OnVideo DECEMBER Video Reviews
ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH, THE
Failed sci-fi comedy is a downer, even for Eddie Murphy fans. There's little humor and a lot of incoherent story action. Murphy plays a smuggler-turned-nightclub owner on the Moon who is threatened by a mysterious gangster who wants to take over Pluto's operation. When Pluto says no, he has to run for his life, along with waitress Rosario Dawson and aging robot bodyguard Randy Quaid. Along the way he encounters thugs, retired cops, body-alteration specialists and a lot of baffling twists and turns.
Director: Ron Underwood. Stars: Eddie Murphy, Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson, Joe Pantoliano, Jay Mohr, Luis Guzman, James Rebhorn, Peter Boyle, Burt Young, Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Pam Grier, John Cleese, Illeana Douglas, Alec Baldwin. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min.), Comedy, 2002, Box office gross: $4.411 million, (Warner), $22.98 VHS SRP, Available: 12/24, DVD: Day & Date.
AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER
He's back, baby! It's been three years since Austin Powers, that swinging international man of mystery, has had to face his arch enemy, Dr. Evil. But after Dr. Evil and his accomplice Mini-Me escape from a maximum-security prison, Austin is called to action once more in this third and final installment of the highly successful Austin Powers movie franchise. Teaming up with the mysterious yet peculiar Goldmember, Dr. Evil hatches a time-traveling scheme to take over the world, one that involves the kidnapping of Nigel Powers, Austin's beloved father and England's most renowned spy. As he chases the villains through time, Austin visits 1975 and joins forces with his old flame, Foxxy Cleopatra, a streetwise but stylish detective. Together Austin and Foxxy must find a way to save Nigel and stop Dr. Evil and Goldmember from their mischievous mayhem. Mike Myers once again takes on multiple roles, portraying Austin Powers, Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard, as well as another new character -- Goldmember.
Director: Jay Roach. Stars: Mike Myers, Michael Caine , Beyonce Knowles, Fred Savage, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min.), Comedy, 2002, Box office gross: $210.000 million, (New Line), $22.94 VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/3, DVD: Day & Date.
BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER
Former FBI Agent Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas) returns to the field after rumors that his dead wife (Talisa Soto) may still be alive. In an effort to find her, Ecks must join forces with his sworn adversary, rogue DIA agent Sever (Lucy Liu). Together, they battle against their common enemy, Gant (Gregg Henry), and attempt to retrieve a microscopic assassination device. Incredible amount of violence, car crashes, and automatic weapon fire. Mindless.
Director: Kaos. Stars: Antonio Banderas, Lucy Liu, Gregg Henry, Ray Park, Talisa Soto, Miguel Sandoval, Terry Chen. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 91 min.), Action, 2002, Box office gross: $14.165 million, (Warner), $22.98 VHS SRP, Available: 12/24, DVD: Day & Date.
Clint Eastwood's 23rd film as a director is a straight-ahead suspense thriller with a twist. Eastwood plays Terry McCaleb, an aging FBI agent who suffers a heart attack, gets a heart transplant, and is forced to retire from the Bureau. Frail and living on his boat in San Pedro Harbor, Eastwood is called back to unofficial action by a woman who wants him to solve the case of her murdered sister -- it turns out that the heart harvested from the dead woman now beats in Eastwood's chest. The retired FBI man leaps -- or rather ambles -- into action, relying on his skills as an investigator instead of his skills as a brawler to solve the case. Oh, there's plenty of underworld garbage about, and Eastwood, as is typical in his darkly-lit scenarios, must bump up against it all. Except that he's an older, wiser, and more obnoxious hero these days. Based on the first novel in the Terry McCaleb mystery series by Michael Connelly. Features Eastwood's usual jazzy soundtrack.
Director: Clint Eastwood. Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Wanda De Jesus, Tina Lifford, Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh, Mason Lucero. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 110 min.), Thriller, 2002, Box office gross: $26.110 million, (Warner), $22.98 VHS SRP, Available: 12/27, DVD: Day & Date.
