OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases: January Calendar of Releases

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Guide to Home Video Releases:
January 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.

January 2
  • Fast and the Furious, The Fabulous street racing adventure with sexy cars, sexy young actors, and very sexy racing action scenes. Vin Diesel plays an existential anti-hero whose life only comes alive during the 10 seconds or so it takes to race a quarter mile in his souped- up street racer. He's the muscle-bound king of the "rice-burners." Enter Paul Walker, a wannabe racer who challenges Diesel's crown and, though he loses, joins in with the racing family, which includes an interesting assortment of grease monkeys, racers and their women. Turns out, however, that Walker is really an LAPD cop sent to investigate a series of truck hijackings attributed to the racers. Will he turn in his new friends? Forget the plot -- this a action all the way, set to a raucous rap and hip-hop soundtrack. Director: Rob Cohen. Stars: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Action, Box office gross: $143.424 million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Glass House, The Slow-moving, average thriller about a young woman (Leelee Sobieski) turned over to mysterious foster parents when her real parents are killed in a car accident. New mom and dad (Stellan Skarsgard and Diane Lane) are not the greatest -- he's overbearing, drives too fast, and even makes eyes at Leelee; mom's addicted to drugs; there's even problems with a loan shark (they live in a stylish glass house in Malibu). The pair make life miserable for the girl -- and it's revealed that she and her younger brother are worth millions. Aah! Time for revenge. Director: Daniel Sackheim. Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgard, Bruce Dern, Kathy Baker, Trevor Morgan. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $20.000 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • What's the Worst That Could Happen? Failed comedy about revenge among thieves. Kevin (Martin Lawrence) is a man of discerning tastes -- and a thief. He falls in love with a woman he meets at an auction (Carmen Ejogo) and she gives him a ring to signify their love. But when Kevin and his partner Berger (John Leguizamo) hit the house of another master thief, Max Fairbanks, the beleaguered "dark prince of plunder," Kevin is caught by Max and arrested. What's the worst that can happen now? Max lies and claims that Kevin's ring is his and takes it. Now the two men play a game of thieving one-upmanship as Kevin tries to get even -- and get his ring back. Director: Sam Weisman. Stars: Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, John Leguizamo, Glenne Headly, Carmen Ejogo, Bernie Mac, Larry Miller, William Fichtner. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $32.267 million, MGM, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Greenfingers Comedy about Colin Briggs, a convict in jail for an accidental murder, who's transferred to a minimum-security prison, where he meets four inmates in a rehabilitation program involving gardening. Given a packet of violet seeds, Colin's green thumb causes the plants to blossom beautifully in the spring. The inmate's unconventional gardening style attracts England's most renowned horticulturalist, who takes Colin under her umbrella, so to speak. Accustomed to the gloomy interiors of prison, Colin never imagined he would be part of England's gardening elite, but now he's ready to risk everything for a prestigious competition and his second shot at life. Based on a true story. Director: Joel Hershman. Stars: Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, David Kelly. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Drama with Comedy, Box office gross: $1.282 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Brother Written, directed and starring Takeshi Kitano, a master of the Japanese gangster film. Here, in his first American outing, he plays a gangster forced to leave Japan after his boss is killed by rivals. He travels to Los Angeles, where he meets up with his half-brother and joins the latter's drug dealing gang, becoming friends with "brother" Omar Epps. Soon the small-time gang grows powerful, and faces off against the Mafia for a smashing finale. The action is typical Kitano style -- straight ahead with just enough bravado to make your jaw drop to the ground. Fans of the films of John Woo and Tsui Hark, among others, will love this. Director: Takeshi Kitano. Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Omar Epps, Kuroudo Maki, Masaya Kato, Susumu Terajima, Royale Watkins. