Originally created 04/10/98

Video releases

Here is a list of what's new in video stores this weekend and a partial schedule of what's coming on video. Release dates are subject to change.


Boogie Nights, Red Corner, The End of Violence and Seven Years in Tibet.


L.A. Confidential, The Ice Storm, Kiss the Girls, The House of Yes and Rocketman.


Flubber, Mrs. Brown and Copland.


The Jackal, Anastasia, Kiss or Kill and Telling Lies in America.

MAY 5:

Alien Resurrection, Mouse Hunt, Gattaca and For Richer or for Poorer.

Video reviews

Here are reviews from Roger Ebert and other critics of some recent video releases:


An early winter storm descends on Connecticut, casting over Thanksgiving a shroud of impending doom. Suburban couples shift restlessly in their angst. Kevin Kline and Joan Allen play a loveless couple; Sigourney Weaver is his lover; the children, including Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood, mimic their parents.


A brilliant, low-rent Hollywood epic, about the rise and fall of an adult film star. Mark Wahlberg stars as a Valley kid who is discovered by a pornographer (Burt Reynolds) and becomes an X-rated star. Paul Thomas Anderson's screenplay assembles a large, colorful and curiously touching cast of characters, whose world forms a mirror image of Hollywood glamour. Julianne Moore finds the right note as the porn actress who "adopts" the newcomer, and the cast includes Philip Baker Hall, Don Cheadle, Nina Hartley, William H. Macy and Ricky Jay.


An Austrian mountain climber named Harrer (Brad Pitt) flees a British POW camp and stumbles into Tibet at the outset of World War II, where he becomes the confidant of the Dalai Lama. But the first half of the film is occupied with familiar mountain-climbing and prison camp material, and the interesting part of the story begins only after the young god and ruler invites the stranger to teach him. There's a fascinating story here, but told from the wrong point of view.

BEAN (PG-13, ãã 1/2 )

The most popular sitcom star in British history, seen in the United States on PBS, stars in his own feature. Bean (Rowan Atkinson), the malevolent malaprop, is dispatched by a gleeful London art gallery to Los Angeles, to preside over the U.S. purchase of "Whistler's Mother." Everything goes wrong, on both a slapstick and more slyly satirical level; if you had a china shop, you'd ask for the bull instead of Bean.

U-TURN (R, ã 1/2 )

A tedious and pointless exercise in genre filmmaking by the great Oliver Stone, who seems to have left his ideas on hold in this story of a drifter (Sean Penn) who turns up in a desert hellhole of a town and is soon being beaten, shot at, double-crossed or lied to by everyone he meets. With Jennifer Lopez as the sexpot, Nick Nolte as her jealous husband, Billy Bob Thornton as the redneck garage mechanic and Powers Boothe as the sheriff. Well made technically, but to what purpose?


Based on the true story of the "Cottingley fairies," who were allegedly photographed by two young girls in 1917. In the movie, the girls' photos are vouched for by Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter O'Toole) but doubted by Harry Houdini (Harvey Keitel). But the movie fudges by coming down on both sides of the fence. Still, there's charm here, and children are likely to be drawn into the story.


An ungainly, undigested assembly of "women's issues," milling about within a half-baked retread of King Lear. When an Iowa patriarch (Jason Robards) decides to split his farm three ways, that's fine with older sisters Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange, but the youngest (Jennifer Jason Leigh) demurs, and is disinherited. This was plot enough for Shakespeare, but the film filters everything through tortuous women's politics and a checklist of trendy issues, until it is impossible to say whose point of view is represented


Four teen-agers are driving down a lonely coastal road when they strike a shadowy figure. Fearing arrest, they dump the man into the sea -- although he is not quite dead. The next summer, they get the note quoted in the title. Who knows their secret? One by one, a mysterious killer named The Fisherman strikes. The movie would have been much improved if he had struck sooner and more frequently

ULEE'S GOLD (R, ããã 1/2 )

The role of a lifetime for Peter Fonda, playing a beekeeper in the Florida panhandle. He's a widower, a Vietnam vet, raising his two grandchildren because their father is in prison and their mother is strung out. There is a crisis, involving his son's dangerous friends, but the movie doesn't degenerate into violence; this silent, introverted man finds his way through a minefield of emotions, and even discovers some new ones of his own, thanks to the nurse (Patricia Richardson) who lives across the way.


A bawdy but touching British comedy, about unemployed steel workers in Sheffield who discover how much the Chippendale dancers made at a local club, and decide to form their own troupe and put on a show offering "the full monty." Rich human humor in the auditions and rehearsals, but serious undertones, because the men are fighting not just for money but for self-respect.

MIMIC (R, ããã 1/2 )

Cockroaches spread a plague in New York, and so scientist Mira Sorvino creates the Judas Breed, crossing mantises and termites into a new insect that will kill the cockroaches. But then the new breed evolves, down in the subway system, into something strange and frightening.


A powerful, painful, angry film about the corporate culture of selfishness. Two men (Aaron Eckhart and Matt Malloy), assigned for six weeks to an outpost of their company, scheme to play a cruel joke on a deaf woman (Stacy Edwards). But the plot is more, and deeper, than that, and is about a poisonous atmosphere in which performance is the only yardstick and personal advancement is the only goal.

IN AND OUT (PG-13, ããã)

Kevin Kline stars as a small-town high school teacher who is shocked when a former student (Matt Dillon) wins the Oscar, thanks him, and adds, "He's gay." Is he? Mr. Kline denies it. His fiancee (Joan Cusack), who is set to marry him in three days, is in tears. His father (Wilford Brimley) is bewildered. His high school principal (Bob Newhart) wants to fire him. And a gay TV journalist (Tom Selleck) arrives in town to cover the story.


Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz play two opposites (a janitor and a rich girl) who are brought together by two angels (Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo) against the wishes of her father (Ian Holm). Much ado about him kidnapping her, and much silliness when the angels are hired by the dad to track them down.


Disney reissues classic animated fare about a boy who refuses to grow up, the girl who loves him, the obsessed sea captain and a timely crocodile.

EVE'S BAYOU (ãããã, R)

Writer-director Kasi Lemmons tells the story of the Batiste family of the Louisiana bayou country, circa 1962, as seen through the eyes of 10-year-old Eve (Jurnee Smollett). Her father (Samuel L. Jackson) is a handsome doctor but a ladies' man. Her mother is played by Lynn Whitfield. In memories fragmented by time and emotion, Eve tries to piece together what happened that crucial summer, and the result, in style and mood, is like one of Ingmar Bergman's great family dramas.

MAD CITY (ãã 1/2 , PG-13) John Travolta plays a likable everyman who loses his job as a museum guard, goes to get it back, unwisely takes along dynamite and a shotgun, and inadvertently sets off a hostage crisis. Dustin Hoffman is a TV newsman in the museum at the time who sees the story as his big comeback opportunity.

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE (ãã, PG) Laughless, mistaken-identity comedy wasting the talents of one of the greatest sources of natural fun, Bill Murray, who plays a bumbling American tourist in London who is thought to be a counterspy.

GOOD BURGER (ãã 1/2 , PG) A bunch of teen misfits take on the rival corporate fast food franchise across the street. Silly, and -- like the fast-food fare it serves up -- often tasteless, but shrewdly pitched at its target preteen audience.

MATCHMAKER (ããã, R) Droll, short and tart. Three little words that describe both Janeane Garofalo and her new movie, the tale of an American political operative who goes to Ireland to find the relatives of her candidate and finds love instead.


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