OnVideo FEBRUARY Video Reviews
The daughter of respected actor and matinee idol Lawrence Harvey, and model turned socialite Sophie Wynn, Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley) was born into a life of wealth and privilege -- a lifestyle that did not interest her. Even from her earliest years, Domino rebelled against convention and the jet set. At the tender age of eight her beloved father passed away and her mother looked to the stability of boarding school in a misguided attempt to tame her wild child. But nothing could repress Domino's fiery nature -- not friendships, not school, not her mother's high society. Even the extraordinary excesses paraded before her during a brief stint at modeling paled in comparison to her own escapades. Not until she stumbled upon a job seminar recruiting aspiring bounty hunters was her thirst for excitement at long last quenched. Domino finds her true calling and joins a colorful band of reprobates that includes her wolfish yet formidable ex- con boss, Ed Mosbey (Mickey Rourke); Choco (Edgar Ramirez), a ruggedly sexy Latino who secretly worships Domino; and Alf (Rizwan Abbasi), an Afghani ex-pat obsessed with explosives. An unlikely foursome to be sure, but their synchronized style consistently results in the capture of felonious bail jumpers. Before long they become L.A.'s most successful, not to mention infamous, bounty hunters. And where better to show off one's talent than on television? Domino Harvey, the inspiration for Tony Scott's film, died in her Los Angeles home on the evening of June 27, 2005 at the age of 35.
Director: Tony Scott. Stars: Keira Knightley, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken, Lucy Liu, Mickey Rourke, Macy Gray, Jacqueline Bisset, Edgar Ramirez, Mo'Nique, Shondrella Avery, Dabney Coleman, Delroy Lindo, Brian Austin Green. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 127 min.), Action, 2005, Box office gross: $10.137 million, (New Line), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/21.
"Doom," the landmark video game that electrified a generation, leaps from the computer screen to the big screen as a sci-fi horror action adventure. Something has gone wrong at a remote scientific research station on Mars. All research has ceased. Communication has failed. And the messages that do get through are less than comforting. It's a "Level 5" quarantine and the only souls allowed in or out are the Rapid Response Tactical Squad -- hardened Space Marines armed to the teeth with enough firepower to neutralize the enemy ... or so they think. The research being done at Odluval station has unwittingly opened a door and all hell has broken loose. A legion of nightmarish creatures of unknown origin lurks behind every wall and stalks the countless rooms and tunnels of the facility, killing what few people remain. Sealing off the portal to Earth, Sarge (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), Reaper (Karl Urban) and their team must use every weapon at their disposal -- and some they find along the way -- to carry out their orders: nothing gets out alive.
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak. Stars: Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 100 min.), Action, 2005, Box office gross: $28.031 million, (Universal), $29.98 VHS SRP, Available: 2/7.
Follows the story of Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom), a man down on his luck, as he journeys to his roots in small-town Kentucky to bury his father. Drew finds new life in his interactions with his colorful extended family, and in his unexpected romance with Claire (Kirsten Dunst), a quirky and persistent airline stewardess. The film is intended to be a love letter to the resilience of the life force and is a story of an unexpected romance that develops against the backdrop of a Southern patriarch's hilariously elaborate memorial.
Director: Cameron Crowe. Stars: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Jessica Biel, Loudon Wainwright III. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 123 min.), Drama-Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $26.683 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/7.
