OnVideo SEPTEMBER Video Reviews
After a misunderstanding aboard an airplane that escalates out of control, mild-mannered Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler) is remanded to attend anger management sessions run by Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), which are filled with highly eccentric and volatile patients. Buddy's unorthodox approach to therapy is confrontational and abrasive, and Dave is bewildered by it. Then, after yet another mishap, the judge orders Dave to step up his therapy or wind up in jail. So, Buddy moves in with Dave to help him battle his inner demons -- but who here really needs the help? Dr. Buddy acts out at every opportunity, including making lewd comments about Dave's girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei) and goading Dave into confronting every slight, past or present, head-on. An at-times uproarious comedy with Sandler more restrained than usual (which makes us like him even more and makes us sure that his delicately acted roles in "The Wedding Singer" and "Punch-Drunk Love" were not flukes) and Nicholson is ... well, Nicholson. Features cameos by Woody Harrelson and Heather Graham.
Director: Peter Segal. Stars: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzman, Allen Covert, Lynne Thigpen, Kurt Fuller, Jonathan Loughran, Krista Allen, Woody Harrelson, Heather Graham, John Turturro. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min.), Comedy, 2003, Box office gross: $133.756 million, (Columbia TriStar), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/16, DVD: Day & Date.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
Sometimes, to follow your dreams, you've go to bend the rules. Audiences and critics alike loved this terrific comedy about a young girl who is torn between adhering to family traditions and attaining stardom on the soccer field. Parminder Nagra plays Jess, a young English girl who loves to play soccer and who's hero is soccer icon David Beckham. Her parents want her to be a conventional Indian girl, like her older sister who is about to be married. When she's "discovered" by Jules (Keira Knightley) and recruited to play on a local woman's team, Jess has to lie to her parents about her new activities. Soon she's the star of the team, and falls for the team's coach, Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), which complicates things because Jules also is sweet on him. Matters get worse when Jess' parents -- who by now think their daughter is a Lesbian because she wears pants and doesn't have a boyfriend -- find out about the soccer and forbid her from playing, forcing her to prepare for her sister's wedding -- on the same day as an all-important soccer final, setting up the film for its sweet and positive ending. Fabulous acting all around -- particularly Nagra and Anupam Kher as Jess' caring and laid-back dad.
Director: Gurinder Chadha. Stars: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Shaheen Khan, Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Archie Panjabi, Shaznay Lewis, Frank Harper. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min.), Comedy, 2003, Box office gross: $30.000 million, (Fox), $19.98 VHS SRP, Available: 9/30, DVD: Day & Date.
Chow Yun-fat stars in this moderately thrilling martial arts actioner dosed with spirituality. Chow plays one in a long line of Buddhist monks entrusted with protecting a powerful ancient scroll from the evil of the world. But the time has come to pass the job to the next in line, and he travels to the United States where prophecy says the next protector lives. It turns out to be an unlikely candidate -- petty thief and street tough Kar (Seann William Scott). It's now up to the Monk to bring enlightenment to his unwilling pupil while fighting off gangs and an old Nazi stalwart who wants the scroll for the obvious nefarious reasons. It's your typical yin-yang pairing of heroes, heightened by Chow's (always) majestic performance and some very neat fight sequences choreographed by Stephen Tung.
Director: Paul Hunter. Stars: Chow Yun-fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie King, Karel Roden, Victoria Smurfit, Mako. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 104 min.), Thriller, 2003, Box office gross: $23.020 million, (MGM), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/9, DVD: Day & Date.
CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
George Clooney's first directorial outing is an adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which Barris purported to have been a CIA hitman. Clooney does double-duty as Jim Byrd, an all-knowing CIA agent and recruiter of assassins who approaches the game-show producer (Sam Rockwell) to become a trained killer. Barris is best remembered for his TV shows, "The Newlywed Game " "The Dating Game" and "The Gong Show " and his CIA revelations are a bizarre sidelight to his weird brand of TV entertainment. Drew Barrymore plays Barris' sweetheart Penny and Julia Roberts plays a sexy, wild CIA agent.
Director: George Clooney. Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Rutger Hauer, Kristen Wilson. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 113 min.), Drama-Comedy, 2002, Box office gross: $15.938 million, (Miramax), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/9, DVD: .
