OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases: August 2001 Calendar of Releases

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Guide to Home Video Releases:
August 2001 Release Calendar

For the latest 'B' films, special interest, and direct-to-video releases, check out
OnVideo's VidNews pages.

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.

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August 7
  • Mexican, The You really, really have to be big fans of Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt to like this misguided, sloppy comedy. Pitt plays a reluctant, hapless goofball of a bagman who has messed up on so many assignments that his mob boss has given him an ultimatum for one last job -- travel to Mexico to retrieve "The Mexican," a valuable antique pistol that reportedly carries a legendary curse (which starts to come true) or die. Meanwhile his girlfriend, Roberts, also has given him an ultimatum -- quit the mob now or she leaves him. He chooses to live and be in trouble with her and heads out to Mexico, where he encounters one mishap after another. She splits for Vegas and ends up being taken hostage as insurance that "The Mexican" will be returned. When Roberts and Pitt finally meet up again, they're more like combatants on Jerry Springer than lovers. There's a twist ending but we won't reveal it -- we fell asleep. Director: Gore Verbinski. Stars: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini, Bob Balaban, J.K. Simmons, David Krumholtz, Gene Hackman. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 123 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $66.588 million, DreamWorks, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Chocolat Set in the late 1950s in a quaint French village, "Chocolat" is a delectable repast that tickles the filmic taste buds. A woman (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter arrive in a town steeped in traditional values and set up a chocolate shop that offers more than sweet morsels to eat -- the mouth watering confections release liberating powers of pleasure, which make the villagers come back for more. After stirring up desires and temptations, the woman is confronted by a righteous nobleman (Alfred Molina) who resents the destruction of the village's code of ethics. With the aid of some of the townspeople -- and a mysterious riverboat traveler (Johnny Depp) -- she changes the minds -- and morals -- of her detractors. Director: Lasse Hallstrom. Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp, Victoire Thivisol, Carrie-Anne Moss. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 121 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $66.082 million, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

  • Vatel Luscious costume drama set in 17th century France and directed impeccably by Roland ("The Mission," "Killing Fields") Joffe. Gerard Depardieu plays the steward to an aging and out-of-favor prince whose small region is on the verge of bankruptcy. When the prince gets the opportunity to curry the favor of young King Louis XIV, who plans to stay three days at the prince's castle, he calls upon Vatel to create and plan a masterful event of food, dance, music and theatrics. And Vatel pulls it off for the king and his court -- until he falls for one of the king's current bedmates, Anne de Montausier (Uma Thurman) and invokes the wrath of a cunning marquis (Tim Roth). Spectacle wrought to a high art. Director: Roland Joffe. Stars: Gerard Depardieu, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Julian Sands, Julian Glover. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 117 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.049 million, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Recess: School's Out Disney's Saturday morning animated series comes to the big screen in this feature-length adventure about a group of elementary schoolers who uncover a plot by a discredited ex-principal to eliminate summer with the help of a super, moon-shifting laser beam. It's the kids versus the grown-ups at the schoolyard corral. Director: Chuck Sheetz. Stars: Voices of Andy Lawrence, Ashley Johnson, Ricky D'Shon Collins, Courtland Mead, Jason Davis, Robert Goulet, Melissa Joan Hart, Dabney Coleman, April Winchell, James Woods. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: G, 84 min., Animated, Box office gross: $35.579 million, Disney, $24.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • 3000 Miles to Graceland Run-of-the mill thriller about a pair of former cellmates who come up with the bright idea of robbing a Las Vegas casino during International Elvis Week -- dressed as Elvises (but carrying machine guns in their guitar cases). Kevin Costner plays against type as a frenzied, mad-dog killer who will stop at nothing to keep his share of the loot, while Kurt Russell plays a sympathetic villain. After a slam-bam robbery (in the first 30 minutes) the film goes predictably downhill, what with your typical double-crosses, murders, twists and revenge. An enjoyable (but violent) fluff that plays much better on the small screen. Director: Demian Lichtenstein. Stars: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz, Howie Long, Thomas Haden Church, Bokeem Woodbine, David Kaye. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 130 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $7.160 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Time and Tide Slam bang, kinetic action thriller from one of the kings of Hong Kong filmmaking: Tsui Hark. A streetwise young man joins a force of bodyguards, run by his uncle, to score quick cash. When he meets a disillusioned ex-mercenary and his wife, the young man's life takes on unexpected turns: first he teams up with the man to foil an assassination attempt, then he gradually becomes the man's enemy as the mercenary changes sides. But the mercenary takes a liking to the youngster, and despite going up against a host of bodyguards and cops, he makes sure that his ex-protege stays safe. Wild plot twists, flashbacks, action scenes and camera angles that will make your jaw drop. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Director: Tsui Hark. Stars: Nicholas Tse, Wu Bai, Candy Lo. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Thriller, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