Anthology of three medium length films on the subject of eroticism and desire, from a trio of the world's most outstanding directors: Michelangelo Antonioni, Steven Soderbergh and Wong Kar Wai. Each takes his own unique approach to the theme: Wong with a richly textured and achingly emotional erotic tale; Soderbergh with a wry and perverse comedy; and Antonioni with his philosophical meditation on the abyss between men and women. "Eros" is also a homage by two of the most internationally acclaimed young directors -- Wong Kar Wai and Steven Soderbergh -- to one of their most admired and inspiring directors, Michelangelo Antonioni. Wong's "The Hand" is the story of a young tailor's (Chang Chen) long- time unrequited love for a beautiful Hong Kong courtesan (Gong Li). Over many years, he lovingly crafts the clothes that she wears for other men. Over time, the seemingly unattainable fantasy woman loses everything, just as the tailor prospers in his career. Then the unexpected happens. Soderbergh's "Equilibrium" is about a stressed-out 1950's New York advertising man (Robert Downey Jr.) who has been suffering from a series of recurring erotic dreams. During his session with psychiatrist Dr. Pearl (Alan Arkin), he describes his dream of a woman who is familiar to him -- but he can't recall who she is when he wakes up. Through the course of a very offbeat session of therapy, we discover why that is. Antonioni's "The Dangerous Thread of Things" follows a fortyish married couple (Christopher Buchholz and Regina Nemni) who no longer have anything to say to one another. At an impasse, the man has a passionate one night stand with a free-spirited young girl (Luisa Ranieri), but this experience also fails to satisfy him. Later on, the wife and the girl meet.
Director: . Stars: Michelangelo Antonioni ("Il filo pericoloso delle cose" segment), Steven Soderbergh ("Equilibrium" segment), Wong Kar Wai ("The Hand" segment). Li Gong, Chen Chang, Robert Downey Jr., Alan Arkin, Chri. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 104 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $0.188 million, (Warner), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/7.
ICE HARVEST, THE
It's Christmas Eve in rainy, icebound Wichita, Kansas, and this year Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavenaugh (Billy Bob Thornton), have just successfully embezzled $2,147,000 from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). Even so, the real prize for Charlie would be the stunning Renata (Connie Nielsen), who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie's fondest Christmas wish is to slip out of town with Renata. But, as daylight fades and a storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten (Oliver Platt) to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking. For Charlie, the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with nonstop twists and turns, both on the ice and off.
Director: Harold Ramis. Stars: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, Lara Phillips, Bill Noble, Randy Quaid, Oliver Platt. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 88 min.), Comedy thriller, 2005, Box office gross: $8.819 million, (Universal), $29.98 VHS SRP, Available: 2/28.
JUST LIKE HEAVEN
When David (Mark Ruffalo) sublets his quaint San Francisco apartment, the last thing he expected -- or wanted -- was a roommate. He had only begun to make a complete mess of the place when a pretty young woman named Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) suddenly shows up, adamantly insisting the apartment is hers. David assumes there's been a giant misunderstanding ... until Elizabeth disappears as mysteriously as she appeared. Changing the locks does nothing to deter Elizabeth, who begins to appear and disappear at will -- mostly to rebuke David for his personal living habits in her apartment. Convinced that she is a ghost, David tries to help Elizabeth cross over to the "other side." But while Elizabeth has discovered she does have a distinctly ethereal quality -- she can walk through walls -- she is equally convinced that she is somehow still alive and isn't crossing over anywhere. As Elizabeth and David search for the truth about who Elizabeth is and how she came to be in her present state, their relationship deepens into love. Unfortunately, they have very little time before their prospects for a future together permanently fade away.
Director: Mark Waters. Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Dina Spybey, Ben Shenkman, Jon Heder. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 95 min.), Romantic comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $48.291 million, (DreamWorks), $29.95 VHS SRP, Available: 2/7.
With an original script written by famed comic-book and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman ("Sandman," "Neverwhere," "Anansi Boys") and directed by his long-time collaborator and illustrator Dave McKean ("Cages," "The Wolves in the Walls"), "MirrorMask" tells the story of Helena (Stephanie Leonidas), a 15-year-old girl working for her family circus, who wishes -- quite ironically -- that she could run away from the circus and join real life. But such is not to be the case, as she finds herself on a strange journey into the Dark Lands, a fantastic landscape filled with giants, monkeybirds and dangerous sphinxes. On her quest to return home, Helena searches for the Mirrormask, an object of enormous power, which is her only hope of escaping the Dark Lands. It's a dark fantasy filled with imagination and unforgettable imagery, a visual and psychological menagerie of dreamscapes, nightmares and otherworldly creatures, fully realized with the help of CGI.