COUNTRY BEARS, THE
Failed attempt by the folks at Disney to turn one of their Disneyland rides into a big screen feature. Even though this one flopped, there's more coming soon: "Pirates of the Caribbean" is in the works. In "The Country Bears " 11-year-old Beary Barrington acts differently than anyone else in his family, doesn't look like any of them, and has never quite fit in with his parents or brother. Looking for more folks like himself and his higher purpose in life, Beary strikes out on his own to reunite his favorite band, the Country Bears -- Ted Bedderhead, Fred Bedderhead, Zeb Zoober and Tennessee O'Neil -- for a benefit concert to save Country Bear Hall, the legendary venue where the band got its start.
Director: Peter Hastings. Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Walken, John Hiatt, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Setzer. CC, (MPAA rating: G, 88 min.), Family, 2002, Box office gross: $16.582 million, (Disney), $22.99 VHS SRP, Available: 12/17, DVD: Day & Date.
CROCODILE HUNTER, THE: COLLISION COURSE
The darling of the Animal Planet network finally comes to the big screen, crikey! To save a very large crocodile from poachers, Steve Irvin and wife Terri set out on a death-defying journey through the Outback to nab the big fella and relocate him to a safe river. But what they don't know is that the angry reptile has swallowed a top-secret U.S. satellite beacon ... and is now the target of a team of American special agents. The fearless Aussie adventurers have proven that they can handle deadly snapping jaws and venomous snakes, but can they handle gun-wielding spies? For the kids only.
The sinister Michael Myers finally returns to Haddonfield, the town where the original "Halloween" murders happened. A group of teenagers win a reality TV contest to spend a night in the serial killer's childhood home. Staged by the Dangertainment directors, the reality show is supposed to be harmless entertainment ... until Myers turns it into an all-out fight, making sure that no one leaves alive.
Director: Rick Rosenthal. Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Sean Patrick Thomas. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 89 min.), Horror, 2002, Box office gross: $30.184 million, (Dimension), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/10, DVD: Day & Date.
HEY ARNOLD! THE MOVIE
Pity poor football-head Arnold. He's the star of his very own, successful animated TV series on Nick, yet his translation to the big screen left much to be desired. "Hey Arnold! The Movie" is a bold attempt by Paramount to try to duplicate the success of "The Rugrats'" transfer to theatrical bliss, but where the Rugrats ran roughshod over the nation's audiences in glorious widescreen adventures, this Arnold comes off like a flat, small-screen cartoon merely blown up to a larger scale. And, based on theatrical returns, audiences weren't fooled by the bigger-than-life Arnold. The story is nifty -- if you're familiar with Arnold, you'll know that the little guy is always positive and knows that he can right any wrong. In this case, a giant conglomerate is on its way to bulldozing Arnold's old-fashioned brownstone neighborhood, to replace it with a giant mall. Arnold will have none of this, and mounts a campaign to thwart the greedy developers. All the Arnold regulars are here: Grandpa, Gerald, and, yes, Helga (who finally gets to profess her love to Arnold, face-to-face). But as big as Arnold's cause is, the movie still comes off like an elongated TV cartoon. But you know what? It still works on the small screen, making it an ideal home video release for the young ones. Give it a try.
Director: Tuck Tucker. Voices of Spencer Klein, Francesca Marie Smith, Jamil Smith, Dan Castellaneta, Tress MacNeille, Paul Sorvino, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Lloyd. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 72 min.), Animated, 2002, Box office gross: $13.700 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/31, DVD: Day & Date.
K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER
This exciting submarine thriller not only gives you the all the thrills of being inside a disabled underseas vessel but throws in some political chills as well. Its the 1960s and the Soviets are playing catch-up with the U.S. in the game of launching nuclear subs with ballistic missiles. Rushing to get their K-19 sub into the seas, the Soviets speed up their schedule, ignoring leaks, wiring problems and a "green" crew. Worse, the original skipper, Liam Neeson, is replaced by another captain, Harrison Ford, forcing Neeson to play second in command. Once out to sea, Ford brutalizes the ship in a series of tests and, after Moscow orders the sub to patrol the coast of the U.S., the reactor springs a leak, bringing the core close to a meltdown. With armed nuclear weapons so close to the U.S., and the ship in deep trouble, an explosion would set off the warheads and start WWIII. The battles between Neeson and Ford escalate as both try to save the sub and the crew in their own way. The tension -- and the sweat -- mounts. Based on actual events.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow. Stars: Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Christian Camargo, Steve Nicolson, Ravil Isyanov. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 138 min.), Action Thriller, 2002, Box office gross: $35.150 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/10, DVD: Day & Date.
