OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases: October Calendar of Releases

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Guide to Home Video Releases:
October 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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October 1
  • Scorpion King, The Prequel of sorts to Universal's modern "The Mummy" franchise, set 2000 years earlier than the Scorpion King's introduction in "The Mummy Returns," this blessedly short sword-and-sandal epic reminds one more of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Conan than the Brendan Fraser outings. The plot is pure adrenalin: Warlord Memmon (Steven Brand) has created a reign of terror across the desert using a sorceress (Kelly Hu) who guides him to his victories. Only a few free tribes remain and in order to defeat Memmon they hire Mathayus (The Rock) to kill the beautiful seer. Unfortunately being a true hunk, The Rock falls for the woman and instead of killing her, he uses her to lure Memmon into a trap. With the aid of the leader of one of the tribes (Michael Clarke Duncan), the stage is set for the ultimate showdown. Director: Chuck Russell. Stars: The Rock, Steven Brand, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov, Peter Facinelli. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Action, Box office gross: $89.541 million, Universal, $14.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Brotherhood of the Wolf "Le Pacte des loups" is a martial arts horror werewolf movie that has garnered quite a cult following despite its limited U.S. release and lack of representation on video, til now. The story loosely follows a real-life incident in 18th century France: a mysterious beast is killing humans and animals in the mountains of southwest France, and the king sends in a pair of agents to stop the carnage. Director: Christophe Gans. Stars: Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Casselm Emilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci, Jeremie Renier, Mark Dacascos, Jean Yanne. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 140 min., Horror, Universal, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Barbie as Rapunzel 2002, CC, Animated, Artisan, $19.98 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

October 8
  • Enough A "Sleeping With the Enemy" for the 21st century. Jennifer Lopez plays Slim, a working-class waitress who finds herself transformed when she marries Mitch (Billy Campbell), a wealthy yuppie contractor. She settles into an idyllic suburban life and seems to have everything she wants: a loving husband, a beautiful home and an adorable 5-year-old daughter. But Slim's dream is shattered when she discovers her husband is anything but perfect. His sudden violent and abusive behavior, as well as his infidelities, force Slim to take her daughter and go on the run, eluding an increasingly obsessive Mitch and his lethal henchmen. Just when Slim thinks she has successfully started a new life, Mitch reappears and the threats begin all over again. With nowhere to turn for help, Slim is forced to fight back -- she takes a crash course in martial arts -- and engages Mitch in a physical and psychological battle, finally showing him that she's had enough. But in this case, "Enough" is not really enough. The smug screen titles ("How they met," "You can run") set you up for a by-the-books build-up that should boil over at the end but -- because it's so predictable -- only leaves you wanting more. There's some nasty loose ends that need to be tied up, but aren't. And can we really believe that Slim really builds the inner strength to fend off Mitch? (Yes, if you watch the J.Lo music video on the DVD version). This is a film that sorely needs the opposite of a laugh track: a boo and cheer track. We've seen this all too many times on TV. Director: Michael Apted. Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Billy Campbell, Tessa Allen, Juliette Lewis, Dan Futterman, Noah Wyle, Fred Ward, Christopher Maher. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 116 min., Revenge Thriller, Box office gross: $39.177 million, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Jason X A team of government scientists working at the Crystal Lake Research Facility has finally captured the seemingly indestructible killer Jason Voorhees and, in order to contain him, plan to freeze him in cryogenic suspension. But, as always, something goes terribly wrong and Jason breaks free to continue his murderous ways. The lone surviving scientist, Rowan, finally manages to freeze the killer but, in a weird twist, is frozen in time with him. Flash forward to 2455. Old Earth is a contaminated abandoned planet, and humans have returned to research the artifacts of the lost civilization. And as in any good horror film, they uncover Rowan and Jason and take them back to their starship. They unfreeze Rowan and guess what -- that other guy in the hockey mask comes a callin'. Its mayhem in outer space as Jason goes on his latest rampage, aided and abetted by the ship's machines, who repair his body with the latest technologies. In outer space, you can't hear any groans. Director: Jim Isaac. Stars: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Chuck Campbell, Jonathan Potts, Peter Mensah, Melyssa Ade. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Horror/Slasher, Box office gross: $12.610 million, New Line, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • It Had to Be You Charlie is marrying Claire. Anna is marrying David. When their significant others are unable to attend a weekend wedding conference at the Plaza Hotel, Charlie and Anna end up spending three days together planning their weddings. Along with the help of Charlie's alcoholic buddy Henry and Anna's vibrant hairdresser friend Tracey, they simultaneously challenge the institution of marriage and fall heads over heels for each other. Now, neither of them can return to the life they had planned and must search their souls for their true feelings. Direct-to-video release. Director: Steven Feder. Stars: Natasha Henstridge, Michael Vartan, Michael Rispoli, Olivia D'Abo. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 95 min., Romantic Comedy, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Homeboy, The Hip-hop comedy about a white rapper who hasn't had a hit in three years and turns to an old school hip-hop star now turned plumber for inspiration. Direct-to-video. Director: Dave Gebroe. Stars: Dave McCrea, "Downtown" Julie Brown, Benjamin Cain, Victoria Rong. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 95 min., Urban comedy, MTI Home Video, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Brother's Keeper Lucinda Pond (Jeanne Tripplehorn) returns to the police force to help track down a serial killer whom she failed to capture years earlier. She soon discovers that the killer is her brother. With the help of her former lover, Lucinda follows a labyrinth of clues and riddles left by her brother in hopes of finding him before he kills again. Telefilm. Director: John Badham. Stars: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Leland Orser, Corin Nemec. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 86 min., Thriller, New Line, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