  • Everlasting Piece, An Offbeat film from Barry Levinson that takes a quirky look at the troubles in Northern Ireland. While an everlasting peace is sought in the Emerald Isle, a land where baldness is rampant, two barbers -- one Protestant, the other Catholic, decide that what the country really needs is an everlasting piece, and they set out to corner the market for toupees. Unfortunately another company already has the market sewed up, so to speak, and the pair find an unlikely source for sales -- the IRA, setting up a crisis of conscience. Weird but delightful. Director: Barry Levinson. Stars: Barry McEvoy, Brian F. O'Byrne, Anna Friel, Billy Connolly. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $0.075 million, DreamWorks, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Shake, Rattle and Rock! Telefilm stars Rene Zellweger as your average 1950s teen, yearning for rock 'n' roll but constrained by puritanical parents. Forbidden to listen to the "devil's music,: the teen rebels and starts her own rock band. Director: Alan Arkush. Stars: Renee Zellweger, Patricia Childress, Max Perlich, Howie Mandel, John Doe, Nora Dunn. 1994, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, Comedy, Dimension, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • These Old Broads Disappointing telefilm about the reunion of three divas whose 1960's musical film, "Boy Crazy," has become a cult hit 40 years later. Naturally, all three, plus their agent, hate each other, and the reunion -- strictly for the cash -- brings out the claws and the catfights. Memoriable only for the first time appearance together of Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor on the small screen. Wriiten by Carie Fisher and Elaine Pope ("Seinfeld"). Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 92 min., Comedy, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: No.