Director: Dave McKean. Stars: Stephanie Leonidas, Gina McKee, Rob Brydon, Jason Barry, Dora Bryan, Robert Llewellyn, Andy Hamilton. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 101 min.), Fantasy, 2005, Box office gross: $0.728 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
Award winning, moving exploration of the individual experiences of nine everyday women as told through nine single unbroken takes. As characters from one story reappear in supporting roles in others, director Rodrigo Garcia interweaves a grand tapestry of storytelling as he reveals nine unique women who meet the travails and disappointments of life with a resilience that is at once heartening and heartbreaking.
Director: Rodrigo Garcia. Stars: Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Elpidia Carrillo, Glenn Close, Dakota Fanning, William Fichtner, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Holly Hunter, Joe Mantegna, Ian McShane, Lawrence Pressman, Aidan Quinn, Sissy Spacek. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 115 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $0.329 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
When Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) returns to her hometown in Northern Minnesota after a failed marriage, she needs a good job. A single mother with two children to support, she turns to the predominant source of employment in the region -- the iron mines. The mines provide a livelihood that has sustained the community for generations. It's an industry long dominated by men, in a place unaccustomed to change. Encouraged by her old friend Glory (Frances McDormand), one of the few female miners in town, Josey joins the ranks of those laboring to blast ore from rock in the gaping quarries. She is prepared for the back-breaking and often dangerous work, but coping with the harassment she and the other female miners encounter from their male coworkers proves far more challenging. Times are tough. The last thing the miners want is women competing for scarce jobs. When Josey speaks out against the treatment she and her fellow workers face she is met with resistance -- not only from those in power but from a community that doesn't want to hear the truth, her disapproving parents and many of her own colleagues who fear she is only making things worse. Through her struggles Josey finds the courage to stand up for what she believes in -- even if that means standing alone. Inspired by a true story that lead to the nation's first-ever class action lawsuit for sexual harassment.
Director: Niki Caro. Stars: Charlize Theron, Elle Peterson, Thomas Curtis, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Renner, Richard Jenkins, Sissy Spacek, James Cada. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 126 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $18.118 million, (Warner), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/21.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Based on Jane Austen's beloved novel, the classic tale of love and values unfolds in the class-conscious England of the late 18th century. The five Bennet sisters including strong-willed Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and young Lydia (Jena Malone) have all been raised by their mother (Brenda Blethyn) with one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Amongst the man's sophisticated circle of friends, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and it would seem snobbish Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), the battle of the sexes is joined.
Director: Joe Wright. Stars: Keira Knightley, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Matthew Macfadyen. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 127 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $35.426 million, (Universal), $29.98 VHS SRP, Available: 2/28.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, "Proof" follows a devoted daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) who comes to terms with the death of her father (Anthony Hopkins) -- a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity -- and is forced to face her own long-harbored fears and emotions. She adjusts to his death with the help of one of her father's former mathematical students (Jake Gyllenhaal) who searches through her father's notebooks in the hope of discovering a bit of his old brilliance. While coming to terms with the possibility that his genius, which she was inherited, may come at a painful price, her estranged sister (Hope Davis) arrives to help settle their father's affairs. It's a compelling story of an enigmatic young woman haunted by her father's past and the shadow of her own future, exploring the links between genius and madness, the tender relationships between fathers and daughters and the nature of truth and family.
Director: John Madden. Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $7.064 million, (Miramax), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
Based on Puccini's classic opera "La Boheme," Jonathan Larson's rock opera "Rent" tells the story of a group of Bohemians struggling to live and pay their rent in the gritty background of New York's East Village. "Measuring their lives in love," these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic. One of the longest running shows on Broadway, "Rent" was the winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards.
