young Vietnamese woman and her brother undermines his already tenuous position with the army brass while opening his eyes to the harsh realities of the world around him. -- (Synopsis)1103395 Theatrical release: December 23, 1987. Filmed in Thailand. GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM is number 100 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies. In real life, Adrian Cronauer became a popular Detroit deejay. The scenes in which Adrian Cronauer (Williams) wears military fatigues while doing his show from the radio station were shot specifically for the trailer, to give the film more of a wartime feeling in its publicity campaign. The Louis Armstrong song "What a Wonderful World," used to emotional effect in GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, was not actually recorded until 1967, and the film is set in 1965. -- (Muze Annotation)1103396 "...Williams is an extraordinary performer..." -- (Review)1162777 "...Exceptionally strong....Williams's performance, though it's full of uproarious comedy, is the work of an accomplished actor. GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM is one man's tour de force..." -- (Review)1175640 Rating: B+ -- (Review)1181349 "Good morning, Vietnam!"--Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) to radio audience -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1191567 "...GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM is pure Robin Williams vehicle and gives the performer his best chance yet to display his manic talent on screen. It's an impressive act..." -- (Review)1192135 "...Williams at the mike is like a man possessed, purified, liberated. Startling chains of ideas and wild leaps of imagery pour out of him..." -- (Review)1237995

 

Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Friends

A South Boston whiz kid elects to clean the halls of learning rather than enter them, slumming his way through life as a janitor at MIT. But his natural ability to unravel complex equations attracts the attention of a professor who won't let him quit, a beautiful Harvard student who wants to save him, a sympathetic buddy who wants him to escape South Boston, and a counselor who encourages him. A soundly acclaimed, homegrown effort from lifelong Boston buddies Damon and Affleck, who pushed their script through development by disguising it as a suspense thriller. -- (Muze Description)1121056 "...Matt Damon proves himself a charismatic and compelling actor..." -- (Review)1160264 "…...Matt Damon delivers the movie year's No. 1 breakthrough performance..." -- 3 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1164443 "...A smart and touching screenplay....Directed with style, shrewdness and clarity..." -- (Review)1206704 "...An impressive scripting debut....Williams delivers an honest portrayal that adds greatly to the film's character interplay..." -- (Review)1211331 "...A funny, affecting tale of friendship and self-determination..." -- (Review)1212692 "...Smart, involving....The film has a good ear for the way these characters might really talk..." -- (Review)1259579

 

Grand Canyon
Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Dramas

Director Lawrence Kasdan's GRAND CANYON is an introspective tale of the unlikely friendship of two men from different worlds brought together when one (Kevin Kline) finds himself in jeopardy in the other's (Danny Glover) rough neighborhood. Other characters from disparate Los Angeles origins (including Steve Martin, Alfre Woodard, and Mary-Louise Parker) also cross paths in this soul-searching lament of modern social conflicts. -- (Muze Description)1037642 The film marks the first time husband-and-wife team Meg and Lawrence Kasdan have worked on a script together. Meg said that one of her motivations for writing a script about inner-city violence was the feeling she had that no one was really safe. "We wanted to talk about the brutality of city life and the dangers we all face." The film addresses random violence in alternating displays of racism and the sometimes-unexpectedly benevolent kindness of others. Two of the stars of this film had previously worked with Kasdan before. Danny Glover appeared in SILVERADO, and Kevin Kline had worked in three previous Kasdan pictures. Before Lawrence Kasdan became a director, he was a prolific screenwriter, having worked for a long time with George Lucas. He cowrote the screenplays for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and RETURN OF THE JEDI. -- (Muze Annotation)1095077 The lives of six successful Los Angeles residents become intertwined when they simultaneously deal with the harsh realities of urban life. -- (Synopsis)1095078 "...The actors are splendid. Glover exudes strength and charm....Martin is potently funny..." -- (Review)1158690 "...A riveting evocation....Woodard stands out vibrantly..." -- (Review)1167353 "...CANYON does possess the essential ingredients of films that act as time capsules of an era..." -- (Review)1170614 "...Honesty is all through GRAND CANYON..." -- (Review)1268305

 

Green Berets, The
Aldo Ray, John Wayne, Action

One of the first American films specifically about the Vietnam War was also one of the most hawkish, offering a pro-intervention perspective at the height of the conflict. Filmed along the conventions of a World War II action drama, a gung-ho colonel battles the vicious Viet Cong while protecting innocent civilians, befriending an orphaned boy, and reforming a liberal newspaperman's misguided political views. -- (Muze Description)1008931 -- (Synopsis)1120301

 

 

Green Mile, The
Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dramas

Director Frank Darabont's second adaptation of a Stephen King prison tale (the first being 1994's nearly flawless THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) is a hopeful charmer with a hint of the supernatural. The story focuses on Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a Louisiana security guard who works on death row during the Great Depression. When John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a gigantic black man convicted of raping and murdering two white girls, joins the other prisoners on the row, Paul's life is forever altered. Coffey doesn't fit the mold of a psychopathic killer; he's kind, gentle, and afraid of the dark. As the story progresses, Edgecomb learns that there is something more than simple goodness to Coffey. Building to a hopeful climax, Darabont once again proves that he is King's most loyal cinematic translator. The film features uniformly excellent performances in leading and supporting roles, notably Duncan as Coffey; David Morse and Barry Pepper as Hanks's fellow prison guards; and Michael Jeter as condemned killer Edward Delacroix. -- (Muze Description)1141692 "...[A] powerful and meticulously crafted drama....Hanks excels..." -- (Review)1152572 "...[Hanks] is on par with his career-best work....A long walk to a worthwhile destination..." -- Rating: A- -- (Review)1159244 THE GREEN MILE, based on a Depression-era tale by Stephen King, tells the story of the unusual bond that is formed between Paul Edgecomb, a Louisiana security guard, and John Coffey, a gentle and gigantic inmate on death row. -- (Synopsis)1181690 Theatrical release: December 10, 1999. Most of the film was shot on the soundstage on the set of Cell Block E, the film's death row cell. The remaining scenes were shot in Nashville Tennessee, and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Tom Hanks elected to bulk up, weight-wise, for this film so that he seemed intimidating as a prison warden. Although Michael Clarke Duncan had previously appeared in films such as FRIDAY and BULWORTH, his role in THE GREEN MILE dramatically raised his profile. Certain VHS and DVD versions include the behind-the-scenes documentary WALKING THE MILE. THE GREEN MILE won People's Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture and Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture at the January 2001 ceremonies. -- (Muze Annotation)1181692 "This big man is about to pull off your ears. Aren't you going to listen to him?"--Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), regarding John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) "On the day of my judgement, when I stand before God, and he asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles...what am I gonna say? That is was my job? My job?"--Paul Edgecomb to John Coffey -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1181694 "...There are several sequences of powerful emotion in the film....It tells a story with beginning, middle, end, vivid characters, humor, outrage and emotional release..." -- (Review)1255587

 

Hair
Savage, John, D'Angelo, Beverly, All Deals

In what is widely considered to be even better than the Broadway stage musical, this film version of HAIR, directed by Milos Forman, gives a boost to what was, on the stage, a nonexistent plotline, and highlights the already fabulous score with this epic musical. Filmed on location in and around New York City, the main plotline follows Claude (John Savage) a farm boy turned draftee from Oklahoma on his way to Vietnam. In New York, he is adopted by a group of flower children, led by Berger (Treat Williams) and including Jeannie (Annie Golden), who take him on a series of counter-cultural adventures that introduce Claude to hallucinogens and to a flaky but loveable debutante named Sheila (Beverly D'Angelo). Along with this experience come an introduction to issues of race, gender, politics, and war. The performances--both the acting and the singing--are extraordinary, and choreographer Twyla Tharp stages some of the most inventive and exquisite dance sequences ever seen, including a "horse ballet" by mounted police in Central Park, and an LSD trip-fantasy sequence. The sheer visual energy in HAIR--and the energy of its stars--propels this unique and nostalgic film forward every minute, and gives new insight into the Vietnam War era. The "Age of Aquarius" is captured for all time in Czech director Milos Forman's version of the hit 1960s Broadway musical. A clean-cut midwestern kid named Claude (John Savage), fresh off the bus from Oklahoma and eager to do service in the military, comes to New York and ends up sidetracked by a nomadic tribe of hippies in Central Park. The group is vibrantly led by Berger (Treat Williams). Claude is eventually assimilated into this family of protesters and falls in love with Sheila, a girl from a wealthy family. Their happiness is cut short when Claude has to report for duty in the Vietnam War. The plot hangs in the balance when Berger poses as Claude to buy Claude a little more time in the name of love. The film is notable for its hit songs such as "Let the Sun Shine In," its choreography by Twyla Tharp, a cameo by the late Nicholas Ray as a general, and for jump-starting the careers of Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo. The screenplay by Michael Weller, based on the musical by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, with music by Galt Macdermot, effectively captures the feeling of the movement. The original Broadway cast included Melba Moore and Diane Keaton.

 

Hamburger Hill
Tommy Swerdlow, Michael Dolan, Action

It was Vietnam, 1969, Hill 937, 10 days, 70 percent casualties. Those are the facts. This is the story: dodge the gunfire, get caught behind enemy lines, go into battle beside the brave young men who fought and died, and feel their desperation and futility. -- (Muze Description)1009122 In 1969, fourteen new Army recruits, mostly poor whites and blacks, go through the rigors of basic training in preparation for service in Vietnam. Once overseas, they are sent on a suicide mission to capture the insignificant and well-protected Hamburger Hill. -- (Synopsis)1095105 "The most realistic portrait of the Vietnam War ever filmed. Because it's the only one that's true. War at its worst. Men at their best." -- marketing line for the film -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1095106 Director John Irvin had previously shot a documentary in Vietnam in 1969. Filmed on location in the Philippines. Copyright 1987 RKO Pictures, Inc. -- (Muze Annotation)1095107 "...[Not since APOCALYPSE NOW] has there been spectacle to equal the scenes showing the dropping of phosphorous bombs in the jungle....Vance is particularly fine..." -- (Review)1175360 "...Well produced and directed with an eye to documentary-like realism and authenticity..." -- (Review)1191935 "...HAMBURGER HILL pays heartfelt, richly deserved tribute to the young American soldiers who fought so valiantly..." -- (Review)1237355

 

Hangman's Curse
David Keith, Mel Harris, Drama : General

 

Watch your locker. Watch your back. Watch your soul. Bullying students are becoming deathly ill after screaming the name of a legendary ghost. What's to blame? An exotic illness? An illicit drug? Or is it the supernatural? The clues are few and time is running out for the students of Rogers High School. The only hope is the Veritas Project, a highly trained investigative team working undercover to expose the truth. Lives hang in the balance as they scramble to unravel the mystery and protect the student body from their own hatred and fear.

 

Hannibal
Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Horror/Suspense

After a decade in abeyance, the courtly cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, returns to the screen, again played by Anthony Hopkins, under the direction of Ridley Scott. When F.B.I. Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) is blamed for a botched drug bust, her boss Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) makes a media circus of her humiliation, which catches the attention of Lecter. Now a hardened veteran, she begins receiving letters from the twisted genius, who remains obsessed with her. Yet she's not the only one interested in drawing out the psychopath, now lecturing on the Renaissance in Florence. Italian detective Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) hopes to impress his young wife by nailing the reward for his capture, and wealthy pedophile Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) is eager to take revenge against the cannibal for leaving him with a hideously deformed face. But they're no match for Hannibal's coyly satanic ubiquity, which bewilders his quickly narcotized foes before he administers a punishment sufficiently grotesque to suit his sense of amusement.The odious Krendler, in particular, learns to use his gray matter for, perhaps, the first time in his life. However, all is prologue to his fated rendezvous with Clarice. A banquet for the splatterati, reveling as it does in gore and dismemberment, the film features brilliant work by a stellar cast, and the kind of meticulous art direction and lushly magnificent photography that one has come to expect of one of Scott. -- (Muze Description)1190853 "...Handsomely staged....[The] presentation is mournfully beautiful; rarely has a director used so many variations on midnight blue..." -- (Review)1195176 "I should tell you...I've given serious thought...to eating your wife."--Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) "Hello, Clarice..."--Hannibal Lecter to Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1195404 "...Gruesomely engrossing....Lecter remains a riveting figure of fear..." -- (Review)1195859 "...Tantalizing, engrossing....HANNIBAL imparts its own pleasures by painting a portrait of a man of ultimate civilized refinements whose dark side always threatens to lurch out violently..." -- (Review)1195886 Theatrical Release: February 9, 2001 Shooting locations: Richmond, VA, Asheville, NC, Washington, D.C., and Florence and Sardinia, Italy. Jodie Foster, who starred in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, passed on the film, because she was dissatisfied with the manner in which the character of Clarice was handled. Jonathan Demme, the director of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, passed on the film due to what he felt was its excessive violence. Julianne Moore underwent basic FBI training at the organization's Quantico, VA facility, in preparation for her role. Anthony Hopkins has stated that he based Lecter's gait on that of a cat. Italy's Popular Political Party protested the shooting of one of Lecter's murders in the historic Palazzo Vacchio. -- (Muze Annotation)1195983

 

Hardball
Michael B. Jordan, Trevor Morgan, Dramas

Brian Robbins (VARSITY BLUES) directs another sports-related picture with HARDBALL, an uplifting story about a man who finds redemption when he's least expecting it. Keanu Reeves stars as Conor O'Neill, an underachiever whose gambling addiction has gotten him into seemingly insurmountable trouble. Desperate for money, he begs his friend Jimmy (Mike McGlone) to bail him out one more time. Jimmy agrees to give Conor a weekly stipend, but only if Conor agrees to coach a little league baseball team in Chicago's inner city. At first, Conor realizes just how unequipped he is for this particular task, as the assembled team goofs off, fights, and curses, paying no attention to his authority. Eventually, however, he gains their respect, and pretty soon, they're winning games. Meanwhile, off the field, Conor finds himself falling for the children's schoolteacher, Miss Wilkes (Diane Lane). He also places a potentially life-threatening bet with a high-level bookie, but after a miracle saves him and he begins to fully embrace his new role as a coach and father figure, tragedy strikes and teaches Conor a much more valuable life lesson. Based on the non-fiction book by Daniel Coyle, HARDBALL is an uplifting story that gets a boost of energy from its non-professional cast of youngsters. -- (Muze Description)1213468 "...A surefire heart-tugger made with skill and judgment....This endearing film strikes an all-crucial consistent balance between grit and sentiment..." -- (Review)1217567 "...[Warren is] a tiny fireball of energy....Perkins provides quiet intensity..." -- (Review)1217833 "...Its uplifting message about teamwork and caring wouldn't hurt a fly. You might even say, the movie is good for you..." -- (Review)1218051 "...Lane conveys warmth and intelligence..." -- (Review)1218091 Theatrical Release: SEPTEMBER 14, 2001 -- (Muze Annotation)1223755 "...It offers a refreshingly realistic approach to the way pre-teens actually talk..." -- (Review)1239474

 

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
Penn, Kal, Akerman, Malin, Comedies

Following up his hit DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? writer-director Danny Leiner has come up with the riotous road-trip comedy HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Harold (John Cho) has graduated college and is now working at a cubicle, where he is abused by other workers and forced to do their jobs for them. Kumar (Kal Penn) is expected to go to medical school to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother, but he'd rather spend his time partying. The entire film takes place in one night, as wild Kumar is determined to get a sack of burgers at White Castle, even though his more staid roommate would prefer to stay home and finish a project for his office mates. While Kumar seeks fun and adventure, lusting after nearly every woman he meets, Harold dreams only of Maria (Paula Garces), the woman down the hall whom he likes but is too afraid to talk to. Harold & Kumar's excellent adventure includes an outrageous bathroom scene in a college, a cop who takes his job way too seriously, a group of extreme, rad dudes who harass Harold, Kumar, and a convenience store manager, LAW & ORDER: SVU's Chris Meloni as an incredibly disgusting possible psycho, and Neil Patrick Harris playing himself, making fun of his Doogie Howser image. In addition to plenty of raunchy--and very funny--references to sex, drugs, and rock & roll, Leiner also takes on stereotypes and the meaning of love. THEATRICAL RELEASE: JULY 30, 2004 (LIMITED)

 

Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Cleese, John, Henderson, Shirley, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

In this adaptation of the third book in J.K. Rowling's best-selling series, Harry Potter (Danielle Radcliffe) and his best friends Hermoine (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), must face the dangerous convict Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), who has ties with their enemy Lord Voldemort. The spectacular fantasy-adventure action of the earlier movies (SORCERER'S STONE and CHAMBER OF SECRETS) is once again presented here, as Alfonso Cuaron lends his unique directorial style to recreating Rowling's magical story on celluloid. A scarier, darker story than the first two, this one concerns the mystery behind why Sirius Black is tracking Harry Potter. Slowly Harry and his friends unravel the clues, and learn secrets about Harry's parents that had all along been hidden from him. Meanwhile, because the deranged Sirius poses a threat to all students at Hogwarts, the school enlists a group of daunting black ghosts called Dementors to stand guard. These flying ghouls have a powerful effect on Harry and frighten him to his core. Yet even these chilling obstacles don't dampen the spirits of the youthful wizards, who meet Buckbeak--a giant flying hawk-horse creature, welcome a new dark arts teacher (David Thewlis) and a new divination teacher (Emma Thompson), and are still determined to beat the rival Slytherin team in Quidditch. HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN offers a visually stunning interpretation of the revered book, and will thrill viewers with its special effects, it's penetrating John Williams score, and its superb performances.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Watson, Emma, Grint, Rupert, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

Director Chris Columbus recreates the magic of the second book from author J.K. Rowling's best-selling series about a young wizard, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). In this sequel, Harry and his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the new school year only to be met with a terrifying mystery. An unknown creature, one that supposedly lives in the legendary Chamber of Secrets hidden at Hogwarts, is attacking students in the school, leaving them literally petrified and as cold as stone. Even the professors seem at a loss for how to solve the chilling mystery, leaving it up to Harry and his friends to save the day. Rowling's story translates well to the big screen, with a magical flying car, a giant spider, a house elf named Dobby, and assorted other creatures making their film debuts. Radcliffe continues to charm as the wide-eyed young Potter, and Grint shines as his best friend and sidekick. Kenneth Branagh joins the all-star cast as the preening megalomaniac author and professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS also stars the late Richard Harris, majestic Maggie Smith, and an under-used Alan Rickman. -- (Muze Description)1248230 "...Many of the sequences are thrilling....The visual environment is beautifully conceived and skillfully rendered..." -- (Review)1260567 "...CHAMBER OF SECRETS, the movie weaves a powerful spell over its audience..." -- (Review)1260574 "...[The film has] new characters, marvelously played by fresh king-and-queen hams who conjure the old-fashioned art of well-placed acting..." -- (Review)1260641 "...The young actors -- Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron, and Emma Watson as Hermione -- exude a new ease..." -- (Review)1262552 "...It affords an opportunity for such character actors as Kenneth Branagh and Shirley Henderson to let rip....[The] monsters from the first film are smoother and more nuanced here..." -- (Review)1263804 "...CHAMBER OF SECRETS, like its predecessor, is intelligently cast and makes good use of behind-the-camera talent..." -- (Review)1264109 "...Enchanting....We see even more of the exquisitely realized Harry Potter universe in this outing..." -- (Review)1264927 "...It possesses a confidence and intermittent flair that begin to give it a life of its own....[The] film features a commanding turn by Christian Coulson..." -- (Review)1265738

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Maggie Smith, Rupert Grint, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

American director Chris Columbus (HOME ALONE) brings the magic of British author J.K. Rowling's beloved best-selling fantasy novel to life in HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. Eleven-year-old orphan Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds his world turned upside down when he discovers that, like his deceased parents, he is a wizard and has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With fellow first-year students Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) by his side, Harry's adventures begin in the rambling castle that is Hogwarts. Vivid special effects make Hogwarts' magic a reality with paintings that come alive, staircases that move themselves, friendly ghosts, and fast-paced Quidditch (the school sport) matches in which students zoom around on their flying brooms. Mixed in with the miracles of Hogwarts are its dark hidden chambers and secrets, which Harry and his friends encounter as they embark on a quest to keep a treasured powerful object from falling into the wrong hands. Staying true to the book with this film adaptation, Columbus follows Rowling's story to the tiniest detail, making it a special treat for readers who were smitten with the novel. Radcliffe is especially engaging as Harry, infusing him with a believable sense of wonderment. The star-studded cast also includes Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, and Robbie Coltrane. -- (Muze Description)1213217 "...HARRY POTTER, the film, looks just as dazzling as readers of Rowling's captivating book might hope..." -- (Review)1223421 "...[Mr. Radcliffe] possesses a watchful gravity....Ms. Watson has the sass and smarts to suggest she might cast a spell of her own..." -- (Review)1223448 "...A stunning achievement in set design, costumes, make-up, special effects and a well-chosen cast rendering perfectly and vividly an iconic and universally renowned fantasy world..." -- (Review)1227300 "...Rupert Grint is very good....HARRY POTTER will captivate younger children..." -- (Review)1227331 "...The script is faithful, the actors are just right, the sets, costumes, makeup and effects match and sometimes exceed anything one could imagine..." -- (Review)1228293 "...A red-blooded adventure movie, dripping with atmosphere, filled with the gruesome and the sublime and surprisingly faithful to the novel....Director Chris Columbus seems to have created a classic..." -- (Review)1248809

 

Hart's War
Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, Dramas

Director Gregory Hoblit’s debut feature was the tricky courtroom drama PRIMAL FEAR. With his fourth feature, HART’S WAR, Hoblit is back with another. This time the court is inside a WWII prisoner-of-war camp. The defendant is Lieutenant Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard), a black officer accused of killing a racist sergeant (Cole Hauser). Scott lawyer is Lieutenant Tommy Hart (Colin Farrell), a second-year law student at Yale. A U.S. senator’s son, Hart was having a relatively easy war until he was captured, interrogated, and sent to Stalag VI. The camp commandant is the urbane, charming, and ruthless SS Major Visser (compellingly played by Rumanian actor Marcel Iures). The ranking American officer at the camp is Colonel William McNamara (Bruce Willis), and Hart is soon in conflict with him. When Scott is accused of murder, McNamara insists that the prisoners should hold a court martial, and he appoints Hart counsel for the defense. At the court martial, Hart finds his client is being railroaded, although he gets help from unexpected quarters. Intricately plotted by scriptwriters Billy Ray and Terry George, and filmed by Hoblit with his accustomed attention to detail, HART’S WAR is a devious and absorbing courtroom/POW drama. -- (Muze Description)1227881 "...[A] stolid and earnest military courtroom drama..." -- (Review)1230926 "...Farrell wins sympathy through his somber, thoughtful deliberations, a generously underplaying Willis brings gravitas, and Marcel Lures' commandant, Colonel Visser is a surprisingly rounded creation..." -- (Review)1239161 "...Absorbing....What makes it more intriguing is the sense that something else is going on underneath the action..." -- (Review)1247820

 

Heartbreak Ridge
Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Action/Adventure

Clint Eastwood plays tough-as-nails marine sergeant Tom Highway in HEARTBREAK RIDGE. Highway is tough, but he’s got his work cut out for him when he’s assigned to whip a platoon of unruly new Marines into shape. He faces his own, often humorous battles with his ex-wife (Marsha Mason) and with his by-the-book commanding officers but still manages to teach his troops discipline and combat tactics. Eventually, their feelings toward him shift from resentment to respect, and all his lessons are put to use when the Grenada invasion unexpectedly brings the platoon into battle. -- (Muze Description)1009387 Clint Eastwood takes a revisionist approach to his tough-guy persona once again in HEARTBREAK RIDGE. As he had done in TIGHTROPE and PALE RIDER, and as he would do even more memorably in UNFORGIVEN, Eastwood probes beneath the surface of his prototypical character, a man who feels most at ease amid violence. HEARTBREAK RIDGE is a deft blend of service comedy, action film, and, most surprisingly, a genuine adult love story, as Sergeant Highway tries, with touching earnestness, to win back the affections of his ex-wife (Marsha Mason), after his devotion to the corps has kept them apart for too many lonely years. Meanwhile, he has to whip his inexperienced, undisciplined troops into shape. Highway often runs afoul of his own commanders, who resent his maverick ways and feel threatened by his combat experience and his chest full of medals. He gets the chance to prove his effectiveness yet again when his men are unexpectedly called to battle in Grenada. Like many of Eastwood’s films, HEARTBREAK RIDGE is an underrated, solidly entertaining work. -- (Synopsis)1119380 Theatrical release: December 5, 1986. This film was primarily shot at Camp Pendleton, California. The Grenada segments were shot in Puerto Rico. There's a French documentary, CREVECOEUR, about the Korean War engagement the film is named for. Mario Van Peebles is the son of filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, who started the 1970s blaxploitation wave with his SWEET SWEETBACK'S BADASSSSS SONG, which marked Mario's acting debut. This was the first of many Clint Eastwood films on which Jack N. Green was the director of photography. He had previously worked as a camera operator on FIREFOX, HONKYTONK MAN, and SUDDEN IMPACT. "The Marines are looking for a few good men. Unfortunately, you ain't it."--Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) sizes up his troops "We're friends, but don't expect us to swap spit in the shower."--Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway to his troops -- (Muze Annotation)1119381 "...Eastwood's performance is one of the richest he's ever given..." -- (Review)1177428 "...HEARTBREAK RIDGE offers another vintage Clint Eastwood performance....Eastwood's direction stands out in sure pacing..." -- (Review)1190577 "...The reward is a vintage Clint Eastwood performance....[He] does it all -- the physicality, the obscenities, the puzzlement in love and mastery in war -- better and more economically than almost any screen icon around..." -- (Review)1239619

 

Heat
Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Action/Adventure

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are finally together on screen in this riveting story about an intense rivalry between expert thief Neil McCauley (De Niro) and volatile cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino). McCauley will stop at nothing to do what he does best and neither will Hanna, even though it means destroying everything around them, including the people they love. With a solid supporting cast that includes Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Ashley Judd, and Natalie Portman, HEAT is a truly epic crime story. -- (Muze Description)1068175 "Never have anything in your life you can't walk out on in thirty seconds" is the motto of expert thief Neil McCauley (De Niro). After his next break-in, McCauley plans to retire from his outlaw life and move to New Zealand. However, Vincent Hanna (Pacino), a Los Angeles police detective, obsessively tracks McCauley's gang of thieves, who have left three security guards dead in an armored truck robbery. As the detective gets closer to tracking them down, the crooks plan another big heist, this time at a bank. Hanna soon gets a lead that helps him determine the identity of the criminal mastermind who engineered the thefts, and discovers McCauley is a man as driven and relentless as the detective himself. Although he doesn't have enough evidence against the thief to make an arrest, Hanna convinces McCauley to join him for coffee, at which point the two engage in casual conversation and discover that their lives are remarkably similar. However, each man makes it clear he'll kill the other if necessary. Though they know the police are closing in on them, McCauley and his men risk going through with the bank job. A violent shoot-out and car chase result, but the criminals escape. Hanna continues to pursue them unceasingly, at the expense of his already-crumbling marriage. Eventually Hanna and McCauley face each other for the last time in a thrilling showdown at the Los Angeles airport. With HEAT, director Michael Mann achieves the nearly impossible task of making three hours go by in a flash with his use of the hand-held camera for action scenes and a moody score that echoes the characters' emotions. Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, and others play characters that are also crucial to the plot, but never distract from the central conflict between McCauley and Hanna. The acting is outstanding, the story is riveting and the action scenes are breathtaking. Both De Niro and Pacino are perfect as two men driven to sacrifice nearly everything for their respective professions. With edge-of-your-seat action and insightful drama, HEAT is a crime film at its most intense and personal. -- (Synopsis)1092664 Theatrical release: December 15, 1995. HEAT was filmed in 65 locations in and around Los Angeles. No soundstages were used. HEAT marks the first time that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro shared the screen. Although they both appeared in THE GODFATHER PART II, they didn't have any scenes together. The film was originally made as L.A. TAKEDOWN for television in 1989 with an entirely different cast. Director Michael Mann disowned the edited television version of HEAT aired by NBC. To create a realistic character for thief Neil McCauley, Mann visited Folsom State Penitentiary to interview inmates. As McCauley, De Niro's collars were always pressed and starched perfectly, just as they would have been in prison. Al Pacino had a clause in his contract that allowed him to make up a certain number of his own lines. The film grossed $67.4 million domestically. -- (Muze Annotation)1092665 "...Gobs of talent are amassed..." -- (Review)1156938 "...This spellbinder vibrates with style, substance and humor, plus voluptuous camera work..." -- (Review)1157741 "...[HEAT] serves to bolster the case for Michael Mann as the key American auteur of the last ten years..." -- (Review)1161160 "...A film that deserves Oscars for photography, editing, sound and arguably scoring....Heat is packed with unforgettable subcharacters..." -- 4 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1168652 "...[Mann's] .357 Magnum opus....Macho-intellectual chutzpah..." -- (Review)1183867

 

Heaven and Earth
Tommy Lee Jones, Joan Chen, Dramas

The final chapter in Oliver Stone's acclaimed Vietnam trilogy, HEAVEN AND EARTH dramatizes the memoirs of Le Ly Hayslip (Hiep Thi Le), tracing her epic journey from innocent Vietnamese farm girl to guerrilla to prostitute to California housewife and nascent entrepreneur. Previously focused on the war's effect on Americans, whether civilians or combatants, Stone here takes stock of the incalculable damage done to the land of Vietnam and its people due to what is now recognized as a tragic error in judgment. -- (Muze Description)1048333 Scenes of Le Ly's childhood, depicted as idyllic in the film, were actually shot in Thailand. Stone was unable to shoot in Vietnam because of the official displeasure with Le Ly's books. In spite of that, Stone had a crew quietly film some background shots in Vietnam. The film was shot in Thailand because the region is more hospitable to foreign filmmakers than the actual town of Xa Hap Qui, in which the film is set. Stone won Academy Awards for his work on his two previous Vietnam pictures, PLATOON (1986) and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989). Songs used in the film include: Selections from "Sacred Ceremonies" and "Sacred Ceremonies 2"--Ritual Music of Tibetan Buddhism; performed by Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery, Dharamsala. Courtesy of Fortuna Records by arrangement with Celestial Harmonies. "Flying Cloud" arranged and performed by Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, courtesy of Caprice Records. "Keep it to Yourself" written by Alan Mirikitani, performed by B.B. & the Screaming Buddha Heads. Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment. "Airs of My Fatherland" by Dang Xuan Khai, performed by The Phong Lan Group. Courtesy of Caprice Records. "Temple of Deliverance" by Eugene Gales, Eric Gales, Hubert Crawford, Jr., performed by The Eric Gales Band. Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment by arrangement with Warner Special Products. "Judy in Disguise" by John Fred and Andrew Bernard, performed by John Fred & His Playboy Band. Courtesy of Jewel-Paula Records, Inc. by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing. -- (Muze Annotation)1082862 In this final film of his Vietnam trilogy, Oliver Stone turns his cameras away from the experience of the American combatants to focus on the devastating effect of the war on the Vietnamese people. Starring Hiep Thi Le as Phung Le Ly, it recounts the epic journey of her life, which began in an idyllic village in Central Vietnam living as her people had lived for thousands of years. When the war broke out, she was plunged into a maelstom, trapped between the forces of North and South. Separated from her family, Le Ly was imprisoned by the South Vietnamese, who used an assortment of tactics on her, including electric shock treatment, and upon release from prison, she was raped by a vicious gang of Viet Cong. After escaping to Saigon, she becomes pregnant by an employer and is fired. She turns to prostitution to survive, until Steve Butler (Tommy Lee Jones), an American Special Forces officer, impulsively asks her to marry him and return to America with him. She agrees to marry him and moves with him to San Diego but finds that, after a life in the military, he has a more difficult time adapting to life in the U.S. than she does. HEAVEN AND EARTH is a profoundly moving saga of resiliency in the face of unspeakable suffering. -- (Synopsis)1082863 "...It offers a spectacular, palliative portrait of a beautiful country chronically afflicted with the blight of military destruction..." -- (Review)1161273 "...Impressive....A memorable job of recreating the village as well as teeming Saigon....Colorfully dense widescreen images of the recent past..." -- (Review)1193902 "...The movie is vintage Stone: raw, manipulative, powerful..." -- (Review)1217394

 

High Crimes (2002)
Judd, Ashley, Freeman, Morgan, Mystery & Suspense : Mystery

Amazon.com A welcomed reunion of Kiss the Girls costars Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman makes High Crimes a worthwhile thriller with vivid, likable characters. Efficiently directed by Carl Franklin, this military mystery doesn't have the unpredictable edginess of Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress, but its twisting plot is sure to hold anyone's attention. Judd plays a successful, happily married lawyer whose husband (Jim Caviezel) is accused of killing innocent citizens during his military service in El Salvador some 13 years earlier. A cover-up implicates a powerful Brigadier General (Bruce Davison), but when Judd hires a maverick attorney (Freeman), Judd is caught in a potentially lethal trap of threats and deception. Attentive viewers will stay ahead of the action, and alleged villains are posed as obvious decoys. Still, Judd and Freeman have an appealing rapport (shared with Amanda Peet, playing Judd's vivacious sister), and Freeman's character flaws add worldly spice to yet another rich performance. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Holes
Weaver, Sigourney, Arquette, Patricia, Action & Adventure : General

Louis Sachar's acclaimed teen adventure novel comes to dazzling life with this wildly entertaining adaptation. Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) is an unassuming adolescent whose family has been cursed for generations. One day, after Stanley is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers, he is sentenced to 18 months at Camp Green Lake. But when he gets there, he discovers that this camp is really more like a prison. Under the supervision of the fiery Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and goofy Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson), Stanley and his cohorts must spend each day digging holes in the desert, in order "to build character." Or at least that's what The Warden (Sigourney Weaver) says. When Stanley finally gathers up the courage to escape the camp, he and fellow escapee Zero (Khleo Thomas) stumble across a secret that will expose Camp Green Lake for the evil place that it is, and erase the Yelnats family curse forever. Director-producer Andrew Davis (THE FUGITIVE) performs a miraculous feat with HOLES, crafting a family film that is smart, funny, and engaging. Sachar's story teaches enormously valuable lessons about respect, teamwork, and honesty, making HOLES a must-see for individuals everywhere. Theatrical release: April 18, 2003

 

Hollywood Homicide
Ford, Harrison, Hartnett, Josh, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Harrison Ford lends his solid, perpetually disgruntled presence to Hollywood Homicide, an action comedy in which he's paired with the squinty eyes and peaches-and-cream complexion of Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down, O). Radical French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard would appreciate this complete deconstruction of the buddy-cop flick genre; basic cinematic elements (mismatched partners, a hard-ass superior riding them, arguments about who's going to drive, arguments about intuition vs. diligent detective work, the bad cop who killed Hartnett's father, etc.) have been scrambled and slapped together with no concern for coherence, making clear their innately artificial nature. Sex scenes and car chases come out of nowhere and disappear without consequence, providing arbitrary visual stimulus. During shootouts, it's impossible to tell who got killed or why, underscoring a basic doubt about the purpose of making movies like Hollywood Homicide. It's rare for a mainstream movie to be so daringly (if perhaps accidentally) avant-garde. --Bret Fetzer

 

Hot Chick
Sandler, Adam, Faris, Anna, Comedies

Rob Schneider is the titular chick, Jessica, a stuck-up high school prom queen who wakes up one morning trapped in the body of an unattractive 30-year-old man. Thanks to a curse attached to some ancient earrings, Jessica has changed bodies and now must convince hot chick pals April (Anna Faris, of the SCARY MOVIE series) and Keecia (Maritza Murphy) of her true identity before their long, giggly, underwear-filled sleepovers can continue. Meanwhile, Clive, the displaced male, wakes up in Jessica's body (Rachel McAdams) and quickly parlays his hot new form into a lucrative career as a prostitute/stripper. Along the same lines as DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO and THE ANIMAL, viewers can expect the usual Schneider shenanigans and gross bodily humor. What might come as a surprise is the film's underlying sweet nature. While working to restore her original svelte form in time for the big cheerleader competition, Jessica helps save her parents' fading marriage and develops a sense of compassion for the social outsiders she'd previously scorned. Schneider fans, of course, will mainly appreciate his near non-stop prancing and mincing. Fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler executive-produced, and has an amusing cameo as a dread-locked bongo player. Theatrical release: December 13, 2002

 

Independence Day
Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Action

With a $71 million budget and mind-blowing special effects, INDEPENDENCE DAY is a grand, high-tech throwback to such films of the 1950s as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and WAR OF THE WORLDS. Here, aliens, in numerous gargantuan spaceships, arrive without warning and hover over the world's most important cities, creating global panic. The nasty visitors use death rays to blow New York, Washington D.C, and Los Angeles to smithereens. A handful of plucky Americans, including the Clinton-esque President, a gung-ho fighter pilot and a computer geek named David, attempt to devise a strategy against the invaders. On July 4th, their risky plan is put into effect, as dozens of fighter pilots (including the President) wage an assault on the spaceships. However, their success (and the fate of the world) depends on David, who is attempting to disarm the aliens's mothership. -- (Muze Description)1071798 Released theatrically in the USA Tuesday July 2, 1996. Color by DeLuxe; in Super 35 Panavision widescreen; digitally mastered in THX. "Independence Day" earned $100 million at the box office in just seven days -- which is faster than any other film ever made. Additional cast: Ross Bagley (Dylan). Additional credits: Pamela Klamer and Julia Levine (set design); Terry Clotiaux (visual effects producer); Joseph Viskocil (miniature pyrotechnics/mechanical effects supervisor); Michael Joyce (model shop supervisor); Peter Winther (associate producer) and Jonathan Taylor (second unit camera). -- (Muze Annotation)1092365 INDEPENDENCE DAY is a pyrotechnic, futuristic, disaster, action mondo-adventure about aliens attacking Earth and humans giving them the big boot. When mountain-sized flying saucers open fire on the world's cities, a ragtag band of colorful characters sets out to bring the alien critters to their pseudopodic knees. Borrowing liberally from science fiction classics like WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and a host of disaster movies from TOWERING INFERNO to METEOR, ID4 maintains a mindless mission to entertain with dazzling special effects and unabashed feel-good charm. Academy Award Nominations: Best Sound, Best Visual Effects. Academy Awards: Best Visual Effects. -- (Synopsis)1092366 "You know how I'm always trying to save the planet? Well, here's my chance." -- David Levinson (JEFF GOLDBLUM) "What's the rush? You think we'll get to Washington, it won't be there?" -- Julius Levinson (JUDD HIRSCH), to his son, David Levinson (JEFF GOLDBLUM), while the two frantically drive to the capital city. "Welcome to Earth." -- Capt. Steven Hiller (Will Smith), after punching the daylights out of an alien who has crash-landed in Arizona. -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1092367 "...For fun, fright and thrills, there's not a wilder joy ride around..." -- (Review)1157835 "...INDEPENDENCE DAY fulfills the promise of the movies: to deliver the audience out of the everyday and into the sensational..." -- (Review)1161360 "...A rousing state-of-the-art cartoon capped by an aerial-combat climax..." -- (Review)1168423 "...Witty, of-the-moment fun." -- Rating: B+ -- (Review)1180215 "...A spectacularly scaled mix of '50s-style alien invader science fiction, '70s disaster epics and all-season gung-ho military actioners..." -- (Review)1197044

 

Insider, The
Russell Crowe, Diane Venora, Dramas

THE INSIDER is a gripping motion picture about big business corruption, featuring a stunning lead performance by Russell Crowe. Scientist Jeffery Wigand (Crowe) takes on the tobacco industry by breaking his confidentiality agreement with his employer Brown & Williamson. By granting 60 MINUTES a revealing interview, Wigand's life spirals out of control. He seeks help in Lowell Bergman (Pacino), the producer who has given his word that he will air the interview in its entirety. Big Tobacco, however, does everything in their power to shut Wigand up, including persuading CBS to shelve the interview he has sacrificed everything to give. -- (VideoLog Description)1143520 Based on the article "The Man Who Knew Too Much," THE INSIDER depicts the true story of Jeffrey Wigand (Crowe), a successful scientist who is fired from the Brown & Williamson tobacco company for objecting to certain lab tests. He signs a confidentiality agreement to ease the company's nervousness, but when hotshot 60 MINUTES producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino) recruits Wigand to help him decipher some technical documents, he realizes that there's a bigger story hiding inside of Wigand. Eventually Bergman convinces him to break the agreement and sit for an interview with Mike Wallace (Plummer). The resulting media frenzy causes Wigand to lose the support of his family, and forces Bergman to confront the harsh reality of his business. Additionally, Wigand is recruited by the state of Mississippi to testify on their behalf that cigarettes are, in fact, addictive. To pay the rent, he begins teaching high school chemistry, waiting for Bergman to convince the network to air the piece. Buckling under corporate pressure, CBS pulls the plug, which sparks Bergman to leak information to the press. As Wigand deals with his personal dilemma, Bergman battles the corporation that begins to show its true colors. Both men must decide for themselves if they've made the right choices. Like his other films THIEF, MANHUNTER, and HEAT, director Michael Mann takes on the theme of a man trying to do the right thing while trapped by circumstances that may destroy him. Once again, Mann pulls terrific performances from his entire cast. Crowe is outstanding as Jeff Wigand, the beleaguered "insider" who risks everything for the truth. Pacino is suitably tenacious as the once-radical producer Bergman, and Christopher Plummer is excellent as news anchor Mike Wallace. With its brilliant performances and stunning cinematography, THE INSIDER is an emotionally intense film that reveals the consequences of standing up for the truth. -- (Synopsis)1143991 -- (Review)1148012 Russell Crowe put on around 40 pounds to portray Jeffery Wigand. Once shooting for THE INSIDER wrapped, he then had to lose the weight for his role in GLADIATOR. Director Michael Mann operated the camera on over half the shots in THE INSIDER. Mike Wallace filed a law suit against the filmmakers, claiming the film was slanderous. The high school where the real Jeff Wigand taught is used as a location in the film. The soundtrack to THE INSIDER by Lisa Gerrard (formerly of Dead Can Dance) and Pieter Bourke is available on Sony/Columbia Records. Lisa Gerrard also contributes music to GLADIATOR, as well as Michael Mann's HEAT. Super 35 Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 -- (Muze Annotation)1151465 "...A challenging story boldly tackled....Russell Crowe [gives an] outstanding performance..." -- (Review)1152490 "...Hands-down the best newsroom thriller since [ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN]....The movie wouldn't live without Russell Crowe's astonishing performance..." -- (Review)1152666 Ranked #4 in Rolling Stone's "Ten Best Movies of 1999" -- "...The implosive Russell Crowe gives the performance of the year..." -- (Review)1153461 "...Percolates with tension like all get-out....[Crowe is] stunning..." -- (Review)1157584 Russell Crowe put on around 40 pounds to portray Jeffrey Wigand. Once shooting for THE INSIDER wrapped, he then had to lose the weight for his role in GLADIATOR. Director Michael Mann operated the camera on more than half th

 

Iron Eagle III - Aces
Jr., Louis Gossett, McLish, Rachel, : Action & Adventure

 

Four heroes from the past fight as one to protect the future. Chappy discovers a drug-smuggling scheme at his own air base. It turns out that the lives of some village people in Peru are at stake, and he decides to fly there with ancient airplanes and friends to free them. Chappy, with the assistance of a few other pilots and friends, heads south of the border to rescue some Americans being held captive.

