OnVideo MAY Video Reviews
BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2
Martin Lawrence returns as undercover FBI Agent Malcolm Turner in the sequel to the 2000 boxoffice hit "Big Momma's House." This time around Malcolm is out to expose the suspected designer of a deadly computer "worm" that would allow outside forces access to sophistical and critical government intelligence files. Unfortunately, the only way the crafty agent can get next to the worm's creator, Tom Fuller (Mark Moses), is to access the programmer's Orange County home as the new "nanny" to Fuller and his wife Leah's (Emily Procter) children. This means that Malcolm must once again rely on his sure-fire alter ego, the take-no- prisoners Hattie Mae Pierce, a.k.a. "Big Momma," to bring down the bad guys. But once undercover, the job proves another tough juggling act as "she" must manage the hectic lives of the three Fuller kids, keep up with their myriad daily activities, and handle the many household chores, all while secretly trying to dig up information on Tom's computer virus. Of course, Malcolm's hardest and most comical task is staying in Big Momma's character throughout, which requires the trickiest of physical and vocal transformations, not to mention the ability to think really fast on his pumps.
Director: John Whitesell. Stars: Martin Lawrence, Cynthia LeBlanc, Nia Long, Michelle Parylak, Chloe Moretz, Dan Lauria, Mark Moses, Emily Procter. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min.), Comedy, 2006, Box office gross: $67.988 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2
In this sequel, Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and wife Kate (Bonnie Hunt), hoping to bring their family together for a memorable summer vacation, take their 12 offspring to rustic Lake Winnetka, Wisconsin -- their longtime family vacation home. But their retreat soon turns cutthroat when they enter into a competition with the over-achieving members of a large family headed by Tom's longtime rival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy).
Director: Adam Shankman. Stars: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Alyson Stoner, Forrest Landis, Morgan York, Liliana Mumy, Jacob Smith, Tom Welling, Brent Kinsman, Shane Kinsman, Hilary Duff, Blake Woodruff, Piper Perabo, Eugene Levy. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 94 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $80.829 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/23.
The twisted minds of two of the six writers of "Scary Movie" -- Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg -- skewer the romantic comedy genre, It's the story of hopeless romantic Julia Jones, who has finally met the man of her dreams, the very British Grant Funkyerdoder. But before they can have their Big Fat Greek Wedding, they'll have to Meet the Parents; hook-up with The Wedding Planner, and contend with Grant's friend Andy -- a spectacularly beautiful woman who wants to put an end to her Best Friend's Wedding. There's more gags and send-up based on such films as Napoleon Dynamite, Kill Bill, Wedding Crashers, Hitch, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Pretty Woman and even King Kong.
Director: Aaron Seltzer. Stars: Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Fred Willard, Eddie Griffin, Sophie Monk, Meera Simhan, Marie Matiko, Judah Friedlander, Carmen Electra. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 82 min.), Comedy, 2006, Box office gross: $47.498 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/30.
FAMILY STONE, THE
Comic story about the annual holiday gathering of a New England family, the Stones, set in a small college town. The Stone household is characterized by its absence of traditional social boundaries. They routinely discuss everything from smoking pot to the loss of virginity. The eldest son Everett (Dermot Mulroney) brings his girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home to meet his parents, brothers and sisters. The bohemian Stones greet their visitor -- a high-powered, controlling New Yorker -- with a mix of awkwardness, confusion and hostility. After her initial trial by fire with the Stones, Meredith enlists the help of her younger sister, Julie (Claire Danes). Julie, who works at a foundation awarding grants to artists, isn't nearly as tightly wound as Meredith. Julie enters the "lions' den" with much more ease than her sister, but Julie's visit ultimately leads to further complications, especially for Everett. Sybil Stone (Diane Keaton) is the strong-willed matriarch who is at the heart of the Stone family, an outspoken woman who wants only the best for her five children. Everett's brother, Ben Stone (Luke Wilson), seems to have strayed the furthest from his family's New England roots. A film editor living on the West Coast, Ben's unpredictable, sometimes mischievous nature is reflected in the ultra-casual clothes he wears. Ben and Everett's sister, Amy Stone (Rachel McAdams), is the passionate, outspoken and youngest member of the family. She bears her luminous natural beauty with an aggressive indifference -- and with a near open hostility toward Meredith. The family patriarch, Kelly Stone (Craig T. Nelson), is a college professor in his sixties who is still an impressive figure. Kelly has an obvious love for his family that drives his every move. Before the holiday is over, relationships will unravel while new ones are formed, secrets will be revealed, and the family Stone will come together through its extraordinary capacity for love.