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $0.500 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Man Who Cried, The Sweeping saga of the intertwined lives of two women that travels from Russia in the '20s to Paris in the '30s and ends up in Hollywood, directed by Sally Potter ("Orlando" and "The Tango Lesson"). As in her previous films, Potter offers up plenty of dance and music -- opera, gypsy, Yiddish, H'Wood musical numbers -- as she follows the adventures of a young Jewish girl in Russia (Christina Ricci) sent overseas to escape persecution. Instead of arriving in the States with her father, Suzie ends up in England and is raised by a dreary English couple. With a penchant for singing, she travels to Paris 10 years later and gets a job as a chorus girl, where she meets and befriends Lola (Cate Blanchett), a Russian dancer. The two eventually get jobs in an opera company, where Suzie falls for gypsy Cesar (Johnny Depp) and Lola is attracted by Italian singer Dante (John Turturro). When the Nazis invade Paris, Lola and Dante side with the Germans while Suzie and Cesar hide out with a band of gypsies. Eventually Lola and Suzie reconcile and decide to leave for America, where Suzie searches for her father, who, as fate would have it, has become a Hollywood studio boss. Plot contrivances aside, Potter has weaved a fascinating tale, a luminous glimpse of an era long gone by with the strong emotional and political undertones that shaped the 20th century. Though it faltered at the box office, "The Man Who Cried" is well worth a look. Director: Sally Potter. Stars: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Harry Dean Stanton, Miriam Karlin, Oleg Yankovsky. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: 97, R min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.730 million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella TV musical adaptation of the fairy tale classic, set to a Rodgers and Hammerstein score. Considered one of the best versions of Cinderella ever mounted. Director: Charles S. Dubin. Stars: Lesley Ann Warren, Stuart Damon, Walter Pidgeon, Ginger Rogers, Celeste Holm, Jo Van Fleet, Pat Carroll. 1965, CC, MPAA rating: G, 84 min., Musical, Columbia TriStar, $14.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

January 8
  • Jeepers Creepers Scary thriller about a brother and sister (Justin Long and Gina Phillips) who head home for spring break and find a frightening world they couldn't imagine even in their wildest nightmares. On a desolate country road the two homeward siblings are nearly run off the road by a maniac in a beat-up truck. They later see the truck near a church, and spot a cloaked figure shoving what appears to be a bloody body down a sewer pipe. They must never have seen a horror film in their lives, cause they return to the church to investigate and -- well, you know what happens -- they find a grisly world inhabited by a winged devil out to collect human body parts. Can't these kids ever leave well-enough alone? Director: Victor Salva. Stars: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Brandon Smith, Eileen Brennan. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Horror, Box office gross: $37.470 million, MGM, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • M*A*S*H: The Complete First Season Three VHS volumes each containing eight TV episodes, $9.98 each; three disc set with 24 episodes; $39.98. Timed for the DVD release of Robert Altman's seminal 1970 "MASH," released by Fox as a Five Star Collection special edition. 20001, Fox, DVD: Day & Date.

  • Mark Twain Fifth film in Ken Burns' popular American Lives series, a definitive look at Samuel Clemens, three years in the making and drawing from 63 hours of material, thousands of archival photos and nearly 20 interviews with top writers and Twain scholars. Narrated by Keith David. Set to air on PBS January 14 and January 15. Two-cassette set, $24.98; single DVD $29.98. Director: Ken Burns. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 220 min., Documentary, Warner, $24.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Queer as Folk The complete 22-episode first season of the critically-acclaimed and highly-rated landmark Showtime series, about the lives of a group of gay men and women living in Pittsburgh, with graphic sexual content, provocative dialogue and unflinching portraits of an aspect of gay cultural life. Presented in a five-tape VHS set $119.98; also available in a six-disc Special Edition Collectors DVD set featuring almost three hours of extras. Special editions of episodes 1, 11 and 18 with actor and producer commentary; gag reel of hilarious outtakes; extended scenes with introduction by actor Hal Sparks; a sneak peek at Season Two; "Meet the Folk" -- unique biographies on the eight key characters as described by the actors playing them, as well as filmographies on the actors and producers; photo gallery put to music from the series; "At a Glance" -- an index outlining the content on each disc; show bumpers; widescreen format; $119.98. 2000, Showtime, DVD: Day & Date.