October 11 (Friday)
  • Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo goes CGI in this crowd pleasing big-screen adaptation of the television cartoon dog-gone hero. Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close its doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Velma (Linda Cardellini) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot (college kids are being turned into zombies, which is probably not far from the truth). Concerned that his frightfully popular resort might truly be haunted, Spooky Island owner Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson) tries to reunite the notoriously meddling detectives to solve the mystery before his supernatural secret scares away the college crowds. Scooby and the gang have to overcome their personal differences and forget everything they think they know about fake ghouls and phony creatures to crack the case, save themselves and possibly the world. Director: Raja Gosnell. Stars: Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Rowan Atkinson. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 86 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $151.000 million, Warner, $24.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

October 15
  • Insomnia Sent from Los Angeles to investigate the murder of a teenage girl in a small Alaska town, a veteran LAPD detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) accidentally shoots his partner while trying to apprehend a suspect, whom Dormer believes is mystery writer Walter Finch (Robin Williams as a repugnant creep). Instead of admitting his guilt, the detective is given an unexpected alibi, but as an ever-shining Midnight Sun wreaks sleep-depriving havoc on his body clock -- and multiplies the emotional complexity and guilt over his partner's death -- his investigation begins to falter and he enters a cat and mouse game with Finch. Meanwhile, a local detective (Hilary Swank) conducts her own personal investigation ... of Dormer's partner's death. Pacino -- decidedly low-key -- turns in one of his better performances, while Swank, as a bright-eyed police novice, sparkles on the screen. And Williams -- well, the comedy mastermind becomes such a slimy rat here that you start to wonder what all his humor has been hiding all these years. Involving follow-up by Nolan to his much admired debut "Memento." Here he again takes us deep into his characters' feelings and confusions, all the while exerting a strong grip on the pacing and storyline. This "Insomnia" is based on the fabulous 1997 Swedish film of the same name. Director: Christopher Nolan. Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan, Maura Tierney, Nicky Katt, Paul Dooley, Jonathan Jackson. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $66.700 million, Warner, $22.98 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 4 stars