 

 

Iron Eagle IV
Jr., Louis Gossett,  Jason Cadieux : Action & Adventure
The Movie Series That Wouldn't Die, February 29, 2000
whomever thought of having sequels to Iron Eagle must be shot. In this case once was enough. Iron Eagle was a good movie to watch. Even though it is unrealistic, it is still entertaining. Iron Eagle II has a senseless plot and can be used to as a cure to insomnia. I didn't even bother to watch Iron Eagle III, but from looking at the R rating, I assume it's more violent than the past 2 movies. Well, Iron Eagle IV is probably the most inane sequel. Lou Gossett Jr. returns as the always delightful "Chappy" Sinclair. Another Jason returns to fill the role of Doug Masters (Canadian Jason Cadieux, who looks just like Jason Gedrick from the first Iron Eagle). But wait(Here comes a possible spoiler).....Wasn't Doug killed in Iron Eagle II? The writers must've been desprate for a story so they revived Doug Masters by saying he was a prisoner of the Russians. This movie was the cheapest done of all the Iron Eagle films. Why do movie makers find it neccessary to make sequels to unappealing movies? (ex. Police Academy movies). I have always liked Gossett Jr.'s work in these films. He was the only one holding this turkey together. Let's hope this was the last of the Iron Eagle sequels. let it rest in peace

 

Iron Eagle
Suchet, David, Gossett, Louis, Action & Adventure

The incredible story of a hot-shot teenage pilot who, with the help of a former Air Force ace, steals an F-16 fighter jet and uses it to help him rescue his father from an enemy Mideast country. Starring Louis Gossett, Jr. The son of an Air Force fighter pilot is determined to rescue his father who was shot down while flying over a small Arab nation. After commandering a pair of jets and persuading a seasoned combat pilot to aid him in his quest, the boy sets off on his dangerous mission with great determination even though the US government doesn't support him at all.

 

Jackass: The Movie
Margera, Bam, Dicamillo, Brandon,

Do not attempt this at homeJohnny Knoxville and his band of maniacs perform a variety of stunts and gross-out gags on the big screen for the first time. Johnny Knoxville and his crazy friends appear on the big screen for the very first time in Jackass: The Movie. They wander around Japan in panda outfits, wreak havoc on a once civilized golf court, they even do stunts involving LIVE alligators, and so on. While Johnny Knoxvile and his pals put their life at risk, they are entertaining people at the same time. Get ready for Jackass: The Movie!!

 

 

JFK
Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Bacon, Dramas

Oliver Stone's self-proclaimed "countermyth," JFK mocks the doubtful veracity of the Warren Commission's findings on the Kennedy assassination and summarizes some of the myriad theories that have been proposed in its contest. Focusing on the investigation by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) into the activities of the FBI and other government agencies as well as their attempted cover-ups, Stone weaves fact and speculation into a compelling argument for the reopening of the case files. Garrison begins to investigate local links to the assassination, including Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones), David Ferrie (Joe Pesci), Guy Bannister (Ed Asner), Perry Russo (Kevin Bacon), and Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman). When the accounts of Ferrie, Russo, and others almost invariably diverge from the FBI versions of events, Garrison begins to suspect a cover-up. Widening his net, he interviews many of the original assassination witnesses and again finds little that coincides with the government's record. Combining interviews with an analysis of the physical evidence, Garrison's team posits the existence of a conspiracy to kill the president. A mysterious Col. X (Donald Sutherland) implies the orchestration of the conspiracy at the highest levels of government, and Garrison is ready to go to trial. Stone deploys video, different film stocks shot at varying speeds, and a dizzying style of montage while harnessing the talents of a large and extraordinary cast to create a film of undeniable power and excitement. -- (Muze Description)1037756 Theatrical release date: December 20, 1991. Video release: May 20, 1992. Director's Cut released on video: January 20, 1993. The Director's Cut contains additional scenes (some as long as 8 minutes) and the extension of some original scenes. The film began shooting April 15, 1991 and completed shooting July 30, 1991. Shot on location in Dallas, Texas; New Orleans, Lousiana; and Washington, DC. Estimated budget: $35-40 million. Author Jim Garrison makes a cameo appearance as Earl Warren. The CIA opened some of their assassination files in response to Stone's allegations. -- (Muze Annotation)1157256 The inadequacy of the Warren Commission's findings on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, since their release, have led to numerous critics to offer alternative theories. In his most controversial film, Oliver Stone demolishes the commission's work and gives celluloid life to some of these theories, focusing particularly on the suit brought against Clay Shaw and others by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. Kevin Costner stars as the attorney who, doubtful about the Warren Commission, begins to investigate local links to the assassination, including Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones), David Ferrie (Joe Pesci), Guy Bannister (Ed Asner), Perry Russo (Kevin Bacon), and Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman). When the accounts of Ferrie, Russo, and others almost invariably diverge from the FBI versions of events, Garrison begins to suspect a cover-up. Widening his net, he interviews many of the original assassination witnesses and again finds little that coincides with the government's record. Combining interviews with an analysis of the physical evidence, Garrison's team posits the existence of a conspiracy to kill the president. A mysterious Col. X (Donald Sutherland) implies the orchestration of the conspiracy at the highest levels of government, and Garrison is ready to go to trial. Stone deploys video, different film stocks shot at varying speeds, and a dizzying style of montage while harnessing the talents of a large and extraordinary cast to create a film of undeniable power and excitement. -- (Synopsis)1157257 "...Tremendously exciting....JFK is riveting..." -- (Review)1158688 "...Exciting entertainment....The film is expertly paced..." -- (Review)1162615 "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."--Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1185639 "...Effective....Impassioned..." -- (Review)1231324 "...Oliver Stone was born to make this movie. He is a filmmaker of fev

 

Johnny Carson - Ultimate Carson Collection
Carson, Johnny, , Television

Amazon.com Culled from 30 years of material, this collection of moments from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson contains some of most inspired bits of lunacy ever recorded. Whether cajoling with Hollywood's biggest stars or normal folk with special talents, Carson was a master of finding the right joke, with timing second to none. Along with bits of his opening monologues, skits, and early standup appearances from the likes of David Letterman and Eddie Murphy, there are many highlights with perhaps the perfect Carson guest--exotic animals that stole the show. This collection was released shortly after Carson's reign ended in 1992. Although most of the tapes from his first decade are lost, there are plenty of highlights from the '70s through the '90s. Also included is Carson's touching and historic "Final Show," which finds the host simply talking to his audience and showing highlights--or just the faces--from his years on the set. Although many followed--and a few have even succeeded--Carson's Midwest charm made him the king of TV in a period when America was defined by television. The DVD edition adds some superlative extras, including "Danger Johnny" segments from his first decade, short bits on the history of the show and the host, and more behind-the-scenes glances, including an intriguing way to watch the final show via unedited feeds from isolated studio cameras. Also included is the 1982 NBC special "Johnny Goes Home," which follows Carson on a tour of his rural Nebraska homeland, and a slightly edited version of the penultimate show, in which his last two guests, Robin Williams and Bette Midler, are on fire. These extras make the DVD, produced a decade after Carson left, a must-have piece of entertainment and pop history. --Doug Thomas Description On his final Tonight Show telecast, Johnny Carson summed up the feelings of a nation of late night viewers. Host of the most highly-acclaimed late night show in television history, for seven presidential administrations, Johnny's monologue was a nightly barometer of the times. While his wide range of characters, comic impersonations and merry band of Tonight Show regulars became fixtures of pop culture, his guest list was a virtual Who's Who of show business legends, sports heroes, authors, heads of state, amazing animals and average citizens with above average talents. For fans of Johnny, The Tonight Show and 30 wonderful years of laughter, this is the definitive retrospective chronicling television's late night legend and legacy. Enjoy. Volume 1 - The Best of the 60s & 70s; The Best of the 70s & 80s Volume 2 - The Best of the 80s & 90s; Johnny Goes Home Volume 3 - 5.21.92 Episode (never before available); The Final Show

 

Judgement: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley
 

 

Jurassic Park
Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Action/Adventure

Steven Spielberg directed this blockbuster thriller based on the popular book by Michael Crichton. Millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) asks two dinosaur experts (Laura Dern and Sam Neill) to act as consultants on his entrepreneurial endeavor--an amusement park with DNA-cloned live dinosaurs as the main attraction. The paleontologists, along with a mathematician (Jeff Goldblum) and Hammond’s two grandchildren, takes a run-through tour of the park. But soon the joyride turns to terror when an impending hurricane, an unscrupulous engineer (Wayne Knight), and the rebelling dinosaurs begin to destroy the park. Spielberg considered the most popular star of the film to be a computer-generated Tyrannosaurus rex. The special effects in general are spectacular. As Hollywood's preeminent director, Spielberg was used as a kind of financial savior for Universal Studios, which was hurting economically prior to the dinosaurian venture. Spielberg made a deal with Universal--his dream project, SCHINDLER’S LIST, would be green-lighted if he agreed to make JURASSIC PARK for the studio first. By the time SCHINDLER’S LIST premiered in December 1993, JURASSIC PARK, which had been released six months earlier, had broken E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL’s worldwide box-office record. -- (Muze Description)1048421 Proving dinosaurs are still at the top of the Hollywood food-chain, Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" even out-gobbled his great white shark, and nibbled on three Oscars for dessert. While "Jurassic Park" is an above-average action/adventure movie, jaw-dropping special effects steal the show and guarantee it will find a place in most movie-lovers' collections. Spielberg chose to use revolutionary computer graphic animation to recreate the dinosaurs, and like the overzealous scientists in the film, he appears to have taken their famous bones and resurrected living, breathing, snapping triceratops, brontosaurs and Tyrannosaurs. Anyone who has ever wondered what a real live dinosaur would look like will marvel at this movie. -- (Review)1077115 "An adventure 65 million years in the making." -- marketing line for the film -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1088643 Theatrical release: June 10, 1993. The film was shot at Universal Studios and Kauai, Hawaii. Phil Tippett, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri, and Dennis Muren won Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for their innovative use of CGI. The film made more than $350 million at the domestic box office and more than $920 million worldwide. Steven Spielberg's JURASSIC PARK quickly found its place among the top 6 films composing Variety's 15 box-office hits of all time. The film's rise to the top began opening weekend, when it set a record for the biggest opening day, $18 million, and the highest-grossing three-day opening of all time, $52 million. This estimation doesn't, however, include inflationary prices, which might alter the film's revenue rank. Executives also predicted the film would become one of the highest-grossing films in Japan. It has already become the highest-grossing movie in Britain, not to mention the biggest hit in international box-office history, generating more than $900 million in ticket sales. According to financial analysts, the high opening weekend revenues were aided by strong advance sales obtained through telephone ticketing. MovieFone reported that 30 major theaters in Los Angeles and New York were sold out entirely through the teleticketing service. The film's estimated cost was between $56 and $100 million, including the $2 million the studio paid cowriter Michael Crichton for rights to his 1990 best-seller. Because Spielberg was concerned with anatomical accuracy, he employed a group of dino-technicians, including artists, fabricators, and paleontologists. Initially, conventional special effects techniques were to be supervised by Oscar winner Stan Winston (ALIENS, T2) until Industrial Lights & Magic's Dennis Muren (THE ABYSS, T2) convinced him computer graphics more appropriately suited the task for the large-scale scenes. Muren created ostrichlike Gallim

 

Just Cause
Ed Harris, Blair Underwood, Dramas

A Harvard law professor takes up the case of a southern black man on death row for murdering a white woman, a crime he may not have committed. Discovering the truth proves difficult, as a Bible-spouting inmate and the brutal police officer who convicted the condemned man lead the professor down blind alleys and into treacherous waters. -- (Muze Description)1059365 Harvard law professor Paul Armstrong travels to the Florida Everglades in order to overturn the death sentence of a man he believes was wrongly convicted. He soon finds, though, that his years in academia have softened him to the real world, where he tangles with the cop who first handled the case and who may have coerced the defendant's confession. As Armstrong closes in on the truth he also endangers his life. -- (Synopsis)1113972 Released theatrically in the USA February 1, 1995. Color by Technicolor; shot in Panavision widescreen; in Anamorphic. Co-produced in the USA by Fountainbridge Films. Additional cast: Victor Slezak (Sgt. Rogers) and Scarlet Johansson (Kate Armstrong). Additional credits: Maria Nay (set decorator Naples); Mitchell Stanley (additional film editor); Shelly Woodhouse (makeup); Donna Green (hairstylist) Sean Connery won the Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for 1995, awarded January 21, 1996. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification. -- (Muze Annotation)1113973 "...Perfectly respectable....With Connery effectively anchoring the picture....Harris registers intensely..." -- (Review)1194919

 

Just Married
Murphy, Brittany, Kane, Christian, Comedies

Juggling slapstick comedy with witty dialogue and youthful romance, JUST MARRIED provides an entertaining and optimistic glimpse at young relationships and the struggle to stay in love in a world where everything goes wrong. A chance encounter on a beach brings Tom (Ashton Kutcher, DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?) and Sarah (Brittany Murphy, 8 MILE) into each other's lives. They quickly fall in love and agree to get married. Although Sarah's wealthy family does not approve of their daughter's fiancé, Tom and Sarah believe they can sustain themselves on love, and so they take the matrimonial plunge. As soon as they are married, however, things start to unravel--first in their newlywed suite, next on the airplane to their honeymoon in Italy, then in the five-star Hotel Du Rêve in France. Pretty soon the couple is living out a hellish version of Murphy's Law, and divorce begins to look hilariously ominous. When Sarah's old flame shows up at their hotel in Venice to cause further trouble, Tom responds with a jealous outburst that lands the newlyweds in jail. Tom and Sarah survive their misadventures long enough to face the ultimate test of their marriage vows, when each reveals a secret that threatens to spoil their relationship entirely. Theatrical Release Date: January 10, 2003.

 

K-19: The Widowmaker
Ford, Harrison, Neeson, Liam,

 

When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster. The story of USSR's first nuclear ballistic submarine, which suffered a malfunction in its nuclear reactor on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961. The submarine's crew, led by the unyielding Captain Alexi Vostrikov, races against time to prevent a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster which threatens not only the lives of his crew, but has the potential to ignite a world war between the super powers.

 

Karate Kid Collection
Morita, Pat, Swank, Hilary, Dramas

This box set includes all three KARATE KID movies, directed by John G. Avildsen. THE KARATE KID When New Jersey native Daniel (Ralph Macchio) encounters bullies at his new high school in Southern California, he is saved by Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), a handyman who turns out to be a karate expert. Daniel begs to learn this ancient martial art, and soon Miyagi begins the boy's training, teaching Daniel that there is more to karate than fighting. Morita is a gem as the elderly father figure Miyagi, giving the character warmth, wisdom, and comic charm. 1984's THE KARATE KID inspired an entire generation to run out and join the nearest karate school while chanting "wax on, wax off." THE KARATE KID II Miyagi and Daniel return to training after a triumphant victory. But when bad news brings Miyagi home to the island of Okinawa, both he and Daniel embark on a journey that will challenge them mentally and physically. The emotionally charged adventures of Daniel and Miyagi are set against the beauty and honor of old world Japan, instilling a rich sense of history into their mastery and understanding of the ancient art of karate. THE KARATE KID III In the third installment, old villains return to get their revenge against Miyagi and Daniel. This rousing continuation of the adventures of Daniel and his teacher includes fast-paced karate sequences and an inspirational soundtrack, now synonymous with THE KARATE KID films.

 

Kill Bill, Volume 1
Thurman, Uma, Liu, Lucy, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1 is trash for connoisseurs. From his opening gambit (including a "Shaw-Scope" logo and gaudy '70s-vintage "Our Feature Presentation" title card) to his cliffhanger finale (a teasing lead-in to 2004's Vol. 2), Tarantino pays loving tribute to grindhouse cinema, specifically the Hong Kong action flicks and spaghetti Westerns that fill his fervent brain--and this frequently breathtaking movie--with enough cinematic references and cleverly pilfered soundtrack cues to send cinephiles running for their reference books. Everything old is new again in Tarantino's humor-laced vision: he steals from the best while injecting his own oft-copied, never-duplicated style into what is, quite simply, a revenge flick, beginning with the near-murder of the Bride (Uma Thurman), pregnant on her wedding day and left for dead by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (or DiVAS)--including Lucy Liu and the unseen David Carradine (as Bill)--who become targets for the Bride's lethal vengeance. Culminating in an ultraviolent, ultra-stylized tour-de-force showdown, Tarantino's fourth film is either brilliantly (and brutally) innovative or one of the most blatant acts of plagiarism ever conceived. Either way, it's hyperkinetic eye-candy from a passionate film-lover who clearly knows what he's doing. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

King Arthur
Skarsgard, Stellan, Knightley, Keira, Action/Adventure

Combining the historical appeal and epic sequences of films like GLADIATOR and BRAVEHEART, director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer provide a sleek twist on the King Arthur legend. Arthur (Clive Owen), a brave Roman/British Christian warrior who leads his band of pagan knights on missions for the Empire, must complete one final mission before the knights can earn their freedom from servitude and Arthur can return to Rome. Along the way, however, Arthur realizes that the pullout of the Romans will open the door for a crushing invasion of Britain by the Saxons, and he takes it upon himself to fight with Merlin (Stephen Dillane) and Guinevere (Keira Knightley) for the freedom of the British people. Stunning battle scenes with extensive attention to historical detail rely very little on computer graphics and instead use intricately realistic props, costumes, and scenery. Featuring the largest film set ever built in Ireland, KING ARTHUR features a scale replica of Hadrian's Wall and two complete villages. Haunting music by composer Hans Zimmer completes this story of unselfish heroism, which ultimately provides a satisfying completion to the legend of Arthur and his knights. THEATRICAL RELEASE: JULY 7, 2004

 

Knight's Tale, A
Mark Addy, Christopher Cazenove, Action/Adventure

In the Middle Ages, before television or professional sports, there is only one form of competition to separate the men from the boys: jousting tournaments. William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), a poor and humble squire, has always dreamed of proving himself worthy as a knight. When he gets a lucky chance--seeing an opportunity to disguise himself in the identity of a knight--William decides to maintain the illusion for as long as possible. He is aided by his friends Wat, Roland, and Geoffrey Chaucer--a writer with a knack for forging official papers. Under his new title, Sir Ulrich of Liechtenstein, William wins tournaments and receives monetary awards. However, the only way for William to prove himself as truly noble is to beat out all of his enemies, including the arrogant and undefeated Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), in a series of jousts. Once he does so, William will reveal his his true identity. Writer-director Brian Helgeland creates a unique blend of rousing adventure, comedy, and modern sensibility in A KNIGHT'S TALE, giving a contemporary make-over to the medieval genre with a soundtrack that includes hit songs from Queen, David Bowie, Sly & The Family Stone, and Thin Lizzy. -- (Muze Description)1204966 "...It's dazzling....And fun..." -- (Review)1205717 "...A KNIGHT'S TALE delights in comparisons to present-day sport....[Bettany] is especially delightful..." -- (Review)1206305 "...An impressive ensemble; there aren’t many movies in which the actors use their voices so well, making each line reading memorable..." -- (Review)1206391 "...[Bettany's] silver-tongued exaggerations of the jousting jock's brave deeds and mighty stature before each match are great fun..." -- (Review)1206399 Theatrical Release: MAY 11, 2001 -- (Muze Annotation)1211175 "...Sometimes great fun....Heath Ledger does handsome and sincere well..." -- (Review)1216254 "...The easy charm of Ledger and the chemistry with his buddies make the training scenes a treat..." -- (Review)1217431 "...There are many fearsome jousting matches in the movie....The movie has an innocence and charm that grow on you....A KNIGHT'S TALE is whimsical, silly and romantic..." -- (Review)1250439

 

Ladykillers
Hall, Irma P., Wayans, Marlon, Comedies

IN THEATRES: MARCH 26, 2004 It is always difficult to try to recreate a classic movie, so Joel and Ethan Coen took the premise of Alexander Mackendrick's beloved 1955 Ealing Studio caper comedy, THE LADYKILLERS, as the basis for coming up with their own entertaining and bizarre remake. Tom Hanks stars as Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D., a would-be professor who talks his way into the root cellar of Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall), where he and his supposed band will practice their "Renaissance music." But they are actually plotting to tunnel through to steal a mint from a riverboat casino. The motley crew of incompetent criminals includes Marlon Wayans as Gawain MacSam, a hip-hoppity thug pretending to be a janitor; J.K. Simmons as movie prop man and demolition "expert" Garth Pancake, who has problems with intestinal bowel syndrome; Tzi Ma as the General, a Vietnamese tunnel rat with a Hitler mustache; and Ryan Hurst as a pathetically dumb football wannabe named Lump. Just when they think all is going well, they run into a curious Mrs. Munson, who smells something funny. The film includes several exhilarating Gospel scenes set in southern churches, and lots of riotous site gags. The Coen brothers have done it yet again.

 

Last Castle, The
Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright Penn, Dramas

Three-star General Irwin (Robert Redford) was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and a revered hero in the Persian Gulf and Bosnian campaigns. Now, he has been court-martialed for disobeying orders and he is sentenced to serve time at The Castle, a maximum-security military prison run by Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), a hard-nosed disciplinarian. A battle of wills soon emerges between the two men, as The Castle's prisoners and guards find themselves drawn to Irwin's natural leadership abilities. As Irwin inspires the prisoners to find the dignity and pride that they have lost, he threatens Winter's strict regime, leading to a conflict that can only have one winner. From Rod Lurie, West Point graduate and director of DETERRENCE and THE CONTENDER, comes this intense dramatic thriller featuring battles both psychological and military. Stars Redford and Gandolfini, joined by gifted newcomers Mark Ruffalo and Clifton Collins, Jr., give excellent performances as a group of very different military men thrown together into an ugly situation. Filmed on location at the now-closed Tennessee State Penetentiary, THE LAST CASTLE is a hard-edged tribute to courage, honor, and loyalty. -- (Muze Description)1215789 "...Exuberant, strapping..." -- (Review)1221195 "...[Redford] has a natural authority and a commanding, charismatic presence that serves him well..." -- (Review)1221208 "...Redford's comfortable charm and confidence make his character an easy man to rally behind....[Gandolfini's] performance yields emotion as palpable as any he's expressed..." -- (Review)1225334 Theatrical release: October 12, 2001 -- (Muze Annotation)1226290 "...The film does such a good job of creating its oppressive, claustrophobic prison atmosphere, and peopling it with sharply defined characters, that it grips us..." -- (Review)1249747

 

Last Samurai, The (Widescreen Edition)
Watanabe, Ken, Cruise, Tom, Drama : General

Amazon.com While Japan undergoes tumultuous transition to a more Westernized society in 1876-77, The Last Samurai gives epic sweep to an intimate story of cultures at a crossroads. In America, tormented Civil War veteran Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is coerced by a mercenary officer (Tony Goldwyn) to train the Japanese Emperor's troops in the use of modern weaponry. Opposing this "progress" is a rebellion of samurai warriors, holding fast to their traditions of honor despite strategic disadvantage. As a captive of the samurai leader (Ken Watanabe), Algren learns, appreciates, and adopts the samurai code, switching sides for a climactic battle that will put everyone's honor to the ultimate test. All of which makes director Edward Zwick's noble epic eminently worthwhile, even if its Hollywood trappings (including an all-too-conventional ending) prevent it from being the masterpiece that Zwick and screenwriter John Logan clearly wanted it to be. Instead, The Last Samurai is an elegant mainstream adventure, impressive in all aspects of its production. It may not engage the emotions as effectively as Logan's script for Gladiator, but like Cruise's character, it finds its own quality of honor. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features No actor works harder to open a movie than Tom Cruise. His enthusiasm is throughout the DVD extras as he mirrors his samurai character by constantly talking about "loyalty" and "discipline" while working on the film. However as a post-movie experience, the top-line extras with Cruise and director Edward Zwick are repetitive and underwhelming, with too many clips from the film we assume DVD viewers have just seen. The History Channel show is also a pre-release promotional device that misses an... read more Description Epic Action Drama. Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him.

 

Lawrence of Arabia
Guinness, Alec, Quinn, Anthony, Biography

David Lean's masterpiece, perhaps the greatest of screen epics, stars Peter O'Toole in one of the most electrifying debuts in film history. The film is less an ordinary adventure than an experience that leaves an overwhelming sense memory of the struggle between two powerful forces: the Arabian deserts, immense, intractable, ever-shifting, punishing; and T.E. Lawrence, humble as a monk, flamboyant as a rock star, protean, polymathic, heroic, enigmatic, mad. While working on the staff of British Intelligence in Cairo in 1916, Lawrence's fluency in Arabic earns him a post on a mission sent to establish contact with Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness), leader of the Arab revolt and ally of the British against the German-sponsored Turks in WWI. Impressed by Lawrence's knowledge of their culture, the prince allows the young officer to join his staff, and Lawrence quickly earns the Arabs' respect after he executes acts of extraordinary heroism. As the Englishman's genius for guerrilla warfare becomes evident, he assumes the role of de facto leader of the Arab revolt, uniting the heretofore warring tribes into a devastatingly effective weapon. But the chaos of war also unleashes the repressed officer's powerful need for self-abasement and mortification of the flesh. A visionary work that unfolds one indelible image after another, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA fuses the conflict of man against man, man against nature, and man against himself into a sublime poem of force. The film features a literate script by Robert Bolt and an outstanding cast, which also includes Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Omar Sharif in his unforgettable desert-crossing debut. -- (Muze Description)1012067 Theatrical release: November 1962 (England), after a premiere for Queen Elizabeth. Theatrical release: December 16, 1962 (USA). Filmed at Shepperton Studios in Middlesex, England, and on location in Jebel Tubeiq and Wadi Rhumm, Jordan; in Sevilla, Spain; Aqaba, Turkey; and in Morocco. The three-year project completed shooting in October 1962. Estimated budget: $13-15 million. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1991. John Ford was originally slated to direct the film, with Alexander Korda attached as producer. Director David Lean died in 1991 shortly after he was awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in March 1990. Academy Award nominations: 10, including Best Actor--Peter O'Toole, Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy Awards: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director. The restored version contains 35 minutes of previously cut footage. Producer Sam Spiegel reportedly wanted Marlon Brando for the role of T.E. Lawrence, but he was already occupied with MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. Albert Finney was also offered the role but declined because he didn't "want to be a star." (American Film, March 1990) Director David Lean once described T.E. Lawrence as "a fascinating character. This Oxford don on camelback--I mean, it was absolutely nutty. Sort of intellectual, with a gang of Arabs on camels, you know." (American Film, March 1990) LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was named Best Film of 1963 by Italy's David Awards, Best Foreign Film of 1963 by Japan's Kinema Jumpo, and Best English Language Film of 1962 by the National Film Board. Lean received Italy's Silver Ribbon Award and Japan's Kinema Jumpo Award for Best Director of 1963. He was also named Best Director of 1962 by the National Film Board. Peter O'Toole received Italy's David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor of 1963. Sources for the film included SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM by Thomas Edward Lawrence REVOLT IN THE DESERT by Lawrence THE ESSENTIAL T.E. LAWRENCE by Lawrence (with a preface by David Garnett) SECRET DISPATCHES FROM ARABIA by Lawrence CRUSADER CASTLES by Lawrence THE DIARY OF T.E. LAWRENCE by Lawrence LA BIBLIOTHEQUE IDEALE: T.E. LAWRENCE by Lawrence THE HOME LETTERS OF T.E. LAWRENCE AND HIS BROTHERS by Lawrence SELECTED LETTERS OF T.E. LAWRENCE by Lawrence (edited by Garnett) THE SELECTED LETTERS OF T.E. LAWRENCE b

 

League of Their Own
Davis, Geena, Madonna, Comedies

In 1943 when the ranks of professional male baseball players were leaving for the war, a group of ladies left their homes to become part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and kept baseball alive for a grateful nation. This is their story. Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) is the team's most gifted player,and the camaraderie and jealousy with her sister (Lori Petty) is part of this film's charm and complexity. Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) is the drunken ex-player and slob manager who eventually brings the team to success. Directed by Penny Marshall (BIG, AWAKENINGS) and also starring Madonna, Jon Lovitz and Bill Pullman. "There's no crying in baseball!" Jimmy (Hanks) "You see, the train moves, not the station."

 

Legend of Bagger Vance, The
Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Dramas

THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, based on the book of the same title by Steve Pressfield, uses golf as the basis for this spiritual tale of friendship, self-discovery, and faith. His incredible prowess at the game of golf makes young Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) the pride of Savannah, Georgia in 1916. When Junuh enlists and is sent overseas to fight in World War I, the reality of war proves too much for him. Rather than return to Savannah a broken man, he simply disappears, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, feisty socialite Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron). When Junuh finally does return to Savannah in 1931, he is coerced into representing his hometown in a golf tournament against legends Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. But Junuh has lost his swing, and only begins to find it again with the help of Bagger Vance (Will Smith), a mysterious drifter who appears out of the night and offers his services as a caddy. Ultimately, Vance is a spiritual force, teaching Junuh not only about the game, but also about life in this beautifully filmed work directed by Robert Redford (ORDINARY PEOPLE, THE HORSE WHISPERER). Jack Lemmon narrates and makes a brief appearance in the film. -- (Muze Description)1173488 Theatrical release: November 3, 2000 Filmed in Georgia and South Carolina. Professional Golfers' Association master professional Tim Ross served as the film's technical adviser, and taught novice Damon how to play. While practicing, Damon swung the club so hard that he separated his ribs. According to the author of THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, Steven Pressfield, the character of Bagger Vance and his story are based on the Hindu epic and scriptural poem, the Bhagavad-Gita, in which, Bhagavan is the "Supreme Personality" who teaches his follower, Arjuna, about life. Jeff Strickler of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune named THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE one of the 10 best films of 2000. -- (Muze Annotation)1179614 "...Completely in command of its tone....It is really about finding yourself at peace with the thing you do best..." -- (Review)1252747

 

Lion King 1 1/2, The
Kids & Family : Animals

Amazon.com The Lion King 1½ is an ingenious sequel that retells the original film's story from the perspective of best pals Timon the meerkat (voiced by Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa the warthog (Ernie Sabella). Anyone who has wondered how this odd couple met will find out here, beginning with Timon's flight from home following disgrace and his chance encounter with the sweet but lonely Pumbaa. With the arrival of young Simba (Shaun Flemming), The Lion King's familiar tale is reborn via a fresh angle, fleshed out by returning characters Rafiki the wise monkey (Robert Guillaume), Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg), and Simba's love interest, Nala (Moira Kelly). While the retooled narrative proves a novel experience, The Lion King 1½ is really a vehicle for voice actors Lane and Sabella, whose comic performances are shamelessly, broadly funny. Matthew Broderick, Julie Kavner, and Jerry Stiller are also in the vocal cast. --Tom Keogh David Sheehan, CBS-TV "A funny and fascinating musical treat. Great family fun all the way. An animation extravaganza!"

