OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases: April Calendar of Releases

OnVideo Logo

amazon dvd DVD
home page
video resources
video sales
1995 catalog
1996 catalog
1998 catalog
1999 catalog
2000 catalog

500 winner

Good & Associates logo

Masthead created by Good & Associates

Guide to Home Video Releases:
April Release Calendar

DVD Releases

Movies are rated on a scale of one to five, with five denoting a classic. For more information on how we rate, check out our
Rentability Index.

calendar page Back to Calendar Index.

April 2
  • Bandits Caper-comedy-thriller about a misfit gang of bankrobbers who end up beguiling the public and the media with their robberies. Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) break out of an Oregon jail and embark on a series of bank robberies, getting dubbed the Sleepover Bandits for their modus operandi: they kidnap a bank manager at home, hold him and his family hostage overnight (including dinner), and then force him to open the vault in the morning when the bank opens -- and no one gets hurt. All goes well with the robbers until, by accident, they meet up with Kate (Cate Blanchett), who joins the gang by sleeping, first with Joe, then Terry. The film is told in flashbacks -- it opens with a reality show host at a police siege surrounding the bandits' last robbery, recounting the "gang's" crime spree, ala "America's Most Wanted," including footage of the suspects when they invaded the host's home and demanded to be interviewed. It's a wacky crime romance that continues Levinson's ouvre of examining the way people live in -- and how they react to -- the world around them. Director: Barry Levinson. Stars: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Troy Garity, Bobby Slayton, Brian F. O'Bryne, Stacey Travis. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 122 min., Comedy Thriller, Box office gross: $41.523 million, MGM, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Thirteen Ghosts Remake of the campy William Castle 1960 haunted house scarer that milked the film's cheesy thrills with one of Castle's typical marketing gimmicks: the "ghosts" could only be seen with Illusion-O viewers (similar to 3-D glasses). No such luck with this version: it's a run-of-the-mill special effects thriller about a family who mysteriously inherits a house from an eccentric uncle. Naturally the house is haunted and the family -- joined by a psychic and a ghostbuster -- spend most of the film running from the spooks -- or getting killed. From the folks who brought you the remake of Castle's "House on Haunted Hill." Where's the master when we really need him? Director: Steve Beck. Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham, JR Bourne. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Horror, Box office gross: $41.867 million, Warner, $22.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Drunken Master Classic martial arts comedy that ushered in a host of sequels and created the new genre of kung fu comedy. Jackie Chan plays Won Fei Hung, the mischievous young son of a martial arts schoolmaster who is constantly clowning around when he should be learning kung fu. After his comic antics injure the son of a powerful local man, his father enlists the help of his sadistic uncle to teach his son a little self-discipline. This strange man, who has a reputation for crippling his students, tries to teach Fei Hung a bizarre style of kung fu. At first Fei Hung resists but after losing a fight with a local assassin who has been hired to kill his father, he realizes he must master the special art of the "Drunken Master" if he is to prevail. Based on true incidences -- apparently there was really a kung fu master who feigned drunkenness to put his opponents at a disadvantage. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Director: Yuen Woo-Ping. Stars: Jackie Chan. 1978, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, min., Martial Arts, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Grass Ron Mann's controversial hit documentary on DVD in a groovy special edition set. "Grass," narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring Richard Nixon, stylishly documents the history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century. Stuffed with lots of stash like a collectable poster and state-by-state marijuana laws, this deluxe DVD is a far-out video high for the "happening" collector. Director: Ron Mann. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: R, 80 min., Documentary, Home Vision Entertainment. DVD: Only.

  • She Creature Creature Features telefilm (with state-of-the-art special effects by monster-maker Stan Winston) about a couple traveling the Irish countryside with their carnival sideshow who meet a wealthy old sailor whose castle holds a deadly prize: a real live mermaid held captive in a tank. Eager for fame and fortune, the carnie people steal the sea creature and make plans to set sail for America. But they soon learn that the animal they possess is as dangerous as it is beautiful. Nothing can prepare them for the horror that awaits them as their boat drifts further and further out to sea. Director: Sebastian Gutierrez. Stars: Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, Gil Bellows. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, min., Horror, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