  • Nicholas Nickleby New British production of Charles Dickens' classic about a penniless young gentleman who struggles to make his way in the unforgiving world of Victorian England. Airs this month on the Bravo channel. Stars: Charles Dance, James D'Arcy, Sophia Myles, Lee Inleby, Dominic West. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 200 min., Drama, Acorn Media, $29.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

January 15
  • American Pie 2 The cast from 1999's raunchy smash "American Pie" returns for more sex laced comedy in this sequel that pretty much follows the original's trajectory but with slightly different trappings. In the original, four high school buddies sought to lose their virginity on grad night; here the boys return home after their first year at college hoping to get more of the same from the girls they left behind. They rent a lake beach house and set their traps -- but a year at college hasn't improved these limpid lotharios, and bumbling (and dysfunctional) sex is the order of the day. It's more of the same: the famous pie scene is replaced by super glue (don't ask) and the original's Internet sex broadcast here becomes a cell phone/walkie talkie/short wave radio transmission. Director: J.B. Rogers. Stars: Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Sean William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy, Demise Faye, Lisa Arturo. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R-rated and unrated versions, 105 and 111 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $140.000 million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Tron 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition Disappointing when first released, "Tron" has gathered cult status in intervening years as a forerunner to the world of virtual reality. Jeff Bridges plays a computer programmer who enters a computer -- literally -- in an attempt to save the program he created from unscrupulous corporate bosses. The special effects, for its time, are fabulous, but the story line leaves much to be desired. One of the most requested movies to be released to video, here given a special edition treatment by the folks at Disney. Both the VHS and two-disc DVD versions have been restored and remastered with THX certification. The DVD has all sorts of added goodies. Director: Steven Lisberger. Stars: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor. 1982, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 96 min., Science Fiction, Buena Vista, $14.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Newsies Collector's Edition Disney's ambitious but failed musical based on the 1899 newsboys' strike against Pulitzer's New York World and Hearst's New York Journal. Christian Bale leads the "Newsies Ensemble" in an all-singing, all-dancing rendition of the little guy (literally) facing off against the big boys. Music by Alan Menken ("The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Pocahontas"). One of the most requested films making its long-awaited debut on video; remastered. Director: Kenny Ortega. Stars: Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret, Michael Lerner, Kevin Tighe. 1992, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 125 min., Musical, Buena Vista, $14.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Tortilla Soup A kind of remake of Ang Lee's 1994 Oscar-nominated "Eat Drink Man Woman" about a master chef and his three daughters, here recast in East Los Angeles with Hector Elizondo as a widower and executive chef of a restaurant who must deal with business and family problems. The latter, of course, are most important, particularly the battle of dad's tradition and his daughters' modern ways. There's plenty of subplots with the three women, including the oldest (Elizabeth Pena), who's a spinster teacher, the second (Jacqueline Obradors) a business woman who would rather work in her own restaurant than take a dream job in Spain, and the youngest (Tamara Mello), who has to find herself before going off to college. And dad has his issues, too -- he's developed an interest in neighbor Raquel Welch and her daughter and granddaughter. The conflicts -- as well as some interesting cooking -- play out through the course of the film, but the acting (particularly that of the always great Elizondo) outshine weak characterizations and script: This particular scenario adds little to a family genre that's a staple of the big (and small screen), distancing the viewer from the drama. An admirable failure. Director: Maria Ripoll. Stars: Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Elizabeth Pena, Tamara Mello, Paul Rodriguez, Raquel Welch.. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $4.000 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Anniversary Party, The Comedy drama that takes an unflinching look at new friends, old lovers, annoying neighbors, marriage and the movie business. When novelist Joe (Alan Cumming) and actress wife Sally (Jennifer Jason Leigh) throw themselves a party to celebrate their sixth anniversary, both the hosts and guests start telling each other the one thing they never hear in Hollywood -- the truth. Written by Cumming and Leigh for their ensemble of friends and shot in 19 days using digital video cameras, the film is a portrait of modern marriage and friendships, warts and all. Director: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming. Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, John C. Reilly, Jane Adams, Parker Posey, John Benjamin Hickey, Jennifer Beals, Michael Panes, Mina Badie, Denis O'Hare. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $ million, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Glitter Star vehicle for Mariah Carey in which she plays a singer in the 1980s who's discovered and rises very quickly to the top of the musical world, bringing along with that climb all sorts of problems, including jealousy and betrayal. This is Carey's (inauspicious) movie debut, and aside from plugging several new songs, there's not much going on here. Oh yeah: There is some romance, and the obligatory pair of backup singers who outshine the star, but who cares? Director: Vondie Curtis Hall. Stars: Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Da Brat, Tia Texada, Valerie Pettiford, Dorian Harewood, Terrence Howard, Eric Benet. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 104 min., Musical drama, Box office gross: $4.200 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Bubble Boy Lame comedy about a young man who was born without immunities and has been forced to live in an isolated bubble all his life. Supported by his overprotective Lysol-spraying mother (Swoosie Kurtz), bubble boy (Jake Gyllenhaal) happily lives his encapsulated life until he meets his new -- and beautiful -- next door neighbor. They become the best of friends -- but the bubble prevents anything going any further -- until the day bubble boy learns that the girl next door is off to Niagara Falls to marry a rock star. Bubble decides to take off after them, mobilizing his bubble and embarking on a variety of weird and at times obnoxious adventures (many involving him getting smacked by cars, buses and even female mud wrestler). Along the way he encounters a host of strange people -- cultists, gurus, bikers, circus freaks and assorted odd characters -- in this freakish attempt at humor. Director: Blair Hayes. Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Swoosie Kurtz, Marley Shelton, Danny Trejo, John Carroll Lynch, Verne Troyer, Dave Sheridan. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 84 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $5.000 million, Buena Vista, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Melies the Magician This DVD includes more than a dozen magnificent films by turn of the 19th century filmic experimenter Georges Melies, the spiritual godfather to Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and generations of fantasy and special effects filmmakers. Produced by the European TV channel ARTE in collaboration with Melies' granddaughter, the disc also includes "The Magic of Melies," a film by Jacques Malthete, which explores Melies' work through clips, reconstructions, interviews and original research. Included: "A Trip to the Moon," "Four Troublesome Heads," "The Infernal Cakewalk," "The Scheming Gambler's Paradise," "The Music Lover," "The Infernal Boiling Pot," "The Man With the Rubber Head," "The Living Playing Cards," more. DVD only: $29.95. Info: www.facets.org. 1997, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 55 min., Documentary, Facets Video. DVD: Only.

  • Boycott The HBO telefilm "Boycott" tells the story of how a single act of defiance -- Rosa Parks refusal to surrender her seat in a "whites only" section of a public bus in Montgomery, Ala., on Dec 1, 1955 -- united a community and helped ignite a movement -- the Civil Rights movement -- and gave voice to such new leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy. "Boycott" integrates a variety of cinematic formats, including real and recreated documentary footage, simulated home movies and traditional narrative. Director: Clark Johnson. Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Howard, CCH Pounder, Carmen Ejogo, Reg E. Cathey, Brent Jennings, Shawn Michael Howard, Iris Little-Thomas, Whitman Mayo, Mike Hodge, Erik Todd Dellums. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 113 min., Drama, HBO Home Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Dinner With Friends Explores the bittersweet side of love and friendship, focusing on two married couples whose lives were closely entwined -- the men best friends from college, the women met each other at work, a foursome for 12 years, sharing vacations and child rearing. But one night that all changes -- and they have to re-examine their lives, their marriages and their dreams for the future when one couple reveals that their marriage is disintegrating. HBO telefilm. Director: Norman Jewison. Stars: Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Drama, HBO Home Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Pavilion of Women Adaptation of Pearl Buck's novel, set in the 1930s, about a frustrated wife in a traditional Chinese marriage and an American missionary (Willem Dafoe) who helps her in her struggle for personal liberation. Throw in China on the brink of revolution, and the priest and the aristocrat's forbidden liaison puts them in a gathering storm that will not only threaten their love but their lives as well. Director: Yim Ho. Stars: Willem Dafoe, Luo Yan, Shek Sau, John Cho, Yi Ding, Koh Chieng Mun, Anita Loo. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 116 min., Drama, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Daria: The Movie: Is It Fall Yet? Daria Morgendorffer, the cynical star of MTV's animated show "Daria," makes her feature film debut, featuring the sarcasm, wit and humor that's made her so popular with the teen set. School's out and Daria and friends make plans for their summer vacation. Daria wants to spend time with her new boyfriend Tom while her sister, Quinn, hires a tutor to help her gain admission into her favorite party school. Daria's best friend, Jane, hopes to stimulate her creative juices at an artist colony. But Quinn develops a crush on her tutor, Jane has to dodge unwelcome advances from a fellow artist, and Daria's mother forces her to volunteer at a camp for sensitive children. It's going to be a long, hot summer! Voices of Carson Daly, David Grohl, Amir Williams. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 75 min., Animated, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Lies (Gojitmal) Sexually explicit love affair between a pretty 18-year-old schoolgirl (Y) and a Seoul sculptor (J) more than twice her age. Their bedroom antics (in a multitude of hotel rooms) progressives from her gentle deflowering to more aggressive S&M practices, though the pair are genuinely in love -- and their caring (instead of sexual nastiness) comes to the fore. The film has been called a "Realm of the Senses" or "Last Tango in Paris" for the new millennium. Banned in Korea. In Korean with English subtitles. Director: Jang Sun Woo. Stars: Sang Hyun Lee, Tae Yeon Kim, Hye Jim Jeon, Hyun Joo Choi, Kwon Taek Han. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 115 min., Erotic Drama, Winstar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Blue Moon A New York middle-aged couple (Ben Gazzara and Rita Moreno) retreat to their Catskills cottage to rekindle their marriage. Desiring their more naive past, they make a wish on the moon that they were their younger selves -- and get their wish, in the form of themselves as 25-year-olds. The foursome have fun together, talking things over and reliving life through flashbacks. Is this what they call quality time? Director: John Gallagher. Stars: Ben Gazzara, Rita Moreno, Alanna Ubach, Brian Vincent. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 89 min., Romantic comedy, Winstar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Drive By Based on a true story about gang life on the streets of Chicago. Caesar O'Campo, a Latino teen, seeks acceptance and membership in the Brotherhood, a gang led by his older brother, Kiko. Set on breaking the family gang cycle, Kiko fights to keep Caesar away from a life of crime and violence while others set out to destroy the family and the Brotherhood. Stars: Felipe Camacho, Mario Acosta, Alberto Viruena, Raul Salinas, Alfredo Ascencio. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Action, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Gale Force Direct to video actioner about a group of real-life criminals who infiltrate "Treasure Hunt," a hot new TV show where contestants compete to find a $10 million treasure buried on the island. Not only does the competition turn deadly and contestants must race to save their lives, a deadly hurricane is headed straight for the island, cutting off all means of escape. Director: Jim Wynorski. Stars: Treat Williams, Michael Dudikoff. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Action, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Fatal Error Telefilm about a deadly, unidentifiable virus that invades Seattle and the team of scientists who struggle to solve the mystery of who or what force is behind it, disarm the lethal pathogen and stop its deadly path of destruction. Director: Armand Mastroianni. Stars: Janine Turner, Antonio Sabato Jr.. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 91 min., Thriller, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

January 22
