Originally created 11/27/98

Video watch

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: Doctor Dolittle and The Negotiator.

TUESDAY: The Mask of Zorro, Sliding Doors and Almost Heroes.

DEC. 8: Six Days, Seven Nights; The Parent Trap; and Lawn Dogs.

Video reviews

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

DR. DOLITTLE (***, PG-13) Eddie Murphy plays a famous doctor who regains a childhood gift of being able to talk with the animals. Of course, everyone thinks he's crazy, but he manages to save the lives of lab rats and tigers, and tells his dog he loves him. Basically Mr. Murphy is the straight man and the laughs belong to the animals, especially Rodney the guinea pig, with a voice by Chris Rock.

THE NEGOTIATOR (*** 1/2 , R) Hero cop Samuel L. Jackson faces disgrace and takes hostages. Kevin Spacey is his negotiator of choice. Both cops know all the tricks of negotiation, which sets them up for a complex verbal duel.

CAN'T HARDLY WAIT (* 1/2 , PG-13) A graceless and unfunny comedy, starring Ethan Embry as a would-be writer who has had a crush on Jennifer Love Hewitt for four years, and now gets his last chance when her boyfriend dumps her.

FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (*, R) Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro star as gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and his Samoan attorney in a saga about two Vegas visitors who are addled beyond repair in a nonstop zonked-fest.

ARMAGEDDON (*, PG-13) Bruce Willis leads a mission to blow up an Earth-bound asteroid in a movie that's loud, confusing, fragmented, ugly and dumb.

THE HORSE WHISPERER (***, PG-13) Robert Redford plays a horse trainer, a man of great patience faced with a woman (Kristin Scott Thomas), a child and a horse in great need of it.

SMALL SOLDIERS (** 1/2 , PG-13) Inspired special effects and animation, seamlessly blended with live action -- but who is the movie for? As toys go to war, the bad guys are so violent and mean-spirited, and the action so graphic, that smaller kids might be terrified.

GODZILLA (* 1/2 , PG-13) A muddy, murky, by-the-numbers monster movie, with a creature that's hard to see and characters who are impossible to care about.

LES MISERABLES (** 1/2 , PG-13) Like a respectable Classics Illustrated version of the Victor Hugo novel, this film has all the obligatory scenes and is easy to follow but lacks passion. Liam Neeson stars as Jean Valjean, Geoffrey Rush (Shine) is the ethical but foolish Inspector Javert, Uma Thurman is the doomed Fantine, and Claire Danes plays her daughter, Cosette.


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