  • Windtalkers Failed war epic from action master John Woo. Though Woo throws all he's got into the blistering action sequences, with widespread World War II slaughter everywhere, the film falls apart with its one-dimensional characterizations, particularly that of lead Nicolas Cage (who's made a habit lately of putting on one-note performances). The film tells the story of the secret military program for which a small group of Navajo Indians were recruited in order to develop their native language into a code that the Japanese couldn't break. During the brutal battle of Saipan, Sergeant Joe Enders (Cage) guards -- and ultimately befriends -- Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach), one of the Navajo Code Talkers. But Ender's job is more than that of a guard: If Yahzee is in danger of being captured by the Japanese, Enders is empowered to make sure that the code doesn't fall into enemy hands -- using any means necessary. Director: John Woo. Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, Mark Ruffalo, Christian Slater, Roger Willie. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 134 min., War, Box office gross: $41.000 million, MGM, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Life or Something Like It Lannie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie with a very unflattering hair job) is an upwardly mobile, career-focused television reporter with her eye on a network assignment. She has the perfect boyfriend and the perfect apartment. In fact, she thinks her life is perfect ... until she meets a homeless man who predicts she is going to die the next week. When all of the predictions of the street psychic start to come true, Lannie begins to take a hard look at her life. With the help of her longtime co-worker and nemesis Pete (Edward Burns), she tries to take control of her destiny ... with unpredictable and unusual results. This film's destiny was less assured at the boxoffice, and its weak mix of comedy and romance made it something of a dud. Director: Stephen Herek. Stars: Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Tony Shalhoub, Stockard Channing. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Romantic comedy, Box office gross: $14.448 million, Fox, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Beat William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac defined what would come to be known as the "Beat Generation." This is just one story about their shared interests ... and lovers. When Ginsberg and friend Lucien Carr decide to visit their old friends Burroughs and his wife Joan Villmer, Burroughs retreats to a secret lover and leaves Joan behind. Allen, Joan and Lucien take a trip of their own, re-igniting a past love affair between Lucien and Joan. The situation is further complicated when Ginsberg comes to terms with his sexuality and begins to fall for Lucien as well. Direct-to-video release. Director: Gary Walkow. Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Courtney Love, Ron Livingston, Norman Reedus. 2000, CC, MPAA rating:1 R, 80 min., Drama, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Killer Cop When L.A.P.D. officer Callahan is chosen to star in a reality cop show, the producers are disappointed by the routine life in the patrol car. Desperate to make an impression, Callahan pressures his partner to release two small time delinquents so that he can single-handedly re-arrest them. Things get out of control when Callahan loses his grip on reality and will do anything to give the viewers what they want. Direct-to-video release. Director: . Stars: Wade Hunt Williams, Sara Kay Rinde, Aaron Braxton. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 90 min., Thriller, MTI Home Video, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Escanaba in Da Moonlight Jeff Daniels wrote, directed and starred in this great American hunting misadventure. It's the day before the 1999 hunting season opens. For generations, men of the Soady family have trekked to the same ramshackle deer camp north of Escanaba in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to drink, cause a little bit of trouble, and bag bucks. But in the words of patriarch Albert (Harve Presnell), "Dat year camp was as tense as a moose's butt durin' fly season." At 43, Reuben Soady (Daniels) is in danger of becoming the oldest member in the history of the family never to bag a buck. As the fateful dawn approaches, Reuben attempts to change his luck by altering several of the time tested rituals of Soady deer camp, but only succeeds in fueling a series of strange and unexplainable events. Director: Jeff Daniels. Stars: Jeff Daniels, Harve Presnell. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Comedy, Monarch Home Video, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

October 22
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial "E.T." finally comes home to DVD in two versions. There's "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Limited Collector's Edition," a two-disc set with the 2002 20th anniversary release (which Spielberg tinkered with by adding new scenes and altering others: The guns police brandish when chasing E.T. have been digitally changed to walkie-talkies, and a line that Dee Wallace says to her son during a Halloween sequence -- "No, you're not going as a terrorist" -- has been deleted. Spielberg has also tweaked E.T.'s performance using computer graphics) and 10-hours of goodies. Extras: Two deleted scenes: "E.T. in the tub" and "E.T. drinks a Coke"; "20 Years Later With Steven Spielberg" conversation with the director; "John Williams Live Orchestra Segment": Exclusive look at the preparation, rehearsal and live performance by John Williams of the film's score at the 2002 Los Angeles premiere; isolated 2002 live score; "Space Exploration" featurette with a 3-D interactive journey into space; "The Evolution of E.T." featurette examining the development of the screenplay, casting and production, with never-before-seen footage shot in 1982; Cast reunion featurette; Interactive "E.T. Archives" of production photos, conceptual drawings and original advertising; DVD-ROM extras; DTS and Dolby; widescreen and full-frame versions; $22.95. Then there's the "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Ultimate Collector's Gift Set," a three-disc set with "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Limited Collector's Edition" of the 2002 release, the original theatrical version, a CD soundtrack, a script from the original feature, and a collectible senitype; $69.98. Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore, C. Thomas Howell. 1982, CC, MPAA rating: PG, min., Family, Universal. 5 stars