 

Lord of the Rings, The - The Fellowship of the Ring
Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

With THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, director Peter Jackson has achieved a meticulous and captivating adaptation of the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy trilogy. The setting is Middle-earth, a mythological land populated by elves, dwarves, humans, and the gentle, diminutive hobbits upon whom the story centers. One hobbit, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), unexpectedly comes into possession of an ancient magical ring so powerful it invariably corrupts anyone who wears it. In order to prevent the ring's erstwhile owner, the dark lord Sauron, from reclaiming the ring and taking over Middle-earth, a motley band of comrades set out to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom, where it was forged. Included in the group are Frodo and hobbits Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monoghan), and Pippin (Billy Boyd); the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen); human warriors Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean); the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies); the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Along the way, they wage battle with monsters, demons, and Sauron's evil minions, all brought to life by spectacular digital technology. Jackson's grandiose production represents the first of three films that he wrote and directed, derived from Tolkien's beloved novels. Fourteen months in the making, at a cost of $270 million, all three installments were filmed at once in New Zealand where diverse landscapes lend themselves particularly well to the mystical realm of Middle-earth. The next two films, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, will be released in December 2002 and December 2003 respectively. -- (Muze Description)1207035 Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2001 Other elves include Arwen (Liv Tyler), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Eldrond (Hugo Weaving), but they are not part of the core band of nine who set out to destroy the ring at Mount Doom. -- (Muze Annotation)1226212 "...The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively, light touch..." -- (Review)1226700 "...A faithful and visually spectacular adaptation of the first volume in Tolkien's trilogy....RINGS has moment of edge-of-the-seat excitement..." -- (Review)1226715 "...FELLOWSHIP is the real deal, a movie epic that pops your eyes out, piles on thrills and fun, and yet stays intimately attuned to character..." -- (Review)1227356 "...[The film] looks to please the book's legions of fans with its imaginatively scrupulous rendering of the tome's characters and worlds on the screen....McKellen delivers Gandalf with great relish and gusto..." -- (Review)1228254 "...Jackson has captured something of the depth, breadth, and melancholy grandeur of Tolkien's vision. And that is magic, indeed..." -- (Review)1228574 "...Jackson has translated the best-loved fantasy novel of our age into a commanding screen adventure, one with a sense of human terror and danger and grit under its nails..." -- (Review)1229802 "...Well-made and well-cast....Masterfully paced and one of those rewarding movies that seems to get better as it progresses..." -- (Review)1232308

 

Lord of the Rings, The - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Wood, Elijah, , Science Fiction & Fantasy : Series & Sequels : Lord of the Rings

Amazon.com With The Return of the King, the greatest fantasy epic in film history draws to a grand and glorious conclusion. Director Peter Jackson's awe-inspiring adaptation of the Tolkien classic The Lord of the Rings could never fully satisfy those who remain exclusively loyal to Tolkien's expansive literature, but as a showcase for physical and technical craftsmanship it is unsurpassed in pure scale and ambition, setting milestone after cinematic milestone as the brave yet charmingly innocent Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) continues his mission to Mordor, where he is destined to destroy the soul-corrupting One Ring of Power in the molten lava of Mount Doom. While the heir to the kingdom of Men, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), endures the massive battle at Minas Tirith with the allegiance of the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and the great wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Frodo and stalwart companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) must survive the schizoid deceptions of Gollum, who remains utterly convincing as a hybrid of performance (by Andy Serkis) and subtly nuanced computer animation. Jackson and cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have much ground to cover; that they do so with intense pacing and epic sweep is impressive enough, but by investing greater depth and consequence in the actions of fellow Hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), they ensure that The Return of the King maintains the trilogy's emphasis on intimate fellowship. While several major characters appear only briefly, and one (Christopher Lee's evil wizard, Saruman) was relegated entirely to the extended-version DVD, Jackson is to be commended for his editorial acumen; like Legolas the archer, his aim as a filmmaker is consistently true, and he remains faithful to Tolkien's overall vision. If Return suffers from too many endings, as some critic suggested, it's only because the epic's conclusion is so loyally inclusive of the actors--most notably Astin--who gave it such strength to begin with. By ending the LOTR trilogy with noble integrity and faith in the power of imaginative storytelling, The Return of the King, like its predecessors, will stand as an adventure for the ages. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Like the first two Lord of the Rings installments, the theatrical-release DVD of The Return of the King has superior picture and sound quality, and that's the important thing. The features on disc 2, however, fall a little short. Two brief documentaries (23 and 28 minutes) chronicle the making of the trilogy and have some good information, but they're best suited to those who aren't very familiar with the films, and some of the material overlaps. A surprise is the complete National... read more Description The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest.

 

Lord of the Rings, The - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Wood, Elijah, McKellen, Ian, Science Fiction & Fantasy : Series & Sequels : Lord of the Rings

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.

 

Lost Boys, The
Patric, Jason, Haim, Corey, Horror

Amazon.com This 1987 thriller was a predictable hit with the teen audience it worked overtime to attract. Like most of director Joel Schumacher's films, it's conspicuously designed to push the right marketing and demographic buttons, and granted, there's some pretty cool stuff going on here and there. Take Kiefer Sutherland, for instance. In Stand by Me he played a memorable bully, but here he goes one step further as a memorable bully vampire who leads a tribe of teenage vampires on their nocturnal spree of bloodsucking havoc. Jason Patric plays the new guy in town, who quickly attracts a lovely girlfriend (Jami Gertz), only to find that she might be recruiting him into the vampire fold. The movie gets sillier as it goes along, and resorts to a routine action-movie showdown, but it's a visual knockout (featuring great cinematography by Michael Chapman) and boasts a cast that's eminently able (pardon the pun) to sink their teeth into the best parts of an uneven screenplay. --Jeff Shannon

 

Lost World, The: Jurassic Park
Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Action/Adventure

THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK is director Steven Spielberg’s sequel to his original dinosaur thriller. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) returns for more dino-horror when, four years after the disaster at the would-be amusement park, another expedition is mounted by millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). To document the natural behavior of the beasts at a mysterious Site B, Hammond sends a team comprising Malcolm; Malcolm's girlfriend, paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore); and a wildlife videographer (Vince Vaughn). They face adversity in the form of a less-than-scrupulous big-game hunter (Pete Postlethwaite) and, of course, the terrible lizards themselves. The film is loosely based on Michael Crichton’s novel THE LOST WORLD, which was named after the 1912 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel of the same name. Spielberg proved his determination to alternate making socially conscious films with directing movies of sheer entertainment value; his prior film to THE LOST WORLD was SCHINDLER’S LIST, and he followed the dinosaur adventure with AMISTAD. -- (Muze Description)1078001 Wonder at dinosaurs has been largely replaced with cynicism toward humans in this technically glorious but far too politically correct Spielberg feature. The result is that the dinosaurs are much more realistic than the people who seem to be primitive, cold-blooded, vicious and stupid brutes bent on destroying rare and astounding creatures for no reason at all. Funny thing is, the reason we sappy humans all paid to see this film is that we LOVE dinosaurs! So this bleak depiction of our own species feels like a slap in the face from a director who used to believe there was benevolence inside the human heart. -- (Review)1078007 "...Dino-mighty effects. These are inconceivably great..." -- (Review)1165426 Theatrical release: May 23, 1997. The film was shot in California, Hawaii, and New York. Estimated budget: $73 million. The film grossed nearly $230 million at the domestic box office and more than $615 million worldwide. A few scenes were cut from THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, including an ending shot of Pteranodons attacking the rescue helicopter. -- (Muze Annotation)1178078 "...Spielberg gives us many, many dinosaurs...and he choreographs their movements with a magician's sense of play....Good fun: deft, scary, engrossing..." -- (Review)1200135 "...Terrifically entertaining..." -- (Review)1205629 "...Spielberg lets his visual wit fly....Enjoyable..." -- (Review)1257877

 

Mad Max (Special Edition)
Gibson, Mel, , Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com The Road Warrior is already a classic, sans condescending genre distinctions like "sci-fi" or "action." But the story of Mel Gibson's stately antihero begins in Mad Max, George Miller's low-budget debut in which Max is a "Bronze" (cop) in an unspecified postapocalyptic future with a buddy-partner and family. But unlike most films set in the devastated future, Mad Max is especially notable because it is poised between our industrialized world and total regression to medieval conditions. The scale tips towards disintegration when the Glory Riders burn into town on their bikes like an overamped cadre of Brando's Wild Ones. Representing the active chaos that will eventually overwhelm the dying vestiges of civil society, they take everything dear to Max, who will exact due revenge. His flight into the same wilds that created the villains artfully sets up the morally ambiguous character of the subsequent films. --Alan E. Rapp --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition. DVD features MGM's special edition restores the original Australian soundtrack (including Mel Gibson's voice!) to the film for the first time on home video. That in itself would be enough to make this a DVD essential, but cinematographer David Eggby, special effects supervisor Chris Murray, and art director Jon Dowding look under the hood of this revved-up revenge classic in a commentary track and the featurette "Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon." Their nuts-and-bolts comments and nostalgic stories of... read more

 

Man in the Iron Mask, The
Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Action

One of the most catastrophically awful adaptations of a major work of literature ever perpetrated on the silver screen. -- (Review)1122800 With a cry of "All for one and one for all!" the Musketeers return to correct the injustices perpetrated by spoiled monarch Louis XIV, whose misdeeds include imprisoning his twin brother on an island and encasing his visage in the titular mask. Teen idol Di Caprio assays the dual title role, while writer-director Wallace goes for the jugular with plenty of pomp and pageantry. -- (Muze Description)1122804 "...A gleefully tongue-in-cheek romp....Stylishly photographed..." -- (Review)1160280 "...Richly staged period adventure..." -- (Review)1164437 "...[DiCaprio] rivets attention in practically every scene. With captivating ingenuousness, and with a physical beauty that reduces the camera to one more worshipful fan, he fares well..." -- (Review)1201054 "...Boasting the highest talent quotient of any of the previous versions....This offers a more cerebral take on the classic swashbuckler..." -- (Review)1212795

 

Mash
Sutherland, Donald, Duvall, Robert,

 

M*A*S*H Gives A D*A*M*N.
The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and hijinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war. Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. That's where two young surgeons, Duke and Hawkeye end up during the Korean War. There is no plot as such, but instead a series of episodes during which they put their stamp on the camp including a football game against a larger unit with thousands riding on it, a trip to Tokyo to operate on a congressman's son and play a little golf, and finding out if the head nurse is a natural blonde.

 

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)
Crowe, Russell, Bettany, Paul, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video In the capable hands of director Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a seafaring adventure like no other, impeccably authentic, dynamically cast, and thrilling enough to give any classic swashbuckler a run for its money. In adapting two of Patrick O'Brian's enormously popular novels about British naval hero Capt. Jack Aubrey, Weir and cowriter John Collee have changed the timeframe from the British/American war of 1812 to the British/French opposition of 1805, where the HMS Surprise, under Aubrey's confident command, is patrolling the South Atlantic in pursuit of the Acheron, a French warship with the strategic advantage of greater size, speed, and artillery. Russell Crowe is outstanding as Aubrey, firm and fiercely loyal, focused on his prey even if it means locking horns with his friend and ship's surgeon, played by Crowe's A Beautiful Mind costar Paul Bettany. Employing a seamless combination of carefully matched ocean footage, detailed models, full-scale ships, and CGI enhancements, Weir pays exacting attention to every nautical detail, while maintaining a very human story of honor, warfare, and survival under wretched conditions. Raging storms and hull-shattering battles provide pulse-pounding action, and a visit to the Galapagos Islands lends a note of otherworldly wonder, adding yet another layer of historical perspective to this splendidly epic adventure. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Matrix, The
Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

With THE MATRIX, the Wachowskis have established themselves as innovative filmmakers who push the boundaries of live-action films. Like the groundbreaking STAR WARS, THE MATRIX (also the first film of a trilogy) showcases a unique visual style, one the Wachowskis achieved through an array of techniques and digital effects, some never before seen in mainstream Hollywood films. Although computer morphing technology had been used before in films such as THE ABYSS and TERMINATOR 2, the Wachowskis were the first to use "bullet time," a time-bending digital effect that utilizes both computer-generated imagery and still photography. The film itself is a complex story that aspires to mythology, focusing on a computer hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix. He finds his answer with a group of strangers led by the charismatic Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). What they encounter in confronting that truth makes for a lightning-paced, eye-popping thrill ride of a movie. Packed with stunning fight scenes (choreographed by accomplished Hong Kong director Yuen Wo-Ping), astonishing visual effects, quotable lines, and a terrific supporting cast (led by Carrie-Anne Moss, in her first major Hollywood film), THE MATRIX is a bold triumph that raises the bar for all science fiction films. -- (Muze Description)1134030 "...A feast of unexpected fidgets and perspectives, punctuated by trademark overhead shots and teasing detail and detour....THE MATRIX is a wonderland of tricks and stunts..." -- (Review)1154439 "...THE MATRIX soars with its feet in the air..." -- (Review)1154930 "...A breathtaking rollercoaster ride..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1157093 An imaginative hybrid of action, kung fu, and science fiction, THE MATRIX is a hyperkinetic, mind-bending, and visionary spectacle. Keanu Reeves stars as Neo, a disaffected computer hacker seeking the answer to the question, "What is the Matrix?" His search leads him to the elusive Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who begins to enlighten Neo about the illusions of his so-called reality. In accepting the answer Morpheus provides, Neo is hurled into a futuristic world where old realities are shattered, and he must fight for his life, and the future of humanity, against a dangerous group of inhuman government agents. -- (Synopsis)1165202 Theatrical release date: April 2, 1999. THE MATRIX won three Academy Awards: Achievement in Film Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects (beating out STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE). In each category, the winners quoted a line from the film. The Wachowski brothers got their start at Marvel Comics, where they wrote dialogue for Clive Barker's HELLRAISER. The official website, www.whatisthematrix.com, features a revolving showcase of comic book writers. The actors initially thought combat training would take a few weeks. They eventually trained for more than five months (October 1997-March 1998), primarily because the actors and the Wachowskis wanted to limit the use of stunt doubles in the picture; the directors wanted the audience to see that the actual actors were performing the stunts. Each actor had their own kung fu master on the set. Neo is an anagram for "One." The Wachowskis named Neo’s alter ego Thomas, for the biblical Doubting Thomas. SIMULACRA AND SIMULATION, Jean Baudrillard’s theoretical text concerning culture, reality, and simulation, is the title of the book Neo uses to keep his contraband. Carrie-Anne Moss sprained her ankle during the filming of the federal lobby scene but told no one at the time, even though she was unable to walk the next day. Moss appeared in the 1993 television show MATRIX, about a hit man working for the underworld. A musical theater piece by the Live Bait Theater group in Chicago (the Wachowski brothers’ hometown) called NEO: A MATRIX MUSICAL ran in May 2000. Producer Joel Silver called THE MATRIX "the first film of the new millennium." Talking about the making of the film, Fishburne compared the brothers Wachowski to the Brothers Grimm in their abi

 

Memphis Belle
Harry Connick, Sean Astin, Dramas

The brave young men of the B-17 flying fortress named Memphis Belle have just one more mission to fly over Nazi-occupied Europe and they will be on their way home to a hero's welcome. But this 25th mission will also be their most dangerous. Bombing target: Bremen. Fact-based drama. -- (Muze Description)1031087 Scenes from William Wyler's 1942 documentary "Memphis Belle" are incorporated in the film. Catherine Wyler, one of the film's producers, is his daughter. Additional Credits: Richard Conway (Model Unit Director). -- (Muze Annotation)1094410 Fact-based story about the 10 young crewmen of the Memphis Belle, the famed bomber that completed an impressive 25 flights during World War II. Both the final flight of the plane, and its good-looking crew, become the target of a huge publicity scheme created by the armed forces in order to sell more war bonds. -- (Synopsis)1094411 "...MEMPHIS BELLE is a grand and rousing adventure....The vigorous young cast enhances the excitement of the flight sequences, which are spectacular..." -- (Review)1159882 "...Stoltz is likably earnest....Matthew Modine is crisply cool-headed....Billy Zane is dashing..." -- (Review)1172163 "...Watching MEMPHIS BELLE take shape is the most extraordinary thing....In the air MEMPHIS BELLE is unstoppable, giving us -- earthbound and safe -- a clear-eyed look at the nuts and bolts of bravery..." -- (Review)1232225

 

Men in Black II
Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Comedies

Reuniting director Barry Sonnenfeld with most of the original hit film's cast, MEN IN BLACK II picks up with alien-monitoring secret agent Jay (Will Smith) in a rut. Weary of the isolated life of an MiB operative, Jay continually fires new partners until MiB director Zed (Rip Torn) teams him up with the talkative pug, Frank (voiced by Tim Blaney). Together they investigate an "alien-on-alien" murder witnessed by the lovely Rita (Rosario Dawson), who Jay immediately falls for. The case eventually leads Jay and Frank to track down agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), who now works at a rural post office, completely unaware of his former life. Unfortunately, it's what Kay can't remember that may save the world from destruction at the hands of the shape-shifting alien Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle). As Jay attempts to jog the memory of the reluctant Kay, Serleena takes over MiB headquarters, building up to a big New York City showdown. A fast-paced follow-up to the 1997 sci-fi comedy, MEN IN BLACK II sticks to its guns, offering up more action, aliens, and intergalactic weirdness. This time around Smith and characters such as Frank and the wisecracking worms are the focus, although Jones makes the most out of his screen time with his deadpan persona thoroughly intact. And, as with the first movie, MIB II features plenty of enjoyable scenes, including an underground romp involving a subway-sized alien and Frank the Dog's head-out-of-the-car-window rendition of "I Will Survive." -- (Muze Description)1236873 "...Enjoyable...The movie delivers....What matters is Smith and Jones, whose snappy comic timing hasn't rusted..." -- (Review)1243411 "...Smith and Jones continue to play off each other smoothly....[The] technical effects are top-notch..." -- (Review)1246351 "...Everywhere you turn, makeup guru Rick Baker provides a variety of aliens..." -- (Review)1247066 Theatrical Release Date: July 3, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1249106

 

Men in Black
Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Comedies

In the 1950s a super-secret government agency was formed to monitor and police the activities of extraterrestrial aliens on the planet Earth. Some 40 years later a founding father of the agency, Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), finds himself with a new smart-mouthed partner fresh from the NYPD who is soon dubbed Agent Jay (Will Smith). Their first mission is to save the Earth from destruction by a giant insectlike alien (Vincent D’Onfrio) that, incidentally, drives an exterminator’s truck. Armed with their matching Ray-Bans, skinny ties, and space-age weapons that Jay barely understands--he calls the Neuralyzer the "flashy thing"--the new duo begin another average day of fighting intergalactic terrorists. An amazingly hip and terribly clever movie that riffs on everything from E.T.--THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL to CASABLANCA, this Barry Sonnenfeld film is based on the equally savvy comic book by Lowell Cunningham. -- (Muze Description)1078337 "...The out-there premise is irresistible.... Effects master Rick Baker whips up a swell array of oddball creatures great, small and just plain strange..." -- 4 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1165488 Filmed in New York City and in studio (Culver City, CA). Estimated budget: $90 million. The film grossed more than $250 million at the domestic box office and nearly $600 million worldwide. -- (Muze Annotation)1171059 A hilariously stoic top-secret federal agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and his wisecracking partner (Will Smith) don their matching Ray-Bans and skinny black ties and proceed to use all their considerable weaponry and wit to save the world from an undocumented and extremely unfriendly mantislike alien. MEN IN BLACK is a successful, tongue-in-cheek spoof of summer blockbuster alien invasion flicks, based on the comic book by Lowell Cunningham. -- (Synopsis)1171060 "...Dryly clever....Extraordinarily ambitious, with all-star design and special-effects talent and a genuinely artful visual style..." -- (Review)1205667 "...Wised-up and offhandedly funny....Barry Sonnenfeld is an excellent director for this point of view, and MEN IN BLACK is a blend of the strengths of his previous films..." -- (Review)1221170 "...The movie makes good use of a lot of New York landmarks....[The film] deflates one sci-fi pomposity after another..." -- (Review)1258484

 

Midnight Express
Quaid, Randy, Hurt, John, Drama

Based on William Hayes's autobiography, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS tells the harrowing story of a young American tourist arrested and sentenced to 30 years in prison by Turkish authorities for trying to smuggle two kilos of hashish out of the country. Billy (Brad Davis), suffering through the harsh realities of the Turkish penal system, sees a glimmer of hope when his father (Billy Kellin) arrives from the States with the intention of securing his son's release. But when that effort fails and the prison's savage environment becomes too much to bear, Billy opts for the only possible solution: breaking out of jail and riding the "midnight express"--prison slang for escape--to freedom. Director Alan Parker (MISSISSIPPI BURNING), aided by Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning script, fastens an unflinching gaze into the darkest recesses of physical and emotional cruelty. Supporting cast members Randy Quaid, John Hurt, and Bo Hopkins give stellar performances, and Giorgio Moroder supplies a jagged yet entrancing soundtrack for a film that is at one and the same time a Kafkaesque nightmare, a riveting exposé, and a testament to the dogged human thirst for dignity. Color by Eastmancolor. The true story of Billy Hayes is revealed in this drama about a young man who is sentenced to 30 years in a Turkish prison for a minor drug offense. DVD Features: Region 1 Encoded English and French Languages/Subtitled Featurette Theatrical Trailer

 

Minority Report
Arye Gross, William R. Mapother, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

The science-fiction thriller MINORITY REPORT, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, is based on a short story by renowned writer Philip K. Dick. In the year 2054, in Washington, D.C., murder has been eliminated thanks to Precrime, a program that uses the visions of three psychics, called Precogs (an abbreviation for precognitive thinkers), to arrest and imprison would-be murderers before they have a chance to kill. Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, a Precrime enforcer who believes in the system for his own personal reasons--years back his young son was abducted, and he has dealt with the loss by becoming a high-strung Precrime officer. The director of Precrime (Max von Sydow) is eager to take the program national, and feels threatened by an ambitious federal agent (Colin Farrell) who is bent on finding a flaw in the system. When Anderton finds himself accused of the future murder of a man he's never met, his faith in Precrime is instantly shaken. He goes on the run, and is trailed by the relentless Precrime police. In the tradition of BLADE RUNNER (also based on a Dick story), MINORITY REPORT is a dark, brooding vision of the future. Spielberg expertly mixes thrilling chase and suspense sequences (the best of which involves Anderton being pursued by eye-scanning mechanical spiders) and stunning special effects with a challenging look at society's willingness to sacrifice privacy and the notion of free will for convenience and security. MINORITY REPORT is a thought-provoking and exciting film that ranks with Spielberg's best. -- (Muze Description)1234172 "...[The film] gives actress Samantha Morton a chance to give a harrowing performance that touches a raw emotional nerve..." -- (Review)1242814 "...Hollywood's first teaming of Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg delivers the goods and then some....It's as topical as movies get..." -- (Review)1242841 "...A muscular and dense exercise of skill and verve..." -- (Review)1242849 "...It's revved up on visionary action, laced with dark humor and powered by a topical idea....Spielberg pulls out every techno trick..." -- (Review)1243419 "...Spielberg deftly juggles an intricate plot....A blockbuster with brains and a huge amount of daring..." -- (Review)1245562 "...Max von Sydow is brilliantly smarmy....Samantha Morton gives a primal, gut-wrenching performance..." -- (Review)1246045 "...[Spielberg has] become a more nuanced and provocative filmmaker....In the future it's likely to be a cult classic..." -- (Review)1246364 "...MINORITY REPORT is a triumph -- a film that works on our minds and our emotions. It is a thriller and a human story....Here is a filmmaker at the top of his form..." -- (Review)1247704 Theatrical release: June 21, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1252265

 

Miracle (Widescreen Edition)
Russell, Kurt, Clarkson, Patricia, Drama : General

Amazon.com The miracle about Miracle is that it gets so many details right in telling its 24-year-old story about the historic victory of the U.S. hockey team at the 1980 Olympic Games. It's typical for Hollywood to compromise such period details as hairstyles and fashion when catering to a contemporary audience, but Miracle looks and feels right in every detail, capturing the downbeat mood of post-Watergate America while showing how obsessively determined Minnesota hockey coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) managed to assemble a once-in-a-lifetime team and whip them into a victorious frenzy over their Soviet champion opponents. With sharp support from Patricia Clarkson (as Brooks's wife) and Noah Emmerich (as his long-suffering assistant), Russell grounds the film with a well-balanced combination of aloofness, intimidation, and closely guarded strategy. No doubt the real Brooks (who died in a car accident shortly after filming completed) would have approved. Thanks to director Gavin O'Connor (Tumbleweeds) and the producers of the similarly laudable sports films Remember the Titans and The Rookie, Miracle brings plenty of heart--and historical accuracy--to an old, familiar formula. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. E.M. Swift - Sports Illustrated "Kurt Russell is perfect as Herb Brooks, and the hockey scenes are nothing short of spectacular."

 

Mission: Impossible
Jon Voight, Henry Czerny, Action/Adventure

Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, leader of a crack squad of intelligence operatives, in this labyrinthine action-thriller based on the hit 1960s-'70s television series. When a dangerous mission in Prague goes inexplicably wrong, Hunt finds himself out in the cold. A mole has infiltrated the CIA, and suspicions are that it's Hunt. His only chance: Find out who the real mole is and turn the tables. The plan takes him on an incredibly suspenseful infiltration of CIA security, leading to a spectacular chunnel climax that would make Hitchcock proud. Thanks to crisp, inventive direction from Brian De Palma and Danny Elfman's dynamite electronica score (including a catchy update of the original Lalo Schifrin theme), this mission is great fun. The talented roster of stars backing Cruise includes Ving Rhames, Vanessa Redgrave, John Voight, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Jean Reno. A witty script by Robert Towne (CHINATOWN, SHAMPOO) and David Koepp keeps the ball rolling in unexpected directions, with the paranoia always set to high. A box-office record-setter during its original release, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE led to a well-deserved sequel, also with Cruise and Rhames. -- (Muze Description)1070594 The Impossible Mission Force is called into action and then into question in this thriller based on the hit television series. Big-budget special effects and action sequences propel the complex story, as does the unmistakable musical score. -- (Synopsis)1115419 Released theatrically in the USA Wednesday, May 22, 1996. Its whopping six-day box-office gross of $74.9 million broke a bunch of records: biggest sneak-preview opening, biggest Wednesday opening, biggest May opening, highest Memorial Day opening, and highest six-day opening. The film went on to gross more than $180 million domestically and $465 million worldwide. Shot on location in the Czech Republic (Prague); Scotland; Washington, DC; and at Pinewood Studios London, England. -- (Muze Annotation)1115420 "...MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE is an explosion of pleasures..." -- (Review)1161348 "...Stylish, brisk..." -- 3 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1168371 "...A Rubik's cube that keeps on twisting..." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1183785 "...Cruise tackles the action genre even more convincingly than he did in TOP GUN....And he looks great, too..." -- (Review)1196942 "...A sleek, whooshingly entertaining update of the vintage television series....MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE catapults you into the wildest movie ride of the year..." -- (Review)1208143 "...MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE has lots going for it -- a charismatic star in Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma's sleek, elegant direction, a first-rate cast, a superb suspense sequence, lots of action capped by a breathtaking stunt at the climax..." -- (Review)1222468

 

Mission
Irons, Jeremy, De Niro, Robert, Drama : General

A visually stunning epic, THE MISSION recounts the true story of two men--a man of the sword (Robert De Niro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons)--both Jesuit missionaries who defied the colonial forces of mighty Spain and Portugal to save an Indian tribe from slavery in mid-18th-century South America. Mendoza (De Niro) is a slave trader and colonial imperialist who murdered his own brother (Aidan Quinn) and seeks penance for his sins by becomining a missionary at Father Gabriel's (Irons) mountaintop mission; Gabriel is a devout and idealistic man who extols nonviolence and peaceful interaction with the natives and colonialists. Despite their differences, the two men must unite to save the mission when Spain, Portugal, and the Catholic church begin negotiating their boundaries in the area--negotiations that will affect both the freedom of the natives and the well-being of the Jesuit missionaries who have set up safe havens for them. Director Roland Joffé's sweeping masterpiece is a haunting account of the unjust treatment of the Guarani Indians of South America and the men who fought desperately, in very different ways, to save them. The film features a mezmerizing musical score by Ennio Morricone that weaves a stunning combination of church choirs and native Indian panpipes into the lush images of the Brazilian rainforest. In Roland Joffé's THE MISSION, a swordsman and a priest, both Jesuit missionaries, defy the colonial forces of Spain and Portugal to save an Indian tribe in 18th-century South America. Theatrical release: November 1986. Filmed on location over a 16-week period in Colombia and at the waterfalls of Cataratas del Iguazú on the border of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Estimated budget: $23 million. THE MISSION is based on a true story. Two of the missionaries in the film are played by real-life Jesuit clergymen, Daniel Berrigan and Tony Lawn. They also served as technical advisers on the film. The film features one of Aidan Quinn's first screen appearances. The National Board of Review named THE MISSION one of the 10 Best English-language films of 1986. THE MISSION won the Golden Palm at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. Chris Menges received the Best Cinematography award from the Los Angeles Film Critics. His opening shot of a crucified man going over a waterfall is one of the most memorable scenes in film history.

 

Mississippi Burning
Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Dramas

In 1964, when three civil-rights workers, two white and one black, mysteriously disappear while driving through Mississippi, two FBI agents, Ward (Willem Dafoe) and Anderson (Gene Hackman), are sent in to investigate. While Ward is young and by the book, Anderson is a seasoned southerner comfortable with the Byzantine (and, to Ward, morally ambiguous) ways of his region. Together they sift through a variety of leads and come up empty-handed--until the town sheriff’s wife (Frances McDormand) steps forward and reveals some surprising information. In order to solve the case, the two contrasting agents must not only overcome the hostility of the local authorities and the black community but contend with their own differences as well. A fictionalized account of one of the landmarks in the civil-rights movement, MISSISSIPPI BURNING is a swift and powerful film. Director Alan Parker, continuing his investigation of human cruelty (begun explosively in his harrowing 1978 film MIDNIGHT EXPRESS), crafts a historically poignant film that fingers the monstrosities of a virulent strain of racial intolerance in America. Dafoe and Hackman are convincing as they investigate the disappearance of the civil-rights workers and unravel the grisly web of obfuscation around a scandalous, cancerous truth very near the heart of a nation. -- (Muze Description)1014029 In 1964, two FBI agents try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of three civil rights workers. -- (Synopsis)1120119 Gene Hackman won Best Actor at the 1988 Berlin Film Festival. The 1988 National Board of Review awarded the film Best Picture, Best Director (Alan Parker), Best Actor (Hackman), and Best Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand). A 1990 TV-movie was based on the events leading to the 1964 murder of civil-rights activists Mickey Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, which was the basis for "Mississippi Burning." "Murder in Mississippi" starred Tom Hulce, Blair Underwood, Josh Charles, Jennifer Grey, C.C.H. Pounder, Andre Braugher, and John Dennis Johnson and was directed by Roger Young and produced by David Wolper. It ran 200 minutes and was shown in two parts (a 96-minute version also exists). A quickie exploitation pic loosely based on the murders was released in late 1965. It was also entitled "Murder in Mississippi." Producers Robert Colesberry and Frederick Zollo appear in the film as a cameraman and reporter. Estimated budget $15 million. Shot in Jackson, Mississippi, and Lafayette, Alabama. Filming began March 7, 1988. Shot in Panavision. Color by DuArt; prints by DeLuxe. Released in North America December 9, 1988. Released on video July 27, 1989. Screened in competition at the 1989 Berlin Film Festival, the 1989 Antwerp International Film Festival, the 1989 Moscow International Film Festival (market), and the 1989 Panorama of World Cinema in Sofia, Bulgaria. Reviewed in the New York Times December 9, 1988, and Monthly Film Bulletin May 1989. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Censors. -- (Muze Annotation)1120120 "...An almost visionary intensity..." -- (Review)1162688 "...Insistent....MISSISSIPPI BURNING is first-rate." -- (Review)1175937 Included in The New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1988" -- (Review)1175961 "...Alan Parker's MISSISSIPPI BURNING does exactly what he want it to do. It moves us to outrage and horror....MISSISSIPPI BURNING'S most powerful achievement is its creation of time and place..." -- (Review)1235414

 

Monster's Ball
Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Dramas

Set in modern Mississippi, MONSTER'S BALL subtly examines the impact of personal loss and the transforming power of human connection. The movie begins in the state penitentiary's death row, where father-and-son prison guards Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) and Sonny Grotowski (Heath Ledger) administer the execution of a black death-row inmate Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs), who leaves behind a wife, Leticia (Halle Berry), and son, Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun). When both Hank and Leticia's children subsequently die, the two grieving parents are accidentally thrust together, where they begin to find comfort and eventually a form of redemption. Employing a languid pace and minimalist dialogue, MONSTER'S BALL slowly moves forward on the strength of the cast's performances (including a supporting turn from Peter Boyle as Hank's ailing racist father, Buck) and Marc Forster's understated direction. The complex characters are allowed to develop gradually over the course of the entire movie, making the film a richly satisfying character study rather than a quick, plot-driven confection. -- (Muze Description)1221340 "...The characters and the bond that develops between them are too complex for words....Their economy and the eloquence of Mr. Foster's unshowily beautiful images give MONSTER'S BALL the density and strangeness of real life..." -- (Review)1226687 "...MONSTER'S BALL proves that Halle Berry had a spectacular performance inside her waiting to be unleashed and that Billy Bob Thornton still had a third one left in his stunning 2001 stockpile..." -- (Review)1226708 "...An interesting tale: well-told, sad and funny and ultimately uplifting..." -- (Review)1227293 "...The actors make it unique and unforgettable....You can't take your eyes off them..." -- (Review)1227371 "...Burning with a quiet intensity, MONSTER'S BALL is bolstered by a poetic, intelligent sensibility..." -- (Review)1228273 "...[Thornton] gives the best performance of his career in MONSTER'S BALL....This is a fearless, brutally honest performance, etched with shadings and remarkable subtlety..." -- (Review)1231603 Theatrical Release: DECEMBER 26, 2001 (NY/LA) -- (Muze Annotation)1234947 "...Thornton displays a remarkable gift for understatement....Thornton brings a gentleness to the part that acts as a much-need balm on the wounds we see all around..." -- (Review)1239488 "...Written with the complexity of great fiction, avoiding obligatory scenes, cutting straight to the heart....The best film of 2001..." -- (Review)1248555

 

Murder by Numbers
Sandra Bullock, R.D. Call, Dramas

When the dead body of a woman is found in the woods near the river, feisty homicide detective Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) and her new partner, Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin) are assigned to the case. That's the premise for MURDER BY NUMBERS, a psychological thriller directed by Barbet Schroeder (REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE). Determined to solve the crime, Mayweather follows her hunches and microscopic bits of evidence, focusing her investigation on two teens: Justin Pendleton (Michael Pitt), a brilliant, misunderstood nerd, and Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling), a smooth talking, spoiled rich kid. From the beginning, the audience knows that this unlikely duo has formed a secret bond that pushes the boundaries of morality and the law in their attempt to commit the perfect murder and experience complete freedom. It's up to Mayweather, who buries herself in her work in an attempt to forget her own tormented past, and Kennedy, a transfer from Vice who is working his first homicide case, to ignore the stereotypical profiles and see past the obvious in order to solve the crime. Slowly but surely, the truth comes out as Mayweather works on instinct while battling her own demons and being drawn into the boys' game of cat-and-mouse. -- (Muze Description)1233206 "...It's very expertly directed; Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt give superb performances..." -- (Review)1240446 "...Engrossing....Marked by strong performances....Handsomely lensed..." -- (Review)1240994 "...There's a kind of fascination in seeing the jigsaw puzzle fall into place....Bullock does a good job of working against her natural likability..." -- (Review)1247762

 

Murder in Greenwich
Forster, Robert, Meloni, Christopher, Dramas

In 1975, a fifteen year-old girl named Martha Moxley was murdered in Greenwich, Connecticut. The prime suspects, Tommy and Michael Skakel, were nephews of the Kennedy family, causing a nationwide media storm. The case, however, was never solved. In the late 1990's, detective Mark Fuhrman (Christopher Meloni) becomes obsessed with the case, and with the aid of detective Steve Carroll (Robert Forster), finally uncovers the mystery of the murder. This acclaimed made-for-television drama is based on Fuhrman's best-selling book.