April 9
  • Spy Game Above average spy thriller, set in 1991, about a rogue CIA agent named Bishop (Brad Pitt) who's captured in China and given 24 hours to live when an unauthorized mission to rescue a prisoner goes awry. Back in the States, the CIA summons Bishop's former boss, Muir (Robert Redford), who, coincidentally, is on his last day on the job, to compile reasons why not to save him. Their main worry is that any attempt to rescue Bishop will scuttle Chinese trade talks -- it's more expedient to brand him as a failed agent and let him die. As Muir relates Bishop's history with the CIA -- told in flashbacks -- from Bishop's recruitment during the Vietnam War to Muir's tutoring Bishop to their working together in various covert operations to their eventual falling out -- Muir tries to figure out a way to outsmart his superiors and free Bishop from China -- without leaving CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. There's plenty of edge-of-the-seat thrills, explosive situations and sizzling suspense -- both in the flashbacks and in the "present" -- as Muir outwits his bosses and puts together a rescue mission. Plus there's the added feature of straight-ahead acting by the always reliable (and likeable) Redford. Director: Tony Scott. Stars: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman, Michael Paul Chan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ken Leung, David Hemmings. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $62.326 million, Universal, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Serendipity Serendipity is a word defined as "the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident." And serendipity is at the heart of -- or at least occurs in the beginning of -- this light comedy that was a delightful blip on the fall film release schedule. John Cusack stars as Jonathan Trager and Kate Beckinsale stars as Sara Thomas, two Manhattan singles who meet over a glove in Bloomingdales in a pre-Christmas shopping rush. They spend a wonderful day together in N.Y. and there's definitely something electric between them. But Sara is a believer of preordination and instead of giving in to the moment, tells Jonathan that if they're meant to be, they will find each other -- she puts her name in a copy of a book she's going to sell the next day, and if Jonathan finds it, then the pair will reconnect. But they don't. Several years later, Jonathan and Sara are on the verge of getting married -- but not to each other. He's still in N.Y., she's in the West, and as their respective marriage vows near, they can't stop thinking of each other. So both enlist their best friends in a last minute effort to track down their mystery lovers. Which just goes to show that ya gotta work at it to make love flourish. Director: Peter Chelsom. Stars: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Molly Shannon, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Eugene Levy. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Romantic comedy, Box office gross: $50.255 million, Miramax, $29.99 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Mulholland Drive Labyrinthine mystery from the master of the unexpected and bizarre. Director David Lynch brings willing viewers into a suspense-filled Los Angeles netherworld where nothing is as it seems. The film has at its heart two mysterious women who accidentally encounter each other and change their worlds. A beautiful young woman (Laura Elena Harring) is riding in a limo on Mulholland Drive when a another car crashes into her. Dazed, she stumbles down a hill and enters an apartment as the tenant is leaving for a long trip. The next morning another young woman (Naomi Watts) arrives at the apartment, which is owned by her aunt, where she discovers the first woman, now suffering from amnesia. From there on out the story gets more complex as the women start to have feelings for each other and a host of oddball characters enter the scene, including a film director whose latest project is pulled from him, a prying landlady, and an assassin whose hit goes awry. There's strange rooms and boxes and dread in every corner of the film. A complex film for serious moviegoers. Director: David Lynch. Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Robert Forster, Dan Hedaya. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 146 min., Mystery, Box office gross: $6.866 million, Universal, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • No Man's Land Winner of the Golden Globe for best foreign film, this fine film from Bosnian director Danis Tanovic follows a platoon of men during the fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993. Fleeing enemy fire, an injured Bosnian soldier, Ciki, retreats to a trench where he finds himself trapped with a wounded comrade and a Serbian enemy soldier. With no way to escape and with his fellow soldier lying on a spring-loaded bomb set to explode if he moves, Ciki realizes he must do the unthinkable -- trust his enemy -- if he is to survive. In Serbo-Croation with English subtitles. Director: Danis Tanovic. Stars: Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic, Georges Siatidis, Serge-Henri Valcke. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.640 million, MGM, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • High Heels and Low Lifes Female actioner follows the adventures of two women who blackmail gangsters in an effort to raise some money for a hospital one of the ladies works at. Minnie Driver plays a nurse and Mary McCormack an actress who are both fed up with men. Coming home from work one night, Driver finds that her shiftless sound-artist boyfriend has forgotten her birthday. She kicks him out and goes out for a drunken spree with best friend McCormack. When they return, they discover that the boyfriend's sound equipment -- left on -- has picked up a cell phone call made during a bank robbery. Armed with the phone number, the women decide to blackmail the robbers and give away the money. But they soon get in over their heads as the money drop goes bad, two cops get involved, and a giant, wild shoot-out results. Director: Mel Smith. Stars: Minnie Driver, Mary McCormack, Kevin McNally, Michael Gambon, Mark Williams, Kevin Eldon. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, Action, Box office gross: $0.226 million, Buena Vista, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Shackleton Smashing four-hour A&E Original Movie about the legendary adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton's 20-month polar adventure. In 1914, on the verge of World War I, British explorer Shackleton set out for the South Pole. Unfortunately, when his ship, Endurance, was trapped by ice, his 27-man crew and their 69 sleigh dogs found themselves adrift on glacial floats -- a mere 85 miles from their destination. For 10 long months the ice flow pulled them north until, finally, they had to abandon ship when the Endurance was crushed and sank. The crew then had to make it to the Pacific Ocean, pulling three lifeboats and supplies. Upon reaching the South Pacific, the crew was forced to maneuver their lifeboats 100 miles across storm-tossed water to reach Elephant Island, where they thought they would be rescued. That hope was dashed, however, and Shackleton and a few hearty souls set off on a perilous 650-mile journey across the ocean, and then over the unmapped South Georgia glacier before returning to civilization to get help to rescue the rest of the crew. The tale revels in the strength of the human spirit to persevere and overcome against all odds, and explores the depths of leadership and interpersonal relationships. Director: Charles Sturridge. Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Lorcan Cranithch, Kevin McNally, Nicolas Rowe, Chris Larkin, Shaun Dooly, Mark McGann, Pip Torrens, Matt Day, Ken Drury, Phoebe Nicholls, Embeth Davidtz. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 200 min., Drama, A&E Home Video, $39.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Skulls II, The Direct-to-video sequel about the secret Skulls society. Following along the lines of the original, an unsuspecting college student is drawn into the mysterious underworld of the nation's most powerful secret society. But when he witnesses a murder within the society's private chambers, he finds that the closer he gets to revealing the truth, the more dangerous life becomes. Director: Joe Chappelle. Stars: Robin Dunne, Aaron Ashmore, Ashley Lyn Cafagna, Christopher Ralph, Nathan West. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, Thriller, Universal, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