  • Kiss of the Dragon Non-stop martial arts actioner has Jet Li as a Hong Kong cop called to Paris to help local police crack a heroin smuggling operation. It turns out, however, that the cops are on the take, and Li is soon set up for murder. With only his fists, a set of acupuncture needles and the aid of a local prostitute (Bridget Fonda), Li fights off hordes of bad cops with heftier firepower, including one scene where he takes on a classroom of 40 plus cops in a martial arts class. There's so many fights, chases, shootouts, fires and explosions that the scenario soon gets lost in the action -- but that's the point. A rousing return of the exciting martial arts genre that has been watered down as of late. Director: Chris Nahon. Stars: Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, Tcheky Karyo, Laurence Ashley, Burt Kwouk. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $36.746 million, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Rock Star By-the-numbers rock and roll rags to riches story, set in the 1980s at the height of Heavy Metal. Mark Wahlberg plays a Pittsburgh photocopy-machine repair man who lives at home and worships a metal group called Steel Dragon. He loves them so much that he's formed his own group, a cover band, that mimics his idols note for note. All he wants to do is play metal but his band, fed up with his compulsive purism, kicks him out. But guess what? The Steel Dragons have just fired their frontman, and they call up Mark and ask him to audition for the band. Guess what? He makes it, changes his name to Izzy, and rides music, sex and drugs to the top. Guess what? He gets tired of it all and quits, hoping to get back together with his ex-girlfriend/ex-manager (Jennifer Aniston) while playing in small clubs. Guess what? Director: Stephen Herek. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Timothy Spall, Timothy Olyphant, Dagmara Dominczyk, Jason Flemyng. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Drama with Music, Box office gross: $17.000 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Dogtown Phillip Van Horn (Trevor St. John), who left his small town of Cuba, Missouri a long time ago to become a Hollywood actor without much success, returns home for a visit. There he is uniformly greeted as a celebrity and movie star. He uses it to impress his high school love Dorothy (Mary Stuart Masterson), her life now grey and boring. Phillip's high school friends have led lives as cockeyed as his, among them Ezra (Jon Favreau), Dorothy's new messed up boyfriend. Should Phillips take a shot at becoming Dorothy's knight in shining armor or should he save himself first -- while he still can. Director: George Hickenlooper. Stars: Jon Favreau, Mary Stuart Masterson, Karen Black, Trevor St. John. 1998, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 99 min., Drama, Vanguard Cinema, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Horsey Delilah Miller is an explosive 23-year-old painter who struggles to reconcile her art with her insatiable appetite for both men and women as she seeks a real relationship. She starts a romance with a rock musician, a sexy, possessive and undependable heroin addict, and finds herself torn between her emotional needs and physical desire. Director: Kirsten Clarkson. Stars: Holly Ferguson, Todd Kerns. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 93 min., Drama, Vanguard Cinema, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Blonde, The While driving through the south of Italy, a man knocks down a beautiful young blonde woman, causing her to go into shock and lose her memory. He takes her home to attend to her wounds and, at first, he sees her as a heavy burden. But soon his feelings get the better of him and he falls madly in love with her. She seems to return his feelings. Then, suddenly, her memory returns as does her strange and shady old life and past. Now both find themselves in the middle of unfolding events that may break them apart. Director: Sergio Rubini. Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Sergio Rubini. 1992, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 100 min., Thriller, Vanguard Cinema, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • American Rhapsody, An A young woman, raised by foster parents in Hungary until the age of six, is sent to America to be reunited with her birth parents. Living with a family she never has known, she struggles to acclimate herself to the American culture of the 1950s, all the while being drawn back to the Budapest of unsolved questions, unspoken secrets and stinging betrayals. Learning her own history as she grows older, she begins to understand what happened in the past to be raised by foster parents while her family made a daring getaway to escape to freedom. Based on a true story. Director: Eva Gardos. Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Goldwyn. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Drama, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Bully Another gruesomely real film by Larry ("Kids") Clark. Marty is a tormented surfer who relies on longtime pal Bobby for rides to the beach and South Florida bars despite vicious abuse by the friend. But when Bobby turns his unwanted attention to Marty's new girlfriend Lisa and her best friend Ally, Lisa decides Bobby's reign of terror must end. Assembling a crew of alienated suburban teens, she forms a deadly plan to get Bobby out of the way once and for all, turning friends into enemies and casual acquaintances into co-defendants to a murder that rocks America to its core. Director: Larry Clark. Stars: Brad Renfro, Bijou Phillips, Nick Stahl, Rachel Miner, Michael Pitt. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Drama, Trimark, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Biodrama of the turbulent life and career of Judy Garland, with a spellbinding portrayal of singer by Judy Davis (a role for which she won the 2001 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress). Stars: Judy Davis, Tammy Blanchard, Victor Garber, Hugh Laurie, John Benjamin Hickey, Sonja Smits, Al Waxman, Jayne Eastwood, Marsha Mason. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 170 min., Biodrama, Buena Vista, $14.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Robinson Crusoe Pierce Brosnan stars as Robinson Crusoe in yet another film adaptation of Daniel Defoe's classic novel. Director: Rod Hardy. Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Polly Walker, William Takaku. 1996, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Adventure, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Dragstrip Girl TV remake of the 1957 teen rebel classic about star crossed teen lovers: a guy from the wrong side of the tracks trying to break from his rough past for a better future, and a good girl with all the advantages -- wealth and looks -- who wants a taste of the fast life. Director: Mary Lambert. Stars: Mark Dacascos, Raymond Cruz, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Traci Lords. 1994, CC, MPAA rating: R, 82 min., Action, Dimension, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Brian's Song Telefilm remake of 1971 biodrama about the relationship between Chicago Bears' rookies Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo in 1965, and the friendship that blossomed as Piccolo succumbed to cancer. Stars: Sean Maher, Mekhi Phifer. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 89 min., Drama, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • James Dean TNT biodrama of the life and legend of James Dean. Average. Director: Mark Rydell. Stars: James Franco, Michael Moriarty. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 96 min., Biodrama, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Venomous Silly horror-thriller about a quiet town afflicted by a deadly virus transmitted by genetically altered snakes. Director: Ed Raymond. Stars: Treat Williams. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Horror, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Me & Isaac Newton Award-winning director Michael Apted explores the inner worlds of seven scientists to both show the various kinds of scientific inquiry at the turn of the century and to give a glimpse into the minds of innovative scientists and their personalities. Profiled are Gertrude Elion, a Nobel Prize winning pharmaceutical researcher who developed leukemia drugs, environmental physicist Ashok Gadgil, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, robotics scientist Maja Mataric, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, cancer researcher Karol Sikora, and Patricia Wright, a primatologist. Director: Michael Apted. Stars: . 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 110 min., Documentary, Home Vision Entertainment, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Only.

  • Calling, The Direct-to-video horror film that's a "Rosemary's Baby/Omen" clone about a woman who gives birth to the antichrist. Director: Richard Caesar. Stars: Laura Harris, Nick Brimble, Alice Krige. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 89 min., Horror, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

January 29
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire Disney animated Jules Verne-like adventure about a team of explorers who embark in a super-scientific submarine in 1914 in search of the mythical, sunken lost city of Atlantis. A nerdish academic (Michael J. Fox) is bankrolled by an eccentric millionaire (John Mahoney) for the underwater expedition and, using a mysterious journal, the team of adventurers indeed find the city: It's a lost civilization ruled by a 25,000-year-old king and powered by a magical crystal that supplies all energy and heals all sickness. But it turns out that part of the crew are mercenaries, bent on stealing the crystal, and it's up to the good guys to save the day. Throw in the pretty 8,500-year-old daughter of the king for a love interest, and you have all the makings of a delightful boy's fantasy adventure. Director: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Stars: Voices of Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Don Novello, Phil Morris, Claudia Christian, Jacqueline Obradors, Florence Stanley, Corey Burton, Jim Varney. John Mahoney. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 95 min., Animated, Box office gross: $83.000 million, Buena Vista, $26.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date 3 stars