 

 

Murder in the First
Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Drama

A well-shot drama about an ambitious young public defender who takes on the case of a man whose cruel treatment at Alcatraz turned him into a killer. In the process of trying the case, the two develop a bond and ultimately bring down Alcatraz once and for all. -- (Muze Description)1058389 A brutalized prisoner reluctantly teams up with an idealistic public defender to shut down Alcatraz in the taut drama, "Murder in the First." Kevin Bacon is outstanding as the emaciated, feeble-minded con whose treatment at the hands of a sadistic warden (the chameleon-like Gary Oldman) turns him into a killer. A bit young to be taken seriously as an attorney, Christian Slater nonetheless conveys the strength of his character's convictions as he and Bacon develop a surprisingly touching, unlikely friendship. Dark, brooding and often horrifying, "Murder in the First" impresses as it repels. -- (Review)1078234 Filmed in Foto-Kem color. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. Produced in association with the Wolper Organisation. Additional credits: Kenneth Silverstein, David McWhirter, Shannon Wilson (assistant directors); Frank Perl (camera operator); Peter Stoltz (special effects coordinator); David Cates (music editor); David May (music co-ordinator); Mark Hollingsworth, John Hegedes, Andre Bacha, Ascher Yates, Howard Neiman (sound editors). -- (Muze Annotation)1090824 The true story of Henri Young, a 1930's convict who has been sent to prison for stealing five dollars. But when Young and others attempt to escape, they are caught. As punishment, a naked and wet Young is thrown into a dark, damp, rat-infested cell, where he is his beaten continuously. He emerges from this hellhole three years later a virtual madman -- and promptly kills the inmate who snitched about the escape attempt. Now facing a charge of murder in the first degree, Young is defended by inexperienced go-getter James Stamphill. Although the cards are stacked high against him, the lawyer makes Young plead innocent. Stamphill's plan: to put Alcatraz, and the whole prison system on trial, as both institutions have turned his client into a homicidal maniac. -- (Synopsis)1090825 "...Bacon creates a brilliant, harrowing portrait..." -- (Review)1156923 "...It is impossible to leave MURDER IN THE FIRST without being moved....[Featuring] Kevin Bacon in a blistering performance..." -- (Review)1157939 "...Kevin Bacon gives a career performance..." -- (Review)1168438 "Bacon is wrenching....Genuinely moving..." -- Rating: A- -- (Review)1187442 "...A terrific true story, a good script, [and] some potent performances....Gary Oldman makes a strong showing..." -- (Review)1194847

 

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Louis Mandylor, John Corbett, Comedies

Toula Portakalos (Nia Vardalos) feels trapped in her large Greek family, where women are expected to do only three things: "marry Greek men, have Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day they die." Rebelling against this fate, Toula quits the family restaurant, goes to college, fixes her hair, and falls in love with Ian (John Corbett), a guy who is way-too-good-to-be-true, and not Greek. This horrifies Toula's Greek culture-crazed father (Michael Constantine) and sets off a major culture clash between her loud, eccentric family (whose activities include roasting whole lambs on the front-yard barbecue spit) and Ian's subdued, overcivilized Anglo-Saxon parents. Based on Vardalos' own autobiographical one-woman play, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING is that rare romantic comedy that has the courage to trust its simple, human story and not resort to overwrought Hollywood sentimentality and phony glamour (all the characters in the film look and act like real people). It's also filled with big, fat, crowd-pleasing laughs, making it a wedding most worth attending. Co-produced by Tom Hanks, the movie is set in Chicago, but was filmed in Toronto. The spirited cast includes Lainie Kazan and Andrea Martin (of SCTV fame) as Toula's mom and aunt. -- (Muze Description)1233274 "...Heartfelt and hilarious in ways you can't fake. It's a keeper..." -- (Review)1236054 "...The film offers some sweet and silly moments....Heartwarming..." -- (Review)1236075 "...Agreeable....It has a good-natured personality..." -- (Review)1238721 "...[A] warm-hearted slice of life..." -- (Review)1247892 "...Engaging and perky....An enjoyable prattle of the sexes..." -- (Review)1255143

 

My Boss's Daughter (Theatrical PG-13 Edition)
Kutcher, Ashton, Reid, Tara, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Heartthrob Ashton Kutcher lends his mix of leading-man looks and goofball personality to the cascading disaster farce of My Boss's Daughter. Tom Stansfield (Kutcher, Just Married) thinks he's going out on a date with Lisa (Tara Reid, American Pie), the daughter of his tyrannical boss, Mr. Taylor (Terence Stamp, The Limey)--but in fact, he's unknowingly agreed to house-sit the boss's house, which is loaded with antiques, a cash-filled safe, and a depressed owl. Of course, everything goes awry, starting with the owl escaping and culminating in a drug-dealing thug being buried in the back yard while Tom drives Mr. Taylor's car through the front of the house. The supporting cast is bizarrely star-studded, including Molly Shannon, Andy Richter, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Madsen, Dave Foley, and Carmen Electra. Directed by David Zucker (Airplane!, the Naked Gun series); it must have all looked good on paper. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

My Own Private Idaho
Reeves, Keanu, Burroughs, William S., Dramas

A narcoleptic, psychologically-scarred young man who peddles his body, and his best friend, who also works the streets though he's from a wealthy political family, wander together and apart, from Seattle to as far away as Italy. A loose reworking of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," with Reeves as the prodigal son who slums in the Pacific Northwest's junkie lowlife milieu. River Phoenix was given the 1991 Best Actor Award from the Venice Film Festival and the National Society of Film Critics. Film received 1991 International Critic's Award from the Toronto Festival of Festivals. Picture, director Gus Van Sant, and River Phoenix were named first runnersup in their respective categories by the 1991 New York Film Critics Circle. Film is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's play "Henry IV" and is based directly on the short story, "My Own Private Idaho," and on two scripts, "Minions of the Moon" (aka "My Own Private Idaho) and "In a Blue Funk." The role of Bob Pigeon was played by William Richert, who directed "The American Success Co.," "Winter Kills," and the River Phoenix vehicle "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon." Estimated budget $2.5 million. Filmed in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Twin Falls, Idaho; and Rome, Italy. Filming began November 1, 1990; completed December 21, 1990. Color by Alpha Cine, Fotocinema. Sound in Ultra Stereo. Screened at the 1991 Deauville Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and London Film Festival. Released in USA November 8, 1991. Released on video April 22, 1992. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Censors. Reviewed in Variety September 9, 1991 (which lists running time at 102 minutes) and in New York Times and Los Angeles Times October 18, 1991. Semi-documentary footage of Seattle street hustling mixes with highly theatrical Shakespearean speech in this very loose adaptation of "Henry IV." In Seattle, Mike, a male prostitute and narcoleptic, meets Scott, who is rebelling against his wealthy family by working the streets. The two decide to embark on a search for Mike's long-lost mother, and their journey leads them first to Mike's home in Idaho and then to Italy.

 

Mystic River (Widescreen Edition)
Penn, Sean, Robbins, Tim, Drama : General

Amazon.com Superior acting, writing, and direction are on impressive display in the critically acclaimed Mystic River, Clint Eastwood's 24th directorial outing and one of the finest films of 2003. Sharply adapted by L.A. Confidential Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland from the novel by Dennis Lehane, this chilling mystery revolves around three boyhood friends in working-class Boston--played as adults by Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, and Kevin Bacon--drawn together by a crime from the past and a murder (of the Penn character's 19-year-old daughter) in the present. These dual tragedies arouse a vicious cycle of suspicion, guilt, and repressed anxieties, primed to explode with devastating and unpredictable results. Eastwood is perfectly in tune with this brooding material, giving his flawless cast (including Laura Linney, Marcia Gay Harden and Laurence Fishburne) ample opportunity to plumb the depths of a resonant human tragedy, leading to an ambiguous ending that qualifies Mystic River for contemporary classic status. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. Description Jimmy. Dave. Sean. Friends who grew up in working-class Boston, they drifted apart afer a terrible tragedy. Year later, brutal events reconnect them.

 

Narc
Patric, Jason, Ortiz, John, Dramas

An aggressive chase and a stray bullet nearly ends the career of undercover narcotics agent Nick Tellis (Jason Patrick) whose job is tearing apart his life and his family. Tellis dreams of working a less stressful desk job, and he knows that a conviction in an upcoming case will land him the job. So he accepts an assignment assisting the overlong investigation of a slain officer, hoping it will be his last experience of street work. Tellis is partnered with Lt. Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) whose unorthodox methods are part of the reason the case is still unsolved. Strict attention to police procedure and cop lingo lift writer-director Joe Carnahan's (BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS AND OCTANE) gritty, violent film above the cliches of the typical police thriller. NARC is fueled by impassioned performances from leads Patrick, a wary officer who seeks the truth as a means to his own psychological redemption; and Liotta (who also produced), as a broken cop with sadistic, rule-breaking tendencies. The film's grimy immediacy is to the credit of cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy. theatrical Release: DECEMBER 20, 2002 (NY/LA) JANUARY 10, 2002 (NATIONAL)

 

National Lampoon's Animal House - Double Secret Probation Widescreen Edition
Belushi, John, Allen, Karen, Comedy : General

Amazon.com This is one of those movies that works for all the wrong reasons--disgusting, lowbrow, base humor that we are all far too sophisticated to find amusing. So, just don't tell anyone you still think it's a riot to watch John Belushi as the brutish Bluto slurp Jell-O or terrorize his less-aggressive fellow students. This crude parody of college life in the '60s spawned many imitations, but none could match the fresh-faced talent or bad taste of this huge box office success. (Remember all those toga parties in the '80s?) The first of the National Lampoon movies, this was originally released as National Lampoon's Animal House. Keep an eye out for a very young Kevin Bacon in his first credited screen appearance. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

National Lampoon's Senior Trip
Frewer, Matt, Mahaffey, Valerie,

 

Four score and seven beers ago... They came. They saw. They passed out. While on detention, a group of misfits and slackers have to write a letter to the President explaining what is wrong with the education system. There is only one problem, the President loves it! Hence, the group must travel to Washington to meet the Main Man. A group of unruly Ohio teenagers win a trip to Washington D.C., where they proceed to wreak havoc.

 

 

National Security
Roberts, Eric, Duke, Bill, Comedies

Martin Lawrence stars in this action comedy directed by Dennis Dugan (HAPPY GILMORE). The film concerns an unlikely partnership that forms between two L.A.P.D. rejects. Hank (Steve Zahn) is a straightlaced L.A.P.D. officer who is fired after supposedly brutalizing an innocent black man. It turns out the "victim," Earl Montgomery (Lawrence), is actually just an angry citizen who is allergic to bee stings. Frustrated after being dismissed from the L.A.P.D. academy due to his bad temper, Earl seizes the opportunity to take out his rage on the hapless Hank. But six months later, when Hank is released from prison, he is determined to avenge the death of his partner. Their paths cross once again when Nash (Eric Roberts), the man who pulled the trigger, robs the warehouse where Earl is employed as a security guard. Angry that Nash refers to him using a racial slur, Earl attaches himself to Hank, who wants nothing to do with the trash-talker. But Earl won't back down, and the bickering pair begin to infiltrate the crooked police department that rejected them months before. NATIONAL SECURITY features yet another standout supporting turn from the always reliable Zahn. Theatrical Release: JANUARY 17, 2002

 

Natural Born Killers
Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Dramas

Oliver Stone's over-the-top satire on America's worshipful fascination with tabloid criminals stars Woody Harrelson as Mickey Knox and Juliette Lewis as girlfriend-wife Mallory Wilson. Commencing with the dual murder of Mallory's sexually abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield) and grossly negligent mother (Edie McClurg), the anomic couple take off on a three-week killing spree across the country, telling everyone who they are so that they get the credit for their crimes. The media are immediately enthralled with the couple, especially Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), the bloodthirsty host of a tabloid TV show who follows their every move. By the time they're finally arrested, they've become such huge media stars that the cops treat them more like celebrities than criminals. Even the maniacal limelight-hogging warden of the Batongaville State Prison, Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones), is in awe. Stone pulls out all the stops in the prison riot, as the unwitting Gale becomes an unwilling participant in his own broadcast of the event. Again the director switches from film to video, from color to black and white, from sitcom parody to newsreel parody, and from one film stock to another, hoping to jar the audience out of its complacency with visual hyperbole. -- (Muze Description)1054149 Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis star as Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson, two young, attractive mass murderers in love in Oliver Stone's wild-eyed satire on the American fascination with criminals. After killing Mallory's loathsome parents, the pair perform a ritual "marriage" and take off on a "honeymoon" killing spree that wipes out 52 people. Bloodthirsty tabloid reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.) reports their every move to an adoring public while warden Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) is only too eager to welcome such celebrities to his prison. -- (Synopsis)1087079 Theatrical release: August 26, 1994. The prison riot scene took place at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois--342 maximum security prisoners were cleared to act in the Hollywood riot. The Director's Cut restores footage that was edited from the original release version so it could receive an MPAA R rating. It also includes seven complete scenes that Oliver Stone had voluntarily excised from the movie for its theatrical release. One of these sequences features Ashley Judd as the sister of one of Mickey and Mallory's victims. "'It's such an outrageous story,' [Oliver Stone] said, 'and in the time between oppositioning the film and making it, tremendous things have happened on America's landscape.'"--interviewed by Bernard Weinraub, New York Times, 8/16/1994 "I shoot good violence. I mean, I know I do."--Oliver Stone -- (Muze Annotation)1087080 "...The movie is a technical marvel, stunningly photographed..." -- (Review)1158131 Ranked #1 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...Fevered genius....[A] hypnotic, revolutionary head trip..." -- (Review)1159535 "...Stone's vision is impassioned, alarming, visually inventive, characteristically overpowering..." -- (Review)1164566 "...[A] brilliantly outrageous film..." -- (Review)1200048 "...[Harrelson and Lewis are] superb at exaggerating the archetypes of cool psychopathology..." -- (Review)1215194 "...NATURAL BORN KILLERS is like a slap in the face, waking us up to what's happening..." -- (Review)1264868

 

Net, The
Ray McKinnon, Sandra Bullock, Mystery

Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is a beautiful but reclusive computer systems analyst who enjoys her lonely nights surfing the net and entering chat lines. When a friend sends her a disk infected with a curious bug, she is caught up in an internet nightmare when she tries out the new program. The "beta" program gains her access to some of the world's most sensitive databases, but her friend turns up dead and she discovers that her identity has been erased and she has been given a new one which proves her to be a criminal. She must then set out to find who is behind the nefarious plot. Director Irwin Winkler produced such film classics as ROCKY and GOODFELLAS. -- (Muze Description)1064779 Color by Technicolor. Released theatrically in the USA on July 28, 1995, the film went on to gross $50.5 million domestically. Rated BBFC 12 by the British Board of Film Classification. Additional credits: Shannon M. Wilson (assistant director); Philip D. Schwartz (camera operator); Joe Quinlivan, Frank W. Schepler (special effects co-ordinators); Todd Aron Marks, Alex Mann, Harold Mann (computer consultants). -- (Muze Annotation)1093352 When computer programmer Angela Bennett boots up some new software, she gets more than she expected -- she gets access to restricted government files. Very soon after, the colleague who had sent her the new program dies in a plane crash. The panicked Angela nevertheless decides to continue as planned and go on vacation to Mexico, where she meets a handsome computer hacker. But her "romantic conquest" cares only about her disc with the top-secret information. By the time Angela discovers his duplicity, and realizes she's in danger, it's too late: her visa is gone, her name and address and credit cards are wiped off the computer, and she's wanted for a number of violent crimes. In fact, as far as the net goes, she doesn't exist at all. Now, Angela must assume another person's name and past if she's ever going to get home and prove her true identity. -- (Synopsis)1093353 "...Bullock delivers a compelling and subtle performance..." -- (Review)1156970 "...With admirable techno-savvy, the film upgrades the paranoia-propelled thriller and downloads it into the '90s..." -- (Review)1168583 "...You can imagine Hitchcock having paranoid fun with this idea....[Bullock's] concentration is so compelling..." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1187778 "...The suspense is neatly achieved....Bullock again provides highly accessible, viewer-friendly entry to a story..." -- (Review)1195170 "...[Bullock is] very low-key. She's so natural she seems to be remembering a scene rather than playing it. She has a warm smile. She never overacts..." -- (Review)1263404

 

Nixon - Collector's Edition (1995)
Hopkins, Anthony, Allen, Joan, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Oliver Stone's controversial drama about the Nixon years in the White House stars Anthony Hopkins in a genuinely great performance as the scandal-plagued president. The film attempts to wed suggestions of Nixon's formative experiences as a boy to his political connections with shady movers and shakers and finally to his self-destructive tenure in the Oval Office. The Watergate scandal is revisited rather impressionistically--it may be hard for viewers who weren't alive then to get a sense of what the crisis was about. The parade of stars playing figures in Nixon's orbit--J.T. Walsh as John Ehrlichman, James Woods as Bob Haldeman, David Hyde Pierce as John Dean, etc.--is fun if a tad distracting. Joan Allen got a well-deserved Oscar nomination as First Lady Pat Nixon, and Hopkins got one as well. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

O
Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, Dramas

Director Tim Blake Nelson sets Shakespeare's OTHELLO in a modern day private high school and the result is a dark, somber teen tragedy. Mekhi Phifer (CLOCKERS) stars as Odin James, an African American star basketball player at the otherwise all-white school. The coach of the team (Martin Sheen) loves Odin like a son, which causes real son Hugo (Josh Hartnett) to squirm with jealousy and plan an elaborate revenge. Julia Stiles (a modern dress Shakespeare regular, having also co-starred in HAMLET and TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) is Desi, the virginal daughter of the dean, with whom Odin is in love. The ensuing outburst of tragic teen violence is a shocking denouement that elevates the already dangerous mood of the film to full-fledged terror. Because of the intense violence in the film, it was shelved for years by a nervous Miramax in the wake of the real-life Columbine high school massacre. Finally, it was picked up by Lion's Gate Films. Upon viewing the film, such worry seems needless, as the film does nothing to glorify the violence it depicts. It explores themes of class, race, and all-consuming jealousy. Shakespeare's original dialogue is abandoned in favor of hip-hop-flavored modern language, but the tale's timeless relevance remains unaltered. -- (Muze Description)1208704 "...A film that displays some good visual instincts and talent with actors..." -- (Review)1208912 "...A lean, mean high school tragedy....O comes across as a potent drama, extremely well-acted by its lads....Phifer and Stiles are splendid young actors and give off plenty of heat..." -- (Review)1211732 "...An affecting heart-breaker....[Odin displays] charm and natural ability....Kaaya and Blake Nelson remain remarkably faithful to Shakespeare's oft-told tale..." -- (Review)1212258 "...The central themes of OTHELLO translate thrillingly to a contemporary setting....Powerful....This is a stunning portrait of evil that makes it clear Hartnett is a real actor and not just another pretty face..." -- (Review)1214675 "...O does understand and successfully trade on the undeniable power of its celebrated innocence-destroyed plotline....[Essential] is Hartnett's low-key, charismatic performance -- cool, withholding, compelling..." -- (Review)1217597 "...Artful and emotionally compelling....O is disturbing, but in all the right ways....O responsibly examines the origins and repercussions of deceit and brutality..." -- (Review)1218098 Theatrical Release: AUGUST 24, 2001 -- (Muze Annotation)1223922 "...[Nelson] displays a confident eye, sometimes rigorously formal, sometimes almost abstract..." -- (Review)1229816 "...The leads are uniformly strong, Phifer genuinely outstanding, and the dynamic court scenes will exhilarate regardless of your feelings towards basketball..." -- (Review)1255069

 

Ocean's Eleven (Widescreen Edition) (2001)
Clooney, George, Pitt, Brad, Studio Specials : Warner Home Video : DVDs Under $20 : Action & Adventure

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
Ferrell, Will, Vaughn, Vince, Comedies

In Todd Phillips' OLD SCHOOL, Mitch (Luke Wilson), a thirtysomething businessman, has found himself living a boring, mundane lifestyle. Unfortunately for him, his girlfriend, Heidi (Juliette Lewis), has been getting more adventurous on her own, by throwing wild sex parties while he's away. When Mitch catches her in the act, he moves out and takes up residence in a house close to the local university. This prompts his buddies--the newly married Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn), a jaded husband, father, and stereo-store tycoon--to throw Mitch a huge party in honor of his renewed single status. Antics at the party lead to the formation of a makeshift fraternity where age and academics don't matter, and Mitch is the reluctant "godfather." But when the university's scheming dean (Jeremy Piven) catches wind of the new fraternity, he becomes determined to stop their fun. Will the boys overcome the dean's sinister plans? Will Mitch find love again? Will Frank please stop running around naked? And, hey, isn't that the cute girl who plays Jack Bauer's daughter on the TV series 24? These questions--and many more--are answered in the giddily fun and unabashedly immature OLD SCHOOL. Theatrical release: February 21, 2003

 

Oliver Stone Collection - 10 Features
Stone, Oliver, , Dramas

This collection includes ten features and one special bonus from director Oliver Stone. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (Director's Cut), BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, THE DOORS, HEAVEN AND EARTH, JFK, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, NIXON, OLIVER STONE'S AMERICA, TALK RADIO, U-TURN, and WALL STREET. See individual titles for details. -- (Muze Description)1188782

 

Oliver Stone's America
 

 

Once Upon a Time in America
Woods, James, De Niro, Robert, Dramas

Two boyhood friends grow up to become the kingpins of a prohibition-era criminal empire until their own greed and ambition cause their downfall. Based on Larry Grey's novel, "The Hoods." Sergio Leone's epic film chronicles the lives and loves of a quintet of Jewish mobsters from New York. Beginning with their boyhood in the 1920's, the film covers the story from the point of view of the aging troupe's clever ringleader, Noodles. He recounts the tale of a life filled with brutality and violence. And clearly he's still got some plans up his sleeve... "Once Upon a Time in America" was Sergio Leone's final film as a director. A 143 minute version of this film is also available. This version (225 minutes), is the uncut version.

 

One Hour Photo
Nielsen, Connie, Vartan, Michael, Dramas

Viewed through our photographs, it would seem we have lived a joyous, leisurely existence. Sy Parrish (Robin Williams), who makes this observation, adversely leads a lonely life, operating a photo lab in a SavMart department store. He escapes his dreary reality through the family photos of Nancy Yorkin (Connie Nielsen) and her family. His admiration of the Yorkins becomes an obsession, as he fashions himself as Uncle Sy to little Jake (Dylan Smith). Sy's judgment becomes impaired by his unhealthy interest, causing him to lose his job of 11 years. As his final day approaches, Sy develops photographs revealing an indiscretion on the part of Mr. Yorkin (Michael Vartan). The unstable Sy now develops a disturbing, calculated plan to instill family values to the Yorkin clan. Much of ONE HOUR PHOTO takes place inside a department store similar to a Wal-Mart, bordered in an icy blue. This cold atmosphere creates a solitary framework for the disturbed photo developer Sy Parrish, played with a melancholic detachment by Williams, working here against type. Director Mark Romanek (STATIC) has created a thriller with little violence. Instead, it is permeated with an uncomfortable fear emanating from its damaged protagonist. -- (Muze Description)1244140 "...A polished thriller about how the images people use to construct and define themselves can be woefully deceiving..." -- (Review)1247948 "...[Williams provides] a snapshot of human complexity worth framing..." -- (Review)1248994 "...[Williams] gives a performance that is riveting in its recessiveness and, as a consequence, is truly, deeply scary....Williams remains electrifying..." -- (Review)1249006 "...Gripping....It's a smart piece of direction....Mr. Romanek's precision is breathtaking..." -- (Review)1249658 "...ONE HOUR PHOTO takes Williams to darker, more complex places that we can't turn our eyes away from..." -- (Review)1249691 "...Williams taps into pockets of rage and madness that make this picture electrifying..." -- (Review)1250660 "...Williams pulls it off. It's a complex cocktail of a character....The effective result is enough to get you squirming..." -- (Review)1255085

 

Orange County
Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Comedies

ORANGE COUNTY is a teen comedy that, along with goofy lowbrow fun, offers a surprising amount of wit and heart. Colin Hanks (son of Tom Hanks) stars as Shaun, a carefree California surfer dude who loses a friend to a tsunami. Shaun is contemplating his life when he finds a brilliant novel buried in the sand. He reads it and decides to become a writer himself, and study with the author, who teaches at Stanford. He's eager to leave Orange County, where he lives with his clingy alcoholic mother (Catherine O'Hara) and his burnout brother Lance (a brilliantly debauched Jack Black). When Shaun's guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) sends the wrong transcript to Stanford, Shaun needs all the help he can get from his seemingly hopeless family to salvage his dream. ORANGE COUNTY was directed by Jake Kasdan (Lawrence Kasdan's son) and written by Mike White (CHUCK & BUCK) who also plays Shaun's illiterate English teacher. Schuyler Fisk (Sissy Spacek's daughter) plays Ashley, Shaun's animal-loving girlfriend, and she and Hanks make an attractive and sympathetic pair. While all kinds of insanity (including hilarious turns by Black, O'Hara, and Harold Ramis) spins around them, the young and dynamic couple remain the soulful center of the film. -- (Muze Description)1223719 "...Hanks and Fisk are charming....[The cast] keeps the fun at full tilt. It's the new year's first happy surprise..." -- (Review)1227458 "...Hanks is an agreeably appealing leading man....Catherine O'Hara is in terrific comic form..." -- (Review)1228218 "...Offbeat....ORANGE COUNTY is peachy..." -- (Review)1229045 "...Hanks is an amiable hero....Hanks carries his lead role with confident ease....Fisk is appealing..." -- (Review)1231298 Theatrical Release: JANUARY 11, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1234633 "...[The film has] plenty of laughs....[It's] tailor-made for Black..." -- (Review)1236742 "...O'Hara and Black could give courses on comic expressiveness and timing..." -- (Review)1237790 "...Kasdan clearly has a deep and highly contagious affection for his characters..." -- (Review)1262866

 

Out of Africa
Redford, Robert, Streep, Meryl, Drama

Sydney Pollack directs Robert Redford as Denys George Finch Hatton and Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen in this sweeping romantic drama about a love affair that develops between an industrious Danish woman, stuck in a marriage of convenience, and a free-spirited English hunter in Nairobi, Africa. Although the two share a great passion for each other as well as the landscape, ultimately Denys is unwilling to relinquish his independence to be with her. The screenplay is based on Isak Dinesen's memoirs, which were published in 1937. Sydney Pollack directs this sweeping romantic drama based on the memoirs of Danish writer Isak Dinesen. Meryl Streep stars as Karen Blixen, the restless wife of European aristocrat and plantation owner Baron Bror Blixen. When Bror departs to hunt big game and chase women, the running of their East African coffee plantation falls to Karen. She throws herself into this task with the same determination and spirit she brings to her passionate but sporadic affair with free-spirited British hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford). While enduring her husbandÂ’s infidelities and the eventual destruction of their beloved land, she entertains Denys and befriends the workers. Hatton shares Karen's profound love for the African landscape but is unwilling to sacrifice his independence for their relationship. The scenery and photography are breathtaking and add to PollackÂ’s well-captured sense of time and place. The screenplay was culled from the biographies of both people. Karen BlixenÂ’s husband, Baron Bror Blixen, was the model for the character Robert Wilson in Ernest HemingwayÂ’s THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF FRANCIS MACOMBER. Theatrical release: February 21, 1986. Filmed on location in Kenya and Northeast England. The book OUT OF AFRICA is Danish writer Isak Dinesen's (her real name was Karen Blixen) account of her life in British East Africa from 1913 to 1931. "He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, supplies for a month, and Mozart."--Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) Adapted from Isak Dinesen's novel, OUT OF AFRICA, this film plaintively tells the story of two troubled adults who meet and fall in love in the African wilderness. Karen Blixen-Flecke (Meryl Streep) is a modern woman, caught in the shortcomings of a practical marriage. Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) is a gallant British hunter, lonely, but unable to commit. As they two meet and begin a torrid affair, they set out on an epic adventure in the badlands of Africa--an adventure that real-life Karen Blixen-Flecke would later novelize under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Sydney Pollack's opus, OUT OF AFRICA, is a full, visually compelling film. Its storyline evokes a plethora of emotions, ranging from fear and loathing to hope and the elation of love. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are electric as the two damaged infidels in love. A key American film, OUT OF AFRICA is not to be missed.

 

Outsiders, The
Howell, C. Thomas, Dillon, Matt, Drama

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.

 

Paradise Road
Pauline Collins, Frances McDormand, Dramas

Based on a true story culled from hours of interviews by director Bruce Beresford, the film stars Glenn Close as British socialite Adrienne Pargiter. Alerted to the imminence of an invasion of Singapore in 1942, a group of the wives and children of Allied forces quickly crowd aboard a transport. When the ship is bombed, they end up on the island of Sumatra, where they are captured and imprisoned. Conditions in the camp are predictably brutal: food and medicine are difficult to come by, and the living quarters are squalid. One punishment requires a woman to kneel in the hot sun for hours only to fall on a sharp stake if she tires. Given the situation, Pargiter, who is also a musician, decides to organize the women into a vocal orchestra to help raise morale. Although they lack sheet music, Daisy (Pauline Collins), an Australian nurse, is able to re-create scores from memory. Among the reluctant women cajoled into singing are an Australian nurse, Susan McCarthy (Cate Blanchett); a cynical American, Topsy Merritt (Julianna Margulies); and a young British woman, Rosemary Leighton-Jones (Jennifer Ehle). At the first performance of Pargiter's orchestra, the Japanese guards are so moved by the music that they refuse an order to halt it. Close gives another of her typically strong performances. -- (Muze Description)1078032 Glenn Close stars as British musician Adrienne Pargiter in this true story of a diverse group of women held in a POW camp in Sumatra by the Japanese during WWII. In an effort to raise the spirits of the women in the brutal internment camp, Pargiter organizes a classical music choir. -- (Synopsis)1181052 Theatrical release: April 11, 1997. Shot in Singapore; Penang, Malaysia; and New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. -- (Muze Annotation)1181053 "...The pleasure the impressive, talented cast take in recreating Sumatra in Malaysia is palpable....Effective..." -- (Review)1208399

 

Passenger 57
Bruce Payne, Tom Sizemore, Action

A crackerjack airplane security agent just happens to be sharing a plane ride with a captured airline terrorist. When the terrorist escapes and attempts a mid-flight takeover only John Cutter can stop him. Cutter finds more ways to hide and attack on the airliner than the terrorists or his band of henchmen ever imagined. -- (Muze Description)1040922 Shot in Technicolor and Panavision. -- (Muze Annotation)1095072 A crackerjack airplane security agent just happens to be sharing a plane ride with a captured airline terrorist. When the terrorist escapes and attempts a mid-flight takeover only John Cutter can stop him. Cutter finds more ways to hide and attack on the airliner than the terrorists or his band of henchmen ever imagined. -- (Synopsis)1095073 "...Like taking a ride on a sleekly designed roller coaster....[Snipes] strolls through the role with a glint in his eye..." -- (Review)1171370

 

Passion Of The Christ, The
Shopov, Hristo Naumov, Morgenstern, Maia, Dramas

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST depicts the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth (Jim Caviezel), beginning with his betrayal by Judas Iscariot (Luca Lionello) and ending with his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. Directed by Mel Gibson (BRAVEHEART)--who funded the film himself and co-wrote the screenplay--PASSION uses flashbacks to substantiate a handful of pertinent moments in Jesus' life and teachings, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Supper, as well as his relationships with his mother and his disciples. Still, the drama focuses on the seemingly endless torture inflicted upon Jesus by Roman soldiers at the urging of the Jewish crowd that considers him a blasphemer, despite the attempts of a sympathetic Pontius Pilate (Hristo Naumov Shopov) to spare him from death. The faint of heart should be prepared for the brutal, barbaric beatings that Christ endures. Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, and Hristo Jivkov are touching as Mary, Magdalene, and John respectively, who are devastated by Jesus' fate yet aware that they can do nothing to change it. Performed in Aramaic and Latin with English subtitles, Gibson's labor of love is sure to prompt discussion and debate as to historical and Biblical fact. Theatrical Release Date: February 25, 2004

 

Patriot, The
Gibson, Mel, , Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Aimed directly at a mainstream audience, The Patriot qualifies as respectable entertainment, but anyone expecting a definitive drama about the American Revolution should look elsewhere. Rising above the blatant crowd pleasing of Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla, director Roland Emmerich crafts a marvelous re-creation of South Carolina in the late 1770s (aided immeasurably by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel), and Robert Rodat's screenplay offers the same balance of epic scale and emotional urgency that elevated his earlier script for Saving Private Ryan. Unfortunately, Emmerich embraces clichés and hackneyed melodrama that a more gifted director would have avoided. Instead of attempting a truly great film about the most pivotal years of American history, Emmerich settles for a standard revenge plot with the Revolutionary War as an incidental backdrop. On those terms, the film is engrossing and sufficiently intelligent, especially when militia leader Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) cagily negotiates with British General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) in one of the most rewarding scenes. For the most part, the story concerns Martin's anguished quest for revenge against ruthless redcoat Colonel Tavington (played with snide relish by Jason Isaacs), and the rise to manhood of Martin's eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), whose battlefield honor exceeds even that of his brutally volatile father. At its best, The Patriot conveys the horror of war among innocent civilians, and the epic battle scenes, while by no means masterful, are graphically intense and impressive. And although Ledger's love interest (Lisa Brenner) is too bland to register much emotion, the focus on family (which frequently relegates the war to background history) provides a suitable vehicle for Gibson, who matches his achievement in Braveheart with an effectively brooding performance. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Additional Features Like the movie itself, there's little in the supplementary materials for The Patriot that requires more than one viewing, but they're interesting while they last. "The Art of War" featurette purports to be a study of the film's elaborate battle logistics, but it offers only a cursory appreciation of sequence planning and stunt work. The "True Patriots" featurette is much better, examining the painstaking efforts toward authenticity in production design, artillery, and costuming. The visual... read more

 

Patton (1970)
Scott, George C., Malden, Karl, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com essential video One of the greatest screen biographies ever produced, this monumental film runs nearly three hours, won seven Academy Awards, and gave George C. Scott the greatest role of his career. It was released in 1970 when protest against the Vietnam War still raged at home and abroad, and many critics and moviegoers struggled to reconcile current events with the movie's glorification of Gen. George S. Patton as a crazy-brave genius of World War II. How could a movie so huge in scope and so fascinated by its subject be considered an anti-war film? The simple truth is that it's not--Patton is less about World War II than about the rise and fall of a man whose life was literally defined by war, and who felt lost and lonely without the grand-scale pursuit of an enemy. George C. Scott embodies his role so fully, so convincingly, that we can't help but be drawn to and fascinated by Patton as a man who is simultaneously bound for hell and glory. The film's opening monologue alone is a masterful display of acting and character analysis, and everything that follows is sheer brilliance on the part of Scott and director Franklin J. Schaffner. Filmed on an epic scale at literally dozens of European locations, Patton does not embrace war as a noble pursuit, nor does it deny the reality of war as a breeding ground for heroes. Through the awesome achievement of Scott's performance and the film's grand ambition, Patton shows all the complexities of a man who accepted his role in life and (like Scott) played it to the hilt. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941
Education/General Interest

Documentary footage coupled with recreations and modern narration provides a thrilling account of the events that led up to the Pacific War and the impact of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Extras include KNOW YOUR ENEMY, a propaganda film directed by none other than Frank Capra and DECEMBER 7, 1941, directed by the legendary John Ford. -- (Muze Description)1183303 DVD Features: Region 1 Keep Case Full Frame - 1.33 Interactive Features Scene Access -- (Muze Annotation)1265319

 

 

 

Pearl Harbor
Jennifer Garner, Josh Hartnett, World War II

Director Michael Bay (ARMAGEDDON, THE ROCK) uses a tragic romantic triangle to set the stage for the infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in this epic tale of love, loss, and patriotism. When Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale), a beautiful Navy nurse, meets dashing ace Army fighter pilot Rafe (Ben Affleck), the two fall madly in love, only to be separated abruptly when he is called upon to help fight the war in Europe. Unforeseen circumstances lead Evelyn into the arms of Danny (Josh Hartnett), another fighter pilot and Rafe's best friend since childhood. In the meantime, the Japanese military is planning the surprise early morning raid on Hawaii that will pull the United States into World War II. Spectacular special effects vividly recreate the attack in devastating detail as bombs explode, torpedoes shoot through the water, and bullets fly, shaking tranquil Pearl Harbor to its core. Bay deftly captures the patriotism and the loss of innocence of the young men and women who were suddenly thrust into the war. Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jon Voight, Alec Baldwin and Mako also star in this tribute to both the fallen and the survivors of one of the most horrific tragedies ever to occur on American soil. -- (Muze Description)1206490 "...The aerial combat is thrillingly executed, and Mr. Bay has clearly mastered some tricky war-picture techniques..." -- (Review)1207340 "...[Featuring] an excellent turn by Jon Voight....It's an extravaganza worth seeing..." -- (Review)1207350 "...[The film] combines razzle-dazzle pyrotechnics with high-grade visual effects..." -- (Review)1207483 "...Bay's staging is spectacular but also honorable in its scary, hurtling exactitude..." -- (Review)1207676 Theatrical release: May 25, 2001. -- (Muze Annotation)1216858 "...A blockbuster entertainment that has passion, valor and tremendous action..." -- (Review)1218128

 

Philadelphia
Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Drama

Tom Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a hotshot Philadelphia lawyer who has been keeping his homosexuality, and his AIDS, hidden from his conservative bosses. When he's suddenly and inexplicably fired, Andrew suspects AIDS is the reason, and is determined to fight in court, even as he is losing his other battle, against the disease. Beckett hires attorney Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to represent him, but the lawyer must first overcome his own homophobia and fears. Director Jonathan Demme filmed this after winning the Oscar for SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The amazing cast includes Antonio Banderas, Joanne Woodward, and Jason Robards. Roger Corman and Charles Napier, both in LAMBS, make appearances. Bruce Springsteen's haunting song "Streets of Philadelphia" plays over the memorable opening credits. This sensitive, moody film touches on a vast array of subjects surrounding gay and straight men, family, and death, without ever being maudlin or preachy, which is to its immense credit. An undoubted influence on society's growing acceptance of homosexuality, PHILADELPHIA reminds us how far we've come in that direction, and how far we still need to go. -- (Muze Description)1048041 A black attorney reluctantly decides to represent another attorney who's suing a law firm for releasing him after he contracted AIDS. Jonathan Demme directs this first star-driven vehicle to tell an AIDS-related story. Denzel Washington plays Joe Miller, a homophobic small-time attorney who reluctantly decides to represent Andrew Beckett. Beckett (Tom Hanks), who is also an attorney, is suing a prestigious Philadelphia law firm for releasing him without cause, after he has contracted HIV. The result is an acclaimed, emotionally powerful social commentary that takes a hard look at the long-term ramifications of AIDS. -- (Synopsis)1082852 "I hate this job."--Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1082853 Theatrical release: January 1994. Jonathan Demme directed the music video for Bruce Springsteen's "Murder Incorporated" at Tramps in New York City. The songs "Murder Incorporated" and "Streets of Philadelphia" can both be found on Springsteen's GREATEST HITS album. Director Jonathan Demme decided to make a film about AIDS when his close friend Juan Botas discovered he was HIV+. Botas, after spending months with a group of men with full-blown AIDS, informed Demme that the physical battle with the disease would be a "compelling subject for a documentary." Demme agreed and later decided to make "Philadelphia." According to Premiere magazine, Demme examined several possible narratives but was most interested in stories like Clarence B. Cain's. Cain, an associate in a Philadelphia office of a Cleveland-based law-firm, lost his job only two weeks after telling his superiors about his health status. Cain took his case to a federal court and won a $157,000 settlement. Sadly, Cain died only two months later. He was just 38 years old. A lawsuit was also filed against TriStar Pictures by the family of New York attorney Geoffrey Bowers, who claimed that the film was based on the life of that lawyer, who also had AIDS. After five days of testimony, a settlement in the case was reached when the makers of PHILADELPHIA acknowledged that the movie "was inspired in part by" Bowers's life. Bowers died in 1987. When Demme and Nyswaner pitched the film's concept to Orion production head Marc Platt, he suggested that they insert a character mainstream audiences could identify with. So they decided to make Tom Hanks's lawyer, played by Denzel Washington, a "rabidly homophobic, aggressively heterosexual attorney." Robert Castle, who played Tom Hanks's father in the film, is Demme's "Cousin Bobby," and was the subject of a Demme documentary of that name. Entertainment Weekly reported that several scenes shot by Demme ultimately were excised from the film. These include romantic sequences between Andrew (Tom Hanks's character) and his lover--the lack of which has earned the film criticism from gay groups--and a scene in which a homosexual propositions Joe, the

 

Pianist
Kretschmann, Thomas, Finlay, Frank, Dramas

Roman Polanski's THE PIANIST is based on the memoirs of the talented pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrian Brody), a Polish Jew, who miraculously survived World War II. The first half of the film transports viewers to 1939 Poland, and brings it to life clearly and believably. Szpilman is a tall, handsome, winsome man who is revered for his piano performances on public radio. He lives with his family--an intelligent, loving, and spirited bunch--in an upscale flat in central Warsaw. Bombings have begun to torment the citizens of Warsaw, and step by step, the Nazis infiltrate, the Jews are branded and set apart from their neighbors, imprisoned in a ghetto, and slowly exterminated. The story is told through Szpilman's eyes, and thus carries as much confusion and fear as disgust and torment. Polanski paints Warsaw in bleak shades of gray and black, expressing the helplessness of the Jewish people and the cruelty of the Nazis with captivating photography. In the second half of the film, which takes place in the early 1940s, Szpilman is alone, having managed to avoid the trains to the death camps. His struggle to survive, with some help from non-Jews but mostly his own will to thrive, takes place in long, silent, languid stretches filled with the imagined piano music that inspires Szpilman to live. In a climactic scene of immense beauty and spine-tingling tension, Szpilman must actually perform for a German soldier who is inexplicably patrolling the near-deserted and utterly dilapidated Warsaw ghetto. THE PIANIST, in the subtlety of its sublime and heartbreaking tale, is carried by the intensely moving performance of Brody, whose transformation is truly unforgettable. Theatrical release: December 27, 2002 (Limited)

 

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl
Depp, Johnny, Rush, Geoffrey, Action & Adventure : General

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.