Director: Thomas Bezucha. Stars: Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $59.703 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/2.
Late one night in a working class New Jersey suburb, a bloodied woman staggers mute and dazed into the emergency room at the Dempsy Medical Center. After treatment for shock and hysteria, Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore) recounts to Dempsy police detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) a horrific tale of being carjacked on the isolated strip of undeveloped land that divides Dempsy's urban housing projects from the blue collar town of Gannon, where she lives. She claims she was forced out of her car by a black man, but during the interrogation Council senses he's not getting the whole story. Only after hours of questioning does Brenda finally break down and confess that her four-year-old son, Cody, was asleep in the back seat of the stolen car. Led by activist Karen Collucci (Edie Falco), members of the communities of Dempsy and Gannon unite in a search for the missing child, but the criminal investigation into the alleged kidnapping by a suspect who is presumed to be a local from the projects soon ignites long-simmering racial tensions between the two towns.
Director: Joe Roth. Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe, Aunjanue Ellis, Anthony Mackie, LaTanya Richardson. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 113 min.), Suspense-Thriller, 2006, Box office gross: $12.512 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/30.
Life is sweet for 35-year-old video game tester Alex ... until he's forced to move in with his overbearing grandmother Lilly and her two roommates: oversexed Grace and overmedicated Bea. To save face with his much younger co-workers and super-sexy new boss, Alex brags about the "three hot babes" living with him. But soon the cat's out of the bag - and the real party at Grandma's house just begins. Throw in some special tea and a new game Alex is working on, and you have a movie for teens only.
Director: Nicholaus Goossen. Stars: Linda Cardellini, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight, Joel Moore, Kevin Nealon, Doris Roberts. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 94 min.), Comedy, 2006, Box office gross: $6.076 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
Little Red Riding Hood: A classic story, but there's more to every tale than meets the eye. For this story, the filmmakers begin at the end. Furry and feathered cops from the animal world investigate a domestic disturbance at Granny's cottage, involving a girl, a wolf, and an axe. The charges are many: breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, intent to eat, and wielding an axe without a license. Not to mention, this case might be tied to the elusive "Goody Bandit" who has been stealing the recipes of goody shops everywhere. A fun and wild take on the fairy tale.
Director: Cory Edwards, Todd EdwardsTony Leech. Stars: Glenn Close, Anne Hathaway, James Belushi, Anthony Anderson, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Chazz Palminteri, Andy Dick. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 80 min.), Animated, 2005, Box office gross: $50.379 million, (Weinstein Co.), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/2.
Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) lives a small life tucked inside big dreams. A shy cookware salesperson for a New Orleans retail outlet, she handles knives and skillets with the flair of a master chef. But when Georgia learns her days are numbered, she throws caution to the wind and embarks on a dream holiday vacation to a grand resort in Europe. There, thinking she has nothing to lose, Georgia undergoes a metamorphosis ... and her transformation affects everyone around her. Georgia's newly uninhibited personality shakes up staff and guests alike, including a venerated chef (Gerard Depardieu) as well as a retail magnate (Timothy Hutton) who becomes convinced she's a rival intent on sabotaging his business plans. From snowy slopes to spectacular spas, delectable dinners to midnight balls, Georgia is going to live a lifetime of fun in just a few weeks.
Director: Wayne Wang. Stars: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Giancarlo Esposito, Alicia Witt, Gerard Depardieu, Jane Adams. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min.), Comedy, 2006, Box office gross: $38.360 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/2.