  • Curse of the Jade Scorpion, The One of Woody Allen's better recent outings. Set in the 1940s, a time when men were men and women were, well, not supposed to be men, the film is a combination noir detective mystery and homage to a bygone era, laced with a wonderful jazz soundtrack but sans Allen's by-now tiresome neurotic humor. Someone is stealing millions in jewels from New York City's upper crust and the only man who can crack the case is completely clueless. Allen stars as CW Briggs, a top insurance investigator who goes up against his company's new efficiency expert (a thoroughly modern Helen Hunt). The pair hate each other instantly -- which, as is typical of films of the era, means they'll fall in love. But there's other problems too. She's having an affair with the company head, a wily hypnotist puts CW under his control, a rich nymphomaniac gets in the way, and all clues point to the jewel robberies being an inside job. And guess who gets fingered? Director: Woody Allen. Stars: Woody Allen, Helen Hunt, Dan Aykroyd, Elizabeth Berkley, Wallace Shawn, David Ogden Stiers, Charlize Theron. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $7.496 million, DreamWorks, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Princess and the Warrior, The Another exploration of colliding lives and altered destinies by Tom Tykwer, the director of "Run Lola Run." A shy nurse (Franka Potente, star of "Run Lola Run") is involved in a horrible car accident and is miraculously saved by a handsome, small-time criminal. When she recovers, the nurse sets out to find the man and discovers him to be a violent person with a conflicted past and a dangerous future. When their destinies meet again during a bank robbery, the nurse must decide whether or not their fates are pre-destined. Director: Tom Tykwer. Stars: Franka Potente, Benno Furmann. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 133 min., Drama, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Rat Race The creator of "Airplane!" tries his hand at a 2001 version of a combination "It's a Mad Mad Mad World/The Great Race" road race comedy, with mixed results. The loose story line -- a Las Vegas casino owner concocts a road race with six randomly chosen participants with the grand prize being $2 million in a locker in a New Mexico railroad station, with no set rules as to how the race is run -- sets off a wild and wooly adventure across the desert with all sorts of side misadventures and weird characters, including a busload of "I Love Lucy" wannabes. The contestants try anything to get to the finish line, from hitching a ride in an ambulance to commandeering a helicopter. It's fast-paced, thankfully, so if one of the slapstick jokes falls flat there's another right behind it. Director: Jerry Zucker. Stars: Whoopie Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rowan Atkinson, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy, Seth Green, Vince Vieluf, Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, John Cleese, Lanai Chapman, Wayne Knight, Paul Rodriguez, Dean Cain. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $57.000 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World Celebrities and world leaders ranging from Billy Crystal to Nelson Mandela speak out about their memories of and reflections on Muhammad Ali. A profile that stands as a one-of-a-kind tribute to the champion who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. 2000, CC, Documentary, Universal, $14.98 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol Eighth title in the Delta Force series, here with the elite commando group attempting to rescue a group of peacekeepers from the grips of a ruthless arms dealer. Director: Joseph Zito. Stars: Gary Daniels, Bentley Mitchum, Mike Norris. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Action, Warber, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Dean Koontz's Black River Thriller about a burned-out Hollywood screenwriter who moves to picturesque Black River seeking relaxation and artistic inspiration and instead finds an undercurrent of terror involving a nightmarish plot. Director: Kevin Lucas. Stars: Jay Mohr, Lisa Edelstein, Stephen Tobolowsky, Dabid Ogden Steirs. 1993, CC, Horror, MTI Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Heart Thriller about a man -- driven wild with jealousy because of his wife's affair with an obnoxious young writer -- who has a heart attack that almost kills him. His life is saved after undergoing a transplant with a heart taken from a young man killed in a motorcycle accident. After his recovery, his wife wants to mend their marriage, but the man becomes obsessed with meeting the mother of the heart donor, drawing the pair into a terrifying world of desire and retribution that threatens their lives. Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Rhys Ifans. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 81 min., Thriller, Spartan Home Entertainment, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

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    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.

September 2001 Releases
October 2001 Releases
November 2001 Releases
December 2001 Releases
February 2002 Releases
March 2002 Releases
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May 2002 Releases


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December 28, 2001