August 14
  • Tomcats Vowing never to get married, six buddies contribute $1,000 each into a mutual fund with the agreement that the last single man gets it all. Seven years later, only two bachelors are left -- Michael (Jerry O'Connell) and Kyle (Jake Busey) -- and the kitty has grown to half a million dollars. With a hugh gambling debt that needs to be paid off, Michael plots to get Kyle married by tracking down the latter's super-sexy lost love, Natalie, offering to split the money with her if the con works. But things get out of kilter when Michael falls for Natalie. Add in a dominatrix librarian, a Vegas mobster, and a quick trip to a sperm bank, and you have another sticky, dumb comedy. Director: Gregory Poirier. Stars: Jerry O'Connell, Shannon Elizabeth, Jake Busey, Horatio Sanz, Bill Maher, Jamie Pressly. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $13.558 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • 15 Minutes Robert De Niro and Edward Burns took the money and ran on this one, sending in look-a-likes to perform their acting roles. And their look-a-likes slept through the entire production! De Niro plays a celebrity New York homicide cop and Burns plays a N.Y. Fire Dept. arson investigator who team up to track down a pair of Eastern European killers on a rampage through the city. The plot -- such as it is -- has the Czech and Russian killers arriving in N.Y. to get their share of a bank heist -- only to find the money gone. They then go on a killing spree, manipulating the media in the hopes of getting a book and movie deal when they're arrested and plead insanity (don't ask). The result: bloody, stupid violence and meaningless deaths. Kelsey Grammer plays a sleazy TV newsman who helps give the killers their Andy Warholish 15 minutes of fame. Director: John Herzfeld. Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Karel Roden, Oleg Taktarov, Kelsey Grammer, Melina Kanakaredes, Kim Cattrall. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Suspense, Box office gross: $24.375 million, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Get Over It Typical teen romantic comedy about a high school senior (Ben Foster) dumped by his girlfriend (Melissa Sagemiller) who will try everything to win her back, including auditioning for the school's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Director Tommy O'Haver throws in everything from bathroom slapstick to wildly choreographed production numbers that pop out of nowhere (ala "Dancer in the Dark") as the young man seeks romantic salvation. But the best advice comes from the forlorn teen's sister (Kirsten Dunst): Get Over It. Director: Tommy O'Haver. Stars: Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Shane West, Kirsten Dunst, Sisqo, Colin Hanks, Martin Short, Swoosie Kurtz, Ed Begley Jr.. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, min., Comedy, Box office gross: $11.560 million, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Josie and the Pussycats It looked good on paper but this filmic version of the animated 1970s TV series based on the Archie comic book characters has trouble getting fleshed out on the big screen. Riverdale grrrl band Josie and the Pussycats get picked by an unscrupulous manager (Alan Cumming) and his nasty record label boss (Parker Posey) to be the latest hot thing. In reality, they're being used as a conduit for subliminal messages urging America's kids to buy buy buy. So what's so different about that? Anyhow, its generally good, clean fun, and the girls (Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson) are fun to watch and listen to (though their vocals aren't their own). Also fun: counting the product placements. Director: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont. Stars: Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Parker Posey, Alan Cumming. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Comedy with Music, Box office gross: $14.252 million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Enemy at the Gates Exciting war drama set during the German siege of Stalingrad in 1942 and 1943 that pitted young Russian conscripts against veteran German soldiers in a battle that pretty much sealed the fate of the faltering German monolith on the Eastern front. A Russian country boy (Jude Law) with a rifle wipes out a group of German officers and comes to the attention of Soviet authorities, desperate to find heroes to mobilize their war-weary troops. Cranking up their propaganda machine, the Russians extol their sharpshooter's abilities so much so that the Germans bring in their own sharpshooter, played by Ed Harris, to put a stop to the sniper. The story is much more than a war film, however, as it pits aristocrats vs. peasants and explores eternal themes of love, loyalty and betrayal. Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud. Stars: Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Bob Hoskins, Ed Harris, Ron Perlman. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 130 min., War drama, Box office gross: $51.079 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