Follows the exploits of a secret team of five Mossad agents in the aftermath of the brutal massacre of 11 members of the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympics. Led by Avner (Eric Bana), the men have been dispatched on a mission to track down those responsible for the attack and get revenge; a mission that takes a personal toll on the agents and the man who led it.
Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 164 min.), Suspense-Thriller, 2005, Box office gross: $47.379 million, (Universal), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
Adaptation of the "Nurse Matilda" books by Christianna Brand. In this witty fable, Emma Thompson portrays a person of unsettling appearance and magical powers who enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and attempts to tame his seven exceedingly ill-behaved children. The children, led by the oldest boy Simon (Thomas Sangster), have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies and are certain that they will have no trouble with this one. But as Nanny McPhee takes control, they begin to notice that their vile behavior now leads swiftly and magically to rather startling consequences. Her influence also extends to the family's deeper problems, including Mr. Brown's sudden and seemingly inexplicable attempts to find a new wife; an announcement by the domineering Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) that she intends to take one of the children away; and the sad and secret longings of their scullery maid, Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald). As the children's behavior begins to change, Nanny McPhee's arresting face and frame appear to change as well, creating even more questions about this mysterious stranger whom the children and their father have come to love.
Director: Kirk Jones. Stars: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kelly MacDonald, Angela Lansbury, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Raphael Coleman, Sam Honywood, Holly Gibbs. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 99 min.), Family, 2005, Box office gross: $46.487 million, (Universal), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
NEW WORLD, THE
Adventure set amid the encounter of European and Native American cultures during the founding of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607. Inspired by the legend of John Smith (Colin Farrell) and Pocahontas, acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick transforms the classic story into a sweeping exploration of love, loss and discovery, both a celebration and an elegy of the America that was ... and the America that was yet to come. Against a historically accurate Virginia backdrop, Malick has set a dramatized tale of two strong-willed characters -- a passionate and noble young native woman and an ambitious soldier of fortune -- torn between the undeniable requirements of their civic duty and the demands of the human heart.
Director: Terrence Malick. Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 135 min.), Historical drama, 2005, Box office gross: $12.286 million, (New Line), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
First it was a riotous comedy from Mel Brooks, then a record-breaking Broadway musical. Now it's a film again, with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick returning to their award-winning roles. Scheming producer Max Bialystock (Lane) and his mousy accountant Leo Bloom (Broderick) discover that under the right circumstances they could make more money producing a Broadway flop than with a hit. So they mount "Springtime for Hitler," an obnoxious and offensive musical that they're sure will tank. But what will they do when the play becomes a surprise hit? Mediocre outing, with Lane and Broderick yawning their way through the production. Best scene: a chorus line of old ladies and their "dancing" walkers.
Director: Susan Stroma. Stars: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach, Roger Bart. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 135 min.), Musical, 2005, Box office gross: $19.377 million, (Universal), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/16.
Desperate for cash to help a friend in need and pay off his smarmy uncle's gambling debts, Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) sinks to an all time low ... he attempts to fix the Special Olympics by pretending to be a person with intellectual disabilities. But he is completely out-classed by his fellow Olympians, who are not only superior athletes, they're also wiser in the ways of the world. Several of his fellow competitors immediately spot Steve as a fraud, but because they too would like to see the fall of Jimmy, the snooty reigning champion, they join forces to help The Ringer win. Together they train Steve to become a better athlete and, most importantly, a better man.
Director: Barry W. Blaustein. Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Katherine Heigl, Brian Cox, Zen Gesner, John Taylor, Jed Rees. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $33.700 million, (Fox), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/16.