Director: Chris Columbus. Stars: Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Rosario Dawson, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Idina Menzel, Tracie Thoms, Taye Diggs, Sarah Silverman. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 135 min.), Musical drama, 2005, Box office gross: $29.077 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/21.
Jigsaw is back. The disturbed mastermind who wreaked havoc on his victims in last year's "Saw" is back for another round of horrifying life-or-death games. When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw's hand, Detective Eric Mason (Donnie Wahlberg) begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his nefarious plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives -- eight strangers, unaware of their connection to each other, forced to play out a game that challenges their wits and puts their lives in jeopardy -- and now it's time for Mason to join the game.
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman. Stars: Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Dina Meyer. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 93 min.), Horror, 2005, Box office gross: $85.743 million, (Lionsgate), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
Emily Watson stars as Anne, who enjoys a seemingly perfect marriage to James, (Tom Wilkinson), until the arrival of Bill (Rupert Everett) and a tragic accident in their idyllic country village looks to unravel their lies forever. On the surface, Anne and James enjoy a perfect marriage. They slip easily between their two homes -- one in London, convenient for James's city job, the other in idyllic rural countryside. James believes their life is happy and fulfilled, but is blinkered to Anne's happiness and when Anne meets the enigmatic and carefree Bill her world shatters and she realizes she can never be truly happy with James again. Anne's affair with Bill comes to light when James discovers the pair were involved in a tragic accident, which killed a local man. Faced with the shocking reality of Anne's revelations, a bereft James responds with a loving resolve to protect Anne. But as he becomes embroiled in the accident investigation, life's unpredictability once more alters the course of their lies.
Director: Julian Fellowes. Stars: Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett, Hermione Norris. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 85 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $0.914 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/21.
THING ABOUT MY FOLKS, THE
Semi-autobiographical film that Paul Reiser wrote specifically for Peter Falk, his all-time favorite actor. A sudden family crisis throws a befuddled writer and his "loose cannon" dad (the kind of father many of us know: affable and oblivious, exasperating and embarrassing -- and absolutely irreplaceable) together for an unexpected road trip. After 47 years of marriage, Muriel Kleinman (Olympia Dukakis) has flown the coop, leaving behind husband Sam (Falk) with only a vaguely worded note of explanation. So the writer and his dad take off to find out what happened. Family secrets are uncovered and in a few surprising days, the two men learn more about each other -- and have more fun -- than either imagined possible. A story of fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and two men learning to love the women who love them.
Director: Raymond De Felitta. Stars: Peter Falk, Paul Reiser, Olympia Dukakis, Elizabeth Perkins, Mackenzie Connolly, Lydia Jordan. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min.), Dramady, 2005, Box office gross: $0.814 million, (New Line), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
Comedy about frustrated waiters, stingy tippers and dicey food with young employees battling boredom at Shenanigan's, a generic chain restaurant. A waiter for four years since high school, Dean (Justin Long) has never questioned his job at Shenanigan's. But when he learns that Chett, a high school classmate, now has a lucrative career in electrical engineering, he's thrown into turmoil about his dead-end life. Dean's friend Monty (Ryan Renolds) is in exactly the same boat, but he couldn't care less. More concerned with partying and having sex with underage girls, Monty is put in charge of training Mitch (John Francis Daley), a shy new employee. Over the course of one chaotic shift, Mitch gets to know the rest of Shenanigan's quirky staff: Monty's tough-talking ex-girlfriend, Serena (Anna Faris), Shenanigan's over-zealous manager, Dan (David Koechner), and head cook Raddimus (Luis Guzman), who's obsessed with a senseless staff-wide competition known only as "The Game." Features stoned busboys, unsanitary kitchen antics, and lots of talk about sex.
Director: Rob McKittrick. Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Justin Long, David Koechner, Luis Guzman, Chi McBride, John Francis Daley. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 93 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $16.101 million, (Lionsgate), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/7.