  • Blow Dry Slight comedy about the turmoil unleashed on a small English town when a bevy of hair stylists arrive for the National British Hairdressing competition. Up for the event is local barber and past champion Phil (Alan Rickman) and his son Brian (Josh Hartnett), who practices hairdos on mortuary corpses, Phil's estranged wife Shelley (Natasha Richardson) who years before ran off with Phil's model Sandra (Rachel Griffiths), and Phil's nemesis, the scissors happy Ray (Bill Nighy). As the competition gets underway, it's a fierce glitzy hair fight to the end as everyone competes for the Silver Scissors grand prize. Director: Paddy Breathnach. Stars: Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson, Rachel Griffiths, Rachael Leigh Cook, Josh Hartnett, Bill Nighy, Warren Clarke, Rosemary Harris. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $0.637 million, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Dancing in September HBO telefilm chronicles the romantic and professional relationship between an African-American sitcom writer and an African-American network executive. Comedy writer Tomasina meets network exec George at a pitch meeting where she presents her concept for a possible series that offers a positive representation of blacks on television. When the series is picked up for the fall schedule and becomes a hit, the two translate professional success into romance. But all is not well -- the ratings start to falter and Tomasina begins to compromise her artistic visions with stereotypical portrayals in an effort to avoid cancellation. Will their love stand the test of commercial degradation? Director: Reggie Rock Blythewood. Stars: Nicole Ari Parker, Isaiah Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Malinda Williams. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Drama, HBO Home Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Extreme Limits When a regular Concorde flight carrying a box housing a deadly bomb is hijacked and crashes into a snow-covered mountain in Alaska, a U.S. military agent (Treat Williams) is called into action. The agent must rescue thew bomb and foil the terrorists on foot, by car and on a high-speed train. Direct-to-video release. Director: Hannes Jaenicke. Stars: Treat Williams. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Thriller, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • House Party 4 Another "House Party" sequel, this time with Jon Jon and his friends creating the party of the century in Jon Jon's rich uncle's house, inviting music bigwigs in the hopes of getting a record contract. Unfortunately, Jon Jon's uncle decides to return from a weekend jaunt early, and the boys have to make things right without anyone finding out. Predictable. Stars: Marques "Batman" Houston, imx, Kim Whitley, Dorien Wilson, Meagan Good, Alexis Fields. 2001, CC, Comedy, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Tavern, The Trials and tribulations of a pair of middle-aged men (one a bartender who has drifted most of his life, the other a married man with a secure but dead-end job) who buy a once-popular Manhattan tavern. Director: Walter Foote. Stars: Cameron Dye, Greg Zittel, Frank Girardeau, Kevin Geer, Margaret Cho. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 88 min., Drama, Fox Lorber, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Flowers of Shanghai Beautifully shot film set in the flower house clusters (brothels) of 19th century Shanghai's British Concession. The film is organized around two strands of plot. In one, Master Wang (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) breaks up with his flower girl after catching her with another lover. The other story centers around a conspiracy between a flower girl and her lover to profit from an attempted double-suicide and cover-up. Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Stars: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Michiko Hada, Michele Monique Reis, Carina Lau, Vicky Wei. 1998, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 113 min., Drama, Fox Lorber, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

August 21
  • Hannibal Hannibal the Cannibal is back, and in full force. When we last saw Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), at the end of "The Silence of the Lambs," he was on the loose, and this film follows him to Florence, where he's incognito as a museum curator. Enter one his prior victims -- confined to a wheel chair -- who's put a bounty on his head -- and an Italian inspector who wants some extra cash to keep his high-maintenance wife happy. Add in female FBI agent Clarice (Julianne Moore standing in for Jodie Foster), anxious to again confront the mad doctor, and you have the makings of another great psychological (and at times gruesome) thriller -- especially when the real bad guys meet their hideous doom. Director: Ridley Scott. Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Frankie R. Faison, Gary Oldman, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 131 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $160.116 million, MGM, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Say It Isn't So Sleight but twisted comedy about a hapless, pathetic dog catcher who falls hopelessly in love with an off-beat, beautiful hair stylist and then finds out that she may be his sister. By the time he discovers that that's not the case, he has precious little time to stop the woman of his dreams from marrying another man. Director: James B. Rogers. Stars: Heather Graham, Chris Klein, Orlando Jones, Sally Field. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $5.516 million, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Le Dernier Combat Director Luc Besson's first film, shot in black and white and with no dialogue. In this post-apocalyptic tale, starring Jean Reno, only a few humans are left on Earth. No one is able to speak; the characters communicate non-verbally. A determined loner befriends a reclusive older man and the pair battle against thugs for food, shelter and life itself. Director: Luc Besson. Stars: Jean Reno. 1983, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Science Fiction, Columbia TriStar, $14.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Batman: The Movie 35th Anniversary Special Edition Bam! Pow! Batman and Robin leap from the TV screen to the big screen in this over-anxious production of the famed comic book caped crusaders. Here the dynamic duo fight the unholy alliance of The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler and Catwoman, who have created a secret invention that dehydrates people. The VHS includes an interview with George Barris, creator of TV's Batmobile; the DVD includes commentary by West and Ward, an all-new featurette with the duo, behind-the-scenes stills gallery, and the featurette with Barris. Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshim, Lee Merriweather. 1966, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 105 min., Comic Book, Fox, $9.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Pokemon 3: The Movie Another repurposing of the Japanese Pokemon for the American market, this edition a far cry from the first and second outings. The convoluted storyline has new characters (first introduced in the Pokemon Game Boys) known as the Unown (Symbol Pokemon) that resemble letters of the alphabet and can read human dreams, transforming them into a special kind of reality. When Pokemon trainer Ash's mother is kidnapped by the Unown and made the mother of a little girl they have previously put under a spell, Ash must come to the rescue. Is this fad over yet? Director: Kunihiko Yuyama (Japanese version), Michael Haugney (American version). Voices of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Maddie Blaustein, Ikue Otani. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: G, 91 min., Animated, Box office gross: $17.052 million, Warner, $14.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Lip Service Allison has the perfect life: she has success (a line of designer furniture), money, a beautiful home and a boyfriend who's a lawyer. But all that changes for her when in walks her ex-college roommate -- Kat -- who is a kind of modern-day gypsy. It turns out that Allison built her fortune on a chair originally designed by Kat -- without giving Kat credit -- and now Kat is out for revenge. Originally titled "Kat and Allison." Director: Shawn Schepps. Stars: Jami Gertz, Sybil Temchen, Jonathan Silverman. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Drama, MTI Home Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Reptilian (Youngary) An archeological expedition in Southeast Asia unwittingly unearths a terryfying creature that has only one goal on its mind -- destroy all of humankind. Will the U.S. military be able to stop it in time? Director: Hyung Rae Shim. Stars: Dan Cashman, Bruce Cornwell, Harrison Young, Donna Philipson. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min., Science Fiction, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Daybreak When a Los Angeles subway train is caught in a devastating earthquake and the tunnels begin to fill with water, a subway lineman must find a way to save himself and the passengers. Director: Geri Cudia Barger. Stars: Roy Scheider, Ted McGinley. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Action, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