 

Platoon
Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Dramas

In PLATOON, Oliver Stone draws on his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the brutality of guerrilla warfare: the heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or "new meat," who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a fire fight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group. When the platoon takes some gruesome losses, an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic climax, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the United States' division over Vietnam but the timeless truths of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss. -- (Muze Description)1016405 This intensely realistic grunt's-eye-view of the Vietnam War was the film that put Oliver Stone on the map. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a green recruit who narrates a tale that counterpoints his own coming of age with the internal conflict brewing within his infantry rifle platoon. As Chris struggles simply to survive under the harsh conditions of the jungle, free spirit Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) and combat-loving burnout Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) offer opposing solutions to the riddle of guerrilla warfare. When a terrible betrayal fractures the platoon, Chris must decide where he stands. -- (Synopsis)1094726 Theatrical release date: December 21, 1986. PLATOON is number 83 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. Estimated budget: $6 million. The film has grossed more than $150 million worldwide. Oliver Stone's first choices for the roles of Barnes and Elias were James Woods and Kevin Costner, respectively. Stone received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during his service in Vietnam. -- (Muze Annotation)1094727 "...Wrenching..." - Recommended -- (Review)1156913 "Nothing that Oliver Stone has done before...is preparation for the singular achievement of his latest film, PLATOON....A major piece of work, as full of pasion as it is of redeeming, scary irony..." -- (Review)1177441 Rating: B+ -- (Review)1189099 "...Intense....Very effective scenes....An impressive-looking production in all respects..." -- (Review)1190582 "...This is movie-making with a zealot's fervor....[Stone] may have achieved a remarkable bridge with PLATOON. He has personalized a war for us..." -- (Review)1239605

 

Point Break (1991)
Swayze, Patrick, Reeves, Keanu, Action & Adventure

Amazon.com An unbelievable movie, and deliriously better for it. Keanu Reeves is a hotshot law enforcement dude--Johnny Utah by name--investigating a series of bank robberies in L.A. Four gunmen, disguised in rubber masks of ex-U.S. presidents, have never come close to being caught, but veteran agent Gary Busey has a theory: The bandits are surfers. This prompts the superb line, "The ex-presidents rip off banks to finance the endless summer!" This movie's full of dialogue like that, but instead of sounding ridiculous it creates its own infectious comic-book energy--ride the crest of it and you'll find the film's giddy zone. Patrick Swayze plays Bodhi, zen-master leader of the surfing clan, humming serenely with the wisdom of the waves. (Alarmingly, Swayze also did his own skydiving stunts.) Director Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days) stages the action sequences with a visceral snap, and clearly has a gift for orchestrating pulp fiction. Though not a huge hit when was first released, Point Break has a well-deserved cult reputation thanks to its video afterlife. The film's executive producer is James Cameron, Bigelow's husband at the time. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Primal Fear
Norton, Edward, Gere, Richard,

Powerful, media-hungry Chicago defense attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere) gets in over his head when he takes the case of an altar boy (Edward Norton making his film debut) accused of murdering an archbishop. His opponent for the prosecution is his former protege and lover Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who's out to make this her watershed case. A suspenseful courtroom with a truly unexpected ending, this drama is based on the novel by William Diehl.

 

 

Pump Up the Volume
Cheryl Pollack, Samantha Mathis, Campus Life

An alienated teenager finds his voice as "Hard Harry" on his pirate radio station, touching every segment of the student population. When a kid's suicide sets every authority figure in town on a crusade to find the school's new cult hero, he may have to reveal his alter ego. -- (Muze Description)1030372 "Pump Up The Volume" could be subtitled "Rebel with a Cause" in that a shy, intelligent teenager, tries to use his anger for the higher good. It is perhaps one of the best films made about contemporary suburban teenagers and their feelings of alienation and boredom. Mark works as a disc jockey in his own pirate radio station, set up in his basement. He plays very cool music and rants about consumer culture, the danger of complacency, uncaring adults, and high school. He also takes calls from other lonely teens, but fails to prevent one depressed caller from commiting suicide. However, Mark hangs in there and broadcasts a call-to-arms that galvanizes the town's youth to demonstrate their unity. -- (Synopsis)1086420 Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Market May 15, 1990. Color by DeLuxe; using Panavision equipment. Additional cast: Anthony Lucero (Malcolm), Keith Stuart Thayer (Luis Chavez), Jeff Chamberlain (Mr. Woodward), Lala Sloatman (Janie), Holly Sampson (Cheryl), Annie Rusoff (Annie), Jonathan Mazer (Jonathan), Alex Enberg (Alex), Robert Gavin (Doug), Dan Eisenstein (Donald), Mark Ballou (Eric), Daryl Sebert (Cory), Gregg Daniel (Teacher Moore), Marc Siegler (Teacher Stern), Robert Schenkkan (David Deaver), Arlana Mohit (Alissa), Jill Jarres (Mrs. Kaiser), Nolan Hemmings (Chip), and David McKnight (Detective). Additional credits: Jeanne Marie Van Cott (UPM), Joe Fineman (post-production supervisor), Daniel Richard Sumart (assistant director), Thomas Bellisimio & Charles Belardinelli (special effects), Nicola Freegard (music coordinator), Dennis Herring (music consultant), Bill Black (music editor), Pablo Ferro (title design), Bradley Marcus (stand-in for Christian Slater) Additional music credits: "Everybody Knows" also written by Sharon Robinson; "Why Can't I Fall in Love" written by Kenny Lee Lewis and John Finley; "Kick Out the Jams" written by Robert Derminer, Frederick D. Smith, Wayne Kambes, Dennis Tomich, Michael Davis; "Freedom of Speech" (with "Message from the Soul Sisters" by James Brown) written by Cold 187um and Laylaw; "Heretic" written by Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto; "Titanium Exposé" written by Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Renaldo, Steve Shelly; "Me and the Devil Blues" written by Robert Johnson' and "Tale o' the Twister" written by L. Nichols, D. Perkins, S. Taylor and performed by Chagall Guevara. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. Copyright 1990 New Line Corporation. -- (Muze Annotation)1086422 "...One of the smarter and more likable teen films of recent years....[Slater gives] a performance of surprising sweetness and depth..." -- (Review)1174937

 

Queen - We Will Rock You
Queen, Brian May, Musical & Performing Arts

Freddie Mercury and Queen give one of their best live performances at the Montreal Forum. The feature-length concert film includes such hits as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Tie Your Mother Down," "Let Me Entertain You," "Play the Game," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "Under Pressure" and "I'm in Love with My Car." -- (Muze Description)1016968

 

 

 

Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season
Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, Dramas

Based on the British television series of the same name that became a sensation abroad, Showtime's QUEER AS FOLK quickly became as big a hit in the US as the original was overseas. Focusing on the lives of three gay men (Michael, an insecure 29 year-old, Brian, an ad executive who isn't into relationships, and Justin, a wide-eyed and innocent 17 year old) and their circle of friends, the series has earned both critical praise and scorn for its unflinching look at gay life, love, and sex. Whatever one may think of the show's sexual content, QUEER AS FOLK is an undeniably compelling, funny, moving, and thought provoking series. -- (Muze Description)1218976

 

Quiet American
Caine, Michael, Fraser, Brendan, Dramas

Set in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1952 during the French Indochina war, THE QUIET AMERICAN is based on the mystery story by Graham Greene, and directed by Phillip Noyce. A middle-aged British reporter for the London Times, Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine), has been working in Vietnam, covering politics and enjoying the local culture. He lives with a beautiful young woman, Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen), a taxi dancer who he rescued from that undesirable profession. He cannot marry her, because he is already married to a Catholic woman in London who does not believe in divorce. But he truly loves her. When a young American doctor, Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), falls in love with Phuong, threatening to take her from Fowler, everything changes. Not only is Fowler's romantic life put in danger, but he begins to uncover disturbing information about the U.S.'s involvement in the war. An intriguing and atmospheric love story as well as a riveting mystery, THE QUIET AMERICAN features top-notch performances from Caine and Fraser, who maintain an eager intensity throughout the film. Combining the mysterious beauty of Saigon with the strangeness of the war, the film is suspenseful and effective. Theatrical relase: November 22, 2002

 

Radio
Jr., Cuba Gooding, Harris, Ed, Drama : General

Amazon.com Since winning an Academy Award for his exuberant performance in Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. has gotten little but static from critics for a spate of calamitous career choices not seen since '80s-vintage Burt Reynolds. But he triumphantly returns to Oscar-worthy status with his moving performance as Radio, a mentally challenged young man, whom South Carolina high school football coach Harold Jones (Ed Harris) takes under his nurturing wing. This does not play well with the school's patient but questioning principal (Alfre Woodard); the school's biggest athletic booster, who views Radio as a distraction; the man's son, the team's star player, who plays cruel pranks on the trusting Radio; and the Coach's teenage daughter, who feels neglected. Almost all will be won over by Radio's trusting and good nature. Based on a Sports Illustrated story, Radio was adapted for the screen by Mike Rich, screenwriter of The Rookie, and as in that superior family film, the heroics are mostly off the field. As Coach says, with all the subtlety of a blitz, "We're not the ones been teaching Radio; he's the one been teaching us." The ending, in which we see the actual Radio, still cheering his team on 26 years later, will melt the most cynical hearts. --Donald Liebenson

 

Ray
King, Regina, Washington, Kerry, Dramas

Set in the years between 1935 and 1967; Produced and released in 2004. Jamie Foxx stars in this biopic of legendary soul and R&B singer Ray Charles. Skillfully edited and with a keen eye for period detail, the narrative weaves in and out of the past in an interlocking tapestry of the man's rise to fame in the 1950s and '60s. Growing up poor, black, and blind in the rural south, Charles learns--under the tutelage of his tough-love mother (Sharon Warren)--to turn these handicaps into assets. With this training, Ray eventually plays his way into a major deal with Paramount records and earns icon status as an American legend. Along the way, the high cost of fame leads him to engage in abusive relationships, manipulative behavior, and struggles with drug and alcohol problems. This is a dynamite film for the music alone (Charles's actual recordings are used in the film), but Foxx's career-benchmark performance transcends RAY's biopic roots, turning this into a piercing, full-on character study: unflinching, sometimes harrowing, and ultimately deeply moving. The sheer joy of Charles's music comes alive in Foxx's movements, and his character matures convincingly and powerfully. A stellar supporting cast is on hand to back him up every step of the way, including Larenz Tate as producer Quincy Jones, and Kerry Washington as Ray's long-suffering wife, Regina. Theatrical release: October 29, 2004 Ray Charles passed away on June 10, 2004, before the film received a theatrical release. A classically trained musician, Jamie Foxx actually played the piano throughout the film, though the original Ray Charles recordings were used. During shooting, Jamie Foxx wore special eye gear that literally made him blind.

 

Recruit, The
Moynahan, Bridget, Pacino, Al, Dramas

James Clayton is fired up. A bartender by night and computer hacker in the few hours of daylight for which he manages to leave his water bed, the kid is flying high, on a roll with a laid-back lifestyle that suits him just fine. Played by an agile Colin Farrell, Clayton is also a heartthrob with his five o'clock shadow and chiseled pecks. A cushy job offer from Dell computers peaks his interest in securing a professional career, and at the same moment he meets Walter Burke (Al Pacino), a recruiter from the CIA. Though Clayton's better judgement tells him to stay away from the shady Burke, he is curious to learn whatever he can about his father, who was also a CIA agent, killed in the line of duty. Clayton is sent to an intensive CIA training camp called "The Farm," where he quickly learns the gravity of his decision as he undergoes gruelling tests of physical, mental, and psychological strength. His romantic interest in the gorgeous, tough-as-nails Layla (Bridget Moynahan), a fellow trainee, becomes a weakness as the pressure of the tests steadily increases. Finally, without warning, Clayton is thrown into action as he and Burke go head-to-head in a mission that is more dangerous than either of them realize. With top-notch performances from a sly Pacino and a pumped-up Farrell, THE RECRUIT's best moments come from the intensity resonating between its characters. In addition, the settings and training activities at "The Farm" give intriguing insights into CIA recruitment and initiation. Theatrical release: January 31, 2003

 

Red Dawn
Howell, C. Thomas, Swayze, Patrick, Friends

In the heartland of America, Russian and Cuban paratroopers begin to drop outside while classes go on in the high school. When the soldiers begin killing everyone in sight, local teens take to the hills to avoid the new totalitarian regime established in their little town and, as we later learn, throughout the world. As country folk, they are well familiarized with survival tactics and hunting, which allows them to carry out sophisticated acts of military sabotage, upsetting the balance of power in town with their guerilla warfare. -- (Muze Description)1017321 What if Cuba and the Soviet Union opted for a conventional invasion of the U.S. rather than a nuclear attack? Then, their troops would have another think coming. Namely a group of high school students turned commandos. These teenagers -- Jed, Robert, Erica, Matt, Toni and others -- one day look outside their classroom windows to see Communist paratroopers descending from the clouds and landing on the soil of their small town. Skilled hunters and tenderfoots alike, Jed and his friends take whatever food and weapons they can find and head for the mountains. It is not long, however, before the enemy soldiers follow their trail, take prisoners, rape women, and execute "subversives." Now the fate of one theater of World War III rests in the rifle-filled hands of America's youth. -- (Synopsis)1091007 Additional cast: Doug Toby (Aardvark) and Roy Janson (Morris). The widescreen version contains the original theatrical trailer. -- (Muze Annotation)1091008 "...RED DAWN charges off to an exciting start....Ron O'Neal is splendid..." -- (Review)1184097

 

Red Dragon
Norton, Edward, Fiennes, Ralph, Horror/Suspense

Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, RED DRAGON stars Edward Norton as Will Graham, the intuitive FBI agent who captured the notorious Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). When another killer, dubbed "the Tooth Fairy," begins a series of bizarre, seemingly random killings, the now-retired Graham reluctantly agrees to aid in the investigation. In order to get further into the mind set of the murderer, Graham consults the imprisoned Lecter, who offers cryptic commentary that the determined agent must decipher. However, the Tooth Fairy himself, Francis Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes), is also in contact with the infamous epicurean, and the case soon develops into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, with Lecter deviously playing both sides. Rather than attempting to remake MANHUNTER--Michael Mann's 1986 adaptation of RED DRAGON starring William L. Petersen as Graham and Brian Cox as Lecter--or recreate the monster-movie atmosphere of HANNIBAL, director Brett Ratner wisely chooses to focus on the character-driven specifics of the first Hannibal Lecter novel. As in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, the unblinking Hopkins makes the most out of his screen time as the eloquent yet terrifying former forensic psychologist. Norton is excellently understated as the talented investigator, while Fiennes explores the full range of his conflicted character, from a sensitive man-child to a methodical psychopath. These key performances are enhanced by strong supporting turns by Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Harvey Keitel, and Mary-Louise Parker. Ratner's capable direction extends to his choice of crew, which includes SILENCE OF THE LAMBS screenwriter Ted Tally and production designer Kristen Zea, as well as MANHUNTER cinematographer Dante Spinotti. This collection of talent combines to create an engaging and eerie thriller that brings the Hopkins-as-Lecter trilogy full circle. -- (Muze Description)1245121 "...RED DRAGON lets Anthony Hopkins have more fun for fun's sake than he has ever had playing history's most urbane cannibal..." -- (Review)1255640 "...Hannibal Lecter scores again in RED DRAGON....Inescapably creepy....An intense, unnerving experience..." -- (Review)1256906 "...[Ratner] does a sure, stylish job, appreciating the droll humor of Lecter's predicament, creating a depraved new villain in the Tooth Fairy, and using the quiet intense skills of Norton..." -- (Review)1257015 "...A deeply atmospheric chiller that maintains a constant hum of droning menace....You'll be gnawing away at your cuticles..." -- (Review)1260579 "...An exceptional thriller....Solid, well-crafted..." -- (Review)1261806 Theatrical release: October 4, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1266317

 

Remember the Titans
Will Patton, Donald Faison, Dramas

While on the surface, high school football may seem like an innocent game played by the young, for the young, it is, in fact, much, much more. For millions, including many fans who are well removed from their high school years but who love to sit in those creaky bleachers every Friday night/Saturday morning, it is something akin to a religion. Director Boaz Yakin's REMEMBER THE TITANS captures the heart of high school football while tackling the sins of its fathers, chronicling the true story of the undefeated 1971 T.C. Williams team of Alexandria, Virginia, which was the first integrated high school team in the state. Denzel Washington brings his ever-powerful presence to the role of coach Herman Boone, who is brought in to oversee the transition to integration. Though Boone is eventually successful as a coach, the townspeople dissaprove of him because he replaces the popular, entrenched former coach, Bill Yoast (Will Patton). At first, coach Yoast resents being supplanted, while coach Boone is told that his promotion was just for show--to help the integration--and that he's likely to be lifted if the team loses a game. Will the coaches and players be able to overcome their adversity and make T.C. Williams a beacon for integration in sports? Those viewers who follow history already know the answer. But REMEMBER THE TITANS portrays the story and delivers the inspirational result with a passion and glory that will warm the hearts of all those dedicated high school football fans who continue to bring pride to the sport. -- (Muze Description)1167915 "...Mr. Washington and Mr. Patton are strong, complex [presences]...You'll [find] a lump in your throat and an overwhelming urge to cheer." -- (Review)1172554 "...Admirable, crowd-pleasing....[The film] has brawn, but it also has brains..."--3 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1172636 Theatrical release: September 29, 2000. Jeff Strickler of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune named REMEMBER THE TITANS one of the 10 best films of 2000. -- (Muze Annotation)1186606 "...REMEMBER THE TITANS isn't afraid to handle chunky, powerful issues in a chunky, powerful way..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1197093 "...A shrewd, pulpy crowd-pleaser. Engagingly cast, with a lively soundtrack and glossy cinematography, it also features Washington, as big a plus a film can have..." -- (Review)1242073 "...There are true and touching moments in the film, on top of its undeniable entertainment value....The movie is heartfelt..." -- (Review)1252482

 

Ring, The
Cox, Brian, Chase, Daveigh, Horror/Suspense

In Gore Verbinski's remake of Hideo Nakata's chilling horror film, a group of teenagers all die suddenly and inexplicably exactly one week after watching a mysterious videotape at a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. Journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), a relative of one of the victims, begins an investigation that leads to a mountain resort where she discovers the tape, which contains footage of random and surreal images. After viewing the tape, Rachel receives a phone call stating that she, too, has seven days left to live. As the clock ticks away, Rachel enlists the help of her former boyfriend, Noah (Martin Henderson), who is the father of her startlingly serious young son, Aidan (David Dorfman). Assisted by the intuitive illustrations of Aidan and the initially reluctant research of Noah, Rachel attempts to discover the significance of the cryptic tape before her time is up. The original RING, based on a novel by Kôji Suzuki, was a cult phenomenon in Japan, spawning a sequel, a prequel, and other spin-offs. Although Verbinski's adaptation shares much in common with its Japanese counterpart, the director distinctly alters numerous plot elements and, in grandiose Hollywood style, employs a much larger budget. The beautiful cinematography is one of the more telling enhancements, along with added screen time for other characters, including the morose Richard Morgan (Brian Cox). However, the key to this RING is Watts, who shines through the creepy atmosphere in a role that follows her success in MULHOLLAND DRIVE. This would appear to be no coincidence, since the film comes across like a David Lynch version of an X-FILES episode that presents shockingly scary moments and makes the most out of the unknown. A clear cut above most contemporary horror films, THE RING offers genuine chills and will make viewers think twice before watching any unmarked videotapes. -- (Muze Description)1248083 "...A stylish Hollywood remake....[The] craft elements are fine, with special kudos to the Method Studios for creating the compellingly mysterious Ring video as well as visual effects..." -- (Review)1256888 "...One of the keys to making THE RING work as well as it does is the strong performance of Watts....Her presence succeeds in making us believe..." -- (Review)1256983 "...It creates a gloomy and disturbing mood..." -- (Review)1256997 Theatrical release: October 18, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1265307

 

Road House
Swayze, Patrick, Lynch, Kelly, Action & Adventure

Amazon.com One of those movies that helped usher out the era of action films that had plots that made any sense (and also helped reverse the direction of Patrick Swayze's career arc), Road House concerns a handsome, existential bouncer in a rinky-dink honky-tonk who owns both a degree in philosophy and a Mercedes. And that's perhaps the most believable aspect of the whole movie. Swayze stars as Dalton, "the best bouncer in the business," who runs afoul of Wesley (Ben Gazzara), the meanest SOB round these parts, by taking up with his former girlfriend, Doc (Kelly Lynch)--the only woman in town with an IQ approaching double digits, even if she had unfathomably hooked up with such a lowlife. Swayze had complained about being typecast as beefcake when this was made, but that didn't stop him from revealing as much skin as possible--even guys like him, as revealed in a luridly seedy scene in which one of Wesley's goons tells Dalton that he reminds him of the kind of boyfriend he had in prison (albeit in much saltier terms). It's so insulting to its audience that it's nice to be able to turn the tables and laugh at the filmmakers. --David Kronke --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Road to Perdition
Hanks, Tom, Leigh, Jennifer Jason, Theatrical Release

Directed by Sam Mendes and based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner, the Depression-era crime epic ROAD TO PERDITION stars Tom Hanks as Michael Sullivan, a quiet hit man who is duty bound to Mafia boss John Rooney (Paul Newman). The mobster's close bond with Sullivan, however, leads Rooney's jealous blood son, Connor (Daniel Craig), to orchestrate a tragic series of events that results in Sullivan on the run with his 12-year-old son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin). Soon an unscrupulous crime photographer/assassin named Maguire (Jude Law) is sent after Sullivan and his son, and Sullivan must decide on a course of action as young Michael comes to terms with his father's violent way of life. Meticulously directed by Mendes and brilliantly photographed by Conrad Hall, each scene of ROAD TO PERDITION has the composition of an expertly crafted painting. Making effective use of rain, snow, and shadows, the filmmakers create a cinematic world that's as dark, cold, and unforgiving as many of its inhabitants. But the film also allows for glimpses of emotional warmth, particularly in Sullivan's relationships with his son and Rooney, his surrogate father. In these roles, the respective actors create complex characters that resonate even in their restraint; Hanks is outstanding as a man of action with little time for words, while newcomer Hoechlin creates an unsentimental portrait of a confused boy, and Newman once again proves why he's a screen legend. And, in a strikingly unflattering role, Law makes the most out of his screen time as a creepy, parasitic hit man. Even in its harshest moments, however, Mendes never fails to remind the audience that ROAD TO PERDITION is a film about fathers and sons; and this is what elevates it from an atmospheric gangster movie to a truly astonishing work of art. -- (Muze Description)1236904 "...Because it is so careful with its effects, this film's ability to create feeling sneaks up and surprises....This is a story with a will to move us and the ability to do whatever it takes to make that happen..." -- (Review)1244457 "...A truly majestic visual poem....Mr. Hanks does a powerful job..." -- (Review)1244475 "...ROAD TO PERDITION has the juice to get its hooks into you, knock you off balance and keep you that way for two hours. It's a triumph for director Sam Mendes..." -- (Review)1245537 "...[Law] helps bring this dark, strange, and ultimately moving film into disturbing places of the sort that most studio movies can't even imagine, let alone depict..." -- (Review)1245554 "...Beautifully made, well-acted, brilliantly photographed..." -- (Review)1247896 "...There's inventiveness, intelligence, even brilliance here..." -- (Review)1255077 Theatrical release: July 12, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1260675 "...Hanks and Newman are radiant with the blessings of unstopped talent, two greats from two generations who each understand the power of underplaying..." -- (Review)1270583

 

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Michael Wincott, Alan Rickman, Action

A reworking of the legend with a stand-out performance by Rickman as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Academy Award Nominations: Best Song ("(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams and John Lange). -- (Muze Description)1034899 Copyright 1991 Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. and Warner Bros. Inc. -- (Muze Annotation)1093998 "Cancel Christmas!" -- Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1093999 The adventures of Robin Hood after his return from the Crusades. With an indebted Moor by his side, Robin sets out to avenge his father's death and to save the peasants of Nottingham from their crafty, cunning sheriff. -- (Synopsis)1094000 "...Terrifically entertaining..." -- (Review)1158899 "...Reynolds' camera swoops airily over breathtakingly empty landscapes....ROBIN HOOD becomes a tale of alienated man finding himself in the wilderness..." -- (Review)1162564

 

Rock Star
Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olyphant, Comedies

Marky Mark tears down the house in Stephen Herek's ROCK STAR, in which he plays Chris Cole, a local guy from Pittsburgh who is a copy-machine repairman by day (still living at home), and the lead singer of Blood Pollution, a Steel Dragon tribute band, at night. (Steel Dragon is a heavy-metal hair band living it big in the 1980s.) Cole prides himself on getting everything exactly right when he's onstage, every note, every costume, every shade of mascara; he even gets a nipple ring right after Steel Dragon's lead singer does. Chris's dream turns into reality when Steel Dragon fires its lead singer and brings Chris in to audition for the job. He gets the gig, but he also gets a lot more than he bargained for. Wahlberg is brilliant as Cole, playing the role to perfection, both as the young dreamer and the rock star living to excess. Jennifer Aniston is also excellent as Emily, his longtime girlfriend and manager who stands by him for as long as she can. The music nails the 1980s heavy-metal explosion, both in the original songs that Steel Dragon plays and the incidental music, from such groups as Kiss, Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Motley Crue, and Dio. As good as Wahlberg and Aniston are, Timothy Spall, as Steel Dragon's manager, nearly steals the picture. ROCK STAR is an invigorating, intoxicating, thrilling ride of a movie; at times it even feels like it's the true story behind Spinal Tap. (In fact, it is loosely based on the true story of Ripper Owens and Judas Priest.) As an added bonus, the film features, in small roles, musicians who have played with such metalheads as Dokken, Slaughter, Ozzy Osbourne, and more. -- (Muze Description)1214111 "...[Wahlberg] becomes the spirit of heavy metal....Not since BOOGIE NIGHTS has Wahlberg created so winning and personal a character..." -- (Review)1217413 "...Aniston and Spall lead the supporting cast with considerable conviction..." -- (Review)1217482 "...The film uses its easy sense of humor to convey what is sometimes lost in rock films, the sense of fun involved in playing and listening to the music..." -- (Review)1217579 "...The film is front-loaded with plenty of funny, authentic-feeling snapshots from the life of an earnest steel-belt metalhead..." -- (Review)1217825 "...[Spall] is charming....Mr. Stockwell and Mr. Herek balance mockery with affection..." -- (Review)1218064 "...One-time teen-pop idol Mark Wahlberg is a good metal-mimic, and manifestly enjoys the strutting and the squealing..." -- (Review)1224942 "...There are good performances and the period is well captured..." -- (Review)1249799

 

Rock, The
Brendan Kelly, Nicolas Cage, Action

In Michael Bay's THE ROCK, gung-ho general Francis Hummel (Ed Harris), armed with deadly chemical rockets and aided by violent cohorts, takes over the island of Alcatraz, holding 81 tourists hostage. Hummel promises to deploy the missiles over San Francisco if Washington doesn't make amends to ignored combat victims to the tune of $100 million. A cadre of Navy SEALs are dispatched to quell the situation, assisted by the mysterious, macho John Mason (Sean Connery), the only man to ever escape from Alcatraz, who must now help the SEALs break back in. Joining them is mild-mannered chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), who is unaccustomed to such things as guns and military maneuvers. Their high-octane mission is filled with surprises, particularly after Hummel and company quickly annihilate the SEALs--leaving Mason and Goodspeed to save the day all by themselves. -- (Muze Description)1072003 Theatrical release: June 7, 1996. Coproduced by Don Simpson-Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Harry Humphries was the technical adviser on the film. This was the last film of high-living producer Don Simpson, who died on January 19, 1996, at the age of 52. Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, his longtime producing partner, were known for their hugely successful, fast-paced, high-testosterone movies, including TOP GUN, the first two BEVERLY HILLS COP films, DAYS OF THUNDER, CRISOM TIDE and BAD BOYS. Known in Hollywood for his self-indulgent, wild (and self-destructive) lifestyle, Simpson died of an apparent drug overdose. The film is dedicated to him. Although he was one of the film's writers, Jonathan Hensleigh's name is not listed in the credits because of a decision by the Writers Guild of America. That decision made the film's director, Michael Bay, so angry that he wrote an open letter to the guild, labeling its arbitration process "a sham" and "a travesty." -- (Muze Annotation)1093241 "Well, yeah, OK, that's just about the most awful thing I've ever seen."--Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), after seeing a villain crushed to death "This isn't about terrorism, this is about justice."--Gen. Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris), about his reason for taking hostages at Alcatraz "I'm too old for this."--John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1093242 A mild-mannered FBI chemical weapons expert and an aging prisoner who's the only man ever to have escaped from Alcatraz team up to rescue a group of tourists being held hostage on the Rock. The last film produced by the legendary Simpson-Bruckheimer team, this nonstop action-thriller packs an unrelenting pyrotechnic wallop. -- (Synopsis)1093243 "...High-octane action and rowdy fun....Dazzling teamwork from Cage and Connery..." -- (Review)1157813 "...[The] blistering pace boasts an A-list acting trio in roles precisely tailored to their personas..." -- (Review)1168363 "...The movie slams forward in a jackhammer frenzy. The camera never stops moving..." -- (Review)1183801 "...Entertaining, a high-octane, kick-butt actioner....Connery trades winningly on his sophisticated, elegant sense of cool..." -- (Review)1196985 "...THE ROCK is a first-rate, slam-bang action thriller with a lot of style....Each element has been lovingly polished to a gloss. And there are three skillful performances..." -- (Review)1260451

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show, The
Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Stage Play

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is a magical phenomenon unlike anything ever before seen onscreen. Borrowing largely from cinema's horror conventions, the film begins as an innocent young couple is stranded at the home of a mad scientist who is building the perfect man. The castle is filled with a most bizarre group of characters who worship their master, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played magnificently by the fabulously sexy Tim Curry, in leather jacket, pearls, fishnet stockings, and heavy makeup. Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) are forced to examine their own sexuality as the voluptuous doctor releases the hidden desires in each of them. Based on the stage musical by Richard O'Brien (who also appears in the film as Riff Raff), the film comes alive with unforgettable song-and-dance numbers that have come to represent the sexual liberation of the 1970s. The outstanding costuming and makeup, the terrific acting by a group of relative unknowns (Curry, O'Brien, Bostwick, Sarandon, Nell Campbell, Patricia Quinn, Meat Loaf), and the memorable songs ("Time Warp," "Sweet Tranvestite") help make THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW one of the most bizarrely entertaining and satisfying musicals ever made. -- (Muze Description)1028942 This campy cult classic is the most popular midnight movie of all time. A corn-fed all-American couple stumbles onto a creepy castle one night when their car breaks down, entering a world they never dreamed existed. The castle turns out to be inhabited by a collection of kinky Transylvanian freaks led by a mad bisexual transvestite; Tim Curry's sensational entrance as Dr. Frank-N-Furter is a marvel to behold. The film gained notoriety as the most successful midnight movie ever, in which hundreds of cult fans show up in costume and act out scenes from the movie in the theater. -- (Synopsis)1110491 THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW premiered at the Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles on September 26, 1975. The initial release of the film took in less than $300,000. The film's first official midnight showing was on April 1, 1976, at the Waverly in Greenwich Village. Tickets were three dollars. Shooting of the film began in London on October 21, 1974, scheduled for six weeks. The shoot lasted 10 weeks. The musical THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW opened at the 62-seat Royal Court Studio Theatre on June 19, 1973; the cast included Nell Campbell (Columbia), Patricia Quinn (Magenta), and Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. On Halloween night, it moved to the 500-seat Kings Road Theatre. It was a smash hit, drawing the likes of Vincent Price and David Bowie. When the show moved to the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles in early 1974, Curry stayed with the cast. In L.A. the parts of Eddie and Dr. Scott were played by an aspiring actor-singer named Marvin Lee Aday, also known as Meat Loaf. Attendees in L.A. included Keith Moon, Carole King (dressed as Magenta), and Elvis Presley. The movie was not released on video until November 8, 1990. The film cost slightly more than $1 million to make. The film had grossed more than $150 million in midnight showings by August 1990. It bombed at the box office when it first opened. Playwright-composer Richard O'Brien was inspired by the androgynous glam rock movement as well as ads for women's lingerie. O'Brien's original working title was THEY CAME FROM DENTON HIGH. In February 1996, Susan Sarandon was awarded Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Club award for her performance in the film. The year 1978 saw the number of prints of the movie showing across the country go from 35 to 202. Longtime fan club president Sal Piro first saw the film in 1976 with his friend Marc Shaiman; Shaiman went on to write the music fnr SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT. As of summer 2000, Piro had seen ROCKY HORROR more than 2,000 times; he also wrote the books CREATURES OF THE NIGHT: THE ROCKY HORROR EXPERIENCE, ROCKY HORROR: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT II, and THE OFFICIAL ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AUDIENCE PAR-TIC-I-PATION GUIDE. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW opened and closed without much notice until 20th Century Fox

 

Rookie, The
Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths, Dramas

Every evening, Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) is out practicing pitching. His minor league career ended with a shoulder injury twelve years ago. Now, Jim coaches a struggling high school team. When he tries to motivate them, they challenge him--if they reach the play offs, he must try out for the majors. The team starts to win, and makes the play offs. Not realizing how strong his arm has become, Jim is apprehensive as he sets off for the try outs with his son and baby daughter. The coaches recognize him, but think he has brought a young prospect. Late in the day, as he's changing a diaper, Jim is called. When he throws his first pitch, he surprises the coaches--and himself. Director John Lee Hancock, director of photography John Schwartzman, and composer Carter Burwell have made a glowing movie based on the true story of Jim Morris, investing it with a touch of myth. Dennis Quaid is convincing as the pitcher. His scenes with Brian Cox, playing his father, bristle with unresolved anger. The great Australian actress Rachel Griffiths shows her extraordinary chameleon-like ability--as Jim's tough-minded wife, she captures perfectly a woman who has to deal with life's practicalities and with her husband's dreams. -- (Muze Description)1230150 "...Unabashedly lyrical and beautifully photographed....Its stately pace and appreciation of the austere grandeur of the Texas landscape and the eerie beauty of night baseball contribute to its aura of modern American folk tale..." -- (Review)1234913 "...The movie keeps its eye on the ball....[The filmmakers] touch the heart without being sticky..." -- (Review)1234921 "...A sweet, engaging, truth-based celebration of America's favorite pastime....THE ROOKIE will feel like a home run..." -- (Review)1235487 "...John Lee Hancock's heartfelt movie scores a solid hit..." -- (Review)1236052 "...[The filmmakers have] given THE ROOKIE a lovely, relaxed feeling that makes us happy to be in this film's company..." -- (Review)1237848 Theatrical release: March 29, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1238412 "...Smoothly directed....Schwartzman's attractive color lensing is splendid....Quaid's effortlessly compelling and engagingly earnest performance keeps the pic grounded in down-to-earth reality..." -- (Review)1241229 "...[Quaid] brings an appealing humility to his role..." -- (Review)1254564 "...This gently played story of an ordinary second chance is actually quite a treat..." -- (Review)1260588

 

Rounders
Chris Young, Matt Damon, Dramas

Damon is Mike McDermott, a law student who has given up his true talent (and love), gambling, when he loses all of his money to Teddy KGB (Malkovich in a hilarious role). Months later, when his friend Worm (Norton) gets out of jail and is on a strict deadline to repay a $15,000 debt to Teddy, he must decide whether or not to help his friend, threatening his student status and relationship with his girlfriend (Mol). Tightly written, beautifully photographed by the brilliant Escoffier, and well-played all across the board (particularly by Norton), this is a work of slick, enjoyable entertainment. -- (Muze Description)1124598 "...Stylish entertainment and smartass fun..." -- (Review)1160143 "...Levien's script builds tension along nicely..." -- (Review)1161777 "...Puts us right inside the psychological rush of the game....Makes gambling fever palpable..." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1163287 "...Mischievously entertaining....Jean-Yves Escoffier contributes deep-hued evocative cinematography to the overall dark allure..." -- (Review)1201881

 