April 16
  • Man Who Wasn't There, The The Coen brothers (director Joel, producer Ethan, both screenwriters) have done it again with this film noir set in a 1940 small town in California. Done what? Created an encapsulated world on the screen that draws the viewer in and totally transfixes one for almost two hours of pure cinematic joy. As in their past outings -- most recently "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "The Big Lebowski" -- the story line may founder a bit but it's the overall cinematic impulse that creates a burst of color on the screen. "Man" is no exception -- and even more so since it's shot in glorious black and white by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. Billy Bob Thornton plays a Santa Rosa barber who's life is in such a rut he can't even begin to figure a way out. Ahh, then the muse of the Coen serendipity enters. A new customer shows up, hawking the wonders of the future -- dry cleaning -- and tries to persuade the barber to invest in his suspicious plan. When the barber discovers that his wife (Frances McDormand) is messing around with the local department store scion, Big Dave (James Gandolfini), the future offers change -- blackmail as a way to bankroll the dry cleaning scheme. But as in all the Coen films, things go awry, and blackmail turns to murder. It's trademarked Coen "normal life on the edge," challenging and threatening the viewer. What a pleasure. Director: Joel Coen. Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini, Adam Alexi-Malle, Michael Badalucco, Katherine Borowitz, Richard Jenkins, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Politio, Tony Shalhoub. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: 116, R min., Thriller, Box office gross: $8.000 million, USA, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Black Knight Sloppy and banal comedy is an urban riff on "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." A wildly-preening Martin Lawrence stars as a worker at a failing South Central L.A. Medieval World amusement park who falls into the moat and is transported to 14th century England. Making his way to a nearby castle, he's mistaken for a messenger from the court of a lord from Normandy (he tells the king he's from the corner of Florence and Nomandie) and he finds himself embroiled in a revolution to put the rightful ruler back on the throne. The comedy consists of Lawrence mugging the camera and baffling the 14th century denizens with his attitude and language (but no one, it seems, is taken aback by his outlandish 21st century clothes). One highlight: Lawrence teaching the court how to dance to a medieval version of Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music." Marsha Thomason plays a sexy lady-in-waiting and Lawrence's ultimate love interest. For Lawrence fans only, since he pretty much hogs the screen, at the detriment of story line, logic and characterization. Director: Gil Junger. Stars: Martin Lawrence, Marsha Thomason, Tom Wilkinson, Vincent Regan, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Burgess, Isabell Monk. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $33.268 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Domestic Disturbance Typical paterfamilias thriller has John Travolta as a loving dad pitched against a nasty would-be stepfather in a setup that hardly pushes the boundaries of the genre, but is still an audience pleaser. Travolta plays hardworking, divorced father and everyman Frank with a rebellious teenage son Danny (Matt O'Leary). When Frank's ex-wife (Teri Polo) is about to get married to smarmy town rich man Rick (Vince Vaughn), Danny begins to butt heads with him and starts to act out in typical teen fashion. But when he sees his new step dad murder a man (Steve Buscemi) and goes to the cops, no one believes him and he gets written off as just another troubled kid. But Rick, now knowing that Danny knows about his evil deed, threatens the kid with bodily harm -- not to him, but good old dad Frank. And so we're set up for a final battle between good dad and bad dad. Freud would have loved it. Director: Harold Becker. Stars: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Matt O'Leary, Susan Floyd, Steve Buscemi. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $45.207 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Deep End, The Moody, visually delightful mystery starts out promising but loopholes prevent it from becoming a believable thriller. Tilda Swinton stars as Margaret Hill, a lonely Lake Tahoe housewife whose husband is always away at sea. She's an ideal mom to her two kids, Beau and Paige, and they lead an outwardly cushy life at the lake. But below the surface there's trouble: Beau is gay and hangs out in Tahoe's fast lane, preyed upon by unsavory types, including a nasty club owner. In one of many unbelievable occurrences, mom goes to the club owner and threatens him. But he comes to their house and leaves with the teenager. The next morning, mom finds the body of the club owner washed up on the shore. Not sure of her son's involvement, what's the good suburban mom to do but dump the body in the lake. But mom messes up and dumps the body in shallow water. Now the film spirals downward as blackmailing Tahoe thugs show up with a revealing video of her son in action. The further the film unspools, with a final twist, the less believable it becomes. But what visuals. Director: Scott McGehee, David Siegel. Stars: Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas, Raymond J. Barry, Tamara Hope, Jordan Dorrance. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Mystery Thriller, Box office gross: $8.881 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Rough Air There's terror in the air as Flight 534, in route from London to the U.S., loses a luggage door, sending the plane plummeting in a nose dive into the North Atlantic. Flying debris knocks out the captain and it's up to the first officer, played by Eric Roberts, to save the flight. But the first officer has baggage of his own -- he battles with his confidence as he relives a near deadly landing on his last flight. Will he be able to save the day and become a hero? Direct-to-video. Director: Jon Cassar. Stars: Eric Roberts, Alexandra Paul, Mark Lutz. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 92 min., Action, York Entertainment, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Texas Rangers This half-baked Western shoot-em up went lame on the big screen and its only chance of saddling up an audience on video is due to a cast made up of some TV heavies (James Van Der Beek and Ashton Kutcher). The story line revolves around the reorganization of the famous Texas Rangers after the Civil War to keep the Lone Star State safe from renegades and outlaws. But the story line, action and performances all fall short of hitting any sort of action mark. Director: Steve Minor. Stars: Dylan McDermott, James Van Der Beek, Ashton Kutcher, Robert Patrick, Randy Travis, Usher Raymond, Alfred Molina, Tom Skerritt, Rachael Leigh Cook. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Western, Box office gross: $0.623 million, Dimension, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Ultimate Fights Fast on the heels of FlixMix's compilation of the best scenes from horror films comes this package of the best fights ever to grace the big screen. There's fistfights, swordfights, streetfights, gunfights, gangfights, girlfights, boxing fights, martial arts fights and more. There are 16 fights from such films as "Gladiator," "Rumble in the Bronx," "Blade," "Scarface," "Black Mask," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Snatch," "Legend of Drunken Master," "First Blood," "The Killer" and more. The best segments are from the best films: The beautifully choreographed indoor killing fields of John Woo's "The Killers" and Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx." There's even a sequence from "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," with Jason Scott Lee mimicking the master's moves. Extras (five hours in all) include "Behind the Punches," a featurette on staging your own Hollywood fight scene; commentary by legendary Hong Kong martial arts director Tsui Hark; "The Ultimate Rumble Party Mix," an original music soundtrack scored to each fight; Flix Fact pop-up trivia and production notes for every scene; movie still quizzes; fighter profiles; "stats" for each fight; and DVD-ROM features. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Compilation, FlixMix/Universal. DVD: Only.

