OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases: March Calendar of Releases

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Guide to Home Video Releases:
March 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.

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March 5
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence This either-you-love-it-or-hate-it-there's-no-middle-ground Steven Spielberg outing, a sort-of collaboration between the director and the ghost of Stanley Kubrick (who had been working on the Brian Aldiss sci-fi story for years) is indeed a kind of merging of "E.T." and "2001: A Space Odyssey." As with Tim Burton's recent "Planet of the Apes," Spielberg's opus on childhood loss and redemption (and the meaning of existence?) can't be taken out of the context of previous, similar sci-fi opuses. When compared to, say, a "Blade Runner," "A.I." certainly comes up short in the action and mystery department. When compared to "2001," "A.I." certainly can't compete with the levels of intellectual discourse that Kubrick heaped on audiences. But, taken by itself, the film shines in its dissertation on human emotions -- in particular love -- and how the basic underpinnings of humanness remains the same, regardless of the future or the possessor of those feelings (human or humanoid). The robotic knee-jerk negative reactions to this film has us baffled -- this is one of the few films in recent years that has a brain ... and a heart. Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 145 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $78.6 million, DreamWorks, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

  • One, The Jet Li does multiple duty in this science fiction thriller about a future world in which multiple universes are the norm and a Multiverse Bureau of Investigation maintains control of the alternate realities. Into this mix comes renegade MBI agent Gabriel Yulaw (Li) who discovers that if he destroys his alternate life forces in the other universes, he will assume God-like powers. And he does just that. The last one left is Los Angeles Sheriff Gabriel Yulaw (Li), setting up a final battle between good and evil. Chasing the bad guy through quantum tunnels is Yulaw's old partner (Delroy Lindo). Yulaw's wife in each universe is played by Carla Gugino. Director: James Wong. Stars: Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham, Carla Gugino. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $43.9 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Last Castle, The Robert Redford and James Gandolfini star in this old-fashioned military movie that takes place in a U.S. military prison with a prisoner revolt as its centerpiece. Redford plays a three-star general stripped of his rank and imprisoned for disobeying an order; Gandolfini plays the slightly cracked warden who rules with a nasty, iron hand. Its obvious from the outset when he's brought to the prison that Redford and Gandolfini will be at odds throughout the film; Redford just wants to serve his sentence and go home but Gandolfini is too much of a sadist, and he decides that he wants to break Redford. Wrong. Redford takes a leadership role in the prison, and soon organizes the men, culminating in the aforementioned revolt. It's pat and predictable but straight-ahead fun. For men only. Director: Rod Lurie. Stars: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Burton, Delroy Lindo, Paul Calderon, Samuel Ball, Brian Goodman. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 131 min., Action, Box office gross: $18.2 million, DreamWorks, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf After Count Dracula transforms Shaggy into a fuzz-faced werewolf, there's only one way he'll change back. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy must win a creepy cross-country race against the frightfully funny cars driven by a hot-rod horde of sinister celebrity monsters. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 80 min., Animated, Universal, $9.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Through the Years of Hip-Hop: Volume 1 Volume 1 in a history of Hip-Hop culture. "Graffiti/Classic Videos" follows the story of modern graffiti from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present, with videos by Run DNC, Queen Latifah, De La Soul, more. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 90 min., Documentary, Music Video Distributors, $12.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • True Blue A seasoned NYPD officer investigating a weird homicide is led from the dangerous underworld of Chinatown gangs to the most influential movers and shakers in city hall. The roommate of the murder victim, fearing for her life, asks to stay at the cop's apartment, and when he opens his heart to her, he gets in real trouble. It's a typical 'B' thriller set in a world filled with murder, corruption, greed, hookers and kinky sex clubs. Director: J.S. Cardone. Stars: Tom Berenger, Lori Heuring. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Thriller, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Dark Asylum A deranged killer is running loose in an abandoned high security asylum and only a female psychiatrist and the building's janitor (who may in fact be a forgotten inmate) can stop the maniac. Typical fare. Director: Gregory Gieras. Stars: Paulina Porizkova, Jurgen Prochnow, Judd Nelson, Larry Drake. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Thriller, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Luck of the Irish, The Disney Channel movie about a junior high school basketball player whose lucky streak is snapped when he finds that he has a Leprechaun lineage. Director: Paul Hoen. Stars: Ryan Merriman, Alexis Lopez, Glenndon Chatman, Marita Geraghty. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Hounded Disney Channel movie about a high school student who competes with the principal's son for a valuable scholarship. When the principal unfairly helps his son, the other boy investigates, but finds himself "hounded" when the principal's crazy dog follows him home. Director: Neal Israel. Stars: Tahj Mowry, Ed Begley Jr., Shia LaBeouf. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Jett Jackson: The Movie Jett Jackson is a teenage superstar who yearns to live a normal life. As the star of his own wildly popular TV series, Jett is renowned for his role as "Silverstone," an action hero and hi-tech wizard who saves the world from deadly enemies. When Jett decides to quit his role, his life takes a wild turn. Disney Channel movie. Director: Shawn Levy. Stars: Lee Thompson Young, Kerry Duff, Lindy Booth, Michael Ironside. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Johnny Tsunami Hawaii's own Johnny Kapahaala is a teen surfing sensation who finds himself transplanted to the cold mountains of Vermont. When some jealous locals make fun of his "island style " Johnny learns to master the art of snowboarding. Disney Channel movie. Director: Steve Boyum. Stars: Brandon Baker, Kirsten Storms. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Jumping Ship Disney Channel sequel to another TV movie with the Lawrence brothers, "Horse Sense." Here country boy Tommy Biggs sets out for a brand new adventure on the high seas with his city cousin. Director: Michael Lange. Stars: Andy Lawrence, Joey Lawrence. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Double Teamed Disney Channel movie based on the true story of basketball-playing twins Heather and Heidi, who moved from volleyball champs to champs on the court during their tenure at high school. Along the way they encounter jealousy, boy friends and competitive dads. Both girls eventually moved on to become stars in professional Women's Basketball. Director: Duwayne Dunham. Stars: Poppi Monroe, Annie McElwain, Nick Searcy, Teal Redmann, Mackenzie Phillips. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Family, Buena Vista, $14.99 SRP. DVD: No.

March 12
  • Heist Heist thriller revolves around a master thief (Gene Hackman) forced into one last job before he retires. After his most recent heist was botched, Hackman's Joe Moore decides to pack it in and retire to a remote island with his much-younger wife. But those plans are thwarted when the frontman for the botched job -- Danny DeVito -- forces Moore into one more job: the interception of millions of dollars in gold bars arriving on a Swiss cargo plane. Now comes the usual double-crossing and plot twists. As with most David Mamet films (he directed and wrote the screenplay) talk and language come to the fore, almost upstaging the action. But the cast is a pleasure to watch -- and, at times, hear. Director: David Mamet. Stars: Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay, Patti LuPone, Jim Frangione. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $23.4 million, Warner, $19.96 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Zoolander Ben Stiller co-produced, co-wrote, directed and stars in this broad spoof of the fashion industry. Stiller plays Derek Zoolander, a vacuous, empty-headed male fashion model at the peak of his runway powers -- until he fails to win the Male Model of the Year Award for the fourth year in a row. Thrown for a loop, he endeavors to "discover" himself, and takes off after his roots, going home to his family who, unfortunately, are ashamed of him and his "sissy" job. Returning to New York, he gets involved in a competition with a model even dumber than him (Owen Wilson) and embroiled in a plot to assassinate an Asian leader who frowns upon child labor in the clothing biz. At best a TV comedy skit gone awry. Director: Ben Stiller. Stars: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Christine Taylor, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, Jon Voight. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 89 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $45.162 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Joy Ride Straight-ahead thrills and chills make this teen suspenser a real joy ride of an outing. Paul Walker stars as college student Lewis who sets out on a trip home, along the way picking up his errant brother Fuller, whom he bails out of jail. The boys have fun with their CB radio, playing a prank on a trucker by creating a fictitious female named Candy Cane and setting up a meeting in a motel room. When the meeting turns to murder and the police can't find the trucker, the boys resume their trip, stopping to pick up Paul's unrequited love, Venna (Leelee Sobieski in skimpy, revealing T-shirts). But the trio is being pursued by the never-seen trucker (you only hear his voice on the CB), setting up all sorts of nasty encounters, including a wild chase scene in a cornfield, some kidnappings, and a thrilling denouement in a motel room. The scary action -- all you ever see is the gigantic truck bearing down on the threesome in their car -- will leave you on the proverbial edge of your seat. Director: John Dahl. Stars: Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski, Paul Walker. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $21.973 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Sexy Beast Offbeat gangster thriller with a tour-de-force performance by Ben Kingsley as an angry, psychotic killer who threatens and cajoles an over-the-hill hood to come out of retirement for a high stakes bank vault break-in. Ray Winstone plays Gal, who has become flabby (but happy) sunning himself with his wife and friends at his villa in Spain. One day a boulder comes crashing down the hill into his pool, an ominous omen as, shortly later, Kingsley, as Don Logan, shows up from London as a human boulder, demanding that Gal join in on a bank heist. Gal is comfortable with his new life and demurs; Logan won't take no for an answer. He's a bulldog, nasty and threatening and out of his mind, and he screams and yells and beats Gal down until the latter joins in -- but not before a twist revealed in flashback at the end of the film. In London Gal joins up with his old crew -- and they rob the bank by drilling into it from inside a turkish bath next door, flooding the vault and setting off some humorous but macabre incidents. A meeting with the crew's boss -- almost as mean and nasty as Don Logan -- reveals the film's unsuspected developments. It's a loud and nasty film, hard to follow at times because of accents, but spellbinding. Director: Jonathan Glazer. Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, James Fox, Cavan Kendall, Julianne White, Alvaro Monje. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $6.935 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Wash, The Uneventful film that revolves around a neer-do-well hustler (Snoop Dogg) who persuades his roommate (Dr. Dre) to get a job at an L.A. car wash to pay the bills. Throw in a kidnapping and scantily clad women washing cars and you have the extent of this bomb. Director: DJ Pooh. Stars: Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, George Wallace, Angell Conwell, Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr., DJ Pooh. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Drama, Box office gross: $10.097 million, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Conspiracy Telefilm dramatization of the infamous WWII Wannsee meeting at which the German High Command engineered the extermination of the Jews. On Jan. 20, 1942, 15 men gathered in a villa on the outskirts of Berlin and, 90 minutes later, the blueprint for Hitler's Final Solution was in place. Adolf Eichmann prepared 30 top-secret copies of the meeting's minutes but, by the fall of the Third Reich, all had disappeared or been destroyed -- except one. The Wannsee Protocol, found in the files of the Reich's foreign office, served as the basis for this film. Director: Frank Pierson. Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Stanley Tucci, David Threlfall, Colin Firth. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Drama, HBO Home Video, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Othello Shakespeare's story of passion, jealousy and betrayal is reworked in a thoroughly modern setting by screenwriter Andrew ("Bridget Jones's Diary," "Pride and Prejudice") Davies. Airing last December on the BBC and in January on the Masterpiece Theatre in the U.S., this version recast's the Bard's tragedy as a taut police drama set in New Scotland Yard in a time of racial unrest and political chicanery. As a social crisis brews in the city, John Othello becomes the first black commissioner of London's Metropolitan Force over the head of his friend and mentor, Ben Jago. Outwardly still loyal but seething within, Jago plots his revenge by poisoning Othello's trust in his beautiful wife, Dessie. The tragic love story is set against a subplot inspired by a real case of police brutality in London. Though Davies has his characters speak in modern language, purists will recognize all the essentials of the original story, and even some of the language from the major speeches. Stars: Eamonn Walker, Christopher Eccleston, Keeley Hawes. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 96 min., Drama, Acorn Media, $19.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • SpongeBob SquarePants Nick's offbeat "SpongeBob SquarePants" cartoon -- about the misadventures of a yellow, optimistic sea sponge who lives in the deep blue sea hometown of Bikini Bottom with his pet snail Gary and assorted friends, including best pal Patrick the starfish, next-door neighbor Squidwad and surfer girlfriend Sandy Cheeks the squirrel -- has enthralled kids and hip older viewers alike. This is SpongeBob's first outings, on two VHS tapes: -- "Nautical Nonsense" and "Sponge Buddies" -- with five episodes of wild and wacky tales each, $12.95. A DVD with all 10 episodes will be available for $19.99. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 123 min., Animated, Paramount, DVD: Day & Date.

  • Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring Feature-length direct-to-video animated Tom & Jerry movie. Left in charge of a magical ring by his young wizard master, Tom is horrified when the magic ring gets stuck on Jerry's head -- and the little mouse takes off into the big city. Before you can say "abracadabra," the sorcerer's ring is spouting a torrent of mischievous magic, and Tom and Jerry are up to their ears in hilarious trouble. 2002, CC, Animated, Warner, $14.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Liam A powerful and emotionally charged portrait of an ordinary family caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Liam, a 7-year-old boy growing up in Liverpool during the 1930s, tries to make sense of the complex and unsettled world around him, a world about to change forever because of economic, political and social upheaval. Director: Stephen Frears. Stars: Ian Hart, Anne Reid. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Drama, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • New Port South High school teen rebellion flick about a bright, creative student who finds his current school, New Port South, confining and oppressive. When he discovers the story of a former student who rebelled against the same school administration several years before, he decides to hatch his own plan. He enlists a group of students and begins spreading propaganda throughout the school in an effort to change things, but his plan gets out of control and results in a riot. Director: Kyle Cooper. Stars: Blake Shields, Todd Field, Will Estes, Melissa George, Gabriel Mann, Raymond Barry. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Thriller, Buena Vista, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Mexico City Thriller about a young woman in a desperate search for her brother -- who disappeared when the pair stopped for a one-night lay-over in Mexico City while traveling south of the border. Unable to get the Mexican authorities or the American Embassy to help her, she strikes out on her own, with the help of a friendly taxi driver. Risking their lives, the pair head to the most notorious neighborhood in Mexico City to find answers. Director: Richard Shepard. Stars: Stacy Edwards, Jorge Robles, Johnny Zander, Robert Patrick. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Thriller, Miramax, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

March 19
  • Training Day Denzel Washington puts in an exciting change of pace here as the head of an elite narcotics police squad who has blurred the line between cop and criminal. An idealistic, young LAPD cop (Ethan Hawke) is assigned to the squad and, under the tutelage of Washington, has just one day in which to prove his mettle. Unfortunately for him, his mentor takes the role of street cop as being a little to much above the law, and things spiral out of control as the rookie begins to suspect that his training day is really a setup for something more insidious. Fine action directed with a strong hand by actioner-master Antoine Fuqua. Director: Antoine Fuqua. Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin, Raymond J. Barry, Cliff Curtis, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $76.261 million, Warner, $14.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Riding in Cars With Boys Delightful comedy drama about a young woman's coming of age in a small town in Connecticut from 1961 to 1986, starring Drew Barrymore in a demanding role as Beverly D'Onofrio (the film is based on D'Onofrio's book) as she grows from a silly 15-year-old to a 36-year-old mother. The film shifts back and forth in time and explores D'Onofrio's life and loves, including an early, disastrous marriage to Ray (Steve Zahn) and her crucial friendship with Fay (Brittany Murphy). A great woman's (and sympathetic man's) film. Powered by a strong soundtrack that defines the sixties, seventies and eighties. Director: Penny Marshall. Stars: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Brittany Murphy, James Woods, Lorraine Bracco, Adam Garcia, Sara Gilbert, Peter Facinelli, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Perez.. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 131 min., Comedy-Drama, Box office gross: $29.781 million, Columbia TriStar, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Donnie Darko A very, very dark psychological black comedy about Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a slightly askew middle-class high school student in 1988 suburbia whose sleepless nights and nocturnal wanderings around the neighborhood -- brought on by his medication or the nightly visits by Frank, a six-foot-tall, sharp-toothed rabbit -- saves his life when a jet engine falls from the sky into his empty bedroom. Though Donnie is now a celebrity -- and gets close to the cute new girl in school -- nothing changes for the better: his visits with his shrink, his fascination with time travel, his horrible visions when he looks in his bathroom mirror, and the visits by Frank -- the bunny warns him that the world will end in 28 days -- leads to more and more bizarre behavior. All takes place against a sexually and politically repressed suburban high school background (the best teachers are fired while the worst ply the students with videos of a self-help guru -- a smarmy Patrick Swayze -- who's mantra is "love and fear") and Donnie's dysfunctional family. Originally creating a buzz of anticipation at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, "Darko" left fest audiences -- who possibly were expecting a less-complex horror film -- cold, and presented Fox with a difficult, hard-to-market film. Fox billed it as a teen thriller, which it's not, and it tanked at the boxoffice. It certainly deserves a wider audience in video incarnation. Director: Richard Kelly. Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Katharine Ross. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Black comedy, Box office gross: $0.450 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Hunchback of Notre Dame II, The Sequel to Disney's "Hunchback," here with five new songs. Quasimodo is reunited with his friends in the magical streets of medieval Paris, and he faces a new villain (the circus master Sarousch) and a new challenge -- romance (in the form of Jennifer Love Hewitt). Critics scoffed when the folks at Dis made a musical cartoon of Hunchback. Here's more fodder for scoffing. Could a classic be destroyed any more fully than this? Stars: Voices of Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Haley Joel Osment, Michael McKean. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: G, min., Animated, Disney, $26.99 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Focus Intense drama, based on Arthur Miller's 1947 novel, about a Brooklyn man and his wife who look Jewish but aren't and must face the bigotry and anti-semitism of their workplace and neighborhood -- with a unique viewpoint. Director: Neal Slavin. Stars: William H. Macy, Laura Dern, David Payner, Meat Loaf. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.681 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Because Why Independent comedy about a weary traveler who returns home after five years abroad with only his backpack, a skateboard and a slip of paper with an ex-girlfriend's address. When the address turns out to be a demolished building, the young man moves into the neighborhood, joining an odd and lively array of offbeat characters. He just wants to belong -- somewhere. Director: Arto Paragamian. Stars: Michael Riley. 1993, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 104 min., Comedy, Vanguard Cinema, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Daisies Prime example of the flowering of the Czech New Wave in the mid-1960s (before Soviet tanks invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968), this madcap proto-feminist farce follows the adventures of two young women -- both named Marie -- who go on a variety of uninhibited adventures to test the world around them. In Czech with English subtitles. From Facets Video's Czech Cinema series. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Vera Chytilova. Stars: Jitka Cerhova, Ivana Karbanova, Julius Albert, Marie Ceskova, Jan Klusak. 1966, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 74 min., Comedy, Facets Video, $29.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Joke, The Milan Kundera, author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," and director Jaromil Jires adapted Kundera's novel "The Joke " about an ironic professor and ladies man sentenced to six years of hard labor for an irreverent postcard. The ironic, sexy, sour satire that comments on life in Czechoslovakia during the Stalinist 1950s was shot during the 1968 Prague Spring. In Czech with English subtitles. From Facets Video's Czech New Wave cinema series. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Jaromil Jires. Stars: Josef Somr, Jaroslava Obermaierova, Jana Ditetova, Jaromir Hanzlik, Vera Kresadlova. 1968, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 80 min., Drama, Facets Video, $29.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Capricious Summer In a sleepy second-class resort at the turn of the century, three friends experience a coming of age: middle age. A magician/tightrope walker, who wears pink tights and is played by director Jiri Menzel, arrives with his gorgeous blonde assistant and throws everything into confusion. Followup to Menzel's Academy Award winning "Closely Watched Trains." In Czech with English subtitles. From Facets Video's Czech New Wave cinema series. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Jiri Menzel. Stars: Vlastimil Brodsky, Jana Drchalova, Rudolf Hrusinsky, Jiri Menzel. 1967, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 74 min., Drama, Facets Video, $29.95 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Adelheid An emotionally powerful love story set in the aftermath of World War II. A former soldier takes charge of a manor formerly owned by a German family. He falls in love with the daughter, now reduced to the work of a maid, and confronts the stress between his love and his conscience. In Czech with English subtitles. From Facet Video's Czech New Wave cinema series. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Frantisek Vlacil. Stars: Petr Cepek, Emma Cerna, Jan Vostrcil, Pavel Landovsky. 1969, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 99 min., Drama, Facets Video, $29.95 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Lemonade Joe A whacked-out Czech spoof of the Western, set at the Trigger Whiskey Saloon where bad girl Tornado Lou sings. Meanwhile, hard-drinking baddies menace the local temperance crusader, played by Playboy covergirl Olga Schoberova. White-haired, tee-totaling Joe, the local lemonade salesman, rides in to the rescue. This weird satire is composed largely in whimsical rhyme, with the characters breaking into song at every opportunity. From Facets Video's Czech Cinema series. Info: www.facets.org. Director: Oldrich Lipsky. Stars: Karel Fiala, Olga Schoberova, Milos Kopecky, Karel Effa. 1964, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 87 min., Comedy, Facets Video, $29.95 VHS SRP. DVD: No.

  • Samurai Jack First feature-length animated adventure for the Cartoon Network hero. In the distant past, an evil shape-shifting wizard named Aku brought destruction upon the land. As the citizens' last hope, a youngster is sent away to train as a samurai warrior. But when he returns as an adult to confront Aku, the warrior finds himself flung into the future through a time portal, landing in an unknown time and place. There, the locals dub him "Jack" and help him in his quest to return to the past and undo the evil brought by Aku. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Animated, Warner, $14.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Risk A naive insurance adjuster gets sucked into a world of scams and insurance fraud when he comes under the spell of a jaded older man and his shady lawyer girlfriend. Director: Alan White. Stars: Bryan Brown, Tom Long, Claudia Karvan. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Drama, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • 2001: A Space Travesty Leslie Nielsen slapstick comedy has the president of the U.S. kidnapped by aliens and replaced by a clone. Marshal "Dick" Dix (Nielsen) of the International Security Force is called upon to help rescue the president and prevent the cloning of the rest of the world's leaders. Dix's mission takes him to the planet Vegan where he encounters aliens who talk like Hollywood movie stars before saving the president and replacing the clone with the real one. Or does he? Direct-to-video. Director: Allan A. Goldstein. Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Ophelie Winter, Ezzio Greggio. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, min., Comedy, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • A Regular Frankie Fan -- Rocky Horror Lives On Documentary takes a unique look at one of the most fascinating phenomenon in motion picture history -- the midnight movie rise of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show " released in 1976 and still going strong. Hosted by Paul Williams, this is the first docu to explore the flamboyant and colorful fans of the film. Info: www.musicvideodistributors.com. 80 min., Documentary, Music Video Distributors, $14.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.