Rudy
Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Dramas

An ordinary kid pours his heart and soul into playing for the Notre Dame football team. Based on a true story. -- (Muze Description)1046999 "Rudy," the true story of Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger, was written by the screenwriters of "Hoosiers" -- Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh. The real Rudy Ruettiger attended Holy Cross before gaining acceptance to Notre Dame. He applied to Notre Dame three times before he was accepted. After being admitted to Notre Dame, Rudy promised football coach Ara Parseghian, he'd make the team. Rudy's tenacity eventually earned him a spot on the team's scout squad. After Rudy Ruettiger accomplished his goal of playing for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, he realized a second goal: seeing his story on the big screen. At first it wasn't easy. "Hollywood is one crazy damned place," Reuttiger told the Boston Globe's Michael Blowen. "It was a mess... I just barged right into it, and trusted people in Hollywood. Additional credits: Sam Hoffman, Richard Muessel III (assistant directors); Phil Tuckett, Hank McElwee (assistant directors); Angela Nogaro (key make-up artist); Tammy Kusian (key hairstylist); Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger (consultant); Al Cowlings (football co-ordinator). Color by Technicolor. Rated BBFC PG by the British Board of Film Classification. -- (Muze Annotation)1095838 High School student Rudy Ruettinger dreamed of one day playing football for Notre Dame's Fighting Irish champions. But Rudy's got two obstacles to overcome: his runty build and mediocre academic record make him an unlikely candidate for a school with Notre Dame's athletic and scholastic reputation. When college chaplain Father Cavanaugh -- won over by Rudy's commitment and perseverance -- helps him get into an affiliated community college, the young man makes good on his promise to work hard. After pulling up his grades and transferring to Notre Dame, Rudy gets the chance of a lifetime, the golden opportunity to realize his life-long dream. -- (Synopsis)1095839 "...A knowing glimpse of working class life....Most important, it has a tough, persuasive performance by Mr. Astin..." -- (Review)1155468 "...Charming....[Astin] gives an uncomplicated, utterly winning performance..." - Recommended -- (Review)1156706 "...A film that hits all the right buttons, it's an intelligent, sentimental drama that lifts an audience to its feet cheering..." -- (Review)1193137

 

Rules of Attraction, The
Beek, James Van Der, Sossamon, Shannyn, Comedy

Amazon.com A not-quite dazzling array of cinematic tricks (split screens, freeze-frames, running the film backwards, rapid editing, etc.) are used to depict college students floundering in the pursuit of love and meaning. Drugs, blow jobs, pornography, booze, rape, masturbation, '80s pop tunes, beatings, suicide, attempted suicide, faked suicide, loss of bladder control, and trite pseudo-philosophy are on display as pretty young actors with squeaky-clean images (like James Van Der Beek and Jessica Biel) attempt to dirty themselves up. The Rules of Attraction comes to life for about five minutes when an actor named Russell Sams appears for an outrageous restaurant scene, then slumps back into terminal disaffection when he departs. Also featuring Shannyn Sossamon, Faye Dunaway, Swoozie Kurtz, Ian Somerhalder, Kate Bosworth, Eric Stolz, Fred Savage, and many strikingly good-looking young people. The filmmakers are attempting to depict the vacuousness of today's youth but only succeed in portraying the void in their own hearts. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Rules of Engagement
Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Archer, Dramas

William Friedkin unleashes his flare for tense action and gripping suspense in RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, an exciting military legal thriller that examines the moral gray area of combat experience and reflects on the ethos of the American military in the late 20th century. When the U.S. embassy in Yemen is stormed by anti-American protesters, Marine Colonel Terry Childers (an intense Samuel L. Jackson) rescues Ambassador Mourain (Ben Kingsley) from the explosive siege, and under fire from snipers within the crowd, he orders his men to return fire, resulting in many civilian casualties. To appease international outrage at an apparent war crime, the U.S. government court-martials Childers for violating the Marine's "rules of engagement," and his only hope rests on Marine lawyer Colonel Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran who owes Childers his life for, ironically, a war crime committed by Childers in the Vietnam War. An intense, chiaroscuro courtroom drama and brutal combat film, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT takes a difficult look at the moral ambiguity of life in combat and the value of guilt, honor, and loyal sacrifice in the duty to one's country. -- (Muze Description)1146895 When a routine security mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen goes awry and 85 civilian demonstrators are killed, decorated Marine Colonel Terry Childers is court-martialed for breaking the "rules of engagement" by a nervous national security adviser. Childers calls upon his old buddy from Nam, military lawyer Hays Hodges, to defend him in court. Determined to get to the truth, Hodges must rely on his soldier's instincts as he follows an explosive trail of cover-ups and half-truths that lead to the highest corridors of power in this action-packed drama from the director of THE FRENCH CONNECTION and THE EXORCIST. When anti-Western demonstrators surround the U.S. embassy in Yemen, decorated U.S. Marine Colonel Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) is ordered to secure the premises and "baby-sit" the embassy's staff. Upon arrival, the soldiers find the embassy besieged by snipers and an unruly mob. Childers leads a daring rescue of the ambassador (Ben Kingsley) and his family but in the process loses three men. With bullets flying from all directions and the not-so-peaceful demonstrators breaking down the embassy's gate, he orders his men to open fire on the crowd. When the smoke clears, 83 Yemen civilians lay dead, including many women and children. Back in the States, National Security Advisor Bill Sokal (Bruce Greenwood)--hoping to deflect criticism from the U.S. government and defuse a mounting international crisis--appoints young gun "New Yawk" military lawyer Major Biggs (Guy Pearce) to prosecute Childers for violating the Marine's "rules of engagement." Facing life in prison and possible execution if convicted, Childers calls upon cynical military lawyer Colonel Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), an old friend whose life he saved in Vietnam, as his reluctant advocate. But with the evidence stacked against Childers, Hodges must draw upon his soldier's instincts to defend his client from both the political careerists in need of a scapegoat and his own troubled past. -- (Synopsis)1147168 "...You can't help but stay hooked on RULES OF ENGAGEMENT..." -- (Review)1156318 Rating: B -- (Review)1159317 Theatrical release: April 7, 2000. -- (Muze Annotation)1167434 "...Edgy and exciting....Reliably rugged performances from Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones..." -- (Review)1172287 "...An enjoyable, guilty-pleasure rental." -- 3 out of 5 stars - A Satisfying Rental -- (Review)1177532 "They're going to crucify you."--Col. Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) to Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1185217

 

Runaway Jury (Widescreen Edition)
Cusack, John, Hackman, Gene, Drama : General

Amazon.com Based on the bestseller by John Grisham, Runaway Jury is a slick thriller that's exciting enough to overcome the gaps in its plot. The ultimate target has been changed: Grisham's legal assault on the tobacco industry was switched to the hot-button issue of gun control (no doubt to avoid comparison to The Insider) in a riveting exposé of jury-tampering. Gene Hackman plays the ultra-cynical, utterly unscrupulous pawn of the gun-makers, using an expert staff and advanced electronics to hand-pick a New Orleans jury that will return a favorable verdict; Dustin Hoffman (making his first screen appearance with real-life former roommate Hackman) defends the grieving widow of a gun-shooting victim with idealistic zeal, while maverick juror John Cusack and accomplice Rachel Weisz play both ends against the middle in a personal quest to hold gun-makers accountable. It's riveting stuff, even when it's obvious that Grisham and director Gary Fleder have glossed over any details that would unravel the plot's intricate design. --Jeff Shannon

 

Saving Private Ryan
Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Dramas

Director Steven Spielberg's World War II tour de force chronicles the journey of a GI squad on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), the unit is under orders to track down a soldier, Private Ryan (Matt Damon), so he might return home to his mother in America, where she is grieving the unimaginable loss of her three other sons to the war. The first unforgettable 20 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN realistically and horrifically depicts the Normandy invasion as Miller. his second-in-command, Sergeant Horvath (Tom Sizemore), and the others in the unit land at Omaha Beach. Before the film began shooting, Hanks and the actors in his squad went through a one-week boot camp in the woods. All the actors, except Hanks, wanted to quit, but Hanks rallied their spirits by reminding them of the incredible tribulations endured by the real veterans of World War II. Production designer Tom Sanders found a beach in Ireland that perfectly matched the landscape of Normandy’s. Spielberg gave great credit to the Irish army who helped re-create the Omaha Beach scenes. -- (Muze Description)1129461 "...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances..." -- (Review)1157554 Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." -- (Review)1159540 "...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist..." -- (Review)1160385 Theatrical release: July 24, 1998. The film was shot in England, Ireland, and France. Estimated budget: $70 million. The film grossed more than $215 million at the domestic box office and nearly $375 million worldwide. Steven Spielberg won an Academy Award for Best Director for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. In preparation for their roles, the actors went through a week of boot camp with retired Marine Dale Dye-- except Matt Damon (Private Ryan), who was excused from the training so that a real-life resentment of him by the others would be formed. D day, June 6, 1944, was the largest invasion in military history--175,000 soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force invaded Normandy. Spielberg was honored with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, presented to him by Prince Andrew for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, in Los Angeles in November 2000. -- (Muze Annotation)1178063 Steven Spielberg's award-winning film is a brutal look at the devastation that war leaves behind, both physically and emotionally. Standouts in the film include Tom Hanks as the seemingly hardened leader, Ed Burns as the cocky New Yorker, and Jeremy Davies as the wanna-be writer who'd rather be carrying a typewriter than a gun. A closing battle nearly matches the opening scene's in impact, and Spielberg concludes matters with a present-tense bookend, as in SCHINDLER'S LIST, that drills the point home. -- (Synopsis)1178065 "...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home..." -- (Review)1201783 "...Effective the film is, communicating the gruesome nature of combat as few anti-war films ever have..." -- (Review)1212011 "...A powerful and impressive milestone in the realistic depiction of combat, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is as much an experience we live through as a film we watch on screen..." -- (Review)1244405

 

Saw
Glover, Danny, Leung, Ken, Horror/Suspense

Be prepared to be scared. James Wan's directorial debut, written by and starring Leigh Whannell, is a violent, bloody, psychologically exhausting and exhilarating exercise in terror. Adam (Whannell) and Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) are chained in a vile, disgusting bathroom, separated by a bloody corpse holding a gun and a tape recorder. They are each given a saw--the only obvious way out is to cut one of their feet off. A serial killer who specializes in torturing morally bereft strangers is playing a game with them: Gordon has less than eight hours to kill Adam or else the doctor's wife (Monica Potter) and daughter (Mackenzie Vega) will be murdered. As the two men engage in a battle of wits, alternately trying to help each other and secretly attempting to win the game, a series of flashbacks reveals the history of the madman and the pair of detectives (Danny Glover and Ken Leung) handling the case. Some of the torture scenes are excruciatingly horrible and hard to watch, a real treat for fans of the genre. Inspired by the work of David Lynch (BLUE VELVET, TWIN PEAKS) and Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA, INFERNO), Wan has created a scintillating suspense thriller that will have audiences continually shocked, repelled, frightened, and surprised, right up to the very last second (which Whannell has said was influenced by the endings of such films as THE USUAL SUSPECTS and THE SIXTH SENSE). The accompanying heavy metal soundtrack is appropriately scary as well. IN THEATRES: OCTOBER 29, 2004

 

Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition)
Neeson, Liam, Fiennes, Ralph, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Steven Spielberg had a banner year in 1993. He scored one of his biggest commercial hits that summer with the mega-hit Jurassic Park, but it was the artistic and critical triumph of Schindler's List that Spielberg called "the most satisfying experience of my career." Adapted from the best-selling book by Thomas Keneally and filmed in Poland with an emphasis on absolute authenticity, Spielberg's masterpiece ranks among the greatest films ever made about the Holocaust during World War II. It's a film about heroism with an unlikely hero at its center--Catholic war profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who risked his life and went bankrupt to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps. By employing Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army, Schindler ensures their survival against terrifying odds. At the same time, he must remain solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley) and negotiate business with a vicious, obstinate Nazi commandant (Ralph Fiennes) who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa overlooking a prison camp. Schindler's List gains much of its power not by trying to explain Schindler's motivations, but by dramatizing the delicate diplomacy and determination with which he carried out his generous deeds. As a drinker and womanizer who thought nothing of associating with Nazis, Schindler was hardly a model of decency; the film is largely about his transformation in response to the horror around him. Spielberg doesn't flinch from that horror, and the result is a film that combines remarkable humanity with abhorrent inhumanity--a film that functions as a powerful history lesson and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the context of a living nightmare. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

School of Rock (Widescreen Edition)
Black, Jack, White, Mike, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Turbo-charged comic Jack Black shakes School of Rock to its foundations, wailing with born-again metalhead passion as Dewey Finn, a guitarist who gets kicked out of a band because he grandstands too much--or, to put it another way, enjoys himself. Through an intercepted phone call, Finn gets a job as a substitute teacher for a fifth grade class at a private grade school. Neither students nor teacher quite know what to do with each other until Finn discovers that some of his young charges can play instruments; at once he starts turning them into a blistering rock & roll troupe that can crush his former band at an upcoming competition. School of Rock is silly and formulaic, but director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), writer Mike White (The Good Girl), and especially Black and co-star Joan Cusack invest the formulas with such glee that the movie is irresistibly fun. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition. DVD features Like the movie, the DVD extras are smarter and a lot more entertaining than your average flick. The making-of feature ("Lessons Learned") has the usual behind-the-scenes banter but Jack Black is in fine form--that is, something special--interviewing as much as being interviewed about the making of the film. His unique pitch to Led Zeppelin to use their song is alone worth the price of the DVD. Black is more his maniacal self and a bit more grating in MTV's Diary segment, but his commentary track... read more

 

Seabiscuit (Widescreen Edition)
Bridges, Jeff, Cooper, Chris, Drama : General

Amazon.com Proving that truth is often greater than fiction, the handsome production of Seabiscuit offers a healthy alternative to Hollywood's staple diet of mayhem. With superior production values at his disposal, writer-director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) is a bit too reverent toward Laura Hillenbrand's captivating bestseller, unnecessarily using archival material--and David McCullough's familiar PBS-styled narration--to pay Ken Burns-like tribute to Hillenbrand's acclaimed history of Seabiscuit, the knobby-kneed thoroughbred who "came from behind" in the late 1930s to win the hearts of Depression-weary Americans. That caveat aside, Ross's adaptation retains much of the horse-and-human heroism that Hillenbrand so effectively conveyed; this is a classically styled "legend" movie like The Natural, which was also heightened by a lushly sentimental Randy Newman score. Led by Tobey Maguire as Seabiscuit's hard-luck jockey, the film's first-rate cast is uniformly excellent, including William H. Macy as a wacky trackside announcer who fills this earnest film with a much-needed spirit of fun. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Secondhand Lions - New Line Platinum Series
Caine, Michael, Duvall, Robert, : General

Amazon.com If you can get past its thick layer of syrup and molasses, Secondhand Lions reveals itself as a thoroughly decent family film that anyone can enjoy. It gets a little sappy sometimes, but there's something to be said for a movie in which Michael Caine and Robert Duvall play eccentric old brothers who take the easy approach to fishing: instead of a peaceful rod and reel, they use 12-gauge shotguns. When 14-year-old Walter (Haley Joel Osment, teetering on puberty) spends an eventful summer with his great-uncles on their vast Texas farmland (he's been dumped there by his delinquent mom, played by Kyra Sedgwick), he soon discovers they've lived lives full of adventure, excitement, passion, and mystery. Either that or they're old-time bank robbers with a long criminal record, and writer-director Tim McCanlies (who invested similar warmth into The Iron Giant) does a nice job of concealing the truth until the very end. Full of enriching lessons and homespun humor, Secondhand Lions has more substance than most family films. If you enjoyed Holes, you'll probably enjoy this movie, too. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Secret Window
Depp, Johnny, Turturro, John, Horror : General

Amazon.com Johnny Depp gets high off another acting challenge in this tricky adaptation of a Stephen King yarn. Although the mood is too sinister to allow for the mischief of his Pirates of the Caribbean turn, Depp still manages to embroider his role here with plenty of quirky business. He plays a writer, divorced and depressed, who's stuck in an isolated cabin (shades of The Shining); he begins to crack up when a stranger (John Turturro) arrives, accusing him of plagiarism. Writer-director David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) does his best to make the rickety material compelling--he gets the maximum out of the cabin set, for instance--but the problems inherent in the King story eventually win out. The climactic scenes are particularly unpleasant, especially in contrast to the cleverness of Depp's performance. A Philip Glass score adds class, but this one ultimately feels like a disappointment. --Robert Horton

 

Secrets of War - Vietnam
War, Secrets of, Heston, Charlton, Education/General Interest

An expose on the little known facts behind the tactics used on both sides of the Vietnam War. Produced by the History Channel and narrated by Charlton Heston in two parts; "Hidden In Plain Sight" and "Special Operations." -- (Muze Description)1169990

 

 

 

Shallow Hal
Paltrow, Gwyneth, Black, Jack, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Coming from the creators of Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary, the sensitivity of Shallow Hal seems like a minor miracle. The codirecting Farrelly brothers haven't forsaken their lowbrow inclinations, but this clever romantic fantasy offers unexpected substance with the same comedic effrontery that made the Farrellys famous. Their antihero is Hal (Jack Black), whose fixation on beautiful women is reversed (after an encounter with self-help guru Tony Robbins) so he can see only the inner beauty of "undesirables" like his new girlfriend Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), now gorgeous in Hal's eyes despite being grossly obese. The movie's handling of this conundrum is sweetly sincere, poking fun at social prejudices while validating those (overweight, homely, disabled) who are often heartbroken by Hal's brand of shallowness. The concept won't hold up to scrutiny (i.e., the movie trades one set of stereotypes for another), but Shallow Hal works as an often hilarious reminder that physical beauty is only skin deep. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Shattered Glass
Christensen, Hayden, Sevigny, Chloë, Drama : General

Amazon.com Shattered Glass is the best film about journalism since All the President's Men. If that seems like lofty praise, consider this: In telling the true story of fallen journalist and pathological liar Stephen Glass, writer-director Billy Ray had to thoroughly and believably demonstrate how Glass--played in a pitch-perfect performance by Hayden Christensen--could single-handedly betray the trust of vigilant editors, writers, fact-checkers, and copyeditors while he falsified numerous highly praised articles as a hot, seemingly gifted reporter for The New Republic magazine in the late 1990s. Making an assured directorial debut, Ray brilliantly explores the delicate office politics that allowed for Glass's ongoing deception, which was diligently exposed by a reporter (Steve Zahn) from Forbes Online Tool, thus toppling Glass's tower of lies and setting a noble precedent for online journalism. From Glass's ingratiating psychopathology to the anguish of TNR's then-unpopular editor (Peter Sarsgaard) as he discovers the extent of Glass's wrongdoing, Shattered Glass is a riveting, perfectly cast study of ambition gone sour, countered by the nobility of respectable journalists in the wake of a worst-case scenario. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Shawshank Redemption, The
William Sadler, Mark Rolston, Dramas

In writer-director Frank Darabont's THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover in the late 1940s. However, only Andy knows that he didn't commit the crimes. Sent to Shawshank Prison to do hard time, Andy--a taciturn banker in the outside world--has to learn to get by in the brutal, cutthroat confines of prison life. His quiet strength slowly earns the respect of his fellow inmates--most notably, Red (Morgan Freeman)--and even much of the prison staff. But Andy's seemingly stoic acceptance of his unjust imprisonment hides a fierce determination for freedom. This beautifully crafted movie features touching and sincere performances from the entire cast, with an uplifting message about humanity's indomitable spirit and the redemptive value of hope. Based on the novella RITA HAYWORTH AND SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION by Stephen King, Darabont's intriguing adaptation is easily one of the finest films of the 1990s. -- (Muze Description)1056341 For an Oscar-nominated film, "The Shawshank Redemption" is strangely lacking in surprises. This quintessential prison story hits all the right notes - an innocent man, a wise mentor, and a warden who turns out to be the embodiment of evil. Tim Robbins turns in an adequate performance, but Morgan Freeman, as the lifer who takes him under his wing, holds the film together the way a rope supports a hanging bridge. Despite historical accuracy and attention to visual detail, "Shawshank" is fantasy, where the characters are larger than life, and where hope endures, even in the face of life-crushing adversity. So while it may not break new cinematic ground, "Shawshank" is a movie meal of steak and potatoes, familiar, but immensely satisfying. -- (Review)1077369 For an Oscar-nominated film, "The Shawshank Redemption" is strangely lacking in surprises. This quintessential prison story hits all the right notes, striking a perfect resonance before moving on to the next inevitable plot element, rolling past the viewer like a string of boxcars and trailing the expected red caboose. In that sense, it bears the stamp of its author, Steven King, an unrivaled master at manipulating and gratifying his audience. Morgan Freeman's Oscar-nominated performance as Red, a long-time convict respected for his ability to obtain contraband, holds the film together the way a rope supports a hanging bridge. Red's quiet dignity, his easygoing humor, his refusal to become either hopeful or discouraged, serve as examples to the other men, especially Andy (Tim Robbins), a lifer convicted, perhaps wrongly, of murdering his adulterous wife. Robbins turns in a competent but strangely uninvolved performance, calling on the same old hurt-puppy facial expressions that he brings to each dramatic role. You can almost hear the director saying, "Look a little more detached and beaten, Tim." But despite Robbins' bland performance, "Shawshank" breathes fire, thanks to an excellent supporting cast, including Bob Gunton as the Bible-thumping warden who turns out to be the emodiment of evil. In his first feature film, writer-director Frank Darabont has a love affair with the old Ohio State Reformatory, swooping the camera overhead for stunning aerial views, and carefully choosing his hours and seasons for optimal light and color. The steel-blue dimness of the interior shots suggest the hard quality of life inside, and the passage of time is touchingly indicated by the evolving pin-ups on Andy's wall, from Rita Hayworth, to Marilyn Monroe, to Racquel Welch as the years slide by. Despite the painstaking attention to visual detail, "Shawshank" was never meant to be realistic. This is fantasy, where all the characters are larger than life, and where even the lowly background cons have more color and spunk than the average man, let alone the average felon. In handling the unavoidable violence, director Darabont shows his class, never dwelling on blood or gore, and tastefully pulling the camera away from the scenes of Andy's rapes, le

 

Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc Edition)
Myers, Mike, Murphy, Eddie, Comedy : By Theme : Opposites Attract

Amazon.com William Steig's delightfully fractured fairy tale is the right stuff for this computer-animated adaptation full of verve and wit. Our title character (voiced by Mike Myers) is an agreeable enough ogre who wants to live his days in peace. When the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) evicts local fairy-tale creatures (including the now-famous Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and the Gingerbread Man), they settle in the ogre's swamp and Shrek wants answers from Farquaad. A quest of sorts starts for Shrek and his new pal, a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), where battles have to be won and a princess (Cameron Diaz) must be rescued from a dragon lair in a thrilling action sequence. The story is stronger than most animated fare, but it's the humor that makes Shrek a winner. The PG rating is stretched when Murphy and Myers hit their strides. The mild potty humor is fun enough for 10-year-olds but will never embarrass their parents. Shrek is never as warm and inspired as the Toy Story films, but the realistic computer animation and a rollicking soundtrack keep the entertainment in fine form. Produced by DreamWorks, the film also takes several delicious stabs at its crosstown rival, Disney. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Shrek 02
Murphy, Eddie, Myers, Mike,

THEATRICAL RELEASE: MAY 19, 2004 In this meet-the-parents sequel to the romantic fairy tale in which two ogres fall in love, SHREK 2 brings the loveable green menace (voiced by Mike Meyers) back to the big screen for a second round of mischief. This time around, in addition to the voices of Cameron Diaz (as Shrek's sweetheart Fiona) and Eddie Murphy (as their companion Donkey), Julie Andrews and John Cleese chime in as Fiona's parents, Queen Lillian and King Harold. Surprising newcomer Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas)--a slyly funny tabby honed for swashbuckling adventure--joins the crew. Last but certainly not least, the conniving duo of vain Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) and his power-hungry mom, the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), spice up the action. When Fiona insists that her new husband Shrek visit her parents, they travel to Far Far Away (a Disneyfied medieval version of Hollywood) where everything goes wrong. The King and Queen are outraged to see their daughter married to an ogre, and while Fiona tries to calm them, Shrek sets out to find a solution. He finds it, in the form of a Happily Ever After potion, which only complicates matters, drawing all parties into a confused exchange of magic and spells, all for the sake of true love. With shimmering Pixar animation giving SHREK 2 near-3-D visuals, the witty scripting and eclectic pop music soundtrack keep the film hopping along with an upbeat pace. "Holding Out for a Hero" by Frou Frou, and "Livin' la Vida Loca" by Eddie Murphy are the most raucous of the film's many great songs, though more subtle numbers such as "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows, and "Little Drop of Poison" by Tom Waits certainly enrich some key scenes of this enjoyable family film.

 

Shrek/Shrek 3D Double Bill
 

Amazon.com Shrek 3-D Made for a ride at Universal Studios, this 16-minute short reunites the cast in a quick adventure set in-between the two films. The dimmed-witted henchman Thelonius kidnaps Princess Fiona on her honeymoon and runs through spooky a grave yard, forest, and river with Shrek and Donkey in pursuit. The film's 3-D effects are fun (glasses are included and the film can also be viewed traditionally), but the movie is never more than a smile-inducing short; it's not as fun as the features. The ride, called "Shrek 4-D," features in-theater effects that audiences can see, hear, and feel. You will have to do your own effects at home to simulate the ride. Shrek William Steig's delightfully fractured fairy tale is the right stuff for this computer-animated adaptation full of verve and wit. Our title character (voiced by Mike Myers) is an agreeable enough ogre who wants to live his days in peace. When the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) evicts local fairy tale creatures (including the now-famous Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and the Gingerbread Man), they settle in the Orge's swamp and Shrek wants answers from Farquaad. A quest of sorts starts for Shrek and his new pal, a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), where battles have to be won and a princess (Cameron Diaz) must be rescued from a dragon lair in a thrilling action sequence. The story is stronger than most animated fare but it's the humor that makes Shrek a winner. The PG rating is stretched when Murphy and Myers hit their strides. The mild potty humor is fun enough for the 10-year-old but will never embarrass their parents. Shrek is never as warm and inspired as the Toy Story films, but the realistic computer animation and a rollicking soundtrack keeps the entertainment in fine form. Produced by DreamWorks, the film also takes several delicious stabs at its crosstown rival, Disney. --Doug Thomas Description This two-pack contains the single-disc, full-screen version of "Shrek" plus a new 15-minute short, "Shrek 3-D," plus 3-D glasses. Shrek 3-D: When we last left everyone's favorite newlyweds Shrek and Fiona, they were singing and dancing late into the night with Donkey and all the fairytale creatures. Happily ever after...right? Not so fast: The honeymoon has barely begun when Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is ambushed by Lord Farquaad's (John Lithgow) henchman, Thelonius. A dizzying and hilarious chase ensues with Shrek (Mike Myers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) hot on the trail! More action, more adventure, more fun that picks up right where Shrek left off...and drops you off laughing and out-of-breath before "Shrek 2" begins!

 

Signs
Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Horror/Suspense

It's contaminated. That's what pint-sized Bo (Abigail Breslin) says about every glass of water that she tries to drink, then rejects. This is just one in a long list of strange occurrences that are changing the lives of the Hess family. Things go awry when Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his brother, Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), awake early one morning to find the dogs barking and the children--Bo, and her brother Morgan (Rory Culkin)--wandering bleary eyed in the corn fields. They discover a pattern of perfectly carved crop circles left the night before. Trying not to overreact, Graham ignores the media frenzy that has permeated all television and radio stations, and even shrugs off the oddly familiar information that Morgan reads in his book about extraterrestrials invading earth. The real challenge for Graham is to find the faith he needs to pull himself, and his family, through this unexplainable series of events. SIGNS is the long-anticipated film from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (THE SIXTH SENSE, UNBREAKABLE), a suspenseful and uniquely chilling family story. -- (Muze Description)1237635 "...Shyamalan's great gift is the creation of atmosphere, the conjuring of spooky, unseen menace....SIGNS is a tribute to Shyamalan's gifts..." -- (Review)1246952 "...Skillfully made....The movie keeps you watching..." -- (Review)1246966 "...Mr. Shyamalan is a master of control, with a sure grasp of the classical filmmaking lexicon. His suspense sequences build slowly and elegantly, and his is adept at evoking dread through shifting camera angles and careful manipulation of the frame..." -- (Review)1246968 "...Lushly ominous....It's a high-octane doomsday vision built almost entirely around our sense of anticipation..." -- (Review)1247003 "...SIGNS is the work of a born filmmaker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air..." -- (Review)1247669 "...The movie offers several nicely turned pop-out-of-your-seat moments..." -- (Review)1247942 "...A terrific suspense movie..." -- (Review)1254570 "...SIGNS turns out to be a primally petrifying experience....A very intimate and emotionally astute portrayal of a family under threat..." -- (Review)1255024 Theatrical release: August 2, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1256354

 

Silence of the Lambs, The
Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Dramas

Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins will likely be forever associated with their roles in this bone-chilling masterpiece, based on the novel by Thomas Harris and directed by Jonathan Demme. FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Foster) is sent by her supervisor (Scott Glenn) to interview ferociously intelligent serial killer Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lechter (Hopkins) at his cell in a Maryland mental hospital. The FBI hopes Lechter can provide insight into the mind of killer-at-large, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), whose current abductee happens to be the daughter of a senator. Intrigued by Clairice, Lechter demands information about her personal life and in exchange for clues, and the two begin to form a strangely intimate connection, with a girl's life hanging in the balance. Starling is gradually revealed as a woman struggling out of her own darkness, bound to aid the dysfunctional males around her on their own paths of transformation, liberation, and destruction. This is a film of brilliant and disturbing beauty that transcends its B-movie origins (though it does honor them with a cameo appearance by Roger Corman). Its enduring influence has led to a slew of similarly dark-toned serial killer films, and a sequel, HANNIBAL (2001). -- (Muze Description)1034185 Theatrical release: February 13, 1991. Filmed on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Shooting began on November 15, 1989, and wrapped on March 1, 1990. Estimated budget: $19 million. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is number 65 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. To perfect the voice of Hannibal, Anthony Hopkins based his speech on the dry voice of the Hal 9000 computer from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar despite being in the film for no more than 30 minutes, the shortest screen appearance for any Best Actor winner. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS actually features the second screen appearance of Hannibal Lecter. Played by Brian Cox, the character first appears in Michael Mann's MANHUNTER, which is based on the Thomas Harris novel RED DRAGON. Roger Corman plays FBI Director Hayden Burke in the film. Demme regular Charles Napier plays Boyle. Chris Isaak appears briefly as a SWAT commander. Try to catch how many times Anthony Hopkins blinks in various scenes.... The sequel, HANNIBAL, opened on February 9, 2001. Ridley Scott took over the direction, and Julianne Moore played Clarice Starling instead of Jodie Foster. Hopkins again played Hannibal, deliciously. -- (Muze Annotation)1089219 Jonathan Demme directs this intense thriller about a young FBI agent named Clarice Starling, who has been enlisted to tap into the psyche of Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter, a brilliant serial killer. Starling exchanges access to her deepest thoughts in exchange for information to track down another serial killer named Buffalo Bill, who is about to kill again. Bill is known for skinning his victims and has recently kidnapped a politician's daughter. -- (Synopsis)1089220 DVD Features: Region 1 Encoding Special Features: Includes deleted scenes, storyboards, and audio commentary by the stars and filmmakers. -- (Muze Annotation)1121752 "...Superbly crafted....THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror..." -- (Review)1158828 "...A sombre masterpiece....The film creates a world drained of light, counterpointed by a sinister and unsettling score..." -- (Review)1162518 "...[A] superbly crafted, unsettling movie....Demme pumps up the tension to a deafening din..." -- 4 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1173850 "Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head."--Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."--Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins); the classic sucking sound Hopkins made after this line was ad-libbed "I do wish we could chat a little longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner."--Hannibal Lecter -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1174093 "...Scary." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1190147 "...Hopkins

 

Sins of the Father
Tom Sizemore, Richard Jenkins, Dramas

In the racially divided, violent South in 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed a black Church, killing 4 young African-American girls. In a bizarre and horrifying twist, a man had to testify against his own father, an involved KKK member, to see that justice was served. This tragic bit of American history is the basis for SINS OF THE FATHER, a critically acclaimed drama starring Tom Sizemore (BLACK HAWK DOWN) and Ving Rhames (PULP FICTION.) -- (Muze Description)1236982

 

 

Sixth Sense, The
Toni Collette, Bruce Willis, Mystery

In M. Night Shyamalan's THE SIXTH SENSE, Bruce Willis plays Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a successful Philadelphia child psychologist who is haunted by the sudden reappearance and suicide of a former patient. Months later Dr. Crowe encounters Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, withdrawn young boy who bears a striking similarity to his earlier patient. Dr. Crowe is compelled to help Cole, not only for the boy's sake, but for his own redemption. As Dr. Crowe struggles to determine what torments Cole, he must also come to terms with his increasingly distant relationship to his wife (Olivia Williams). Meanwhile, Cole is unable to describe the horrible things he sees even to his worried mother (Toni Collette). The scene where Cole finally tells Dr. Crowe about his supernatural secret is one of the 1990s most quoted and well-known cinematic moments. A gripping ghost story with a stunning finale, THE SIXTH SENSE became a surprise blockbuster shortly after its release. The film features Oscar-nominated performances by the startlingly intense Osment and the fiercely maternal Collette, as well as a subtle, subdued turn by Willis. Shyamalan directs his intriguing script with almost clinical precision, using carefully framed visuals to create the film's distinctly chilling atmosphere. On the strength of its pitch-perfect acting and direction, THE SIXTH SENSE has become the most successful thriller of all time. -- (Muze Description)1142015 "...Ominous..." -- (Review)1153275 Ranked #10 in Rolling Stone's "Ten Best Movies of 1999" -- "...Hypnotically acted by Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis and Toni Colette..." -- (Review)1153481 "...Exquisite performances..." -- (Review)1154598 "...This intelligent supernatural thriller confidently ventures into the murky territory of childhood and adult fears..." -- (Review)1156337 "...[An] exhilaratingly unexpected ending, which effectively breathes new life into all the previous proceedings..." -- (Review)1210278 "...Osment gives one of the decade's great child-actor performances in a demanding role....The filmmaker keeps upping the ante with surprises until the plot-twist beaut that concludes the picture..." -- (Review)1213638 Theatrical release: August 6, 1999. Shot in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. Director-writer M. Night Shyamalan appears briefly in the film as Dr. Hill, who examines Cole after his injury at the birthday party. THE SIXTH SENSE was nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Shyamalan), Best Supporting Actor (Osment), Best Supporting Actress (Collette), Best Film Editing, and Best Original Screenplay. Although THE SIXTH SENSE featured Haley Joel Osment's first major film role, he had previously appeared in other movies, including FORREST GUMP. Bruce Willis offered to star in the film for much less than his usual salary, largely based on the strength of the script. Shyamalan's script sold in only one day. THE SIXTH SENSE is one of the top 10 box office grossing films of all time. Shot for an estimated budget of $55 million, the film made over $293 million on its domestic theatrical release alone. Cinematographer Tak Fujimoto also photographed Terrence Malick's BADLANDS and Jonathan Demme's THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. -- (Muze Annotation)1228685 "...SIXTH SENSE is certainly a nervy film, one that director M Night Shyamalan has made so disarmingly eerie it's virtually guaranteed to rattle the most jaded of cages..." -- (Review)1246310 "...THE SIXTH SENSE has a kind of calm, sneaky self-confidence that allows it to take us down a strange path, intriguingly..." -- (Review)1254320

 

Slaughter Rule
Gosling, Ryan, Morse, David, Dramas

A brave and tender drama from twin filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith, THE SLAUGHTER RULE tells the story of a young man’s conversion to manhood one bleak Montana winter. Roy Chutney (Ryan Gosling), a high school student living in an isolated small town, finds out just days after his father’s death that he has been cut from the football team. Thrown into a whirlwind of confusion, Roy is befriended by local outcast Gideon (David Morse), who recruits him to be the quarterback for his outsider "six-man" squad. A conflicted man with a shady past, Gideon is at turns overly compassionate and violently angry. The attention he shows Roy initially comforts the conflicted teenager, but as stories leak out about Gideon’s past, Roy begins to question his true motives. At the same time, Roy finds himself falling in love with Skyla (Clea Duvall), a mature local who senses something genuine in Roy. Eventually, the pressure of these adult relationships takes its toll on the youngster, challenging him in ways he has never been challenged before. THE SLAUGHTER RULE is a sensitive portrait of adolescence, featuring gritty cinematography, a country soundtrack, and an outstanding performance from the always-reliable Morse. This film was included in the 31st New Directors/New Films 2002 series presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Department of Film and Media of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

 

Sleepers
Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Dramas

Tommy, John, Michael, and Shakes are four young teenage punks growing up in the streets of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen in the mid-1960s. When these four friends pull a prank that that goes awry, they find themselves serving time at the Wilkinson School for Boys, where they are repeatedly and sadistically violated and tortured by four guards--the most menacing being Noles, portrayed by Kevin Bacon. Fifteen years later, the foursome is still dealing with the emotional repercussions of their abuse. Tommy (Billy Crudup) and John (Ron Eldard) have become common criminals, and when they spot Noles in a local watering hole they can’t pass up the chance for revenge. It’s up to Shakes (Jason Patric), a low-profile newspaper employee, and Michael (Brad Pitt), a lawyer with the district attorney’s office, to save their friends while keeping the details of their tortured childhoods secret. Dustin Hoffman appears as Danny Snyder, and Robert De Niro stars as Father Bobby, the local neighborhood priest who is as comfortable on the streets or in a bar as he is behind the pulpit. Based on the allegedly true story by Lorenzo Carcaterra, the film is directed by Barry Levinson (DINER, RAIN MAN). -- (Muze Description)1073587 When a mischievous prank goes awry, a group of Hell's Kitchen juveniles are sent to a reform institution, where they experience brutal sexual assaults by the sadistic "caretakers." Two decades later, a pair of the now-grown victims spot their chief tormenter and decide to exact revenge. -- (Synopsis)1092473 Theatrical release: October 18, 1996. The film was shown on opening night at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. Filmed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, and Newtown, CT. Although author Lorenzo Carcaterra claims that SLEEPERS is based on actual events in his life, there are no records from the school or from the Manhattan courts to substantiate his claim. The film features the screen debut of Billy Crudup. -- (Muze Annotation)1092474 "...Superbly played....Levinson shows a keen eye for the pangs of adolescence..." -- (Review)1157874 "...Colorful characters, richly evoked settings...and a good dose of good old-fashioned epic star power....There's a lot to enjoy in this impeccably structured, handsomely produced saga..." -- (Review)1198012 "...Dustin Hoffman gives a fine, subtle, quavering performance....Kevin Bacon is a strong, effective villain..." -- (Review)1261602