August 28
  • Adventures of Joe Dirt, The Very lame white trash comedy about a young man (David Spade) raised by himself amidst the dumpsters of the Grand Canyon who goes on a journey from one end of America to the other in search of his parents, who abandoned him when he was a child. Along the way he takes all sorts of jobs, which set him up for all sorts of mishaps (including a stint with a psychotic American Indian, a janitor who's a hit man in the witness protection program, and an abortive job at a Florida alligator farm). The whole adventure is related -- monotone -- via a shock jock's (Dennis Miller) L.A. radio show. You really really have to be a Spade fan to enjoy this one. Director: Dennie Gordon. Stars: David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken, Brittany Daniel, Kid Rock, Jaime Pressly, Rosanna Arquette. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $27.087 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • See Spot Run Really stupid, vulgar comedy about a dog hating mailman who gets hooked up with an FBI pooch while trying to impress the girl of his dreams. When the canine cop bites off one of the testicles of mob boss Paul Sorvino, a hit is put out on the mutt and he's sent into the doggie protection program. Naturally the dog hooks up with Arquette and the son of the woman he's enamored of, and, after plenty of slapstick involving flatulence, ca-ca and an electrified doggie collar activated by a TV remote, our hero comes out smelling like ... a rose? A true example of the lowest common denominator of American moviemaking, where bathroom humor comes to the fore and the only intelligent mammal is a dog. Director: John Whitesell. Stars: David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb, Joe Viterelli, Paul Sorvino, Angus T. Jones, Anthony Anderson. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $33.357 million, Warner, $22.96 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Blood: The Last Vampire Japan's first all-digital anime, featuring a number of American characters, with more than 90 percent of the dialogue spoken in English. The musical score and sound effects were mixed in Hollywood. Set in 1966 during the Vietnam War at a U.S. Air Force base in Japan, the film follows Saya, a young girl clad in a Japanese school uniform and wielding a Samurai sword sent to infiltrate an American school at the base to stop a group of blood suckers who are devastating the local town. Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo. Stars: Youki Kodoh. 2000, CC, Anime, Manga Entertainment, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Company Man Quirky comedy about a bumbling high school teacher (Douglas McGrath) whose one desire -- to finish writing a book -- causes him to lie to his wife (Sigourney Weaver) and reveal his hidden identity as a CIA agent. Naturally he's tracked down by real members of "The Company," leading him on all sorts of comical adventures, including helping the defection of a Russian ballet dancer and a dangerous mission to overthrow Fidel Castro. Director: Peter Askin, Douglas McGrath. Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Ryan Phillippe, Anthony LaPaglia, John Turturro, Denis Leary, Woody Allen, Allen Cumming, Douglas McGrath. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 81 min., Action Comedy, Box office gross: $0.146 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Wicked A psychological thriller of lust and murder about an average teenage girl (Julia Stiles) with average teenage problems: a bratty little sister, a nagging mother who's having an affair with the next door neighbor, and a father who ignores her. She doesn't have much to be happy about -- but she's not the kind of girl who gets mad. She's the kind of girl who gets evil. Director: Michael Steinberg. Stars: Julia Stiles, William R. Moses, Patrick Muldoon, Vanessa Zima, Chelsea Field. 1998, CC, MPAA rating: R, 87 min., Thriller, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • South Pacific TV filmization of the Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific." Director: Richard Pearce. Stars: Glenn Close, Harry Connick Jr., Rade Sherbedgia, Jack Thompson, Lori Tan Chinn, Hene Graff, Natalie Mendoza. 2001, CC, Musical, Buena Vista, $19.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport Academy Award-winning documentary about the rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish and other children from the horrors of Nazi Germany. Narrated by Judi Dench. 2000, CC, Warner, $19.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