WALK THE LINE
In 1955, a tough, skinny guitar-slinger who called himself J.R. Cash walked into the soon-to-be-famous Sun Studios in Memphis. It was a moment that would have an indelible effect on American culture. With his driving freight-train chords, steel-eyed intensity and a voice as deep and black as night, Cash sang blistering songs of heartache and survival that were gutsy, full of real life and unlike anything heard before. That day kicked off the electrifying early career of Johnny Cash. As he pioneered a fiercely original sound that blazed a trail for rock, country, punk, folk and rap stars to come, Cash began a rough-and-tumble journey of personal transformation, moving past raw anger, the ravages of addiction, and the temptations of stardom to discover the voice that would make him a hero to generations. Those early years encompass the themes that ran through Cash's music and minimalist style: death, love, treachery, sin, hope and faith. In the most volatile period of his life, he evolved from a self-destructive pop star into the iconic "Man in Black" -- facing down his demons, fighting for the love that would raise him up, and learning how to walk the razor-thin line between destruction and redemption. The story begins in Depression-era Arkansas, as the film traces the origins of Cash's sound back to his beginnings as a sharecropper's son; moves through his wild tours with rock and roll pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Waylon Jennings; and culminates in his unforgettable 1968 concert in Folsom Prison.
Director: James Mangold. Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 135 min.), Bio-drama, 2005, Box office gross: $110.611 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/28.
WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT
The cheese-loving Wallace (Peter Sallis) and his ever faithful dog Gromit -- the much-loved duo from Aardman Animation's Oscar-winning clay-animated "Wallace & Gromit" shorts -- star in an all new comedy adventure, marking their first full- length feature film. As the annual Giant Vegetable Competition approaches, it's "veggie-mania" in Wallace & Gromit's neighborhood. The two enterprising chums have been cashing in with their pest-control outfit, "Anti-Pesto," which humanely dispatches the rabbits that try to invade the town's sacred gardens. Suddenly, a huge, mysterious, veg-ravaging beast begins terrorizing the neighborhood, attacking the town's prized plots at night and destroying everything in its path. Desperate to protect the competition, its hostess, Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter), commissions Anti-Pesto to catch the creature and save the day. Lying in wait, however, is Lady Tottington's snobby suitor, Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes), who'd rather shoot the beast and secure the position of local hero -- not to mention Lady Tottington's hand in marriage. With the fate of the competition in the balance, Lady Tottington is eventually forced to allow Victor to hunt down the vegetable-chomping marauder. Little does she know that Victor's real intent could have dire consequences for her ... and our two heroes.
Director: Steve Box, Nick Park. Stars: Voices of Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Kay, Nicholas Smith. CC, (MPAA rating: G, 85 min.), Animated family, 2005, Box office gross: $55.508 million, (DreamWorks), $29.99 VHS SRP, Available: 2/7.
WEATHER MAN, THE
Nicolas Cage plays David Spritz, Chicago's local weatherman for WCH, Channel 6. For many, he's more than just someone who forecasts sun, rain, sleet or snow -- he's a moving target. Pelted on a regular basis with soda pop, malts and fast food by jealous fans, many of whom have a curious love-hate relationship with him, David wants nothing more than respect -- especially from his father, prize- winning author Robert Spritzel (Michael Caine). He also wants his estranged wife Noreen (Hope Davis) to love him again, his daughter (Gemmenne De la Pena) to be happy, and son (Nicholas Hoult) to stay out of trouble. On top of that, David wouldn't mind mastering archery. But although David's life is full of inner turmoil, on the outside the weatherman with the winning smile and onscreen charm appears to be pretty much under control. Even the producers of the prestigious New York-based "Hello America," hosted by Bryant Gumbel (portraying himself), have noticed his work and want him to audition for their syndicated national morning show. Still, no amazing career opportunity seems to be stopping David's personal life from going into a skid, and much like the tornadoes he predicts, he could be headed for a path of destruction. David slowly comes to realize that life, much like the weather, is completely unpredictable.