 

Son's Room, The
Jasmine Trinca, Guiseppe Sanfelice, Dramas

Nanni Moretti's extraordinary drama THE SON'S ROOM, which won the Palme D'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, tells the harrowing story of a once tight-knit, happy family having to come to terms with a devastating loss and get on with their lives. Nanni Moretti, the writer-director of the charming CARO DIARIO, which was based on his own life, has created this piece of fiction from scratch, but he nails it so well it is hard to believe it is not a documentary. Moretti, who not only stars in and directs the film but is also cowriter and coproducer, plays Giovanni, a happily married man with two wonderful children; he is also a psychoanalyst with a group of patients both hysterical and sad. He enjoys running through the streets of Ancona, but when he opts to make a rare house call one Sunday morning instead of going for a run with his son, tragedy strikes, and he can't help blaming himself and his choices. He starts having trouble listening to and caring about his patients, and he also distances himself from his wife, played magnificently by Laura Morante. One of the underlying themes of the film is the need to make--and break--scheduled appointments that threaten to overtake one's life with its potential for compulsive obsession; as Giovanni dreams of past scenes playing out differently, he can't help but think that if he had rearranged his schedule based on the importance and necessity of his appointments, his idyllic world might not have been turned upside down. -- (Muze Description)1219712 "...Touching....[A] calm, humane movie....It is a hushed contemplation of the kind of senseless, all-too-frequent tragedy that leaves the survivors reeling and speechless..." -- (Review)1229264 "...[The film offers] a heartfelt exploration of the means by which happiness repairs itself..." -- (Review)1230928 "...THE SON'S ROOM stands apart for its raw, quiet emotion and its shattering sense of truth..." -- (Review)1232279 "...THE SON'S ROOM stands out for its simplicity and restraint....Nicola Piovani's score is a quiet, compassionate presence..." -- (Review)1232802 "...[Moretti tells] his story with a freshness and quiet intensity that hooks you, draws you in and keeps you twitching on the line 'til the very end....The film teems with originality and detail..." -- (Review)1233531 "...Quietly moving because it touches on something real..." -- (Review)1237756 Theatrical release: February 1, 2002 (LA/NY) -- (Muze Annotation)1240813 "...Very touching....THE SON'S ROOM has a relaxed tenderness and empathy....Sometimes in a quite ordinary way a director can reach out and touch us..." -- (Review)1248730

 

Spider-Man 02
Dunst, Kirsten, Simmons, J.K., Action/Adventure

Sam Raimi's follow-up to SPIDER-MAN finds Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) struggling to balance his everyday life with his alter ego as the web-slinging superhero. Still carrying the burden of keeping his crime-fighting identity from those closest to him--including his longtime love Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), and his doting Aunt May (Rosemary Harris)--Parker must also face off against a dangerous new menace, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a scientist driven mad by experiments involving powerful mechanical arms. When the deranged Octavius (AKA Doc Ock) forms an alliance with the vengeful Osborn, who blames Spider-Man for the death of his father, the wall-crawling hero is in for his biggest battle yet. With SPIDER-MAN 2, Raimi retains--and improves on--all of the elements that made the first film so good, including an excellent story (crafted, in part, by acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon), tight pacing, and stunning special effects. Parker's internal conflicts are even greater than before, and Maguire adds emotional depth to every scene. Returning actors Dunst, Franco, Harris, and J.K. Simmons (once again portraying Parker's tough-talking boss, J. Jonah Jameson) are all pitch-perfect in their roles, and, as the once-noble Octavius, Molina is remarkable, relishing his villainous lines, while giving the character a surprisingly vulnerable side. Throughout the movie, Raimi expertly balances drama and humor with dynamic action sequences, making SPIDER-MAN 2 feel more like a continuation of the original tale rather than an obligatory sequel. For a Hollywood movie, that's a real feat. IN THEATRES: JUNE 30, 2004

 

Spider-Man
Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, Action/Adventure

Based on the classic Marvel Comics series, Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN deftly details the origin of the web-slinging superhero. When awkward New York City teenager Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) attends a class field trip to a laboratory, he gets bitten by a genetically altered spider while taking photos of his longtime crush, the lovely Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Soon he discovers this bite has given him remarkable powers--heightened strength, dexterity, and awareness, along with the ability to cling to walls and shoot webs from his wrists. Hoping to win Mary Jane's heart using his new talents, Peter becomes distracted from home life with his doting Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), ultimately leading to tragedy--and his new role as the crime-fighting Spider-Man. Meanwhile Harry Osborn (Willem Dafoe), the industrialist father of Peter's friend Norman (James Franco), undergoes a transformation of his own, bringing about the creation of Spider-Man's arch-nemesis: The Green Goblin. In order to save his loved ones--and all of New York City--from the devastating force of the deluded Goblin, Spider-Man must take on the villain in a series of stunning battles. By staying true to the essence of the comic book, Raimi accomplishes the rare feat of crafting a superhero movie with a real heart. Rather than focusing solely on action and explosions, SPIDER-MAN wisely shines the spotlight on the character of Peter Parker, played with perfect bewilderment by Maguire. The special effects, of course, are dazzling, but they are topped by an excellent cast that also includes the radiant Dunst, the menacing Dafoe, the brooding Franco, and the scene-stealing J.K. Simmons as Peter's tough-talking boss. (Raimi fans will notice cameos by the director's brother, Ted Raimi, and EVIL DEAD series star Bruce Campbell.) The result is a charming and amazingly entertaining film unafraid to combine CGI animation with sincere human emotion. -- (Muze Description)1226814 "...The filmmakers have succeeded in rejuvenating the character while staying faithful to his roots....Mr. Maguire seems at once knowing and vulnerable..." -- (Review)1237288 "...SPIDER-MAN, an adventure in vicarious acrobatic daredevilry, has been excitingly staged by director Sam Raimi..." -- (Review)1237724 "...The actors seem to be having as good a time as we are....Maguire and Dunst keep SPIDER-MAN on a high with their sweet-sexy yearning, spinning a web of dazzle and delicacy..." -- (Review)1237730 "...Chemistry between Maguire and the winning Dunst is excellent....[A] standout supporting turn is served up by J.K. Simmons, who brilliantly catches his pieces' comic book origins..." -- (Review)1240991 "...Raimi does know his genre and has a lot of fun with the always gratifying makeover element....[Maguire] seems the only choice to play Peter, imbuing the character with intelligence, sensitivity, affability, strength, humor and edginess..." -- (Review)1242151 "...SPIDER-MAN is full of deftly handled small moments and characters..." -- (Review)1242866 Theatrical Release Date: May 3, 2002 (Wide) -- (Muze Annotation)1245938 "...Kirsten Dunst is effective as the conflicted Mary Jane....Willem Dafoe has fun with a Jekyll-and-Hyde character..." -- (Review)1248476

 

Starsky & Hutch (Widescreen Edition)
Stiller, Ben, Wilson, Owen, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson--dark, wiry, and tense meets blond, lanky, and loose--make a solid comic team (and previously appeared together in Zoolander), but the funniest man in Starsky and Hutch is Vince Vaughn. Vaughn dives into his role as a sleazy drug dealer (who nonetheless buys a pony for his daughter's bat mitzvah) with the offhand zest that he brings to almost every role (from Swingers to Old School) and effortlessly steals every scene he's in. Vaughn has concocted a new and undetectable kind of cocaine, and only two cops who aren't afraid to break the rules--our titular pair--can catch him. But the plot isn't the point; mocking-yet-loving jabs at the '70s, including the homoerotic overtones of Starsky and Hutch's partnership, are what this movie is about. The satire is surprisingly mild but entertaining nonetheless, particularly when Vaughn or Snoop Dogg (as informant Huggy Bear) hold the screen. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Stigmata
Gabriel Byrne, Patricia Arquette, Dramas

When a young American woman begins exhibiting the characteristics of Stigmata (spontaneously bleeding from the wrists and forehead, speaking in Aramaic), a Vatican envoy is deployed to investigate whether the afflictions are demonic or divine. The dark, quick-cut cinematography of Jeffrey L. Kimball (JACOB'S LADDER) and a gothic soundscape assembled by Billy Corgan place the devil (of this film) in the details. -- (Muze Description)1141781 "The horror genre hasn't boasted an EXORCIST knockoff in some time, and those who've been suffering the lack will get their fix with STIGMATA..." -- (Review)1152468 "...Entertaining....Creepy stigmata scenes justify the price..." -- 3 out of 5 Stars -- (Review)1157422

 

Stripes
Ramis, Harold, Oates, Warren, Comedies

When John Winger (Bill Murray) loses his girlfriend, his job, and his apartment, he and his best friend (Harold Ramis) decide to join the Army. Way over their head, they eventually learn the ropes and manage to take a top-secret U.S. recreational vehicle behind the iron curtain on a road trip. Directed by Ivan Reitman (GHOSTBUSTERS, MEATBALLS.) An ITA award winner. "And then, depression set in."--John Winger (Bill Murray) "How ya doin', Eisenhower?"--Dewey Oxberger (John Candy) "Yoou're a lean mean fighting machine!"--Winger to Ox

 

 

Stuck On You (Widescreen Edition)
Damon, Matt, Kinnear, Greg, Comedy : General

Amazon.com Stuck on You finds those fun-loving Farrelly brothers in a feel-good mood, delivering a tame, kind-hearted comedy that even your grandma could enjoy. That's a big change from the seminal "hair gel" of There's Something About Mary, but the codirecting Farrellys have genuine affection for Bob and Walt (Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear), conjoined twins who are the owners and short-order cooks at a Martha's Vinyard burger joint. When amateur actor Walt decides he wants to make it in Hollywood--where he lucks into a star-making TV role with Cher (who gamely plays herself in this light Hollywood satire)--Bob has no choice but to go along. Separation surgery is risky, so most of Stuck on You milks mild laughs from the brothers' intimate connection, especially when Bob finds love with a pen-pal (Wen Yann Shih) who's initially unaware of Bob's brotherly predicament. Once again, the Farrellys score big points for their progressive acceptance of differences; several minor roles are played by physically or developmentally disabled actors, and it's a consistently commendable aspect of the Farrellys' comedic worldview. Other, more conventional rewards include Eva Mendes (and her ample cleavage) as a bubbly show-biz wannabe, Seymour Cassel as Walt's old-school agent, and Meryl Streep--yes, Meryl Streep--showing good sportsmanship in a glorified cameo. Stuck on You is dispensable comedy, but you can't knock it for good ol'-fashioned brotherly love. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Summer of Sam
Spike Lee, John Leguizamo, Dramas

SUMMER OF SAM, Spike Lee's sizzling interpretation of the summer of 1977 in New York City, when thermometers shattered and a serial killer terrorized the city, focuses on an Italian-American community in the Bronx--specifically, Dionna (Mira Sorvino) and Vinny (John Leguizamo), a couple whose marriage is threatened by Vinny's obsession with other women. After Vinny returns home one night to find a killer has murdered two local women, he promises to mend his cheating ways, albeit unsuccessfully. As the media exploits the murders and a blackout threatens to unleash anarchy on the city, its inhabitants begin to look for a scapegoat who will release them from the reign of terror created by the chilling figure known only as the Son of Sam (Michael Badalucco). Lee’s ambitious film does more than re-create the events that unfolded during the summer of 1977; in addition to being an entertaining time capsule, it also deals graphically with the concept of the mob mentality. -- (Muze Description)1136547 "...[A] tenaciously gripping film..." -- (Review)1154918 "...[See it for the] bravura sequence set to the tremble and throb of The Who's 1971 anthem BABA O'RILEY....Glee alternates with gloom..." -- Rating: B -- (Review)1159519 Spike Lee's sizzling, fictionalized re-telling of the events of the summer of 1977 in New York when a serial killer stalked the streets, terrorizing an entire city and its environs. The story focuses on a Bronx couple (Mira Sorvino and John Leguizamo) whose marriage is threatened by the Son of Sam's reign of terror and the husband's obsession with other women. When their friends (James Brody and Jennifer Esposito) return to the city as newly outfitted punk rockers, tensions begin to boil as the fear continues to grow in the community. -- (Synopsis)1180068 Theatrical release: July 2, 1999. Shot on location in New York City. Lee trimmed almost two minutes of footage from the film so it could receive an R rating from the MPAA. -- (Muze Annotation)1180718 "...Furiously enthralling....SUMMER OF SAM is loaded with visual energy..." -- (Review)1203526 "...Energetic, inventive....Lee's hand with actors has never been surer....A truly remarkable achievement..." -- (Review)1208316 "...Lee's feeling for the material, as expressed through his usual visual pyrotechnics, is undeniably effective..." -- (Review)1209665 "...Lee's best films thrum with a wound-up energy, and SUMMER OF SAM vibrates with fear, guilt and lust..." -- (Review)1254237

 

Superman: The Movie
Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Science-Fiction/Fantasy

The Superman myth is well told, from his birth on the doomed planet Krypton to his childhood in a small Kansas town and beyond, in Richard Donner's blockbuster. After he comes of age, young Clark Kent, as his Earth parents have named him, learns the truth of his alien birth on a voyage of discovery to the Arctic. It is there that he learns--through a link to his long-dead birth parents--of his superhuman abilities and his responsibility to preserve and protect "truth, justice and the American Way." Once he adjusts to life in the big city, Metropolis, he discovers that hiding his superpowers as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) isn't easy as he flirts with hard-nosed Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and battles supervillain Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). The film's all-star cast includes Jackie Cooper, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Glenn Ford, Terence Stamp, and Valerie Perrine, among others, all camping it up wonderfully. -- (Muze Description)1020583 This star-packed extravaganza brings the comic book legend to the screen in grand style. It begins with Superman's scientist dad sending the infant superhero down to Earth just as the home planet, Krypton, explodes into a zillion pieces. Taking up permanent residence on Earth, the young Superman grows up into supernormal reporter Clark Kent, wooing winsome colleague Lois Lane and keeping his true identity hidden from the world. But when three villains come up with a dastardly real estate scheme that involves shoving California into the ocean, Clark Kent decides it's time to don his cape and fight the forces of evil. -- (Synopsis)1106118 "...A wonderful, chuckling, preposterously exciting fantasy....Reeve is excellent....Superman's ultimate triumph involves a lot more than super-feats of strength, exercising the heart muscles as well..." -- (Review)1181879 "You've got me? Who's got you?"--Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) to Superman (Christopher Reeve) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1189309 "...Good, clean, simple-minded fun....[Reeve] manages to be both funny and comic-strip heroic..." -- (Review)1192869

 

Talented Mr. Ripley, The
Celia Weston, James Rebhorn, Dramas

Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, Minghella's moody follow-up to his Oscar-winning THE ENGLISH PATIENT concerns Tom Ripley, a poor New Yorker, who is sent to Italy by the wealthy Mr. Greenleaf in order to bring back his spoiled son, Dickie. Once in Italy, Tom charms his way into the home of Dickie and his girlfriend Marge, where he begins to get a taste of wealthy living. When Tom begins to wear out his welcome, he takes drastic actions to ensure that he will never have to return to the life that he left behind. -- (Muze Description)1142068 "...[An] intoxicating and involving tale of intrigue and crime..." -- (Review)1153360 "...Visually impressive....It's difficult to think of a better cast..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1156382 "...Gorgeous young swells....A soundtrack and cinematography as rich as crème de menthe..." - Rating: B+ -- (Review)1159214 Set against a luxurious Italian backdrop, Anthony Minghella's suspenseful film follows Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), a young New York men’s room attendant, who is befriended by the father of a spoiled playboy, Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law). Dickie’s father sends Tom to track down his wayward son in Venice and return him to his family in America. Tom, whose talents include forgery and impersonating voices, charms his way into the lives of Dickie and his girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), where he experiences first hand how the other half lives. Tom's immediate attraction to Dickie makes apparent his desire to be anyone but himself, and as the friendship develops, his true character begins to emerge. As Dickie grows tired and suspicious of his new acquaintance, Tom sees his new life slipping away. Unwilling to return to his old lifestyle, he takes extreme measures in order to ensure his place in the privileged world that he has grown to love. Establishing an intricate web of lies, Tom himself seems to forget what is real and what is not. -- (Synopsis)1165155 Theatrical release date: December 1999. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY was shot throughout Italy, as well as in New York City, following six months of scouting locations. The film is a remake of Rene Clement's PURPLE NOON. The role of Meredith was expanded after Minghella met with Cate Blanchett, who was willing to take a small part because she was a fan of Minghella's TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY. Patricia Highsmith's novels have been the basis for several films, including STRANGERS ON A TRAIN by Alfred Hitchcock. -- (Muze Annotation)1165161 "...The performances here are stunning, with on-the-money turns by supporting actors Philip Seymour Hoffman...and Cate Blanchett..." -- (Review)1210715 "...A significant plot twist suddenly changes a heated psychological thriller into a low-key cat-and-mouse thriller....This overall better rendering coasts on the momentum of a terrific lead-in..." -- (Review)1213866 "...A wonderfully accomplished work....A beautifully mounted and directed film..." -- (Review)1247505

 

Talk Radio (1988)
Bogosian, Eric, Greene, Ellen, Drama : General

 

A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national. An acerbic radio talk show host based in Dallas starts what could be an important few days when he discovers that his controversial late night show is about to be "picked up" by a nationwide network of radio stations. However, all is not perfect for him, because on top of troubles with his love life and fears that the management of the network will try to alter the content of his show he has to cope with a neo-nazi group who have been angered by his forthright opinions.

 

Teen Wolf/Teen Wolf Too Midnite Movies Double Feature
Fox, Michael J., Bateman, Jason, Comedies

Justine Bateman's brothers, from real life and TV, battle it out for cute werewolf supremacy in this double feature. TEEN WOLF (1985) stars Michael J. Fox as the eponymous lead in high school and TEEN WOLF TOO (1987) features Jason Bateman as the afflicted individual attending college. For more synopsis information, please see individual titles. -- (Muze Description)1239439

 

 

 

The Terminal
Zeta-Jones, Catherine, Hanks, Tom, Dramas

Viktor Navorksi (Tom Hanks) falls into a bureaucratic crack in the system when his plane lands at New York's JFK airport from the fictitious country of Krakozhia. Unbeknownst to Navorski, his country fell prey to a military coup while he was in flight, causing it to be wiped from the map. This effectively renders his passport null and void, meaning he cannot legally enter America, nor return to his now nonexistent home. Barely able to speak English, the hapless Navorski is offered a sanctuary of sorts by kindly staff who allow him to freely inhabit the airport. With little money to his name, Navorski has to quickly shed his feelings of displacement, confusion, and alienation to survive. Fortunately he has a resourceful nature, and makes a meager amount of money for food by returning baggage carts. As time passes he becomes more comfortable with his surroundings, even finding time to pursue a passing stewardess, Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who has captured his heart. But airport denizens such as customs chief Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), who is a constant thorn in Navorski's side, remind him of his outsider status throughout the ordeal. Director Steven Spielberg uses the airport setting of THE TERMINAL to represent a microcosmic view of the immigrant experience in American society. Drawing on a fine performance from Hanks, and a supporting cast who provide plenty of laughs, Spielberg handles some delicate subject matter with an acute sensitivity, providing a heartfelt tale in the process.

 

The Who's Tommy - The Amazing Journey
Classic Rock : Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)

 

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and the object of a religious cult because of that. Tommy is blind, deaf and dumb, but there is nothing wrong with him. As a small child, he accidentally witnessed the murder of his father by his stepfather. His mother and stepfather told him to forget everything he had seen and heard, and to never talk about it; but Tommy carried it to the extreme, turned inward, and stopped seeing, hearing or speaking at all. He suffered much while growing up, and finally found happiness in, of all things, playing pinball. When he became the world champion pinball player it brought his family fame and fortune. After being spontaneously healed, he began to teach others of his unique perspective on life, eventually becoming a religious cult figure.

 

There's Something About Mary
Stiller, Ben, Diaz, Cameron,

No-holds-barred comedy tour de force in which 30-something Stiller locates and courts his high school dreamgirl (Diaz), unwittingly enlisting the help of some of her more hilariously psychotic suitors. In-your-face sight gags and unapologetic raunchiness disguise a riotously funny love story that is actually very sweet. Be amazed at the impeccable casting and stellar performances of the supporting players.

 

 

 

Thin Red Line, The
Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, Action/Adventure

Terrence Malick returns to Hollywood after a two-decade hiatus with this adaptation of the classic WWII novel by James Jones. The story follows the efforts of an army platoon to capture the Japanese-controlled island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific Ocean, which will have a major effect on the outcome of the war. The members of C-for-Charlie Company are all fighting for different reasons: Some to achieve glory, some to fight for democracy, and some simply to remain alive. They spend the quieter moments reflecting upon their existence, searching for meaning amid the senselessness of war. Malick’s reputation as one of cinema’s most brilliant directors, based on his masterworks BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN, enabled him to pull together one of the largest ensemble all-star casts in Hollywood history. The result is a sprawling epic that carries itself like a poem read in a dream, a feeling that is greatly enhanced by John Toll’s floating camerawork and Hans Zimmer’s haunting score. Rather than concentrating solely on the violence and destruction of war, Malick uses the situation to address philosophical questions such as man versus nature, war versus peace, and good versus evil. THE THIN RED LINE proves that after a 20-year layoff, Malick hasn't lost a step. -- (Muze Description)1128932 "...Malick's return is a cause for celebration. His harsh, haunting film shuns the platitudes to expose war as a crime against nature..." -- (Review)1153574 "...An extraordinary achievement....THE THIN RED LINE is hugely effective as a film about the absurdity of war..." -- (Review)1154748 "...[A] masterpiece of poetic flourish and grand ambition..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1156247 Director Terrence Malick had a clause in his contract that no pictures could be taken of him at any point during production. Actors that didn't make the film's final cut include Lukas Haas, Bill Pullman, Jason Patric, Viggo Mortensen, Billy Bob Thornton, and Martin Sheen. In the script, the part of Cpl. Fife (Adrien Brody) was one of the meatiest, although he barely speaks a line in the finished film. -- (Muze Annotation)1163365 Terrence Malick's return to the director's chair after a 20-year absence is a challenging, philosophical, epic poem that already stands as a historic cinematic achievement. Continuing the blend of abstracted intellect and pure, honest emotion that he established with his previous 1970s classics, BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN, this adaptation of the James Jones novel feels like a nostalgic dream. Stellar contributions from John Toll and Hans Zimmer, along with the floating voice-overs of the characters, combine to create a thoughtful, sensitive reflection on the nature of man and the absurdity of war. -- (Synopsis)1163366 "...Terrence Malick's first movie since 1978's DAYS OF HEAVEN is just as sensual, subliminally stirring and magnificently photographed..." -- 4 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1163950 "...[Malick's] intoxication with natural beauty, fused so palpably with the psychic sleepwalking of his human characters, remains exactly as it was....Here is a visceral reminder of all that made his past work so hauntingly majestic..." -- (Review)1201978 "...A monumental accomplishment....THE THIN RED LINE must be seen, felt and remembered to be fully appreciated. And for those willing to rise to the occasion, the reward is beyond compare..." -- 5 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1210308 "...Malick has retained his eye for crystalline images, and a facility for camera movement so fluid as to seem almost thought-activated..." -- (Review)1245465 "...The battle scenes themselves are masterful..." -- (Review)1253311

 

Three Kings
Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Dramas

David O. Russell makes his entry into the major studio big leagues with this electric war dramedy. The charged script, based on a fictional story by John Ridley, is a sly reworking of KELLY'S HEROES that concerns four Gulf War soldiers who discover a map that potentially leads to an enormous stash of gold bullion. Russell gives his actors a chance to shine with roles that step outside of the usual cinematic cliches and enable them to create humanistic, believable characters, resulting in one of 1999’s most exciting, original and underrated motion pictures. -- (Muze Description)1142117 David O. Russell's multifaceted war film is an exhilarating display of cinematic bravado. As the Gulf War winds to a close, three American soldiers discover a map that leads to a stash of gold bullion hidden in a bunker by Sadaam Hussein's army. The soldiers--Sgt. Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg), "Chief" Elgin (Ice Cube), and Pvt. Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze)--are busted by Special Forces Sgt. Major Archie Gates (George Clooney). Gates orders a top-secret mission in which the four of them will track down the gold and keep it for themselves. Their journey seems simple enough, as Hussein's troops ignore the Americans due to the recently called truce. But after securing the gold, they witness the execution of an Iraqi woman in front of her family. Their morality compels them to fight for what is right, risking their lives--and the gold--in the process. Working within the limitations of the war genre, Russell manages to reinvent and revitalize it by shooting the film with a bleached out look and hyper-kinetic editing style. He also stuffs it with a potent blend of comedy and drama that is reminiscent of Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, only he updates it for the materialistic 1990s. -- (Synopsis)1143998 "...[THREE KINGS is] impudently comic, stylistically aggressive....Clooney, Cube and, particularly, Wahlberg deliver rugged and well-considered turns..." -- (Review)1152427 Ranked #6 in Rolling Stone's "Ten Best Movies of 1999" -- "...An acutely funny and astutely provocative [satire]..." -- (Review)1153466 "...An acutely funny and provocative surprise....[Clooney] gives his finest performance to date..." -- (Review)1154909 "...Zeal and inventiveness....It's impossible not to be impressed..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1157426 The film's primary filming locations were Casa Grande, Arizona; El Centro, California; and Mexicali, Mexico. Director David O. Russell spent eighteen months researching the Gulf War before writing his script. Director of Photography Thomas Newton Sigel utilized an original technique in developing the film stock called "bleach bypassing," which entails skipping a bleach process in order to leave a layer of silver on the negative, making the image look washed out. Sgt. Major Parker, Lt. John Rottger, and Col. King Davis all participated as military advisors during the shoot. Arabian consultants throughout the production: Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, Sermid Al-Sarrof, and Al No'mani. One early title for the film was SPOILS OF WAR. -- (Muze Annotation)1162963 "...Fresh, funny dialogue....With a grab-bag of visual tricks..." -- (Review)1209441 "...KINGS is more interested in guts than glory, in all its meanings....Russell nails the absurdity angle..." -- (Review)1213658 "...Especially effective is Clooney who perfectly conveys the combination of capability, authority and a touch of larceny the film insists on..." -- (Review)1246730 "...It has the freedom and recklessness of Oliver Stone or Robert Altman in their mad-dog days....THREE KINGS is awake and hyper..." -- (Review)1254360

 

Tigerland
Guiry, Tom, Richardson, Russell, Dramas

Set in 1971, when America was a nation divided over the escalating violence and bloodshed of the Vietnam War, TIGERLAND begins when thousands of young soldiers had already lost their lives to the war, and thousands more were preparing to enter combat. In Fort Polk, Louisiana, a group of young soldiers-in-training has conflicting opinions about the war. Jim Paxton (Matthew Davis) is an idealistic romantic who sees Vietnam as potential inspiration for future novels and romantic war stories. Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) is a rebellious antihero who decides that he wants no part of the army or the war and begins to disobey orders, trying to get expelled from the infantry. Paxton and Bozz become leaders to a small group of young draftees, and Bozz inspires them to question authority. As they enter Tigerland--a training process in which the soldiers simulate combat in the Louisiana wilderness--the men begin to realize just how far they will go to stay out of the war. This gritty, documentary-like vision of the war is engaging and incredibly moving, employing natural lighting, handheld cameras, and realistic dialogue to encapsulate the deeply internalized psychological journeys of the characters. Irishman Farrell gives a breakout performance as Bozz, replete with intense charisma and brooding outlaw heroism. Theatrical release: September 22, 2000 (NY/LA). TIGERLAND was shot in 28 days on a military base in Starke, Florida. Screenwriter Ross Klavan enlisted in the army reserve in 1971 and did his advanced training at Tigerland. Director Joel Shumacher conceived the film in the spirit of Danish director Lars Von Trier's Dogma 95, a movement that rejects typical Hollywood artifice such as special effects, elaborate lighting, and sweeping film scores. The film was shot with 16mm and handheld cameras, using natural light. The actors wore no makeup except for blood or bruising makeup. Composer Nathan Larsen is the guitarist for alternative punk band Shudder to Think. Paul Tatara of of cnn.com named TIGERLAND one of the 10 best films of 2000. The Boston Society of Film Critics named Colin Farrell Best Actor for TIGERLAND. TIGERLAND screenwriters Ross Klavan & Michael McGruther were nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

 

Titanic
Winslet, Kate, Zane, Billy, Dramas

Featuring spectacular special effects set amidst the backdrop of one of the most tragic events of the 20th Century, James Cameron's award-winning TITANIC stands as one of the greatest Hollywood spectaculars of all time. Beginning with an undersea expedition in the 1990s, in which scuba divers are searching the sunken ship for lost relics, a painting of young Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is found. This triggers a flashback to the young woman's story as it happened on the doomed Titanic. Rose is a daughter of privilege on her way to be married to an arrogant but wealthy young man (Billy Zane). Despairing, Rose finds herself falling in love with Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a carefree and poor young artist who is also aboard. When the great ship strikes an iceberg and begins to sink, Rose and Jack have only each other as their world falls apart around them. Director James Cameron spared no expense in bringing his simple yet powerful love story to life, building a 90% scale model of the ship, fussing over the tiniest details, and ultimately spending some $200 million dollars. A worldwide smash, TITANIC received fourteen Academy Award nominations and 11 wins, including Best Picture. Despite all the lavish sets and special effects, the film would be nothing without the emotional core provided by stars Winslet and DiCaprio, who give star making performances as the tragic young lovers. -- (Muze Description)1122938 Theatrical release: December 19, 1997. The film grossed more than $600 million at the domestic box office and more than $1.8 billion worldwide. -- (Muze Annotation)1123568 DVD Features: Region 1 encoding -- (Muze Annotation)1129313 "I'm the king of the world!" Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1132429 Collector's Edition Features: One of 17 specially selected film strips featuring a memorable scene from the motion picture, mounted within a beautiful embossed matte frame. An exclusive, full-color 24-page photo book featuring scenes from the movie. Keepsake box. -- (Muze Annotation)1132430 Collector's Edition Features: One of 17 specially selected film strips featuring a memorable scene from the motion picture, mounted within a beautiful embossed matte frame. An exclusive, full-color 24-page photo book featuring scenes from the movie. Keepsake box. -- (Muze Annotation)1132431 "...Kate Winslet creates one of the most all-around attractive characters in years in an epic that won 11 Oscars..." -- 4 out of 4 stars -- (Review)1163906 "...[Cameron] touches the deepest levels of popular movie-making..." -- Rating: A -- (Review)1175477 "...Magnificent....A huge, thrilling three-and-a-quarter-hour experience that unerringly lures viewers into the beauty and heartbreak of its lost world..." -- (Review)1206685 "...Sumptuous, stunningly believable sets and visual effects....It is an intimate epic with a moving and resonant love story at its core..." -- 5 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1211325 "...It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding..." -- (Review)1259629

 

To End All Wars
Carlyle, Robert, Sutherland, Kiefer, Drama : General

Amazon.com A Japanese P.O.W. camp during World War II becomes the battleground for the souls as well as the lives of its Scottish and British prisoners. Based on a true story, To End All Wars centers around Ernest Gordon (Ciaran McMenamin), a young soldier who wants to teach philosophy. When Gordon recovers from seeming death by illness, the other prisoners agree to become Grodon's pupils, studying Plato, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Gordon's superior officer, Ian Campbell (Robert Carlyle, Trainspotting, The Full Monty), scoffs at the increasingly pacificist bent of Gordon's teachings. Jim Reardon (Kiefer Sutherland, 24, Freeway), a lone American running a black market, is equally skeptical. But under the relentless brutality of the camp, the only way for the soldiers to survive is to find what gives their lives meaning. The strong performances of To End All Wars makes this moral conflict as vivid as any gun battle. --Bret Fetzer

 

Tombstone
Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Westerns

Arizona, 1879. Legendary Dodge City marshall Wyatt Earp, his wife Mattie and his brothers Virgil and Morgan just rode into Tombstone. These veteran frontiersmen hope to open a small business and settle into a quiet life. But they get more than they bargained for: Tombstone is a lawless municipality inhabited by a bunch of carousing locals. To make matters worse, the entire village is victimized by a gang of infamous outlaws. Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan may be the only formidable force around to confront them head-on. -- (Muze Description)1048053 "Tombstone" was written by "Glory" screenwriter Kevin Jarre, who was originally slated to direct. George Pan Cosmatos ("Rambo: First Blood, Part II") replaced him. Kevin Costner was still working on his version of the Wyatt Earp story for Warner Bros. (directed by Lawrence Kasdan) when "Tombstone" was released December 25, 1993. Jarre told reporters that Costner's film was initially slated to "crush my picture." Jarre was afraid his picture wouldn't get made but a William Morris agent got Russell to star in the film (even if Russell was a client of the Creative Artists Agency); after that, the rest of the cast quckly fell into place. Budget estimate $25 million. Filmed in location in Tucson, Arizona, in Technicolor and Panavision. Rated MPAA R, running time 127 minutes. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. -- (Muze Annotation)1082886 Arizona, 1879. Legendary Dodge City marshall Wyatt Earp, his wife Mattie and his brothers Virgil and Morgan just rode into Tombstone. These veteran frontiersmen hope to open a small business and settle into a quiet life. But they get more than they bargained for: Tombstone is a lawless municipality inhabited by a bunch of carousing locals. To make matters worse, the entire village is victimized by a gang of infamous outlaws. Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan may be the only formidable force around to confront them head-on. -- (Synopsis)1082887 "...TOMBSTONE is replete with traditional Western pleasures: lusciously photographed sunsets, rugged landscapes, consistently witty dialogue...and a gallery of finely-realised heroes and villains..." -- (Review)1161289 "...Russell's clear, steady portrayal of Wyatt Earp gives the film a core of emotional integrity..." -- (Review)1162116 "...The leanest, meanest Earp movie yet....Sprawling, chaotic [climax]..." -- (Review)1190055

 

Top Gun
Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Action/Adventure

Cocky, undisciplined Maverick (Tom Cruise) flies by instinct and breaks all of the rules at the Navy fighter pilot academy with his best friend and co-pilot Goose (Anthony Edwards). Along the way, Maverick romances the civilian astrophysics instructor (Kelly McGillis) who is initially put off by his hotshot antics. When a personal tragedy leads Maverick to reassess his abilities and choices, he proves that he can be a team player and still shine. Directed by Tony Scott, TOP GUN was the top grossing movie of 1986. -- (Muze Description)1021694 Theatrical release: May 15, 1986. TOP GUN was filmed at Miramar Naval Base, San Diego, CA, and at other locations in California and Nevada. The film grossed more than $175 million at the domestic box office and nearly $345 million worldwide. -- (Muze Annotation)1095298 Maverick (Tom Cruise) is a reckless F-14 pilot who flies by instinct and breaks all of the rules. While attending the Navy's elite air combat training academy, affectionately known as "Top Gun," Maverick romances the civilian astrophysics instructor (Kelly McGillis) and competes with crackerjack pilot Ice (Val Kilmer) for top honors. He is the quintessential rebel, upsetting senior officers with his antics and risk-taking while simultaneously amazing them with his skill. In the end, Maverick overcomes a tragic loss and his need to stand out in the crowd and proves that he can shine as part of a team. Anthony Edwards stars as Maverick’s best friend and co-pilot, Goose, and Meg Ryan first garnered attention as Goose’s wife, Carole. Superb state-of-the-art aerial photography makes TOP GUN, directed by Tony Scott, one of the most exciting and entertaining films of its genre. This top grossing movie of 1986 is allegedly based on a Navy fighter pilot program at the Miramar Naval Base in San Diego, California, and was filmed on location at the base. -- (Synopsis)1095299 "I feel the need--the need for speed!"--Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) "I was keeping up foreign relations"--Maverick, relating how he gave the finger to an enemy pilot during an "impossible" 4-G negative (inverted) dive -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1128206 "...Strong visuals....A thrilling ride..." -- (Review)1188256

 

Training Day
Dogg, Snoop, Glenn, Scott, Comedies, Dramas

Antoine Fuqua (THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, BAIT) turns up the intensity level with TRAINING DAY, a charged drama about police corruption in downtown Los Angeles. Ethan Hawke stars as Jake Hoyt, a well-intentioned young officer who thinks he's found his ticket to becoming a detective in the form of undercover officer Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington). Harris is a notorious figure in the streets and in the office. He also has the authority to make Jake's professional wishes come true, provided Jake is able to prove his worth on Alonzo's team. At first, Alonzo's blunt, carefree demeanor provides a shock to Jake's optimistic system, but as it becomes clear that Alonzo is dangerously out of control, Jake must decide whether or not to risk his future in the name of the law. Washington's performance as the evil, pragmatic detective is a sight to behold. He delivers his lines with a devilish ferocity that keeps the film bubbling throughout. Hawke slips into the role of the rookie everyman with ease, providing a good contrast to Washington's fiery presence. Former video director Fuqua completes the picture by casting musicians Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Macy Gray in supporting roles.