  • Paragraph 175 The Nazi persecution of homosexuals may be the last untold story of the Third Reich. Told through personal accounts of men and women who lived through it, these are the stories of survivors -- sometimes bitter, but just as often filled with irony and humor; tortured by their memories, yet infused with a powerful will to endure. In German, French and English with English subtitles. Director: Robert Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Stars: Narrated by Rupert Everett. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 81 min., Documentary, New Yorker, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

April 23
  • Behind Enemy Lines Straight-ahead action thriller about a U.S. jet shot down behind enemy lines during the NATO peace-keeping mission in Bosnia. Owen Wilson plays a jet navigator who photographs the graves of genocide victims on a recon mission over Bosnia on Christmas day. When the jet is shot down by Serbians (who are covering up the massacres), Wilson and his pilot parachute to safety but the pilot is immediately executed by the nasty Serb troops. Wilson goes on the run behind enemy lines while his commanding officer, Gene Hackman as Navy Adm. Reigert, paces the decks of his aircraft carrier, waiting for the OK from NATO to rescue his "boy." But due to politics, the rescue is aborted, and Wilson must stay one step ahead of the Serbs tracking him down, out for his photographs and his life. The action and violence is non-stop, with the characterizations delightfully painted in card-boardish black and white: the Serbs are evil and nasty cold-blooded killers, the Navy crew good and All-American, the NATO advisors weasely. It's an old-fashioned root-for-the-good guys adventure that keeps you on the edge of your sofa. Director: John Moore. Stars: Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Charles Malik Whitfield, Joaquim de Almeida, David Keith, Gabriel Macht, Olek Krupa, Vladimir Mashkov. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Action thriller, Box office gross: $58.553 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Novocaine Off-the-wall black comedy about a dentist (Steve Martin) who has it all -- a thriving business, a lovely and loyal dental hygienist/assistant (Laura Dern) who also happens to be his fiancee -- and throws it all away when he gets involved with a seductive patient (Helena Bonham Carter) who gets him implicated in the murder of her no-good brother. First outing from director-screenwriter David Atkins elicits a kind of noirish sensibility from his cast (who all put in outstanding work) and crew. Director: David Atkins. Stars: Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern, Elias Koteas, Scott Caan, Keith David, Lynne Thigpen. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Black Comedy, Box office gross: $2.025 million, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Metropolis Based on the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of anime and manga, "Metropolis" was brought to the screen by two of the most respected figures in Japanese animation, screenwriter Katsuhiro Otomo ("Akira") and director Rintaro ("X " "Galaxy Express 999"). Set in the future, Metropolis is a grand city populated by humans and robots, the cohabitants of a strictly segmented society. Amidst the chaos created by anti-robot factions, detective Shunsaku Ben and sidekick Ken-ichi are searching for a rebel scientist. But when they locate him, his secret lab is destroyed by fire under sinister circumstances, and instead they find Tima, a beautiful young girl bereft of memory and speech, seemingly helpless at the site. Little do they know that Tima is a new top-of-the-line android created to take over Metropolis, and behind her creation lie the ambitions of a powerful man and his fierce desire to reclaim his past. Created more than 50 years ago, Tezuka's vision of the inability of scientific progress to fulfill basic human needs comes to the screen in a retro-futuristic style combining the best in Japanese cel animation with the latest in digital technology. Director: Rintaro. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Anime, Box office gross: $0.309 million, Columbia Tristar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • My First Mister Auspicious first feature-length directorial outing for actress Christine Lahti (she previously won a short film Oscar for her "Lieberman in Love"). Leelee Sobieski stars as a 17-year-old with a Goth attitude and the dark clothes and piercings to go with her gloomy outlook on life. When she wanders into a conservative men's clothing store operated by paunchy 49-year-old Albert Brooks, something clicks in the minds (and hearts?) of this disparate pair. He's as lonely as she is -- his wife left him 19 years earlier -- and he hires her to work in the store's stockroom. From there a relationship between the two blossoms -- and might move on to emotional bindings if the film didn't veer off at the end to avoid a real confrontation: is their pairing one of surrogate father and daughter or of a deeper romantic nature? Uniformly good acting throughout, with Michael McKean and Carol Kane as Leelee's stepfather and mother, and John Goodman as her aging hippie father. Deserves a wider audience than it got theatrically. Director: Christine Lahti. Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Albert Brooks, Michael McKean, Carol Kane, John Goodman, Mary Kay Place. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.616 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Happenstance A coincidental romantic comedy about six complete strangers in Paris affected by chance encounters during the course of one event-filled day. In particular, a young appliance clerk (Audrey Tautou) riding the Metro meets a middle-aged woman whose forte is horoscopes and who tells the young woman that this is the day she will meet her true love. Overhearing the conversation is a young restaurateur (Faudel) who marvels at the fact that his birthday is the same as the young woman's. But it takes a lot of luck and happenstance for the pair to eventually meet up in this smooth, witty, charming and warm French delight. In French with English subtitles. Director: Laurent Firode. Stars: Audrey Tautou, Faudel, Eric Savin, Irene Ismailoff. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 90 min., Comedy, New Yorker, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Aberdeen Lyrical film about a successful young woman who is reunited with her wayward father. Coming from a wrecked family, Kaisa (Lena Headley) has made a success of herself -- she has just received a promotion at a highly respected London law firm. But her life becomes jangled when she gets a call from her absent mother (Charlotte Rampling) in Aberdeen -- would she find her long-gone father, Tomas (Stellan Skarsgard), living the life of a drunk in Oslo, and bring him back to Aberdeen for an experimental rehab program? Kaisa embarks on her journey, knowing it's going to be an arduous task, more bitter than sweet. Forced together in a car from Oslo to Scotland, the pair embark on a wild, funny and heartbreaking journey that takes them through their emotional past before reaching their future. Skarsgard is terrific as the unrepentant drunk, who has little respect for his daughter or anything else, for that matter. A stirring, very watchable film. From Norway, in English. Director: Hans Petter Moland. Stars: Stellan Skarsgard, Lena Headley, Ian Hart, Charlotte Rampling. 201, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 103 min., Drama, First Run Features, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Cool & Crazy Documentary about a rich and unexplored world of music and culture. The Berlevag Male Choir (of Norway) is a group of 30 or so fishermen -- the youngest 30, the oldest in his 90s -- from a little village on the northernmost coast of Europe on the banks of the Barent Sea (with a practically uninterrupted view of the North Pole). Here this group of men find purpose, companionship and even fame as they dress for their engagements in navy suit jackets, black bow ties and white sailor's caps. From singing above precipitous cliffs during a raging snowstorm to the backstage maneuverings on their Russian tour, the film revels in the spirit of these rugged men as they bare their souls through songs of faith and hope. In Norwegian with English subtitles. Director: Knut Erik Jensen. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 89 min., Documentary, First Run Features, $29.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Back to the Secret Garden Sequel to 1987's "The Secret Garden." It's been 30 years and the garden is in trouble again. The once vibrant and beautiful garden is dying and nobody knows why. The enchanted door to the garden can't be found and the magic has disappeared. When a special girl named Lizzie is chosen to live in the mansion, she discovers the garden and is determined to save it. She sneaks away from the watchful eye of her guardian, Mrs. Sowerby, and runs off with the key to the garden door. Once inside, even with the help of a few friendly animals, she still can't solve the garden's mystery. She realizes she must break all the rules and follow her heart to bring life and magic back to the Secret Garden. Stars: Joan Plowright, Camilla Belle. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: G, 100 min., Family, Artisan, $14.98 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Dracula: The Dark Prince Telefilm that traces the true story behind the legend of Dracula. Young Vlad Dracula, the Prince of Romania and his younger brother Radu are kidnapped and held hostage by the Turkish Sultan Mohammed. Their father is buried alive and the Sultan holds the boys prisoners for years. When the grown Vlad is finally released, he vows to avenge his father's death and return to liberate his brother from the Sultan. As Rumanians cheer the return of their Prince and his newfound lust to restore his homeland, Vlad goes to war and develops the reputation of Vlad the Impaler, for brutally impaling the bodies of his enemies for display to the public. As the Prince fights to regain his kingdom, he faces betrayal by loved ones, excommunications from the church, and bloody slayings of his enemies. And thus the legend of Dracula was born. Director: Joe Chappelle. Stars: Roger Daltrey, Peter Weller, Rudolf Martin, Jane March. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Horror, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Justice League When global catastrophe strikes, sometimes the job is too big for a single hero. That's when the world's greatest superheroes -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter -- answer the call to join the Justice League and work together to overcome a dangerous array of interstellar invaders and world-conquering megalomaniacs. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, min., Animated, Warner, $14.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Learning Curve, The Love, lust and crime collide in this stylish thriller. Paul and Georgia are lovers, soul mates and partners in crime. But when this duplicitous duo tries to dupe the wrong man, they get ensnared in a world more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. Seduced into working for him on dangerous jobs beyond their small-time capability, the pair suddenly have everything they've ever wanted -- and even more to lose. Director: Eric Schwab. Stars: Carmine Giovinazzo, Monet Mazur, Vincent Ventresca, Majandra Delfino, Steven Bauer. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Thriller, MGM, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Voodoo Nightmare (Return to Pontianak) A group of young Americans travel to the jungles of SouthEast Asia in pursuit of the Pontianak, a Malay young female who possesses demonic powers. Once in the jungle, they get more than they bargained for. Director: Djinn. Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Fadali, Fadzlinda, Eleanor Lee, Fadzlina Mohamad Shafie. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 98 min., Horror, Vanguard Cinema, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Ambush (RukajŠrven tie) During the first days of World War II in Russian Karelia near the Finnish border, a young Finnish lieutenant leaves his fiancee behind to go on as reconnaissance mission. During the mission he gets word that she has been killed by the Russians and the man turns into a killing machine. Finnish with English subtitles. Director: Olli Saarela. Stars: Peter Franzan, Irina Bjurklund, Kari Heiskanen. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 123 min., Action, Vanguard Cinema, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • St.Patrick's Day Meet the McDonough family -- they'll drive you to drink! It's your traditional Irish holiday -- cousins are having sex, couples are getting divorced, John Michael has brought his boyfriend and auntie might be a real witch. The only catch -- Mary McDonough (Piper Laurie) won't allow a drop of whiskey in the house. Director: Hope Perello. Stars: David Ault, Piper Laurie, Denis O'Hare, Stephen O'Mahoney, Chris Valenti, J.D. Walsh. 1997, CC, MPAA rating: R, 86 min., Comedy, Vanguard Cinema, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: No.

  • Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) Based on the Emily Bronte classic 19th century novel, this beautiful and sensual film tells the story of the tormented love affair between two childhood sweethearts, Catherine, a headstrong young woman, and Roch, a fiery young gypsy. Set in the French countryside of the 1930s. A film by New Wave founder Jacques Rivette. In French with English subtitles. Director: Jacques Rivette. Stars: Fabienne Babe, Lucas Belvaux, Sandra Montaigu, Alice de Poncheville, Olivier Cruveiller. 1985, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 120 min., Drama, Vanguard Cinema, $29.95 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Gang of Four (La Bande des quatre) Anna, Joyce, Claude and Lucia are all students of Constance Dumas, a renowned film instructor. Lucia moves in with the other girls. Soon after, Lucia is attacked and saved by a mysterious stranger who soon is involved in the lives of all the girls, hiding a dark secret. A film by New Wave founder Jacques Rivette. In French with English subtitles. Director: Jacques Rivette. Stars: Bulle Ogier, Benoot Ragent, Laurence Cote, Fejria Deliba, Bernadette Giraud, Ines de Medeiro. 1988, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 155 min., Drama, Vanguard Cinema, $29.95 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Secret Defense When a brilliant scientist discovers that her father -- who ran a guided missile factory -- may have been murdered by a family friend, she swears vengeance. But after a failed attempt at killing the man (in which his girlfriend is killed instead), she soon finds herself deeply embroiled with the man in a mystery of lust and intrigue. And when she discovers the truth about her father, it shakes her very foundation. A fascinating thriller by French New Wave master Jacques Rivette. In French with English subtitles. Director: Jacques Rivette. Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Gragoire Colin, Laure Marsac, Franioise Fabian, Christine Vouilloz. 1998, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 166 min., Thriller, Vanguard Cinema, $29.95. DVD: No.