August 31
  • Exit Wounds Action hero Steven Seagal is back on the big screen with a vengeance. And once again he plays a cop on the edge, whose tough-guy posterings and bad attitude to criminals has caused him to be demoted to a traffic cop on the mean streets of Detroit. But you can't keep a good cop down, and when 50 kilos of heroin disappear from the precinct's property room, Seagal is called back to action to uncover the corruption. His only help: gangsta DMX. Between the two, there's plenty of bone-crunching, metal searing action that should excite action-adventure movie thrill-seekers to no end. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak made an auspicious debut last year with Jet Li's "Romeo Must Die." Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak. Stars: Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington, Michael Jai White, Anthony Anderson, Jill Hennessy, Tom Arnold, David Vadim. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $51.674 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Dish, The Delightful comedy surrounding the Apollo 11 flight and humankind's first step on the moon. Preparing to broadcast worldwide the momentous events of July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong was to walk out on to the lunar surface, NASA decided to commission a backup satellite dish, located at Parkes Observatory in the middle of a sheep farm in New South Wales, in case the main satellite at Goldstone, Calif., failed. The film mixes fiction and reality in following the adventures of a hardy crew of Australians (led by Sam Neil) -- as well as the townspeople of the quaint village of Parkes -- as they made preparations for the grand event and their once-in-a-lifetime connection to a hallmark event in 20th century history. Director: Rob Sitch. Stars: Sam Neil, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long, Patrick Warburton, Genevieve Mody, Roy Billing. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 101 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $2.208 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Invisible Circus, The Set in 1977, this coming-of-age story follows a young woman, Phoebe (Jordana Brewster), obsessed with the disappearance of her beloved older sister, Faith (Cameron Diaz), seven years earlier on a trip through Europe with her boyfriend. Re-reading postcards sent from her sister, Phoebe searches for clues to her sister's death, and she sets off for Europe, using the postcards as a guide, to unravel the mystery. Director: Adam Brooks. Stars: Jordana Brewster, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Eccleston, Blythe Danner. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Mystery, Box office gross: $0.055 million, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: No.

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