  • Mr. Deeds Adam Sandler takes on a classic film (Frank Capra's 1936 "Mr. Deeds," which starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur) and the classic loses -- that is, Sandler's mean-spirited and dimwitted remake is an affront to the original. Where oh where is the Adam Sandler of "The Wedding Singer"? That loveable spirit keeps falling by the wayside in the bathroom humor and nastiness of the actor's subsequent outings. Oh, well, they do make money. In the modernization, Sandler is Longfellow Deeds, a simple-minded, small-town pizzeria owner whose life is turned upside down when a long-lost relative leaves him an inheritance of $40 billion. In the tiny town of Mandrake Falls, N.H., Deeds has become a local celebrity famous for reciting offbeat but hilarious greeting card poetry. Life is good as the owner of the town's only pizza parlor until Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), a sleazy corporate mogul come to whisk Deeds and his $40 billion inheritance away to corporate America. It's a rags-to-riches story that quickly puts Deeds in a full-fledged media frenzy. Leading the pack of tabloid reporters salivating for the story is Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder), a beautiful TV producer who devises a devious plan to get the scoop and falls for Deeds in the process. Deeds moves to Manhattan to take over his newly inherited business and immediately shakes things up, letting everyone know that even though he's a billionaire, he's still the same small town guy. As sleazy Cedar tries to take over Deeds' empire, Deeds learns what life is all about and sets out to prove that money changes everything: but not everyone. Director: Steven Brill. Stars: Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Peter Gallagher, John Turturro, Allen Covert, Jared Harris, Steve Buscemi. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $120.000 million, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Y Tu Mama Tambien A sexually candid film, "Y Tu Mama Tambien" tells the story of a beautiful older woman who schools two eager teenage boys in the fine points of passion in this erotic and haunting coming of age drama. Julio and Tenoch are two teens ruled by raging hormones and a mission to consume exotic substances. But one summer, the boys learn more about life than they bargain for when they set off on a wild, cross-country road trip with seductive 28-year-old Luisa. Both boys taste forbidden fruit, but will their mutual desire for her destroy their friendship? Available in R-rated and unrated versions. In Spanish with English subtitles. Director: Alfonso Cuaron. Stars: Mribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Lunas. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.622 million, MGM, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Fighter A unique adventure unfolds as two friends take a risky road trip into their past. Together, Jan Wiener and Arnost Lustig -- both survivors of Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia and now living in America -- revisit scenes of romance and humor, of narrow escapes from life-or-death confrontations. But their journey home becomes a clash of personalities that takes their friendship to the brink. Director: Amir Bar-Lev. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 86 min., Documentary, First Run Features, $29.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Liberty Stands Still Liberty Wallace, heiress to and co-president of America's largest gun manufacturing corporation, is on her way to the theater when her cell phone rings. As she stands in the street, the red laser site hitting her chest is proof that a mysterious caller is dead serious in the threats he makes against her life. As she is forced to handcuff herself to the food cart in the middle of a park, Liberty has become the target, finding herself at the mercy of the very thing that has made her rich: a gun and a person with their finger on the trigger. Telefilm. Director: Gary Pearl. Stars: Wesley Snipes, Linda Fiorentino, Oliver Platt. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Thriller, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Out of the Black Thirteen years after watching his father die in a Pennsylvania coal mining explosion, Cole (Tyler Christopher) and his brother Patrick (Jason Widener) begin a quest to unravel the mysteries behind what really happened on that fateful day, all the while fighting for the love of one woman (Jaqueline Aries). What they discover is -- sometimes the smallest towns have the biggest secrets. Based on true events. Director: Karl Kozak. Stars: Tyler Christopher, Sally Kirkland, Jason Widener, Dee Wallace Stone, Jack Conley, Jaqueline Aries, Allison Lange, Sally Struthers, Michael J. Pollard, John Capodice. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 105 min., Thriller, MTI Home Video, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Gangster No. 1 Gangland thriller of blackmail and murder in 1960s London, with a jazzy soundtrack by John Dankworth. Paul Bettany stars as a ruthless East End London Mafia boss who slugs, claws and kills his way to the top. But when he learns that his former mentor (David Thewlis), who he put into prison, is about to get out, the self-made criminal monster must not only face a man he has ruined -- but the twisted remnants of his own demented conscious as well. Director: Paul McGuigan. Stars: Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Saffron Burrows. 2000, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $0.030 million, MGM, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Hellraiser: Hellseeker Latest sequel in the Hellraiser series has Pinhead making another attempt to unleash the demonic legions of Hell on Earth. Direct-to-video release. Director: Rick Bota. Stars: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Dean Winter. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Horror, Buena Vista, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Les Destinees Sumptuous period drama that spans three decades, a world war and the market crash of 1929. Charles Berling plays Jean Barnery, a protestant minister living in the Charente region of France. He is married to Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), who he believes has been unfaithful to him, and therefore demands she leave. Twenty-year-old Pauline (Emmanuelle Beart) arrives in town and upon first glance Jean is mesmerized. Pauline rejects Jean's advances after hearing him speak with her uncle about Nathalie. Jean asks Nathalie to move back in, but the two are unable to communicate. When Jean finally realizes that Nathalie is innocent, and that all their marital troubles stem from his lack of love for her, he is overcome with guilt. As penance, he decides immediately to give Nathalie his fortune from his family business to get a divorce and to leave the ministry. Now Jean is free to fall in love with Pauline, and the two get married and move to the Swiss Alps. After many years they return to the Charente region so Jean can take over the family-run porcelain industry. As Jean's life becomes more and more consumed by the factory, he and Pauline grow distant. It is only years later with Jean near death that the two realize that their love for each other has been the only thing that really mattered in their lives. French with English subtitles. Director: Olivier Assayas. Stars: Charles Berling, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 180 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.193 million, Wellspring, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date. 3 stars

