OnVideo JUNE Video Reviews
BE KIND REWIND
A man whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store, which is on the verge of going out of business. I In order to keep the store's one loyal customer, an elderly lady with a tenuous grasp on reality, the pair re-create a long line of films including "The Lion King," "Rush Hour," "Ghostbusters," "When We Were Kings," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Robocop," putting themselves and their townspeople into it.
Director: Michel Gondry. Stars: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz, Arjay Smith, Paul Dinello, Marcus Carl Franklin, P.J. Byrne, Chandler Parker. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13,101 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $11.208 million, Warner. Available: 6/17
BUCKET LIST, THE
Corporate billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and working class mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) are worlds apart. At a crossroads in their lives, they share a hospital room and discover they have two things in common: a desire to spend the time they have left doing everything they ever wanted to do before they "kick the bucket" and an unrealized need to come to terms with who they are. Together they embark on the road trip of a lifetime, becoming friends along the way and learning to live life to the fullest. Each adventure adds another check to their list, all done with insight and humor.
Anton Yelchin stars as Charlie Bartlett, who has been kicked out of every private school he ever attended. And now that he's moved on to public school, he's simply getting pummeled. But when Charlie discovers that the kids who surround him -- the outcast and the popular alike -- are secretly in desperate need, his entrepreneurial spirit takes over. Hanging up his shingle in the boys' restroom, Charlie becomes an underground, not to mention under-aged, shrink who listens to the private confessions of his schoolmates, and makes the imprudent decision to hand out the pills he's proffered from his own psychiatric sessions. Meanwhile, at home, Charlie keeps charming his way out of an inevitable confrontation with his adoring but utterly overwhelmed mother Marilyn (Hope Davis.) Then, Bartlett makes his big mistake: falling in love with the beautiful and bold daughter (Kat Dennings) of the school's increasingly disenchanted principal (Robert Downey, Jr.), who is hot on Bartlett's trail.
Director: Jon Poll. Stars: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, Tyler Hilton, Jake Epstein, Lauren Collins, Dylan Taylor, Mark Rendall, Kat Dennings, Derek McGrath. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $3.898 million, MGM. Available: 6/24
Centers on Ian Curtis, the enigmatic lead singer of the influential British band Joy Division. Curtis had aspirations beyond the trappings of small town life in 1970's England. Wanting to emulate his musical heroes, such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop, he joined a band, and his musical ambition began to thrive. Soon though, the everyday fears and emotions that fueled his music slowly began to eat away at him. Inspired by the energy of the Sex Pistols and other punk bands, Joy Division infiltrated the music scene with a distinct sound of their own. But the strain of being a rock star and of a young marriage and fatherhood began to eat away at him, manifesting itself in his health. With epilepsy adding to his guilt and depression, desperation took hold and, on the night before embarking on an American tour, at the age of 23, Curtis committed suicide. The surviving members regrouped as New Order, and went on to achieve commercial and critical success.
Director: Anton Corbijn. Stars: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway, Craig Parkinson, Toby Kebbell. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., BioDrama, Box office gross: $.871 million, Weinstein Co./Genius Products. Available: 6/3
Ryan Reynolds stars as Will Hayes, a 30-something Manhattan dad in the midst of a divorce when his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love. Will's story begins in 1992, as a young, starry-eyed aspiring politician who moves to New York from Wisconsin in order to work on the presidential campaign. For Maya, Will relives his past as an idealistic young man learning the ins and outs of big city politics, and recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women. Will hopelessly attempts a gentler version of his story for his daughter and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her father finally married. Is her mother Will's college sweetheart, the dependable girl next door Emily (Elizabeth Banks)? Is she his longtime best friend and confidante, the apolitical April (Isla Fisher)? Or is she the free-spirited but ambitious journalist Summer (Rachel Weisz)?
Director: Adam Brooks. Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min., Comedys, Box office gross: $31.973 million, Universal. Available: 6/24
Horror thriller about a cornea transplant recipient who sees disturbing images in the mirror that send her on a quest to find out what happened to the eye's previous owner. The original was made in Hong Kong by Thai directing brothers Danny and Oxide Pang. Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is an accomplished, independent, Los Angeles-based concert violinist. Blind since a childhood tragedy, she undergoes a double corneal transplant, a surgery she has waited her whole life to have, and her sight is restored. After the surgery, neural ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola) helps Sydney with the difficult adjustment, and with the support of her older sister Helen (Parker Posey), Sydney learns to see again. But Sydney's happiness is short-lived as unexplainable shadowy and frightening images start to haunt her. Are they a passing aftermath of her surgery, Sydney's mind adjusting to sight, a product of her imagination, or something horrifyingly real? As Sydney's family and friends begin to doubt her sanity, Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can now see.
Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud. Stars: Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Francois Chau, Tamlyn Tomita. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Horror Thriller, Box office gross: $31.397 million, Lionsgate. Available: 6/3
Action comedy reteams Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") as married treasure hunters whose eight-year search for booty leaves them broke and out of gas. Ben "Finn" Finnegan (McConaughey) is a good-natured, surf bum-turned-treasure hunter who is obsessed with finding the legendary 18th century Queen's Dowry -- 40 chests of exotic treasure that was lost at sea in 1715. In his quest, Finn has sunk everything he has, including his marriage to Tess Finnegan (Hudson) and his more-rusty-than-trusty salvage boat, "Booty Calls." Just as Tess has begun to rebuild her life, working aboard a mega-yacht owned by billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), Finn discovers a vital clue to the treasure's whereabouts. Certain that his luck will change with the newfound information, Finn maneuvers himself aboard Nigel's yacht and, using his good-natured charm, convinces the tycoon and his Blackberry-wielding, celebutante daughter, Gemma (Alexis Dziena), to join him in the pursuit of the Spanish treasure. Against Tess' better judgment, the search rekindles her love ... of discovery. But they are not the only ones after the treasure. Finn's mentor-turned-nemesis Moe Fitch (Ray Winstone) has also set out to claim the prize.
Director: Andy Tennant. Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Ewen Bremner, Alexis Dziena, Kevin Hart, Ray Winstone. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $67.073 million, Warner. Available: 6/17
4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
An extremely intense and terrifying journey into the seedy underworld of black market abortions, set in 1987 Communist Romania. Two college roommates have 24 hours to make the ultimate choice as they finalize arrangements to meet a doctor for an illegal abortion. What follows is their harrowing descent into a world in where danger, darkness and tragedy lurk around every corner. In Romanian with English subtitles.
Hopin' sci fi story about a young man with the uncanny ability to transport himself anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. David Rice (Hayden Christensen) has grown up with a mysterious power of which many have dreamed. He is completely and utterly mobile, able to zap through wormholes in the space-time fabric to any city, any building, any place at all that his mind desires. In the blink of an eye, he can "jump" from one side of the earth to the other and back again -- he can tour 20 different sunsets in one night, he can have breakfast on the Egyptian Sphinx, spend the day surfing in Australia, then pop over to Paris for dinner and enjoy dessert in Japan. He can pass through walls and locked bank safes and enter the most forbidden chambers. So far, he has used his powers to run away from his past, to take advantage of unlimited wealth, to remain fiercely independent. He's never known limits or boundaries or consequences. But when David discovers another young man like himself, a fiery, globetrotting rebel named Griffin (Jamie Bell), the truth of his existence begins to dawn. He is not just a lone freak of nature, but part of a long line of genetic anomalies known as Jumpers, none of whom are safe. Now, David has been identified by the secret organization sworn to kill all Jumpers. And he is about to be relentlessly pursued in a chase that will literally bound around the planet -- as he becomes a key player in an unseen battle that has been raging, invisible to most of humanity, through the ages.
Director: Doug Liman. Stars: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Jamie Bell, Max Thieriot, Shawn Roberts, AnnaSophia Robb. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $77.553 million, Fox. Available: 6/10
MEET THE SPARTANS
Spoof follows the journey of Leonidas, the King of Sparta. When his kingdom is challenged by the powerful Xerxes, Leonidas must recruit some of his strongest soldiers; which unfortunately leaves him with 13 (not 300) of the not-so-finest. Armed with nothing but leather underwear and a flowing red cape, Leonidas leads his ragtag army to defend their homeland, delivering send-ups of such motion pictures as "Ghost Rider," "Transformers," "Spider-Man 3" and "Casino Royale," as well as leaving no stone unturned by tackling such pop culture television staples as "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars," "Ugly Betty" and "Deal or No Deal."
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. Stars: Diedrich Bader, Kevin Sorbo, Method Man, Ken Davitian, Jim Piddock, Sean Maguire, Greg Ellis, Crista Flanagan, Nicole Parker, Emily Wilson. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 84 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $38.077 million, Fox. Available: 6/3
OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, THE
A sensual tale of intrigue, romance and betrayal set against the backdrop of a defining moment in 16th century English history. The two beautiful sisters, Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) Boleyn, driven by their family's blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). While both women eventually share the king's bed, only one will ascend to the throne for a brief and turbulent reign that ends tragically with a swing of the executioner's sword.
Director: Justin Chadwick. Stars: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mark Rylance, David Morrissey. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 115 min., Drama, Box office gross: $26.604 million, Sony. Available: 6/10
Critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated animated feature film based on the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. The poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken 9-year-old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power -- forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable. As she gets older, Marjane's boldness causes her parents to worry about her continued safety. And so, at age 14, they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Over time, she gains acceptance, and even experiences love, but after high school she finds herself alone and horribly homesick. Though it means putting on a veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, all the while continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision to leave her homeland for France, optimistic about her future, shaped indelibly by her past. In French and Persian.
Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi. Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle Lopes. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 95 min., Drama, Box office gross: $4.423 million, Sony. Available: 6/24
Will Ferrell-driven comedy set in 1976 against the backdrop of the maverick American Basketball Association -- a fast-paced, wild and crazy basketball league that rivaled the NBA and made a name for itself with innovations like the three-point shot and slam dunk contest. Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, a one-hit wonder who used the profits from the success of his chart-topping song "Love Me Sexy" to achieve his dream of owning a basketball team. But Moon's franchise, the Flint Michigan Tropics, is the worst team in the league and in danger of folding when the ABA announces its plans to merge with the NBA. If they want to survive, Jackie and the Tropics must now do the seemingly impossible -- win.
Director: Kent Alterman. Stars: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Andre Benjamin, Will Arnett, Jay Phillips, Josh Braaten, Rob Corddry, DeRay Davis, Maura Tierney, Jackie Earle Haley. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $32.279 million, New Line. Available: 6/3
SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, THE
When the three Grace children -- troubled Jared; his bookish twin, Simon; and their sister, Mallory, a fencing jock -- move to the ancient Spiderwick mansion, they are at first none-too-enchanted by the rundown Victorian ... until they discover a Brownie, an enchanted creature, living in the walls. They soon find a book - "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You" -- that will open their eyes to the invisible, odd, and sometimes dangerous world of dragons and boggarts, phookas and fairies, sprites and goblins that is all around them. When they cross paths with Mulgarath, an ogre, they realize quickly that he will stop at nothing to get his hands on the "Field Guide." Based on the bestselling series of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.
Director: Mark Waters. Stars: Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright, David Strathairn, Seth Rogen, Martin Short. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 101 min., Fantasy, Box office gross: $44.076 million, Paramount. Available: 6/24
Prehistoric odyssey into a mythical age of prophesies and gods, when spirits ruled the land and mighty mammoths shook the earth. In a remote mountain tribe, the young hunter D'Leh (Steven Strait) has found his heart's passion -- the beautiful Evolet (Camilla Belle). But when a band of mysterious warlords raid his village and kidnap Evolet, D'Leh leads a small group of hunters to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save her. As they venture into unknown lands for the first time, the group discovers there are civilizations beyond their own and that mankind's reach is far greater than they ever knew. At each encounter the group is joined by other tribes who have been attacked by the slave raiders, turning D'Leh's once-small band into an army.
Director: Roland Emmerich. Stars: Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Omar Sharif, Reece Ritchie, Suri van Sornsen. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $89.349 million, Warner. Available: 6/24
UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA)
In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario (Kate del Castillo) works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for her nine year-old Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) back in Mexico. When the unexpected death of his grandmother leaves young Carlitos alone, he takes his fate into his own hands and heads north across the border to find his mother. Along the way, he meets a middle-aged migrant worker, Enrique (Eugenio Derbez), who becomes his reluctant protector. The unlikely pair embark upon an unforgettable journey to Los Angeles facing seemingly insurmountable odds. However, throughout their desperate attempt to reunite, mother and son never lose hope that they will one day be together again. Director Patricia Riggen's film is not only a heartwarming family story; she also offers subtle commentary on the much-debated issue of illegal immigration.
Director: Patricia Riggen. Stars: Adrian Alonso, Kate del Castillo, Eugenio Derbez, Jesse Garcia, Carmen Salinas, America Ferrara. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Drama, Box office gross: $12.102 million, Fox. Available: 6/17
WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS
Martin Lawrence is talk-show sensation RJ Stevens, who left behind his modest Southern upbringing and family name to transform into a self-help guru dispensing his "Team of Me" philosophy to millions of adoring fans. With a reality-TV-star fiancee and money to burn, there's no piece of the Hollywood dream RJ hasn't achieved. After his parents request that he come home for their 50th wedding anniversary, the TV host packs up his 10-year-old son and diva bride-to-be and heads back to Georgia. It's a chance to prove to his family that he's no longer the awkward kid they relentlessly picked on. At least, that's the plan. But when his crazy, lovable family calls him on his big-city attitude and challenges him at every turn, RJ is forced to take a hard look at the man he's become. He may be a superstar in L.A., but he's just one of the guys in Dry Springs
Director: Malcolm D. Lee. Stars: Martin Lawrence, Margaret Avery, Joy Bryant, Louis C.K., Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Epps, Mo'Nique, Nicole Ari Parke, Cedric the Entertainer, James Earl Jones. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 114 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $42.168 million, Universal. Available: 6/17
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray 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 -- 2008 OnVideo. All rights reserved
June 1, 2008