Slick sci-fi fantasy film about a team of scientists who travel to the center of the Earth to save the world from destruction, basically a 1950s 'B' film spruced up with tight acting and a modicum of spiffy special effects. Strange events around the world -- pacemakers suddenly quit and kill hundreds in Boston, birds lose their sense of navigation and create a Hitchcockian "Birds" panic in London -- lead scientists to discover that the Earth's core has mysteriously stopped rotating, causing the planet's magnetic field to deteriorate and auguring annihilation for the planet as cosmic rays and electrical storms will inundate all living matter. The U.S. government assembles a team of "terranauts" -- geophysicists Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) and Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), astronauts Rebecca Childs (Hilary Swank) and Robert Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), weapons expert Sergei Leveque (Tcheky Karyo) -- to pilot a laser-powered earth burrower created by maverick inventor Dr. Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo) to the core of the Earth to detonate nuclear devices to restore the planet's spin. Along the way there's death, madness, rivalry, destruction, love -- and a lot of improbable situations to test your willing suspension of disbelief.
Director: Jon Amiel. Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, DJ Qualls, Richard Jenkins, Tcheky Karyo, Bruce Greenwood, Alfre Woodard. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 134 min.), Science Fiction, 2003, Box office gross: $31.093 million, (Paramount), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/9, DVD: Day & Date.
DADDY DAY CARE
Old-fashioned family comedy that tickled audience's funny bones. Two fathers (Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin) join the ranks of the unemployed and are forced to take their sons out of the exclusive Chapman Academy and become stay-at-home fathers. With no job possibilities on the horizon, the two dads decide to open their own day care facility, "Daddy Day Care," which boasts some fairly unconventional and sidesplitting methods of tending the kids. As "Daddy Day Care" starts to catch on, it launches them into a hilarious competition with Chapman Academy's tough-as-nails director (Anjelica Huston) for the hearts and minds of the children.
Director: Steve Carr. Stars: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King, Anjelica Huston, Kevin Nealon, Lacey Chabert. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 93 min.), Comedy, 2003, Box office gross: $100.000 million, (Columbia TriStar), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/23, DVD: Day & Date.
After four friends perform a heroic act as children and gain psychic powers in return, they reunite every winter in Maine to hunt, drink and celebrate the special bond they share. However, this year's reunion is ruined when a lost and disoriented hunter stumbles upon their camp mumbling about strange lights in the sky. Soon after, horrific alien creatures begin to emerge and a heavily armed government operatives, led by the psychotic Colonel Curtis (Morgan Freeman), attempts to take over the area. Challenged to stop this alien force, the friends must confront grisly horror while they take part in an all-out battle to rescue the fate of humanity. Adaptation of a Stephen King novel.
Director: Lawrence Kasdan. Stars: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 134 min.), Horror, 2003, Box office gross: $33.623 million, (Warner), $19.96 VHS SRP, Available: 9/30, DVD: Day & Date.
Based on the award-winning book by Louis Sachar, "Holes" poignant coming-of-age adventure. It tells the story of Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf), an unusual young hero, dogged by bad luck stemming from an ancient family curse. Perpetually in the wrong place at the wrong time, Stanley is unfairly sentenced to months of detention at Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn't commit. There, he and his campmates -- Squid, Armpit, ZigZag, Magnet, XRay, and Zero -- are forced by the menacing warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her right-hand men Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Mr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) to dig holes in order to build character. Nobody knows the real reason they're digging all those holes, but Stanley soon begins to question why the Warden is so interested in anything "special" the boys find. Stanley and his campmates must stick together and keep one step ahead of the Warden and her henchmen as they plot a daring escape from the camp to solve the mystery and break the Yelnats family curse.
Director: Andrew Davis. Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Shia LaBeouf. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 111 min.), Adventure, 2003, Box office gross: $61.781 million, (Disney), 24.99 VHS SRP, Available: 9/23, DVD: Day & Date.
Trapped by a violent Nevada rainstorm, 10 travelers are forced to seek refuge at a strange desert motel. They soon realize they've found anything but shelter. There's a killer among them and, one by one, they are brutally murdered. As the storm rages on and the corpses pile up, the survivors begin to turn on one another, and as accusations fly, one things becomes clear: Each of them was mysteriously drawn to the motel, not by accident or circumstance, but by forces beyond imagination. So they must fight to uncover the identity of the killer, before they're all eventually eliminated. Mildly exciting thriller -- with plenty of twists and turns -- owes much to Agatha Christie.
Director: James Mangold. Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley, Jake Busey. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 90 min.), Thriller, 2003, Box office gross: $51.475 million, (Columbia TriStar), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/2, DVD: Day & Date.
MALIBU'S MOST WANTED
Jamie Kennedy plays B-Rad, a white, Jewish wannabe rapper living in Malibu, California. B-Rad and his friends are an embarrassment to his dad, Bill Gluckman (Ryan O'Neal), who is making a run for the governorship of the Golden State. To make sure that the kid's behavior doesn't affect Gluckman's standing in the polls, campaign manager Tom Gibbons (Blair Underwood) hires a pair of black actors (Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson) to pose as "gangstas" and "scare the black" out of B-Rad. But things don't go exactly as planned. For teens and fans of Kennedy only.