Crowd pleasing fantasy about a 4-foot-8-inch 14-year-old orphan (Lil' Bow Wow) who magically finds himself the star attraction of a professional basketball team. Calvin lives at the Chesterfield Group Home and his prospects of getting adopted grow dimmer every day. Then one day one of the sisters brings home a box of discarded clothes, among which is a pair of Nike shoes with the initials M.J. on them. The nun seems to think that they belonged to a tall, bald basketball player but they fit Calvin like a glove. It's not long before Calvin discovers that his basketball prowess has increased 100-fold -- including a 30-foot jump shot -- and he joins the Los Angeles Knights. Will his good fortune on the court translate to his real life?
Director: John Schultz. Stars: Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Eugene Levy, Jonathan Lipnicki, Crispin Glover, Robert Forster, Anne Meara, Brenda Song. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 100 min.), Fantasy, 2002, Box office gross: $50.822 million, (Fox), $19.98 VHS SRP, Available: 12/10, DVD: Day & Date.
LILO & STITCH
In "Lilo & Stitch," an independent-minded little Hawaiian girl named Lilo (Daveigh Chase) plays Elvis Presley records and causes mischief for her older sister and guardian, Nani (Tia Carrere). When their no-nonsense social worker Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames) threatens to separate Lilo and Nani, the sisters try to get their act together. Their lives are turned upside down, however, when Stitch arrives in Hawaii. Actually a mischief-making creature from outer space officially known as "Experiment 626," Stitch has escaped from his creator, the mad alien scientist Jumba (David Ogden Stiers) and is on the run. When Lilo adopts Stitch in an animal shelter as the family dog, Stitch realizes he may have found the perfect place to hide out. Prone to somewhat anti-social tendencies, Stitch makes a hilarious mess of Lilo and Nani's home life, wreaking havoc and hanging ten while he evades the alien bounty hunters who are bent on recapturing him. Soon, however, Stitch learns that the Hawaiian concept of 'ohana (a family tradition where "no one is left behind") even applies to runaway aliens. But no amount of togetherness can make up for the incredible violence in this kiddie flick, and some parents would do well to audition "Lilo & Stitch" before springing it on their young ones.
Voices of Daveigh Chase, Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, David Ogden Stiers, Jason Scott Lee, Zoe Caldwell, Kevin McDonald, Kevin Michael Richardson. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 85 min.), Animated, 2002, Box office gross: $140.000 million, (Disney), $24.99 VHS SRP, Available: 12/3, DVD: Day & Date
After getting somewhat of a boxoffice reprimand for his last sci-fi outing, a filming of "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" based on a vision by the late Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg takes on more sophisticated adult sci-fi conceits in this straight-ahead almost-film-noirish actioner set 50 years in the future in Washington, D.C. Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton, the chief of an experimental Pre-Crime unit that uses three psychic humans (suspended in biological fluids) to predict the occurrence of violent crimes in the near future, allowing police to step in just before the deed is committed to arrest the perpetrators. So well does the system work that the government plans to take it nationwide. Unfortunately for Anderton, he's pegged as the next perp of a crime, and must go on the run to prove his innocence. On the run from his very own Pre-Crime force -- as well as the FBI, which wants to take over the unit -- Anderton learns that in some pre-cog visions, one of the psychics disagrees with the group, creating a "minority report" on the outcome. Now Anderton must kidnap the one dissenting pre-cog (Samantha Morton), try to prevent himself from committing the crime, and then try to uncover if he's being set-up. Great special effects, plenty of twists and turns, and Cruise turns in a quite satisfying performance. Based on a story by the great Philip K. Dick.
Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Samantha Morton, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, Tim Blake Nelson, Kathryn Morris. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 143 min.), Science Fiction, 2002, Box office gross: $140.000 million, (DreamWorks), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/17, DVD: Day & Date.