 

Trick
Spelling, Tori, Campbell, Christian,

Amazon.com While most of the recent outpouring of gay cinema tries to coast on a smile and a little bit of charm, Trick provides some considerable filmmaking cojones to back up its good looks: a talented cast, a witty screenplay, and a sweet sense of romance. Unfolding as part stressed-out fever dream and part farce, Trick chronicles one tumultuous night in the life of aspiring Broadway songwriter Gabe (Christian Campbell), who's suffering from both a heterosexual roommate (who kicks him out when there's female companionship) and a bad case of writer's block. Making an impulsive side trip to a gay bar, he locks eyes with a hunky go-go boy (J.P. Pitoc), who magically appears later that night on the subway, with amorous intentions to boot. Hotfooting their way back to Gabe's apartment, they're interrupted in medias res by Gabe's roommate, girlfriend in tow. From there it's downhill fast, as the two unsuccessfully scramble to find a place to finish things up. On their nighttime odyssey, though, both discover that there's more than sex and heat to their interaction. And much like its premise, Trick evolves from what seems to be a quickie one-night stand to something more substantial, a film with heart and a very funny soul. Jason Schafer's screenplay puts the luckless couple into one bind after another, and furnishes them with incredibly entertaining dialogue; fortunately, both the leads are up to the challenge of bringing it to life. Campbell (Neve's older brother) has a sweet smile and gentle comic timing; the surprise, however, is Pitoc, whose chiseled physique belies both a wicked sense of humor and a sincere-without-being-gooey romantic streak. Both are aided and abetted by a finely tuned supporting cast, most notably Clinton Leupp as an acidic, motor-mouthed drag queen and Tori Spelling in a go-for-broke star turn as Campbell's best friend, a painfully bad singer-actress. By the end of the movie, you'll be entirely won over, and anxiously awaiting a second date and more from these actors and filmmakers. --Mark Englehart

 

Troy
Bana, Eric, Bloom, Orlando, Action/Adventure

With soaring photography that circles from above then swoops in for the action, TROY is Wolfgang Petersen's majestic presentation of the classic Greek legend. It tells the story of an epic battle over Helen (Diane Kruger), the queen of Sparta, who is kidnapped by her lover Paris (Orlando Bloom), the prince of Troy. This infuriates Helen's husband Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), whose brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox) convinces him to invade Troy and kill Helen. They recruit Achilles (Brad Pitt), the best warrior in Greece, whose bravery, quick feet, and remarkable swordsmanship (not to mention tan biceps, short kilts, and blond locks) have earned him a reputation that is almost as impressive as his ego. Achilles agrees to fight for Sparta, if only for the fame it will bring him. Even Achilles' mother, in a touching scene, advises him to forget mortal achievements and become a hero who will be remembered throughout history. Along with the invasion of Troy, a series of duals must also be fought: Paris, who is heartbreaking in his lovestruck naivety, must go up against the enraged Menelaus; and Achilles must settle a score with Hector (Eric Bana), who is fiercely dedicated to protecting his brother Paris and their father, the frail king Priam (Peter O'Toole). When the war finally ignites in its massive proportions, the action is awesome. And as the increasingly dramatic events play out, TROY earns its own timeless reputation among other action-adventure epics such as GLADIATOR and SPARTACUS. THEATRICAL RELEASE: MAY 14, 2004

 

Truth About Cats & Dogs, The
Thurman, Uma, Garofalo, Janeane, Comedy

Amazon.com One of the most memorably offbeat romantic comedies of the 1990s begins when a talk-radio veterinarian named Abby (Janeane Garofalo) takes a call from Brian (Ben Chaplin), the owner of a roller-skating Great Dane. Brian is intrigued by Abby's voice and asks if she'll agree to meet him. Insecure about her looks and her nonexistent love life, Abby agrees, but describes herself as a tall blonde, then begs her attractive neighbor Noelle (played by Uma Thurman) to meet with Brian in her place. The ensuing case of switched identity is complicated when Noelle takes a liking to Brian who, of course, thinks she is Abby. This confusion gains comedic momentum when Abby safely plays herself on the radio and in a long, hilariously seductive phone call with Brian, but by now the situation has grown hopelessly complex, and Abby has to find a way to reveal herself without disappointing Brian. Many viewers rightly complained that the movie relies on the assumption that Abby is unattractive, even though Garofalo is more attractive and appealing here than she'd been in several movies before and since. Still, this contemporary variation on Cyrano de Bergerac is a lightweight, good-natured surprise that values the quirks and foibles that make lovelorn romantics (including their pets) uniquely appealing. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Tuskegee Airmen, The
Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Action/Adventure

An action-filled dramatization of the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first squadron of black American pilots to defend their country in World War II. Overcoming nearly insurmountable racial obstacles, the men of the "Fighting 99th" distinguished themselves and their race. -- (Muze Description)1068050 The true story of the African-American 332nd Fighter Group, and the obstacles they faced in their efforts to fly during WWII. When the black cadets arrive at Alabama's Tuskegee Army Air Field, they are full of determination and eagerness. But thanks to a bigoted white instructor, the soldiers' time there proves to be a firm testing ground of their skills, determination, and emotions, and a number of them are unable to complete the training. After the ones who do succeed become officers, they are hit with their next obstacle: a racist senator who has no faith in the soldiers. But thanks in part to Eleanor Roosevelt, the men are sent to North Africa to serve in the war. Upon their arrival, the black officers find their flying duties to be quite limited, especially when compared to their white counterparts. That changes when three of the Black fliers prove their abilities by saving two white fighter pilots -- who later specifically request that the 332nd fly with them on an important mission. The 332nd finally achieves equality, and they go on to make their country -- and their race -- very proud. -- (Synopsis)1091795 Produced by Price Entertainment Prods. Producer Frank Price first became interested in the story of the Tuskegee airmen in 1984, when he was head of Universal Pictures. He spent ten years working to bring this story about a squadron of black fighter pilots to the screen. The film cost about $8.5 million to produce. Copyright 1995 Home Box Office. The father of writer Paris Qualles was one of the pilots in the "Fighting 99th." Shot on location in Fort Chaffee, Alabama; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Davis Air Field, Muskogee, Oklahoma; and Los Angeles, California. Originally broadcast on HBO, Saturday, Aug. 26, 8pm (ET). This telefilm had a budget of $8.5 million. -- (Muze Annotation)1091796

 

Two Weeks Notice
Witt, Alicia, Grant, Hugh, Comedies

Opposites attract in the directorial debut of screenwriter Marc Lawrence. Determined activist, lawyer, and idealist Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) has a noble reason for accepting a top position at Wade Realty Corporation. By taking the job, she can save the beloved community center in her Coney Island neighborhood. Along with the job comes the position of personal advisor to her high-maintenance boss, George Wade (Hugh Grant). As the two work together, down-to-earth Lucy becomes utterly indispensable to millionaire playboy George, so much so that he seeks her advice on everything from stationery selection to his divorce settlement to what suit he should wear. When Lucy gives her two weeks notice and realizes that her potential replacement, June Carter (Alicia Witt), has some strong chemistry with George, she has to acknowledge her own romantic feelings for her boss. Likewise, faced with losing the person he relies upon most, George is forced to do some soul searching of his own. Grant is well-cast as freewheeling George, delivering his lines with subtlety and making a potentially irritating character likable and charming. TWO WEEKS NOTICE also stars Dana Ivey and Robert Klein as Lucy's parents. -- (Muze Description)1261082 "...[The] absolutely essential chemistry between the down-to-earth Bullock and the nonchalant Grant proves to be sensational, and everything meshes in this elegant entertainment..." -- (Review)1264032 "...The pairing is inspired….TWO WEEKS NOTICE knows what it needs to do for both stars, does it, and doesn't make a federal case about it..." -- (Review)1264951 Theatrical Release Date: December 20, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1271682 "...Soderbergh ensures that the unfolding story is as much a sublime work of art as a deep-space mystery..." -- (Review)1276262

 

U Turn (1997)
Penn, Sean, Nolte, Nick, Action & Adventure : General

Amazon.com Oliver Stone used such words as "liberating" and "fun" to talk about U Turn's relatively quick production schedule of 42 days. Stone's ideas of film fun, however, are something older generations would call sick. This film is a Southwestern noir tale about Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn), a hotshot who is stuck in the tight confines of Superior, Arizona, when his car breaks down. His subsequent adventure is a meatball comedy--loud, obnoxious, and violent, and stuffed with diffused light, a hot cast, and a no-fat Ennio Morricone score. This film has plenty of odd characters, but you never really find out much about them. Bobby's first encounters include a repulsive mechanic (Billy Bob Thornton under the grease) and a blind Indian (Jon Voight under the makeup). Then there's Grace McKenna (a sizzling Jennifer Lopez), who is as dangerous as the curves of her red sundress. Bobby's got time to kill, and Grace seems more than willing. Unfortunately, it seems that Bobby has never seen a movie such as A Touch of Evil; if he had, he would know it can only get worse. About the time Grace's husband, Jake (Nick Nolte), shows up, Bobby is knee-deep in murder plots and double-crosses. The first 40 minutes or so are "fun" to a point. Penn is the perfect near-creep to root for, and as he wanders back into town after meeting Grace, the eclectic characters pile up. But soon it gets monotonous, tiring, and just plain ugly. And when incest and bloody fights begin, the fun is gone. If Penn weren't so solid an actor and able to be empathetic in the most morose situations, the movie would be unwatchable at stretches. Lopez makes another good impression, but this is not a performance that stands out. Nolte, raspy and ill-looking, is the Lee Marvin of the '90s. Before U Turn is over, you are already wondering if Oliver Stone will do something else, something more important, soon. --Doug Thomas

 

U-571
Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Dramas

Faithful to the conventions of the World War II genre, Mostow's (BREAKDOWN) submarine thriller pays earnest homage to the pluck and determination of ordinary people forced to overcome extraordinary odds. The mostly young and inexperienced crew of the S-33 is deployed on a top secret, high-priority mission to intercept a disabled German u-boat (the titular U-571) and capture the ship's encryption system--the Enigma--in order to crack the Nazi's communication codes and hasten an allied victory in the North Atlantic. Racing against a German rescue effort, the S-33 stages a daring raid on the U-571. But after capturing the U-571, the Americans find themselves its prisoner as they must pilot the leaky, disabled vessel through hostile enemy waters. McConaughey (EDTV, DAZED AND CONFUSED) leads a strong cast (Keitel - HOLY SMOKE, Paxton - A SIMPLE PLAN) in this fast-paced, tense, submarine adventure. -- (Muze Description)1148286 "...Matthew McConaughey delivers a tense, terrific performance..." -- (Review)1153628 "...Excitingly taut and kinetic....Leaps from one suspense gambit to the next..." -- Rating: A- -- (Review)1155866 "...[A] well-executed tale...mixing some cinema-rumbling big bangs with plenty of screen-cinging pyrotechnics..." -- (Review)1156265 Jonathan Mostow's (BREAKDOWN) World War II submarine thriller about a crew of inexperienced American mariners forced to pilot a disabled German U-boat through hostile waters delivers plenty of action while paying homage to such war genre greats as DAS BOOT and DESTINATION TOKYO. Matthew McConaughey (EDTV) leads the rag tag American crew as Lt. Andrew Tyler, a young officer determined to prove himself a capable leader after being denied command of his own ship. His fellow seamen include Jon Bon Jovi (MOONLIGHT AND VALENTINO), Bill Paxton (A SIMPLE PLAN) and a cross-section of American society, featuring a hot-headed Brooklyner, an earnest farm boy, a wise black cook, a pack of fresh-faced young sailors, and Harvey Keitel as a salty old sea dog. Working with a lean plot, Mostow employs Oliver Wood's (FACE/OFF) detailed, claustrophobic cinematography and an exceptional sound design to create a series of engaging and genuinely tense action sequences that take the rickety submarine to crushing depths in order to outrun German attacks. While his attention to hard historical facts may be a bit leaky, Mostow's ability to sustain suspense rewards viewers with a tight genre piece with no shortage of action or good old American patriotism. -- (Synopsis)1160844 Theatrical Release: April 21, 2000. The water scenes for U-571 were filmed in St. Paul's Bay, Malta. Official U-571 movie web site: http://www.u-571.com -- (Muze Annotation)1160848 "...[A] smooth white-knuckler....It's a simple pleasure to watch..." -- (Review)1177509 "...A rousing, old-fashioned submarine adventure....Just the right blend of adventure, action and gritty realism to keep audiences riveted throughout....A smart, slick crowd-pleaser..." -- (Review)1210945 "...[The film] gets high marks for tension and excitement. The action sequences are bracing and involving..." -- (Review)1219346

 

U.S. Marshals
Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Action

Jones reprises his Oscar-nominated role as no-bull lawman Sam Gerard in "The Fugitive"; this time, his lamster is a former Secret Service agent accused--perhaps wrongfully--of the cold-blooded murder of two of his unit members. As the chase unfolds, Gerard becomes more and more fascinated by his highly trained and intelligent quarry--and more convinced of his innocence. -- (Muze Description)1122407 DVD Features: Feature-length commentary by director Stuart Baird Interactive Documentary Special Effects Section "Anatomy Of The Plane Crash," taking viewers behind the screen on the making of that thrilling sequence. Documentary: "Justice Under The Star," chronicling the history of the U.S. Marshals. Soundtracks: English (5.1) French Subtitles: English & French -- (Muze Annotation)1123960

 

Uncommon Valor
Fred Ward, Gene Hackman, Action/Adventure

With the financial backing of a wealthy Texan, Colonel Jason Rhodes (Gene Hackman) prepares to carry out a dangerous mission to find his son who is listed as "Missing In Action" in Vietnam. Five of his son's Marine buddies accompany him. Also starring Robert Stack, Patrick Swayze, Fred Ward and Randall 'Tex' Cobb. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, director of the first RAMBO film. -- (Muze Description)1022314

 

 

 

Under Heavy Fire
Casper Van Dien, , Action/Adventure

Casper Van Dien stars in this rousing war film from the director of THE BOYS IN COMPANY C, Sidney J Furie. Van Dien is Captain Ramsey, a member of Echo Company, one of the most storied fighting units of the war and one that suffered an incredible amount of casualties. Told in flashback as the surviving members gather to remember their time in Vietnam, UNDER HEAVY FIRE is the powerful story of one of the bravest fighting units in American military history. -- (Muze Description)1255207

 

 

 

Under the Tuscan Sun (Widescreen Edition)
Lane, Diane, Oh, Sandra, Drama : General

Amazon.com Though she made her first movie at the age of 13, Diane Lane has only blossomed into a true star in her 30s, and Under the Tuscan Sun marks her full flowering. After a brutal divorce, Frances (Lane, Unfaithful, A Walk on the Moon) is persuaded by her friend Patti (Sandra Oh) to take a tour of Italy--where, on a whim that she hopes will rescue her from her desperate unhappiness, she buys a rundown villa and sets out to renovate it. Along the way, she gets advice from a former Fellini actress, meets a scrumptious Italian lover, and helps support Patti after her own relationship derails. The conclusion of Under the Tuscan Sun holds no surprises, but the deft turns and observations along the way are delightful. Lane carries the film effortlessly but surely, exuding both heartbreak and re-awakening passion. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War Boxed Set
Documentary : General

Amazon.com The military, political, and social repercussions of the Vietnam War continue to be felt, in the ways in which it altered the landscape of American life forever. Written by CNN correspondent Peter Arnett, the 13 episodes of Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War trace the entire course of the conflict, from the closing days of World War II when Ho Chi Minh first began to assemble his revolutionary army, to the fall of Saigon in 1975. Documentary filmmaking simply doesn't get much better than this. With extensive archival footage shot by both sides and interviews with participants ranging from infantry soldiers to diplomats, Vietnam has a detached, journalistic objectivity and fairness throughout. It would be much easier to understand the war if it were possible to lay the blame at the feet of the French, or Kennedy, Johnson, or Nixon, but the war's progress was never that clear-cut. Rather, it was a slippery slope that inexorably led to thousands of deaths and laid waste to the country of Vietnam. Unlike WWII, there were no heroes' welcomes for Vietnam's returning GI's; more often than not, they were met with silence or outright contempt. The series' final chapter explores their struggles in readjusting to normal life in society. The somber tone of Richard Basehart's narration is a perfect match for the gravity of the subject matter. This two-DVD boxed set is essential watching for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Vietnam War and all its ramifications, and should be required viewing for history classes. --Jerry Renshaw Description The real story behind the longest, most controversial war in modern history. Known as history's first "living room war," the Vietnam conflict is presented in this nearly 10-hour documentary with clarity, authority, and insight, complete on 2 DVDs. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Peter Arnett and narrated by Richard Basehart (Moby Dick, La Strada), Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War covers the entire conflict, examining the shifting attitudes of the United States toward Vietnam from... read more

 

Virgin Suicides, The
Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Dramas

Based on the 1993 novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES tells the dreamlike tale of the Lisbons, a family living in a sheltered 1970s suburbia. When Cecilia (Hannah Hall), the youngest of the five teenage Lisbon daughters, inexplicably commits suicide, the rest of the family--Mr. Lisbon (James Woods), an awkward high school math teacher; Mrs. Lisbon (Kathleen Turner), a stern, humorless housewife; and the four remaining sisters: Lux (Kirsten Dunst), Bonnie (Chelse Swain), Mary (A.J. Cook), and Therese (Leslie Hayman)--recedes into a morbid cloud of repression and denial. As the girls are forced to retreat from everyday life by their conservative mother, they become the subject of fascination for a group of neighborhood boys, who narrate the story and hope to rescue the girls from their listless confinement. The first feature by director-screenwriter Sofia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's daughter), THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is a mesmerizingly atmospheric film that perfectly captures both the moody tone of the book and the light-saturated feel of the 1970s. Dunst gives a standout performance as the promiscuous Lux, who becomes the sole obsession of high school ladies' man Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett). The movie also includes cameos by Danny DeVito and Scott Glenn. In addition to songs by Heart and Todd Rundgren, the film features an evocative score by the French duo Air. -- (Muze Description)1148297 "...The movie's best moments have an inspired feeling of playfulness and freedom matched by Ms. Dunst's smart, beguiling performance as Lux Lisbon..." -- (Review)1152087 "...[The film is] disarmingly wispy....[The virgins] are blessed with great luminosity..." -- (Review)1152645 A 1970s family must come to terms with the suicide of their youngest daughter. The four remaining sisters are thrown into a cloud of depression that breeds an unhealthy obsession with death. -- (Synopsis)1153760 "...This sublimely confident and poetic debut has the power to endure..." -- 4 out of 5 stars -- (Review)1156312 "...The director captures the novel's intrinsic nostalgia for the loss of adolescence..." -- (Review)1156548 "...Coppola does a lovely job of staging the romance..." -- (Review)1159304 Theatrical release: APRIL 21, 2000 (NY/LA/SF) MAY 5, 2000 (WIDE) Ed Halter and Godfrey Cheshire of the New York Press and Stephen Garrett of Time Out New York voted THE VIRGIN SUICIDES one of the top ten movies of 2000. The Chicago Film Critics Association nominated Jean-Benoit Ducket and Nicholas Godin, aka AIR, for Best Original Score. -- (Muze Annotation)1172696 "You're a stone fox."--Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett) to Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst) -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1201486 "...There are nice moments throughout, and Coppola has done a deft job evoking the spirit of the film's period and suburban setting..." -- (Review)1209565 "...Sofia Coppola shows an impressive maturity and an assured skill....The result is a highly affecting film unafraid to exact an emotional toll..." -- (Review)1219342 "...THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is Sofia Coppola's first film....She has the courage to play it in a minor key....She is content with the air of mystery and loss that hangs in the air like bitter poignancy..." -- (Review)1251720

 

Wall Street (1987)
Sheen, Charlie, Douglas, Michael, Drama : General

Amazon.com essential video Michael Douglas won an Oscar for perfectly embodying the Reagan-era credo that "greed is good." As a Donald Trump-like Wall Street raider aptly named Gordon Gecko (for his reptilian ability to attack corporate targets and swallow them whole), Douglas found a role tailor-made to his skill in portraying heartless men who've sacrificed humanity to power. He's a slick, seductive role model for the young ambitious Wall Street broker played by Charlie Sheen, who falls into Gecko's sphere of influence and instantly succumbs to the allure of risky deals and generous payoffs. With such perks as a high-rise apartment and women who love men for their money, Charlie's like a worm on Gecko's hook, blind to the corporate maneuvering that puts him at odds with his own father (played by Sheen's offscreen father, Martin). With his usual lack of subtlety, writer-director Oliver Stone drew from the brokering experience of his own father to tell this Faustian tale for the "me" decade, but the movie's sledgehammer style is undeniably effective. A cautionary warning that Stone delivers on highly entertaining terms, Wall Street grabs your attention while questioning the corrupted values of a system that worships profit at the cost of one's soul. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

We Were Soldiers
Greg Kinnear, Madeleine Stowe, Dramas

In 1965, 400 American troops faced an ambush by 2,000 enemy troops in the Ia Drang Valley (also known as the Valley of Death), in one of the most gruesome fights of the Vietnam War. WE WERE SOLDIERS is a detailed recreation of this true story: of the strategies, obstacles, and human cost faced by the troops that participated. The story focuses on the lieutenant colonel that led the attack, Hal Moore (Mel Gibson), and a civilian reporter who accompanied them, Joseph Galloway (Barry Pepper), as well as a number of other soldiers who were involved. This is an unusual Vietnam film in that it also shows the North Vietnamese perspective on the battle; their leader Lieutenant General Nguyen Huu An (Don Duong) is depicted as a brave soldier and smart commander. And in addition to the many gory battlefield sequences--which seem to have been influenced by SAVING PRIVATE RYAN--we also see how the carnage of war affects those left behind, the soldiers' wives and children. Ultimately this is a moving anti-war film, which, by sticking close to the true stories of real soldiers, very effectively brings home the overwhelming horror of war. -- (Muze Description)1228116 "...Solemnly forceful....[Elliott] has what could be the best role of his career..." -- (Review)1232275 "...The movie, anchored by Mr. Gibson's modest disciplined performance, has a feeling of calm stoicism..." -- (Review)1232288 "...[Kinnear] does that thing he does better and better with each role he takes, siphoning humor into a serious situation....[Gibson] discharges his duties maturely and successfully..." -- (Review)1232299 "...[The battle] is brilliantly designed and shot....The film's major contribution to the Vietnam War movie is its willingness to view the enemy as human beings..." -- (Review)1232321 "...The battle, expertly shot by Dean Semler, captures the chaos of guerrilla warfare paralleled in BLACK HAWK DOWN and gives the film a scarring documentary realism..." -- (Review)1232990 "...This is a true story that brings home the real horror of war, presenting a balanced, thought-provoking record of men who fought..." -- (Review)1235448 "...Deft at pushing emotional buttons..." -- (Review)1236087 "...[The film] impresses with the overwhelming physicality of its combat sequences..." -- (Review)1237803 Theatrical Release: MARCH 1, 2002 -- (Muze Annotation)1239368

 

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Lewis, Juliette, Steenburgen, Mary, Dramas

Bizarre, whimsical, and touching scenes mark WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. Johnny Depp is Gilbert, the eldest brother in a large family of a very large (morbidly obese, actually) mother (Darlene Cates) who hasn't left the house since her husband committed suicide years before. Leonardo DiCaprio, who received an Academy Award nomination for his role, is Arnie, Gilbert's retarded teenage brother who needs constant supervision (he's often found scaling the town water tower). Caring, passive Gilbert is burdened beyond reason, living a dead-end life in a dying small town, stocking shelves at a grocery store whose business being taken over by the new mall supermarket. Gilbert's best friends (Crispin Glover and John C. Reilly) see their futures in the form of undertaker and Burger Barn owner, and Gilbert's other social life is taken up with a random affair with a frustrated and reckless housewife (Mary Steenburgen). Everyone needs the constantly patient Gilbert, whose future seems equally grim until well-traveled, straightforward Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her nonconformist grandmother (Penelope Branning) come to town. Their camper is in need of repair, so Becky stays long enough to actually have an effect on Gilbert, making his new life spiral in wild ways. Based on the novel by Peter Hedges (who also wrote the screenplay), WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE is quirky, irresistible, and endearingly eccentric without being a freak show. Lasse Hallstrom directs this beautifully photographed, critically acclaimed drama about small-town life and the contraints a young man's family's responsibilities put on his independence. Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp), the de facto head of the Grape family following the suicide of his father, struggles to take care of his two sisters, his mentally handicapped brother (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his 500-pound mother, when a beautiful young free spirit (Juliette Lewis) awakens him to the fact that he is not living his own life. The screenplay is written by Peter Hedges who also wrote the novel of the same name. "Good night to you but not to me."-- Arnie Grape (Leonardo DiCaprio) Theatrical release: December 25, 1993. The project was filmed in Texas for Iowa.

 

When Harry Met Sally...
Fisher, Carrie, Crystal, Billy, Comedies

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... tracks a star-crossed pair as they repeatedly drift apart and meet again over a span of 13 years and gradually fall madly, deeply, passionately into friendship, a friendship ever teetering on the edge of love. Harry meets Sally when they share a car ride to New York City upon graduation from the University of Chicago. A few minutes into the trip, the conversation between womanizing, neurotic Harry (Billy Crystal) and driven, equally neurotic Sally (Meg Ryan) becomes heatedly contentious. The question arises: Can a man and a woman be just friends? Harry contends this proposition is impossible, that sex will always come along to screw up the friendship. Sally is aghast and disagrees, proclaiming the idea a distinct possibility. The two part ways rather acrimoniously in New York but before long meet again and eventually decide to indeed be friends. As life’s mysterious coincidences pull Harry and Sally closer together, they share mystical, tender moments, confess secrets to each other, console each other, attend major holidays together, and do all the other things couples traditionally do. The question then reemerges: Can Harry and Sally remain mere friends, or will they--must they--fall in love? And can anyone forget Ryan's classic faking-it scene in Katz's Deli? Director Rob Reiner's WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... is a comedy about the romantic travails of two neurotic New Yorkers who keep running into each other over a period of 13 years and form a friendship that constantly verges on romance. As the two stubbornly resist courting each other, they gradually realize there may be no two people more qualified to be in love in this delightful, anecdotal film. Theatrical release: July 21, 1989. Limited release in New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver: July 12, 1989. Released in Los Angeles on July 14, 1989. Shown at the Deauville Film Festival on September 4, 1989; the Tokyo International Film Festival on September 30, 1989; and the London Film Festival November 10-26, 1989. Filmed in New York City, New York; Hollywood and Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and New Jersey. Shooting began on August 29, 1988, and was completed on November 15, 1988. Estimated budget between $15 and $17 million. Director Rob Reiner and close friend Billy Crystal were born just six days apart in New York City in March 1947. Screenwriter Nora Ephron wrote the scripts for other films such as SILKWOOD and MY BLUE HEAVEN before going on to direct films such as SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and YOU'VE GOT MAIL. The scene where Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) spot each other at a bookstore takes place in a branch of the small chain Shakespeare & Co., which was located at 79th & Broadway in New York City. This location was one of many smaller stores which went out of business around the time a Barnes & Noble megastore opened in nearby Lincoln Center. This store and the stores which went out of business around it would be a model for the activity in the 1998 Nora Ephron film, YOU'VE GOT MAIL. The customer at Katz's Deli who wants to have what Sally is having is Estelle Reiner, Rob Reiner's mother and Carl Reiner's wife. "I'll have what she's having."--Deli patron (Estelle Reiner--Rob's mother) after Sally has dramatically faked an orgasm in Katz's Deli

 

William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (Special Edition)
DiCaprio, Leonardo,  Drama : General

Amazon.com Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom) takes a shot at reinventing Shakespeare's story of star-crossed lovers as a visual pastiche inspired by MTV imagery, Hong Kong action-picture clichés, and Luhrmann's own taste for deliberate, gaudy excess. The result is explosive chaos, both in terms of bullets and visual sensibility, which some may find impossible to stick with for more than a few minutes. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes play the leads, though not with much distinction, while Pete Postlethwaite makes a huge impression as this movie's version of Friar Laurence. The film is successful in spots, but overall its fever-dream game plan is difficult to ride out. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

 

Winds Of War, The
MacGraw, Ali, Vincent, Jan-Michael, Drama : By Theme : True Story

Herman Wouk's THE WINDS OF WAR is a sweeping historical epic about a U.S. naval officer (Robert Mitchum) who, along with his globe-spanning family, plunges into the firestorm of World War II and witnesses the incredible behind-the-scenes worlds of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Mussolini, and Stalin. This acclaimed television mini-series features stellar talent--including Ali McGraw, John Houseman, Polly Bergen, David Dukes, and Ralph Bellamy--and was shot on location in six different countries, lending authenticity to its tale of global military involvement.

 

 

Windtalkers
Christian Slater, Adam Beach, Dramas

WINDTALKERS begins quietly--with widescreen aerial shots of clouds that gradually clear to reveal the beautiful mesas of Monument Valley. A bus collects Navajo volunteers Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) and Charlie Whitehorse (Roger Willie). It's 1943, and the U.S. has developed an indecipherable secret military code based on the Navajo language. Yahzee and Whitehorse are to be trained as code talkers. Then John Woo's Pacific war film erupts into violence, with a savage battle that has one survivor, Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage). Badly wounded and feeling guilty at the loss of his companions, Joe recuperates in Hawaii where he is helped by a sympathetic nurse (Frances O'Connor). Joe disguises his hearing loss and he is promoted as Yahzee's battlefield bodyguard. Ordered to "protect the code at all times," Joe must prevent Yahzee from being captured. At first, Yahzee and Whitehorse, whose bodyguard is Ox Henderson (Christian Slater), are subjected to prejudice--particularly from Rogers (Noah Emmerich). But when the unit is shipped to Saipan, the Marines begin to appreciate the code talkers. Director Woo has created a powerful drama. The visceral battle sequences are strikingly filmed and there is fine acting from Cage, Beach, Willie, Slater, Emmerich, and Frances O'Connor, who portrays the poignancy of love in uncertain times. -- (Muze Description)1213223 "...There are plenty of intricately choreographed battle scenes in WINDTALKERS, but action meister Woo also finds the complicated humanity in this offbeat tale of American friendship and obsession..." -- (Review)1239242 "...A fascinating Woo movie....WINDTALKERS is a fresh contribution to the cinematic literature of American WWII movies from a Chinese born-director with a flair for the imagery of spiritual battle..." -- (Review)1241069 "...What makes Woo such a fascinating director is his rock-solid conviction..." -- (Review)1241077 "...Woo approached the filming of the WINDTALKERS combat scenes with his usual gusto..." -- (Review)1241289 "...Woo comes through with the voluminous action scenes fans have come to expect....WINDTALKERS is capably made and certainly impresses in carrying its length..." -- (Review)1242096 "...The performances are perfectly palatable..." -- (Review)1242124

 

Without A Paddle
Lillard, Matthew, Benrubi, Abraham, Comedies

In Steven Brill's WITHOUT A PADDLE, three friends embark on a hilariously dangerous adventure through the woods of the Pacific Northwest. When their childhood friend Billy dies, 30-year-old buddies Dan (Seth Green), Tom (Dax Shepard), and Jerry (Matthew Lillard) return home to pay their respects. While there, they unearth a map that Billy left behind, which may or may not lead to a hidden treasure. Dan is a germ-phobic doctor who would rather spend his time anywhere but in the wilderness, but the recently dumped Jerry and down-on-his-luck Tom are intent on fulfilling their friend's lifelong dream; and so begins the trio's journey. It isn't long before things begin to spiral out of control. Starting with a gigantic bear that mistakes Dan for one of its own, the guys are also on the run from two pot-growing maniacs (Ethan Suplee, Abraham Benrubi) who are looking for revenge after their marijuana farm is burned to a crisp. Of course, what would a wilderness expedition be without raging rapids, a towering waterfall, beautiful (but hairy) hippy chicks, and an encounter with a menacing mountain man (Burt Reynolds). Brill's madcap adventure gleefully references DELIVERANCE and 1980s pop culture, and features spot-on performances from Green, Lillard, and Shepard.

 

Wizard of Oz, The
Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, Musical & Performing Arts

-- (VideoLog Description)1023863 -- (Synopsis)1114055 -- (Product Quotation/Excerpt)1114056 -- (Muze Annotation)1114058 Young Dorothy is bored of her gray life on a Kansas farm. When her house is whisked away by a tornado, it lands somewhere over the rainbow in a Technicolor world, and Dorothy knows she's not in Kansas anymore. This beloved, incomparable classic based on L. Frank Baum's turn-of-the-century novel is a musical and visual candy store. Dorothy's journey to find a way back to Kansas has permeated American culture and film for decades and remains one of the best musicals and children's stories ever filmed. -- (Muze Description)1139789 THE WIZARD OF OZ held its premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. THE WIZARD OF OZ is number six on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. THE WIZARD OF OZ was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989. MGM acquired the film rights to the L. Frank Baum story for $75,000, a huge amount at the time. Some of the original casting desires included either W. C. Fields or Ed Wynn as the Wizard; Fanny Brice or Beatrice Lillie as Glinda, the Good Witch; Gale Sondergaard as the Wicked Witch; and Shirley Temple as Dorothy. After Ray Bolger asked to play the Scarecrow instead of the Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man but was replaced after nine days of filming by Jack Haley because of breathing problems he suffered at the hands of his costume. The picture went through a number of directors: Richard Thorpe, whose nine days of footage were not used; George Cukor; Victor Fleming, who directed most of the color scenes before having to leave to direct GONE WITH THE WIND; and King Vidor, who directed most of the black-and-white scenes set in Kansas. Shooting of what was known as Production 1060 was to begin on April 19, 1938, but actually began on October 13, 1938, and lasted until March 16, 1939. The film went well over budget, costing more than $2.75 million. It took in only about $3 million on its initial release. Judy Garland was paid $500 a week for the film. Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume weighed more than 50 pounds. The Munchkin coroner, played by Meinhardt Raabe, was also Little Oscar, Oscar Mayer's official spokesman in commercials. Jerry Maren, one of the Munchkin Lollipop Guild singers, continued his career in show business, which included stints in more than 60 films as well as appearances on THE MAN SHOW and SEINFELD. UNDER THE RAINBOW, a 1981 comedy spoofing the behind-the-scenes making of THE WIZARD OF OZ, starred Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher. -- (Muze Annotation)1157218 Judy Garland stars as Dorothy in a musical based on the classic children’s book by L. Frank Baum. When Dorothy’s neighbor, Miss Gulch, threatens to take away Dorothy’s precious dog, Toto, Dorothy runs away from home. Attempting to return, she and her house are caught in a twister and blown to the garish, color-saturated Land of Oz. The house lands atop Oz’s Wicked Witch of the East, killing her and making Dorothy an instant celebrity. The Wicked Witch of the West, the sister of the deceased witch, soon arrives and threatens revenge. Dorothy must escape from Oz by following the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where the great Wizard of Oz can help her return to Kansas. Along the way, Dorothy picks up some new friends--the heartless Tin Man, the brainless Scarecrow, and the courage-less Cowardly Lion, each of whom hopes that the Wizard can offer him what he lacks. The long journey to see the Wizard is filled with dangers and traps planted by the Wicked Witch of the West--as well as lots of phenomenal musical numbers. Filled with extravagant sets and costumes and 40 minutes of rambunctious song and dance routines, Dorothy’s adventures in Oz are pure delight. The film deservedly holds a precious place in the hearts of millions. -- (Synopsis)1167394 "I'll get you, my pretty. And your little dog too!"--The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) "The great and powerful Oz has spoken!"--The Wizard of Oz (F

 

You Got Served
Omarion, J-Boog, Comedy : Teen

Amazon.com You Got Served has one simple priority, and if you're into the latest hip-hop dance moves, you'll get served an enjoyable 93-minute diversion. For anyone else, however, all bets are off, since this wretchedly plotted film was written by director Christopher B. Stokes as a crassly commercial vehicle for B2K, the teen group that Stokes managed while making cheap-ass movies like this one. There's a tissue-thin romantic subplot, but mostly it's about the MTV-styled showdown between B2K (as Orange County white boys) and their black L.A. competitors, including members of the hip-hop group IMx. Their aggressive moves are undeniably impressive (in other words, don't try this at home unless you know a good chiropractor), but Stokes would've been better off making a straight documentary, thus avoiding all the nonsense that You Got Served delivers between its abundance of choppily edited dance scenes. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

 

Young Guns 2
Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Friends

Billy, Doc and Chavez find themselves jailed in the same place and plan an escape. Together with new recruits, they head for the Mexican border not knowing that Billy's one-time friend now wears a badge and is leading a posse with one mission - get Billy the Kid. Academy Award nominations: Best Song ("Blaze of Glory"). -- (Muze Description)1029226 "...It's a sequel that easily surpasses its original....Full of sound, gunfire, fury and scorchingy beautiful landscapes....YOUNG GUNS II generates more sheer visual excitement than any Western since Peckinpah and Leone were in their last '70s prime..." -- (Review)1232046

 

Young Guns
Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Westerns

British ranchowner John Tunstall (Terence Stamp) hires six young men to help him tend and guard his ranch. In addition he also teaches them to read and to be civilized, but soon Tunstall is murdered by a corrupt and ruthless competing cattle rancher. The six 'young guns' go seeking revenge and are erroneously branded outlaws by the law, until they can clear their names. The six young guns are played by Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney and Casey Siemaszko. -- (Muze Description)1024349 Propelled by a rock 'n' roll soundtrack and populated by a handful of hot young Hollywood actors, "Young Guns" is a Western for the MTV generation. Set in 1870s New Mexico, it follows the career of six juvenile delinquents hired to defend the ranch of a British cattle baron. When the rancher is killed by town officials, the boys rebel against the powers-that-be by transforming themselves into a band of outlaws led by none other than Billy the Kid. -- (Synopsis)1118245 Estimated budget of $13 million. Additional distributors: Star Production (France); Version International Group (international sales) Filmed in Deluxe color and Panavision in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Began shooting February 8, 1988; completed shooting March 1988. Released in the USA August 12, 1988. Shown at Deauville Film Festival, September 1988. Released on video January 4, 1989. Followed by the 1990 sequel "Young Guns II." Based on a true story. -- (Muze Annotation)1118246 "...A good-humored exercise....Sustains its spirit of fun..." -- (Review)1175830 "...It has a slick, smoky vigor....[Semler] keeps the landscapes looking stripped down, austerely handsome..." -- (Review)1234893