Director: Gore Verbinski. Stars: Nicolas Cage , Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Gemmenne de la Pena, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Rispoli, Judith McConnell, David Darlow. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 101 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $8.639 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/21.
WHERE THE TRUTH LIES
Comedians Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth) are at the top of their game in the late 1950s, deified as the most beloved entertainers in America. But when the two find a girl dead in their hotel suite, their wealth, popularity and partnership topple in an instant. Though air-tight alibis keep the entertainers from being accused, the incident kills their act. Lanny and Vince manage to salvage separate careers, never uttering a word about the girl's death to anyone. Fifteen years later, up-and-coming reporter Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman) decides to turn this cold case into a hot story and unravels a shocking tale of talent and treachery behind the demise of America's celebrated comedic pair.
Director: Atom Egoyan. Stars: Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman, Sonja Bennett, Rachel Blanchard, Kathryn Winslow. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 108 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $0.871 million, (MGM/Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/28.
YOURS, MINE & OURS
When Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid), a widower with eight children, runs into his high school sweetheart, Helen North (Rene Russo), it's as if 30 years never passed. Helen, a widow with 10 kids of her own, including six she adopted, feels the attraction as well. It's no wonder they rush into marriage without telling their kids. Unfortunately for Frank and Helen, the families don't mesh quite as easily as the newlyweds had hoped. They probably should have seen the culture clash coming: the disciplined Beardsleys run things by the book; for the energetic and vivacious Norths, there is no book. Helen's kids aren't pleased about moving and sharing rooms with a bunch of uptight strangers. Frank's children have nothing in common with the unruly Norths. Since both sets of kids aren't happy, they devise a plan to undermine the marriage and team up to plot the breakup. The two families find a way to work together -- in order to separate. Just when it appears that the kids have succeeded, they realize they like each other despite their differences -- they don't want their families to split up after all. Can they save Frank and Helen's marriage after they so brilliantly split them up?
Director: Raja Gosnell. Stars: Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Drake Bell, Katija Pevac, Sean Faris. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 87 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $51.173 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/28.
After their father (Tim Robbins) leaves for work, leaving them in the care of their older sister (Kristen Stewart), six year-old Danny (Jonah Bobo) and 10- year old Walter (Josh Hutcherson) either get on each other's nerves or are totally bored. When their bickering escalates and Walter starts chasing him, Danny hides in a dumbwaiter. But Walter surprises him, and in retaliation, lowers Danny into their dark, scary basement, where he discovers an old tattered metal board game, "Zathura." After trying unsuccessfully to get his brother to play the game with him, Danny starts to play on his own. From his first move, Danny realizes this is no ordinary board game. His spaceship marker moves by itself and when it lands on a space, a card is ejected, which reads: "Meteor shower, take evasive action." The house is immediately pummeled from above by hot, molten meteors. When Danny and Walter look up through the gaping hole in their roof, they discover, to their horror, that they have been propelled into deepest, darkest outer space. And they are not alone. Danny and Walter realize that unless they finish the game they'll be trapped in outer space forever. With every turn, they confront one incredible obstacle after another: They accidentally put their sister Lisa into a deep cryonic sleep, are chased by a crazed, malfunctioning six-foot robot, rescue a stranded astronaut (Dax Shepard) and are besieged by lizard-like, carnivorous creatures called Zorgons. With the help of the astronaut, Danny and Walter begin to put their petty fraternal differences aside, work together to overcome the obstacles they encounter and attempt to finish the game so they can go home. But all their efforts may be in vain when they face their biggest challenge of all -- a battle against an intense gravitational pull into the void of the dark planet Zathura. From the book by Chris Van Allsburg, who also created "Jumanji."
Director: Jon Favreau. Stars: Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 113 min.), Fantasy adventure, 2005, Box office gross: $28.045 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 2/14.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
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February 1, 2006