  • Next Big Thing, The Gus Bishop (Chris Eigeman) is a struggling artist who cannot catch a break. His art will not sell, his girlfriend breaks up with him, and his apartment has just been robbed. When the thief returns, it's with a proposition for Gus -- as a new business partner. It turns out he created a new identity for Gus complete with a tortured past and sold the stolen painting for a lot of money. Soon a brilliant scam is born and "Geoff Buonardi" takes the art world by storm. As more and more people become involved, they soon find that being "the next best thing" is not so easy. Indie send-up of the art world. Director: P.J. Posner. Stars: Chris Eigeman, Jamie Harris, Connie Britton, Marin Hinkle. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 87 min., Comedy, Wellspring, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Lucky Break "Escapist" comedy from the director of "The Full Monty." Small-time crook Jimmy Hands and his accomplice Rudy botch a bank robbery and land in prison. Facing 12 years behind bars, Jimmy befriends the prison warden, Graham, who loves musicals so much that he has written one of his own. Convincing Graham to let him produce an inmate performance of the musical, Jimmy conveniently stages it in the Old Chapel, which is the best route of escape for a prison break. While the prisoners are gearing up for the production, Jimmy's elaborate plan begins to unravel. First of all, Jimmy lands the lead and finds himself falling for the leading lady, the prison social worker, Annabel, who reluctantly shares his feelings. Then a prison tough-guy insists on escaping with Jimmy and even blackmails him to leave his friends behind. As the play goes on, will the wild escape plan succeed? Director: Peter Cattaneo. Stars: James Nesbitt, Olivia Williams, Christopher Plummer, Lennie James. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $0.054 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

October 29
  • Sum of All Fears, The Terrorist-themed, nuclear-blasting fourth big-screen Jack Ryan spy adventure (based on the Tom Clancy books), here starring Ben Affleck as a younger Ryan (he was portrayed in previous incarnations by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford) who alone can prevent World War III. It seems some real bad guys (ex-Nazi and rogue Russian military types) have acquired a lost Israeli nuclear bomb and blow up Baltimore in the hopes of causing a face-off between the U.S. and Russia. Fortunately for the good guys, Ryan and partner John Clark (Liev Schreiber) are on the case, and track the mushroom cloud to the real villain, Richard Dressler (Alan Bates). Now it's a race against time to prove their case before the American president retaliates and sets off armageddon. A frightening, harrowing thriller that scored at the boxoffice, no doubt playing off -- and feeding -- post 9/11 fears. Director: Phil Alden Robinson. Stars: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, Alan Bates, Philip Baker Hall, Ron Rifkin, Bruce McGill, Bridget Moynahan. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $118.000 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & date. 3 stars