  • You Are Here Indie outing about a loser who works at a meaningless day-job and puts off till tomorrow what he wants with his life. On the day he tries to quit, his boss convinces him to take on extra hours and more responsibilities. What's he going to do to put his life back on track? Director: Jeff Winner. Stars: Ajay Naidu. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 86 min., Comedy, Vanguard Cinema, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Charcoal People, The A documentary look at environmental destruction in the Amazon rainforest. Impoverished migrant workers are chopping down the forest to create charcoal for pig iron production, used primarily in Brazil's auto industry. The film examines their daily lives and work as they burn timber in igloo-shaped huts, their bodies charred gray, for $2 a day, children and adults alike, struggling to get ahead. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Director: Nigel Noble. Stars: . 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 70 min., Documentary, Vanguard Cinema, $19.95 VHS SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

March 26
  • Life as a House Tearjerker about a California architect (Kevin Kline) who loses his job and discovers that he has terminal cancer in one short flick of the screenplay. Determined to go out with a bang of sorts, he decides to tear down his ramshackle seaside home and build his long-postponed dream house. He enlists the aid of his troubled, pierced teenage son and soon his tenacity ensnares the help of his ex-wife (Kristen Scott Thomas), his next-door neighbor (Mary Steenburgen) and her footloose daughter (Jena Malone). Naturally his efforts bring everyone together in unexpected -- and at times hankywetting -- ways. Director: Irwin Winkler. Stars: Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen, Mary Steenburgen, Jena Malone, Jamey Sheridan, Sam Robards, Scott Bakula. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 124 min., Drama, Box office gross: $15.652 million, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • K-PAX A stranger who calls himself Prot (Kevin Spacey) seemingly appears out of nowhere following a disturbance at New York's Grand Central Station. Claiming to come from the distant planet of K-PAX, Prot is whisked off to a Manhattan psychiatric hospital where he is attended by overworked Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges). Prot amazes everyone with his knowledge of outer space, his seeming ability to talk to dogs and cure other patients. But under hypnosis, Prot regresses to an all-too human past. Or does he? Is he really from another world, or is he a schizophrenic who's put up shields to protect himself from his traumatic past? Are Prot and Powell the flip sides of the same coin, each moving through life with their own teflon coating? It's an interesting film that contrasts conceits of madness and sanity ... with the added benefits of wonderful performances by Spacey and Bridges. Director: Iain Softley. Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack, Alfre Woodard, Ajay Naidu, Conchata Ferrell. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 121 min., Dramatic Comedy, Box office gross: $50.315 million, Universal, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice Direct-to-video sequel to cult-classic 1977's "Slap Shot" (starring Paul Newman), which is being released to DVD this month. In this outing, long suffering Charleston Chiefs, with a roster of one-time stars, would-be hotshots and the comically uncontrollable Hanson Brothers (ex-hockey players Dave Hanson, Steve and Jeff Carlson, returning to the big screen after 25 years) are bought by a millionaire who wants the Chiefs to be the underdog losers in a bogus made-for-TV hockey league. Now it's going to take a miracle -- and some high-sticking action -- to show the world they've got what it takes to win back their passion for the game. Director: Steve Boyum. Stars: Stephen Baldwin, Gary Busey, Dave Hanson, Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson.. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Sports Comedy, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Highway Jack (Jared Leto) is a Gen-Xer with nowhere to go until he gets caught in bed with a mobster's woman. Now, with three thugs after him, he and his best pal hit the road to Seattle. Along the way they pick up a mysterious woman (Selma Blair). It becomes a wild trip for the threesome : after outrageous chases, rave parties, and a chicken ranch, they wind up in Seattle during a vigil for Kurt Cobain. What an ending! Told against the backdrop of mid-90s grunge music; with an original score by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. Direct-to-video. Director: James Cox. Stars: Jared Leto, Jake Gyllenhaal, Selma Blair. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Action, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Original Sin Erotic thriller of sorts based on the Cornell Woolrich novel "Waltz Into Darkness," which was filmed by Francois Truffaut in 1969 as "Mississippi Mermaid." It was a flop then, and this remake, which played in France first before coming stateside, fared no better. Antonio Banderas plays a rich businessman desirous of an American wife -- he cares little for passion or love, he just wants good company and someone to bear his children. Angelina Jolie ends up being his mail-order bride, and naturally, against his better judgement, the businessman falls passionately in love with her. And that's his downfall -- for his American wife is not what she seems. He may now want passion and heat, but she wants something more substantial. Director: Michael Cristofer. Stars: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Jack Thompson, Gregory Itzin, Allison Mackie. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 116 min., Erotic Thriller, Box office gross: $16.252 million, MGM, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Our Lady of the Assassins Director Barbet ("Barfly" and "Reversal of Fortune") Schroeder's latest outing has world-weary writer Fernando returning home to Medellin, Columbia, to live out his days in peace. But his once-quiet home town has become a hotbed of violence, drugs and corruption. On the brink of despair, Fernando meets and is attracted to a 16-year-old boy, Alexis, and takes up with him. When Alexis's past catches up to him and assassins track him down, Fernando must move on with his life. He finds a replacement in another boy named Wilmar, learns the truth behind Alexis's death, and realizes the true murderous spirit of his ruined city. In Spanish with English subtitles. Director: Barbet Schroeder. Stars: German Jaramillo, Anderson Ballesteros, Juan David Restrepo. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.517 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Iron Monkey Beautifully choreographed martial arts actioner (with comic bits) directed by master Yuen Wo-Ping (who staged the martial arts choreography in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" some seven years later). Set in the middle of the 19th century in China, the film revolves around a young herbalist who cures people during the day and at night becomes the Iron Monkey, a masked defender of the poor and weak against the corrupt governor. No one can capture this Chinese Robin Hood and the governor is becoming fit to be tied. When another young herbalist -- and renowned martial artist himself -- passes through town with his young son, the governor imprisons the young boy and forces the herbalist to find and capture the Iron Monkey. Throw in a beautiful young assistant, renegade monks and a host of martial arts moves ranging from the Shadow Legs kick to the Shaolin Fist to the Buddha's Palm, and you have a first-rate evening of action entertainment that is the real thing: martial arts as filmic art. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Director: Yuen Wo-Ping. Stars: Yu Rong-Guang, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang, Tsang Sze-Man, Yuen Shun-Yi, James Wong, Yen Yee-Kwan. 1993, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 86 min., Martial Arts, Box office gross: $14.681 million, Miramax, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Atomic Cafe, The Many man-made innovations have changed civilization, but few have had a greater impact than the atomic bomb. Initially filling the world with wonderment, the bomb's devastating possibilities quickly turned awe into unshakable dread. On the 20th anniversary of its theatrical release, "The Atomic Cafe" is back to provide the public with a much needed release of comic energy. A dark comedy in the truest sense, this classic took the country by storm with its chilling, poignant and often hilarious reminder of Cold War era paranoia in the U.S. Artfully presenting a collage of newsreel footage, government archives, military training films, and 50s music, the documentary captures a panicked nation during the Atomic Age, with fall-out shelters and duck-and-cover drills as part of our culture's social consciousness. An ode to a bygone era? (Docurama: 800-314-8822, www.docudrama.com). 1982, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 88 min., Documentary, Docurama, $19.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog First screened at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival. Comedy about an aging playwright whose life hits a wall when he battles a failing career, impotence and the vile mutt next door. Director: Michael Kalesniko. Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Robin Wright, Suzi Hofrichter, Lynn Redgrave, Jared Harris, Peter Riegert, David Krumholtz, Johnathon Schaech. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Comedy, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Gambler, The The film recounts the strange circumstances that led Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky to write his novel of the same name. A young woman, Anna, is in desperate need of money. She takes a job as stenographer for Dostoyevsky -- a 45-year-old, epileptic heavily in debt. The terms of Anna's employment are extraordinary -- she must stay at his apartment during the next month while he dictates a new novel to her. As the story unfolds, Anna goes through a passage of discovery, a shedding of innocence and convention as she comes face to face with her own eroticism. Director: Karoly Makk. Stars: Michael Gambon, Jodhi May, Polly Walker, Dominic West, Luise Rainer, William Houston. 1997, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 97 min., Drama, Wellspring, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • New Waterford Girl Liane Balaban makes her debut as Mooney Pottie, a 15-year-old who dreams of escaping from her small, sheltered Catholic community to move to New York City. It seems that the only person in town that recognizes Mooney's potential is her school teacher, Cecil Sweeny (Andrew McCarthy). He arranges a scholarship for Mooney to attend an arts school in Manhattan, an idea which her parents shoot down immediately. Mooney is feeling suppressed by the small-mindedness that surrounds her and she refuses to try to fit in by attending the booze-fueled makeout parties her classmates live for. Enter Lou (Spencer-Naim), a tough boxer's daughter from the Bronx who moves into town with her mother. Lou helps Mooney see the positives about living in New Waterford and ultimately helps Mooney improve her social life. As Lou slowly pulls Mooney out of her shell, the two come up with an escape plan to leave New Waterford ... in the only way possible. Director: Allan Moyle. Stars: Liane Balaban, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Mary Walsh, Nicholas Campbell, Cathy Moriarty, Andrew McCarthy, Darren Keay, Kevin Curran, Krista MacDonald, Cassie MacDonald, Adrian Dixon. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, min., Comedy, Wellspring, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Fast Sofa Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, the film follows the hedonistic adventures of a young man as he leaves L.A. and heads out on the road to lose the blues and pursue new kicks. Director: Salome Breziner. Stars: Jake Busey, Jennifer Tilly, Adam Goldberg, Natasha Lyonne, Bijou Phillips, Seymour Cassel, Crispin Glover, Eric Roberts. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Drama, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Bread & Tulips Italian comedy about a busy housewife accidentally left behind while on a family vacation who decides to take a holiday on her own in Venice. Charmed by the city and her newfound freedom, she extends her stay, finding a job in a flower shop and renting a room from a wistful waiter. But her solo sojourn does not fit well with here tyrannical husband, who recruits an amateur detective to bring his wife back home. Will she return to her old life or embrace the exciting possibilities of a new one? Director: Silvio Soldini. Stars: Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, min., Comedy, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Winky Dink & You Baby boomers will remember "Winky Dink," television's first interactive show that appeared in the 1950s and followed the animated adventures of Winky and his trusted friend Woofer as they outwitted villains to save the world, calling upon kids in the TV audience to affix a clear plastic sheet to the TV tube and trace a bridge, a net or a vehicle to help the duo escape a desperate situation. The show was a big hit in the '50s and then again in the late 1960s and early '70s, and each week millions of American kids (this writer included) covered their sets with plastic so they could use their Winky markers to help the hero escape the clutches of the evil Harem Scarem or Foxey Maxey. Vanguard for Kids has reintroduced the show on VHS for a new generation of preschoolers. The first three volumes (40 minutes each) are now available: Volume 1, at $14.99, comes packed in a lunch-box size kit with a video, plastic sheet and markers; Volumes 2 and 3, sans the kit, sell for $9.99 each. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 40 min., Kids, Vanguard for Kids, $9.99 SRP. DVD: No.

  • Longshot Two brothers get involved in crime when the older brother, a Beverly Hills tennis instructor and top notch ladies man, is blackmailed by a corrupt businessman to seduce a NYC widow to get insider information. Director: Lionel C. Martin. Stars: Tony DeCamillis, Hunter Tylo, Joey Sculthorpe, Danielle Fishel, Frayne Rosanoff, Paul Sorvino, plus cameos and music by Britney Spears, *N Sync, Innosense, LFO, C-Note, O-Town and Take 5. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, Crime thriller, Spartan Home Entertainment, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Cardcaptors -- The Movie Feature film treatment of the WB Network TV series about a 10-year-old girl named Sakura who uses a magic wand and cards with special powers to protect innocent people from dangerous magical spirits. When a mysterious force calls out to Sakura in a dream, it is revealed to her that a dangerous legacy is lingering in the alleys of Hong Kong. On her way to that city, Sakura realizes she can depend upon Li and his family to help her against Clow Reed's long lost enemy. So there. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 86 min., Animated, Pioneer Entertainment, $14.98 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • On the Line Lance Bass (of *N Sync) plays a shy Chicago ad executive who meets the girl of his dreams on the train but neglects to get her name and phone number. To rectify matters, he decides to search for the woman by leafleting the city, a move that makes him a kind of Chicago love god. Never ones to pass up a good idea, his friends mimic his actions to score their own dates. In the end, the right one never gets away. Features the music of *N Sync, Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Vitamin C and BBMak. Director: Eric Bross. Stars: Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Dave Foley, Jerry Stiller, Richie Sambora. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 86 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.400 million, Miramax, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Last Siege, The (Hijack) Terrorists, armed with a nuclear weapon, take over a passenger train. Director: Worth Keeter. Stars: Jeff Fahey, Ernie Hudson. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Thriller, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Apocalypse Watch, The CIA agents attempt to stop a neo-Fascist movement -- dubbed the Fourth Reich -- from poisoning reservoirs around the world. TV miniseries. Director: Kevin Connor. Stars: Patrick Bergen, John Shea, Virginia Madsen. 1997, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 128 min., Thriller, Artisan, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Road Dogz Three lifelong friends from East Los Angeles must fight to survive in a neighborhood ruled by violence, gangs and drugs. Director: Alfredo Ramos. Stars: Clifton Collins Jr., Jacob Vargas, Greg Serano. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Urban drama, Artisan, No 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.

January 2002 Releases
February 2002 Releases
April 2002 Releases
May 2002 Releases
June 2002 Releases
July 2002 Releases
August 2002 Releases
September 2002 Releases


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February 22, 2002