RUMOR HAS IT
Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) has agreed to marry Jeff (Mark Ruffalo), but is terrified of going through with it. Her journalism career has stalled out at the obituary desk of The New York Times. And now, her sister, Annie (Mena Suvari) is plunging into marriage with her tennis partner and Sarah must return home to Pasadena, California, to attend the wedding ... which means spending time with her family. The only thing that makes the trip bearable is the company of her acerbic grandmother Katharine (Shirley MacLaine), who lets it slip that Sarah is not the first one in the family to get cold feet -- that, in fact, 30 years ago, Sarah's late mother ran off with a mysterious young man days before her wedding to Sarah's father. Curiously, around the same time, there was a rumor about a young woman who ran off with a young man who had been seduced by the woman's mother, creating a huge scandal in Pasadena. The rumor became a book, and the book became a film. Now, in the midst of her sister's wedding, Sarah finds herself frantically searching for a copy of the 1967 film "The Graduate," believing her family may have been the inspiration for the story, with Katharine as the older woman and Sarah's own mother as the young man's true love. Which leaves one question: who is the young man? Believing the long-ago story may hold the key to her true identity, Sarah puts Jeff on a plane to New York and detours to San Francisco to look up her mother's classmate, Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), who is now a famous Internet billionaire. What she finds is definitely not her long-lost father. This strange encounter with a man who embodies all the adventure and excitement she thought she longed for leads her spiraling back to what she knows best and understands least -- her family
Director: Rob Reiner. Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Richar Jenkins, Christopher McDonald, Mena Suvari. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min.), Comedy, 2005, Box office gross: $42.747 million, (Warner), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/9.
Kenya Denise McQueen (Sanaa Lathan) appears to have it all -- beauty, brains and a prestigious job at a top accounting firm. She also has a long list of requirements for the type of man she wants to marry, but she's not having much luck finding someone who fits the bill. Dispirited after hearing that over 42% of black women never marry, Kenya impulsively agrees to a blind date with Brian Kelly (Simon Baker), a sexy, free-spirited landscape architect, who isn't exactly what she pictured for herself. While not the man she had in mind for romance, she hires him to fix up the yard of her new house and finds herself irresistibly drawn to his earthy, laid-back charm. When she finally meets her theoretically perfect match, corporate attorney Mark (Blair Underwood), Kenya is further thrown into confusion. Everybody has an opinion, from her trio of girlfriends Cheryl, Suzzette, and Nedra (Wendy Raquel Robinson, Golden Brooks, Taraji P. Henson) to her socially prominent parents Joyce and Edmond (Alfre Woodard and Earl Billings). Ultimately, Kenya must decide between the relationship everyone expects and the romance no one expected.
Director: Sanaa Hamri. Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Donald Faison, Blair Underwood, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Alfre Woodard, Golden Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Earl Billings. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min.), Comedy, 2006, Box office gross: $11.425 million, (Universal), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/16.
Bree (Felicity Huffman) is a born-again Christian and pre-operative transsexual woman living in L.A. and trying to save up his money to become a woman. When he learns he has fathered a son, Toby, now jailed in New York, Bree flies across the country to get him out of jail. Toby, not realizing that Bree is his father (or a man) -- instead thinking she's a Christian missionary -- is released to Bree's custody, and he agrees to travel with her back to L.A., just looking for his chance to escape. As each lies to and manipulates the other, Bree and Toby find themselves on an unexpected and transformative journey.
Director: Duncan Tucker. Stars: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Elizabeth Pena, Graham Greene, Burt Young. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 103 min.), Drama, 2005, Box office gross: $6.633 million, (The Weinstein Co.), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/23.
WHEN A STRANGER CALLS
When a Stranger Calls A remake of the 1979 cult horror film, which starred Carol Kane as a high school student traumatized while babysitting by a caller who repeatedly asks, "Have you checked the children lately?" In this version, in a remote hilltop house, high school student Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) settles in for a routine night of babysitting. With the children sound asleep and a beautiful home to explore, she locks the door and sets the alarm. But when a series of eerie phone calls from a stranger insists that she "check the children," Jill begins to panic. Fear escalates to terror when she has the calls traced and learns that the calls are coming from inside the house. Jill must summon all of her inner strength if she is going to fight back and make it out of the house alive.
Director: Simon West. Stars: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty, Clark Gregg, Derek de Lint, Kate Jennings Grant. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 87 min.), Thriller, 2006, Box office gross: $47.860 million, (Sony), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 5/16.
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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May 1, 2006