  • Eight Legged Freaks Residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs. The movie is kind of a spoof of 1950s 'B' giant bug science fiction movies, replete with grown-ups who don't listen to their kids when the young ones figure out what's really eating all the farm animals and pets in town. The computer-generated spiders are a gas and the tongue-in cheek attitude works -- for awhile. Should fare better on the small screen. Movie tagline: Do you hate spiders? Do you really hate spiders? Well they don't like you either. Director: Ellory Elkayem. Stars: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Rick Overton. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: PG- 13, 99 min., Sci-Fi comedy, Box office gross: $16.500 million, Warner, $24.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date. 2 stars

  • Harvard Man Alan Jensen is an all-star Harvard man. He's ambitious, intelligent and star of the college basketball team. Enter Cindy Bandolini, a sexy college cheerleader and mob daughter with all the right moves -- and the beauty, money and power to lure Alan right where she wants him. With the promise of a lucrative payoff, Alan agrees to fix basketball games. The scheme works, until the FBI catches on. Now Cindy and her mobster family have turned against him and, with the mob -- and the FBI -- on his trail, Alan's got nowhere to turn, except into the arms of Chesney, his philosophy professor. Direct-to-video release. Director: James Toback. Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams, Eric Stoltz, Adrian Grenier, Rebecca Gayheart, Gianni Russo, Ray Allen. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Thriller, Lions Gate, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Fish in a Barrel Dark comedy tells the story of four petty thieves who somehow manage to steal $4 million worth of cut diamonds. To a paranoid control freak, a constipated soul searcher, an apathetic drunk and a sugar-fiend kleptomaniac, add one beautiful killer and a testosterone driven cop and what you have is a crazy shoot-out filled with twists and turns, double and triple crosses. And a six-way split is just not an option. Director: Kent Dalian. Stars: Arly Jover, Jeremy Renner, David Kelsey. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 85 min., Thriller, Vanguard, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Lathe of Heaven Cursed with a singular -- and thoroughly unwanted -- ability to alter everything in the world through his dreams, George Orr (Lukas Haas) refuses to sleep, and nearly drugs himself to death. His court appointed therapist (James Caan) launches upon this unique opportunity to jettison his own dronish existence, and remake the world to match his personal vision of utopia. The result is an ever-changing reality, leading to increasingly hazardous consequences. Quietly bolstered by a continually supportive sidekick and ultimately revived by his initially skeptical attorney, George confronts global warfare, world-wide epidemics, and violent social upheaval in his simple quest for a good night's sleep. Based on the classic sci-fi novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. Director: Philip Haas. Stars: James Caan, Lukas Haas, Lisa Bonet, David Strathairn. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 100 min., Science Fiction, A&E Home Video, $19.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Viva la Muerte (Long Live Death) A true cult classic, this was the big-screen debut of Theatre-of-Cruelty playwright Fernando Arrabal. It's a wild tour-de-force of avant-garde filmmaking, suffused with surreal violence, sexuality and biting political commentary. The film centers on Fando, a young boy whose father has been arrested for treason during the Spanish Civil War. Fando struggles with his father's arrest and, in a shocking moment, discovers a letter in which his mother admits to betraying his father. She convinces Fando that his father committed suicide in prison, but the boy doubts this and attempts to discover the true fate of his father. Uncut. Director: Fernando Arrabal. Stars: Fernando Arrabal, Mohamed Bellasoued, Mahdi Chaouch, Suzanne Compte. 1970, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 90 min., Drama, CAV Distributing, $29.95 SRP. DVD: Only. 4 stars