Director: John Whitesell. Stars: Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Regina Hall, Dante Wayans, Ryan O'Neal, Snoop Dogg, Bo Derek. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 86 min.), Comedy, 2003, Box office gross: $34.134 million, (Warner), $19.96 VHS SRP, Available: 9/9, DVD: Day & Date.
MAN APART, A
Sean Vetter (Vin Diesel) and his partner Demetrius Hicks (Larenz Tate) came up on the mean streets of Los Angeles but now work together as DEA agents, fighting a seven-year war to stem the virulent drug pipeline along the U.S./Mexico border. Dubbed "the gunslingers" for their tough street tactics, their perseverance pays off when they take down notorious Baja Cartel kingpin Memo Lucero (Geno Silva). With Lucero locked away in a maximum security prison, Vetter is finally able to go home to his wife, Stacy (Jacqueline Obradors). But in the wake of Lucero's arrest, a mysterious figure, known only as Diablo, emerges to violently claim the Baja Cartel. And when Vetter and Hicks set their sights on identifying and stopping this dangerous and elusive new player, Diablo makes the fight personal by murdering Stacy. With nothing to lose, Vetter pulls out every hidden resource at his disposal to bring Diablo down -- including an unlikely alliance with the jailed Cartel boss Lucero. He will stop at nothing to avenge his wife's murder, edging dangerously close to the line between justice and lawlessness, even if it sets him at odds with the police unit to which he has dedicated his life.
Director: F. Gary Gray. Stars: Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, Jacqueline Obradors, Geno Silva, Juan Fernadez, Steve Eastin. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 105 min.), Thriller, 2003, Box office gross: $26.183 million, (New Line), $22.99 VHS SRP, Available: 9/2, DVD: Day & Date.
MIGHTY WIND, A
Christopher Guest and his talented ensemble have reunited to create another comedic masterpiece. Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, and Parker Posey -- all who starred along with Guest in both his "Best in Show" and "Waiting for Guffman" join Guest here to create witty, satirical dialogue as well some rather hilarious song parodies in this mockumentary spoof of the 1960's folk song movement. When one of the founding fathers of 1960s folk music suddenly dies, his family decides to honor him with a one-night-only memorial concert featuring the acts that helped make him a legend in his time. Returning to the stage for this reunion appearance are The Folksmen (Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean), The New Main Street Singers (including Posey, John Michael Higgins and Jane Lynch) and folk legends Mitch and Mickey (Levy and O'Hara). It's a great satire of music, stardom and the power of the acoustic guitar -- a kind of "Spinal Tap" for the hippies.
Director: Christopher Guest (also stars). Stars: Michael McKean, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, Larry Miller, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Paul Dooley, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min.), Mock documentary, 2003, Box office gross: $17.336 million, (Warner), $22.98 VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/23, DVD: Day & Date.
2 FAST 2 FURIOUS
The adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that began with "The Fast and the Furious" takes an explosive new turn in here. Now an ex-cop on the run, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) hooks into outlaw street racing. When the feds strong-arm him back, O'Connor's no rules, win-or-die skills are unleashed against to bring down murderous Miami import-export dealer Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). O'Connor convinces the Feds to let him partner with his ex-con pal and fellow street-racer Roman Pearce (Tyrese) to go undercover, transporting a shipment of 'dirty' money. With his velocity-added buddy riding shotgun, and drop-dead gorgeous undercover agent (Eva Mendes) dialing up the heat, this sequel accelerates the action into a desperate race for survival, justice ... and mind-blowing, jaw-dropping speed.
Director: John Singleton. Stars: Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Thom Barry, James Remar, Devon Aoki. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min.), Thriller, 2003, Box office gross: $124.800 million, (Universal), $22.98 VHS SRP, Available: 9/2, DVD: Day & Date.
VIEW FROM THE TOP
Below average romantic comedy has Gwyneth Paltrow starring as Donna, a young woman who escapes her Nevada trailer park home to grab a job as a flight attendant for a small commuter airline and her subsequent attempts to upgrade her career by getting a job with the prestigious Royalty Airlines. Along the way she meets a couple of mentors (Kelly Preston and Candice Bergen), a backstabbing rival (Christina Applegate) and the film's love interest, Ted (Mark Ruffalo). At the end Donna has to choose between love and career. Air sickness bag, anyone?
Director: Bruno Barreto. Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergin, Kelly Preston, Mike Myers, Rob Lowe.. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 87 min.), Comedy, 2003, Box office gross: $15.589 million, (Miramax), No VHS SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 9/9, DVD: Day & Date.
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.
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August 15, 2003