  • We Are Going to America In the words of Sholom Aleichem, "People do not live in America, they take refuge there." Russian filmmaker Efim Gribov crafts a tragi-comic tale of one family's journey out of the shtetl and into a world of unknowns. Inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, the voyage is seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old who encounters comic and grotesque figures on the family's chaotic trip, including a dreamy orphan, a Felliniesque madwoman, and an assortment of ghosts from the past. Adapted from the story "Boy Motl" by Aleichem. In Russian with English subtitles. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Efim Gribov. Stars: Dima Davydov, Lyubov Rumyantseva, Semyon Strugachyov, Vadim Danilevsky. 1992, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 118 min., Drama, Facets Video, $29.95 SRP. DVD: No .

  • Brigham City The quiet community of Brigham is shattered when the local Sheriff and his deputy discover the body of a young woman from California brutally murdered near her abandoned car. But she is only the first: more bodies turn up and the community begins to wonder if the murderer is someone from Brigham. As the people lock their doors and windows in fear, the Sheriff methodically narrows down the list of suspects -- but nothing he has ever experienced can prepare him for the shocking discovery of who the killer really is. Director: Richard Dutcher. Stars: Richard Dutcher, Matthew A. Brown, Wilfred Brimley. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 115 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $1.000 million, Spartan Home Entertainment, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

April 30
  • Ali Impressionistic look at the life and times of "The Greatest," Muhammad Ali (Will Smith), filled with recreations of seminal fights, Ali's conversion to Islam, his refusal to be inducted into the Army, the stripping of his title and boxing license, and his eventual return to fame. Director: Michael Mann. Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Fox, Jon Voight, Mario Van Pebbles, Ron Silver, Jeffrey Wright, Mykelti Williamson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nona Gaye. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 154 min., Biodrama, Box office gross: $58.183 million, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Friends: The Complete First Season Five-disc set of the first year of NBC's smash comedy series. , CC, Comedy, Warner. DVD: Only.

  • Not Another Teen Movie Broad spoof of gross-out teen sex comedies has meager story line based on one-note characterizations. Ostensibly, the plot revolves around a wholesome high school girl being pursued by a sports jock on a bet that he can't transform her into a prom queen but in reality the film is all about the running self-reflexive jokes. From its crude opening scene of good girl Janey in bed with herself on her birthday, we progress through the denizens of John Hughes High School: the nerd who recites bad love poems, the witch of a cheerleader, an incestuous sister, the token black guy, the sexy foreign exchange student nude in every scene, the beautiful weirdo, the desperate male virgins, the fat-guy football player, a reporter pretending to be a student, and much much more. The film exists only for itself. Director: Joel Gallen. Stars: Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, Eric Jungmann, Cerina Vincent, Riley Smith, Cody McMains, Samm Levine, Sam Huntington, Lacy Chabert. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $35.120 million, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Strange Case of Senor Computer, The Quirky film explores the relationship between an antisocial, repressed, virginal computer scientist and the robot he has created, who calls him "Father" and offers advice on his troubled life. When Charles creates his artificial-intelligence computer the robot's brain overloads and is set aside by the scientist. But the computer is just dormant -- he misses Father. Luckily he's befriended by Charle's housekeeper Carlotta, who dubs him Senor Computer and nurtures him like a child. Ike (the name he takes for himself) learns about humanity through Carlotta and TV. Before long he discovers credit cards, 900 numbers, mail order and women -- and tries to help Father get a new life-with comic, tragic results. Director: Tom Sawyer. Stars: Rich Ziegler, Gladys Hans, Lisa Goodman, Barbara Beneville. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 81 min., Science Fiction, World Artists, $24.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Cruel and Unusual (Watchtower) A serial killer stalks a sleepy Oregon fishing village. Director: George Mihalka. Stars: Tom Berenger, Rachel Hayward, Tygh Runyan, Mitchell Kosterman. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, min., Thriller, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

    go back
to top

    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.

December 2001 Releases
January 2002 Releases
February 2002 Releases
March 2002 Releases
May 2002 Releases
June 2002 Releases
July 2002 Releases
August 2002 Releases
September 2002 Releases


| Contents/Site Map | Home | Resources | VidNews | KidVid | Sell-Through |
| Reviews | Links |

E-mail: mail@cyberpod.com
© 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 CyberPod. All rights reserved
CyberPod and OnVideo are trademarks of CyberPod Productions.
April 20, 2002