STUART LITTLE 2
The entire cast of the smash "Stuart Little" return in this fun-filled family adventure. Two years have passed since Stuart (a mouse) joined the hearts and love of the Little family. Stuart has blossomed and settled nicely into his new life. In addition to his big brother George, Stuart now has a new baby sister, Martha. Even Snowbell, the curmudgeonly cat with an attitude, has warmed up to Stuart in his own way. Yearning for a friend of his own -- someone diminutive like him -- Stuart haphazardly saves an injured bird, Margalo. When Stuart learns that Margalo doesn't have a place to live, he insists that she stay with him and the Littles. When she mysteriously vanishes, Stuart and Snowbell set out on a heart-pounding journey to find her in New York City and unlock the mystery.
Director: Rob Minkoff. Stars: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, Nathan Lane, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, Steve Zahn. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 78 min.), Family, 2002, Box office gross: $60.000 million, (Columbia TriStar), $24.96 VHS SRP, Available: 12/10, DVD: Day & Date.
Good looking, taut thriller. When Karen (Charlize Theron) and Will (Stewart Townsend) Jennings are held hostage and their daughter (Dakota Fanning) is abducted, a ruthless 24-hour plan is set in motion that will confront kidnappers Joe (Kevin Bacon) and Cheryl (Courtney Love) Hickey, along with their cousin Marvin Pool (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who have orchestrated and mastered what they think is a foolproof plan to extort money from the Jennings and other wealthy families. But this time they're wrong, and as the plan escalates and unravels, Will and Karen, who are trapped in different cities, are pushed to the very edge to get their daughter back alive. In their desperation, they are able to discover the shocking motivation that lies behind the crime.
Director: Luis Mandoki. Stars: Charlize Theron, Courtney Love, Stewart Townsend, Kevin Bacon, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Dakota Fanning. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 106 min.), Thriller, 2002, Box office gross: $6.920 million, (Columbia TriStar), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/24, DVD: Day & Date.
Adrian Lyne, the director of 1987's "Fatal Attraction," tries to bring illicit love affairs into the 21st century with this weak erotic drama -- but only succeeds in mildly steaming up the camera lens. Edward and Connie Summer (Richard Gere, Diane Lane) have the perfect life: a happy marriage, an adorable 8-year-old son, and a beautiful house in the suburbs. But Connie's chance encounter with a handsome Frenchman (Olivier Martinez) in Manhattan throws a wrench into their great life: She embarks on a steamy love affair with the stranger. Sensing something amiss, Edward hires a detective to check out Connie, and, well you know what happens next. The worst is confirmed: You can't top the ending of "Fatal Attraction."
Director: Adrian Lyne. Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Chad Lowe, Kate Burton, Margaret Colin, Erik Per Sullivan. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 124 min.), Erotic drama, 2002, Box office gross: $52.756 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/17, DVD: Day & Date.
Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander Cage (XXX) who is a walking advertisement for anti-authoritarianism. And like the letter that begins his first name, he's extreme in every way -- making him a perfect candidate to spearhead a clandestine operation being mounted by the National Security Agency. Scouted by agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), a veteran with the NSA, XXX is forced to cooperate with the government to infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring in order to avoid going to prison. Forced to use his athletic prowess and thrill-seekers attitude, XXX must covertly enter this dangerous world to combat a ruthless enemy. Xander finds himself pitted against a cadre of cutting-edge thugs calling themselves Anarchy 99, headed by the brutal ex-Russian Army commander Yorgi (Marton Csokas) and his beautiful but hardened girlfriend, Yelena (Asia Argento). The result of this combination of volatile personalities provides some extremely thrilling action sequences, which is what the whole film is about. The DVD edition offers non- stop surround special effects.
Director: Rob Cohen. Stars: Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Roof, Richy Muller, Werner Daehn, Joe Bucaro III. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 124 min.), Action Thriller, 2002, Box office gross: $135.400 million, (Columbia TriStar), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/31, DVD: Day & Date.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a Rotel RDV-1080 DVD Audio/Video Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
| Contents/Site Map | Home | Resources | Calendar | Sell-Through | DVD | Reviews |
© 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 OnVideo. All rights reserved
November 30, 2002