Originally created 04/24/98

Video watch: 'Flubber' just released



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.

JUST RELEASED: Flubber, Mrs. Brown, Copland.

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

MAY 5: Alien Resurrection, Mouse Hunt, Gattaca, For Richer or for Poorer.

MAY 12: Tomorrow Never Dies, Washington Square, Playing God, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Collector's Edition.

MAY 19: As Good as It Gets, Starship Troopers, Shall We Dance?, An American Werewolf in Paris.

MAY 26: John Grishman's The Rainmaker, Deconstructing Harry, The Sweet Hereafter, Firestorm, The Night Flier, Desperate Measures.

Video reviews

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

FLUBBER (*, PG)

Robin Williams stars in a retread of the 1961 comedy about an absent-minded professor who invents flying rubber and saves his bankrupt college while marrying its president (Marcia Gay Harden). A cute electronic sidekick named Weebo all but steals the show,

MRS. BROWN (*** 1/2 , PG)

A love story of sorts, hidden beneath layers of denial and ritual, between Queen Victoria and her servant John Brown -- who takes her out riding as a way to break her loose from mourning after the death of her beloved Prince Albert. The queen is strong-willed but morose; Brown is her match. He breaks the rules in addressing her firmly, and she finds that a little thrilling. Judi Dench, long a star of the London stage, triumphs in her first leading movie role, and tall, bearded Billy Connolly is serenely self-confident as the commoner who thinks he knows what she needs.

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (****, R)

This is Curtis Hanson's rich, textured, confident film noir, based on the best seller by James Ellroy. It's set in Los Angeles in 1953 and seen through the lives of three cops: one media-savvy (Kevin Spacey), one ready to compromise (Russell Crowe), one a straight arrow (Guy Pearce). Their captain (James Cromwell) calls them "lads" and counsels them on corruption (and the correct means of performing it). Other key characters include a hooker (Kim Basinger) who specializes in looking like a movie star, and a sleazy scandal sheet publisher (Danny DeVito).

THE HOUSE OF YES (** 1/2 , R)

Parker Posey plays a disturbed character who's obsessed with Jackie Kennedy. When her twin brother (Josh Hamilton) brings home his fiancee (Tori Spelling), her madness goes into overdrive, and soon her other brother (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and their peculiar mother (Genevieve Bujold) are playing into the family dementia.

THE ICE STORM (****, R)

An early winter storm descends on Connecticut, casting a shroud of impending doom over Thanksgiving. 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.

BOOGIE NIGHTS (****, R)

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.