  • Triumph of Love, The Period comedy follows the exploits of a powerful young princess (Mira Sorvino) who dons disguises, switches gender, breaks numerous hearts and knows no boundaries in her quest for true love. Inadvertently falling madly in love with Agis, the rightful heir to her kingdom, the princess immediately makes it her mission to win Agis' hand in marriage and see justice done by restoring him to his throne. No simple task to achieve, the princess and her lady-in-waiting slip out of their corsets and curls, slip into men's hats and clothing, and approach the enemy's lair under the guise of a philosophy student and his valet. But as they seduce the philosopher Hemocrates (Ben Kingsley) and his scientist sister Leontine, the princess finds herself no closer to her true goal. Even worse, her string of lies begins to unravel and her true identity is exposed. Will love really triumph over all? Director: Clare Peploe. Stars: Mira Sorvino, Jay Rodan, Rachael Stirling, Ben Kingsley, Fiona Shaw. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 111 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $0.446 million, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Day Reagan Was Shot, The Dramatization of the events surrounding the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan by John Hinkley Jr., on March 10, 1981. While Reagan lay in critical condition, and Secretary of State Alexander Haig took control of the nation, the U.S. was sliding into governmental chaos -- compounded by the threat of nuclear war as the Soviet Union was poised to invade Poland. Telefilm. Director: Cyrus Nowrasteh. Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Richard Crenna, Holland Taylor. 2001, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Biodrama, Paramount, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Lost World, The Four-hour miniseries remake of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World," about a group of adventurers who travel to a remote plateau in 1911 to discover a lost world where dinosaurs still roam. This version has been updated with state-of-the art CGI creatures. Aired Oct. 6-7. Director: Stuart Orme. Stars: Bob Hoskins, Peter Falk, James Fox, Tom Ward, Matthew Rhys, Elaine Cassidy. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 200 min., Science Fiction, A&E Home Video, $24.95 SRP. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Soul Assassin Skeet Ulrich stars as young security agent Kevin Burke, who works for a multinational banking firm in Rotterdam. Ambitious and smart, Kevin is soon promoted to the company's internal security team. The new job gives Kevin the confidence to ask his girlfriend Rosalind (Catherine Orr) to marry him. But the romantic moment is tragically ended when she is murdered by a hit man. Determined to find her killer, Kevin embarks on the most dangerous mission of his life, uncovering money laundering, double-agents, and an Interpol hit squad. As he unravels his lover's secret double-life, Tessa (Kristy Swanson) appears as a mysterious stranger who is also out to discover the truth. There's plenty of double-crosses, twists and turns before the film winds down to a final shoot-out in a Dutch windmill-turned-love nest. The story and plot are typical of the genre -- fast-paced action interrupted by exposition -- and director Laurence Malkin uses the latest hip MTV video techniques (while shooting virtually the entire movie in shades of blue) as punctuation marks to the acting. It's all just so-so, especially since the two American leads (Ulrich and Swanson) don't really hold down the film -- they both could use extra acting lessons. Director: Laurence Malkin. Stars: Skeet Ulrich, Catherine Orr, Kristy Swanson. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Thriller, Columbia TriStar, No SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Left Behind II: Tribulation Force Produced and distributed by Christian film company Cloud Ten Productions. Their previous releases, "Judgment" and "Left Behind," have been giant sellers on video and DVD and amass large box office grosses, in particular by using the old exhibition strategy of four-walling (licensing the film, in this case, to church groups, who then rent out theatres for the screenings). All the films chronicle the "last days" and the "Left Behind" series, based on a best-selling series of books, is a fictional account of Revelation, the last book of the bible. "Left Behind" deals with world-wide catastrophic events: 40 million people disappear off the face of the Earth, including all children, leaving cars, train, planes suddenly unmanned. Worldwide chaos ensues. In this sequel, which picks up just seven days after the "great disappearances," the Antichrist has become the charismatic leader of the U.N., seeking to deceive the world's survivors. Four unlikely Christian heroes -- the Tribulation Force -- risk their lives to go up against evil and open up the world's eyes to the truth. Released on video first, then theatrically on New Year's Eve. Director: Bill Corcoran. Stars: Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Clarence Gilyard, Janaya Stephens, Gordon Currie. 2002, Christian Drama, Cloud Ten Pictures, SRP, Priced for rental. DVD: Day & Date.

  • Men With Brooms Comedy about four life-long friends on a quest for true love, macho bonding and big time curling glory. Reunited by the last wishes of their recently deceased coach, four not-quite-together guys set out to win the local Super Bowl of curling -- an ancient, inscrutable sport involving large "stones," icy arenas and, yes, men with brooms. Under the guidance of their befuddled new coach (Leslie Nielsen) the intrepid teammates fight their way to the big championship showdown, facing everything from jilted fiances, amorous sisters of jilted fiances, murderous thugs, low sperm counts and more. To the winner goes the Canadian Golden Broom. Director: Paul Gross. Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Paul Gross, Molly Parker, Connor Price, Peter Outerbridge, Jed Rees, Michelle Nolden, Kari Matchett. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 102 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.239 million, 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.

July 2002 Releases
August 2002 Releases
September 2002 Releases
November 2002 Releases
December 2002 Releases
January 2003 Releases
February 2003 Releases


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October 10, 2002